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Loveny -- my Grandmother, in her '80s, with grandchildren.

Hazelwood School - 1912-15

Our School's 1st Teacher - Miss Frazer was first but I don't remember much.

I remember Mr. Tweedy. He had a black & white horse which pulled his buggy. The horse had trouble eating oats which was fed him. It seemed he teeth were too long or uneven because it took forever for him to feed. As a result he was so thin we all felt sorry for him. I guess now-a-days they call that type of horse a Pinto.

At that time a great scandal took place. It seems the Hudson family - north of the School - became involved in a sex problem. Evelyn told me about it afterwards. She & her sister Winnie were going home from school & the Johnson boys (Clarence & Frank) also went that way. The two Hudson brothers Norman & Stanley were also along. Anyway they decided to try out some sex experiences.

All I know is that Evelyn said it was true & she didn't seem upset & didn't mind being asked about it. It likely caused a lot of worry to the parents in the district but no drastic consequences came of it & as far as I know the case was forgotten. Evelyn said she sort of enjoyed it & I was fascinated & very inquisitive about it all. At nine years of age I was mysteriously aroused.

At that time we got a new teacher - Charlie Heaney. He was quite small in stature & seemed sort of belligerent from the start. Some-how our school seemed to lose all sense of discipline. Lura Hobson took over & bossed us all with her meanness. After Mr. Tweedy we had Mr. Charlie Heaney. He was a small man with a mean disposition. He seemed to take a dislike to me & my brother Finn because we did not speak English very well. Discipline was no better than before Lura ruled over most of us & Mr. Heaney let it continue as before.

I can't remember that he taught us any thing. School was a nightmare until he was finally fired & Mr. Hawlks took his place.

I came to school with a new (Pea Nut) straw hat & by noon it had disappeared. No one knew where it went to. A week or to later I came to school with another new straw hat again & it went out of my sight with no clue.Our teacher had no interest in my difficulty & later when my father (who was on the school board) came to investigate, it was discovered that my two straw hats were buried in back of the coal shed in the weeds on the school grounds. After due investigation it was found that Lura had hid my hats. Why? I will never know. Lura was four years older than I & much more powerful with the teacher.

We had spelling classes with included several grades so I would line up with the rest including Lura. The words were given out by our teacher (Mr. Heaney) & as we spelled them correct we took a step towards the head of the class. To this day I have a damaged painful spot in my right breast where Lura jabbed me with her elbow every time I passed her by on my way to the top.

Mr. Heaney was our teacher before Mr. Hawlks. When Mr. Hawlks came as our new teacher & put some order into our school system, school was pure pleasure from then on. How delightful learning became. To learn to sing songs in school for the first time & to be free of the fear of Lura Hobson.

(Extra note)

Strange to say later in years when I became a teacher after 1925 I taught at Naughton Dale near the south gate of the Buffalo Park of Wainwright, Mr. Heaney taught in a Neighborhood school. I never saw him but everyone said he was weird & old & quite queer. (No wonder at his age). Heaney came after Mr. Tweedy & before Mr. Hawlks.

We were even encouraged to play games including baseball with a real bat & ball which was all new to most of us. The bat was huge & heavy. Anyways we all took our turn many times & had fun. (Played one-o-cat) How awful I felt after one day when my turn came to bat. Some how I got all ready & swung to bat the ball & missed & in my follow-through I hit Willey Laws square on the side of the head. It hurt I am sure but he cried & I told him how sorry I was & that was it. Anyway now 60 years later I still see Bill (Willie Lawson) & he is deaf so I wonder if I caused his deafness.

Mr. Heaney & I had a little trouble. My brother was accused of doing some injustice to this same Willie Lawson. I knew it was not true so when my brother was waiting after school to be strapped by Mr. Heaney I stayed & struggled with the teacher to try & stop the strapping. It was awful but I knew my brother was innocent. I had to protect him. Lucky the teacher was small & weak & I was only 9 years old but I fought like mad until my brother was saved after just a few bad blows with the strap. I cried all the way home & when my parents saw me & heard the story all the neighbors came out in my defense & the teacher was fired. Even Willie Lawson admitted he had told a lie about my brother hurting him. The Hobsons were related by marriage to Willie Lawson's family so naturally they frowned upon us (the winners).

The whole problem was caused by (us) being foreigners, that is we were Norwegians & the only ones in the district that didn't speak good English. We were beat before we started. All around us were (good) kind & gentle Scottish & English & the all powerful Americans. The Americans spoke in their dialects of the hillbilly type & the English were from the coal mines with the soot still in their eyebrows. The Scottish speech was even more difficult to understand. The Harry Lauder songs were being sung which everyone understood & enjoyed.

Prairie Fires

And then there were the prairie fires. the clouds of smoke lay on the horizon to the east of us & we saw it & wondered & feared. My father looked worried & after coming home from the fields he got the two fastest oxen hooked to the plow & got busy plowing a fire guard around our house & barn. What a time we had in all the hurry. There was no communication from neighbors because there were no telephones in those early days.

Any way the oxen were urged on with a willow whip & in the end my father came in all covered with splashes of manure from the oxen. Old slim the fastest ox had a loose stomach & under the strain had really let go & the result was that my father was quite a mess. Any way the fire came close so he had no chance to clean up & we were all out with water pails & wet gunny sacks to ward off the flames in case they jumped the plowed fire guard. When all the danger was over we only laughed with relief at the whole affair. If you have never seen a prairie fire come rolling in flames & smoke over the hills near your home you will never understand the terrible fear. Even the cows came running for home howling all the way.

The Homestead

We had a marking at the corners of our farm - stakes & a deep cut square in the sod & that was all.

The roads followed the contour of the land - no road allowances were marked in those days.

How well I remember seeing the prairie chicken dance places in the snow. Early on my way to school I would see them busy in their performance.

The badgers were everywhere & quite friendly. We had them even in our front year with their heads showing out of their big holes. I wore a muff & collar of badger fur which my father & mother made for me. My father tanned the fur & my mother fashioned the collar & muff lined in brown real silk satin. I remember feeling badly because I singed the fur of the muff by standing too close to the school heater one day. It was cold walking 2 1/2 miles to school every day. The hood I wore from Eaton's catalogue was no protection for my fore-head. I will always remember how pretty it was -- white with rose trimming all knitted but nothing over the forehead.

Christmas came & the school concert which was wonderful. We all had our piece to say & the gifts were given out which our parents had brought to the school concert for us. I felt so sorry for the horses pulling the sleigh on our way home because their noses had icicles & their fur had snow & frost all over their backs from waiting outside in the cold. I remember thinking how wonderful it would be if we could ride out in the beautiful winter snow without having those poor horses to pull us. At that time I had never heard of a motor car.

About then I saw & heard my first phonograph. The Edison kind with a big horn & picture of "His Master's Voice" -- (the white dog) on the side of the machine: It was beautiful. The music songs were Clementine, Tra-Rra Boom-de-aye & Polly Walley Doodle all the Day.

My Old Kentucky Home

Annie Laurie

Rock of Ages.

. . .

About 1920 or 22.

Mini Keil & Tracy Keil daughters of Mr. Keil the butcher who lived & had a meat business in Lougheed. How frightened we were when we heard about the murder. Pieces of a body were found along the road north of our farm. The wrapped parcels were found by farmers along the road north of us. A limb, a torso & leg here & there, wrapped in brown meat-wrap paper. The missing man - can't remember who he was but perhaps he had money or some thing that made him attractive as a victim for a travelling sales man like Mr. Keil who sold Raleighs or Watkins products on the side after his hours in the shop as a meat market man were over. The evenings were long in the summer & a lot of travelling business could be done after the meat shop was closed.

I want to say I knew the two daughters of Mr. Keil. Tracy & Minnie Kiel were good looking nice girls. Their mother continued to live in Lougheed & worked in various jobs such as store clerk & wash woman to keep the family of five going. Two of the girls became hired girls at farm homes where we lived. They were nice girls & seemed to bear up under the disgrace of their father's murder charge. Their father was hanged eventually. In those days it did not take long to get a conviction & he was hanged.

And then there was the time when lightning struck & killed a man on a farm just east of Lougheed (the town 6 miles from us to the west), his name was Aubrey McDonald. We were so shocked by the news. It seemed he & a neighbor were out preparing to butcher a pig. There were standing in the yard sharpening their butcher knives & watching the storm which was (brewing) coming up. Lightning was getting closer with flashes near & far. Suddenly a flash struck close & Aubrey was flat on the ground - struck by the flash. Some-how the man near him & his wife & hired men were stunned by the shock. They called Dr. Kilman in Lougheed & he told them he could come immediately; "but don't touch Aubrey." (The danger of electric shock he said was imminent). So when Dr. K. came he ordered a chain to be dropped around Aubrey's neck & pegged to the ground overnight to draw off the electricity. The next day Aubrey's body was taken to Lougheed to be prepared for the funeral. How awful that night of waiting while Aubrey's body lay in the yard waiting for the power of the lightning to leave his body.

Mrs. Blackburn's barn dance

Admission - a bouquet of flowers & a cake or sandwiches

Black buggy with red spokes on the wheels

Basket socials

The washing & mending




carrying water

feed the chickens

kill a chicken & dress it & cook it

Bake bread with ever-lasting yeast

Milk the cow

Cement sacks

Tend the Vedge garden

Pick or dig the vegetables & prepare for a meal

Sewing --

Cut my fathers hair & my brothers hair.

The Gramophone (His Master's Voice)

The Thrashing Machine

The washing & ironing

starching flat irons

Mule skinners

Sod busters

The Town of Hardisty

- Incorporated January 16, 1911.

(People and places, from memory, of the town's early days.)

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