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THE STORY OF MY LIFE BY NAOMI TOBIN I’ll start with my father, Isaac Dunkelberger, who was born December 13, 1856, and died July 6, 1927, and my mother, Lydia Ann Smith, born December 3, 1860 and died October 9, 1934. They were married in February, 1883. There were six children: Delia Catherine, Clara Frances, Nellie Ann, William Allen, Harold Isaac, and last, myself, Laura Naomi. Clara lived to be 80 years old, and died in 1967. I am the last of the family. The Isaac Dunkelberger Family c. 1902 William, Lydia, Clara, Naomi, Nellie, Isaac, Delia, Harold The Dunkelberger farm in Genoa, Nebraska I was born in Genoa, Nebraska on July 25, 1899. When I was two years old, Dad sold the farm and moved the family to Washington because of Mother’s health. Dad bought a grocery store at Vaughn, Washington. View of the Vaughn store from the water I don’t remember too many things that happened there. I remember going with Mother to feed the chickens and I slipped going through the gate and fell against the post and the head of a nail went into my cheek and Mother had to get me loose from it. She put some peroxide on it and it healed right up. When I was about five years old, Dads gave me a note to take across the bridge to the butcher and while I was gone, a man came to the store with a bear he had killed and his hound hunting dog. He and Dad were standing by the bear when I cam running back with the note. The dog thought that I was after the bear and made a lunge at me and Dad kicked him just about the time the dog got to me. For years after that I was afraid of all dogs. In 1906, when I was six years old, we sold the grocery store and moved to Olympia via a small launch and a scow. We came for Vaughn to Olympia by Puget Sound. When we got to Olympia, Dad bought the German bakery and short order house. It was on 4th Street, between Main and Columbia Streets, across from the Mottman’s Mercantile. There were two saloons across from it. That was when they weren’t called taverns or bars. I think there were over 20 of them in Olympia. Dunkelberger bakery in Olympia The loggers were mostly single and carried their bed rolls (and bed bugs) from camp to camp. They stayed there in camp for six months and just came out for Christmas and July 4th. The loggers made very small wages--$2 or $3 a day. Of course, board in camp didn’t cost much either. By the end of the two week shutdown, they were all flat broke with hardly anything to show for their six month’s work, maybe a few clothes. The rest all went for booze. At that time, some of the old Indian women still wore shawls and one old man (Dick Jackson) was very lame and used a big tall cane and when he and his wife came to town, from Oyster Bay, he rode in the front seat of the wagon and she rode in the back seat on the opposite side. If I was on the sidewalk when they came along, I always crossed over on the other side of the street—I was so afraid of Indians. I guess I thought they would kidnap me or something. The streets and sidewalks were all made of heavy planks. Later they paved the downtown area with brick and asphalt blocks. The prices for baked goods were, as I remember them: Doughnuts—10¢ a dozen; cookies—10¢ a dozen; cinnamon rolls—15¢ each; small cakes--15¢ each; larger cakes—20¢ to 30¢; pies—25¢. They served eggs and bacon or ham and toast for 15¢; sandwiches for 10¢; 3 doughnuts or 3 cinnamon rolls and coffee for 10¢; pie and coffee for 10¢. Bread was 5¢ for a small loaf and 10¢ for a large loaf. A 50-pound sack of flour was less than $1. Coffee was 15¢ a pound. The big thing every June was the strawberry shortcake. Our bakery had the name of making the best shortcake and coffee in Olympia. My sister Nellie was married while we had the bakery in 1908. She and Delia waited on tables and Clara and Mother were the cooks. We had two bakers. Mr. & Mrs. E.W. Hopkins (Nellie Dunkelberger) The oven was a big brick box-like with a door in the front. I think the walls were at least a foot thick. The bakers built a fire right inside of the oven, and used 4 foot wood. It burned several hours, then the coals were raked out, then they started baking. First they baked pies and things that baked fast, then breads. Pumpernickel bread, a very heavy brown bread, was the last to use the heat. The bread was set to rise in long wooden troughs. A far cry from today’s sanitary bakeries. Dad sold the bakery in 1910 and we moved to 21st Street, the same street that Grace and Leo Grunenfelder live on now, 1976. Clara was married at our home on 21st Street (1910), and a month later, Delia was married. Mr. & Mrs. Ray Leaming (Clara Dunkelberger) In 1910, my father, Clara and Ray, Delia and Charley went to Cle Elm, Washington and invested in a coal mine. They worked real hard over there for several months and then the mine went broke and they didn’t get their wages. Dad came home and ran a cigar and tobacco store but didn’t keep it very long. Then he traded our house on 21st Street for a farm at Mud Bay. That was the spring of 1912, and Clara and Ray moved to Dad’s farm and Dad, Mother, Harold and I moved to a farm at New Kamilche that Dad had rented. That was where I had to row across the arm of the bay to go to school. In November of that year, we moved to Dad’s place on Mud Bay. Isaac Dunkelberger in front of the cigar store While we were still living at New Kamilche, on July 4 Harold and I rowed across Oyster Bay and started across the bay and it was rough and the boat leaked a lot. I bailed as fast as I could and we got across the bay to a spit where we emptied the water out of the boat, then started down along the bluff to Kamilche. The boat was filling faster than I could bail it out, but we finally made it to where we could land. Harold wouldn’t go any further in that boat, so we walked about ¼ mile and borrowed a boat and got home. Harold was so upset from the experience that he couldn’t eat. If the boat would have sunk, he was the only one that could swim. When we went to Mud Bay, I started to school there. I was in the seventh grade, 13 years old. I finished my school days in that school, when I graduated from the eighth grade. The winter of 1916 was very cold. As we didn’t have a thermometer or radio in those days, I don’t know exactly how cold. The snow was about 15 inches deep and the crust was so thick we could walk on top of it. My brothers and the Tobin boys each made a big bobsled that would hold about 5 people and coasted down the big Frederick Hill. All the young people in the neighborhood came and we had a big bonfire at the top of the hill. It was moonlight and everyone had a lot of fun. Even though we didn’t have any wieners or marshmallows to roast. The Lee family gave a party a few days later and that is where I got acquainted with Ben. He taught me to waltz and square dance. Then all the young people and some older ones decided to have dances in the old log school house. We didn’t have much for music—sometimes only a mouth harp and sometimes a violin. We had a lot of fun. Not like dances now. There wasn’t any drinking. That was when Ben and I started “keeping company,” as they called it then. Benjamin Tobin, c. 1916 That summer, 1916, Ben proposed to me, but I didn’t say I’d marry him ‘til February, 1917. In September, 1916, he went to work in a camp and didn’t come home until the Christmas vacation. In January, 1917, Ben went to work cutting timber for a camp right behind Dad’s farm. He worked there until September when he came to Michigan Hill to work on the little fill between here and the Lundun Road and the big fill by the Grunenfelder Road. (I never thought I’d ever live down here then.) It was about that time they started drafting boys in the World War I army. Harold was called on the first draft. Ben and I had planned to get married about Christmas time. I had been very busy making quilts and all sorts of things for my hope chest. In those days you didn’t get all your household linens for wedding presents. At Christmas time, Ben’s dad had to have some money to pay off a note that was due and it took so much of what Ben had saved that we had to wait until April to get married. We were married April 1, 1918 (the first day we ever had Daylight Saving Time). Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Tobin (Naomi Dunkelberger) We rented a little house at Cedarville, and moved into it April 4th. My brother Will was drafted about that time, and Ben got his notice in May to go May 25th. I cried and cried, but of course it didn’t do any good as Uncle Sam was boss. Ben was put into the Spruce division to log Spruce to make into airplanes. They had to make railroads back into where the Spruce was, so by the time they got them made, the war ended. So about all they got done was build the railroads, which they all hated. The war ended November 11, 1918. Ben was supposed to get discharged about January 1, 1919, but that terrible epidemic of Spanish influenza was raging and as soon as the boys from the woods got into Vancouver where they were to be discharged, they caught it. So he got it on the 6th day of January and didn’t get over it ‘til January 27th. He had it real hard. He was discharged on January 27, 1919 and arrived home about one o’clock that night. He hired a taxi in Olympia and it brought him out to my folk’s, which was where I stayed while he was in the service. While Ben was in the service, Luella’s folks moved into the place next to Dad’s. She and I became good friends. I was so glad to have someone to pal around with. I think they came in September, 1918. Luella Mason, who later married Harold Dunkelberger Before we were married, Ben had bought the old 1917 Model-T Ford car, “Old Liz.” He was teaching me to drive when he left for the service, and told Ed and Dewey, his brothers, to finish teaching me. So, they cranked up the engine (there weren’t any starters on Fords then), got in the back seat and told me to drive. The road was very narrow and very crooked, but I made it and drove around for awhile and took them home and that was the end of my lessons. Ben Tobin and Steve A few days later, I drove it in to Olympia. Of course, there wasn’t much traffic in 1918. The poor horses were so scared that they had to get out and lead them past the cars—I guess it was the noise. They soon got used to them, though. Old Liz was so temperamental, that sometimes she wouldn’t start, so I’d have to walk the four miles to Snider’s Prairie to get the mail. I went three times a week to get my letters from Ben. After school started, the school teacher and I went, as she boarded at our house. The flu was so bad that Mother was nursing the sick a lot and Dad and I “batched” while she was gone. I had to milk cows, wash separators, feed chickens and do all sort of farm chores. Naomi Tobin c. 1918 Before Luella’s folks came, Marion Sickles (Luella’s sister) came from Colorado and their Grandmother Weatherall came with her on the train and she stayed with us. She was quite old and always wore a lace cap on her head. She had never seen the Himalaya blackberries, so she couldn’t stand to see them spoil. So she would pick some and take them to her room ‘til they got moldy. Then she would throw those away and pick some more. When the Masons came, she went to live with them. We did get to go visit Ben once while he was gone. He was stationed close to Forks, Washington, building roads back to the Spruce. I think 10 or 12 miles back. So, in September Grandpa and Grandma Tobin and Eliza and I and Dewey (Ben’s brother) started out in Old Liz to go up there. It was quite different then than it is now. We thought we would get there in one day, but sure didn’t. We got as far as Port Angeles the first day (Saturday) and there was no road around Lake Crescent—just two ferries to go across it. Sunday morning, we got up early to catch the first ferry. It was under the military and they had to go first. Then we should have been the first civilians on but I’m sure because they were Indians, the guy in charge wouldn’t let us on. The rest all got on and we didn’t and the ferry left. There was another ferry that would leave at 3 in the P.M, a man told us. He had seen what they had done to us. So we drove over to where that ferry was and got across. We got to the main headquarters at 6 o’clock. They were just eating supper. Ben had waited there since Saturday evening and was just about worried about us. He stayed with us for 2 days. I was worried for he only had a pass ‘til Sunday night but his captain didn’t say a word to him. We didn’t try that ferry on the way back. We went on the same one we went over on. I don’t know how Old Liz ever made it there and back, but she never missed a beat. Ben at army camp, c. 1918 After Ben got home, Dad wanted him to help him clear an acre or two of land. They had a drum with a cable wrapped around it and on the top was a big long pole. They would fasten the cable around the stump, not very large alders, and then wind the cable around the drum by getting to the end of the pole and going around the drum and it would pull out the stump. After they finished that, we moved to Cedarville and Ben worked for the National Logging Company as a hooktender. We bought a little two-roomed cabin to live in. Ken was born the 31st of October, 1919. Kenneth Alvin Tobin c. 1920 Shortly after Ben got home from the service, he told Luella and me he would show us how the Indians speared fish at night (flounders). He made a wire basket and fastened it onto the bow of the boat and lighted fir pitch in the basket. You could look down and see the bottom of the bay. I guess where we were it was about 6 feet deep. I rowed the boat and he stood up and when he saw a flounder, he speared it with a spear. I think we had about a dozen nice flounders when the fire got so hot in the basket, it burned the pole off and down it went into the water with a loud sizzle. For a minute, I thought the boat had sunk. It got so dark. That was the end of our fishing trip. That December, it was the coldest on record, getting down to 16º below zero for several days. We kept a roaring hot fire of oak wood in the heater and things froze in the other end of the room. I was afraid my little baby would freeze. I kept him wrapped so tight that he broke out with heat rash. When it thawed out, the roads were nothing but solid mud. No paved roads then. I wanted to go to Olympia to visit my mother, but the mud was too deep. I got really homesick. As soon as the roads got so one could drive over them at all, Ben took me home. Of course, the Model T’s were high off the ground. On our way home, we got a flat tire. The baby got hungry and I had milk, but no way to heat it. So we had a tin cup in the car and Ben poured the milk in it and cranked the motor and set the cup on it and warmed it. It was quite a job to change a tire in those days. You jacked up the car, took the tire off and patched the tube, then put the tire back on the wheel and pumped it up with a hand tire pump. Ben quit that camp in September of 1920. We moved to Olympia and Ben worked for a camp at Pe Ell. They made something they used to make ships. Ship Knees they were called. He worked there several months. On May 28, 1921, Ralph was born. Ben got a job at Mud Bay Logging Company and we moved up there in September into an old school house and in January, 1922, we moved right up into the camp. Ben had not had time to cut some wood after we moved, when he got pleurisy in his side and couldn’t breathe if he lay down. So he had to sit up night and day for about three days. Also, the two babies had chicken pox. So, I had to get some wood, some way. In those days they cut the big stumps off and about six or more feet above the ground. So, I went out and peeled the thick bark off with the axe and carried it in. It really made a good fire and held fire better than any wood. The neighbors saw me getting wood, so a couple of men brought me some wood to help out ‘til Ben got well. That’s the only time while he lived that I got my own wood. Also, in 1920, there was about 5” of snow on the ground and we went to visit my folks in Olympia in the old “Liz.” Going home, we were on the road between Little Rock and Olympia. There was only one track and if you got out of it you couldn’t get back. Another car, with two women in it, came from the other way, so Ben took a rail off of the rail fence and put it under the front axle and lifted the front end over and then under the back and lifted it over. The women drove past and he put our car back in the rut and we went on our way. Ben with Ralph, Melvin and Ken c. 1924 On October 21, 1923, Melvin was born. We lived in that camp until November, 1930. The Great Depression was getting pretty bad at that time and Mud Bay Camp shut down. Ralph and his co-workers at the logging camp (Ralph in center) Ben got a job at Mineral, working for West Fork Logging Company, and we bought a house and two acres of ground and moved out of the camp. The house was on Walnut Road, west of Olympia. Ben worked at Mineral until May, 1931, and then came back to Mud Bay Camp as it had started up again. He worked there until he passed away on September 17, 1932. That was the darkest day of my life. It’s 43 years and I still grieve for him. He died of kidney failure. Benjamin Franklin Tobin 1891-1932 I had to go on and raise my children. Ben had enough insurance to finish buying our place and live for awhile. Ken was almost 13. Ralph was 11 and Melvin was almost 9 years old. My mother lived with us. I don’t know how I could have lived without her. In August, just 23 months to the day after Ben passed away, Melvin got some kind of fruit poison from eating sprayed fruit and died in 24 hours. Mother was failing and just six weeks later, she died of a cancerous growth in her intestines. So, there were only three of us left. Those were terrible years for me. That was 1934. Melvin James Tobin 1923-1934 My father had died in 1927 and my two sisters, Delia and Nellie and my brother Will had died in 1929 and 1930. Also, Nellie’s daughter Orpha had been thrown from a horse and gotten killed. And Luella’s two little boys had drowned, I think in 1932. I thought the sorrows would never end. Delia Adams Nellie Hopkins Will Dunkelberger Orpha Hopkins In 1935, the boys and I decided to move out on the Steamboat Island Road on a farm we rented. I rented out my house in town. Rent in those days was low. I got $18 a month for my house and I paid $100 a year for the farm. I rented it for three years. We had two cows and about 50 chickens and I always raised a pig and a beef to butcher so we had our meat, eggs and milk. I sold some cream to the creamery. I had a large garden, so we had plenty to eat. In 1933, after FDR was elected president, he closed the banks and somehow got the money stabilized so no more banks went broke. No one had any money. People who were rich lost everything they owned and were poor overnight. One thing I thought was terrible that FDR did was to order a certain percent of the cattle, hogs and sheep killed and destroyed. He said it was to bring prices up, but when people were going hungry, it was a crime to waste all that prime meat. I had a neighbor that had a son who had a sheep ranch in Texas. The government came and killed a certain percent of his sheep. They just sent men in with hooks and whichever one they hooked by the leg, that’s the one they killed. He couldn’t pick the old ones or any that he didn’t want. They took the one the hook pulled out. After they were killed, they piled them in a big pile and burned them. They said you could smell them burning for miles. That is only one example of what the government did. When the big drought came a year or two later all over the middle west, and the cattle and all animals were starving, then the government killed some of those and canned them and gave to people. But they had destroyed all the fat ones before that. I never liked FDR after that. The government finally started the WPA to give the people a little work. The men worked on the roads and the women in the sewing rooms, which they started in several places. There were about 65 to 70 who worked where I worked in the basement of the library in Olympia. They made clothes for the people on WPA. They made clothes for babies up to shirts for men. All sizes. The government furnished the material. They paid men and women alike $40 a month. I went to work in the spring of 1936 and worked in the sewing room ‘til January 1, 1937 when they told me I had to go on a mother’s pension. As Ralph would be 16 before too long, I thought it was foolish, but I was much better off as I got more money. They gave me a little bit to feed Ken too. He was still in high school, but too old for the mother’s pension. When Ralph was 16 in May, they said the sewing room was full, so they kept me on the pension ‘til September, when one of their visitors came to my house and told me I had no business to be on the pension. I told her if she found me a job in the sewing room, I’d go there, but she said it was full. After all her fuss, she finally said she guessed I’d have to stay on the pension. In October, they started a housekeeping project. It was for the families on WPA when the mother got sick or had a baby or something, they would send women there to do the work. So, they put me on that project. There were about a dozen women worked on it. We got $50 a month for that, but we sure earned it….some of the dirty places we got into. In 1938, the boys were both in high school. I had been looking for a farm to trade my place on Walnut Road for. I finally found 120 acres on Michigan Hill. We were supposed to be able to move into it in March, but it was leased for one more year. The Godwins hadn’t paid the lease, but when they found it was sold, they paid it, so we couldn’t move in until March of 1939. Kenneth Tobin Ralph Tobin Edna and Benny [Benjamin] moved down from Seattle with us, so we were going to farm together. Ralph graduated in June, 1939, and Ken worked in a camp part of the time. Ken and Mickey were married in September of 1939 and in November, Edna and Benny moved out. The partnership didn’t work out. Ken Tobin Ralph Tobin In January, 1940, Ralph joined the army and went directly to Hawaii, Scofield BKS. Ken and Mickey [Evelyn Camus] stayed with me part of the time. He worked at Bordeaux Camp and part of the time for Mr. Camus [Mickey’s father]. We raised a big garden that year and I canned all I could. We had our own meat. About all of the income I had was from the cream and eggs I sold. My nephew, Mason, stayed with me that summer and fall, but my brother, Harold, got so ill that Mace had to go home to help there. After that, I was alone. I was so lonesome that I applied to the welfare to be a foster home and take two welfare children. So, in November, they brought me two little Indian girls, 3 & 4 years old. In December, my brother Harold passed away. The mother of the little girls decided to take them, so I was alone again. Their names were Frieda and Georgia Bob. In January of 1941, Edith and Ted Boak asked me if I would board Edith’s father, Doc Wolfe, who was 86 years old. I really didn’t want to, but they were all very old friends of mine, so I told them I would. Then, on February 14th, the welfare visitor brought Gladys and Wayne Sireech to stay with me. Gladys was 7½ and Wayne was 4. On February 20th, a car drove up in front and Gladys said it was Katherine, Josephine’s mother. She had Josephine in her arms and said, “Is this where I’m supposed to leave my baby?” I said I didn’t know and she said, “the sheriff is after me, and I am going up to Olympia to give myself up.” I asked her if she brought some clothes and she said no. I told her I’d keep Jo until the welfare lady came. She just said, “Good-bye Josephine,” and got in the car and drove away. So, there I was, with a 2 year old baby and no clothes. The next day, the welfare visitor came and asked me to keep her ‘til they found a place for her, which they never did. I kept her for 16 years until she graduated from high school. The lady did tell me where to go and get both Jo’s and Gladys’ and Wayne’s clothes. Their father and Jo’s mother had been living together. There was a gunny sack and a big box full of clothes and not one piece was clean. So, I had quite a big wash scrubbing on the wash board. Wayne, Josephine & Gladys So, I had my hands full—cooking and caring for an 86 year old man and three children besides my farm chores. We had no electricity, so I pumped water by hand. I heated it on the wood stove for all my washing and milk things and baths, which we took in the wash tub. I had an old gas washer, but half the time it didn’t run, which of course, it didn’t when I had a big washing to do. One morning in June, I fixed breakfast and called Doc to come and eat. He went out on the porch to spit out his tobacco and didn’t come in. So I went out and found him in the ground. He had had a stroke. Gladys ran across the road and got Mr. Godwin and we got him onto his bed. Mrs. Godwin went to the nearest phone and called his daughter. She had to send word out to the woods where Ted was working and get her husband. They sent for an ambulance, and came and took him to the hospital in Olympia. He came out of the stroke, so he could walk, but never was just right in his mind. So he was placed in a nursing home and passed away that fall. I was really lucky that Jo was such a good baby. I had to take her along with me to do chores. If Gladys was home from school and during the summer, she would play with Jo and look after her. The next winter when I would go to milk the cows, I’d set Jo on the milk stool and she would sit there while I milked and fed the cows. Once, she got up and walked in between two cows and I guess old Tude thought she was a dog and kicked her into the gutter. She wasn’t hurt, but she never went around the cows after that. The children weren’t very much trouble—they amused themselves playing outside with the dog, Shorty, and in the orchard. Wayne made a tree house by the barn, in the big maple tree, and Gladys had a play house in the old smoke house. Edna [Benjamin] lived near and they played with Ann [Edna’s daughter] down in the woods. The war started December 7, 1941, and everything changed. Gas was rationed, also sugar, flour and other foods could not be obtained without ration stamps. When you ran out of stamps, you did without until the next month. For about all of the war, I didn’t have a car. I used to send a card with my grocery order on it to the Rochester Mercantile, and they would deliver the groceries every week. Ralph was at Scofield Barracks when Pearl Harbor was bombed. That was a terrible time of waiting until I heard on December 20th that he was okay. Ken and Mickey were living in Olympia and had Judy and Mike, when Ken was sent to the Philippines. Ralph had been sent to Holandia Air Base in New Guinea, although we didn’t know where they were until after they came back. My brother Harold passed away during the war, so that left only Clara and me of the family. Harold Dunkelberger 1894-1940 Nothing too exciting happened in those years. There were 10 years that I never spent a night away from home. I had to stay there to do chores. Reverend Hovda started a Sunday School in the old school house in the early 40’s, and I became a Christian and accepted Christ as my Savior. Many of the neighbors came and we had such good fellowship together for many years. They finally tore the school house down, so we moved down to the Riverside school house on the Independence Road. We had Sunday school there until about 1960 when it closed down. Times were changing and people had moved away, so the hill wasn’t the same. No one farmed anymore, and the fields were beginning to grow up with brush. People were going to work in town. After the war, Ralph and Helen [Iverson] were married, and they spent four years at Prairie Bible Institute in Canada, and had Becky and Tim. In 1955, they bought the farm and I built my house on the one acre I kept. Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Tobin (Helen Iverson) During the years on the farm, many things happened. One time, Gladys was in an apple tree and jumped down and her dress tail caught on a limb and when she landed, all of her dress was in the tree, but the sleeves and the neckband! Another time, I had a Brown Swiss cow. She wasn’t very well broke to milk yet, and I took the machine off of her and reached down to strip her. I brushed against her leg, and she kicked me about four feet away and into the gutter with the milk pail upside down in my lap! I got up dripping and decided I’d sell her. So I did sell her to Bob Fry. I moved into this house in 1955 and retired. In 1960, Gladys & Al [Rarden] sent me a ticket to visit them in Alaska. I spent a month there and we traveled all over and saw many interesting things. In 1961, they came from Alaska and I went with them to Ohio to visit Al’s family and then to New Mexico, where he was stationed for several years. Ralph and Helen brought me home. In December, 1967, Clara passed away, so I was the last of the family left. Clara (Dunkelberger) Leaming 1887-1967 In 1969, we lost Ralph with a heart attack, which was a terrible blow to all of us. Helen married Leslie West a couple of years later. In May, 1977, they moved to Ford’s Prairie on Old 99. Ralph Benjamin Tobin 1921-1969 In December of 1965, a car ran into my car, and I got five broken ribs. It took quite a while to get over that. 1978—So, that’s a rough outline of my life. I’m now 79 years old and can’t walk very good, but am expecting to get a new hip soon, so I can walk better. 1980—I will try to bring my life up-to-date. I finally got my new hip on June 13, 1978. It’s so nice to get around and have no pain. Of course, my joints are stiff and I don’t get around real spry, but I have no pain in my hip. My back still bothers me from the car wreck in January of 1979. I got a terrible pain in my back and went to the doctor. He made all kinds of X-rays and tests and I had a cancerous tumor in my left kidney. In August of 1979, Dr. Haronon removed my kidney and so now in 1980 I’m feeling good again…..only old age trouble everyone has. In June of 1979, Helen bought a mobile home in Nylandia park in Centralia and moved me into it. It’s so nice here and has an electric furnace, so I’m warm and cozy. I never can thank Helen and Les enough for being so good to me. Also, Josephine and Gladys and Al have been so good to help me out. Each year in August, we have a family reunion of the Dunkelberger family and I do enjoy seeing all of the family. I am the oldest Dunkelberger there. My brother Harold’s wife, Luella, is the oldest of the family. She is 85 and I am 81. Luella Dunkelberger & Naomi Tobin 1985 I now have nine grandchildren and Ken and Mickey have 12 grandchildren and Ralph, one grandchild, so that makes me 13 great-grands. The oldest is 18 years old, the youngest is one year. Also, my girls Jo and Gladys have children and grandchildren too. Gladys has two children and one grandchild and Jo has 5 children and three grands, so I have a big family. Al & Gladys Rarden and family When I moved down here in 1979, I was very pleased that my neighbor on Michigan Hill for around 20 years and a very good friend, was living just a block away. So, we can visit together as we used to….Bob and Mildred Fry. In reading this over, I realize I haven’t said much about my own family. Ken and Mickey are living at Humptulips on a farm and logging. They have 4 children: Judy, Michael, Steve and Pauline. Judy is married to Bob Worman. Judy has four children from her first marriage and one from this one: Phil, Diana, Jennifer, Kathleen and Rebecca who is 1 year old. Ken, Naomi, Judy and Judy’s kids—4 generations Michael was married to Carol and they had Michael, Billy and Leiza. Now he is married to Mary and they have 2 children: Lee Bear, and a tiny baby. Steve has one little girl, Cara, and Pauline is married to Bob Drolz and they have Casey. Ralph and Helen had Becky and she has one little girl, Brigitte. Their boys are Tim, Mark and Ron. And Tami, who is 13 years old. Tami, Helen, Becky, Naomi June, 1981—Last year was a year of surgery. In February, Helen had her gall bladder removed. Jo also had hers removed a couple of months later, and Gladys also had surgery. They are all okay now. Josephine Aldrich 1957 Gladys and Al have gone to Japan for three years and Jo and Garnet are living on Rochester Prairie. They have a nice home there. Gladys and Al took Dennis’ little boy with them, as Dennis couldn’t keep him by himself. I am enjoying my nice, warm little house. I have quit driving a car, after 63 years. My eyes are so I can’t see well enough. I didn’t want to cause a wreck and spoil my driving record. I was in that one wreck, but I didn’t cause the wreck. I miss driving and hate to depend on others, but guess that’s the toll of getting old. June, 1983—I’m still here. Next month I will be 84. I now have a great-great-grandson. Michael Allen has a baby boy, Matthew. My great-grandchildren are growing up and several have graduated from high school. I am thankful for being able to live alone and care for myself. Like all old people, I think of the “good old days” and all my loved ones who have gone on before. The good and bad things—I thank God for keeping me all of these years. Also, I thank Him for the loved ones I still have. Friday the 13th of January, 1984—I forgot to mention the Friday the 13th 1950. We had a real blizzard that day. I had the farm then and four cows to milk. The blizzard came in the night and by morning, the lights were out all over. The snow was 8 or 10 inches deep, and drifts between the house and barn. I dressed in old coats and tied a heavy scarf around my head and started for the barn. The wind blew so hard, I could hardly breathe. When I got to the barn, it even felt warm to get out of the wind. The cows were in the loafing shed, and I opened the gate for them to come into their stalls. They just stood there and I called them and they knew my voice, but I looked so crazy, they were afraid. If I moved toward them, they would move. So I left the gate open and went into the hay mow and then they came in. Of course, they had feed in their mangers, so I got them shut in. I had to milk by hand. I had a hard time getting to the house with two big pails of milk in all that wind and snow. The milk truck couldn’t come that day. The next day, Bob Fry took the tractor and hauled their milk and mine down to the truck. It was five days before the truck could get down our road. After that, the road was almost impossible to travel for mud. It wasn’t blacktopped then. That was my first and only blizzard. Three photos of the Great Blizzard of 1950 Then, on Columbus Day, 1963, we had a terrible wind storm. It blew 8 of the old-time barns down on Lincoln Creek and Independence Valley. Some cattle were killed. It caused millions of dollars in damage. The most unusual thing that has happened is when Mount St. Helens decided to blow. May 18, 1980 at 8:30 A.M. It blew 62.000 feet in the air. The ash went to eastern Washington. On May 25th, it blew again and that’s when we got the ash. It blew in the morning and it was so thick, it didn’t get daylight ‘til noon. Ash was about ½ to 1 inch thick, and no crack small enough to keep it out. Four years later, there’s still ash. Another thing that happened when we had the blizzard (January, 1950), was our electricity was off for 5 days, so I couldn’t pump water for the cows. There was a snow drift between the barn and the creek about six feet high and eight feet through. So, after three days, I know the cows had to have water. They were trying to eat snow, so I got the barn shovel and made a narrow path through. The cows watched as I walked through. Finally the lead cow followed me through. When she saw she could get to the creek, she really took off and the rest right behind her. There were about 11 of them. They sure were thirsty. Here’s how we washed in “the old days.” We used a wash tub and rubbed the clothes on the wash board. It sure was hard on the back stooping over for several hours. We rubbed the clothes, then put the white clothes in a wash boiler on the wood range and boiled them in soap suds to keep them white. Then we rinsed them and hung them on the line to dry. We put bluing in the rinse water to whiten them too. Epilogue: Laura Naomi Dunkelberger Tobin went to be with the Lord on 5 September 1985, just a month after her much-loved Dunkelberger family reunion. She was 86 years old.
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