Bridget Rolenc did this interview from memory. Thank you Bridget. At the bottom of the page please read Bridget's note. While reading I remember Mom telling me a lot of this. You can print this out for you Kids to read about their Great Grandparents. I have also posted a blank one out their. How about interviewing someone. Makes for great reading and fun to keep. Really miss my Mom and Dad.
PS: The Researcher made some corrections in dates and also added some stats. (Anita Rolenc Reid)
A Gift of Memories
A Gift that will be a Family Treasure for
Lucie Rose Farmer
Full Name: Lucie Rose Farmer
Birthplace: Waco, Nebraska
Born: September 17,1911
Died: August 2, 1970
Father’s Name: William Patrick Farmer
Birthplace: Beaver Crossing, Nebraska
Born: March 26, 1888
Died: February 3, 1943
Mother’s Name: Jeanne Gerard
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
Born: February 19, 1888
Died: April 28, 1984
“Were you named after someone, and why did they give you that name?”
Yes, I was named after my Aunt Lucie. My Mother was a twin. Both my mother and Aunt Lucie were so much alike. They were identical. They were born in Brooklyn, New York and weighed 2 pounds each. I really loved my Aunt Lucie. Mother moved to Beaver Crossing when she was 21 years old and married Father. They lived on a farm until Father sold it and bought a bar & grill in town. Mother took in sewing to help pay for the bills.
"How old was your mom when you were born, and were you the youngest of her children?”
“Did you have any brothers or sisters, and what are their names and birth dates?
Mother was 23 years old when I was born. I am the oldest. The next was Katie, she married Kink Findley. Then Little Willie, he died at birth. I’m not sure what happened. Then Mary, she married Wilbur Miller. Next was Mattie, she married Marvin Harter. Then my little sister Blanche. She died when giving birth to her little girl. They said she died of a blood clot in the leg. Then my brother Joe, he married Mary Anne. And my little brother Paul, he married Wanda. He was my favorite when we were growing up. Lets see, Mary’s birthday is at the end of October. Paul’s birthday was April 25, 1926. He died in November 8, 1992. He had the flu, but died of a heart attack.
“Who did they say you looked like?”
My Aunt Lucie.
“Did you ever have a nickname?”
“Where were you born?”
Date: In the morning
Place: On the farm
Town: Waco, Nebraska
Hour: Not sure
Weight: Not sure, they say I was big
Length: Not sure.
Eye color: Gray
Hair color: Dark brown
Temperament: Hot Irish
“Did you ever fight with your brothers and sisters? Who treated you the nicest, and who the worst?”
Oh, we had our normal fights as we grew up, but nothing too bad. We were too busy to fight. Mother was doing sewing and we helped a lot. I remember one time that we were picking on Paul and he fell down the stairs when he was running away from us. Mother really gave us the dickens.
“Did you have to share your room and things?”
Oh, yes. We had only four rooms upstairs in the house and there were six of us. When Katie and I got married they all had their own rooms. Until then Katie and I or Mary shared rooms. The boys and Blanche had their own rooms. Our home in town was really nice. It had a parlor that Mother use to entertain her guest in. Mother also played the organ, Father use to play the violin. We really loved the music they played. What a nice quiet time it was. Mother always had a parrot or parakeet. She claimed fame in knowing Wild Bill Hitchcock.
“What was the best birthday you ever had? Why?”
I don’t remember any really special one. I guess the one I remember the most was in 1969. That was the year I went to Sioux City with my youngest daughter. As we drove back from the city, we stopped by a little vendor on the way home and picked up two crates of concord grapes. I had planned to make some jam. Well, on the way home, we ate one whole crate of grapes and ended up having diarrhea for several days later. We giggled like two little kids. We were showing my Saint Bernard’s that I use to raise, at a dog show there. It was a really fun time.
“Can you remember your favorite birthday present?”
I think my favorite present was when my youngest daughter named her youngest after me! See, I named her after my grandmother, so it was very special that she named her after me!
“How much did the tooth fairy leave you for a tooth?”
I don’t remember any tooth fairy.
“How old were you when you got an allowance and how much was it?”
We didn’t have allowances. My Father didn't make very much money, so if we needed any money, we would work at the local restaurant or sew with Mother.
“How did your parents punish you? Did they spank you? Who was more strict?”
I don’t remember being punished when I was younger. I do remember Mother being more strict. That was mostly because Father wasn’t around much with the bar & grill.
“What was the naughtiest thing you ever did?”
I think the naughtiest thing I ever did was pick on Paul.
“What were your favorite games and toys?”
We use to play marbles and tin can on the street. I think I still have some of my marbles around here someplace.
“What games or sports did your mom and dad play with you?”
We didn’t play any sports or games. It was really mostly doing work. I remember playing with my sisters and some neighbors. We use to go to dances and talk a lot.
“Did you ever go sledding, skiing or skating? What sports did you like?”
We did go sledding and roller skating. I really enjoyed the sledding. I use to take the boys out by the park. We also had a swimming pool in the park and we use to go there and swim all day. I use to have a great tan.
“Did you get to stay up as late as you wanted to, and watch TV or listen to the radio or records?”
I use to listen to the old Edison or listen to my parents play their instruments. We never had a television until my Father died. We kids bought one for Mother. We did have a radio, but I can remember it was very static. I guess the best I can remember is the record player.
“Did you ever argue about your bedtime?”
No. I was always glad to go. I usually got to read for a while before we had to put out the lights.
“Did you ever go to the hospital? Did you have stitches or break any bones?”
Yes. When I was young, I had to go to the hospital for my tonsils. I didn’t break any bones, that I remember!
“Were you scared of doctors or shots?”
“What kind of transportation did you have? Did you ever ride in a plane, bus, train, or boat? What else?”
I remember having wagons and horses from the farm. When we moved in town we didn’t have any transportation. We did had an old Ford when I was older that we drove around. We really didn’t leave the town very much until we grew up and got married. My husband was my transportation then!!!
“Did you ever run away from home, or just hide from your mom and dad? Why?”
I don’t remember ever running away from home. Maybe it was because I was the oldest and had to help Mother with all the household chores.
“Where was your favorite place to go when you were angry?”
We had a grove of trees to the South of the house. I really enjoyed just going in there and thinking. It was almost like having your own grotto.
“What chores did you have to do?”
Sewing, cleaning, we had a big garden, helping Father with the bar & grill, and mostly taking care of my sister and brothers.
“When you were given money, what did you spend it on...toys, candy, etc.? What could you buy for a quarter?”
I can remember buying material for dresses. I loved chocolate bars and we could buy several for a quarter. I remember going to a free show and buying candy and pop corn with a quarter. We never had to pay to get into a dance. They were free also.
“Did you have a pet, and what was it’s name?”
Mother always had a parrot or a parakeet. I can remember having a dog on the farm and some cats, but when we moved to town they stayed on the farm.
“What did you like most about your best friend? Did you have fights and secrets?”
My sisters, Katie & Mary, were my best friends. I can tell you that I told them everything. We had such good times together. All our husbands got along so well. I guess I was blessed to have them around.
“Did kids ever tease you? Was there a bully who picked on you?”
I don’t remember ever being teased. Katie, Mary and I were all kind of cute and so the boys came around a lot.
Home When You Were Small:
“What did your house look like?” “How many rooms did it have? Did it have an attic or a creepy room that scared you?”
Our farm house was very small. I can remember having to sleep in the living room. When we moved to town, I thought we moved into a mansion. It had four bedrooms up stairs, a big spiral staircase, a parlor, dinning room, living room, big kitchen, two bedrooms that Father turned into one for him and Mother, a storage room that Mother had turned into a bathroom just before Father died. She sewed a gown for it! It did have a creepy attic, but we just stored a bunch of stuff in it all the time.
“How big was your yard?’
We had a big yard. I can remember clipping the grass with one of those old hand push single blade movers. It took forever!
“What kind of appliances did you have to cook with, wash clothes and light the house?”
I don’t remember when Mother got her refrigerator or stove that was electric. I do remember the old ones and the wringer washer. I always liked the candles and the kerosene lamps. It was sort of nice to set by candle light. It was hard to read by it.
“How big was your room and what did it look like?”
My room was pretty good size. Katie, Mary and I enjoyed our time together so we didn’t mind sharing it. It gave us time to talk about our boyfriends and what we did all day long.
“Could you keep it messy if you wanted?”
Oh, no!!! Mother always insisted on our rooms being cleaned. She really enjoyed our house and said that it was God’s gift to us and we need to keep it clean.
“How many people lived at your house?”
All of us! We all live together.
“How did you keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer?”
We had two fire places and a coal stove in the kitchen. I can remember when we got our coal burning furnace. The boys had to haul in the coal for it. We opened windows in the summer to keep cool. I also remember putting a cool wash cloth on our necks.
“What was your favorite thing in the whole house? Do you still have it?”
I think my favorite thing to have in the whole house was our family!
“What did you usually do on Thanksgiving?”
We always had a big meal. Sometimes Father brought people home from the bar that didn’t have any family. We always had a large house full of people and family.
“Was your mom a good cook? What did she make best?”
My Mother was the best. She made the best dishes of everything. I think my favorite dish that Mother made was her stew. She made great stew and chocolate pie.
“Did you live where they had snow? Did you make snowmen?”
Oh, yes. Heavens. We made so many snow men it was funny. I can remember making snow angels too.
“Did you chop wood or help with Christmas preparations?”
A lot of time we had to make meals ahead of time for Father’s bar & grill. I can remember the Christmas trees we had. They usually were from the river bed. I never had to chop wood, but can remember the boys doing it.
“Do you remember a special gift you made for someone?
Yes. I can remember all the pictures I drew for my sisters. I can remember how much they loved them. I was pretty good at drawing and painting.
“Did Santa come to your house?”
Yes. Santa came, but not like he does today. We use to get one gift only. And usually that was cloths or food.
“Did you ever see or talk to him?”
“Did you hang your stockings, and what did Santa leave in them?”
We did hang our stockings on the fire place. We use to get oranges and apples in them. Father would always slip in a chocolate bar for us too.
“Did you have a tree? How did you decorate it?”
We would go to the river bed to get our trees. I can remember decorating them with pop corn and berries from the trees. I still have some of the ornaments that Mother had brought back from New York.
“What did you usually do on Christmas?”
Just daily stuff. We always played cards with Father and I can remember making cookies.
“Did you make cards to give on Valentines Day?”
Yes, to my sweet heart, or to Father.
“Did you ever give flowers or candy to a boy or girl friend?”
No, I could not afford it.
“Did the Easter Bunny ever leave you a basket? Did you have an egg hunt?”
We did have a big Easter egg hunt for the whole town. I can remember finding the prettiest eggs. They were hard eggs that almost broke your teeth.
“Did your family have a picnic on the fourth of July?” “Did you have firecrackers or sparklers?”
That was the one think that we did as a whole community. Most of the people would go to the park and we would dance and party all night long. We had some sparklers and did have home made ice cream.
“Did you dress up on Halloween? Did you ever make your own costume?” “Did you have a party or play tricks on anyone?”
Yes. I use to try to scare my brothers, but it didn’t work. We didn’t have trick or treat like we do today.
“Were you ever scared of ghosts or witches?”
No. I can’t say I ever was.
“What traditions did your family have? Did you have any ethnic celebrations?”
Just those things that we did when we would get together as a community.
“Did you ever have a big family reunion?”
Yes. Mother and Father both had very big families and we use to get together all the time. I was really around my family for all holiday, and family celebrations. They were all considered reunions.
“What schools did you attend?”
Waco and Beaver Crossing Public Schools.
I just went through the ninth grade.
I did take some pre-nursing classes with a local doctor. I guess you could say I helped a many babies come into this world.
“Did you get good grades?”
“What subjects did you like?”
English & Art
“Which ones did you hate?”
“Did you walk to school, or ride a bus?”
We walked. It wasn’t very far. A couple blocks in town.
“Did you ever tease your teachers, or play jokes on them?”
“Did you ever play hooky?”
You bet. All the time. I had to help Mother and Father so much around the house or if one of the children were sick.
“Were you ever on a school team?”
“Did you get lots of homework from your teachers?”
No. Most of the teachers knew that we had so much to do at home that they made us do most of our work in the school. Some of the older students helped the younger ones also.
Places You’ve Visited:
“Did you ever travel by train or airplane?”
No. We did travel once by train to Lincoln. It was a horrible ride. I remember it being very bumpy.
“What was your favorite trip?”
I think to visit my Grandma & Grandpa on the farm.
“Did you ever go on family vacations when you were young?”
No. Father had his bar & grill and we had to stay home because of it. We also didn’t have a great deal of money to travel with such a big family.
“Did you go fishing or swimming?”
All the time. We had great times swimming and fishing.
“What was the longest distance you went on a trip?”
Probably to Lincoln.
“Did you ever take a trip by yourself? Did you get lonesome?”
The only time I went by myself was when I would go to Grandpa & Grandma’s home. I usually had one of my sister with me though.
“Did you go to the State Fir or amusement park?”
When the carnival would come to town. Otherwise no.
“How old were you when you learned to drive?”
Probably about eighteen. I can’t remember driving before that.
“Did you have your own car?”
“Did your parents ever ground you? What for?”
No. We didn’t have grounding back them. I can remember being sent to bed early for picking on Paul.
“What did you and your friends do on weekends?”
We worked. Father had the bar & grill and it wasn’t ever closed.
“Did you ever get into trouble with your friends? What happened?”
No. Some times my sisters and I would stay out longer then Mother or Father liked, but we just weren’t allowed to do it again.
“What did you think about most as a teenager?”
Swimming, talking to our friends and probably working.
“What time did you have to be home at night?”
Before it got dark. Or made arrangements to get home.
“How old were you when you started dating? Did you ever have a girl turn you down when you asked her for a date? How
did you react and feel?”
I think I was about eighteen.
“How did you feel when you met your date’s parents?
I was scared. I had heard that she was a very strict person. Ed’s Father had died when he was about three years old. His Mother raised the boys alone.
“Who is the person you dated that you remember the most?”
When You Were Dating:
“Where did you first met your spouse? How old were you both?”
Well, I first saw Ed sitting in the barber chair in town getting a hair cut. He had a cigar in his mouth. I thought then that I really liked him a lot. I told Mary that I was going to marry him. Later he told me that he said the same to his brother!!! I was 19 and Ed was 21.
“Were you serious from the start, or did you still date others?”
We were serious from the start. We just knew that we were going to be married.
“Where did you take your spouse on your first date? What was he/she like?”
Ed took me to a free show, I think. I guess it was just out around town. He did some trucking and I can remember him coming around with the truck to pick me up.
“What was your favorite place to take him/her on a date?”
We liked to go to dances and to the park.
“Did your parents like him/her right away?”
Yes. My parents liked him right away. But his Mother did not like me!
“Did you ever have a big fight with him/her while you were dating?”
Sometimes. He was very stubborn and would want to do something all the time.
“When did you ask him/her to marry you? Where were you?”
We just knew we would be getting married. I can remember that one time we were kissing and just said that we better get married soon!
“What was his/her first answer to your proposal?”
“What was your wedding like? When and where was it?”
We got married on November 28, 1933 at St. Patrick’s in Beaver Crossing. It was a cold day and I can remember that all the family was there. Ed’s Mother said that she wasn’t going to go to the wedding because he wasn’t marrying a Bohemian. She did show up though.
“Did anything funny happen that day?”
Not that I can remember. I do remember how happy I was.
“Did you have a honeymoon? Where did you go?”
We went to a motel in York, Nebraska for the night.
“Where did you first live? Where was your first job?”
We first lived on a farm near Polk County. Ed loss the farm though with bad crops.
“What was the worst job you ever held? Did you ever help around the house?”
I think the worse job I had was doing house keeping for others.
“What is your favorite funny story about the first year you were married?”
I had $80 dollars in my pocket. We didn’t even have a bed. We went to Ed’s Mother and asked her for Ed’s bed so we could have a place to sleep and she told us no. Finally she let Ed take it. I still have that bed. I will never get rid of it. It was the first bed we ever had.
“When and where were your children born?”
We had nine children. The oldest Rita was born a year after we were married. Mary Jo was born two years later in July. Then we had twins, Jean & Joan on Father’s day in 1937! They were all born at home. My first born in a hospital was Anita in 1941. Edward Jr was born in 1942. After moving into a farm home by Ulysses, Nebraska in 1943, we had Daniel, Michaelene, and Bridget. All of them were born in a hospital.
Tell Me About Your Children:
“What was your children like as babies?”
They were all pretty good. Because we had such a big family, many of the older ones had to help out both outside and inside. Most of the older ones were gone by the time the younger ones grew up.
“Did you spank them? How did you discipline them?”
Well, yes. We did give them a pop once in a while.
“What kinds of chores did they have to do? Did you give an allowance?”
They had to do farming chores outside, like milking, pick the eggs, help with the crops, and fix fences, stuff like that. They all had to help. We also had inside chores to do, like cleaning and washing. I remember the children doing the dishes in the sink and drying them by hand. They really use to fight then. I would have to go out and stop them from killing each other.
“Did they behave in school and get good grades?”
All except for Daniel. He was a hand full. Always in trouble with school and law.
“What things did they like to do best?”
Just about everything they put their minds to. All of them were very artistic.
“Did they keep a clean room?”
Yes. Everyone except for Michaelene. She had a hard time keeping her room clean.
“Did they ever do something special or surprise you to make you happy or proud?”
All the time. I guess I remember them being there the most when I was sick. They all rallied around me and made me feel so much better. I just felt they all loved me very much.
“What will you always remember most about your children?”
How much I loved them and how much they loved me. I guess I will always remember the good times and not the bad. I want to keep them close to my heart forever.
Your Best Ideas:
“If you could spend a week doing anything you wanted, what would it be?”
Reading and visiting with good friends and family.
“If you could, which age of your life would you most like to re-visit, and why?”
When the children were little. I guess that was my favorite time of all.
“If you were elected President, what two things would you do for our county?”
Find a cure for cancer so many parents could be with their children longer.
“What do you feel is the most significant industrial change to happen in your life-time?”
Television and cars.
Book: Little Women
Movie: Gone With the Wind
Ice Cream: Napoleon
Vacation: Sioux City with my daughter
Song: Silver Threads Among the Gold, Dear
“Can you remember any funny stories about family members?”
Yes, many of them. Mostly about when the kids would bring home dates, or when we would have our big reunions with my sisters and their children.
“Is there a family trait?”
Stubbornness of both the Irish and Bohemian.
As Time Goes By...
“What fads do you remember best?”
The Charleston Dances
“What did you want to be when you grew up?”
“Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t?”
Spending more time with my children and their children.
“Who are the people who influenced you most? Why?
My Mother, my husband, and my sisters.
“How did you feel when you first learned you were a Grandparent?”
So excited. I couldn’t believe it!!!
“What did you think when you first saw them?”
What an angel they were. I can remember thinking that they were part of me.
“What advice do you have for them?”
Don’t waste time with regrets. Enjoy life and enjoy your loved ones. Keep in mind that they are here for a reason and that you are so blessed in having them.
“If you could choose another time in which to live, what would it be?”
When the children were younger.
“If you could travel anywhere in the world who would you go with and where?”
Anywhere and everywhere. I would like to see all ends of it.
“The person you most would like to sit next to during a long trip?”
My children, my husband, my grandchildren, and my friends. I would want to take all of them with me!
Lucie is full of energy and love. She will be 58 years old, always!!!
I can remember many a time Mom telling me stories about her childhood and how close she was to her mother. I filled this out the best I could so that some of those memories will be with me forever. I am not sure that I captured all of them or if all of her memories are accurate. But one thing I do remember the most is how wonderful she was. I miss her so often, and wonder what kind of women she would have been if she would have live to be eighty. I think she would have been a pistol. And probably would have kept us all hopping.
Mom raised violets, canaries, chickens, geese, guineas, cats, ducks bunnies, St. Bernard’s, and children. She was so full of energy that at times she seemed like a whirl of wind. I remember thinking to myself how sad it was when she started to slow down and become sick. What a waste of God’s energy. Now I know that she just passed it down to all of us.
Mom was active in many of the school plays, sewing outfits and making paper mashie’ heads. She did all kinds of art projects from painting to drawing to wood burning. She helped Dad build a barn, put in fences, milked cows, raised fish, started all kinds of flowers in the garden, had tons of strawberries, canned all kinds of veggies and fruits, and still had time for other stuff, like hugs and love. I many times felt inadequate compared to her. I just keep close to my heart her humor and kindness. I think it fed her energy.
I remember so many of her little stories. I just wish I could write them all down. I know how much she loved Dad. Even when they fought like cats and dogs. She loved him so much that it hurt. I can remember when Dad was sick with his nervous break down, and she felt so very bad. I can still hear her tell me that Dad was ill, like someone who had cancer. That he would be better soon. Little did I know that she did indeed have cancer and was soon to be gone from my life.
Mom was diagnosed with cancer on February 14, 1970. She nearly died on the table during a routine gallbladder surgery. One of her main arteries broke in her chest and the Doctors worked for 8 hours to keep her alive. I will never know why God kept her alive until August 2, 1970. All I know was I was blessed to be with her when she died. I had just gone to the hospital in Seward from the stock car races in David City. It was a stormy day and Dad called the hospital to ask if I could stay with her that day until Rita came up so someone would be with her. He had to caught up on the chores and there were some problems with broken tree limbs from the storms. I stayed and read, prayed, and watched television. Later that evening, Rita would be there to relieve me. Well the storms started hot and heavy. And the rain was very hard. The tornado warnings started. Dad then called and said that Rita couldn’t get out of the driveway due to a tree that blew down across the road. I always thought that was pretty weird. Mom died on August 2 at 10:45 p.m. I didn’t tell anyone until after midnight, stopping the nurses from coming in to check on her. They all knew me since I worked there and didn’t ask me any questions. The only one that knew mom died on this day was Dr. Pitch. He figured it out. It was Danny’s birthday and I didn’t want to contend with Dad and him fighting. Mom woke and was a clear as a bell, telling me to take care of Dad. Telling me that he needed me now. Maybe that is why she stayed alive. Maybe she needed to get me alone and tell me this. I don’t know. But I am glad that I was there, and I am glad I did what she wanted.
Dad did find out that Mom Died on the 2nd about a year before he died. He said that he always wondered and figured that this was what happened. I asked him if he wanted me to change the grave stone and he said no. It was appropriate not to change it now. I guess we have to do what we have to do.
Now, listen to me…take good care of your parents. We love you always and you will always be glad you were there for us!!!
We love you so…