Bridget Rolenc did the interview on Dad.  Thank you Bridget. This is a great thing to do.  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

 

Edward Joseph Rolenc, Sr.

1909 - 1996

 

Childhood

Information on my Dad and Mom:

Full Name:  Edward Joseph John Rolenc

Birthplace: Bruno, Nebraska

Born: February 22, 1909

Died: December 10, 1996  

                                                  

Father’s Name: Jan' (John) Rolenc                       

Birthplace:   Chotibudich, Moravia                      

Born:  June 20, 1872                                             

Died:  July 15, 1913   

 

Mother’s Name:  Josephine Mary Codr  

Birthplace:  Linwood, Nebraska  

Born:  August 8, 1879

Died: May 5, 1962

“Were you named after someone, and why did they give you that name?”

It was a name used a lot in my generation.

 

“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 34 years old when I was born.  There was Gabriella, Emanuel, Anthony, and Marie who all died.  Then John born February 29, 1907, myself and Clement born November 1, 1911.

 

“Who did they say you looked like?”

Looked like Grandpa Codr (Mothers side).

 

“Did you ever have a nickname?”

"Fatso", "Toughie", "Eddie".

 

“Where were you born?”

Date: February 22, 1909

Place:  On the farm                                      

Hour: Not sure

Town:  Between Bruno and Appleton                                                   

State: Nebraska  

Weight:  Big "Fat" baby                                                

Length:  Not sure.

Eye color: Blue                                              

Hair color: Blond hair 

Temperament: Stubborn                                        

 

“Did you ever fight with your brothers and sisters?  Who treated you the nicest, and who the worst?”

Yes.  John was the worst and Clement was the nicest.

 

“Did you have to share your room and things?”

Oh, yes.  One bedroom for all of us.  No heat. 

 

Growing Up:

“What was the best birthday you ever had?  Why?”

1989 - (80 Years).  All neighbors, friends and some family had a surprise party for me.

 

“Can you remember your favorite birthday present?”

Lucie bought me a wristwatch before we got married.  I still have it.

 

“How much did the tooth fairy leave you for a tooth?”

No money at all.

 

“How old were you when you got an allowance and how much was it?”

Never did get an allowance.

 

“How did your parents punish you?  Did they spank you?  Who was more strict?”

Yes they spanked and beat me with a belt.  Don't remember Father.  Mother was strict!

 

“What was the naughtiest thing you ever did?”

There was a kid who always took a drink of our beer.  So we peed in the bottle and he never took our beer again.

 

“What were your favorite games and toys?”

No toys.  Played Sheenie (old can, hit with a club, which one would get it over line) and football.

 

“What games or sports did your mom and dad play with you?”

None.

 

“Did you ever go sledding, skiing or skating?  What sports did you like?”

Yes sledding, really liked football the best.  Did play baseball.

 

“Did you get to stay up as late as you wanted to, and watch TV or listen to the radio or records?”

No radio, records or TV.  No telephone.  Did home work and chores and went to bed.

 

“Did you ever argue about your bedtime?”

No. 

 

“Did you ever go to the hospital?  Did you have stitches or break any bones?”

Back surgery in 1945.  Hernia surgery 1964.  Nervous problems in 1963.  Total hip repair in 1981 and Tarp surgery on prostate in 1987.

 

“Were you scared of doctors or shots?”

No.

 

“What kind of transportation did you have?  Did you ever ride in a plane, bus, train, or boat?  What else?”

I had a truck before I was married.  Went to Washington DC in 1974 on a plane.  Took train when I was young a lot.  Went on a motor boat when I was a kid a few times.

 

“Did you ever run away from home, or just hide from your mom and dad?  Why?”

When I was 17 years old I left home on a train.  I was going to join the Army.  Thought I'd find something else to do.

 

“Where was your favorite place to go when you were angry?”

Went out rabbit or squirrel hunting.

 

“What chores did you have to do?”

Milk the cows, fed hogs and cattle.  Worked the fields

 

“When you were given money, what did you spend it on...toys, candy, etc.?  What could you buy for a quarter?”

Chewing tobacco was my favorite.  For a quarter you could buy a hamburger and Root Beer.

 

“Did you have a pet, and what was its name?”

I raised rabbits.  "Blackie" was one.

 

“Why was it special to you?”

I used the money from raising rabbit to buy stuff.

 

“What did you like most about your best friend?  Did you have fights and secrets?”

George Burish and Frank Verbal were my best friends.  No fights.  George was a school teacher in Omaha and I lost contact with Frank.

 

“Did kids ever tease you?  Was there a bully who picked on you?”

Yes.  They teased me about girls and how fat I was.  No bully's.

 

 

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?”

Very clean.  Good food.  No running water.  No lights and no bathroom.  Farm had 4 bedrooms.  It had a place above to store things.  It was a very old clean house.

 

“How big was your yard?’

2 lots size.  Farm was 200 acres.

 

 “What kind of appliances did you have to cook with, wash clothes and light the house?”

No lights.  We used kerosene lamps.  Wood stove, ringer washer, hand washer.

 

“How big was your room and what did it look like?”

It was big enough for all three boys to sleep in.  On the farm I had a bedroom.

 

“Could you keep it messy if you wanted?”

Very clean.  Grandma would not stand for it.

 

“How many people lived at your house?”

Grandma, John, Clem and myself.

 

“How did you keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer?”

Wood stove.  No way to keep it cool.

 

“What was your favorite thing in the whole house?  Do you still have it?”

Farm, my writing desk and newspaper rack.

 

 

Celebrations:

“What did you usually do on Thanksgiving?”

We had a big duck or geese dinner.

 

“Was your mom a good cook?  What did she make best?”

Mother was a very good cook.  She made great apple strudel.

 

“Did you live where they had snow?  Did you make snowmen?”

Yes.  Many of them.

 

“Did you chop wood or help with Christmas preparations?”

Yes - Many times.

 

“Do you remember a special gift you made for someone?

Made wheat baskets.  Magazine racks, tables, animals.

 

“Did Santa come to your house?”

Never.  We had Jesus come to our house.

 

“Did you ever see or talk to him?”

No.  I thought they were phony.

 

“Did you hang your stockings, and what did Santa leave in them?”

No. Never hung stockings.

 

“Did you have a tree?  How did you decorate it?”

Yes.  Old time one, 18" high - not real.  Little wax candles on it.  When Lucie and I got married our first tree we cut down together.

 

“What did you usually do on Christmas?”

Went to Mass, all day.  Jesus sent us cloths, no toys.  We never had money for toys.  We spent most of our day in Church.

 

“Did you make cards to give on Valentines Day?”

Yes, made cards with love messages on them.

 

“Did you ever give flowers or candy to a boy or girl friend?”

No, not really.  I picked flowers out of a field and gave them to Lucie (my wife).

 

“Did the Easter Bunny ever leave you a basket?  Did you have an egg hunt?”

No.  Again we went to Church.  We did color eggs.  No candy eggs.  No Easter egg hunts.

 

“Did your family have a picnic on the fourth of July?” “Did you have firecrackers or sparklers?”

No.  When we could buy them ourselves.  My Mother would not have wasted the money on that.

 

 “Did you dress up on Halloween?  Did you ever make your own costume?”

Yes.  Dressed up like a dirty old man, scaring old people.  They gave us cookies.

 

“Did you have a party or play tricks on anyone?”

Yes.  We'd go to houses and scare them.  They would give us cookies.

 

“Were you ever scared of ghosts or witches?”

No.

 

“What traditions did your family have?  Did you have any ethnic celebrations?”

Just at Church or bazaars.  No real family celebrations.  Lots of games.

 

“Did you ever have a big family reunion?”

No.  Can't remember having one as a child.

 

 

School Years:

“What schools did you attend?”

Country school.  1 1/2 miles from home.  1St to 8th grade.  We walked, sometimes we'd get a wagon ride.

 

“High School?”

Brainard High 9th to 10th.  Had to quit we moved out of town. 

 

“Other?”

No.

 

“Did you get good grades?”

No.  Got C's and D's.  I didn't have a good start in reading.

 

“What subjects did you like?”

Math and Arithmetic.

 

“Which ones did you hate?”

Didn't like History.

 

“Did you walk to school, or ride a bus?”

We walked.  Only when it was really bad outside did Mother take us in a wagon and horses.

 

“Did you ever tease your teachers, or play jokes on them?”

Yes.  I got a lot of rulers on the hands for not being good from the Nuns.

 

“Did you ever play hooky?”

Yes.  Once in a while we'd go fishing.

 

“Were you ever on a school team?”

Yes.  Played football in 8th grade for Brainard.

 

“What Sports did you participate in or watch?”

Football until I dropped out of school.

 

 “Did you get lots of homework from your teachers?”

Yes a little, not like we have now.  We had a lot of chores to do and the teachers knew this.

 

 

Places You’ve Visited:

“Did you ever travel by train or airplane?”

Yes a lot by train when we were younger.  My first airplane flight was in 1974.

 

“What was your favorite trip?”

It was when I went out East in 1974 to visit my daughters Jean, Joan and Anita.  I didn't think I would ever fly in a plane.  Also went on a vacation trip on June 10, 1989 to Colorado with my daughter Bridget's family.

 

“Did you ever go on family vacations when you were young?”

No. 

 

“Did you go fishing or swimming?”

We'd go to ponds and go to some streams to fish.  The Blue River.  I went fishing a lot more after we moved to Ulysses.

 

“What was the longest distance you went on a trip?”

New York in 1974.  Didn't get to see the Statue of Liberty, but did get to see the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, PA.

 

“Did you ever take a trip by yourself?  Did you get lonesome?”

Yes.  Almost all my trips after Lucie died and no, I didn't get lonesome because everyone talked to me.

 

“Did you go to the State Fir or amusement park?”

Yes.  We'd go to State fairs and county fairs.  I was in the 7th grade the first time.

 

 

Teenage Years:

“How old were you when you learned to drive?”

13 or 14 years old in a Old Model T Ford.

 

“Did you have your own car?”

No.  1924 we bought a car.  20 years old when I bought my first truck.

 

“Did your parents ever ground you?  What for?”

No.  We didn’t have grounding back them. You got a good spanking.

 

“What did you and your friends do on weekends?”

Play ball, mostly football.

 

“Did you ever get into trouble with your friends?  What happened?”

Sure, we got mad at each other, but we got over it fast!

 

“What did you think about most as a teenager?”

Leaving home and making a living for myself.

 

“What time did you have to be home at night?”

About 9:00, we went to bed when it got dark and we got chores done.

 

“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?”

When I was 13 - 14 years old, a lot of girls liked me, but when they found out I was poor they left me alone.

 

“How did you feel when you met your date’s parents?"

We all knew each other in a small town.

 

“Who is the person you dated that you remember the most?”

Lucie Farmer.

 

 

When You Were Dating:

“Where did you first met your spouse?  How old were you both?”

She was working for a neighbor by me, cleaning and cooking.  I was about 20 years old, she was 17 years old.

 

“Were you serious from the start, or did you still date others?”

She dated around for awhile.  We just clicked, we were made for each other right away.

 

“Where did you take your spouse on your first date?  What was she like?”

We went to Prague for a wedding dace, no, we went to Dwight on a back road to a wedding dance.  She was a lot of fun.

 

“What was your favorite place to take her on a date?”

We went to shows in York and Gresham.  Show were .25 cents then.  We'd go out for $1.00 to eat.

 

“Did your parents like him/her right away?”

No, Mother did not like her because she wasn't a Bohemian.  She wanted me to marry only a Bohemian.

 

“Did you ever have a big fight with him/her while you were dating?”

Yes, we had some small spats.  Usually about when and where we were going to get married.

 

“When did you ask him/her to marry you?  Where were you?”

We were engaged 2 years.  I bought her a ring and gave it to her in York.

 

“What was his/her first answer to your proposal?”

She said, "Well when are we going to get married?"

 

“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 wasn't big, jest the family.  Clem (my brother) was best man and Catty (Lucie's sister) was maid of honor.

 

“Did anything funny happen that day?”

No.  We had a dinner at Lucie's parent's house.

 

“Did you have a honeymoon?  Where did you go?”

We went to McCloud motel in York, Nebraska for the night.

 

“Where did you first live?  Where was your first job?”

We lived on a farm west of the Rolenc home place.  Then moved to a farm North of that for 5 years.  They foreclosed on us.  Then in 1939 moved to Powers place (5 years) until 1943.  Then moved to Ulysses to Rolenc place.

 

“What was the worst job you ever held?  Did you ever help around the house?”

I farmed and loved it.  No, I can't say it was the worse job.  Yes I cleaned many a diaper and did many a wash.

 

“What is your favorite funny story about the first year you were married?”

Lucie made bread and it raised so high that she threw it in the out side toilet and it raised up through the hole.  The dog (Pal) kept getting in to it and dragging it out.

 

“When and where were your children born?”

Rita was born on the lst home place.  Mary Jo and the twins were born on the second place.  Anita was first baby born in a hospital.  Eddie, Danny, Michaelene and Bridget were all born in Seward Hospital.

 

Note:  Bridget did this interview.  The following questions were asked about her.

 

Tell Me About Me:

“What was I  like as baby?”

You were cute.  You were our baby and all knew it.  The Doctor saved both Mom and you. 

 

“Did I get into any mischief and get spanked?”

One day she jumped into a hill of shelled corn and spread it all over the whole barn.  I chased her to the house and around the dinning room table with a switch.  When I caught her (I had to climb over the table) didn't even spank her.

 

“What kinds of chores did I have to do?  Did you give an allowance?”

Cleaning, cooking, help outside with the dogs and garden.  Went out to get the cows, but we had a electric milker.  NO allowance.

 

“Did I behave in school and get good grades?”

Average in school.  She was a good kid, didn't get into trouble.  When we told her to do something, she did. 

 

“What things did I  like to do best?”

She was outside a lot.  Liked to fish with me.

 

“Did I keep a clean room?”

Yes.  She had to keep her room clean.  Mom would check on it.

 

“Did I ever do something special or surprise you to make you happy or proud?”

After Mom died, we were all worried about you and I was proud you made it.  You were a nurse and Mom would have been so proud too.

 

“What will you always remember most about me?”

About when you got out of nurses training and stuck at what you were doing.

 

 

Your Best Ideas:

“If you could spend a week doing anything you wanted, what would it be?”

See all my kids and hear them say, "Dad, I love you".

 

“If you could, which age of your life would you most like to re-visit, and why?”

Raising my family all over again and know that they would be raised a lot different than before.

 

“If you were elected President, what two things would you do for our county?”

Get rid of the dope and gunslingers.

 

“What do you feel is the most significant industrial change to happen in your life-time?”

Chemicals.  I am against all the new chemicals that are out.  I'd like to see them banded!  Seed down to clover to build ground up.

 

 

Favorites:

Color:  Blue 

Season:  Summer                                                    

Book:  None                                                      

Movie:  None 

Holiday: Christmas  

Pie:  Apple with Ice Cream                                                

Candy:  Chocolate                                              

Cookie: Chocolate Chips                                     

Ice Cream:  Nepolean  

Sport: Football  

Hobby:  Working                                      

Vacation:  To Colorado - June 1989

Song:    Two eyes that shine so bright, Two lips that kiss good night, Two arms that love so tight.  That favorite little girl of mine.

 

 

Favorite Tales:

“Can you remember any funny stories about family members?”

Went out after the cows and the bull was charging us.  I put Eddie up in a tree and then I was going to shoot the bull, but the bull stopped and went away.  We walked home afterwards and I then went back out and pinned him up by the barn.  Eddie was really scared, but so was I.

 

“Is there a family trait?”

Blue eyes.  Not to hold grudges and forgive each other. (He laughed)

 

 

As Time Goes By...

“What fads do you remember best?”

Mini skirts. (Again he laughed)

 

“What did you want to be when you grew up?”

I wanted to be a farmer.  Also I wanted to be a truck driver.

 

“Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t?”

No.  I just wanted to have a good home.

 

“Who are the people who influenced you most?  Why?"

Uncle Frank Rolenc and Uncle John Parolek.  They always listened to me and gave me a right answer.

 

“How did you feel when you first learned you were a Grandparent?”

I didn't feel any different then when my own kids were born.

 

“What did you think when you first saw them?”

Same.  Didn't feel "old".  I was proud.  Their my kids.

 

“What advice do you have for them?”

I can't hardly give them advise.  They are not going to have it as easy as your parents did.  You'll suffer if you get into dope or gangs.

 

 

NOTES:

Again Thank You Bridget. There is so much good stuff in this. What a great way to document the information. I really do miss my Dad. (Anita Rolenc Reid)