Granny's Notes - the writing of Sue Gerard

Catalog home replaced one demolished by fire

Below this annex, wooden steps led down to the area where canned fruit and vegetables, jams, jellies and fresh garden vegetables were in open bins to be used as needed. This was an unheated cellar to keep home-raised foods for short periods.

Dad sold milk and cream on a route that included some of the university’s "red" campus. It was called "red" because its buildings were constructed of Columbia’s red bricks.

When customers learned that their dairyman’s house was on fire, many lost no time offering help. One woman gave Mom a good treadle sewing machine, saying, "I’ll probably never want it again." Mom almost wore it out!

I’ve never known why Mom and Dad decided to order a complete home from a company in Michigan, but it was a great idea for our family. With catalogs spread out on a dining room table, they compared the advantages of several "ready-cut" home packages that were advertised. The money was borrowed, and they chose an Aladdin "Redi-Cut" home - a complete package. Dad was the dairyman, farmer and now home builder.

Dad and his helpers staked the area with Mom’s approval and in about a week, the Wabash Freight office manager called, saying, "Come up here and get your house."

All materials were sent in the proper quantities. Jim and I would have our own rooms.

The company’s blueprints were most complete in each detail, and the blueprints were made for people like Dad. He was reared by his father and three half sisters. Hard work was not new in his family, and he was curious and motivated!

School started while we were still living in a tent, so Dad employed a neighbor, Uriel Evans, to install windows and doors before bitter winter’s cold would set in.

It was in mid-October that we first slept in our new home, in the Murphy beds that were included in its purchase price. Those beds were comfortable, and they were easy to put out of sight during the day.

There were three Murphy beds: one each for the living room, the dining room and the sunroom. Each bed had an oversized "closet" to spend its special time in hiding.

We were entirely pleased by this great new home. The fireplace had to wait because of the stone masonry and the pressure of many purchases for equipping the home and replacing clothing for all four Meyerses.

When I moved to town for the first time in my life, I brought that house with me in a friend’s wonderful hand-painted work - the precious front view of our "catalog home."

The artist included treasures in addition to those I mention here: my three-legged fox terrier, named Jiggs; the new white Dodge dairy truck we bought in l938: chickens: gas pump; and more.

A photo of the friend’s artwork also livens one of my books, "Just Leave The Dishes."

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