This is Beryl speaking:
I was born May 1Oth, 1923 on the Jarman farm east of Lake Preston, South Dakota, much to the disappointment of the older kids - guess they said, "Oh no, not another baby" but here I am big and beautiful.
I started school east of town with Georgia Freeman as my first teacher. When I was in the third grade we moved to a farm twelve miles north of De Smet. We didn't live there very long and we moved back to Lake Preston to the farm where Phil and Emmy now Live. I finished my eighth grade at the little brown country schoolhouse. We had a lot of fun those days. I always enjoyed our Christmas programs and picnics at the end of the year. We would have other schools come and play ball. When we lived east of town some of our friends from town would come out on saturday to ride horses and enjoy the country. One time Warren Ostroot ate so many areen apples he got deathly sick and they thought he was going to die. The years on the farm were enjoyable if not exciting. I can remember the threshing crews and mom cooking and baking on the old wood range. We had no fans to help cool it down in those days so it was pretty hot. We had to feed the men lunch morning and afternoon and noon dinner.
Growing up years weren't too exciting as we didn't get to go very much. I had a real good friend, Charlene Nesheim, and we spent a lot of time together, staying over night at each others homes, etc. Some of the older kids were married now and would come home on weekends and vacations. Bern and Cliff came and stayed about a week during pheasant season. Oh, the many pheasants I helped clean - YUK! Lonnie used to come and stay for a couple weeks in the summer and when he would go home I would get to come back with him and stay a week. That was big excitement for me to come to such a big city. We would come down on the train, The Old Galloping Goose. Florence was very good at fixing hair and mom would make her fix my hair, although she didn't want to. We cooked flaxseed and used that for waveset. One more thing while I am talking about Florence, when she was a sophomore or junior in high school she was crowned Carnival Queen, which made me very proud.
I went to high school in Lake Preston. Bud was two years ahead of me and he drove the old Essex and we picked up kids all along the way. There was no anti-freeze in those days so in the winter Bud would have to drain the radiator when we got to school and put water back in when we went home. We never got to be in band or anything as we had to get right home from school. The big excitement in high school was the class picnic when we got to go to Lake Campbell roller skating.
Christmas was always a big thing for us. Mom would bake for weeks and everybody would come home. We had such a small house for so many people but I guess we slept five and six to a bed - but then nobody slept much talking and giggling all night. Our big excitement was going to town on Saturday nights and sometimes papa took us to the band concerts on Sunday nights.
When I was 17 I did a very dumb thing. I got married which eventually ended in divorce and I was left with four children to support and raise. They were some trying years and quite a struggle but somehow I guess the good Lord must have strengthened me as they are all grown and married now and I am grandmother of eleven dear grandchildren and the youngest sister of eleven wonderful brothers and sisters. May God bless us all.
Beryl Rodvold Thomassen