I really don't have much to write about as I have lived a quiet and peaceful life.
Anyway, it began on a beautiful day (made more beautiful because a handsome baby boy was born) November 21 in the year 1913 to take his place in the world, (I haven't found my place yet.)
I don't recall much of those first years, one incident sticks in my mind though. We were living on Conrad Nelson's farm. I went upstairs into the west room and there were some matches on the stand. I struck one and held it under the curtain and "whoosh" the curtain disappeared. I was about 5 years old.
In 1917 Dad sold out and we went to Washington. I was only 4 years old so I remember only one thing about that and that was this creek that ran right by the back door of Garberg's house. I drank from that same creek when I was back there in 1934.
We returned to South Dakota a year or so later.
Next came grade school. I had no trouble there. (I was a pretty sharp kid! AHEM!)
In the summer time I used to hunt gophers. The tails were worth 5 cents each. I carried a little jar with me that I put the tails in. I remember that I lost the jar one morning, and the folks were going to De Smet in the afternoon and I wanted to send my gopher tails along. Well, I finally found tha tails and when the folks got home from De Smet they gave me $5.50 as I had 110 gopher tails in the jar.
We lived on 4 or 5 different farms. In the fall of 1931 we moved to the farm I recently moved off of.
Then came the dirty 30's. There wasn't much to do around here, so in the fall of 1934 I hopped a freight train and went out to Washington. I found enough work to buy my clothes, tobacco, etc.
In the spring of 1936 I again hopped a freight train and came back to South Dakota.
Things were getting better around here then but money was short. There were house parties in the neighborhood, and on some Saturday nights, 15-20 of us would load up in a neighbor's stock truck and go to barn dances. If you had 50 cents you could buy a 10 cent pack of cigs, 10 cents for your truck ride, 10-15 cents for the dance, and you still had a little money left.
Toward the end of the thirties there was much unrest in Europe. Hitler was making War on the smaller countries around Germany, so the draft began in the United States.
My number came up in October 1941. We were picking corn at the time so the draft board gave me a six month deferment to get the corn out and the crop in the next spring.
So the 30th of May 1942 I left for Ft. Snelling in Minnesota and on June 2nd I was sworn in.
I took my basics at Ft. Warren in Wyoming, From there I went to Texas.
We wore our Woolen uniforms when we left Wyoming, so it was hot when we got to Texas. It seems like the army motto was "Hurry up and wait" because we stood in that hot sun a long time before we got our assignments.
I did get a furlough while I was in Texas. It took quite a while to get home. It seemed like the train stopped for every milk can along the way.
From Texas it was on to New York to get ready for overseas duty.
We left New York for "Parts Unknown" and ended up in England after a submarine scare on the ocean.
Things were humming in England, building up for the big day. The sight of the first wave to cross into France was something to behold, the sky was black with planes. I was on the beach helping the first wave get ready to cross the channel. It was something tremendous.
A few days later my company crossed the channel into France, then Belgium, Holland, and finally Germany.
Things were hot and heavy at the time of the "Belgian Bulge" as our company was practically in the middle of it.
Well, finally the war was over and on my birthday in 1945 I was discharged.
Things were about normal for the next 4-5 years. Then on my birthday in 1951 I went off the deep end and got married. In 1955, Mark (now graduated from college and working in Watertown, South Dakota) was born. In 1959 LaMae (now graduated from high school and working in the Lake Preston hospital, planning a Medical Record Career) was born.
In November of 1976 we observed our silver wedding anniversary.
In September the farm that I have lived on for 45 years was sold. We are now living in an apartment in Lake Preston. So what happens next remains to be seen, but life has been good to us, so will take it day by day.
So this brings me up to date.
Philip Carl Rodvold