Thursday, February 04, 2016

Shoebox TBT's


Out with photos from the shoebox again.  Talk about a walk through memory lane.  

Most of today's photos were taken by my mother during the '40s, '50s and '60s.  I'm not so sure who took the photo of Ardis. 

Anyway, each photo, 'cept for those when I was pretty little, conjures up some wonderful trips to the past.  

Enjoy. 


Helen Schmidt Poelstra, aboard Darkie at the old fairgrounds arena, has been a family friend as long as I can remember.  She worked for Doc Eakin at his veterinary hospital which is now a hamburger restaurant on HWY 2 leading to Dover.

Helen was one of our mother's riding friends, along with Marian Wyman and Patti Hagadone and a host of others.  Helen reigned as a rodeo queen, and she loved good ol' raw Guernsey cream. Mother delivered a quart to the Schmidt home on St. Claire every Sunday morning while we went to church.  If I recall correctly, Helen drank that thick, rich stuff straight.  If her daughter Lynn sees this claim, she can check with Helen and verify it.

I think we owned Darkie before Helen bought him from our dad.  Darkie is the horse I rode when Mother would head off via horseback (three-four miles away) to Jack's Lockers in the north part of Sandpoint to pick up a supply of frozen meat for that hungry family of hers.  Darkie has been immortalized in one of the stories from my first book Pocket Girdles


Ardis Racicot aboard Toby I.  Our dad, Harold Tibbs, lived at the Racicots down the road from us on North Boyer before he married Mother.  When he moved to our farm, he gave Toby to Ardis.

This horse made our dad famous in Appaloosa horse circles around the world.  In fact, a picture of Harold riding Toby at the first-ever National Appaloosa Show appeared on the registration papers for the South African Appaloosa Horse Club.  I also stayed with a family in New Zealand who owned Appaloosas with the Toby I bloodlines.

Ardis and Mother were good friends off and on from my childhood through adulthood. A daily occurrence, usually around 9 or 10 in the morning, stands out in my memory when Mother would walk to the wall telephone in the living room, tell the operator "382, please" and then Ardis would answer at the other end.

Their telephone visits often lasted for at least half an hour, even though they had to stand all that time to talk on the phone. 


Howard and Mary Ellen Thomason, founders of the Selkirk Ranch, were close family friends.  The Thomason's started their herd of Herefords in the Sandpoint City limits and then moved on to Selle where they built one of the most beautiful ranches in Bonner County.

My brothers worked in the hay fields for Howard, and Mary Ellen cooked up phenomenal Southern-style meals for them.  I worked for them for two weeks one summer when Mary Ellen had gall bladder surgery.

I cleaned house, cooked, did dishes, fed cats, etc. Mary Ellen always had at least a dozen well-cared for and much loved cats. She also named each and every cow on the place. When we bought a great big heifer from the Thomasons, we named her in honor of our dear friend with one slight change: Mary Elephant.

My dad and Harold did a lot of stuff together while raising their Hereford cattle, including trips to Canada to pick up cattle and to the Missoula Top Cut Hereford Sale where Howard's Selkirk line of cattle became famous.  


Chip Lawrence and his family now own the Selkirk Ranch, which is not too far away from where we live in Selle. 


I may have posted this photo before, but I think it reflects the epitome of the life my brothers and I led on our 40-acre North Boyer farm, where after last fall's logging project there's little evidence of that farm, except a piece of ground.  

This photo features Largo, a Saddlebred-Morgan mare. My mother bought her as a yearling filly from Dub Lewis, one of Sandpoint's cops and owner of Dub's, which until his time was known as the Dari Delite.  

Largo's foal Shadow met a tragic ending when something must have spooked the horses one summer night, causing Shadow, a yearling by then,  to suffer a mortal wound in his stomach area.

My dad found him the next morning, dead next to a pool of blood.  At the time, it was one of the most horrifying incidents ever to happen on our farm. 


Anyway, on a happier day and somewhat laid-back summer day, Shadow and Largo rested while Mike, Marianne and Kevin hung out on the fence and stumps in our barnyard.   


Cricket, one of Mother's dream horses (half Saddlebred-Half Arabian), served as my first 4-H horse project.  Those were the days when horses were shown in those white leather halters.  

And, of course, Cricket's flaxen mane and tail, along with those four white stockings and strip, caught virtually everyone's eye.

She was a beautiful mare.  I'm not sure who's showing her in this photo, but it's about the time I was in 4-H. 


Batch Two, Barbara, Laurie and Jim in our family often displayed much more sophistication in their dress than rough and rugged Batch One.

That's not to say, however, that Mother didn't always try to make us look like angels as often as possible when we were little.  Our spit-shined appearance, after a Mother's attempt to dress us for success, did not always last very long.  For the moment, however, with all of us, we lasted long enough for a photo op.

Seems like that tendency to go hell bent for leather in those nice outfits moved on down to another generation, as I recall the day Willie and Annie were part of a wedding party, looking like angels long enough for the ceremony and then being stuffed into a car with their torn and stained white suit and white dress. 


Christmas Eve was especially fun for all of us when Batch Two came along.  There was no shortage of toys in those presents under the tree.  Jim, Harold and Laurie were having a fun time in this Christmas Eve photo circa 1964. 


My older brothers, Kevin and Mike, in the good ol' days.  We may have been living in our house on Euclid near the Sandpoint Events Center aka old high school when this photo was taken. 


I featured a Christmas card from my Waltho cousins in Ephrata last week, so it seems only fair to post one of the Skelton crew before Mary Jane and Don adopted Kenny.  The Skeltons lived in Pasco where our Aunt Mary Jane taught math at Columbia Basin College, while our Uncle Don traveled a lot with his job as an engineer.

Eddie, who doesn't appear to be too happy in this photo now owns the family fruit farm which overlooks the Columbia River. 


Twas a gathering at our North Boyer home when Harold's sister Wilma and her family came to town.  Since she was married to Esther Lines' brother George, the Lines' (Esther and Bert) were always known as our shirttail relatives. 


I proudly showed this photo to Bill yesterday.  He fishes the Moyie River on a pretty regular basis in the fall months.  This was taken a year or two ago when Mike and Marianne (with her Nellie Olsen ringlets)  spent some time at the river.  We often went to the Moyie for picnics, and the fishing poles went along too. 


My mother took this picture when the LaPrath house burned down on what is now known as Woodland Drive.  Nowadays, that spot serves as the parking lot for the popular Mickinnick hiking trail. 


In our childhood, we spent a lot of time with Bill and Betty Cross and their son Billy.  They were also Appaloosa horse lovers, and Bill often showed our stallion Pend Oreille's Fancy Pants.  Betty taugh P.E. and health at Sandpoint Junior High.  

This photo was taken at a Father's Day picnic at Lightning Creek near Clark Fork.  Bill and Betty had raised some fryer chickens, so our picnic included half a fryer apiece for the whole group.  I'm sure there was some fishing too. 



I'm guessing this must have been in 1947 shortly after I was born.  We lived on Euclid, and my two aunts, Rita (her husband George) and Mary Jane,  came to Sandpoint for a visit.

That's my brother Kevin holding on to Rita's hands.  Rita was my godmother. This could have been taken the day I was baptized, probably by Father Ahern at St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

Father Ahern preceded one of the most beloved priests ever in Sandpoint, Fr. Dooley.  For a time, our Grandmother Brown served as Fr. Dooley's housekeeper.  




1 comment:

Lynn Poelstra said...

Just wanted to verify that my Mom, Helen, loved fresh cream cold or fresh from them the cow. It is a sad day when that last cow left the farm. Not only for my Dad who was with the his cows 2x days but also my for my Mom. However, up until the cow left she was still separating milk and making butter. I am sure she does not miss the work involved but I know both Dad & Mom do miss the fresh milk, butter and cream. -- Lynn