Friday, October 2, 2009

Cooking Chow-chow and Cars

Sat, Oct. 2, 1926: The last day of September was cloudy and misty all day. It has been cloudy since Sunday. We ironed and dug some very dirty potatoes. We were afraid that they would rot in the ground. We made sliced pickles. That night we ground things for chow-chow*. Dad & Len went to town. It stormed about all night with a very heavy rain. Friday, Aunt Till went up to Aunt Annie’s in the morning. We baked and put up chow-chow. I washed the car. It was quite warm , which was nice. Today, we did our Sat. work in the forenoon. Just before we had our dinner Aunt Maggie came. Uncle Edd brought her down to tell us that Uncle Henry had called them up. He wanted them to tell us that they are coming in here tomorrow. Dad, Ma & I went to town this afternoon. It looked like threatening weather before we went and started to rain as we got to town. We hurried to get our trading* done and it rained quite hard. The rain let up a little before we started for home. The roads were quite muddy. Mother and I washed the car* yet this evening and I shined it some after dark. I just got through shining it this morning. It surely draws rain.

* You can find Lillian’s recipe for chow-chow on p. 648 of Lillian’s Diairies. They would have chopping or grounding up the green tomatoes, ripe tomatoes, onions, green or red peppers and cabbage and let it sit overnight with spices and vinagar.

* Trading is shopping, not bartering

* Since the 1920-1924 diaries are missing, I am not sure what kind of car the family has in 1926 – I am sure it is not the original Ford that Lillian’s father purchased on Monday, April 2, 1917. Lillian had gone along with her father to town and Mr. Anton Grube took them for a ride in a Ford car. They rode out toward Apple River on the south road and then went out north of town, where Lillian’s father moved to the back seat and Lillian got behind the wheel. It was her first trial of running a car and she drove very crooked at first. Her father sat in the back saying “Look out for the ditch” and “Turn this way and so on, all the time”. She fell in love with cars that day and was thrilled when her father ordered the first family car. The car was driven to their home on June 25 and Lillian took her first driving lesson. On her third lesson Lillian was going to shut the throttle and instead opened it as far as it would go. The car jumped the ditch and the results are shown in the picture* above.

* The picture was sent to me by one of the Lillian’s Diaries’ readers, Agnes Coletta Weis Schultz, the oldest child of Albert Weis and Clara Weis who lived next door to the Trudgian property. Coletta’s father took a picture of the car the day Lillian drove it in the ditch.

1 comment:

  1. I believe the Ford car the Trudgians bought was a 1915 model (rather than a 1917), but back then you drove cars until they "died" (as I do today! My wife's car is a 1995 Volvo...still a kid at 140k miles...and mine is a 2002 Explorer). It wouldn't be extraordinary to still have a 1915 Model T in 1926. I have a newspaper clipping mentioning that my grandfather, Charles Siemen, bought a Dodge car in 1917. His next car was a 1929 Dodge, which I remember riding in when I was a mere lad of 3 in 1950, and his third (and last) car was a 1942 Dodge which in which I learned to drive and with which I took my driver's test in 1963! Twenty years seemed to be the average life of a car back then.