mad in pursuit family history

More Family History


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The Club (aka All Inn), continued from here

Yes, we played under the shower in the bathroom on sweltering days -- the constant trio of me, my brother Tommy Price and our cousin Tommy Hohmann. Barbara and George H. were older. Jimmy Hohmann began to tag along when he got old enough. Our sisters Ellen and Kathleen were babies in those years.

Anyway, the big innovation: Ewald put a shower room in the basement. The basement had been improved upon over years -- mostly storage for paint cans and tools. The shower -- constructed with concrete blocks -- big enough for 4 kids to play in -- was the crowning glory. Then some steps let us go dripping in and out through the window (the one on the lower left of this photo). Just had to watch out for the odd little scorpion of the pale Missouri variety.

Going upstairs. Slam the screen door and walk through to the back of the living room to the steps. On the landing before you turned right was the phone. It was mysterious -- guests were always asking how to use it -- did you have to call the operator to make a call? -- it rang but only a certain pattern of rings meant the call was for us? -- sometimes on, sometimes off -- a reminder we were not in the big city anymore.

The second floor was the dormitory for women and children. Kitty Mom's single bed was at the top of the stairs where she could keep an eye on everything. She always slept with her purse and never allowed us to tuck her sheets in when we made the beds. She snored.

At the front end of the room was a row of 2 double beds and a single between them. All were assorted iron beds with visible springs. The one on the left belonged to me and my mom and (till he graduated to the men's floor about the same year he got a pellet gun) my brother. I got the window side. Mosquitos buzzed our ears -- not swarms of them, just one persistant one at a time.

Aunt Mary slept in the middle bed. Then I forget which of her 4 kids slept in the other double bed. Between Kitty Mom's bed at one end and ours at the other, the room was crowded with rollaway beds, fans, baby cribs, and suitcases.

Up a scary narrow set of stairs was the third, small story -- the men's floor. I remember a couple double beds and assorted cots for Ewald, my dad, Uncle Lester, then for the boys when they got old enough to not need their mothers and weren't afraid of the steps. A rite of passage to move to the men's floor. I guess you had to be able to tolerate the heat up there too -- whew! -- and the proximity of lightning during a storm.

Spending any amount of time on either the second or third floor during the day was considered suicidal the heat was so bad. But I loved sneaking up there with a book, turning on a fan and lying on our bed. I learned how to be really still and to tolerate being baked alive while my imagination wandered to the sounds of bluejays, horseshoes clanging, and Cardinal baseball on the radio.