Spring – Social and Community Activities
The end of the school year each spring meant that there were special programs or performances by children, or perhaps a school dance or picnic. Families were invited, and friends and neighbors visited, as everyone celebrated childrens’ school achievements and the end of another school year. Warm weather made it easier for farm families to go to church. Each Sunday morning, most families got up early to milk cows and feed livestock before driving several miles to church in a horse-drawn wagon or a car. Occasionally, churches sponsored potluck dinners. Each family prepared a meat dish, vegetable, dessert, or bread to share with others. Children knew that church potlucks and school picnics meant good food and a chance to play with friends.
“We were at a cousin’s house for a family dinner. My dad and a group of his friends would play ball in the afternoon, and they played baseball out in the pasture. And I can just remember when the fire whistle we had there. There was a country telephone line. If there was a ring that had two long rings and a ring, ring, ring beyond that, you knew that was an emergency ring. Everybody should go to the phone and listen….We found out that it was our house that was burning…Our dad… was upstairs changing clothes into his baseball clothes. And he jumped over the banister and down the steps… They saved the baby buggy and… sewing machine that were on the porch. They could pull those out…but everything else perished. All our precious things… all the things that my mother and dad had worked for all those years had gone up in smoke.” — Norma Ehlers (Quicktime required)
Written by Claudia Reinhardt.