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"But John's folks, the Shores and Mehans, they came out of Canada. They had broke slave [escaped to freedom], and some of their family stayed in Canada. But I know they were the first blacks to settle in Nebraska. His [John's] dad, he married a Shore girl. [John's dad Jack] just said he came over from Ecuador and was stationed – He came to New York and worked around there in hotels and stuff. And then he said, money was in short supply then. So, he said, they all were out there and said, 'Hey, get into the service. You won't have to worry about where you're going to sleep or eat or anything. Go into the service.' So he went into the service.
     "He was out there at Fort Robinson. He got stationed out there at Fort Robinson. He was in – during the First World War, he got stationed out there. He was a horse man [also known as Buffalo Soldiers]. That's why the horse, see, they raised them for the service.
     "This is what I thought was funny at the family reunion, they said they rode – Some men, some guys rode clear from Kansas on a horse, on horses to meet the Shore girls because there was seven girls out there. And there wasn't women in Kansas where they were at. There was a shortage of women [laughs] down there where they were at. And can you imagine riding clear from Kansas out to Nebraska, western Nebraska, to meet a girl?!?
     "And then when he got out of the service out there, that's when he met one of the Shore girls, John's mother, and he married her. He stayed out there and started ranching. That's what they all did. That's what her dad and relatives did.
     "I know some people, some blacks have come here and they couldn't stand it. And they left because they said there just wasn't enough black people around. Then they said, 'These white people are too nosey around here. They want to know what you're doing, where you come from, how many kids you got.'
     "And I said, 'What's wrong with that?'
     "They say, 'I don't tell everybody my business.'
     "I said, 'What have you got to hide?' You know. I don't know, I was raised different than a lot of them were."

Birdie Farr – John Farr's Family Saga

   

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