A Patchwork of Memories

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I was born April 10, 1909, at Bradford, Ohio, the fourth child and third daughter to Fred and Jennie Swanson. Raised in McAlester, Oklahoma and graduated from high school there, I later took a business course. At the University of Tulsa I studied music and voice training.

I have worked as a secretary and cashier. I married, then later in life I served as a bookkeeper and legal secretary. I have never really retired, as I still work occasionally. <complete>


By: Edith Fishback

I have always loved a house that had a large front porch with comfortable chairs, and if possible, a colorful swing. It seems to say "Welcome" much more than a dull doormat laying on the floor.

I was attracted to the house we bought in California because when we went to look at it on a warm summer evening, we found the owners sitting on their shady porch surrounded by a white picket fence with cool green awnings on the windows. In front of the house, shading the porch, was a large avacado tree, its branches spreading in every direction.

We bought the house and lived there happily for several years. The shrubs and the tree grew taller every year, as with the warm sun and mild climate everything grew much larger in California than in Oklahoma. Soon the avacado tree in the front was so tall it overshadowed the house and was encroaching on the roof. My husband thought it should be removed.

We called a tree surgeon who came and looked at it and quoted us a horrendous price for taking it out.

My son said eagerly, "Dad, we can do it ourselves and save all that money."

I don't know," replied my husband, who was strictly an office man. "It's pretty big for us to handle."

"We can start at the top and cut it off limb by limb," said my son. "I'm sure we can do it."

I didn't want the tree taken out for many reasons, and quoted a familiar poem to them: "Woodman spare that tree, touch not a single bough; in youth it sheltered me and I'll protect it now."

They were impressed, but I was overruled, and one Saturday morning they got out their saws, climbed to the top of the tree and started cutting off the limbs. They got along pretty well until they came to the stump of the tree, which seemed to be rooted deeply in the ground.

They got out their shovels and started digging around the roots of the tree which seemed to have spread all over the yard. As they uncovered them they found some had wound around the sprinkler pipes which all yards needed to water the grass, as it didn't rain there from April until October. In trying to cut the roots from the sprinkler pipes, they had to dig up most of the yard so the whole lawn had to come out.

We had to call for professional help to put in a new sprinkler system and resod the yard with new grass which had to be watered every four hours for the first week or so.

"We did get the tree out," my son said defensively.

"Yes, you did, and just look at all the money you saved by doing it yourselves, I answered teasingly, as my husband added up all the bills.

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