Wednesday, February 8, 2012

80 Years Ago Today

It was on this date, February 8, 1932, eighty years ago, that the Florence and Tony Vrana family moved from their home in Seward to the Vrana farm north of Garland. I was 6 1/2 years old, sick with a flu at the time and have little memory of the actual move. The folks had bought this "little home" (as they referred to it) some 10 years earlier, soon after getting married and always cherished its  memories. I too had pleasant memories of the place because of its proximity to the city park and fair grounds. The fact that it was next to the railroad track was no problem in my mind. The Pearl Alley kids were some of my closest friends as were the Jones boys
who lived across the street. It was at this place that I saw my first airplane in flight and we got our Majestic Radio. The electricity meter shown was one of the many things we missed at the farm. Mother's washing machine was converted to having an engine and she had to use flat irons heated on the kitchen wood stove. Our light bulbs gave way to kerosene lamps. But to me, the biggest change was school. The new Seward elementary school building was just completed and my 2nd grade class (along with others) moved it after the Holidays. I distinctly remember the brightly varnished floors during the 5 or 6 weeks I was there before moving. There were about 40 kids in the Oak Grove country school with only 2 girls in my class. I certainly wasn't accustomed to "big kids" being in the same room and all delighted in picking on the "town kids". The old maid teacher had a big bun and looked like "the wicked witch of the west". It wasn't an easy transition. But by the time I got to the 3rd grade, Miss Druker was the teacher for 3 years whom we all liked.
The farm provided many opportunities for raising a family. As shown on the picture, we had a country road separating the farmstead and a creek that was just below our cow barn. My folks taught me to ice skate the 2nd winter we were there. I don't know of a better place in Nebraska to have lived during the drought and depression of the '30's than in the Bohemian Alps with good German neighbors. We had a big garden, potato cave, chickens for eggs and eating, milk, butter, flour from Engler's mill, hogs and even cottontails and a squirrel to eat now and then. The folks made a good decision, and this date will be long remember as a major milestone in my life.


  1. I visited with brother Don about the move to the farm. He has no memory of it but remembers Mother saying that he "wanted to take his Daddy and his potty and go home" the night of the move. He wasn't able to get his comment posted so I'll see if I can.

  2. I certainly didn't know about this story so was very interesting. It must have been quite a shock to move from having electricity to not having it for all of you. I believe Mom was a strong woman to adjust to such a change but to have the advantage of a big garden and animals and chickens to eat made it all worthwhile to raise a family in those days.