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Memories of Wilbert Dolan & Myrella Cole Fife

Memories of Mom & Dad

Wilbert Dolan Fife & Myrella Ann Cole Fife

Dad had a reputation at Filer for being the "Swearing Bishop" and I'll give you an instance. When I was in High School, we were trying to get a hefer in the milk barn for the first time. She ran by the door several times and once as she ran by, she splashed some fresh manure up in Dad's face. He said a few choice words -as Dad was very capable of doing-and just as he said his last expletive, Mom stepped around the corner of the barn. She said, "Bill Fife - you don't get any supper!" He turned to me and said, "Why in the hell didn't you tell me she was there?" I said, "it was because I didn't see her".

Mom was usually very docile, however she did have a temper and once it had been roused you didn't want to be close by. I always thought if she had been a man, she would have been tougher than Ott.

Contributed by Dean Fife

I married Dean when I was 17 and I didn't know a thing about cooking or canning. Mom was a very good teacher, she would help me with the canning and also gave me some good recipes and tips on cooking. Myrna and I were both newlyweds and when we went to town shopping, as we often did, whatever she bought for Myrna she also bought it for me. Some times things for the house or some times something personal. She was the best mother-in-law anyone could have. She was always there when she was needed.

Contributed by Kathie Fife

As a girl at home, we could always tell when Dad was coming to the house from the barn by the whistling He seemed to always be whistling as he worked.

He would come to the house to tell us he had to go to town for something or other and I would holler, "I want to go too." He'd always say okay, but then get mad at me because I would always have to look for my shoes. Dad would say, "I don't know why you don't wear shoes, you are never ready to go anywhere."

The family always went to town on Saturday night. Dad would park the car on main street and we would all watch the people go by. This was always so much fun. Mom and Dad would visit with everyone while Ollie Jean and I would wander up and down main looking in all the stores. It seems like we would get an allowance and have a few precious pennies to spend. We wanted to make sure we got the best deal available. When it got dark we would move on to the Motor View if a good movie was playing. Since it was a dollar a car load, this was good entertainment.

Dad let Ollie Jean and I have an old one room house out back. It was originally built for workers to stay in when they came to help on the farm. He never needed it for hired help so this old shack became our sole entertainment during the long summer days. It was our playhouse, we cleaned and cooked, tended our dolls and/or cats and whatever else we could think of to pass the time. It was so much fun to have this place to play in and have as our own. ~s I think back now, how wonderful it was to have Mom and Dad let us have this old shack to learn how to do all the things we needed to know in later years as mothers and wives.

Mom always wore dresses. She would make aprons from the flour sacks to wear over dresses. I can remember when she took her apron off, her dress would be faded where the apron did not cover. She never wore Levis or pants like the women do today even though she cared for the yard and garden. She did buy a pair of Levis once when we were going on vacation to Yellowstone Park. We all made such a fuss about them, she very seldom wore them after the vacation was over.

Getting ready to leave on the Yellowstone vacation was really a chore. We had to do a lot of baking and preparing of meals and clothes to last the week or more we were gone. When the time finally came to leave, we all piled in the car and headed out to meet Uncle Voss and his family. It seems we were really rushed and little behind schedule. All of the sudden one of us kids realized we'd forgotten our money we'd been saving for the trip. We wanted Dad to turn around but he was cross and said NO! Then Mom said, "Bill, we have got to go back home, I've forgotten my teeth." We were all so glad she had forgotten to put her false teeth in so we could get our money.

Mom always got up with whoever had to leave early and saw that they had a cooked breakfast and a sack lunch if one was needed. It did not matter if you left in the middle of the night before the sun was up, she was always there with breakfast. She was a good cook. We always had to have a cooked breakfast, meat and potatoes for dinner as well as for supper. She canned a lot, grew a good garden, and had an orchard and raspberries for fruit. Dad always had a steer for meat and sometimes a pig ~e would rent a meat locker in town at one of the stores and bring home enough meat at a time to last the week. She raised chicken and bottled or froze the meal. She bought very little from the store. I can remember when margarine came out how disgusting it was. The idea of trying to take the place of butter from the milk cows. If we ever had store-bought bread it was unusual.

Dad let Mom have the milk check for her household needs including food, supplies, and clothes for the family. She always seemed to be able to put some away for a rainy day. She managed her milk check very well.

Mom never drove a car. She would always ride with us kids when we were learning since you had to have and adult with you. She would want to go to Myrna's or Dean's and we had to taxi her everywhere she wanted to go.

Contributed by Sharon Fife Johnson

My memory of Grandpa Fife is that he was short and stout. I can see him in his overalls and his hat. He always wore a hat. I was not sure how to take him when I first met him. I wasn't sure if he liked me. I wasn't sure f he liked anybody.

I remember sitting the driveway with Sharon after a date. After a short time the porch light would flick on and off in rapid succession. Then in a few minutes more once again. The screen door would open and Grandpa Fife would stick his head out and holler, "Sharon it's time to come in."

I remember Sunday afternoon rides with Grandpa Fife. We would ride and ride and ride. He loved to ride through the countryside.

Of course I remember Grandpa's chair. I can see him standing beside it with someone sitting in it, just waiting for them to move so he could sit down.

I remember Grandpa Fife coming to Oregon when Sharon and I lived there. I remember coming home from work and Grandpa had built Sharon some nice fruit shelves down in the basement because I just never got around to it.

I remember his laugh. He seemed to like to laugh. He had a distinctive voice and loved to tell a good story.

I remember a tender heart and a kind, loving, giving dad who u as always there to assist a young couple just starting out.

I remember Grandpa Fife and when I do I am happy inside.

I have searched my memory to try and write a few words. I can close my eyes and see her standing just inside the screen door of the home on the farm. Her hair is almost white and always short and tight against her head. She has an apron with pockets and her hands on her hips.

I remember she always treated me special from the first time she met me. I always knew she liked me. (It took much longer for me to realize that Grandpa Fife did.)

I remember her home was always clean and straightened and neat. I remember I was always impressed that no matter when I came to the house it was always in perfect order. (I think that is one of the reasons I married Sharon, I wanted my home to always be neat and clean like that.)

I remember the birds. It seemed like she loved to fuss over her little birds. It was the first home I remember being in where someone had birds. Is My memory right? Didn't she talk to them?

I remember there was always something good to eat in Grandma Fife's kitchen. Cookies or pie, cake or fresh homemade bread. When you came to visit, you didn't leave without something good to eat.

I remember Grandma Fife loved her family. Especially her grand children and they knew it. One of my real regrets is my children did not have the opportunity to feel that special wonderful love and get to know a truly wonderful grandmother. Perhaps that is why we need to keep trying to live in accordance to God's plan. So we can all be together again someday.

Contributed by Garn Fox Johnson


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