When Mildred Hanson received her Navy discharge and came home to the Hidewood Valley after World War II, she met a bachelor who had moved to the farm next door. John Diekman had been in the Army during the war. Mildred married him on Valentine’s Day 1947 and moved to the farm one-half mile east, where she spent the rest of her life. The number one song on the radio at the time was Ernest Tubb’s “Rainbow at Midnight,” and it became their song. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Hidewood, family’ Category
MARTY ROBBINS BAND REUNION
Seven members of Marty’s inner circle attended the Marty Robbins band reunion in Nashville on 18 July. Joe Vincent played steel for Marty in 1953-54. Earl White (now an Opry staff musician) was one of the original Tear Drops, Marty’s first official band. Jack Pruett played lead guitar from 1956 until Marty’s death. Okie Jones drove the bus and ran the recording studio. Marty hired Haskel McCormick on banjo for a year while Twentieth Century Drifter was on the charts. Joe Babcock joined the Glaser Brothers when Chuck left for the Army in 1959, and he stayed with Marty until 1965. Marty’s son, Ronny Robbins, completed the group. (more…)
Bonanza was our favorite television show in the early 1960s, and my sister and I decided to write a letter to the local TV station to ask for a photo of the Cartwrights–Ben, Hoss, Adam, and Little Joe. I don’t remember whether Kayo (age 10) or I (age 12) came up with the idea, but I do remember that I wrote the letter and requested in it that the price be about fifty cents, which was all we could afford. (more…)
Since age 28 or so, I had wanted to be a mother. I enjoyed my independence as an officer in the U.S. Navy and was not particularly interested in getting married, but I checked into adoption possibilities whenever I moved to a new state. Each time, I was told that only couples could get their names on the long waiting lists for infants.
By the time I went to Guam in 1988, with my 40th birthday approaching, marriage had started to look somewhat attractive. I put the matter in God’s hands. I decided if He wanted me to have a husband and/or children, He would send them to me. If not, I would be content alone. (more…)
Originally published in the Clear Lake Courier — January 31, 1996
Fifty-two years ago, two young South Dakota women joined the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted For Volunteer Emergency Service). They became acquainted when they moved into the same cubicle in the WAVES barracks at Naval Air Station, Hutchinson, Kansas. Lorraine Lee was from Lake Norden and Mildred Hanson was from Altamont. Without knowing each other, they had gone through basic training at Hunter College in Brooklyn, New York. They probably traveled to Hutchinson on the same train. (more…)
Originally printed in the Clear Lake Courier — July 3, 1996
This isn’t the column I intended to write last month. I had expected to tell about running a forty-mile ultramarathon in Tennessee on May 4. Instead, that was the day I attended the funeral of my nephew, Cody Lee Paver. He was five years old, the youngest member of our family.
He always called me “my Diane” and wondered when I was coming for my next visit. He once asked Kayo at the airport if the other people there were waiting for their Dianes, too. (more…)
I gave this eulogy at my dad’s funeral in Clear Lake, South Dakota, on September 11, 2003.
In 1920 Herman Diekman moved his wife and four sons from Nebraska to a farm near Gary, South Dakota. He shipped his machinery, cattle and horses, household goods, and dogs by train. The German immigrant was buying into the American dream. But over-mortgaged land and three years of wet weather resulted in his farm being sold on the courthouse steps in 1922. My dad was six years old.
During those wet years, snakes and frogs were everywhere. The four boys liked to catch plump little toads. They’d put the toads in their mouths to feel the pointed toes walking on their tongues.
9/ 12/1999 – celebrating 10th anniversary of liver transplant
I gave this eulogy at my brother’s funeral in Clear Lake, South Dakota, on Saturday, 30 August 2003.
My first memory of Kenny isn’t actually about Kenny. I don’t remember Mom bringing him home from the hospital. I don’t remember him as a little baby. But I do remember Dad mopping the kitchen floor while Mom was gone. He let us kids slide across the wet linoleum, something Mom never allowed.
Born July 2, 1955, Kenny grew up in the Hidewood Valley and graduated from Clear Lake High School. He bought a new ’75 Chevy Nova, reigned as local foosball champion, and worked at the Gopher Sign Company.
He earned a commission as a second lieutenant in the South Dakota National Guard and planned to celebrate his 25th birthday with a pig roast and keg of beer. Life was good in 1980. (more…)
Diane loved Little Joe Cartwright. It didn’t matter that he was a television character she saw every Sunday evening on Bonanza.
“Hurry, Kayo. It’s almost a quarter to eight,” Diane said as she pulled on her hooded gray parka and zipped it.
“I’m coming,” her younger sister replied. “It’s only half a mile to Elm’s house, and Bonanza don’t start ’til eight o’clock.”
She stacked the plates in the white cupboard, folded and hung up the towel. At age ten, she had been doing dishes half her life. “Is Kenny coming with us?”
“He’s already there. He rode his bike over after supper.” Diane nudged her sister out the south door of their eighty-year-old farmhouse. (more…)