Memories on Parade
Meet the Family
A Town is Born
The Growing McCullough Family
A Church Becomes a Reality
A Closing Word
The Man Called Guelcksie
A is for Arthur
The Coffin House
Poet and Philosopher -- Aged Seven
The Two Room School House
Open the Windows and Open the Doors
Sixteen Girls in White
Four Girls and Five Boys
The Poet in Hot Water
Windows Open for Edith
The Great Decision
THE POET IN HOT WATER
On one of their fishing trips to Black River, I was invited to go along for the first time. I was highly excited as I watched them pack the wagon with bedding for sleeping on the ground, bottles of water, fishing tackle, canned food from the store, etc. We had new bathing suits (ordered from catalogues). Mine was dark blue trimmed with white braid, and had a big collar, puffed sleeves, a pleated skirt to be worn over bloomers. When wet it must have weighed more than I did. I loved it.
As we drove the long miles over familiar roads, we sang happy songs, but all singing stopped when we came to a place where a new fence had been erected across the road and a heavy gate with chain and padlock made it plain that we were not to drive through.
At last we arrived, set up a fly tent, and unloaded near the river. We stayed four days and all of it was wonderful to me except nighttime.
I heard strange noises in the woods. The fly tent was only a shelter, and did not touch the ground. I wondered if wild animals might come in while we were sleeping.
Sometimes I heard something spash in the river, or an owl in the trees.
But morning came and nothing had happened. I loved the daytime.
Safely back at home, I tried to express my appreciation by writing about the lock-shooting incident. I showed the poem to Lizzie, who read it aloud to the assembled family following the noon dinner one day. She stood to read it, and I beamed at such recognition.
When she read about the lock both brothers pounced on me at the same time. Their words fairly stumbled over each other. "You little simpleton. Give me that thing. Don't you have any sense! Burn that paper this minute. We could be fined and put in jail for shooting a lock! Has anyone seen that stuff?"
I left the room with my arm covering my face, went upstairs, and lay face down on my bed, crying into my pillow. If my dear brothers were fined and sent to jail our happy family could never be happy again.
And my beautiful poem was lost forever to posterity and the world of literature.