Post 821: …with rumble seat!

I always liked this photo of my Mom. Taken sometime in 1934 or so, she stands in front of her 1934 Dodge coupe. Yes, it came with a rumble seat!

This car was her transportation to Chadron, where she attended college to become a teacher. The trip took two hours, over slightly improved dirt roads, the standard for Nebraska secondary roads back then. The same trip takes about 50 minutes on modern roads.

Such a grueling trip, Mom only took it twice a week. She just came home on weekends. She was dating my Dad then, and had been since high school. They would wait to marry until Dad was 21 years old or about three years after this photo was taken.

mom and dodge coupe

The long courtship must have been beneficial because they eventually celebrated 71 years of marriage before Dad died, or 76 years as a couple since they went together for five years first.

One story my Mom told about their courtship went something like this:

Dad spent a lot of time at the McKenzies during their courtship. Mom’s grandmother lived with the family at the time, and Dad thought he’d over-stayed his welcome one night when Grandma Cameron instructed another family member to “put the dug out”. (Dad’s name was Doug.)

Dad thought he was being kicked out when Grandma Cameron was just instructing a family member to put out the dog!

A Scottish rendition of Doug is “Doog“. Dad came to realize that!

24 thoughts on “Post 821: …with rumble seat!

  1. Doug,
    Your parents were both special people but I always particularly admired your mom. She was such an amazing person. We all had the chance to take swimming lessons thanks to her leadership but I don’t think many people realize that. You were so blessed to have her in your life as long as you did.

    • I totally agree! Mom got a lot of exercise out of swimming that she wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise, and it was one of those things in her life that she put above everything but family and church.

  2. what a beautiful post, your mother photograph is so nice. I love old photographs and as you meant, the story behind them… I am impressed so much dear Weggie, Thank you, I prayed for this beautiful couple to the sky… Love, nia

  3. Now the picture of this neighbourhood is the neighbourhood I’m looking for. Maybe not quite so many trees for me,( I must permit the sun to grow my flowers and vegetables), but the neighbours can have them. Your mother was an impressive lady. Not only going to college but also driving. What a woman!
    71 years of marriage. Now that is a fantastic amount of time with one purrson. I have been married a mere 44 years and at times wonder about the things my mate does. I wonder how your mom felt after 70 years.


    • I don’t know if it’s a Nebraska thing or what, but people tend to over-plant trees in their yards.

      Maybe we don’t see enough of them or something here! Ha!

      I remember my Mom and Dad planted three elm trees in the front yard of the home they built on Mississippi. Two would have been a crowd, and one would have been sufficient.

      Of course, the neighbor to the south planted six elm trees along the driveway in a strip perhaps 35-40 feet long (10.7m to 12.2m), clearly too many for the strip.

      The same neighbor planted six more elm trees in the small backyard.

      This sort of over-planting takes on interesting dimensions when people plant firs in their yards. In older neighborhoods in this town, including the one in the photo, you’ll see these firs towering over the house, completely shading and dominating a small yard.

      I think the guy who decides to be a tree surgeon in a prairie town is a forward-thinking fellow! There always will be trees to trim and cut down!

      The three elm trees in our front yard, incidentally, succumbed to wind and insects in short order, and were replaced with a maple and a clump birch, neither of which is ideally suited for this area and require extra piddling around to keep alive.

      • haha..those are way too many trees….however they do look cool and relaxing. Can you imagine what fall is like with all those leaves?
        I got hell from my neighbour when we moved in because I got rid of most of the trees in the yard. I didn’t like to do it but the lady that owned the house before us planted a birch tree right up close to the livingroom window. I couldn’t see out the window and when there was a wind, the tree branch would rub and squeak up against the window. The deck had a ceiling on it…why I don’t know……it faces East and only gets the morning sun and then to make sure it was private there were 6 cedar trees planted around the deck. We couldn’t see anything from the deck and the livingroom was blocked making it very dark in the house. Then there were 2 huge trees in the backyard shading the backyard. When the cedars came down I felt nekked. Now we have a beautiful sunny backyard. I guess she was just a very, very private person.

        • Another problem with excessive trees planted too close to the house: gutters clogged with twigs and leaves! I hated cleaning this junk out of our drains because most of the leaves and twigs were elm twigs and leaves and we didn’t have any elms in the yard at that point.

  4. So many things impress me about this story/picture. Your mom not only knew how to drive but did so on her own to earn her education! The length and devotion of your parents relationship is phenomenal. You come from incredible heritage and I am certain your parents were very proud of your accomplishments. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Beautiful pisture recalling very well those years of 1930’s .
    71 years married until death . Beautiful . So your father died in 2008 . What about your mother ?
    In friendship

    • I regtret not asking more quewstions of the people in a lot of old photos because now there basically is no one left to explain what some of the people are doing or, indeed, who some of the people are!

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