Wednesday, February 21, 2018



The following letters were written in September and October 1991 by the children of Ira Michael and Mary Elizabeth Bickmore Schow. These letters are part of a round-robin which was begun more than a year before.

From Norma Schow Hunt (Clare Hunt), Pleasanton, California

Dear Family, Well, the remembering part is great – but, Reed, I was older and I remember it was in Dubois that we had the flu. In Weston Dad and Mom wished later that they had stayed in Dubois. It was there when Irene wanted a piano real bad, so Dad was to trade a horse for a piano, but during the night the horse tangled in the leash and choked to death. After Weston we went out to the dry farm where we helped Dad stack the sagebrush we would burn. Once a porcupine was in the outhouse and one of the kids came back because he was afraid to go in. I could tell more. I remember Dad taking me in a big wagon a long way out where I was to be baptized. It was especially nice because the stream was clear and we could see the fish. Yes, Reed, it was Rexburg where we could see the celebrating. Also, that was the time when Dan was born. Lots more I could tell but maybe it will get me started on my life story. I have a lot to remember and many happy times. We don’t have a typewriter. I think now I will start my history. Everyone says to put it on a tape recorder, then have it typed, but I can’t seem to do that – we’ll try again. We are starting a new life style again tomorrow when we will have live-in people to stay here to help. It takes a while to get used to new people and we really liked the ones we had, but the other people will have a man who can help Clare and help with the housework and do yard work, too. [Clare suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease]. Of course, his wife will help, too. We have been so blessed so far to have such nice people to work for us. Keep up the remembering and send it on. I’m sure I missed a lot after I left home, so send it on. Much love, as always, Norma PS. After the new people get used to it here and we do, too, I will have time to write my history.

From J. Reed Schow (Lucille Morgan Schow), Walnut Creek, California

Dear Family: Doctors tell us if we eat slowly, we will eat less, but anyone from a large family (like ours) can tell you the same thing. Well, I’ve got the computer going again. I, too, remember the stream of water where you were baptized, Norma. I don’t remember the baptism, but I do remember the stream of water you talk about. Dad lifted me to the seat of a wagon with a water tank on it. To a little boy, that seat was a long way down to the ground. We drove to that same stream of water, drove out into the middle of it with the horses downstream. Dad would get off the wagon and hand-pump the water into the tank into the cistern. The cistern was nothing but a hole dug in the ground that Dad had lined with tar. That was our drinking water, and it tasted of tar. Now we have to have filters on our tap water that is about as pure as can be had. I remember the five gallon of molasses we had at the ranch. We kids would take a slice of home-made bread and go to this can of molasses and spread it on our bread. When it came to the bottom of the can, there was about one-half inch of bread crumbs on the bottom. Darn computer broke down again. Will try to fix it myself. Hope to have it going again by the next roundrobin. I have been busy painting the house. This is the first time I have painted it by myself. I’ve always had Larry or one or two of the grandchildren to help me before. I’ve about got it done all but the trim around the windows and doors, etc. We took a little trip up to Paradise, California to honor the 90th birthday of a friend. After that we went up the Feather River over to Reno, Nevada. Most beautiful drive. We stayed in Reno and went to a show, and the next day we drove home. A nice trip. All is well here. Have a nice day. Reed PS. Happy birthday, Dan on November 11 [Reed lost one of his eyes in a saw accident about 1984]

From Dan (Grace Gray Schow), Cupertino, California

Dear Family: I’m not sure I can help out much in this remembering game. I’m kinda like the golfer who saw the drive clearly but couldn’t remember where it went. I do like hearing about our old times such as sitting around the old pot-belly stove and eating apples. I also remember a little about Meda’s store in Mantua, where much of the produce was in barrels or baskets and you just scooped out whatever you needed. Do you remember getting up a daybreak to pick strawberries and raspberries? The whole family went down and picked. Mother would leave about 8:00 AM to fix breakfast, then we would quit at about 8:00 or 9:00 to eat, then return to pick until about 11 or 12 o’clock when it got too hot. How about the skim milk we used to pick up at the dairy on our way home from school? The dairy men used to call me “Skimmy Schow”. It was good for us, only we didn’t realize it then. Well, we need a joke – an old Irishman was about to die, so he requested his best friend to promise to pour a bottle of his favorite whiskey over his grave. “OK,” said his friend, “I’ll be glad to do that, but I hope you don’t mind if I pass it through me kidneys first.” We did enjoy the reminders. The past holds some precious memories and some good lessons. Keep them coming. We are all fine here. Grace is doing great with her diabetes problem. We do enjoy life together. Love to all, Dan

From Ida Schow Blower (Henry “Hank” Blower), Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Family: Story telling time. Do you remember when Dad, and I believe it was Dan and Reed, who went to buy a car? We were all excited about this, but when you returned it was an old flat-bed truck! Mom was so disappointed. She wanted something she could ride to church in, but of course, it was the practical decision. Reed, you were one of my first driving teachers. You decided to let me try to drive. We were coming up Forrest Street and I turned the corner with the gas pedal to the floor, and Reed, I can still hear you yelling at me above the roar, “Put on the brakes!, Put on the brakes!” We only had a half block to get home, but you took over the driving. I guess that old Ford truck had more pickup than either of us thought. I remember Dan and me sitting under the apple tree in the back yard on 7th South. He would tell me all about Lindberg and planes. I remember when we lived on First East. Dad was planting a pear tree, and he made the statement that he would probably never live to see it bear fruit. I asked what he was going to all the trouble for then, and he answered that it was for those who came after him to enjoy. I have always felt that was special and shows how special Dad was. Do you all remember the old galvanized tub? Norma, I remember you getting me ready for Sunday School and patent leather slippers. Enough for this time! Take care, everyone. Write quickly! Love ya, Ida

From Beth Schow Stagge (Marvin Stagge), Ogden, Utah

Dear Family: As usual, I have enjoyed the round-robin and hate to give it up. I know the rest of you are waiting for it, but I think I’ll read it just one more time. It’s all so interesting. I have a brand new great-grandson. He was born September 1 1991. 7 lbs 8 oz. Both mother and all are doing just fine. He was born on the 1st and they had to move to Yuma, Arizona by the 9th. They made it but with a big helping hand from JoAnn. She went back to help them. She said it was hectic. They named him Calvin Louis (Louis after Marvin). Brady, their other son, couldn’t say Calvin, so he called him “Caffeine.” JoAnn says he sure named him right. He keeps you up all night. I like the idea of telling some old tales about our family. So many of them I didn’t even know about. They happened before my time. I think I remember one thing down on 7th South. Tell me if anyone else can remember it. I’m not sure, but I think Lee, Reed and maybe Dan, had gone fishing and came home with a great big carp. It was so big that Dad hung it up in the tree out back, and Lee, Reed and Dan skinned it by taking pliers and pulling down toward the tail. Then mother baked it – it was pretty good, except you had to be careful of the bones. I can still see that big fish hanging from the limb. I must close for this time. Everything is still the same around here. I really enjoyed my birthday. Went out to lunch, and then Bruce and family came to see me. God bless – I love you. Beth

From Edna Schow Jones (Evan Jones), Bountiful, Utah

Dear Family: I can’t remember if I told you this or not, but that old truck Ida was talking about because my playhouse when we moved up to 1st North. I don’t know if it could run or not, but it stayed at least one summer in the back yard. I understand that Dad could not drive, and counted on the “boys” to do it. I used to get in the back of the truck with Betty House and Dorothy Madsen. I was the oldest, so I was usually the mother, usually appointed by Dorothy Madsen. We swept out the truck, got boxes or whatever for tables and chairs, got a bottle for a vase which was filled with flowers, or weeds or grape leaves or whatever. After our “room” was all cleaned up, I was ready to quit playing. I remember, Dan, the apple eating time around the front room stove. Mother enjoyed talking and I remember her being a very positive person. She liked to tell funny experiences. “That was one on him…” she’d say. Most of my experiences were with Dan, Ida and Beth. I don’t remember much about the older kids. I do remember Lee, Reed and Dan sitting at the kitchen table discussing things and ideas, and Reed would say, “Oh, raspberry!” when he didn’t agree. Lee, I remember putting on shave lotion which smelled good, and singing, “You gotta be a football player to get along with the beautiful girls.” Dan used to pay me ten cents a week to make his bed every day, and sweep and dust his room once a week. One week, he was a little angry. He couldn’t find something I had hung up. He also bought me my first root beer. If I had any money, I always bought ice cream or candy. We had been picking cherries at Christofferson’s orchard and were walking home. We went into a store or some place. He told me not to stir my root beer with the straw, but I misunderstood, and stirred – it foamed all over and I was embarrassed. Like Reed said, it is time to turn my computer off. We went to see Ken and Chris last week and she gave me a perm, which just about paid for our trip. We had a tour of their new house being built. We miss having our children near, as they are all so far away from home. Love to all, Edna

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