Family Home in Chinook

Dining Room and Home Appliances

The dining room was nine foot square, and boasted a picture rail, plate rail, and burlap wall paper which extended from the plate rail to the ten inch mop board. This room had a standard split window (push the top half down or lift the bottom up) looking into the back porch, and a small non-opening window with wide sill (for flower pots) half way to the ceiling on the east wall.

Our telephone was a crank model with a big black ear piece on the end of a cord. This hung on a hook when not against your ear. Whenever a long distance call came to our house, it was a major event preceded by a warning to "be quiet this is long distance". How did they know it was long distance? That's easy. The operator called to see if the party was home. No one would pay for a long distance call and have some kid answer. In those days all calls were person to person.

We had a beautiful oak center pedestal table with at least four extra leaves. It made out the length of the room on special occasions. This is where we boys had to do our homework every night before we could turn the radio on for Gang Busters or The Lone Ranger. These programs with all the genuine sound effects filled my imagination with images far more exciting than today's T.V. and knowing that your very favorite program was on in twenty minutes was a great incentive to finish that homework.

We kids weren't the only ones glued to the radio. Dad insisted on complete silence while he listened to his news, and Mother was completely hooked on the soaps. She even had Dad put a speaker in the kitchen so she didn't miss Ma Perkins or any of the many other programs that ran every fifteen minutes from ten am till four pm on week days. With time out of course for Dad's news at noon.

I almost forgot the big Singer sewing machine which sat right below the window looking into the back porch. It folded all up so as not to take up much room, but I seldom saw it that way (only for bridge club night). Normally the lid was open and covered with patterns. The black head of the monster with leather drive belt, spool, bobbin, and needle stood proudly with some cut cloth draped over it, while one or two of its four drawers gaped, showing a tape measure.

Mother was very good at sewing and I'm sure she liked it. Mother's long suit however was not great on the side of neatness or tidiness. She indeed had a place for everything but more often than not, it was where it happened to land. After all when you have had three boys in four years, are involved in the community, listening to the soaps, etc., something has to give, and with Eva it was tidiness.

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