Norwegian Farmer’s Son…March 8th


NFS 3.8i
Elliott’s farmer father loved and cared for his animals.  Before any vacation could happen, the needs of the many animals on our farm were taken care of by a paid helper or our big brother.

In a farmer’s life, the agricultural science of animal husbandry should actually have the title changed to animal MOMMA-ry, because our hard working daddy was like a mother to all of his animals on that farm.  Like any good farmer (and Christian), our father cared deeply for the animals God allowed to be under his care.  Farming (like motherhood) was a 7 day a week, 24 hours a day lifestyle.  Those dear creatures depended on our father (and the rest of our family) to feed them, milk the cows twice a day and care for them all year round.  A veritable part of the family, they were.

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A handsome 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air, just like this one, was the chariot of choice for Elliott and his family when they were able to go on any road trip vacations.

The majority of workers today get an earned paid vacation each year.  Not so for farmers.  If our poppa wanted a vacation, he not only had to pay for all the regular expenses while on the trip, but he ALSO had to PAY someone to come out to our farm and take care of the animals…..twice a day.  As a result, our vacations away from the farm were few and far between.

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Crayons, coloring books, books to read, various toys, pillows for napping, etc., etc. were just some of the fun things that Elliott and his little sister, Candi brought along on the few vacation road trips we took as a family.

Some of those wonderful road trip vacations were to visit my mother’s brother, Bob and family, who lived in northern Minnesota near the town of Mahnomen.   That journey took the most part of a full day for us to travel from our farm (just north of the Iowa border) all the way up into the northern reaches of our State.  To prepare for this adventure, sister and I would gather together our various preferred plethora of play things.  For me, there was my cache of toy soldiers, small tractors and cars, Richie Rich comic books, etc..  Sister Candice would bring her dolls and other girlie fun things to occupy her time.  With our coloring books and goodies stashed in the back seat of the Chevy, we’d bid our parents “Sova Godt” (sleep well…in Norwegian) and then drift off to dreamland excited for the next day.

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Sleepy Elliott had to be scooped out of bed before the sun even peeked over the morning horizon.

In those dark, early morning hours, I can still remember the fragrance of Dad’s “Old Spice” cologne as he gently scooped me out of my bed, covers and all, and carried me down the stairwell and out to our purring Chevrolet.  He carefully deposited me into the back seat and allowed me to resettle into slumber as he went for my little sister upstairs in her room.  With a last check on the checklist, our parents climbed into that powerful vehicle and we were on our way.  Even as we little ones slid back into sleep, we could hear the gravel from our country roads grinding under our tires as that Chevy carried us northward to see our northern cousins and extended family.

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How true this wise saying is!

Eventually, sister and I came awake and peeked over the side windows to view the lovely Minnesota landscape flying by us.  Our family vacations were in the days before seat belts were installed in most cars.  Therefore, it was common practice for us kiddos to hunker down on the floor of the backseat and use the flat surface of the seat for a myriad of imagination play time.  I would play soldiers, as I lined up my army to attack the bad guys and “win the war”.  Later, I’d have my tractors hooked up to plows and other implements to “work the fields” of my side of the car’s backseat.

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Just think, only 12 cents for a comic book in Elliott’s young days.  Richie Rich adventures were his favorites.

Of course, my very favorite comic books to read along the journey were “Richie Rich”(The Poor Little Rich Boy)!  I remember when they were just 10 cents…..then 12 cents.   A BIG, thick Richie Rich comic was a whole 25 cents.  Part of my road trip playtime was to dream and read about this little boy who had EVERYTHING he could ever think of because he had all the money in the world.  It was a fun way to pass the time as we traveled mile after mile towards our goal of family in the northern part of our great State of Minnesota.

#121=Elliott & Dad on lookout tower, August 1961
Elliott and his father, Russell, enjoy a vacation moment by climbing a forest ranger lookout tower in northern Minnesota around the year 1961 (which made Elliott 7 years old, at the time).

Like any child, by the time we neared our uncle’s farm outside of Mahnomen, Minnesota, both of us youngin’s were bored of our toys n books and ready for fun.  On one outing, we stopped at Itasca State Park where the Mississippi River has its birth.  This little 7 year old adventurer was able to actually walk across that mighty river as it trickled out of a tiny spring at its headwaters.   I guess you could say that I was “toying” with the Mississippi that day.  😉   Fun memories they were for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.

#40=Mavis Rogness, Candi,Dad & Elliott(1961)
Seven year old Elliott begins his “walk across the Mississippi River” at Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota.  Our father, Russell, and sister Candice are in the background.  Cousin Jerome Rogness’s wife, Mavis, is in foreground of photo.  Summer 1961.

2 thoughts on “Norwegian Farmer’s Son…March 8th

    1. Dear Claire, Such a joy to see you stop by with your Richie Rich comment here. You’re so kind! I enjoyed other comics over the years, but Richie Rich appealed to a little poor farm boy who dreamed of “having it all”………just like our tiny rich hero did! Oh well, it’s like they say……”It doesn’t cost anything to dream”!! Bless you for your friendship and your honoring me with following these gentle adventures!!! :o)


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