Oral Histories

Ruby Ray Tangreen Zufelt

b. 1908

Ruby Zufelt

Q. What did you charge people for sewing?

A. Well, I made a dress for Maude Reed. She had some material someone had given her, calico. I made a dress for her for fifty cents and took an old hen for pay, and made soup for the kids.
Q. Is that the only time you had to take chickens for your work?

A. That’s the only time I took chickens. I sewed for Aunt Lou to pay her to take care of me when Lenore was a baby. She would come up and dress the baby, and give me a bed bath while I had to stay in bed. We stayed in bed ten days, in those days; not just get up the next day. That was quite a change. They thought that it would make the generations stronger to have the mother stay in bed until she got her strength back.

Q. All she did was get weaker?

A. Yes. I don’t know. I raised a garden that year and Lenore was born the sixth of September. She wasn’t due until the fourth of October, but she came early and I didn’t have a stitch to put on her. I had a little ol’ shirt that Mother made for me when I was a baby, ‘cause I only weighed four pounds. She couldn’t buy one that fit me. So Lenore wore that shirt and a dish towel for a diaper.

Q. Oh, boy. And you washed that diaper a lot of times, didn’t you?

A. Well, I had two or three dish towels, of course. And I had several flour sacks, so we got by for a little while, until I could order some flannel to make diapers out of.

Q. I wonder what girls would do today?

A. If they even had to was diapers. They just buy Pampers and it costs about $600 to keep a baby in Pampers in their diaper years. I don’t see how they can afford it.

Q. It seems like today the girls don’t try to help the husbands save and make money. They want to spend everything he brings in. Like we did. We were actually more concerned about saving than spending.

A. Everything is so high, I don’t know how people live any more. But they don’t wear much, a pair of shorts, a T-shirt, and everybody’s happy. I guess they get along fine.

Q. After Lenore was born, who was next.

A. Eva Lou. And she was born in the same house. It was across the street from the Seventh Day Adventist Church, First North and Third East, second house from the corner.

Q. How long did you live there?

A. Oh, I don’t know. We moved to Tropic one year when my dad was there. Clarence got Lucien to show him the house. And we lived there. We rented a two bedroom house. Dad had a coal mine outside of town, about five miles. I took care of Mother’s two girls who were in school; Jenny and Wanda. Wanda was a year younger than Dixie, and Dixie was nine and Jenny was thirteen. They took turns doing the supper dishes. When Jenny did ‘em, she put all the kettles in the warming oven behind the stove so Dixie would have to do them when she did the dishes.

And then after school had been going a while, we kept the girls in school and Mother stayed out with Dad at the mine. I had all those kids to take care of. In about October, Jenny and Wanda had the itch. My kids got it, so we had to doctor that. They all had to have a bath every evening and I had to daub sulfur and lime in lard on their itch spots, and either wash their cloths or hang ‘em out in the sun every day, along with their pajamas and whatever they wore. So I had my hands full. Lenore and Eva Lou were both little, in high chairs. We had two highchairs. We took one with us and there was one in the house, so there was a highchair for each of them and that’s how we managed. Eva Lou would be about a year old and Lenore about four. The house we rented belonged to the people who lived next to us and they had a pretty big apple orchard. We’d picked apples on shares, so we had a big bin full of apples on the porch. We had lots of apples for the winter. Ireta and Sy came over for Christmas. They lived down the country.

Q. Were they in Orderville at that time?

A. In Orderville, yes. And they came over for Christmas. Jenny went back with them and stayed the two weeks for vacation time. I had a miscarriage Christmas day.

Q. How long were you in Tropic?

A. Just that winter. In the spring Lucien came and got us and we went back to Moab. Clarence went to get a job, but he couldn’t find a job anywhere else but Moab. He come back to Moab and went back to work with the sheep, so we moved back. He was up on the Mason ranch. Lucien moved us up there. He was so busy he couldn’t even feed us when we got there. Just yard work and sheep right there.

Q. You and Clarence lived most of your married life here in Grand County?

A. Oh, yes.

Q. It was quite warm in Tropic in the wintertime, so it wouldn’t have been as cold in Panguitch?

A. We had five foot of snow in Tropic, Utah. It covered the fence posts. We were snowed in. Couldn’t hardly get out, and then Rose died. Thelma’s husband had a little one seated car and they got the roads cleared so we could get out and we came to the funeral in Moab. They got us over to Moab and back to Panguitch.

Q. Now who was Rose?

A. Clarence’s (and Alta Larsen Tangreen’s) daughter. She was a little younger than me, but she had three little kids. She died with the last baby. She said, “I wish you was my mother.” I said, “Well, we’ll just play I am and we’ll be fine.”

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