Oral Histories

Ruby Ray Tangreen Zufelt

b. 1908

Ruby Zufelt

One time he was over there to get the mail and Mrs. Malott said, “Well, Lew, why don’t you put your wagon sheet over it (the dugout). It will make it light and keep the storm out, and you can live in it that way.” So, Dad put the wagon sheet over it and fastened it down good. We were just getting ready to move and it snowed two feet and the wagon sheet fell in with the snow. We had to shovel the snow out and put a roof on it after all. Then we moved into it and lived in it for a couple of years. Dad had to go to work as soon as we got moved in. When we were done with it there was some kind of a scare about the world coming to an end, or something, about that time. He was worried. He came home. He was working in Monticello. He came home for a little while and chopped up a bunch of wood and stacked it up along the dugout, so we’d have wood to keep warm if something terrible happened. The world was in kind of a panic about that time. We had a little ol’ stove with the oven door that opened on both sides. There was a grate in front where you took out the ashes. It slid back and forth. The firebox was up here where the grates were, where the ashes fell down. We didn’t have any coal oil around, so Vern and I would go chop chips off the lonely pine that Dad had cut down. We chopped chips off of that and carried them up to our place to burn on that hearth. It dragged the smoke up through the firebox to the chimney, so we could have light. We didn’t have coal oil. I think we had a little bit to start with, but we had a lot later when Dad got home. So that’s all we had for light, but it was warm all the time.

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