Oral Histories

Ruby Ray Tangreen Zufelt

b. 1908

Ruby Zufelt

Q. Now Vern was your only brother?

A. Yeah. I had three more sisters later, but the last one was born a year after Dixie, my first daughter, was born. So I didn’t have much chance to get acquainted with her. We were happy. I worked with Dad doing everything he needed help with, like building fences and planting gardens. Anything he needed help with, I was the one that did it. After we got the house built and moved in, a man come along on horseback and he said, “Lew, how in the hell did you ever get that ridge-pole up there?” Dad said, “Oh, me and that girl did it.”

Q. That girl was you. . .was Ruby?

A. Yes. It was built back against the hill and Dad cut a long leaf pine to get that long of a log. We dragged it up along the hill with a team, on top of where the house was. Then he got a couple of long poles and put down to the house with oak brush and stuff in between. They reached. Then after he got the poles in, he and I got up there and rolled that log down those poles to the back of the house, then across the house to the front. We got it situated and put up in good shape. He was pretty proud of “that girl”. Mom was a little jealous. She wasn’t able to do the things that had to be done. She wasn’t able to follow him around to build fences and help like, you know, a healthy woman would. She was quite frail so she couldn’t do any of that stuff to help. She kind of resented me because I was so handy and could do everything. Dad showed me how to do things and if he showed me once I could do it. He could show Vern three times and he didn’t remember. Years later, Mother came to live with us a while and she got quite sick. I told the neighbor something about Mother always favored Vern and the neighbor mentioned it to Mother. She said, “Well, I had to favor Vern. Dad favored Ruby and I had to favor the rest of the kids.”

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