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MEMORIES OF ROY

Let me share with you some of my memories of Roy.

WE BROTHERS AND SISTERS KNEW HE LOVED US.

He was a playmate and a teacher. One of my earliest memories is Roy’s setting us little ones on top of the big blackboard nailed to the studding of the unfinished kitchen. There we clung, fearful but proud. When Ma protested, he said "Ma, I’m just trainin’ em!"

Until Ma stopped us he led us in rowdy scooting on chairs across the "old kitchen floor. Each rode hiss chair facing the back. How we blew off steam!

He brought us a huge sack of English walnuts one Christmas Eve when treats were rare and his money was scarce.

Coming home tired from the field, he joined us in playing tin can hockey and taught us how to play it right and with zest.

He flattered us by philosophizing as we followed him about at his work.

He chuckled over Floyd, age 3 or 4, with him in the patch on a watermelon "break" from plowing. After they had eaten one melon, Floyd suggested, "shall we eat another one?"

The day Floyd caught his hand in the hay pulley, it was Roy who carried him into the house. Roy’s face was white as he groaned, "Oh, his hand is crushed to pieces!"

There was a gap in our circle when he left Cloverhill for a few months in Wyoming to work and to see the world. He didn’t write home, so when he appeared "out of the blue" wearing a very black mustache, we all pounced upon him, each holding to an arm or leg and "bumped" him. This was a rite early introduced by him. It was the rear that was bumped against the wall – with expression!

After he and Eve moved to Valentine, I was so happy to receive a nice letter from him. I was told he had only $15.00 in cash when they arrived. He had a right to resent my having money to go to York to school that fall.

HE WAS EFFECTIVE AT MILD REBUKE

When we were getting ready for Uncle Perry’s funeral with relatives there, Roy pointed out to me how inappropriate it was for me to be singing from Alexander’s Rag Time Band, "Ain’t you goin? Ain’t you goin?"

One fall I sulked over not getting to go to college. Roy said, "Esther, you used to be pretty nice."

When I sent his kids home because we had some high school affair planned he later reproved me in few words. I was ashamed.

HOW HE LOVED HIS CHILDREN!

When Vardie was born in the Little House, Roy came rushing up home to get Arloe, excitedly repeating "We’ve got a mate to Arloe!".

He praised Mona as he ate the unwashed potatoes she now and then rolled into the oven for Dad.

Staying overnight at the Starr place, I was awakened by a real riot of merriment. In the dining room, I found Roy and the kids had discovered a new game. Seated around the dining room table, each lifted the oilcloth to send lively weighted salt and pepper shakers rolling away from him and toward his opponents.

At the time Harold drowned, as I was taking Arloe, Vardie, Mona and Jerry home with me he said, "Are you taking them all away?" (Vardie and Arloe couldn’t eat. They silently left the table and walked home across the field. As I took Jerry and Mona to bed with me, Jerry said, "I wonder where God will have Brother sleep tonight.")

ROY HAD THE GIFT OF TEACHING KIDS TO WORK

Once when I was eleven, he had me loading hay that he pitched to me on the hay rack. On the way home as I lay back on the hay, exhausted but proud that I’d pleased Roy, I thought, "I never realized how tired the boys get."

He himself started work young. Ma went to look for little Roy and Omer after dark and found them asleep on the hay beside the cow they had started to milk.

Roy said the way to teach kids to work was to work with them.

He awakened the boys with "Arloe! Vardie! Ain’t you goin!?", as though the waiting work was a picnic.

We thought he worked them too hard and too young, but later they all showed happy self-reliance and ability to get work even in a depression.

I had a good talk with him just before I started to college. He said his aim in life was to do a good job. He considered, for example, that his thorough-bred hogs were a part of his contribution as a citizen. How well he succeeded with the help of dear Eve and his children!

HE HAD COURAGE

At Cloverhill, he crawled home from near the north eighty with a broken leg.

One time his car skidded sideways on the high bridge near the foot of the lane at Cloverhill. I saw from our yard his front wheels rolling slowly over the edge, perilously near a dangerous drop. He calmly got out and somehow weighted the car to hold it while he went for a neighbor and his tractor. Late home to his pregnant Eve (who was herself "plenty" courageous) he said, "Well, Eve, I had a little delay," or some such nonchalant remark.

WE ALL RECALL HIS WHIMSICAL SAYINGS

When I served beet greens, "It’s the other end of the beets they cook, Esther."

In California, "I’d like to go home by way of the Gulf and the Mississippi." (not a bad idea)

In Kansas City Union Station with Wanda, "This place would hold an awful lot of hay."

About someone complaining of being tired, "What else are they supposed to be after an honest day’s work?"

After I bought the Brock house, "Esther, you probably feel better about using our roads, etc., since you started paying taxes."

Last summer at the blessed unforgettable reunion (July 4, 1964) at Roy’s, "What’s Arlene (and others) mad about? Why didn’t they come?"

Another remark: "God will probably ask us why we didn’t go and see more of the nice places he made in this world."

Goodbye you dear brother. May we all meet in heaven, God’s crowning creation that we will see and enjoy forever in the presence of our dear Saviour.

Written by: Esther Snodgrass Jenkins
                    Riverside California
                   1965 – at the time of Grandpa’s death in late February.

This document was graciously contributed by Darla (Snodgrass) Schreier, one of Roy's many grandchildren.