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An hour, or so, with Don.

June 9, 2016
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June 9. 2016

Gunther was acting like a madman, so I let him out the back door.  Of course he streaked away, two doors down to Don Christiansen’s house, where the old man was seated on a lawn chair.  Gunther seemed drawn to him, so I padded over in my socks.  I asked if I might grab a lawn chair and join him.  He noted that the chairs are getting rusty; that he wished he’d taken better care of them.

Don loves to reminisce these days.  How we laugh!  A couple years ago he and I decided to brave the 100 degree heat and pull up some concrete footings from Community Day Care’s playground.  How I got in trouble for that with Gert.

At that point in the conversation, Don leaned over and asked, “Did she really get after you?”

I said, “Yeah.”

He said, “Good for her!  She’s not so bad, is she?”  [Mutual laughter.]

Lots of the reminiscences are what I call “slice of life.”  He told me about the cream separator his dad bought back when he was a kid.  A nice one, he said, with an electric motor.  They didn’t have refrigeration, so a cow was a life saver.  They always had something to eat, then.

The cream separator was a pain to wash, he said.  The hot water was in reservoirs on the sides of the stove.  You’d dip it out so you could wash the parts of the separator.

We talked about dogs, about his Uncle Al and aunt Rose; her birthday was the same as Don’s.

Don told me that when he was in his second year of school he got an award for being a good student.  It had a lifetime beneficial effect, he said.  Don ended up going to college, learning how to be a science teacher, and teaching science in Billings for a career.

We talked about how his dad fixed up a radio that attached to a car battery, about the time they got electricity to their house.

Meanwhile Gunther did exactly as he pleased, running over to us old guys for a frisking of the whiskers, from time to time.

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