Monday, February 13, 2012

Oregon Prock family --bits and pieces of history

From cousin Sondra:

"I have been doing some research on the Prock family and found that grandma Jansen's grandfather's (Robert Eaton Prock) cousin came to Oregon in 1852 in a wagon train from Lafayette County Missouri. He settled in the Salem area until 1866 when he moved to Olalla, Oregon, right outside of Roseburg!! The farm where he lived and the next 2 generations lived until 1953 was about 10 miles from where we lived in Lookingglass. Some of that family are buried in the Tenmile Cemetery, just over the hill from where we lived on Larson Road.  

Other parts of that family settled near the area where we lived in Crow!! Near Junction City. They are buried near there and us kids picked beans in a bean field near where they had a farm along the Willamette River.

There was a coach at Glendale high school named Steve Prock. I finally was able to get in touch with him and he is a direct descendent of this Prock family. He was happy to get the information about his family. He is coaching over in Lakeview Oregon now. He grew up in Klamath Falls and his parents lived there when I was going to school at Oregon Tech. It is a small world!! 

 Wish I had known about this way back in the olden days! One of the descendents lived here on the Rogue River Hiway where Mom and Dad's house was that washed down the river in the '64 flood. She died here in Grant's Pass in 2008."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cream Colored Cords

hi karla and fran
Cream colored cords were the big thing for the man about town when I was a senior in Star, Idaho. Star being an up-to-style town, naturally I had to have cream colored cords. They were about fifty cents higher than the regular cords. Fifty cents was a lot of money when I was a senior so it was something to think about. Just what was most important, being a man about town laboring for an extra fifty cents worth, or not being in the groove but having time to be a man about town yet really not being one? I chose the cream colored cords.
Now, just having cream colored cords doesn't cut it. You had to alter them a little. The crease had to be sewn in front and back so you always had a crease coming or going. Then you had to get the hot girls to sign their names all over them. That was no problem because a girl who didn't have her name on a lot of men's cream colored cords wasn't considered a hot girl. To be popular in school was important to girls and this was almost a necessity. Getting an out of town girl to sign your cords was like a special badge, especially with different colored ink.
The upkeep on the cream colored cords was a little different from most pants. Never wash them, be careful not to spill any water on them. If you snagged or tore them in any way, no sewing was allowed. We repaired any cut with white tape. I remember one time my mother got a hold of my cream colored cords and washed them. Completely disgraced them. I could not wear them in public. I was sentenced to hard labor for three dollars and twenty cents, but I got lots of sympathy and enjoyed getting the new ones in shape. After that, I was careful not to leave my cream colored cords where Mother could find them when I took them off.
Mothers don't always understand these school fads. I wonder if any of the mothers having tea together and discussing the kids would proudly say, have you seen my son's cream colored cords and the decorations on them? Probably not.


never ask me a question if you don't have lots of time for the answer.

Monday, January 17, 2011


by Karl Jansen 01/2011

Martha and I go back to a time long ago.
How far back my memory will take me, i don't really know.
I remember I was a sickly kid,
but Martha took care of me no matter what I did.
She always had a positive outlook.
She liked a fun life, whatever it took.
In her second grade, Jack hung her in a tree.
The rope wasn't really around her neck where it seemed to be.
I don't think Mother thought that was okay,
It was probably the reason her hair turned gray.
That same year we found a squirrel trapped in a tree.
Jack said, "Pull it out!" I said, "Not me!"
Martha reached in, she was always game,
She said, "I got him!" and out he came
Along with bit fingers and a scratched-up arm.
That's the fun of living on a Kansas farm.
She weathered the trip out to Idaho
She was at the wrong age, looking back I know.
So crowded together, no private place
A girl her age needed her own space.
In Idaho she really did shine
I was always proud she was a sister of mine.
She was voted most popular and best dancer too.
She sang in a trio, a fun thing to do.
She married a fellow, the love of her life
And settled down being a working man's wife.
He was whisked off to war. She held down the fort.
Nothing seemed to faze her, she was just that sort.
Her family grew on his return, and
She was living the life we all hope to earn.
Then tragedy struck and Bill was taken.
I can only imagine how her life was shaken
She pulled it together, lived life day to day,
A driving force, it was her way.
She married again, her life wasn't through.
Now with Harry there were fun things to do--
camping and fishing and hunting too,
card playing with friends, what else can we do?
Her family has grown, quite well I should shout--
they cover half the county and are still branching out.
They clustered around her, held her close in their heart
Making her life easier till the time they would part.
I'm sure Martha is happy to get her release.
The stress is over. She is all wrapped in peace.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

An Unfortunate Incident in the 5th Wheel

You have heard this all before, but I thought I would put it on paper so that I could read it in my old age, so I could see that I had some fun times over the years.

This took place at our home in Bouse. we were set to head North early in the morning, its springtime, we have secured everything here and ready to go. About 5:00 oclock in the evening a couple of our friends dropped in to say goodbye. We had only two chairs from the motorhome so I said just a minute I'll get two more chairs from the fifthwheel. We store a few things there when we go North.
I unlocked the fifthwheel and went in. The door has a spring on it that pulls it closed behind you. We have covered the windows with padded insulation and lowered the blinds over them, so it is very dark inside. Well, no problem, I have been in there lots of times. I stepped up two steps to the bathroom then up two more steps to the bedroom where I had put two stacks of four chairs.
Being dark I had to feel around then try to separate two chairs (plastic). I was lifting and jerking and they came apart suddenly and caught me a little off balance and I started falling backwards. I forgot the steps and as I backed up and down, I was gaining speed with the top part of my bod in relation to the lower part. I had the chairs against my chest and as I hit the bathroom I was a little to one side and the comode caught me the bend of my knees. I went over backwards trying to throw the chairs away from me. I stopped moving.
I am over the comode and my shoulders in and on a five gallon bucket of water in the sunken bath tub.. We put two of these buckets of water in the tub to keep moisture in the motorhome. I tried to move, my feet are tangled in the chairs and when I try to move them the chairs wedge against the comode and refuse to move. As the bathtub is level with the floor the water bucket is probably a good thing so that I didn't get bent any farther. The water wasn't very cold either.
I worked my lower bod off the comode and fell on the floor between the comode and the sink cabinet.. I am now on my side taking advantage of the other bucket of water. Nothing to get a hold on for leverage. I knew I had to get out of the tub to get up. I got my feet out of thechairs and trying not to feel too much animosity I back kicked them down to the main room. I am between the comode and the cabinet, not enough room to turn over on my stomach so I had to schooch backwards to the wider part of the bathroom. My pants bunched up trying to make this a real challenge but I made it. I rolled over and got up. I hadn't realized I had not opened my eyes all this time, but when I did, there was very little difference. I reached up and turned on the light. Wow, beautiful light.
I think this was the first time I had really looked at this bathroom, the distances between all the componets, the depth of the tub, the height of the comode, all that tricky stuff. i would need more water too. I tried to imagine what I must have look like over that comode and absorbing water. That should have bent something out of shape. I wiggled my toes and the other things up to my shoulders. Not even a tender spot.
Suddenly it dawned on me, we had company and they were waiting for the two chairs. I stepped down the two steps and picked up the two innocent looking chairs, I left the light on and walked out the door to solid ground, took a second to put myself together and nonchalantly walked accros the drive way to the motorhome patio, separated the chairs and sat down. The lady ask "how did you get wet getting two chairs from the fifthwheel"? I thought of some snappy answers to that but always in control I just told her what had happened. She was all sympathy, my caring wife laughed.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Karl and Florence Getting Married

She had kinda agreed to marry me and I thought I should do it right so I brought my mother over to her place and asked her mother if it was OK if we got married, Florence and me of course. She was a little reluctant I could tell, that's the reason I had my mother with me. I knew she couldn't kill me with a witness. She said it’s up to her dad, and he is out in the pasture watering. I dutifully went out to the pasture and asked him the same question and he asks, do you love her and want to give her a good life? Never having looked beyond tomorrow, I said yes sir, he said OK she is yours.

She was a minor and had to have as affidavit of some kind to get married. It had to be signed in front of a notary by the parents. Her mother signed, but she looked like she was seeing the printing on the form reading"I agree to let this old lecher to marry my sweet innocent baby." That hurdle was passed, now the date and the preacher. Every thing is all set, and I relaxed as much as possible thinking about the repercussions of all this. The morning of the wedding day we got a phone call from her or her mother (I don't know which) wanting to postpone everything for some reason I didn't understand known only to females. Martha took the phone call and tried to explain it all to me. I didn't want to understand, and this day was planned. At least part of it and I said no to postponement.

We went to the preacher's place, he was a farmer and had just come in from milking and had to clean up a little. When he was ready, he still smelled a little like cows but that was OK were ready. He got out the big book and took both our hands in his and began, "we are gathered here" the ones who were gathered were Martha, Florence's sister, Flo's mother, and mine. The preacher had palsy or something that gave him a firm uncontrollable shaking of his hands and lower arms. So as he held both our hands in his the shaking continued on into us. I wanted to do something to ease the situation so I decided to try to steady the shaking and make as unnoticeable as possible. He was a fair sized man and farmer strong so he out stronged me. We were all shaking a little, I was braced against a wooden chair and the chair was moving just enough to make little squeaking noises on the floor, I had better hearing then, it seemed overwhelmingly loud,

I stopped trying to stop the shaking and just go along with it. My hair fell down over my eyes, I looked sneakily around and her sister was trying to not bust out laughing and so was Martha. The mothers looked like, “just get this over with" I had heard nothing between"we are gathered here and you can kiss the bride. I read later about all this stuff I must have nodded my head to.

Seems so vivid now, hard to believe it was over 65 years ago

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lemon Maybe? 7-09 -Karl

hi guys

The experience of yours and the Audi reminds me of the first station wagon we had. We had just sold our house in Nampa and I was working on TVs. We bought a Chevy in Portland at Honest John's and it seemed like a good car, the only wear was the driver's seat.
We had used it about a week and had a flat tire. We took the tire in to have it fixed and the tire man said the tire had been re-grooved through three belts, so we checked the others and found the same thing. new set of tires. Felt so good we decided to go to Nampa for the weekend.

Needed a tune up first, so we took it in and they worked on it and said it still had a little miss but OK. in La Grande it developed a severe knock so we went to a mechanic and he said it was quitting and couldn't work on it. Just go on and drive a little slower. He said we had a valve that was sticking. the next day in Nampa we took it to the Chevy garage and they thought the same thing. We needed a valve job. When they broke it down they discovered a broken valve an a chipped piston. we drove back to Kalama and we still had a little miss.

A few days later I was driving home from Longview and heard a clunk and the motor died. It was after dark so with flashlight in hand I checked the motor for what I thought would be a broken fan belt. The fan belt was OK but as I ran the light back over the motor I could see two pistons looking like they were ashamed to be seem all undressed like that. I walked down to the Kalama River Trailer Park and had a heck of a time convincing Billy what had happened. He couldn't believe a Chevy would do that. he finally called Harry Becker and he came out and pulled me home. That was on Tuesday and on Thursday we had a complete motor put in and Friday we drove it down to Woodland and traded for a Ford. a really trouble free car. A lot of TV earning down the drain.

Now the rest of the story. About six months later we were at the dealership where we traded in the Chevy and the manager came over and asked what was wrong with that station wagon. I had showed him the papers on the new motor when we traded. He said they sold the Chevy and had to replace valves and pistons twice and the car didn't sit straight and they even bent the frame and couldn't fix it. They ended up taking the Chevy back and took it took it to a junkyard and disposed of it.

lemon maybe?


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

More Memories Jogged

Susie's post brought back many more memories of spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa's. I don't think I ever knew the address of the first house they lived in. They always had a post office box for a mailing address. (PO Box 222, Kalama, WA.) When I was last in Kalama, I drove by the little house on the hill. It does look very little. I wanted to see how it had changed. It looks run down now and that made me sad. The front door no longer opens out on the street. It was right on the sidewalk, as I remember it. The sidewalk was just gravel and a little lower than the street. Across the street was an under ground garage, the side yard had a Bing cherry tree with grass planted around the bottom of it. In the back there was an old garage. Seems like we used to play in the garage. There was a bed in the corner. Maybe that was a spare room in the summer for one of the kids. The house had to be a little crowded inside, but there was always room for everyone. Susie talked about sleeping with Charlene. I think Aunt Mary Beryl, and Aunt Jacquie also shared that room. I remember an old metal bed and there was gum stuck to the bed post. Reminds me of the song "Does Your Chewing Gum Loose It's Flavor on the Bed Post Overnight". I swear, that song was written about the Jansen home of the l940's! By the looks of the size of that house now, there probably was not much room for many beds in that bedroom. The bedroom on the other side of the hall was even smaller. It was the width of a bed and there was a bed at each end for Uncle Bobby and Uncle Pete. Their door was right at the head of the stairs with just a small landing. There was about a 1 foot ledge alongside the steps up there. What that was for, I don't know. They sure could have used that extra foot inside their bedroom. I don't remember any closets up there, but there must have been one somewhere. There were only those 2 rooms upstairs. Not much room for those sleepwalkers and talkers. Several of us do or did that, you know!

Downstairs there was a living room on the left as you walked into the house off the sidewalk and the dining room to the right. From the living room you walked into grandma and grandpa's bedroom after passing the big stuffed deer head above the heating stove. The living room had one light bulb in the middle of the room that hung down on its cord. Not too fancy of a light fixture and it did not really give off much light either. After great grandpa Jansen passed away grandma and grandpa bought a TV set that set near the deer head. Before he passed away great grandpa sat there with his cane that he would hook around our ankles as we passed by to tease us. On the wall was an oval picture frame with a picture of grandpa's mother and father. Aunt Martha has the frame now with the 1968 pictures that were taken for grandma and grandpa's 50Th wedding anniversary.

To get to the kitchen, you could either go through the dining room pass the stairs and through the door or you could go in from Grandma and Grandpa's bedroom. I remember the kitchen had metal cabinets. I would help grandma dry the dishes. She always told me that a good dish dryer would get what the dishwasher missed, so the dishes looked clean when they went into the cupboard. In the corner of the kitchen, by the dining room door was an old wall hung wooden phone with the mouthpiece on the phone box, or whatever they call it, and the ear piece was on a cord that you held up to your ear. There was a crank on the side that you would crank to ring the operator so you could make your call. I remember my dad calling Aunt Shirley one day and telling her that she should put a paper bag over her phone because he was from the phone company and they were going to blow out the lines and might get dust all over her house. She knew the call came from grandma's house and realized it was a prank call from my dad when he hung up the phone, because that phone would make a dinging sound on the other end of the line when it was hung up. I think Uncle Kenny made a lamp out of that old phone. I wonder if he still has it!

I don't know how much space the kitchen had because it had a door on all 4 walls. One from the bedroom, the dining room, the porch and the utility porch where there was a bathroom and a pantry. The porch off the kitchen was a square area. May have been a patio, but could have best been used as a room if it were added into the house. We used to sleep out on that porch or on the grass. I remember one night Charlene and I were sleeping outside watching the falling stars while in sleeping bags. We had the old black dog, I think her name was Lady. She crawled to the bottom of Charlene's sleeping bag and threw up. Seems like that ended our sleep out for that night. Charlene had a cat named Mouser too, but don't know if Mouser lived in that house or in the house higher on the hill.

I think the utility porch was an add on to the house when they put plumbing into the house. It had the bathroom on one end. I may have described the bathroom in one of the other posts, but will do it again because this bathroom was unique. The toilet sat up on a platform and so you had to step up to it to sit on the "throne". The water tank was hung high on the wall with a long pull chain that you pulled to flush the toilet. Interesting. I have only seen one other toilet like that since in an old hotel in Portland, Oregon. The bath tub was footed. (Sat up on feet) The room was not heated except with a space heater, so was a mighty cold room in the winter. As I remember, it was only heated if you took a bath, not if you were just going in there to do your bathroom business. Those were the only things in the bathroom. No sink, just a tub. The door locked with a square iron box with a lever that you pushed on the top of the box. That house must have been built a long long time ago.

I also remember the firetruck coming around on Christmas Eve. Santa rode the firetruck and I was as impressed with him as much as Susie was. He could remember our names. Imagine, Santa remembering all us kids names, boy were we special. Never mind the presents, Santa knew each and everyone of our names!

We were special, we lived in a family that got together allot. Grandma and grandpa's house was where the action was. From the looks of the size of that house today, it must have been busting at the seams. Grandma was happiest when she had her family all together. The bigger it got the better. I don't know about anyone else, but I felt a lot of love during those times. Still go to Kalama for hugs, 'cuz I know that is where I can get them. I still feel special there.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Jansen Memories - Susan Fink

My first memory of G’ma and G’pa Jansen was when we had first moved to Washington and my G’pa Weeks was sick. Mom and daddy left us three kids with g’ma and g’pa Jansen while they went to Nampa, Idaho. When they came back (in the night?), they picked up Chuck and left Karen and I. I felt SO bad they hadn’t taken us. G’ma said they would get us soon…she was probably counting the minutes.

Once when we were staying there…I’m not sure if it was at that time or not…Charlene, Karen and I woke up early…we were sleeping with her - lucky girl. She promised me her Coke a Cola that was in the fridge if I would go ask g’pa if we could get up…I didn’t even like pop, but I idolized aunt Charlene and headed down the stairs. I only got half way down the first time, but she gave me a pep talk and off I went again.

I got clear up to the bed this time…I can still see them sleeping peacefully there…I tried to talk myself into reaching out and touching him, but just couldn’t get up the nerve to wake them up…thank gosh! Charlene was pretty upset with me, but must have gotten over it ‘cause she’s always seemed to like me since.

One day, uncle Pete was teasing me so I told g’ma on him, then he said I was a tattletale and was growing a tail like a monkey. I trotted in to tell g’ma that and she said, “do you see a tail? Now go outside and quit tattling.“ I was shocked that she seemed to side with Pete when he was so ‘mean’.

I can remember that house (the old one) so plainly still. It seemed so big, but whenever I drive by it, I’m so amazed that all those people could fit into it…and it’s been added onto since and is STILL small.

I can remember great grandpa sitting in his chair by the stove. His hair was so white and he always had his cane there.

It was so fun to go there at Christmas. We’d all stand out on the porch and wait for Santa to come on the firetruck. It was so wonderful that he (uncle Kenny) would call out all us kids’ names and wish us a “MERRY CHRISTMAS!!” I still love that memory! It was awesome to a little girl. How lucky we were to have such a GREAT uncle! Thank you, uncle Kenny!

After I got my horse, g’pa made a hackamore and chest strap for my horse out of yellow, nylon rope…boy, did I look classy riding around after that.