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.