My father, Cecil Piper, born in 1899 in Black Diamond, Kansas was full of stories of his life and times. I could never get enough of them. I am sorry today for any I did not hear, or heard and have slipped through a crack in my memory. I do recall him saying that store-bought butter was unaffordable at 10 cents a pound for his family of 14 siblings. It was a good thing that his mother churned her own.
I was born in 1932. As a young child, I felt as if I were born in the wrong times — I felt as if I should be living in my father’s time. The Piper’s homestead in Flagstaff, Arizona was the place I loved to go to spend the summers. Up to 1945 two irons at a time were heated on the kitchen’s wood stove for pressing clothes, as was the water for the big round tub to bathe in in the kitchen where it was warm at night, or you could bath in the horses’ watering trough on a hot day. Now and then a water truck came to fill the cistern if rain was scarce, then the red pump to pump it out for use in the house; we used the outhouse during the day, the chambermaid during the night; kerosene lamps for reading the Bible, the RCA Victrola for music to dance by.
These recollections and more are why writing for the People of the Past excites me. They take me back to my childhood homestead and even now, I could never get too much of that.
– Gloria Piper Roberson