Ed Pool and the back of the store
- memory clips from Winona Duncan Snell [written in response to queries about the origins of some relics from "the back of the store."]
...After my grandfather died in 1934, Uncle Ed and my Grandmother kept the store running until it was sold to your father. [Ed Pool was Mrs. Duncan's brother - rrs]
Uncle Ed worked on the railroad gang that rode the little hand-pumped section cart up and down the rails looking for repairs that needed to be made and making them. He must not have had much in the way of retirement funds. I don't know the circumstances.
The Ed Pool house was a block north and a block east of the store. It was still standing in 1999. Diagonally across the ball field from the store. Uncle Ed and Aunt Susie still lived there when I left in 1937. At that time it was one of the most attractive places in town. It was always painted. It had a fenced in yard with pretty flowers growing around the house. The house was kept as neat as a pin.
Their home was filled with beautiful furniture, part of which the Pools had brought when they moved to Nebraska from Michigan.
...When I visited my cousin, Patsy Duncan Laughridge in Ocean Springs, MS, in 1997, I slept in the bedroom that has Uncle Ed's bedroom furniture in it....
...There is a little table in the room that came from my grandmother's living quarters at the back of the store. It was made from the washstand that stood in the kitchen. It was just behind the door from the store to the back on the right side. Handy to come wash hands frequently when working in the store. My grandmother cooked on a kerosene stove in that little kitchen. There was a tall standing cupboard for foodstuffs.
The pump from the cistern is in the hands of V. Todd Stover as of 1999.
Just outside the kitchen, in plain view from the window, was a cistern. There was a metal dumb-waiter that was dropped down into the cistern (not into the water, I don't think, but below ground level where it would be cooler). The butter and some kinds of food were kept there. This was before refrigeration. I remember having gone out there and brought it up to get butter for the table. I think there was a hand pump for bringing up water to use, too, along the edge. The cistern caught rain water, I guess. There weren't nearly so many pollutants in the air and in the soil in those days. The water was collected from draining off the roof, I guess. That would bring a lot of dust, but I guess it would settle to the bottom as silt and leave the water at the top pretty clear. One could not use water that way today, but this was before commercial fertilizers and pesticides were used on the farms, too.
There were very few tractors. Most machinery was horse-drawn. There were fewer automobiles. The water must have been safe. Grandpa Duncan worked in that store until three days before his death from congestive heart failure when he was 80 years old.
...One time when I was home to visit my folks, Grammie Duncan and Aunt Nell Piderit were living in the back of the store building. Will Piderit, the watchmaker in Ravenna, had died, and the two sisters were together for a while. Then, I guess they moved Grandma to Ravenna and Aunt Nell went to live with Beulah Shellenbarger Bliss (a niece she had raised after Grandma and Nell's sister died in childbirth.)
Edison Victrola from the back of the store - probably left by the Duncans
I guess it was after Grandma Duncan and Aunt Nell Piderit moved out that Ed and Susie Pool moved into the back of the store. I never saw them there, but I did visit them once in the home where they were being cared for in Kearney.
...I always wondered what happened to Grandma's phonograph and organ. It is good to know. [The organ from the "back of the store" is in the hands of Kerwin Stover (1999) - the phonograph in the hands of (author) Rod Stover.]
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