Stories about the farm.

Young Kenny’s Shoe Saga

CHAPTER ONE THE SAGA OF THE ANTI-NIKE FOR LIFE A little brother’s dream trip to Burlington In the winter of 1956 or thereabouts, when I was in the first grade, my family went on a shopping trip to Burlington, Colorado. It was a big city to me, full of wondrous things, and I was extremely …

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Herman Santala’s Passing

In the wee hours of a chilly autumn morning, our Mama (Helen Santala Pickens) woke up my brother Kenny and me, where we were sleeping together upstairs in the old farmhouse north of Flagler, Colorado. Mama told us that our Grandpa, her father Herman Santala, was very ill and that our Daddy (William Charles Pickens) …

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The Hugo Municipal Pool

Hugo’s little-known Tornado

I was being pelted by sand the size of BB pellets, thousands of them hitting me at once. Mommy screamed at me to get into the car, it’s a tornado…

picture of an old crank telephone.

Telephones in my life, and how they have changed.

My first telephone call: When I was really young, I remember that going into town to call my grandmother in Kansas was a very special adventure. I don’t remember what particular occasion was tied to my first memory of this, perhaps our trip to Kansas for Christmas. We didn’t have a phone at the farm in those days so when we needed talk to someone by telephone, we would have to make the long 14 mile trip into the small town of Flagler, Colorado.

A recent picture of the old chicken house.

The Old Chicken House & Things South

As far back as I could remember, the chicken house was just an old, ugly building that no one could see. For the usual visitors to the farm, it was hidden from view by the house and by the trees around it, and, of course, by the well house and the barn. And the chicken house smelled to high heaven!…

The Old Bunkhouse

The old bunkhouse on our farm was a house that had been moved from one of the country schools near our farm. I think the teachers had lived in this house while teaching at the country school. There were two rooms in the house, probably for two teachers at the school, so that the students …

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The Pickens Barn

The old barn on our farm had an interesting story. When I was in the fifth grade my teacher, Mr. Dorsey, told me that he had grown up on a homestead (a farm still held by the family of the first settlers) four miles south of our house. He said that long before my family …

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The Old Well House

The well house had originally been a barn at one of the rural schools north of us, before it was moved and re-purposed. As I will explain, it eventually enclosed a new water storage tank that was supplied by a new well and windmill that Daddy put in after he moved to the farm from …

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Larissa meets her Mischievous Uncle Bruce

Marilyn remembers best about the photo with Uncle Bruce is that it was taken one afternoon when Larissa was extremely fussy (probably from those teeth coming in) and she absolutely, positively did not want to take a nap.

Gary as a Thespian

In a little-known appearance as a thespian, Gary Pickens appeared in the Flagler High School Junior Class Play, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, adapted by John G. Fuller. The play was presented on March 26th and 27th. Gary appeared in the second performance, as the redoubtable (if blundering) knight named Sir Sagramor. This …

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