Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

Rocky Mountain Adventure Gear - For all Your Motorized and Non-Motorized Adventures!

By Iriey Anderson
Seeley-Swan High School, Grade 11 

Great Grandma Leita

Series: Junior Journal | Story 19

Photo provided.

Iriey Anderson

We parked our Model As in October

And couldn't drive them until May

Horses and wagons took their place

The Old Condon Highway was all we had to travel on

With snow up to the horse's shoulders

Almost a century ago

Sleigh riding parties

All the people in the world seemed to be there

But there were maybe five families

On 27 Hill

Deer hide was the way to go

Pots of chili and Mrs. Hulett's big barrel heater

Almost a century ago

Mom washed our clothes every Monday

With water we hauled from the Swan River

Fighting and arguing

Pushing and shoving

Only half a bucket would make it home

90 miles south to Missoula

65 miles north to Kalispell

Maybe two trips a year

If we ran out

We went to the neighbors and borrowed some

Back then we could shoot all the deer we wanted

Nobody seemed to care

We lived off the land

Almost a century ago

A green Model A pickup

Just learning to drive

Steep hills, a bridge and a creek

A mother weakened with polio

Stuck beneath the wreck

And two small sisters

Running to neighbors for help

An accident I won't forget

Salmon Prairie School

A one-room schoolhouse with six kids and an outhouse

A teacher that played Cops and Robbers

I never learned anything

I was the first of four generations

Almost a century ago

382 dollars saved

10 dollars for a gold ring

And 10 dollars to marry

One month for mom to make my dress

A keg of beer and an all night dance

Or we were shivareed

Married at 19

Three kids at 24

Widowed at 53

Six great grandkids at 72

One son gone at 77

Some dreams unreached

But a life very much lived

It's been nearly a century

And she wouldn't change a thing if she could.


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