youth on the farm / wartime


memories from margaret about brother john "pinky" anderson (nickname pinky because of his fair skin )

those were the days john crooned a la perry como, frankie and bing to me and the brown swiss cows between smacking the stubborn ones to stand still and schmoozing the calm ones. john an i did the hay crop, i recall, using the john deere tractor - paul preferred horses.

there was that old 1930's chevy coupe that john kept alive during world war II while he was holding the front on the farm. i recall a story about his coasting down the hill to the gas station in fort dodge because he was out of gas. (the car had belonged to almeda, she may have been in detroit so left him the car. she worked for the fbi, secretary).

in high school, john was a cheerleader with someone shorter than he - "pooker" barnum and friend keith nelson, who parents ran the theatre, so john "hung out" there while keith did the popcorn.

john and i wound up being college students at the same time, because of the war delaying his education, john at ames and i at iowa city. i remember john sending the laundry case home each week for mom to do - can you believe that?! shirts had to be starched and ironed. (see dictionary for those definitions!) i probably learned to iron on john's shirts.

john belonged to a fraternity for strategic reasons. post war companionship - he'd been excluded from the "glories" of service. but also financially advantageous - he made deals to sell corsages for his fellow fraternity brother's dates.

the bicycle was john's prize possession. i think he probably had to weed the potato patch all summer to earn the money for it. he rode me on the handle bars, on the gravel road. later, he taught me to ride when i was too big to be ridden. i recall he put me on it and pushed it down the little hill from the front gate south to the driveway. i think i learned because i don't remember falling.


looks like the front yard was the setting for picture taking, when dressed up and ready to go someplace.