Homemade Ice Cream: Memories of a Childhood on the Family Farm

A woman recalls homemade ice cream, and other pleasures of growing up on her family farm in Harper, Kansas

| Good Old Days

When I was growing up we lived on our family farm near Harper, Kansas, and later moved into town, where my father worked for the Santa Fe depot.

My mother's folks lived on a farm near Manchester, Oklahoma, so we went there often as children. A few miles north was Uncle Victor, my dad's brother, and his family. There were three children: two boys and a girl. One of the boys was my age, and the other boy was my brother's age.

We went to Uncle Victor's farm nearly every weekend. They made homemade ice cream with an old-time ice cream freezer that we had to turn by hand. Nothing was as good as that ice cream!

We went to church at the Rosedale Community Church. I was born about one-half mile south of there on December 10, 1911. The church was built with the door in the front part, so that when you came in everybody could see you. You wouldn't dare be late and walk in with everyone watching you! My mom said it was built like that so folks wouldn't have to turn around to see who was coming in.

My father had played a guitar since he was 16 years old, and Uncle Victor played the guitar too, so when we went to Manchester, Dad loaded the guitar in the car, an old Model T sedan, with all of us kids. My mother really got tired of being so crowded in that car.

Grandpa Bennett lived two miles south of Uncle Victor, and he had a high hill out in his pasture. As kids, we would climb to the top of that hill, and on a clear summer day we could see several towns around. One time I rolled halfway down the hill while my dad and uncle were at the foot watching. They just laughed and laughed at the sight, but I didn't think it was so funny.

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