Murdo Girl….Problems solved

I’ve been reading the little Murdo Girl’s paper today, and I don’t know what to say.  There’s got to be a moral to this story somewhere. At least, maybe, there is a good point to be made, something we can all learn from, or maybe not.

I have been encouraging her to try out new words. I noticed she has added… her vocabulary.


California grapefruit, Arizona cactus. We play Draper just for practice..New York’s a city, Murdo’s a town. White River’s only a hole in the ground. Yea Murdo!!

The boys start playing basketball in the fourth grade, so the class votes for cheerleaders too. Guess what? I’m a cheerleader. We only have 7 games, but you’ve gotta start somewhere.

We get to stay for a while after school to practice our cheers. Last week, we practiced in the 8th grade classroom, which is upstairs. The 4th and 6th grade rooms are up there too. Mrs. Lathrop teaches 6th grade. She taught my Dad, and a bunch of our relatives too.  This old school-house is starting to get kind of rickety. The building has been here awhile. Murdo doesn’t have kindergarten, so we go here 1st through 8th grade, then we go to the High school. It’s pretty old too, but our auditorium is newer and we love it.


Murdo High School, and a very old picture of my Mom, a member of the Murdo Pep Band.  Mom told me, you can use your fingers to make the picture of her bigger, but I’m reluctant to do that.

Anyway, the 8th grade teacher is Mr. Pickner, and he’s not someone you want to get in trouble with, because he’s also the Principal. His Principal’s office is one flight of stairs down, and right under where his desk sits in the 8th grade room.

1-1-Murdo High School


If you asked me why..oh ..why did we practice in the 8th grade room, I wouldn’t be able to give you a good answer. I still can’t believe what happened.

I’m learning how to do cartwheels, and I’m getting pretty good. I was practicing on the platform where Mr. Pickner’s desk sits, and I flubbed and landed really hard. I heard the sound of breaking boards from down below. It was a crashing sound. Imagine my reluctance, as I walked down the stairs to see what had happened.

Well, it wasn’t good. I looked in the Principal’s office and I saw boards hanging from the ceiling. The broken light fixture was sort of swinging back and forth, and there was stuff all over the floor. I could hardly breathe. I hurried out of there and went home.

This incident happened on Friday, so I had to worry about it all day Saturday, and all day Sunday. By Sunday night, I realized how sick I was. I wasn’t able to go to school on Monday. In fact, I couldn’t go Tuesday either. I didn’t want to go Wednesday, but Mom said she was going to take me to see Dr. Murphy. I didn’t want to have to get a shot or anything, so I decided to recover and go to school. I was just going to have to face the music.

I’m on the left, and I like this picture of Valerie, Andrea and me. I can never see very well when Mom takes the pictures

When I got there, I had to go up the stairs, right past the Principal’s office, to get to my room. I sort of glanced in, and I couldn’t  believe my eyes. Except for needing some paint, it had all been fixed. No one ever said a word about it. Elaine (Magnuson), and Vicki (Esmay), didn’t get asked about it, so they didn’t have to tell. The only bad thing? I wasted two sick days.

I’ll tell you one thing we like to do on the week-ends. Last Saturday, Cynthia Bork and my cousin Stephanie came over to play house. We didn’t get Mom’s gowns out of the trunk this time, because she was home.

We have three areas in our basement that work pretty well for pretend houses. On one end, there is a bar with a counter and running water. It also has a table and booth. The bathroom  has running water too, but it’s pretty small. It has a door though, which is nice. The other area has a couch and 2 chairs. It doesn’t have water, or a door, but it’s the biggest.

We ran into a problem on Saturday. There were three of us, and only two pairs of high heels. We started to get into a big fight over it. Mom heard us, and came downstairs. I told her that one of us was going to have to go without high heels, and no one wanted to be that person. Well, Mom had a good idea. She said, “One of you has to play like you’re pregnant, because pregnant women can’t wear high heels.” I didn’t know that, but it makes sense. There might even be a law against high heels on pregnant women.

We got some pillows and belted them around our waist, then pinned towels around the pillows. We decided we all wanted to be pregnant, so we didn’t even use the heels at first. It got even more fun, because we got our dolls, and we took turns having the baby, and as long as one of us stayed pregnant, we had enough high heels.

I know these are pretty long stories, but Mom says, “If you’re going to tell a story, you just as well make it good.” It’s all true anyway.

Have you noticed I haven’t said much about Billy? He’s working at Sanderson’s Store. He gets to slide back and forth on the ladder, and either put things up on the shelf, or takes them down for customers. Some of the ladies in town don’t like him to work there, because Billy has to call Mom as soon as Gene Thomas’s corn comes in. Then Mom, and Aunt Elna, and one or two of their friends make him reserve it all, before anyone else has a chance to buy any.

The one on the left is Billy, I don’t know who the guy on the right is.

Once in a while he has difficult customers, who make him get up and down the sliding ladder a lot. They have to look at everything, and can’t decide what they want. One day Billy and another worker named Roy Hoke, were back in the storage area working. It’s a small world, because Roy is related to the Jaide’s. Lois Jaide is Dad’s bookkeeper. Anyway, they heard two ladies come in. It was Ruth Nyquist and Edith Carlson. They take the longest of just about anybody. Billy told us, when Roy saw them, he shook his head and said, “Well, here comes another harrowing experience.”

2-Loretta Gustafson's Life in Photos 006

This is my Mom and Sugar Nyquist Parker…Ruth’s daughter, They were super young in this picture..Sugar and the Sanderson girls are like sisters

I have to quit now and put my school clothes on so I can go to bed. It’s still working out pretty good, and I get to sleep a lot longer in the mornings.

I hope Mr. Pickner doesn’t read this, or it’ll be all over but the shouting.

1-IMG_20160330_0006_NEW This is me before I started wearing my school clothes to bed

10 thoughts on “Murdo Girl….Problems solved

  1. Rob Sayler April 8, 2016 / 6:53 pm

    Wow – I am on the VERY young end of these stories but just the mention of the names you tell stories about makes me smile😀! I’m old enough to have visited Doc Murphy more than once. The youngest time (and I don’t remember this) was when my mom slipped on the ice near Mack’s Cafe while carrying me. I was all of two. She was ok – but somehow I broke my ankle. If in any way I helped to cushion her fall, I am extremely happy for that. We lost her to a brain aneurism when I was about 6 years old – but her spirit has been with me every day of my life. Thanks for the stories – they help to confirm all if the GOOD memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch April 8, 2016 / 7:02 pm

      Thank you Rob, That’s my hope. To confirm all the good memories, and there are many.


    • lifelessons April 7, 2018 / 10:20 pm

      Rob, what were your mom and dad’s names? The name Saylor sounds familiar but I’m trying to place it. Was there a man named Toughie Saylor? Was he related to you? Loooong time ago.


  2. countrygirl57 April 8, 2016 / 8:13 pm

    So on Sunday did you wear your church clothes to bed??😊😊❤️❤️

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  3. stellerson April 8, 2016 / 8:23 pm

    I thought those were your school clothes!!

    Liked by 1 person

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