Murdo Girl…What’s for dinner Billy?

I’ve talked with some of my family and friends, and they all say they remember very little of their childhood.  One day, the little Murdo Girl, will be happy she had this opportunity to write about the many things she experienced as she was growing up in Murdo. Her children and grandchildren will know what life in Murdo was like during this time in history. It’s been said that God gives us memories so that we might have roses in December. This little girl will have dozens of bouquets, thanks to the good people of Murdo, South Dakota.  


The lady told me I have to save writing about the Sanderson Christmas Eve celebrations until last. Thats okay, because we just got a call.

Billy called us from California. He wanted to tell me a bunch of stories that I should write about. Maybe I will and maybe I won’t.

The last time I was in California, I stayed with our Aunt Vava, and Uncle Bob Bowers. One day, Billy came and got me. He said he was going to take me to dinner, but we had to stop by his house first. Billy is going to college, and he lives in a house with a bunch of other guys. Bob Brewer, Earl Rada, Jim Judd, and Denny Dominicak, are some I know. Everyone except Bob Brewer is from Murdo. They kind of come and go, so I don’t think all of them live there now. Anyway, I hadn’t seen the house they rent before, so I looked around a little. In the front window, they have a pyramid made out of beer cans. That’s about it, for decorations. I was talking to Bob, and I absent-mindedly ran my finger across the furniture. When I started to write my name in the dust, Bob said, “Is there a problem?”

Next, I walked into my brother and Earl’s room. Billy came in and said, “I want you to clean the house before we go to dinner.”

Billy..He looks older than 20 doesn’t he?

I said,”Are you kidding? It would take me two hours to find your bed underneath all the stuff piled on it.” Earl’s was just as bad. He gave me his, you’re really just a bratty little sister, look. “Besides,” I said. “It’s way past dinnertime and I’m hungry.” Then he got his, I’m the boss of you, smile on his face. “In California, dinner is supper,” he said.

I did his stupid pile of dishes, and hung up some clothes. Finally, we got in his car to go eat. He said, “How do you feel about the Golden Arches?” It sounded pretty nice to me. The next thing I knew, we were at McDonalds. Murdo doesn’t have McDonalds, so I didn’t know what to expect. I loved it!! I think Billy knew I would.

I should have remembered people in California call dinner lunch and supper dinner.  Once, My cousin Valerie and I stayed with my Aunt Margarete, and Uncle Bill Turner. They have a swimming pool in the backyard, so Valerie and I loved it there. On the first day, we swam all morning. I came in the house for a minute, and I smelled something really good cooking. Aunt Margarete said we were having spaghetti for dinner. Around noon, she called us inside to eat. I looked at my plate, and there was a cold minced ham sandwich on it. I don’t like sandwiches much, and I hate minced ham. I said, “I thought we were having spaghetti for dinner.” She said, “We are.” That was the first time I’d heard anybody call their dinner, lunch.

My Uncle showed us how to eat cheese. You’re supposed to roll it around in your mouth, and kind of mush it up. He called it, “mastication.” I only like that kind of cheese a little better than minced ham, but it was kind of interesting to watch.

We also got to go with Walt Disney’s brother, Ray to the premier of a new movie called  Moon Spinners, with Haley Mills. We had to dress up and everything, but it was worth it.


President Kennedy’s funeral was today, and we watched it on TV. I don’t think I’ll hear”Hail to the Chief,” again without thinking of this day. Mrs. Kennedy looked stricken, but she didn’t cry. Carolyn and John John looked so little standing next to their Mom. They wore matching little blue coats, and John John saluted as the casket and the riderless horse went by. I’m sure the President taught him how to salute.

Mom said if I want to remember all of this history in the making, I should start a scrapbook. I also got a really nice poster of President Kennedy. I looked around, and the only frame I could find that the picture would fit in, was a big one with a picture of Grandma and Grandpa Sanderson in it. They were standing in front of their car. I wonder why back in the day, everyone had their picture taken in front of their car.

I put President Kennedy’s picture in the frame and hung it in my room. When I showed Mom she said, “You had better not let Grandpa Sanderson see that. Grandpa doesn’t like Democrats, and he’s a faithful Methodist. The Kennedys are Democrats and  Catholics.” I don’t think Grandpa will be bothered by it. I really like this picture.

File:John F Kennedy Official Portrait.jpg
President John F. Kennedy

some pictures that I love

1) Stephanie and John Davis,  2) Stephanie, Mark, Valerie, Mary, Greg, and Andrea

3) Valerie Leckey Halla with Aunt Elna Miller

1) Valerie, Aunt Elna, Andrea, Uncle Jerry    2) Aunt Irma and Valerie

I should have named this…Valerie gets around

Anyway, this is my life story so far. Next month, I will be twelve.


3 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…What’s for dinner Billy?

    • Mary Francis McNinch April 23, 2016 / 10:15 pm

      It might have been Roy, but Ray was older, and the guy who was Bill Turner’s friend was pretty old. What did Bill do for a living?


  1. Valerie Halla April 21, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    I love that you shared our trip to Turner’s and that movie premier! Good picture of Billy with that cap! He looks about 30. Thanks for sharing lots of pictures with me in them! Good point that sharing these stories will be handed down to grandkids and kids. Even though we cannot remember all that happened in Murdo and beyond at this time in history, we have pretty strong recollections and a bond developed with the 13 special cousins and our family! Thanks, girl! Murdo holds our roots.


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