Those 70ish girls…Ruth and Edith..Gathering reminiscing

By Lav and MG

Many, many years ago, Ruth came from Sweden to our little town of Murdo to marry Carl Nyquist. Maybe Ruth’s maiden name was Carlson as that was her spinster sister, Edith’s last name. Ruth brought Edith with her. They were very close sisters.

Lav and I might not get all the details of this story correct, but we’ll do our best.

Anyway, Carl owned a farm North of Murdo where he and Ruth settled into married life and raised their only child, Mildred, who we always knew as Sugar. Sugar went to school with and was great friends with Lav’s mom, Ella, and my mom, Loretta.

The Nyquists eventually moved to a little house in Murdo. It was white with red trim. Edith always wore red rimmed glasses. Probably just a coincidence. There are many funny stories about Edith and Ruth who referred to herself as Zee (meaning I or me in her delightful Swedish accent.)

We all loved the Nyquists, but we confess that we got a real kick out of their accents and often told stories about funny things they said or did. Billy recently recounted a story about Ruth and sister Edith from long ago when he worked at Sandersons General Store with another young man. Billy and Roy Hauck were in the back of the store restocking and didn’t see the sisters walk through the big front door. They suddenly looked up to see them saunter in, purses on their arms, dressed up for a “town trip”. Roy looked over at Bill and said, “Get ready for another harrowing experience.”

At the Mesa Gathering Patti Dykstra Arnieri told another story from when her parents and Nyquists attended a movie back in the day. Ruth and Carl were sitting behind Patti’s parents at the movie in Draper. Evidently the bad guy was doing something. Ruth said, “Oh, you tink he get avay vit it Cahl?” Carl replied, “Nooo, he von’t get avay vit it.”

Once, when Sugar was in town, Mom invited the 3 ladies to lunch. Mom had just learned how to make tacos which were kind of a new thing to Murdo. I think Pierre may have had a Taco John’s by then. When Mom excitedly announced she had made tacos, Ruth announced, “Zee don’t like Taaacos.”

This story was contributed by Gus. Sugar told him about her mother turning on the gas stove before walking across the room to get a match. By the time she got back to the stove and lit it, the flame was high with a loud, “POOF!” Ruth looked at the rather horrified Sugar and said, “It do dat!”

My Mom, Ella told a story of their sweet Murdo friend nicknamed Sugar, Mildred Nyquist, standing up to Loretta during WWII when a Murdo group had an apartment together in California. Billy was just a baby when his Dad was away in the Army overseas. Loretta, a new mother, couldn’t keep up with all the cloth diapers. She got behind and the smell of dirty and wet diapers was getting overpowering.  Sugar was a calm gal, but she stood up to Loretta and wasn’t going to mince words. She let Loretta have it, telling her in no uncertain terms, she had better take care of all the cloth diapers, do laundry and get to work. Loretta was seething. She had a new baby, plus  she was recovering from a cesarean operation. Her frustration boiled over, and she had an immediate response for Sugar’s complaint. When Sugar was away at work, Loretta took an especially stinky cloth diaper and put it under Sugar’s pillow on her bed covering up the pillow with the blanket and bedspread, returning the bed as though nothing had been disturbed. I never heard the end result. However, I think Sugar was the one boiling mad after that trick and probably let Loretta know what she thought quickly returning the nasty diaper to her. The Sanderson girls were strong, lifelong friends with Sugar until her passing.

Loretta Sanderson and Sugar Nyquist before the diaper incident.
Sugar Nyquist and George Parker on their wedding day.
George and Sugar 50 years later. Sugar had her mother, Ruth’s pretty skin.
Sisters Elna Miller, Ella Lecky, Loretta Gustafson, and their friend, Sugar Parker
Sugar with Billy and Liz Francis
Sugar with her big kitty

One thought on “Those 70ish girls…Ruth and Edith..Gathering reminiscing

  1. Valerie Halla February 24, 2023 / 8:41 pm

    Such great stories coming to life about this sweet Nyquist Family. Thank you.


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