Skis, Hip Boots And A Pup
Top: Donald (left) and Marjory (right) with skis.
Bottom left: Donald with Perley and Umpkins, 1932.
Bottom right: Donald on dappled gray horse, another Molly, circa 1933. The chaps are the angora goat chaps that Bennie bought to keep his legs warm when he delivered mail during World War I.
Excerpt from Donald B. Johnson manuscript:
"We sent to Montgomery Wards for a pair of 'quarter-sawed, seven-foot ash skis' for $4.75. (We still have them, too.) I only had toe straps, but I made a ski jump out of snow on the hill that is in the north yard now and got so I could go off a three-foot (or higher) jump wearing four-buckle overshoes and just the toe straps. I felt like I was made of rubber and never thought of such a thing as getting hurt, no matter what I fell off -- skis or bucking horses, or anything." [17.125-2]
"We got Perley the second fall we went to school from the farm. One of the kids we walked with told us to stop in at Hoffs' on the way home. The Moseng kids had brought a pup home from somewhere and their folks wouldn't let them keep it, so they had taken it down to Hoffs' and left it. Hoffs didn't want it either, so they convinced us we should take it home.
"We took the little black and white roly-poly female pup home. We didn't know how it would go over, either, so we opened the kitchen door, put her in, and shut the door again.
"Ma was ironing and I guess the pup wiggled and wobbled and looked so cute and happy coming across the floor toward her that she couldn't have said no if she had tried. Then we opened the door and started campaigning, 'Can we keep it?' over and over. [17.133-1]
"Pa said they had a dog called Perley when he was a kid, so that's what we called her. We thought she was the most wonderful dog, because she had seven or eight pups twice a year. We would save one or two of them and they were the cutest and cuddliest pups. It was always a problem to give them away when they got to the 'awkward age.'" [17.133-2]
"When Perley got older and the pheasants got thick, she got pretty good at smelling them out and was crazy to hunt. But if I shot a duck or pheasant and it landed in the water five feet from shore she wouldn't get her feet wet and go after it." [17.133-5]
"With Perley being so scared of water I had to shoot ducks [only] on shallow water where I could reach them with hip boots." [22.153-2]
"When I first started fishing I saved all my money and sent for a pair of hip boots for $7. They were my pride and joy and I treated them better than my Sunday suit. One of the Knutson kids walked up to our place, barefooted, in the rain and mud. He said his dad wanted to borrow my boots to fence out in the lake.
"I wouldn't even have thought of using my new boots for that -- and take a chance of snagging them. But when the kid said he planned to wear them home, that was the last straw. No! I would have killed him if he had stuck his muddy feet into my boots." [22.140-3]