Do not take this apart an get it mixed up

February 28, 1992

Dear Folks

Got you letter a few weeks ago, an now looking for a letter from you an it did come.  Was so glad to hear from you , as I been thinking a lot of all the things you ask about.  I will answer all things you ask about as I like to talk about the times then, yes Allen worked in that paper mill for either 16 or 18 years an he had that minister work as a side line job too, an as the years went by he got more involved with it an built a church too then after he retired he worked at it steady then.  Yes Ray Allen he is a minister too as he didn't want to go an work like I did.  I am an operator, I have been on many big machines in my life, I worked on many big wheat farms I'm a cabinet maker learned it on construction work.  I'm a plumber put in my own bathroom.  Done all the work myself.  I'm a mechanic, overhauled my first car back home on farm, the biggest wheat farm I worked on was 10,000 acres of wheat land 19 miles east of Great Falls an punch a time clock every night an morning.  It was greatest experience of my life.  When they seed grain out there each drill is 10 foot wide an they have 10 drills behind a D-9 Caterpillar, the biggest cat made.  10 drills is a 100 foot wide.  Then they have two big international trucks one with grain on it an the other with fertilizer on it.  One man drives the truck and back of the drills they have a platform two foot wide.  One man handles the grain spout an fill the drills all machine operated.  Maybe I told you some of this already.  It's hard for me to remember everything of what I have wrote about.  I wrote a letter to a neighbor girl I went to school with.  Our closest neighbor back home.  I knew the boy she married an they bought the 160 acre farm across the road from our farm an I put a stamp addressed letter in my letter an 3 sheets of paper so they could write back to me an tell me all the news.  They kept the letter I wrote and sent back the stamped addressed letter with no writing.  Wouldn't write nothing.  Her oldest sister wrote me about Allen had died.  Remember I told you in my letter an her oldest sister wrote me 2 or three letters telling me of many of the kids I went to school with are dead last winter.  I sent her a xmas card an letter an never got no answer.  I asked if she died too, they wouldn't say nothing.  Yes on this big wheat farm.  Anyway, I like to talk about it because they had 4 big cats like I told you, an they had two woodscapline rubber tires, 8 wheelers, wheels an tires six feet high, air condition, automatic.  They had 13 tractors altogether.  Now to your questions.  Again, yes when we stayed at grammas house an went to school in Niobe we went over to flecktens many times.  I remember Ruth an Clifford, Art, an Mr. Mrs. Flectens.  They had a big house an barn at that home at the edge of town in Niobe.  I never was out to there farm.  Then you ask about Agnes.  In the last few years she has written to me.  So in the years she has wrote an sent us xmas cards an letters when Bill her husband was alive, you said Agnes is the only one left.  Did Loyd pass away too.  He was on his folks farm - Mr. Mrs. Lewie Nelson they sent me a nice picture of themselves when they were in their late 60's or their early 70's.  A 5x7 picture we had it here for many years then I sent it back to Loyd on the farm an told him to give it to his grand kids.  Lillian Mogran wrote a lot of letters to us till she died an Ellen Prop wrote a lot of letters to us too.  Now then I'm going to talk about Uncle Victor, an my dad, an my Uncle Albert, an also Annie.  I always had in my mind that they were all born in Sweden.  So in the later years when Uncle Victor was in the rest home in Noone, North Dakota, that's in North Eastern North Dakota, when Victor Died.  Lillian Mogren cut the clipping out of the paper an sent it to me an it said in there that they were born an raised on a farm at Rennville, Minnesota.  This is about 75 miles west of Minneapolis in Rennville County.  I looked it up in my world atlas book of maps an the state of Minnesota if it wasn't for Lillian Mogran I sould have never known this.  So 65 to 70 years have gone by an a lot of changes have been made.

I just read you letter over again about Walter's wife.  She married the second time many years ago an he died too.  I heard she is in the rest home now.  you said in your letter that Walter's kids don't seem to be interested in answering your letters.  Just consider you're self lucky.  I told Walter's kids to stay to hell away from my place.  I don't want them around here.  Walter an his wife was the most sickening two people I ever met.  That woman of his didn't give a damn for anything.  The kids took the dishes, everything out of the house, blankets knives an forks outside an play in the mud an dirt.  Broke up dishes everything an broke all the windows out of the house, the most worthless woman I ever seen.  Me, I'm so particular with everything in my life an then have some person like this in the family.  Don't write to them an don't say a word of what I'm writing about, because I know the jacks.  Yes, with all them kids they had one hell of a time.  They give me an mother a bad time for 20 years.  When they got married they made their own responsibilities.  Walter's oldest daughter came here with a few letters here last summer.  They owed a $2000.00 tax bill.  I took all her letters an fired them all back to her.  She sent a letter here one time, said that she was coming here to visit.  I told her that she's not welcome here.  If you ever come here and use your big mouth on me or make any threats on my life like your mother did, I'll call the police.  Here mother came here an threatened to blow my brains out, back in the fifties.  This is my home - an if I can't live in peace - I'll call the police.  I watch the national news every evening with Dan Rather.  Last night said i Houston, Texas last year there was 670 people murdered.  There people are afraid to go out after dark.  They are buying guns for protection.  Last week Dan Rather said there was 141,000 people murdered in U.S. last year.  That guy that killed all them 15 people in Milwaukee, such evil people.  It was on the TV news here, one girl at the trial had a sister that he took her life an she went wild in the court room, 3 or 4 law men had to cal her down, it's just awful.  When we were back home on the farm we were up to visit Charlie, Gramma, Emil, Geneva, Maxine an Victor.  I worked their twice and Allen worked there once.  An not once did they ever talk about you an your sister.  An never did come there an visit once.  An I wondered many times where you were living.  Once in a while they would say things about your mother that she lived in Morehead, Minnesota.  I never knew nothing about you till you wrote your first letter here.  There is so many things to write about yet.  It snowed 1/10 of an inch down to 12 above this morning.  The 21 first today's.  It's supposed to be 45 above today an southwest winds.

It sure is terrible here, nearly every week I pick up the Great Falls Tribune there is so many people dying with cancer here.  There is a man here who had the biggest second hand store in town .  He has his Bro who takes care of the cashier in the office building.  An he takes care of the yard work himself and helps the people in the yard load there things that they buy.  Well, three months ago his Bro had to go see a doctor.  The doctor said he had cancer.  I was over there today an asked him how his bro is.  He died an he was buried last Tuesday the 18th.  In three months he is dead.  The weather is nice here again, yesterday it was 50 above an southwest winds.  Snow is all gone.  Yes, I'll have to say it again, this is the greatest winter that I have ever seen in my life.  This cooler weather we have had  here.  Now is still nice down to 12 an 20 above at night.  Nearly all winter I have turned my heat out when I go to bed at night.  In October we got our first snow fall, about 5 inches.  The temperature went down below zero an I thought we were in for a tough winter.  Then in a few days it turned out nice an melted all the snow off an its been nice ever since.  Now I want to talk about Uncle Albert.  Mother said he was quite a boy around with the girls.  I never got to see him.  I suppose you didn't either.  Then World War I started an he was drafted into the army an sent to a big training camp in Texas.  That's where Allen was send in World War 2.  There was thousands of men there.  Then Uncle Albert got sick there  go pneumonia an Gramma Johnson went down to see him an he died there then.  First are Grampa Bodeen got killed on the threshing crew when they were threshing.  Mother said he got squashed some how.  That was all we knew about it.  Then my dad got sick an died at 32 years old.  I asked my mother how come he died so young.  She said when they lived on the farm in Rennville in Minnesota he had some kind of sickness an had laid in bed for 5 or 6 weeks unconscious.  Then he came out of it an this weakened his heart an kidneys an he died from Brights disease.  An mother said when gramma Johnson lost her husband all very close together said she cried something pitiful and she screamed when dad an Uncle Albert died too.  So it was hard for her.  I had my birthday the 30th of Dec. 1991 - so am now going on 77.  I suppose you an me are about the same age.  It was 69 degrees here yesterday.  Sometime when you write back an tell me if Ray Allen ever got married, I have been on the letter for may days.

A friend of mine took a picture of me in 1989.  I'm having another one made to send to you to keep.  She said it had to go way down to Texas to get developed.  So when I send you that picture of me I'll write another letter of what we went through back home on the farm an the terrible depression an 10 years of dust storms.  I'm sending you a picture of this indian woman who lived to be 107 years old.  She lived at Browning, Montana close to Glacier National Park.  This sure is amazing to live that long.  My best wishes to you all - love

Clarence Bodeen