Dora the explorer traveled the Upper Midwest
Dora Schlicting and me have many mutual friends, so hearing her story was great. Dora was born to Emil and Gerdila Holmquist on a farm in Bartlett Township, 5 miles east of Bertha. She had three brothers. She is 95.
Dora finished school in District 113, then helped out at home and for neighbors until she met Arthur Schlicting. They were married in 1942. For the first 20 years they lived on the Schlicting farm. It is noteworthy that for the past three generations only Schlictings have owned and farmed that land.
Then Art bought a smaller place, where they lived until they retired to a house in Bertha. Art passed away in 1979.
Since Dora raised a young stepson, Irvin, whose mother had died, she became a mother. Then a proud grandmother and great-grandmother. Now, she is even a great-great-grandmother!
In almost every instance, I can find a way to relate to the person with whom I am writing. Maybe we both trudged to country schools somewhere, which I did for two years, or we made items out of printed feed sacks in the 50s, as well as the Great Depression years -- always good for a few stories.
Dora said during those years dessert, using sugar, was not a part of every meal. The family decided they didn't need whatever was unavailable. She thinks farmers fared better than anyone else.
We talked about the trips we took on a tour bus. They were fun, with motel rooms waiting, luggage taken care of, and interesting things planned along with making new friends.
Dora took trips to Nashville, Branson, Calgary in Canada and to Jasper, as far north as one can go. She saw Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Dells, where goats grazed on the roof of one restaurant.
If Old Father Time was not such a tough task master, was willing to deal a bit now and then, Dora would like to have gone one more time, when the cherry trees were in bloom in Washington, D.C.
Dora recalls that she and Art did the farm work together. They had no traumatic happenings, unless you count the time she was taking a Farmall tractor and wagon down to where he was cutting wood. Everything went well until she tried to take the rig between two trees. The tractor made it; the wagon didn't.
Our visiting turned to cars, an interest in common. Dora started driving around the farm fields before venturing out on public roads It was an early Tin Lizzie that had to be cranked to start.
It also refused to move in cold weather. Instead of arguing with it they let it sit, just decided they really didn't need to go anyhow. All of its successors have been Oldsmobiles; three-fourths of a century of them.
When did you last drive, Dora?
"Dec 7. I had surgery after that."
"This December. Five months ago."
Wow! How many tickets did you collect in 75 years behind the wheel?
"None. Never got a ticket."
None? Not even one from a Verndale cop? Girl, you don't know what you're missing!
Well, this is enough story. I'm feelin' down. An' besides, yesterday they sold my car!