My friend Robert (Bob) Sommars was born on a farm 12 miles from Wadena in 1925. His parents were Amos and Mary and he had two sisters. Amos was a farmer. Bob graduated from high school in Verndale. For spending money young Bob did odd jobs for neighbors, as in driving bundle wagons at threshing time. Mostly, his father had enough work to keep him busy at home.
A memorable year for Bob was 1943. It was the year he turned 18, when Bob bought his own property and married Cecelia Boyer. He owned an 80-acre farm, a John Deere tractor and cultivator. They have three children.
Bob worked a year at the creamery in Verndale where he discovered lifting heavy cream cans to dump them in a vat was not for him. His back started to complain then and actually, never quit. He will have surgery in another week or two.
Bob's first car was a 1932 blue Chevrolet with yellow trim. Gas was so cheap that miles per gallon was not important. Besides farming, baseball and music got Bob's attention. He pitched for the Aldrich baseball team and played trumpet in a local dance band.
Bob bought his trumpet so he could play in the Verndale school band, then didn't give it up when he graduated as so many others did.
Bob believes that in order to survive a man has to farm big to get ahead. He kept 100 beef cows and 600 pigs on his 700-acre farm, selling beef and feeder pigs. Mike, his son, was a great help.
However, when it came to giving the Verndale area another Sommars farmer, Mike said, no, thank you. He graduated in the courses in colleges that taught flying. They make it possible for him to now sit in the seat of the pilot, Capt. Michael Sommars, in a big plane, as I write this. He flies for U.S. Air out of Arizona.
Now, Bob said, I want to talk about my girls. Kathleen is an accountant for Walgreens Drug while Junelle is a data analyst. Cecelia served as executive director at Humphrey Manor for six years.
Bob was on the Production Credit Board, on the FHA Board, and as a field man for Federal Crop Insurance. The Sommars enjoyed traveling and chalked up an impressive number of miles in Holland, Germany, France, England and Switzerland as well as in the states.
Bob has always had a vital interest in local concerns. He helped put the England Prairie Pioneer Club together, in his church, and especially lending his skill and interest to the Verndale Historical Group. One of the later successful projects he worked on was the replica of the grist mill.
Looking back, Bob sees what has added up to be a satisfying kind of life. He has done what he wanted to do. In another week or so he will have more surgery, and then back to their apartment in Humphrey Manor.
We are pleased for the time he spent under our friendly big roof.