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Memories of Nimrod with Lucille

When I was searching for someone from Nimrod to write about I discovered Lucille Swanson, right here under our big roof, wouldn't you know it? She lived there many years and raised her family there.

Lucille was born in 1925 to Elmer and Margaret Olson. She was 7 years old when the family moved to Nimrod. She graduated from Sebeka High School.

One of Lucille's first jobs was working at Holman Field, a government job, in Minneapolis. After three years, she married Clyde Swanson, a staff sergeant in the Army. For the next year or so Lucille's job was raising their family of five children.

Along with farming, Clyde did carpenter work and was considered to be a better-than-average craftsman. He was never without something to do. Actually, Clyde's job was a family affair since Lucille along with another helper or two did the finishing jobs, like sanding or varnishing and painting.

In those days Nimrod could boast it had 11 businesses. As time went on, and the railroad passed them by, one business after the other disappeared into the mists of time, now only fond memories.

No matter how much bigger towns drag their heels, Lucille sees them somehow drawn into the same downward route until oblivion takes over. As we are telling our grandchildren about places called Topelius, Wrightstown and Ottertail, they will be trying to explain to theirs what happened to small metropolises now.

Farming memories were a happier topic. The Swansons had a full complement of farm animals, like cows, pigs, sheep and chickens. We agreed, to a farm wife there is nothing prettier than a flock of Leghorn pullets with red combs, the sign that they are ready to start producing. Only finding that tiny first egg tops it.

Now, you know what? We are finding those little eggs again, in a carton in the market marked "large." What is happening to those fine 2 and 3 ounce eggs hens turn out?

Like most farmers, the Swansons' favorite events were auction sales. While trying not to think of the fellow selling out, they enjoyed the activity auction sales generate. Did a hamburger ever taste better than the one you ate standing out under a tree, steaming cup of coffee in the other hand, while your socks freeze to your feet?

It was at a sale that Clyde bought two Surge milk buckets. At another auction he found the pipes and hoses that went with them and from then on no more cows were milked by hand on the Swanson farm.

Lucille was more drawn toward pretty dishes. She could switch herself for not buying one she can't forget. It was a cake plate made of blue glass on a pedestal. Bunches of red strawberries were somehow etched into the glass. Another bid or two may have gotten it, goshdarnitanyhow!

They moved to a mobile home on the edge of Nimrod. Clyde died four years ago.

After they retired the Swansons enjoyed snowmobile rides. They often went as far as Pine River, sometimes by themselves and often with friends. Picking a likely spot, they built a fire, got out the buns and wieners, and poured coffee. They rode double until Lucille got bounced off and left in the snow half a mile behind until Clyde noticed, which prompted Lucille into the merits of having her own machine, which she did pronto.

An unusual happening one fall day near a wood lot that Lucille enjoyed is the time a swarm of Monarch butterflies settled all over her. They came in droves, it was like she was wearing them. When she finally moved they all flew away.