After hearing things were “nice here,” the Blaisdell family moved to Sully County and located in Onida Township. Prior to coming here, “Grandpa moved so many times,” said Lila (Blaisdell) Ludwig.
Of their upbringing, Lila recalls playing house in the summer and sledding in the winter together with her sisters Leah Gray and Melissa Lilly.
“We had our playhouse in the grain bin until harvest time,” said Melissa. “Dad would tell us, ‘it’s harvest time, you better get your stuff out of the grain bin.’ We’d put it off, and then run like crazy to get our stuff out when we saw the harvest truck.”
Etched in their memories is dyeing the curtains they made. “We dyed the curtains with indelible ink, remember that?” asked Leah. “Our hands were purple for how long? That was your idea,” she added, accusing Lila.
“We were so happy we could use it for dye,” said Melissa. “We had a playhouse with purple curtains.”
When they weren’t making use of the grain bins, they were in the chicken house, “until the baby chicks,” said Melissa. “And then we moved to the grain bin,” said Leah.
They made mud pies that the chickens pecked at to get the grains of wheat and used sunflower leaves to make sandwiches.
“We had playhouses outside, too,” said Lila.
They used rocks to make farms and got scolded for building along the sidewalk, creating tripping hazards.
“We had peach pits for pigs and apricot pits for the babies,” said Leah. “The chickens ate them if you didn’t watch them.” Broken clothes pins served as livestock and rows of nails made the fences.
“She had an iron thing that was her barn,” said Melissa of Leah. “I had to find an old rock.”
Read the Rest of the Story in The Onida Watchman! Single copies are $1.00 each and available at the Watchman office, 106 S Main, Onida, and at The Corner and Don’s Food Center in Onida, and at the Medicine Creek and The Hilltop in Blunt. Subscriptions are $38 in Sully, Hughes, Potter, Stanley and Hyde Counties and for people in armed forces; $40 elsewhere in SD; $42 out-of-state; $1 single issue; $36 E-Subscription; or plus $12 to print subscribers.