19 February 2017

... ... ... ... A Pogrom of a Different Genus

This day, a Friday 57 years ago in 1960, Willard Albert William Maas and Annabelle Mae Holden Maas hosted and backed a certain, conducted event.  This matter was in preparation for Willard’s reenrolling as an Iowa State University undergraduate; Willard had had to drop out of ISU in 1939, after his contracting the poliomyelitis virus back at his age of 19 then.  He was to begin again with its Spring Quarter of 1960, this term commencing in March; and his going there to Ames then with their eldest of four children, 16 – year – old Sydra, only the two of them alone, to reside at its 840 Pammel Court.  Exactly similar metal / quonset housing units are here https://www.pinterest.com/pin/506655026805533841  and https://www.pinterest.com/pin/506655026805533809 –– with another one (some years later, of course) as well Zachary Adam’s actual very first home @ 697 Pammel Court commencing 22 hours after I, wholly uninsured, had birthed him [Tuesday, 24 August 1976] with the help of Jan Sterbenz and Dr Frank Sterbenz over in Nevada, Iowa’s Story County Hospital.  Absolutely ALL of these housing units are now long – demolished and – built over with other ISU structures. 

The rest of us of the family were to join Willard and Sydra then when Williamsburg, Iowa’s school year ended; we –– all six of us –– would move in 1960’s June to 1377 Hawthorn Court (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/506655026805534514) directly across from ISU’s horse pastures on the north end of the one entry from Hawthorn then to the undertrack tunnel leading walking commuters into ISU, soon to be Willard’s portal always over to its Heady Hall, Agricultural Economics.  Hawthorn Court, Unit #1401, became (some years later, of course) Zachary Adam’s second home, also in a Quite Cold – February with a fuel oil – truckers’ strike occurring for ISU’s Pammel Court residents and at when the temperature that moving day was a -10 F and his blue baby bathtub fell from the packed – to – its – hilt Chevrolet van to the ice below --- and shattered into elebenty gazillion pieces thereby thoroughly and altogether ending its existence.

The event orchestrated by an agricultural business for the Maas Clan that Friday, 19 February 1960?  That was known as the epic and notorious auctioning one of that era and, actually, even unto this y2017 age … … the Farm Sale.  I know it that specific day thereof … … to have been in the middle -20
 Fahrenheit – range for its temperature, it likely The Coldest of all of those 1959 – 1960 Iowa wintertime days.

The sale itself ?  Even with vendored comestibles including hot chocolate and even hotter, soooo sugared and true cows’ creamed (barn – style latt├ęs ! then) coffee available for purchase ?  

It was an entire and utter ... ... bust.

As witnessed silently by me, then a 12 – year – old schoolgirl – kiddo, within the ancient farmhouse’s enclosed front porch with its turn – of – the – century classically industrial gray – painted plank – flooring.  Just him and me alone together with this particular and quiet vista of ours directly down to and upon the East Barn lot’s sale arena, I peered over at my 40 – year – old father surveilling it all from afar.  And thereupon was burnt a memory in to my brain which has never left it:  One tear tracked down my Daddy’s left cheek. 

                                                       - fin -

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