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July 18, 1997

Lucy Foster told this at Sunday school the other day, so it's OK to repeat it in a family newspaper. There was this scientist who believed he was so intellectually gifted that he should clone himself for the benefit of all humanity. His clone, however, turned out to speak with such vile profanity and vulgarity that the embarrassed scientist concluded he had to dispose of him. But how to do that? Finally the scientist took him to the 102-story Empire State Building and shoved him off the top floor, thus ending the offensive one's life. The police then had to make a decision. Since the victim was a clone, not a naturally born human being, was a charge of murder justified? After weighing all the options, they decided they could only accuse the scientist of one thing ... making an obscene clone fall.

The other day, Mildred Will was reflecting on some childhood memories of happenings from her days of growing up in the Garber area, back in the 1920s. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Klingenberg, rented a farm which had several nice buildings, including a barn with an interior stairway. "One day Dad missed a cow," she says, "but he found her in the hay mow, upstairs in the barn. She went up the stairs just fine but getting her down was another matter. I don't remember how Dad got her down, but he did." Does that remind you of the cow in the silo at Yukon, Oklahoma, a few years ago? The images of both those stories are hilarious.

"Another time we had a cow that got out of the fence every day," Mrs. Will continues. "We finally found where she was going. We had a neighbor who made whiskey. When they were through with the grain they threw it out. The old cow went over every day to eat the mash, as it is called, and that was the attraction. Somebody once gave us two baby pigs and we named them Mart and Freda, after my Dad's brother and his wife. We never penned them and they roamed the yard like pet dogs. When they grew big, Daddy decided to butcher them. But, none of us wanted eat Mart and Freda, so that was the last of our pig butchering.

“When I was about four years old Dad purchased his first car. It was called a Crit. It did not have a top and it must have had solid rubber tires because I don't remember it ever had flats. Years later we had another car with inflatable tires and it had plenty of flats. At the time I didn't think those old cars were much of an improvement over the spring wagons. We didn't have a buggy, but we did have a wagon.

"There used to be what we called bums that came through the country," she recalls. "One came to our place when we lived at Garber and he stayed all night. It must have been summertime because I was barefoot. I had hurt the big toe on one foot and it turned completely black. It must have been a pretty bad injury because I remember thinking that it would not be very long until I was gone. I think God must have sent that stranger. I don't know if he was an angel or merely a man sent to help, but he told Mother how to save my life by wrapping a strip of bacon around my toe and leaving it there all night. I remember we didn't have a very sharp knife and the bacon was rather thick, but she got it around my sore toe. The next day the black was all gone." She believes she owes her life to that "bum's" home remedy.

My thanks to Mildred Will for these interesting recollections form an earlier time in this part of Oklahoma.