FARMER BOY...MY HUSBAND'S CHILDHOOD DAYS...

 
 
 
 

This page is not just devoted to my husband's childhood days, but also to his Mother and Father, grandparents, and extended  family. As I find new photos, they will be added either here or to other appropriate sections of my website. I chose the title because my husband DID grow up as a true "farmer boy" much as did Almanzo Wilder, the husband of Laura Ingalls Wilder of the famed "Little House" books. I've read these wonderful books over and over again both as a child and as an adult. It harkens back to a time when the FARM was the center of family life as EVERYONE in an entire family had an important job to do in making the farm productive. The hours were long and the work  hard, but it also allowed a man and his wife and family to stay home and be free from stress. Today "living"  as it is called involves  long hours spent away from home and family and too much commuting. . I find it sad to have seen the demise of the small family farm as it was a WAY OF LIFE that I fear will never be found again in this country.
 
 
 
 

MY WONDERFUL HUSBAND JERRY
 
 
 
 
 



 My husband's Mother whose maiden name was AILEEN PALMER HEATH was born and grew up on a huge dairy farm in Albany, New York called The Heath Dairy. She was a very, very intelligent lady who excelled in all her school subjects and went on to obtain a degree as a Registered Nurse.

 I will soon be posting more photos of my mother-in-law as a small child and her family. Below is a very nice photo taken about 1931. This was a school yearbook picture taken in her Senior Year at the Albany Academy for Girls.  She was a Cum Laude and well-liked by all her classmates and teachers.
 


 
 

My husband's  Mother, Aileen Heath shown at about age 18
 
 
 
 


 

Jerry's  Mother, Aileen Heath as a child...shown on second row at the far left. We are not certain of the date at which this photo was taken but an estimate would be around the early 1920's.
 


 

My husband's Mother, Aileen Heath on far left, her sister, Margaret, and brother Jerold. She had another brother, William who was not yet born at this time. Again, we do not know the exact date of this photo, but an estimate would put it at around 1919 to 1921.
 
 


 

Jerry's Mother Aileen, brother Jerold and sister Margaret...estimated date around 1918 or 1919
 
 


 
 

Jerry's Mother, Aileen (with the hat on the right), her sister Margaret and Uncle Larry. Again we can only estimate the date at around 1920.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



My husband was born in Albany, New York where his Father and Mother built a BEAUTIFUL new home with a full basement and two stories complete with hardwood floors and central heating. His parents dug the cellar COMPLETELY by hand...just using a shovels and wheelbarrows and poured a concrete floor to make a full and gorgeous basement. Mrs. Hawblitz LOVED her beautiful home as she stated many times in a past diary, and my husband remembers his first childhood home and so much love and fondness as these were very happy days.
 
 

Unfortunately, when my husband was six years old, a major highway went through this much loved home. It was moved off the foundation by someone else as his father could not afford to do so.  This led to a short move to Asheville, North Carolina in an effort to restore his Mother's health as losing the home she so loved was devastating.
 
 
 

Later his father moved his family to Jackson Valley, Pennsylvania  He then worked as a farmer, and the family lived in a very dilapidated farm home. Times were hard and money was scarce....yet my husband, Jerry, and his four sisters enjoyed a way of life that is rapidly disappearing from America today. When they first moved to Jackson Valley......it was to an old farmhouse that once had been a general store!! It was in very poor shape, and his father began making renovations as time and money would allow. One thing they DID have was plenty of water!! There was a spring right in back of the house, and his father built a spring house to act as a reservoir for the pure, ice-cold water. When they first moved there....food was kept inside this house, and it stayed just as cold as food kept in modern refrigerators!! They shared the spring house with HUGE salamanders..known as Mudpuppies or Waterdogs. Some of these salamanders grew up to a foot in length! I expect today we'd think the water unfit to drink IF it had salamanders in it!! But...just think...they kept the spring free of insects and algae! (Neither my husband nor I can drink the chlorinated "city" water of today without becoming ill from the chlorine!!)
 

Photo of Jerry's Dad and Mother (Aileen Palmer Heath Hawblitz) with Jerry in center at about age two.
 

My husband's family was busy every minute of every day!! There was always work to be done. The family was up at about three or four a.m. and the FIRST task of the day....BEFORE breakfast....was milking and feeding the cows and cleaning the stanchions. Then there was a huge breakfast of pancakes, homemade biscuits with jelly or jam, eggs, toast and milk. YUMMY!! It's so sad today when I think of people eating "on the run".....never sitting down together for meals. Then..of course there was school. No, my husband didn't attend a "one-room schoolhouse"! It was a fairly new building, in fact, located in Leraysville, Pennsylvania....not too terribly far away. After school, the children came home, changed into old clothes, and often made home-made candy!! After eating a bite or two, it was back to the barn to help Dad with the milking. They sometimes didn't eat supper until 10 p.m.!! There wasn't much time back then for homework...and most of it was completed in school. Nearly all the neighbors were dairy farmers, so everyone shared about the same schedule. Yes....it WAS hard work, but also rewarding work. In that day...and in that time, vandalism and crime were nearly unheard of except in the large cities!! People were just too busy working!!! On Sunday, everyone attended some kind of church. There...the festivities were often held....church suppers, church picnics in the summer, Sunday School...and sometimes a special trip to town for the children!!


 
 

"On the bridge".......a photo taken in the 40's of "Mike", my husband's dog, my husband, Jerry, his sisters and a cousin. Can you imagine carrying pails of milk across this bridge without spilling any? Well...that's what was done!!



Nearly all the farmers in the Susquehanna County area lived off their own land.....meaning they grew all that they needed....vegetables, fruits, and of course.....kept chickens, pigs, lambs, and cows for use as meat. My husband's parents went to town once a month to buy the essentials....flour, sugar, salt, pepper..and perhaps a few spices. Most of the clothing consisted of "hand-me-downs" or clothes sewn by Jerry's mother on the treadle sewing machine. In those times, flour came in pretty cloth sacks...often decorated with flowers or some other motif. These were cut open, washed, and used for dress material for his sisters when they were little girls. At Christmas, the decorations were hand-made. Each year, my father-in-law would make a few new decorations for the tree from cardboard or wood. The children popped corn over an open fire, dyed the popcorn pretty colors of greens, blues, and reds.....strung it on long lines of woven string and finished decorating the tree. They had no lights...as lights were not used back then...except by city folk. They were thought to be far too expensive. Still, after the tree was decorated, the children thought it the most beautiful tree in the world!!! Most of the presents were home-made, but each year a package arrived for each child from Grandma and Grandpa who lived in Albany, New York. The packages arrived VERY early...sometimes in November, and were placed upon the piano top until Christmas day. Can you imagine the excitement....seeing those beautifully wrapped packages everyday......thinking that Christmas would NEVER arrive!!??!! But arrive it did, and my husband and his sisters were thrilled with their home-made gifts and the "boughten" city gifts from Grandpa and Grandma.
 
 


My husband's Grandfather and Grandmother taken on their Golden Wedding Anniversary



A VIEW OF MY FATHER-IN-LAW'S FARM IN SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
 
 

SUCH A NICE PHOTO OF THE ENTIRE FAMILY ON A SUNDAY...READY FOR CHURCH

From left to right are SUSAN, ANN, HILARY and my hubby-to-be JERRY with his dog
 


 

A photo by the newer car on a Sunday. From left to right...my hubby to be, Jerry, Ann, Susan, and Hilary. There is another person in back that we do not recognize. If any Hawblitz family member knows the correct name, PLEASE contact me. Thank you.
 

Many more photos will be added as they become available.
 
 
 



 
 

Thought you might enjoy this recipe! My husband and his sisters often made this candy as an after school snack!! I've made them, too...and THEY ARE delicious!!
PEPPERMINT CREAM WAFERS
2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup of light corn syrup
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Boil without stirring to soft-ball (238 degrees). Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Beat until creamy and flavor with 8-12 drops of oil of peppermint. Tint with vegetable coloring if desired. Drop with spoon on to foil or wax paper. Make the patties any size you desire.

ENJOY!!!



If you enjoyed this page and would like to hear more about life in the past, just drop me a line!
Can you please let the tiger dance over here? Thank you!