Brian Stockton Interview with Grandpa Bert Hvidsten
Born Feb 2, 1905, at home, Stephen, MN, Marshall Co.
Bert Adolph Hvidsten
Youngest of 6 boys, 4 girls younger than me.
Could you Roller Skate: Roller skate on sidewalk after we moved to town, Stephen, MN
What kind of games did you play: Merry-Go-Round, Drop the Hanky, Pig in the Parlor.
What were your favorite toys: Yes, I had a bicycle I rode from morning till night.
Did you get to stay up and watch TV or listen to radio: We had no TV. Yes, listened to radio
What kind of house did you grow up in: I grew up in a two story house on the farm that my father homesteaded on.
Did you have a secret hiding place: Out by the Farm Machinery.
Did you have a fire place: No we did not have a fire place in the home. We had a wood burning stove and I would carry in and stock up piles of wood to carry over to the next day.
Did you have your own bedroom/bathroom: No, did not have my own bedroom. We had a two story house with two bedrooms upstairs. One bedroom was reserved for the country teacher that boarded and roomed there at our house. The other bedroom was for the 6 brothers (3 beds) in one room.
How did you keep your soda cold: I did not know what soda was.
What kind of lights did you have: We had kerosene burning lamps in the house and carried lanterns to the barn for light.
Did you have jobs to do around the house: Yes, carry in wood and water which we got from the pump in the yard. And also helped milk the cows before we went to school, a walking distance of 1 mile.
Did you have an attic or basement: We had an attic in the house and we used to store extra clothing and supplies.
Who Lived with You: Mother and Dad, 5 brothers, 4 sisters.
Did Firemen or Police ever come to your house: Once I set fire to the mattress upstairs in the house while my parents were in town for groceries. I was trying to light cigarettes wrapped with newspaper over corn fiber. I used a hairbrush to combat the fire in the mattress, which was filled with shavings, which they used in those days.
What was the first Christmas you remember like: The first Christmas I remember was someone dressed like Santa with long whiskers and a sack of presents. I was scared stiff at the time, I was about 4 years old.
Where did you hang stockings and how did you decorate the tree: I hung my stocking on the back of a chair placed in the living room. The trees were decorated with popcorn strings and candy canes etc. During the night we would tip toe down the stairs and peak around the doorway to see if Santa was bringing presents. The biggest thrill was when we received a small phonograph. I think it was played from morning till night. Mother used to get bored with the noise sometimes.
Did Santa give you what you asked for: I never asked for anything special
Did you have snow/go sleigh riding or skating: We used get a lot of snow. We went sleigh riding when we had gatherings. I used to go skating on the river every night. We would go down the river several miles.
Did you go to your Grandma’s for Thanksgiving: No, Grandma lived too far away.
How did you trick or treat on Halloween: We did not trick or treat those days. Our big thrill was to go blueberry picking in the Minnesota area around Roseau, MN.
What did you do on the 4th of July: We used to attend a picnic at a place called Happy Corner. Lately they changed the place. I don’t remember, but it was east of Argyle, MN.
Did you send cards or candy to girls on Valentine’s Day: I remember one girl that I sent a Valentine card to. Her name was Francis Kuznia, she later contracted Scarlet Fever and died. She was a daughter of Frank Kuznia. They lived 1 ½ miles east of our farm.
What were your family holiday traditions: We would visit with neighbors back and forth. There were families that we exchanged visits with.
Where did you go to school: I went to school in the country, in Wanger Township, in Stephen, MN, until I was in grade 8. Then we moved into town and I continued until my Junior year.
Did you like school: Yes
How did you get to school: We walked to school most of the time, 1 mile. We walked across the neighbors farm for short cut.
What classes did you like, hate: I liked Arithmatic and grammer. I hated history etc.
Were your report cards good, what was your best: My report cards were fair to good. I do not remember, but I don’t think I got a red mark.
Did you go out for sports: Yes, I went out for all sports. I played football and basketball. Our team took District Championship in Football.
Were you given lots of homework: No not much.
Where did you go on vacations Grandpa: We did not take vacations. The only pace we could go was Grandma’s farm, Karlstad, MN. The name was Sylskar.
Did you go Camping or Fishing: No
Were you ever on a train trip: My first train trip we bought a ticket to Northcote, MN, to pick potatoes on the Jim Hill Farm. Potatoes were poor and all could not make our board.
What was the longest trip you ever took: The longest trip we took was to Grand Forks, ND, to visit my mother’s sister who lived there. Later she moved to Chicago, IL, Mrs. Rachell Rayotte(sp), son Frank & Harry.
Did you go to the fair or carnival: That was the biggest thrill, to go to the fair.
Did you ever go to Disneyland or Six Flags: No
What was the latest you ever stayed up: About Midnight
How old were you before you could date? Who was your first date: First Date Freshman Year, Vera Clausen
When did you get your first knife, slingshot, gun: Knife when I was about 6 years old. Slingshot 8th grade. Gun, I was about 15 yrs.
Who taught you to drive? What was your first car: I learned by watching my older brother. First car Model A Ford Touring car.
Ever build a treehouse & swing: No
What was your nickname: Didn’t have any
Did you used to catch lighting bugs? What kind of things did you collect: No
How did you meet Grandma? Did you have any rivals: I met Irene at a dance at the Park Pavilion in Drayton, ND.
Where did you go on your first date? Did you like her right away? Did she write you love letters? Did you ever get mad at Grandma while you were dating: Went to a theatre in Hallock, MN, on first date. I fell in love with her at once.
Where and when did you ask her to marry you: While parked in the picnic grounds in the Drayton Park.
When did you get married? What was your wedding like? Who was in your wedding: We got married in the late fall at the Ministers house in Crookston, MN.
Where did you go on your honeymoon: We drove over to Thief River Falls, MN, and stayed at the hotel and returned home the next day.
Where was your first home: Our first home was in a house I rented from Mrs. Charles Clark, north Stephen, MN.
Where were your babies born? Who were they named after:
Allan born at home, Stephen, MN.
Carol at home with nurse from Kennedy, MN.
John born Hallock Hospital.
Judith, Neche, ND.
Kay in Cavalier Nursing Home.
Did you work after school: Just Housework.
What was your first job? How much did you get paid: Worked for Roy Benson on farm, $50 per month.
How many different places did you work? Did you ever work on a farm:
Scandia State Bank, Stephen, MN
Stephen Implement, Book keeper & Parts Man
Grafton Implement Co, Grafton, ND, Salesman
Yes I worked on a farm for Roy Benson, at Stephen, MN. I would get up early and feed horses and harness them, and be in the house for breakfast at 6:00 am. And walk behind the horses mostly 20 miles a day.
Did you receive any special awards? Were you ever elected to office: I was alderman of Stephen, MN and Mayor of Neche, ND.
Did you ever have your own stereo or tapes: No
Did you have to take music lessons: No
Did certain songs bring back memories: Yes
Do you remember your first dance? Who with? What dances: First dance with Iva Hood a classmate, Two-Step.