Some of the Rones

Uncle John

A very individual individual. He never married, lived on the home place all his life except for his time in the army, World War I and many other times when he would disappear on jaunts to various places known only to himself. Until advancing years prevented, he would simply start walking to Cross Plains and from there he would go exploring to various parts of the country, returning just as unexpectedly. He was a man of few words but he loved the written word. He had a great appetite for books. I loved looking at the bookcase at his books which included mostly history, biographies, classics such as Shakespeare, etc. A surprising collection for a farm boy educated in the little Dressy country school.

He smoked all his life. Country Gentleman and Bull Durham tobacco that came in little sacks along with paper from which he rolled the cigarettes. His thrifty sisters (Aunt Minnie & Lizzie) couldn’t have these sacks go to waste. They unraveled the sacks, washed, dyed them different colors, ironed, then sewed them into quilts. This left pieces of yellow string with which they were tied. These were not wasted – nothing was wasted at their house. They braided the strings and made hot pad holders and place mats.

Aunt Minnie

She was the strong one, the teaser, she got things organized and done. This was true especially after Grandaddy died. While he lived they all looked to him with great love and respect for leadership. I remember that when the old roof leaked she got up there and fixed it. If the old car wouldn’t run somehow it did after she did some things with wire, tape, etc. She could make a delicious blackberry cobbler, make rugs out of strips torn from Uncle John’s worn out overalls. After Aunt Minnie’s death we found a few pictures that showed her to have been an attractive young woman. We found letters indicating that she did not lack for beaus and that something had happened to a romance in those days – never knew the details. I was close to Aunt Minnie. She came to Loraine and lived with Daddy and I for about a year after Mother died. Then after I came to Cross Plains to go to high school I liked to spend time on the Rone farm. She was a fun person to be around, always interested in my friends and activities. She went to San Diego and worked at an aircraft factory during World War II – which took a lot of nerve for a country woman who had never left her small town before.

Christmas, 1957. Left to Right: Uncle John, Aunt Minnie, Aunt Lizzie, Aunt Stella, and Aunt Ruby