Posts Tagged: advice

Regina Cecelia Broghammer

Regina Cecelia Broghammer (nee Knox) Born at home “on Groundhog’s Day” (February 2), 1908 in Plymouth Rock Parish in Winneshiek County, Iowa. Regina is the eldest of nine children: eight girls and one boy. 1908 was the year of a devastating hailstorm that struck the area in June. “My parents were at the ‘Old Settlers’ Picnic’ in Burr Oak when the sky grew dark as night. We went home to put the chickens in the henhouse, and my folks left me in the baby buggy while they corralled the hens. The weather grew so bad, however, they decided to take me into the storm cellar. When we emerged a while later, my buggy was full of glass: the windows on the North and West sides of the house had shattered. They had to use horse blankets and scoop shovels to clean up the mess.”

What’s the best advice anyone every gave you?
“Don’t be afraid to give a little more than 100%.”  This is the advice Regina told her own children.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
“A teacher.” Regina’s mother was a teacher, and so were several of her Aunts.

What did you do?
“I taught in a one-room schoolhouse for three years, and then I worked at McNeil’s coat and suit store (now J. Tupy’s) for ten.” Her first school was in Burr Oak Township, the second at Lost Nation, now Willowglen Nursery. After their marriage, Regina and her husband, Leo, lived and worked on the Broghammer Century farm and raised two daughters, Barb and Mary. “Both girls graduated from St. Theresa’s College.  Barb earned a degree in Sociology and joined President Kennedy’s Peace Corps, spending two and a half years in Bolivia. Mary received her B.S. in nursing and was an R.N. first at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, and then at the University of Iowa Hospital while her husband was in graduate school there.”

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?
“Food, water, and a short-wave radio.”

If you could eat anything every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
“A good-quality beef pot roast cooked in a Dutch oven all day with vegetables.”

Name one thing you could not live without:
“Water.”

Describe your wedding day:
“My husband Leo and I got married on October 19th, 1940, at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Decorah. It was a gorgeous fall day. All the flowers were still in bloom, and we picked chrysanthemums, which are my favorite, for the altar.”  Regina met her husband dancing at Matter’s Ballroom. Their farm was located next to Matter’s, and Leo Broghammer was “the last one in the neighborhood to stop using his horses for planting corn.”

Memory of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic:
“I was about 9 or 10 years old. A local boy trained at Camp Dodge near Des Moines contracted influenza and was sent home. He spread the disease to his family, and two of his brothers died. I remember my mother putting food in a laundry basket and securing it to a sled. I pulled the sled to houses where people were sick, and my dad knocked on their windows to ask them if they needed anything and to let them know there was food outside for them.”

In your opinion, what is the biggest human accomplishment of your lifetime?
“Putting a man on the moon.”

Agnes Forde

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Just be myself.

How about the worst?
When they took my car keys away.  I had already decided to give up driving, but…

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A nurse. I finished the 8th grade. I lived in a log house and went to a log school.

What do/did you do?
I had several jobs. Worked at the Greenhouse for 14 years, worked in the textile building at the fair, cleaned at the firestation and cleaned at Vesterheim for 18 years (I happen to know that Agnes did more than just clean at Vesterheim. Through the museum she met the king of Norway, Maria Von Trapp, and the Princess of Iceland. Plus she raised 3 children.)

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?
I would like to have a box of books and of course food and water. I am now retired and have time to read but cannot read very well due to my eyesight.

Try to describe yourself in one sentence.
I used to be tall and skinny, does that say what I am now?

If you could eat anything every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Lemon pie. (I had tried to answer these questions before asking Agnes to see how close I would come to her answers, I knew this would be pie and place of choice for pie: Family Table).

Name one thing you could not live without.
Family and friends (although that’s more than one thing). My family and friends are what have kept me at home. I want to stay at home. Tom Cat, my cat. (Tom and Agnes have a special relationship – when Agnes was quite ill Tom layed next to her and put his paw on her cheek. She did end up in the hospital but recovered to return to Tom).

Multiple choice: tell us about…Your first job.
The Greenhouse. I was asked if I wanted to have a job outside the home by someone at the Greenhouse. I thought about it for about a month then went down to the Greenhouse, they hired me right on the spot. I worked there for 14 years. I made wreathes at Christmas time. I could make over 70 in a day. There was one little boy who would come every day to see how many I had made. He would just walk in past everyone and come straight to me, just checking up on me. I raced the owner one day, he was faster than I was but when I held up his wreath it had so many holes in it. (Agnes has many memories from the Greenhouse including a teacher who died on a fieldtrip and a boy who came in frequently to get a gumball but always asked for a penny as he rarely had his own.)

Sandy Osler

Interviewed by Eric Paulson, Hometown Taxi driver, who says Sandy is the most inspiring person he has ever met.

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Keep on trying. Do your best!

What have been your greatest difficulties in life and how did you face them?
That happened during my high school years. I had 14 people in my class and they didn’t understand about my condition (cerebral palsy). So I got bullied and called some names. Thanks goodness that is behind me! I guess I just didn’t really that it was as bad as it was at the time.

What are you most proud of in your life?
Living life as normally as I can with cerebral palsy.

Can you tell us something about your husband and how you fell in love?
We met in 1958 at the Vocational Rehab in Des Moines. We went out own separate ways until spring of 1967 when we ran into each other again at “Camp Sunnyside.” I went with him six weeks and had an engagement ring that was a big surprise for me! The priest wouldn’t let us get married in June – he said that we needed more time to get to know each other. So he had to would come to Decorah or I would go to Des Moines so we could see each other. We were married in October of 1967.

What are you most looking forward to?
Nice springtime weather – warm and sunny after the last, hard winter we have had to live through.

What jobs have you held that brought you the most satisfaction?
I babysat for a living, which helped my husband and myself, as we were childless.

Try to describe yourself in one sentence.
A person who tries to do her best – a determined person.

Can you tell us about the greatest inspiration in your life?
My husband, Virgil Osler. He was hurt in a car accident while in the service and was able to accept his disability. This helped me accept my own disability.

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