Posts Tagged: inspire(d) magazine

Callista Susan Groff Wallmark

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
The best advice anyone ever gave me was when I was about 22 years old. I went to Sioux City and purchased a silver fox fur. When I got home with it, my father asked me how I had paid for it. I told him I planned to pay for it in installments. He told me to take it back and only purchase it when I had enough money to pay for it outright. This is advice young people today really benefit from hearing.

How about the worst?
When I was 50 years old someone told me to start smoking. I smoked for about 30 years.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a pharmacist. I had a friend whose sister was a pharmacist.

What do/did you do?
My folks didn’t think it was a good idea for me to be a pharmacist. There were not a lot of women pharmacists at the time. Instead, I decided to pursue teaching. I attended Clarke College in Dubuque and Iowa State Teachers College (UNI) in Cedar Falls. I taught for about six years in Plymouth County and about four years in Remsen, Iowa. In 1932, I married a pharmacist. After moving a few times to follow his job, we finally decided to start our own drugstore in Ossian, Iowa. We ran a drugstore in Ossian until 1963 when we closed it.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?
I would want my hairbrush, my toothbrush and my rosary with me. These are the things I use and need most in my life.

Try to describe yourself in one sentence.
I’m not sure what words I would use to describe myself. Other people have described me as strong, classy, spiritual, and easy to get along with.

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

Name one thing you could not live without.
My family is something that I could not live without. I have three daughters, 16 grandchildren, 31 great grandchildren and nine great, great grandchildren. I enjoy spending time with them.

Multiple choice: tell us about…Your wedding day.
I met my husband, Cliff Wallmark, on a trip to Sycamore, Illinois while visiting a college friend of mine. We were married June 15, 1932. I was 25 years old. We were just coming out of the Depression. We were married on a Wednesday morning. Homegrown flowers decorated the altar. We entered the church in pairs. First, the maid of honor and the groom. Then my two bridesmaids, followed by me and the best man.  Following the ceremony my parents hosted a wedding breakfast in our honor. It was mostly immediate family in attendance. It was very different compared to weddings today.

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Robert (Bob) Hunt

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
I have two: (1) Nothing will happen unless you make it happen (this was from my brother, Richard–he ended up being a millionaire). (2) When your expenses are greater than your income, don’t cut down on your expenses, increase your income (this was from a gangster who hung out in one of the bars on the corner of California St. & Hyde St in San Francisco–I don’t know how he ended up).

How about the worst?
Try snowboarding.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
In high school my teacher, Hazel Brazelton (who years later became my stepmother) asked me that question. I said I wanted to be like my father (he owned Hunt’s Variety Store in Decorah) and own my own business.

What do/did you do?
In a nutshell, I went to Coe College for about 1½ years on an athletic scholarship (I majored in football and track) , enlisted in the US Navy and was on submarines for the majority of my service, worked in various jobs until I purchased Hunt’s Variety (the business and the building) from my father in 1950, closed the business in 1970 and sold the building to Community 1st Bank, was Park-Rec. Director from 1970 to 1980, retired in 1981, have been a factory rep for park and playground equipment along with being a ski instructor since, am in the process of publishing my first and only book “We Were Pirates” about my time served in the navy during WWII.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?
A bottle of whiskey, some mixed nuts, and possibly a beautiful blonde to keep me company.

Try to describe yourself in one sentence.
Stubborn, adventurous, a talker, and sometimes crotchety.

If you could eat anything every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A hot fudge sundae (with a pina colada chaser)

Name one thing you could not live without.
People

Multiple choice: tell us about… Your wedding day.
My brother (and best man) borrowed my car to go fishing that day–needless to say he was late and kept my wife to be, Barb, and her bridesmaid waiting for their ride (us).

It was a mad dash to get to the Little Brown Church in Nashua, IA. where we said our “I dos” rather hastily, rang the bell, and went on our “married” way.

Your first job:
Salesman and truck driver for Coca Cola in Decorah

Your Favorite Memory:
Serving on a submarine during WWII in the Pacific

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Betty (Thomson) Piggott

Interviewed by granddaughter Aryn Henning Nichols (August/September 2009)
(Photo taken on her wedding day.)

Betty (Thomson) Piggott, 90 years old on August 5, has always been the real matriarch of our extended family. Heading over to her house on Sundays, we would be greeted by a table all set and a meal – usually some kind of meat and potatoes – ready to go. Feisty and fun, we played board and card games when I was a little girl. She could often beat me in Chinese checkers, but the game Concentration – I had that in the bag. And she makes the best apple pie in the world.

1. What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Be good and do what you started out to do.

2. Worst advice?

Oh, I don’t know. I was lucky enough to not get any bad advice, I guess!

3. What did you want to be when you grew up?

My dad wanted me to be a nurse, but I instead did housework.

4. What did/do you do?

I went on to be an office assistant, which is what I was doing when I met Curtis. I did pretty much everything in that office. I had to take care of a lot of things. Then I became a housewife and mother.

5. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?

A man, sweets, and… TV, I suppose.

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

Any kind of sweets. (Aryn’s note: Grandma requested a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for her birthday. Must  be hereditary: it’s my favorite too. I was happy to bake her one because I got to eat some too!)

7. Name one thing you could not live without.

I don’t think there’s anything I couldn’t live without.

8. Tell us about: your wedding day.

It was very short at the Catholic Church. The only people there were Jim and Bernie Hoolihan. We went and picked up Curtis’s folks after and went out to eat in Decorah – I don’t remember where. It was nice that morning, but by night it was snowing so hard we could barely see the road. We went to La Crosse and stopped at Curtis’s cousins on the way, but they all had the measles! They were surprised to see us, but we celebrated. Then they had to take us to our hotel because we had a flat tire. We went to Minneapolis the next day and got another flat tire, but we made it. And we didn’t get the measles.

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