The Robinson Argus January 16th, 1997 article on home life in the "I Remember When" series by Don Catt.

To keep lace curtains straight while they dried, people had an adjustable frame to fit the curtain. After washing, the curtains were stretched over pins around the edge of the frame. On the frame, they dried nice and straight and free from wrinkles.

Many of the older generations considered playing cards a sin. Christine (Legg) Catt's family liked to play, but even if a game was in progress when her uncle Jacob Faith (Jack was an ultraconservative) drove in their yard, they had the cards put away and the table and chairs rearranged before uncle Jake could get in the house. They weren't even afraid of Jake ... her father, Everett, probably just didn't want to argue the point with him.

Going to the movies or dances was a sin, too!

My brother, Leroy, liked to read those paperback "western" magazines every chance he got. I remember Dad used to growl at him for always having his nose in one of those "old Diamond Dicks"! I have no idea why he called them that.

The "True Romance" type magazines were popular at that time, too. They were probably about as "true" as the paperback Romance novels of today.

A few teachers had the reputation for being mean to their students. One of them taught at Monarch and we kept hearing rumors about how hard he whipped the kids. Teachers rarely stayed at Oak Ridge more than about three years, so I always worried that the directors might hire him. We were lucky ... they didn't.

There were no "box" cake mixes, so the cakes were made from "scratch." No frozen pie crusts or biscuits either and even the cornbread had to be mixed at home.

We didn't have electric mixers, so all those egg whites for angel food cakes had to be whipped by hand or with a mechanical egg beater. It was a lot of work, so angel food cakes were usually reserved for more"special" occasions.

Robinson was a regular stop for both bus and train trips to Chicago. I rode the Southern Limited bus several times to Hammond, IN. It made a round trip every day, loading and discharging passengers in front of the F.W. Woolworth store on the north side of the square. The station agent where I caught the train at Indiana Harbor called our "Big Four" train "The Egyptian Queen." He also called everything south of Cook County was "downstate." Crawford County was in "Southern Illinois" and therefore I was from the "south." It's hard to believe, but the bus made the trip a little faster than the train! Personally, I always liked the train better.

Cats were expected to live in the barn and earn their keep by catching mice. Our cat gets his food from a can and probably wouldn't know what mouse was if he saw one.

Dad cut "Y" shaped sprouts (called "yokes") and tied one around the neck of a cow or two which had a tendency to roam. It kept them from crawling through the fences and causing all the other cows to stray.

Cows sometimes got cuts and scratches on their teats from wading briars or jumping fences. In the winter, they got chapped and cracked. At milking time, they were sore and caused the cows to kick. Dad kept a large box of "Bag Balm" in the barn to apply liberally to such injuries.

If a cow was really bad about kicking the milk bucket over, we had a set of "kickers" which hooked around her back legs and prevented her from kicking. They were a lot of trouble, so we rarely used them. Most of our cows were pretty gentle.