This installment of Elsie’s manuscript discusses just a few of the experiences of the Underwood family during their time in Boise, Idaho.
Three of kids, Walter, William and I, always went to Sunday school, when we lived in Boise, Idaho. The church was just a couple blocks from our house.It was Christmas time, we were having a program. Mother wasn’t feeling well so we kids went by ourselves. I was in the program. The teacher had us take a pair of white stockings to the church. When we got to the church she had me put these white stockings over my shoes. Just above the toe she placed a huge bow of sparkling tinsel. My part must have been a angel to have had tinsel. When the program was over we got a red mesh stocking of candy and nuts. However the stocking wasn’t the importand thing. It was this tinsel It was the first I had ever seen, I loved it so. I had to get home to show my mom. I didn’t even wait for my brothers. I ran as fast as I could, watching the tinsel sparkleing on my feet. The street lights sparkle and glisten even more. I watched my feet all the way home. Maybe this is why I love glittering things today.I was just five when this happened.This was the Christmas Santa brought my brothers a pair of scissors. One day while my mother was at the grocery store about two blocks away.My brothers cut my mothers curtains and can you believe is, they cut off my eyebrows. Oh. What have you done now. She was mad!!!! I can’t leave you for a minute”She knew the boys had put each other up to it. She said she couldn’t look at me, and that I would have to stay in the house so no one could see me. I felt bad I was a fraid she never loved me anymore.In Boise Walter was very ill. Wasn’t getting any better, getting worse all the time. Dad sent for Dr. Fremstead, who came right away. (He had to come from Burley.) He took one look at Walter and ordered a prescription for him He was so ill he walked when necessary by using two chairs. One in front of the other, until he got to where he was going. Usually to the bathroom.Walter was carrying his head to one side, which scared my mom. He started to show right away. He finally used his neck to hold his head straighter. It wasn’t long before he went back to school. We were happy to have him well.
The story of Elsie and her tinsel is another one of my favorites because it fit her personality so well. She seemed so sparkling herself that it was only fitting that she should love glittering things. As an example of her sparkling personality: I remember visiting her when she was in her 80s and living in a retirement manor. She had several rose bushes in the community garden, and early in the morning she would go down and cut a certain number of roses. Then she would put each in a small vase and leave one outside the door of every one of her neighbors.
Regarding the story of the scissors, I have often wondered about the logistics of a brother cutting off his sister’s eyebrows. Her hair, maybe, but her eyebrows? Just try to picture it.