Roberta Thelma Procunier 1925-
A Thumbnail Biography by David C. Procuniar
All Rights Reserved Last updated: 31 Aug 2001
My Biography, by Roberta Procunier Swenson (January 2007)
I was born on August 7, 1925, to Melvin and Alpha Procunier. Since they were farmers, I would rather think that this baby was not really planned for as the time of my birth was at harvest time. Harvest time for the farmer is a very crucial time as that is when they reap the harvest of all the work that they do all year long. I noticed that my brother was born a year later in November! Well, when it came time for me to be born, my 16 year old Uncle Montie, (Mother's brother) came to my Dad's rescue and hauled bundles for my Dad during wheat harvest. He was pretty well played- out before my Dad came back to his job. 6 months later Uncle Montie exposed me to the whooping cough, but I know it wasn't intentional. I nearly died, but with my Grandmother's prayers and God's grace, I lived!
I grew up on a homestead that my Mother's Grandfather developed when he and his family traveled by a covered wagon from Illinois in the early 1880s'. They battled many hardships to make a home in beautiful North Idaho--but that is a different story! However, I must say that my great-grandfather built a temporary shack to live in until they had more time to build a house. As it turned out, the shack was not temporary and stood for 78 years! Somehow, fishing and hunting got into his blood and house- building went by the way-side! After Great-grandfather died, my Dad took over the ranch and we moved there where we lived until I was 12 years old. Then my parents bought a farm across the road with a much better house and that is where I lived until I graduated from high school.
Both places were on the edge of a canyon and my brother and I used to enjoy hiking in the canyon until the weather got hot enough for the rattlesnakes to come out, and then we found other ways to entertain ourselves, although there was always the threat of snakes when we were outside. My Mother was always noted for taking a hoe with her every time she went to feed the chickens or go to the garden. Her grand-children still talk about that. By the way, my brother's children and our children always looked forward to going to the farm, and the Grandparents enjoyed having them come, too.
I went to a little country school my first 8 years and then I took a bus into town to go to high school. By that time, the roads had to be plowed out from the winter snow so we weren't as snow bound as in earlier years. I remember the Christmas Programs at the little country church which was 2 miles from our house. Christmas time was very rewarding with each child having a special part in the program, either being in a play, or reciting a poem or singing a Christmas song with Grandma (Mother's Mother) playing the old pump organ. I remember that I recited "Twas the night before Christmas" one year. After the program, Santa Claus would come in the church with bags of Candy and Nuts for all the children. I remember the year my Uncle Norris Procunier, who lived with us at the time, was Santa, and I recognized his leather jacket that came below the Santa shirt sleeve. He would never admit to me that he was Santa!
People made some sacrifices during those winter months if they wanted to go someplace. A bob-sled hitched to a team of horses was the only means of transportation with 4 feet of snow to plough through. After the school house and the church closed and people went to town for everything, country life was different. No more Pie and Basket Socials, Dances, and Card Parties, but by then the road to town was ploughed out and kept open so life was easier. Town was Troy, Id. which you can find on the map if you look close enough. It was a logging town of about 500 people. Now the town has more than doubled in population, and a lot of new homes being built, like everywhere else.
Grandfather, George Procunier and wife, Frances, moved to Longview, Washington, when I was about 4 years old. His son, Norris, took a job working in a mill down there which was 350 miles away, and so the old folks went to live with him. About a year later we heard that Grandfather was very ill with asthma and wasn't expected to live, so we loaded up the Model T and went down to Longview. It took us 2 days to get there and when we got as far as Lewiston, Id., which was 30 miles away from home, my brother, Gerald asked "Are we about there yet" Seemed like my Dad was rather short-tempered on that trip--I wonder why? No DVDs' to entertain the kids then. Then, too, those Model T seats were not the most comfortable, either. Our son, Dave, has a Model T which I have ridden in, and I wonder yet how we ever went 350 miles in one and then 350 miles again to come back home.
During my High School days, World War 2 was going on. Nearly every family had to send their sons to war and it was a very tense time not knowing where they were or if they would come home again, and several from our community did not come back. Plus we had the food and gas rationing to deal with, but people were very patriotic and very supportive of the war effort. What a relief it was when the war ended and lives could get back to normal again.
After the War, I married Roy Swenson and I believe that is the beginning of a new biography which I have submitted to Cousin David Procuniar. Thank you, David for letting me re-live my early childhood. In fact, thank you for all the time you have put into the Procuniar/er genealogy. I only wish my Father, and Mother, too, could have enjoyed learning of our ancestry.
Roberta Procunier Swenson
Roberta Thelma Procunier Swenson firstname.lastname@example.org
6805 N Crestline Street Lot 20
Spokane, WA 99217-7575
David Charles Procuniar 3598 Harry Truman Drive, Beavercreek, Ohio 45432-2272
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