E.J. Christiansen and Kim Spelts

Recorded November 24, 2006 Archived December 1, 2006 27:40 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: SCK000367



  • E.J. Christiansen
  • Kim Spelts

Venue / Recording Kit


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00:00 Kim spelts, I'm 38 years old. It is November 24th 2006 and we are at the home of my grandparents Junior and Helen Christensen in Bacca County, Colorado.

00:13 You and my name.

00:16 Junior Christian

00:19 Born May 15th 1925

00:27 How many brothers and sisters did you have?

00:31 I was for us boys and we each had six sisters.

00:37 How old was the oldest one when you were born?

00:40 22

00:43 Did you have a nickname growing up?

00:48 What was it? And how did you get it?

00:53 Why they call you wart?

00:59 Why did he think you were a wart?

01:03 Arab better know the answer

01:09 What were your parents like?

01:11 Good.

01:16 Do you have any favorite stories of them from when you were growing up?

01:22 No, not that I can recall.

01:26 Didn't your mother wants have to hide from some Indians?

01:32 I think they did when she was very young. Where was that at?

01:40 In Central, Kansas

01:44 Rush County

01:49 When you were growing up, it was during the Depression and you didn't have TV or video games or anything fancy like kids have today. So what did you kids used to do for fun?

02:00 Run around

02:04 I have friends are go by yourself Gohan.

02:10 Go horseback riding.

02:14 Did you used to play pranks on each other?

02:17 I know the certain extent. Yeah, I was younger so I didn't get much we did that one time.

02:31 Uno

02:34 Dirt does a blow under the we had radio antenna was static could come in the mail yet.

02:43 Wood lineup Coast flooring

02:46 Tap somebody only end on the ear to get get a buzz out of it.

02:52 Did they pick on you a lot? Cuz you were the youngest.

02:59 Didn't you guys try to bury aunt flossie once

03:10 I don't know. It was just

03:13 Kid stuff

03:16 Who did you look up to when you were growing up?

03:22 I don't know.

03:27 I don't really know what you mean looking up to you.

03:33 Gorgeous older kids is gone.

03:41 When I was growing up, so

03:45 I don't know surgery to you necessarily any of them especially looked up a

03:54 And then when I was little I spend a lot of time down here with you and Grandma and all of my aunts and uncles did you used to spend a lot of time with your extended family?

04:04 No, I'm not mess Saturday because we we left from work.

04:11 I was born in that sweater.

04:15 Oh my aunts and uncles cousins what heavy I didn't.

04:23 I don't remember too much about the internet.

04:28 Where were you born?

04:31 Barton County, Kansas. How old were you when you came to, Colorado?

04:37 Borner V

04:39 Did all your brothers and sisters come or did some of them stay in, Kansas.

04:47 I think there was

04:51 Sixers kids still at home when we moved.

04:58 And where in Colorado did you guys settle first?

05:07 And you're still here today?

05:10 Boarded means

05:15 So you've always really valued education for your kids. How old were you when you left school?

05:22 1569 / member are you good student?

05:31 Nomo specially did you like being in school or did you always want to just kind of get out?

05:39 Do it some place to go and something to do ever get in trouble at school.

05:46 Well, she grow up you can get in trouble.

05:51 What did you do?

05:54 Nothing, nothing exceptional.

06:02 How many students are in your school?

06:06 I think when I graduated from the 8th grade there was

06:12 10 or 12:10

06:16 Text stop figure up.

06:20 Who is your teacher?

06:23 An 8th graders, mr. Gets

06:27 What was she like?

06:39 Have you ever regretted dropping out of school that young?

06:44 No, not especially.

06:46 Do you think your life would have been different if you'd gone on to high school and college?

06:52 I know it's hard telling us chose a profession that I like so.

07:01 Did you always want to be a farmer growing up?

07:08 That's kind of what I knew. Did you have any other jobs before you became a farmer all on your own?

07:17 Yeah, I work the construction work for a while.

07:28 Farm worker related to farm work

07:34 Did you like growing wheat or raising cattle better?

07:45 I guess.

07:47 Farm work crops

07:51 Cattle was interesting to

07:55 Why did you like growing crops better?

08:01 Shih Tzu ground and fresh work

08:06 Watching the crops grow.

08:10 When you were growing up, did you have a lot of farm machinery or was a lot of it's still done with horses and mules and a lot of sweat more machinery.

08:25 I don't.

08:27 I know one bad word coarse Sugar Butt.

08:31 After we came to Colorado and there was

08:37 It was all done with machinery.

08:43 Were you guys wheat farmers in Kansas before you came to, Colorado?

08:47 They ever was

08:51 Did you grow anything else?

08:57 Read few watermelons

09:07 And you've been really successful at what you've done and you know through the years especially in the eighties a lot of family farms folded. What do you think made you successful in so many other people were unable to make it work?

09:22 Oh.

09:25 We kind of had to watch your p's and q's.

09:29 How long was Peyton my life?

09:34 And that ain't coming.

09:39 Done without a few things.

09:47 We talked earlier about some other jobs that you held besides farming. Did you think of some others paying job was hauling Freight for Santa Fe locally when we lived in town and I had to Pony Inn.

10:10 Fixed up a car. That's what he would do to deliver your Freight me and friend.

10:19 No wouldn't have much to it. Only thing I had to do is watch and wait for the train to be gone her cuz the horses afraid of them.

10:29 They get real spooky.

10:31 He took off with you wanting.

10:36 You need any way he wanted to.

10:40 Never fall off a horse

10:48 No, not a spicy back though.

10:54 That way you don't have horses today cuz they send you flying.

11:02 It's a little too many age now for me in the horses.

11:11 Do not think you bounce as well. Now as you did 60 years ago if you fell off.

11:19 We've always had animals in our family growing up. Can you think of any animals in your past and you pets that have been especially important to you?

11:31 Oh, yeah, there's been a few dogs and that pony in.

11:39 It was kind of like horses.

11:46 No, I can't take anything else.

11:50 Special

11:52 Do you think your animals now play a different role your pets now than they did before you do now that you're living out here by yourself. Do they provide companionship more than they did when everybody was still at home?

12:07 No, I can't say that I did because he's out what some more.

12:13 Orokin Catalyst fil-A

12:17 You just closer to them?

12:21 More time with them

12:23 Did you always have dogs when you were little too?

12:27 Yes, we always had dogs. Home. They wouldn't house stove.

12:34 Red dogs

12:39 Did you ever serve in the military?

12:43 Why not look good and fast physical?

12:48 Did any of your brother serve?

12:53 In in what wars?

12:58 Each of them was in World War II was that the hard on the family while they were away.

13:05 Well, yes this her drink stand.

13:17 Probably bothered mom more than

13:21 She later on but

13:24 Was one of your brother's a p o w.

13:28 Hunter Brothers acquisition

13:35 Capture both Japan Cricket or island in the Philippines

13:45 How did you guys find out that he was a p o w?

13:49 Through the war department.

13:54 How long was he held for?

13:57 Till the war was over.

14:00 He was transferred Philippines to the island of Japan.

14:08 How soon before the end of the war was he captured?

14:11 Sceptre children Orchard started

14:18 Who's that pretty scary for everybody when you guys found out he was being held?

14:25 Not as scary as it would have been if we knew what happened to him.

14:33 Did they seem different when they all three came home?

14:36 Not especially

14:42 No Mental effects or anything like that the

14:47 You could notice.

14:50 Did they all leave the military after the war did any of them stay in?

14:57 Had served her timer was released on medical.

15:08 How would you compare the September 11th attacks with say Pearl Harbor kind of in its importance and how it how it seems to have affected the country.

15:21 Well

15:28 Pearl Harbor

15:32 At a different time

15:37 They both shocked to the nation, but

15:46 At that time

15:52 The highway your roots.

15:56 Not a state of the union.

16:00 So you didn't look at it as the way that 911 was.

16:08 Is really affecting the nation were.

16:19 I have already eaten in Pearl Harbor.

16:24 This

16:27 More or less

16:29 EBay used for the

16:34 The states

16:38 I never didn't think of it is really the Homeland.

16:44 Today it would be different.

16:50 Who was your favorite President?

16:53 I don't know if there was any favorites.

16:58 You just had to go along with what you had.

17:06 Just kind of had to live with the decision that everybody made, huh?

17:16 How how did you first meet grandma?

17:22 Oh you mean your grandma and my grandma not yours

17:28 Oh, I don't know she started teaching there or

17:34 I was

17:37 She stayed with my sister and that's why I got acquainted with her.

17:43 How old were you when you got married?

17:48 Probably not old enough.

17:52 If you'd have waited longer you would have been wiser and maybe not gotten married to begin with.

18:01 Was it harder or easier than you thought it would be to be a father?

18:09 I think it is it was harder than what you realize it is.

18:15 Did it get easier over time?

18:18 A lot of space c

18:21 Your responsibilities will still there.

18:26 So

18:29 And how you take them?

18:32 So when all of the kids were still at home, if you had the chance to go out and drown him in the horse tank. What order would you drown them in?

18:40 Probably head first.

18:47 Where did your ancestors first come from, Germany?

18:56 Grandad Christian came over here. Here is a stowaway.

19:02 Underused something about 15 14 15 years old.

19:10 What I understood then

19:13 My other grandparents old

19:19 Came over here with me was young.

19:23 Germany in

19:27 Settled in different parts met

19:33 Real wound up in Kansas

19:37 Raise our families

19:39 Did your granddad Christensen come over on his own or did his the rest of his family follow later later and evidently?

19:55 Are parents

19:57 Game game over here some way.

20:02 Is there buried in Barton County Kansas online?

20:08 Dad side

20:14 My great grandparents on my mother's side. I don't.

20:19 I don't think they ever came to this country.

20:23 Well least they ever Day of the Dead cuz there.

20:28 But I got my knowledge. I don't know where they're buried.

20:37 Your mother's family. They they were all from Germany to and they settled in, Kansas.

20:46 She was really a fine crafts woman. She made a lot of pretty quilts and everything. Did she ever have any sort of formal artistic training or did is is that a skill that you think was kind of handed down to her?

20:59 No, the the kind of skill. She had they just more lid came by and naturally. She didn't have any formal training. She

21:15 The time her education

21:23 I can't think of what the words you use for but she did have enough education that she taught school for a few years.

21:37 Cheetahs as a one-room schoolhouse teacher, whichever your teacher only at home.

21:48 Did you teach a lot of good things did she make a lot of crafts for your family when she when you were growing up? So she didn't log will work embroidery and crochet and

22:12 Order the part of being a housewife I guess.

22:17 Did your family did you listen to music a lot of growing up?

22:21 No, there was nobody musically inclined in our family. So

22:29 I wouldn't.

22:31 Too much of that. Did you guys have a radio?

22:36 Yeah later.

22:41 Well

22:43 I

22:46 I don't know. It's long about 32 or 33.

22:53 Before we ever had her radio on I wasn't too successful with

22:59 Good get the news.

23:06 To Mosaic whatever you could get was a little bit of news and a little bit of music if you were lucky.

23:15 Myself, I didn't pay too much attention to the music. We did have record players.

23:21 The pill form of graph

23:25 What kind of music did you listen to?

23:29 I don't know what you'd call the thin this folk music I guess.

23:36 How old were you when you got your first television?

23:42 I don't know. I don't know.

23:44 We didn't get that until.

23:47 Lion, and

23:50 Probably the mid-fifties sometime in there.

23:56 When you met grandma and she was staying with your sister, where was that at?

24:00 Other than Kansas southwest, Kansas

24:05 How long did you know her before you got married?

24:10 About a year

24:14 How did you know that she was the one for you?

24:18 I don't know just she said yes say yes a lot of girls and she was the only one who said yes.

24:29 Was she pretty good cook my grandma?

24:36 So

24:39 Then how long after you were married before you settled into the basement house?

24:47 I was already there.

24:51 Were you living there by yourself?

24:58 What was one of the first things you did after he got married?

25:02 Build an outhouse

25:04 Did Still Standing today?

25:08 To living out here by yourself. Now. Do you enjoy the peace in the quiet? Do you get lonely sometimes?

25:24 Just part of life, I guess.

25:28 You have a lot of visitors.

25:30 No, not especially people stop by every once in awhile.

25:37 And your family depends on you once in awhile to?

25:43 You're probably ready for us to all leave it eventually, aren't you?

25:47 Well, let's that's what life's all about.

25:52 What's up? What are some of the things that you're proudest of in your life?

25:59 I can't.

26:02 Can't think of anything. I think we've done very well family and give me like North we have a god.

26:19 Not everybody gets to enjoy and

26:24 I have

26:27 So, do you have anything else you want to talk about?

26:31 Especially

26:34 I know what you want to know.

26:36 Well, I'll think of something probably is there anything you want to ask me?

26:44 Yeah, why are you doing this?

26:48 Well, I'm doing this. So we've got into some of your oral history for the record and something we can go back and listen to and and and enjoy and and keep for posterity.

27:03 You think that'll fill the bill in huh? I think so.

27:09 But I think you for giving up your time and and it's really important to me and into the rest of the family and and we all love you a lot. And thank you. Led quite an incredible life and thanks for sharing some of that with us today.