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Kvam, Ingerid M. / The Skalet family : ancestors and descendants of Sever and Malla Skalet
(1996)

Sever and Malla Skalet,   pp. 7-26 PDF (6.5 MB)


Page 8

SEVER attended grade school at Helland School in Vermont Township. He lived on the
Skalet farm all of his life, except the last four years, which he lived in Black Earth in the
house Gil and Maurice live in now. He farmed with his father until he was married in 1908
and then took over the farm from his father.
Thora recalls when she was young she would ride to town with Sever on the milk rig to
attend her piano lessons. She also remembered Sever to have a quiet sense of humor. She
writes, "Once when I was getting ready for a date. I was putting on the finishing touches of
my make-up using the mirror in the gun cabinet Pa was sitting nearby reading the paper. I
placed my rouge compact on the table. When I turned around to get it, there was Pa's
Copenhagen snuff box there instead. Of course that brought a smile. I thought it was funny
and laughed."
Gil remembered cleaning the barn in the wintertime on the bobsled and took it up to the
ridge to unload. On the way back down, they would stop on the "Slit", the flat of the farm,
cut wood and bring it back to the house and throw it in the basement. One time Sever hit
Phil on the head and he still has a scar to prove it. Phil also recalls this ritual of cleaning the
barn and picking up wood on the way back. One time when Sever and Phil were on their
way back down, they stopped to cut a tree down. When Sever and Phil stepped back and the
tree fell, a branch came off of another tree and hit Sever in the head, knocking him to the
ground. Phil helped him on his feet and Sever said he wanted to walk home instead of riding
on the bobsled. Phil drove the team home and kept an eye on him all the way back to the
farm. Sever stopped by the pump to clean his head with cold water before he went to the
doctor to have stitches put in.
All the kids recall Sever taking out his fiddle on Sunday afternoons. He taught Thora to
chord on the piano so she could play along. They often listened to records on Sundays too.
Phoodee recollected a time when she and Sever were riding down the ridge road and saw a
snake. "I was so scared", she said, "but Pa calmed me down by singing 'Big Rock Candy
Mountain' to take my mind off the snake."
There were times on Sunday mornings when the roads were too muddy to drive to church.
Jorgen remembers Sever and him walking to church, crossing the Vermont Creek on a log,
and following the line fence up to the church. They had to allow about 45 minutes to get
there.
Maurice told of a sad time, when Sever had to put a horse down because of a broken leg. He
recalled, "Pa led it over to the barn and I don't know who was crying louder, Pa or the horse."
Sever would often take the kids to school, about 1/2 mile on his way to the cheese factory
with the milk. Dorothy Mae remembers riding on the runners of the sleigh in the wintertime.
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