CGP Community Stories

Carolyn Lindberg, November 7, 2010

Title

Carolyn Lindberg, November 7, 2010

Subject

Dairy farming
Burlington Flats, New York
Ashers
Holsteins
Bulk milk
Canned milk
Sewing machines
Beef cattle
Edmeston, New York
Morrisville College
Bassett Hospital
Korean War, 1950-1953

Description

Carolyn Lindberg, a long-time resident of Burlington Flats, New York, was born on August 29th, 1936, in her family home in Burlington Flats. Carolyn went to school, church, and attended social activities all within the local community. She married her husband Bud in 1955 after a courtship that began with a meeting on the school bus. Bud’s family, originally from Long Island, moved to Burlington Flats in 1948, where they purchased the farm on which the couple still reside.
Carolyn and Bud lived, worked, and raised their family on the dairy farm, which provided them with an income selling bulk milk. Carolyn recounts her experiences on the farm including daily work, cooking, and gardening. Carolyn also recalls her extensive cross-country travels with her husband to visit family and see the sites of the Western states. Carolyn and Bud have three sons, two daughters, and a host of grandchildren. Carolyn, who plays piano and directs the local choir, passed on her musical talents to many of her grandchildren, who play instruments and sing. Carolyn’s sons now operate the dairy farm and reside on pieces of land abutting their property that they have acquired over their years in the area. The most interesting material in the interview concerns Carolyn’s descriptions of the intricacies of dairy farming and how life has changed since she began working and living on the farm.

Creator

Kelly Mustone

Publisher

Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University of New York-College at Oneonta

Date

2010-11-07

Rights

New York State Historical Association Library, Cooperstown, NY

Format

audio/mpeg
28.8mB
audio/mpeg
28.8mB
audio/mpeg
28.1mB
image/jpeg
201kb
audio/mpeg
328kb

Language

en-US

Type

Sound
Image

Identifier

10-121

Coverage

Burlington Flats, New York
1936-2010
Upstate New York

Online Submission

No

Interviewer

Kelly Mustone

Interviewee

Carolyn Lindberg

Location

1645 County Highway 16
Burlington Flats, New York

Transcription

Cooperstown Graduate Program
Oral History Project Fall 2010

CL- Carolyn Lindberg
KM- Kelly Mustone

[START OF TRACK 1, 0:02]
KM:
This is the November 7, 2010 interview of Mrs. Carolyn Lindberg by Kelly Mustone for the Cooperstown Graduate Program’s Research and Fieldwork Course recorded at 1645 County Highway 16, Burlington Flats, New York. Alright, so we are just going to start with some questions about you so, where and when were you born?
CL:
I was born here in Burlington about two miles up the road from this place on August 29, 1936. At home, in the home.
KM:
Do you have any siblings?
CL:
At the present time I have two sisters. My only brother passed away back in 2002. But I still have two sisters and one of them is in a nursing home. She had a stroke two years ago. That’s all I can say about that.
KM:
Do your siblings have any children?


CL:
I have thirteen nieces and nephews. I know that it was eighteen so I subtract my five so that gives me thirteen nieces and nephews. The majority of them are about half and half. I guess most of them, now wait a minute. Marjory had two girls, Yeah there’s eight girls and five boys. One nephew has passed away. Theres only four living nephews.
KM:
Do they live nearby?
CL:
No, Two nieces live in Little Falls and one niece lives in Morris. Nephews, one is in Maryland, one is in Massachusetts, one is in New Hampshire, one is in western New York by Rochester. Okay, and my nieces, there’s a niece in Connecticut, there’s a niece near Rochester, there’s a niece in Arizona. Two of them I told you were Little Falls,
Ohio, Virginia. I guess that hits them all pretty much. No, they are scattered.
KM:
Do you ever get to visit them?
CL:
No, I would say no. Three years ago, well more than that, we went west for a month. We took my sister. Her husband had passed away and she had a daughter living in Arizona, and that was where we went. Arizona, New Mexico area. And we took her with us. Well whenever we went to New Mexico and Arizona, we always visited the niece that was out there, now for three years we haven’t gone. Two years, she died or got sick 3 years ago, so it’s been two winters we haven’t gone. And on our way home, we stopped in Ohio and visited her daughter that lived in Ohio. But other than that, my two nieces up in Little Falls, I could see them closer. But we just don't, you know.
KM:
Other than visiting your family, do you and your husband like to travel?
CL:
Yes we did but, due to age, we have stopped our traveling. Now we haven't been out west, as I said, for two winters. His sister has just passed away, she lived in Maryland and we did go down there a year ago. That’s about the last big trip. We were gone down to Maryland for Thanksgiving. That was our big last time that we ever really did much of any traveling. New York State is where we go now. Pretty much staying home.
KM:
When you used to travel, what did you and your husband like to do?
CL:
Oh we liked to see the country, we got so that we had a northern route and we had a southern route. It was just to see the country, and then we spent time there. Our son in law was in the Air Force or we wouldn't have gotten to travel. He was in twenty-one and a half years. Seventeen of those years he spent in Tucson, Arizona or Alamogordo, New Mexico. He was either at Davis Matham, or Howelman. So we got to travel down that way. We loved the area, and so even though after they moved back here to New York, we went because we just liked going. Relax and see the country and we’ve got a lot of pictures of both states, of Arizona and New Mexico. We have been in all the states in the western part of the country except North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. The only states on the east coast is South Carolina and Florida. We have traveled through all the rest of the states. We haven't seen all the stuff in every one of the states but we have traveled through them all, except those that we haven't made.
KM:
So the weather in those areas is quite different. Would you say that you prefer the weather in the Arizona/ New Mexico area?

CL:
For the time of year that we went, cause we always went February, March. So we left the cold area and cold temperatures and went down there. My husband always said, if you go to Arizona you’ll never got to Florida. Because it was dry air, it was just beautiful down there and we just loved it. We spent two or three weeks. We figured it was a week of traveling. Seven, three days out and four days back. So three weeks of spending down in that area. We really enjoyed it, we really did. Disappointed cause we can’t go, but health wise, well not so much health wise, but age wise, he said you know, if we get sick, our kids are all back east. What made him think of it was two years ago my sister did get sick and we were there at her daughters so fine. You know, so she was there to take care of her but that’s what made us kind of made us stop and think, what are you going to do if you get sick out there? And your kids are all back here. So that kind of put the damper on doing much traveling very far away. I would like to get to North Carolina where our granddaughter lives. I would like to get down there. And I haven’t given up yet

KM:
So when you traveled, what type of places did you stay in?
CL:
Motels. Our biggest motel we stayed in was Motel 6 or Super 8’s or whatever happened to be available where we wanted to stop. But usually in our plans we knew where these places all were. We’d done it enough times so we knew where they were and we gauged our traveling for that type of thing, so.
KM:
So, sort of bringing it back to you, tell me about your parents.
CL:
Well, Mother and Dad were married in 1920, and they lived on one farm. It was my father’s parent’s farm that they lived on originally, and then in 1923 they moved from that farm to the farm up the road where I was born. And they stayed there, that farm has been in the family since 1872, I believe the deed says. They worked at a farm. My father raised sheep besides his milk cows. It was something that had been in the family. His father had sheep and his one brother did. One of his brothers didn't but his other brother did. His sheep were his pride outside his cows. He started out with two pure bred Asher heifers that he bought from the man that lived on this farm and from that he raised his herd up. He started out with all black and white Ashers but at the end he had all registered Ashers. He milked cows. I can remember Mom worked right along with him. She milked cows. I was a lot younger than my other sisters and brother. My brother was fifteen years older than I am and my youngest sister is ten. So I was pretty much brought up by myself. By the time I was really growing up, they had all left. In fact, I was only eight when my youngest sister left home. And my brother was in the war [World War II] and I can remember helping when he was gone. Dad wanted us to help and we were all brought up to do that, I guess you’d say. Let me see, he milked cows, right up until the day he passed away. He had one cow, I mean he didn't milk a lot because, once the canned milk got stopped, he didn't put in a bulk tank. Which he told my husband later, he said I should have.
KM:
What type of tank?
CL:
A bulk tank where the milk is picked up in a big tanker and that’s when canned milk went out. Then it went to what they called a bulk tank which your milk just goes into it and cools it down. The first that picked up here, was only, I don't know that they call it, a ten wheeler, but they were smaller. But now it comes with a big tractor trailer. He had said that he wished he had, back, I’m not sure what year he stopped shipping milk. He still shipped milk when I was home. I was married in 55, so maybe late fifties he stopped. Whenever the milk plant where he shipped his milk went out of business, he gave it up. He didn't think he wanted to go through the expense of putting in the tank. He said afterwards he could have milked cows and shipped milk for a few more years if he’d done it that way. My mom, she was a typical housewife. She had a garden where she canned and froze. After they got the freezer, which was something they didn't get until after the Second World War. Then they got a freezer and put meat away and they froze their meat and they froze their vegetables and she did a lot of canning too. A lot of things which she canned. She was a great seamstress. Oh she made most all of my clothes. If I wanted something, she made it. She made my wedding dress. That was one thing, she went to Morrisville, and she graduated from Morrisville in 1919 with, well I think it was like a certificate but she was considered a graduate there, in sewing. In that type of thing.
KM:
Was that beyond high school education.
CL:
Well yea, she never graduated from high school, she went to Morrisville. As far as I know, she never graduated from high school, but she did graduate from Morrisville. So I think back, after you were so far in school, she went for two years over there in Morrisville. She had friends there that she kept in touch with, all through their lives. So, they were just a good set of parents.
KM:
Now did she teach you how to sew?
CL:
Yea. She taught me, she taught my two daughters, she taught her other two granddaughters. My brother lived up the road and those two granddaughters. She worked with 4-H. Both of my girls were in 4-H, and so were my nieces. She taught them all. In fact, my one sister was a very good seamstress too. She helped with the other two girls. But she taught both of my two daughters how to sew. JoAnn [Van Vranken] has a tendency of every time where we go somewhere we buy patterns and fabric, and I have told her, you get it cut out, I will stitch it up for you but I haven’t seen any of it yet. The other daughter likes to make quilts and things like that. She has three sons so she doesn't have any little girls to sew for. But yes, mom taught me to sew and I’ve kept up with it. I’m down to the point where I’m not making clothes for anybody. It’s quilts and Christmas tree skirts. The type of thing that I can make for my grandchildren and granddaughters.
KM:
Now do you sew by hand or do you use a machine?
CL:
Oh, I do use a machine. Let me see, I’ve got three machines that stitch and one that’s called a Surger, which will overcast seams and everything. So I have four sewing machines. When I was first married, my mother’s was a treadle. She didn’t use it, so I had it down here until I got my first electric. And then after that, all that one would do was go forward and backwards. Well then my husband bought me one for Christmas one year and it was a little fancier. It would zig zag and that type of thing. And then I got my Surger which I thought it was finishing seams and everything. It was great when I was making clothes. Then I had a little problem with my one that he’d originally bought me, I had it serviced, and then it came back it wouldn’t make button holes, so I had to buy a machine to make my button holes when I was making things. That’s how come I ended up with so many. The last one I really didn’t need, but if I was going to make a button hole, I had to have it. Then they worked back and forth. Right now, that one is the one that’s set up there, so if one begins to work a little bad, then I can set another one. But I’ve got things I want to do, so I haven’t gotten them done. Like everybody, I could make a list.

KM:
So where did you go to school?
CL:
I went to school in Edmeston. In Edmeston Central School in Edmeston. I went all thirteen years there from kindergarten right straight through high school, and that was it. I never went on to college or anything. I graduated in June, got a job at Bassett Hospital in August, and worked there until my oldest son was born in April of ‘58. Then I went back that summer. They asked me to come back and substitute for the gal that taken my place so she could have vacation. But that was the last I went back there. I had too much going on. I couldn’t substitute anymore.
KM:
What did you do at Bassett Hospital?
CL:
I worked in the X-ray department. I was the secretary to Dr. Otto Saylor. He would read the X-rays and I typed them directly to the typewriter. He didn’t believe in using a Dictaphone and so it went directly to the typewriter.
KM:
What’s a Dictaphone?
CL:
Whats a Dictaphone? It’s very much like a recorder.
KM:
What we’re using right now?
CL:
You know, nowadays they record them into things and somebody tapes and puts it wherever you want it. That was the way a lot of them did it. He wouldn’t work with one of those.
KM:
He wanted you to type?
CL:
He wanted it done direct and so that’s the way it was done.
KM:
In school, were there any subjects that you particularly liked or were good at?
CL:
In school? I hated science. That was not my cup of tea. I managed to get through it. At that time, you had to take one science course in your high school years. We all had to take general science. That was required, so I got through that and I was fine. I tried to do biology and I quit two weeks after I started. I said to heck with that. I liked music. Music was what I really liked. But math, I liked math and music. English was ok, so long as I was doing grammar. Some of the stories we had to read, I wasn’t into reading, but that’s changed. I love to read books, but the kind of books that I read are not the kind of books that you would read for English. But I would say that music and probably math were my two favorites. Well music was just the choir and the band. At that time we had a music teacher that did teach some music courses but I couldn’t fit them in so it was just social studies, English, and math. I had some home ec [economics] classes just to fill in the schedule and different things. Then I went into the business courses. My junior and senior year I had taken shorthand, bookkeeping, typing, and those kind of things. I prepared myself for being able to go to work cause I had made up my mind I was getting married soon after I got out of high school. I waited a whole year. Somebody was in my life and I knew that that was what was going to be and I wasn't going to go away for four years for college. A disappointment to my dad and mom. The other three had all gone to school. My sisters had gone to business colleges. My brother was a graduate of Colgate. I disappointed my father by not going but I had other things I wanted to do. They didn't stop me from what I wanted to do. They knew what my future was going to be. But dad was disappointed because he could have put me through school with no problems. The other three had, and I didn't. One thing I’m disappointed in is he lived to see us have the farm gain, but not see what it is now. My mother lived and she knew the boys owned their farm, but he didn't. That’s what had happened, because he passed away very suddenly one day, just before Christmas.
KM:
Now, did you meet your husband in high school?
CL:
My husband and I rode the school bus together. He moved up here in his senior year. They came up in June of ‘48. He graduated in June of ‘49. We rode the bus and there was the Grange and his folks went to Grange. We knew each other, he went to the church, him and his mother went to the same church that I went to. We got acquainted through that way. It was a small community, and you had your church and the Grange and those were the two big things for socializing and everything. It was just a matter of meeting and so on and so forth.

KM:
Where did he move from?
CL:
Long Island.
KM:
Wow.
CL:
He came up from Long Island when he was seventeen years old. Yes, I think he had turned seventeen when he moved up. They came up in July of ‘48, and his birthday is July. I think maybe he was seventeen but he’d just turned seventeen. We met on the school bus. We got acquainted through the community and everything. He’s five years older than I am. I was only in seventh grade when he was in high school. It was pretty much afterwards that we knew each other. We knew each other and rode the bus. It was three years after he got out of high school before we started really keeping company. Back then they had what you called the Sadie Hawkins dance and so I thought I wanted to go and I wanted somebody to go with. I asked him, “Do you want to go to a Sadie Hawkins dance with me?” [Inaudible]
KM:
Is the Sadie Hawkins dance where the girl asks the guy?
CL:
Yea.

KM:
So you struck up your courage to ask him?
CL:
“Do you want to go to a Sadie Hawkins dance with me?” He said “Yea”. He’d go with me. It was pretty much after that. I was only fifteen and I couldn't go out all the while. I had to ask permission. Then after a year or so, then it was so. We became engaged on the night I graduated from high school.
KM:
How did he ask you to marry him?
CL:
I don’t know. It was all friendship and we just kind of knew that was what that was going to happen.
KM:
What type of things did you do for dates? Did you date?
CL:
Oh movies.
KM:
Movies.
CL:
Movies pretty much. If there was a dance in school, cause back then the classes had fundraisers for square dances. So when I was in high school, we went to the dances at school. Pretty much that was it. Movies were in Cooperstown. We went to Cooperstown for the movies. Once in a while we would go to Oneonta. Most of the time, we went to Cooperstown. You know, school things. Functions and school things going on.
KM:
Did he have a car?
CL:
He had to use his folks’ car, pretty much. In February of ‘54, he got his first car. So he had his own car after that. This place here was very run down. They had to start pretty much from square one and built it back up.
KM:
His home?
CL:
Right here.
KM:
Oh ok.
CL:
This was where they came to. When they came up from Long Island, this was the farm that they bought. It was in bad shape, the barn was run down and the fences were gone. You know, they had start from square one and work up to it. There wasn't money so he could have a car or anything. Not like it is nowadays.
KM:
Do you know much about the history of this house?

CL:
I don't too awful much. I think it was built in the 1850s. Of this farm, the only thing that’s original is the house. The only part of the house that’s original is the two-story part. That was the first addition. It was a room, but we keep it closed because we have oil heat. When we had wood heat, we could heat it. It was no problem. We keep it closed when it’s cold. There was a room on there, but it was nothing we could use. They looked at it and said it would be just as well to tear it off and start from scratch. That was the first thing we did. We got that done just before our oldest son graduated from high school. Well, in fact, before he graduated because he had friends over and they were out there. Mom ran the pizza kitchen. I made pizzas for them for their friends so that they could be out there and they had their parties and stuff. That was done in the early 70s. Then we had to put on the barn. We had to build the barn. His father passed away in ‘58 and so it was just him and his mother. This one end of the upright part of the barn, they put on that summer. He and I took over on the farm in ‘61 and then we had to build the rest of the upright part. Well one son came back and was going to be here. Our oldest son, so we put on the other end of the barn. It was working all the way up through, and we went by the rule or thoughts that the house did not make us any money. That wasn’t what was going to increase our income or increase our anything. So I never had any fancy kitchen or anything. I had stove and a refrigerator and we had a sink and everything. It was a kitchen, and it was a house. We ate all our meals here. But in 1979, JoAnn got married and we tore the house apart. We added on a new kitchen and the dining room, the den, and the mud room. We put all that on in one year. My husband told me that “when you’re ready for your kitchen, you have done without,
[END OF TRACK 1, 30:00]

[START OF TRACK 2 0:00]
you can have what you want.” Everything I wanted went in that kitchen. There were no questions or anything about it. He said “I told you you could have what you wanted,” and I got it. Then after a while, we tore the walls off and re-did the walls, and all of the house has all been re-done now. Inside and out. I think originally it was built in the 1850s. It was plastered walls, and when we did anything it was dust and everything. So we had the windows open when we were peeling them off and everything. So we started in and did as we could. We did each room as we could. We did this room and the bedroom up above it at one time cause we could strip it right down and fix it. My mother passed away and I inherited a little bit of money. I said to him when I got it “ you know what I want to do?” He said “You want to fix upstairs and put a bathroom in.” I said “Yea I do.” Cause the bathroom was down here and there was nothing upstairs. He said “go ahead if you want to.” We found a guy that did it, and tore the hall apart. You would never believe it. There was a room upstairs that the kids used as their play room. That was going to be the bathroom. Before we got done, we had stripped the bedroom, the room at the head of the stairs and all down the stairs. It’s not a very big bathroom. There is a shower, a toilet, and a sink up there. It’s not very big but it serves its purpose. We had already started the other end of the house. The living room, and he finished it off for us. Bits by pieces. In fact, the last of it didn't get done until in the 90s. We probably finished the last rooms upstairs. It had to be re-done. So we just worked at it as we could. I was a 4-H leader. The kids were in 4-H. I was a 4-H leader. Carl was born in ‘58.
KM:
Is Carl your first son?

CL:
Carl is the oldest boy, yea. So he would be probably in ‘67, or ‘68. He was born April 24 and his sister JoAnn was born April 4 of the following year, so there is not quite a year between them. They grew up together. They were old enough to join 4-H. If your kids are in things, you help. The only thing I didn’t get involved in was Cub Scouts. A couple up the road had sons the same age as Joanne and Carl. They wanted to be in Scouts. Carl wanted to be in Scouts, fine. You can be the Den Mother. She did. She had them up there. But Carl was only in for two or three years at the most, that he was in Cub Scouts. When it got time for him to go to the Boy Scouts. He didn't. 4-H was more his speed anyway. He was in 4-H and JoAnn was and then when the other two, Eric and Luanne. Luanne was born in January of ‘63 and Eric was born in January of ‘64. There was not a year between them. So when they came to be of the age, there were four of them in it. The youngest boy came along 4 years later in ‘68. But for some reason there was no second one to follow. We decided no, that was it. I had grown up as an only child pretty much. I said I wasn't going to have my own kids do that but Neil has made out alright. He and Eric were in school but through high school he was the only one cause Eric graduated when Neil was finishing 8th grade. He went through high school alone. There were boys up the road that he was good friends with and they played sports together and everything. So I guess he made out alright. The others, there was always two of them growing up. Of course JoAnn was nine when Neil was born and she took care of him so I guess you’d say she favors him in a way. The other two, they all grew up together. Eric and Neil are the two that run the farm. Luanne, she is a CPA. JoAnn works, you know JoAnn. The other, Carl, has got his own farm and he moved into Madison. He has three children, but none of them wanted to farm it. He has just sold his farm because he was alone and he said it was getting too much to do it all alone. His wife is a nurse at the school and she worked and helped him. He had to do chores. She helped milk and everything but she had to go to work so he was alone. He said he was just getting burned out. He sold his and they’ve built a new house. He’s helping a neighbor right now, but eventually he is going to be looking for employment somewhere, I guess.
KM:
So you’ve definitely grown up on a farm, pretty much your entire life. Tell me about dairy farming. I don’t know anything about it.
CL:
You don’t know anything about dairy?
KM:
No.
CL:
Well all I know about dairy farming is milking cows, which I did. I worked right along with my husband and milked cows. I never milked cows back home, never had to but I had to wash the milking machines. At the time, you carried a pail. My folks’ house was up here. You had a little bank that you had to walk down. You carried a pail of hot water down the bank. Two pails of hot water down. One to wash in and one to rinse in. In the summertime, that was my job. I had to wash the milking machines and do that every morning. You had to get them done real early. I never helped milk. I never helped my dad milk or anything. My mom did and my brother was there some. After he got out of the war, he was there with my father for awhile. In the summertime, I had to wash the milk machines. I can remember when I was the only one there, that my father had horses. In the wintertime especially. In the summertime too, he did some work with horses, but he always used a sleigh at that time. They did not have manure spreaders like they do now. He pitched it on by hand, the manure. He pitched it off by hand. While he was out spreading it, I had to have the horse stalls cleaned and ready for those two horses when he got back. That was one of the things in the wintertime that was my job. In the summertime I had to wash machines. Then I got down here, and his father passed away. He passed away thirteen days after our oldest child was born. Then it was just his mother and him, and me. So for two and a half years, his mother would help him milk in the morning and I would help him milk at night. She took care of the kids. So the first time I helped him milk, and I’m not sure, but it was before we were married. I was down here with him and we were milking. He was milking and so I was going to help him. Well, he thought I knew how to put a milking machine on. He has laughed to this day that he had to teach me how to milk cows, which is true because I did not have to do it at home. I had gotten the machine on a little crooked but he got me straightened out on that. I helped him milk from then on. I’m not sure what year I finished. We went from milking with pail units, to putting it in milk cans, which meant carrying the milk in pails to the milk house, and straining it into milk cans. He put it into the milk cooler. I didn't touch that. We went to a bulk tank. He hurt his back pulling the milk cans out. Then we said we were going bulk. That was when we put our first bulk tank in. Which again, you carried the milk from the stable out into the milk house and poured it into the strainer. Then we got smart and we put in a pipeline which ran into the milk house. We never saw the milk after that. It was in these pipelines and went right into the milk house and into the bulk tank. . . . . So every time we always did something that made it easier for ourselves. First of all, we didn’t put in a barn cleaner when we fixed the barn. We took over in ‘61. His mother sold us the farm and we took over January 1 of 1961. We had to put the upright part on because that end of the barn was in bad shape. We didn’t put the barn cleaner in right away.
KM:
What is a barn cleaner?
CL:
It runs in the pit and carries the manure out and into the manure spreader. You don’t have to shovel it.
KM:
Oh wow.
CL:
So then we put that in, and then he had a manure spreader where he didn't have to pitch it off by hand. There’s a lot of work. It’s a 24/7 job, would you say? You get wintertime and it’s extra feeding because your cows are stabled. It was a lot of work. When the kids were in school, we would get up and we’d go over and I would help him get started. Then I would come back and get however many children that had to go to school and get them ready. JoAnn had braids. Quite often I had to iron a dress because that’s what they wore. I would get them washed so I might not get them ironed. Maybe I was having to iron a dress, do pigtails, do their lunches, get their breakfast, and get them off to school. That was two. Then I had two here, Luanne and Eric. I had to get them ready, take them to the barn with me. I had to dress them up in snowsuits and take them to the barn. We had them tied up. We had harnesses on them, and they were tied up up front while we did the chores, so they wouldn’t get hurt. Then we came back and got breakfast, and went back over. We had to let the cows out and bed them and put clean bedding under them and feed them. At that time it was forking it out. We put it into a wheelbarrow and wheeled it around.
KM:
Has dairy farming shaped the way that you eat or prepare food, that kind of thing?
CL:
Well, yea. I would say probably dairy farming has kind of shaped our foods because we could raise our own beef meat. At the beginning it was a cow that we wanted to get rid of or wasn't going to be used anymore for milking. She was in good health and everything, then we fattened her up and slaughtered her for our own meat. Then we got so we raised beef breed for our meat because that was free, you know. Pretty much your meat was free so we ate an awful lot of beef. We used an awful lot of milk. And then we always had a garden, so we always had vegetables. I did freezing. I did canning. This year I’ve done more canning and freezing than I have done in quite a few years, but we had a good garden. Thanks to our children. I didn't want to see anything go to waste. So I have done an awful lot of corn and tomatoes. Applesauce. I dug out the carrots and I even canned them. I just didn't let anything go to waste. Cucumbers. I didn't have too many to make pickles, but I had a few so I could make a few pickles. Zucchini. I have some nieces and grand-nephews that think my zucchini relish is the best, and so I have to make it. I made 17 jars and took it to my sister and said here they are, divide. So they had their relish. Yes, I would say probably, but we got so we raised our own chickens, so that we had chicken meat. We never raised them for our own eggs, but we just raised them for meat. So we had chicken and beef. Those would be the two biggest meats we raised on the farm. So I would say yes. The vegetables were nothing exotic. They were just potatoes, beans, carrots, and some squash. We did do some broccoli but not a lot. Most of it was your basic, beans and corn. We never raised peas because it took too much trouble to get a few peas. If you are feeding a family of 7, I said the heck with that. We never raised peas. I could buy my peas. We raised our carrots. We raised beets and everything. As you saw when you walked in, there were three freezers.
KM:
Yes
CL:
We had beef in one. We had chickens in another and the vegetables were in another. Yes, I would say yes. We now do not use this milk. My husband had a four-way bypass, so we went to one percent milk. We have to buy our own now. He drank a lot of milk. It was at every meal. Now it’s one meal a day has milk. Now we are getting away. I used to buy cans of salmon. That was a good fish. Now we are beginning to try different fishes. He does like fish. I was not brought up on fish. It’s a new thing to me to learn to cook it and everything. I would say yea, the dairy farm is how I cook. I can cook lots of beef dishes and chicken dishes. Fish I’m having to learn. We never raised too much of our own pork. We did some, once in a while. If we were going to have a lot of milk that could not be shipped or anything, or we were going to have a lot of fresh cows maybe we would get a pig or two and raised up our own pork. Then somebody would come and slaughter them, and someone came and cut them up for us right here at the farm. Now it’s a different thing, you take it to the slaughter house. They do it there for you. When I get it back it’s already to put in the freezer. Its already frozen, packaged and its entirely different than what it used to be.
KM:
So who did you supply your milk to? How did that work?
CL:
Well they called it the Fly Creek Valley Co-Op, and it was located in Fly Creek. That was where his father got started. In fact, the neighbor did. Most everybody up and down the road here shipped to Fly Creek. My father happened to ship to Sheffield which was like Dairy Man’s League, if you’ve ever heard of Dairy Man’s League. It was a Co-Op. It was the Sheffield. He did, and the milk plant was in Edmeston, and the train took the milk out of there. When my in-laws started shipping, everybody as I said, went to Fly Creek and that where theirs went. He stayed right there with the Fly Creek Co-Op. Until they kind of stopped using their milk plant. They did start in drawing their own milk. We used cans and he hurt his back and they did not take bulk milk at the time. He called them and he said, I’m going bulk, if you want my milk, you are going to have to start picking up bulk milk. The board of the directors said that we were one of the bigger producers. They went bulk and put him right on the board of directors right off. We went through them. Then finally, they disbanded and they sold the plant and everything, and he got out of there. We went to South New Berlin Co-Op, and that’s where we shipped. We shipped through Fly Creek which went to Tuscan for a while, but when they got through, we went to South New Berlin. Things weren’t going that great. He was president at the last and he was president of the Co-Op. He said “I’m done” and they sold the building. Some others took over and that was it. Now they come with a big tractor trailer at four or four thirty in the morning and pick up the milk.
KM:
Who runs the farm now?
CL:
Eric and Neil.
KM:
Your sons?
CL:
Our sons, yes.
KM:
Do they live nearby?
CL:
Eric lives on my home farm up the road. Him and his wife. There was a German couple that lived down the road here. My husband worked there when he first came up here. In fact when the Korean War was on, he was right at that age. If you could get a farm deferment that kept you out. He really couldn't leave here, but they didn't have enough to keep him out. But the man down the road, with his help, with my husband having to help him, that kept him deferred from military service. So they lived down the road here. At the last end, I was pretty much a daughter to them. My folks took me to Grange when I was a little shaver, mom would have to take me with them and everything. At the end, I was pretty much, what you would call their daughter. I looked after them and everything. They sold this place on this road and moved back and built a house. That’s where Neil lives. Neil bought that. We own their farm, where they used to live. They moved over back, and they wanted us to have the land on this side of the road. So we did. We bought that from them. All they had was their house on the other side. So when they were both in the nursing home, and I made arrangements. They wanted it in the family, I knew they did. I said to them “Neil will buy your house.” Because we had already bought their land. That was great. He bought the house before either one of them passed away. Just recently, within the last five or six years, their original farm, down here where they lived was sold in parcels. The house and the barns were sold as one parcel, but the rest of the land, the boys bought. Now they own Mr. and Mrs. Webber’s farm down here, plus their farm over back there. Neil lives over back. Him and his wife live over on what they call the golf road. It’s over the hill about a mile so. If you go by the crow flies, I think it’s a mile over the hill. They are both right here within a short distance of the farm. They live on farm land. The land that they are farming, it’s all part of their farm.
KM:
How many cows or animals do you have right now?
CL:
I think they are pushing 175 to 180. I know they have about 100 milkers, pushing 100 milkers. I go over once a month and do what we call test milk. They take a sample and weigh it. They have meters that milk goes through, that meters it for them. Then they take a sample cup that has preservative, I guess you would call it, in it. They fill that cup and then the tester comes and picks it up and takes it out to Cornell and is tested for different bugs and whatever you want to call it. I go over once a month, twice, morning and night, and write the weights down for them. I know that the last time we used 93 of those testing tubes. They are pushing about 100 head. 100 milkers, give or take one or two head. They have heifers that come on, so they get rid of the ones and have some come in. The barn will hold 88 milkers. This one over here. Then Eric’s barn up there has, I don’t know how many that will hold. See all three of them were farms so there are barns on each one. I think Neil’s got ten or fifteen head over at his place. I would say that there are 150 to 160 head. What started out as a 121-acre farm is up to now 550 acres.
KM:
Are they a specific type of cow?
CL:
They have Holsteins. The black and white Holsteins. But that’s all they have ever had. My father gave my oldest son an Asher heifer calf. We kept them until after he left. We knew we could get rid of the Ashers. They weren't producing like the Holsteins do, but we kept them till he passed away. When he passed away we kind of dwindled them out. Well they didn’t do that good. We tried. We tried.
KM:
Now, economics on the farm. Would you go through good years and bad years, or was it all pretty consistent?
CL:
Well, I would say it was consistent. Just like it is now, you didn't get paid for the milk compared to as much as it cost you to produce it. We did ok. We did ok. There were times when some of the bills were backed up, but we always managed to keep our heads above water. We were careful. We did without until we could do what we needed to do. I think probably we had bad years as well as we had good years. I guess you don't remember the bad years. You remember the good years, and everything is good as far as I am concerned. We’ve had a good life. We both feel the same way. We had somebody watching out for us. We are not religious but we do believe in the almighty God and that he provided for us all the way through and took care of us. We feel that way. We did the way we believed and we felt he guided us. Now we are working and giving back to him. That was our living. That was our creed for living. Our kids were brought up to go to church. What happened, I don't know. Only one of them goes to church now.
KM:
Where did you take your children to church?
CL:
Right up the road. The little church up here on the corner. I was born and that was where I grew up and that’s where we were married. That’s where our kids went to church.
KM:
Is it the Presbyterian church?
[END OF TRACK 2, 30:00]
[START OF TRACK 3, 0:00]

CL:
No it’s the Baptist church.
KM:
The Baptist church, ok I wasn’t sure.
CL:
It’s a Baptist church. I went there when I was growing up, and we were married there, as I said. Our kids grew up and went up there to church and Sunday school. Two of our children were married there, only because of the way that things were. It’s a very small church. JoAnn was married up here. She and Bob. But when our other daughter got ready to get married, it was going to be too small, and her husband and his family were active in the Presbyterian Church in Cherry Valley and that’s where they were married. Neil and Nancy were married up here. Carl married a girl who had been brought up Ukrainian Orthodox and they were married in a Ukrainian Orthodox church up in Rome. Eric was married in Gilbertsville. That was where his wife grew up. Only two of them were married up here, but due to circumstances, it had to be other ways.
KM:
What was your wedding like?
CL:
What was it like? It was a small wedding compared to nowadays. We were married in the church. I had just one attendant. We had two ushers. The church was probably full but it was pretty much only relatives. His relatives came up from Long Island. Mine of course lived within a short distance of here. My aunts and uncles. So I would say a lot of the people that went there to church went. At that time, the whole congregation was invited. A lot of people from the church were there. Caroline and Bud were getting married and that was the thing of the year. Pretty much that’s what you did. It was a wedding and there hadn't been any weddings much in the town.
KM:
Excitement.
CL:
It was a big event. My sister was married five years ahead of me. My youngest sister. She wasn't married in the church, she was married at home in the house where we lived and grew up. I don't know, it just seemed like it was a big deal to the whole community when we got married. It was a fall day. We were married the first day of October. It was a beautiful fall day. The trees on the hills were just colored beautifully. It was just a simple, simple wedding. My mother, as I told you, made my dress.
KM:
What was your dress like?
CL:
It was white satin. It had lace, and lacy sleeves. It was scalloped at the waist line. It had a lace insert up here. That had scallops of the satin. You know, I would have to get out the pictures and look at it. It hangs right upstairs in my house here. I still have it. My cousin was my maid of honor. She had been in somebody else’s wedding as a bridesmaid. She used one of those dresses. At that time we had these little white, kind of beanie hats. Mom got fabric that matched my cousin’s dress. We both had little hats and she took some of the fabric for it. My cousin’s dress was blue and she covered the hat and then she put a little ruffled up fabric across the front. Mine she took and covered it with the white satin. She put tiny rhinestones all over it. How did my veil look? Well anyway, she ruffled up some tulle or whatever it was. I had a veil on. I believe there were little artificial flowers in the front. I don’t know, I would have to get the picture down.
KM:
What type of celebration did you have afterwards?
CL:
Afterwards? Strictly a very small reception back at the house. It was nothing but cake and punch. That was what most receptions were at that time. Cake and punch up here in the country. It was. We went back to my folks’ house, or home, and we had cake and punch. As I remember, there was just cake and punch.
KM:
Did you go on a honeymoon?
CL:
Yes. We went for seven days. We were gone I think seven. We were married on Saturday and I think we came back on the next Friday. We got back home the next Friday. Neither one of us had seen much. He had moved here. He had been to New York City. I went to New York City on my class trip. He went there on his class trip and of course he lived down there. We hadn’t seen much. So we went to Gettysburg, then we went onto Washington D.C. Then we came back across West Virginia. I’m not sure if we hit into Ohio or not but we came back in on the western end of New York and came home. We started out and he had a hundred dollars in his pocket and we were gone for seven days. Back then you can tell what it was like. Fifty five years ago, it didn't cost much to stay over night. It didn’t cost much to eat. He says now, how did we ever start out like that? I don’t know. We didn’t have credit cards. Gas wasn't that high. We toured. We had a honeymoon, yes we did. After awhile. His sister played a nasty trick on us. The day or two before we got married, he had been out to town in Cooperstown. His brother-in-law had a barber shop and he was getting his hair cut. He made a mistake of saying to his sister that he was getting another set of keys made for his cars. She took our car on us and hid it.
KM:
What did she do?
CL:
She took our car on us and hid it!
KM:
Hid it, oh!
CL:
We hunted or I don’t know how long, looking for it. We were married in October and my cousins got married in January and they took us. We went all over trying to find it. We finally went back home. My husband’s brother-in-law told my dad, “Well if they don't find it, tell them to go up on the farm.” Sure enough we went up there and found it. We had been up there and we didn't find it up there. They had really hid it. His sister really fixed us. So that was one of things that we remember from our wedding. But other than that, it was just a simple, simple wedding. It’s lasted fifty five years so far.
KM:
Some of your children chose to go into dairy farming and some didn't. What would you say made them make those choices?

CL:
The boys went into dairy farming. Probably the fact that they were brought up and saw this. Carl, the oldest boy, it was all he ever wanted to do. We gave him a choice. They either had to go to college for two years or they had to go in the service. They could not come out of high school and come directly to working on the farm. We wanted them to get away and to realize that there was a life besides farming. That farming was 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You didn’t get a vacation. You weren’t always able to go and do whatever you wanted to do. They grew up going to school. They played any sport they wanted. They were in anything they wanted to do at school. They were there and we went. We did a lot of things just so they could be in it and we could go. I think they were brought up in the farming family and that’s where they wanted to stay. Carl went to school, to Cobleskill, for two years. He took up animal husbandry. That was learning feeding the cows and that type of thing. He also took an Ag-Mechanic course because he took one of our tractors and completely redid it over there. Eric, he decided he was going to go to Delhi and he took the vet science program. He does a lot of the veterinarian part of the farming. He breeds our own cows. He does all the breeding with the cows and a lot of the medical kind of work. As much as they can to keep the veterinary bill down. Neil went to school and he majored in machinery. Ag-Mechanics. Learning to weld, and learning to fix the machinery so that it would cut back on your repair bills. So all three went and took classes. They did it. They decided what they were going to do and that’s what they did. They all just wanted to stay in farming. That seemed to be what they wanted. The girls, they had no interest in farming. JoAnn, she went to school. Well they all went to school. Every one of them. JoAnn went to Morrisville for two years. She graduated in May and got married in June. She moved to New Mexico.
KM:
What did she study at Morrisville?
CL:
She took a medical-secretarial course. Which she’s never used. Her husband was in the service. Of course when they were first married she helped by getting a job. I don’t know what she has done. She has worked at a number of different things. She worked for the White Sand Missile Range out there when she was married. She has worked for Sears, and she has worked for McDonald’s. I don’t know. She has always had a job. Then she worked in the library up here in Rome when they lived there. She got into the library up there and then she got into the schools. At the last end, in Alamogordo, there is a big city school district. There was one head librarian, and then they had the librarian assistants, and she was a librarian assistant at the elementary school where her kids went. She had that job. She got in by volunteering. Then she was a teachers aid. She has ended up out here. Now she is out here. The other girl went for a four-year degree. She went to Cobleskill for two years then she transferred to Plattsburgh and she majored in accounting. She took the CPA test and that’s what her husband is. They are both CPAs. He is into the accounting.
KM:
Alright. Earlier you mentioned that you were really inspired by music in high school and I see you have a piano. Do you still play?
CL:
Yes, I play the piano. I am the organist, pianist, and choir director up at our church. Yes, I like music. I sing, and I play the piano and the organ at the church.
KM:
Does your husband like music too? Does he play?
CL:
No! He likes to listen to it. But no, he doesn’t play. He does sing at our church, he will sing, but other than that, that’s all he does. If I sit down and play, he will sit down and listen. He may be reading or doing a puzzle book or something, but he is listening. He likes the music.
KM:
Is music your only hobby?
CL:
Oh! My only hobby?
KM:
I doubt it.
CL:
Well you can see this! This is my knitting.
KM:
Oh, ok.


CL:
I am working on a sweater. I keep some things. Sometimes if I come in here and want to sit down during the day, it keeps me from doing something else. These are some that I have completed and haven’t gotten sewn together. But that’s my knitting. I’ve got yarn in there. I have made afghans and different things like that. Sewing is a big hobby. I would say that is a hobby. I made that covering there on that chair. Somebody said to me “You don’t make anything for me,” so I figured alright. Your covering for your chair needs changing, so I went at it and pieced that together for them. But I make Christmas tree skirts. I’ve got one going. I have had it going for quite awhile. It’s for our granddaughter that lives in Colorado. I thought I was going to get it done and out there for Christmas for her so she’d have it. So I like sewing. And then if you looked in the living room, you would find the latest of my hobbies. That is scrapbooking. I have got that all spread out. Right now I am working on one of our granddaughter’s weddings, which took place two and a half years ago. I am still working on a scapbook for her. She doesn’t know. She thinks I am doing my own, but I haven’t gotten to that yet. I am working on it. I like scrapbooking. I got started into it and I like to do it. I would say sewing, music, and scrapbooking are my newest hobbies. I like to crochet and I like to knit and I like to sew. I have done some counted cross stitch. Needlework type things. I don’t care too much about it. I have got some embroidery where you follow the lines and embroider it. I can’t seem to get into it. I used to do it but now I have kind of gotten away from that. But counted cross stitch, I’ve done. I have done at least four things. They are upstairs. One was the first thing I ever did, and I framed that and put that in our sewing room. I was shopping for something to do and I said “Oh I guess I will get those two,” and they were smaller. Then my grandsons, they were shopping with their mom and said “That’s for grandma! That will go in our bedroom!” There is one called the boys bedroom and that’s where they would sleep. It’s nautical. My wallpaper has got lighthouses on it and things. So they were shopping with their mother once and they found this picture frame and it was like a wheel, the helm of a ship. They thought grandma needed that and she put a picture in of all three boys, and that’s up there. Then they spotted this one that was a lighthouse, and they thought grandma ought to have that. That was another counted cross stitch. That’s framed so I have done a few. But I just sit and fuss and do something like that. I’ve made Christmas presents. You take the tea towels and cross stitch. “I Love Golf.” I have made towels for my sister and my sister-in-law her friend, and a couple of girls that sing in the choir. They are golfers and I have done them for Christmas presents and stuff like that. So you know, those are the kind of things I like to do. Something where I can sit and listen to music.
KM:
What does your husband like to do?
CL:
What does he like to do? Well, he likes his farm work but he has gotten to the point where it’s hard for him to do a lot of things. He has what they call COPD. He has chronic lung and pulmonary disease. He has never smoked or anything like that, but there is dust and stuff from farming, and so he has developed that. To do a lot of things, it bothers him. It gets where he doesn’t do a lot of anything in the barn itself. He likes to drive tractor and do the plowing. That’s what he likes to do. He likes outside work. He is not so much into crosswords or circle the words and sudoku. He likes that. We will probably have a table set up in the living room after Christmas and do jig-saw puzzles. The kids give us puzzles. In fact, the oldest boy gave him a jig-saw puzzle of the new Yankee Stadium. So I said well, that’s this winter. We will get that and put that together.
KM:
He is a Yankees fan?
CL:
Oh yes. Since 1941, he has been a Yankees fan. We have been down to Yankee Stadium. I don’t know. One year, I don’t know how many years ago since we could be gone off the farm. He said something to me like “What would you like to do?” And I said “You know, I have never been to Yankee Stadium. I would kind of like to go.” Well it was on Eastern Bus Tours and so we went down. This one year, the two of us went. Then coming home he said to me “You know what I would kind of like to do? I would kind of like to bring the grandsons down.” I said “Fine.” They had to be in seventh grade. So they next year the two oldest grand sons, we took them down. We usually took two so that there was somebody for them to be with. They didn’t have to just hang with grandma and grandpa. We usually took two. So we went with those two. There are five grandsons. Three of them have been done three times. The fourth one has been only twice. It got to the point that it was pretty expensive and everything. It just wasn’t working out that we could take him but we feel bad that he only went twice. I guess he is fine. He said “ Grandpa, can we go down and see the new stadium?” Well now he is a freshman in college so it’s difficult. I don’t think he is going to get down there. Anyway the price got so high and it got to the point where it was a little tiring for both of us to go. But there is one grandson that is a Mets fan. He would not go anywhere near Yankee Stadium. “How about taking me to Shea, Grandpa?” And Grandpa said “ No way. I’m not going to Shea.” So one grandson has not been but we did take the others and in fact, two granddaughters went. We have only got three granddaughters. Carl’s two, our oldest granddaughters. One of them said, “Well Grandma, I would kind of like to go.” And I said “Really?” And she said, “Yes.” So we said “Fine”. We took three or four that year I think. Our grandson, their brother, got hurt in a snowmobile accident. We had a ticket for him to go, and his sister. The time came to go, and he had to have surgery back on his arm to remove stuff. So he wasn’t going to able to go. So his youngest sister went. Both his two sisters went. So two granddaughters have gotten to go. The other one didn’t care anything about it. She never asked to go anyway. So we did that. There is what they call Sight and Sound Theater down in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We have been there six times. It’s a bus trip. It is the Christian stories. Bible stories. We have seen the Creation. We have seen the Miracle of Christmas. We have seen the Story of Ruth. We have seen the Story of Joseph. We have seen the Story of Noah. Is it just those? It seems like there is another one. Anyway, we enjoy going down there for those. We have done those, as I say at least five times, because those are the stories that we have been to see. We like to do things like that. Now that we have retired, we can do them. The boys say, “Just tell us when you are not going to be here.” Now the other night, just last Friday night, JoAnn and Bob wanted us to go out to supper with them. Well about two or three o’clock, the boys came in. “Can you take this and go for a gopher trip?” We are the gophers. We go and pick up parts and this type of thing. They came in. We had to be there by four. I think it was between two-thirty and three. “Do you want to take and go to Richfield and see if you can get this fixed? If you can’t...” Blah blah blah. We said alright, so we did. Well we couldn’t get it fixed in Richfield so that meant a trip to Faltonville. We got back and they said to them “Joe and Bob kind of wanted us to go out for supper with them.” “Go ahead, we’ll worry about spreading the manure. You go right ahead and go.” So they take care of things. We are allowed to be free. Sot that’s what we do. But we help them whenever we can. We do whatever we can for them.
KM:
Have you passed on any of your talents for music or sewing to any of your grandchildren?
CL:
All three of our own granddaughters, we have one step granddaughter, all three of them sing. The oldest one, JoAnn’s daughter Vanessa, they had musicals over here in school. She had the lead in singing in that one year. Her senior year. She was in them all three years that she was up here. She was here for her sophomore, junior, and senior year. They had a musical every year and she was in every one of them. She had the lead in at least one. JoAnn and Luanne both sing. Luanne had the lead when she was in her senior year over here. She had the lead in that. They did Brigadoon. Of Carl’s two daughters, the oldest girl has got a very pretty soprano voice. They did Music Man that she was in and she was in 1776 I believe it was. She played the part of John Adam’s wife. I forget. The other girl, Kelly was in a number. They were all in music. They all played instruments. Vanessa played flute. Erin played clarinet. Kelly played sax. Adam played a trumpet. Matt played trumpet. John played trumpet. No, Luanne’s boys didn’t. John started out with a trumpet, but he gave it up. The three boys up there did sing. They did have to do something. Their parents told them that. So all three of them sang in the chorus. The high school chorus. What did Garett do? I don’t think he played an instrument though. I am pretty sure he didn’t. He never sang so I don’t think he sings. Vanessa did. Erin and Kelly sang. Adam played a musical instrument. And the girls all played. I guess you would say I did pass on some. None of them learned to play the piano. Erin and Kelly, I guess they did take a few lessons because they do have a piano. Or they did have. I don’t think it got moved from the old house to the new house cause I don’t remember seeing it when they were up there. Maybe they didn’t keep it or anything. They probably didn’t. They were gone. Paula didn’t use it so maybe they got rid of that. I just happened to think I don’t remember seeing the piano anywhere.
KM:
Well, I think our time is almost up so thank you so much Caroline. It was wonderful.
[END OF TRACK 3, 29:22]

Duration

30:00
30:00
29:18
01:30

Bit Rate/Frequency

128 kbps

Files

Collection

Citation

Kelly Mustone, “Carolyn Lindberg, November 7, 2010,” CGP Community Stories, accessed April 23, 2018, http://cgpcommunitystories.org/items/show/91.