2) Why Dad’s Death Solved Mom’s Biggest Problem

image - Rush D. Stanley
In yesterday’s post you read about Dad’s train accident in 1938, 12 years before I was born.

Mom (Myna R. Schmidt) and Dad (Rush D. Stanley) met around 1933 at a friends house. After Dad’s legs were severed in the train accident in 1938, Mom worked as a domestic during the time Dad was recovering from his accident and later during the time my sisters (Pam and Darla) and brother (Dean) were very young.


I was the last of Mom’s four children and was born on April 21, 1950 at The Swedish Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The first house I lived in, at 1508 53rd Ave. North, Brooklyn Center, is shown in the image on the left.

In 1951 our family bought a run-down tavern in Range, Wisconsin called The Log Cabin Cafe and lived there approximately one-year. According to my brother Dean, he and I slept in the basement, which from time to time, flooded.

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 11.11.19 AM

Can you pick out Mom and Dad?

In 1952  we moved to 53rd Avenue N. & Knox Avenue N. in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And after a few years later – as best folks can remember – we spent a winter on a frozen farm in Wisconsin.

A Small Child Witnesses Something Ghastly

02122013121348“Dad, wake-up,” I recall saying, in 1954, when I was four years old. Dad couldn’t. He had just died of a heart attack at 39 years of age right there before my eyes. Dad was changing the license plates on the family car in our driveway. My brother Dean was 14 at the time and my sisters a few years older. How does the death (and witnessing it) of your father affect you the rest of your life? I cannot say for sure. Although it must. I miss him terribly at times. The photo just above shows Mom and me shortly after Dad’s passing. Notice the boy hanging his head? People speculate Mom was relieved when Dad died. She escaped the beatings. Their drunken combat was Mom’s biggest problem.

But Life Goes On, Doesn’t It?

Mom“I can remember many times just having bread, butter and sugar for you kids,” said my Mom, remembering that winter in 1955 on  Grand mother’s farm-house in Luck, Wisconsin, after Dad passed away. “Hold on. Hold on tight!” Dean shouted, pulling me on the saucer as his longer legs devoured the snow-covered ground beneath us in the pasture on that run-down, secluded country farm. Holding on to the canvas straps of the saucer with half-frozen mittens,  I could hear the sound soft snow makes as it is crushed beneath the tin disk upon which I sat. Dean pulled the saucer really fast, occasionally twirling me in a giant circle. He never seemed to get tired.

Will your life be worthy of a story like this one when you pass away?

Next – Three Cruelest Acts My Step Father Ever Committed

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