Stories
Written by or About Daniel and Magdalena's
Descendants
Page 1

 
Lenora Goeglein Pugner
1896 - 1983
 
 The Story of My Life or rather The Highlights
 of My Life or Still better A little girlís Desire to 
Fight Imperialism and Domination. (German)

 We, eight of us lived on a ranch one mile out of Durango, Colorado.  I being the youngest was really in the way or not wanted since they did not have time for me.  There was the chickens to feed, eggs to be gathered, cows to be fed and milked, hogs and horses to be fed besides bread and butter to be made and above all we had to be fed and clothed.  I soon saw that I had to grow up the best way I could.  The answers they gave me were very unjust, you canít do this and you canít do that and I will show you how well I can do it.  I had two brothers older than I and if I had sisters older it may have been some different, for it always took a shower of stones to send me home when the boys went out for their fun.

 Mother would say, Lenora, you hide quickly in the bedroom I see some Indians coming down the valley all on horses.  One rode up to the door and asked for a cup of coffee, which mother quickly gave him.  He was satisfied and went away.

 All my folks did not have time for me until I was in danger.  At three years of age they noticed me on top of a 60 ft windmill.  All breathless, wondering how they could get me down if good fortune would only keep me from falling.  Mother told my oldest sister to get me down, which she did but how I never heard her say.  I can remember I always wanted to fly like the birds.
 I was about five when I came bounding in only to see my Dad slapping my sister Minnie on one side of the face and then on the other, tears streaming down and my dear sister trying hard to explain the whole matter.  I resented that correction and I said to myself, when I get that old, you wonít do that to me!  So must end this part of the story here.  When I got to be 18 I told my Dad that I was going to do something, (What it was I donít remember.)  Dad said NO, you wonít and I said, yes, I will, then Dad reached for a vase and I reached for another one, and just at that time Mother came in and stopped the whole affair.  Then, and not until then, did my Dad realize he had ruled and governed his family as he had been told by his father and the German people, wrongly!  From then on I was his choice, and we were Pals needless to say!  It took his baby girl to teach him, but better late than never.

 I was five when my oldest sister got married and went away to live.  The only real happy ___ came when I woke up one morning to find a baby came to our house.  I ran to my Mother to ask her where it came from and just how she got it.  She immediately answered me saying she found it out in those bushes, then I was so happy because I knew it belonged to us if she had found it, but my sister soon told me it was her baby.  Then came the discord for I demanded our rights.  If my Mother had found that precious baby it was ours!!!  But I lost out as in most righteous things that I fought for.  Now that I was 6 I felt sure that they would let me hold that darling baby, so waited for the courage to ask them.  I was told, no, no, no it is too little.  I went into the front room heartsick!  There stood my doll buggy with pillow and blankets that was given me.  Yes, I was thinking and when they were so busy getting dinner, I put that baby in my doll buggy and was taking it for a ride from room to room, when they noticed me.  I gained just point that time!!!

 There was a few days that my brother and I had fun, but they were scarce.  We had caught a donkey that had strayed from town.  He put a bridle on it and then said to me, I will put a bridle on Dollie, our horse, and we will go for a ride.  That was the nicest thing that I had heard for weeks.  He also put a strap around the horse so I could get on, and away we rode up the road.  We came to a straight flat road going through a meadow, and Walter said, Lenora, let us have a race.  Anything he said was always right with me, so I said Dollie wonít run unless you get me a switch, and he agreed that the donkey needed one too.  As soon as the switch touched my had Dollie started to run, and I could hear Walter yelling, hang on to the strap, Lenora!  I finally fell to the ground and there stood the horse just above me, as if to say, I didnít want you to whip me, Lenora and I wanted to say between sobs, I know now you would have won the race.

 In the fall Mother took us all to the chokecherry bushes and we had to fill our buckets the best we could.  Of course, we ate our fill.  This was the only wild fruit we had except the Ďprickly pearí, which grew on the large cactus bushes.  These tasted so good but the trial of taking off the fine needle-like stickers was too much for Mother to bother with but we youngsters would work with them until we had a taste or two each year.  Mother made chokecherry jelly and we had that on our bread all winter.

 When I was eight the family moved to Goldfield, Colorado, but our precious little grandpa, Motherís father took sick, and we stayed at Florence, a town just 30 miles from Goldfield, where Grandpa passed on, sister Minnie got the typhoid and lost all her beautiful silvery hair, and we thought she would pass on too.  Brother Walter also got the typhoid but not so bad and I fell running after a ball and broke my collarbone, all this happening in one year.  We finally moved to goldfield in a large log cabin.  While this was not fancy we were so warm and cozy.

 Here I had no playmates except a 6-year-old girl who had two older brothers like I had.  I would get her to play ball with me and hopscotch and other games but above all I liked to play ball, and if I was able to catch the ball that Irene threw my hands would burn, and then she would run home.  I felt that I must do something about this, so I went over and knocked at her door and her Mother came and said, what do you want, Lenora?  I said, Mrs. Monahan, what makes Rose so rough?  She answered, I am sure I donít know, but think she will outgrow it donít you?  I hope so I said and went home.  Must finish this part of the story here.  Irene had short red hair that came to her shoulders, braided in two braids.  She grew to be 20 when the family decided to move to Arizona.  At Colorado Springs they had to wait two hours for the train that left for Arizona.  The police got busy noticing such a strange girl, dressed so odd and acted like a boy, so they arrested her and privately investigated and found that Irene was a boy.  They gave her pants, shirt, cut her hair and sent them all on their way.  Hard to believe but there is an explanation here too.  Their father was a hard drinker and when he came home after payday told his wife that if this third child was not a girl he would kill her.  So you have the answer.  This I do remember that when payday came Mrs. M always came over to Mother and asked her to let her hide in her home.  I still have a picture of Irene at 6.  The last I heard of Irene she had married and was the father of three children.  

 We were still living in the log cabin and I was about 9, and no one of my age to play with, going to school and I liked that but still held the fear that I could not learn a thing.  I was very happy one day when a 20-year-old boy in the house next door bought me a gold chain bracelet with gold lock and little key and six rubies, one in each link.  It was the first gift that I ever received of that nature.  O, it was so pretty!  I asked that young man to have dinner with me in my playhouse, made with old pieces of blanket and canvas.  He accepted and brought something to eat too, and we really had a meal.  Well, I called him my sweetheart, but am wondering if he just felt sorry for me, and did what he could to make me happy, I liked him very much regardless!  The gentleman, George Faster, by name also gave me a gold barpin, set with tiny rubies and chip diamonds.  Then Christmas came and real early he knocked on the door and said that Santa had been to his house and brought me a little glass kettle.  Another time I saw him going down to the well to get a bucket of water and I ran to walk with him.  On the way back he said, what would you want more than anything else?  I said, O, a doll and the next day he gave me that doll.  Then it was not more than a week when he and his relations left town and I never saw him again!

 Soon we moved into a much nicer house.  Brother being married also sister Minnie, left we three with Mother and Dad and we were really a happy family, especially now that we three were teenagers.  We went to parties, held parties and went to dances, and Mother and Dad wee so happy to still have us with them.  Good things donít seem to last, for it wasnít too long until Walter went to Arizona where Will was living and he never came back.  He did leave his horse for Dad to use and care for.  This horse was a pacer, smaller than the average and when you would go in the barn he would throw his head back and begin to prance.  I loved him so but Dad wouldnít let me ride him, so when Dad was out of town Bro and I were happy.  This didnít happen too often but how I did enjoy those days!  I visited Walter when we were around 60 and I was telling what fun I had riding Brownie when Dad was away.  He said Lenora, did you ride that horse, I told Dad never to let you ride him.  He threw me off twice.  Now I understand all, but that good horse didnít love you like he loved me!!!

 I was 22 when I got married and at 25 with my two year old boy and husband went to Reno to live leaving brother to care for the old folks all alone, this I felt very bad about because we four had many happy days together.  Ed and I had learned to take pictures so well and even learned to develop them in our home.  They finally moved to Arizona where Dad passed on and then Mother and Ed went to Los Angeles to live. 

 Years passed and when I was able to visit my sisters and brothers I still felt that I was only their baby sister with not too much to my credit.  So I always felt and now more than ever that I had to show each one and tell them I was not their baby sister anymore, and I hoped for that opportune time to come.
 
 This is how my oldest brother Will changed his mind concerning the way he had been taught to domineer and rule anyone about him with whatever he was talking about right or wrong.  He was ailing and over 80 years of age and I felt he would not visit me again so I wrote to his son with whom he was visiting if he would not send his Dad and Mother this way on their return home and he did, so glad for that.

 We spent a glorious week together, I took them to all the sights around Reno, had a cousin and wife from Placerville, California come down and be with us.  It was about 40 years they had not seen each other.  We five put on a show and Will and all were speechless and laughed continuously. Then the last day I took them to Virginia City, and while Will and I sat on a bench looking at the Comstock Mine, he said Lenora, you have showed us a grand time and this last trip to a place I have always wanted to see but never thought that I would, I just donít know how to thank you!  Then I knew this baby sister had grown up in his mind.

 My oldest sister Maggie retained the old German way of domineering that she had been taught until the last and as you will see there was no way of helping her, but I tried.

 In the middle seventies I invited her to be with me for a month.  She was more than glad to accept for she was wearing out her welcome with all her six children, going from one to the other.  Sister was ďqueenĒ in her married home and continued to rule the ďroostĒ.  She arrived but I didnít know her dressed so shabby and her suitcase about to fall apart.  I enjoyed our visit very much, helping her to fix all her clothes from the bottom up and a new suitcase, then at the last I tried very hard to explain to her how she could live a very happy life alone or with an elderly person her age in Los Angeles but not with her children.  That did it!!!  I was telling her what to do and I was supposed to be her baby sister.  She accepted all I gave her and tried to be courteous.  So she continued to go from one to the other until they bought her a trailer and told her to write for me to come down and stay with her.  In answer to each of my five letters she still was determined to make me come as she always had domineered but I couldnít and she got sick and had to go to the hospital.  After that she was put in a rest home until she passed at 86 without one of her six children by her side.  Donít think she ever realized that she had been taught wrong.

 My sister Minnie passed on at the age of 40, leaving 10 children she had 12 but two passed on.  Five boys and five girls a lovely family!
 
 Brother Ed was very happy and cheerful but wanting to tease me at all times.  After we were all grown we were very close and anxious to help whenever needed.  In the 70s I wrote gor he and wife to come and visit me, but knew we would have a much better time if he came alone.  I wrote about four letters of longing to see them and the fourth brought word that Ed could come alone by plane.  My prayers were answered.  We had such a grand time together, seeing the sights and visiting those he knew and also this cousin he hadnít seen for over 40 years.  He marveled at Virginia City and for the two weeks he was here I cooked good meals for him and when he left if it were not for his belt his pants would not stay put!!!  I am sure he too felt that his baby sister had grown up able to work out her own problems fairly well.  He said Sis, thanks for the wonderful visit and donít get sick for you have no one to take care of you.

 Brother Walter and I were very close and he at all times as we grew older was so anxious to help his baby sister in whatever way she asked but thought of me as a great Pal and helper too.

 I wanted he and family to come and go with me to Yellowstone Park using my car from here, but he could not come at that time making me a visit the next year.  

 So you have the story of how the people from all foreign countries, not only the Germans, were so anxious to come to America, to get away from the hatred, domineering and unjust way of living which caused wars upon wars but found it took years and more often a lifetime to get that out of their system.

 Just one more story which I think would be bring money from any magazine.  My husband and I were walking down Virginia Street in Reno, when he said.  O, I know that man who just passed; I worked with him 30 years ago in Canyon City, Colorado.  I said do you mean to tell me that you can remember a face after 30 years?  Well, I know home, and I said, what is his name?  He said Weller.  O, I said I know him too!  He said, my goodness, you donít know him!  If his name is Weller, He was my old sweetheart and I have his picture in my album.  Now if you think you are right go back and find the man so he turned around and began to hunt and I followed slowly.  He soon walked up to a man and said arenít you Mr. Weller?  He said yes, but I donít know you, then I stepped up and asked if he knew me and he said no, then I told him I didnít know him either!!!  He was an expert swimmer and had taught me how to swim 30 years ago!!!  Such is LIFE.  This good world is not too far and wide after all!!!

    Signed:

    Written by Lenora Goeglein