IS MY STORY FROM THEN TILL NOW
By: Theodore Roosevelt (J.) Peters
On a farm in Barrett in Clearfield County and Bradford Township, Pennsylvania is where it all started with Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Peters. Andrew’s wife name I do not know. How many children they had I don’t know except my grandfather whose name was Martin Peters and his wife I think, Liza Appleton. Well they had ten children their names were Roxie, Boad, Oard, Andrew, George, Nervie, Ralph, harry, Howard and Edmund Roy Peters who is my father. Now Edmund Roy married my mother Maggie Elva Bloom their first son was named Thomas Hayze, the second son was named David Lucian then came Charlotte then Emma May, then Pansy, then Robert. My name is, well, they call me just plain Ted.
My parents were Edmund Roy Peters and Maggie Elva Bloom whom I love very much. Dad died in 1961 and mother in 1945.
The town doctor came to the Peters’ house to deliver what the good doc called, little bundles from heaven. In a little town called Mineral Springs in the hills of Pennsylvania the county of Clearfield, Bradford Township there was a horse and buggy sitting outside of a big three-story house. In the house there was this old family doctor making his yearly visit or if the year sometimes stretches it was a year and four months. This time it was one year and eight months when the good doctor was there to bring me into this little old town of Mineral Springs.
I was the eighth child for there was my brother Thomas, Lucian, then my sisters Charlotte and Emma then more brothers Carl, Rex and Archie, but this was the event of my birth.
Now to identify myself, I’m Theodore R. Peters. The reason for the name? My father was a strict republican and my dad thought Theodore Roosevelt was the best so that is where my name came from. I never knew that my name was Roosevelt for nobody told me about it and there were three or four Theodore’s in our town and our mail was always getting to the wrong addresses. I took the middle initial of “J” so that the mail came to the home of Theodore J. Peters so it was straightened out.
Now my mother and father were the nicest parents in the whole world. That is what I’ve always said about my mother and father.
Thomas was my oldest brother. He worked in a hospital somewhere in Harrisburg, Pa. He wasn’t at home much that I could remember. He met his wife there, I think she was a nurse. They came back to Mineral Springs and Tom worked at the brickyard till he got on the railroad as a fireman on one of those big engines so he and Amanda took their daughter Catherine and moved to Clearfield to be closer to his work. They also had one little boy who died at birth. They had troubles like some married couples. He went to work one day after noon until the late next morning. When he came home he unlocked the door and walked into an empty house, Amanda just took everything. He went to dads and mothers and told them that he would not contest it in any way. He said let her have all the furniture. Tom came to our house and asked me if I could use one of his suits. I said I would take it but would have to cut it down for Tom was a lot bigger than me so I just hung it in the clothes closet. Not long after he came in his work clothes and asked me if I still had his suit. His hotel burnt down and he lost all of his clothes including his wig. Well, it was a good thing that I didn’t cut the suit to my size for he didn’t have one thing to wear.
So not too long after he lost his job on the railroad. He sold his old Flint car and went to Philadelphia to a barber school to learn to be a barber. He done real good. He bought the shop then he went to beauty school to learn to be a beautician, he done good in the beautician business and had three shops with a half dozen girls working with him.
He asked me if I would take him over to Tyrone to catch a train to Philadelphia because he wanted to go see the Mummer’s parade and then come back to Tryone and pick him up. So, I went back a couple nights later to wait for him. Now when I picked him up he seemed kinda tired and didn’t say much of anything the whole way home. I was always glad I could do something for him. Sadly, Tom passed away in 1940 with a heart attack.
Now my brother Lucian was born on February 2, 1899. When he was old enough to work, he worked in the brickyard. The girl he really did love went away and got married, so be it. After he got over the shock he decided to go to Sweeny Automobile School and learn to be an auto mechanic. After that he went to Mill Hall, Pa., to work in an auto shop. That is where he met his wife. She always went past his place of work. Well they got to know each other and they got to seeing each other and fell in love. They got married and seemed to be very happy. Now Lucian and Carrie had a cute little girl they named Mary Ann. As the years went by Carrie and Lucian didn’t seem to get along too well.
So like my brother Tom, Carrie Kridler Peters and David Lucian peters ended up in a divorce. The Lucian met another woman, her name was Elva. In 1973 Lucian died and later Elva also died and it wasn’t long after that Carrie also died. So by now I had lost two brothers and three sisters-in-law. I also have Tom and Amanda’s daughter and Lucian and Carrie’s daughters Tom Cathryn and Mary Ann and I love them both.
Now we will go back to 1900 on the 14 day of January that is when my sister was born her name was Charlotte and I can’t remember is she had a middle name, so be it. But I did have a dear sweet sister and guess I called her “sockie” for I always wanted my sockie. I never will forget how Charlotte and I would get our buckets out and go for huckleberries. My wife’s brother would always go with us his name was Raymond Lansberry and he could pick berries where there wasn’t any berries to pick. He always had his bucket full before we had the bottom of our buckets covered. So sis just bought some berries from him so we could go home for I was little Teddy out so long. Charlotte and I would just laugh as we ate our supper.
Charlotte had a few boyfriends one by the name of Pard Shirey, a farmer, and he had a lot of oats to be thrashed and I was to help him. A fellow by the name of Clay Undercoffer was up in the hay. He was to stick the sheaves over the side and Pard would use his pitch fork and pull each sheaf down so Clay had his foot too close to the sheaf and Pard went to get one sheaf. Up went the pitchfork right through Clay’s tennis shoe into his foot that stopped the thrashing for a whole day. It was about dinnertime so Pard had to take care of Clay’s foot after that Pard got us a little snack for dinner. His house was spotless and after we had a bite to eat he washed the dishes and swept the floor then back to work. After the thrashing Park took us home, I was just a kid and glad to get home. Clay’s foot had a hole in it but it got ok in a week or two. My sister said she thought she would not like to be a farmer’s wife. Well her and Pard just stopped seeing each other. There was a little love there but the idea of being a farmer’s wife didn’t go with Charlotte. Sis always asked me what I thought of about the guys she went with. Well, I never told her the truth but she sure passed a good guy when she gave up on Pard for he did love her and had a lot of money and a farm and a house but none of that meant anything to her, so be it.
Well one night sis came home with a new boyfriend and introduced him to the family. This guy made his self at home. He kicked off his shoes and stretched out on the davenport and I saw his socks had holes in the heel and also the toes. Well she sure must have loved him for that guy she married. His name was Guy Minnick. I liked Guy for he loved my sister and they had seven children. Their names are Guy Jr., Edward, Bill, Dan, and Jerry, Peggy and Sally they turned out to be a real nice family and I loved them all. Well, that was a bit of what Guy and my sister went through but there was a lot more, like the troubles in raising a family. Now sis and Guy, Sr., and Jerry are gone to where we all would like to go … Heaven. Charlotte died in 1964.
After Charlotte came my sister Emma she was born on June 26, 1902 and she is just as nice as I always thought she was. Now Emma didn’t have a lot of boyfriends that I know of but when she was about 17 or 18 she had one guy that I will never forget. He came every Sunday for dinner and my place was next to my mother at the side of the table. Emma’s place was at the end of the table and as always Emma would ask me to trade places with her so she could sit next to her boyfriend. Well one night I was down at the Pennsylvania railroad station and here came Emma with a suitcase or maybe just a bundle of some clothes. Now it was dark at the station and I wasn’t sure just what it was that she had under her arm. Just then the train pulled into the station and I saw Dick looking out the windows to see if his girlfriend was waiting for him and she jumped on the train and I saw her hurrying back to where he was sitting that was on a Saturday night. I knew what was going on but I didn’t say a one word about it at home. Then when we were sitting at breakfast on Sunday morning Emma didn’t come down to the kitchen so mother called her. It was time to go to church and a telegram came saying that, “Dick and I got married in Cumberland.” So be it. Dick took his wife home to his mother’s house and Emma and Dick lived at his mother’s house until they got a house on Sixth Street.
The thing that I remember is Dick had a ginseng shed. It had to have slats fixed. I lived in Clearfield and he wanted me to fix the slats for some of them were broken. I patched them and put new ones where the ones came off, I spent quite a few hours fixing the thing. Little Dickey had a garden and my wife sent one of our boys up and asked Dick for a couple of tomatoes. Well he sold them for twenty-five cents a pound and after me fixing his old ginseng shed he told my kid that he wanted 25 cents. Well my wife sent his 25 cents and she told me never to do anything for him again. Well I never did anything for him. I was the best for doing things for people around the whole East End like fixing porches here and there. Although my wife and I took him and Emma on a hickory nut run over to Altoona, where he sold a lot of hickory nuts. He sold lots of hickory nuts, ,he sold them by the carloads enough to buy a pick-up truck, all he gave me was some gas for the trip. Well that was the last trip for me with him. So be it. Although I’d do anything for sis no matter what.
The doctor came to the Peters’ house on the hill in1903 on August the 10th for my brother Carl. Carl worked in the brickyard where we were all brickyard family from the beginning. Now dad had bought a model T Ford and dad upset the thing while bringing it home so that was enough driving for him. Carl was old enough to drive. I guess everyone knows how well the model T was made. Every time Carl came home he would hit George Warron’s shoe sign and away went the top off the old model T. I was looking at the model T, tinkering around with the transmission, I knew that the brakes were bad. I just got the brakes fixed when my brother came in the kinda garage. He said, “what are you doing?” I said, “Just shining the thing up a little.” Well, Carl was going to go for a ride and he wanted me to go along. We went up to Woodland to go on the new highway to Pleasant Valley and when we came back Carl drove down High Street at a good rate of speed. I told him to not go so fast for the hill was too steep down into Woodland. He just kept on going and there was a farmer at the foot of the hill and somehow he got his reins crossed for the team. The wagon was setting across the road. Carl stepped on the brakes and the little old Ford swayed and came to a screeching stop just about a foot in front of that team of horses. Carl was kinda shook up for he knew that the brakes were bad but he didn’t know that I had already fixed the brakes. I never told him that I could fix anything in the old Ford that needed fixing till a long time after when he was telling about how he got the thing stopped. Then after that anytime something needed fixed they would say tell it to Ted. Carl got married and my brother Archie was to take over the old Ford. He drove it some but not much for high gear was always ailing so my father sold the old Ford just when I was old enough to take the wheel so all that fixing was to my knowing how to fix anything about the old Ford.
Carl married Margaret Gearhart she was from West Decatur, Pa., they had five children, Hilda, Pauline, Betty, James and Richard whom they called Dick. Carl died in 1991.
Archie was born in 1906 the 17th of August. The sad part was that Archie died in 1924. He was the first one of our family to pass away and I really missed him and still do. I think of him often. The two of us played and well just had a good time together. He had inflammatory rheumatism. I always slept with him for he couldn’t turn his self over in bed. I would help turn him this way and that, quite a few times when he would hurt so bad. That was the last winter he was at home for he got so bad that he had to go to the hospital. He died at the age of 18 in 1924.
Now the good doctor was at the Peters’ home for my brother Rex was born in 1904, November 20th. Well he grew to be a brickyarder also. I use to take him his lunch to the yard and one day I fell down and his lunch box flew open and his lunch got a little dirty. I didn’t think it was that bad so I put it back in the box. When he came home he told mother that his lunch had dirt in it. I got the heck for it. What would a little dirt hurt? It wasn’t that bad anyhow.
Rex married Maud Young and they had five children, Barnard, Jack, Jim, Loy, and Joy. Loy and Joy were twins. Rex died in 1959.
Guess who came next? One year and eleven months after Archie on June 9, 1908, the old doc’s buggy sat in front of the Peters’ place again. This time is was my turn, Theodore Roosevelt Peters and I’ve already explained why I’m now Theodore J. The brickyard was going full blast where dad worked and he was called home from work on account of me, even at my early age I was giving my mother trouble. I had just came into this world. My mother held me in her arms while my brothers and sisters wanted to know is it a boy or a girl. I had a beautiful mother and a loving mother. All together our family would have twelve children and mother and dad.
The summer was almost over so back to school. I was in third grade, the teacher had a thing for us to do. It was to see who could make the best birdhouse. I sure did try my best to be the best boy to take the prize and I won. I got a real good pocketknife and I was just as proud as anyone could be.
When I was about 10 years old, Archie and I used to gather the things that grew in the garden like carrots, corn, tomatoes and beets and there was a big doings at the park. It was a reunion and everybody would be there. We both would sooner be down there then be here cutting beet tops so Archie said, “Let’s just nick our finger” so we could get out of the beet topping. He cut his forefinger just a wee little bit and went to the house yelling like anything. While Archie was going to the house I wasn’t watching what I was doing and laughing at Archie. I gave my finger a real good whack. I didn’t want to hit my finger but I sure did and believe me the blood was flowing as I went to the house. I sure didn’t want my finger to hurt so bad. So be it. Now my dad wanted to know what those two mullet heads were doing I didn’t tell him what the real reason was I just old him that it just happened so that ended it. I had no desire to go down to the park and that sure ended the beet topping for that day. I was the sixth son and the eight child in the family.
I went to school until after the eight grade then I went to the brickyard and got a job. I made two dollars and seventy cents a day and I gave it to my mother. When I was eighteen all the rest of my brothers were married and my brother Archie had died when he was eighteen. I did all t hat I could to help my parents and mother would give me enough to see a movie on the weekends. I was well pleased to think of helping out for my father had back trouble and he would get quinsy, an early term for tonsillitis. Sometimes the doc would have to take care of his sore throat. I gave my pay to mother for quite awhile till dad got to feeling better and got back to work. I then started to pay board for mother did not want to take all my pay. I bought a shirt and work pants. Dad asked mother on payday about what I gave mom said that I gave her some money and that I bought a shirt and pants and gave her what was left after buying the shirt and pants. So mother had dad straightened out on how I handled my money.
Dad wanted me to be a barber so he taught me how to do it. Well I kept at it for about two years. I had to go to work at two in the morning and got done about seven or no later than eight. I slept until about twelve then would go to the barbershop and just wait on somebody to come for a hair cut. There was never more than one or two all afternoon and I was thinking that his barbering was just not for me. My dad said stick to it for it is going to be a real good job so I did. But two or three times I sat in that shop when my wife would call me for supper, six or seven men would be coming in at the door and Alice had to keep the supper warm. So I said to myself this is it and I did not want anymore of barbering I just worked in the brickyard. Well this thing of the barbershop kind of got way ahead of the story of my life. A lot happened to me before the barbershop. My girlfriend just lived a stone throw from our house and I thought I would like to spend more time with her and after a year or so we wanted to get married. I seemed that we had a hard time convincing my parents that I loved my Alice but we finally got married. Her name was Alice Alfretta Lansberry.
(Note: After doing genealogical research it was discovered that Alice’s birth certificate was under the name of Florence Lansberry born 28 Jul 1908. In the baptismal records of the United Methodist Church of Woodland she was also baptized as Florence Lansberry. No one knew about this discrepancy, even her husband, Theodore. However, some time after her baptism her name was changed to Alice Alfretta Lansberry.)
We had two boys and one little girl. Their names were Theodore David, Kenneth Roy and Donna Loraine and we were very happy we had a little home that I built and three children for five years. Then hard luck came to our door for our boy Kenneth got pneumonia and died four days before his birthday. Then our daughter got sick and died when she was just ten months old. We had three children, but the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away and blessed is the name of the Lord. For five years we had only Theodore left and my wife wanted another baby so we trusted in the Lord and had one boy then another boy then a girl. Their names are John Thomas, Thomas Gerald and Barbara Ellen. Then our last boy was born five years later Martin Albert.
I was always getting hurt one way or another. We were always bare footed in the summer and once I got a big wire through my foot and another time I got a big twenty penny nail run through my foot it came out between my big toe and the next one. That made me hobble for a long time. My dad poured turpentine in the hole. Boy, did that hurt! Man, it sure did and how. Another time I went to visit my grandmother and was picking cherries and went up in the tree, one of those big blackcherry trees. I fell and knocked myself out well, I thought she would have a fit. It scared her for she thought that I was hurt pretty bad. It was a wonder that I was ok. Old grandmother kinda liked her grandchildren, bless her. Well another time I saw a big nest of tent worms in one of the trees way out in the open field. I got a stick and wrapped a rag around it as my uncle used to do. I thought I was doing something worthwhile. I looked up past the barn and here came old grandmother a hurrying and I thought there was something wrong at the barn. She didn’t stop at the barn, she came right out in the field at me and said, “Young child don’t you know better then to have a fire? You could burn my barn down.” She was just as mad as she could be and told me to go to the house and pack my clothes and head for home. Well, I got to the house and out of the whole place for I didn’t want to walk four miles to the railroad station in the dark. The train came around five o’clock and if I missed it I would have to walk twelve miles home. That was the last time that I ever went to my old grandmothers. While on the train my thoughts were about Alice and wondering of just what she might be doing. I always liked her and always hoped that she liked me. Well, I hope old granny is where we would all like to go, that is Heaven.
(Note: During WWII, Theodore moved his family to the Beaver Falls, Pa, area.)
But without a doubt 1955 was when I got hurt the worst. In 1955, I worked for the Colonial Brick Company in Falson, Pa., a little town on Highway 51. While at work the foreman of the Litall Steel Co., ask me if I was a welder. I asked him how he knew or who told him about me being a welder. He said that Dutch Mockish had told him. Well, Dutch was my neighbor. He asked me if I could work for him a few hours in the evening to help them out. They had fallen behind with orders on account of being short of help. So be it. I worked four hours in the evenings for quite awhile but on February 11th, I was welding and the weather outside was colder than all get out. The wind and snow was just like a blizzard so I thought that I would quit and go home. I took my gloves off and shut off my machine. I was stepping out the door when the man that was working with me said, “Hey before you go will you help me move this stove?” I said ok. Now the stove is not a stove. It is a round pot with a stovepipe in the middle of the thing, they call them Salamender.
I don’t understand how it happened. The thing had been out for about four hours and the oil was just lukewarm. It had handles on both sides that had a catch to hold the thing tight. We picked it up, took only two steps and the whole bottom fell off on my side. It was full of oil or nearly full. When it fell off I got it all. It splashed all over me from my waist to my feet and I jumped back. I started trying to kinda of brush it off but it just burst out in flames. I looked like a human torch and I thought that my buddy was just going to watch me burn so I said, “Do something! Don’t just stand there.”
There was a piece of steel laying there that was cut off so I said for him to bend the end and hook it in the back of my pants and pull. I had my belt unfastened so I pulled and he pulled that way we got the first pair of pant off. But, there were two pair of pants and my heavy underwear. Now when I got undressed my hand didn’t have any skin that wasn’t burnt and my legs were the same. The night watchman didn’t do anything but watch me burn so I hollered for them to do something. Go call the ambulance so away he went.
As I stood there I could not feel any pain in my legs but my hands hurt like all get out. The ambulance got there and they wanted me to get on the cot on a wool blanket. I told them no, for I would not have any skin left to my whole being. Hey got a sheet for me to lay on and away we went up the hill and down across the Beaver River then through the town of New Brighton and up the hill to the hospital. As soon as I got in the ambulance I wanted a smoke so the one man lit me a cigarette. I really don’t know why but it really tasted good and I think it settled my nerves. In the emergency room I was trying to get some of the burnt skin off my legs and they took my hands and wrapped them up in gauze.
Then down the hall we go and somebody asked where do you want to go, in a ward or private room? Well I said the ward for I won’t be here very long and I want a little company. I sure did have company. That’s about all that I remember of the end of the evening of February 11, 1955, there is more.
After I came out of the fog that I was in I felt pretty good only I was in pain all over and I could not sleep. Then an acute pain in my left side and I knew right away what it was that happened. When my wife was there I told her to tell our doctor and it didn’t do any good for he said that I would be alright till the morning. So the rest of the night I sure was in pain. Somebody set an operation for me at ten o’clock but my appendix burst two hours before ten o’clock. I never could figure why I was left in pain and nobody seemed to give a darn. Well it ended up that I had a burst appendix and I was in real bad shape. My bowels and kidneys were also affected. I was in such bad shape that I was out of this world for about three weeks and the doc said if they could not get me settled down I would not make it. My wife wrote to Oral Roberts and someone told Alice if she would send out of her need God would answer her prayers. She was trying to stretch what little money that she had so it was sure out of her need.
When she came to the hospital two or three days later I was a whole lot better. My wife said that about the time that Oral got her letter that I got better and my old fighting spirit perked up.
The bad thing was the dressing of my burns and every time they dressed them it was almost unbearable. I don’t know now how I stood it and each time I had to have two pints of blood. I could not understand that, for when they took me up … well I began to think it must be a slaughterhouse. The last time they took me they didn’t want to put me to sleep. The two doctors started to take the bandages off. I thought I would die! They just cut the bandages down the front of my legs then pull the bandages off and the blood was just flying out of my legs. I just couldn’t stand it and I yelled my head about off, I said, “Hell no! Hell no! I can’t stand you guys tearing the new skin off my legs.” So old Doc Smith said put him under and my doctor Sutton gave me a shot of Pentothal and that was how I got an idea of what these doctors were doing to me.
I was then left in the hall while the doctors were having a meeting for about one half hour. I heard the staff doctor giving the other doctors orders. He was saying that when he had an operation at ten o’clock that he wanted the operating room ready for him at ten o’clock without fail. Every time I had my bandages changed they would take not only the old bandages but the new skin also. Then two pints of blood which took more time. When then next time for my dressing, here came my doctor with one of those beds on wheels to take me up for new dressings. I said, “Oh no! I won’t have my dressing by you doctors.” He took the bed out of there mad as all get out. The nurse came in just then and I said to her, “Nurse Hurron will you pull the curtain and help me with the bandages?” She said she wasn’t allowed to do that but she did anyhow. We took all of the bandages off and there wasn’t one speck of blood. Well that was over and Nurse Hurron said that she would go up and tell those doctors to get down for Peters was ready for his dressing.
Well here they came old doc Sutton pulled the curtains back and said, “All ready for dressing and no blood.” That is when I really got mad, just thinking of what those two doctors were doing to my poor legs when they dressed my legs. I told my doctor that he was just farming me so they could get more out of the working mans compensation Inc. I called him a butcher everything but a good doctor. I never said another word then the other butcher came in under the curtains and he said, ”Well, well all bandages and no bleeding.” That made me see red. I told him that he was just the same as Mr. Sutton, just pain butcher and that I would have been out of this hospital if you two guys had done one right thing with my legs. I could have been home in one or two months instead of fourteen months. That was just about all I wanted to do with those two and that was that.
Now as time went on when my doctor came into the ward, he would not stop by my bed. One of the other men said to me, “Hey isn’t that your doctor?” And I said, “Yes, he is the one and only but he is mad at me for giving him the devil about how my legs were being tortured instead of being healed.” So be it. The very next time for my dressing here comes the other butcher with a bundle of pads for my legs. He told the nurse that they were something new. That is when The Talfa pads were born. He told her to be sure to use them sparingly for they are expensive. I told her to cover my legs with them for he wasn’t paying for them. We covered both legs and there were just enough to do the job. My legs needed dressing again when we took the bandages off well the pads just fell off my legs. There was no sticking or bleeding.
My doctors wanted me to get up in the morning to walk so I said that I would try to do it. That skin was too new and when I stepped my legs started to bleed a pool of blood every step. Well I said put me back in bed. The next morning he asked me if I walked and I told him no and I am not going to try it again till my legs got well. That afternoon he came in the ward with some weights for my legs and insisted on putting them on my legs. Hat was just as miserable as it could be. I tried to get my son Mart to unfasten them but his mother would not let him.
The doctor told me that I would not be able to walk. I told him to get out of here and I would show him that I would walk, if he would just get out of here till my legs got well then I would walk. That took care of being skinned.
One afternoon the nurse put me on one of those beds with the wheels and took me out to the recreation room so I could watch TV. Here cam another bed into the room and a man said I hope they don’t put him in the ward or there will be no sleep tonight. Well I didn’t like the guy’s voice so I said you should have a private room for you know there is always suffering and pain in the ward. We all went back to the ward and this fellow that was brought in was the inside boss at the brickyard where I worked. I said, “Mike, what is your trouble?” He could hardly talk but he said that there was something wrong with his chest and it hurt him. He couldn’t get his breath so I heard Mike gasping for his breath. I asked the nurse who was Mike’s doctor. She asked why I wanted to know. I said he ought to have an oxygen tent for Mike. The nurse came in told me that Mike was in really bad shape. But it was too late for Mike died about four in the morning. The nurse said to me, “How did you know how bad Mike was?” I think his doctor was one of those that says oh he will be alright till morning.
One day my wife came to visit me and I asked her to bring my mouth organ, which I never could play. I prayed to God to let me somehow play the thing and I’d promise to play all hymns. And you know, I finally got a tune out of the little old mouth organ. Some of the boys would say, “Hey Peters how about playing us a tune?” I kept them happy once in awhile and they all enjoyed a little tune.
One day they brought a man by the name of Backer who worked in a strip mien running a bulldozer. A big rock had broken loose and came down on him hurting his hips real bad. The doctors had to put a two by four between his legs to hold them apart. The nurse told me that I would have a buddy for a long time, but I told her he would be out of here long before me. The nurse said that she didn’t think so. I said he had only broken bones. He left long before I did.
By the time my legs got better that I could hobble around, I played some horseshoes in the alley. I was able to throw a few ringers but I just couldn’t seem to get the old legs to work right. I would have to sit down for awhile then hobble home and rest. It took my legs about three weeks to get well enough to go back to work. My legs were not ok, by a long shot.
Now the brickyard called me up and asked me to come back to work to check the men’s wheelbarrows each time they went out of the kiln. They were cheating on the number of bricks that they handled. That part of the work was ok but then after the men went home for the day I was suppose to clean up and lift two heavy runways that were across the railroad tracks. They were quite heavy. One day on the bulletin board a job was posted for a kiln fireman so I bid on the job. Now, I had never quit and I had never been laid off but they said that I didn’t have enough seniority and I was on the bottom of the list. I told them I’d take it to arbitration. At the union meeting I had the union to speak for me but nothing was done. So at the next meeting I said what is the use of paying union dues and get nowhere? So I went out to Darlington brickyard to see my old boss. I worked for him before and he gave me a job. I was a straw boss. I worked at it a while but I never cared for it. I did not have any power to hire or fire. Now the brick layer and kiln repairmen quit and Red asked me if I knew anybody that could lay brick. I told him you’re looking at him and that is the way my bricklaying started and I sure was glad for that.
A year and four months later my brother Edmund Roy was born on October 14, 1909. I loved my brother Roy we had a lot of good times together. My uncle Archie gave my brother Archie a Columbia half dollar when Archie was born and my dad kept it in his bedroom someplace. We were not allowed to be in his bedroom but Roy found the half-dollar by snooping and so he took it. He went to the store and spent the thing for candy and my dad found out about it. Dad checked his things in his drawers so he found out about it fast. He had to go to the store and buy the thing back from the storekeeper, John Pickels. Now Roy took it three times but dad always got the old Columbia back. Each time Roy’s rear end was just a little redder also. Roy grew up in the same old brickyard but not as long as the rest of us. He would walk by the boss and reach out and pull the bosses tie out and say, “Wear it out and get a new one.” Well soon Roy was working with the bread man now and then but he did nothing but chase women. Roy died in 1977.Unfortunately, this is all Theodore (Ted) wrote about his life. In 1965, his wife Alice died from cancer. Around 1960 Ted and Alice had moved to Ohio for employment. He lived near Columbia Station and worked on a mink farm. At the time of her death they were living in Wooster, Ohio. She did not seek medical treatment until two weeks before she died on September 8, 1965, and by that time there was, of course, nothing that could be done for her.
Unfortunately, this is all Theodore (Ted) wrote about his life. In 1965, his wife Alice died from cancer. Around 1960 Ted and Alice had moved to Ohio for employment. He lived near Columbia Station and worked on a mink farm. At the time of her death they were living in Wooster, Ohio. She did not seek medical treatment until two weeks before she died on September 8, 1965, and by that time there was, of course, nothing that could be done for her.
Ted was remarried to Flossie May Bergendorf Shaken. She had lost her first husband and was working as a clerk at a convenience store where Ted shopped. They married in June 1966 and were together until Ted’s death on 14 March 1997. Ted and Flossie moved to Florida in the 60s where he worked as a carpet layer for many years until his knees became too arthritic to do the job. They returned to Ohio and spent their last few years together living in Apple Creek.
He was interred next to his first wife, Alice, at Sylvania Hills Memorial Park, Daughtery Township, Beaver Co., PA. Flossie passed away a few years later and was interred next to her first husband in Ohio.
Theodore David Peters, Jr.
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