History

Went in to the Hilton today to see Aunt Olla. She was reading Anne of Green Gables for the umpteenth time. The book is falling apart, so she was sheafing through loose pages. And those pages were crumbling.

She got on the topic of a country school where she taught in Southwestern Minnesota where the people were Dutch. I decided I wanted a complete list of the schools where Olla taught. Here it is:

1) After completing teacher's training, Olla found a school near her older sister's farm south of Flom. It was the Seykora School. She was there one year. When she started, she was 17 years old.

2) Next, she taught at the Fossum School near the Fossum store. It was a pretty area with nice homes, all of which are now gone. She was there one year.

Then Olla stayed at home in rural Twin Valley for two years. Finally, Mama got red in the face and told her that this was the limit, Olla needed to get out and make some money so the family could make payments on the farm. So, Olla found a school.

3) Olla taught near Bear Park, near the nursery, for two years.

4) Then, she got her dream job at District 29 near Ulen. This is where Olla got along so well with the kids that the board's attempt to fire her for buying toilet paper for the outhouse resulted in a strike. Later, the board continued to give her raises even though they had no money. She taught at District 29 for five years. She doesn't remember a single problem.

5) Olla's sister-in-law Esther reported from Granite Falls that southern Minnesota was all the rage. So, Olla went down there to Blomquist and taught Dutch kids. It was a beautiful school, but according to Olla, "the parents were against me from the beginning." The only saving grace to the place was that she had a teacher friend who taught at a school two miles down the road. They spent free time together commiserating.

6) Olla then taught at a school called Wood Lake down by Granite Falls. It was another difficult appointment. She lasted one year there before resigning.

At this point, Olla and a friend took off to seek their fortune. They landed in San Antonio where their job selling insurance lasted two days. They worked in restaurants for a few months before heading to the west coast, where they were denied jobs as Rosie the Riveter in the factories during the war. Olla went to stay with her niece Dorothy who eventually insisted (I wonder why) that Olla go back into teaching.

7) Olla found a job in Ojai, CA at a special school. This is where she hob-nobbed with the Lockheed family. She was there only part of a year as she was filling in for a teacher who had a baby.

8) Finally, Olla landed in downtown Los Angeles where she taught sixth grade. This is when she developed a backache, went to the chiropractor and ended up marrying him. Doc Burton was in love with the wild west and when they visited Las Vegas, he decided they would move there right away. Olla finished her teaching career with twenty years in Las Vegas.

Of course, she did her first seven jobs with one-and-a-half years of training. So, in 1956, Doc urged her to finish her B.A., which she did. Later, she came within two credits of finishing her master's degree, which gave her higher pay and a better pension. She did her graduate work at Doc's insistence. He was dying of cancer at the time and wanted her well taken care of.

You can pack a lot into 97 years.