It’s such a pleasure to look back through the newspaper clippings my great-grandmother preserved.  I have an old article written about that house on the “Floyd to Melrose” highway.  Long gone now, it was in the crumbling stages when I was growing up, and the fraternities from Eastern would go paint their symbols on the walls.

This old article tells of the owner, Ernest Zacek, who started living there in 1934.  He “made his living the hard way – by building fences, pulling broomcorn and shearing sheep.  He recalls that he earned $150 in cash that year, but managed to survive on rabbits and determination.”

It goes on to tell how he drilled three wells with a man-powered drop augur and the help of his friend Mack Toliver.  They swapped work, usually made 5 to 10 feet of hole a day, and struck water with all three.

I never knew Mr. Zacek, but the other man was “Uncle Mack”… my great uncle through marriage.  My goodness, what hard working people came before us!

Many of us took a rest from our labor yesterday to celebrate the economic contribution of workers in our great land.  Those Roosevelt County pioneers made incredible contributions.  I hold them in great esteem.


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