He was college-aged by the time I was born. And my sisters were young teenagers.
When he moved home to farm with Dad in April 1971, he lived less than two miles away from the home place. I was 5-years-old then.
Elliott is the one sibling who saw me almost every day of my growing up years—unlike my sisters who came and went throughout their adult years.
May Elliott's wife, five children, and thirteen grandchildren enjoy these memories from his three little sisters.
Tidbits from Childhood
Elliott kept the Sunday bulletins. He stored them in cigar boxes in his bedroom. He collected the eraser end of pencils. He drowned out gophers by pouring buckets of water down the hole.Brenda said
When Mom & Dad would leave us kids home alone for a few hours, Elliott and I tended to pick on Priscilla, the middle child. Guess we got away with it because she never fought back.
My earliest memory of Elliott is when he and his fiance came home and gave me a doll. I have no memories of Elliott without Doris, his wife. I turned four a few days before their wedding. I wrote about that in this post.
Doris and I were in a roll-over car accident before they had any children. As Dad made phone calls to authorities about it, Doris cooked lunch, and I sat in Elliott's lap with my arms wrapped around his neck. I can still see our reflection in the glass of the china closet in the dining room.
That's the tender moment I remember with my brother, 20 years my senior. Soon after he had his own children to provide affection to.
|Elliott, a Tabor College graduate, congratulated by sisters Brenda & Priscilla|
I would drive the small tractor, and as I slowly drove past each bale in the field, he would use two hooks to hoist those heavy alfalfa bales onto a flat wooden pallet of sorts called the stone boat. Strange name, but Dad confirmed that's what they called it. After a full load, the bales were placed on a conveyor and sent put into the barn loft. Elliott worked up a sweat stacking those heavy bales.Priscilla said
I would drive the tractor when we made bales. When, not if, I would plug the baler, the bale hook Elliott had in his hand would go into the air. I don't remember what he would yell.
I too have have memories of Elliott's yelling at the hogs or cattle. He never cussed. Never. Instead, he made up his own crazy words when he was mad—especially at the hogs. Things like, "You stupid, flyswatter, snot-driven, pan of no-good slime." That wasn't exactly what he said, but it would be crazy nonsense like that.
|At top: Elliott's birthday in 1971 with me on his lap. Bottom: Elliott in July 2015.|
A Numbers Guy
Elliott was and is such a math wiz. He'd try to help me, but I think he had a hard time coming down to my level of understanding.
I earned good grades in high school algebra and geometry because Elliott and Dad would take turns yelling at me. I say that light-hardheartedly because they both just talked loud. I'd hear, "It's just like the other problem. Do the same thing!”
Or if a new concept emerged, Elliott would say, "Do it like the teacher did in class? He showed you, didn't he?" And yes, Mr. Frank Podraza showed us.
|the family, long before me (not sure who the fella is in the back)|
Playing Scrabble with Elliott is a maddening endeavor. He uses words that no one knows and is able to put them going vertically and horizontally—and they all match up as words!
Elliott has always been academic minded. He's well-read, loves a pun and a play-of-words. Mom was always proud of her son who could tell a joke and never ruin the punchline.
Do your siblings have any quirky childhood collections like my brother? Any games you avoid with them because they are too good?