Bert Rudie – Part II

Bad Things Happen

I remember one disaster when I was young: there was a “general alarm” on the telephone, which was a party-line. A neighbor’s house down the road caught fire. I remember when we drove over there. We were sitting in the car watching and listening as this house was burning. There was no fire department. There was no way to stop it — just big flames and all kinds of stuff exploding, blowing up, popping, and banging. It was quite a frightening thing to see for a young guy like me.

During the Depression in the drought years, everything was so dry. One guy lit his swamp where there used to be a pond. This guy lit the grass in his swamp land, but it also set fire to the dirt that was peat. The peat layer was many, many feet deep and peat is like the first beginnings of the stuff that makes coal. This stuff burned for years before it finally burnt itself out. All of the neighbors were there trying to dig a trench so it wouldn’t go across into their property. It just kept on burning and all of this dust would come up from this burnt stuff. There would be big, strong winds and it used to blow from the prevailing winds, which was always from the west direction from southwest toward our place. All of this dust would get into the old house and it would blow right through the poorly-fitted windows. We’d have layers of dust on all of the tables and all of the furniture in the house. My mother was so disgusted and everybody was so mad at this guy.

The DeZurik Girls Entertained Us

My parents used to have parties. People came over every so often and we would have get-togethers, big dinners, celebrations, and drink beer. When I was pretty small, the DeZurik sisters entertained us singing and yodeling. The yard was just full of cars and everybody from around the neighborhood was there sitting around listening to these girls singing and yodeling. They used to sing and play on the local radio stations (St. Cloud and Little Falls). We heard them once in a while on the radio and they were well-known and went to the WLS Barn Dance program in Chicago. We would always hear them on Saturday nights on the Barn Dance Jubilee radio show.

The DeZurik sisters were two of the first women to become stars on both the National Barn Dance and the Grand Ole Opry, largely a result of their original yodeling style. Wikipedia: Carolyn and Mary Jane DeZurik

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