Being a twin to Wilburta was a special blessing! As a twin, we always had someone on our side! We were always very supportive of one another. Wilburta was the quiet shy sister, she also was very strong willed sometimes.
Some examples: In December, the Hardesty merchants gave out tickets, the number based on the price of item purchased. They had the drawing and her name was drawn. She refused to go forward, so I talked the folks into letting me go for the prize, a doll. Of course we always shared our toys.
Another Christmas time, our parents were shopping in the Hardware Store. They sat her down in a wagon in the store. When they were finished, she refused to get out of the wagon! After all the conflict, and embarrassment, they just bought the wagon. Ultimately that was a very wise purchase! We all enjoyed it, and gave rides to Elson after he suffered from third degree burns.
In our preschool days, we played with the baby pigs, against our Mother’s orders and warnings. We stood out side the pen, would grab one and it became our doll. We did this often, much to our mother’s consternation. We also played with baby calves.
Even as preschoolers, we had responsibilities; We carried syrup buckets of water from one water tank to one across the road. Perhaps that was just to keep us busy.
When starting school, we only knew two people (boys) in our class. We waited outside bathrooms for each other, then go play together on the playground. One time the teacher made us stay in at recess. Gale saw us and asked why. It was because we didn’t know how to spell Hardesty! He spelled it for us and went outside. The teacher came back and we told her we could spell it. We did, and she wanted to know how we learned that. We told her, and we were allowed to go play.
Our house that Granddad, Harry H. Saathoff, built, burned when we were four. The fire had started while Mom was canning! The fire blazed up and set the wallpaper on fire! Namona put Elson in the wagon and pulled it up the hill, Wilburta and I followed. Gale and Mom tried to put out the fire. Neighbors came, the fire was contained, but the house burned to the ground.
We lived in a deserted house on the Stensin Ranch. There we played with the baby calves and drew pictures in the “blow dirt”, where it built up on the tumbleweeds caught in the fence. One morning the ceiling in our parent’s bedroom fell to the floor! The cause was the weight from blow dirt settling on it. We asked Mom why our house was always so dark. Her answer was we hung quilts over the windows to keep the dirt out!
School and home activities changed as we gained more responsibilities. Driving the tractor, milking cows, feeding calves, and rushing to clean up before the school bus came! We played basketball and softball. I was the pitcher, and she would catch.
In the third grade we began singing with Gale, with Namona playing the piano! This continued to adulthood, until Namona married Huel, and Gale married Elma.
Wilburta and I were always in class together, except in the 5th grade. There were too many for one classroom so our class was divided. I hated it! All of our friends were in her class!
Wilburta served as Music Queen when she was a sophomore! She had a beautiful alto voice! Actually, that was quite an honor! She was always pretty nonchalant about those things!
We went to college together one semester at Panhandle A&M, then she married Harold. They attended Bible School, then entered the ministry . Of course later they both went back and received their degrees, and added teaching to their agenda! She always wanted to go to pharmacy school, but not given the opportunity due to Harold’s calling! Dad would have paid her expenses! We all would have been very happy and proud of her! BUT regardless, WE ALL STILL ARE!
Through it ALL she remained an admirable person and impressive Christian!!! A great reward awaits her! And we all who knew and loved her are blessed!!!
I’m grateful for the opportunity to have her as my closest, loving, lifelong Sister and Best FRIEND! With great love, respect, and sadness we bid her farewell!