Friday, February 01, 2008

Talking with Bob

Recently I sent off an email to a hometown contact named Bob Cameron. Bob's Mom was Simone, and she was a cook at the St. Vincent school that I and many others attended. A little slip of a woman, she was ever cheerful as she dished up some mighty tasty lunches.

But I digress...

Bob emailed me back yesterday and said he should call me to talk. I replied with my number. This morning he called me while I was at work, but I didn't let that stop me. When you have a chance to talk with an older resident of St. Vincent, who has ties with even older residents, you do it! What he ended up sharing was like a peek into the past, which is what it was...

- Bob recalled seeing many rats in the town's nuisance ground, which was by the river. He played in it as a boy with other town boys. Descendents of those same rats were seen stranded in the nuisance ground's trees during the 1950 flood, the poor creatures starving to death during the weeks the water was high.

- Matilda (Ottem), (William) Wallace Cameron's second wife*, a renowned seamstress in the area, was a good friend to my grandmother.

- Wallace was 'town cop' for St. Vincent at one time. He carried with him a small book that he kept in his shirt pocket to keep notes on; it saved his life one day in 1914, when he had to wrestle a drunk (and disorderly) man to the ground. The man was carrying a gun that accidently discharged in the tussle. Today, that book and the impression the bullet made into it can be seen at the Kittson County Museum.

Bob ended by saying the next time he's down my way, we should grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and chat more. I'm definitely taking him up on that offer and intend on picking his brains some more; it goes without saying that I'll be sharing what I'm told right here!

* - His first wife was Luella Pearl Hutchins, who passed away in 1910...