I was born in (city, state, country): Galesburg, IL
My birthdate is: February 1, 1923
My parents’ full names – Father: Samuel Leslie Cline ; Mother: Gladys Marie Walker
They had the following occupations:
Father: Farmer in 1923, Mail Carrier in 1930, thrashed/plowed on the side during many of the years
Mother: Schoolteacher in 1917 out of teacher’s center in McComb (over the summer – took a couple of classes), 1st year – rode horse from home (6 miles west of Abingdon) to classroom each week and stayed there for the week.
The most memorable times we had together as a family were: 3 times a month we would be at one of our cousin’s homes (Josephines, Berniece,…) and had a great time. Men would pitch horseshoes – would have to leave to tend to the cows.
I remember this amusing incident involving my father/mother:
- They were an interesting pair putting up wallpaper – Mom was the sticker and Dad was putting it up on the wall. It might have been a few days before they spoke to one another.
- put $100 bill under each child’s plate after selling the farm.
- Putting up hay a few miles from the area – “what do you want to do with this hay rack?” said Fred. Sam said, “bring it on down whenever you’re ready.” Almost lost his only son at that point when the rack almost ran over Fred.
An interesting story about my brothers, sisters and me is: 1936, they went to Kansas. Got up at 4 a.m., got in the Studebaker and drove to Aunt Vera’s and might have had a nickel ice cream cone along the way. Left Marilyn and Diane at Aunt Vera’s and went to Denver. Big produce place in Denver – never seen anything like this prior. Visited big mountain in the area and got a watch fob from there. It fell out in the field and two years later Dad plowed it up and sent word to Fred over in Europe.
This is what I remember about my grandparents: Grandpa Walker on a Sunday had a container of mints – when you’d finish dinner you’d climb up on his lap and give you mints. He smoked cigars and put a cigar he thought was out in his pocket – it wasn’t and he started patting his chest putting that out as quickly as possible.
The pets I had as a child — an occasional dog, though never in the house until later.
I remember when…
a candy bar cost 5 cents.
I could go to the movies for dime.
Gasoline was dime per gallon.
In 1941, Bob Turnbull had a car and Fred would pay for the gas in Galesburg, 4 gallons for $0.50. Movie for a dime and usually stopped at Steak & Shake for a dime milk shake and nickel hamburger.
My favorite meal my mother made, and what made it so special was: biscuits and gravy on Sunday morning. Home grown and very special.
These are some of the things I remember about trips my family took as I was growing up: Kansas
This is how I would describe the house and neighborhood I lived in as I was growing up: Bob Turnbull was 2 doors away, stockyard of Delong was across the street from the house – in 1934 the railroad ran between there and the church. They pulled the rails in mid 30’s. The town basically left after that – lumberyard, stockyard.
These are the ways that neighborhood has changed over time: went from a thriving little town with the stockyard, lumberyard, church, little store, post office to now no longer having any commercial activity (only a volunteer fire department.)
My favorite subject in school was: history. My least favorite subject in school was: English.
One of my favorite teachers in elementary school was: Ms. Merle Morey She was a favorite because she was a friend of my mom and was a great person.
This is how I got to elementary school each day: walked a mile, jumped the fence and was at school for the first year. The next years he walked to the end of the lane – 1/8 mile.
Elementary school was 1/8 miles away. I got to school by: walking.
Junior high (middle) school was 1/8 miles away and went there through 10th grade until 1936. I got to school by: walking.
High school was in Abingdon, 6 miles away. I got to school by riding with the mailman both ways.
Things I enjoyed doing as a child were: learned to read early – hard pressed between that and enjoying history.
This is how I would describe myself when I was a teen-ager: was awfully glad when it was over! Shy, not afraid of girls but didn’t ask a couple out for fear of rejection.
This is what I remember about my first date: something going on at school and no reason to go home. In town getting something to eat and a cute girl on the east side of town asked for a ride home. Fred said yes and she called her boyfriend who was a student at Knox College and he couldn’t come . She was “hotter than a little red wagon” but that was the only time they were together – boy could she smooch! The next day Fred was whistling and his dad said “I don’t know what’s going on, but don’t tell me.”
Things that are different now than they were when I was growing up are: People today don’t take responsibility for their own actions – they did in the earlier days.
Other comments I have about growing up: Putting up hay with Herman Stromburg – just horses, wagons and pitchforks. Have chaff on them and Fred said to him as he was wiping off his bald head and Fred said “has anyone told you that you can’t raise grass on concrete.” Herm said back – “Don’t need a roof for an empty barn.”
My first job was: Carried papers when he was 12 years old. Had 10 papers in Delong – made a penny a paper.
Other employment I have had over the years included:
- Working for farmers – meals and all the root beer you could drink at Petrini’s the last day
- Working for farmers – dollar a day
- 4H – 8 sows who farrowed twice (40 head of hogs to take to town)
- Worked the summer of ’42 in Burlington railroad – paid $0.67 an hour to start as a mechanics helper! Moved up a dime an hour for each job responsibility – paid for his Blackburn College.
- Blackburn College for 10-15 hours a week for your room and board
- Military in the spring of ’43
- Home in 2/46 – Knox College in Spring (geology camp off-site in Wyoming for credit; hitchhiked from Roseville, IL to Wyoming with the same guy all the way there – the guy let Fred out at the Tetons) and Summer
- University of Illinois – Masters Degree
- Keewanee – HS ag teacher
- Army – get to Brooklyn in 8 days
- Soil Service started in 1952
The jobs I like the best, and why I like them, were: Soil service because he started with nothing and within 10 years had a lot of customers. “Fired” a couple of customers who were problems. After 55 years Uncle Fred, working part-time, still has a handful of very loyal customers.
The jobs I dislike the most were: military in Europe – wet, trench foot and ultimately spent Thanksgiving ’44 in French hospital. Best Thanksgiving in his life.
MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN
This is how I met my spouse: Taking a grad course at U of I and had a mutual friend; Louise had an apron on but wasn’t going anywhere at that moment since she wasn’t aware her friend was bringing a man with her.
On our first date: went to a movie and maybe got something to eat.
Before we were married, we dated each other for 8 months.
When we were first married, we lived: Keewanee, IL and started in on a HS ag program.
We bought our first house in 1952 for about $10,800
Our first car was a used Studebaker and cost about $300. First new car was a 1949 4-door Mercury at a cost of $2,500.
This was the rage in music, dance and clothes when we were first married: liked to ballroom/jazz dancing at the top of the Weinberg Arcade there was a dance every week – at the first hour there would be women who would show you how to dance. Women were almost always in dresses.
These are the homes and communities I have lived in since I was married:
- Keewanee 1949
- Brooklyn NY 1951
- Galesburg (with in-laws) 1952
- Abingdon at 506 Maple since 1952 – 18×24 foot addition plus a two car garage.
Here is my perception of how those places have changed since I first moved there: economically there have been many jobs lost in these areas (pottery in Abingdon, Maytag/Gates/railroad jobs in Galesburg, boiler company in Keewanee)
Some important things I have learned about marriage are:
- “take your time and don’t overdo it in discipline”
- “women are trained by their mothers and they’re running the show but letting the men BELIEVE they’re in charge”
My spouse and I and our children celebrated Christmas, birthdays and other holidays by: b-day parties – each kid could have their friends over to the house; both sets of grandparents enjoyed holiday and other gatherings for many years;
Family traditions that we began were: Cline Reunion was begun by the Cline sibs – many have remarked how great this is.
These are the traditions which I hope my children and grandchildren will carry on with their own families: get along and consider gathering regularly
I best remember these trips which our family took as our children were growing up:
- trip to California and any Cline family function;
- often to St. Louis to visit the Gammons;
- one summer Sherry stayed in California with Diane and the kids;
- each girl went to Europe;
- Rick had the chance to go to Europe but he didn’t want to go – he’d take care of it later (did so with the military!)
I remember these humorous or memorable stories about our children as they were growing up:
- Playing basketball game of “horse” with Sherry – she was the best shot of anyone in that part of the county;
- Patty was one of the earliest potty-trained kids around.
My children remind me of my own childhood in these ways: interest in farming and the NW IL area, can pull a fast one on people, empathy for people and teaching others
My grandchildren remind me of my own children in these ways: picked up a sense of humor,
What I have enjoyed most about being a parent is: knowing that the family name will go on
Some of the things I have learned as a parent are: finally learning to take my time and not make such snap decisions
This is what I have enjoyed about being a grandparent: pleasure of watching them progress!
This is how I would describe our family over the years, in terms of its character and unique aspects: feel good about so many things; spare yourself the agony of trying to always resolve every situation to everyone’s pleasure.
As an adult, I have enjoyed these hobbies or pastimes: traveling has been top of the list – been to every state in the US, many other countries that he did (and didn’t in the case of WW II) ask for.
If I could teach a special hobby or skill to my grandchildren, I would choose: let them know where he’s been – the love of travel.
My faith has influenced and contributed to my life in these ways: since he was 12 years old he’s been a member of the church (Rev. Main was an early influence – friend of the family),
This is what I remember about the church activities I was involved in over the years: choir over 40 years, taught a Bible study class at least 40 years in Christian Church.
As an adult, these friends have been especially important to me: Never had a hard word with any of these guys: 1) Bob Turnbull was a heckova kid; 2) Howard Tolley – stood up with him and they with us; 3) Paul Noland – Blackburn College was first time together; 4) Ralph Burnett – Univ. of Illinois;
Numerous historical events have occurred during my lifetime (9/11/2001, wars, space program, ….). Some event that I particularly remember or that affected my life, and the reasons why, include:
- Pearl Harbor changed the world – Fred & his dad were watching a football game and heard the news;
- in HS gym the next day and heard that the President had declared war;
- Lyle Dunlap said “I’ll be seeing you” – he was headed off to Guantanamo for the service.
- Two cousins were in Pearl Harbor and one was killed that day.
As I look back over the events of my life, the things that made me the happiest and about which I feel especially proud are: The day the war was over — 8/14/45. Anti-aircraft were celebrating the end of the war by shooting off their guns – Fred and the guys wondered whether they were under attack, but it was a celebration.
As I look to the future, I have these hopes and goals for our family and for myself: first Cline to get a degree with hopes they all get a degree
One of my favorite tales is: Telltale heart
My favorite song is: Battle Hymn of Republic
My favorite restaurant is: The Junction (was a favorite of Louise’s)
My favorite food item is: shrimp (remnant of WW II experience)
My favorite dessert is: raisin pie