Friday, November 16, 2012

Another Kind of Country Club

Country Clubs have come to imply an exclusive, members-only place for the elite to gather, dine, socialize, golf, etc.

This is not about that kind of Country Club.

My grandparents lived 60 miles from the nearest town. Their nearest neighbors in the ranching/farming region were three miles away. It was quite an isolated life for the families living miles apart in the area. At some time, the women organized a club to provide some social life. It was called the Teckla Ladies Club, since that was known as the Teckla community, named after Teckla Putnam, the postmistress. You can read a little more about that here. I believe the club met once a quarter, though I am relying on a child's memory for that.

Some of the people gathered for the Teckla Ladies Cub c. 1944. The two little girls in the matching dresses are my sisters, Terry and Grace. I am the little girl in my grandmother's arms in the center of the group. The dog is our Boston terrier, Popeye. Teckla Putnam is the white-haired lady in the back row; her grandchildren, Forest and Lois, are in front of her.
One of the Club meetings my family attended took place during the time my mother was teaching the Teckla School. There were a few times when we happened to be visiting my grandparents at club meeting time. Club day was a big deal. The women cooked their favorite company dishes and brought them to whichever home was hosting. What a feast! Although it was called the Ladies Club, the whole family came. The men visited together. The children ran and played and waited impatiently for the great food they knew was coming. The women cooked and served the feast, then cleaned up, with lots of visiting as they did the work. It seems a little unfair that it was their club, but they were doing all the work! However, work shared becomes a social event in itself. I think there was sharing or working on fancy work, needle work, and such projects amongst the women. I am a little vague on this, because I was one of the kids running around playing and not paying any attention to what the "boring" adults were doing.

The children at the 1944 club meeting.

This photo is from a later club meeting; probably 1949 or '50. The girls present are standing beside my grandparents' sheepherder's wagon--the old time version of a mobile home. Shown are: Michelle, Grace, JoAnn, Lois, Terry.
Club Day was a great day in that isolated community!


  1. Thank you for sharing these pictures and the story!

    1. As I look at these old photos from Mother's album, I really wish I had a better memory and that I had asked more questions while I had the opportunity. My memories of so much of what is in the photos are the memories of a small child. Some are vivid, some vague. I think your blog of your life and your children's lives is a wonderful way of preserving memories that otherwise might be lost. Your girls will treasure them when they are adults!