Martha Woodward Bangert remembers Mr. Albers
Martha Woodward Bangert grew up on the east side of Bassett Road just north of the Jurgemeier/Albers farmstead. Alice and Karl Jurgemeier farmed the northeast corner of Bassett and Wolf roads.
Many years ago, Martha and her sister wrote a short description of Mr. Albers while waiting to leave a cruise ship that had just brought them from Alaska. When she got home she mailed her thoughts to me. Today, I am sharing them with you. (I wish we had a picture of Mr. Albers, but I hope you can see him through Martha’s eyes.)
Mr. Albers lived on the corner of Bassett and Wolf roads. He had white hair and a white mustache, a brown and wrinkled face. Years of hard work showed from his bent back and humped shoulders. He lived with his niece and nephew, the Jurgemeiers: Miss Alice and Karl. We called her Miss Alice but never really talked to Karl so didn’t use his name.
In the north yard was a huge mock orange bush. Nellie was the work horse, but the cow’s name is forgotten. I remember the smell of the barn, and his big white tom cat, father of many of our kittens. He used to pick him up by the tail and say “What do you think of my cat?”
In the winter it was a great treat when Mr. Albers met us at the school bus with Nellie and the sled to give us a ride home after he had used the wagon to spread manure in the fields!
He did his corn up in shocks and didn’t like it when we played hide and seek. We’d play in his pine grove – seem to get lost but find our tracks in the snow.
He remembered when a man came out from the “city” on the street car with saplings and a post hole digger to plant a fruit orchard. Mr. Albers knew the trees wouldn’t live and they didn’t. He planted our orchard himself – leaning all trees to the east considering westerly winds. The pasture extended from the barn east to the first dip.
There was a smokehouse. The German farmers all got together to butcher a hog. The kids weren’t allowed to go over until it was done and the head hung on a tree to dry.
For Mr. Heckerman, the highlight of his day was a visit to his buddy, Mr. Albers. He walked down Cal’s lane, (Cal Osborn’s lane across from Cal’s house on Lake Road ran south on the east side of Bassett Road) for his afternoon “homemade tea” – kept in the barn.