Some years ago at the Falk Reunion I requested that family members would write down some of their memories. My Aunt Lois did it for me and this is my typed version of her story.
MEMORIES FROM THE PAST
"Two Damsels in Distress"
by Lois Lotspeich
I don't remember how old we were, but we were probably teenagers or at least Wilma must have been in her teens. Anyway, it sounds like something teenagers would enjoy doing. Our mother was in on it, too, and helped us with the planning or at least helped us with her advice. When she was younger and in good health she had a real sense of humor and enjoyed a good joke as much as we did, so we decided to go for it.
But how could we dress so our dad wouldn't recognize us? My mother had some outdated clothes (by our standards these days) in a trunk upstairs along with some other old keepsakes. (How Wilma and I used to enjoy going through that trunk when our parents would take an occasional trip into town with a horse and buggy in those days before automobiles became more plentiful. Since the trunk was sort of a "no-no" it made a trip through it even more enhancing and we discovered why it was on the "stand-off" list in going through it. We ran across some old love letters our dad had written to my mother during their courtship days. Curiosity killed the cat, you know, and we couldn't let it do that to us. We probably told her what we had done after we grew up. No wonder her black hair eventually turned to gray.)
Fortunately, we had a large house with several entrances and exits so there was no problem in getting outdoors in our stranger's attire after we were dressed for the occasion. We came down the stairway to the hallway, which had a door into the bedroom on one side and a doorway into the parlor on the other. We went through the parlor and out the doorway on the other side to get to the road without being seen and of course our mother was posted to make sure that our dad was detained should he make any moves that would give us away.
We came up the road, through the yard, and onto the steps and Wilma lightly knocked on the door. Of course, our mother made sure our dad answered the door.
Wilma, in her somewhat disguised and plaintiff voice told him how we had become stranded and where we were going and that we would very much like to spend the night there if they could accommodate us and then go on in the morning. He reluctantly said he didn't know whether it could be arranged but Wilma wasn't easily persuaded and in a much more distressed, almost pleading tone of voice seemed to come up very easily with persuasive arguments. Finally, he said he would talk to the "Mrs" so we patiently waited on the somewhat darkened doorstep. (No electric lights in those days to brighten the doorway out in the country where we lived, which was much to our advantage at this particular time.) When our dad came back he told us that they thought they could make room for us, so he asked us in and when we shed our disguises and became "Wilma and Lois" in our natural habitat, the surprised and embarrassed look on his face made all the careful planning well worth it.
Of course, he told our mother that he knew all the time who we were, but the evidence pointed very much to the contrary, when he came back to give us the good news that they could "put us up" for the night. Like Don Regan in the Iran-Contra hearings I would have given him an award for his acting had he known who we were. But if we could tell such big ones why couldn't he?
What a joy to have parents who can take a joke without becoming offended! No wonder I was such a happy, carefree and bubbly child. And Wilma with her lively imagination make life very interesting for me. But that opens a whole new can of worms. There aren't really such things as bogey men, are there?