This is a picture of Charles Ray at 5 and 1/2 years old. Grandma Elda's handwriting is at the bottom of each. You can tell Grandma missed every day they taught penmanship in school when she was growing up. Notice how she wrote her Y's.
The picture above was taken in Dad's front yard. The Williamson house sat on today's Glendale Road. A rest home sits where dad's house once stood today. The gravel road you see in this picture is Montana Ave. It ended right in front of their house.
The big vacant lot belonged to Homestake Mine. It was surrounded with a chain link fence with barbed wire. It was used to store equipment. The white house in the background belonged to Claude Schmidt. His boy, Bobby, was Dad's friend. Bobby grew up and owned a Shakey's Pizza Parlor in Rapid City. The house behind Schmidt's belonged to Harold Luedeman.
His boy Clint was Dad's other friend. The three boys were inseparable. They played all day together. They were called the three musketeers. Clint's dad Harold later became the mayor of Lead. The big house on the right of the picture belonged to the Burlington Railroad. It was called the RoundHouse. This is where they turned the locomotives. The three musketeers used to crawl under its large door and play. Today the Roundhouse is a high class restaurant in Lead.
There is a little road coming down the hill near the Schmidt's home. That's the hill that nearly killed dad when he was six. He went sledding that day with his friends. He came down the hill out of control and couldn't stop. The sled took him out into the street and right into the path of an oncoming car. He ran right into the front tire. The collision threw him off the sled, knocking him out. The sled continued under the car and was crushed by the tires. The driver thought the sound of the cracking wood was the sound of dad's bones. Chester Pascoe heard the commotion, came outside, picked dad up and laid him on the side of the hill until he came to. He waked dad home and told Grandma what had happened.
"Things were different in those days," dad said about his accident. "No fire truck or ambulance or police came to the scene. People just took care of things themselves."
Elda called the doctor on the phone. He told her to look in dad's eyes to see if one pupil was larger than the other. If not, it was mild concussion and that was the end of that.
Dad lived in the Italian part of Lead. Dad says Grandma spoke Italian during day and English at night when his dad was home. All their neighbors were Italian which makes Dad wonder why he never picked up the language.
In this picture you see dad (Charles) standing in front of a big, long common garage for the five homes owned by the Pascoe family in the area. Dad's house was one of the five. Dad is wearing a black sailor suit. Ted Pascoe was in the Seabee's, a branch of the Navy. It came from the CB's for Construction Battalion which is where dad got his nickname. Ted sent dad all kinds of memorabilia from World War 2. The CB's went in right after the Marines secured an island to begin construction of roads, buildings and air fields. Dad wore so many of the CB t-shirts that his friends in Belle Fourche started calling him SeeBee. Dad remembers that he and his friends like to play with matches in this garage
Here is a picture of Grandma and dad standing in front of the same garage.
This picture was taken on May 16, 1942. Notice the amount of snow on the ground and on the roof of their Lead home. Dad is standing in the doorway. The house is gone. A rest home sits there now. Ted Pascoe and dad's dad, Charles, built the house. Rent was $18.00 per month. Dad is standing in the doorway to the Kitchen. The other door is the door to the living room. Dad slept upstairs. His bedroom had a door leading out onto a small deck. You can see Grandpa shoveling snow away from the clothes line. There were no dryers so your wash was hung outside, even in the winter.
They had a chicken coop in the back of the house. In those days you could have animals in the town.
Dad says they didn't have a refrigerator. Grandma and Grandpa had a hole in the backyard dug out with a post hole digger. It was about five feet deep. At the bottom of the hole was a 5 gallon cream can. That is where they kept the eggs, milk, cheese etc. Whatever you needed to keep cool. They pulled the can up with a rope to access the dairy products.
This is a picture of dad standing beside the clothes line made from the tops of two old telephone pole. Grandpa ran line between these two poles. Dad is beside the old chicken coop.
That wraps up tonight's visit to Lead, South Dakota in 1942.