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Friday, February 16, 2018

Grammy and that Pig

In 1942 when Lillie and Lloyd Read lived in Portland, Oregon, near Mt. Scott Park, their son Carl and his wife, Dorothy, were given a pig that Dorothy and Carl decided to raise as a pet. It was a cute little pig, and then a couple of years passed and it became a big pig that couldn't live in the city anymore. They gave the pig to Carl’s mother to take care of. 

Here are Lloyd, second from left, and Lillie,
right front, in 1942. Margie is fourth from right 
in the back, sitting on the car.
Lloyd had moved his family a lot in the past few years. Up until 1940, they had been living on the McMinnville farm that they’d bought from Lillie’s daddy. Then Lloyd traded the farm for a house with a couple of old-fashioned gasoline pumps out front and four or five tourist cabins out back, on the highway near Canby, Oregon. Lillie was very sorry to lose the little farm, but Lloyd had thought it was too much work for her. Why he thought a commercial gasoline station and tourist cabins were less work for her was always a mystery to everybody. Lloyd was away from home most of every week, as he was a railway mail clerk. The Canby place lasted a very short time. Then they moved back into Portland, to a tall, narrow house on SE Ellis, near the corner of 74th where the park was. Then when the war heated up, Lloyd became nervous about the port of Portland as a possible target for Japanese bombs, and he moved the family out to a 20-acre lot near Stafford, where they had two houses on the lower level land, and most of the rest of the twenty acres was a steep wooded hillside.

The pig got there and they had to make a pen for it by the house. But pretty soon the pig got out of its pen and was wandering around the front yard. Lloyd was home and Carl and Dorothy were visiting, and he hollered for Carl to come help him round up the pig. Dorothy and her sister-in-law Margie, who was 14, began watching from the front porch. The men had sticks that they tried to swat the pig with to get it to head back into the pen. Every time they did that, the pig would turn around and charge one or the other of them and they had to dive out of the way. Dorothy and Margie started to laugh at the spectacle. The pig decided to run around the outside of the pen. The more the men chased the pig, the more fun the pig had dodging this way and that, leading them all around the yard and up the hillside, and oh, just everywhere. Dorothy and Margie were soon laughing so hard they were gasping for air.

Lillie, hearing the commotion from inside, came out on the porch and asked what was going on. The two girls couldn’t speak, they could only point toward the hill as the tears ran down their cheeks. Lillie frowned. She put her hands on her hips, drew herself up to her full height (4 feet 10 inches) and said in the most exasperated tone she had, which was a considerable level of exasperation, “Oh! for heaven’s sakes!” Dorothy and Margie were completely overcome.

Lillie marched right out to the pig, grasped it firmly by the ear, and led it straight back into its pen with no trouble whatsoever. She shut and wired the gate with a Look that made Lloyd and Carl, who were both more than a foot taller than she was, appear to shrink several inches. Then she marched back to the house and across the porch, tossing over her shoulder, “Come girls, we have dinner to get on.” Dorothy and Margie followed, still gasping.

Photo credit: Richard Lutwyche

For further stories about my grandmother and her adventures, see the lists on my Munro and Read genealogy pages.

1 comment:

  1. Grandma Lillie was never one to put up with "foolishness" and I can just see her marching out there to take care of the situation.


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