My Mom grew up on a farm in South Central Nebraska with five brothers and sisters. In all the stories told of those days the farm was referred to as “The Old Boldt Place.” Originally the farm was the homestead property of the Boldt family. In the early 1920’s my great grandfather purchased it and my Mom’s parents rented it from him. “The Old Boldt Place” would be the setting for some of the best family stories.
I think I was in my late 30’s maybe even early 40’s when after listening to one of these stories that I finally thought to ask my Mom where this river was that they lived on. I’d been to Hildreth and Wilcox many times and I can’t recall ever seeing a river or even a lake of any kind. She looked at me somewhat bewildered by my question and asked what I was talking about. I explained that in all the years we visited my grandparents I could not recall any water around there. She looked at me like I was off my rocker and at this point I was getting a tad bit irritated at the looks she was giving me. I started wondering if she had suddenly gone senile on me. I said “YOU KNOW – when you lived on “The Old BOAT Place!” She said what? I repeated it again, now I’m thinking she has gone deaf too – “The OLD BOAT PLACE” – Mom where you grew up – remember! Then she says – spell it. Good grief now I’m wishing I had never brought it up. “B-O-A-T” – I tell her. Her wrinkled brow relaxes and she starts to laugh a little and then she breaks into total hysterics – I mean almost rolling on the floor laughter. To which I’m not finding that funny. “Sweetheart,” she says to me, still laughing, “it isn’t Boat it’s Boldt – “the Old Boldt Place.” Now I’m the one with the bewildered look so now she spells it for me “B O L D T.” I put my most serious face on and tell her that now she has ruined everything for me, but, I can’t keep it up and I start to laugh too. All those years I had conjured up a romantic notion that she was like Debbie Reynolds in those old Tammy movies. You know the ones about the girl who grew up on the river with her grandpa.
Mom and had a good laugh that day even if my romantic ideas of growing up on a farm in South Central Nebraska went poof.