One of the great memories from my childhood was visiting our Great-aunt Ett and Great-uncle Johnny Owens who lived in Butternut—a tiny community of 3 or 4 houses and a creamery. These were our "Laura Ingalls Wilder" relatives because they didn't have electricity or running water, and yet Aunt Ett made the most delicious meals with her wood-burning cook stove. It was always an adventure going to their home.
Uncle Johnny was a short, thin man, with a generous smile. I don't remember his occupation, but I know he raised a few pigs. He had an old car - a model A or a model T, which was usually stored in the garage. We kids would peek in the garage window to have a look at it, but had to be careful where we stepped because there were times when snakes were spotted in the ferns that grew around the outside of the building.
One of our favorite things to play with was the two steel-wheeled cart. My brother pulled us around the yard on its flat bed. In their living room there was an upright piano and a typewriter which sat on a typewriter table. They let us play with both of these. What a treat that was!
The bedroom had a thick curtain which served as a door. We were allowed to put our coats on the bed, but then we were told to come out. I think there may have been an upstairs, but that was out of bounds.
These simple, dear relatives are no longer around, but oh, how I wish they were. My kids missed out on seeing how these hardworking folks lived and loved. By the way, one of their grandsons went on to become one of our Navy's admirals. He is retired Admiral William Owens.