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A Full Day

(The following is a diary-style account for a school writing assignment my mom, Ellen Torgerson had in the 11th grade on December 7, 1963. Her father Orvin Torgerson, mother Lillian, brother Leslie, and she went on a rare road trip in the summer of 1955. They traveled to see Mom’s older sister Marilyn and her husband Ole days after they welcomed their firstborn child, Greg. The also had with them Lillian’s brother, Carl Dolali. Mom received an A/A- on the paper.)



A Full Day

August 7, 1955

Today was a lovely day, not a cloud in the sky. I think I like Minnesota better though, for here in South Dakota everything looks so parched. Even the grass is brown, and the water tastes terrible. There is not anymore water in the jug we brought from home, either.


I’ve enjoyed every minute of today. Leslie let me use his camera to snap a picture of the buffalo. Daddy let me feed a banana to a burro. The reptile garden was beautiful, and I learned a lot about snakes. I thought snakes liked to sneak up on people, but they don’t really. Most of the time they bite to protect themselves, and as for jumping down on a person, they’re just as afraid of breaking their backbone as I am of mine.


I wanted to see the cave, but Daddy didn’t want to go. Ole said it wasn’t worth the fee the proprietors charged for its entry.


I had a good laugh on Daddy. We went to the zoo in Rapid City. He was standing with his back turned to a cage and a monkey tugged at his coat.


He turned around to Leslie and asked, “What do you want?”


Leslie laughed and said, “Peanuts!”


I think the zoo had almost every type of animal except a polar bear.


Tonight, Mom and I are babysitting. Greg is only eleven days old and still has red skin. I’m really proud to think I’m an aunt now. Mom let me hold him for a few minutes when I promised to be careful. He opened his eyes and looked straight at me, but he wasn’t a bit afraid. He has a real cute little grin.


Marilyn and Ole took Uncle Carl, Daddy and Leslie to a car race. I’m so tired after today that I’m going to bed in the hope that I may enjoy another big day tomorrow. Ole promised to take us for a long ride in the Black Hills. Mom is baking a cake to take along, and we’re going to have egg salad sandwiches, because Leslie loves them. She said she would pack olives in the lunch for me especially. Marilyn is going too, because I heard her asking a friend to baby-sit.

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