I. How Your Mother and I Met
Recollections of Roland A. Gurgel via emails to family, 2000-2001

image It is obvious that we were not childhood sweethearts since I grew up in my father's school in Wonewoc. She attended grade school in Milwaukee and graduated from North Division High School in Milwaukee while I attended Northwestern Prep School and college in Watertown, Wisconsin. Even into my second year at the seminary I did not know of her existence. During the summer of l943 I taught vacation Bible School in the country outside of West Bend, Wisconsin. Pastor George Barthels had two congregations. One was in Addison and the other outside of that little village. I taught for him in the country congregation for four or six weeks. When I finished there I went into Milwaukee and worked at Blatz Brewery with many other seminary students. We worked a night shift. Blatz brewery was in the down town area of the city right next to Grace Lutheran Church, a Wisconsin Synod congregation. For a time I stayed with the Knickelbeins until I found a rooming and boarding house.

I give you this information in an attempt to give a fairly accurate date for my becoming acquainted with your mother. That fall the Knickelbeins and Emily Worgul who was a fiancee of Paul Knickelbein attempted to line me up with a girlfriend. If I remember correctly it was at a Choir Picnic of St. John's Lutheran Church that they first introduced me to a young lady they thought was a good choice. I do not even remember her name. I do recall she was a pleasant young lady, but one thing hit me immediately. She had a very high-pitched voice, like that of a little girl. I walked away from that. Sometime after that attempt Emily Worgul suggested the name of Lois Bauer. She too was in that choir. She had been confirmed with Emily, I believe at St. John’s Church by Pastor Brenner.

So I was set up with a date with Lois. It was probably late in 1943. I remember taking the Interurban into Milwaukee and getting off not too far from 10th and Ring the home address of the Bauers. I remember going down to the down town area of the city with her to view a movie. I could not tell you what the movie was all about. Movies and I have not been great friends. What I do recall was when we came out of the theatre and headed for the streetcar stop, she put her hand in mine. To this day I don't know whether it was her way of saying that she liked what she saw and was not going to let go or whether she was just being kind to a bashful seminary student.

Whatever she thought, I had discovered what I needed and wanted. No, it was not love at first sight but it was a sight that I wanted to see more of and with which to become better acquainted. I did not need the help of the Knickelbeins in that regard any more.

There was an old thought put forth and spoken of every so often. It went like this, do not have a serious girlfriend while at the seminary, but be engaged before you go out into the ministry. No student was allowed to be married during his seminary years. There had been one exception just prior to my coming there. One of the student's mother had died and left younger children still at home. The student was allowed to marry so his wife could take care of the young brothers and sisters, but on one condition. He would go home only on the weekends.

I was within a year and a half of graduating from the seminary and most likely being called into the ministry. It was time to do some serious preparing also in regard to finding a helpmeet. That first blind date made me aware that Lois might well be the help I needed and wanted.

The courtship was a little different from what goes on today. I had no car. Her folks did not own one either. We rode street cars around the city, to the movies, to the parks, to concerts, to watch her father bowl (he was an excellent bowler to say the least, he was also in his younger years a pitcher of some ability). We sat on their front porch and listened to classical music that her parents usually had on the radio. I also attended John Brenner's Bible Class with her as well as the Sunday service at St. John's when I was not off preaching somewhere else. By early 1944 she visited at my home in Wonewoc and that summer Paul and Emily as well as Lois visited my home and explored the woods and hills where I had grown up. We stood on a rather steep cliff called Third Castle. Paul got rather close to the edge and I admonished him to be careful. His reply, "I have too much to live for to end it now"

The summer of 1944 saw us in summer school by the request of the US government. That meant I was just outside of Milwaukee for most of those summer months. I made the trip into the city quite often. Lois' mother, grandmother Bauer to you frequently invited me for a meal with the family. She was a good cook and baker as you very well know. During the Christmas vacation of 1944 and into 1945 I spent many hours completing the requirements for graduation, namely, writing a sermon, a dogmatics thesis, and a catechisis. Having completed them I went back early to spend a bit more time with Lois before school would start again. Those last months, January through the end of March, found me frequently visiting at 10th and Ring. We graduated in March since we had gone to summer school the year before. In view of finishing my schooling, on March 17th I proposed marriage to Lois while we were walking a street near her home. I had asked her father for permission to do so. His response was, Ask her not me. So I did and she gave me a trembling YES. IT IS TOO BAD SHE IS NOT HERE TO GIVE YOU A PICTURE OF HER CHILDHOOD DAYS, HER SCHOOL DAYS AND HER WORK DAYS. But I would guess that as you grew up at her side she has told you a great deal more than I ever knew. I do know she was a good student, her report cards tell me that. She graduated from high school as an honor student. Her diploma declares that. She was working at a drug supply house when I met her. A business that supplied drug stores with what they needed. It was called MCKesson Robbins. She had taken business courses in high school so she worked in the accounting department.

Perhaps you can tell me things regarding her childhood that she revealed to you when you were growing up. I would be happy to hear them.


II. From Student to Preacher

image By March 17th, 1945 I was only a few days away from graduating from the seminary and from learning where I would be assigned. During my high school and college days I saw many seminary graduates finishing school and not being sent anywhere. Calls were few and far between in those days of nationwide recession or depression. When my brother Karl finished the seminary he was assigned to teach school in La Crosse, Wisconsin and he was one of the fortunate ones. After he taught for a year, the congregation called him as an assistant to Pastor Walter Schumann. By the time our class graduated, things had changed considerably. The war years brought about prosperity and congregations began to call graduates through the assignment committee.

The assignment committee met on the night before graduation. We as a class were called in to hear what they had done graduation morning before the ceremonies would begin. It was an interesting meeting. The day before the Mission Board had met with us and explained that they were looking for someone to go to Africa to help in the Synodical Conference Mission in Nigeria. We sat and listened. One classmate, George Baer asked a question. The next morning when we met with the assignment committee, the first one mentioned was George Baer. You showed some interest in Africa, he was told. So you have been assigned to Africa. Sometimes it does not pay to ask questions. The Africa assignment was always for seven years. Three years over there, a year back in the America and then back for three more years in Africa. George had gifts in the field of languages that fit in well with a foreign mission field. He did not serve a full seven years in Nigeria. His wife contacted elephantitis and as a result suffered an enlarged leg. They came back to the states and remained here. Later he served on the faculty at Northwestern College.

Down the list of graduates they went. When it came to me, I was told they were sending me to La Crosse as assistant to Schumann. With a bit of humor they added the remark to straighten out the mistakes of your brother Karl. The assignment was well received for I thought a lot of Pastor Schumann and to serve as his assistant and a very large congregation offered a chance to grow. First Lutheran of La Crosse was a congregation of some 3300 souls. It had a Christian Day School of considerable number of students. There was always opportunity for adult classes, hospital calls and shut-ins to be served.

Many of the graduates waited some months before taking off for their assignments. Pastor Schumann asked that I be there by the middle of April. That was just a few weeks after graduation. One thing I was thankful for was that I had not been assigned to serve as tutor at Northwestern College. That was usually a two year assignment and meant living in the dorm and not being married

I went home after graduation and looked for a car. Found a 1938 Chevrolet for sale. I paid $600 for it. That was more than the original cost and now it had almost 100,000 miles on it. The price was above what the government would allow for it so the farmer threw in a chicken. The most expensive chicken I ever bought. I took off with that car for the seminary to get my books and clothes etc. On the way I came to a sharp turn in the road pushed down the brake pedal and it went to the floor. No brakes. I crawled into Beaver Dam with my hand on the ignition key to drop the car if it had to an arm had come loose, came down over the brake hose and split it. No brake fluid. While it was being repaired I spoke with the mechanic and found out he came from Watertown and his father worked at Bethaisda Lutheran Home. I knew the family. While talking with him the owner of the shop came by and asked him if he wanted a bonus for working on my car. He declined. Sometimes it pays to ask questions.

Loaded up at the seminary, came back home, set out for La Crosse and discovered that tires go flat at times. When I got to La Crosse I discovered the congregation had rented a room for me with a catholic family by the name of Bumfort. They had a son in service and until he returned they had a room to be rented out. I moved my things and a desk that I purchased into that room and was ready for duty.

What a change in life style. For 11 years I had lived in dormitories surrounded by a host of classmates, and fellow students. Now I was by myself in a catholic home with nothing but books, a bed, a desk, and a telephone. I endured this change from April until October and then called on Lois for help.

I was kept busy with preparing sermons, usually every third Sunday. We had a German and an English service very Sunday. I would write out my sermon translate it into German and send the German copy to my dad for corrections. Made hospital calls. Very often we would have between 30 and 40 patients in the three hospitals in La Crosse. There were also a large number of shut-ins, at times as many as 120. When one adult class would be finished there were always a fair number waiting in the wings to be instructed. Funerals when I came were handled by Pastor Schumann. I came in April in June or July Pastor Schumann fell over in the pulpit during a service. He did not die but was told to take off for some months.

I was with my brother in Caladonia, MN at that Sunday. The congregation called me back to take charge. On that Monday a funeral was scheduled. Get prepared. While I was preparing for that funeral I was called by a family whose son was home from the service and while home had been killed in an automobile accident. Another funeral on Wednesday. Then prepare for a German and English service on the following Sunday. That went on for several months.

My father wrote and asked me, where are the German sermons you sent to me for correction? My reply, I don't have time to write and send and wait for them to come back I need to get them translated and memorized immediately. Did not get too many letters written to Lois during those months. She was very faithful in writing to me.

I decided I needed her in La Crosse and so plans were made to bring that to pass. Dad

[Note: Dad I got one response from yesterday's edition. Ruth would not believe that your mother would have placed her hand in mine on that first date. Believe me she did. As I said yesterday, I don't know whether she saw something she liked and wanted to hold on to it or whether she took pity on a bashful seminary student. Maybe the answer will come in eternity although it will be of no great importance then.]

III. First Lutheran, La Crosse

image I left off in the early months of serving at First Lutheran in La Crosse. The congregation set up an office for me in the church just off from the sanctuary. It brings back memories. It was on the fourth of July 1945 when I started out from my room to walk to the church. It was the coldest Fourth of July that I have ever experienced. There were almost snowflakes in the air. The middle of the summer and one needed gloves and I never checked to see if that set a record but if it didn't it must have been quite close. One other time when I experienced weather out of the ordinary. That was in Rib Lake on a Memorial Day. The band marched to the cemetery in 3 inches of snow on the ground.

The pulpit in First Lutheran had a canopy over it and it was situated right next to a wall. The voice could very easily travel down that wall and get lost. There was no speaking system to speak of. You had to stand with your back to the wall and look up and out to the left. The church could seat some 1100 plus people so you better do everything possible to make your voice carry to the upper balcony to the remotest pew underneath the balcony. Yet it was a pleasant building to preach in and sing in. If you ever get into La Crosse take a look at the church. It is located on West Avenue one of the main cross-town streets. My father was baptized there. My uncle was buried there. Some of my cousins were members there. One of them did a lot of singing for funerals there.

On the ceiling over the sanctuary were some circular decorations. They must have been made of cement or plaster of some kind. One Sunday morning when we came to church we discovered those decorations had fallen on to the altar platform and in that general area. It was a blessing that they had come down during the night and not during the service or you might have had some injured clergy to say the least.

There is one other incident that took place during a service that you might be interested in. Pastor Schumann had no love for cats. One Sunday morning during the service a cat found its way into the pulpit while Schumann was in the middle of a sermon. The cat had to go. Which brings to mind another Sunday with Schumann in the pulpit. When it came time to announce the text for the sermon, he had to say he had forgotten what it was and would have to go back into the sacristy and refresh his memory.

The church council met every Monday evening. The first hour was spent in opening the envelopes from the previous Sunday's service. Then the pastors would join them for church business. Those meetings very often lasted many hours partly because much instruction was needed. The previous pastor had been there some 35 years before Schumann came and there had not been a lot of teaching done. There were 12 members on that church council. For a quorum in a congregational meeting we needed 24 voting members present. We usually had to get on the phone and beg members to come to get that quorum. We would start out with the 12 council members, 2 pastors, 2 male teachers that made 16 and we would need at least 8 more. There were several hundred voting members but they usually let George do it.

When Pastor Schumann left to go back to teaching at Northwestern College in 1946. Members of the council asked me whether I was interested in taking over. My answer was a firm NO. I needed time to grow and in a congregation that size there would be no time to spend in intensive study. Too many calls to make, meetings to attend, classes to conduct etc. I had learned that serving a large congregation very much limits you as being a pastor. When I would get into the pulpit I could recognize a face here and there but the great majority were strangers. Oh, they were members of the congregation but I had no idea who they were, what they needed, where they lived etc.

During those first months at First Lutheran, a bachelor member of the church council took me under his wing so to speak. We became good friends. His name was Julius Kletzke. He was some 10 years older than I. He had a brother by the name of Paul. He was a chemist with his own lab in the back yard of his mother's home. I have told you of him before. Those two brothers and their mother helped me overcome some of the lost feeling that came with the separation from classmates and members of my own family. Lois did for Julius what the Knickelbeins had done for me, namely find a wife. Lois had a good friend from Mc Cesson Robbins by the name of Ellen. Lois introduced Julius to Ellen and they eventually were married.

That brings me back to Lois. As I said I needed a helpmeet so during the late summer of 1945 I called Lois and asked her to set a date and get things in motion for our marriage. She complied in several ways. She set the date for October 28th. She took a bride's course at some school and she began making the preparations. I was quite busy at First Lutheran so the work fell to her. She did an excellent job. I say, for all was left in her hands. I preached at First Lutheran on the morning of Ocotber 28th from there I went to Wonewoc to pick up my parents and then drove to Milwaukee. Got there about 5 o'clock.

Will spend a bit more time on that October 28th evening in the next installment. Dad

IV. Wedding Day

image October 28, 1945—that is 56 almost 57 years ago. For a late fall day, it was a beautiful and warm one. One could be outside even in the evening and after dark. One of those rare late October days that poets could write about. But it is not chiefly about the weather that we are writing marvelous though it was.

I arrived in Milwaukee about 5 in the afternoon. When I got there I learned that we had a date with the photographer to take the wedding pictures before the service. My brother Ernst drove us to the studio. He was living in Milwaukee at that time as I recall. So the pictures were done in short order and then to head for St. John's Church for the ceremony.

It was relatively simple. We walked down the aisle took seats provided in front of the altar and sang a hymn. Pastor Brenner preached a sermon. The one thing that sticks in my mind was a remark he addressed to Lois. He very directly said to her, "Remember you are not the assistant pastor." All the years she lived in the parsonage she demonstrated very willingly that she had heard that remark by her pastor. The service over we stood in the narthex and greeted the many who had gathered there with us. Again one incident has remained in my memory over the years. Gertrude Fehlauer and her husband, she was a sister to Karl's wife, greeted us. I introduced Lois to her as Lois Bauer. Gertrude quickly replied that is not true she is no longer Lois Bauer. She is now Lois Gurgel. And so she was from that day on for some 54 years until the Lord called her to an eternal rest

The service at the church finished we all adjourned to 10th and Ring, the home of the Bauers. Many sat on the porch perfectly comfortable on that October evening. We had invited some old friends of my parents from Burlington days to the wedding and the reception. Mrs Hertel and her sister, Louise Schroeder, came and gave us a fine set of dishes that are still used on occasion to this day.

It was an evening to be remembered for many reasons. After seeing and speaking with many relatives and friends, and thanking Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bauer for the work they put in making the occasion a happy one, Lois and I went to a hotel in the heart of Milwaukee. I ran across the receipt for that hotel room just the other day. You would not believe the price. It was no cheap hotel but the room charge was $3.50. Today you could not even get in the door for that amount. On Monday morning we went back to the Bauer home and loaded up Lois' things on a trailer I had brought along and headed back to La Crosse. I had not asked for nor was I given any time off from my work in La Crosse. Honeymoon? Just having your mother with me was a honeymoon. For a formal honeymoon we waited 41 years to our retirement and then began a long series of journeys together to many parts of the USA. So we headed back to my one room at the Bumforts house in La Crosse. I had not asked for a parsonage nor was one offered at first. It is interesting how the Lord works His wonders to perform in our lives.

We lived in that one room for a little while. Then the son of the Bumforts returned from service. They needed that room for him. What now? The divorced wife of one of the funeral directors in the city came to us and offered a room in her home. So we were under another roof for a time. Then I received a call to a parish that I had been serving as vacancy pastor. The parish consisted of two congregations. One was in Stoddard. The other in a country area called Bad Axe. When the congregation heard of that call, suddenly a house fully furnished was found for us. The owner had died sometime before, he had been a member of First Lutheran and his children offered the house and furnishings to us.

While we living in the Bumfort residence one of the members who operated a bakery in La Crosse offered a job to Lois so she would not have to sit alone in one room. Another member and family operated what was called a tearoom. They served evening meals to regular clients. We took our evening meals there. We paid for them but they were good home cooked meals. Breakfasts we ate at a little restaurant a few blocks from our room. Again it is too bad that mother is not here to fill in the details from her perspective.

We rejoiced greatly at having a home of our own even though it was an older house and the furniture was a bit antiquated. To us it was paradise returned. But even paradise has drawbacks at times. Next door to that house was a family with a hound that loved the sound of its own voice. Day and night it had to make certain that it had not lost that mournful voice.

Let me take you back to the trip from Milwaukee to La Crosse on October 29, 1945. As I said I had a trailer attached to the car. The car ahead of me on the highway was going rather slowly so I passed him but as I passed a car came quite rapidly from the other direction I had to slow down and pull in behind the car I had attempted to pass. Suddenly I heard a loud blowing of a horn behind me soon a car passed me with the driver shaking his fist in no uncertain terms. I had apparently cut him off with going back into the space behind the first car. Not fully realizing how much room I needed with the trailer in tow. It might well have been a major accident and the driver behind me let me know that.

V. Our Own Home

image We moved into our own home. I believe the address was 1510 10th Street. Things remembered about that house: Those were the days when the postman came twice in a day. There was a morning delivery and an afternoon delivery. Today they are talking about cutting out Saturday delivery.

It was a small house with a rather large kitchen with a wood burning stove. I marveled at Lois adjusting to that which I had been used to since childhood. She mastered it with dispatch. We ate our meals in that kitchen. Just off the kitchen was a small bathroom with a tub, no shower. Another small room was off the kitchen that could serve as a bedroom, if needed. The living room, rather small, was also off from the kitchen. A bedroom that we used was off from the living room. It too was rather small. The house had no full basement. But it was our home with rooms; not just a room in someone else's house.

I think back to those first days and realize that I must have been a disappointment to your mother. She had taken a course in being a bride. She now offered a salad with our dinner. That was something totally unknown to me either from home or from dorm life. She spent a lot of time and effort in making those salads and I guess I did not show much appreciation. What fools we husbands be. We realize too late the work of love. Lois gave up on me on this score.

The back yard was fenced off and offered room for a garden. In the summer of 1946 I did some planting. Even though the garden was quite sandy we managed to raise some vegetables and a fair crop of sweet corn.

There was no garage so the car was parked on the street. One day a policeman knocked on the door. When I opened for him with a question on my face, he politely informed me my car had no license plate on the rear. Apparently it had fallen off or had been removed. Received a ticket that required a plate be purchased within a short period of time or a fine would be leveled.

Not only did we raise a garden that summer but the first fruit of our marriage was well on the way to making her appearance. As you know Lois Jean was born on August 11th of that year. We were married on a Sunday. I had preached for two services that morning then to Wonewoc and on to Milwaukee. Well August 11th was a Sunday and my Sunday to preach at First Lutheran. I took Lois to the hospital either on Saturday evening or early Sunday morning. Went to church and conducted a German and an English service with Lois very much on my mind. Her mother had come to be with us so she was not alone. I went to the hospital after the services and Lois Jean still had not put in an appearance. Lois had a difficult delivery. But Lois Jean finally came into this world. Mother was kept in the hospital for 10 days. Nor because she was sick or whatever but because that was the way it was done in those days.

Hospital bill - ? Today that would have been astronomical. But as far as I can recall, there was no bill for it was a Lutheran Hospital and I was a Lutheran pastor. How different the situation is today. Really none of you nine were expensive babies. Those born in Rib Lake (Medford hospital) the cost was reasonably met. Those born in New Ulm, Dr. Vogel made no charge. Those born in Belle Plane we had a doctor in the congregation and by that time I did have some medical insurance through the Wisconsin Synod.

Every one of you was a precious baby. All were welcome into our home and lives. Nothing brought more pleasure to me than to have a little one in the arms and in the bed come early morning. But sorry, Perry, the first one is especially remembered because it is the first one. That did not make it more important than the others but something different is added to our lives.

The doctors at that time believed in a strict schedule for babies. Feed them at given hours. Don't give in to their cries. Well that lasted for a short time with little Lois Jean. She complained constantly until we became aware of the fact that she was starving. Out the window went the strict schedule and we enjoyed the silence that comes with a contented baby

I WANTED HER NAMED AFTER HER MOTHER, LOIS, but it did not take long to discover that two with the name of Lois in the same house could be confusing. Which Lois are you calling? And so quite early Lois Jean became Jeanne. Sorry to say my intentions to have two with the name Lois faded to a degree. Lois Jean is still to me Lois but for the most part Jeanie has prevailed.

Well it is almost 9:30 p.m. and I will take these memories to bed with me. Memories to a large extent are all that remains for me.

VI. Farewell to La Crosse

image Before I get to the last days as assistant in La Crosse permit me to explain to those who had graduates at ILC yesterday, May 19th, why I did not show. I had my ups and downs all week regarding being there. I do not know whether this is a scientific explanation or not, but the cutting and repairing I went through a month ago reached quite deep into the lower abdomen, the region of the solar plexus, the gathering place of many nerves. The healing has been going quite nicely but I do have emotional reactions from time to time. One hour I am ready to take off for Eau Claire the next not so certain that I am up to it. The spirit was willing but the nerves were hesitant.

1946 in La Crosse had many very pleasant moments both as pastor and as husband and father. The year ended however with a great change. In December of that year Pastor Schumann accepted a call to return to Northwestern College and to once more do some teaching of history and Greek among other things. He left shortly before Christmas. When I look back to the weeks from Christmas through New Years and the Sundays in those festival weeks, I recall conducting 13 services within less than 14 days—funeral, weddings, Sunday service, and festival services.

The congregation had issued several calls to fill that vacancy. The first was to George Barthels who was at Burlington at that time. He declined. I do not recall if there was another one before they called a man by the name of Friz Miller who was at Platteville, Wisconsin at the time. He accepted and was installed sometime in January. His wife made the remark when they came to La Crosse, "Pastor Gamm lasted here 35 years so can my husband." Gamm had been the pastor before Schumann.

At the first Church Council meeting after he was installed he made some suggestions to introduce things that Schumann had worked hard to eliminate. The members of the council looked at me. I felt it proper to point out that the church council was hesitant for reasons. The next morning Miller came into my office and let me know he did not appreciate my becoming involved. It was clear to me that my position as an assistant was not the most desirable. I had the highest regard for Schumann and his stand and I was not about to be partner to changes that left much to be desired.

My number of preaching Sundays was greatly reduced as were the number of Lenten services assigned to me. With somewhat of a heavy heart I limped through several months of uncertainty. Then came a call to serve as pastor to a congregation in Rib Lake, Wisconsin and to a country congregation in Greenwood Township a few miles east of Rib Lake. I guess if I had had a call to Nigeria I would have been ready to go. Rib Lake sounded wonderful for many reasons. It was an escape from an unhealthy situation in La Crosse, the combined total of souls in the two congregations was well over 400, there was a lake, in fact I discovered there were some 27 lakes within a few miles of Rib Lake, my boy hood revived.

At the meeting in which I asked for my release many of the members spoke of giving me more responsibility. That would not have worked. They finally granted me a peaceful release to accept the call to the north woods, Rib Lake and country. We planned to move by the end of April or early May. We had no furniture of our own to speak of, but one of the council members worked in a furniture store and he put together a basic package of dining, living, and bedroom furniture at a very good price for us. So we were off to another home with our own possessions.

Before we left La Crosse there was an incident that affected our early days in Rib Lake. A former schoolmate of mine, one who had called on me frequently to help him when he was pastor in Lannon, Wisconsin, a man by the name of George Boldt, he and his family stopped in and stayed with us a day or so in La Crosse. One of his children was suffering from a sore throat. We thought nothing of it, but when we arrived in Rib Lake Lois Jean came down with a sore throat. We took her to the local doctor, who was recovering from a stroke, and he told us Lois Jean had scarlet fever and he would have to quarantine our house. I would be allowed to conduct services but to stay away from too many contacts. Lois and Lois Jean would be isolated in the house. I went to Medford to consult a doctor there and he assured me that the local doctor was perfectly capable to diagnose people, he was not about to get involved. Lois Jean was about 9 months old at the time. Hardly had she recovered from the scarlet fever when she came down with the measles. The little girl was quite weakened by the two sicknesses.

Before we left La Crosse, the Church Council decided to give us a farewell gathering by that group. They thought it might be wise not to invite Pastor Miller and I respected their decision. It might have been a bit trying. Miller and I did not part as enemies but knowing full well we did not see eye to eye

So the book was closed on that first call of mine. Next time I will go into more detail about our stay in Rib Lake and the lake country. By the way our oldest son Paul was well on the way to joining his sister when we headed for Rib Lake.