A dry pair of socks; Local centenarian recalls birth story
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – On March 19, 1920, Mary Nelson went into labor. With no phone, her husband, George hooked up the horse and buggy and traveled to his parents, who were fortunate enough to own a phone.
Mary and George lived on a dirt road, which was all mud in the spring of the year.
After reaching his parents’ home, George alerted the doctor. The doctor had a Model T, but George advised him not to drive down the muddy road for fear of getting stuck. After taking his mother to stay with his laboring wife, George returned to a nearby intersection to await the doctor’s arrival.
When the doctor appeared, he climbed into the open buggy and pair sped along, with mud and water splashing.
Upon arrival, the doctor removed his boots and socks, which were full of mud. George opened the oven door and hung the socks to dry while the doctor tended to Mary.
Mary and George were blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Mildred Aurelia.
Completing his services, the doctor went to leave, but socks were still wet. George’s mother offered a pair of socks she had knitted.
George attempted to pay the doctor a $5 bill – the going rate for baby delivery in 1920. The doctor would not take the money, stating that the socks were payment enough.
Those socks became symbolic of that infant’s lifetime, as Mildred Aurelia watched the world change from one where you labored for all that you had to one where things were more easily discarded; however, Mildred Weidman values and love of family have held steadfast through the past 100 years.
Weidman has seen some big changes over the past century. She recalls when she went to school at Ebbe School, in the town of Lincoln, and Sacred Heart, in Marshfield, all that was needed was a pencil and ink pen; now much centers on electronics.
Mildred married Arnold Weidman on October 4, 1940, at Sacred Heart Church in Marshfield. They raised five children –DuWayne, Jim, John, Sue and Lois – and have 22 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren.
Mildred and Arnold celebrated over 50 years of marriage; Arnold passed away in 1993.
Today, Mildred lives on her own and loves to cook, play cards, and visit with her family.
Mildred reflects on some of the bigger changes she has seen.
“When we bought our first TV back in 1955, the salesman said that someday you will be paying to watch TV,” she said, “and look now how much it really costs for cable”.
Mildred added that when she was young, people “all got along and there was no fighting, and now no one seems to get along.”
Mildred still finds the value in the socks her mother made. She said that she “feels that you (should) only buy something new if the old is broken and can’t be fixed.”