MARCH 31, 1997
Esther Larson Repman, shown here cutting the tall grass in front of her home, lived to be over 100.
Photo by Oscar Roloff.
by Oscar Roloff
The story you are about to read is kind of sad to write. Life is so fleeting and often topsy-turvey. Thus, I feel I must write as I feel. I write what's between me and the page. I may bring joy to some, tears to others, and the same to me.
The subject is Esther Larson Repman who in later years had lived next door to her cousin, Elmer Carlberg. Seldom did they speak to one another. I know not why. She lived in a two-story house, all alone.
Often I would see her out with a scythe trying to cut down the tall grass in front of her weatherbeaten home. I'd stop, talk to her to give her rest. She'd be spent, tired. Other times, I'd go inside, and we'd sit down and talk about life in general. Unable to keep up her home, the house soon looked abused. I'd note as we talked that more and more space was given to the odds and ends she kept accruing.
Very generous, she'd give me fruit to take home to my wife. If she had a bite to eat, she'd share it. Her problem was the lack of water in her home. She said, "My bathtub won't work." Having no inside water, she would use the water from a small stream outside that was not too clean. I'd blanch.
She said at one time she had buildings out in back which she'd had to cut down to use for fire wood. She had a kitchen range.
One day we wended our way past boxes and things to the upstairs. She wanted to show me some things in one room. In that room were scads of old clothes dating back years. They consisted of dresses, coats, head gear, and shoes. Lying helter-skelter.
While there, I'd listen to her background. Very interesting. She'd traveled a lot and had a gift for music. One beautiful picture on the wall revealed she was a beauty when young.
Now a widow with one son, Lloyd, she lived alone. Her fate was being sealed more and more. She needed to be taken out of there and placed elsewhere. I couldn't interfere. I was just beginning my first bout, one of three, with cancer, and had my own problems. Each time I left for home, I'd drop a tear or two. Couldn't help it. Had just lost my first wife to brain cancer.
I'd always be there to talk and ask if she needed any help. One day, I stopped to note her son Lloyd moving her out to a nice home. Good for him. A nice man. I was so pleased.
Though she's now deceased, I'll never forget that beautiful picture of her on the kitchen wall. A real beauty.