A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Returning to Mr. Strolie’s Cabin


Ambrose, North Dakota

I had been thinking about my leaving out those letters and the pamphlet out for anyone else who may come by can see them.  No one was going to come by.  I was bothered by this and went back to put them back the way I found them.  This time I took a flashlight with me so I could better see in the cabin.

Meanwhile Barbara did some sleuthing and found out this:  “I’ve found an Arthur Strolie who lived most of his life Ambrose, and is buried there somewhere (there is a large cemetery outside of town but I have no plan to go there.  I don’t like going to cemeteries.  I get to looking at dates, doing the math and the results scare me).  He lived until July 16, 1999, but died in Crosby, ND.  Full name Arthur O’Connel Strolie, parents from Norway.  His sister and father also lived in Crosby ND where he died.  His occupation was farm laborer, but he also worked on the railroad, so an application for RR Pension is among the documents.  For his WW II draft card he gave an uncle’s name for next of kin.  He had been baptized, but never married.” (well I guessed that one wrong).

I wondered about heat in the shack during the winter.  This time I noticed the hole in the suspended chimney so there must have been like a pot belly wood stove sitting next to his kerosene cook stove and someone has taken it away.

The single hanging light bulb socket, not blurry this time.

There were two electrical outlets on the wall.  He could have had a electric heater also.

This little can by the doorway has matches in it still.

I hung his broom back up next to the match can.

On the shelf above I found this old lock which I suspect he used on the outside door into his entry porch.
That door lies firmly embedded in the grass outside now acting as a walkway.
I tried to pull it free to prop back into place.  It wouldn’t budge.

His straw hat had fallen behind the stove.  Two others lay on the floor elsewhere flatten and in tatters.

His last roll of toilet paper?

This is the inside of the door into the cabin.  Arthur could triple locked himself inside.
Only the door knob lock had a keyhole on the other side.

I totally missed this coat on my first visit.  It was hung up behind the door.  It is a heavy full length woolen coat.  Arthur must have been a small guy, smaller than me.  I am 5’8” and 143 pounds.  I am sure that coat would not fit me.

I put the Christmas cards back where I found them.  Having the flashlight I could read the faint penciled messages on the back.  One was from a brother or sister asking Arthur how he was, how was mom and if he was going to make the trip for visit.  I now know it must have been a sister based on what Barbara found.  Only thing was she lived in Iowa at the time, 1955.

Finally I found this Sears catalog I had missed before.  You see it was dated November 1955.  By now I had myself convinced that 1955 was his last winter then he died.  Well, I had that one wrong too.  Also since I had the flashlight I could read the envelopes better coming away thinking there was no ‘R’ in his last name, but it seems there is thanks to Barbara’s findings. I just had it placed wrong.  Boy, some people’s handwriting can be tough to decipher..

I also had been wondering where was his privy.  I found this hidden in the bushes across the way at his neighbors.  I thought I had found it.  The neighbors let Arthur use their outhouse.  Wrong.  It was a shed.
So that mystery remains unsolved. 

On the way back home I wanted to stop by this corner lot down the street from us.

One day Beans and I had walked down there.  I saw this memorial.  I couldn’t get Beans to walk over to it.  She had other interests.  Today I could see what it was about.

There is no house on the lot, just a shed.  Was Markus living in this van and they found him dead in there? See the barbecue.  

Back home I looked him up.  Wrong again.  He moved to Washington in 1966 and lived out his life there.  He was a star basketball player in high school.  Someone in town made the memorial to him upon hearing of his death.
My imagination needs to be kept in check sometimes.

- comment reply -

The Hospital will be on tomorrow.  Thank you Debby for recruiting a new follower.  
Spread the word friends.  Beans and I like new followers. 


Barbara R. said...

Great new details of Arthur's life. Thanks for the brighter, lighter shots of his things. It's nice to think that he went from here to Crosby where he probably was cared for by his sister. (There must have been more than one.)

Debby said...

John, I love the respect that you paid to Arthur Storlie's life.

Billy Blue Eyes said...

Things you find looking around old places

sparklingmerlot said...

I am another who did what Debby told me and I'm glad I did. I can see many hours reading back over your adventures.

Anonymous said...

Glad you’re still kicking around and hey, almost feel out of the drivers seat when I drove by a 38cent Store! I haven’t gotten the gumption to go in yet….

Anonymous said...

Fell not feel,had the old ffs, fat finger syndrome