ida frances marshall - other recollections
An excerpt of an August 9, 2009 email sent by Muffet to Russ Mason:
"When I was in Chicago I worked for an advertising agency starting as a flunky and becoming a media buyer. I came back to Denver because I didn't like the climate in Chicago. One day in late summer when the temperature and humidity were both about 90 I decided it was time to come to Denver as that was close to my parents and a city big enough to get a job.
"When I was in Chicago, your dad was extremely helpful and nice to me. I did some work for him when his office was in the basement of the Adams Street house, doing filing, etc. He taught me to drive in the city and how to park parallel by setting up barrels in the driveway of your home in Park Ridge. He often took his car on Fridays and left it for me for the weekend, taking the train back home. I was able to drive Grandma and Aunt Jane to family dinners and to visit with their friends. I have often thought that I didn't thank him much for doing that and probably didn't buy gas for the car. I spent a weekend or so with your family in Park Ridge. I remember being there when Don was a few months old as your Mom was having a break. Anyway, I just want you to know how much I appreciated that.
"When I came to Denver I got a job at an ad agency but it was working on a magazine they owned. I learned a lot there, how to put a magazine together. I had that job for 4 years until I got married. After Robin started school, I went back to work for another magazine and stayed in that business for another 26 years. When I was 61, I quit that career and worked for the U.S. EPA for 12 years in their program 'Senior Environmental Employment Program,' where a grantee agency hired people over 55 for support positions. I worked in pesticides for 3 1/2 years and then in the Environmental Information Center for another 8. I finally retired in December 2001."
From a January 28, 2016 email sent by Muffet to Sarah Aldridge:
"There was a lot of snow at the Hill Ranch when we lived there but we made the best of it. My dad probably got the worst of it because he had to be outdoors to feed the hay to the cattle and tend to the horses and the milk cows. Now and then he would take us kids with him and we went on skis with a rope tied to the back of the sled. That was fun for us.
"Yes, sometimes the snow was up to the eaves of the house on the north side but the living room faced south so the snow didn't get that deep there. When the drifts got too deep on the north, the men would dig a space out from the bedroom windows so we could get some fresh air and light. Mom was an advocate of outdoors so she made us go out nearly every day unless it was extremely cold or a blizzard. The three of us, Bob, Florence and me, had a pretend ranch called the Hoo Doo Cattle Company for which we built a little barn and had stick horses. The real calves were dehorned each year and Bob retrieved the horns for our cattle. Of course, they had to be moved regularly from pretend pasture to pretend pasture. This was done by kicking through the snow. Not my cup of tea! But Bob forced us to do it. In our school, we produced a newspaper and Bob wrote up the activities of the Hoo Doo Cattle Company in each issue.
"During the winter when we were inside a lot, we played lots of board games such as Chinese Checkers and Monopoly. Bob was a whiz at Monopoly but made up his own rules and sometimes one game would go on for days. We also read a lot of books, played school after school, played we were cowboys and sat at our little red table and drank out of empty catsup bottles. Sometimes we had gun battles with Bob crawling up on top of the kitchen cabinet as the lookout. We also had roller skates which we used in the house and went from the dining room to the kitchen and through the pantry at a very fast pace. One time I ran into the pot belly stove in the dining room and knocked the pipe out of the ceiling. Thankfully, the stove and stovepipe were cold so no harm came of it except the soot that was knocked out of the chimney..
"I was always up for doing housework and cooking. I started cooking about age 6 and mom would let me do anything so I was a pretty good cook by age 12 when she gave me a cookbook for Christmas. Florence was not much into that. Mom gave us all piano lessons so we had to practice every day. As you can tell, we were not idle and didn't have to be entertained as there were so many things to do. Florence and I played dolls a lot and sometimes roped Bob into that as payment for kicking the horns!"