Every generation has their own way of life and their own story to tell. I got the wonderful opportunity to hear the story of Winnie Hollman.
Winnie was born in Craig, Nebraska at her grandparents’ farmhouse. She was then raised on a farm south of Oakland and went to school in a country schoolhouse until she was in the 7th grade. After that, she started school in Lyons.
All throughout her childhood she loved being outdoors, playing with her dog and riding her horse Snow White. This pony was one of her earliest and most fond memories growing up. Before Winnie moved schools, she had one of her favorite childhood memories. One year on May Day, all the students pitched in to get their teacher a May Day basket, but instead of just giving it to her, they all ran and didn’t give it to her until she caught the students. Another memory she had of country school was playing the other country school a few miles down the road in softball games.
Winnie also told me about one of her biggest learning moments in her childhood. She said, “When I was in grade school, I would write the answers to spelling tests on the palm of my hand.” She did this until her teacher caught her one day before a test and she was punished. On this day, she learned to be honest and truthful with her friends and family.
Throughout her childhood she had one nickname given to her by her parents, Tinix. She has no idea why her parents called her this. As a child, Winnie described herself as bashful, or shy, but she said that she grew out of that as she aged.
Once she graduated high school she lived on her farm where she spent time with her loved ones. After high school, Winnie met her husband Delvert in 1950. She told me how this was the “happiest moment in her life.” They then lived on a farm together and raised their son Doug and their adopted daughter Susan. She described her family as the most important people in her life.
Today, Winnie works with sheep she bought from her neighbor and does organic farming. When I asked her why she farms this way she said, “There’s more money in organic farming, so that’s why I do it.” She has been selling her crops to the haymill for the last 20 years.
Besides farming, one of her favorite hobbies is to play with her dog and tend her sheep. She explained how she has always been an animal lover and has always loved to work outdoors. At the end of our interview, she told me a perfect story that shows her love for animals. She said, “One day my son brought a baby deer to my house and I bottle fed this deer and raised it until it was an adult.” If that does not demonstrate a love for animals I don’t know what does!