On occasion I receive requests from readers to add notes to my website. I usually am very happy to do so but on this occasion I am more than just happy to do so. The Sauer family had been a part of my life nearly as long as I can remember. Vince worked for us as a mechanic as well as his oldest son Mike. Susan was a classmate and homecoming queen the year I was captain of the football team. Marge had ran a restaurant here in Cimarron for many years. Always a great place to meet friends and get a great meal. Here is a letter from Pat Sauer about his Mother, Marge. **A quick note to Pat. Deacon Reed Seales. I remember him well.
A Mother’s Love
As a young child growing up in a small rural community we tend to take things for granted. It is only in our later years after we have, “Seen the Elephant”, that we can reflect back on our childhood memories. Isolated we are from the hustle and bustle of city life with their crime rates, congestion, smog, and carpooling to and from work. Is it any wonder that family togetherness would be set aside for the basic daily instinct to survive?
Margaret S. Smith was born in 1919 and lived on a small farm in Hodgeman County until she met my father Vincent Sauer and married. I use an S for her middle name because she hated it and kept it private. I have always respected her wishes as I do now. My Mother died March 9th 2005 at an Assisted Living Home in Hays Kansas, away from friends and family except for a daughter, Susan Jantz, and a granddaughter, Tami Jantz.
My Mother’s memories are mine now and I can always use them as a safe haven in troubled times. In my younger years it was hard on my Mother and she would do odd jobs such as washing and ironing for some of the people in Cimarron. Mom and Dad would always plant a large garden for vegetables and there was a surviving apple tree in the yard for our deserts. At suppertime when I would drag someone home unexpectedly she would always add a cup of water to the dreaded, “Bologna Soup”. No one ever left my Mothers table hungry.
Mom was introduced to the restaurant business by working for Harvey Skidmore (Skid’s Café) which was located in a small building across the alley from the present day Duckwall’s (now Ritchie's cafe) building. Later she went to work for Elenor Schoen in the corner building where Clark’s Pharmacy now does business.
Mom worked as a dishwasher, cook, and waitress developing a general caring for the citizens of Cimarron. Believing that she could own and operate a business of her own she rented a building from Fred and Bruce Ferguson on south main. Mom’s restaurant had three different names over the years but most people just called it Marge’s. This time in my Mother’s life was remembered as her getting up at 4:00 AM so she could make pies, rolls, cinnamon rolls, and everyone’s favorite her special recipe doughnuts. She would always close down at 10:00 PM. and get home around midnight only to repeat the process over the next day.
Mom’s restaurant had seasons to it such as anything does. In the wintertime when blizzards would isolate everyone in their homes Mom would arise earlier than normal, put on her old pair of rubber boots, and trudge through the snow to work. She did this for the benefit of the KDOT employees so they could have a warm breakfast awaiting them after a long night of removing snow from the highways. In the summertime the harvest crews would come to the area and work long hours into the night. Mom found a way to make portable meals ready for the person that picked up the food at anytime. This was done when cell phones were non existent. Pheasant season was also a busy time with the hunters coming in before the sun was up.
My Mother’s café actually had two areas where she served meals. The front part was for regular customers and the back part was sometimes used for anyone down on their luck and hungry. This was my favorite place of all because of a man called Deacon. I never knew his full name but as he sat and ate his meal he would tell me stories of his life as a circus clown. If these stories were untrue I never cared because he was such a good story teller. There were a few folks that came to this back door but like I said before no one left my Mother’s table hungry.
Thru my Mother and her restaurant I learned many things in life even into my adulthood. I was taught the value of hard work, compassion for fellow mankind, thrift, and not to judge people from the outside but what came from within. Since my Father was the maintenance man I was taught how to build and repair things, even though I was more hindrance than help. This in turn taught me patience for my own family.
In my Mother’s last year I witnessed a decline in her mental alertness and abilities. She always kept a journal of her daily activities and a calendar was kept within arms reach to record what she had spent that day. The handwriting was shaky but still legible as sometimes I would glance at it lying on the table. Fading was a woman that, as a small child, lived in a dug out on her favorite hills in Hodgeman County. This same little girl built herself up from poverty and became a successful business woman in a small community. One thing that never faded was the love that was present in her eyes whenever I would see her. A love that will last forever in her memories.
Garden City, Kansas 67846