Along the Santa Fe Chapter 4 page 2
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The Flu Epidemic

So back to Crown King we went and resumed our hikes and picnics and cards playing. We had a real good time during the rest of the summer, as it wasn't too hot in the mountains.

Soon the summer was over and winter set in earnest. During the summer we had quite a number of thunder and lightning storms, which were pretty scary; it would make our hair stand on edge. I got used to the lightning, and Don and I would sit in the door and watch the storm while Mother would hide in the corner and Alice would crawl under the bed. It was really a pretty sight to see the sky all lit up. The lightning would come just one flash after another - sometimes forked lightning and then great sheets of lightning. Sometimes it would strike a pine tree not too far away, and sometimes it would set the tree a fire. We were always glad when a storm was over.

When winter came on it was altogether different. We didn't have any thunder and lightning, but we did have plenty of snow. The winter of 1918 was no exception; there was as much as three feet of snow on the level. The kids would make a snow man on the station platform and put coal on his face for eyes, and then we would have snow ball fights which were a lot of fun.

It wasn't all fun that winter of 1918, as that was the winter the epidemic of flu hit the country, and it didn't miss Crown King. It hit our little community pretty hard. We had no doctor in the camp, and anyone who got sick took the train for Prescott if they could, and would go to the hospital. Several of them died in the hospital. Some stayed in town and doctored themselves - quite a number passed away. All of us took the flu except Alice. Mother took it first, and we sent her to Prescott to the hospital. The next day I took it, and I closed the station and caught the train for Prescott and went to the hospital. The hospital was really crowded and they put me in the same room with Mother. Mother had a bad case of double pneumonia; mine was rather light. I had left the two children with a good friend who was a trained nurse, and while we were gone Don had a bad case of the flu and this nurse took care of him, and probably saved his life. I think she knew as much as any of the doctors about how to take care of the flu cases. There didn't seem to be anyone that knew how to beat it, for people died all over the country in great numbers.

Mother and I pulled through alright and went back to Crown King. We were glad to get back to the children, and they were glad to see us.

We were sure thankful to the Kaylors for taking care of Alice and Don while we were sick. They moved to Texas shortly after and we never saw them anymore, but Mother corresponded with Mrs. Kaylor until she passed away a few years ago.


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