Cherokee Connection Chapter 3 page 26
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Life in Santa Monica

My mother, Dora, doesn't remember much about her life at the dairy farm except that Pfieffer was very mean to her. She left as soon as she could. My mother must have blocked out much of her childhood because it was so terrible.

Dora about 1917 Dora in 1917
For example, Dora said her brothers, Charlie and John, wouldn't bring the wood in at night some of the time. So, before daylight, the old man (Pfieffer) would make her get up and get the wood. Then she would have to bring him a glass of wine from the pantry. One day the wine had been moved and she picked the wrong bottle. He took a drink, it was vinegar. He screamed at her and she ran outside to the barn. There were several men milking cows in the barn. She knew he wouldn't beat her in front of the men.

One day on the way home from school Dora found a silver dollar. Annie hid it from Charles until she could buy some material and then made Dora a new dress.

Another time, someone had given Dora a set of pewter doll dishes that were her pride and joy. One day to punish her the old man called her in the house and made her stand in front of him to watch as he took out his pocket knife and cut the dishes into tiny pieces.

Pfieffer was a very strange man, and as noted before, it was about 1915/16 when he finally left Annie.

My sister, Alice, said that Dora helped Annie much more after Pfieffer left. Annie needed all the help she could get. Pfieffer had never made enough money with the dairy to pay all the costs needed for raising the family. Annie and the older kids had been working all along to help pay the bills. She went to work for the Red Car Company (the Los Angeles rapid transit company) full time, cleaning the street cars at night.


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