It was February 27th 1899 and it was 16 degrees below Zero. The kind of a day in Iowa which father often described as “You often hear told about but seldom ever see.”
A mile and a half n.w. in the face of the cold and wind was not very enticing to an ll-year-old boy. But such things were done and not whimpered about. Father told me as I started out, “You have a little brother and you can see him when you come home."
Off I went down over the north pasture hill, past the old spring and on down the creek, the shortest way to East Grove School. When I arrived there was a strip frozen around my throat almost from ear to ear. It was painful to thaw out and left a thick place which peeled off later and all summer I had a strip of pink around my throat to show for it. Otis surely had a cool reception in this world if ever a young baby boy did.
I think this winter was the year father bought the heater which is used to warm their living room still. Until that winter we had burned wood in the old Texas heater.