Trapping animals and sending their hides away to a fur company provided extra income for Dad and his brothers. Many mornings they would check their traps on the way to school. Occasionally a skunk would be caught in the trap, but fortunately it was so cold in Minnesota in the winter that the smell was not noticeable. Not noticeable until they got to school that is.
My dad said any teacher who was unfamiliar with them would inquire as to what the dreadful smell in the room was. She then would begin closing windows until one of the other students offered up the information that Dad and his brothers had been trapping skunks and the windows were better left wide open.
Dora Weiss (my grandmother’s best friend) would make home-brew and sell it to unsuspecting men. After they drank some of her drink, some of them would pass out and she would go through their pants and steal their money. When she told my grandmother what she was doing, my grandmother said,
Oh Dora, that’s stealing and it’s wrong.
Well, Vera it’s like the Good Book says, ‘The Lord helps those who help themselves’ and I helped myself to their money.”