Agnes Forde

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Just be myself.

How about the worst?
When they took my car keys away.  I had already decided to give up driving, but…

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A nurse. I finished the 8th grade. I lived in a log house and went to a log school.

What do/did you do?
I had several jobs. Worked at the Greenhouse for 14 years, worked in the textile building at the fair, cleaned at the firestation and cleaned at Vesterheim for 18 years (I happen to know that Agnes did more than just clean at Vesterheim. Through the museum she met the king of Norway, Maria Von Trapp, and the Princess of Iceland. Plus she raised 3 children.)

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?
I would like to have a box of books and of course food and water. I am now retired and have time to read but cannot read very well due to my eyesight.

Try to describe yourself in one sentence.
I used to be tall and skinny, does that say what I am now?

If you could eat anything every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Lemon pie. (I had tried to answer these questions before asking Agnes to see how close I would come to her answers, I knew this would be pie and place of choice for pie: Family Table).

Name one thing you could not live without.
Family and friends (although that’s more than one thing). My family and friends are what have kept me at home. I want to stay at home. Tom Cat, my cat. (Tom and Agnes have a special relationship – when Agnes was quite ill Tom layed next to her and put his paw on her cheek. She did end up in the hospital but recovered to return to Tom).

Multiple choice: tell us about…Your first job.
The Greenhouse. I was asked if I wanted to have a job outside the home by someone at the Greenhouse. I thought about it for about a month then went down to the Greenhouse, they hired me right on the spot. I worked there for 14 years. I made wreathes at Christmas time. I could make over 70 in a day. There was one little boy who would come every day to see how many I had made. He would just walk in past everyone and come straight to me, just checking up on me. I raced the owner one day, he was faster than I was but when I held up his wreath it had so many holes in it. (Agnes has many memories from the Greenhouse including a teacher who died on a fieldtrip and a boy who came in frequently to get a gumball but always asked for a penny as he rarely had his own.)

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