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Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017

Saline County's own Tarzan and Jane

Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2012, at 9:30 AM

From left, "Boy" (aka Roger Ellingson), "Tarzan" (aka Billy Ellingson) and "Jane" (aka Ellie Ellingson Butterfield).
Guest Columnist

Growing up with my older brother, Billy, I had to be quite a tomboy to keep up with him. We loved going to our grandpa and grandma's farm, north of town were we could pretty much run wild without them worrying about anything happening to us.

Just lucky we are both still alive. We would climb up to the rafters in the corn bin and jump into it clear up to our waist. Lucky we didn't smother.

We would go down and swim in the creek along side the water snakes with no fear as Billy put a curse on them and they couldn't bite us. He told me so.

One time our city cousin, Jean came to visit. We found out she was such a sissy. We ran barefoot all over the place so she decided to go along with us, took her shoes off and "ohed and ouched" all the way to the creek.

But when we got there and she saw the snakes she took off running like she never ran before. She didn't like riding the horse around and around the haystack and jumping off either.

Back then we had to make our own fun since we didn't have all the gadgets kids today have, so our imaginations could run wild ... and they did.

Our favorite game was Tarzan and Jane.

Grandpa's farm was up on a cliff and Billy rigged up a bag swing so we could swing out over the gravel road. Every time we saw a car coming across the bridge, we would jump on the swing and give our Tarzan yell. The country folks soon got used to us and would honk their horns for


One time, the rope broke, and Tarzan went tumbling down the hill. I scrambled down the hill as fast as I could. He groaned, and said, "I'm dying."

Scared me to death, went screaming to the house, "Billy's dead!" He thought it was so funny. Grandpa and Grandma did not.

Our days flew by playing Tarzan and Jane. We would act out the shows we watched at the old Mary Lou Theatre.

"Me, Tarzan, You, Jane!" And, you should hear our yell! That's how we called to one another,

You know the yell. Do it with me, "ahhhhhhhhh, ahhhhhhhhhh, aaah, aaahhhhhhh!"

We named our dog, Cheeta. Really confused him, but he came whenever we called him.

And, when our brother, Roger, was born we were very happy. Mother and everyone else called him Roger.

We called him Boy.

What fun we had in those days of carefree abandonment.

Sometimes the cupboards were bare so my mother would make Mock Pork Chops. Put some ketcup on them you would swear they were real pork chops. Fry up some potaotes and onion from my Grandpa's garden, open a quart of Grandma's canned green beans and you had a meal fit for a king. For desert we had Candied Apples.

My mother didn't give me a middle name as she thought Eleanor Ellingson was long enough for a little girl.

But, to this day if you ask my brother Bill what my name is, he will tell you, Eleanor Jane.

Sometimes in the evening hours if you hear something like a Tarzan yell, you will know it's me calling Tarzan to say goodnight. Tarzan lives in Liberty now. But, to us, in our memory we will be in the jungle swinging on the vines.

On a cold winter night we were eating comfort food. A candle glowing in the middle of the dining room table made those humble meals were a gourmet delight.

Thank you, God, for the birds that sing,

Thank you, God, for the food we eat,

Thank you, God, for everything.

Mock Pork Chops

Beat 3 eggs, a little milk, put crackers in a bread sack, beat with a rolling pin, add crushed crackers, salt, pepper, mix, form into patties, fry in bacon grease. Serve with ketsup.

Fried Apples

Go to the apple orchard, pick six of the best one's, give them to Grandma. She would peel and slice them into thin slices, saute in melted butter, add a little sugar and sprinkle with cinamon. Serve with cream.

For a special treat Grandma would peel and core the apples, cook them whole in a little water and add red hots.

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