Who Did You Think You Were ?


Dalyce Annette Satran Autobiography

I was born at home on April 28, 1929 in Coteau, North Dakota.  Present at my birth in addition to my mother and Dr. Hills were my two older sisters and father.   My immediate family consisted of my mother Ida Katherine Hendrickson Satran and father Leonard Satran.  I had five sisters and one brother as follows:


1. Mary Ann Virginia Mae – April 25, 1926

2.  Shirley Louise – October 28, 1927

3. Lorraine Elizabeth – January 29, 1931

4. Marilyn Jeanne – September 23, 1932

5. Robert Allen – February 3, 1938

6. Sandra Lee – February 3, 1944

My mother was born in Bowbells, ND on July 1, 1903 and my father was born in Moholl, ND on March 14, 1902.


My sisters had a nickname for me when they were angry at me. It was either Buckteeth or Peaked Nose.  When they loved me it was either Dal or Dalyce. Mary Ann Virginia was called Gin, Shirley was Shirl, Lorraine was Lorry, Marilyn was Jeannie, and Robert was Bobby.  Sandra was Sandy.  My parents planned to have only one child, therefore the first one received all of the family names.  Then number two came along and by the time they got to me they had a problem.  My mother had a French friend who suggested Dalyce Annette.  I’ve never been disappointed with my name.  So far as I know there are only two of us with this particular spelling and that is because my friend Dorothy (Duffy) Duff named her daughter after me.


My dad was responsible for the upkeep of our school (12 grades) in Coteau until 1942 when, after WWII started, he got a job as a painter at the Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton, Washington.


My mother worked about two years during my childhood.  She was a teacher in a little country school about three miles from Coteau.  She had to stay there at night so she took my brother with her.  He was about two years old at that time.  In those days children were seen, not heard, and so he was not a problem at school.


By the time I was 20 years of age I had lived in only two towns.  Coteau was so small (about 150 people) we had only a post office box as an address. Our first address in Bremerton was 1104 Walnut.  We had no telephone in Coteau but did have that modern convenience in Bremerton.


My maternal grandfather, Staale Hendrickson, was a Republican and very involved in politics.  He was a State Representative in the North Dakota Legislature and was highly respected.  He paid me $1 for every "A" I got in school and I made the most of it.  I loved the smell of his YB Cigars in his car. We lived in his house in Coteau since he worked for the Truax Coal Company and had to move to Eastern North Dakota, i.e. Fargo and Grand Forks.  We always called him papa.


My other grandfather, Peter Satran was a very kind man but had been a real terror as a young man.  He turned completely around when one of his 12 children was only an infant.  He and his wife were invited to a party (they lived in the country).  Grandmother told him she would only go if he promised not to drink.  He, of course, did promise but true to form he forgot his promise and proceeded to get “stinkin from drinkin.”  It was winter time with much snow and cold wind.  Grandmother bundled the baby and left the party to walk home.  When Grandfather Satran came to the next morning he asked where grandmother and the baby were.  He vowed that if they were alive he would never drink again.  They had survived the trek and he became a Christian and quit drinking.


My grandmothers were wonderful people.  We called my maternal grandmother “Mama” and my paternal grandmother was “Gramma.”  Gramma, who came from Norway as a young bride spoke Norwegian only.  She was gentle and happy and always glad to see us.  My father was the youngest child of the twelve.


When I was about five or six, I went to spend time with mama and papa in Fargo. On one occasion, Mama, Sadie (the housekeeper), and I went to downtown Fargo to do some shopping.  I was a stubborn little girl and when we were walking from store to store I decided I wanted mama to carry me. I was too young to realize how weak she was from incurable Leukemia.  Mama said she couldn’t carry me but that Sadie would do it.  Well, that did not satisfy me so I proceeded to lay down on the sidewalk and refused to move.  I did not know that my Uncle Stanley’s office was on the second floor of the building across the street from where I was acting like a spoiled brat.  Well, Mama and I were on the train back to Coteau by late afternoon.  When I got home, my dad let me know that such behavior would not be tolerated.


One of my favorite aunts was my dad’s sister, Gena.  She was such fun and really played with me.  I loved to go and stay with them.  Her husband was Uncle Pat.  They lived in the small town of Mohall.  My dad’s parents and another sister, Aunt Jennie and his brother Peter also lived in Moholl.


One of my favorite uncles was my Mother’s brother in law, Cliff Olson, who was married to her sister Caroline.  I often stayed with them on the farm.  I thought it great fun to run the cream separator.  I also loved churning butter the old fashioned way.


Over a three year period from 1943 to 1946, several of my cousins lived with us in Bremerton: Twiline Halverson (mom's cousin) and Patsy Flaherty (dad's niece). I think Patsy was my favorite cousin at the time.  She was fun to be with and gave me her old clothes which were very nice and up to date.  She was a cheerleader in high school.  She met her future husband (Bill Bruey) while living with us.


My dad was the parent that administered the punishment when it was needed but we respected our parents and did not need to be punished often.  The naughtiest thing I can remember doing as a child was the incident in Fargo with Mama and Sadie when I was four or five.


Herbert Hoover was president when I was born and was succeeded by Franklin D. Roosevelt.  My first time to vote was 1950.  The only president I ever saw in person was Harry Truman when he appeared in front of the Elk’s Club in Bremerton.


My sisters and I didn’t fight much and when we did is was mostly about clothes or chores.  One of our dumbest stunts was when my sister Lorraine and I hid two dead mice in a drawer.  Winters were cold in North Dakota and we had sleds for the snow.  We would ice skate on a frozen pond on Haroldson’s field in Coteau but I was not very good at it.  While living in North Dakota we were quite used to the cold, school was seldom canceled and I remember only a few power outages.


My father’s family name at one time was Osphossa.  Later it was Gilseth and somehow it ended up as Satran.




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