Delilah May Boice circa 1902
MY HAT WITH POPPIES
"While we lived in Waterloo, the men found work. I was lucky to find a job at the J.B. Welcome Ranch and worked there two summers helping cook for the haying crew. I made $25.00 a month. Back then, that was good money.
During the winters I worked for Mrs. Solabadger until she moved away. She could not take their sheppard dog, Sport, and she wanted to find a good home for him. She asked me if my folks might want him. He was a good cattle dog and Father was happy to get him.
With the money I earned, I helped the folks some and bought my clothes. I was 17 years old and I wanted to have a new outfit to wear in the new community. I bought material and Mother made me a beautiful rose dress. I bought shoes and a lovely hat. It was white leghorn with a wide brim. One side was turned up and and the top was filled with red silk poppies with a black velvet ribbon.
Just before we left on the journey to the Big Horn Basin, I had my picture taken in my lovely outfit. I was excited about the coming adventure and driving my parent's camp wagon. I tied my new hat up in a tea towel and fastened it to the top of the wagon. Two days on the journey we met a man who wanted (to) trade horses. Father said that he would for $75.00 more. The trade was made and the horses were switched onto the wagon I was driving. The new horse looked like Black Beauty, except for a deformed front leg, but that didn't prevent it from being a good work horse.
We had been traveling about ten days when Sport ran alongside the new horse and got kicked and a broken leg. Father said, "We'll either have to shoot the dog or haul him." Every wagon was loaded to capacity. I said, "Put him in my wagon." The camp wagon had a stove bolted to the floor and I traveled with soup and so forth cooking on the stove. Father and Will set Sport's hind leg and put him in my wagon.
A few days later the ties that held my new hat to the roof of the wagon came loose and had fell in front of Sport. He chewed the hat up and scattered the red poppies. When I discovered what had happened, I was brokenhearted. I gathered the poppies hoping to do something with them later.
As I started on down the road, I kept thinking about my pretty hat. Every once in a while, I would look back and scold, "Shame on you Sport!" Finally, he started putting his paws over his eyes and then he would raise one paw and look at me and whine as if to say, "I'm so sorry."
My four year old great-grandson, Charles Shumway III of Las Vegas, Nevada was told this story and shown the picture. He cried about it and said, "My Great-Grandma is gonna have a hat." He wrote a poem and on my 90th birthday he gave me a white wide brim straw hat. I have had many hats, but the hat he gave me is my prized one."
"When the dog ate your hat,
It made me feel bad.
I bought you a new hat,
To make you feel glad."
-- by Charles Shumway III
Story as written in "Handmaidens of the Lord," a collection of histories and stories by Gwendolynpp329.
Delila's granddaughter Marlene Wasden Cupit had a dress and hat made for the occasion of the 2004 Asay Reunion held in Orem, Utah and re-told this story.
(double click on image to enlarge)
News paper article appearing in the Lovell Chronical in Anna's Column following and Open House honoring Delilah Asay on the occasion of her 92nd Birthday.