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  • Writer's pictureNora Koch

My favorite photo from childhood

Updated: Dec 5, 2019


There is so much going on in this photo. Val is wiggling behind me on Apache, who does not like being kicked in the flanks. I have my bangs flicked sideways – the way I admired men having their hair in those days. I often imagined myself a boy as I played – they had so much fun in the books I read – I liked what they did better than girl’s activities. No, I didn’t want to be a boy, just liked imagining myself as one. I had a boyfriend at that time (nine years old), he and I had been an item for years.

I always rode Apache bare-back, except when preparing for a show; never wanted to bother with a saddle; and we often rode double. We had our entire 500 acre farm to ride on, half of it in woods, and the farms around us as long as we closed the gates.This is how Val and I rode down the side road to put up the sign warning people away from trespassing on land we’d learned would be developed: my great uncle was going to build a cabin on his land adjacent to ours. We didn't want him to. There were few, if any postings, save the one Val and I put up to keep people out.

My cousin Eloise and her husband Jack, having driven all the way across the state from River Falls, are visiting with their baby (note the carriage on the porch), which did not happen often. Those fins are from their car, a 1956 Plymouth Fury, perhaps where I acquired my fin envy. I believe this photo was taken, shortly before they moved to Oregon, by my Aunt Angeline, who along with my uncle Denny and cousins Cindy and Penny, still lived on their farm about four miles away.

The background looks out to the field where we sledded and skated on the sometimes ice filled pothole at the bottom of the hill and beyond, across the road to the hill where we picked wild raspberries, and where my cousin Holly and I came back from getting “lost”.

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Jan 07, 2020

Apache was clearly a very trusting/tolerant pony, the best behavior a pony can posses. And, by evidence of his ear position, he is either listening to you two budding equestrians, or he is preparing to lay his ears back further and teach you an equine lesson !

This photo has young girl heaven written all over it, I know the feeling, even at my current age 🐎

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