Vogt in 1954
By Doug Boilesen 2018 (my uncle and half-brother
of Betty Ann Barr)
Chris "Crissie" Vogt, who was
born on November 4, 1907 at Elba, Nebraska to Frank and Anna
Ellen Ender Vogt.
Chris had one brother, Ray Vogt, a sister
Fay and seventeen years later half-sister Betty Ann Barr.
Fay, Chris and Ray Vogt,
Chris circa 1909
Chris grew up in the Elba area. He married
Miss Hilda Jensen in 1926.
Chris and Hilda had two children, Dorothy
Jean Vogt Holechek (b. 1927) and Franklyn "Sonny"
Vogt (b. 1934). Throughout Betty Ann's diary Chris and Hilda
are always referred to as "Crissie's."
Chris and Hilda, Christmas
1951 at Anna and Manley's farm with daughter Dorothy and 'Sonny'
Like many Nebraskans, Chris
and Hilda had hard times during the Great Depression and lived
with my grandparents Anna and Manley Barr while they got back
on their feet. During the week Chris would drive to small towns
of Nebraska selling brooms and then return to Elba on the weekend.
According to Mom, Chris enjoyed Rice Krispies and "ate
very large bowls".
1933 Rice Krispies ad
I don't know much about Chris's
later worklife but do know that Hilda worked in the ladies'
dress department at Gold's in Lincoln for many years.
Chris and Hilda, 1951
Chris Vogt, November 4, 1907
- January 1, 1987
Hilda Jensen Vogt, January
20, 1910 - November 1, 1982
Chris had quite a sense of
humor and liked to try to shock his much younger step-sister,
Betty, which he was probably trying to do when this picture
was taken with me standing between my two two uncles with a
cigar in my mouth.
Chris, Doug and Ray at a
family picnic in Grand Island, Nebraska ca. 1953
Chris and his mom, ca. 1952
Chris and Hilda lived in an
apartment near the State Capitol Building in downtown Lincoln
and I can remember as a little boy that we would visit them
on Sunday afternoons.
They had a light fixture in
the middle of ceiling of their living room and Chris would work
it out so that when I wasn't looking he would have a candy bar
or other wrapped candy seemingly fall out of that light fixture.
I think I was a bit skeptical that candy was actually coming
out of that light fixture but I didn't really question it and
was happy to gather the candy and eat it.
Chris and Doug outside Chris
and Hilda's apartment building, ca. 1954
Years later Chris would like
to remind me of the time that I spent the night at their small
apartment and I slept in the same Murphy bed with Chris. I had
just gotten a new flashlight and he claimed I kept shining that
light in his face all night long.
One other story I also remember
Uncle Chris telling me was about his early experience of going
to the moving pictures.
In the summers there were weekend movies
shown in Elba during the teens and 1920's. Since there was no
movie theatre in Elba the silent movies were projected on the
outside wall of the grocery store
for people to watch who sat in the empty lot next to the store
on chairs and blankets.
According to Chris he would ride his horse
to Elba on a Saturday night if there was to be a movie that
night and if the weather was ok. This would have been about
a 2.5 mile ride from his mom's family farm outside of Elba.
Though not a great distance he still would have been a teenager
and it would have been quite dark as there were no farm yard
lights or outdoor lighting as the Rural Electrication Administration
did not yet exist. Lighting for his journey home, therefore,
would have primarily been by the light of the moon. But that
was no deterrent for Chris as he thought there was nothing better
than watching a good western moving picture on a Saturday night.
I don't know the name of the movie or its
star (perhaps Hoot Gibson, Tom Mix, William S. Hart or some
other movie hero of the day) but Uncle Chris remembered a particular
movie from some western serial (1) which
left him quite perplexed. On one of those evenings the movie's
single reel had ended and the situation was dire: the cowboy
and his horse were stuck in quicksand and they were slowly sinking
to certain death.
Tom Mix, The Best Bad
What concerned Uncle Chris
and what he said he couldn't understand was how that unfortunate
cowboy was going to survive all week in that quicksand.
Now he probably told me that
story with a smile as I was young and he might have thought
I wouldn't get the disconnect that this was only a movie.
Or perhaps he really was worried
all week about the fate of that cowboy. Suspended belief, after
all, has its own reality and is a requirement for enjoying a
Either way this new wonder
of moving pictures was making strong impressions on Chris at
the time and it was a memory he enjoyed sharing.
July 1965 - Betty, Chris,
1976 Chris, Betty and Hilda
(1) A movie serial was a series of short
movies or one-reelers that were designed to be seen as episodes.
They were famous for leaving you wanting to know what was going
to happen next.