Violet Wilson Robbins Smith's Autobiography
(Violet wrote her autobiography for the Oakland Heights Assisted Living Newsletter, probably sometime shortly after moving there in September 2003. This draft copy was found in her "Memory Box" when she moved over to the nursing home wing in June 2007.)
When asked to write a story of my life for the Oakland Heights Assisted Living Newsletter my thoughts ranged from "I always wanted to write a story of my life since I think it has been interesting, even though others may not.["]
There are probably some people here who don't know who I am, not having been a native of Oakland all my life.
I was born on a farm north of Mead Nebr. in January 1919, the middle child in a family of five children.
My father immigrated from Sweden when he was 20 years old. He later returned to Sweden and brought his cousin, Alfred Schold, to this country.
One summer day in 1926 or 27, my parents drove their old touring car from Mead to Oakland to visit Alfred and Sophia. How we ever found our way over those dirt roads, I'll never know. They all agreed, since I didn't want to go back home, to let me stay a week. I fell in love with Oakland, the countryside and the town, especially Osterbergs Confectionary where we went for sundaes. The Scholds showed me a royal time so that when my parents came to get me, I wasn't ready to leave. Since Sophia needed "young legs" to run in the cave their only refrigeration, I stayed the rest of the summer.
In Feb. 1929 our father, age 45, died from the results of an infection. There were no anti-biotics in those days, so it was not unusual for farmers to pick up infections which festered and caused death.
Where could our mother go with five kids ages 15 to 8 months, not able to drive our new car, an Overland. So Alfred said, "Move to Oakland, we'll take care of you.["] So we moved to Brewster Ave. and four of us entered school. I[t] seemed that I was in heaven. I actually got to live in Oakland.
We lived there 4 years until the depression got so bad, our farm was not producing enough income to feed us all, so in March (in time for high school basket ball tournament) we moved back to our farm at Mead. Gilbert was 16, old enough to drive our car (and to play basket ball). He went through Kearney on a basketball scholarship.
We lived at Mead where Gilbert, Leona and I graduated from Mead High School. Gilbert and Leona went to college; I sacrificed a chance to go to Omaha Business College, since I preferred to get married instead. I married a good-looking neighbor boy, Harold Robbins, when I was 21. He started farming near Ithaca, Nebr. where we lived 18 years. All of our children were born at Ithaca, Mardith, Dennis, Beth, and Lynn (Charles).
In 1958, after being flooded out once again when Wahoo & Silver Creeks flooded upstream, we sold our share of the farm to Harold's brothers and found a farm near Oakland, in the Bertha area. All of our kids entered either country school or town school. The kids were all active in 4-H, I was a 4-H leader and active in extension clubs.
We lived on the farm until 1971 when Harold died of a ruptured aorta. In 1972 I moved to Lincoln where I got a job as sewing instructor at Miller & Paine. I lived there 8 years. Another fellow worker, a widow also, and I decided to travel - we took a Caribbean Cruise, going through Panama Canal, South America and Mexico. We also took a European trip sponsored by the World-Herald going to France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, England, etc. I had the travel bug by that time. In 1979 I took a trip to Washington, D. C., New York, up into Canada, and Niagara Falls.
On this trip I met a widower from Lexington, NE. We were married in January 1980. We lived several years in Lexington. I was active in Garden Club and Methodist Church.
We spent several winters in southern Texas, and our summers in Nebraska. We kept this pattern of going back and forth until 1990 . We sold our house in Lexington and bought a house on Park Ave. in Oakland. And we kept our house in Zapata, Texas, spending time traveling. The highlight of our travels was a month long trip to Australia and New Zealand, along with every state in United States, with Oakland our summer headquarters and Texas our winter headquarters. In 2001  my husband, Carl Smith, died after nearly 23 years of marriage. Two [one] years later I entered Oakland Heights Assisted Living. Did you count the times I moved to Oakland to live? About four times - I always came back to Oakland.
Violet Wilson & Harold Robbins' Family
Child #2 Child #3 Child