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Left to Right: Buddy, Luther, L.W.

The Angells: In Their Own Voices

This winter, I’m planning to publish a book about the lives and work of my great-grandfather, L.W. Angell, and his sons Luther Angell and Charles “Buddy” Angell. Although the book is based around my family, it provides a personalized picture of life in rural Missouri from the late 1920s to present day.

Today, I wanted to share an excerpt from the manuscript.

The Old-Time Coke Machine at the Centralia Hog Barn

“In addition to the hand-me-down couches the office has an old-time Coke machine. During my childhood, Luther kept it filled. He turned off the payment function, so we could grab a Coke – in a glass bottle – anytime we wanted. He kept the machine stocked until Coca-Cola stopped delivering returnable glass bottles some time in the late 1990s or early 2000s. A couple wooden crates full of dusty Coke bottles sit outside in the hallway. As if fifteen years later, Coca-Cola might change their mind and we’ll begin ordering glass bottles again.

The grandkids weren’t the only ones who enjoyed a free Coke on Luther’s tab. The Amish in the nearby community of Clark also enjoyed their square bale hauling trips to the hog barn, because a cold, free soda waited inside.”

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  1. Lori

    When all of us were kids and hanging out at the hog buying station in the summer it was Chocolate Soldiers we could drink and drink!

  2. Michele

    Not only family was treated to the glass bottled sodas! My kids went with their dad to sell hogs every chance they had. The three older boys also cleaned the sale barn on Saturdays and sometimes Sunday mornings (a chance to skip mass) and drank more than their share of soda. So sad how times have changed not to allow the “open door” policy.

    • Sierra Shea

      Hi – this is a neat memory. I had no idea!


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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!