Esther had a grove of avocados in Whittier
Paul: "When they put the railroad into the northern part of Montana, they built this little town there, a place called Chinook, mostly a farming town, up the hill from the railroad, up the hill from the river. Hilda's father had a store in town, which sold dry goods, basically. He was also the undertaker, he sold coffins. They had a big ranch outside of town, because land was so cheap. The Indians used to come through and and camp on their land. She told a lot of stories. Here are some...
The guy who had the drugstore also had a cow. He was coming back in to the store with two buckets of milk, and saw he had a customer, so he set down the buckets and went to the front of the store. The customer had a dog, who went over and peed in the milk. The store owner saw this and exclaimed, "Dang blained it, I'm gonna have to strain that milk again!!""
Another: "A big fat woman had a hat store in town. She would take the train to somewhere central, like St. Louis. She would come back with all these hats. She would make her husband come and meet her down at the train station, with a wheelbarrow. She would make him carry her, in the wheelbarrow, with her holding all the hats, back up to the town."
Another: "The town was on a bluff along the river. There were no trees, very barren, except for the whorehouse. Water was expensive, as it had to be brought up by the water man from the river below. The whorehouse didn't have a problem, though, because the water man took his payment in trade."
In the Chinook Museum, there is a plate. "Here is a plate I bought for my mother, bought it at the Rainbolt Goods Store." In 2001, on a visit to Chinook, that's the only evidence Paul found that the Rainbolt family had been there.
There was a time in Hilda's childhood when she and several sisters were trapped, by snow, out at the ranch house far from town. Several of her sisters got sick, but nobody could get to them to help them, and they died. She expressed how unhappy she was in this predicament, and the family moved to Los Angeles around the turn of the century.