My name is Vaughn LaBelle. I grew up on the rez one of ten children of Steve and Irene Vele. I can remember living in long house down by head quarters, until we moved into the basement of the field stone house until the rest of the house was finished. My nephew lives there now.
I attended the reservation school until it was closed and we were bussed to Bowler high school. When I was a teenager we used to go to free movies at Grosskopfs. All the kids would hurry down to the ends of the fourteen to catch the Julie Miller Williams & her dad Richard for a ride. He had a flat bed truck and he’d stop just long enough for us to jump on the truck.
On Saturday nights there was a dance at Grosskopfs. Ma would let us go as long as my two sisters and I went together and came home together. My older brother had to take us and bring us home. He wasn’t to happy about it , but he did it anyway.
When we would be leaving the house, Ma would say; remember, if you can go to the dance on Saturday you can get up for church on Sunday. When I was sixteen I went to the "Big City" of Milwaukee, with my Aunt Tena to work through the summer in a laundry. I returned home to go back to school. The next summer I went to work in Chicago with my older sister "Toot". I never returned to school until I was much older.
I met my first husband Irvin O. Doxtater when I was 13. he was my brother Mert’s friend. They went off to the Army and I didn’t see him again until five years later just after I moved down to Milwaukee WI. We got married a year later we had one daughter and three sons.
Years later I returned to school to get my G.E.D. Then I enrolled in beauty school. Later I went to work at Koss Corp. I was trained in electronics and mechanical assembles after 11 years at Koss Corp. I left there and joined a company that analyzed chemicals in water and soil until I choose to retire early to help take care of my daughter Jean Ann.
I married my present husband Albert LaBelle Sr. in 1992. I have one grandson. As soon as school is over the grandkids descend on me and my house is humming all summer. It’s great to see them come and even greater to see them go home after three months of being the referee.