“God was talking to us. God was talking to us.”

Mr. LaBatte talks about one of his earliest childhood memories.

Audio Chapters

DL: What’s your earliest memory as a little kid?

WL: Oh my God, that’s going back a long time. What is it 39 years, I think or 38? Oh no I’m a little bit older than that. [Laughter]

DL: You are.

WL: Let’s see, my earliest memory, boy I don’t know – oh my God – yeah I’ve got a memory. I was four, no I was probably about five and my sister Julie was, let’s see she was maybe three or four. She is two years younger than me so maybe… Five or six, we were small and we were raking the yard and I heard this big voice coming out of the sky. I looked at my sister and I could see terror in her eyes. I threw the rake down and ran to the house and she started screaming and hollering. We ran into the house and said Mom, “God was talking to us. God was talking to us.” To this day… My mom died last year but I asked her a year or two ago, I said, “Do you remember that?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “Does Julie remember that?” “Yeah, Julie remembers that.” Using all the logic in my mind I’m thinking back, where did that voice come from? This was probably back in the early 50's so where would that voice come from. The only thing I can understand is that God was talking to us. [Laughter]

DL: What did God say?

WL: I was so terrified that I didn’t concentrate on the words. Somehow I almost think it was Dakota that he was speaking – because there was not a lot of understanding going through my mind at the time just… I shall never forget that moment. So some of the spiritual things that I read or hear about, it doesn’t take a whole lot of faith when you’ve had God talk to you as a child. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the book called, Conversations with God but if you read that, it doesn’t take any faith to understand that that’s God talking. That’s a conversation with God when you were five years old and God was talking to you. So it’s not a whole leap of faith that’s needed. That was something that I remember as a young child.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Walter LaBatte Interviewer Deborah Locke made in Granite Falls, Upper Sioux Community, MN | Thursday, April 28, 2011

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. “God was talking to us. God was talking to us.” June 23, 2024. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1081

Viewpoints: All viewpoints expressed on this website are those of the contributors, and are not representative of the Minnesota Historical Society.