Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blessed Samhain or Happy Halloween

Blessed Samhain - the Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, usually accompanied by a bonfire. My mother and daughter weren't celebrating Samhain, they were just burning the leaves they had raked up.
The Celts believed this was the time when the veil was thinnest between the living and the dead. The ghosts of loved ones could walk among them.

Happy Halloween - now the second most commercially touted holiday in the country. I wrote here about how much fun the kids and I used to have celebrating Halloween. Those were such good times. Now I would be content just to have my beautiful black Cerridwen curl up in my lap again.

I know somewhere I have more pictures of my kids in Halloween costumes over the years but I only came up with a few today. I hardly ever bought costumes for my children. Instead we made up something with what we had. Besides it was usually so cold they had to wear their coats over the costume anyway.
This picture of a five-year-old Doug was taken before we went trick or treating when we lived in Mt. Vernon. I'm not sure why his mask doesn't go with his costume. I probably let him choose his own and that was what he wanted.

Granddaughter Alyssa was not only showing off her cat costume, she was demonstrating how a cat came down the stairs. We even used to call her Aly Cat.

Okay. This is not one of Dominique's Halloween costumes. It was one of her birthday presents. But she could have used it for a costume. Such a cute little fashion plate.

That little skeleton/leprechaun grew up to be Gomez Addams. I'm sure he had a ball at that party two years ago - maybe even more fun than he had trick or treating as a kid.

While I'm at it, let me be the first to wish you a Happy (Celtic) New Year! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Can See For Miles and Miles and Miles and Miles

"The Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal are mine to see on clear days. You thought that I would need a crystal ball to see right through the haze. I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles."  (Written by Peter Townshend and a hit for The Who in 1967.)

 It can get pretty boring walking my mile on the Life Fitness treadmill every day. I tried listening to audio books with limited success. Mostly I let my mind wander and often it goes back to the mile I walked when we lived on the farm.

If I'm at a quarter mile on the treadmill, I think, "I'm just about down to the bridge," and recall the two pigeons that would fly out from underneath it as I approached.

In the spring I might smell the intoxicating aroma of the honey locusts in bloom at the other place remembering when we used to play in that coppice when we were kids. Only a tenth of a mile to go.

One thing for certain, walking in the country was never boring. Mostly I would only see freshly dug holes along the side of the road and think badger. But one morning there was one looking at me and I thought badger! Should I keep walking ahead or turn around and get out of its territory?

Most of the birds I saw I could identify, but one morning I heard a lovely new birdsong. The bird looked something like a meadowlark, but it was smaller and it wasn't singing like a meadowlark. When I got back and looked it up in my bird book, I had a new bird to add to my life list - a Dicksissel. They look more like a sparrow than a meadowlark, but they are actually related to the cardinal.

From our driveway north to the neighbor's orange field gate and back was an even mile. So when I'm walking on the treadmill and get to one-half mile, I think, "I'm at the orange gate." It does seem to make the workout less boring.
One of the smells I loved the most along the country walk was elderberry blossoms. If there was a perfume that smelled like they do, I'd be wearing it. And every year when the elderberries ripened I would think about picking them to make jelly or wine. I've never even tasted elderberry wine, yet it was the one wine I always thought I wanted to try making. Maybe I really should start a bucket list instead of just talking about doing so.
Next time I'm on the treadmill I would have something new to think about:
BUCKET LIST.....1) Try making wine. 2)........

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lake McKinley for 111 Years

For the past 4 years we have lived about one-half mile from one of the prettiest, most nicely kept, lake and park there is. Lake McKinley and Park were in the next town east of us - about 25 miles - when I grew up. We went there for picnics, family reunions, 4th of July celebrations and just to enjoy the scenery which is what I was doing forty-seven years ago when I took this snapshot of my three-year-old son, Douglas, in August of 1965. Now I go past the park and appreciate its beauty almost every day.

But until today, while I was looking up the history of the park, which you can read here, I did not realize it was originally built by the C.B. & Q. Railroad in 1874 to provide water for their machine shops and the round house. (Creston has always been a railroad town.)
The plaque on this stone reads: "In memory of John Hall and H. M. Spencer founders of this park. 1881-1928." The two men were owners of the Creston Ice Company who purchased the land surrounding the lake and decided to build a park for public use. In 1901 the city bought the park and lake area and renamed it after the former President of the United States. It had been known as Lake Park until then.

I think this might have originally been a drive way from an east entrance to the park down to the edge of the lake, based on the curbing on either side. In the middle of the picture, under the tree is the stone with the Hall and Spencer plaque.

This structure - made to hold a sign - was "Erected by Magnetewan Campfire, 1923". Was that the name of a Campfire Girls group?

There are three of these large flower planters. To me they look like bathtubs. They are made of iron. They have been painted so many times I can't make out the name on the side, only "Ironworks, New York". They look pretty old.

There are still many older structures in the park including this conical stone tower and four surrounding flower beds, "Erected by Creston Council U.C. I. of A. 1924". From the pipe at the top I would guess this was originally a fountain. In the background is the band shell which received some repairs and a new coat of paint this year. Concerts are a regular summer feature.

Unfortunately the park is losing most of its majestic pines. Several have already been cut down while more are marked to be removed. One of the park's eight shelters can be seen on the left. It is one of the ones along the east side of the lake.

The park has been undergoing several improvements this year; one of which is the first shelter to be built on the west side of the lake. Many new homes have been built overlooking the lake on that side. Imagine having that view throughout the changing seasons.

The walking trail now extends all the way through the park to the corner of Spillway Road and Lake Shore Drive. You could start here, walk through the park and continue on a walking path all the way north to Townline Road - and many people do just that.

A new bridge had to be built in order to extend the path to and through the historical complex. The small building behind the caboose was the train depot from Brooks - my husband's hometown.

All of this work on the south side of the park was done this summer. You can now take the trail from the camp grounds, through the historical complex and into the main part of the park - the swimming pool, shelter houses, skate park, band shell. The only negative was the pile of trees at the left of the picture which had to be bull-dozed. In the long run, though, I think the new open space will add to the use and enjoyment of this venerable locale - quite possibly for another 111 years.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Happy Mother-in-Law Day

Mother-in-Law Day has been 'officially' celebrated since 2002. It's the one day of the year when mostly nice things are said about your spouse's mother instead of the jokes we usually hear repeated. The fourth Sunday in October is designated as the special day for mothers-in-law. I hadn't thought of the significance of it being that close to Halloween until I saw this cartoon. Hmmmm?
When I hear Mother-in-Law, Ernie K-Doe's hit song from 1961 always pops into my head. "(Mother in Law) Mother In Law - The worst person I know, She worries me so, If she'd leave us alone, We'd have a happy home, Sent from down below, (Mother in Law) Mother In Law...." And all the mother-in-law jokes are along the lines of: "What do you do if you miss your mother-in-law? Reload and try again." They get no respect.

I've had three mothers-in-law. I can't say I got along great with any of them, but that is mostly because I compared them to my own Mother, who I thought was perfect. In this photo from 1965 were my in-law's, Betty and Chuck Botkin; my grandmother, (also Dad's Mother-in-Law), Delphia Ridnour; my father, Louis and mother, Ruth Lynam. We were celebrating my son Doug's third birthday.
I probably would have gotten along better with Betty if I hadn't heard things like: That's not the way my Mom did it." from her son, my husband, Kenny. Rule # 1: Don't compare your wife to your mother.
As our marriage deteriorated, so did my relationship with my in-laws. There was little if any contact after the divorce but I do remember going to see them and having a nice visit many years later. Betty showed me the quilt she was making as a wedding present for Doug, as well as many other examples of her handiwork. She loved to quilt and had made something for all her grandchildren.

My second mother-in-law was Clara Fleming, shown here with her youngest child, my husband Denny, when he received his master's degree in 1971. Once again, I didn't appreciate my mother-in-law until she was my ex-mother-in-law. One thing I did admire about her was her determination. When the doctor told her if she didn't lose weight she was going to die, she lost a lot of weight. She and I were much closer after Denny died, corresponding on a regular basis. Clara was also good at handiwork - her forte was crocheting. Kari has the bedspread her grandmother made for Denny and me. It is white with red roses. She crocheted a lot of afghans, too.

The woman who was my mother-in-law the longest was Bud's mom, Lottie Schaffer. I got along with her the best, perhaps because my marriage to her son has been the happiest. I admired Lottie's independence. When she was widowed she had to learn how to do many things on her own, including driving a car. She kept the car they had when her husband died - a 1963 Chevy - and she kept it in good condition. When everyone else was buying a newer car with air conditioning,  power windows, etc., she could be seen driving her 45-year-old Chevy around town. Lottie was my mother-in-law for 26 years, dying just after our anniversary last year.

My turn at being a mother-in-law instead of having a mother-in-law began with Doug's first marriage. That didn't go so well - either the marriage or my being a mother-in-law.
Doug and Shelly were married in October, 1988. I was determined to be a better mother-in-law; being supportive, non-judgmental, caring and available to baby sit. That wasn't hard, I loved having the grand kids around.

My youngest son, Preston, and Shalea were married in May, 1992. Those twenty years have gone fast. They are pictured here on their wedding day with Preston's grandmother Clara. This was two days before her 74th birthday. It was good to see my ex-mother-in-law looking so well that day.
A new daughter-in-law, another opportunity to practice being a mother-in-law. Again, be supportive, keep my opinions to myself and be available to baby sit. With five babies in six years, I had plenty of opportunities to babysit for them. And I loved every minute of it.

Finally, this past July, a son-in-law - a whole different kettle of fish after daughters-in-law. But Ken and I have gotten pretty well acquainted over the past ten years, so having him officially part of the family hasn't changed much. Does he tell mother-in-law jokes and stories about me? Isn't that what men do? I'd be disappointed if he didn't. I love having a son-in-law.

I don't know what my daughters-in-law say about having me for a mother-in-law. I know I feel as though I have a very good relationship with both of them. They are not quite the same as my own daughter, but I love them both. In this picture from several years ago, we were all dressed up to go to the tea room in Perry to celebrate either Mother's Day or Kari & Shelly's birthdays which are one day apart. Left to right, Shelly, Shalea, me and Kari.

I think about my own Mother and her mother-in-law, Bessie. (Shown here with her first grand child, my brother Ronald.) I always knew Mom and grandma had their differences, but Mom always treated her with respect. Mom was the one who looked after grandma, visited her faithfully in the nursing home and was with Grandma Lynam when she died.
Mom lived with her in-laws the first few months after she and Dad were married. I think how difficult that could have been. And I remember the words I found written in my mother's diary Saturday, February 26, 1938: "We moved to ourselves today." I think those five words speak volumes.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Heading Out to Wonderful

Heading Out to Wonderful is the first Robert Goolrick novel I've read. Our library does have his first novel, A Reliable Wife, which I think I am going to read just to see if it is any better than this second novel of his.
This is one of those novels that looked interesting to me based on the cover. This is the quote inside the cover: "Let me tell you something, son. When you're young, and head out to wonderful, everything is fresh and bright as a brand-new penny, but before you get to wonderful you're going to have to pass through all right. And when you get to all right, stop and take a good, long look, because that may be as far as you're ever going to go."
I liked the quote. I thought this could be a very good book. It is the story of Charlie Beale, a man recently back from the war in Europe. It is 1948. He is traveling around, looking for a place to settle down. He stops in Brownsburg, a sleepy village nestled in the Valley of Virginia. With him he has two suitcases: one contains his few possessions, including a fine set of butcher knives; the other is full of money - a lot of money.
There were so many things I liked about Charlie. I could even understand his obsession with Sylvan, the wife of the town's richest man. I think why I didn't really care for the book was the ending - the way Charlie completely disregarded the effect his actions could have on the psyche of the young boy he had befriended.
But maybe that is the whole point of the story, which is related by that young boy some seventy years later.

A Good American by Alex George is a multi-generational story which begins in Prussia in 1904. Jette is from an upper class family. She falls in love with Frederick, a man who sings for his supper in taverns. Jette's family disapproves. Jette becomes pregnant. Her mother kicks her out. Jette & Frederick flee to America. Frederick hears of a job opportunity in Rocheport, Missouri but before they can get there, Jette goes into labor in the small town of Beatrice, Missouri. The people there speak German. They are kind to Jette and Frederick. The couple decides to settle there.
I really like 'immigrants coming to America' stories. They generally inform me of what my own ancestors experienced when they left their homelands for the challenges of a new life. I pretty much liked this novel through the second generation, but by the time it got to the third and into the 21st Century, I was ready to be done reading. Even the surprise twist at the end of the book (the reason there is a cornet on the cover?) didn't make up for the way the story had drug on. It seemed like the author felt he had to put every significant happening into the book (i.e. Kennedy's assassination.) And somehow music was to be responsible for holding all the different family story lines together.

Ruth Rendell's latest novel, The St. Zita Society, was my favorite of these three books. Maybe it is just because I like mysteries, especially English mysteries. Rendell's books are always peopled with the most bizarre characters. Of course you know there is always going to be at least one murder. The book flap leads you to believe the perpetrator is most likely going to be Dex, a young man recently released from a mental institution. (He tried to stab his mother.) Dex believes he receives messages through his cell phone from a god he calls Peach.
All the characters of this twisted tale live on one block of a posh London street - Hexam Place. They are the homeowners and their servants. Life appears placid and orderly on the outside but beneath the tranquil veneer, the upstairs-downstairs relationships are about to explode.
One of the servants decides to form a union of sorts where all the employees can get together to discuss their grievances and possibly come up with solutions. She names their group The St. Zita Society in honor of the patron saint of maids and domestic servants.
I really like Rendell's books. I love the way she delves into the psychological make up of her characters.

Friday, October 26, 2012


You may recall my September 3 rant against dove hunting in Iowa and how I was going to turn in my Natural Resources license plate in protest. I've had this same license plate for around twenty years. It's been on three different cars of mine. I'm fond of it. But it's also getting worn out.
So when I went to the courthouse to vote I stopped at the Treasurer's office and asked what my license plate number would be if I just got a regular plate. She showed me: 681ZPR. I came home and told Bud, "I don't want a ZPR license plate. That would make my number zipper something. I don't want a zipper license plate.

Of course that got me thinking about zippers and when I used to sew. I always had so much trouble putting zippers in. I got better at it over the years, but they were always a pain. I knew I still had a couple unused zippers in my sewing box. Actually there were three - two still in their original packaging. The misty spruce colored one I gave a nickel for at a garage sale. The ecru Flex Zip in the middle was 89 cents at Target. The brown one was lying loose in the sewing tin. Remember when zippers came in the little round plastic containers? This Coats and Clark zipper was 50 cents new. I think new zippers are in the $2 to $3 range now.

My Mom was a true daughter of the depression. She saved everything that could possibly be reused - including zippers. When a piece of clothing finally wore out, before she turned it into rags, the buttons and/or zippers were removed and saved.
Another family member took Mom's sewing machine, but I kept Grandma Bessie's treadle sewing machine which Mom still had. I couldn't remember if there was anything in the drawers but when I looked, guess what? Thirteen zippers - only one or two of which looked like they hadn't been used. The round Coats and Clark zipper container was in the drawer, too. I just used it in both photos to show both sides.
Speaking of Grandma Bessie, I can remember at least once when a zipper in one of Dad's chore coats broke. Mom took the zipper out of another old coat and took it and Dad's coat into Grandma's for her to replace the zipper. That's what you used to do. You didn't just go buy a new coat because the zipper broke.

I have tried to figure out what the license plate numbers might be if I wait as long as possible, which with my birth date would be the end of December, to see if there might be something I found more acceptable. After the zpr's there would be zps-t-u-v-x-y-zpz. For sure I don't want ZPY. That would make me think of Zippy the Monkey.

So, maybe I'll just keep my Natural Resources plate another year. After all, the dove hunting bill has already passed into law. From the expense side of things, changing plates would save the extra $25 of the renewal fee which goes to the Natural Resources program. But this year's renewal is already $40 less than last year's, so I'm ahead of the game from that standpoint.
Too bad I couldn't have kept Bud's old license plate number when he got his new personalized Bronze Star plate. That number was 500TYC - very easy to remember. I could either think of toys, TYCO, or yogurt, TCBY, or clocks, TYC-TOC, or Truly Yours Charlie, or Time You Cease (trying to be funny)...........

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Riddle Wrapped In A Mystery

Usually it is a snatch of a song or a whiff of an odor that will bring a memory back for me. This morning it was my Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: "enigmatic - of, relating to, or resembling an enigma: mysterious."
As a child, before I could even give language to my feelings, I was quiet, introverted, thoughtful. I liked having secrets. I was a dreamer; a romantic. I didn't know the word for it yet, but I wanted to be mysterious.

"It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key."  was uttered by Winston Churchill in a BBC Radio address, The Russian Enigma, October 1, 1939.

It is hard to imagine I went through high school and never heard or read the word enigma, but I must have - either that or it didn't register with me -  because I remember exactly where and when I first learned the word.

In the fall of 1967 I registered for two night classes at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. It wasn't long before I started getting acquainted with my fellow class members. There was a small group of Cedar Rapids firefighters taking the English class I was. We had one fifteen minute break during which we would sit around a table and talk while drinking our sodas.

A mutual attraction developed between me and one of the firefighters. One night he said, "You're something of an enigma, aren't you?" I had no idea what that meant and when I asked him he told me to "look it up." The following week he gave me a poem he had written entitled Ramona in which he had referred to me as mysterious; an enigma. As pick-up lines went, his was pretty darn good.
Nothing ever came of our brief flirtation, but I've never forgotten being called mysterious - nor the meaning of the word enigma. It was an appellation I had been subconsciously looking for since I was a young girl.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Christmas Eve and Oyster Stew

Too soon to be writing about Christmas you say? Christmas Eve is only two months from today. Actually there are two reasons for me to be thinking about Oyster Stew and Christmas Eve. The first is because when I was visiting with two of my cousins at a funeral two weeks ago, we got to remembering our Grandpa Joe - what a wonderful Grandpa he was and how none of our kids got to know him because he died when my cousins and I were still teenagers.
The second is because a neighbor of ours recently returned from a visit to New Orleans. He was talking about the seafood - shrimp and oysters. He said when he was a kid they always had oyster stew on Christmas Eve. I said that was what we always had on Christmas Eve, too, at my Grandpa and Grandma Ridnour's.

I'm feeling very sentimental right now, looking at this picture of my Grandpa and remembering times with him. I recently found this picture and the one below. I have so few photos of him. My brother Ron used to say he was a "man's man" - probably because he liked hunting and fishing and stood up for what was right. I think of him being considerate, interested in his grandchildren, polite, but not a pushover. But back to the oyster stew.
Why are oysters a tradition on Christmas Eve? One website says the Irish immigrants brought the tradition of eating ling fish stew on Christmas Eve, but ling fish weren't available in their new country so they substituted oysters which were the closest in taste to ling fish. Another website suggests it was the Pennsylvania Dutch (who are really of German ancestry) who brought the custom with them. Grandpa Joe was Pennsylvania Dutch, so that might have something to do with why we always had oyster stew at their home on Christmas Eve.

Of course, it could have been just because it was a treat. The old saying used to be only eat oysters in the months containing an R. That was because in the days before refrigeration seafood wouldn't stay edible as long as it took to get it from the coasts except during the cold months. When I was young, all the grocery stores had fresh oysters in time for Christmas Eve.
The thing was, none of us kids liked oyster stew. I can remember being very young and Mom taking all the oysters out of the soup and floating a handful of those cute little oyster crackers in it for us to eat. But that oyster taste was still there. Ew-w-w. Icky. Eventually Grandma had to start making either potato soup or chili for the non-oyster eaters. Oh, those oyster crackers - the only time we ever had them was at Grandpa and Grandma's on Christmas Eve. At our house we only had those perforated saltines about four inches square that you broke into perfect fourths before crushing into your soup.

This picture is SO how I best remember my Grandpa - with an unfiltered Lucky Strike in his mouth, wearing a starched white shirt with striped overalls and his trademark brown felt hat. Grandpa's full name was Joseph Rufus Ridnour. He usually went by Joe, but also by J.R. When I look back in the diaries from my teenage years, I find that I often wrote things like, "Went down to J.R.'s," or, "J.R.'s were here." It is something I might have done to save space instead of writing "Grandpa and Grandma were here". But I think I did it just as much out of affection for my Grandpa Joe.
Know what else? I could eat a bowl of oyster stew right now.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Second Son of A Second Marriage

This post was meant for yesterday (I goofed on my dates) - on what was the 170th anniversary of my great-great grandfather George W. Gravett's birth, October 22, 1842. When I wrote about him two years ago (October 22, 2010) I wrote that I would post more if I learned more about him. Thanks to the research of another of his descendants (which you can find here) I do know more, including that he was the second son of his father Thomas's second marriage which was to Angeline Crow after his first wife, Mary Ellen Rizon (Rison) died.
I can also see why tracing my Gravett ancestors has been difficult - there have been several variations for the spelling of the name - even from father to son. To whit: George Washington Gravett, born October 22, 1842 in Clark Co. Kentucky to Thomas J. Gravitt and Angeline Crow.
Thomas J. Gravitt, born 1812 in Clark Co, KY to George Gravatt and Hannah Bowler. George Gravatt born 1790 in Virginia to John Gravatt and Ellen (?). John Gravatt was born May, 1757 in Virginia, son of George Gravitt and Catherine (Caty) McCarty. George and Caty were married May 9, 1756 in Stafford Co., Virginia.
Following Catherine (Caty's) lineage back to the McCarty (McCarthy)'s of Kinsale, VA and reading about them was very interesting - especially the friendship with George Washington at Mt. Vernon, but also confusing. For a few minutes I thought the purported friendship might have accounted for my great-great-grandfather, George W. Gravett being named George Washington Gravett. Then I realized his brother was named Thomas Jefferson Gravett which was when I decided it was just part of the practice in those days of naming children in honor of some of the 'fathers' of our country.
My great-great-grandfather, George W. married Malinda Jane Cecil January 1, 1863. The above is a picture of them and their ten surviving children. Great-great Grandmother Malinda looks grumpy, but I would be grumpy too if I'd had fifteen children.
The ten living children were: William Ellis Gravett, b. Dec. 6, 1863, Davis Co., IA; d. Dec. 1, 1934, Adams Co., IA.
John Wilson Gravett, b. June 9, 1865; d. June 18, 1916; m. Letitia Bohling.
Francis M. Gravett, b. Oct. 4, 1867; d. Aug. 15, 1911, Mills Co., IA
Nancy Emma Gravett, b. July 14, 1869; d. Sept. 14, 1914, Adams Co., IA; m. Barney T. Lynam
Sylvester Crane Gravett, b. Aug. 3, 1871, Montgomery Co., IA; d. June 15, 1955; m. Tillie Jane Blazek, 1911.
Della Gravett, b. Dec. 1, 1873, Montgomery Co. IA; d. Mar. 15, 1874.
Mertillia Gravett, b. Dec. 15, 1874, Montgomery Co., IA (no death date).
Katie Rowena Gravett, b. Dec. 3, 1875, Montgomery Co., IA; d. Feb. 14, 1877.
Stella Gravett, b. Mar. 6, 1878; d. Feb., 1879.
George Washington Gravett, Jr., b. Dec. 23, 1879, Montgomery Co., IA; d. January 19, 1951; m. Helen Mary Fail.
Lulu Grace Gravett, b. Oct. 4, 1881, Adams Co., IA; d. Nov. 24, 1958; m. John Franklin Fail.
Elma Viola Gravett, b. Aug. 1, 1883, Adams Co., IA; d. Oct., 1973; m. Isaac Werner Johnson, 1910.
Nettie Mabel Gravett, b. Sept. 28, 1885, Adams Co., IA; d. Aug. 18, 1940; m. Arthur Hunt, 1905. I never heard her called 'Nettie' before. She was always referred to as Jeannette which is what is on her headstone. I remember being told her husband died before their son Paul was born or when he was very young and that she raised him alone. I knew Paul and his wife Bernadette. She is the one who gave me this Gravett family picture.
Joseph Cecil Gravett, b. Dec. 5, 1887; d. Oct. 18, 1971, Marshalltown, IA; m. Ezma Dick, 1915.
Kattie Gravett, b. Feb. 14, 1890; d. Feb. 14, 1890, Adams Co. IA.

I've changed my mind about the way Great-great-grandma Malinda looks in this photo - it isn't grumpy from having had fifteen children - it is stoic from losing those five little girls.

Monday, October 22, 2012

From One Horsepower To Twenty

Grandma Lynam wasn't as good about writing names on the back of photos as Grandma Ridnour was. However, I do know the people in this picture - they are my Grandma Lynam and my Dad, Louis. I just don't know the horse's name.

Looks like going from one horsepower to twenty came naturally to my Dad. I wonder if he was saying, "Giddy-up"? I'm assuming this is a Ford Model T. From looking at pictures online, I think it is a 1920 Runabout.

This is my Grandpa George with his string of horses. The one on the left looks a little smaller. It might have been Dad's pony from the top picture. I wonder if the white horse was a saddle horse or if it was also one used in the farming operation?

These are pictures I found while going through Grandma Lynam's photos last week. I am lucky to have both of my Grandmother's pictures. I would guess Dad to be about six in these snapshots. The adults are: on the left, Grandma Bessie's sister-in-law, Ruby Hickman Duncan; my Grandpa, George Lynam and Grandma Bessie Duncan Lynam. They are standing on the porch of one of those old Midwestern 4-squares. (I cropped the house out while scanning the picture so the people were closer.) The trouble is I don't know if it was the house where Grandpa & Grandma lived or where Uncle Lloyd and Aunt Ruby lived. I do know where the Lynam's were living at this time (the old Day Place) - but by the time I was old enough to drive past the place, the house was gone. I do wish Grandma Bessie had written on the backs of all her photos.