Saturday, January 27, 2018

More Family Tree

Still working on the family history. I've got everything on my side of the family finished up other than scanning in a few more photographs. The photo above is my grandmother's older sister and her husband. Old Herb snored louder than any person in the known free world. I remember one time walking over to their house from grandma's on a nice Sunday afternoon. Herb was outside taking a nap and I could hear him snoring two blocks away. And his wife? One of the sweetest old gals you could ever meet.

I was real lucky growing up. We never had much money, but my brothers and I never really wanted for much. We all had chores to do and Mom threw us out of the house during the day as long as it wasn't raining too hard or too cold. There were no electronics to amuse us back then other than  transistor radios and black and white television sets and Mom limited our television time. We all had bedtime stories read to us when we were little and we all grew into being avid readers as adults. We all made it through the 60's and the 70's for the most part unscathed. Typical middle-class story but it gave all of us boys a good start in life and we all turned out to be productive citizens who valued working for what you want and having a decent education or skills in order to make your way in the world.

Most of my early ancestors on both my Mom and Dad's side were small farmers, getting by but that's about all. Two sisters on my dad's side started a family reunion in 1957 that continued for years. I remember going when I was a kid and everyone was always happy. My dad would play the piano and two of my uncles would play guitar. There were always Canasta and Euchre games going on. The kids would run around playing tag or throw the ball around. I never realized until I was older what that older generation went through growing up. Aunt Florence was born at home in 1891. No hospital, no central heating, not even any electricity. Family and neighbors were what you relied on for your support system. Maybe that's why they were always so happy at the reunion. They had lived through all the hardships growing up and raising their families and now they could relax a bit and enjoy all the modern conveniences that made life so much easier for them in their later years.

We could learn a lot from that group - if only they were still around to tell the story. At least they won't be forgotten - as long as I finish typing up the family history, that is.

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