Friday, November 28, 2008

ten Boom Carriage Clock

Mom and Dad have an antique carriage clock that was purchased by Dad's cousin, Beth Swanson, when she worked on stage in the opera in Europe in the 1960's. She knew of Dad's interest in clocks and found this one for him. It has ten Boom on the face of the clock in hand painted porcelain. We have always wondered at the chance it would be from the ten Boom family, since hearing of Corrie ten Boom's "The Hiding Place" story.
Corrie was a Dutch Christian Holocaust survivor who helped many Jews escape the Nazis during World War II. She began training as a watchmaker in 1920 and in 1922 became the first female watchmaker licensed in the Netherlands, following in her family business. Wouldn't that be amazing if our clock did come from that family of clock makers?
The clock has a box with a glass front for protection and viewing. A carriage clock is in a rectangular housing, designed for travel in the 19th century. Since people traveled by carriage in this period, these clocks needed to stand up to the rigors of a trip without failing. Carriage clocks reached their zenith in the late 1860s. Several characteristics can be used to identify a carriage clock. The first is the case, which is usually made from polished brass or another bright metal. The face of the clock is covered in glass, while the hands may be placed on a porcelain background to make them clearly visible.
If anyone reading this knows more about this clock please contact me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On the Road Again

Mom and Dad are preparing to leave for their winter home in Mesa tomorrow. There is a lot to do before leaving and Mom has taken on much of that burden, with Dad having recently had surgery.

She's always been "Superwoman" in our family, with a reputation for working hard, helping others and just plain taking care of everyone and everything. This year she will also be driving all the way to Mesa, since Dad is not cleared to drive yet. They've promised to stop often and I'm praying for good weather and safe roads ahead of them.
Once unloaded at Mesa Spirits, they're planning to go down to Tucson at the end of next week to help Deb at a Scandinavian craft sale, where she sells baskets she weaves. From there on their schedule and activities get busier and busier.
I'm already looking forward to Christmas when Joe and I will be flying down and we'll all head to Debbie's for Christmas.
Praying for safe travels for Mom and Dad and wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.
11/27 Update: Mom and Dad made it to Concordia, KS, their first day. There is the possibility of snow and rain for their travels on Friday so they are planning to get an early start to try to beat it.
11/28 Update: They're in Santa Rosa, NM tonight. Amazingly they met up with friends Dick and Janet Sunde from Sioux Falls there and they are in the same motel. The Sunde's winter at the same place Mom and Dad do. They had left Sioux Falls at 2 am this morning so had quite a trip today.
11/29 Update: They are safely in their home in Mesa, arriving around 5 pm.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

It's my Dad's 83rd birthday, November 24th. He was born on the farm he has lived on his whole life except for his years of service in the Army back in the 40's.
Dad grew up a middle child and the only son. He attended country school through the 8th grade and then attended Washington H.S. in Sioux Falls, SD.
Always having a nack for things mechanical, he built a radio in his youth, drove at a very young age and began a love for old cars. Farming became a lifetime occupation.
He left H.S. to attended NYA school in Sioux Falls where they trained you to be a machinist. After graduating from there he and a neighbor went to work in the Glenn L. Martin - Nebraska Company in Omaha, NE, January 1943 - March 19, 1943. He was offered a job in the Machine Shop at the starting rate of $.60 per hour with the regular work hours of 12:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.. Employees were expected to work 5 days in a row then take off the 6th day and start again with the 5 day cycle. He worked on the W strut, of the B-26, part of the landing gear, testing it for hardness. When his sister, Carol Ann, started H.S., Cal's mother talked him into going back to H.S. and he went until he was drafted into the Army.

His Mother wrote the following on October 20, 1946, when he was in the service, stationed in Japan.

A Prayer in My Heart for Cal
There's a prayer in my heart in the morning, for my boy who is far away, asking God to protect, and to keep, him in His care throughout the day.
There's a prayer in my heart at noontide, When I look to our Father above; to guide my boy in a foreign land, and shelter him in His love.
There's a prayer in my heart in the evening, for a heavenly light to shine, ever pointing the heavenward way for that dear service boy of mine.
There's continual prayer in my heart that through Divine guidance, love and grace Cal will always be secure and safe on land or sea or any place.

Dad's kitchen specialty is breakfast, here he is back in the 60's making Christmas breakfast. I think it's because he's picky about how his bacon is cooked.

He has a love for all animals as shown through the many pets we've had on the farm. Here he is with the neighbors deer.

He's a true family man, always being there for any of us in need. Special memories I have are of him singing to me in the old pick-up as we took off on an errand, my favorites include "I Want to Buy a Paperdoll that I Can Call My Own" and "Swim Says the Fishies". Then there are the duets on the organ and piano, any hymn would do as long as it was from the brown hymnal. He loves to roll the cords across the keyboard although a farm accident left him a little short handed when he lost part of his fingers in the late 70's. Dad loved roller skating too. We were regulars at Valley Hi roller rink on family night and West Sioux. We all had our own skates and loved it when Dad would skate with us and twirl around the floor. Then there's his love for antique cars and all the car trips and events we've gone on over the years. There are many more memories and more photos to scan... maybe they'll get done for next years' birthday Papa.
Happy Birthday, Love and Hugs, Diane (Ruleaslupe)

Grandma and Grandpa Wettestad

Adolph Conrad Wettestad was born April 17th 1886, to Norwegian Immigrants, Sievert and Ingeborg (Syversdatter) Wettestad, in Long Lake Township, St. James, Watonwan Co., MN. He was the youngest of seven children. Sarah Menora Jane Cecelia Barnes was born May 15, 1891, in rural Ellsworth, Nobles Co., MN. Known as Sarah as a child, and in her adult life as Celia, she was named by her mother; Sarah after her grandmother on her mother's side, Menora after her grandmother on her father's side, Jenny (Jane) after her mothers twin sister, and Cecelia after her mother. Her parents Charles and Emma (Pierce) Barnes raised their two children on their farm until 1898 when he moved them to the town of Harris, IA, where they opened a hardware store. It was in Harris, IA, where Adolph and Celia met and married.

On Wednesday, October 26, 1910, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Barnes, occurred the wedding of their only daughter, Cecelia, to Mr. Adolph Wettestad, the ceremony being performed by Rev. Towner, pastor of the Methodist Church. As Mrs. Jensen, sister of the groom, played the wedding march the couple took their places in the parlor, in the presence of immediate relatives, and while Mr. V. A. Barnes and wife, brother and sister-in-law of the bride, acted as best man and bridesmaid, the solemn words were spoken that made them man and wife. Following the ceremony, and after congratulations were said, the wedding party partook of a most sumptuous wedding dinner.
The bride needs no introduction to the people of Harris. She has grown to womanhood in our little city and has always been one of our most esteemed and popular young ladies. The groom is and has been the manager of Gregg & Zeeman elevator at this place for the past year and a half, which business he is carrying on successfully. Mr. Wettestad is a bright, clean and industrious young man.
They immediately went to housekeeping in the home prepared for occupancy by the groom. Out of town relatives who attended the wedding were:...The Herald extends congratulations.

The Wettestads lived at Harris, IA (1910), Royal, IA (mgr. Farmers Coop), Harrisburg, SD (1924), Sioux Falls, SD (1925), Colton, SD (1925,26-35), Primgar, IA (10/1/36, 6 months), Faulkton, SD (1 yr.), Brookings, SD (1937-)

January 31, 1913, Celia gave birth to a daughter, Evelyn who sadly lived one day. Adolph and Celia then went on to adopt a little 2 1/2 yr. old girl, my mother Darlene, in October of 1933. (The adoption was final 10/15/1935.) The Wettestad family lived in Colton, SD where Adolph was manager of the Farmers Coop Elev. Mr. Wettestad was transfered to elevators at Faulkton, SD, 1 year and Primghar, IA, 6 months before moving to Brookings, SD, in 1935. Darlene started school in Brookings. Adolph passed away suddenly from a heart attack on March 8, 1939.
Celia and Darlene moved to Sioux Falls for 18 months in 1940-41. They returned to Brookings the fall of 1941 and remained there until moving to Glasgow, MT, October of 1946. Darlene attended H.S. one year in Glasgow and returned to Brookings where she graduated from H.S. in May of 1949. Celia remained there 9 yrs. until back trouble forced her retirement from her job of cooking at the Deaconers Hospital in Glasgow.

Adolph's Obituary: Brookings, S.D. - A.C. Wettestad 52, manager of the Farmers Cooperative Co. here for the last two and one-half years, died suddenly Wednesday in the Brookings clinic while undergoing an examination for a heart ailment. Wettestad had gone to work as usual that morning but complained of "pains in my chest" about 9:30 o'clock and decided to have an examination. While Dr. Henrik Tillisch was examining him he suddenly clutched his heart and died. Dr. Tillisch gave the cause of death as angina pectoris. It occurred about 11 a.m. Mr. Wettestad is survived by his widow and one adopted daughter, Darlene, 7, of Brookings, and three brothers, Peter and Simon of St. James, Minn., and H.T. Wettestad of Arlington. He is also survived by two sisters, Mrs. Edward Kihle, Columbus, N.D., and Mary of St. James. The deceased spent a short time at Faulkton before coming to Brookings and prior to that time managed the Farmers Elevator at Colton for about 15 years. He had been in the grain business for 30 years in South Dakota and Iowa.
(part of another obituary) ...months at Faulkton where he was employed by the Tri-State Milling Co. Prior to that time he had served as manager of the Farmers Elevator at Colton for more that 10 years and many years at Harris, Iowa He had been in the grain business for the last 30 years. Funeral services will be held from the First Methodist church Saturday afternoon at 1 o'clock with the Rev. Edw. W. Stodghill officiating. Burial will be made in Lawn Pleasant cemetary at Sioux Falls. Mr. Wettestad was born at St. James, Minn., April 17, 1886 and with his parents moved to Harris, Iowa, in 1909. He was married to Cecelia Barnes on October 26, 1910 and to this union one daughter was born, who died in infancy. He then moved from Harris in 1918 and spent a number of years in North Dakota and South Dakota before settling at Colton in 1922 where he resided until 1936 when he moved temporarily to Faulkton and then to Brookings.

In her later years, Grandma Wettestad often stayed with us on our farm near Larchwood, Iowa. She had her own room off her granddaughter's room (a sort of small nursery) that is to this day called Grandma's room. She also had a room off the kitchen at one time with her own TV. We loved snuggling with Grandma while she watched her favorite shows. She also lived with her sister-in-law Bessie Barnes in Sioux Falls across from the Great Plains Zoo. She loved to knit and crochet and taught her grandchildren to tie their shoes. She also loved playing marbles and putting puzzles together. She gave the best back scratches. Some of her favorite meals were bread and gravy and sour cream on soft bread with a little sugar sprinkled on top. It was a treat to eat these meals with grandma. She was known as a kind, soft spoken woman, with a twinkle in her eye.
I remember having to wait to open Christmas morning presents until Grandma would wake up. Imagine four Grandchildren "quietly" staring down on a sleeping woman willing her to wake up. Now I think she was awake all the time, how could anyone sleep with four anxious children running around, and it was a game she played with us.
It was a warm fall day, Aug 17, 1972, when Mom, Dad and I went up Sioux Falls to check on Grandma Celia, as she wasn't feeling well. She was living with her sister in law at the time. I stayed with Aunt Bessie while Mom and Dad took Grandma to the doctor, who put her in Sioux Valley Hospital to have a pacemaker put in. At 9:30 p.m. that same day, Celia went on to be with the Lord and rejoined her beloved Adolph.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Adolph and Greta Swanson

I've realized I haven't posted a genealogy focused posting for some time so this one will focus on my Great Great Grandparents, my father's mother's mother's parents (far mor mor far & mor).

Adolph Frederik Svensson was born February 22, 1835, at Brohemmet, Ljung, Östergötland, to Sven Svensson and Katerina Larsdotter. Greta Månsson was born in August 1, 1840 in Lillbränna, Åsnästorp, Ljung parish. She was baptized on August 2, 1840. Her parents were Magnus Nilsson and Maja Persdotter. She was only seven years old when her mother died, but her father was good and with much patience he trained and nurtured his children. As a little girl Greta had the job to herd cows in a large and wide woods and later came to the Swanson home at Brohemmet to help Adolph's mother, Katerina, as she was ill. Adolph's father died October 8, 1860 and the young couple had fallen in love and married December 23rd that same year.
They built a home north of Brohemmet, and lived there for 27 years calling it Fallhemmet. They had about 7 American miles to walk to the Ljung church. The scenery was beautiful, and they picked lingonberries in the woods and "goken" cuckooed in the treetops. They were both devout Christians. My Grandmother Phoebe said Grandpa came out of the revival in Sweden. Adolph would send for and read Christian books and Christian papers here in America. He would gather his family around him on Sunday afternoon and read the sermon for Sunday.

They had seven children, six who survived to adulthood: Karl Johan b.d. 1862, Anna Sophia b. 1863-d. 1932, Augusta Wilhelmina b. 1866- d. 1945, Carl Gustaf "Gust" b. 1870- d. 1944, Jon Albert b. 1873- d. 1942, Ellen Johanna b.1878- d.1945, Andrew Gustaf b. 1880- d.1961.

Adolph and Greta Svensson/Swanson immigrated from Ljung, Östergötland, Sweden, on April 2, 1889 on the S. S. Thingvalla out of Copenhagen coming into New York with the following traveling together:
Adolf F. Svenson age 54 workman from Sweden with family Ljung E to Canton, Dakota Territory, Greta Svenson age 48 female wife, Elin Johanna age 11 daughter, Anders Gustaf age 8 male son. They are listed as passengers #286, 287, 288, 289 on the passenger list. The ship came from Goteborg to Copenhagen to New York. film 0216602 Jernvag Copenhagen 2 April 1889.

Adolph and Greta were the first immigrants of their Swedish community to Celebrate their 50th wedding Anniversary in America. They settled near Canton, SD, moved to a farm near Larchwood, IA, then to a farm southwest of Valley Springs, SD to retire.
The following was written by their pastor here in the U.S. in Swedish and translated by their Granddaughter Mable Swanson, my Great Aunt.

The Gold Anniversary, From Brandon, South Dakota
A wedding has been celebrated here, it was a golden wedding. It took place on the 23 of December, 1910 in Valley Springs township, Minnehaha county, South Dakota. The golden anniversary couple were our old precious brother Adolph Svenson and his dear spouse. They are if the people that Jacob describes in chapter 2 verse 5: Blessed are the people which have the Lord as their God. All their children and grandchildren with one exception had all arrived on this day to celebrate. Daughter Ellen and her family were not able to come because of the length of the way and difficulties on the road. However, they showed in wording how much they loved and honoured their old parents. Honourably done. The celebrating crowd was doubled by all the invited guests.
The celebration started with the baptizing of a little Else Viola. Then there was time for praying, singing and reading from the bible. Most of the grandchildren were reahout doubt take another ten years before something like this will take place again, among the Swedish Americans now living here. Only may our wedded couple have the possibility to stay among us for many years to come yet.; may their eve of life be bright. Yes, may Lord Jesus keep them ”i ordet och tron” (in word and faith) until the end and they will be crowned with the crown of life and until then they shall experience and ”besanna” (live to see the truth) of the content of David’s hymn 91.
Little Greta was a small girl, who had to graze the cows in the big woods. She was only seven years of age. She had lost her mother, but her farther was a good man, who raised his children with a lot of patience.
But the wolf he was shy, if only somewhat shy, he comes and looks at Greta, while she was walking with the cows and the wolf he ran away. The black cloud came and went with thunder and lightning rather quickly. But Greta, she knew what to do, she looked up at the sky from under the tree where she stood soaking wet. And the sun shone again; that sun that still is shining! And the cuckoo calls kuku, kuku (Swedish cuckoos way of calling in writing!) up there in the pinetree top. You may wonder: who is Greta? That is ”mormor” you all should know, who also”farmor” is called. And now, if I am not mistaking, we are 18 in the line of grandchildren to be counted; and ”mormor” she as well as the littlens understand, when they to her kitchenette go and at the shelves are pointing; they know very well the best of things are there being kept for them.
On the 23 of December, 1860, the second son, Adolph stood with his young bride at Brohemmet at Ljung’s manor join the bonds of marriage in front of Reverend Wimmerstedt; and nothing yet has managed to therdofenento untie the bond until this very moment. Here was not only joy; but here was also felt bitter sorrow, as the house was struck by bitter sorrow, our dear father Sven was taken away; now it seemed as mother Katarina was to leave us before long, with the eldest son Karl August and his Karolina with their youngest son Alfrid. Then the wedded couple had to unite to ease the burden of sorrow. But Time is the great healer and God gave us the spirit to go on. But after mother Katarina’s death the young couple and brother Karl August went a bit further north to settle among mountains and stones, where they found meadows and with the pickaxe (flåhacka) could prepare arable land. At this place were growing junipers and pine-trees and firs and also beautiful birch-trees; and the road across the moss (Sw = mosse) was quiet troublesome. Now, this was to become their home for seven and twenty years to come. And we all remember so well, our home there as it was. In one year and a half to that their little son Karl Johan was born. But the joy would not last long, only one week long he would stay. But years came and years went and Karl and Johan they later got, and mother’s little Gustaf; not so many can guess where now he is going. And now the children count six if the girls we count thereto. But then one day the America fever they all got; the land to which two brothers before them had went. And then suddenly they all left; farethewell to kins and friends. And when the last glimpse of old Sweden’s native soil they saw - they had to turn the leaf and towards a foreign country across the ocean waves they went. But what was on their minds I have not been able to write. But since America they reached, with uncle Sam they get along quite well; he gives to all his foster children all that he has got; his language is also understood, though it seemed hard at first. But the thought sometimes rushes quickly to the old home where mother so many times, untiringly has trodded so many steps and father all the time, from early morning to late at night has worked so hard.
Where the fire glows on the top of the stow and the old cradle on the floor was moving where all the children have slept their first childhood’s sweet sleep.
To father and mother our beloved ones, we would like to say: they had lots of trouble and care and difficulties of many kinds ; but their love was the foundation for everything. And in all the changes of the world from Lord Jesus help they received and strength he gave them until the difficulties they had overcome. For those who to Jesus run they will have eternal peace.
And now once more we all have gathered here with joy in the old home and now with all the children doubled, two times six make twelve who today will have the opportunity to celebrate the memory of your fiftieth wedding day.
May peace be with all of you that our Lord Jesus Christ right-mindedly dear keeps. J-F. Wretlöf

Greta's Obituary notice (Original in Swedish - translated):
It is hereby announced to relatives and friends that God has graciously recalled my dear beloved spouse Greta Svenson who peacefully went away in the faith of her Saviour on the 5th of February, 1911, at the age of 70 years, 6 months and 4 days. She was born in Ljung, Östergötlands län, Sweden, on the 1 of August, 1840. At age of 14 she was saved/redeemed and by his power she kept her faith until her redeeming moment. She was married to me on the 23 of December, 1860. The chief mourners are her husband and 6 children and 18 grand children.
Frid över hennes minne (May she rest in peace) Återseendets morgon randas snart. ( The morning of reunion is soon to come). Herre låt ditt ansikte lysa, så varder oss hulpit. Oh Lord, let your face shine, so........??)
Adolph Svenson, Valley Spring, So. Dak., the 9th of February, 1911.

Adolph's Obituary:
It is hereby announced that the good Lord has called upon our dearest beloved father
Adolph Frederik Swanson
He was born in Brohemmet, Ljungs congregation, Östergötlands county on the 22nd of February, 1835. He was married to Greta Magnusson on the 23rd of December, 1860. They emigrated to the USA in the Spring of 1889. Not long after they had celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1911 the Lord called upon our mother. During the two last years he has had his home and care with us children. Father caught some illness not long after Christmas and in the evening of Monday the 26th of February, 1923 his spirit left the fragile body to live with God. He turned to God in his youth and kept his faith and completed the race. We want to thank God for his comfort in our sorrow and loss.
He is mourned and missed by his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren and many friends.
Peace over his memory.
Granite, Iowa the 5th of March, 1923.
His children

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Good Luck Dad

Dad's having surgery tomorrow morning. They'll be repairing his torn rotary cuff.
Love and Prayers going out to you.

Left: Daddy and his crew on his 33rd birthday, November 24, 1958.

11/21 update: Dad was in quite a bit of pain this afternoon and also had some trouble with his blood sugars so is being kept in the hospital tonight. This is the best place for him so they can help monitor him and try to help him with pain. Thank you for your prayers for him.

Sculpture Finds On-line

This sculpture, called "Boy's Day Out" is made of driftwood pieces by Heather Jansch, a British artist. Check out her website. I think the way they are displayed adds so much to their beauty too.

How cool is this sculpture by Yvonne Fehling and Jennie Peiz? I found this on line while searching for something for a student. Don't you wonder how they organized it, how they moved it to a gallery, and what their studio looks like?

My 3-Dimensional Art Class will be doing tape sculptures next. Here's a site with some great examples and directions on how to do it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Adjust the Sails...

"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

I wouldn't be an art teacher for 27 years if I didn't enjoy working with kids, especially those that want to learn and create. Lately I've been discouraged by some of my students lack of manners and respect. Not just respect for me/authority but respect for each other. I worry about the "ME" society that is emerging and ever more evident in the students I teach. "What's in it for ME.", "What can you do for ME instead of what can I do for you.", "The rules don't apply to ME",... there are many more quotes I could write. Top these attitudes off with all the paperwork required of teachers as well as the above and beyond tasks expected of us and some days seem to get longer and longer. It gets to the point where we have to prioritize what will get done first and let the busy work go, let hurtful words go and focus on the positive. I love the serenity prayer, what a refreshing reminder that "The Will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Prayer Request

A high school classmate of mine is in need of prayers and I couldn't think of a better way to get the added prayers out, than to post this on my blog. Cathie's husband Chris, had bleeding on his brain suddenly start a week ago and he has been in the hospital this past week dealing with complications due to his situation. Two days ago they were planning to move him by ambulance to a hospital ( in Santa Barbara, CA) that specifies in brain injuries, but yesterday those plans were put on hold due to the emergency created by the wild fires and the dry Santa Anna winds threatening the area.
Cathie's parents passed away around 30 years ago, at 20 yrs old or so she dropped out of college and took on the role of raising 6 younger siblings. She's a special person and has found that special person in her life as well in Chris. Please add Chris and Cathie to your prayers. Thank you.

11/16 update: Saturday Chris had surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain. He is currently in ICU and sedated to keep the swelling down.
11/17 update: Chris is still sedated, Cathie was told it may be 3-5 days more of this to allow things to heal in their own time. They are keeping him stable. It's the waiting that is tough.
11/19 update: He is not responding after being taken off the sedation medicine and now has a fever so there is infection someplace. The pressure hasn't changed and they have taken him off other medicines as well. Today they took a series of test to see what the brain function was, but Cathie doesn't have the results yet. I'm afraid there are difficult days ahead. Please keep them in your prayers.
11/20 update: After multiple tests it was determined Chris is not going to wake from this trauma to his brain. Life support was pulled from him today and he is dealing with a staff infection as well. Cathie said she knows his spirit has passed and now the family is praying that his physical body will follow. His heart is strong so they are unsure how long this will take.
11/22: Chris passed away peacefully early this morning.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Grandview Covenant Kids

There's always activity surrounding a church. Grandview Covenant Church is my community and connects me with friends I grew up with and formed a history with. Grandview was built on the highest point in Lyon County, therefore the name. Below are a few views of the kids at Grandview back in the 60's. It's hard to believe this is more than 40 years ago, but many of these kids have kids older than we were then and a few grandchildren as well! These people were my first friends, some relatives, neighbors,... they've become family.
Pastor David Sems was our Pastor from 1965-67, and here are some photos he took of the kids at Grandview. (Hi Dave, I know you'll be reading this, how's your blog coming?) The front steps of the church was always the gathering place for photos, I lined up there after our confirmation to receive congratulations from family and friends. These are Bible School shots, back in the day when a sack lunch was just that. No coolers.
We'd open the double doors to let in cool breezes on hot Sundays before the days of air conditioning. The back door lead down the stairs the back way to the bathrooms and kitchen, an addition they built in my youth. I barely remember the old pump down in the kitchen and the cellar door that used to be there that led outside. I love the one in the top left corner above showing our old outhouse. There used to be a larger one there before this building.

There were always kids tables for eating at. One table was low to the ground, it's still in use - think of all the kids who have sat at that over the years. Simplier times...
Bible School group in 1964. Rev. Paul Nelson was the Pastor at this time. We played lots of games in the church yard, baseball and kick ball were favorites. Way back in the distance of this photo is our church cemetery. The Sioux River and the Iowa/South Dakota border is beyond that.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6

As you can tell, I love reminising about the old days. Friends and family, do you recognize any of the faces here? I have more old photos scanned than the newer ones. I should get at that task and scan even more than I have, but I'll leave that for another day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Art Teachers Workshop

I'm giving a talk to a group of art teachers tomorrow at an Art Teachers Workshop in Cedar Falls, IA. I'll share on how I use my school Art Gallery Blog in my classes and how easy it is to create a blog.
I've been meeting with this group of teachers at our Area Education Agency for about 19 years. Some of us have been around for that long and of course there are always new faces. We love getting together to share lessons and inspire each other. We're expecting a little freezing rain and snow, if it's freezing rain it doesn't matter if it's a little or a lot! Ugh... drive safely, I'm riding with another art teacher!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


This weekend while going through photos I came across some that will become today's topic. What easier thing is there to write about than my Dad? Calvin Theodore Johnson, my very own story teller, protector, refinisher, car repairman, collector, supporter, fixer of all things...
He and Mom have provided me with values and many of life's lessons that make me who I am.

Dad fell a week ago and injured his hand and tore his rotary cuff. This is delaying their trip to Mesa, AZ to their winter home. He decided to have surgery in Sioux Falls instead of waiting and going to Mesa first. Now they're awaiting a date from the doctor.
* update: an MRI on 11/11 showed a bad tear in the rotary cuff. Surgery is scheduled for 11/21.

In his honor, I'll share a few stories of his with you. They're not earth shattering stories but those who know the participants will get a smile I'm sure.

"When Joyce (Dad's sister) and I were small we planed to build a log cabin down in the pasture across the road. We’d get the Montgomery Ward catalog out and pick out the cheapest stove and items to fill it from the pages in the catalog. I asked Joyce, “What are we going to do with the cracks when we put the logs together?” and she said “That won’t matter, when we put the wall paper up you won’t be able to see them.” I thought that was funny even as a kid."

Did you know, Dad's the only person living to have worked in the Granite Bank? Well... sort of. When his Grandpa Charley was President of the bank, he was dropped off there as a young child and Alpha Swanson was a bank teller at the time and she gave him the "job" of counting pennies for her one afternoon. She made one stack of 10 and told him to make his stacks the same height as hers. The bank moved to Larchwood in 1934.

I've been told many times about the time Dad and Junior Bonander, when they were quite young, how they walked to Granite with spoons from home, and each bought a pint of ice cream and took it to a ditch to eat the treat. After finishing their own containers they scraped up enough money to go back and buy another carton and headed back to the ditch.

Grandma called Dad her "Kelly Boy" and he always knows a close relative or friend from his youth is around when he hears "Kelly" called to get his attention. When in grade school (over on the now hwy. 9 where the Snyders home is) he remembered standing on the roof of the school's horse barn and three fancy cars going by. The older kids said it was the Dillinger gang. They had been seen around Granite and everyone had their guns ready, scared they would rob the Granite Bank. A bachelor named Peacock (who lived on the "North Place" at the time) followed them around the countryside with his Model T coupe and pistol.
They fixed up the horse barn on Sioux #2 Country School to keep their animals in. The area children would have horse races outside the school until someone got hurt and the teacher would make them stop.
Kids would make fun out of drowning out gophers, a hole along the RR track had water in it and the little kids would haul water with their dinner pails to pour down holes and then they would stomp on them with their bare feet. (Ok animal rights people relax...)
Out on the playground Cal remembers pushing Junior Viereck on the merry go round, only Junior fell off and Kelly didn't notice and Junior got a gash in his head. (Hearing these two 71 year olds talk of this event years later like it was yesterday was a treat as they laughed about the then serious incident. They couldn't believe all the blood and of course remembered that school was called off for the day as Juniors gash was taken care of. Story relayed at the Larchwood True Valu Hardware store in 1996)

Dad remembers when his parents wanted to talk about something privately and not let the kids in on it they would speak in Swedish.

Outhouse notes: Dad always said that his mother, Phoebe, told him to really crinkle up the Montgomery Ward catalog page to make it softer. They would use peach wrappers after canning the peaches. Those peach wrappers were the best toilet paper ever.

Hopefully these short clips will give you a chance to think of simplier times, how times have changed, opportunity to remember your youth, remember your Dad, or just be thankful we have toilet paper now! More will follow I'm sure...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

60 years, 1946-2006

In 2006 Steve stopped off at the farm after a trip from CA through Yellowstone, Devil's Tower, The Black Hills and the Sturgis Bike Rally. We couldn't resist posing him and Dad with his Heritage Softtail Harley in the same position Dad had a photo taken back in 1946 with his Indian motorcycle.

I didn't have school Friday, due to working two nights with conferences this week. A day off! There's always something to do around here. It started with tech problems, no e-mail no internet. A few phone calls later... I got it back around noon.
It seems I play "catch up" all the time. I froze some tomatoes, I had picked green ones a couple weeks ago before the first freeze, they're turning red thanks to newspaper. Cleaned, picking up is a constant... worked on the computer trying to clean up my desktop and that's when I came across the photos above. I saved time to have a nap of course.
Snow appeared here in Denver for the first time of the season. It was hard to believe we had weather in the 70's earlier in the week and windows open and now have the furnace on and blankets near.
Today I'm continuing the pick up/catch up thing. I brought home a machine from school that will transfer VCR tapes to digital - going to give it a try and figure it out. Have a bunch of photos to scan for my Aunt of her daughter Linda. I'm making a movie of Linda through the years for her. Thanks to my cousin Robin for helping scan some photos to add to the collection. I better get to work... Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

In the Art Room, My Day

This is a view of my room from the front door. There's another half of the room around the short wall to the left (Clay/sculpture tables, supply area) and an attached graphics lab behind that. My desk is back by the window. "Inspiration" everywhere.

What a day, arrive at school at 7:30, student comes in to work on project, run off papers, get supplies ready, help another teacher with a project, post something on announcements... Classes started with 8th graders at 8:12, working with pastels on a landscape, wash tables, clean up, then getting 7th graders to download photos to their computers and doing adjustments and cropping with iPhoto, some needed to finish the last project, some needed to take more photos to download, 16 computers - 19 kids, excited kids love technology, report computer problems to tech support, then 6th graders gave artist reports while I videotaped them (I reshow these reports when they are seniors - it's become a tradition), then my first section of Art 1/Studio Art - 23 kids getting work and critiques passed back and labeling them for an art show here in Denver at our town library next week, some kids posting to our gallery blog, saving work for our school art show, kids down from study hall, lunch - prep period, breathe... go to bathroom, then another section of Art 1/Studio Art independent students and more work to pass back, labeling, following directions?, helping one student work with Adobe Illustrator for a t-shirt contest, finding lost work, posting on the blog, saving work for our school art show next spring, Drawing class/Studio Art independent students needing direction, student spilled water on an art work - more labeling, passing back work, trying to finish pen and ink drawings, and last class of the day coming in - 3-D art finishing sculptures, writing critiques of their work, some who were finished watched a video on throwing on the potters wheel after stealing a cord from another TV/VCR in another room. The classes were done at 3:00 but I had four kids stay after school to work on unfinished work, then kids in the hall goofing off instead of going home and leaving the building, running around, someone fell, ouch... "this is what happens when your doing something you're not supposed to be doing" check if they're ok, chase them home, report fall/students goofing off, do my work, grade more projects, send e-mails, return stolen cord to other TV, pick up, head to drug store - insurance refuses to pay for drugs in liquid form but they paid for pills of the same thing before - I need the liquid form, it's raining, my deck is covered with leaves and is slick, carefully make it into the house, work on the picture above on the computer, doing this posting, relax.................

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Many Views Become One

The Johnson family living room. I took these photos back in 2006, so yet again things have changed. My dog Sophie, who was interested in what I was doing, is no longer here. The green carpet is gone and beautiful refinished wood floors with a couple tapestry rugs are in it's place. I stood in one place and took photos looking in different directions. I tried to capture every view but see I missed a little up front. I always had intentions of making a collage/montage out of the photos but never took the final step until now. I think I'll try taking some more photos like this and experiment with what the views turn out like. Remember you can click on the photo above and it will appear larger in a new window on your computer. I wonder how many people viewing this have been in this room?


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