Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Day Out With Mom 1969

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

One hot summer day in 1969 mom made an announcement. If we got our jobs done around the house without complaining, we would go to Canyon Lake Park and Story Book Island in Rapid City. I'm sure we cleaned in record time. Day trips were a treat and the alternative was a day out on our bikes, playing at the dirt hills down Cottonwood Lane or walking to the swimming pool.

What a Beauty, a 1958 Rambler Station Wagon. Sweet Memories.....

Our preferred mode of transportation in 1969 was the family's blue 1958 Rambler Station Wagon. It was a car with a personality. Mother shifted gears with a pair of vice grips, a hole in the back seat floorboard let you see the passing road as you traveled and at least one of the windows was held up with a bent clothes hanger. It honked by itself every time mother turned a corner and the car was always followed by a trail of blue smoke from its exhaust.

Our day out was captured by photographs. I debated posting these considering their non flatteringness but, in the interest of family history, decided to humiliate us all at the same time (sparing Lisa and Annette. It was before their time).

This was the old Storybook Island, pre 1972 flood. Kim is standing, then left to right are Kevin, me, Jilane, Janice and Jon.

I want to remind you that this was the late 1960's and this was how we dressed. I don't know why we were dressed up to go to the park and I don't know why someone didn't tell me to unbotton that top button. Can you look any more nerdy I ask? And yes, even I thought it would be cool to be a fireman when I grew up.

And just so you didn't think it was me, notice Kevin also has his shirt buttoned all the way up. It was the style, at least until Uncle John pulled me aside one day when visiting from Spearfish.
"Leave your top button unbottoned," he said. And so I did ever since.

And to spread the joy even further, I present Janice Williamson in front of the Little Bo Peep display. Don't know why many of the displays were fenced off. All we wanted to do was get inside those tiny buildings and play.

Here we are together on the dragon. Kim, Jon, Jilane, Janice, Me, and Kevin. Maybe this was after church. Storybook Island was across the street from our LDS meeting house so that could explain our attire. I mean, we had play clothes in 1969, tshirts and jeans and that's what you'd normally wear on an outing.

Kim chose to have her picture taken in front of Cinderella. Yes, her prince eventually found her (JD) and they've reach the point in their lives where I think I can say they are living happily ever after.

Here we are on the shores of Canyon Lake. We're showing signs of exhaustion in this picture, especially Janice. Jilane is confused, Jon can't remember where to look for a proper photo, I'm dying in the heat with that buttonup shirt, Kevin - bored of course. Kim seems to be the only one of us still in a friendly mood, of course she always looked that way when a camera was around.

And finally one of my favorite pictures of my twin brother and sister, Jon and Janice sitting above Canyon Lake in Rapid City.

They were happy times. Thanks mom for the day out and thanks for remembering to bring the camera. There aren't many pictures of us as kids so every one is precious.

Happy Mother's Day to All our Mom's Out There!



  1. I wonder why I am the only child who doesn't get a picture in front of my favorite thing or with my twin. Could it be you all were embarrassed to be called my siblings or parents? Just making an observation!!

  2. my father was Bill Zderic. this is interesting that he was married before. I did not know this. I am one of 11 children. Great Dad.

  3. Hi - came across your post looking for a picture of my grandfather's rambler wagon. Wonderful story - tremendous clan you got there!

    Brings back memories - and I grew up in Tarrytown NY!