From the Fortress of Solitude
I'm back from another camp. I have a couple minutes and thought I'd post a few more pictures from this mountain of photographs containing images of people we are related to from as far back as Noah. If I don't start working my way though them I'll never finish this blog, and finish one day I shall.
One day in the future my telling of our family's story will be written on these digital pages and I'll call this blog "Complete". The Story of a Dakota family will be tucked snugly into bed and the lights turned out. Time will continue to pass, Children will be born and those past their sell by dates will pass away hoping that something of themselves will be remembered.
Tonight we step into the Way Back Machine and land in Rapid City South Dakota in the mid 1970's. We're interested in observing a strange family of Mormons living at 2214 38th Street. They appear to be your typical average, lower middle class family. Two parents and eight children. They are the abnormality on the block and spoken of frequently for good and bad around many a dinner table from Evergreen Lane to Jackson Blvd. The oldest Kim is a bit of a rebel. The second born Victor is the only normal one of the bunch, intelligent beyond his years.
The rest of them just blend together into this mental quivering mass of flesh and bones (mostly bones). Let's see if we can put faces with names.......
This is Charles and his second to the youngest daughter Lisa. I'm guessing the slide must be nearly 200 degrees in the hot summer sun and Lisa doesn't seem too excited about going down. It doesn't matter, Dad is determined she will go down. I can hear him now.....
"Why in my day slides got a lot hotter than they do now and we went down them. Got some good second and third degree burns on my legs to prove it. You kids today are too soft, so DOWN YOU GO !"
Here we are on a family outing with the James Matthews family. Jon and Janice are pictured trying to coax a prairie dog out of its hole. If my memory is correct, this was one of our "Picnic off the Land" outings. It wasn't always easy for us to live on the salary of a Highway Department employee, so if we wanted fresh meat for a picnic barbecue we needed to catch it ourselves, which is what Jon and Janice are doing in the picture above. Kevin is standing nearby pointing to the plump rodent he wants for his lunch. Jon and Jan are inches away from a successful capture. Intense isn't it?
Jon and Jan were excellent at "bringing home the bacon". We were never without fresh meat, be it chicken, pork, prairie dog or cat.
And here we are enjoying our picnic with the Matthews. The prairie dog grilled nicely and was delicious when smothered in ketchup. We washed our meal down with that tasty Cragmont Soda, Safeway's own brand. None of that expensive brand name stuff for us Williamsons. Mother is serving, as usual. That's Grandma Elda first on the left. Strange I wasn't the center of attention. They all seem focused on Jim Matthews and not on my pending snapshot using my Instamatic Polaroid Camera. High tech for its time (two decades before this picture was taken!).
Ahhh, and what could be nicer than a birthday celebration with our Mattson first cousins. There were so many of us it seemed like every day was someone's birthday. Just to be safe, Mom always had a birthday cake in the freezer ready to go.
Pictured above is Joe Mattson with his finger up his nose. Behind Joe you see Kirk, Gina, Lisa and Angie seated. Standing in the back are Kevin, Janice, Jilane and Jon. Notice the fine picnic table. That piece of patio furniture was always good for a laugh. It was so old and decrepit you never knew when it would crack, sending everyone on the bench crashing to the patio below. And if the bench didn't collapse from there was always the problem of nasty infections from the slivers you were bound to get from sitting on it!
This picture was taken in our living room. Kim is visiting with her first husband Mike and her two sons, Forrest and Brandon (Forrest is sitting on Mike's lap and Brandon on Janice's). Janice and Kevin are sitting on the couch with Mike. Below from left to right we see Kim, Nettie, Jilane, Lisa and Jon (who once again was confused by two commands, me saying smile and Mother telling him to look at the camera). Lisa's eating again. I can't tell you how many meals the seven of us sacrificed while we were growing up so she could always have enough on her plate!
So, there you have it. A nice walk down my somewhat faulty memory lane for your Saturday evening. Hope your Sunday is peaceful and content.