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

The Man Who Might Have Been our Grandfather......

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From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Another mystery solved. Grandma Elda's First Husband has been found. He name was William John Zderick, someone she rarely mentioned or spoke about except to say that he was a good man. There is nothing more about their marriage except they divorced or perhaps the marriage was annulled.
Grandma Elda Vercellino around the time of her first marriage

This is the marriage record of his second wife, Ida Werlinger. Notice that he is listed as a Bachelor (noting the option of stating he was divorced). Again, this leads me to think their marriage was annulled. I think I remember Grandma mentioning that. Anyone else know of anything she said about the subject?


An Update:
Our cousin Tharon was kind enough to shed new light on Grandma Elda's first marriage in an email received after reading this above entry.

William "John" Zderic was born January 5, 1909 in Lawrence County. His parents were John & Anna, immigrants from Austria. He was 1 of 10 children. Grandma (Iris) Vercellino always said Aunt Elda married John to spite her mother. John's family were devote Catholics, so he wanted the marriage anulled. He married Ida Werlinger on July 4, 1936 in Dewey County (Timber Lake). John died in Las Vegas in December of 1984. They also lived in Washington State. Ida died December 2, 1999 in Bellingham, WA. Grandpa (Ed) & Grandma (Iris) Vercellino always received Christmas cards from John. I always remember going from Deadwood to Lead and Grandma would always say, "There's were Elda and John Zderic lived." It wasn't very far from where Mom, Uncle Danny, Grandma & Grandpa lived in Deadwood.


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!