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, August 28, 2011

More From Grandma Violet's Photo Albums (Four Generations in One Post!)

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Today in our digital family reunion we peer through the blinds into the past using Grandma Violet's Photo Albums as our vehicle. Invite Grandma to have a seat beside you as you enjoy her photographs. She'd enjoy being remembered. Click on each picture to enlarge to full size.

These photographs span four generations and are in the same general order she had them in her albums (Grandma wasn't much for order in her old age).

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Deaver's Ranch around 1925. The Deaver's Ranch was next door to the Albert Mattson Ranch in Montana. Grandma Violet met Grandpa Walter at school in Pinele, Montana. In those days Pinele had a hotel and several stores. The town slowly disappeared when highway 212 bypassed the town. Luella remembers Pinele still had its hotel and general store when she was growing up.

"I remember the smell of the pickle barrel. The brine smell filled the store," she remembered.

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Violet Mattson (third from the left) in Montana as a young girl, mid 1920's.

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Written on the back of this photo, "Vesta, Violet and Walter taken down at our ranch this fall" Great Grandma Vesta divorced Violet and Walter's father around 1919 and a few years later married Jim Deaver. They moved from Rapid City to the Deaver Ranch in Montana. This picture would have been taken in the mid 1920's.

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Luella Mattson taken during her sophomore year at Spearfish High School (1953). Grandma Violet colored it herself (the picture was originally black and white).

"My parents gave me the necklace for Christmas that year," Luella remembered. "I hated Christmas. We didn't have a lot of money and I hated the thought that my parents would be spending what little money we had on gifts for me."

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Spearfish High School (mid 1950's). John Mattson's football team. John Mattson is kneeling on the far left.

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Written on the back of this photo: "Don't we look good? What a swell couple. No Kiddin." This is a picture of Great Grandmother Vesta and her last husband, Jim Logan. Vesta and Jim rode the bus from California to South Dakota for Luella's wedding in 1956. They are standing in front of the Mattson home in Spearfish.

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Written on he back of his photo: "Two Birds and a log." Grandma Violet with her step father Jim Logan taken along the Needles Highway in the Black Hills of South Dakota, summer of 1956.

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We jump ahead several years to another section of the photo album. Beverly Mattson (married John Mattson) and her brood (left to right... Gina, Kirk and Joseph. Angie is on Bev's lap). The picture was taken in Spearfish, South Dakota.

"I don't know who the man is in the chair," Luella said when I handed her the picture and asked her to identify the year it was taken. She lost her magnifying glass yet once again.

"The ancient Irish used drops of water to magnify their stitching," she said as she reached for her bottled water. I kept quiet while she tried to get the picture to focus through the water and plastic. Another Luella moment. Priceless.....

"That Bev," I corrected her.

"Oh, her hair is so short," Luella responded. "This doesn't work," she added putting the bottle back on her table of multiple treasures beside her recliner. I call it her table of treasures because she keeps nearly everything she owns on it.

"If its here I don't have to get up so often," she explains when anyone asks. Most people are too polite not to.

I'm sure her magnifying glass is buried in the pile somewhere. We'll find it when we work our way through her things after she's, well......... you know.

This picture accompanied the one of Bev and the kids. I'm thinking it could be Thanksgiving? Aunt Bev will know. I'll wait for her verdict. The candles confuse me. Williamsons and Mattsons believe candles are only good for power outages. Why would anyone want to eat by candle light? We like to see what we are eating.

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Lisa Williamson's third Halloween (1975). She's trick or treeting the Holtz family next door. Lisa was independent at a young age. You can tell she dressed herself. I believe she tried to dress up as a cat.

Lisa's surprised by my camera's flash. She escaped from our house while the rest of us ate our traditional Potato Soup (made of potatoes swimming in a sea of watered down condensed milk, a sneeze of onion and Scotch Brand margarine). She wanted to get an early start on the doors. Lisa learned not to go trick or treating with us from her second Halloween. That year her bag of goodies was as empty on her return as it was when she left :)

We convinced her the purpose of Halloween was to scare the people who answered the door. We knocked, the door opened. Lisa shouted "Boo!". We shouted "Trick or Treat!" Lisa laughed, we all got candy and walked away. It's what happened on the way down the sidewalk that convinced her not to go out with us again.

"Lisa, let me see what you got."

The next house.

"Lisa, let me see what you got."

The next house.

"Lisa, let me see what you got."

etc... You get the picture. Sorry Lisa. And no, you can't sue to get that candy back. There is a statute of limitations on stolen Halloween candy. All older brothers and sisters will agree.

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Written on the back of this photo in Luella's handwriting: "Family picture. February 1973. Dad's funeral".

Grandpa Walter died in California. His body was brought to Belle Fourche for burial. Here's a test, can you name everyone in the picture (at least everyone with a face. I wasn't the best photographer back then. You've got John and Bev's kids. The Williamsons, Marvin and Pam's kids, Linda's kids etc).

This post's Hair Do of the Week Award goes to Aunt Pam. The Undo Hair of the Week Award goes to Janice (blue shirt, vacant expression). Screams were common whenever Luella tired to run a brush through that mess.

Have a Great Week!


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