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, September 4, 2011

And Once Again...More From Grandma Violet's Photo Albums

Grandma Violet Mattson. Date Unknown. Place Unknown. Mood Unknown.
This picture is priceless. It shows Grandma Violet with her hair down :)
It was decided to put her in a retirement village shortly after this was taken so she could be properly monitored. Her apartment was near the top of the 10 story building. She rarely needed the elevator, being as handy as she was with a broom :)

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello From the Fortress!
Cousin Angie called me on Friday with good news. Angie made headway pioneering Great Grandmother Ida Tornberg's mother's line in Sweden / Finland.

Ida Tornberg married Albert Mattson
Walter Albert Mattson married Violet Mae Pierce
Luella, Linda, John and Marvin

She is accumulating the information and will send it along for posting to this blog.

Angie and I discussed our frustrations springing from researching family history. Some of our family lines are well researched with names and dates taking us back hundreds of years. There are, however, several lines which dead end after the first or second Great Grandparent. Every week several hours are being spent by both Angie and I searching every document available which might shed light on the mysteries of these broken lines. It's a diet of doom and gloom for the most part, occasionally sweetened by a tasty morsel of information which might point you in a more promising direction.

I write this so you'll understand that although the number of posts in this blog may have decreased, the cause is certainly not laziness (although there are those nights where your only solace after a day in purgatory is the mental numbness of television) or loss of interest. The reason is that the easy names and stories have been posted. I call those ancestors the "low hanging fruit" in our family tree. We've moved beyond the lower branches and climbed up to the more difficult names.

I look forward to posting Angie's findings. Look for them this week.

And now we here at the Fortress are pleased to present another weekend of pictures from Grandma Violet's photo albums. Remember, they are in no particular order so if we jump several decades between shots you'll understand.

Aunt Linda
(click to enlarge)

Ida Tornberg married Albert Mattson. Vesta Althea Dennis married Walter Edwin Pierce
Walter Albert Mattson married Violet Mae Pierce
Luella, Linda, John and Marvin

Remember, Grandma Violet took black and white photographs and colored them by hand. Linda's High School picture above is an example of Grandma's work.

Diana Pierce
(taken in the mid 1940's. Click to Enlarge)

Vesta Althea Dennis married Walter Edwin Pierce
to their children
Great Uncle Walter and Grandma Violet

Diana is the only child of Great Uncle Walter making her Luella, Linda, John and Marvin's first cousin.

Diana was, for the most part, raised by Great Grandmother Vesta in California. She visited the Mattson ranch on occasion with her Grandmother. Diana lives today in California.

Luella, a runner up for Homecoming Queen, Spearfish High School, 1956. (To this day she scowls when the phrase 'runner up' is mentioned in her presence). Strangely enough, the Queen mysteriously lost her balance and nearly fell backwards out of the convertible as it circled the football field before the homecoming game . She was saved by the attendant on her right.

Some thought our own Luella had something to do with the accident. She denies it to this day, although not as emphatically as she did back then.

Victor and Kim Williamson
Summer 1960. Click to enlarge

This picture of Kim and I was taken shortly after Luella and Charles moved the family to the dizzying heights of Signal Heights in Rapid City, South Dakota. Our actual address was 39 East Signal Drive. Our duplex still sits atop that hill overlooking the Robbinsdale section of town.

Kim and I are playing nicely, nothing unusual for me. Highly unusual for Kim. I'm struggling to get to my feet to escape my sister's torments. Kim, on the other hand, see's Luella with a camera and immediately stops pinching me and breaks into a perfect pose for the picture (Kim and Lisa are our two most photo ready siblings. Say "Camera" and watch their posture immediately snap to a nearly perfect 90 degrees; a smile worthy of Vanity Fair follows no matter what their disposition. Amazing!).

This picture was taken before our sandbox was installed. I loved the sandbox. The loose sand let me breath whenever Kim would tire of me and push my face into the sand to rid herself of a meddlesome and annoying brother.

I'd shampoo Kim's hair with fist fulls of sand when she wasn't looking. She'd scream and come after me. I'd do my best to escape by waddling away; a process made all the more difficult due to heavily laded, aromatic and drooping diapers held in place by sharp pins and moist rubber pants. Then came buckets of tears when she'd catch me and proceed to feed me sand and grit.

"Camera!" See what I mean?
Kim 1960.
Click to Enlarge

Victor (1960)
Click to Enlarge

I'm sure this was the photographer's eleventh attempt to garnish a smile, but what a smile! I'm proud of myself. The hair is somewhat of a let down. Surely Luella could have done something with it. Styling for its time? I believe today this is called a Flohawk?

There is a noticeable absence of stains on my shirt. My eating disorder (spilling half of everything intended for my mouth onto my shirt - a genetic trait passed on to me from Grandma Violet though her daughter Luella) developed later in my childhood. Today I have a closet full of unwearable ties because of it.

Notice the aura surrounding me? The camera captured forever on film that special magnetism most people sense in my presence. Please, don't pretend you haven't felt it. It's that feeling you get around me that causes the hairs on the back of your neck and arms to stand on end. This is accompanied by goosebumps and a measurable increase in blood pressure. Some feel it first in their stomachs, resulting in quick trips to the nearest bathrooms.

Shelly (age 4) and Shane (age 6 months) Mattson. 1970
Click to Enlarge

Ida Tornberg married Albert Mattson. Vesta Althea Dennis married Walter Edwin Pierce
Walter Albert Mattson married Violet Mae Pierce
to their children
Luella, Linda, John and Marvin

Uncle Marvin married Pam Evans
Shelly and Shane

You've got to hand it to Aunt Pam. She knew how to get her children ready for a picture. Shelly and Shane are practically perfect in every way.

Shelly and her kids today

Shane and his wife Cari today

Great Grandmother Vesta (Violet's Mother) with three of Aunt Linda's children (Patrick, Michael and Brian). Early 1960's. Click to Enlarge.

Lisa Williamson, late 1970s. Rapid City.

And right out of the blue in Grandma Violet's album comes this picture of my sister Lisa, born in 1972. I was under the impression that athletics and Lisa, spoken in the same sentence, resulted in stuttering, so finding this picture surprised me. I say I'm surprised because of something I remember Lisa saying during her electrifying run for Miss Teen USA, representing the great State of South Dakota.

"My only sport is entrapment," Lisa was overhead saying to the contest from Wyoming as they readied to walk onstage for the question and answer part of the pageant.

"Do you have a boyfriend?" Lisa asked.

"Yes," the girl from Wyoming answered through her heavily waxed smile.

"Not for long," Lisa whispered.

Ah yes, anything to shake things up. You're all nodding aren't you? You know I'm spot on :)

Jilane tells me that Lisa was quite the athlete in her time (when both women and men wore neck to knee swimming suits). Today, Lisa's athletic prowess is demonstrated by her speed and agility when making that perfect cup of morning coffee. The things you learn when you write and research family history.

Have a Great Week!


No comments:

Post a Comment