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.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Williamsons in the 1980's. We Start on Victor's Photo Albums

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Yesterday afternoon I spent a few hours on the family tree (which is posted on Ancestry.com). My goal is to push all our lines into the 1500's. I'm having good luck. Most lines are agreeable to work with. Other lines are as illusive as that legendary whale sized catfish in the hill pond. Everyone knows it's there, but it's too illusive to get caught.

Our Williamson ancestors are the catfish in my pond. I fish for them weekly but only catch glimpses and shadows. They like to lurk in history's shadows, urging me to find them in a great game of genealogical tag. I'm hoping the DNA test I ordered will shed light on the subject, thus ending this nearly three year quest.

Today I start a new series of photographs from my own photo albums. These pictures aren't in any specific order, and for that I ask for your patience and good humor. Remember my low tolerance for the tedious? I wouldn't do this if I thought I'd have to organize all my photographs by subject and year. Sorting socks would be more enjoyable! I would put off posting these pictures until my light blinked out and I found myself on the banks of the River Styx without a coin for the ferryman. So, I'll post them as they appear in the album and let you do with them as you will.

Shall we begin?

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Janice Williamson is the first out of the album with this beauty taken in the 1970's in Rapid City, South Dakota. I believe the dress is an older sister Kim hand me down. I can still remember it. It was Janice's version of Joseph's Coat of Many Colors. When Janice wasn't setting the house and neighborhood ablaze by wearing it, we'd put the dress over the screen on our black and white television set. The thread count was minimal, allowing the TV picture to just come through.
The Williamson's of 2214 38th Street had Color Television! Mind you, everyone had to sit pretty close to the TV. I believe the experience brought us closer together as a family.

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And we have another Janice photograph from the 1980's. This was taken many years later during Janice's High School days. She still had her taste for the colorful and bizarre. Janice had a date for Prom! I don't remember the boy. We never saw him again after that.

Janice swore she'd never bring another boy home to meet us. We embarrassed her. Is it our fault we forgot to take the other dress off the TV?

We lived in the lower middle class (or the affluent poor) section of Rapid City. We kept the curtains closed most of the time to keep the curious from peering in on "that weird Mormon family with 8 kids". Our neighbors thought Dad had a second wife. They knew she was there and wondered why she never came out of the house (a second wife was the only way to explain our brother Jon).

As we grew up, Luella found other ways to shield us from the curious, while letting in some sunshine. If you look closely at the photograph above you'll see one way she did it. Luella hung large insect eating jungle plants in the window.

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A picture of Janice and a few of Rapid City's LDS teens from the 1980's. John Christianson is seated next to Janice. Paula Thomas is wearing the cowboy hat. I don't know who the two boys are in the background. Today John lives in Missouri and Paula lives in Spearfish, South Dakota.

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Our final photograph of Janice taken on her wedding day to Steve Burrows in Salt Lake City. With them you'll see Luella, Kim, JD, Uncle John and Aunt Bev. Missing is Charles Williamson. I'm assuming he was left behind in South Dakota. Someone had to deliver their rural paper route so Luella could attend the wedding. Yes, some of us really do have to work for a living.

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Moving along.......
This is Jilane Williamson wearing a Canyon Lake's girl's softball tshirt from the 1980's. I wonder why we haven't got a picture of her actually playing softball. Hummmmmm?

I invite Jilane to contribute something to this photograph to refute the slanderous innuendo slung in the paragraph above. If not, we shall assume she made an orderly transition into something more her style (see below).

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They say that if you can't play, cheer. This is a picture of Jilane and her fellow Steven's High School Cheerleaders from the 1980's. Jilane cheered for the school's wrestling team. It was perfect for her. Wrestling cheerleaders cheer while kneeling on the outside of the mat, thus sparing her from needless and cruel embarrassment. We Williamson's aren't know for agility. We descend from true, down to Earth folks.

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What coincidence. The next picture in this album was taken on Jilane Williamson and Kevin Bodily's wedding day. It's a coincidence because their second oldest son Brayden got married last Friday at the same place.

Charles Williamson made it to Jilane and Kevin's wedding (you see him in the foreground with his back to us). Sorry Janice, but with 8 kids, is it possible to love all equally :)

I'm wondering why Jilane has flowers (or lace buds) ringing her forehead? Perhaps they were there to soften her appearance?

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In this picture we see Jilane and Kevin visiting the family homestead in Rapid City. Am I mistaken, or are they both in a frisky mood? If what we see is a duel display of affection then we can assume this picture was taken before their wedding. If, as I suspect, it was taken after the wedding - then what you see is Jilane pushing Kevin away. You be the judge.

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Another picture from the 1980's. Charles Williamson is holding granddaughter Jazmine Burrows while older sister Nicole attempts to escape from the clutches of her mother Janice. This picture was taken at our home in Rapid City.

Nicole had a mind of her own and liked to display her independence whenever given the chance (like whenever Janice turned her back). Look into Nicole's eyes. You can see mischief. You can tell see's looking to see if anyone will notice her departure into the unforgiving dark of 38th street.

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This is Annette, the one too good to be born into our menagerie of the confused and bewildered.
I believe she was the only one that actually cared for Beau, our smorgasbord of a dog seen here under the blanket taking refuge from little Nicole. Nicole liked to demonstrate the proper use of a knife and fork on dogs (again whenever Janice had her back to her).

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I found a couple of photographs from a 1980's Christmas in South Dakota. Annette is obviously happy with her gifts. Annette was the kind of girl that appreciated anything Santa left under the tree. Lisa was cut from a different cloth - as seen in the photo above. There were days Lisa could conjure an attitude that hung in the air as thick as fog.

Please notice how our Christmas Past differs from your family's Christmas Present. Look at the number of gifts. There are times I seriously wonder if today's children are overly pampered, coddled and tolerated to the point where it does more damage than good.

God bless a simple life.

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Lisa's not happy about something in this Christmas photograph, so let's ignore her and move down the couch. Next to Lisa is Grandma Elda Vercellino Liessman (Dad's mother) then Annette and finally Grandpa Leissman (Dad's stepfather).

Our Grandparent's Christmas visits from Bismark, North Dakota were the highlights of our South Dakota Christmas Season. The Christmas spirit in our home was carried on Grandma's unforgettable laughter. She could never get through a story without breaking into a terminal laughter. There were times she'd laugh so hard she'd have to make a bee line to the bathroom to avoid having an accident on the couch.

She saw the humor in misfortune and, if necessary, could display a mature and finely crafted 'attitude'. She was a skilled swordsman with her tongue, able to use it with precision to destroy anyone that got into a verbal tangle with her. You let her win arguments. She'd hand you your ego on a plate served with corn and hash if you didn't.

Grandma and Grandpa Leissman taken in our living room.
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One of my favorite pictures of Grandma Elda,
taken on the State Capital Grounds in Bismark, North Dakota.
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I believe this is a picture of Amber DelGrosso or Jazmine Burrows, maybe Nicole taken in their log cabin at Frisco Colorado. Babies all look alike to me and considering Williamson multiply like rabbits, that baby could be any one of several.
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You'll never guess who is holding baby Amber, or Jazmine or Nicole. Look closely.

It's Brandon (Kim's second oldest son). I think the purple sweater threw me. You may want to frame this photo. This is the one and only time you'll ever see Brandon in purple. The sticker on his shirt shows Charlie Brown, Lucy and Snoopy on Snoopy's doghouse. And contrary to popular opinion, those are not little red hearts on his sweater.

Amber was his first of many baby sisters, and yet he turned out remarkably normal - except for his love for mountain climbing.

Wait a minute, it's all clear to me now.

1. A little boy
2. Several younger sisters
3. A small cramped log cabin
4. Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains

Where was a boy to go for some peace and quiet?


1 comment:

  1. I think you got it all right, I'm not sure about the baby Brandon's holding could be Nichole or jazmine (notice spelling of jazmine), love the pictures Janice