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 30, 2012

Luella's Lecture on Being a Gentleman and Pictures from Rapid City. 1956 to 1985.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
The end of September has fallen on a beautiful day in Utah Valley.  We have cool Autumn temperatures in the evenings and warm sunny skies during the day.

My morning started with a lecture (or lesson depending on who is on the receiving end).  The title of this Sunday morning's lecture was, On Being a Gentleman,  delivered by my mother Luella.  It was 8:00 A.M.  We were in the Battlestar on our way to Orem's friendly Winco Grocery Superstore.  Going to Winco early on a Sunday morning is our weekly ritual.  Early Sunday morning shopping in Utah means empty stores.  It makes you feel like you're the sole survivor of a world wide apocalypse.

Mom struggles up the steps from her basement apartment, gets in the car, wrestles first with her carry on luggage sized purse, then with the seat belt;  she almost always forgets the Battlestar's seat belts must be fully rewound before they can be unwound to fasten the occupant to the seat.  She panics if I back out of the driveway before she straps herself in.  I think she's afraid of my driving  I've been know to exceed the speed limit by 5 mph.  I also take corners a bit too sharply for her liking. The 1.2 G Force nudge she experiences against the car door has been known to dislodge her upper dental plate (it rarely stays in place anyway).

I've learned to keep the radio tuned to NPR during our outings.  NPR is her favorite station.  Please don't say, "Ah, what a loving son!"  I've heard it too many times, and deservedly so I might humbly add (primarily from my brothers and sisters who say it thinking it somehow absolves them from their responsibilities towards our aging parents).  Me being a good son isn't necessarily true in this situation.  I just know that she likes the commercial free stories on NPR, and a good story will keep her mind engaged - leaving me to a nice, quiet conversation free journey :)

The radio was on, louder than usual.  A good in depth news story was playing; but alas, it did me no good.  As soon as she proclaimed victory over the stubborn seat belt, she started on something she'd been planing on discussing with me all morning.

The bits and pieces I listened to revolved around her disgust with today's modern man.  She elaborated at great length listing reasons why men should open car doors for ladies.  That led to a diatribe blasting the male gender for not standing when a lady enters the room.  I could tell the topic was important to her because of the tone of her voice.

Evidently my nephew Tate got the lecture after his soccer game yesterday.  Now he knows not to get into the minivan before opening the door for his Grandma.  Now he knows not to close the car door until after she is completely in and settled into her seat.  I could tell she was fishing for a flurry of guilt on my part.  I didn't give her the pleasure.

"Women want equality and we gave it to them," I explained.  "Do women deserve to be equal to men AND have their doors opened for them?  Why should a man stand whenever a lady walks into the room if the sexes are equal?  Shouldn't we stand for each other?"  I knew how to push her buttons.  I regretted doing so.  It got her even more flustered and that led to a longer debate.

I got to the check out stand before her.  I got out of the store before her.  I unloaded the groceries before her.  I sat in the Battlestar waiting for her return.  I knew she was expecting me to jump out and open the car door for her.  I didn't.  Now you're calling me a very bad son.

I unlocked her door. She got in.  "There, you see what I did for you?" I asked before starting the engine.

"What did you do for me?" she replied while battling the serpent seat belt.

"I unlocked the door for you!" I replied proudly.

Ah, it is good to have the last laugh when engaged in a battle of wits.

And so it was.

Time Well Spent Sorting Through the Old Wicker Baskets.    

Today I'm posting a series of older photographs taken from one of the wicker baskets I use to store hundreds of old photographs waiting to be posted.  It is a Pot Luck posting, having no real theme.  Please enjoy.  

         This is a school photograph of my sister Jilane taken sometime in the 1970's. 
at Canyon Lake Elementary School in Rapid City.
Isn't it amazing how little she has changed over the years!?

   Jilane and her fiance Kevin Bodily the summer before they wed.

There really was a time when Kevin and Jilane cuddled in public. The picture above was taken in our backyard at 2214 38th Street, Rapid City.  The Williamson's overgrown garden is visible.  Somewhere in the weeds are a few tomatoes and cucumbers and a host of well intentions.

Standing around the picnic table are:  Dad, Uncle Marvin holding Luke,  Grandma Mattson and Mom.

In those days people use to hang their laundry on an outdoor line to dry. Mom hung our laundry out to dry not for lack of a dryer or trying to save energy.   She did it because our pre World War I  dryer forgot the purpose for its existence - to dry clothes.  

Kevin Williamson's Senior Picture
Rapid City, 1979.
Compare Kevin to his younger sister Janice below.
Now you'll notice who was spoon fed in our family.
Kevin - cool, suave, dressed like he belonged.
 While Janice had to constantly remind everyone she was there :) 

Janice Williamson, now Janice Williamson Burrows.
Taken at Canyon Lake Elementary in the 1970s.
I think Janice had a liking for mushrooms :)
Magic mushrooms....

I post this picture to silence those who doubt Jilane actually has some college.
Here she is getting her Honorable Mention from Rick College, back in the day.

And speaking of graduations.  The year, 1979.  
The place, Steven's High School, Rapid City, South Dakota.
Kevin Williamson graduated from High School.
Yes, you see a look of joy and surprise bordering shock on his face!

Talk about random.
Mom and Dad in Dad's convertible.  Spearfish, South Dakota.  1956.  The year before they wed.

The early 1980's.  Rapid City.
Annette, Shane Mattson and Lisa standing in the middle of 38th Street.  The Rich's giant willow tree 
is looming over them.  The Weber's home is to the right. 
Why they are standing on the street is a mystery.
Perhaps they're counting cars.  I'll bet they got to 8 by supper time.

Annette, Lisa and two unidentified children enjoying a Burger King Lunch at 
Canyon Lake Park in the late 1970's. 

Annette and Lisa knew where to go to get something to eat if the house was barren.  Canyon Lake Park was a five minute walk from our house.  They knew they could always count on someone having a picnic with a bit of extra food. 

"Its easy, all you have to do is ask!" Lisa always said.  

Have a Great Week,

P.S.  Annette was gracious to send a comment after this article was posted.  Thanks Annette.  
Yes, someone actually reads the blog! 

Annette adds:
So, here's the real story... and you spelled Tait wrong ;) We were walking to the car after looking at a yard sale and Tait opened Nana's door without anyone asking him to. This started the gratitude talk about how he will be the most popular boy and all the girls will love him if he shows courtesy. So after that, we stopped at another garage sale and I got out before Tait and Mom. Tait opened Nana's door for her and the woman sitting on the driveway with her teenage daughter whispered to her "Did you see that!? That boy just opened the door for his grandma!" So now Tait has learned a valuable lesson, one that started from his father, who gets mad at me still if I don't wait for him to open the door for me. AND the picnic at the park with Burger King, that was my birthday party. Those two girls I am assuming are my friends. I remember it because it was a rarity to get to go out to eat and go to the park all in the same day :) Thanks Victor for all the posts!


  1. I read it also, never fails to make me smile!

  2. I always read your Blog, makes me Smile!!