.

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 tenous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Illustrated Memories From the Fortress. 1987/88


Hello All,
Today we celebrate June in April.  While not officially a sanctioned holiday, this weekend's heat wave pushing our April temperatures into the 80's are worthy of celebration.

Today in our digital family reunion I've decided to take out the old dusty albums and show pictures taken in 1987 or thereabouts (that's a quarter of a century if that makes you feel any better).  There is a certain melancholy one gets when perusing old photo albums.  Those of us with sporting age in our resumes marvel at how quickly time has past.  We look at our faces in the photographs and compare them with what answers back in the mirror every mornings.  We curse the passing of time and its ravages on our youth.

"If I could only have those years back," some mutter, wanting to relive those happy days lone gone, forgetting that the passage of years has an effect on memory's reliability.  We forget that time can act like an opium on memory.  The 'bad times' lived through in every decade seem magically erased, leaving only the happiest of memories to hang our hats upon.

Others mutter, "If I could only have those years back," out of regret for poor decisions made and the wish that what was done could somehow be undone and a different path taken.

I remind myself that today is the day I'll look back upon in the future and ask, "If I could only have those years back."  Well, we have those years now.  We are not dead and buried, the sun shines and oxygen moves in and out of our lungs, so never forget the preciousness of the present. Today there are decisions to make and people to love and places to visit - so make every hour count.  Pull up the regret anchor weighing down on your soul. Take the thought that your best years are behind you out with the trash.  These things belong in the past. The past has already been lived.  Its the future that waits to be written.

Grandma Mattson's Funeral.  September 1987

Our beloved Grandma Mattson died in September 1987 in Rapid City, South Dakota.  Violet Pierce Mattson was the mother to Luella, Linda, John and Marvin Mattson.  She was preceeded in death by her husband Walter.  Grandpa Mattson died in February 1973.

Most of the family gathered in Belle Fourche, South Dakota for her funeral and burial. 


Grandma Mattson's grandchildren are pictured above.  Kirk is the tallest.  I'm standing next to Kirk; and thank you for commenting on my distinguished appearance. It is a fact I humbly report to guarentee the historical accuracy of this blog post.  Kim Williamson DelGrosso, Grandma Mattson's eldest grandchild (and my sister), stands next to me.  

I won't labor the length of this paragraph to list the others.  I've mentioned the most important, so let's leave it at that - shall we?


Grandma Mattson's Great Grandchildren at the funeral.  I'll list them for you and let you identify them in the photo based on the descriptions.
Amber, the sweater of many colors.
Autumn, in her calico 'done gone to Sunday Meeting dress'.
Ashly, always so photogenic.
Jazmine Burrows, shy and feeling very embarrassed because of her sister.  Its all she can do to keep from giving Nicole "something to cry about!" She bites her fingers instead.  It is a coping mechanism.
Nicole Burrows giving her best attempt at waking the dead.  I mean, it was a funeral.  You got to give her credit for trying.
Brandon DelGrosso. It's just Brandon.  You know, the kid that was always there looking so innocent.  You always wanted to know where Brandon was. Seen and heard was good a good thing for that boy.
Forest DelGrosso holds Sierra Burrows.  Best Smile of the bunch Forrest, and you managed to pull it off, even with the smell from a very dirty diaper.






Luella Mattson Williamson, Grandpa Emmerson Leissman, Charles Williamson and Grandma Elda Vercellino Leissman at the funeral luncheon.  Emmerson was stepfather to Charles.
Elda was his mother.    


Elda Vercellino Leissman with her grandchildren.  Janice Williamson Burrows, Kim Williamson DelGrosso, Annette Williamson, Lisa Williamson, Victor Williamson and Grandpa Leissman.

Here we are at Grandma Mattson's graveside.  I remember how we struggled with Grandma's coffin from the hearse to the grave through the wet soggy marshland Belle Fourche calls a cemetary.   I was all poor Uncle Ray could do to stand upright.  I struggled behind Uncle Ray, carrying my share of Grandma and his.  I know Grandma took great delight is watching us from the other side.  Her sense of fun was all too present that day! 

Notice the flowers in the Grandchildren's hands?  No, they are not putting them on Grandma's casket.  They are taking them off Grandma's casket and placing them on her neighbor's graves.  Luella gave permission for them to take a few flowers and put them on Walter Mattson's grave.  Well, things got out of hand.  

I suppose it was all good in the end.  Grandma's coffin was flowerless, but at least she made a good first impression on her new long term neighbors.  Wouldn't you agree? 


A picture of Candace and Cheynne at the cementary.


Christmas 1987

These pictures were taken at the Williamson home on 38th Street, Rapid City South Dakota.

Luella Williamson on Christmas Morning.  She is reacting to the sudden appearance of my camera. 
Bless her heart, such modesty and humility.


With a bit of friendly persuation, Luella removed her frock.
Merry Christmas to all.


Then it was off to the kitchen to fix breakfast.
She objected to the ever present paparazzi, hounding her every move.


Annette Williamson with Grandma Elda


Christmas Morning with Lisa Williamson - a regular ball of laughs.  Lisa could do 'teenager' well. You can tell from the wall decorations that there was no expense spared in getting the home ready for the holidays.

By the way, that's Charles Williamson in the background.  I believe he found a bit of lint on the carpet and was questioning who was responsible and who was going to pick it up.  Perhaps that's the cause for Lisa's expression?


Grandma Elda fast asleep.  Grandpa was talking, and we all knew that when Grandpa started reminiscing you were in for a long monologue.  Usually we all found reasons to be elsewhere.  All but dad.  His standing order was NOT to be left alone in the living room if Grandpa started reminiscing.  So what did we do?  We left him alone in the living room with Grandpa.


Annette Williamson, Grandpa Emmerson, Grandma Elda, Charles Williamson and Lisa Williamson.
Grandma and Grandpa were heading back to their motel for the night.  They'd had enough of us and Grandpa had run out of material.


Lake Powell with the DelGrosso's.  I'm thinking 1988??



Forest DelGrosso looking all GQ.  
Forest, you were such a stud!
What was that you just said? 
OK I agree.  You still are.




Amber DelGrosso, and there in the shadow is Autumn, then Ashly DelGrosso. 
We were enjoying a day of boating.


JD DelGrosso at the helm.  We were always in safe hands.


The DelGrosso's enjoying a bit of family time.  Left to right;  Kim, Amber, Autumn, Ashly and JD.


Meal Time!  Forest is on his 12th bowl of cereal.  Brandon is chomping to get back into the water
JD and Kim enjoy a cup of orange juice.

One had to take great care to retire to your tent early when vacationing on Lake Powell with Kim DelGrosso.  Kim loved her late evening swims; you know, being one with nature and all........  
From your smile I know you know what I'm talking about.


Ashly DelGrosso modeling the latest in swimwear design and safety gear.
Only the finest for this young aspiring star.


Autumn Delgrosso gets the last say.
And isn't that always the way it is :)

By the way, Autumn's hair is an original from the Kim DelGrosso Studio of Hair Design.
With scissors and brush its a quick pull pull with a snip snip - all accented with several screams supplied by the poor soul on the stool.  In a matter of minutes you were done.  Then it was up to the closet to select the scarf or baseball cap to wear until your next appointment.