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, May 27, 2012

Summer 1985. A Gathering at the Mattsons

Me and the gang at Lagoon's Pioneer Village.
Forrest, Brandon, Me, Joe and Jake
A down right filthy band of renegades and outlaws 
in town for a bath, shave, drink and bank robbery.  

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Last week we spent time learning about our Vercellino family in the Lead / Deadwood area.  Today I'm going to change gears and take our digital family gathering back to the summer of 1985.  We are gathered at the Mattson home at 510 South, American Fork, Utah to celebrate the wedding of Jilane Williamson to Kevin Bodily.

  The pictures posted in today's post were taken from 35 mm slides.  My slides aren't necessarily ordered correctly (an error you'll readily see when you look at the pictures below.  Some of the slides were put into the slide reader incorrectly, so everything in the picture is backwards.  You'll notice when you look at the writing on various T-shirts.  The Mattson home will also look backwards to those of us who remember the true layout).

So, step into the Blog's Way Back Machine, set the dial to the Summer of 1985 and away we go.  Be sure to get yourself in the correct frame of mind for the time.  I was in my second year of teaching.  The Williamsons were still living in Rapid City.  It was a simpler time, pre internet and personal computer.  I know, prehistoric to our younger family members.  I can hear their comments now....
"How could you live back then?"

Jake Mattson cuddling his cousin Jazmine Burrows.
Jazmine looks desperately for Janice, hoping for a pardon from whatever crime she
committed to land her with this punishment.

With no reprieve from Janice, Jazmine succumbed to her fate. 
She was the one to be passed from relative to relative for the duration of the gathering. 
Her despondent look really clutches at your heart strings, doesn't it?

The DelGrossos were in town for the gathering as well.  
Brandon, JD and Forrest in the Mattson's family room.

The Grand Lady

Grandma Mattson (Violet Pierce Mattson) in the Mattson Kitchen. She's got cucumbers, tomatoes and vinegar.  What she's up to is anybody's guess. I wish her great grandchildren would have had a chance to know her.  She was a wonderful woman.  So fun to tease, as long as you stayed away from
her feet and kept her supplied with ice cold water.  She always said, "let it run," (meaning we were to let the tap run until the water got cold before filling her glass.

Kirk, not happy with shucking duty. 
With him is one of Aunt Linda's boys and Amber DelGrosso.

Kirk had that expression mastered and used it often when faced with something he considered beneath him.  Of course, I don't know what was bothering him when this picture was taken.
It could be shucking the corn on the cob, or it could be having to 'entertain' the cousins. 

Nicole Burrows, Janice Williamson Burrows' eldest.
Of course, Kirk's sneer could have been his reaction to having to tend Nicole :)
Nicole, what a pleasant child to be around.
(as long as she always got her way and you did everything she wanted you do to right when she wanted it done - without giving her a dirty look).

Annette Williamson, Janice Williamson Burrows holding Jazmine, and Joe Mattson

Again, I apologize for getting the slide the wrong way round in the slide to picture converter.
I'm too lazy at the moment to get them rescanned.  Let's just assume Joe always wore his sports jerseys inside out.  Will that make Joe look illiterate?  Possibly, but hey.  Better that than me taking the time to rescan all these slides.  

Uncle John 
John Mattson in his favorite chair in the Mattson living room.

The back of Luella Williamson's head, Beverly Mattson and Kim Williamson Delgrosso 
doing a pretty good wood chuck impression on that  ear of corn.

Bev has always had a love hate relationship with film.  She loves pictures featuring her family.
She hates having pictures taken of herself.   For some strange reason she believes she is incapable of being photogenic.  I wonder why she thinks that? 

Steve Burrows with wife Janice Williamson Burrows celebrating the fact that
1.  Jazmine is being passed back and forth to every family member in attendance.
2.  Nicole is outside under Kirk's watchful eye.
They can sit down and enjoy a peaceful meal together.

Kim Williamson Delgrosso and her mother Luella Williamson
Candace Mattson is on the stool in the background.
This picture was taken in the Mattson kitchen.

I believe Charles Williamson has been banished to the kitchen bar.  He is the guy with the white shirt.
His banishment, I believe, is the reason for Luella's overly enthusiastic smile.  We've learned over time that it is best to keep Charles and Luella separate at family gatherings.  It keeps them from kicking each other under the table and whispering "he takes after you" and "she gets that from you" to each other.  With eight children, they've been known to walk away from family gatherings barely able to walk.

Notice Luella is missing one of her front teeth.  Her denture had a tendency to drop a tooth or two at the most embarrassing of times.  Luella usually kept a bottle of super glue in her purse to take care of these unexpected dental hiccups.  I think she was waiting on that day's repair until she'd finished with the corn on the cob.  Why have to redo it more than once in a day.  

Charles Williamson in Outer Mongolia enjoying  a chip or two and pondering several 
methods of escape from the family gathering. 
You've never met anyone so willing to run errands during a family gathering.
"Darn, I forgot to buy the.."
"I'll go!" shouts Charles.

The Grand Lady with daughter Linda and two of Linda's children in the mirrored Mattson 
Living Room.

"Watch the Feet!   Watch the Feet" was heard several times before, during and after this picture was taken.

Moments after the shutter snapped, I was in the kitchen standing with glass in hand over a pouring tap waiting for her to tell me the water was cold enough.  How she was able to tell the tap 
water's temperature from such a distance is a mystery still unsolved to this day.

Kim Williamson Delgrosso with daughters Amber (left) and Ashley (right).
Autumn is in the picture as well.  I'll let you figure out where.

We leave this post with one last picture of the DelGrossos pending their 
departure back to Frisco, Colorado. 
JD, Kim with children Brandon, Amber, Ashley and Forrest.