Today's digital gathering will showcase pictures taken in at the end of 1986 and the beginning of 1987. There are three family events to be covered.
1. Christmas 1986.
2. Chaz Layne Bodily's birth
3. Chaz Layne Bodily's blessing
I got a phone call from Luella just before I sat down to type this post.
"Our land burned," she said.
"What happened?" As if I had to ask. The entire western half of the country seems to be on fire, so why not Charles and Luella's land near Custer, South Dakota?
"Our neighbor was burning weeds and the fire got out of control. All the tress on our land are gone. The land who owns the land right next to ours called. So there you go." She was matter of fact in her statement, showing little emotion except to emphasis her love for the few trees they had on that six plus acre plot of land.
Charles bought the land as a refuge for the family. He is a pessimist by nature and has these reoccurring thoughts of the nation's sudden and apocalyptic demise. He's been predicting the end of the world since 1960.
"I almost had it in 1963 with the Cuban Missile Crisis," he brags. "We were this close to nuclear war with the Russians." He'll go citing multiple examples of how we beat the odds if you'll let him.
"I give the country two, maybe three years," he has said religiously every New Year's Eve. Nobody has the heart to point out the obvious flaw in his reasoning. We are still here, living in quiet neighborhoods, absent of mobs wanting to break in and take our Cheerios, Pop Tarts and women. Our money is still accepted at all places of business and the government isn't hanging by a thread. I've yet to see the elders in my ward patrolling the streets of Pleasant Grove, shotguns in hand, keeping civil and religious order in a nation unable to save itself. Yet, the land was purchased and is still held.
I suppose if someone in the family lost their job and needed a place to live the land could suffice. It would be rough living - a tent and outhouse with no trees to provide even the slightest shade. Or, there is always welfare and food stamps. I know what I would choose. Sorry Dad, I'll say it once again even through you are tired of hearing it.......... Sell The Land.
The Birth of Chaz Bodily. November 11, 1986
Jilane getting ready to go to the hospital to have Chaz. It was an early morning rush.
Crazy isn't it, stopping to do her makeup with her firstborn on its way!
Kevin and Jilane in the codo's kitchen ready to head to the hospital.
Jilane is strangely absent a smile. I wonder why? Could it be
her pesky brother with a camera attempting to record the event?
The car pulling out of the driveway. Utah Valley Regional Medical Center was the next stop.
And the recently delivered Chaz Layne Bodily
38th Street, Rapid City, South Dakota
Uncle Marvin with Grandma Mattson tickling the ivory on her old piano
I can hear her singing.
Grandma's Mattson (Luella's mother) and Liessman (Charles' mother) in our small kitchen on
Christmas Eve 1986.
Two of a Kind. Both lovely ladies, even on their bad days.
Two Of A Kind
From a Poem by Julie B. Bradstreet
Two funny beautiful ladies
That mean so much to me
May be gone from the land of the living
But with me they will always be
Because my memory holds them dearly
And my pen recalls their ways
And most of all I love them
A love that always stays
It stays inside my memory
And is often on my mind
Because ladies like my grandmas
Are rare and hard to find.
Luella with the Grandmas preparing the Christmas Eve Party Snacks
While in the living room....
Luke Mattson with his dad Marvin Mattson, then Lisa Williamson and Cindy Mattson.
Baby Hallie Mattson plays on the floor.
And a special treat - there for the world to see is our kerosene portable heater. We could never keep that house warm enough during a South Dakota winter. Its a wonder any of us survived those winters without constant and reoccurring carbon monoxide poisoning :)
(Maybe we didn't. The brain damage and memory loss we suspect in each other could well be the result of that heater!)
Marvin Mattson with son Luke.
Cindy Mattson with daughter Hallie
Hallie and Luke.
Luke's had enough of all of us, and he isn't the only one......
Yes indeed, Grandma and Grandpa Liessman join Luke in a short mid party nap.
(either that or the kerosene fumes got to them. I remember they did seem a bit loopy
when it was time to wake them up and send them on to their motel).
Charles Williamson with his youngest Annette and Grandpa Liessman.
Annette is getting the 'finger in the ribs' treatment from her dad.
I may be mistaken, but Charles seems to hinting at something he'd like for Christmas.
His two front teeth perhaps?
The Baby Blessing. January 1987
Kevin and Jilane with Chaz on the day of his blessing
Autumn DelGrosso on the morning of the blessing.
Both Kim and Janice came for the event from their homes in Colorado.
Kirk sitting in the condo's living room holding little Autumn DelGrosso
on the day of the blessing.
Luella with her daughters, Janice holding her youngest Sierra, Jilane holding Chaz, and Kim holding her youngest Autumn.
Sierra Burrows, Chaz Bodily and Autumn DelGrosso
And Chaz has had enough. He was ready for his mommy.