Sunday, October 7, 2012

eyes wide open: Dad and the old folks {day 7}

My Dad at 19 with the old folks
Happy Sunday, friends! Like one of my posts mentioned, I've been cleaning out a closet this week. This means lots more pictures of my Aunt Esther and Uncle Carl to sort through, and lots of pictures of my dad.  I decided to post a picture that I came across because you know what they say. A picture is worth a thousand words. The picture was taken Thanksgiving of 1951.  My dad is in the center. He is nineteen. And surrounded by old folks.

Pictures of my dad are pretty precious to me. He died in 1989 from Parkinson's disease when he was 57 and I was twenty five and I had a one year old son.

Dad came from Sweden when he was a teenager.(I have a post about that, too.) He came to Holdrege, Nebraska to help his Uncle Carl work on the farm. The USA got a hold of his soul and he stayed all of his life. 

When he got to America, his Aunt and Uncle were already up in years. I guess not retired from farming yet though. This photo is taken with his Aunt Esther's siblings from Gothenberg, Nebraska. What is kind of comical is how, as a teen, my Dad was constantly in the company of 'old people'.  I wonder how he felt about that? He looks like one Lone Ranger teenager in this picture, doesn't he? Aunt Esther and Uncle Carl became like second parents to him, though. Aunt Esther taught him the English language. He knew nothing when he got here at the ripe old age of sixteen.

What fascinates me about this photo are a few things:

  1. my dad is the same age as my youngest child is now
  2. it is uncanny how much my oldest son who is 24 right now looks like my dad in this photo
  3. this same table is in my kitchen right now--almost 61 years later!
  4. Aunt Esther and her sister, Louise (on the far right), seem to be having way too much fun on a day that they probably spent most of it in the kitchen. See the apron? Aunt Esther's got her arm casually thrown around her sister's shoulder. Smile.

Our history can tell us a lot. 

I'm glad my dad came to America. I'm glad he met my mom and they had me. I think about that sometimes. That if my dad didn't have that adventuresome spirit to travel to America, I would not be here. Deep thoughts for a Sunday afternoon, huh?

Oh, and I am just so curious the kinds of conversations my kitchen table has heard over the years!! Wouldn't you like to know?!?

see day 1 for a list of all 31 posts

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