Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Town with our Name!

Colorado Grandkids,
You should have your mom or dad read this story that your Aunt Beth has written about Pilger, Nebraska.
When I was young, my family would often drive into northeastern Nebraska to visit my father's aunts and uncles in Plainview, Nebraska. My great-grandfather and his family sold the homestead that included the future town of Pilger and moved to Plainview. None of our family ever lived in the village of Pilger, but it is kind of neat to know that there is a town with a family connection.

My Father and Mother met in Denver!

Here we are living in Colorado, your grandma and me, along with our grown sons Paul, Andrew, and Matt, and grown daughter Mary. Daughter Beth lives in Minnesota. You are our grandkids, Abbi, Mackayla, Morgan, Lindsey, and Andy, who were born and live in Colorado. You, Jeb and Maddie, were born in Arizona and now live in Minnesota, where your little sister, Maisie, was born.
I think it is amazing that we came to Colorado 21 years ago, because Colorado is where your great-grandfather and great-grandmother met. Here is how that came to be:
My father, Rex (same name as me), grew up in a little town in Nebraska, called Ogallala. After he graduated from high school he went to work for a man who owned gas stations and a car dealership. A few months before the big War (World War II) began, in the year 1941 (74 years ago), my father decided to become a soldier in the United States Army Air Corps (corps is a funny word; it is pronounced "core," like "score"; the "p" is silent; the Army Air Corps is now the Air Force).
My mother, Louise, grew up in Des Moines, the Capital of Iowa. After she graduated from high school she went to business school to study how to be a secretary and bookkeeper. After working in Des Moines for a while, she decided to move to Denver to live with her Aunt Edith and get a job. She worked for Gates Rubber Company (they made tires for cars) for a time and for Texaco, a big oil company. She became friends with a woman named Phyllis Pilger when they worked together. Phyllis (who became by my aunt) and her mother (my Grandma Amber) had moved to Denver from Ogallala.
One day, my father Rex was visiting his mother, Amber, and his sister, Phyllis. He had some time off from the Air Corps base in Texas where he was working. Phyllis introduced her big brother, Rex, to her new friend, Louise. Rex and Louise liked each other right away.
They went to dances at Elitch Gardens (which was in a different place than Elitch's is today) and other places while they dated.
When Rex went back to Texas, they wrote letters back-and-forth and occasionally talked on the phone which was expensive at that time (there was no Internet or email or Skype or chat in those days). Then Rex asked Louise to marry him. She said, "yes." So, she and her mother, Eva, went down to the town of Hondo, Texas, where Rex and Louise got married in a Methodist church, December 7, 1944. When Rex got out of the Army Air Corps they moved back to Ogallala where Rex got his old job back. I was born in North Platte, Nebraska, 3 1/2 years later (my mother's doctor was in North Platte which is why I was born there)..

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Jeb and Maisie

For the Colorado grandkids:
Here's your cousin and big brother Jeb with little sister Maisie...
And cousin and big sister Maddie with little sister...
When do you think these photos were taken? Look closely at what Jeb and Maddie are holding.

(Thanks to Aunt Beth for the Facebook Photos.)

How we met

Dear Grandkids,

Your grandmother and I were students at the University of Nebraska, in Lincoln, Nebraska. We each lived in separate student housing (dormitories) for men and women, graduate and undergraduate, students who shared the same cafeteria.

She had a roommate named Cathy who was dating a man named Gary. Gary was in the dormitory room across the hall from me.

Most of the guys who had rooms on the same dormitory floor with Gary and me ate dinner at the same big table in the cafeteria. Girls who some of them knew AND THEIR ROOMMATES often came to join us.

It was a new semester and Cathy had a new roommate, named RITA. That is how we met in the cafeteria; she sat across from me. Later Gary learned from me that I liked Rita. He told Cathy, and Cathy told Rita.

Late one morning I went for a late breakfast at the cafeteria. Rita was already there (with no one else). I got my pastry and coffee and asked if I might join her. She said yes.

Sometimes things can be very simple, like how your grandma and I first met.

Did you see this?

Here is Maddie's photo of her sister Maisie:
Did you see this on Facebook?

Here is how this is going to work....

I have created this little blog to tell you stories.

They are stories about me when I was a boy, about me and your grandma when we were dating and when we got married.

They are about your mom or dad or aunt(s) or uncles when they were young.

Sometimes I'll fit-in stories about my mom and dad and grandmother and grandfather.

If you have any questions, you (or your Mom or Dad) can put them in a comment or you can email it to me.

Who are you? As of this year, you are Jeb, Maddie, Abbi, Mackayla, Morgan, Lindsey, Andy, and Maisie.

This is for you.

It's "Our grandkids" just in case Grandma wants to include stories (or I can link to them on her own website).

The nice thing about something like this is that as each grandchild get older you can read the old stories, too.