|Main Street, Keokuk 2010|
One year there was a drawing for a bike. I was so sure it was mine. We got a call one day at Nana and Papa's house for me to come to the store to claim my prize! When I went, they called third place and it was another child, then second prize and it was me......a badminton set....we had fun with it, but it was not the bike.
Another thing we would do to amuse ourselves during the summer visits was plan somewhat elaborate silly hoaxes. One was to take our camera and wander the downtown getting people to pose for us. We explained we were' intern cub reporters' for the local paper and that there was going to be a "clean city" or "adorable pet" picture page. We would have the person pose by a trash can tossing in some wad of paper or pose with their dog in the park. We could convince most anyone to cooperate... and what was the worst that could happen? Mother was very annoyed with us, but Nana thought it was funny. Another time we created Beatles posters advertising a concert in the local park. We assumed no one would take them seriously, but believe it or not, a half dozen or so people showed up at the band shell on the advertised night! We wandered by to overhear their conversations.
The house Nana and Papa lived in was once the house of his parents. They had immigrated from Sweden in 1889, with their four children, Amanda, Sevrin, Clara, and Ertle, with my Papa Frank on the way. He was born in America a few months after they arrived so was the first natural born US citizen in the family.
Papa had a workshop/ studio down a little path from he back door. There was also a shed to the left of the path where Nana stored boxes and jars. On the far left a bit farther down the path was the garage where papa's fishing boat was stored and last was a sandbox area for us just before Papa's shop.
|Jackie on left, Linda on right in sandbox area.|
Papa often would spend long hours in his shop, and it was not a place you just walked in, but he sometimes invited you. He might be using his lathe to make something, painting a landscape, or smoking his pipe. You never knew what you might find. It always smelled like turpentine and sawdust with a touch of cherry tobacco. There were graduated table vices you could clamp to hold scraps of wood. He always had old Currier And Ives calendars tacked to the wall and the windows were dense with the soot and grease from his stove and pipes. He had set up a buzzer system to the house so Nana could let him know when to come in for lunch or dinner.
|Prayer time at Nana and Papa's|
One summer when we were quite small we were left with Nana and Papa for several weeks. I had long hair that was always getting tangled and messy. Nana did not enjoy trying to comb the hair of a fidgety child, so she asked me if I wanted a permanent. I knew what that was, as I had spent many hours in the blue and white kitchen while my mom gave permanents to Nana, Marge and assorted relatives. The family stories and gossip ( most of which I did not understand) they shared made it very exciting. I agreed that I wanted my hair short and curly.
|Linda with short curly hair, age 5.|
|Here we are in our Maxine outfits...not quite matching, but coordinated.|
|This is a little blurry, but you can see the puffy rompers. This was in front of Nana and Papa's house.|
|Our mother, Maxine, Nana, Papa and Aunt Marge|