Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Autobioiography

I may start another blog. If I do, it's going to be sort of an autobiography/random thought sort of thing, but for right now I'll just start it here.
At the family reunions we all talk about how we wish we'd listened harder and wrote things down when the previous generation was talking and telling stories so I'm writing my story down now. It seems so presumptuous to think anyone will want to read it, since I have no children of my own, but I'd love to have more stories about Bea, who never had kids, so maybe someone will want to read this.
Today is August 1, 2007 and I will be 52 on the 9th. I can't believe I'm that old or so fat I almost hate to go anywhere. I've been thinking about my youth a lot lately. Youth being anything before 50, even 49 sounds better than 50. I'm thinking about all the things that are different from when I was younger and how now it's me who was born back in the olden days. I remember my Father being somewhat insulted when I asked him what it was like in the olden days and now it was me, totally flabbergasted when Jocelyn Rose asked me about way back in the olden days. It was only the 60's and 70's. That's only, like... yikes! 40 years ago. Just like me asking my Dad about the 20's and 30's and him thinking "but it wasn't that long ago...".
My Dad lived on a ranch near Gillette, Wyoming where his oldest sister, Placide, (Pla-seed, not placid like the lake or a cow), where she remembers her Father digging the well for the ranch by hand. Her job was to feed a rope with a lantern on it down into the hole so he could see and she remembered being terrified that the lantern would set the rope on fire. She can't have been very old if she was just sitting around holding a rope. They really had to grow up quick out there and she would have had other, heavier responsibilities and it would have been one of the other, younger 9 kids holding the rope. It's funny what you remember, she must have been in her 70's when she told that story and I bet she wasn't 6 years old when the well was dug. Honestly, I'm not totally sure if I heard this from her or secondhand from somebody else, like I said, I'm 52, and my memory is going. The well is still in use today. Dad said that it was such good water that they would take it into town and sell it to make coffee with. I remember being out at the ranch and thinking it was awful and can't I please have orange juice instead.
This really will be about me eventually but I want to get some of this down first. Sort of starting way back in the Pleistocene like Mitchner. Does that even make any sense these days? Does anyone even still read him?
My Grandfather, Leo, owned a mercantile in Gillette. I don't remember many stories about the store except that there was a jar of leeches on the counter, sold as a remedy for black eyes and bruises. I thought that was totally barbaric and gross when I was a kid. Now I think it's kind of cool and modern medicine is starting to use them again, post surgery, because of their anti-coagulant properties in micro surgeries like finger reattachment. I love simple, low tech stuff like that. Here is a link to a video about just that, very interesting but too gross for a lot of people.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl7REIufCtE
The only other thing I remember is that Leo let a lot of people get by on credit when times were tough and quite a few never bothered to pay him back. Maryanne still has a list of creditors written on a piece of lined paper. Most of the names don't have a line drawn through them indicating the debt fwas repaid.
I'm going to try to write everyday. I need to find a way to back this stuff up. If I'm going to write it all down, I don't want to lose it.
It just occured to me that they had an uncle Mun. I bet it was short for Edmund and that's probably where my cousin, Ed, got his name. Ed is very particular about it; it's Edmund not Edward. Uncle Mun was hit by a car in Denver while riding his bicycle. I know there is a newspaper article about it that someone saved. I'll have to see if I can get it scanned and post it .
That's all for today.
August 1, 2007

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