Friday, August 19, 2011

Do You Have Any Memories of Willard Fredrick Rasmussen?

I haven't posted anything on this blog for awhile but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy.  On Aug 7 & 8 my cousin Duane came to visit.  I thought he had come to conjure up memories about Gpa and Gma Rasmussen.  I wanted to delve into his amazing memory and discover wondrous tales of sheep herding, temple going, and daily life but Duane had a different purpose which he accomplished.  Thanks, Duane, for listening to that still voice inside and following those promptings.  You brought blessings into our home in the form of bread crumbs leading us to . .  .  Well, we really don't know where the path will lead but the bread crumb was a helpful talisman on the path.

Willard & Inez Rasmussen
Another cousin, Alan came to visit us on Aug 12 -16.  During Alan's visit we accomplished quite a bit of genealogy and life story nuggets.  A cousin of both our fathers came over Sat. and enthralled us with stories.  Thank-you Janis for sharing a few of your memories.  I will be visiting Janis again soon, I hope.  Cousin Brent has 90 more pictures he is going to send that belonged to Gma Inez.  I'm thrilled.  Janis remembers staying the night with Gma after Edna went to work in Fielding for the summer.  She would help Gma milk the cows and do a few chores then stay the night and then help with chores in the morning before riding her bike back home.  For entertainment some evenings they would look through Gma's box of pictures.  I'm going to take my computer and pictures over to Janis so she can help date and label them.  Her memory is amazing, too.  Since the Lord saw fit to pour untold blessings upon my head but not a good memory, I am glad he provided me with good resource people who do have a memory.

Janis helped me date and label several pictures that Brent had sent earlier.  I have been working on those earlier pictures and have made significant progress.  I should just be finishing up with those before the next batch arrive.   BTW, the picture of Willard and Inez included in this post has no date -- any ideas? 

Alan had stopped to visit with Brent before coming out to my house and he had taken notes.  Alan and I went over those notes and I was bit chagrined at some of the things.   It seems Gpa was quite childish at times. When he lived with the Collett's shortly before his death, he would eat sugar by the spoonful and eat jam straight from the jar.  Uncle Vene had to put a stop to those practices.  Sometimes Willard would get mad and said he wasn't be treated right.  He took off down the street and Vene would have to go get him and bring him home.

I want to excuse gandpa's behavior because of his lack of education and the years of solitary work as a sheepherder.  He had a few near-fatal experiences up on the mountain that could have also contributed to his behavior.

Aunt Mary shared with Brent that Gma and Gpa did not have much in common, that they just sat and looked and each other.  She thought that if they were married in our time they may not have stayed together.

After living with Mary and Vene, they got an apartment around the corner.  Brent remembers one occasion when Inez went to Vernal to visit her sisters and Brent was left in charge of Gpa.  He was given instructions for "sailing the ship of state."   Brent burned the hamburger and Gpa wouldn't eat it.  One time Gpa fell on the lawn and broke his hip.  He got Brent up lots of times during the night.  Mary thought he was just being ornery.

When Gpa broke his hip when he fell on the lawn he was put in a nursing home because he was not a good candidate for hip replacement surgery due to his age and physical state.  He wouldn't talk to Inez or his daughters, Mary and Edna.  Willard died Sep 7, 1963.

The other day my brother Steve mentioned that Gpa lived with our family for a time when we lived in Lincoln.  I had absolutely no recollection of this.  I called my sister who is 5 years younger and she vaguely remembers that.  I emailed 3 siblings and only 1 remembered.  How can this be?  I'm not the only one with a bad memory and who was self-absorbed!

If any of you have little snippets of memory about Gpa or Gma please include what you remember in the comments.  I will be writing some more things about Gpa Willard in an upcoming post.  This one is already too long.

1 comment:

Movie Nut said...

The photo of our grandparents shows them as I recall them, so I would guess 1959 when I was 10, before our family left Vernal.