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In Memory Of--------------------My Dad, Father and then Best Friend

My Dad was born in Waterloo, Iowa 19 May 1913.  l believe Grandma said it was morning time.  

Births back then were normally at home with help from family.

He moved all over from the time he was small until 1948.

As his feet gathered moss, he also gained more siblings and more places to have been.

One Grandmother lived in Washburn, Iowa,  Blackhawk County. His fathers' in Chickasaw Co. north of there.

He lived in Waterloo for a period of time when his Dad shared store ownership with his brother. I do not know the  business arrangement.

Before he was 10 years of age, many years before, he was living in Wheatland, Wyo.  His Dad had a cousin there.

Grandad worked on cattle ranches and sheep ranches.  He was trained to be a Chef, but things got in the  way.

So he worked for ranchers cooking generally. Later, he would be a sheepherder on the range all alone for many years until to ill to work.

Grandma sewed and cleaned to make money.  Two rather wealthy children whom married without parents blessings,

struggling to make it work.  I did not.  

So Dad being the oldest helped to raise his siblings.  He killed snakes, rabbits etc. for them to cook and eat, they ate lots of beans. Dad was raised on bean broth because he threw up if he drank milk.  They boiled the beans and he drank the broth. His brother was the same way. His sons and grandson and great grandsons have this malady with milk. Dad would once in a long while as an adult. have a chocolate milkshake.  Never used milk on his cereal or drank it in a glass. 

Dad went to school in a one room school house.  He took the rifle to school as did his brother to defend the students and teacher from snakes. He ended his education at the end of 8th grade.  By then he was working full time to help

his siblings.  He worked on a cattle ranch, he moved water ditches around and herded cattle, broke horses, branded cattle and took the Father's from Boy's Town hunting for meat for the Boy's Town in Nebraska.

He met my Mom when he was working ditches with her father in Wheatland, in the early summer time. Her sister had the hots for him and Mom didn't pay him much attention.  Then some time later she, the sister made a mistake,  (fortunately they could all laugh about it by the time I was an adult) she tried to wash Mom's face with a fresh tomato in front of Dad thinking it would impress him.  OO it DID. YUP IT DID,  only not like she wanted.  Mom defended her self very well and was quiet about it unlike her sister.  Dad was impressed with this 16 year old girl.  Some time later, Dad got up the courage to ask her father if he could ask her on a date.  Grandad said that would be up to her.

The rest was history with lots more great stories. 

I think one of the best is when they came home late 10 minutes from a date after dating for quite some time and he greeted his future Mother in law with a hug and kiss and danced her around the living room before Grandma could give him or her the third degree. Complimenting her the entire time on her raising her daughter.  

So guys if you want to impress take heed.  

He had lived in Wheatland then went to Casper then back to Wheatland when he met Mom.  The married in Wheatland on 3 Sept 1938 at the Court House. I saw the  register with their signatures on it.  Mom's brother took me to see it.

After marriage they moved north to Greybull, Wyoming where he worked on Howard Flitner's Ranch as a hand and hunting guide.  Mom worked with Mrs. Maureen Flitner in the kitchen cooking for the ranch hands. Diamond Tail Ranch

In July of 1940 Mom fell on some stairs and I was born 22 July, a bit early. 

In 1942, we moved to California after the War started. Dad helped his brother in law milk cows, since he was color blind and  they would not let him serve.  On the coast of California he became a Coast Watcher with my Uncle,

his sister's husband ( Camillo Morelli).  We kept in touch with the Flitners's in Wyo until their deaths. They were my God Parents.

We lived on Ollimac Dairy until War ending and Dad went to work for neighbor closer to Petaluma the town. Ollimac Dairy was on Red Hill Rd going to Point Reyes Creamery area.   

After we lived there and I experienced our first major fire,  we moved to Valley Ford in 1948.  The property that was sold over a year ago. It was to be retained for family, but family had a big fall out.  We all lost out on that one.

He was a dairyman with his brother in law, then again with neighbor of brother in law. Then we bought our own mini ranch and we built a grade a barn which neighbors kids playing in the hay field burned down on Sunday before insurance man was to come inspect it on Monday for use. 

He went to work for Hunt & Behrens Feed Mill in Petaluma to pay for the improvements on the ranch and make more money for we now were four children. Then he worked swing in the Mill and we did all the chores at home with out him.

He retired from the Mill and was beginning to enjoy retirement when family stress matters kicked in and set him up for what ended up being a fatal heart attack.

He went out while teasing one of his favorite waitresses while ordering his normal lunch there.  Mom said she knew instantly he was gone when he lent over on her shoulder so suddenly. Five Doctors were in eatery and they could not revive him. Autopsy said his heart exploded.  

It was so full of love.  

We milked cows, raised beef, had a two plus acre garden, raised hay and wheat and barley per season.

I raised hogs to cover my & siblings school expenses. Senior year I had 97 head of hogs to care for, plus cows to milk and at least I got rid of the chicken feeding and egg gathering.  My least favorite chore.

Pigs make great animals to raise and care for they are cleaner than many other animals.  They go to the bathroom always in the same place, Cows do not do that nor to others.  The like to roll in mud but not manure.  The mud cools their skin for they have little hair to protect from the sun. In Europe in many cultures they are raised off the kitchen and area cleaned each time the kitchen is cleaned.  If they have a bad odor it is an unclean farm and bad farm people mistreating the animals. You know dogs don't even do that. Cats might do that.

As a Speaker in HIgh School Dad, would drive me to speaking events, through rain and water and wind. He would give up his few spare times to help me be a better student in school. Yes I got a few trophy's talking but not the real big ones I so wanted. I wanted to win State. He drove me to events for Marching in the Band also. 

He taught me how to build and grow and do and stand up for self. He said that was so important. Because I married a serviceman that was a very true fact.

We butchered our own meat for years and we cut our own trees for fire wood and made into fireplace log size, after school and on weekends.  We worked out doors and we all worked indoors. We milked and we cooked. We cleaned out side and we cleaned inside, side by side and made a strong family at one point. 

I left family in 1958 to work and 1959 married.  I was only 140 miles away and we went home often. My husbands family was in Iowa, where both our parents families came from and many still lived and do live.

Dad loved Chocolate cake and fresh strawberries and whipped cream for his birthday. His sister normally supplied the strawberries and I made the cake and whipped cream.  I used to go back home for his birthday to do this for him.

He loved his family with a very strong passion.  He loved his wife even more.

When his Grandmother passed away in January 1958, I was out in the garage with him, with tears in his eyes and I gave him a hug and told him it was okay to cry for his Grandmother, they had both had a hard life.  He cried.  

It did something to me that day. I will never forget, it changed how he treated me.

When he would look at Mom sometimes you could see so  much caring in his eyes. He so wanted his children to have a better life than his had been.

There is seldom a day goes by  I do not think of him. Either because I want to ask a question or confirm what I was going to do was the right way or correct way. When his eyes twinkled we knew he was a happy man.   I wish  camera's could catch that twinkle in their films.  His Dad's eyes did the same thing.

 Happy Birthday up their with those Angels you talked about.

 He left us 12 April 1996, in Santa Rosa, CA.

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