1000 Words….

I looked up the adage “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” and Wikipedia came up with a good article, linked above.

The search was occasioned by a photo I used along with yesterday’s birthday post, which brings meaning to the adage.  As the front and center guy in the photo, then nearly six years old, I can flesh out this particular photo, taken by some unknown friend or neighbor of my grandparents Bernard.

Bernards 1946

Over the years I’ve become something of a sleuth with old photos, most of which appear without any caption or, as bad, had captions obliterated by being pasted in an album.

This one I know had to be early 1946 in Grafton ND, at 738 Cooper Avenue.  Frank, held by Dad, had been born in November, 1945, too young to be a nuisance to his older brother.  Brother John was two years down the pike.  Mary Ann and Florence were old enough to be pests….

World War II was finally over, and travel restrictions were probably lifted by then.  Frank was the first boy born after Uncle Frank, Dad’s brother, went down with the Arizona at Pearl Harbor, and was doubtless Uncle Frank’s namesake.

At the time, we had been only a few months in Sykeston ND, 160 or so road miles from Grafton.

Back then, all of the trip would have been on pavement, in the 1937 Ford with suicide doors (they weren’t called that, then, but they had the same effect if opened at highway speed).

We kids wouldn’t have noticed, but doubtless on this trip Mom would have sat in the back seat with the flock. Maybe I would have been allowed to sit in the front seat by Dad.  There were no luxuries in these cars.  They were strictly designed to get from here to there.

Seatbelts? Forget about it.

Easter was April 21, 1946, and it was pretty likely this was an Easter visit with the new arrival.  Bad weather was less likely by the end of April.  AccuWeather was many years away from signaling incoming bad weather.

Grandma and Grandpa’s house was very tiny.  Today a standard business room in a motel would be as large as their house.  A Murphy bed folded into one of the walls of the room that passed as living room/bedroom.

I don’t recall ever staying in a hotel until Grandpa died in 1957, and that was one night in the Basell in Grafton ND, with my Dad.

On road trips like the one in 1946, strategic planning presumed returning home the same day, or staying at a relatives home.  738 Cooper Avenue would have been an extremely difficult overnight for adults.  We kids would have survived.

Grandma would have been an excellent hostess.

There is something else about this particular picture.  It was about this time in history where Grandpa Bernard lost his first leg to diabetes.  I think this was in the summer of 1946.  By the time of the pictured visit, it appears that a bench had been built on the tiny porch where Grandpa could sit and watch the world go by.  (At the time of the photo he would have been 74, and Grandma 64.  Mom was 36 and Dad 38.)

In later visits, when Grandpa was comfortable with his lost limb – below the knee – he would entertain we kids with the stub.  I don’t think he had lost his leg yet, in this picture.

Ultimately he lost the second leg in 1957, and soon thereafter died in the Fargo VA Hospital.