A Moment in Time….

Every family has a history.  I think I can justly claim to have been more involved than most in preserving family heritage memories of both my mother and dad’s families in rural North Dakota.

One of the particularly evocative photos I have is below, taken in early August, 1972, after the funeral of my grandmother, Rosa Busch, the last of my grandparents to die, at age 88.  The photo in enlargeable pdf format is here: Busch Family Rosa Funeral 1972.  

Busch farm August 1972 rural Berlin ND

In the photo are the house built coincident with my grandparents arriving in ND in 1905; and in the yard three generations of the family: children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Rosa.  A typical scene for any family.  All that changes are the individuals and the location.

I’m not in this photo; I would have been among the group taking the pictures.  Others were unable to be at the funeral for assorted reasons.   Here is the “cast of characters” (the people in the photo) as best I’ve been able to discern: Busch Family Rosa Funeral 1972 caption

Years later, in 2000, the family took on the project of taking down the old house piece by piece.  One of the group observed the very high quality of construction, long before sophisticated and powerful tools of the present day.  They did a good job building the house, to last.

The Cream Can

Over 50 years later, on the exact same farmstead, one of the children of the current owners came across an interesting artifact – an old cream can, apparently owned by the Lakeville MN Creamery, located in the Minneapolis area, 330 miles from the old farm.

How could this be?  There exists a brief and fascinating on-line video of the history of the Lakeville Creamery, which connects the creamery with far away North Dakota years in the past.

Here’s the e-mail where I learned of the find:

I asked Christine Long, a great friend and nonagenarian in Berlin ND, if she could help.  Here’s what she said Oct 1, 2023:

Gabriel Aberle was my uncle.  He had a grocery store in Berlin.  I remember Uncle Gabe buying cream and sending it on the Northern Pacific rail train.  I also tested and bought the cream when I worked at Uncle Gabe’s store.

There are endless similar family stories well hidden everywhere.

Last summer my daughters Joni and Lauri took a short trip to North Dakota and stopped at the Veterans Memorial Park in Grand Rapids (LaMoure County).  We visited the family Memorial sandbox and bench dedicated to Uncle Vince and Aunt Edithe, who lived 5 miles from the park and were frequent visitors during their lives.  Here Lauri and I take a break on the bench by the sandbox.

The Sandbox July 2023

Perhaps this brief post might peak your interest in remembering and recording for posterity some of your own family memories.

POSTNOTE: I’m abundantly aware, how quickly time passes by: days into weeks into months into years.

I was at Grandma’s funeral, as were my wife, two children, and a third on the way.  I was 32 years old, and couldn’t imagine today, at 83 – just a few years younger than Grandma and Grandpa when they died (she at 88, he, in 1967, at 86.)

We have a finite amount of time on earth.  Use it wisely.  Far too soon it will be too late.

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