Today is my oldest child, Tom’s, birthday. He shares the birthdate with my wife, and our daughter-in-law; and his great-grandfather, Henry Bernard, would be 145 today, were he still alive. And two days from now would be his great grandparent Ferd and Rosa Busch’s 112th wedding anniversary. Time marches on.
(click to enlarge all photos. Click again for more enlargement.)
This weekend I was continuing a long project – sorting hundreds of photos from the Busch farm, saved by the last survivors of the farm, my Uncle Vince, and Aunt Edithe, who died two and three years ago respectively.
There are hundreds of photos. The one which leads this story has always intrigued me, though as you can readily see (you can enlarge it twice if you wish) is not a prize winner. It was taken, almost certainly, on August 9, 1937, on the wedding day of my mother and father, Henry Bernard and Esther Busch, at the Busch farm near Berlin ND. If I’m correct – I think I am – it is the only photo surviving of my parents wedding day.
Back in those days, the days of the Great Depression, few photos were taken, and those taken were not wasted. And you didn’t know, sometime for weeks, whether the photo would turn out. But once you got it back, even if not good, it wasn’t tossed – thankfully.
In this photo, I can clearly make out my Dad, he’s the “tall drink of water” in the back row to the right. My future Mom is in front of him. Clearly, at the right in the picture, are Dad’s sister, Josie, and her husband Allen Whitaker, from San Marino CA. In the group would be both sets of my future grandparents, and Aunts and Uncles and others.
What really attracts my attention, though, is the dinner bell in the background. This is the oldest picture of the bell I’ve seen. The family story of the bell is uncertain. Certainly it was used to call the workers in from the field. We kids would always visit the bell when we came to the farm. It was well photo’ed over the years. My guess: it once adorned a country one-room school nearby.
And I note the dog as well, who appears in quite a number of the photos which have not been labeled. That pooch probably had a normal farm dogs life span, and helps me date some of the photos. He or she seemed to enjoy being in the pictures!
All the birthday folks mentioned at the beginning of this post started out in some family circle somewhere, going back generation after generation after generation. Everyone has stories worth remembering for generations, here or yet to come.
For every one of us there are hills and valleys in the family history. We like to think we can control our destiny, but as one who is rapidly approaching octogenarian status, I know that there are many and disparate intrusions into the dreams of youth.
Best wishes to everyone. To Tom and all the others, do the best you can with the time you have, and help make the world a better place. Take time to read “The Station” linked at the end of this post.
Some other photos, more family specific.
A popular and Inspirational Essay on Living Life, a favorite of Ann Landers called “The Station”The Station001