Of Road Trips and Front Porches (and what about those bells?)

July 4, 2010

So, here it is Independence Day, which means we’re more than half way through the year. I bet you’ve been wondering how those 60 bells are coming along, right?

Well, considering I should have at least 30 done, I’ve fallen a tad behind. I’ve completed 26.

Not to worry! In the weeks to come my husband and I are taking some road trips. And since he rarely relinquishes the wheel, I’ll have plenty of time to catch up on bell-making. Let the beaded bells hit the road!

But first, let me digress a bit…

In my husband’s family, we gather every year on the Fourth of July. Since we always hold the gig at our house, there’s no road trip involved. But because we live in an old farmhouse and we spend the day sitting on our porch, it reminds me of the pictures below and how my grandmother, Ruth, and her husband’s family gathered together on the farm.

The farm is Clarence Larson’s in Imlay City, MI. Clarence, you’ll recall, is one of Ruth’s brothers-in-law, and he and his parents moved to their farm in Michigan in 1925. According to stories from Ruth and her daughters, the George Larson family often took road trips from Chicago, around the big lake, and on up to the farm.

George and Ruth Larson with their daughter, Carol, 1935

Know anything about cars? Can you identify the make and model? Look how big it is—little Carol practically had her own apartment in the back seat. Also, check out George’s white wingtips. Traveling shoes.

Get-together at Clarence Larson Farm, Imlay City, MI, 1935

From l-r: Ruth holding Carol, Arthur, Esther, Roselda and Clarence Larson.

Arthur, Esther and Clarence were George’s siblings. Roselda was Clarence’s wife, and they later became foster parents to Wayne S. (Dad’s buddy from work, who had 16 kids).

Carol and Ruth Larson in Imlay City, 1935

I believe this is Clarence and Roselda’s farmhouse (please correct me if I’m wrong). I’d love to see this house today!

Brothers, l-r: Arthur, George and Clarence Larson, 1935

Don’t you love the ties? Do you think they were dressed this formally for their get-together on the farm? It certainly was a different era than we have today—I can verify there will be no ties worn at our get-together .

George & Ruth Larson with their daughter, Carol, 1935

George Larson with daughters Carol and Judith, 1939

The George Larson Family, labeled in Ruth’s handwriting. All of the above pictures were developed by Hulls Photo Service in Anderson, IN.

George Larson with daughters Carol and Judith 1939

George Larson with daughters Carol and Judith, 1939

George Larson Family in Imlay City, MI

George and Ruth Larson, with their daughters Carol and Judith (sitting), 1939

These two photos were provided by Ruth’s daughter, Judith Hackbarth.


5 Responses to “Of Road Trips and Front Porches (and what about those bells?)”

  1. Terri Says:

    I wonder how long the road trip from Chicago to Imlay City took back in those days? I bet Arthur and Clarence put on their ties to keep up with their big city brother. And Grandpa was wearing a tie cuz Grandma said to!! ;-)

  2. Rhonda Says:

    Having had four days to sit around in Dallas this week, I stumbled across this blog and have read the entire thing over the past couple days. It’s very nice work, Di. Your grandmother, Ruth, would surely have been great friends with my grandmother, Florence, had they ever had the chance to meet. Two peas in a pod and quite the characters. Reading your memories of Ruth brings back so many of Florence to me. Were’nt we blessed to have such good grandmas? She died in 1983 when my life so busy then with kids of my own. If only I’d had the foresight to ask her then so many questions I now have about her life, family, and experiences. My 78-year-old dad, who surprises us with his ability to keep in touch via e-mail, would have never mastered the challenge of writing a blog. However, he has spent the past couple years compiling pictures and writing down his personal memories and stories into a book that is quite a family heirloom and tells us alot of interesting family history we’d never known before. We have alot of similarities, including a comparable ‘family secret’, our own Aunt Minnie, and homemade crocheted afghans galore. The one I got a kick out of was Ruth’s jello cups. With my grandma, it was homemade popsicles. We knew grandma would always have them made for us when we got there and when those were gone, she had no problem letting us make some more all by ourselves. Very simple, yet something special. Looking back, I know why it was significant because my mom would have never allowed us to make anything like that at home. God forbid some red kool-aid spill in the freezer and make a mess! Funny how grandmas don’t care much about those things. (There was one other place our families lives intersected long before you and I ever met. I don’t think I’ve mentioned that to you before but will one of these days when we drive our big rig down your driveway.)
    Keep up the good work and I’ll continue to keep up with Ruth. Thanks for sharing and sparking my own memories!

  3. di Says:

    Rhonda, thanks so much for the lovely comment and sharing memories of your grandmother. So special! Glad to have you as part of the blog!

    • Bonnie Bannon Says:

      Wayne is an older man with 16 adult children with health issues get ahold of him soon before too late

  4. Bonnie Bannon Says:

    Wayne sohlden my uncle still alive in Clio montrose area lives with 2nd wife auggie I do not have it spelled right clarance and roselda Larson raised him and toivo sohlden. My name is Bonnie bannon daughter of sylvia sohlden raise by mrs McMullen and a little before that the larsons and later roselda Larson. I am in anchorage ak 907 231-4100
    Four hours ahead of mi pls do not call at 4 a m.

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