Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A beginning to My Family History

This week Henry began a small project for Scouts.  Bring an old picture of Palmer and a new picture of Palmer.  On my computer I have a few files of old family pictures, we have begun a new and exciting chapter in our History class.  This month and maybe next we are working on OUR HISTORY.  Above is my Grandfather Merritt Long and my Grandmother Phyllis Mae Erickson. 
Phyllis came to Alaska from Minnesota when she was 16 or 17, to be a Nurse. My Grandfather was working in Alaska on the Highway I believe ( My sister and Mother will probably cringe at my lack of knowledge, but I'm just beginning.:).  They met when my Grandfather got hurt working and ended up in the hospital.  Grandma was encouraged by her charge nurse to go care for and meet this handsome patient.  Although she refused at first and was forced by her out ranking superior, they were married soon after.  

 One of the great things about small towns in the Parades
this picture is from 1968, down Main Street in Palmer AK.  
We have a tradition of meeting together at Grandpa's, now Aunt Jo's, Office on Main Street, to watch the parade together.  
Unfortunately I couldn't find any recent pictures of the parade gatherings for some reason, we have recently been having hamburgers or chili (Parade of Lights During December).  Aunt Jo was feeding any and everyone wanting some healthier refreshments.  
 This is my Grandmother in her yard 1970, notice the lack of houses here as compared to the present day picture below, taken in almost the same location. 

These are old and new photos of the Palmer Train Depot in Downtown Palmer, found via the internet.

While my Mother may kill me... haha
This is my favorite comparison
1968 First Day of School for My Beautiful Mother outside my Grandmothers house
and below a picture of my son Henry on the same front steps taken yesterday. :) 

Funny story, I went up and knocked on the door, well more like met a very nervous home owner on his steps wondering who and what I was doing... 
I explained that it was my Grandmothers home and every year they took pictures on the porch before the first day of school and we were doing a History project and I just needed a photo of my son on said porch.  He was impressed with the age of the house and graciously allowed us to take a photo. 
My kids thought I was crazy.. haha all in the name of Family History. 
Also not pictured are some very large birch trees that my mother planted for 4H I believe that are now humongous!  

Recently the Old Pink Church was torn down, located on S Chugach near the Pioneer Home and Middle School.  That was the first meeting  house for Saints in this area and also the place my parents were married.  Sadly I don't have a photo of the building yet, but this photo was the day they were married. :)  So much awesomeness I can't contain myself!! :) 
Fun side note, I wore that blue dress my Grandmother is wearing several times in highschool, 
 Here is another parade photo, the little boy is my brother Brian
I remember very well a parade when I was very little which included a life size Ronald McDonald and when he approached me I ran away terrified and screaming.  Not a fan of clowns back then. 

This one is a picture of me and my Grandmother Phyllis, oh how I loved going to visit her.  She always had awesome Dinosaur cookies and a wall of mugs that I got to choose from for some water or milk.  

This is where my Grandfather Merritt Long is buried, in the Palmer Cemetery.
He died when I was 5 or 6 from Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS).  My most prominent memory of him was a day we visited their house.  He sat on his big brown chair and I asked him to read me a story.  Something about an abominable snow dog, and although he protested saying he couldn't read very well anymore, he read anyway and then let me sneak into Grandma's almonds.  She always had a jar of almonds on her shelves, we weren't usually allowed to touch.  I love almonds because they remind me of him. 

And this is a photo from April 16, 2016 
My Grandmother's 90th Birthday!!!! 
She doesn't always remember who I am, she thinks I am her daughter, my mother, but oh how she loves to see the children! They love to visit her and even if its only a few minutes it's wonderful.  I miss the wonderful lady I knew and wish I could ask her questions and hear all kinds of stories about her youth, but this it the joy of family history work.  It's recorded somewhere by someone. 
So here is my start to my own personal Family History. I feel such a great joy and love when I do what little work I am able to.  I am excited about learning more and especially teaching my children. 
Hopefully there will be much more to come! :)