One of the earliest memories of mother and father was during our summer visit to Marshfield in the early 1950s. I’m sure my dad was back in the 1930s Ford Model A which took an eight to ten-hour trip from West Allis to Marshfield about 200 miles away. One or two times, the car broke down and we had to repair the road.
When we arrived in Marshfield, I was in heaven inspecting my grandparents’ house and playing with my aunt who was only eight years older than I was. There was a garden near the house and we used to have fun down by the river that flowed through it. I always hated going back to West Allis and started to cry as soon as we left grandma, grandpa, and aunt Mary.
How Mom and Dad Met? – That Memories
Shortly after father’s death in May 2004, my mother told me how she and my father had first met and got to know each other. In early autumn 1943, my mother and father worked in a factory in Milwaukee. They rode the same bus home, and in most cases, Dad would not get off at his first scheduled stop. Instead, she stayed on the bus and did not get off until her mother arrived. My mother who had just left home in Marshfield lived with her aunt in Cudahy. After dating for six weeks, Mom and Dad got married in November 1943 and settled down in Milwaukee.
Special Memories of Mom and Dad
When I was living in West Allis in the early ’50s, my father and mother accompanied me and my older sister Beatrice to visit Uncle Augie and her family on most Saturday nights. Uncle Augie, my father’s older brother, lived in an apartment on Brady Street on the east side of Milwaukee. My uncle who worked at the A&P bakery lived with his wife Georgeanna and their two children, Gail and Alan.
Some of Augie’s roommates were mother-in-law and two adopted daughters. One of the adopted daughters was about 18 years old and the other was 13 years old. In memory of dad jewelry for daughter is very special. I loved going to see my uncle because I could play with my two cousins who were almost my age. Mom, Dad, and I enjoyed watching the big 30-inch screen TV. Whenever we were there, Burns and the Allen Show used to stay.
From 1954 to 1957, we lived on a rented farm two miles [3 km] outside Mukwonago and about 25-30 miles from Milwaukee. Early in 1955, my second sister, Patty, was born. In the early spring of that year, Dad decided to take Mom on a dance one Saturday evening. Being the oldest, I was expected to care for my siblings. The weather was still cold at night and I remember watching my sisters as we sat around a large oil heater in the living room. Mom and Dad had only been away for a few hours but it seemed so far away.
The hardest part of growing cucumbers was picking in August when they first came to the vineyards. This was a back-to-back job and was especially difficult when it was hot and humid. When Father was away from work, he assisted my mother, my sister Beatrice, and me in making choices. Even four-year-old Patty would get into the job.
Before the cucumbers came to the vines that year, they were extremely dry. My father came up with the idea of drawing water from a nearby stream and using it to water cucumbers. We did this by pumping water from a stream and then piping it to the embankment. The pump was attached to a power outlet on the tractor, and carelessly, my trouser leg was caught in the power strip making a huge fuss on my leg. I still remember going to see a doctor in Burlington this afternoon very hot to get stitches to cover the wound.
Celebrated Community Picnic
Mom and Dad bought a plot of land north and a half north of Honey Creek. Honey Creek had two restaurants, a small electric garage, the Baptist Church, and a two-bedroom school. On July 4, 1960, the village organized a public picnic at the school. It was a lucky picnic-style lunch in a pot and a softball game for the boys and their fathers who followed the food.
I don’t remember much about food, but how can I forget the softball game !! My father and I were in a different group. While he was knocking, I reached for the plate and knocked over the house across the camp fence in the middle. I was so happy that my mother, Beatrice, Patty, my brother Philip, born in 1957, and my one-year-old sister, Connie, heard my shouts of joy. A grandchildren birthstone necklace was gifted by grandmom.
When I was at Burlington High School, I was on the varsity football team when I was young and aged 1960-1961. It was customary for the first home game of the year to be designated as parents’ night. Although my father worked part-time as a dairy farmer, he and my mother often found time to attend night games with my parents and watch me play. My father was disappointed that a neighboring high school had beaten us in 1960 but he was proud of me when I blocked another point trying to help Burlington High win in 1961.
Memories with Dad & Mom
The highlight of the trip was the journey my family, father, and mother made to my surviving mother’s relatives in Marshfield. While there, we began visiting my two aunts Mary and Sissie before spending the night with Aunt Donna, Uncle Joe, and their boys on their small farm outside Marshfield.
The next morning, we walked a few miles north of Merrill to spend time with her aunt Martha and Hank on their farm. Before arriving at the farm, I remember standing in the playground and admiring my father, who had hung himself in a monkey bar. That morning, we left Marshfield for Wisconsin Dells. While in Dells, we set sail on the Wisconsin River before returning home to Honey Creek.
On the way back in 1991, my father, mother, and I set off for Manitowoc to visit my sister, Dr. Pat, on her farm. Patty was now a veterinarian and dairy farmer with my brother-in-law Donnie. Sometimes we need memorial jewelry for loss of mother. I still remember digging for hamburgers and steaks outside Patty’s house one night while she and Donnie were finishing the barn work.
Dad & Mom Last Trip
The last trip of the parents to Maryland was in late May 2003. My father was suffering from depression in the last year of his life and it is surprising that my mother found him to accompany her on this trip. At the time, I was living in Ellicott City, Maryland. It was a very old little town that my father loved very much.
Early Saturday morning, we headed for Philadelphia and showed Father and Mother Independence Hall. After lunch in China Town, we drove to Atlantic City and spent an hour or two at the Trump Plaza Casino on the boardwalk.
On Sunday, we drove south to the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia and stopped at the Luray Caverns. My mother had just upgraded to Parkinson’s and had a cane. It turned out that my father used it more than we did when we went into the cave. On the way out of the cave, my father had an extremely difficult time climbing a few steps to get out. I could see now that my father was very old and not in good shape.
There are some memories of mom and dad that I didn’t include in this article. Most of the time, we were with my older sister Beatrice and her family. There were also many occasions when we did things with my brother Philip and my younger sister Connie. Mom and Dad may be out of this world, but they will always be remembered.