Sunday, March 3, 2013

Pat- the Years at “Walton’s Mountain” on Greenview

In 1957, we were on the move again; this time to 109 Greenview Dr., the house that Aunt Mary and Uncle Bob (Foust) had lived in for a short while.  This house was “home” to most of us. It’s where we really grew up. It wasn’t directly on the river, although at imes it was IN the river! It was more or less in the woods. Lots and lots of great times in those woods! I’m sure this topic will come up on Staci’s blog “My Funny Family” at While there, mom was always active in the Cub Scout chili suppers at Castle Hill School for many years. She would make up little “chili kits” so all that the other mothers had to do was dump everything in the hamburger and cook it! The system worked great. Dad, meanwhile, was always active in the PTA’s Dad’s Night. The PTA dads always put on these hilarious skits that were always a hit. The one that I remember them talking about was a take-off on the “Jack Paar Show” which they called “The Jack Poor Show”. I wish we could get a hold of those films that were taken; they are probably long gone. Mom also did a stint making pizzas at Joe’s 218 Tap (now the east end of Casey’s on University. She must have done a really great job with the pizzas because it became a draw for the bar- a lot of repeat customers. That was back when pizzas, or pizza pies as they were called then, were just getting popular.

And, of course, one thing that mom was really known for was her chauffeur services. I think everyone thought she lived in that car or van. At one point, dad put a big racing stripe right down the middle of the van. By 1967, there were eight of us kids; so somebody was always going somewhere. And she and dad both truly loved to drive- we were known for going to the Old Mill in Independence,
Dale & Gwen Brooks with Mom
Ia for ice cream cones. In the summer we often went to Backbone State Park with our dear friends, the Brooks. If we weren’t going to Backbone, we were picnicking with them at Exchange Park. I can even remember going to Des Moines many times for Poppin’ Fresh pies. We would actually take orders and bring pies back! Obviously, the price of gas was not a deterrence then! And when hockey started in Waterloo about 1962, all of us boys were involved and my sisters were always down at public skating. We practically lived at the rink in the winter months. I don’t know how they ever managed... we all had skates, hockey sticks, clothes on our backs, and food on the table.... and there were eight of us! But they always managed.

Sadly, we lost that house to a fire on December 5, 1985. It was a total loss. It was the same night that the Goodwill burned in downtown Waterloo. They couldn’t spare the pump trucks to save our house. And there aren’t water mains in Sherwood Park. There would have been records and pictures that would have really been great in this genealogical pursuit, but other family have generously shared pictures and information.   At the time of the fire, only Jacki and her daughter Kristin where living at home. It was Jacki who woke up and smelled the smoke. The fire had started in the kitchen and that was one of the exits. The only other exit was the main door that went past the kitchen. So, they were very fortunate to have escaped when they did or they could have been trapped. After the fire, mom lived out in Hudson for many years and really liked it out there. When her health started to slip, she moved into a house next to Jacki’s in Cedar Falls. My sister, Cindy, and her husband, Jim, purchased the house and Jacki’s husband, Brian, did a lot of work making repairs and remodeling it. She had a series of small strokes in 2004 that left her incapacitated. We had her in the Windsor Nursing Home in Cedar Falls for about a year and a half. One of us was always with her from the first thing in the morning until she went to bed. There was no way that we were going to trust a facility to meet all of her needs, especially when she could not communicate them. Finally, we decided to take her back to her home since we were doing most of the work anyway. We got great help from the visiting nurses and Area Agency on Aging. That system worked well until we lost her on December 17, 2007. We all were with her..... sons, daughters, spouses, grandkids.. everyone when she passed. It was hard to lose her, but everyone understood it was for the best by that point. We all miss her very much.

And that, after all, is one of the reasons for this blog. All of these ancestors that I will present to you, deserve to be remembered. They all were more than just a name and a picture on a family tree. They all had real lives and had real contributions. And, of course, these ancestors helped make us who we are today. So, they really do deserve to be remembered.

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