The Estensen family Reunion

As a youngster my grandparents Andrew and Minnie Olson attended the Estensen family reunion as often as there was one held in the community. I came across a newspaper clipping from a reunion that was at Lake Campbell near Brookings SD, decided to share this with my blogging friends. I’m sure there are many names for everyone to remember. I recall attending with my grandparents, even as a youngster it was a fun event. My wife and I attended our last Estenson reunion it Renner South Dakota in the early 1970s.



Family reunion were annual events at one time, or as close to annual as you could get. Reunions seem to be out of style in many families today. My wife came from a large family in Michigan and she loved to return to the family reunions in July as often as we could. I realized those reunions were very important to her so we attended often, even though it was a long drive. This year she didn’t want to wait until July so she went to the reunion in April, not to Michigan but that Huge Glorious Reunion where the streets are paved with gold. There is an eternal reunion with friends and family waiting, that is truly out of this world.

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Real Music

I have known this country music legend since we were teenagers and caddies at the Watertown Country Club, near Watertown South Dakota. Sherwin devoted his entire life to entertaining people with real music, Country Music. Listen and enjoy or visit him at one of the places on his schedule

To Don and Kay.

http://www.sherwinlinton.com/schedule.asp

http://sherwinlinton.com/

Mother / Cat

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Princess at Kitchen Table

I have to laugh my furry little old butt off at times. They talk to me like I’m a person but those two still think I’m a cat! Lee is such a pushover, I knew if I acted real sickly and underfed he would bring me into the house and that’s exactly what he did, many, many years ago. Rose is gentle and filled with love, as every good mother should be, she is my baby.

I worry about Rose, her health hasn’t been very good lately, she is suffering from every lung condition in the books, along with diabetes, even dementia. That makes days very hard for her, so I try to be really nice to her and show her lots of love and affection. I sleep by her feet all night and always sit on her lap in the recliner, she pets me constantly.

Lee doesn’t seem to be the Rock Hudson, she thought she was getting when she married him way, way back. I love to just sit with Rose and I know my presence makes her feel good, which is very comforting to me. She yells at me at times, about not to do certain things but I know she doesn’t really mean it. She hollers, “watch your claws a lot,” while I make biscuits on her stomach, or scratch the furniture. That’s what cats do, for crying ‘meow’ out loud!

Lee is always coming up with special names for me like Dumb cat, or Damn cat, my name is Princess. I have a Royal Countenance about me, everyone can see that. If Rose asks, “Did you feed Princess?” He always says something really dumb, like, ‘have you got an alligator?’ He thinks his so-called Terms of Endearment are really cute. When he does these things I have something special for him. I have the power to make a sore pop out in either one of his nostrils, or both, like an ingrown hair and it will stay sore for 3 or 4 days. I could put a boil on his butt too. He is very fortunate, I did like him a little at one time.

The hair on my back almost stands straight up when he forgets to empty the cat box on time, which seems to be quite regular. I thought he was going to have a heart attack one day, I pretended to do my job next to the Box. I got a big laugh out of that one. He was screaming at Rose, “Your cat is peeing on the floor.” Rose knew better because she knows me and trusts me in a special way. Lee asked, “Why has it been my job to empty the cat box since day one?” You brought her to the house! Why should I be punished for doing a good deed?

My tired, sore old body was still in bed at 9:00 AM today. I had a busy, half scary, long night thinking about our families, my own and my wife’s family, and the many cats our families have had through the years.

This following message came to me in a dream. My mother-in-law passed away at age 80, that was approximately 17 years ago. She did make a promise to me, it was something like this. If there was a way, ‘she would make life very uncomfortable for me, if I didn’t treat her daughter Rose right.’ It was more or less a threat. No, It was a threat, “You be good to my baby girl or you will have no peace and rest in your lifetime.

It then hit me, I brought princess into the house 17 years ago, shortly after my mother-in-law passed away. It surely can’t be possible! Did she come back as Princess? Her hair was snow-white, like the cat. If that is the case she wasn’t in limbo long, that is understandable, the keeper of the gate just looked the other way.

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Rose, “I will feed Princess and take the cat box out right now.”

https://lghoelson.wordpress.com/

Lake Poinsett Nostalgia

Photo Challenge
Nostalgia

What kinds of experiences stir emotions for the past within you?

Lake Poinsett Nostalgia

The word that was suggested for the one-word prompt recently was nostalgia. It was a photo challenge, but the photos I’m using here are not current. The beautiful lake named Lake Poinsett in northeastern South Dakota is where I will take you on my nostalgia trip. I was born in 1940 and grew up witnessing many changes at the lake. With this post, I hope to take a short trip back down memory lane and recall different things about Lake Poinsett. It has seen dramatic changes in usage, population, residences, year around homes, food, drink, bait and tackle places and a multitude of water level changes.

We lived on a farm less than a mile south of the lake, our parents were Frank and Frances Olson. A lot of time was spent either fishing or swimming in our lives. Our great uncle Simon Hoel built a stone house on the hill just east of the park in 1885, part of it still stands. My grandfather Andrew Olson helped him farm the land.

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Simon Hoel Olson home 1880’s

 

Tall, virgin prairie grass grew for a mile along the south shore of the lake. Simon and my grandfather cut hay from it for forty years. There is a beautiful state park on that land today, trees and campgrounds everywhere.

A few tall original cottonwood trees were growing along the shoreline but through the centuries ice knocked most of them down. A wagon trail can still be seen in places, it went to the east boundary fence and on for another mile to the Hendrickson farm, what is now Runia’s farm. There were no homes or cabins on any of that land.

Just to the west of the State Park property, there was a very lively, noisy dance hall named Smith’s place. It flourished in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was a very lively dance hall, where many big name bands played as they traveled through this area. We knew Charlie Smith the owner and his family very well. Their daughter babysat the three Olson boys on occasion.Karlton, Harlan, and Leland. My brother Harlan was a banker, writer, and collector of artifacts who helped start the Museum at the state park entrance. Harlan loved every minute of it, even the many volunteer hours. He passed away on March 8, 2016. I can see him searching for artifacts on old Heavenly terrain now. I would imagine there are some very nice artifacts to be found near those streets of gold.

Smith’s dance hall and the property was all sold to the Methodist Church, they may have become the first church to have a beer license. The original dance hall building where Lawrence Welk played still stands, in the same place on that stretch of shoreline. Today it is used for meetings and as a dining hall, that says something for old-time construction.

Arlington Beach, the next place west was run by a lady named Ann Oburn. This picture is of the Lake Poinsett water slide in the 1920’s. I think it was located at Arlington Beach, as far as I can tell from looking at the Hills and the trees in the background. I will be glad to edit this story and change the location if it is wrong. Ann Oburn had a few rental cabins, cafe and bait house.

Bud Mueller from Estelline gave boat rides at Arlington Beach in the 1940’s. This was his fancy boat.

In the nineteen forties or early fifties it was purchased by Russ Weiland and his wife who operated it for many years. Russ was possibly the original Evinrude Johnson dealer in this part of the country. His daughter and son-in-law relocated Weiland Marine, which is now on Highway 81.

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West from there were only two or three houses until you got to the little hill top farm with the goats. I think Madsens lived there. There were only two cabins between there and Mundt’s Resort. Mundt’s had several small cabins that they rented out. There was a farm between Mundt’s resort and what is now Pier 81.

There was another dance hall that later became Wieland Marine on Highway 81 just north of the corner by the Poinsett Cemetery, it closed after the War. It was near a gas station, some called Hilltop, others Ann’s Place.  She served lunches and usually had a lively crowd, Ann and Clyde served beverages to those with the most discriminating tastes. The place later became Ole’s repair shop. It was Gene’s repair until Weiland Marine bought it.

Ernie Edwards moved a building to the lake and started Edwards resort, possibly in the late 40s early 50s. Edwards served good food and had a bar and live music.
Edwards Resort had dances through the 50s 60s and 70s mainly Country Western and Rock and Roll music. They usually had very good crowds. I believe it was sometime in the 1960’s a truck driver must have gone to sleep at the wheel and he tipped his semi over in Edwards parking lot wrecking cars and almost taking out the gas pumps. I can’t imagine the call that fellow had to make to his company explaining he just wrecked a few dozen cars while tipping over at a crowded dance. I was there that night I recall there was a lot of commotion. It was a miracle that no one was even hurt, many people were outside.

On the west side of the Lake, there was a resort called Sportsmans Lodge owned by Nessen’s, the Hawley family was there too, it burned down. It was a very long large building with a restaurant, I believe they also had cabins and rooms in the lodge that they rented out.

What is now Lakeview Resort was a small resort opened by Ole Mikelmier. It later became Fish Haven, home of the famous Carp Sandwich. They had a secret BBQ sauce, It brought out the best in a big chunk of carp. From Lakeview North, there were two or three homes.

The Grape Farm had no homes until the first one was built right on the point in the 1950s. From there North to Saarinen’s the state purchased part of the shoreline and later sold Lots to private owners. That closed it for skinny dipping. From Saarinen’s Point North there were a few homes because it was close to the highway.

Nitteberg’s Resort was just east of the Stonebridge. That highway washed out west of the bridge in the spring of 1969 as flood waters from over a hundred inches of snow came in from the river and Dry Lake.

Nittebergs must have had a couple dozen summer cabins that they rented out along with boats and bait. They also had some carnival rides in the summer months and afternoon roller skating in the dance hall. The dance hall was built over the lake at one time, but ice damage made them move it back to shore. It was a family run business.The brothers John and Clair ran the bar and maintained most jukeboxes, pinball and other game machines in a large area, their sisters operated the cafe.

The Dance Hall was very busy and a lively location during the 50’s and 60’s and into the 70’s. There was all types of music, old time music was the most popular for many years, until Rock and Roll moved in. There were many big-name bands playing at Nittebergs Resort in the early years, the Model T and Model A days. Lawrence Welk who was from Strasburg N D played there in his younger days. Miron Florin from Rosholt South Dakota managed the Welk music when Lawrence stepped down.

Leo Fortin’s Orchestra was a regular at Nitteberg’s Stone Bridge Resort for many years.

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Leo Fortin

They had Thursday night dances in the fifties. I recall our football coach at Castlewood kept telling us “you guys have a good football team but just think how much better you would be if you didn’t spend all night at the dance on Thursday night.” I guess he had a good point there.

We danced a lot to Big Tiny Little’s Band who played with The Lawrence Welk Orchestra. He was born in Worthington Minnesota and was a regular there in the 50s and 60s.

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Dry Lake was north of The Stone Bridge. In the dryer years, it was full of muskrat houses. The Game Warden Ed White with his Smokey the Bear Hat would fire a shotgun to open the trapping season. From what I have heard it was like the Boomer Sooner land rush in Oklahoma. Trappers made a mad dash to claim as many muskrat houses as they could.

The County’s had a bounty on pocket gophers at one time. It was rumored that some entrepreneurial muskrat Trappers took the front paws from their muskrats and turned them in to claim pocket gopher bounty in the spring.

When you went east from Nittebergs cabins, there were only one or two houses, the one right below the hill was named ‘The Mouse Turd Inn.” The west side of that hill was real steep, just a dirt trail going straight up, many Model A’s some Model T’s, later newer cars had drivers who challenged each other to make it to the top. The dust really flew! I think some got sideways on occasion and rolled back down the hill.

The resort on top of the hill was known as Jim Bagley’s place. A long wooden staircase went down the hill to the lake. They also had a café, fishing equipment, and bait. The name was changed to the Hilltop Resort later when owned by Louie Morales and his family. Louie rented out boats at Thomas Lake one summer when perch fishing was hot.

Just down the hill, east of the hilltop resort, there were three or four homes before you got to Hammer’s pasture and to the outlet of Lake Poinsett, that led to Stark’s Bridge where flood gates were installed. There have been several fish winterkill years when oxygen in the lake got so low most of the fish died. Dead fish in windrows around the lake at one time. The worst spring brought out the National Guard with front-end loaders, trucks and lots of shovels.

The Bakke farm and Cemetery took up most of the east shore. Two homes were on the hill overlooking Prestrude’s Landing. Lots were developed and cabins built to the south of the boat landing in the 1950’s. Goulds opened a beer and bait place there in the late forties but it didn’t last. The next mile of shoreline was only recently developed by the Hansen family. Going south from the Hansen development to Hendricksons or now Runia’s there were two cabins.

This has been a rather selfish nostalgic trip around Lake Poinsett. I’m really young to have nostalgia for the water slide or for the swimming attire. So actually I feel a lot younger by taking this trip back just a few years before my time. I thought I would like to share these memories of Lake Poinsett while I’m still able to share them. The changes at Lake Poinsett are hard to imagine if you didn’t witness them. The number of very large homes today must reflect a great prosperity in this country or something?

At night the lake and all of the country side was darker than pitch, this was in 1945, before REA, no all night yard lights, no electric lights period. We played cards with light from a kerosene lamp on the table. This country at night was a whole lot darker, the small glow in the sky to the west was Lake Norden’s lights. The smaller glow to the east was Estelline in the Sioux River bottom. You could barely make out a tiny glow for Brookings, that was a long way off. You might say nights were a bonus for ghosts and goblins in those days. On a night with no moon or stars, you best hope your lantern did not go dry.  Can you imagine going back to live in those times?

NOVEMBER 15, 2016 / LELAND OLSON HOEL / EDITbeach-bunnies

Swimming attire has gone from one extreme to the other throughout the centuries. In classical antiquity, swimming and bathing were done naked. The swimming suits here from the 1920’s seem a wee bit extreme, the weight of the wet swim suit could pull you under. Now close to 100 years later we saw, peered, peeked our way through the teeny weeny, polka dot bikini era, we are almost back to swimming in the nude again.

What goes around comes around, with nostalgia or Murphy’s Law.

http://www.lelandolson.com/

Family Dinner Out

If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

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Modern Families

Somebody in our family got the idea a while back that it would be just great if we all got together and had dinner out. Of course, the first question that came up, where to eat? Some wanted to go to McDonald’s, others wanted Chinese buffet. We had a few younger ones voted for Italian. One grandson with the oriental wife wanted Japanese sushi. I shouted, “this is getting us nowhere, we are all going to go to Ralph’s Gizzard Kitchen and pull a few tables together and enjoy a family dinner.”

We all finally got seated at Ralph’s Place. I ask,  “how about ordering.” Each one wants to order from the menu by themselves. Immediately I shouted, “No way José, this is not going to work, it will drain my bank account.” We can all have the special and I will pick up the check. If each one wants to order separately we will go Dutch. No one wanted the special, as I thought, with a breath of relief. Orders finally were all placed, waitresses started bringing out all the different meals.

Everyone was relaxing and enjoying their meals when we heard some police siren’s out in front. Pretty soon a policeman walked in the door with this big old fellow, who looked like a lumberjack. The policeman asked, “Is somebody here named Leland Olson.” That’s me, I replied.” The policeman says, “This old geezer was wandering around in the middle of the street looking for a restaurant called Ralph’s Gizzard Kitchen. Nobody in town seemed to know where it was.” Whoever picked this place to eat must not get out of the house much! So anyway, “This fellow claims to be the great-grandfather of Leland Olson. He got the message to meet everyone here for a family dinner.”

I jumped up and gave my great-grandpa a big old hug, you look great, you died in 1914. I started banging a glass with my spoon. Can I have everyone’s attention, “This is great-grandpa Ole Hoel, he came all the way from Canada to have dinner with us.” Sit down and join us. So, “how have things been going with you grandpa, what would you like to eat?” Salted herring and lutefisk are out of season right now. They have excellent walleye fillets, I heard you always liked fish, we all did. Grandpa said, “That will be just fine, “but I don’t seem to have the appetite I had working in the woods all day.”

I asked, “How long can you stay,” They said, ‘until dinner is over’ “I thought maybe you could come out to the house and stay awhile.” ‘Well, that is not part of the deal.’ I’m here to just have dinner with you and your family, to see what you all look and act like.’ “Frankly, I am shocked, It looks like you all have a lot of confusion and bad manners.” “You should all be eating at one table at your home.” ‘Grandpa things change.’ He says, “Don’t know why things got to change that much, only been a little over a 100 years or so since I left here.”

So I asked him, “If you’re leaving after dinner, I hope you’re not walking all the way back to Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.” No way, “Walk that far, you nuts? I did it once in 1905! “I will be returned to Canada the same way I got here. Something beamed me up, I didn’t have my Derby hat so they beamed me back down, got my hat, they beamed me up again and it brought me here. I hope they get it right going back.”

Thanks for supper, it was nice to meet your family. Leland, What did you say you do? Blogging? Never heard of it, “Now logging, I know a lot about log………

Bye, bye, great-grandpa, I love you.

Lake Poinsett, South Dakota, USA

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Fishing was usually good.

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Our old cabin

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Amber fish

Amber’s alligator !

 

 

 

 

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24 lb. Northern Pike

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36.5 lb. Carp

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The Olson boys L/R Leland, Karlton, Harlan

 

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2011 was another year of high water level, wind damage.

 

 

 

Fears evolve over time. What is one fear you’ve conquered?

Fears evolve over time. What is one fear you’ve conquered?

Marriage

I will have to say one fear that I finally conquered was getting married. I have had talks with myself through the years. They would go something like this. Hey self, ‘yes,’ “you sure your not gay,” ‘self, of course not, no way.’

I played high school football and had several different dates in high school. This one young lady and I had a bad case of puppy love that lasted about a year. Then a cheerleader from another town came along and that became more serious. She sent me a Dear John letter while I was in boot camp. I got to thinking later, never hit many home runs in high school, then I didn’t play baseball either. A second cheerleader was very special, she kept in touch with me while I served two years in Japan. I should have been far more considerate of her, for my future and hers.

I told myself dad beating up on my mother every other week had no bearing on me and my female relationships. My stepdad was a sex pervert who liked boys, that should’ve had nothing to do with me, he might have been an altar boy at one time.

I got sent to Japan for two years in 1960, a young lady working in our squadron coffee shop and I knew at first glance, THIS IS IT, we grew to be so close, it was as if our souls became one. In 1962 we said goodbye to each other at the train station in Tokyo. Half of me flew home the next day, the other half never made it back to the USA. We exchanged letters for a long time.

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Miki

In 1964 my back was broken in a car wreck. If you are lucky enough to get your neck broke there can be some sex after spinal cord injury. My fracture was in the thoracic-lumbar region, bowel, bladder, sex and one leg affected. I have often thought, that was my payback for being inconsiderate of my female friends and a coward when it came to marriage.

I tried living the life of a hermit for a couple years in Northern Minnesota. If you want to be a hermit, you better like lonely, that’s about all I can say about the hermit lifestyle.

My cousin like a brother was driving a refrigerated truck from Sioux Falls South Dakota to Arizona and California every week. He talked me into working with him. If we had a load of meat for Tucson Arizona, we stayed at the same motel every week, it was nice and they had a pool, bar, and a small dance floor. That is where I met my wife to be, this was 1969. At that time the family was even starting to look at me with that look in their eyes, is he or isn’t he, like marriage is supposed to be for everyone? I don’t think so!

Rose Marie and I dated, parked out in the desert and talked while listening to the Martians, desert sounds, etc. We did lots of dancing, some drinking, then decided to get married, sort of a take care of each other in old age deal, that’s now where were at. She had four daughters and a grandson when we got married. After 44 years I have lost track of how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren there are.

My life has been under constant change living with a spinal injury. I lose more ability to do things almost daily. It is an effort anymore just to do daily things that everyone takes for granted. Life is still good and it will go on as long as the creator has something for us to do. We may as well make the most each new day that we are given.

An older brother said one time, “married men live longer,” ‘no,’ “it just seems longer.” He said it as a joke but I do believe married man might live a little longer.

http://www.lelandolson.com/

Full Life

Full Life

As I grow older, I have come to learn life really is a race, run in different phases. We start out as helpless infants who need constant care. Before learning to speak we learn to get assistance with different cries and noises, sometimes quiet and weak at other times loud and prolonged.  Our caregivers faithfully race to rescue us and supply our needs.

Through some small miracles, we reach the age of 2 years. We race in everything we do, and every place we go, racing constantly, to the echoing word “NO.”

We are learning language, and how to communicate. No is a strong starting first word very easy to hear and understand. The perfect word to start life’s race with, a warning word, no will come and go through our minds during the whole race, sometimes we will listen sometimes we won’t.

One day, usually while you’re at school puberty starts to take control of your body. You wonder what’s happening to me? I think something is going awry. Physical and psychological demons are fighting over my mind and body. Doubt and dread were foreign to me yesterday. You just got slam dunked into the adolescent stage of indecision and despair. Change wants to rule your mind leaving you in wonder about self. You might feel like staying in bed and hiding from the rest of the world. It, feel’s best to shut everything else out, stay in your quiet little shell. That feeling will soon pass as a young adult you continue your education or join the workforce.

Upon entering the workforce your first lesson is to be on time. From that day on don’t start out late and race to your job. It would be easier to get up early, old habits are hard to break. It seems like Friday will never come each week. Your race to work made you successful, with a wife, and children and lots of stuff. That’s what modern life is all about. You fulfilled the American dream, you have a big house, three-car garage, loving family and loads of stuff.

As you get older the body slows down. It finally becomes an all-day snail pace, race to put your clothes and shoes on. Everything gets done in super slow motion, but it is still a race for the finish line. Fridays seem to be every other day, meaning the end must be near, but you can’t see, or hurry it. You know it will come for you, it’s a fact, your days are numbered but you know not how many. You continue that living race in a worn-out body, soon needing special care again. Your final hope is to be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

2 Timothy 4:7 English Standard Version (ESV)

https://lelandolson.com/

Tend Your Lamps

In my youth wicks were carefully trimmed. Mantels got cleaned with deliberate care, bright light they would share. Sootie glass reflected poorly on a housekeeper, yet it never got noticed until Twilight, with the sound of breaking glass everywhere.

https://lelandolson.com/

                                                          

Replace

Dear Ralph,

I write this short memo with deep feelings of regret.

The executive committee recently met behind closed doors. They delegate their authority extremely well, that is why they chose me to write you this letter. A vote was taken, the new members all decided on me as I have been your best and oldest friend here at the firm. After much deliberation and carefully worded consideration the decision was made to replace you. It was unanimously decided, you would be replaced with a vacancy.

Respectfully yours,

John

https://lghoelson.wordpress.com/

The Green Valley Cemetery

Rose and I went to Canada in 1979 to visit the remaining relatives living at Rocky Mountain House Alberta. There were only 2 cousins still living there at that time. Many had passed away years before or scattered all over Canada. In later years some moved to the United States to attend college or find employment.

At one time the wilderness area of Alberta was filled with cousins from our family tree. Many different families came from Norway in the late 1800. Most of them went to Michigan first and worked in the copper mines. Some stayed there others moved to Minnesota working in the iron mines. They saved money, most had the same goal, to reach Dakota Territory and become farmers. There was rich land for homesteaders to claim. Almost everyone encountered hunger, dry years, prairie fires and unimaginable hardships on the bitter cold, windswept plains of the Dakotas. Circumstances continued driving them northward until they reached the last frontier in Alberta Canada.

I decided to share this story about the Green Valley Cemetery. One of the cousins donated land from his farm to start a family Cemetery. Eston Olson was the first person to be buried there in 1911. The following pictures show the people attending Eston’s funeral. There were no roads at that time only trails, travel was difficult to impossible most of the time.

There was no church or building to meet in. These families brought their food with them and had a Cemetery picnic, burial on the day of a funeral, weather permitting.

The other picture shows my great grandfather Ole Olson’s funeral in 1925. You can see the reins from the horses on the ground, used to lower the casket into the grave. I noticed a hole had been gnawed in one corner of the wooden casket. That gives me the feeling my grandpa was not buried alone! The cemetery became vandalized in later years, before the land was protected by the government. There were about thirty people buried there, the remains are still at that location. Monuments were placed in the city Cemetery.  


Eston Olson
Son of Ole Estensen Hoel and Ingebor Olsdatter. 
Husband of Maria Kaisa Johansdatter Olson Hoel.
Father of : Edvard, Ingaborg, Ole, Ida, Annie, Hedwig, Hattie, and Felix.

Hunger on Earth

“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” “Native American proverb”

Hunger on Earth

Man has always felt he has the power to outwit nature, He often does things his way, instead of the way nature would dictate. In the early pioneer days on the US plains, times were very hard. The biggest fear was how to survive the long, dreary, cold and hungry first winter. There was very little food, most of the flour was full weevils. The busy, bronze, bold, bugs in some flour bags got so active it became hard to determine what there was more of, flour, or weevils.

Man, with his infinite wisdom devised a flour sifter to separate the bugs from the flour. The weevils got quickly thrown out into the howling wind, of a frigid, winter day. The bugs were happily received with great delight by the snowbirds. They thrived on them, thanking nature with happy songs.

The poor pioneers might have chosen to leave the weevils in the flour, pretended to be eating cracked wheat bread and the extra protein may have helped some survive that first nasty winter.

The Internet is filled with sites on how to survive by eating insects, hope we don’t destroy this planet to the point there will be no insects left to eat.

https://lghoelson.wordpress.com/

Syringomyelia Hand Damage

Syringomyelia has resided in my spinal cord for about 50 years. The doctors say it was from an original spinal cord injury 55 years ago. Neurologist have found little evidence to show the disease is hereditary.

I have just found evidence from an old picture showing my great-grandfather had syringomyelia damage to his right hand. It looks exactly like it.

He was born in 1842 and died in 1925 The picture of his right hand look exactly like someone who has had siringomielia long-term. My hands are starting to take on those changes.

I have almost made it to my 79th birthday. I do feel a little better now knowing that great-grandfather lived to be 83.

Siringomielia was considered very rare, until the invention of the MRI machine. It is much easier to diagnose now. My symptoms got progressively worse for almost 20 years before I was diagnosed. It made the left side of my body numb, even the left side of my tongue. The first drain shunt was placed in my spine in 1985 to relieve pressure and drain excess spinal fluid. That helped stop some pain and slow the nerve damage. Another drain shunt was put in 3 years ago, the pressure is still being controlled. My great-grandfather had none of these preventative treatments available. The pain he endured must have been unbearable at times. How he could have lived that many years is a true miracle! He was mostly Norwegian but must have also inherited Sisu from the Finlander side of the tree.

https://lghoelson.wordpress.com/

“Google Syringomyelia damage images”
“Google images”
“Ole Olson Hoel’s right hand”
Ole Olson and his caregivers at Rocky Mountain House Alberta, Circa 1924″

I have looked at this old picture many times but never zoomed in on his hands. I wanted to see if he was holding a bible, or a KENO ticket. I’m glad I did, because it looks like my syringomyelia was inherited from him. That is not something to be happy about inheriting. I think he gave me a large portion of his Grit and Sisu, that has helped me cope with the dreaded disease.

The top two pictures are from Google Images, showing the hands of syringomyelia victims. There were several pages of hands in different stages of damage or deterioration.

The golfer Bobby Jones also had syringomyelia and I believe he lived to be almost 80, so it’s not always a death sentence. A definition is not easy to describe as it affects each person differently. It is a genuine neurogenic nightmare for both the doctor and patient. A victim might imagine some evil power placed a curse on them.

You can find out more information about syringomyelia at this website.

https://asap.org/

Life’s Check Out Lanes

Life on this earth could be compared to a Super Center, or Big Box Store. There is something for everyone, but not all good things. Wants are always in conflict with needs. The stores, like life, gives us a choice on everything. What we choose can have good or bad effects on our lives, especially how long we live on this planet earth. It is best to remain vigilant every day about the choices we make. We may not want to but must admit those daily decisions can affect our lives until we leave this life.

Human nature makes it easy not to dwell on life after death. If we spend eternity in some other place, so be it. It is easier to have a human, Ho hum, attitude about it, instead of making a final choice, now, today or even soon. If you believe in reincarnation, you have the option of considering what you might come back as. I sometimes feel my mother in law came back as our house cat. She was determined to keep an eye on me, and how I took care of her baby girl.

My eternity choice has seemed easy. A fiery furnace or Heaven with streets of gold, love, and Angels singing and praising God. Visiting family members who had gone on before. That is an inviting picture for eternity. I know that would be my choice, instead of hauling heavy buckets of boiling grease. to lubricate the hubs of hell, near a roaring fiery furnace, for an eternity yet!

Life on this earth, is limited, it does not go on willy-nilly forever. We can have some choice in determining how long that life will last though. We should also take the time to consider where would we like to spend eternity. It is well known there are many stories about the fires of hell that make it a place not to spend eternity. I believe there are other things in hell to aggravate and torment the soul of those who are unfortunate enough to go there.

On a much brighter note, most of us are taught about spending eternity with a loving God who forgives our many weaknesses and trespasses, as he knows we are mere human beings, we cannot help ourselves on our own, we need him to give us little nudges and reminders from time to time. Be prudent and safe, invite him into your heart and have him travel with you on life’s path. If God is riding shotgun for you, by your side all the time, He will surely watch out for your every step, so you avoid the traps and snares that the devil sets up throughout this world of sin.

The point I’m trying to make is, in Life’s big box store, take care which checkout lane you choose, if you’re in a hurry with your life and taking a lot of chances you might take the express lane, consider the consequences. Life in the express Lane could be dangerous indeed, you may be called away from this world at a young age.

If you feel truly independent, you may opt to use the self-checkout Lane. That is, if you have everything thought through in your own mind, your satisfied with what you have, you don’t have any questions in the back of your mind about eternity. The self-checkout Lane could be very practical and useful for decades.

Most of the other checkout lanes always have seemingly endless, long lines, of agitated people. The majority have decided to leave it all up to the cashier.  Life is far too busy for them thinking about the here and now, they have no time to worry about eternity.

My body is worn out, completely exhausted, kaput! It keeps telling the spirit, “FOR CRYING OUT LOUD,” go to the checkout Lane! I have concluded, we don’t go to the checkout lane until the creator decides the time.  Does He have me waiting around for a Blue Light Special or what?  

When I get to Heaven, to the Spirit World, one of the first things I want to do is make a trip to Norway.  I believe it must be a lot like Heaven anyhow. I want to make the trip with my dad, my grandfather, and my great grandfather and have them show me all the places they traveled to in their youth.

I pray my father will be in heaven to make the trip with us. He swore up and down that he did not believe in heaven or hell. He swore all the time, even in front of a faithful preacher who would go out to visit him at his farm. I believe Dad used more foul language in front of the preacher, mostly to antagonize him. The preacher even asked him, “please don’t use that language in front of me.” that didn’t bother Dad or slow him down!  I often thought afterwards, that preacher never got a chance to do missionary work with the jungle tribes deep in New Guinea. He chose a mission field nearly as wild, my father’s farm. I do believe Dad will be making the trip to Norway with us. Even with the loud vulgar noise he made, with extremely, colorful expletives the end of his messages usually showed he had faith in a higher power.

Heaven promises us a new body, that is one thing I would welcome very much. I sure hope there is a golf course, because with a new body I will play golf with my two brothers Corky and Harlan and my brother in law David. That will be golf at its best. If playing golf in the spirit world really works out to the best of my imagination, we will come back and play at the Augusta National Golf course in Georgia, while the azaleas and Dogwood are all blooming.

There is another trip I would like to take near the Arctic Circle with my grandmother. We will visit her family as they herd reindeer in frozen, far northern Finland. She was proud to be one of the Sami People.

I have a feeling traveling in the spirit world is going to be great and limitless, travel without boundaries and fears, at the speed of light will be overwhelmingly.  

https://lghoelson.wordpress.com/

Our Old House

We moved back to South Dakota from Arizona in 1975 and were living at Baltic. I came hunting at my dad’s farm near Lake Poinsett quite often. That is how I discovered this house. One weekend  I had Rose and the three girls go with me to look at, what I considered to be a great fixer-upper house for us. We were planning to move near the Lake anyhow. They took one look at the place and unanimously decided I was in desperate need of a mental evaluation. This old house had not been lived in  for nearly 25 years. It never did have running water in it, electricity was installed in 1947, the heavy outside wires had been stolen for the copper value. The place had become party headquarters for all pubescent youngsters from a wide area.

It was evident from extensive damage it was also a training ground for adolescents getting ready for a reign of destructive mischief and vandalism. I believe there was only one window left in the place that had not been broken. With the windows being gone all those years the rain came in causing most of the plaster to be lying on the floor.  I was starting to have doubts if it truly was a fixer upper.

We bought the place and started driving there every weekend to work on it. The original House was built on a rock foundation that was falling apart because of homemade mortar, it had a crawl space underneath it, just like any old granary or out building, it was an ideal place for skunks to live, also raccoons, some raccoons were also in the upstairs rooms. There were a few barn owls in the Attic. One of the first orders of business was to give eviction notices to all of Nature’s Nocturnal Critters. There were many night creatures looking for a new place to sleep their days away. Like people, several needed more than one eviction notice.

The outhouse had fallen apart, no doubt after being tipped over many times. I found a usable outhouse at the local small town dump and brought it home on my boat trailer, that must have been a sight to behold. The girls we’re having a fit about having to go out behind the old fallen down barn. I thought I’d be a good daddy and get them a porta potty. After the running water was set up and plumbing installed an inside bathroom was the first order of business. There is nothing like pooping in the house on a cold winter night, or day either for that matter.

We cleaned the cistern out and started having water hauled from a nearby town when a pressure pump was set up. It was the first time the house had running water in it, felt like we were living on top of the world. An old pitcher pump had been used to pump water from the cistern. There was a small Root Cellar under the original house, it was about 8 by 8 with rock walls, it was part way beneath the new edition that was built in 1898. It had an outside entrance, and was a good root cellar to store things in, that’s where I put the water pump.

It was a very slow process, a tue labor of love. In time the walls were finished with new sheetrock, floors covered with rugs, windows all installed, mostly used windows from various sales. In later years two solar panels were built. Rural Water came through which was a luxury. There was a well on the place, 218 feet deep, we pulled the well pipe one time and put a new cylinder on it, but it plugged up before very long. Rural water was a blessing for us. We fixed the old house up and called it home for over 40 years. It is still being lived in today. I’m proud of helping rescue an old house from demolition. There are many memories from that place, like the first time after we had electricity hooked up again, we sat outside and watched the yard light come on at sundown, that was cause for celebration.

Lillie Peterson and Carl Knutson with one of his daughters came to visit us in about 1985. We all had a good visit and they loved visiting their old home.

CONGRATULATIONS TO LILLIE PETERSON,

Brookings, winner of the Public Opinion’s 190th “Picture Of The Week” series. Pictured are 117 (we hope we counted correctly) beautiful people taken in 1904, back when suits, ties, hats and long dresses were the rule instead of the exception —


This was the farm home of Peter and Maria Knutson located in Brookings County, nine miles north of Arlington on Highway 81. The family with nine children moved into the home in 1898 and built on the part to the right. The house is still in use today. This picture was taken on Oct. 2, 1904 on the occasion of the 25th wedding anniversary of Peter and Maria and their son Carl’s marriage to Garda Rheinholtson. Bride’s attendants were Louise Knutson and Carrie Rheinholtson. Groomsmen were Palmer Christiansen and George Rheinholston. The Knutson’s entire family of 13 children are on the picture: Carrie, Carl, Louise, Clara, Mayme, Ole, Lewis, Lillie (the only one living), May, Annie, Peter, Jr., Fred and Eddie. The house is still standing east of Highway 81, east of the Badger road, south of Lillie Peterson Colonial Village No. 15 Brookings, SD 57006