Get inspired by Andrea Jarrell’s post “A Roar for the Ages,” and tell a broad story using a series of short, focused scenes.



The three Olson boys, left to right are Leland, Corky and Harlan. We grew up on a small farm in eastern South Dakota. It was located in northern Brookings County right near Lake Poinsett. This was shortly after the dirty thirties, the dust bowl, times were still hard, we were poor, but we had lots of love.


The attack on Pearl Harbor happened on December 7, 1941. Almost everyone’s sons were drafted and sent off to war, many daughters joined the women’s Army Corp, or the Navy or Marines to serve their country. Six of my uncles were in the Second World War as it spread to become a World War. Patriotism was never higher, my mother got these hats for us and made us uniforms too.


We grew up with a hunting, fishing and trapping heritage. In this picture my brother Corky holds his first gun with pride, a single shot 22 rifle. When times were bad you might say we lived partly off the land. Somebody hunted or fished most of the time. Wild furs became an income supliment many winters.


This picture of my parents and brother Corky was taken at Bovey, Minnesota in 1949. They got divorced in 1950. My dad had been beating my mother for years. She finally could not take it anymore. The farm was sold, she moved us boys to Watertown, South Dakota in 1951. My brother Corky was accidentally shot and died in 1952.

The following picture is of my brother Harlan in his Marine uniform in 1960 with my mother at Watertown. Harlan passed away on March 8, 2016 after undergoing a quadruple heart by-pass operation. He is gone but many fond memories remain.


7 thoughts on “Family

    • Thanks Judy.There has been a pioneer and artifacts museum for several years, just as you enter the state park. right there next to the Methodist Camp. My brother had his artifact collection in the museum there. As you go in the park. He had several old pictures there, one of the guys from the State Park board asked him one time if it was ok if they used any of those pictures. Harlan told him go-ahead, what ever they wanted to use. Anyhow we became cover kids when the next fishing guide came out. He didn’t deliver. We were some scruffy looking little rascals. We did a lot of fishing, I think fish kept us alive through many of the lean times. If you ever make a trip back through here you will have to revisit your Methodist Camp, it is unbelievable and the state park has many many improvements with campgrounds, museum etc. My brother donated his time as a volunteer running the museum for eight years, maybe longer. Hundreds of school kids toured the place and he went to visit schools too.


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