Choose your own, then render it in your favorite medium.
My grandfather Charlie Wayrynen was born in Finland In 1868. He came to America at a young age, seeking his adventure in a faraway land. He ended up settling in South Dakota, a town called Lake Norden. Shortly after arriving in America. He bought himself a steam engine, a big Reeves Steam Engine. He used this for turning the sod, breaking up virgin prairie for young farmers to start farming on. When he wasn’t turning sod, in the fall they were threshing and harvesting the grain that was already being grown here. That steam engine turned and moved many threshing machines. During the freezing winter months. He used the steam engine to move buildings over the frozen ground, They would put a big old barn on some skids and slide it along the frozen ground, sometimes for miles. One winter he moved a church that was 5 miles out of town, moved it across the railroad tracks and into town.
My grandfather Charlie was approaching 30 years old and I imagine he started having thoughts of different adventures. Besides his steam engine business. I can almost see him walking up to a big man named Isaac Erick Grape. Charlie was very fond of Erick’s daughter Minnie. In those days he no doubt went and asked Eric if he could have his daughter’s hand in marriage. Eric must have thought Charlie was an okay young man, and he gave permission for his daughter to marry my grandpa Charlie. They were married in 1905.
They bought a little farm west of Castlewood South Dakota and started their married life out as young farmers, working together. In the years that followed Minnie gave birth to seven sons and four daughters. One of the daughters died as an infant. Young farm families soon learned that everyone pitches in and helps do everything that has to be done. My mother Frances was the oldest one of the girls, and she recalled quite often about helping her mother do many different things in the house and also milking the cows.
Minnie and Charles had six of their sons serve in the military service during the Second World War and the Korean War. They all came home after the war and found different jobs and livelihoods all over the nation. Minnie Grape was born in November 1885. She died of breast cancer in 1938. She still had three of her younger children attending school. Those three children ended up living with her husband, Charlie and their oldest son Edwin his wife Alice and their two small children at Edwin’s farm. All three of the children graduated from Castlewood High School and went on and found their livelihoods in other parts of the country.
Charlie’s family was always close together and stayed in touch with each other. Whenever someone was traveling through they stopped to see Ed and Alice and spent some time there. This may not sound like an adventure where in most cases people find fame and fortune. The adventures of everyday, ordinary people, who fall in love, get married, raise a family is where it is at though. People committed to each other, making each other’s lives better, doing the best they possibly can.
When you look at this wedding picture you can see the love that Charlie and Minnie have for each other, shining in their faces.