Saturday, May 31, 2008

Back to the Beet Field

We worked very hard in the beet field - but when the cat's away, the mice will play. Mother and Daddy went to town, so we worked for a while, took a drink of water, and then took our cameras - mine, Dwight's old Baby Brownie, and his, the newer Brownie (?) and walked the canal and climbed rocks and took pictures of each other. You can see that I drink water from the cooler far more daintily than Dwight - Faces aren't clear in these pictures, but you can tell who we are. Look at Dwight's muscles! Ah, those were the good old days. Sure glad I don't have to thin or hoe beets today.

One more pose under the tree

I thought we should make our Ann and Steve poses more complete with this in-between age picture. Guess the age?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Two Dudes, Nope They Are Cowboys

Since Dwight did not post this picture, I am taking liberty to do so. Here we have two of Wyoming's finest. They are both smart, good looking, and witty. But watch the hands on the hip bit. 1983 in Jackson, Wyo and they are looking for trouble as can only be found in the wild west.

Happy Birthday, Steve!

From top top bottom: Sauve and debonaire Steve in his high school years; earlier on the back porch with Scratchy the Cat; and on his bouncing horse, his Christmas present in 1946. Dwight didn't have flash capacity with his Baby Brownie, so he posed little kids outside. The day must have been chilly. Steve, hope your day is a good one. Don't work too hard! So many memories of a little brother who grew up to be taller and bigger than the rest of us. Love you lots.

Happy Birthday Steve

This was probably the "let's just have fun stage". At this point in time we didn't know any better.
I suspect this is about the age we were when we dressed up in each other's clothes and Dad pretended to not be able to tell us apart. And possibly this is the age where we shot spit wads at each other across your/Dwight's bed. Remember how we would laugh, and the red welts would really hurt? And we listened to the World Series on the little radio in your room? Love the cuffs on your Levi's.
And then we grew up - or so we thought. You looked so handsome and even in your Sunday best you still loved the kitten. You didn't mock my sugar water stiffened petticoats (they were murder on the back of my legs), and you were still my hero.

And then there are few, but very precious times when we get together as mature (?) adults when we still laugh and remember the magical times of a world that seems so far away.

Oh, the memories that photos stir up. Steve, you were always my hero - look at how far we have come - maybe. I hope you have a wonderful birthday, and may the weather cooperate and bring sunshine just for you. Love you lots, Brother dear.
See what I mean?  And you must have been the one who pushed the doorknob through the fiberboard wall.
One of two classic photos I took of Steve.  Where did you get the eggs?  The companion classic photo is on the right, Steve standing by Dad's Western Woodcraft sign that used to be hanging by the highway when we lived in Ralston during World War II.
Steve showing off
The day Steve was born, "us kids" were hustled off to Uncle Norman's and Aunt Cindy's, who lived for a brief period in a house just to the east of Grandma and Grandpa Wasden's, and to Grandpa and Grandma's, who lived nearby.  Dr. Harold Coulston, one of two wonderful Seventh-Day Adventist doctors who came to Powell after their medical educations at Loma Linda in Los Angeles, stayed most of the day waiting for Steve.  Mother had made fresh bread, and Dr. Coulston enjoyed eating the hot fresh bread with honey.  Always a dignified and warm gentleman, no matter the circumstances, Dr. Coulston was apparently used to home deliveries in homes without running water or inside facilities.  Just a few years before, Dr. Coulston had come to Ralston to deliver Ann, on a day when I noticed his Cadillac absent from the back of the Coulston Clinic, where he kept it parked, and assumed, correctly, I would have a little sister when I got home.

Emma Tvedtnes, our Penrose neighbor, was an important person in at least the births of Ann and Steve, and I don't know about earlier home births in the little brown house (me, Liz, and Judy; Louise was the only one born in a hospital, in Billings).  I remember going across the field separating the Tvedtnes home from ours with several loaves of fresh hot bread, lathered in butter.  Emma cared for mother and her new baby boy and, in Ann's case, came to Ralston and stayed with our family for several days.  Emma was an angel.  I remember making a little owl shelf for her in Dad's shop when I was ten years old which she hung on her kitchen wall forever, because I was so touched with what she was doing for Mother and her babies and I wanted to do something for her.

Now Steve's arrival caused no problems at first although the peace and quiet of our home was disturbed by all the racket, weeping and yowling he did and the smells he generated, but at least he resided in his crib in the living room in our crowded little house with three girls in one bedroom, Ann in the tiny bathroom-to-be with a bed where the tub eventually landed several years after I left home, and my wonderful, private bedroom since I was the only boy.  Imagine my consternation when Dad built a wooden bunk bed and then Mother plunked Steve down in my bedroom.  My days as the chosen and special male heir were over.  I no longer enjoyed the only privacy in the Blood home.  Steve claims that I persecuted him whenever he made the slightest noise, which I think he exaggerates, but, then again, maybe it was true.  That could be why he grew up to be so strong and well disciplined.  Since I left home so soon, little Stevie was unfairly privileged to have what should have been my rightful bedroom for many, many years while the girls were crammed together like sardines.   Some things in life just aren't fair, are they?

Anyway, Steve, I do remember the day you were born.  I left home a short five years after that, when you were just five years old, so I never got to know you very well until years later.  But at least you were the one who followed Dad's admonition to learn to do and make things with your hands.  Your wonderful craftsmanship and creative designs have repeatedly demonstrated your skill and devotion to your crafts and we, your siblings, are in awe of your accomplishments.  I, on the other hand, only made an FFA knot board in high school which the ag teachers hauled around to state fairs for years, winning blue ribbons every year, until the fair people told them to knock it off and leave it at home.  That was my last handicraft project.

I know your sisters couldn't do without your frequent conversations with them and as I told Judy yesterday, my conversations with you typically bring out the best? worst? in both of us when it comes to thinking what we are doing and saying would be something Dad would clearly appreciate and laugh with us about.  You deserve a happy birthday, and I am sure Mary Lynn will wait on you hand and foot in recognition of the day.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Steve is How Old?

With happy thoughts and much affection, I claim you as our dear brother.....The one that we got sent to Grandma's house while you were making your entry into the world. Your birth size must have caused Mother some distress. But since she couldn't talk about those things, we never knew. But we did know that you were loved. Happy Birthday, your life is just beginning.

James And Tilda Wasden On The Farm

This was smaller than a postage stamp, stuck to the back of another picture. I had never seen it before yesterday. The faces are hard to see, but, Grandma looks younger than in most pictures and I love her hands crossed on Grandpa's knee. Maybe she had come to the field to bring him cold water?

Who Would Have Guessed

I tried to see if this picture has already been posted and couldn't find it anywhere - but if this is a repeat, I thought it was fun to see him at 2 1/2 years and then in the Penrose picture I posted earlier today.

Russell looking spiffy

Sugar Bowl

This quaint little sugar bowl belonged to Sarah Batty Hawkins Blood, our GreatGrandmother. I can't remember when I acquired it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Another Try at Mystery Picture

Not much improvement; maybe a little. Looks like Edmund Gwenn.

A Bluebird from Aunt Rose

Tucked away in one of Dad's old books was this little treasure.

Our Sunday Best

This is a fun picture - taken about the same time as the previous post of Steve, Judy and Ann. Where the other one was taken in our "comfie" clothes, this one is our Sunday best.

Dates on Photo

A photo was posted earlier that was taken the same time as this one, but it was just of Steve and Ann. This one that includes Judy is good to add to the collection. The date on the back of the photo is August 1949.

Another Fun Elizabeth, Dwight and Dad Picture

What great smiles!

Another Mystery Picture

Someone much wiser than I allegedly said something like "confession is good for the soul". Therefore this is an effort to see if that works. This is a picture that I have checked with Judy to see if she had it, and when she said she didn't have it, I checked with Elizabeth, and when she said she didn't have it, I hinted at the fact that Judy probably has it, but can't find it. Then I hinted to Judy that Elizabeth probably has it but can't find it. As you can see, my system worked just fine, because it was with my pictures all the while - how could they have had it when I had it. Huh, you are probably saying. Never mind, I know exactly what I meant!!!
Now, on to the picture. This is a wonderful picture, with no identification. I think I will take it to Dwight and see what his MAC can do with it. Who should we pretend is in the picture? Machs? Krajiceks? Or --------

Mother and the other 4-H Leaders

Mother was the youngest 4-H leader in Park County. I love this picture of her - in the midst of the "more mature" leaders.

Oh, My Stars!

This picture came into my possession from Aunt Cindy's album. It is so interesting - Mother was always prone to either ink blot herself out of pictures, or, in this case, cut herself out. You can see her hand on Dwight's shoulder, and the extra pair of legs behind us. Did Louise have a toothache? And I am wearing the ubiquitous navy blue polka-dotted dress.

To Elizabeth on her Birthday

Happy Birthday, sister dear. Posies are posted. Favorite pictures are posted. Hmmm, the only things I can think to add is the following list:
Things I have learned or wished I could learn from my sister Elizabeth:
1. In my early years of riding the horrible, very big school bus, I learned I wasn't too little to sit with Elizabeth and Audrey Baxter - Elizabeth helped me feel very grown up and safe.
2. When she came home from her first year at U of Wyo, she taught Judy and me an amazing version of "Jerusalem", the importance of a Jantzen swim suit, as well as other necessities for surviving in the big, wide world.
3. When I went to stay with her in Riverton one summer, she taught me about the incredible dessert of chocolate pudding with whipped cream on top and that we could have Kool-aid more than when we had been working outside in the heat.
4. She still teaches me the importance of laughing, even when some things in life are a little tricky.
5. I wish I could learn how to do several different projects at once, as she can.

And the list goes on. What fun it is to have sisters ( and brothers), and how thankful I am for Elizabeth. Happy Birthday, sister dear.

A Red Peony for Liz's Birthday

Get your hand off  of that pitchfork handle, you little twerp
Just what I wanted to do after becoming a high school graduate:  Spend the summer hoeing sugar beets with my little sister.  I was only 16, were you only 12?  And therefore, illegal child labor?  Cool hat, rolled up jeans, and saddle oxfords, the latest fashion for hoeing beets in the hot sun all day.  What did we talk about as we whacked up one row and down another all day?  It was a long walk up to the upper field to start with, back at lunch, back to the field, back home at night, haul the water jug, take our hoes home to sharpen them on the grindstone in the shop.  We did o.k., didn't we?  Happy birthday.

Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

Wishing Elizabeth a happy day and wanting her to know that we think she is a queen! These are two of my favorite pictures of our sister who taught me all of her fun college songs, rewrote words of current popular music to make it more applicable and always knew how to be fun. May there be plenty for her to smile about on this, her day!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Judy in the Latest Fashion, in Penrose, eons ago

Grave of Roscoe M. Blood, our Grandfather, in Fort Collins, CO cemetery

Five of Six Blood Siblings at Penrose Cemetery

This photo was taken several years ago, with our brother Steve absent.  We were in Powell to attend the annual Powell High School Alumni Reunion.

Graves of Russell and Minnie Blood in the Penrose Cemetery in northwestern Wyoming

Mother died in Olympia Washington, and was moved here after Dad died.  Dad always said he wasn't going to hang around Penrose just to get hauled up the hill to the Penrose cemetery.  But here he is.  Our kind neighbor has brought flowers to our parents' grave each Memorial Day since none of us can be there, an act of kindness we are tearfully and eternally grateful for.  Perhaps these photos will help us honor our parents since we cannot be there this Memorial Day to report in and see where we stand.
The new gate to the Penrose cemetery
The original gate to the Penrose cemetery
The peaceful and eternally quiet Penrose cemetery; usually some meadowlarks singing, which Mother would approve of.  When I was 13 years old, Grandpa Wasden conscripted me and my cousin Dean House to help him build a concrete curb around the Wasden family plot.  The weather was hot, we had to haul water from the nearby canal, I can't remember what Grandpa mixed the cement in, we shoveled sand and cement.  Grandpa gave us boys his usual spiel about what he had done by the time he was our age, and asked what we could say we had accomplished by this time in our lives.  My cousin Dean said  "I'll remember being out here on this hot day in this hot cemetery putting a concrete curb around the family grave plot."  Then, the cemetery was all rocks, cactus, and sagebrush.  Later, a new cemetery district removed all of the original plot boundaries, planted grass and trees, and the Penrose Cemetery is now a beautiful and special place for our Wasden grandparents, our parents, and some of our other Wasden relatives.

Genealogy for the Hawkins Family

Sarah Batty Hawkins was married to Moses Blood, and was our great-grandmother. This posting is for those who are in the middle of finding genealogy information. It is of interest that, in this large family, there are two children named James Preston Hawkins. It is probable that the first son died, and another son then bore that name. We need to search for that proof.

James B. and Tilda C. Wasden in Pioneer Parade

The newspaper clipping that was with this picture reads as follows: "Senators Joseph C. O'Mahoney and Lester C. Hunt extend congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. James Brooks Wasden who have lived 45 years on land they homesteaded at Penrose on the Shoshone Project in Wyoming. It was to do honor to sturdy pioneers like Mr. and Mrs. Wasden that the two Wyoming Senators cancelled important engagements to attend the Powell Day celebration." There is another photo where one of the senators is shaking hands with Grandpa. Remember this parade? They were the hit of the celebration.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Stephen Blood Serves His Country In Viet Nam

March 25, 1966
Dear Judy and Bob,
This will have to be short because I don't have a heck of a lot of time to get done what I need to get done. Thank you for the letters, they really help. I do wish that someone would have called the Red Cross when grandfather died and I could have come home for a month. By the time I got the word though it was too late.
I wish that I could describe Saigon to you but I don't believe that Jimmie Jones has invented the words for it yet. I have never seen such poverty, ignorance and filth all in one place.
I haven't really met a lot of V.C. yet. Thank goodness for that, I have a hard enough time fighting the good ole American drunk G. I.
It's a lonely place over here and ten more months seem like a long time to go........
Well, I've got to polish tons of brass and spit shine yards of leather for tomorrows patrol so Id' better call it quits for now.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Minnie Wasden, Ready to Begin Teaching School

Minnie Wasden Blood Elementary Education Scholarship Endowment at Northwest College

This note will bring you all up to date on the status of the Minnie Wasden Blood Elementary Education Scholarship Endowment fund at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming.  Thus far, a total of $2400 has been contributed to the fund.  I committed to have the necessary $5000 minimum required for state matching by about two years from now.  The State of Wyoming will match the $5000 from private donors, creating a total scholarship endowment of $10,000.  This isn't a fortune, but a few hundred dollars per year to help some Wyoming small-town student who wants to be an elementary school teacher is something I think Mother would approve of.  (As opposed to telling all the rest of the family secrets on the blog for all the world to see). I'm hoping we can even exceed the $5000, and, of course, we can always add to it in the future.  

If any family member (or anyone else, for that matter) is interested in honoring Mother's great legacy as an elementary school teacher, a contribution of any amount is welcome, $50, $100, or whatever.  The check should be made out to "Northwest College Foundation:  Minnie Wasden Blood Scholarship".  Mail to
Northwest College Foundation
231 West Sixth Street
Powell, WY 82435
Attn: Shelby Wetzel, Executive Director

Let me know if you have any questions.  Dwight.

Wasden Family Get-together

From the looks of the weather, this must have been a March 9th anniversary picture. I've tried to figure out who is who, see if I'm correct, and supply the missing names:
Back row, l to r, Ed Johnson, Mother, George, Orville, Dad, Alvin, Oscar
Middle row, l to r, Jerrold Johnson, big space, Delilah, Alva, Grandma, Elna, with Grandpa in front, and Sofe with Alvin, Jr. (Bun).
Front row: Elizabeth, Louise, Annella, Peggy, Dwight, Dean, Stan, Cal
Those of you with sharper eyes and better detective skills will probably figure this out.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A New Tanner/Great Grandson for our Parents

We just got this email from Nathan that includes a link to their family blog and pictures of a new Tanner. Forgive me for using the blog for this, but sometimes it is fun to share something in the here and now. Needless to say we are trying to find a way to take a Sunday drive to Petaluma.

Dear Family...Bridget and I are happy to
announce that another Tanner has made its way into the
world. Jonah Russell Tanner was born on Wednesday May
21st at 2:55pm. He weighed 7lbs 14oz and was 19"long.
He is healthy and strong and Bridget is recovering
well. Everyone is home now and I am taking the next
week off work. Instead of pics attached to this
e-mail we posted some on the family blog at

We hope everyone is well, healthy and safe...all our

Nate, Bridget, Jack, Jonah, & Lucy

More about the Penrose Bridge

This article appeared in the Powell Tribune in 1993, two years before Uncle David Wasden died. (1995) He has one date wrong - the bridge was replaced in 1968, because that was the summer that I and my brood of 5 were living in Penrose, and it was pretty inconvenient while they were doing the replacement of the bridge. This was very interesting. Hope you can read it. By the way, the picture that was published with this article was Dwight's familiar picture of the river bridge that is already published somewhere in this blog.
By the way, be sure to double click on this page to enlarge the article so that you can read it.

Alliance, Nebraska 1900

These are the main streets of Alliance, Nebraska from a fold up postcard. There is no date, but the details give an indication. Alliance is the place where Roscoe and Louise were married and lived. It is here that Louise died and was buried.