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.