After Dad died, each of his six children received a share of the hard-earned savings left behind from the efforts of our parents over a lifetime of sacrifice and unrelenting work. Dad always encouraged me to learn to do something with my hands, to do something creative. I always wanted to learn to do wood work and inlaid veneer pictures like Dad made throughout his life, but the circumstances were never right to achieve this goal. One of the reasons we moved back to Laramie from Penn State was so that I could spend more time in Penrose and, perhaps at long last, take lessons in learning to do wood craft work. Then, to our dismay, two years after we returned to Wyoming, Dad and Mom pulled up stakes without warning and left Penrose for Washington. My hopes were dashed. I spent part of the money I received as my inheritance on Mom's scholarship at Northwest College in Powell, WY. Three young women have benefitted from the small scholarship allowance they received, writing letters of appreciation and telling how some extra money had helped them continue their educations. I know from my own college experience that a $10 bill would have been the equivalent of 12 hours of hard student labor as a janitor or at the University stock farm. I saved a couple of thousand dollars for years from my inheritance from our parents and refused to spend it. Velna kept encouraging me to spend it on something that I could use and appreciate. So, realizing I am truly getting ancient, I spent most of these remaining savings on a new telephoto lens for my camera. The above two photos are among the first half dozen pictures I took this afternoon with this wonderful new lens. I still have much to learn about how to use my new acquisition.
The most important result of this expenditure came, however, when Velna told me "Your Dad would really be happy if he knew you spent this money on something that you can use in a creative way."