Friday, August 27, 2010

Family Photo Friday

When I think of grandma and grandpa, I think of the grandparents I knew and heard stories about, the ones who lived on a farm, made sausage, grew their own corn and grapes etc. The ones who raised this wild bunch:
But before these guys, grandma was just a farm girl in Hudson
who headed off to the big city of Chicago to stay with her aunts (the Setinas), who were friends with the Pozuns who had also lived in a small town in Kansas. It was a small interconnected world back then for Slovenian immigrants. In Chicago Jennie and Vince married and she convinced him to come back to that small town in Wyoming (eventually). And there they took pictures like these that are, well, very Wyoming.
But from their times in Chicago, they took lots and lots of fabulous pictures like these . . where grandma wore heels and hats and lots of fabulous dresses and pantsuits and papa wore suit pants and his army uniform:
(The above photo's kinda grainy but this isn't actually my grandfather, I believe it was his brother Matt)
And from grandma and grandpa's courthouse wedding:

Vince and his witness/best man (Jennie's brother Jerry) relaxing.
And tucked in the photo envelope with this treasure trove of photos from Chicago was this song/poem, very carefully and neatly transcribed in Papa's handwriting with it written to Jennie on the outside.  I never really thought much about the hows and whys of why they ended up in Wyoming over Kansas with Vince's family but this poem I think gives a bit of insight toward grandma's thoughts about leaving the city and coming back home.  He credits Ethel Arbenz with the text, but I could find no good reference for it anywhere. So, here you go:
Take Me Back to Old Wyoming

Take me back to old Wyoming
When I'm through with all my roaming
Let me settle there and finish out my life
There is nothing that can beat it
If you're big enough to meet it
Though you'll surely meet with lots of care and strife

When you wake up in the winter
And the snow is on the ground
You'll just have to grin and bear it
There's nothing you can do, I swear it
But in summer it will fill your heart with pride

Just to see the rollin' prairie
With a breeze that's light and airy
It's a country I will tell you is sure and sweet
You can look the country over
From Seattle back to Dover
But you'll agree that old Wyoming can't be beat

Folks who ever try to leave it
Let me tell you they will grieve it
It will call to them and never give them rest
Till they stop their wild roaming
And hit the trail to Old Wyoming
And settle in a home out in the West.
- By Ethel Arbenz

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