Let’s Dance!

Week 29: #52 Ancestors – Music By Eilene Lyon Of all the family photos I’ve scanned in recent years, this is a favorite. In the middle sits my great-grandfather, Walter Gusso (1890 – 1980), flanked by his two younger brothers, Henry (with violin) and Bill (cornet). They also had a sister, Katie, but I don’t... Continue Reading →

Our Trip to Oregon

Week 28: #52 Ancestors – Travel By Eilene Lyon In 1942, my grandparents, Reatha and Everett Halse, made the decision to leave Florence, South Dakota, and head west. Everett’s younger brother, Alvin Halse, was already living in Corvallis, Oregon, and had a job waiting for Everett. That summer, they packed up their worldly possessions and... Continue Reading →

Extending the Family

By Eilene Lyon The “Greats” Getting to know extended family can be challenging. In my case, geographic separation was a serious obstacle to spending time with even closest kin (grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins). Until recently, it was a rare occasion that I ever met any of the “greats”: great-grandparents, great-uncles, and great-aunts. Nor did... Continue Reading →

He Dreamed of Being a Marine

Week 21: #52 Ancestors – Military By Eilene Lyon Nathan Everett Halse entered this world at 3:30 p.m., Friday June 22, 1945, weighing six pounds, 3 ½ ounces. He was the fourth son born to Everett and Reatha Halse. Unlike his brothers, he was born in Corvallis, Oregon, not the family’s home state of South... Continue Reading →

A Cold Day in Milwaukee

Week 20: #52 Ancestors – Another Language By Eilene Lyon “Charlie Gusso (1862 – [19]31) was born in Milwaukee, Wisc. When he was three days old his father was killed in a train accident. Charlie married Olive Springer (1870 – [19]41), daughter of Charles and Margaret Springer of Sparta, Wisc. After their marriage in 1889... Continue Reading →

Reatha Gusso, 1932

Week 18: #52Ancestors – Close Up By Eilene Lyon Being an Army brat, I didn’t grow up close to my extended family. But I always had a special affinity for my paternal grandmother, Reatha (Gusso) Halse. Her home was in Corvallis, Oregon, and she worked at Oregon State University in the chemical lab supply room.... Continue Reading →

Dexter Cemetery

Week 17: #52Ancestors – Cemetery By Eilene Lyon This may strike you as a strange project, but I never claimed to not be weird. There is this little cemetery in Dexter Township, Codington County, South Dakota, where I am related to a vast majority of the “inhabitants” in one way or another. Note that the... Continue Reading →

Stella Braves The Storm

Week 16: #52 Ancestors – Storms By Eilene Lyon Stella Gusso didn’t ordinarily let the farm dog in the house, but something didn’t feel right. The building clouds were ominous-looking. Stella’s husband and the other men of the family were not home that evening, so Stella brought the begging dog indoors. The noise of the... Continue Reading →

Unmarried, Childless, and Long-lived

Week 14: #52Ancestors – Maiden Aunt: Catharine “Kate” Rowley (1826 – 1912) By Eilene Lyon When I saw the prompt “Maiden Aunt” I immediately thought of Catharine “Kate” Rowley. She was one of eight or nine children born to Erastus Rowley and Mary Annable (4th gr-grandparents), and she outlived all her siblings, despite the handicap... Continue Reading →

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