Beakers, Burets, and Bunsen Burners—Oh My!

Week 14: #52 Ancestors – Check It Out By Eilene Lyon My grandmother, Reatha (Gusso) Halse, never finished high school, but she spent two decades working in the Chemistry department at Oregon State University. As the supply room clerk, she spent her days checking out laboratory equipment to undergrads. Reatha became a widow at age... Continue Reading →

Parsing Their Politics

Week 44: #52 Ancestors – Voting By Eilene Lyon Because neither Ancestry nor Family Search have Oregon voter registrations online for my ancestors, I do not really know how they voted. I can’t recall having political discussions with my grandparents. I do, however, have a clue about one grandparent’s leanings. My Halse grandparents grew up... Continue Reading →

Misperception

Week 45: #52 Ancestors - Bearded By Eilene Lyon I don't recall when I first saw some version of the image above of my grandfather, Everett Halse, but as a child, it stuck in my mind that he was a bearded man. This, despite the fact that every other photo of Grandpa showed him clean-shaven.... Continue Reading →

The Successful Farmer

Week 42: #52 Ancestors – Proud By Eilene Lyon The prompt brought this photo to mind almost immediately, though it seems an odd choice. No one looks particularly happy in this image of the Halse family taken about 1912 in Codington County, South Dakota. Back row: Inez, Everett (my grandfather), Hazel, Howard, LloydFront row: Mabel,... Continue Reading →

Ceremonies

Week 50: #52 Ancestors – Tradition By Eilene Lyon I can’t think of too many traditions that have survived down to my generation, but one of them is age-old and nearly universal: marriage. When I look back through my ancestry, I find a surprising number of winter weddings. I think people were always looking for... Continue Reading →

Play Ball! (or Not)

Week 41: #52 Ancestors – Sports By Eilene Lyon South Dakota Winter entertainment in 1930s South Dakota was somewhat limited. There were movies and dances. And basketball. My grandparents, Reatha Gusso (15) and Everett Halse (30), were dating in January and February 1932 and watching basketball games was one of the acceptable activities. Reatha mentions... Continue Reading →

The Halse Work Ethic

Week 36: #52 Ancestors – Work By Eilene Lyon I got my work ethic from my dad. We kids were expected to do a variety of chores (wash dishes, dust, set the table, clean the bathroom) from a very early age. We were given a generous allowance, too, so we also learned to manage our... Continue Reading →

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