Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Albert Meets June

Albert Meets June

In the 1930s, the Evans family loved going to Grand Junction, Michigan located between Saddle Lake and Silver Lake.  The white pine and hemlock trees first attracted the white man to this area.  The town was settled in the 1870s when it was known the railroads were coming.  The Grand Rapids to Chicago Pere Marquette and the Kalamazoo to South Haven Michigan Central Rail Roads crossed at Grand Junction.

The Pottawatomie's still roamed the area after Grand Junction was established.  Chief Pokagon had these thoughts about the changes,  "our campfires have all gone out!  Our wigwams, and they who built them with their children, have forever disappeared from this beautiful land.  And where we walked in single file along our winding trails, now locomotives scream as they rush along their iron rails like beasts of prey!"  I understand his feeling.  When I return to familiar places I find overgrown fields, dark rotting farm buildings, buildings gone and deserted swimming holes.  As we zip through our life here on earth we do not get do-overs.  We change, friends changes, places change but we were there.  Celebrate those memories and God's everlasting love for us.

As your travel guide, I will now start sharing farm history that occurred during my life time which started in 1940.  Click on photos to enlarge.

Meet the Evans family in 1940:  William Henry Evans (1854-1928) and Ellen Adele Griffin (1855-1897) settled the farm where my grand father Homer (1887-1962) was born.  Adelbert (1858-1911) King and Dora Ida Mizel (1870-1961) were the parents of my grand mother Pearl Mae Evans (1888-1971).  Pearl and Homer raised 11 children on that farm and my mother June Pearl was in the middle.  The uncles used the Evans farm like a sportsman's club (fishing, hunting and poker playing).  Uncle Eddie (Ethel) Michaud, who work for Ford, always had a new car to show off at the Sunday gatherings.

While Helen (June's sister) was attending Maher's Business School (1937-39) Helen dated Al Sankofski (Albert's best friend).  This led to Albert and June double dating with Al and Helen when Albert was home from hauling cars.  The dance hall in Grand Junction, was a frequent destination.  It may have been the same bar and dance hall where Albert helped Uncle Tobe remove his slot machines right after Prohibition ended.  Albert impressed Pearl and Homer Evans with fruit from the farm and June impressed Edna and Bill as a teacher.  Both fun-loving families pulled pranks on the young lovers while they were dating.  Grandpa Bill would often use poor English to test the teacher.  In the fall of 1939 Albert and June eloped to LaPorte, Indiana to get married.  After marriage they rented a house near the family fruit farm.

I was in the 1940 Evans family photo but had not yet been born.  I was to become the third of 21 grand children for Pearl and Homer.  Ernie Butler Jr. and Carole Evans preceded me.  On the Overhiser side of the family I was the first of 16 grand children for Edna and Bill.  Can you get the picture of what Sunday gatherings at the Evans or Overhiser farms would look like.  Yes, there was lots of food, cousins, aunts, uncles, cats, dogs, chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows. 

At the Farm March 1, 2011

The family did get up north to Boyne Mountain for a ski and water park weekend.  Trimming of the apple trees is almost complete.  Trimming of other trees will continue all spring.  Tax records are being worked on and a new software program is being learned.  This program is for recording information on the application of chemicals.  These records are required by EPA and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and have been recorded by hand in the past.  Allan and his spray consultants are trained and licensed to apply chemicals.  They also set insect traps to more accurately determine what problems need attacking.