Showing posts with label History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label History. Show all posts

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Birthday Party for Geraldine

My little town is a pretty special place.  At least some of us think so.  Over the Fourth of July weekend we had us a reason to throw a party.  The town of Geraldine turned 100 years old!  The town was scrubbed, painted, spruced up and fixed up like it had a hot date!  Long empty flower beds were filled, streets were swept and just about everyone put a coat of paint on something!  Then we had a parade. Of course we had a parade!!  Summer in a tiny, Montana town just wouldn't be the same without parades!

We had our fire trucks and old tractors and vintage automobiles....

Hired Man Jim at the wheel.

Of course there were cowboys.... and mountain men.  Like, real ones.

We had some floats of a variety you wouldn't see, say in San Francisco or Seattle....

There were something like a hundred entries in the parade this year.  Which is amazing considering there are usually about seven.

Where there are cowboys, you also find cowgirls.  Of all ages....


But my very favorite.... has to be the draft teams!  I love them!!

So there you have a little view of our small town party.  We also had a concert with the Bellamy Brothers, which had to be the biggest name to ever make an appearance in Geraldine.  Then we had a street dance and the best fireworks show this town had ever seen.  All and all I think we showed our small town pride just perfectly and here's hoping we will see another hundred years for Geraldine.

Bye for now,

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Knitting Group

Yesterday I got a wild hair.  I decided to grab my knitting projects and head down to the senior citizens center and join in on the knitting group that meets every Tuesday.  I had some new yarns I was pretty excited about and looked forward to being able to knit and talk to some grown-ups for a couple of hours.
This is the scarf I finished at the knitting group.

I did happen to be the youngest woman in the room by and average of maybe forty years.  I think the ladies were a little surprised to see me plop down in a recliner to join their group.  A couple of the ladies knew who I was but the others I had never met before.  So I gave a short run down of who's place I had bought and that my knitting was strictly out of fleece from my own little fuzzy critters.  Then I just listened mostly....

One lady in particular had me fascinated.  Her name is Katie and she has lived all of her life right here in Chouteau County.  I believe she said she was 83 years young.  She grew up on a homestead up in the Highwood Mountains, on Shonkin Creek. 

Her dad was an immigrant from England and her mom had immigrated from Scotland.  She told me how her dad came here, homesteaded the place and was raising sheep up on the Shonkin.  Until the wolves, (yes wolves!) the coyotes and the harsh winters decimated the sheep.  Then he became a sheep shearer and would travel around each spring, shearing hundreds of sheep by hand, in a time before electric clippers. Anything to help make ends meet.

Geraldine in it's early years.

Katie's mother was one of 10 children back in Scotland.  When one of her siblings came here to Geraldine, she ended up following.  Her sister's children had both died within three days of each other, during the scarlet fever epidemic.  The sister was just six weeks from delivering a new baby when she lost her children and sent for Katie's mother to come help with the baby and also work in the general store they ran here in Geraldine.  She was here for a couple of years before Katie's dad came into the store one day.

A friend had told him, "There's a young lass down at the store you outta meet."  So he made the trip to town with the excuse if needing to buy a bar of soap, just so he could meet the "lass".  They met and then courted for about a year before getting married.  He was 47 and she was 28 when they married.  He moved her to the homestead where sometimes it was six months before she even saw another woman.  But Katie says they loved each other and were the happiest couple on Shonkin Creek for all of their marriage.

 I don't know about you, but their story just tugs at my heart.  What a legacy of love to have!  Now Katie's son runs his cows on the homestead place.  They are one of the families that have been here in Geraldine since the very beginning of this place. All because two people fell in love....

I warned the ladies at the knitting group that they might end up on my blog.  I have their blessing and it is my hope I retold Katie's story without errors.

Bye for now,