As I Remember



Reminiscences of and for the Family

Cars. Despite what you may think, I don't remember horse and buggy transportation. I don't actually remember the car we had when I was really young, but it was a black "touring car," with two seats and that "open air" look. I only know about it from pictures dating to that time. The first car I remember was a green "Model A," and I don't even remember it when it was new. I learned to drive (taught by G'pa Brandt) driving it below the house, and and down the little hills, hanging frantically to the steering wheel because the front door on the driver's side was missing! The first car I really remember was a big Dodge that Daddy went back to Nebraska to take delivery on. Mom and her little brother Bill went as far as Nebraska by train, and Daddy picked them up there for the ride home. Bill never got over lording it over us about that train right-- they had been served finger bowls in the dining room, and it gave him an eternal superiority! Bu Daddy had an accident and overturned the car somewhere en route to them. The only damage was an audible one. Every time that car made a turn to the right, it emitted a prolonged and agonized sound-- we dubbed it "The Turkey" and that's what we dealt with as long as that car lasted. And it lasted during the time I was learning to drive-- interesting sound to explain to the examiner during my test! (That brings out the story of how my driver's license said I had orange eyes... I took off from Latin Class to take my test, so Daddy filled out the application while I took off with the examiner. Didn't know until the license came in the mail that Daddy gave me orange eyes-- always knew he was colorlind!) Never would have passed that test anyway if that examiner hadn't been in his Latin class with Mom! He told me to turn left-- I didn't know my left from my right so I hazarded a guess and when he asked me to turn left again, I just went the same way. He asked me then if I knew left from right and I admitted I didn't. But he had heard I was out of Latin class to be there, so he said he'd never have made it through Latin class without Mom, and that took care of that! The next car G'pa bought was a Packard-- a great big lovely one. It was stick-shift because G'ma wouldn't drive an automatic. And when they traded that car in and had only a picked, G'ma drove no more because she wouldn't even try an automatic!


Family gatherings were often. We didn't have Family Reunions as such, but every holiday like Christmas and Easter and every time a relative came from the east (really the Midwest), the family gathered. We sort of took turns between Aunt Alica Brandt, Aunt Ada Grauer, Aunt Lou Latham, and us. Then Mom's health took a down-turn and Aunt Alice inherited it all. We always teased poor Glen unmercifully for not eating meat for fowl-- imagine that helped solidify that quirk of his. And what a lovely time we had at Aunt Lou's-- she always had roasted filberts and that wonderful stereopticon to play with. We actually drew names for Christmas and exchanged gifts until I was college age-- I remember the last one I received was a beautiful scarf from Arlete Grauer (Buchholz). That Christmas was at Mom's-- guess she took her turn, but not as often as Aunt Alice. The Family Reunions as we know them today started the year Emilie was a baby-- in our yard-- had one for Brandts every year thereafter and one for the Gutbrod side about every five years. Thanks to Richard DeJong we blended them-- he said he didn't want "to spoil two Sundays!"


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Last Modified: 05/01/2000 21:11:45

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