Looking north at downtown Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin on Wisconsin Highway 78. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Lately, I have been thinking about my Mom. No, it isn’t the anniversary of her birth or death, its June. When I was a kid, I thought Mom was named for the month of June. Turns out, she wasn’t. She was named for her grandmother Juntje who was born in the Netherlands in the late nineteenth century and migrated to Holland Michigan as a young adult.
Mom’s family migrated back and forth between Michigan and Wisconsin most of her life, but Mom was born in Prairie du Sac Wisconsin and graduated from the Prairie du Sac high school. I worked this out this bit of knowledge using her birth and high school graduation certificates.
No one told me these things. No one told me very much at all about my Mom. She is an enigma, a cipher.
The handwriting on the back of the photo (to the left) of Mom and me and taken somewhere in one of those many places we rented in the South when I was a child, and merely says, “She’s too fat for me.” I assume she means herself, although how she could have been “fat” is beyond me. At the time, we had a cow and chickens and she had at least two children, and Dad was always traveling, so she took care of everything at home.
Come to think of it, she might have been pregnant with my brother when this photo was taken. If so, this would locate the scene in Georgia, although the house looks wrong. We lived in a cinder block house in Georgia. The siding on the old clapboard farm house in this photo tells me it was in South Carolina and I must have been about five. Maybe. We lived in two places in South Carolina. My childhood is a vague memory. If my Dad had not taken photos, I would remember nothing at all.
Of one thing I am certain. The dog in the photo above and to the left is my dog Fiesti. he was only a pup when we lived in South Carolina. He was one of my childhood dogs, but the one I remember best because I had him longest.
He moved with us to Aberdeen North Carolina. Then Southern Pines, then High Point. I lost him in High Point. I came home from school one day when I was in third grade, and he was gone.
They told me they had “taken him to a farm” because he bit the mailman. I doubt it. He was on a chain during the day when I was at school and could not get the mailman. I think they had him put down. I don’t know why. His loss was traumatic for me and probably why I have so many dogs now. But you can’t replace one lost love with another.
Now how did I end up here, starting with Mom and ending with a dog? I miss them both, and both have been gone for many decades.