Saturday, February 21, 2015

Last Pictures of Wes & Hubert Robison

Maybe it is fitting, that the last pictures I have, of my dad and his brother, Hubert, should be posted on a rainy day like today. The tragedy of Hubert's death, overshadowed their lives, and after these pictures, I don't see another one of my dad, Wes, until he is grown. Now maybe somewhere, there are more pictures, but no more were sent to relatives, that I know of, from this point, until my father was much older. I don't think Grandma Lillie, could bear the sorrow, of taking or sending pictures anymore.

Here is Wes, on the left, and Hubert on the right, with their dog. Looks like he is getting ready to bolt, or at least he won't sit still, so Hubert has practically a death grip on him.

I think Grandpa Shorty, liked Ford pickups, and no doubt this one is red too, for I have another picture, that is of grandpa sitting on his 1952, red, Ford pickup. This truck happens to be a 1941 Ford.
Wes is to the left, with his hands on his hips, hamming it up as usual. I like Grandpa's attempt at looking casual, leaning back against the truck, while Hubert tries to stare down the camera, and is standing with his hands in his pockets.

Like most of our family, when pictures are taken, out in the sun, we squint so much, our eyes nearly disappear. This makes it pretty hard to get a decent picture, so I applaud Grandma Lillie for her efforts.

Starting at the back from left to right: Thomas "Tom" C. Fallis.

Tom Fallis, was married to Bertha Florence Thompson, the daughter of Jessie Clarence Thompson, and Zettie Pearl Beck. Jesse, was the brother of Grandma Lillies father, (our grt. grandpa), Charles Oren Thompson, and Zettie was the sister, to Grandma Lillies mother, (& our grt. grandma), Flossie Beck. Making Bertha Thompson-Fallis, Grandma Lillies, double 1st cousin, and Tom, double 1st cousin in-law.

On the right in back, is Grandpa Shorty Robison. In front on left, is Wes, and on right in front, is Hubert.

This picture was taken in the summer of 1944, and is the last known picture of Hubert, before his accident, in October of that same year. It was taken when Tom and Bertha came out for a visit, to grandma & grandpa's place, on the Cedar Falls Road, in Washington, from their home in Oklahoma.

I may be wrong, but I believe the house in the background, was the little house, that 1/2 uncle, Edwin Knickerbocker, and wife, 1/2 aunt, Clarice Lee-Knickerbocker, lived in at one point, when they were out here from Missouri, and before they lived in Snoqualmie, where their daughter, Sharon was born. The house looks like the same one, that sat just over the fence from our house, on the lower Cedar Falls Road.

Grandma Lillie told me, that at one time, Edwin & Clarice, lived next door to them, on the Cedar Falls Road, in a little tiny house. So it may be safe to assume, this one is it. They were Grandpa Shorties half brother & wife, who came out West, for a few years, but didn't stay, and returned to their home town of Doniphan, Ripley Co., Missouri.  Since they were married in 1941 in Ripley Co., Missouri, and dau., Sharon was born in 1947 in Snoqualmie, than they must have lived in that little house, sometime, between 1941 - 47. More on them later.

Wes & Hubert Robison Brothers at Play

Childhood memories, are such precious things. They ought to be filled with simple joyful things, like these two brothers shared. Tho sometimes they were naughty little scamps.

Grandma Lillie, told stories, of the kinds of things, the boys got up to. How they climbed on the mink shed roof, and slid down, tearing their hands, and clothes on the nails sticking out. She only found out, because they had to come up to the house, to bandage the cuts on their hands.

Then there was the time, Wes put a rope from the attic, which was up two stories, out the window to the ground, for them to shinny down. Only the rope wasn't long enough, so he tied a length of wire in a knot, to the rope, so they could slide down, only to once again cut their hands, on the wire knot. These were typical boyish travails, and no doubt there were many others, just these two seemed to stick in grandma's mind a lot.

There was of course, Huberts prank, of stripping all the pea pods, of their pea's, but leaving all the pods on the vines, for grandma to find, or Wes taking a can of tar, and switching the label for one off a can of beans. Then he slid the can of beans to the front of the shelf, hoping grandma would open it, thinking it was beans. She kept pushing it back on to the shelf, where it belonged, and the next time she went to the cupboard, there would be that can of beans, out front again. It made her suspicious, and when she took too long to use it, Wes finally confessed to the prank.

I don't think that there were two boys, more suited to each other, for the getting up to mischief, and tho grandma claimed, Wes thought up most of the pranks, I wonder?! It seems to me, Hubert had a very active imagination, as well as dad.

Here are the boys, Hubert on the left, and Wes in shadow, riding a couple of old sawhorses. I wonder what the gadget is, that Wes is holding? He always loved to tinker, and was a wiz at all things mechanical.

I remember playing cowboys and Indians, on sawhorses, when I was about their age, at Grandma Lillies house, they very well could have been, those same sawhorses. But it wasn't long, 'round about when I was ten or eleven, step-dad, Richard Thomas, bought us the real thing, in the shape of two ponies. A tall, skinny, chocolate brown, Welsh pony, named Brinky, and a short, fat, light tan, Shetland pony, named Bronko. The latter being very aptly named. He liked to buck, even if it wasn't more than three inches off the ground. The stories I could tell about those two, and the run around they gave us children.

Brinky, the Welsh, was so bony, he was like riding the ridge-pole of a roof, and Bronko, the Shetland, was so fat, he was like riding a barrel. Both ponies, loved nothing more, than to rake you off on barbed wire fences, run you under the bar, on our homemade swing-set, or run for the tall timber, and try to rake you off, on the nearest tree trunk, or low lying limb. I am here to testify, that I experienced all of those things, and more, at one time or another, from those two blasted ponies, and still can't figure out why, I am not afraid of horses?! Maybe after being drug through barbed wire fences, and dumped off repeatedly by those two, I just became immune to the fear of sudden death?!

I will also confess, that during the barbed wire fence incident, with Brinky, I gave him as good as I got. I don't recommend this, these days, but when he did this to me, with intent to injure, I jumped down off his back, punched him in the side of the head, told him to knock it off, and got back on, and rode away. He never tried to run me through a fence again. I don't know where those two ponies, picked up their bad habits, but I wasn't about to put up with it.

My recommendation is, to know the ponies you buy are well mannered, and well trained, before letting your precious darlings, ride them. We didn't have that luxury. If we wanted to ride, we had to put up with those two, and their capricious, wicked behavior. It's a small wonder, that none of us were maimed or killed.

Here is a interesting picture of Hubert, he is wearing a child's size, U.S. Army Uniform, and looks to be carrying a very real, single bolt action, 22 rifle. The uniform had me puzzled for a time, until I found an advertizement for these things, in an old time catalog, from 1941-42 online. In it they sold all kinds of uniforms, and other get-ups for kids. I wonder why Hubert decided on the army uniform? From the ones I saw, I would have gone for the Roy Rogers cowboy outfit, complete with chaps, and six shooter. However, no doubt he was influenced by the start of World War II, and the price. His would have cost just a couple of dollars, but the Roy Rogers outfit, cost more than 8. This would have been far more money, than Grandma and Grandpa could afford.

I see from this picture, that Wes has now got the gun, and borrowed his brothers garrison hat, and Hubert is wearing a tin lid, and also has a side arm. They both seem to be very well pleased, with what they are doing, and I can only assume, the rifle isn't loaded. I notice both boys, are holding it properly, but boy have things changed. People would have a conniption fit, if they saw boys that age nowadays, with an actual rifle.
You can bet grandpa, or grandma, were standing right there, and the boys weren't really playing with it.

It reminds me of this picture of myself and my twin sister Linda, in front of Grandma Lillies house, in Auburn, Washington. See Wes goofing off, and Hubert behaving so nicely?!

Linda on the the left, is clearly behaving, while, like my father, I am acting silly.
This picture, clearly shows, the ultimate difference, between the two of us girls, when we were children. If you notice, my shirt is far from clean, and my hat is festooned with crazy dingle-balls. Meanwhile, Sis is clean as a whistle, and behaving in a proper manner, as befits a picture taking session. Hats off to you Sis, this picture always makes me smile. Can we say, strike a pose?! ha ha ha

Once again Grandma Lillie, is taking the picture. It is in front of her house, that she had in Auburn, Washington, that used to be an old country store, across from the Grange Hall.

Grandpa Shorty & Sons Playing Basball

These next pictures, are just delightful. They are so heartwarming to look at. We can thank Grandma Lillie, for being such an avid photographer. She captured these wonderful moments, of her boys with their father, and also playing ball alone together. It is something right out of a Norman Rockwell painting, and is so fun, that I smile every time I look at them. I am guessing the years at 1939-40 or so.

This picture tickles me so much, I captioned it, "Waitin' to Play Ball!" Here they are, on a hot summers day, wantin to play ball with their dad, and instead they must stand there, squintin into the sun, until grandma Lillie, gets their picture. None of them seem too pleased about the delay either. I can just hear them sayin, "Come on, take the picture already, will ya?!"

Here we see, Huberts up to bat, Wes is catcher, and Shorty is the pitcher. See grandma's shadow, she's certainly got a good shot with this one. I captioned it, "Waitin for the Pitch."
Notice how tanned grandpa is?! At first glance I thought it was a white sleeveless shirt, he was wearing, instead he has his shirt completely off. It must have been one rare hot day, for North Bend.

I love that they are all wearing baseball-caps too. Tho I think that could be a Cub Scout cap, on Huberts head?!

Here's another round of baseball about to begin. Looks like it could be later in the year, at least the weather may be a bit cooler, as they are more covered up. Hubert is on the left, in the white shirt, and Wes is on the right in the dark shirt. I captioned this one, "Who bats first."

Looks to me like a fair way to determine who goes first, and so saves a lot of squabbles. I'll bet Grandma Lillie came up with that solution. She always was good at coming up with nifty idea's like that, to help us kids get along, so I have no doubt she came up with this one too.

I always appreciated Grandma's sense of fairness. The worst she ever had to threaten me with, was a swat from a fly swatter, if I didn't behave. I thought that was so funny, I was glad to mind her.

Judging by the last picture, I dubbed this one, "Hubert up to bat!"  He's really anticipating knocking it out of the ballpark. See how he's coached up the bat, and is leaning back, ready to give the ball a good whopping?! Too bad the picture isn't a wide shot, so we could see Wes, winding up for the pitch.

These pictures bring back so many good memories, of similar games of baseball, played in our front yard, with step-dad, Richard Thomas. He really enjoyed playing with us kids, and it got to be pretty hilarious, when our big black Newfoundland dog, Pete, tried to play too. At our house, the front porch was home base, and an old fir stump in the yard was first base. Second and third were different bushes in the garden. We didn't have strict rules, and the minute someone tried to run, the dog was on you like a flash. It makes me laugh just remembering it. Those were some good times.

Grandpa "Shorty" & Sons

Grandpa, Gerald Dawson Robison, aka Shorty, was a very avid outdoorsman, who loved fishing, hunting, and trapping. Grandpa Shorty also loved his children, as you will see by the pictures I post today.

Here is a very nice picture, of Hubert Eugene Robison, youngest son of Grandpa Shorty, and Grandma Lillie Robison. It looks to have been taken in a studio, when they were living in North Bend, Washington. Hubert was born February 4, 1933, in Seiling, Dewey Co., Oklahoma. He died October 8, 1944 in Seattle, King Co., Washington, at little under 11 years old. He was always full of smiles, and was a natural born story teller. He loved to tell tall tales, and play funny jokes. The tragedy is, his life was cut short, by an accident, which I don't think my father, Wesley, or Grandma Lillie, ever got over. It happened on this wise. One day after school, Hubert and a friend, went to play, after school, at Huberts house, on the Cedar Falls Rd. We will never know, if it was Huberts idea, or if the neighbor kid put him up to it. What we do know, is that his older brother Wes, my father, had a kite. This kite instead of having a ball of string, as its flight connection, had instead, a large coil of thin copper wire. (Grandma Lillie never clearly explained, why Wes had his kite rigged like this?!) Anyway, the boys decided to go out and fly this kite, in the field next to the house. In the process of flying, it flew into the high power lines, and electrocuted Hubert very badly. He was rushed to the hospital, and survived the initial accident, but died after having been in the hospital for about a month.

Grandma Lillie always thought, that they gave him the wrong blood, on his final blood transfusion, for he had O negative blood. She said that they were in process of sending him home, when he died. It is hard to say whether this was actual the case, or if the electricity, had too severely damaged his internal organs. At this point, it doesn't matter. The sorrow it must have caused the family, is heartbreaking to even think about.

You can see from Hubert's picture, what a happy child he must have been, and the light of grandma eyes.

Here is picture, Grandma said was of Wes, and it is a good thing she knew, because it looks very like his younger brother, Hubert. Wes was also given to good humor, and making jokes. He loved his younger brother, and the two were an inseparable pair of scamps, always getting into mischief, as active imaginative boys will do.

As I said above, Grandpa Shorty was into outdoor activities, of all kinds. As you can see, he has been off with the boys fishing, or at least he is having them hold the catch.

Grandma told a story, about how the boys, didn't like to fish with their father, because he was so particular about the proper method for fishing, that it spoiled all of their fun. He wouldn't let them tie their own line, or bait their own hooks, or even cast their lines into the water. So basically they got to hold the pole, until a fish got on, then he would take the pole, and set the hook, and barely let them reel in the fish. I'll bet he made them clean the fish tho.

Thank goodness step-dad, Richard, wasn't like that. He knew how to have real fun with kids, and when you went fishing with him, he taught you how to do everything yourself, and was delighted when you caught a fish, all on your own. I can remember, many a happy time, fishing for brook trout, in the creeks at the base of Mt. Si, with him, and the wonderful taste of those fish, we fried up later for supper.

He taught us how to sneak up close to a brush pile, or log in the creek, making sure our shadow was not cast on the water, to scare the fish away. He taught us how to tie line, and put on a small round lead sinker. He taught us how to put a worm on our hook, as well as how to search for native bugs, the fish liked to eat.

One of bugs we often used to fish with, was caddisfly larvae, which we didn't know the name of, so we called them, periwinkles. They lived on the rocks, in the shallows of the streams. They built funny tubes of teeny tiny rocks, around their soft bodies, to protect themselves, from would be predators. The trout loved them, as well as the night-crawlers, we dug up from our garden, and barnyard.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wesley Gerald Robison 1st Day of School

I know it had been a while since my last post, but living in Hawaii, there is never a dull moment. We have some pretty interesting weather, which can spring up of a sudden, and you find yourself challenged, to rise to the occasion.

However, today I did not get on here, to talk about the weather, but rather post pictures and information regarding, family.

The last time I wrote about Grandma, Lillie Mary Thompson-Robison, the family was living in Prim,  Oklahoma. The times were very tough in Oklahoma, in the thirties, which is when these pictures were taken. So some time about 1935, Grandma's folks, who had moved out to Washington state, wrote to Grandma Lillie, and Grandpa Shorty, telling them, that things were much better in Washington, and there was work to be had. This caused the grandfolks, to pack up everything they could in their old Ford Model T, and head out West. If you want an idea of what they went through, in the dust bowl, in Oklahoma, just read, The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck.

Now the folks didn't have a story as miserable as Steinbecks. For one they weren't criminals, and they went to Washington, not California. Also the older folks, had gone out ahead, and so they knew better, what to expect. It was really tough tho, and grandma spoke of the misery of the people, and how the crops failed, and the banks foreclosed on people, and left them to starve. It affected her, for the rest of her life.

The above picture, is of Hubert Eugene, Grandma Lillie, and our father, Wes. It is Wes' 1st day of school, and he is all dressed up, holding his lunch pail. This is such a nice picture, doubly so, as grandma is in the picture. Grandma didn't like to have her picture taken, so there are very few of her. She liked to take pictures tho, and I am so glad she did. She also liked to write letters, and send people pictures, which is why I am so grateful to those relatives, kind enough to share copies with me, over the years.

Here is a cropped closer version, of the same picture, in hopes you can see it better. I do love photoshop.

These pictures were taken on the old home place, on the Cedar Falls Road, near North Bend, Washington.
As you can see, it was still full of tree's, and hadn't been cleared, like it was by the time we kids came along. I wonder how wild it was then? There were still plenty of bears, and bobcats around, when we were growing up, so you can imagine how wild it was, when Dad and Hubert were boys.

Here is one of Wes, all by himself. It clearly shows, one of his crooked little fingers. Grandma told me, that both of his little fingers were crooked like that. This condition is known as, Camptodactyly, and is a genetically inherited trait. My youngest son, Matthew, also had this exact trait, which was passed down to him, by his grandpa, through me.

I never thought to ask grandma Lillie, if dad also had webbed toes?! This is a trait my youngest son had, which is called Syndactyly. He got this trait passed down to him, from his father, through his grandpa, Daniel Autrey Hanners.

I would guess if dad was six or seven by this time, it would have been 1937-38, when he started school in North Bend, Washington. I wonder if his getup, was typical of boys clothes in those days? Most of the time he was dressed in overalls, as Hubert is, tho lots of times he went shirtless. Must have been the coolness of the Fall weather, there at the base of Mt. Si, and near Snoqualmie Pass, that has him all covered up. Tho grandma may have dressed him up special, just for school. I hope he had fun, and the kids didn't plague him, like some of them did me.

I wonder if he was like me?! I never enjoyed school, as I would have rather been playing in the woods.