Sunday, July 10, 2011

Time Travel Tuesdays~Ninety Years Ago

July 12, 1921
Imagine yourself in Mesa, Arizona in mid-July. (Not hard for some of you, I know!) Now, put yourself inside this hot, muggy bungalow home with no electricity, which means not even a fan to cool you. Imagine a 37 year old woman in labor for many hours about to give birth. My father, George Dean Ellsworth was born an unbelievable 90 years ago today to that sweet woman, Annie Dean Ellsworth and her husband George Franklin (Frank) Ellsworth. His father described him as "a fine, big, blonde boy". 
When I was small and my mother was out running errands we would drive by the YMCA building on East 2nd St. and she would tell me, "that is where the house was, where you father was born."
I honor these women from the past who did without the comforts and medical technology we have today.

This is the Ellsworth home on E. 2nd St. and Mesa Drive. This is the side view. The front is in the following pictures. See the old concrete road? 
I remember many of those still being around when I was small in the 60's.

The next photo is of my father at 6 months of age, being held by his mother Annie, beside his father Frank.
Lora, Ruth, and Dora are in front. Notice his cute little knit cap and my Grandmother's coat with a fur collar?  January in Mesa can get a bit chilly!

This next picture I have always loved. Here are the girls with their baby dolls and their real baby in the wicker buggy behind them. I love this buggy and dearly wish it was still around! I would love to stand there and picture my big, strong, father tiny enough to fit in it!

This is my favorite photo of my Dad as a small child. I love the sweet look on his face, his very blonde hair, and the smooth baby skin that was untouched by years in the sun and hard work that lay ahead. Do you grand-kids recognize those hands? Even as a little guy he still had his big "Grandpa" hands!
SO...George grew up in the hot Arizona desert and was helpful in making it "bloom as the rose". He worked on, planted, and harvested much of the land that is now under asphalt and sub-divisions. He herded dairy cows on what was literally desert. He swam in dirt-sided canals, rode Old Bill the sway backed horse, out to the fields every morning, had  family picnics in desert washes and thought it all was great fun. He and his buddies had plenty of mischief too. They swiped watermelons from the fields of a neighbor who actually knew they would be around and left some for "the boys".  They had hay rides out on the desert and built great bonfires. They were good kids from good families, and they were always home in time for their chores. (According to them!) They spent their evenings gathered as families listening to radio shows or singing together. They went to bed with the sun and rose with it too. Life was simpler in so many ways, but harder in a lot of ways too. Just as I marvel at the women who gave birth in such humble circumstances, I give honor to those who went before us to pave the was, as it were, for us to live the good lives we have.

When you got tired you did the sensible thing. You took a good long nap on a sweet quilt that your mother had made. No video games turning boys into mindless mush heads!

It's hard for me to imagine my Dad as a 90 year old. He's been gone for 8 years now but I know he's out there, checking in on us all and shaking that big, gnarly finger at us when we mess up!
Happy Birthday Dad! I'll Love you FOREVER!


Annie said...

That Milking shot is one of my favorites! Happy Birthday Grandpa! Annaroo misses you!

Sarah said...

I miss him so much it hurts! He was such a wonderful influence in my life and I will be forever grateful that he was my grandpa! It's hard to believe that 10 years ago we were all in Bloomfield surprising him for his 80th birthday- how does the time go by so quickly?

URFAVE5 said...

I agree with Sarah, where does the time go? I had so much fun with everyone that year in Bloomfield. I miss grandpa!

Thanks for sharing this post! Happy Birthday Grandpa George! We love you!