When I was growing up, Memorial Day in our town was a little like a scene from Lake Wobegon -- marching bands, decorated veterans, Gold Star Mothers. But it was a day for more personal memorials too -- people made a point of taking flowers to the cemetery to honor loved ones who were no longer with us.
First Sunday Walk to Newton, October 1910Although the details of my grandmother's life surrounded me, I never had the pleasure of knowing her. My grandfather Fred, on the other hand, was my favorite companion and best friend when I was a small child. He made up silly games, taught me the names of colors, showed me how to make simple drawings, comforted me when I was hurt, and provided unconditional love.
I recently discovered pictures of him as a young man in a photo album that had been created by one of his sisters between 1910 and 1914. His playful, kind nature shines out through these old photos and reminds me of what a special person he was.
A word about the photos: Each year, the family chose a different lighthearted name for their week together at a local resort. "Camp Peanut" was the name they chose in 1910. "Sunday Walk" chronicles the first walk to visit relatives who lived about 7 miles outside of town. My grandfather was in his mid-20s in these pictures.