Thursday, September 05, 2013

Best Return to my Ancestral Homeland

It might take me the rest of the year, but I promise I'm going to blog up my family's trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone. But between arriving in Utah and heading for Wyoming there was one other important trip to make: a visit to Downey, Idaho with Dad and Grandma.

A fellow traveler headed for that famous Idaho surf.

The rolling hills of Southern Idaho.

Flags West Truck Stop.

And our ancestral home in lovely Downey.

The primary purpose of our trip was to visit Uncle Lavern.  He's living in an assisted living facility that used to be the Downey grade school.  Circle of Life.  So it goes.

Brother and Sister.

Family stories.

I was raised on tales of Uncle Lavern, fearsome and bold farm stories. As a kid I was intimidated but drawn to his friendly gruffness. Even now, from his bed, he still exudes a strong and jovial energy. 

We had the good fortune of being in Downey for the last day of the county rodeo.

Where I observed a mind-boggling spectacle, the Hog Wash Round Up

Where they blast kids with soapy water as they try to capture a pig and place it in a barrel. I could have watched this all day but instead I watched it for five minutes.

The fair was a little sleepy on its last afternoon, but fun was still being had here and there.

Most of the food stands had closed.  I'd long missed my chance to get a corn dog. Had a nice chicken sandwich, though.

Saturday was the day of a rather impressive auto show.

After the fair, a visit to the Cambridge Cemetery.

Here dad stands at the end of the line of gravestones memorializing the 8 children this family lost in about as many years. Story is they went on to have 8 more children that lived.

Family plot.

Paid a parting visit to Lavern and parted Downey, passing spots that have mattered to me my whole life.


Dad said...

Thanks Brig. Great post.

Kristen said...

Perfect description of Lavern.