Even though not too many of my school mates completed grade eight due to poverty, they all helped at home. We never heard of government grants, welfare, or any kind of financial support. I remember going to Fosston with my dad by horse and wagon. Freight trains pulled in and there were as many men on the freight cars, used gophers in the fields. Our shopping list was never too demanding, usually sugar, salt, syrup, yeast, and such.
At the age of thirteen, for the first time he saw a coal-fired steam engine that was rolling along a long rural road. From that point he grew more fascinated about machines that moved about a roads without any manpower. At the age of sixteen, and against the wishes of his father, he left the home farm for Detroit, where he found work as a mechanic’s apprentice. He was faced with low paying jobs. Working for $2.50 in mechanics shop then moved to watchmaker were he worked for four hours and was paid $2 a week.
He went hunting every year with him. It did not matter what the weather was like or what other plans he made he always made time to spend with his family. It was a big shock to my dad because he never expected his dad to die that early in life. At least he lived a great life and I know that he went to heaven my dad said. In ending, my dad grew up on a farm in Pillager, Minnesota.
I lived with an alcoholic until I was ten. My stepfather had two personalities: Nick and Earl. Earl was the soft-spoken, earnest hard worker. He was a log cutter for a company that supplied East Texas timber to the local Georgia-Pacific Paper Mill. Each weekday morning he would arise before everyone else, load and fire-up the small woodstove in the living room so that we would awaken to a warm house.
I only had the privilege to go down there with him once. My grandpa also taught me how to drive. When I was only 14 he took me to the farm in his Ram 1500 and he let me drive around the property just to learn how to drive. Then one day after he got tired he told me to just drive him home. so that was my first time on the highway at 14 and in a full sized truck.
My grandparents’ farm house in the little town of Beechwood, Wisconsin was a very special place to me. I spent most of my childhood at that house and created many memories there as well. Every Sunday, my family and I would go to 9:30 church service, then after hurry to my grandparents’ house for the lunch awaiting us; salty mashed potatoes, corn and a different meat every time. Every week I would look forward to lunch after church at the farm house. As soon as lunch was completed my brothers and I scrambled out of the patio door to enjoy the rest of the day which included many things; riding on the Kawasaki Mule, playing with the dogs, playing pool upstairs, or just exploring
Frank’s father also had a large impact on his son’s life. Able to play a dozen instruments, he taught Frank to play the piano, the violin and the cello. He also taught Frank the importance of the acoustics, the way the sound vibrates off obstructions, such as walls in a building. In the summer, Frank would go to Wisconsin to work on his uncles’ farms. They would wake up at four every morning to feed the animal s and milk the cows.
There his father bought a farm, built a house, and set up his own tannery. Jesse and Hannah had five more children there, two boys and three girls. Grant love horses and learned to manage them at an early age. When he was seven or eight he could drive a team and began hauling all the wood used in the house and shops. From that point on until he reached seventeen, Grant did all the work done with horses; such as breaking up the land, furrowing, plowing corn, bringing in the crops when harvested, and hauling wood.
Showing up the Actor When I was younger I spent much of my time alone. My father bred in me, perhaps by nothing more than his example, a certain New England stoicism which thrived on solitude. Nothing displayed this rustic discipline more than the pop-up camper my father bought from our neighbors when I was six. From that summer our family spent most vacations on the road, pulling the camper behind us, my father winching it up and spreading the canvas roofing in Nova Scotia or Florida or upstate New York. Many summers later I insisted that I live in the camper, parked in the driveway.
I approach the sliding wooden door to enter the front living room and see some bird feed on the floor that must have been spilled the previous week along with a stack of news papers. This single story brick house was purchased by my Grandma and Grandpa twenty years ago. Ever since, the house has been filled with nothing but love and laughter. Behind the house, there are five or six tall, skinny trees that have died from disease but haven't fallen to the grass covered ground. Near the loose clothes line in the back yard, there are four rose bushes that need water.