In the news … Iowa summers

When I was a kid visiting my grandparents during the summer in Orange City, Iowa, items in the local newspaper told of who in the community was traveling, entertaining, visiting, and celebrating special occasions. Now I find in old newspaper archives that our own summer visits were noteworthy a couple of times. The picture here is from a visit in the 1970s,  but the news items speak of earlier years. According to the news of the day in August 1966, we were visiting from Belcourt, North Dakota. In 1969, I learn, my parents arrived in Iowa from our new home in New Mexico to retrieve my sister and me, and “a family gathering was held for them on Monday evening.”

Most of my random memories of those visits are of ordinary but reassuring summer activities — going for ice cream, going to the park to swim or to play on the “Flying Dutchman” swing, coloring in coloring books, walking to the town center, visiting neighbors… Often our cousins, aunts, and uncles came by. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have brief memories of hanging out in our grandparents’ hardware store making bows for gift wrapping. We went to a Reformed Church on Sundays, where my grandfather had peppermints on hand. We picked green beans from my grandmother’s back yard garden and took them inside to snap the ends off before she cooked them for dinner … Sometimes we ended our visits with a trip downtown for a small souvenir — I still have my blue Delft windmill, though its blades are a little wobbly now… These news items and photos, like that little windmill, provoke warm and happy memories of cherished visits, and I am grateful to have them.

See other posts in this series, In the News.

(A good source for old newspapers is newspaperarchive.com. )

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This entry was posted in In the news..., IOWA (ALL), IOWA (Sioux County), Kreykes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to In the news … Iowa summers

  1. Sarah Reines says:

    I remember doing many of those same things with Grandma and Grandpa. Lovely memories.

    • ljhlaura says:

      Sarah … unless my memory is playing strange tricks on me, one of my other Iowa summer memories is of going with Grandma to take a peek at you in the hospital shortly after you were born…

  2. Susan Christopherson says:

    How fun that there are newspaper articles of your visits. I remember her garden, too, and eating carrots straight out of the dirt. And eating cookies out of the refrigerator and room-temperature coke. Or, Grandpa would slip me a handful of cashews. Did Grandma ever play Racko with you?

    • ljhlaura says:

      Grandpa slipped you cashews?? 😀 The garden is definitely a strong memory. I guess I don’t really remember Racko, but I’m not as young as I used to be … That sounds fun, though — I love that you guys have good memories, too. It’s fun to read about them!

  3. Mary Lohr says:

    Great description of a summer visit to Iowa. It was on such a visit to the Ackley and Wellsburg area visiting my aunt and uncle that I became interested in genealogy, oh so many years ago.

    • ljhlaura says:

      Thanks much … and how wonderful that it sparked your interest in genealogy! The towns you mention sound like north-central, northeast Iowa … I’m hoping to get to that region later this year…

  4. JM Simpson says:

    I still get the Marcus News, which still lists what various people are doing or who they are visiting.

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