Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Jesse and Zella........Dad and Mom......

This is a photo of Zella Marie Brown and Jesse Thomas Burgus in 1938 or 1939 standing in front of a log cabin.  I at first thought it could have been taken in Murray where there was a log cabin brought in to town, but this could also be a cabin at a state park somewhere in Iowa. It was common for the locals to travel to the state parks at that time, as I have photos of my mom and her brothers visiting different parks in the state. Today, they are not visited as much but can be used for family reunions or camping.

My parents were married, eloped, December 21, 1940. They did not have a formal wedding picture taken, but I have a couple of ideas about this one. My dad's side of the family had large family photos taken and I am suspecting that it was taken at the same time as the Burgus clan had their group picture taken.  It would have been in 1941.  Their first son Ronald was born in October of 1941 and dad shipped off for basic training for the United States Army after that time. One of my brothers has this photo as an enlargement and it has been hand tinted. Mom would say that she didn't like this photo and it was because of her hair style.

At the time of their first son's arrival, they lived on Highway 34 outside of Murray, where dad ran a filling station.  They lived in the back area of the station.  They lived there until Jesse was drafted into the army.

My dad was stationed in Washington D.C. for a couple of years before going overseas.  They were able to conceive another son on one of the furlough's home for a family funeral or whatever that brought him home.  Rex, son number two, was born before Dad left for Belgium in 1944.   

Jumping to 1958, my parents are seen here chowing down on homemade sandwiches as we traveled to the western states.  My dad had traveled because of his over seas experiences and he loved to travel to see Colorado and Wyoming. So every summer after we had sold a load of hogs on the market, we would jump into the 1957 Fairlane, no air conditioning, and head west. Notice my mom's short shorts and white plastic button ear rings. It was definitely the fifties.

In December, 1990, we had their 50th wedding celebration.  My dad was already starting to have some health problems that was affecting the quality of life.  He didn't feel good that day and had to have help to get out of the car.  It was a bad day for the event as weather in Iowa is always very cold and there had been a snow storm the night before the day.

My mom writes on the back of some of her photos of those who were not in attendance. Their friends were having problems of their own as a close neighbor on the farm was developing Alzheimers the wife hadn't told anyone,but they didn't attend.  My mom's brother Kenny was there for a very short time and went home as his wife Sylvia also was at the early stages of Alzheimers.  A couple of their sons who lived out of state were both having marital problems so they too were not in attendance.  In spite of all of that, my parents were very pleased with the event and they did talk about it for quite a few years afterwards. 

My dad passed away in 2000, after a couple of years of heart attacks and confusion.  My mom passed away in 2008 from intestinal cancer.

As I go through the boxes, I can see a blog coming out of all the great things that they did do in life.  They were not the happiest of couples but by the end,  they found their need for each other to survive old age, had strengthened the bond. I  have photos of them on my brother's dune buggies and their traveling on boats to fish. They spent a few weeks with our two son's in Minnesota at a cabin, and all the photos show the boys growing up with them. I have hundreds of photos of them holding the grand kids and great grand kids as that was what kept them going.  Mom loved to play Bridge and dad loved to suck on his cigar and fish anywhere the he could find that had fish. They spent winters visiting my brothers in Arizona and California.  They did have a good life,  one that left a trail of so many memories for others.

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Anonymous said...

What a touching post about your parents and I love the photos. My folks were born in 1922 and 1929. Your Mom especially reminds me very much of mine with her hairstyle (possibly pin curls) and her 1950's earrings and shorts. My dad passed away ten years before mom but we were able to celebrate their 50th anniversary with them. You and I are both blessed to have parents who were married such a long time and left us with so many cherished memories. Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories.

Crystal Mary said...

You put the story together so well. From their elopement to the end... The had a lovely life and now they share Heaven together. God Bless you..I like the top picture the best! They look so very very happy.

Far Side of Fifty said...

What a lovely post about your parents Larry. I liked the photos and the progression of photos as they got older. They were lucky to have celebrated their 50th Anniversary together. I think they were also pretty lucky to have you for a son! :)

Enchanted Oak said...

This is a nice tribute to your parents. I enjoyed meeting them and discovering their lives. Thank you.

Martin H. said...

This certainly is a moving tribute to your parents. I think the chronological order of pictures is wonderful and your mum is smiling the same smile in the first and last.

willow said...

I adore vintage family picnic photos. It's so interesting to see where they're eating, what they're eating, what utensils they're using, etc. My grandparents used to have a set of those same colored metal glasses. Loved this one.

Your smile is exactly the same, Larry. I love that wonderful pic of you and your brother, with your parents.

L. D. Burgus said...

Yes, I have the same smile but those two are my older brothers. I and my brother Dwight never got to be treated that special. In fact, most of my baby pictures are blurry as they didn't have the box camera focused.

Betsy said...

Loved this post....they look so happy in that picture in front of the cabin. And love the thoughts that they stuck it out through thick and thin and their need for each other held them together. The secret of a good marriage, I think! And they went on to have more boys, right...aren't you #4 or 5? And how fun that they eloped...always sounds so exciting and romantic to me. ha.

L. D. Burgus said...

There were four boys all together and she lost a daughter the year after I was born. I did mess things up for the family for some time.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

I like visiting your Blog Mr Burgus; even though I don't comment often.

Thanx for the nice photos; no doubt full of memories of times gone past.

If you do purchase my book; please let me know on my Blog or through my website what you think of it. I like to hear and I do appreciate my readers' views.

God bless you.

Delwyn said...

Hi Larry

I loved this post with its chronology and changing styles and habits. I felt sad as your Dad faded and aged as I am experiencing that process now with my father. My parents too did not show a great deal of intimacy with each other but as they grew older they became indispensable to each other, so I am wondering about my mother's future.
Oh and I loved those earings...and the picnic

Happy days

John Hayes said...

A wonderful post--I like what you said about your folks finding a bond when they were older; I believe this happened with my parents as well. Great photos & history.

Nana Jo said...

What a great treasury of photos. I have a grandson named Jesse and that name is very special to me. Your mother has such a lovely, gentle smile.

Alan Burnett said...

That is a fine post Larry. There are so many truths within that story : universal truths that you always get when you are writing about so-called "ordinary" people.