Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.....

I am guessing that the year is 1957.  My brother Dwight and I received a new train together from Santa Claus.  My dad had a windup toy metal donkey.  It had a tail that would spin making the donkey shake and move in circles.  We were poor and it kind of shows.  The old rocker in the foreground recovered with towels. The saggy couch in the back and a line up of old rockers on the right. The linoleum floors reminded me that the marbles rolled east to west when released.  The house was an old house with no insulation and it sat on the top of a hill in southern Iowa. When the wind would blow the house would be cold through and through and sometimes frost would form on the wallpaper.

My dad had hair and it was dark.  My mom had the same hair style most of her life.  My older brother Dwight is behind my dad, barely showing. I am standing around watching my brother take the photo. A camera was a pretty fancy thing for our family at that time. This must of been the year my oldest  brother Ron got a Brownie camera for Christmas.  He would have been the one taking the photo, using up those expensive flashbulbs that would be like an explosion in a glass ball. I don't know where the one other brother would be during this time. The wooden shelving thing on the wall full of photos and salt and pepper shakers is in storage in my basement today.  I really think this is the only Christmas shot that we ever took my whole life time.

Check out others who are sharing their blogs about Christmas things. Click here on Sepia Saturday here and find a lot of fun spots to see.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Up, Up and Away........and Down Again.

It isn't ancient history but it has been quite a few years since we attended the Indianola Balloon Festival in Indianola, Iowa. The photo shown here shows the owners of the balloon blowing hot air into the balloon.

When younger I would see these balloons, usually just one, used to advertise for an event or for a company.  It would be easily seen floating above Des Moines, Iowa with a banks name on its side.

The shaped of a balloon seems to be one of form following function.  The patters of color add to the beauty of the shape but the uniform panels of cloth sewn together makes it into a soft sculpture.

In a balloon race they are to all take off from another location at the same time. They then land onto this location.  Sometimes the wind currents takes a balloon hostage and the balloonists have to pass on by as they will miss the place altogether.  The people in the basket take it with stride and wave as they float on by knowing that it is not a pure controlled science. I guess there must be an emergency field somewhere down the way, like a hay field that they can land onto.

At the end of the race the balloons maintain the inflation but stay anchored to the ground.  Then in unison they all turn on their burners to cause the balloons to look like glowing candles.

Many participants in Seipia Saturday create blogs to share.  They all tend to follow the same theme.  If you click HERE  SEPIA SATURDAY you will be able to go to the main site to view other versions of the theme.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

A painting that I did a few years back.  It has a definite balloon problem.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Marching Band.........

I don't believe I have any archived photos of people playing musical instruments.  My three brothers played wind instruments.  This brother played a baritone and my older brother played the french horn.  Even though it was a french horn he did march in the Murray High School band.  I do think that my older brother Ron did have his photo taken at the same time as this one but I don't seem to have it in any of my boxes of photos.

My brother Rex shown above would practice his baritone horn in the upstairs bedroom with his window open.  The neighbor lady who was a few miles away claimed she could hear him while she was out hanging out her laundry on the clothes line.

The uniform, which was purple and white,  was fancy and each member was required to wear white dress pants.  The moms of the members were required to sew a purple cloth band down the side of the pants. With white shoes and a barrel tube hat with a brim, they looked really great.  They had ostrich feathers to stick into the top of the hat.

The practice times of the band when they were marching outside was at the same time as we had recess.  Students would line up and follow the band as they marched.  I am sure it looked like a good "Spanky and our Gang" type of movie with all those little urchins marching behind the high school band members.  I think it funny now that no one bothered to makes us stop doing that.  I would think the music instructor would have been out there but I guess the majorette was in charge of the band's practice. No teacher on duty either so it would have made for great chaos.

 The feather top notches are still used today by marching bands. As I do remember now that I do have a photo of both of my sons in band uniforms.  Unfortunately they are in photo form as the computer wasn't invented yet for private citizens to use.  Maybe I can put that on my lists of things to find when I do have some free time. I see many band hats, as we use to call them, are on sale on the internet. The photo has been swiped or borrowed from the sales site of ebay.

Those who are responding to the call of posting in SEPIA SATURDAY can be found by clicking on the Sepia Saturday name.  You will find others who are posting about musical things or maybe something else altogether differently than that.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Lookie, Lookie......

An old photo of four men who caugth some fish from the river. Times look tough so they will have meat on the table for supper.  My grandfather is the one who isn't wearing bib overalls.  I don't have any idea of who the other guys are but my grandfathers name was Leroy Martin Brown. The heavy eyebrows were inherited by a couple of generations beyond him.  I had a uncle and his son that did look like him on the family tree branch. My cousin Gerald looks like him now as he is older than probably than my grandfather in the photo back then.  Leroy died in 1937 from TB and is buried in Moon Cemetery near Macksburg, Iowa.

These three guys are all giving us that stare except for the young ones on the end.  The short guy is my Uncle Donald, my dad Jesse Burgus is the second one from the left. Uncle Ralph, Uncle Carl and then Uncle Cecil ends up the lineup. My dad was born in 1917 and if he looks 12 years old here it would date the photo as 1929. Ten years later he would be dating my mom and getting married and a couple of years later he was on his way to fight in the Battle of the Bulge in Germany.  These guys all had a German father and grandfather and a British mother and grandmother.

One more gaze from the Uncle Weaver Wheeler and his wife Ellen.  I could imagine him having a car as he seemed to do well in figuring out how to make money.  He and his wife lived away from the rest of the family up in Hardin County, Iowa.

It is number 301 posting for the group and I hope to see more posting from me.  It is a pleasure to share and to remember.  Visit others on SEPIA SATURDAY  by clicking on the name.  See all who have created blogs to join a group of people from all over the world. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

300 is Good!!!!

I started on Week 11.  I had to look it up.  I really didn't think that I could compete with the big ones who post so well and write so well, but I have hung in there.  I have stumbled a long the way and found life to be too busy to post.  I have always come back.  Not with the gusto that I once had but with the same interest that I had when I first began.

Family shots were my priority as I tried to organize and identify so many photos of my family's past.  The above photo is of my dad, creeping up on my two oldest brothers who are sitting in the yard.  As I look at it I am believe they are trying to get the boys to look at the camera and smile. The little girl is a first cousin that I have never met, lost because of a divorce, from family connections.  She and the guys are all older than me as I am not born yet in this photo taken probably in 1943.

The discoveries have been great, As I met blog deadlines I surprisingly found a photo of my grandparents visiting the Pacific ocean.  The took a train across the  United States to Oregon to visit their grandson. The boy is a year older than me and my grandfather died later in the year.  I never met him but Charlie was said to be a friendly old man.

I found a shot of two great great aunts.  They were my great grandmothers sisters.  I have only a newspaper copy of a reunion that my mom and others attend 70 plus years ago. The family name was Maxsun.
My Great Grandmother on my mother's side was Carrie Rosella Maxson Brown Driver

The two woman above are two of her sisters and the photo identifies them with their married names.  The woman on the left is Ida Roberts and on the right is Cara Brown. To have found this photo and it actually would be my Great great aunts is all amazing to me. 

Two other sisters were Jane Henderson and Ellen Boward.
There were also two brothers John Maxson and Walter Maxson.
That would make seven in total in the Maxson Family.

Because of this blog I was forced to find the facts and meet more family than I knew existed. 

Because of this blog I learned to tell the difference between my Grandpa Leroy Brown and my other Grandpa Charles Burgus. I use to confuse them and would put the wrong name on each.  This is my Grandfather Leroy Brown shown left.

 This is the photo of my Grandfather Charles Thomas Burgus. I never knew either one of them.  Grandpa Brown died of TB in 1937.   Grandfather Burgus died the year before I was born in 1949.

Sometimes my blog seems like a train wreck as I get started telling a story and it just plain derails before I am done.  I like that the purpose of the site is to share photos of the past and if one knows the history then you get to tell your story. I am so glad that I can post on the week 300.    Thanks for stopping by and check out the others who are posting on the 300th week anniversary.  Click on Sepia Saturday Posts and see what others are sharing. 

Monday, September 7, 2015


At the south end of Lake Superior, the deepest clear water lake in the world, sits a harbor.  Duluth, Minnesota, where there is a lot of history in the shipping of lumber, iron ore and other products that are shipped all over the world.  The entrance to the harbor has a draw bridge that raises up to allow the ships to move through the channel. The harbor has a lot of history with the people thriving on fishing and companies shipping goods.

The view is towards the inlet of the Atlantic ocean near Bar Harbor, Maine.  The bridge from one dock to another is crucial as the one dock raises and lowers with the tide.  The chains are there to keep things from floating away. When the tide is down the chains are long enough to stay connected as things drop 12 feet or more.

A bridge in the same area to all the docks is used the  photo of my youngest son and his wife.  It was their wedding day and they had been married on Cadilllac Mountain earlier.  This was taken a few years ago.
Among my dad's war photos is this one of Belgium children fishing off of the bridge.  The time in history would be around the 1940's and soldiers are waiting to be shipped out to go to the front of the Battle of the Bulge, trying to send the German front troops back into their own country.  I don't think my dad is one of these guys but I can't be sure.  The one guy has borrowed a pole from the kids to see what he can do.  I have had this photo around for a while but never noticed that it originally was a metal bridge and it must have been bomb.  A makeshift wooden bridge has been interwoven into the old metal one.

I searched my archives for bridges and I know I have more. They just didn't show up for me.  Others are blogging on Sepia Saturday.  You can click HERE to go to the main site to find all the other links.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A message for BCIRISH

I will post this temporarily for you BCIRISH  as you left me no email address.  I did not get permission to share this so once you read it will you please let me know so that I can remove it from the net.  I hope this will give you some information to help you with your visit to family home town and house.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Oldies but Goodies........

 The older looking building in Des Moines, Iowa is the Polk County courthouse. It still stands today and is on the National Registry. The building itself is designed with a combinations of decorations from so many historic buildings from overseas.

The present courthouse was built in 1906 on the same square as the previous courthouse. It was built for $750,000 in the Beaux-Arts style.  It was designed by the Des Moines architectural firm of Proudfoot and Bird. The original columns, stairways and walls were constructed in marble. Murals on the fourth floor were painted by Charles A. Cummings and Edward Simmons.

This is full view of the back of the building as I took the shot from a parking lot on Saturday.  I am always amazed at the mixture of all of the architectural details of so many buildings found in Venice, Athens, Rome and the country of Greece. Notice the sharp contrast of a modern building to the left that declares no decoration other than line and value.

A quick look of the reality of the shot is shown here in color.  I am glad that the building is protected and the people will just build a newer building elsewhere.

Just for fun I want to share this one other older building in downtown Des Moines.  It has had some form of a bar on the main floor for many years.  I saw it still standing while downtown on Saturday and I had to get a shot of it. I had thought the building had been torn down.  By the signs in the windows I think that it is still a bar.

One final photo, just for fun, is of this modern building that sits to the left of the courthouse.  It is an interesting modern building with one decoration that has become famous.  The front of the building has the typical modern design for an accent to its look.  It is said the architect did not know that when it is lighted at night that the shape of a Seagram's Whiskey bottle would be in view.  The building could not light some of the windows to prevent the bottle from showing up but now it has become its trademark even though it is not a Seagram's building.

Thanks for stopping by to see my posting today.  You can visit others who are posting blogs on Sepia Saturday by just clicking here. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

New and Old.....

Following the theme today, sort of, I wanted to share the only few personal shots that I have with bicycles in them.  The above one was dumped at my garbage bin a few years ago and it remains as a decoration in my yard. I have ridden the bike and I definitely need to start riding it again.

As a decoration it now has a new wheel added to keep it company.  It is an old farm wheel from a cart that I brought home last fall.

Here again is the scene that was taken in the fall before the snow started to fall. Our town has a bike trail that extends out of our town and goes east over an old train bridge.  The bridge in 13 stories tall and is now a major attraction for Iowa as people can take the trail for miles after crossing it.  Our town people are putting bikes out in their yards for decoration to help promote the High Trestle Trail Bridge. I have lived here long enough to remember the sounds of the train at night loading grain.  The rails were removed 10 years or more as all grain is now trucked elsewhere for shipping. The bike leans against my river birch tree even though I should move it closer to the road to make it visible for visitors in town.

This is a photo of myself and my older brother Dwight. It is 1956 in Southern Iowa on our family farm. The photo was taken in the fall with our old farm house in the background.   I was  6 years old and in the 1st grade by this time and my brother would have been 9 and in 4th grade. I couldn't get on that bike as I was too small.  We both are wearing hand me down clothes as we have two older brothers.  I was wearing Dwight's old clothes in this photo.

Memories brought back from the picture included the two locust trees with large thorns.  You had to be careful to not walk under them without shoes.  The concrete structure is a cistern that my dad would fill with water from a farm pond.  The pond is south and water was pumped by a gasoline engine a long ways to be poured in to the holding tank.  The water was used for washing clothes and running the bathroom water.  Drinking water came from a well with me carrying the buckets of water to the house twice a day. I did that chore with glee but never understanding why the older brother never had a single chore. I guess I was too complying and should have rebelled a little. 

Another memory was the wind break that was planted to help stop the northern winds from blowing at the house.  It really should have been made with evergreen trees as the stems and twigs of those kind of trees didn't block much wind.  The house actually sat on the top of a steep hill and it was a very cold house.  My room with my my older brother was the top window in the house.  It was the north west corner, the coldest room in the house in the winter. The house had no insulation it was never warm inside in the winter.   The house was torn down by family members in 1959 and a new ranch house replaced it.  It was a very warm house inside during the winter.

To follow with the theme of the last phot is the shot of me and my brothers when I was a couple of years younger.  We are sharing our pets to the world with the dog Tippie and two of the cats of the many that we had on the farm. From left to right is Rex Burgus, born in 1943, Ron Burgus born in 1941, Dwight Burgus born in 1947, d. 2008, and myself born in 1950. The oldest brother who is smaller, has lived most of his life in Mesa. Arizona.  The taller brother Rex has lived most of his life in California, near the Disneyland area.  Me of course stuck in Iowa all of my life. I do live in the north central part of Iowa and not down in the south anymore.

Visit others who are participating in Sepia Saturday and are sharing old photos and stories.  Click here to find your way to many great blogs from all around the world.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Valentine's Continued.........From the Past.

My Grandfather Charles Thomas Burgus with his bride Grace Elizabeth Turner Burgus.  I originally was going to share this on Valentine's day but things got too distracting so I just have saved it for now. The last photo I share today is the one that inspired the whole posting. I don't have a date for this marriage. I am searching cousin's things and found out the first grandchild was born in 1928. So this photo has to be around the early 1900's,

The first four of ten children that were born are shown here with Cecil, Carl, Ruby and Mary Burgus.  This photo is a new one that I had never seen before now. It was shared by my first cousin.  She is one of the older of my first cousins who has photos of my grandparents in their younger days.  Her mother, my aunt Ruby, is the little girl standing by her dad.

Fast forward with the then 10 children.  I am guessing the date here to be 1937 or later. I don't know but my dad, front left, would have been 20 years old being born in 1917. It was said that Grandma Burgus had scarlet fever as an adult and her hair fell out from it.  Her hair came back in as pure white.

Charlie and Grace ready to go to a family picnic at the Murray Park where all ten children with spouses and many grandchildren attended.

Here is a new photo for me to see from my cousin's sharing of it. Charlie and Grace take a trip from the central United States, Murray, Iowa in 1948.  They took a train all the way to the west coast to Washington State, to visit their youngest son Donald and his wife Eileen.  They are holding their grandson Gary. He was born in 1948. 

Concerns were made from their grown up children as they were too elderly to make the trip. The very next year in 1949  Charlie did die. It looks like the trip was a lot of fun for them. Charlie had heard stories from his grandfather about crossing the ocean from Germany and he wanted to see that ocean. Being from the younger end of the family I never met my grandfather.  I did know my grandmother but she had reached an age where she didn't communicate with her grandchildren.  She lived another 20 years or more beyond her husband's death.

Join me in visiting the other blogs on Sepia Saturday who are share photos from the past and stories from the past.  Click here to find the listing on the original Sepia Saturday site.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Big and Small.

When you are the younges kid of four, you do notice size differences in many ways.  The world around you seems so big.  I am the shortest guy here being 4 years old.  My oldest brother Ron is behind me.  Notice being oldest doesn't make you the tallest.  That was a problem for Ron and he didn't like it. Rex the tallest was a couple of years younger.  My brother next to me, Dwight, always was bigger than me and always tried to be dominate over me in every way both size and of importance. I lost Dwight a few years ago when he was 61 years old.  In this picture he is 7 years old.  It bothered him that I grew up and was successful as he liked to keep his thumb on me. Also in the conclusion of size, Dwight did end up being the tallest even though he was third youngest.

Both of my first cousins are small here.  They are about the same age, under 4 years old and you can see Gene is showing his cousin Jeanette that he can touch the top of her head

My great grandma Driver shows off her second family. The smallest is required to stand and the one boy in the middle is standing on the chair.  I never thought of it before but I bet Grandma Driver was originally sitting in the chair and the kids were not cooperating.  You can see grandma pointing to the camera telling the  girl she is holding to look that way.

It is a complicated story but this is my great grandma Driver's second family.  My grandfather Brown was in her first family of two boys.  This second family are all half cousins of mine, twice removed.  Those young kids in the photos all still live in the Osceola, Iowa area.

While looking for big and small photos I ran across this photo of me.  It would fit the theme if I showed a 65 year old man next to it but that isn't going to happen.  It is 1953 in the summer and we moved from this rented farm during the coming winter during a rain storm.  The roads were dirt back then so we moved by tractor and wagon slipping and sliding on mud roads.   The photo's intention was to show the watermelon juice running down by belly.  I can see that I wasn't allowed to eat it in the house. I wonder if they kept me in a shed outside as to not to make a mess in the house when I eat.

Thanks for stopping by today on my site.   Check out all the other blogger friends' postings today by clicking on SEPIA SATURDAY to find a listing of those who are posting about BIG AND SMALL. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Oldies but Goodies......

I have a stach of my mom's old Valentines that she had saved for years.  The oldest date of them is around the early 1930's when she was in high school. There are also ones from country school children given to my mom around 1938. I am assuming that 80 years plus makes them their average age.

The have a fancy colorful front but the inside of the card has another great illustration and verse.

Some of them are more humorous using the dog in a basket to be cute. I think this card had a base on it originally so that it could stand up to be appreciated.

The sailor boy has his eyes on his valentine and I do notice she is looking back at him too.

Some of them were more of a proposition which could have set up a serious relationship. The single color print of the verse and cupid made the process go faster rather than a multicolored design on the inside.

I have had a curiosity if the cards actually did lead to a courtship and marriage.  I know as a kid they were just a tradition but a little earlier in history the verses could have been more intentional and direct.

I have a lot of these and I guess I will just share the ones that I have.  I might show one that may interest some more than others.

Another sailor boy makes me think that I may not have the valentines dated old enough.  I just don't have anyone around to question to find out the date of the people who wrote in them.

A little pigeon toed here as a student probably shared a card with his teacher.

As I write this I do have a memory of one of the valentines being older than 1930's.  My mom's oldest brother was sent to  live with an uncle during his teen years for a couple of reasons.  He was suppose to help with farming.  The second reason was that he was ill-tempered and his parents, my grandmother and grandfather, couldn't make him behave.  One valentine that was in the pile was one from Uncle Lee's kids and my mom's brother.  That would date that one card in the 1920's.

The googly-eyed girl here reminds me of the old movie stars and their big eyes. It is manufactured from a company completely different than all the other ones that are in the pile. It has a glossy ink on it.

Hallmark now controls most of the market with their very beautiful Valentine cards.  Some are very serious and some are funny to read also.  It is sometimes hard to find the just right card as the people of Hallmark write all that they think we might like to share with our loved ones.

Check out all the others who are participating with SEPIA SATURDAY today by clicking here. I have joined many others who will be sharing their thoughts on this Valentine's Day.