The Greatest Generation

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Dad was part of the “Greatest Generation”.  Born in 1926, he grew up in Brainerd, small town Minnesota.

The Great Depression years formed him.   He was the son of a farmer, the fourth child of nine siblings.

Dad family

Dad, standing bottom left, with 5 of his siblings.  My Aunt Irene in the middle of this photo was a genealogist and keeper of family stories.

Irene’s Story

Written by Irene Postle, older sister to Lee, May 1995.  Edited for brevity, otherwise writing is original. 

This very dear younger brother has always been my best friend.

Never have I known a child, a man, with so much genuine love in his heart for his fellow man. I have never known him to be unkind, untrue or mean-spirited toward anyone, human or animal.  I trusted him implicitly during our growing up years, I trust him still.  I am one year and two months his senior, but it is I who now, on occasion, look to him for advice and consolation.  He has become my big brother.  One to respect, one to love. I count my blessings.

Being so close in age, we did almost everything together.  We played games together and with our siblings and/or friends.  We even baked for the family, together.   Lee was great at making muffins.  I couldn’t understand, at first, why his were better than mine.  My mother explained it.  She said, “He has a gentler hand.”  In other words, he didn’t beat the batter to death as one had to do for a successful cake.

Always, in Minnesota, no matter where we lived, it seemed a lake was close by.            And so we spent our summers swimming and boating.  Often, when my dad came home from work on a hot summer evening, we would take our picnic baskets, pile into the car, and go to the lake for supper and swimming.

Winter

In winter there was sledding, tobogganing, skiing.  Our dad made the toboggan for us. It was so strongly and beautifully handcrafted, it lasted from our childhood days to those years when his grandchildren came to the Eggerud Farm to spend their vacations.   Lee and Donald would often have to help Dad shovel snow from the house to the barns and to the mailbox.  They also were in charge of chopping and carrying in wood for the cooking and heating stoves in the house.  And of course they also helped with the farm chores.  As our duties were separated by our gender, I was relegated to the chores inside the house.   Once in a while Lee would dry the dishes after I had washed them.  These would be times when we would tell jokes and laugh a lot.  Often to the detriment of the dishes that would either get chipped or dropped and broken when our antics got out of hand.

Uff Da

An OOFDA for sure for our mother.

[The more common spelling of “offda” is “uff da”.  In case you are not familiar with “uff da”, here is the Wikipedia definition Uff Da

Uff da is a handy expression when you just don’t know what else to say.]

To be continued

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