Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sentiments of the Past Our Hoffman Family

Our family is very scattered about the Midwest and West Coast. When I was a youngster our DAD and MOM would pile us in the truck, cattle racks on the back and a tarp to slide over to keep the rain or sun out and we would head off to the Rocky Mountain region to visit with family.

We had some really awesome trips. We used a 5 gallon can of water strapped to the side of the running board for water. We carried a propane stove to cook with. We had a mattress in the back on the bed of the truck were we could take turns sleeping or playing cards or games when not watching the countryside. Blankets of course and lots of food too. We would stop once a day to eat in a town Dad may know the owner of the store. :>) It seemed he had friends everywhere.

We used to see how many different license plates we could count. Generally, I was on one side of the truck and my sister and brother would be on the other. So if we were on a two lane road. We had to swap sides because there would be no cars on the outer side (left) every thirty minutes. Sometimes we kept track of what was the popular color we seen 10 green, 45 black, 20 grey cars. Other times we just waved and had semi's toot their horns of their rigs as they would go past.

We would stop in SLC, Utah to see our relatives and then on to Wyoming or Colorado, to see the rest of the family. We had lots of fun, with the wind in our face and sang songs and changed lyrics of the songs as we went along.

One time coming home from Wyoming, Mom was driving and she saw the Sierra Nevada Mts coming up and she said, " they are so pretty." Next thing I knew Mom had left the road and headed across desert to see those mountains up close. I had to wake up DAD in the back of the truck and then he coaxed me to gently wake her up with out wrecking the truck. LOL, Dad would not let her drive any more on that trip. It was road hypnosis. I was old enough to drive so Dad let me drive in the open area and he drove in the major towns and cities. Mostly Reno, Nevada and then over to Sacramento area, then on to Sonoma County I could drive.

We used many back roads because they were putting in the (new) 80 back then. Actually the roads across Wyoming are much prettier if you get off 80 and use the old route. I always said the state saved itself from people thinking it was a pretty state by putting 80 out where there is nothing to see but cacti and scrub brush and rocks and gullies.

Once you leave Rock Springs headed east the beautiful part is on the old route through rural towns and country side.

If you head north from Wheatland to Casper then up to Greybull, you will experience a different part of Wyoming countryside.

When we arrived in Wyoming at my Grandparents, Grandad would take me and my two cousins out to set on the hay baler and tell us family stories and share pictures in his Picture Book. I often wonder if Richard remembers those events, Hartley says he can but can not remember all the stories we were told. Alas neither can I. Mostly it was about his family and his Dad and Grandparents and Great Grandparents.

When he was five his Dad took him to Pennsylvania to meet family, that is where they migrated from. Greene Co. Pennsylvania and near Aleppo and other areas. Waynesburg is the county seat and they went there also. He hoped some day we would go
back to Pennyslvania and meet some of the kin that he had met.

I heard this story from him each time we visited, so I recall it well. I finally got there in 1993. Alas many years after my Grandparents death.

In Wyoming we had relatives on my MOM and my DAD's side of the family to see. Sometimes they would come to Grandparents to visit and other times we traveled to various homes in Wheatland area to see family and up to Casper. We did get to
Greybull a couple of times. The last time I had graduated from high school. 1958. We went up to this canyon where the water looked like it was running backwards. I am told it really does but I am not sure.

On the last trip in 1958 we went over to Cody and then to the Yellowstone National Park and up over this cow path to the west side of the park. Yup only one car at a time could go up or down or you had to be in a place to pull over for car to pass you.
We had to back up and re turn to get around one corner and I will never forget looking down thousands of feet out of the back of the truck saying DAD stop .. He did and then pulled forward he was about 10 inchs from running off the mountainside.
We made it to the top and a ranger asked how the trip was and cautioned us to be careful going down the other side.It had started to snow. I think that was one of my most terrifying trips in spots I have ever taken. The scenery was absolutely
awesome. The pine tree smell and country air was refreshing and crisp. The rock out crops were all fascinating and
different and multi colored of browns, pinks and sands. mostly.

Grandad had stories to repeat and retell each trip we went. Mostly all the same about family and the trip to the west.

Grandad's Dad walked behind the wagon and with his dog watched the cattle and brought up the rear as they walked from
Greene Co., PA to Monroe Co., Iowa. We still have family in this region of Iowa. Great Grandad Frank was over 6 feet tall and filled doorway when he stood in it. He married a neighbor from Greene Co., PA named Samantha Duvall. Yes her ancestor was Mareen Duvall of Middle Plantation. They married in Iowa because he was just a teen when they moved from Pennsylvania. GGrandad Frank's father and many Uncles served in the CW. After the war he left to go to Iowa.
He had served for a time in Laramie, Wyo. and loved what he saw of Iowa and Wyoming.

Her family also was the first to move on to Wheatland, Wyoming area where Grandad Cecil moved because Iowa was to damp a weather for his bronchitis.

Another story another day. Hope you enjoy and if you are ever in Wyoming get off of 80 and enjoy this beautiful state.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you're keeping all of these posts for a book for your children!