Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cheyenne, Wyoming and the Wind is Blowing. Victoria Mae Foulk (Ida)

Cheyenne, Wyoming what an awesome place to visit and recollect on days of old.  Having been there when so warm, thoughts were of melting.  Only to have the air change and the snow begin to fall three hours later.  O yes, this was August early.   It is normal to expect snow in the late spring.
Early August surprised  me but an Uncle said he had seen it once before.

Grandma Ida Foulk Jones was born in an area of Washburn, IA.  I suspect at her Mom's home, which is still standing and owned by the family. She was born in late fall on 6 November 1897.
She lived at home until she married her first husband.  Carl Fremont Jones. She was the oldest of  8 living children.  Her siblings were:  Arthur W. (Great Uncle Dick), Great Aunt Belve whom married Earnest Rice and lived most of her life in Greybull, Wyo, Great Uncle Claude (whom I loved very much and got to know him very well), Great Aunt Blanche whom died fairly young, Great Uncle Ira whom was elusive, Great Aunt Alvina lived in Wheatland and was loved by everyone, and Great Uncle Herbert, Uncle Herb as Dad called him. His wife is still alive. Herb and Dad were the same age.

All of Grandma's siblings were born in Iowa. When  Grand Mom married and had Dad b 19 May 1913, she  moved to Wheatland, Wyo in 1914.  Grand Dad had already gone to Wheatland, Wyo to work and get away from the turmoil in Iowa.  Grand Dad's Uncle, Charles Jones took them to Blue Mound, Minn to get married.
They both told me this story. I think I would have really liked Great Uncle Charles Jones.  He had a daughter Fanny Jones Drew, that had married and moved to Wheatland, Wyoming and that is where Grand Dad had gone to live.

Grandma and Dad rode the train to Wyoming.

After Grandma Ida moved to Wheatland, Wyo they had more children. She lost a few also. Etta M was born 9 October 1915 (Aunt), Gerald Oliver  b 7 October 1918, Slater, Wyoming, Muriel born April 1920, Wheatland/Slater, Wyo., Mary Jane , Wheatland, Wyo 1924, Bethel Lorraine b 27 June 1924 Casper, Natrona Co. WYO.

After much discouraging words, they moved to Casper, WYO.  Things did not get better and ultimately, Dad and Uncle Gerald ended up in Wheatland working for various ranchers. Later
Dad's brother went to a rancher's new ranch out of Wyoming.

Grandma moved to Cheyenne to work and had Muriel and Bethel with her for a short period of time.
Aunt Muriel married Uncle Joe Collins and later Bethel married Uncle Pete (Aubie D. Cooper).

Grandma cleaned homes, sewed clothing and did what she could.   Much later she met Senator Charles Norris and she married him.  She  traveled with him and brought him to California for us to meet.  After his death, she was alone again.  But a wee better off financially.

At the time of my Graduation she came to California to help us and share in the activities. After all she had Dad & Aunt Etta  both near Petaluma. She had Uncle Gerald in Lemon Grove, CA.  And if I remember right Aunt Bethel was at Fort Ord with Uncle Pete.   Only Aunt Muriel was in Colorado, with her family.  She moved between the families and shared some family stories.

She shared much of her early life with me and her time spent with her Grandmother.  I gather she really loved her Grandmother and learned many things.  Many Indian ways and herbs and plants to use and how to gather them.  She told me of the horrid fights she had with her Mom. Many times,
so she did not go home but when needed to.  Many times not even then.

One time she left the house in Iowa and did not get the children's shoes or coats and walked them
back to Wyoming. Thankfully they did not walk all the way.  That story I heard from each of the siblings of my Dad.  She had a very strong temper.  

When I first met her my Dad told me that no matter what I was to respect her as my Grandmother,
I did not have to love her or like her but she was his mother.

Sometimes I look back on some of the things that she demanded and chuckle and other times I could cry.

When I was graduating and she was staying with us, she asked me a question about a picture on the mantel. I told her, after deep thought and careful thought, what Dad had told me when I was to meet her.  I also told her I had learned to love her and her ways.  She sat and cried until Mom and Dad arrived at home and Dad thought I had offended her.  She jumped up and said," No Ray, she did not do anything wrong, I did long ago." Then started crying horridly again.
So Dad and I went out side and I told him of how she wouldn't let Bertie and Lucky use the vacum to clean upstairs. They were afraid he would be furious with them not doing their chores but he said not to worry.  We just had a Grandma day. I also told him about the picture on the mantel and that is when she lost it.

Ironic as it seems, from that day forward I never had a major squabble with Grand Mom.  She stayed with us many times when she would get my Uncle's wife to upset. Aunt ended up with heart attack.
I had Grandma here in this house for almost 6 months with a break ever couple weeks of Uncle keeping her for a day.  She mellowed over the years but I fortunately never had a major squabble after I told her what Dad had said to us.

I did tell her what Grandpa had told me and she said she had always loved him but they just blew up at each other all the time.

I suspect I know the reason, when you go from wealthy and waited on to poor and destitute over night and your only 16 and 23 or so.  WOW.  They had been disowned by the Mothers.

I feel I was very fortunate to get to know them both. It helped me to learn more than I probably would have otherwise.

When we would go to Wyoming we always seen her if she was home in Wyoming.  I saw her
in the fall just before she died.  Having Alan with me we visited her in a nursing home with Mom and Dad after we had completed the Nationals for Roller Skating in Nebraska.  So Alan got a glimpse of Wyoming and we stayed with Aunt Muriel's for a few days before flying home.  We also stopped in Wheatland for Uncle Dick's family and cousins.

 I have since been back and seen her tombstone with Mom and Dad.   Dad paid the extra but it has all her names on the stone. Victoria (IDA) Mae Foulk Jones Norris.   She died 9 Nov 1988. I had spoke to her about 2 weeks before but she was not well at that point at all.  The nurse stayed on the line to help the conversation which I cut very short, saying I loved her.

I should tell you how she got the name of IDA.  Uncle Claude told me he could not say Victoria or Victoria Mae it came out like Ida. He was of course younger than she.  So she became Ida at a young age due to Great Uncle Claude's way of saying her name.

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