Taking A Walk Down Memory Lane
As a small child I don't remember much about our dad, other than what our mother told me. She said when supper was over he would hold me in his lap, sitting by the big table so I could play. But as I grew, the memories of him grew also.
It was very typical for him to sit with his hands like that... --Ginny Dake McCorkell.
Dad did not have the same ebullient personality as Mom -- but he was a wonderful family man who worked hard to help all of his family. He was stern, and very strict, so he took understanding -- but I loved him dearly and still dream about him on occasions. He had many light hearted times, too. --Dorothy Dake Anderson.
Our Dad had a suit for weddings and funerals -- and important events that didn't rate a suit at least had dress pants, shirt and tie ... but I do believe the rest of his life was spent in a pair of bibbed, striped denim "overalls" ... mostly Lees, if I remember right ... with a good, sturdy, blue chambray work shirt (washed until it was paper thin!) and "Red Wing" work shoes from Thelander's Clothing Store of Cokato. So the pictures should include one where he was dressed that way. --Dorothy Dake Anderson.
I have a really hard time picturing Grandpa Dake in a tie like this ... ha! ... even though it is a fuzzy picture, taken when Carol Dake Printz was a toddler, it might be worth using as I am sure that the other cousins would enjoy seeing it as well! --Ginny Dake McCorkell.
The wildest tie our dad had was one that appeared very respectable and was worn to very respectable places ... but then one time he happened to notice while tying it that it had a very curvy (though tiny) nude on the back ... so this gift that came from Bill and Lois for Father's Day disappeared from sight. Lois assured us that when she bought it she thought the very sober color would be right for Dad. I wonder if the salesperson got a chuckle. --Dorothy Dake Anderson.
He Was MY Grandpa, Too
Awhile ago, Shari wrote a nice article for The Bulletin, which she titled "MY" Grandpa. Wow, I thought, What a nice tribute to a wonderful Grandpa. You know, I should share a few of my memories of him, too.
Well, I just never got around to it. Now it is Father's Day ... that and a little prodding from certain quarters ... and so here goes!
Grandpa Dake was, in my eyes, just as wonderful as Grandma Dake, but in a totally different way. Grandma was talkative; Grandpa was quiet. Grandma was excitable; Grandpa was calm. Grandma would get flustered; Grandpa was unflappable. They were opposites, but a great pair!
Grandpa Dake had many unique ways of doing things on their farm. The screen door on the back porch, for instance. Most of you would know that screen doors had a spring that would pull them shut after kids went in or out and invariably forgot to close them. Not Grandpa Dake's. His had a counterweight connected by a small rope through a series of pulleys that would pull it shut. Neat! (I wonder how many hundreds of times we kids were chased away from there!) The stairs going to the second floor had a banister on one side but the other side had a thick rope with knots tied every foot or so, instead of a wood handrail.
Backing a four-wheel wagon with a tractor is a very difficult, but necessary, maneuver on a farm. If you don't think so, just try it! Most farmers just leave the wagon hooked to the back of the tractor and back up with their neck craned around, desperately turning left, then right, then left, attempting to get the obstinate wagon somewhere (anywhere!) into the shed. Not Grandpa Dake. He had a hitch on the front of his Ford tractor, as well as the back. So he could sit comfortably on the tractor seat and easily steer it wherever he wanted it.
Although he was quite a serious person, grandpa Dake had a great sense of humor. It was not really a "ha ha" type of humor, more of a wry, dry humor. For example, Shari told of Snooks and her built-in washcloth. He had me half convinced one time that he was going to get a pig with a zipper in its side so whenever Grandma needed bacon, he could just open the zipper, take out a pound, and zip it back up.
I can remember begging him to have old Tippy sing for us. He would blow across the top of a Pepsi bottle and Tippy would howl in tune with the whistle! Great fun! Grandpa had lots of little poems that were very entertaining. I have forgotten most of them but I do have a couple still rattling around my head:
I am like the native Hindu, who does what he kin do; if he doesn't have shirt or pants, he simply lets his skin do! Or:
I eat my peas with honey, I've done it all my life; it makes the peas taste funny, but it keeps them on my knife.
He kept us kids well entertained! And speaking of entertainment, all I remember in that department is Honest-to-Goodness and Twins baseball on WCCO radio.
If we kids were really good, after supper Grandpa would bring out his little box of special toys. He had a cigar box full of the most wonderful little gadgets, gizmos and toys imaginable. I don't remember everything that was in there but there was a miniature revolver. (The cylinder turned just like a real one!) My favorite was a pair of white and a pair of black Scottie dogs on magnets. We would take one of them and try to sneak up on the other and we could get just so close and the polarity would snap it around. Pretty cool stuff!
Grandpa Dake had a way of making each of us grandkids feel special, and although I don’t ever remember him saying it verbally, we knew he loved us.
Their farm had so many interesting places to explore (but never, never Grandpa's tool shed!) and things to do (get into!). --Steve Miller.
I don't think I'll ever forget the "privilege" of being "grandpa's eyes." That's what he called it when you went out to the oil-smelling shop and helped him fix up something for Grandma. He'd ask you to help get the screwdriver in the right spot, or put the screw in the hole. I'll always remember the rides on the little Ford tractor and the nails he kept in his pocket that he had "just in case." In fact I have one of those for a "keepsake" after he died. --Patty Anderson Henderson.
I think something I kind of missed with the first read was the simple, touching eloquence of Patty's piece about Grandpa Dake. I can just see a little Patty Dee in that old work shed, and when I was reading her essay I could actually smell that old work shed! --Douglas Anderson.
His tongue in cheek sense of humor was fun ... when I would sit on the floor by his big wooden rocker ... and Snooks would lean down and lick my face, he said, "Wouldn't it be nice if we could carry a washcloth to clean up with anytime ... just like Snooks does?" Which would make me giggle every time. --Shari Miller Larson.
I remember sitting on the back porch of our new house in the country with Grandpa Dake and watching the men move their new trailer next to us. We sat there and visited and what was the most special was that he didn't talk to me like I was a kid, but like I was all grown up. I don't remember what we talked about, but I still remember how I felt talking to him. --Marlene Anderson Johnson.
I especially remember Uncle Bill, sitting in his chair, not seeing well, but listening intently to everything being said and done, and how he always, always had a smile on his face and a kind word for everyone, and how he seemed to enjoy the children, especially. --Diana Mellon Martin.
One very vivid memory that I have is of Grandpa Dake eating onions. He would sit and eat them whole, like anybody else might eat an apple, occasionally pausing to season with a little salt. I guess that really made an impression on my little 3- or 4-year-old mind, because in a haystack of memories, that one sticks out like a pin. --Douglas Anderson.
After they moved over to our house on Hwy. 12, Grandpa and Grandma let us play the record player for hours. I can't imagine hearing the same tunes over and over and over again, but that's what happened. Imagine, they invented Karaoke before anyone else! I wonder where those records are ... hum a few bars and I bet I could still join in! --Patty Anderson Henderson.
When I was young, Grandpa would visit with me, as though I were an adult. I felt so mature and listened so carefully to him. I loved the stories he told, some being purely fictional. (Hear that thunder? That's God rolling coal into the basement!) Other stories were of his youth in Montana and things he'd done while growing up. I remember one he claimed something about someone's tonsils being cut out on the way to or from school. (Anyone remember the real story?)
Now my Grandpa Dake was a very special man ... no matter what ... he was always happy to see ME. He seemed to enjoy it if I would just come and spend time hanging out with him. How special it was to be the recipient of such unconditional love! He was interested in hearing all about my life ... always had time to listen ... AND ... the very best part ... he would share stories of his childhood ... over and over and over ... as I just loved to hear all about them, over and over and over. --Shari Miller Larson.
That's Billy, then "Mom" (Amy) holding Gert. (I would say she was about 6 months, old which would make the photo date 1932), LeRoy (Bubsy), "Dad" (William B.) Dake, Dorothy, and Blanche. That is in front of the home place where we had many enjoyable times! --Tom Miller
The four little ones with Mom and Daddy are Donna Anderson and Duane Miller and Steve Miller and Ernie Dake. --Gert Dake Pettit.