My Grandfather, like many, joined the military in the US, in preparation for World War 1. He didn’t turn 18 years old (the required age to serve in the US) until 1918. He trained as part of the 101st Cavalary, but never deployed to the trenches of Europe. He, my grandfather, then returned to Wisconsin Dells and opened a shoe repair store. His wife, my grandmother, was much younger than my grandfather. They moved into an apartment above the shoe store and started their family. My father had three sisters: two older and one younger. My father’s oldest sister was the first of the family to go off to college. While at college, she learned about photography and won some awards.
She, my father’s oldest sister, taught my father and my grandfather how to take pictures. That is why I suspect, now, that many of my grandfather’s earliest pictures were of the Wisconsin River. Photography is an art. Taking what is seen by the photographer and sharing it. The last two pictures today are of the river, circa 1962 or 1963. The river was changed in the 1960s. Previous to that change, it flooded a lot. Dams were added to two of the main tributaries of the Wisconsin River. That reduces the amount of water in the spring; It creased a couple of large water reserves, including one in the Center of the State of Wisconsin called the Turtle Flambeau flowage.
The picture of my grandfather in a Mason uniform is the only one of those I have. There are many pictures of my grandfather, but few of him as a person outside of our family. The first picture is of my aunt and my cousin from the same period. The picture was damaged because of time. I will someday fix some of these, but for now, I cannot edit these pictures. They are what they are. I have come through the family history project to trace my love of water. It goes through my mother, who spent her childhood on a lake in Wisconsin. It comes from my father, who was the captain of a tour boat on the Wisconsin River. But it also comes from my grandparents on both sides, who loved the wonder of water.