By Barb Hauge
"The Greatest Generation" is Tom Brokaw's wonderful tribute to Senior Citizens which I mentioned in my last column. This is the rest of son Darel's summation of our lives at our Golden Wedding Anniversary and Art's 80th Birthday Party April, 1998.
"Home from World War II by 1947, Dad attended Montana Farmers Union Convention in Great Falls and asked Mom to be his date for the Convention Dance at the Civic Center. She remembered Dad as the tall boy who played his violin at Zurich Park during Blaine County Farmers Union Conventions. Back then, Dad was 18 and Mom was 11. Dad didn't waste much time; he'd been engaged twice before and gotten "Dear Johns", one from a home town girl and then one from another in Colorado Springs.
My parents first date was October 1947 and they were married January 1948. My brother, Dave, was born June 1949; Dan in November 1950; Dwight, February 1952 and I came along June 1956. After Dave and Dan left for college at Montana State University-Bozeman, my parents took two foster daughters, Maria and Ida Mae Luna from Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. The girls are Indian, Mexican and White. Under Kennedy's Alliance for Progress and Farmers Union Farmstay Program, we were host family for youth from many backgrounds and races who came to learn about life on a Montana hog farm. My parents were always active in Farmers Union and we enjoyed summer camps and conventions and lobbied in Helena and Washington D.C. on behalf of farmers and ranchers.
My folks farmed for 30 years and then retired to Turner. They have seen most of America and much of the World, spending their 30th and 40th Wedding Anniversaries in Hawaii and visiting Alaska twice where my brother, Dave, lives.
In 1980 they toured China and the Orient and in 1985 they danced across Europe with a Canadian Square Dance Troupe. They have wintered on Whidbey Island, Washington and Apache Junction, Arizona. In summers they were Caretakers at Farmers Union Camp in the Highwood Mountains near Great Falls. Besides all the Square, Round and Old Time Dancing, Mom and Dad enjoy Music and Poetry Gatherings where they entertain; Dad plays his violin and Mom recites her poetry.
Dad enjoys woodworking and playing his violin, accordion, guitar and a hammered dulcimer that he made. Mom enjoys sewing and writing and has put together books of poetry, editorials and family history. They both love reading and dancing and spending time with kids and grandkids, friends and family. Dan and Judy live in Wyoming and have Stacy Ann, Char and Garrett; Dwight and Kim's sons are Kaleb and twins, Curtis and Sean; Linda and I have produced Adam and Evan.
We welcome you to our parent's Golden Anniversary and Dad's 80th Birthday Celebration. My wife, Linda, is Hostess for the Noon Luncheon assisted by ladies of the Community. The family will be around to guide you through all the Golden Memories and Mementos. Swift Current Old Time Fiddlers start playing for the dance at two this afternoon. Please enjoy and join us in singing Grace: "The Lord is good to us; we praise and thank the Lord for giving us the things we need; the birds and the trees and the appleseed. The Lord is good to us." And so He is!
Tom Brokaw's "The Greatest Generation" is exceptional and is now available in your local library.