|Ruby Turner Beardsley, my Grandmother|
There is no place like home even when nobody lives there anymore
|My Grandparents The Beardsleys in the Center, flanked by Camerons and Turners, Family all|
My mothers father and mother were hard working people who I remember as being quiet--my grandfather read a lot-- as they went about their daily, often difficult, work of living the life that opened in front of their rural Idaho everyday. My Grandfather, Arch Beardsley, who came ¨west¨ from Iowa, was a engineer/mathematician for the mines, both Silver (closeby) and Gold (Nevada). My Grandmother, Ruby Turner Beardlsey was the daughter of one of the original pioneers to Southern Idaho. My Great Grandfather, Frank Turner (name changed from Jackson) and his wife Emma, half Pawnee/Native American, were rancher/farmers at the foot of a lovely mountain in the Wood River Valley. They had many children but two died the very same day as a nasty influenza swept through the small town (I later found the black edged death/funeral cards announcing their burial as well as those of my Great Grandparents--all sent off by the little Episcopal Church just a block down the street to the Happy Hunting Ground/Heaven and buried in the ¨old families¨ plot at the nearby cemetery).
I inherited my grandparents home and then spent the next two years making it ¨wonderful¨ (I planted hundreds of gladiolus bulbs exactly where grandma planted hers--they grew gorgeous again)
Later, I inherited my Beardsley Grandparents home (my sister Marilynn generously gave me her half after my Mom died) and I spent the next two years living in it and restoring it and making it ¨wonderful¨--quite a task as it was over 100 years old, added on and on, had been abandoned, had no central heating and the grounds compromised five full lots that were all overgrown fruit/maple/other trees, flower gardens, chicken houses, a corner pasture (with barbed wire fencing) and assorted other decaying outbuildings stuffed full of miscellaneous ¨stuff¨...there was a metal foundation embedded in the kitchen floor where the old wood cooking stove had rested for decades (but the stove had been stolen as the house was stripped of any ¨saleables¨ over the years before I moved in)....the most ¨modern¨ thing in the house was a complete add-on indoor bathroom that had been added when my mother was a pre-teen.
I can still smell my grandmothers heavenly cooking in black skillets on the ancient wood stove
I had sold my small condominium in San Juan/Condado, Puerto Rico to finance this project and I also used part of the same money to open a little studio/gallery in nearby Ketchum/Sun Valley, just up the road (I was a member of the Sun Valley Gallery Association). I worked on the house and worked in my studio and was reminded daily of my childhood when I awoke in the freezing cold morning in that old house (which got replaced with cozy central heating) but the heavenly cooking smells coming from my Grandmas skillets when cooking on the ancient wood stove would never be improved upon with my electric stove culinary skills. Some things didn´t improve the ambiance in that old house with modernazation including the acceptance, easy love and underlying human decency and warmth that were constant and somehow remained intact through the years of decay--and, of course, I missed the live chickens, the black labador dogs (always named Butch) and my Grandma busily going from one duty to the next (although I did see her quick ¨fantasma¨ type image one night in the kitchen but she didn´t seem to notice me) . I often remembered grandma plucking chickens in the sink and cooking donuts and rushing out to the chilly adjoining pantry room for supplies (a room I later coverted to a garden room complete with it´s own picture windows and private patio) because there was no refrigerator in that kitchen when I was a child. My Grandmother had three children and she was a devoted parent. Aunt Agnes, was a single lady, notable local citizen and grade school teacher....she was sweet and nice to me but I bearly remember her as she died in 1949 of a stroke (I do vividly remember her open coffin in the parlor and her purple dress and the huge outpouring of grief from the community). My Uncle Dick was a WWII hero/medalist and all-around outdoorsman, bachelor, mayor and silent/handsome guy. My Mother was Miss Blaine County (and awarded a gorgeous Diamond Pave Butterfly by P. Lorillard Kent) as a teen but moved away to the ¨big city¨ and had her own ¨successes¨ soon after high school (she had been valedictorian).
I miss Idaho today and the Idaho of before today
Yes, my solo adventures into living in the past are quite rewarding and memorable both then and now and in so many inspirational ways too...that old house was quiet/still but I was always busy with remodeling and reliving memories with those who loved one another as they loved me too. I miss them but I think they are with me still, even several ¨borders¨ away.
|Leonardo Ricardo (Lenny) visiting grandparents as a child|
Leonardo Ricardo (Lenny)
· Thanks to Jeff Fisher, Nephew, Family Pictures