Through the Visual Past of Our Ancestors

My other cousin Gladys Bohlig and her husband George have just completed a visit with us. George was an interior decorator before retiring, and used to tell a lot of people with fancy homes what's wrong with the insides of their houses. 

They had planned to go to Germany this summer to take in historical spots and visit with relatives that got stuck over in the ‘old country’ for all these years. But they cancelled their trip, as they were upset with the Europeans for not supporting Reagan with his sanctions against the Libyans - a sort of a two people crusade. It was no biggy for them to skip Europe this summer since they have been over there many times for business and pleasure. 

Their decision to boycott was our gain. They took a month long trip to check out a lot of things in Iowa and swung around this way to see what we are doing. 

The Bohligs are used to a lot of ocean scenery and hills that have been worked over to make room for elaborate homes. They live life on the biggy side, and stuff like that. Since California relatives don't talk the language of the farmer, we thought it may be of interest if we took them to the place where Gladys’s  ancestors had to dig out a living. Through a recent letter Sugar promised Gladys a walk through the land of her mother’s parents. 

A week before their arrival. I made a dry run to the upper end of Sprague Lake, so I could professionally identify ancestoral landmarks. But time had wiped out any trace of the farmstead that was located between pyramid type rocks. Couldn't even find a square nail from the torn down house, nor a trace of the stumps from those stately poplar trees, let alone where the barn was. 

The old Ekin stock ranch had the house built right over a spring. A short pipe brought forth water to the kitchen sink by just pumping the pitcher pump handle. Full cream cans were lowered through a floor opening - almost as good as a refrigerator but on the wet side. Of course, I didn’t figure everything would be there to show Gladys, but I surely didn’t expect the spring to have disappeared. 

For historical value, parts of downtown Sprague look like a semi-ghost town. It could spike up interest of by-gone days if Gladys could see the old dated buildings, etc. We just had to wait and see. 

When the Bohligs arrived, cousin Trilby joined us. We spent the day on relative talk, and downing food that Sugar and sister Ethel had put together. Next day we headed for the Edwall-Sprague territory. A picnic lunch was packed to be devoured at the water’s edge of Sprague Lake. But the two car caravan got separated in the dust on a road to the historical Kintschi log house. 

Lost and going around in circles ate up a lot of time. The Gerald and Carol Klein’s farmyard made a good searching spot for George and I to work out from. Finally Gerald went out scouting for the lost bunch and found them wandering around a country lane. Behind schedule made us cancel the Sprague tour, so we substituted Kleins’ lawn for the dreams of a lakeside picnic. 

One couldn’t have planned getting lost any better. It gave us more time for a slower walk through the visual past of our ancestors as we viewed Kleins’ private museum, and interesting home. Even though my prepared tour fell by the wayside, it was much better than trying to show my cousin the bare grass covered spot where her grandparents once sustained life.

"Roaming Relatives" Kik-Back Country, page 23, part 4 (previous)

Walt Kik
"... the historical Kintschi log house."
Walt Kik
" of downtown Sprague look like a semi-ghost town."