Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wistful Wednesday : Great Grandpa

I have no idea when this photograph was taken. The couple are my Great Grandparents August and Katie. August worked in the copper mines in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan before they moved to Minnesota in 1908 or 1909. August was a man with special hands, he was referred to as the "Bone Doctor." Everyone in the area went to him with their broken bones and wounds, the real Doctor was far away by buggy or sleigh. He never turned anyone away, he never charged for his services, he tried to help people the best he could and he had a reputation as a good medical man. Most people paid what they could afford.

Recently my Dad shared these stories with me:
You know we logged in the winter, all of us boys. One day Ervin and I were moving a huge log, Ervin had the heavy end, I needed to get a bit taller to handle my end so I could get it over the stick so I stood on a stump. I fell off the stump, and just laid there, I could not feel my legs. My brothers got me up and tried to help me walk, but my legs just wouldn't work. They loaded me on top of the logs and took me home. My Dad got the Sunday sleigh out and took me to Grandpas. They carried me into the bedroom where Grandpa had a special bed, they laid me on it and Grandpa moved his hands all up and down my spine and after about a half an hour he told me to get up. I told him I couldn't walk, he told me again to get up off the bed and walk, so I did.
** In later years it was discovered that my Dad a one time had a broken back..this may have been the injury.

Grandpa always told us that if we ever flattened a finger or a toe that it was easy to fix. In later years I recalled this bit of information. I was clearing a small stand of pines trees when one of the tops snapped off and smashed my thumb against the controls of the Cat. My thumb was flatter than a pancake. I took off the radiator cap of the Cat and stuck my thumb in the hot water for awhile, then I took it out of the water and pushed and molded it back into place just as my Grandpa said to do. It hurt like heck but it worked, but I can still feel a bunch of knots and bumps inside my thumb yet today.
** Cat is a Caterpillar or a Bull Dozer (Heavy Equipment)

One time my brother Oscar hurt one of his fingers, I don't remember what he did, but his finger was a mess. It was just a hunk of meat with skin hanging from it. I took him to Grandpas, Grandpa got out his needle and thread and sewed it all up, it healed really well but Oscar had a really long scar on his finger.
My brother who lives down our lane has "the hands" the short stubby fingers that can work magic on my stiff neck or give me a great back rub, and just like our Great Grandfather he doesn't charge either:)


  1. Wonderful story. It made the Duchess really nostalic. Thanks!

  2. Love this story! What a wonderful family you have and so many stories! Wish my family would have shared more.

  3. What a treasure to have old photos and these stories to share. This was fascinating.

  4. Those are some good stories. I once stepped outside on the wet grass barefoot, when I came back in the house my wet foot slipped on the floor, but my big toe didn't. It broke in two and slid under my foot. I looked down at my foot and my big toe was smashed back under my foot. I grabbed it and pulled it back in place then I drove myself to the doctor. He xrayed it and said he needed to reset it. I told him I had already re-set it, but he said it was not set straight. He numbed my toe and reset it, taped it, and sent me back home. To be honest with you I thought I'd pass out. Even though I could not feel him re-setting my toe it still grossed me out something aweful!

  5. Great stories - amazing even! People back then were made of stern stuff.

  6. this just makes me want to keep hearing more stories!! Grandpa must have been something else

  7. I was feeling a little yucky this morning -- now I feel like a malingerer -- at least my back isn't broken!


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie