Thursday, February 5, 2015

Pelican Lake Weaver family Sunset Beach - Art and Music Traditions 1950's, through the 1980's

Sunset Beach Pelican Lake, Crow Wing County MN
Images from the Weaver Family

About 1952, the view north and west from Lot 11, Sunset Beach, through the lens of Paul H Weaver.   The evening sky, Note the small white pines, and birch clump to the left.  Here is the place of the beginning of the Weaver family connections with this lake share.
 Dad loved to sit and look at sunsets and the birds.  I am so grateful for his modeling this connection to Nature during my youth.  

Here is what Peg Weaver wrote in her memoir, Rememberings, about Pelican Lake "
Pelican Lake was ideal for kids' wading since the gradient to the drop-off was gradual, shallow water extending outward for about thirty feet. The shore and lake bottom were of sugar sand and the water was clear. Rarely, large leaches would be washed up on the beach, but these did not attack like those little fellows at Elbow Lake. Bern Foster said that there were no leaches at Pelican before Pelican was connected to the Mississippi by the U. S. Corps of Engineers via a canal to Lake Ossawinnamakee.
On the beach, Jim, Jack and Tom waded, dug minnow traps, built sand castles and made roads for their small cars with "road blocks" made from pressed wood. Since we could see the water's edge with no trees to block our view, beach play could be supervised from our porch. However, when the boys went swimming, Pete and I would accompany them, often two or three times a day. When the temperature was over 95 degrees, we frequently sat in the lake to keep cool. I was amazed how HOT the sand could
be. One very hot day, after much coaxing, I took the boys swimming in the early evening, only to be driven back to the cottage by swarms of hungry mosquitoes. Inflated inner tubes provided fun in the water. With Pete's help the boys nailed together a small raft and enjoyed drifting and diving from it. When older, they used the Sunset Beach diving dock and went to a swampy area to dig for clams
In the evenings our boys were busy with scavenger hunts, wiener and marshmallow roasts on the beach with Mary, Nancy and Martha Owen, Chip Bowes, Mike Relyea and Peter Countryman. To go with their feather Indian headdresses, I made a heavy canvass teepee (testing my faithful, little portable sewing machine and occasionally breaking a needle) decorating it with painted Indian symbols. (I believe it is under the cottage porch where it is gradually disappearing from gnawing mice.) A slightly raised area under a clump of white birch we named "mushroom hill" for the conspicuous, purple-gilled mushrooms we often saw there. [Much later using my mushroom hobby, I identified them as sandy Laccaria (Laccaria trullisata).]    A "log-sawing business" occupied Jim and Peter Countryman but didn't make them rich.
An expedition to Itasca State Park from Pelican (1952) filled a day. The boys stepped over the Mississippi on rocks and saw penned bison. However, we didn't make many trips away from the cottage, not going to movies nor the County Fair in Brainerd. Though we did receive some pressure to venture from Pelican, we felt that the lake provided many challenging and fun things to do without commercial entertainment." p 57 Rememberings of a 83-year old grandma, 1994 self published
1951 Jack and Tom on the sandy beach through the lens of Noah Elwood Weaver, note the big inner tube, likely from a farm tractor, and the wooden boat from the Relyea cabin.....

1959  Diving dock Sunset Beach Pelican, Mary Foster, Johnny, David Foster.  Tom Weaver, John Foster, Jim and Jack Weaver
Jack 1951 with Blackie inside the cottage by the bookshelves.  By PHW

1952  Tom and Blackie, flash photo by Paul H Weaver 

 1957 Tom and Jack Weaver on Crestliner boat with Blackie by PHW

As we grew up during the 50's and 60's, each son, developed his own interests. 
About 1963, here is Tom, the author, with the 14' Crestliner boat.  Dad painted the Спу́тник, in Russian, sputnik, after the 1957 satellite, laucnhed by the USSR.  Dad took an interest in Russian and for a while subscribed to Pravda, to learn about the language.

1960 Weaver Music Jam Session Jack, guitar, Peg Ukelele, Tom, clarinet, and Jim, glass jug.  Likely strains of "it ain't gonna rain no more no more" PHW
 Jack on the front porch, note driving dock, with his acoustic guitar.
 Mid 60's   Tom with the 15 hp Evenrude with the 14' aluminum boat, with puffy clouds. By PHW
Dad, fishing on Markee Lake by TGW.

Path to Pelican Lake with Crestliner on beach. Note the deep blue drop off, some 200 ' out into the water.  White birch clump. 
1957 Mercury Station wagon parked at Pelican with autumn leaves -  
Typical 1960's view from the west toward cottage site, with large bending white pine in front.

Tom Weaver, the author here, in front of the Palmer Property ca 1972, as I was taking photos of the plants by the shore.  by PHW

Jack playing his guitar, while on leave Ft Ripley, in the National Guard in the late 1960's on the porch.  Note the butterfly net, and the can of Hamms beer.

In Aug 1981, the last family full gathering with dad alive, here are Harold Williams, Nellie's dad, Sue Weaver, John Weaver in front, Pete Weaver in back, Jim, Melanie, with Ken on Jim' back, Kris in front with Nellie and Jack with his Stor Dor T shirt, on the front porch of the Sunset Beach Cottage.

After dad's death in Jan, 1981, Mom wrote "After Pete's death Jim and Jack have come to Pelican every summer, usually for two weeks' vacation at the same time, since their daughters, Valerie and Kristin, had fun together. During much of Jack's vacation he was occupied with work, using his computer much of the time. When Jim was here, early in the mornings around seven o'clock, I drove to his cottage, then he and I walked next door, down a little hill to Winnie Leonard's for coffee. Sometimes others would show up, but usually they were not early risers. In the evenings, relishing some one to talk to while eating and some one else's cooking, I enjoyed an early supper at Jack's or a late one at Jim's. Frequently the two families ate together either in Jack's spacious living room with jalousie windows or on Jim's jalousied porch.  In different years Jim supervised bulldozing trees to make a road on his land to    Lake Lougee and on the 40-acres he and Tom own on Mud Lake along Rte. 18, west of here. When they came with Jim for two weeks in 1987, I enjoyed the Ulmschneiders from Heidelberg, Germany, Peter and his wife, Helgard, with their daughter, Katarina, and twin sons, Jakob and Martin. In 1990 when there was a tornado in close-by Ossipee, a beautiful, tall balsam fir behind Jim's cottage was toppled.
Living in St. Cloud, about seventy miles from his cottage, Tom spent weekends and longer times at his place, either coming alone, with one or two of his boys, with the whole family or with friends. Often I drive down for morning coffee, once being surprised by a blueberry- pancake-breakfast. "

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Random Images Reflecting on my 2011 Visit to Zhongguo - the Middle Kingdom that is China

Photo by Chaoyang "Tony" Zhu, at the Nanjing Presidential Palace, where Dr Sun Yat Sen lived during the time of the Republic.  
My guide Tony Zhu, eating a hot pot cooked at our place in Nanjing.  A very welcoming host, I will always remember and honor, introducing me to modern day China.  Xie xie ni, pengyou Chaoyang "Tony" 
Tony supported my using the bullet train from Nanjing to Beijing from the southern capital to the northern capital. 

Photo with another tall guy at the colorfully restored Tian Tian, Temple of Heaven in Beijing.  Featured on one of my favorite postage stamps I collected as a kid.

 Chinese Republic Stamps I collected in the 1950's and 60's, that still fascinate me, in historical perspective.
Part of the history exhibit at the Temple of Heaven. 
Leo Lum at the Polo event featuring Mongolian Horsemen, and four nations, China the UK, Argentina and New Zealand near Yanqing, north of Beijing. 
While staying with my friend Greg, who worked for the Chinese Medicine Publishing house in Beijing, he coached me on how to use the taxi's dadi, in the city. He wrote down the address of a restaurant in NE Beijing where I was to meet my Carleton College Class of 1969, Classmate Leo Lum, who had invited me to travel with him and his friends north of the great wall for the weekend. 
 For more photos and details please check out Here are some flowers, in the Valley of Flowers with the deep blue sky, that is not polluted where our group stopped. 
Catherine and Leo Lum, walking up a structure to look over the valley. They have a vision of creating a retirement village here. 
Here is where we stopped in a village of have a very satisfying traditional country meal. 
View of the Great Wall, where I joined in a celebration dinner after the polo match. 
While on the train back from Yanqing with Liu Jianqiang and his son, Legend, I asked them about places that would recommend as I did not have a complete itinerary.  Jianquiang graciously contacted his travel agent on his cell, and booked a flight from Beijing to Xi'an, where I stayed for 3 days, and then to Kunming and up to Shangri la in the foothills of the Himalaya Mts.
 Xinping is a man I met on line, who was working at a bank, and suggested places to visit.  I choose this restaurant that he fresh fish from Northern China....Here he his smiling at the meal.

While we ordered our food, a tour guide, Daphne from the Netherlands happened in and the staff invited them to talk with me, as I speak German and English, and she did as well.  Fun to be open and spontaneous here in this Xi'an Cafe near the south part of the Old Wall, inside. 
 The ticket I purchased to get onto the old city wall. I then rented a bike (not really for me size) and rode the 45 minute ride on the wall early in the morning before I took the bus to the airport down to Kunming.
 One of the views from the wall overlooking Xi'an City while I rode a rental bike early in the morning.
 And I sign that helped me duck as I walked to the Bell tower from the Drum tower. 
Market place near the old Mosque said to be the beginning place in China for the Silk Road. 

I took a taxi out to the site of the Excavation of the Terra Cotta Soldiers and then the bus back to town.  Xinping wrote down a list in Chinese, so each taxi driver would know my next stop!  

 This is the temple I noticed when walking the stone paths in this small town, once called Zhongdian, later the tourist name of Shangrila. :-)  (over 9000 ft elevation...
 Leaving Kunming for Hong Kong on Dragon Airways, my last flight in China.
My friend Greg in Beijing lined me up to meet Xiujuan, an engineer who was living near the airport in Kunming. She brought in some of her homemade dumplings (, jiǎo zi )
to share at the airport.  She later moved to the Twin Cities to marry a man named Woody. She came over to my apartment and taught me Mah Jong! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

1952 Faribault Black and White Photos Weaver Family 425 SW 3rd St.

1952 Photos from Peg and Pete Weaver album..

With the passing of my brother John Eicher Weaver, this past year, I am finding it important to label the photos my parents preserved in their family album and share some here. The 3 Weaver brothers where raised in a family environment that valued liberal arts education.  Peg Weaver, Margaret Glessner was a 1932 graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio and Paul Henry Weaver, was a 1938 graduate of Ohio State, with a BS and an MD. He had attended 3 years at Antioch College, Yellow Springs OH, prior to transferring to OSU, where he and Peg met on a blind date.

 1952 Recording session with the reel to reel tape recorder. (see microphone left of me)  Tom with clown nose, Jack as a mountie and Jim, in his flannel shirt, in some sort of acting role.  During this time, our parents, Peg and Pete Weaver, enjoyed role playing "Billy's Buttered Biscuits" episodes, "Try 'em, buy 'em" with their good friends who worked in Faribault's education circles, Marge and Ed Silvis, Faribault Public Schools and Frances and Brad Craig of Shattuck Campus, where they laughed and played.

1952, likely on a Sunday Morning, when we each had to wear a sport coat,  Tom (5), Jack (8) and Jim (12) at the small Weber grand piano in the living room.  Each of us continued to have music in our lives, me with clarinet and vocal. Jack with guitar, electric guitar, Jim with cello and guitar.

Comments by Peg Weaver, mother of 3, in her Rememberings of a 83-Year Old Grandma Memoir
on our interests as younger boys p 68-69

"Jack's second grade teacher, Dena Mueller (whose sister cleaned for me), told us that she thought Jack had worms because he was chewing his pencils! When he was in third grade and having some behavioral problems, his teacher, Jane Herbert, and the elementary supervisor, Madge Paro, suggested that we take him to the University for testing, suspecting that he was an underachiever. Among the tasks that he was asked to perform was drawing a man. Jack's man wore a space suit and the University had no models for evaluating it. Jack told me that this drawing appears in a textbook on student testing. Tom and neighbor Sue Heath had continuous and strenuous competition in weekly spelling tests. On several New Year's Eves, Neila, Ken and Sue Heath joined Pete, Tom and me for snack celebrations, smoked oysters, sardines, cheese and Pepsie. Early on Tom began collecting butterflies and moths, often with Richard Rodewald. Borrowing books from the library, Pete and I became involved in trying to help with identification and preservation of his collections. Eventually our home housed several lepidoptera collections in large picture frames. This was fun for me, too, since nature hobbies were always appealing  When he was in Junior High, Jim's interests revolved around electricity. With a sealed jar containing a small, Christmas-tree-light-bulb plugged into to the house current, a light appear at the top of one of our tall European larch trees and could be seen for quite a distance since our lot's elevation was higher than much of the community. The basement doors were wired to buzz when they were opened and the basement had a tesla coil. Using a pack-ratted electric transformer, munching squirrels were startled at our window box bird feeder, a touch of the switch sending them sailing into the air. The furnace room was loaded with pack-ratted acquisitions stored on jerry-built shelves Jim constructed. Jim was also interested in pulleys, stringing a system between his bedroom and Dick Swain's house next door. "Pulleys save steps," was a phrase we used to tease him. When he took a math course from Ray Budenske, his answer to a problem was correct, but, because he didn't obtain it in the way the teacher had taught, he didn't receive credit. This bothered me --- innovation was penalized.
One of Jim's hobbies was shooting a bow and arrow, setting up a shooting range behind the garage, hauling in bales of straw to hold the bull's eye and catch stray arrows. Unfortunately, the straw was made from quack grass, which invaded our asparagus patch close by. When he was a high school senior, Pat Handy, Jim's very close friend, was killed in an accident on a train trestle near Faribault. This was a difficult time at our house.
Both Jim and Jack went to a Boy Scout Camp at Balsam Lake, Wisconsin, Jack receiving the Order of the Arrow. I remember driving a group to the camp, following the east side of the St. Croix River, seeing Stillwater Prison on the opposite bank.
When Tom played basketball during his sophomore, junior and senior years in high school, Pete and I attended the games in Faribault. The coaches had wanted Tom to join the Varsity when he was a ninth
grader, but Pete and I vetoed that idea, believing it would not be for Tom's benefit. Often a crowd chartered a bus for out-of-town games, especially in snowy weather, leaving the driving to some one else. Standing six feet nine inches, he was an asset to the team, had a good touch and made neat hook shots. In Tom's senior year, 1965, the Faribault team played in the State Tournament and was runner-up for the State Championship! A reception for the returning team was held at the high school with a huge crown attending. Faribault was proud of its team! Although Tom was offered a basketball scholarship by Davidson College he didn't accept, preferring to select a college on a different basis and not wanting to be beholden to basketball for his college education. Very helpful in this decision was the AT&T (American Telegraph and Telephone) stock that my parents had given to each kid for his college education. The Faribault Canning Company provided summer jobs for many Faribault teen-agers, including Jim and Jack. Jim was in the pea-canning department; Jack, in the warehouse, stacking cartons. Another summer, Jim worked at the turkey plant, grabbing turkeys from cold water baths. How his clothes stunk! Tom worked for the Rice County Surveyor, Tom Taylor, helped Larry Knutson with outdoor house-painting, and was a gas station attendant."

1952 Tom and Jack reading the colored funnies in the Sunday Paper, prior to going to Sunday School at the Cathedral of our Merciful Savior in Faribault 
 1952 Jim and Tom, in our flannel shirts, using the reel to reel tape recorder.

Rememberings of a 83-Year Old Grandma Memoir reflections by Peg Weaver p 70

"All of us had fun using the tape recorder -- Tom singing "Do you Know the Muffin Man" and "0 Come, All Ye Faithful", Jack telling his stories of "Space Patanies" and "New Orleans Cows", all of us presenting versions of corny "Billy's Butter Biscuits", Ed Silvis having provided the script. When Marge and Ed with Frances and Brad    Craig recorded this with us, we all became hysterical listening to the play-back with Frances' eastern accent for "hoss-cah conductah" (horse-car conductor).
Each boy took piano lessons for a few years, each having the usual problem of not wanting to practice. The high school orchestra and band had Weaver players: Jim on the cello; Jack, bass fiddle; Tom, clarinet. Each sang in the high school choir, Jim also singing in a male octet. Jack played bass fiddle in a Koopman band, where Oscar Teisberg (the sober, public school band director who appeared to walk around with his eyes closed) played clarinet. Jack was enamored with the electric guitar, making his first purchase at Schmitts music store in Minneapolis, later ordering Fender guitars through Eastman's music store in Faribault. For a high school choir concert he played his guitar to accompany "Black, Black, Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair".
Combo rehearsals often took place in our living room. Jim's combo played before Rock and Roll became popular and its music was not loud. Its members: Charlotte Allen (piano), Bob Ericcson (string bass), Curt Herbert (clarinet), Janet McKeeby (drums), Rog Schroeder (cornet), Herb Sellner (trombone), Wally Borgstahl (vocalist), Jim Weaver (home-made guitar and manager). Jack's combo was definitely Rock and Roll AND LOUD with an amplifier for his electric guitar. The members: Jim Hanson (piano), Harold Weatherson (sax and clarinet), Russell Seely (instrument?), Gary Mudge (string bass), Jack Winjum (drums), Jack Weaver (guitar).
For our living room Jim and Jack built a hi-fi system with large cabinets housing speakers and amplifiers. Pete liked to play classical records at high volume on the hi-fi, driving me to another part of the house or outdoors, almost ruining my enjoyment of classical music. However, my singing was inclined to be loud, which probably bothered all of them. When Jack played his guitar in combos, for his amplifier he used the one he had made for the hi-fi system, borrowing the Buick station wagon to transport the bulky cabinet.  "
1952 Tommy Weaver with microphone ,standing up in front of the bound book edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, in the Faribault living room. 
 1952  Tom Jack and Jim Sunday morning with radio console in living room Faribault
 1952 Tommy with colored blocks in the breakfast room. Note radiator where the family dial telephone sat for years.
 1952 Tommy with Hersey Bar.

1952 Yard Circus in Weaver back yard labeled Janice Dahl, Johnny Shea, Ann Heath, Gary Heath, Jack and Tom Weaver. By PHW with white pine tree behind

1981 Pelican Lake Weaver Family Connections - Another privotal year for the family Mobile

As I look back, 1981 is a pivotal year for the Weaver family mobile, at the evolving Pelican Lake Cabins.  Looking back from 2015 - 34 years later, how precious are the images for those who continue to return to the Lakes and Waters of Crow Wing County.  

 Aug 1981 Sunset Beach Cabin of Peg and Pete Weaver.  L- R Tom with Camp Superkids T Shirt (Took kids to Camp Widjiwagen BWCA with asthma that summer, Sue holding Nathan, 3 mo, Melanie from MA, Peg whose home this was taken in, Harold Williams from Illinois, Jack who worked for Stor Dor (intermodal shipping), "Pete" Paul H Weaver, who was feeling low energy, and early in 1982 was diagnosed with cancer , Val, Kris, Nellie, Jim holding Ken (15 mo) John. By TGW

1981 Aug, Val, Ken, Melanie Weaver, Brainerd airport, Republic Airlines, flying in from Boston MA, by PHW
1981 Front Porch Sunset Beach cottage of P & P.  Harold Williams, Sue Weaver, John Weaver, Pete Weaver, Jim, Melanie, Ken, Kris, Nellie and Jack.   Enjoying a meal on the front porch the traditional summer gathering place at the cottage built in 1947.
 1981, John Eicher Weaver II, on the hooked wool rug that Peg Weaver designed and  hand made in Faribault 1950- 1955.
 Aug 1981, Nellie Jane Williams Weaver, Valerie Brick Weaver, Melanie Brick Weaver sunset Beach cottage.
 1981 Pelican sand beach, Kris, Val and John Weaver 
 1981  Tom with Nathan Blair Weaver, age 3 mo, Jim with Kenneth Glessner Weaver, age 15 mo. PHW in background, photo by SEW.

 1981 Pontoon Boat, at Harold Williams cabin area, Jack, Kristen, Val, Nellie and John head out into the Pelican Lake waters....By PHW
Aug 1981 Sunset Beach cabin, Sue, John, Val, Jim Weaver giving horsy back rides with Ken looking on.