Jim covers about twenty years of history in this one letter. It’s a letter I could have written about Grandma, but he beat me to the punch. Those two made quite the pair. She was an unsmiling old farm woman, and he was a happy-go-lucky bachelor. I was lucky to have the two of them raise me.
These two photos illustrate the differences. Taken the same day, in the same room, holding the same grand child, you can see the personality differences clearly.
Jim looks elated to be holding Lon, but he’s a little uncomfortable with a child. Being single he hasn’t had much chance to interact with infants. Fanny, on the other hand, looks like an old hand at holding a child in her lap. She knows it’s almost impossible to damage the child in this situation. Just for fun, compare the position of Jim’s left hand and Fanny’s left hand. He’s ready to catch the boy immediately. She’s ready, but has no need to telegraph the readiness. She can intuit what Lon will do.
The other comparison is the smile. Jim is clearly in his prime here! What joy he displays. Fanny is happy. There might not be another picture around showing her as happy as she was on this occasion.
Their friendship was just one more of those unfathomable things in life. I miss these people. I miss their stories.
More than once Guy has mentioned what a treasure we would have had if we could have recorded all of the stories that Grandma Luehr had related to us over the years. What a history of her family enriched with the many experiences and hardships she endured. …