Dan Gisvold at Bear Creek

Friday, February 17, 2012


I had been thinking that I hadn't heard from Ward in quite a while. I was afraid that there would be no more stories of Dan.

Then this email came.


"We grew up on Westerns. Hoppy, Gene, Roy, they were all there for us to emulate.  Before TV we listened to thrilling episodes of "yesteryear" on the radio.  Plots were purely melodramatic but uniquely exciting to the 8 year old mind.
The first adult Western I can remember was Gunsmoke  and I listened every week, Saturday morning (probably a re-run).  We were  one of the holdouts; I was 9 before we finally got a TV and then, much to my dismay,  Gunsmoke was on after my bedtime!  When I finally was allowed to watch It took some getting used to James Arness instead of William Conrad as Marshall Dillon.
Strathmore was the perfect Dodge City.  I would be so excited to be spending the night with Danny's Grandma Turney.  I think the folks were just as excited.  Visits usually coincided with the local dance club outing of which my parents and the Gisvolds were members.
So there we'd be- downtown Strathmore.  We'd put on our hats, strap on our guns, shoulder a "shotgun" and patrol the town's back streets.   Later on we'd visit the local saloon and Miss Kitty (Danny's Grandma) would serve us up something cold.
Of course those Saturday evenings culminated in our being snuggled down in front of the TV watching the latest episode of Gunsmoke.
During our visit we always went next door to visit Cese. Danny's Great Grandma the oldest person I had ever known. She sat in an old wicker-style wheel chair with a lap robe and had sparkly eyes, sharp as a tack.  I was impressed because she was alive during the Civil War.  My, she and Danny got along famously.  We always played cards while we were visiting her.  She had the first Cribbage Board I had ever seen and I always think of her whenever my wife and I play Cribbage.  The visit was never complete without iced tea and, I think it probably was Sassafras but I can't be sure. 
I'm sure that one of the reasons Danny was such a great caring human being was due, in part, to the great nurturing from the Turney household  in Strathmore."
This brought up so MANY memories. I can see Dan at our grandmother's house (we called her Nana) hiding in the attic, running next door to Cese's house, picking lemons, and helping make pomegranate jelly. 
Ward, keep them coming.  

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