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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dear Father

Today would have been my father's 95th birthday. A second generation American, he was born in the house of his father's birth on a farm our family owned for over 100 years. The 25th anniversary of his death will be just 18 days from now. The longer he is gone, the more difficult it is for me to write or talk about this incredible man. So I'll share a few photos from our family album.

Kermit vonOhlen as a young boy.
Circa 1919 at the old homeplace - Cortland IL

My father loved fishing and was good at it. I remember many a fish fry at our house.

This has always been one of my favorite family photos. Here my father baits a hook for my older sister Sharon. The picture was probably taken on the banks of the Fox River near Dundee IL where my maternal grandparents farmed.

This photo of my father (front row left) and his siblings is not dated. We think it was probably taken before the funeral of their father Ernst Christian vonOhlen who died unexpectedly from blood poisoning in 1931 when my Dad was just 17. I can't imagine another time when the siblings would have been dressed so formally and attired in black. Note the avant-garde cuffs on my aunt Alice's dress - back row right.
From the baseboards, it looks as if the photo was taken at home.
Front row: Kermit, Alda
Back row: Eva, Floyd, Alice


Exuberant Color said...

The pictures are really neat. I especially like the one of him sitting on the railing, so innocent and young.

William said...

Cool pictures. Now I have to see if have a picture of Ernst. (Plus dig through the genealogy notes to see if we are related).