Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Allan

I  was almost five years old when Allan was born and remember very little about his birth, except that Grandma Hoene came from Illinois to Idaho to help take care of us.  And I really missed my Mom because Grandma was cranky.  I probably asked Dad day after day when Mom was getting out of the hospital because Grandma seemed so mean.  I do remember Mom telling people how happy she was to have a baby boy after the three girls.  I'd only ever seen baby girls clothes - dresses, sweaters, and hats. I'd never seen rompers, pants, and T-shirts.  I'm quite certain we sisters treated him like a baby doll and later made him play "house" with us.

I do remember Allan's first birthday, but not who may've had a camera to take this picture.  Mom made the cake and then took it outside and set it on the lawn and let Allan crawl toward it.  He performed for us by getting his hands full of cake and frosting.

I think this picture was taken by a professional photographer.  Mom made our dresses and she probably was grateful there was one boy so she only had to make three dresses.  I think they were red and white .
I doubt if Mom and Dad even owned a camera back then - picture taking was rare in the early 1950's.  Mom treasured her pictures and photo albums and we kids loved it when she got them out and let us look through them.  The albums were stored under the drawers in hallway "linen" closet.  It was an ordeal just to get them out.

This picture may have been taken the same day, only outdoors and with our Dad.

This Christmas was the beginning of Allan's handyman experience - finally he had a younger brother to  get him away from playing with dolls.

Happy Birthday, Allan, 1958

As much a picture of Allan as a picture of the old cabinets, that he so joyfully got to rip out!

Maybe painting barrels for the Cottonwood Park?
Allan graduated from high school in 1969 - at the height of the Vietnam War.  He made a wise decision to join the Navy with the hope he'd get GI benefits to pay for his college education.  
Mom insisted we get a family picture taken before Allan left for the Navy all the while praying he'd come back home and not be a war casualty.

Allan wrote such great letters while he was in the Navy.  The letters exposed us back home to the larger world with his stops in Singapore and Hawaii.  Allan wanted to shop for all of us while he was overseas and that's how we got our Pentax camera, Mom and Carole got real china, and his brothers got to take care of a reel-to-reel music system, and we all got wooden salad bowls.  He spent most of his time on an aircraft carrier so getting to real land was a serious reward. I'm so grateful the way Allan shared his experiences with us.  

When Allan got out of the Navy he joined our brother Don at the University of Idaho, graduating with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1980, on the day Mt. St. Helen's blew up.  Allan married a California girl, Lisa, and he's only returned to Idaho for family visits and vacations.  I admire his ability to remember details and conversations from years past.  Whenever I talk to him on the phone he asks about my kids, the grandkids and all our siblings.  He added another dimension to the Kopczynski reunion in McCall this summer with his great conversations and memory.  

Men in Blue!

Happy Birthday Allan!  I pray that you'll enjoy many more and secure that job we've all be praying for!

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