Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sentimental Junk

Meet my grandpa…known to all as Grandpa B. (Short for Bergstrom). He’s my dad’s dad. Many people say they have the best grandpa, but seriously, I really did! He was the kind of guy who made every grandchild feel like they were his favorite. He was a thoughtful, fun and hard working man and a caring husband and father. I loved it when he talked about his youth and farm life in Kansas. As a twenty-eight year old man he made his way from Kansas to North Dakota with a thrashing crew harvesting crops along the way. In a field by Ray, ND in August 1926 he eyed a tall, skinny nineteen year old girl working in the cook car making meals for the thrashers. It was love at first sight for both of them. Grandpa never returned to Kansas. He married the tall skinny girl in January, 1927.

Grandpa passed away the day after my 20th birthday at age eighty-four. A year later I talked my parents and Grandma B. into taking me to Kansas so I could see where Grandpa was born and raised. Relatives helped us find his childhood farm. The two story house was bigger than I had imagined. But, in retrospect, he had eleven brothers and sisters, so they obviously needed the space! Grandpa was #10 child and his twin sister #11. The farm, although abandoned, was very pretty with rolling hills and stone fences. I wasn’t into the junk scene all those years ago, but my mother was smart enough to take an old light fixture from the house. I’ve ALWAYS regretted not taking a keepsake from that house!

Fast forward to Junk Fest 2009. Two of my aunts from Ray decided to attend for the first time ever! As my aunt Connie looked at our merchandise, something jogged her memory. She remembered the old staircase banister post she had taken out of Grandpa B.'s childhood home about thirty years ago... Last weekend while in Ray celebrating my dad’s 80th birthday, aunt Connie pulled out the old post and gave it to me! She had never done anything with it after she and my uncle returned from their trip to Kansas and it had sat in a Quonset at their farm all these years. How lucky am I to have a wonderful part of my Grandpa’s childhood home?! I am just thrilled!
I can easily imagine all the Bergstrom relatives who grabbed that post for support when climbing the stairs all those years ago...especially, my wonderful Grandpa!


  1. Oh that is such a cool rememberence ! You are lucky to have known your Grandpa, mine were both gone before I came around. Now to have such a personal item from his childhood home is so neat. You know how everyone grabs that post as they come up and down the stairs, think of all the family vibes that reside in that wood ! It looks beautiful finished too. BTW, my aunt married a Bergstrom. . . . .so I have many Bergstrom cousins ! I think her in-laws came from the Chicago area though, and I do not know where they came from before that. Her inlaws were Olaf and Christine Bergstrom.

    hey, if you are interested in a fat quarter giveaway ( and not just one or 2. . . she is giving away LOTS of FQs ! ) , I have a link to one on my blog. . . why am I telling you this, it just decreases MY chances ! duh !



  2. Ok It's 8:51 a.m. and I'm sitting here reading your post and crying. My grandparents and thus my dad and his brothers and sister lived in a great farm house in the middle of a wheat field in Idaho. The house got burned down after it sat empty for a long time. I have a couple of things from the house and cherish them. Thanks for sharing your great story.

  3. Listen here. I love family. And to have a piece that has been in the family makes me all warm inside. Congrats to you for having memories and the kick booty post. Dang! It cleaned up beautifully! ~Mindy

  4. Oh cool! Love the old pic of your granddad and the story about the post. You did a wonderful job on it. Thanks for sharing....happy fall ya'll from Houston.

  5. How lucky you are to have such a wonderful piece of YOUR past. I know you will cherish it!

  6. What a treasure! I love that you made it a useful, beautiful peace that everyone can see! I bet it lets you tell the story often! You've inspired me to go to my Grandparents farmhouse. Thanks!

  7. JunkGirl - Nice story. Good to hear that some parts of the family actually were hard working and honest. My Grandpa B (same last name as yours) did time in Joliet Prison and was married to his 3rd or 4th wife (w/o any previous divorces) when he died. Its amazing what you can find out doing geneology. Like 5-6 generations of B's in Sweden with all children listed as illegitimate. Seems that they refused to participate in the state Lutheran Church so the Church did not recognize their marriages.


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