For the first ten years of her life, my Aunt Laura Fredrick, was an only child. I have never been able to find out why that was exactly. There is no indication of a miscarriage or anything, but when she was ten years old, she received a brother…my Uncle Bill Spencer. Then, two years later, she received another brother…my dad, Allen Spencer. Then, a year and a half later, she received a sister…my Aunt Ruth Wolfe. All the siblings have the same parents. Things happen that way sometimes, I guess. Aunt Laura had the distinct honor of sharing her birthday with her mother, Anna Schumacher Spencer, and they were very close companions. They did everything together.
When Aunt Laura was born in International Falls, Minnesota in 1912, her parents Allen and Anna Spencer, were living in a lumber camp, way back in the woods. During the day, it was Grandma and Aunt Laura. They were all the company they had. There might have been some other wives and families, but from what I’ve seen in pictures, they weren’t very close by. So, Aunt Laura spent most of her time with her parents. Her dad played the violin, and he wanted her to learn to play too. She did, of course, but she never really shared his love for the instrument. Her younger siblings would later be the ones to love playing an instrument, including the guitar and the violin.
Aunt Laura loved pretty things. Her home was absolutely beautiful. I remember going over there as a child and thinking that she must be the richest woman ever. Her house was filled with pretty and shiny things. I don’t recall, how big her house was, but it felt like a mansion to me…or maybe it was just because it seemed so elegant to me. My sisters and I didn’t really know Ant Laura all that well when we were children, but I got to know her a little better when my girls were just little. By then, Aunt Laura had moved away and was moving back to Casper. Her heat was not going to be turned on for two days, and it was bitterly cold outside. I don’t recall the reason we were all at some kind of dinner together, but Aunt Laura was planning to stay in her house all weekend in the cold. I told her that she certainly was not. I had a hide-a-bed, and my husband was working nights, so she stayed with the girls and me. Truly, we had a wonderful two days, and my girls had a blast. They loved company, and Aunt Laura, who had only boys in her family, seemed to really enjoy the antics of girls. Today is the 110th anniversary of my Aunt Laura’s birth. She lived to be 90 years old. Happy birthday in Heaven, Aunt Laura. We love and miss you very much.