When Bob and I went to Forsyth, Montana every summer, it was to connect with his family members who lived too far away the see every day. Each had their own special way of doing things, and their own personality. So many memories about those days stand out in my mind, but today is about Bob’s uncle, Eddie Hein. Eddie was and still is a hard working man with a gentle way about him. I have always enjoyed the visits that we had to his home, and his wife Pearl was always so sweet too. If you ever left their home hungry, it was your own fault. They loved entertaining, and Pearl is an amazing cook.
Eddie and Pearl were also very busy people. In addition to their jobs, they helped to care for some of Pearl’s family members. Having done that, I know that it is a big job, filled with emotions. You also have to have the help and support of your spouse, and I know that Pearl was always able to count on Eddie to be there for her. For a caregiver that is a vital thing. Caregiving is a stressful thing anyway and when your spouse is making things more difficult at home, that adds a terribly large amount of stress. Eddie didn’t do that to Pearl. And that has made all the difference.
Eddie has always been serious family man. His family was always his first priority. I remember the garden he and Pearl had, and the lovely addition he put on their house to provide some much needed space. He was always very handy, and he could build just about anything he put his mind to. He spent a lot of time in his shop working of projects he set himself to do. He always had something going on, and pretty much always had a way to fix whatever needed fixing. And whether you are traveling or not, that is a handy person to have around. But, that was just Eddie. He was always willing to help someone when it was needed.
There are many things that have always endeared Eddie to me and my family, but probably the biggest one, was his great sense of humor. Eddie loved a good laugh and a good joke, and he has a great laugh. I always loved the ones he pulled on Bob…like the time he pretended to give Bob a buzz cut. I’m pretty sure Bob knew the sheers weren’t plugged in, but maybe he didn’t. Either way, Bob did his best to protect his long hair…at least for a few more months. Today is Eddie’s birthday. Happy birthday Eddie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Not everyone who belongs in a family history is a family member. It seems fitting to me to talk about the Hoover family, because they played a rather large part in our family’s history, and therefore were as close as family. In her young years, my great aunt, Bertha Matilda Spencer and her mother did not get along. The situation continued to be a problem for some time, and at some point it became intolerable.
I don’t know how old Bertha was when she went to live with the Hoover family, or if it was her decision or her mother’s, but she never lived at home again. Many people might think that hers was a horribly sad and lonely life after that, but to me she looked genuinely happy. That makes me think that possibly her move to the Hoover home was something that was by mutual agreement, between her and her mom, but I still have to wonder if the whole situation made my great great grandfather rather sad. I don’t know about Great Great Grandma, but the rest of the family, it seems, was very close to the Hoovers…leading me to think that they missed their sister very much. Because the Hoover family was so close to his, my grandfather remained friends with them for the rest of his life, even having his picture taken with two of the Hoover boys, Ed and Joe, two years before his death.
Mr Hoover’s name was France, and while he was a farmer by trade, he also had the ability to repair and maybe even make shoes for his family. I suppose a lot of families learned trades to help save their families money, but shoemaking is something that seems such a strange hobby these days. Of course, for France Hoover, it was not a hobby, it was a necessity. His family needed shoes, and to purchase them was expensive. I found these pictures to be very interesting, as I thought about how the shoes were made or repaired in those days. They were all hand crafted, unlike the shoes of today that are mass produced by machines. The shoes were made out of leather, while most shoes today are made out of synthetic materials. I have a feeling those shoes lasted much longer than our shoes today do too.
Shoes then were not designed for looks so much, but rather they were made in a practical fashion, which would have saddened me, because I love my high heels, and I love different designs and colors. Shoes of yesteryear were quite different, and I’m sure the shoemakers would have thought of me as being half crazy. Maybe I am, but I would be in good company, I think, because there are a whole bunch of us high heel fanatics in this world. These are just different times than those were, and since they most likely had just one pair of shoes, compared to my 50 or more, theirs had to be built to last. While France Hoover was not related to me, I still find him to be an interesting character from the past. Some things he did the old fashioned way, like making and repairing shoes, and some things like cars and tractors, he had to have the latest innovations available. I suppose it just depends on where your priorities are, really, and I’m quite certain that mine are vastly different than France Hoover’s were.