My husband’s uncle, Butch Hein is the youngest of his grandmother, Vina Hein’s five children. Grandma had two children, Marion Kanta and Walt Schulenberg (my husband’s dad) from her first marriage to Andrew Schulenberg; and three children, Esther Hein, Eddie Hein, and Bernard “Butch” Hein, from her second marriage to Walt Hein. Durning her second marriage, the family lived on the ranch that had been owned by Walt’s dad, Christian Hein. Because of that, ranching was practically a part of Butch’s DNA, It was as much a part of his as the air he breathed. While the older children really didn’t want to be ranchers, Butch really did, and since parents usually try to pass their lives’ work down to their kids, Walt had hoped that one of his kids would want to be a rancher. Butch fulfilled the desire his dad had. They worked the ranch together, and when Walt was ready, Butch took over in his dad’s retirement years.
Butch was quite a bit younger than my father-in-law, Walt Schulenberg, so his nieces and nephews were not that much older than their uncle. Butch was just four years old when he first became an uncle, and by the time he was ten years old he had five nieces and one nephew, and more would follow in quick succession. By the time his siblings were done having children, Butch would have nineteen nieces and nephews. He would also have a son named Scott, and a daughter named Crista, who died in infancy. In reality, Butch didn’t really remember life without nieces and nephews. I’m sure that as a you uncle, or more correctly, a kid who was an uncle, having nieces and nephews gave Butch a lot of “friends” to play with, in addition to his older sister and brother.
There is lots to do on a ranch. In addition to the cattle, there are horses to ride and usually other animals to help out with. Life on a ranch usually includes other types of animals that can be used to food, as well as a garden, which I know Grandma had. What kid do you know that wouldn’t go and have a little “garden raid” when they wanted a snack. Beans and carrots make great fresh snacks, and I’m sure Butch and his siblings took full advantage of that fact, although probably not to a large extent, because if you eat all the vegetables in the garden, your Mom and Dad would be sure to notice. Besides that, helping on a ranch keeps a kid pretty busy. Most of their “snacks” were in the form of big meals at mealtime. As hard as the work was, Butch thrived on it, and couldn’t wait to work on the ranch with his dad as an adult. Him taking over the ranch was inevitable, and Butch was very happy about that. Today is Butch’s birthday. Happy birthday Butch!! Have a great day!! We love you!!