William Beadle became my uncle when he married my Aunt Virginia (Byer) Beadle 52 years ago. He always loved to tease the kids, a trait that endeared him to his family too. He was never happier than when he was teasing one of the little ones and making them smile and laugh. I think every one of his nieces and nephews remembers that the most about him. He had a sparkle in his eye, and you knew that the jokes and teasing would follow. At family functions, he could be found sitting at the edge of the crowd, with a grin on his face and twinkle in his eye. He loved it when the kids came to give him a hug and look for one of his many jokes to get them laughing. Family gatherings always seemed more for the adults. The kids needed something fun and funny to make the day fun for them too. Uncle Bill, along with the other uncles provided that funny part, because the aunts were busy getting the meal on the table.
Uncle Bill was born in Worland, Wyoming to William and Bertha Beadle, and he never really left the Wyoming area, except to travel maybe. Wyoming suited him. He loved to fish and hunt, and there are few places that are better for that than Wyoming. I think he was a true “Wyoming Westerner” from way back. He loved watching westerns, and I’m sure that he could envision himself right there in the thick of the story. He brought his kids up to love Wyoming too, and they still live here to this day. Uncle Bill and Aunt Virginia taught them how to see the best in their great state.
In the later years, we didn’t see Uncle Bill as much. His memory wasn’t good, and it was difficult for him with big family gatherings. I always missed seeing him there, and at first I wasn’t even sure why he wasn’t there. I didn’t know much about memory loss then. I know a lot more now. It is difficult for the person who can’t remember who these people are, where they are, or even why they are there. That thought makes me sad for Uncle Bill, who had always been the jokester at these gatherings. Today would have been Uncle Bill’s 91st birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven Uncle Bill. We love and miss you very much.
When I married into the Schulenberg family, I had no idea what the future would bring…we really never do. I just knew I was in love with my husband, Bob, and I liked his family very much too. Bob’s dad, Walt Schulenberg was quite a character, with a flair for teasing and joking with those people he liked. I liked him very much. In many ways, he was like my own dad, Al Spencer, and very much like my husband. They all loved to tease the “pretty girls,” as they would say, and it endeared them to every one of those girls too. Early on my father-in-law let me know what life in the Schulenberg family was going to be like. The first time I met him, he started teasing, and I sent much of the time red face, but not upset, because was used to it after all. My father-in-law was a happy man, and he liked to see the positive things in life. He had a great smile, and he wasn’t afraid to use it. Anyone who knew him, would tell you he was truly an amazing man.
My father-in-law, who quickly became Dad, and the second great father figure in my life, was a hard working man…almost a workaholic, except that as important as his family was to him, he made sure to spend good quality time with all of us too. He loved my mother-in-law, Joann with all his heart, and his kids and grandkids a very close second. When his kids were young, he learned the value of spending time with family, when he was working out of town, and his daughter Brenda didn’t know him. That was it. He got a job closer to home. He loved being a grandpa and great grandpa, and I wish he could have been here to be a great great grandpa. He loved to make things for the kids, and they all loved the things he made.
He could make or build just about anything he put his mind to…from wooden toys and spinners, to a garage, and even a house. He was a mechanic by trade (among other things), and he could fix just about anything. It was a trade he would pass to his sons and grandsons, and one that as served them all well. Having a mechanic in the family is always a good thing. I think Dad knew that would be important, and that’s why he taught his boys. There were so many things he taught them and his daughters and granddaughters. We never dreamed that one day he wouldn’t be there to teach us any more, but five years ago today, Dad left us to go to Heaven. We had hoped that day would never come. It was a very sad day for us then, and it still is sad today. I know that one day we will see him again, but it doesn’t make it any easier to face the beginning of another year without him in it. We love and miss you Dad…every day.
Being one of a set of twins, my brother-in-law, Mike Stevens always had a little bit of help in the trouble department. Now, I don’t say that Mike or his twin brother, Pat were delinquents or anything, but they were pretty good at pulling pranks…especially as teenagers. I’m told there was a time when they decided to take a fire extinguisher from the hosital. I’m not sure how they managed to get out of the hospital with a fire extinguisher, but somehow they did…I mean who just lets a couple of teenaged boys walk out of the hospital with a fire extinguisher? Seriously!! You know they are up to no good, and…they were planning nothing but trouble for sure. So, after sneaking out of the hospital with the fire extinguisher, the two boys jumped in their car, and drove around town, squirting people with the fire extinguisher!! I don’t know about you, but I can say that it would be quite a shock to be walking down the street, minding my own business, and suddenly out of nowhere, I am hit with the spray of a fire extinguisher. It’s like having a pie thrown in your face. Total shock!! And then to have two teenaged boys drive off laughing…well I’m sure the police were running all over town trying to find them…to no avail.
Mike, and his brother, Pat, for that matter, are a couple of characters, and I’m quite sure that their mother had her hands full trying to keep them in line. Mike is the kind of guy who likes to have fun and he loves to play jokes on people. Nevertheless, I suppose there is always the possibility of having a joke backfire. One day, he came into the house with a nail in his foot, and it was gushing blood. He told my sister, Alena that she had to pull it out. She was totally freaking out about this whole thing, but she did pull it out. Then, she decided that this whole thing wasn’t funny at all. You see, it was April Fools Day, and the “nail” was only attached to his sock. The sock was full of Ketchup, and that was the crowning touch on this great prank. Now, I can’t say if Mike walked away with a black eye on that one, but I’m sure that she told him how she felt about the whole thing…in the midst of her laughter, that is. Yes, Alena thought it was not a nice prank to pull on her, but it was, nevertheless…a really good prank.
I think life in the Stevens household is probably a bit unpredictible, because in addition to Mike and Alena, there were three children, Michelle, Garrett, and Lacey, who were all groomed by their dad to be pretty good in the trouble department too, thanks to their dad…not that Alena didn’t help with that too. Today is Mike’s birthday. Happy birthday Mike!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When I think of people who are always happy, the first person who comes to mind is my niece, Kellie Hadlock. I really can’t think of a greater tribute to a person than to be known as the happiest person I know. That is the kind of person everyone wants to be around, because she lifts your spirits when you are feeling down. She makes you laugh in spite of your own sour mood. She leaves you feeling better that when she entered the room. Those comments don’t just come out of some misguided sense of obligation, but they are spoken about Kellie, because that is just how everyone feels about Kellie. Kellie finds life to be delightful, and even when she might have the opportunity to be sad, she just thinks herself happy.
Kellie is an insurance agent in Casper, Wyoming, following the example of her aunt…me!! Of course, her mom was an agent for a time too, and a very good one, but since I was the one who got her mom into it, I will take the credit for insurance being in Kellie’s blood. Kellie was nervous when she first decided to go into insurance, and I can hardly blame her for that. Taking the insurance examination is a daunting task, and studying for it is no picnic either. Nevertheless, Kellie persevered, and before long she was licensed, and is doing quite well as an insurance agent, and I know that her clients love seeing her smiling face every time they see her.
Kellie is the youngest of my sister, Allyn and her husband Chris Hadlock’s four children. Her and her siblings have a unique relationship. They tease each other, and even call each other names, but it’s all in fun. I suppose that if people listen to them, who really don’t know them, they might think them rude, but they are anything but rude. They love each other very much, but they are also some of the funniest people I know. Kellie and her family thrive on teasing and making jokes. How cool is that? Just think…every day of your life is filled with random laughter, jokes, and silliness. It’s almost like being in a comedy show 24/7. Today is Kellie’s birthday. Happy birthday Kellie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My dear grandson, Caalab, today marks the beginning of a completely new life for you. Your graduation is just the first step into that life. You are no longer a child, but a high school graduate. Your hard work has paid off, and all the requirements for graduation have been met. Your public school career is over now, and your future is up to you. That is hard for me to believe, because to me you will always be that little boy who was so quick to smile, and always had some new joke to tell or a new trick to show me. While the joking and trickery continue to this day, the little boy is gone, and before me now stands a man, strong and tall, with a heart of gold. I love the man you have become. You are so caring. You give thought to those around you, and you always try to please others. You think of others long before you think of yourself…a good trait in many ways. Still, I miss that little boy that you were…the one who always had his hand in my hair. I will always have that picture of you in my memory files…twisting my hair or batting it, but never pulling it, because you were always careful not to hurt me.
It is a long road from pre-school to high school graduation, and that makes it extra special. When you started your school career, it seemed like it would be a long time before graduation, but in reality, the time slips by so quickly. Now, all those years are behind you, and you are looking toward a whole new life. Your journey is going to take you far away, and that is really hard for me, but I know that this is your dream career. Music has been your life for as long as I can remember, and yet it was a bit of a surprise to hear that you want to build guitars. It shouldn’t have been I suppose. It really was the next logical step, and I know that you will be great at it. Still, you are leaving and you won’t be able to come home for a weekend here and there. The next time I see you, you will be changed in many ways. You will have spent time in a bigger city, and broadened your horizons. Your life journey will be much different than what I had expected, but that is because your dreams are uniquely yours…and no one else’s. You have to follow your heart and live your dreams…you have to be true to yourself, and be who you were born to be. And I know that you will be very successful at it, because you are an amazing young man.
When it comes to my babies, my heart just can’t seem to understand the whole saying goodbye thing, and that makes this so very hard. Nevertheless, I would ever want to hold you back. You will go forward and you will be successful at all you do, wherever life takes you. Still, I want you to always remember where you came from. Remember the good moral values you have been taught, and always keep God first place in your life, because it was God who made you and gave you the skills you have. As you go through life, you will come to realize more and more that every skill you have came from Him to make you into the wonderful man you have become. I know that your new life will be filled with excitement and interesting new things, so all I can ask is that you remember to call your grandparents once in a while, because we will miss you very much, so don’t forget the way home. Words cannot fully express just how proud we are of you. We love you so much. Congratulations on your high school graduation, my dear grandson, Caalab. Way to go!!
When I think about how long my son-in-law, Travis Royce has been married to my daughter, Amy…I have to say it is hard to believe. Not that they have stayed together, but rather that it has been that long already. It seems like just yesterday that we were planning their wedding, and now their kids are grown, or close, since Shai graduated this past year, and Caalab graduates this spring. Where have all the years gone? So many things have changed for Amy and Travis. Their children are almost grown, and they are probably looking at being empty nesters before long.
After all these years, I can honesty say that Travis has made Amy’s life interesting…and fun. He is so quick witted that you never know what he might say. That doesn’t seem to matter to Amy though. She takes all his jokes in stride, and laughs right along with him. To hear Travis talk, Amy is an ultra-abuser…of course, the truth is that Amy is a peacemaker, and wouldn’t hurt a fly. But then, what spouse hasn’t joked that his wife will beat him if he doesn’t get home on time. As long as it’s all in fun…no harm, no foul. As I said, you never know what jokes might come out of Travis’ mouth, but then Amy can go back and forth with the best of then too, so she just shoots it right back at him.
A house filled with laughter is a great place to be, and I have no doubt that the laughter is a large part of what keeps them together. Laughter can be like glue. Of course, you also need love, and love is alive and well in their house too. Amy and Travis complete each other. I can’t imagine one without the other anymore. After a while, some people just seem to have been made for each other, and of course, that is exactly what I believe to be the case. I believe that the Lord made them to be each other’s soul mate and other half. There is so much love between them, and it is so obvious that it is there. It shows up in the little things they do for each other, and just the quite touch in passing, but there is also the very demonstrative way that they have with each other. Travis might spontaneously kiss Amy on the cheek or just put his arm around her, simple because she is beside him, and Amy is the same way with him. It is a show of the never ending love they have for each other. Happy anniversary Amy and Travis!! Have a great day!! We love you both!!
My Uncle Larry was well known to his family and his friends for being a real joker. He loved to tell jokes and make people laugh. He was also very handy with tools. He loved working on all kinds of things, from cars to carpentry. One time he was looking for one of his tools…specifically, his hammer, and couldn’t find it. He looked everywhere, and finally, when he could think of no other way to find it, he sat down on the floor by the cat, and asked, “Kitty…Whar’s the Hommer?” It was said in a joking way, but apparently, the kitty knew more than Uncle Larry expected. Of course, the kitty didn’t really know anything, but when Uncle Larry looked down…there beneath in a crack in the floorboards, was the hammer. I’m sure it was a surprise to Uncle Larry, because he didn’t think he would find it, but in a moment of resignation, he found it because of a silly question.
Uncle Larry was my mom’s best friend as a child. Just two years older than she was, they did a lot of things together. One time, Uncle Larry bought an old car…a junker. He worked on the car, fixing it up, with great plans for it in the future. That morning, he decided to take the car to school, and give his sister, Collene, my mother a ride while he was at it. They figured out pretty quickly that the brakes on the car probably needed more help than the engine had needed. Now they were driving down the road, had no way to stop. For me, this story brought visions of Fred Flintstone putting his heels to the pavement in an effort to stop quickly. Of course, reality is much different. According to my mom, her brother pulled off an amazing feat…swerving around every obstacle until he could finally get the car slowed down enough to coast to a stop. I can imagine that Uncle Larry was extremely relieved that he and his sister were not going to be in an accident. Accidents can be so scary, and it doesn’t take much of an impact to cause injury. I’m sure that my Uncle Larry was very thankful, but my mom was very proud of him. His driving was amazing according to her.
When Uncle Larry was older, he decided to go to work in Bemidji, Minnesota in a mine there. With World War II going on at the same time, the family found out that he had been drafted. They had no way to contact him, so it was decided that my mom, and her fiancé, my dad, and Dad’s sister, Ruth would drive up to Bemidji to let him know that he had to come home, and prepare to go to fight in the war. They went up there, but couldn’t find him right away. He had gone into town. Eventually they found him and headed back home to Casper, so that he could go and fight for his country. I’m sure that was a bittersweet trip for my mom, who was now unsure of his future. Thankfully, Uncle Larry came home from the war, and went on to become the wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and uncle that he was to us, as well as the great brother and son he had always been. Today Uncle Larry would have been 80 years old. Happy birthday in Heaven, Uncle Larry. We love and miss you very much.
Some people are just naturally happy. That is exactly what I have seen of my husband, Bob throughout our life together, and from the pictures taken during his childhood. Bob’s family took many pictures when the kids were little, and many were spontaneous, so the smiles could not have been planned, and yet, there they were, planted squarely on Bob’s little face. I have looked through a lot of old pictures from when Bob was little, and it’s easy to see the great sense of humor he has.
Bob has always liked things that make him laugh. Two of his all time favorite shows are “The Three Stooges” and “Laurel and Hardy”. In fact, Bob can do a perfect imitation of Stan Laurel when he was doing his whiney face/rub the head thing. It makes me laugh every time he does it. When I am in another room, and Bob is watching a comedy that makes him start laughing, I can’t help but laugh too, because his laugh is contageous. He loves a good comedy show or movie!! He’s not into some of today’s stupid comedy, but the good old fashioned, truly funny comedy…now that’s funny and he could watch it all day.
Of course, laughing at good comedy isn’t the only way to get a laugh. Making other people laugh is just as much fun, and Bob is quite good at that too. He loves to make faces designed to make people laugh, in fact, quite often when you are trying to get him to pose for a picture, you might very likely get a stick out your tongue moment instead of a smile, because he wants to turn the situation around and make you laugh. Our girls are very used to the things their dad might do to get them to laugh, but even they can’t help but laugh to the point of making a face too…it’s just that funny. There really is nothing quite like a good laugh.
My brother-in-law, Lynn is a man who likes to make jokes. Much of his life is about being a comedian. In fact, he might have missed his true calling. He was always trying to bring out the funniness in any given situation, and if there wasn’t anything funny, particularly, then he would simply create it. He might make a face in the middle of an otherwise normal picture, or he might just pick you up and shake you…something he could do since he is 6’6″ tall, and most of the people around him aren’t even close to that, although his girls are pretty tall, as are their husbands, so the grandkids could beat him out if they are lucky.
He is like a big kid, who forgot to grow up. That said, you might find him playing kids games, or playing with kids toys anyway…but then that isn’t so awfully unusual. Most of the men I know are really just big kids anyway…including my father-in-law, who hooked up with Lynn one day and decided to go out sledding…and not just go sledding, but managed to get Lynn to pull him on the sled. Nevermind if the kids wanted to play…the sled was, shall we say, occupied.
But, one of the funniest things Lynn did, was so totally unintentional, and yet ended up being very funny, although, I don’t think my daughter, Amy thought so at the time. Amy was just 2 years old, and she loved being around her daddy, no matter what he was doing. We were living on the same land as my in-laws at that time, while we got our own land ready to move onto. Bob and Lynn were in the garage working on a car, and Amy was wandering around the garage, watching the proceedings. She was wearing a little white dress with red hearts on it. Lynn loved the little kids, and love playing with them, so when he looked down and saw Amy there…a teeny girl, by the way, who only stands 4’11” as an adult…he started talking to her. I had thought that she might have been afraid because he was so tall, but that wasn’t it. It was just that she had to look so far up to see him. As she tried to look up at her uncle, she instinctively backed up, and the next thing she knew she was sitting in a drain pan full of oil. It was so funny, you couldn’t help but laugh. I think Lynn felt bad about that one, but it wasn’t his fault…just an accidental funny moment.
These days, most of Lynn’s funniness has taken on a modern flair, because now he likes to send jokes out via text message. Every few days Bob will get some joke from Lynn. Like I’ve said before…boys just never grow up. Happy birthday Lynn. Today the joke’s on you. Check out these shots. We love you and hope you have a great day!!
As I have looked through some old pictures over the past few months, I came across a picture of my cousin Jimmy as a young boy, with his parents, my Aunt Doris and Uncle Bill. I have been thinking about Jimmy quite a bit lately. He was such a funny guy, making all of us laugh at his antics as a child. Sadly, Jimmy’s life was cut short by Mesothelioma on February 1, 2006.
Jimmy was a boy who was full of life, and his life brought laughter to those around him. When my sister’s and I were young, and visiting my Uncle Bills family in Superior, Wisconsin, Jimmy kept things lively with his jokes and his great smile. If there was going to be trouble…and I mean mischief…you can bet Jimmy and his big brother Billy were going to be at the heart of it, with Jimmy usually leading the way.
My Uncle’s family lived just down the street from the funeral home in Superior, and of course, that meant that the Ghost Stories were sure to be a part of our visits. The boys were always trying to scare us girls with their suggestions that the dead might still walk the street, and maybe we should go check it out…right, like I’m going to go down there and have a look at the dead people who might be walking around just looking for some dumb little girl to grab, who was just stupid enough to decide to go into the funeral home…I mean, isn’t that like saying “Hey, ghost…here I am!! Come and get me!!” Yep, that sounds like a great plan to me, right…NOT!!
I remember one other time when my Uncle Bill, Jimmy’s dad had taken us to get ice cream, and apparently there had been spill problems in the past, because Uncle Bill told us kids that if we spilled in his bus/camper, he was going to make us lick it up. It took all of about 2 seconds for Jimmy to manage to spill his ice cream on the floor. He looked up at his dad, very wide eyed, and I’m sure a little queasy in the stomach, probably hoping for mercy or that maybe…just maybe, his dad had bee kidding. Well, no such luck. His dad…towering over little Jimmy, said, “Ok, lick it up.” So, Jimmy got off of his chair and started to get down on his knees, gulping, I’m quite sure, and got ready to lick it up, when my Uncle Bill boomed out, “Don’t lick it up…I was just kidding!!” Well, I don’t have to tell you how relieved Jimmy was, and before you knew it, that winning little smile was back on his face.
While I had not seen Jimmy for a number of years, I will never forget his great smile and funny ways. He was a wonderful person, and I will always remember the great times we all had as kids. When I look back into my memory files, I can still see his face, just as he was the last time he was here, and That is the way I choose to remember my cousin. Love you Jimmy!!