Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Grew Up With 10 Cousins

Ever since I was 8 years old, the day after school let out for the summer, my mother would take me to the Greyhound Bus Depot in downtown Minneapolis, after ensuring that I had clothes for the summer, an ample sack lunch packed, and a couple of dollars in my pocket, and send me off to Charles City in north-central Iowa, where I would spend 2 glorious months on the farm with my grandparents, at my Uncle Ralph’s farm working my tail off (as I experienced it) in the fields, with my Grandma Hamilton and Uncle Wayne in “town,” and usually spending a week with my Aunt Mae and cousin Janice in Vinton, Iowa.

I was the oldest of 11 cousins in four families.  So except for Janice who was only 2 years younger, I watched come into the world (and sometimes babysat) my Aunt Thelma’s four boys and my Uncle Ralph’s 5 kids.  As I was the oldest, this gave me certain “rights.”  I could organize my cousins into a baseball or a football team depending on the season.  And of course I got to be the star quarterback as well as coach and manager.  That is, until my Uncle Pete, observing one day, decided to enter into the “scrimmage” in which I was demonstrating my prowess, and take me out with a cross body block.  Another lesson learned in growing up with my cousins.

Milan Cousins-1

                                        Milan Cousins-2                                                                           Janice & Milan-1

Ralph Wms Kids 63

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