Let me tell you the story of why this photo is significant to me. My dad, Ernest L. Margheim, married Ruby Flanders in July 1943 in Hoisington, Kansas. My twin brother and I were born in November 1947 in Great Bend, Kansas, where my parents had their home and where my dad was employed by Thies Packing Co.
|Ernest & Ruby Margheim with twins Dennis and Becky |
at home at 2201 Jefferson, Great Bend, KS 1948
My dad's brother was serving in the US Army at the time, but his twin sister LaVerna was living at home, while teaching piano lessons and working in the local music store. My Aunt LaVerna helped Grandma take care of us and as I grew to ages 3 and 4 while living there, it was my Aunt LaVerna whom I remember washing my hair while we sang the songs we were hearing on the radio, like Kitty Wells' "It wasn't God who made honky-tonk angels", and Patti Page's "Tennessee Waltz". It was Aunt LaVerna who polished my fingernails to discourage this shy little insecure toddler from sucking my thumb. At age 4 Aunt LaVerna sat Dennis & I down and began to teach us to play her grand piano. She and our Grandma were our substitute mother those early years of our lives.
|Aunt LaVerna pictured with me and Dennis |
and our Dad Ernie and Grandpa John Margheim.
|Looking north from the corner of 22nd and Jefferson, |
Great Bend, KS 1948-9
|Looking north from 2201 Jefferson, Great Bend, |
|Phyllis is roller skating with me and Dennis |
in front of Grandma Margheim's house. 1951
|Our suitcases are packed for our weekend visit |
with our mother and grandparents.
After Dennis and I started college in the Fall of 1965, however, we were finally "free" to resume visits with our mother Ruby and her husband Don and 3 daughters. (As an interesting side note: my brother Dennis drove with our mother Ruby to Ft Hays State College to pick me up for a weekend visit at her home in Valley Center, KS. As I crawled into the car I noticed that I was carrying a purse that was IDENTICAL to my mother's purse. I hadn't seen her for 5 years and yet I had purchased a purse that was identical to hers).
Because of the animosity between my two families I have always held them in separate compartments in my memories. That's why I was so surprised and delighted to find that photo at the top of this story that shows my two grandmothers, my mother and my aunt--both sides of my family---together and happy at the home of my grandparents. When I saw it I finally realized there was a time when the two families were friendly and met together in unity. It's such a shame that it was so temporary.