Zola Rudd was born on this day in 1921 in Parker, Idaho.  Happy Birthday Grandma!!!

Just a couple of weeks ago, many of Zola & Dewains descendents got together, and some of them even stayed for pictures, which my sister took.  She’s got them over here.

I love my family!!!! I’m so glad I made it up to Idaho, even for just one day!  Thanks Dad!


Lost and loved

We interrupt our Dewain Silvester family memories to honor and remember one of my other grandfather’s, the one I knew least well, Wallace Hansen, my step-mom, Melanie’s father.  He, too, was a WWII veteran, and died last Wednesday.

There is a beautiful tribute to him on his business website (he ran a nursery for native Oregon plants).

He liked to give, and you can go to this page and find a calendar, screen savers, and a wildflower coloring books (scroll down a bit) that show where his heart and passion lay.

You can read his obituary here, or below:

Wallace Wylie Hansen

Wallace Wylie Hansen December 3, 1921 – July 14, 2009 SALEM – Wallace Wylie Hansen, “Wally” to his friends, age 87, passed away at home, Tuesday, July 14, 2009. He was born in 1921 in Bellingham, Washington and married Audrey Ethel Safsten, of Blaine, Washington, who passed away November 5, 2007. Wally was a civil engineer, educated at Washington State University, and went on to fight in World War II as a captain in the Army Corps of Engineers. He served in the European and Pacific theatres, and was on the USS Missouri the day Japan signed the surrender documents. He was later recalled to fight in the Korean War. After returning home to Bellingham, he ran a small optical import business until 1965, when he moved the family to Kailua, Hawaii, where he managed the U.S. Army Facility Engineers for the Army of the Pacific until his retirement in 1988. Wally and Audrey retired in Salem, Oregon, only to start Act III of his life: Wally Hansen’s Native Plant Nursery, at a time when few people knew or appreciated what native plants were. He wrote a monthly native plant journal and became a widely respected and noted expert on Pacific Northwest native plants, donating plants to projects, schools, restoration sites, and often just giving away beloved plants so others could enjoy them. He created a beautiful woodland garden and nursery in S.E. Salem, and sent plants, seeds and bulbs of native all over the world. He could look gruff, but came to resemble a woodland sprite, striding through the woods with his jaunty hat and walking stick, which he had used to climb Mt. Fuji. He was adventurous romantic at heart, a talented writer, and loved the poems of Rudyard Kipling and Robert Service and the tales of Jack London. As a young man, with his childhood friend Warren, drove from Bellingham to Mexico City in a Model A Ford. They also worked in gold fields in Alaska in the summers to earn money for college. After his beloved wife passed away, he filled their walls at home with poems such as “If” and “Mandalay” and “Trees.” His favorite quote was “Never complain, never explain.” Until the end, wheelchair bound, with Alzheimer’s, he made friends with everyone he came in contact with. He was a kind and gentle man, beloved by his employees, friends, family and other native plant enthusiasts and will be missed by all. He is survived by 6 children, 17 grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren and was an active member of the LDS church. Funeral Services will be at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 17 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2530 Boone Rd. S.E., Salem. Arrangements by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

Well, actually, it was yesterday, but I missed it.  Dewain Silvester was born 16 July 1921 in Rexburg, Idaho, 88 years ago.

Next week, many of his descendents will be gathering in Palisades, Idaho for a Silvester Family reunion.  Those who can make it for the whole week will be doing fun things like hiking, rafting, boating, crafting, eating, playing and things like that.  Then there are a few of us who will only be there for the final potluck dinner and the last day!  No matter what, it’ll be great to see everybody.

Someday I’ll get back on track for the rest of the letters (and maybe next week we can start to clear up the mystery of where the rest of the letters are).

Use your imagination, and pretend your wait between posts is like the wait that Dewain and Zola felt when letters didn’t come in real time.  There’s still more to come!  I promise.

I’ve even found a place where we can listen to the old time radio shows . . . I’ll share that next time.

D-Day. Omaha Beach,  Normandy, France.  Thousands upon thousands of seasick Allied forces.  Horrible storms. German soldiers waiting.  World War II.

Take a few minutes out of your day to honor and remember those who fought so valiantly when the stakes were high.  Shed a tear, have a moment of silence, and hang out with the Peanuts Gang (thanks to billtheman122).  Thank you, every man and every woman who sacrificed for our freedoms today.

A little history and words from survivors can be found in this article here.

Friday 9:20 P.M.

Hello honey –

Know who loves you lots?  Even more than last time!  You’re such an elegant husband, I wouldn’t even trade you for my school girl figure.

What’s cooking?  Smells like something in the wind & not good.  Gosh, honey, isn’t there any way  you could gum up the works for a few months?  This will be such a nice apartment with you in it—Anything nice with you, cause I love you so much.  But any how you must have a crack outfit — and they know it — the way they’re rushing you around.

Anytime you’ll be able to call me honey, if you could let me know — wire or something — I’d go back over to Russels.  Until I find out about a telephone in this building.  I met one of the girls downstairs tonight, but didn’t think to ask her about a telephone.  Her husband is in the 797th at Haan.  And they get in twice a week — so Camp Haan isn’t a good bet either.  But it’ll be worth it if I can just see you.  Did you know you’re about the most permanent habit I have, and the best one.

Tonight Mr. & Mrs. Russel told me how much they liked my husband last weekend when they met you.  They’re such nice people, I really like them.   I stayed over there tonight after I talked to you & Wanda washed my hair.  She and Wanda are coming over some evening next week to see my new apartment.

Last night as I was coming from the store with my groceries I ran in to Mary Dike.  She was the girl at the office at March Field that I liked quite well.  Her husband is a Corporal in AAATC headquarters.  She came up and saw my place and talked for nearly an hour telling me all the dirt from the office.  Nearly everyone I knew are still out there.

Darling, do you get enough rest and sleep?  Did you get the overnight bag  you wanted?  Have you had any mail?  How’s your lips and nose?  I think about you every minute of the day and wonder how you are and what you’re doing.  I know you must be going almost every minute.  You sounded so tired tonight.  I wanted to have your arms around me so badly.  But it’s such a thrill to hear you anyhow.  Makes me love you a dozen times more, if that’s possible.  You’ll have to grow fast to hold all the love I have for you.

Rick is fine.  Yesterday I bought him two dozen diapers.  He’s starting to be expensive already, but he’s worth it even now.  Just knowing he’s coming is thrill enough.  It’ll be so heavenly to have your child.

Talk about experience!!  I don’t know where the money goes, but today I sure got rid of a lot.  I’ve kept track of it, but it sure amounts up.  I bought me a cute sun dress today.  Fine time for me to pick to want new clothes, huh?  Anyhow it’s certainly cool to wear around the house, and I can get in it.  That’s something, because I seem to grow by leaps & bounds.

Our place was so clean & nice to move in to.  I’m so anxious for you to hurry in and see it.  We even have a studio couch that folds into an extra bed.  It’s nice & soft, but as yet we haven’t any extra bedding — so no guests for a while.  I’d sooner have you alone any day — or night.  There’s no one in the world as wonderful as you—no one I could love a tenth as much as you.  You’re such a kind and thoughtful husband & I’ll love you always, more all the time.  I’m so proud of you & so thankful you’re mine.

You’re loving wife,


P.S. Did you’re tummy ache bother you anymore?  Please take care of yourself and hurry home.

Well, this is the last of the interludes.  Sorry it took so long to get back to it.  Next letter I type will be back in the sequence, nearly a year after these letters, when Zola is in Idaho and Dewain is abroad, after Rick is born.  It’s fun to hear that they were expecting the baby to be “Rick” so early on.   Maybe someday, I’ll end up with the rest of the letters and we’ll get more details in the story . . . letters from Dewain, or something.  I can’t imagine that they got to spend a lot of time in the new apartment that Zola finally found.

Delivered On: May 3rd 2009

Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell

Connecting With the Generations

Something deep within us wants to connect with those who went before us: our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and other family members. When we know who they are—their life stories, their triumphs and failures, their strengths and weaknesses—we gain a better sense of who we are. In a sense, their stories become our stories. We not only learn from them, we feel strengthened and inspired by their lives and experiences. We may even find ourselves thinking, “If they could do difficult things, so can I.”

But what if we never knew our ancestors? What if their stories were never recorded? How can we begin to reconnect with past generations? Start with those who are still living. Talk with them. Listen to their stories and write down their thoughts, feelings, and memories. What you learn might lead to information about more distant ancestors. If nothing else, you can record your own story.

One teenage girl wanted to know more about her grandmother, so over the course of several months she sat down with her, asked questions, and recorded her grandmother’s answers. Those answers taught her, made her laugh, and deepened her love for her grandma. She then sent out copies of their conversations to her extended family. They all felt they had received a great treasure, and each learned something new about Grandma.

We don’t have to be experienced genealogists to begin researching our family history. Malachi spoke anciently of children’s hearts turning to their fathers.1 That’s all we really need—a sincere desire to connect. With a little effort, we can come to know and love those whose lives flow directly into ours.

1 See Malachi 4:6.

Program #4155