Johnson; Chet, Gladys, Jean Chuckie Sept. '56There are the five of us.  We are the Johnson.  My parents are gone now, Chet and Gladys.  Two sisters and me are the offspring.  Jean is the oldest of all of us, with her husband and their two kids, both now married, and one of those two with 2 of her own.  My little sister Cher and her husband Ger have 3 boys, 1 married, and they have a daughter.  You could say that’s the immediate gang.  (The first picture is of my wife and two kids and me….)


And here’s me and my family of Johnsons.suestevenchasheidi

Johnson; August H., Emma and familyThen there’s dad’s family.  His folks (August and Emma) had ten kids: 9 boys, Henry, Cliff, Willie, Robert, Elwood, Donald, Ray, Ken (dad was the ninth, of course)  and one girl, Shirley, giving my sisters and me a passel of cousins.  Some of them we saw all the time, some so very seldom.  But what a troupe!  August’s family was not so well-known to us – we knew about Uncle Henry in Detroit, but that’s all I am aware of.  All of the uncles are gone now – Shirley is such a ball of fire and so fun – we get to see her quite a bit.  Add in all the aunts by marriage, and there’s quite the possibility of a herd or two of folks. The picture is my dad’s family.

Emma’s family – the Grundstroms of Drayton, North Dakota, were quite a few.  It was quite a trip to get up there for a visit, so I didn’t get to know them, either.  I did have one of Emma’s brother living about miles away when I first came to town, but that was the end of that family tie.


Ruud; Paul, Hilda, Gladys, Paul, DanMom’s family, from Hilda and Paul Ruud – just her and the two boys.  A handful more of cousins, too.  Paul and his wife Marlys had the three boys, all grown, and a kids of their own.  Brian had a few kids, and Mark as yet unhitched.  Dan (and Loretta) had two kids – Mike has his family and Jo has hers… we see the Ruuds only too little.  The pic is my mom’s family.


The Strands picHilda came from the Strand family … Hilda was the oldest, and then seven more – heck if I can name them in order, but there’s Arnold, Gustie, Margaret, Virginia, Lola, Alexander and Betty.  This gang of Strands bred and brought about a bunch of cousins to our mom .. and by the time the youngest was born (Betty) her kids were our age, so it was always an adventure to figure out who was a cousin and who was removed once and who … oh, it was a mess, but a fun, glorious mess at that.  All of us Strand cousins are grown and have kids, so if we ever got the whole clan together, it would be SOME kind of festival.  The picture is the Strand family.


Ruud; family picGrandpa Paul Ruud had a large group.  I don’t recall their order any better than the other families, but there, Paul, Peter, Rudolph, Oliver, Gordon, Stella, Inga, Rikka, and Clara.  Again, a good selection of cousins – and this family has spread itself around more, so there are some everywhere.  I’m not even sure how many kids each of these folks had in their own families… but I’d come close.


The upshot is that I come from a wide stock of people.  Careers include railroading, ministry, mining, retail, factory worker, farming, teaching, automotive industry, small business owners, chefs, nursing, sales, engineering, secretarial, management – quite a cross-section there alone.


And beyond the workforce, there were musicians, bowlers, golfers, politicians, pilots, genealogists, writers, knitters, veterans services … active folks in all kinds of endeavors.


Now this is just taking into account the generations before me and those immediately involved in my own kids and nephews and nieces.  If I were to expand those out as well, we’d find geologists, more factory workers, more engineers, public relations, social work, more military, and theatre tech.

I am proud to come from such a vast pool of industry and avocation.  My own efforts add to this array, and my part in it, as far as I’m concerned, is a direct fruit of all those here around me.