Friday, January 13, 2017

Belated Grandpa Jones 114th Happy Birthday Greeting

A couple days ago, on Facebook, my most elderly cousin, Scott, posted a Happy Birthday message to our Grandpa Cornelius, using the Dutch version of the family surname, along with the photo you see here of our Grandpa displaying a sturgeon he caught in the nearby Nooksack River.

What follows is Cousin Scott's tale about our Grandpa (please note that in the jurisdiction in which Scott resides the use of capital letters is strictly forbidden)....

today is cornelius slotemaker's (jones) birthday. i’m told he loved to ride his horse into the mountains east of bellingham and ride back when it seemed time to do so. i’m told he loved to fish and helped his family through the depression by catching sturgeon and salmon. mom tells the story of how he was milking their cows one day – they milked by hand in the early 1950s – and started squirting milk straight from the cow into the cat’s open mouth. i apparently opened wide, too, and he squirted milk straight into my two- or three-year-old mouth. when we got back to the house, mom said i was smiling and he was laughing like crazy. he would have been 114 today. happy birthday, grandpa...


I believe Cousin Scott is the only one of his Grandkids at whom Grandpa Cornelius ever had the chance to squirt milk.

Way back during the second year of the new century I found myself scanning hundreds of photos of my relatives, mostly the Dutch relatives, with some of the photos dating back to the 1800s, when the Jones, I mean, Slotemakers, still lived in Holland.

Among those photos I scanned is the below one.

I do not know for certain which of the Jones, I mean, Slotemaker boys we are looking at above, milking a cow. It could be Grandpa Cornelius. But I suspect it is our Grandpa's brother,  Uncle Hank.

Below is an interesting photo documenting some fun during the Roaring 20s in the Lynden, Washington, Whatcom County zone.

Fifteen years ago I still remembered what name went with which person we see above.

Suffice to say, one of  the boys on the ground is Grandpa Cornelius, The other boys are Grandpa's younger brothers, including the aforementioned Uncle Hank. The other brothers are Otto and Dick.

One of the Flappers standing behind the Jones Boys is our Grandma Sylvia. One of the others standing may be Grandpa's sister, Aunt Agnes, which would make the baby sitting on the ground Aunt Jessie. The others standing may be Otto and Dick's wives, or future wives, Pernie and Ann.

What the Jones Boys are drinking is an illegal, at the time, libation known as beer. Details have long been sketchy, but it is believed, by many of the younger Jones generation, that Grandpa Cornelius brewed beer during Prohibition and then distributed his product all the way to Seattle.

Others dispute the Grandpa the Bootlegger legend.....

No comments: