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I turned around and …

July 16, 2015


Nine years ago my grandfather Carl T. Bonde’s progeny held a family reunion at Lakeside, Montana. My cousin David Judd’s wife Diane had asked me to organize a slide show and ice-breaking session of the assembled relatives at a meeting room at a motel on Flathead Lake. The summer was hot, the weather perfect, except for some great white clouds billowing up to the east. As the satiated diners came in I greeted them and handed out some papers I had prepared, complete with answers to such questions as, “what was the company Carl Bonde worked for as a wholesale grocery salesman? I had things pretty wells planned and I had also fixed up a slide show of historic importance. Actually, it was a hodgepodge of convenient images thrown together in more or less chronological sequence.

As chief planner, appointed by Diane, I was responsible for planning all of the activities of my cousins who were all older than I as well as those of my nephews who were at least 12 years younger and more, but who had grown tired long ago of my antics. All were adults. All were professionals. All were careworn and world weary.

I had a sheet of newsprint on the front wall and I told them the schedule of events. Trouble is they had all sneaked out of the room by the time I had turned around for questions.

This didn’t preclude much merriment that evening as we all got rather drunk on Chris Angel’s party barge that he towed from Bozeman. The next day many of us visited our grandparents’ house, or rather, the place where it used to be, at the top of the hill on 5th Ave W. in Kalispell. The man who owned the property had just torn up the root cellar that our grandpa had kept apples and beer inside. The barn, which resembled a house without many windows, still stood. We were amazed how small it was. In fact the whole place seemed to be much smaller than we remembered.

My grandparents lived atop a hill on the outskirts of Kalispell.  They had the longest, skinniest garage I have ever seen.

My grandparents lived atop a hill on the outskirts of Kalispell. They had the longest, skinniest garage I have ever seen.

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