Friday, May 18, 2012

My Own Wisconsin History

Even though my family and I reside in Mark Twain's boyhood home of Hanniba, Missouri, I am a native of Wisconsin. Born in Madison, I spent every summer with my grandparents in the beautiful coutnryside of Richland Center, Wisconsin. My grandfather, Johnnie Curtis served in the army in World War II. He fought in five major battles, including Normandy. I am so proud of him, my gentle grandfather. It was after WWII he moved my grandmother and dad to Wisconsin. They moved into a house right next door to the famous German Warehouse built by world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. RC, Wisconsin just happens to be the birthplace of FLW.

As a young child, I remember walking past the German Warehouse a thousand times. I never fully understood the building's significance until I was older. My sister and I peeked into those windows, trying to locate any traces of a ghost. Our over active imaginations got us into heaps of trouble.

My grandmother was quite the character. A southern-bred woman full of spunk and sass; she knew the whole town's business and then some. When I came for a visit all by my big self, grandma would place a sack of fresh Macintosh apples on the table. She made the world's best cornbread, and she loved her two grand-girls fiercly; for we were all the grandkids she and gramps ever had.

My grandparents introduced me to the Wisconsin Dells. As a young child, I fell in love with the beauty of this enchanted place. Before all the waterparks and commercialization, I rode "the Ducks" into the great Wisconsin River. My own family has returned every summer for the past sixteen years. We spend cool mornings exploring the banks of the river. We've even spotted a lone loon floating by. Now, I have introduced my three children to the stunning scenery of the Wisconsin Dells and hope they do the same with their children.