Monday, December 15, 2008

ADVENT DAY 15: A NEW FAMILY & NEW TRADITIONS

Dorothy continues her story: Things went on much the same until Fairly Walrath and I were married in 1929. We had a small tree in our room. We had Christmas Eve with my folks and Christmas Day with his folks and Christmas dinner with his parents or my parents. When we lived on "F" Street the decorated tree and now a string of lights on the tree were still our only decorations. [The photo of Dorothy Portfors and Fairly Walrath was taken December 25, 1928.]

In 1933 Fairly and I went to live in Tennessee. [The family included Harriet, who was born in 1930.] We moved from the hotel to an apartment just before Christmas. The ladies that owned the apartment hung a stocking for Harriet because we didn't have a mantel. That was a new experience and we were completely ignorant of what should happen. Harriet got a tiny baby buggy with a doll in it – all by courtesy of our landladies.

Another year – another town – and another daughter [Joni, born in 1934]. Our tree was Tennessee cedar and my mother had sent our decorations and they followed us to another town in Tennessee where our son was born [Charles, 1936]. Our Christmas trees grew and our collection of ornaments, too.

[In 1935, Dorothy and Fairly brought their little family back to Orofino for Christmas. They traveled by rail. Mother told me that 13-month-old Joni cried much of the way and she knew travelers complained. She overheard the conductor say, "Well, it's Christmas, and you've got to expect that [the crying] when families travel." The photo above was taken at the Harry L. Walrath home on Kalaspo Avenue in Orofino. Back row, left to right: Fairly and Dorothy Walrath, C. O. Portfors (Papa), Sara and Francis (Porkie) Portfors, Harry L. Walrath, Margaret and Ted Walrath. Front row, left to right: Nina Portfors holds Farroll Joan (Joni) Walrath, Harriet Lee Walrath, and Naomi Walrath holding Margot Walrath. Harriet tells me the photo was taken by local professional photographer, Paul Seifert. I bless the person who made this photo happen.

I asked Harriet if she could be striking her best Shirley Temple pose. She said "probably" and that she received a Shirley Temple doll that Christmas. KW]

REAL TIME UPDATE: It's 17 degrees at 2:30 p.m. The overnight low here was 10 at bedtime and 14 at 7:30. Our day is sunny, bright and cold. How is yours? KW

6 comments:

chris miller said...

Where was the picture taken? The fireplace looks familiar to me...
It's 14 degrees here with another winter storm watch just showing up on my computer (I have the desktop weather "bug" on my computer here at school.) Can you tell I'm killing time after a busy day with kids who are getting *very* excited?? I'm pooped!

Kathy said...

You know, as I was sitting here fixing Mike's winter gloves by hand, I suddenly thought that I had forgotten to say where the photo was taken. I hoped I could edit the post before someone discovered my omission, but I just couldn't put down that glove! Anyway, it was taken at the home of "Mother and Dad" Walrath on Kalaspo Avenue -- you know the place. And I did edit the post for future readers. I had a note from Cheryl Walrath Spencer today, Chucks's daughter, saying that she had been reading Grandma's story and requesting a copy. KW

Chuck said...

You get the prize for lower temperature. It's 30 here, and we had enough snow (1") that I actually had to shovel it before our guests arrived this evening. We sang carols, told stories, and had dessert.

murray.warnock said...

Nina Portfors looks a lot like Dorothy as I remember her in the 1970s. Hope you are keeping warm. I recommend baking, but I'm sure you have that covered.

Kathy said...

Sounds like a nice party, Chuck. Today's forecast is for a sunny but cold day with temps in the teens. Tomorrow it's supposed to warm up to 23 and snow. That doesn't necessarily mean it will snow here -- Chris in Moscow will probably get it. Mike indeed contrived to bake his oat bran muffins this morning. I baked brownies last night. I don't bake the way I used to -- not enough eaters -- but I feel rather inspired to do some this year. KW

Anonymous said...

I found your blog by happy accident today. The Christmas picture from 1935 has my mother and grandparents in it, and I'd like to get a larger copy. I can't find a way to contact you be email on this blog. Could you please contact me at darkcrown2003 at yahoo dot com? Here's hoping you see my comment!