Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Robert

It's long overdue, My poem to you...And this is a perfect day, your birthday, for this special gift!

As I sit here writing,

All the things I want to say,
It's very late at night,
But it can't wait another day.

The day you were born,

Arrived the best gift to me,
A sweet, little baby boy,
1964, October twenty-three.

As a boy, trying all sports,
And any dangerous activity,
Always the great daredevil,
A movie stuntman wannabe!

But as the young man, with
Talents too numerous to mention,
It's your artwork and graphics,
That bring so much attention.

And through all the years,
You have made me so proud,
With your honesty and feelings,
Always real, and spoken aloud.

Through life's ups and downs,
You always rise to the top,
My son, you are certainly,
The cream of the crop.

Happy Birthday today, now,
It's no longer overdue,
And I hope you enjoy,
My heartfelt poem to you!

Hugs and Kisses,


Monday, October 13, 2008

"Just Married" Sixty Years Ago

I wrote this poem for my Mother and Father on their 60th Wedding Anniversary. And now 10 years later, it was fun to read it again and publish it here, a memento for their 70th Wedding Anniversary!

"Just Married" Sixty Years Ago

Cecelia and Johnny became sweethearts,
They met at St. Benedict's dance,
Knew they were meant for each other,

Right from the very first glance!

They went for long walks and fishing,

Then at Palmer Park they skated,

They danced to the "Big Bands" music,

In the Model A Ford they dated.

Married in October on the Fiirst,
In the year of Nineteen and Thirty-Eight,
Hazel Park had its newlyweds,

On Mapledale, the new house was great!

A new addition to the family,
A darling little girl arrived first,

Then a boy, and another boy,

Their little house might burst!!!

Johnny was drafted by Uncle Sam,
To go and fight in the war;

Then came the rationing of food,
Tires, gas, clothing and more.

Cecelia worked in Hudson's Bakery,
An additional income to earn,

To help support the family,

Waiting for her sailor to return.

Then Johnny built another house,

Two more boys and the family grew!

So Roseville had a new family,

More Decoteau's coming, who knew?

Next, building another house,
The last one to arrive was a boy!

Cass Lake, MI was a paradise,

To raise six children with joy.

And the carpenter had to build,

One last house on Morris lakeshore,
For his sons and adorable daughter,
His wife said, "We'll move no more!"

And as the years fly swiftly by,

All too soon the children are grown,

Grandparents, more love to share,
For grandchildren now fill their home!

Leaving Michigan, a move west,

California was the place to go;
They finally settled for retirement,

To enjoy the SUN, no SNOW!

And now...a look back. Over the years to all,
the fun and the memories,
the times, we had a ball!
.....the handmade rocking chair for baby, Betty Ann, and the box sled so she wouldn't fall out! The "Hammer Joint"--White Castle hamburgers! The horse drawn milk wagon. The Ice wagon (we loved to get the chips off the back) and the fruit man's wagon came down the street. The "Sheeny Man" collecting scrap in the alley. RAG Curls. REM cough medicine, Numotizin plasters, "Lemon & Honey" for a cold.
.....The Shrine Circus--balloons, cotton candy and elephants. Clothes put through a washing machine wringer, the smell of them drying on the clothesline. Black Walnuts on the tree and feeding the squirrels.
.....The Michigan State Fair--the baby pigs, cows and horses, Mackinac Island Fudge and hot dogs on a stick! Easter bonnets and baskets and new shoes. "Ring, Ring, Ring", The Good Humor Man!
Campbell's Tomato Soup and Velveeta grilled cheese sandwiches.
The carnivals and the Bearded Lady with no body, I just had to see!
.....J.L. Hudson's Holiday Parades and Santa Claus on the top floor in a Christmas Wonderland! Put a quarter in the giant machine and out comes a special present!
Penny candy at the corner drug store--candy dots on paper, Mary Jane's, Tootsie Pops, Licorice Whips, Cherry Hats, Wax pop bottles and lips (!), Tutti Fruitti and Beeman's chewing gum.
.....Sam Douglas' farm--cow pies and flies(!), the cabin, the swimming hole and getting "Frog Legs" in the creek. Our garden and "window" pheasant hunting in the corn stalks! Our chrome bell--one long and two short dings brought us home for dinner! Deep fryer "Gram Mere's" with jelly filling. The sled run in Roseville and our own Ice Rink!
.....Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner, dressing and gravy, cranberries, candied sweet potatoes, fruit cocktail salad and pumpkin pies with whipped cream! Christmas cookies--Date Pinwheels, Pecan Balls, Butterhorns. The perfect Fresh Cut Spruce tree, icecles and Santa's sleigh bells! Hammers and saws, kegs of nails and the smell of Saw Dust! Macaroni & Cheese with tomatoes and a cracker crumb top! Fried Yellow Wax Beans and a homegrown tomato sandwich with Miracle Whip Salad Dressing.
Water skiing and picnics at Wagoner's cottage.
.....Sander's Caramel Cake and box of chocolates. Radio programs--The Lone Ranger, Baby Snooks, The Green Hornet, Amos and Andy, Lights Out! Halloween--"Help the Poor" begging for candy. The Franklin Cider Mill for cider and hot spiced donuts. Cass Lake--swimming to the raft, tapping the Maple trees, fishing off the dock, Elderberries around the Lagoon picked for jelly, W.B.H.S. and Our Lady of Refuge school.
.....Twin Pines Cottage Cheese in colored aluminum glasses delivered right to the door. Our FIRST T.V. in black and white--Howdy Doody, "Uncle Miltie" Milton Berle, I Love Lucy, Perry Como, Groucho Marx. The Harbor Bar "Friday Night Fish Fry's". The "Moron's" Men's Club putting on skits!
.....Picking Blueberries. Bread Pudding. Rice Pudding. Blanc Mange (French-white food) pudding! Sparklers and fireworks. Mom baking birthday cakes full of coins! Dad playing his Harmonica. Samsonite Luggage and Evening in Paris perfume!
"All the wonderful things a child can remember, thanks to loving parents who shared it all!"

....."A toast to the best parents" 5 sons and a daughter ever had, "A Happy 60th Anniversary to our wonderful Mom and Dad".

Love, Betty Ann

(Trying to see what year car is parked in the driveway?
Click on the photo of me in my box sled to see it up close and personal!)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy 70th Anniversary

This is the invitation I made for mom and dad's 60th Anniversary, 10 years ago! It was stamp, cut and paste, with rhinestones glued on the marquee.

Johnny and Cecelia met in 1937 at a dance at St. Benedict's High School in Highland Park, Michigan and the rest as they say is history!

And what a history they have had......70 years of marriage, 6 children, 12 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.

The dating years....1937
(Don't forget to click on any photo to enlarge it.)

I'm sharing a photo of them taken while they were dating in 1938. Good looking couple if I do say so myself and you have to love that car, a 1930 Model A Ford! My father purchased the car for $90, making $10 payments per month. It even had a heater and a radio! They were styling!

October 1, 1938, was the wedding day of my parents, John Laurier Decoteau & Cecelia Marie Morneau at St. James Church in Ferndale, Michigan. In attendance were dad's brother and best man, Charlie Decoteau and mom's best friend and brides maid, Betty VanSteele. A small reception was held for the couple and their immediate family at the home of Mr. & Mrs. William J. Morneau, 1322 Colton Avenue, Detroit, Michigan.

Dad wore a blue suit and mom wore a blue velvet dress.

Dad served in the United States Navy during the war years, and the happy couple posed for this picture taken, circa 1944. The dress mom is wearing is the same dress she wore for her wedding! I remember seeing the broach she wore on her dress in her jewelry box as a child!

I used this photo to create their anniversary card. I enlarged the picture and printed it on photo paper, mounted it under this old paper frame, embellished it with strips of gold border. On the back I added a sticker that read:
It happened in 1938 (see below). The snapshot I took of the card has exactly the same coloring as the smaller photo at the left, but poor lighting made it impossible to get a good picture of the finished product. ( I will retake the photograph soon!)

Today they are celebrating their 70th Wedding Anniversary! A feat not achieved by very many couples in today's society. This recent photo of them was taken last month. My parents, born in 1919, are both 89 years old.

"Happy 70th Anniversary, Mom and Dad"

**Postscript: Ten years ago, the Decoteau children and grandchildren gave a huge party for the anniversary couple in San Diego, CA. For their 60th Anniversary Party (where 100 of their closest family, friends and acquaintances from as far away as Japan gathered to celebrate) I created the black and white invitation, the theme for the party.

I made it the old fashioned way....cut and paste, as my computer skills then did not include Photoshop layering which I've learned in subsequent years! I wanted to use this copy of the invitation to start off this years Congratulatory Wishes!

(Click on "It happened in...1938" below to see it up close and personal!)