I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

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I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

TBT: The Hamel Clan

Last Sunday I had to give a Primary Sharing time on Family History.  I brought some old photos from my family and thought I'd share one this week.

My grandfather was born in 1919 as the 10th child in a very Catholic family of 16.  Yes, you heard right.  My great grandmother had 16 children.  And then lived to be 102.  There were ELEVEN boys.  And from what I've gathered from my grandfather and his brothers, every single one of them was hell on wheels.

This picture is from the late 1920's--I think my grandfather who is sitting, second from the right is around 8.  There was a set of twins that didn't live very long that are not pictured here.

Family pictures for the Hamel family were rare.  They lived on a farm way out in Central Kansas and they had...well, 16 kids.  My great grandparents were both of French Canadian parents who migrated down to claim newly available farmland with the westward expansion.  They spoke french at home.  In fact, the whole town was settle by French speaking Canadians and when we went back to bury grandpa a few years back the very few establishments in town still had menus/information in both French and English.

Just across the river that ran along one side of the farm (which still exists although no one farms it anymore) is the town of Nicodemus, KS, which was one of the first western towns settled by and for recently freed black men and women heading out to meet a brave new world.  My great-uncles were still giggly about this "new" idea and wanted to know if we wanted to go over and see the town.

I love this picture.  I love that I have this one picture of my grandfather as a boy.  I only ever knew as an "old man", but the glint in his eye was the very same.  And I am certain he caused all sorts of mischief.