Jun 19, 2014

"It All Started in Yosemite- 1912"

I love family history- most specifically, family stories. I grew up in a family rich with stories. So telling this one makes me very happy. I've known it for quite a while but I just pulled it out and dusted it off to use as part of Primary Sharing time last Sunday.

My Mom, Elsie Munce Caraway must have asked her father William Munce to write her the story of when/how she was born. The following is the letter she received from my Granddad. (his original punctuation and spelling have been preserved)

"Home
January 21, 1960


Hello Kido:
Well you have sure landed me a dilly of an assignment, requesting at this late date the mode, and method, of your arrival at 2010 East 16th St St in Oakland, Calif. on April 15, 1913

I'll have to go back to 1912 to get this tale off to the right start.

Our neighbors, named Garner, wife and daughter, talked up a trip to Yosemite Valley; said trip to be made in a covered wagon and a team of horses."

wagon to Yosemite 1912 photo 19-wagontoYosemite1912_zps06034429.jpg
WAGON TO YOSEMITE 1912
"Dad supplied the transportation and we russeled up the grub; so bright and early one July morning we hit the trail, and enjoyed every hour of the four days it took to reach Inspiration Point where we got our first glimpse of the wonders of Nature."

William and Elsie Munce at Yosemite 1912 photo 19-WilliamandElsieMunceatYosemite1912_zps40c28422.jpg
WILLIAM AND ELSIE MUNCE AT YOSEMITE 1912
"We made camp under the Royal Arch, and for about ten days we ______ we were leg weary;"

William and Elsie Munce on mules at Yosemite 1912 photo 19-WilliamandElsieMunceonmulesatYosemite1912_zps2ced2256.jpg
WILLIAM AND ELSIE MUNCE ON MULES AT YOSEMITE 1912
"and then went over to North Fork where Mrs Garner had a mother and brother on a rundown ranch close to a small Indian village where we stayed about a week and then took the trail back to'ard home by round about roads arriving safely having spent about 25 days of dust and ashes with board and lodgings in the open."

North Fork 1912 photo 19-northfork1912_zpsed59083a.jpg
GROUP AT NORTH FORK- ELSIE MUNCE 2ND FROM RIGHT
"Time marched on; and on one occasion I see Mother making baby clothes and asked her how come? She said I had planted seed under the Royal Arch and that she was going to make a daddy out of me, which she did, for she wanted her baby born in Oakland so here we are back where we started from.

When my Mother heard the news she was real tickled and told your Mother-to-be that she had been with each of her daughters when their baby came, so she would stand by.

On the 15th day of April old Dr Beckwith was on the job with all his equipment and you took your own sweet time coming out to see what kind of company you were forced to keep. You were a red, rosy, package, and I can still hear my Mother singing, crying and praying as she was giving you your first bath. She never got through telling folks of her new granddaughter's big blue eyes and ready grin; she was the proudest Granny in town and was happiest when she had you in her arms and sang to you some of the old time Scotch lullabyes."

Jessie Rae Munce holding her granddaughter Elsie Louise Munce circa 1914 photo 19-JessieRaeMunceandElsieLouiseMuncecirca1914_zps098bbb13.jpg


JESSIE RAE MUNCE HOLDING HER GRANDDAUGHTER ELSIE LOUISE MUNCE CIRCA 1914
"Hope this is what you wanted; but if it isn't sing out and I'll try again.

Dad"

They had several other happy Yosemite vacations but no Munce-Yosemite-vacation story is complete without adding this last photo! My Granddad was a big man, over 6' tall; surely he knew the dangers of hand-feeding the bears! (Run away, run, run away!) But here he is... feeding the bears with his "machine" in the background.

William Munce hand feeding black bears at Yosemite 1930 photo19-WilliamMuncehandfeedingblackbearsatYosemite1930_zpsa2cd0ba2.jpg
WILLIAM MUNCE HAND FEEDING BLACK BEARS AT YOSEMITE 1930

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