Posts Tagged With: small towns



On our way home from our respective home hosted dinners, we spotted several weddings. Ranvir tells us he rode a white horse to his wedding. It is a tradition, a white horse, black horse or an elephant.


Revelers were waiting on the groom and his entourage. Ranvir told us anybody would be welcome to join if they just showed up.


Ranvir asks the bus driver to drive slowly so we can see, but that is a pretty tough thing to do in heavy traffic.


We catch a glimpse of this beautifully dressed groom on his way to his wedding. No flash,  a window, a moving bus, it is blurry, my apologies. But look how colorful his clothing is.


As we pass the window to our hotel, there is a wedding celebration on a lower floor. I decide sleep is more important and to bed.


In the morning, before leaving for Nagaur, we make several stops. An ATM and a drug store where I buy cough drops for Theo and batteries for my clock. Everyone it seems needs something. It is a muddy, crowded spot with a laundry next door. I was fascinated by the steam iron the laundryman was using. But, the man in the pink sweater was very curious about us.


His friend indicated he wanted his picture taken. It is one of those ever sweet moments you don’t forget as he smiled proudly at his own permanent image from my camera.


As we load into the bus, this young bull stole an eggplant off a vegetable stand. The owner physically pushed him out of the way and scolded. They have to be harsh to protect their livelihood.


From the bus window I see a wild pig that also has the run of the town we are passing through.



The road is bumpy in places, but it is a major highway as well. These men are digging this huge ditch by hand tools and carrying dirt and rocks away with pans on their heads. Reminds me of China.


We pass through a town that produces marble. People in the area suffer high rates of silicosis. They have masks, but don’t use them.


Another town that specializes in shoe making. Leather, in a country that does not eat beef.


I saw a large herd of obviously “owned” and cared for cattle. There must be a sect that doesn’t worry about the sacredness of the cow.


This herd of cattle crossed the busy highway and when a huge truck coming at us approached, they hustled a bit faster. dsc00088-copy

We crossed a bridge and the tariffs to cross are fairly steep.


Women with heavy loads walk with their back to traffic.


It appears to me they use their own clothing to wrap around the burden.


Ranvir guesses that these horses are headed for the Fair to be sold.


We roll into this small town and Ranvir is talking about the people here who escape taxes by building their own funky motors. They are pasted together with spare parts from here and there. No license fees to pay. The government doesn’t know they exist. They break down often but they are happy with them. He said maybe we could ride in one? I thought he was kidding.


Remember, this is a long drive. And a funky motor is quite a diversion. Theo grabbed the seat next to the driver.


The rest of us loaded into the back, and here we are, after the ride was over.dsc00203-copy

The ride attracted a lot of curious onlookers.


They seem ever fascinated by blonde hair. Kathy and Theo get a lot of attention.


Ranvir decided to get some fruit for us to snack on in the bus.


Sandy bought a bunch of veggies for the skinny looking cows nearby.


If you feed one cow…


They all come.


Back on the road again. The terrain changes. This area is moist now. But, summer monsoon, it is flooded.


I see drying dung piles all along the way and I finally get it. It is fuel and it must be dried and stored before the rains com.


And finally, Naguar, the tent city for the camel festival. More tomorrow.






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Yesterday, with the pall of the Peshtigo fire in my brain, I forgot to post we had found  my maternal grandmother’s house in Marinette. A frustrating search.  Again, one we made easily in 2006 and failed to record. (That was before I was a blogger and had a digital camera.) The house front had changed. I spoke to several neighbors but these old houses are now mostly cheap rentals for young people with kids. My grandmother, who had 12  children, moved here after my grandfather died. She bought the house with money she won from suing the company over his death. My mother was born in Marinette but never lived in this house. As the oldest, she and three sisters were married and gone by that time. I particularly cherish one family wedding at this house  when I was about 10 years old. My uncles pushed the couch and lamps against the wall and taught me how to polka and waltz on the smooth hardwood floor so I could dance at the wedding. My grandma carried her money in a pouch around her neck and when we were little, she would send us to the grocer for something and allow us to spend a penny of the change.

img314Rose Dionne and daughter Marietta Rhinehardt

All those children.  It still boggles my mind. My grandmother was only 4 feet 9 and a half inches tall  with a tiny waist my dad would demonstrate by encircling her waist  with his  hands. My grandmother on the left with her daughter, my aunt Marietta on the right about 1950.

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Our journey took us through farmland,  from Marinette & Menominee to Bark River, to visit a childhood friend. Marinette & Menominee are twin cities perched on opposite banks of the  Menominee River from each other. During the war, we had to color our margarine because the state of Wisconsin, a strong dairy state, refused to allow “colored” margarine to look like butter.  U.S. highway 41 is dotted with small towns  the names of which brought back more memories. Auggie Schultz’s bar in Shaefer where I tasted pop and potato chips for the first time. Stephenson, where an aunt and Uncle once lived. Powers, Wells, Ingolls, Wallace where once stood Lime Kilns my great grandfather buiilt.  Dagget, Carney, Spalding, all remind me of someone my dad bought piglets from or hunted with or peeled pulp with.  Nadeau where my paternal great-grandparents settled in the “Belgiantown” after coming here from Leige, Belgium  through Ellis Island.

img444-Inspecting the lime kilns near Shafer, Mi.

My brothers Bill, Dan, Norman and myself in front of one of the lime kilns my great-grandfather built. He came as a specialist in this type of kiln. My great-grandmother, who was pregnant made the trip alone after the baby was born.(It died.)  She traveled with trunks of household goods with four children, one of them blind. She spoke not a word of English, but she carried a sign that said Nadeau, Wisconsin on it. I would have been terrified to make such a journey.

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We arrived at my friend Bernice Patrick’s farm in late afternoon. Bernice was widowed 7 years ago and her son runs the farm. She works at a local casino and we got there before she got off work.

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This interesting old house, a log house with chinking, was lathed over at one time. It stands on her property. Double click it for a better view.

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The weather wimp checks the thermometer. One of the hottest days of the year, it turned out. And, the humidity made it pretty miserable. We sat outside playing with the cat and eating apples from her orchard and watching the bulls in one pasture.

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When Bernice got home from her job at the Island Indian Casino, about seven miles up the road, she likes to take off her shoes and relax. We took off our shoes and cooled off in the house and looked at pictures before dinner.

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Bernice’s graduation photo.

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Her sister, Marie, who was my sister’s age. The Cousineau family were our neighbors and school chums when we burned out in 1948 or 1949. The bus dropped us off from school and this is what was left of or house:

img553Rubble of Hardwood house fire.


img552Hardwood fire rubble. Everything burned, 1949 Spring thaw, March or April


img551Ruins of the fire from earlier in the year, during spring thaw, 1949. (Copy)

It was because of this fire that Bernice, Marie  and I met again at my home in Murphys, over 60 years later. More on that tomorrow.

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Somehow we had the idea that Olga and Rosario were the other two main communities on the Island. And, in fact, we don’t know what the people count is near Olga and Rosario. In reality, they are very small. We dead ended here, looking for an old strawberry cannery turned into a gallery. The store was closed.

The small dock…

…and private beach picturesque.

I peeked through the window of the unmanned Post Office and saw approximately 60 boxes.Then as we drove away, the only other major building we had passed turned out to be the cannery, art gallery and Olga Cafe.  We stopped and found some interesting artwork, that even Jim enjoyed.

They had quite a collection of home made rugs and woolen woven goods of good quality.  In a motor home buying anything bulky is out of the question. I enjoyed some small things, cat etchings and clever multi-media stuff.

Beautifully handcrafted leather photo albums.

Then we drove away without taking a picture of the building.  But, on to Mt. Constitution, the highest point on the Island.

More misty distances. The air is exhilarating and the pictures don’t do the feeling of being on top of the earth justice.

I tried another panorama shot with my new camera , but somehow, it doesn’t seem as interesting as the one I took at Rosario Marina.

I enjoyed the photo of the giant pickets in this old board fence that lines the climb up to the viewing platform at the top of Mt. Constitution.  I took the picture on the way down.  Before we set out for our day on the island, Jim discovered two large oil spots beneath the Bronco.  The mechanic at Jiffy Lube failed to tighten the oil pan nut.  Jim tightened the nut. As a precaution, Jim crawled under to check it again before we headed down the mountain and found the transmission fluid was now leaking. Ever prepared, he had a bottle of transmission stop leak in the Bronco. That got us home and the leak is temporarily gone. A  major seal job is set for next week.

I liked this poem dedicated to Rosario’s  one-hundred year celebration  and forgot to include it in yesterday’s blog:

God molded an Island and shaped it fair,

He planted the pines and the maiden hair,

He drew about it the shining sea,

And said, “Work makes beauty eternally.”

On the Island one dreamed of a castle rare,

Wide in portal and broad of stair,

So, he wrought and carved by the shining sea,

Until his dream became beauty eternally.

Then, a woman crossed the threshold there,

The castle was home through her loving care

God wrought a man and woman-and lo!

Together they builded Rosario.

Author is G.H.E.

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