Wednesday, September 14, 2016

My Mother-Leona Linford Bunderson Clement--Born 100 Years Ago Today

Leona Linford Bunderson  was born on Sept 14, 1916 in Brigham City, Utah to Hervin Bunderson and Francis Leona Linford Bunderson.  Her parents were from the Bear Lake country--a high mountain lake on the border of Utah and Idaho. Her father obtained a degree from Utah State Agricultural College in Logan and they came to Brigham City where he was a teacher at Box Elder High School. The photo below was taken in Brigham City and shows the house where she was born, her two sisters, and her mother. She is the youngest and smallest of the sisters.

The photo below shows my mother as a little girl trying to operate a washing machine at one of the relative's houses in Bear Lake.

As a child my mother was very tomboyish. She was a good athlete and did sports until she went into puberty when her parents put a stop to it(the sports that is). She became a good scholar in high school and was chosen as the Snow Queen, shown below. She was also the Brigham City Peach Days Queen. She said she didn't know why her parents allowed her to be these queens, but anyway they did.

After graduating from high school she attended Utah State where she majored in English literature. She also took every class she could in making clothes and clothes design. While at Utah State she met my Father, Erwin Clement, who was from a mining town, Eureka, Utah. They were married in 1936. The photo below I think is from college days.

After graduation my father got a job as the Alumni Secretary for Utah State. They bought a house in Logan and a car. I was born in 1939. My father had a Reserve Army commission through ROTC. He was called to active duty Jan 1 1941 allegedly for one year. Of course after Dec 7 1941 he was in for the duration. He first went to California and then Texas for training and then to New Jersey, from where he shipped out and landed in North Africa on D-Day of the North Africa invasion, November 1942. He then made D- Day landings on Sicily and Southern France, fought his way up the Italian peninsula and ended the war at the Eagle's Nest in southern Germany.

My Mother and I returned to her parents' house in Brigham City. We lived there from about August 1942 until September 1945, when my Dad returned. During that time she sold the house in Logan, sold the car and did whatever with furniture, etc. She went to work for the American Red Cross at Bushnell General hospital, a large Army hospital built at the beginning of WWII in Brigham City. I think this was to keep her busy and not wondering every minute where Dad was. The photo below is of her taken in Brigham City in 1943. It is hard for me to imagine how difficult this time was for her. She was able to not project her fear on me for which I am grateful.

After the war we lived in Nampa and Twin Falls, Idaho and moved to Phoenix in 1951 and to Tucson in 1952. In Tucson she worked in education and retired as the principal of a grade school. After she retired my folks moved to Mesa, where I was living and where her other son, Tyler, moved. The photo below was taken in Tucson in 1974.

My mother contracted lymphoma and died far too early, 6 Jan 1992.

I am eternally grateful for having her as my mother. She loved me and made my life tolerable during the war and always had my best interests at heart. Thanks, Mom, I love you.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dale R. Welker--"The World's Oldest Photographer"--In Memoriam

Dale Rene Welker was born October 16, 1928 and died on August 4, 2016. Dale was a commercial photographer who got his start photographing weddings during WWII. He had a stint in the Air Force running a photo lab and doing aerial and other types of photography. He operated a commercial studio in Mesa, Arizona for many years.

I met Dale in the early 1980s. I had started photography as a kid and graduated over the years to 35mm, 2-1/4 and 4x5. I had been using 4x5 for only a short while when I met Dale. We talked and discovered we had mutual interests and became good friends. Although I was never Dale's equal photographically speaking, he always treated me as an equal and was very helpful to me.

Sometime during the 80's we started going on aspen shoots in the fall to Flagstaff, Arizona. We would drive up early in the morning with 4x5s, 35mms and 2-1/4s, film, tripods, light meters, etc, as well as lunch. We probably had just a little more stuff than an infantry company took into Normandy on D-Day. Our first stop was Lockett Meadow, which is on the east side of the San Francisco peaks and reached by a dirt road off of highway 89.The two photos below were taken by Dale in Lockett Meadow on one of our expeditions; I don't know the date.

The photo below shows Dale wandering across the meadow looking for a better view.

After leaving Lockett we would drive down to the foot of the mountain on the east side and take a Forest Road around the mountain. We would always stop for lunch on a side road, at least until the Forest Service decided to block that road off. The photo below shows the log on which we  sat to have lunch, also taken by Dale.

Tho photo below shows my pick'em up truck on the alleged road by the lunch log. Judging by the truck, this must have been about 1989.

As long as we are on aspens, the photo below was taken by Dale near Fish Lake, Utah in 2008.

We went a lot of places besides Lockett Meadow over the years. One of our favorites was the Mesa LDS Temple, especially at Christmas. They do a fantastic job of decorating the grounds and turn the lights on one or two early mornings during the month of December just for photographers. Below is one of my photos from one of these jaunts.

Another expedition was over the Four Peaks road to the east side of the mountains. This was during the spring and the main reason for going was to photograph spring desert blooms. We stopped at Roosevelt Dam before returning to Phoenix. The photo below is of Roosevelt Dam taken by Dale on this trip.

The photo below is of the desert blooming, taken by me on this trip.

About ten years ago my brother in law, Alan Edwards, began spending winters in Mesa. He started going with Dale and me on various photo trips. To keep them straight I started referring to them as the Old White Haired Guy or OWH(Alan) and the World's Oldest Photographer or WOP(Dale). They started calling me things, too, but they are not suitable for a family publication. Below is a photo of the OWH on the left and the WOP at the Pinal Pioneer Cemetery.

The Pinal Pioneer Cemetery is just west of Superior. It got on Dale's radar because Wyatt Earp's common law wife, Mattie, was buried there. We made several trips out there over the years but discovered that the exact site was unmarked; someone put up the marker shown below but it's unknown where the exact site is. Below are photos of the entrance and the Mattie Earp marker taken by me.

We also went to several other places including Florence, Superior, Globe and Miami. The first photo below is of the smelter or surface plant at Globe taken by Dale. The second is of a building at Miami or Superior taken by me.

Two other places that we visited were the small church at Sacaton and the Sunkist Citrus processing plant in downtown Mesa that had closed. The photos shown below of these sites  were taken by me. 

The photo below is of Four Peaks just after a snowstorm, taken by me. This was another photo jaunt with the WOP.

Dale and I collaborated on the photography for a book, The Ninth Temple: A Light in the Desert, Granite Publishing, 2002. This book is a history of the Mesa LDS Temple and we were asked to scan and make suitable for printing the historic photographs that were available and to take some new photographs where they were needed.

The photo below is of Dale setting up a 4x5 camera at the base of the Superstitions, taken by me about 1989. The second photo is of Dale with a digital camera, taken by me in 2011.

Dale was a true friend and colleague. He is and will be sorely missed. I hope the lighting is always good in Heaven and film or digital cards plentiful.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Burg Eltz

Burg Eltz is a castle in Germany in the hills above the north side of the Moselle River. The oldest part of it dates to the 9th century AD. It belongs to the Eltz family, and has been lived in by thirty three generations of that family since the 12th century. It is what is known in German as a Ganerbenburg or community of joint heirs. There are three houses that make up most of the castle. These are the Rubenach house, dating to 1472, the Rodendorf house, approximately 1500 and the Kempenich house, 1530. It is still occupied by Eltz family descendants who make part of it available to the public.  

Burg Eltz is situated on a rock outcropping and surrounded on three sides by the Elzbach River, a tributary of the Moselle. In the photo below you can see the Elzbach.

The castle was built on an old Roman trade route and provided protection for that as well as for goods and travelers along the Moselle. The photo below shows a view through a gun port to a fortification.

Below is another fortification at the base of the castle. Note the cannon balls.

The photos below are all inside the outer walls. This castle is very much like one expects from reading fairy tales and looking at movies of Disney princesses.

A very fun place to visit.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Trains, Planes, Autos, Taxis and Buses--No Ships This Time

We recently returned from a five and one half week trip to Saarbrucken, Germany. Our daughter Carolyn and her family currently live there. She had a new baby and asked us to come and help with the new baby and the five year old and to stay as long as we did. After carefully thinking about it, checking our busy social calendars, etc., which took all of about 5 seconds, we agreed to come.

We first took an auto driven by our son to Phoenix' Sky Harbor airport.

At Sky Harbor we took a Delta Airlines flight to Detroit. We changed planes in Detroit and caught another Delta flight, this time to Frankfurt, Germany,

We caught a regional train at the Frankfurt airport.

Two and one half hours later we found ourselves at the Hauptbahnhof in Saarbrucken, where we caught a taxi to Carolyn's apartment.

While in Saarbrucken we experienced a lot of different weather. We had rain, sleet, snow, hail and the occasional nice day. The photo below was taken from her apartment in late April showing falling snow.

Directly across the street from her apartment is a bus stop. We took a bus from there to go downtown or to Gwen's( our 5 year old grand daughter) kindergarten. There is a bus stop on her side of the street which we took to the Saar Bazaar to do grocery, etc shopping. They do not have a car and this time we did not rent one. Below is a photo of a bus stopping at the across the street stop.

Their apartment is on the third floor. The photo below is taken from their apartment and shows a wisteria vine going to the top of this big tree. Very pretty.

We found this strange creature inhabiting their apartment, shown below. It didn't seem to hurt anybody but did have a good time.

The baby, Lucy, was born a few days before we arrived. A good healthy happy baby.
Shown below with The Old Cowboy.

They finally threw us out in the street and we came home--train to Frankfurt, Delta Airlines to Atlanta, change planes and then home per Dean's car from Sky Harbor.

A good time was had by one and all.