Because grandpa was orphaned and lived in several homes, we know little about his early life, so finding a few recollections of his childhood, no matter how brief, is a blessing. I found some stories about my grandpa and his brother Orson in a most unexpected place.
|Ernest and Heber|
When Grandpa Heber's parents died, he and twin Orson and their older brother Ernest remained in Oklahoma for a time with their father's family but a year later went to Colorado to live with their mother's family. Orson went to their mother's brother, Thomas, Heber went to her brother Alfonzo, and Ernest went to Sally's oldest sister, Mary Haggard. Both Thomas, Alonzo and Mary lived in Sanford so, although the brothers were split up, they lived relatively close to each other. Olive was Thomas' daughter and Orson became like a brother to her.
Olive's autobiography  is a wonderful rambling of memories from her childhood as she recalls everything from how they made their beds, to milking cows and raising chickens as well as local events such as dances and ball games. While her book is difficult to find, if you would like a peek into life in rural Conejos County Colorado in the early part of the 20th century, locating a copy to read is worth the effort. I will be sharing several of her recollections of Orson and Heber over the next few blog posts.
In one account, Olive provided a brief look into what became a regular evening activity for Orson and Heber. Olive shared:
"One time Papa got Orson some boxing gloves for Christmas, things really got going then. Heber would come down from Uncle Fon's and everybody would get them to boxing. Heber was a little tougher than Orson, but they would really box. Orson would hit and cry and hit and cry. Then as the kids grew up they got a larger set of boxing gloves and boxing went right on down the line. After supper men and boys would get out in the yard and box."
Other than the crying part, the story warms my heart. It's good to know the boys got together in the evenings and "played," which in this case meant boxing each other's ears. Hopefully between the tears, there was also laughter and bonding. Because it became a repeated event and they later got larger gloves in order to continue the activity, I tend to think it was something they enjoyed doing together.
Orson and Heber Ganus
 Autobiography of Olive E. Faucett Christensen, written January through December 1957, Artcraft Printers, Alamosa, Colorado
Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2015, All rights reserved