Anyone who knows me knows I like trees. And mountains. Mountain forests. Costal forests too. Maybe just forests in general. As long as I can remember I’ve really enjoyed going to forests, which I’ve always found strange since I’ve grown up and still live in a place the opposite of a forest. A land of cement and asphalt: Los Angeles County.
My earliest memory of a forest was going to Yosemite with my Aunt Helen (Knickerbocker) Vesterby and her husband, Uncle John Vesterby (my Mom, Dad, and Cousin Jim too) when I was about four (maybe three?) years old (1967 or 1968). Here’s a few blurry pictures camping in Yosemite.
For whatever reason, the magic of camping under the trees in Yosemite has stayed with me all my life.
Uncle John Vesterby, me, Aunt Helen (Knickerbocker) Vesterby
Me, with a book ( another common sight)
For most of the time I knew my Aunts Helen and Eleanor they lived together. In the 1970’s they had an apartment in Inglewood, CA very close to our house as well as being close to their other sisters: Luella and Mildred. In the 80’s all the sisters and their families moved to Yucaipa, CA ( we didn’t ). They both continued to live together until Helen died in 1986.
Here are a few very early pictures of Helen and Eleanor together when they were very little. The notes on the back of the top picture dates it to sometime around March/April 1905. Helen is the older of the two and is listed as three years old while Eleanor is about three months.
These images are digitized from the original pictures which are, as of this posting, over 100 years old.
So, my Aunt Mildred, who for some unknown reason was always called “Snookie”, married the brother of John O. Vesterby: Earnest A. Vesterby.
Mildred Florence Knickerbocker was born on 27 June 1920 in Minnesota and died on 10 Sept 1986 in California. Earnest A. Vesterby was born on 14 Nov 1913 in Montana and died on 8 May 1990 in California.
Both brothers and sisters, for as long as I knew them, always lived within a short drive of one another and were ever present at Thanksgiving and Christmas which, when my brother and I were younger, always occurred at our house. When we were a little older, all of my moms sisters were living in California ( Helen, Luella, Mildred, and Elanor) moved to the Yuciapa area in San Bernadino County California to retire.
I don’t have any census or other document to show Aunt Snookie and Uncle Ernie together just yet, but when I do I’ll post it here.