Great, great grandpa Richard Valentine and great great grandma Pauline, known to me as Dickie and Polly.  Your great grandpa Jim’s parents who lived on a farm 2 miles outside town.  We moved to this little central Illinois town when I was 7.  We had been living in Minnesota when my dad became very ill.  After he recovered we moved back to his home town where I spent my next 11 years.

Dickie was a very resourceful person.  Today we might call him an entrepreneur .  Along with his farm of cows, pigs, sheep, wheat, corn and soybeans, he tried many different venues for a cash flow.   Grandpa Jim remembers vividly helping run the dairy, getting up at 4 to milk the cows and delivering the milk in town.  Dickie also had a small grocery store.  Most of the townsfolk used  credit or barter to buy their goods.  He also was a politician.  I believe he was the county supervisor.  As I grew up most of his adventures were in the past.   He spent a lot of his time at the local pool hall visiting with his buddies.
 
Polly of course belonged to a church, the garden club and the local women’s club.  She also was an artist.   She loved to paint with oils.  Later she painted ceramics in the Grandma Moses style.  Her flower garden next to the house was a fun place to play while the adults were in the house.  The men always played cards and the women talked.
 
We spent many hours at their house.  We went out almost every Saturday night for popcorn, 7-up, Gunsmoke and Palidin.   My uncle’s family joined us.  Uncle Bill, Aunt Dorothy, sonny and sis loved to tease us, since we were the youngest.  Everyone enjoyed the trips into the woods.  Sometimes we would walk, other times Dickie would hitch the tractor to a wagon and off we would go for a picnic.  Mushroom hunting and wildflower picking were favorite times for all of us. One tree sported a wonderful old grape vine that we could swing on.   The woods offered many adventures.
 
Across the field from the house was Dick and Polly’s garden, cabin and pond.  Bonfires, picnics and overnights were common activities for us.   We fished for catfish and blue gills.  Swimming in the pond was fun but icky at the same time.  The pond was just slimy mud on the bottom.   My cousins would tease me to watch out for the water moccasin snakes.   I quit swimming in the pond after that.  Dickie thought it was hilarious.
 
I wonder if Polly knew that he would have each of the grand kids try to smoke his little ceramic pipe.  What a horrific taste and smell!  Teasing was his forte, young or old alike.  He could tell whoppers, I never really knew if he was telling the truth or not.
 
My goodness, I thought I could easily tell you about Dick and Polly, but I see each of the above thoughts could be vignettes of their own.  I promise, I’ll keep that in mind so you get to know Nana’s family better.  I’m sorry you couldn’t meet them, they would have liked you very much.
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