This photo of Dot and Neva was taken when they were visiting Steve and Pat Christiansen in Aloha, OR, in 1987. As I was about to take this photo, Dot grabbed a vase of flowers from the coffee table. I’m going to take a guess as to why she did that. Dot and Neva were about to leave on the next long leg of their journey across the country. For comfort, Dot may have decided to forgo a certain undergarment. Realizing that I was about to preserve her image, Dot grabbed the flowers to hold in front of her chest to try to hide her lack of visible means of support.
This is from Tina:
Giving the Bird
When I taught at West High School in Iowa City from 1977-1981, I made a three very good friends, two of whom are still close friends. Involved in this Aunt Dot/Uncle Mark story are Carolyn and Gerry. Carolyn taught English; Gerry taught art and was like a professional photographer. I called Carolyn (who still lives in Iowa City; Gerry, the one, unfortunately, I’m no longer in touch with, lives in Bellingham, Washington) this morning because she has a mind like a steel trap, and I was counting on her to remember details of this. Unfortunately, she doesn’t, so I’ll have to go by my memory. Oy.
Brownie decided to have a combination New Year’s Eve/50th birthday party for me on December 31, 1980, because I would turn 50 after midnight on January 1, 1981. She and Carolyn were the planners. They also enlisted the help of Gerry. At the time of the party, Carolyn was 28 years old, only a year older than Barry would have been. But the age difference has never mattered to her. After I moved back to California, she continued to be very close to Dick and Brownie. And Carolyn and I are still close friends.
Gerry Gedekes could sell snow to Eskimos. And that’s what it took because he decided it would be fun to take pictures of a bunch of my family giving me the finger. And he had to talk hard and fast to get some of them to do this! He professionally took the photos and mounted each on what looks like poster board or something. They were all presented to me at the party. And yes, that’s the attached picture. Mark and Aunt Dot giving me the finger.
I don’t know when Gerry took these pictures. They were all taken in my house in Iowa City, and Carolyn and Gerry loved my family and were always invited to anything happening when anyone was visiting. All I know is that they had to be taken sometime before December 1980. Anyway, in addition to the attached, here are some others whose middle fingers are I hope lovingly directed to me and forever preserved in photos mounted on poster board:
- Gladys Christiansen (I think Gerry might have had to do a slight bit of talking to get this)
- Martin Runge (agreed willingly, I’m sure)
- Paula and Don Hassler (ditto!)
- Dick and Brownie Runge (triple ditto!)
- Chris (who was nine) and Cole (who was twelve) Runge (hate to say it, but I think that’s also a ditto)
I can’t tell you how I treasure those pictures. Every single finger is wonderful. It’s just what I needed. Earlier in 1980 I lost Barry, so there were many many times when it was hard for me to smile.
Well, that’s my Uncle Mark/Aunt Dot (and others!) story. I wonder what Grandma and Grandpa Christiansen would have thought of this. Hahaha. Enjoy the photos!!!
Incidentally, if anyone wants to see any of the others who did this, let me know and I’ll email you the photo.
Love to all,