S: Mary and Don Kuntz 50th Anniversary
BC: Out takes...
FC: 50 years ago...
1: Around 1942...
2: 1950...or so
3: High School Seniors
4: “The most wonderful of all things in life, I believe, is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a growing depth, beauty, and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life.”
5: Tom, 5 Mary, 8 | Mary, Tom and Ed Ed's "new" car | Mary, 9, with nieces and nephews | Mary and Tom confirmation | 5 sisters Helen, Mary, Sis, Alice Theresa | Mary, George Alice, Tom | Life on the Ament Farm
6: Celebrating Ma and Pa's 35th | The Ament Clan 1959 | High school pals
7: Dairy Princess Wadena County
8: Dad growing up in Sebeka | The whole family pitched in to make the Sebeka Bakery a growing business
9: Dad in Blackbush, England 1956 | Dad's antisubmarine warfare flight crew
10: Dad's beloved TR3 | When they got married, he sold it to buy their first house.
11: Legend has it... After Dad finished two years in England serving in the Navy, he came back to Minnesota to go to college. He met Mom just before he left. She tells us that he would come home on Friday nights to see her...soon he was arriving on Thursday night... then Wednesday night...They were married that May...
12: The wedding May 28, 1960 | Mom and Janice | Mom and Grandpa Ament "Pa"
15: C | Love | /cCC | Celebrate | Love
17: The Honeymoon | Duluth, MN
18: Married life | Navy Life
19: You made all the delicate inner parts of my body and knit me together in my Mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous, how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment laid out before 1 single day had passed. -Psalm 139
20: Daniel Joseph February 11, 1961
21: Rochelle Marie July 29, 1962
22: Richard Andrew July 9, 1963
23: Jill Ellen July 4, 1966
24: Danny, Chelle, Ricky with Grandma & Grandpa Ament | Danny, Chelle, Susie, Leroy 1963 | All the Kuntz cousins as of 1963 and Dad
25: Chelle, Danny, Ricky, Dad 1965 | The whole family with Jill on the way. South Weymouth, MA 1966 | Chelle, Ricky, Danny | 1963: Mom begins to rethink the wisdom of bringing 3 toddlers to see a cactus...
26: Navy orders called for a move to Boston in 1964
27: Legend has it... When Mom was in the hospital having Jill, Dad had to take care of Dan, Rochelle and Rick. When it was bath time, being the efficient man he is, Dad just put them all in the wash machine.
28: And then there were four! | Are they ALL YOURS!?!?!?!
29: Nobody said it would be easy... ...they just said it would be worth it.
30: 1969 brought another move...San Leandro, CA | On the road again... ...fire up the VW | Legend has it... Wehn we moved to San Leandro we all piled in the VW bus: Mom, Dad, 4 kids and a dog. The VW broke down in Wisconsin and Dad knew he could fix it as soon as we arrived at our new house, so instead of paying a mechanic in Wisconsin, he bought a Ford van. He hooked the VW up to the Ford and away we went. Through the Rockies, Mom drove the VW to help push over the peaks. Finally, after two weeks in the car(s) we made it to the border of California. Donner's Pass. It was CLOSED!!! The police there said, "your not driving that rig through here!" and Mom started to cry..."We've been on the road for 2 weeks, 4 small kids and a dog, we were going to finally arrive to our new house today! Please officer, can you make an exception??" We arrived at our new house 4 hours later and loved San Leandro where Dad worked in the Navy Hangar at the Naval Air Base in Alameda.
31: Ahhh...California...No snow, always sunny and best of all.... | Scouts | Eucalyptus | Fishing in the Marina | Mickey Mouse! | Playin' kickball in the street | Easter Egg hunts | Chief Boy | scaring the girls with baby sharks
32: Living far from grandmas and grandpas brought special challenges... | It couldn't have been easy, but Mom and Dad made it HOME no matter where we lived.
33: And created childhood memories that we carry into our own families today.
34: Having a sister who lived nearby... | ...was a blessing for the whole family.
35: And long car trips to Minnesota kept us in touch! | Grandma & Grandpa Ament | The Mary Brown Bridge | The Schmitz Farm
36: The Navy required us to move again in 1973, this time only an hour's drive south to Sunnyvale, CA | Every house we lived in needed Mom and Dad's special TLC. This one needed a spruced up backyard. Mom and Dad could teach HGTV a few things!
37: Dad's last 2 yrs in the Navy. Dan in Jr. High, Rochelle, Rick and Jill in Elementary.
38: After 20 years in the Air Division of the United States Navy, Dad retired with the respected rank of Master Chief Petty Officer (only 2 men carried this rank at any given time in the Anti-Submarine warfare division.) | Thanks for teaching us all of your "little tricks" you learned in the Navy!
39: Legend has it... A year before Dad retired we took a car trip back to Minnesota to figure out where we should live. We were heading to Willmar for a meeting with a realtor. The car trip got long so we decided to pull over in the next town and have an ice cream break. That next town was Glenwood. After seeing Lake Minnewaska as we came over the hill, Mom and Dad had made up their minds! And Glenwood was where we began civilian life.
40: Moving to Glenwood was a culture shock for awhile.. | But, it didn't take long for us to make new friends and enjoy everything a small town has to offer.
41: waterskiing | kick the can | swimming | snipe hunting | climbing trees | Kuntz Insulation | pontoon boating | fishing | ski chalet | neighborhood friends
42: Legend has it... Dad had been thinking about the "Sutten" Place and seeing it for sale for a whole year. He knew how much we loved living by the lake but couldn't stop thinking about all that land and all those buildings. We had a family meeting about it...although we were shocked, we agreed to the move and Dad promised to put in a pool. Mom and Dad went to George Sutten that day and gave him Mom's necklace (a valuable gold Mexican peso) as earnest money. | By the time we moved in 1980, Dan was already off to college and Rochelle and Rick were Juniors in High School.
43: Christmas and holidays traditionally degenerates into spontaneous silliness!
44: Our family history wouldn't be complete without a tribute to all of our beloved furry friends over the years! | Big Chief | hamsters | Chief 2 (Dummy!) | Chief Boy! | Keeta | Sasha | Dad's Squirrel | Sasha
45: No matter where the Navy sent us, Mom and Dad always made sure we had a nice house to live in and a backyard to play. | first house, Mpls 1961-1964 | South Weymouth, MA 1964-1969 | San Leandro, CA 1969-1973 | Sunnyvale, CA 1973-1975 | Glenwood, MN Lake House 1975-1980 | Glenwood 1980...
46: ...and they always made sure that there was water close by!
47: And if there was no water....we built our own!!
48: The Aments... can you name them all?? | Henry, Clara (Pa and Ma) Norbert, Ray, Ed, Hans (Leo), Sis (Amelia), Helen, Andy, Theresa, Alice, George, Mary, Tom
49: The Kuntz Family | Alex & Eva (Mom & Dad) Delores Don Marlene Bob (Robert) Kathy
50: And we went forth and multiplied.... | Dana and Rick 1997 | Jill and Felix Aguayo 2001 | Dan and Pam 2003 | Rochelle and Rich Shirk 1989
51: Abbey 1998 | Joe 1994 | Sofia 2004 | Felixito 2006 | ...and began a few legends of our own! | Alex 2002 | Sara 1999
52: Grandparents never run out of hugs or cookies!
54: A garden of love grows in a Grandparents' heart.
56: Legend has it.. Around 1992, Dad painted this sign for Mom on Valentine's Day (saying "I Love You" in Chinese) as her Valentine's Day surprise and hung it on the tree outside the kitchen window.
57: A successful marriage requires falling in love many times with the same person!
58: A second honeymoon in Hawaii after 50 years!
59: It doesn't matter where you go in life or what you do... it's who you have beside you..
64: THE SHIRK FAMILY Rich & Rochelle Married: September 2, 1989 Michaela: February 26, 1977 Joseph: April 17, 1994
65: THE SHIRK FAMILY Michaela & Ryan Hackey Married: Sept. 2, 2007 Ryan: June 24, 1978 Gia: December 27, 2009
74: The Legend of the Volkswagen Van It’s been a good tour of duty, these years with my little jumpers. Oh, the adventures we’ve had! They’re grown now, but I’m not forgotten. They see me on the old movies (transferred to video) and the stories take on a new dimension; and I take on elevated grandeur. A hero-type, I am!
75: It all began for us back in 1964. I was hangin’ out in a used car lot in Memphis, Tennessee. I wouldn’t be there long, the dealer said. My kind was the most popular foreign car in the U.S. I hear tell that just prior to World War II, Germany constructed and implemented the renowned Autobahn system. Needing an inexpensive means of travel, the government challenged the manufacturer to design one. In 1933, Ferdinand Porsche showcased the first Volkswagen Beetle; and it was love at first sight. Later, the micro-bus (me) would race off the assembly lines to fill the ever-increasing demand. I’ve been proven dependable and economical. That’s why I’d be perfect for this young family that seems to have taken me over. “Chelle, look what Daddy’s going to buy for us!” said Danny. “We’ll have room to play Barbie’s and GI Joe!” Chelle exclaimed. “Ricky, grab my hand and I’ll pull you up.” Danny tugged as chubby Ricky slithered in through my side door, toddling immediately through the aisle to check out the knobs on my dash. Danny was in the driver’s seat, mimicking Dad. Chelle was inquisitively digging through my glove box. “Troops! At Attention!” boomed a big, but loving voice. They scrambled out and lined up, feet together tightly, stretching tall; with ear to ear grins. They loved it when he called them “Troops.” What’s this? A Navy Man! This could be a challenge! I shifted and tried to straighten my rectangular body.
76: $1500? Too much! It’s a used car!” “Barely,” I thought. My first owner didn’t drive me much---said I didn’t have enough power. “Okay, 1100 dollars and my old car.” Finally, after checking me over thoroughly, they made a deal. “Yippee!” Danny led the cheering and jumping section. Everyone hopped in and soon we were cruising down the highway. My new master thought I should have more power, but the mechanics would insist there was nothing wrong. I knew this family would be mine when they began to plan their trips. “There’ll be more room if we remove the middle seat; and Mom, you can stretch out on the back seat when you get tired.” The very next Sunday they loaded me with swimming and picnic gear and headed for Lake Sardis (the only lake for a radius of 100 miles from Memphis.)
77: I thought we’d turn right around and go home, when I heard “a protest---a Civil Rights march!!” But, my brave and sometimes nave young family stayed and enjoyed playing in the water and sand a bit apart from the demonstrators. On the way home my radio blared of news that shootings and arrests had taken place at Sardis; and that Blacks had integrated the beach. (I couldn’t figure out why they couldn’t be there in the first place.) My family thanked God that we were all safe (I wouldn’t want my body riddled with holes, either.) The year was 1964 and my radio would talk incessantly about Civil Rights and Martin Luther King. We’re moving, they say; and making our way North, through the slush of Chicago and the snow-packed fields of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Finally, I come to a stop. These people must be special! The little jumpers are at it again. “If we kiss Grandma and Grandpa, they’ll give us a quarter and we can buy candy at Ryan’s store.” There were hugs all around, a few tears and a lot of jumping up and down. I didn’t see any quarters but he kids didn’t mind---maybe later. I thought I’d be praised, at least a little. “Hmmff!” a gruff voice barked. “Looks like a cracker box.” I soon realized that every time I pulled into that driveway, I could expect the Cracker box insult. Ooooh, the cousins, Uncles and Aunts who had to check me out! Dozens!!!
78: “Let’s see who smells Grandpa’s bakery first!” Loud sniffing prevailed for the next few miles; and soon “SEBEKA BAKERY” blinked at us. They ALL smelled it first---typical of my little jumpers. They had fun and we drove away with donut crumbs littering the floor! My radio barked news of a war in Viet Nam and Johnson’s re-election. Minnesota was hit hard that spring by tornados and a rising Mississippi. A big, hairy German Shepherd joined our family that summer. Our stay in Minneapolis and many visits with Grandparents and cousins was short-lived---only 6 months and we were on the road again. This time, we’re moving to South Weymouth, Massachusetts. My Master waxed me well, saying I’d have better wind resistance and maybe he could get more then 50 MPH out of me. He still thought I was a little sluggish. “Check ‘er over again! She should go faster!” “Nothin’ wrong,” they tell him. Not having to be buckled up in those days, my little jumpers played and sand and slept the whole way. My mistress resorted to bribery. She had a bag full of gift wrapped toys: and if they were good and didn’t fight till lunch or dinner, they could choose one. Home looked pretty good to us all at 264 Thicket St. (My Master had gone ahead and bought it a few months earlier. He was always trying to make life easier for us!) There was one problem---the movers lost the truck bringing their household good. They had nothing but what I carried for them for a whole month. Neighbors were kind enough to share a few things.
79: Sleeping on the floor got mighty old; and 3 kids with no toys or TV? I heard lots of complaining then. My mistress wanted to call the Captain of the Base where we had moved from---NAS Twin Cities. My Master would not do it. She’s a sly one, my mistress. When he went off to work, she called Captain Scott in the Twin Cities. He said, “I’ll get right on it!” Within and hour a call came from the moving company saying they would be at our house the very next day. Wow! Maybe I’ll get some peace now. Shortly after things settled down and the furniture was in place, my mistress got very sick and had to stay in bed. Linda Smith, a college student and daughter of a fellow Navy man came to take care of my little jumpers. My Master was a new, young Chief now and had a whole Squadron of men under him. He was also finishing the bedrooms upstairs for my little jumpers. What a busy family we were----and we were about to get busier. My mistress began to spread out a bit and then I heard the reason! “A baby in your tummy,” giggled Chelle. Danny got all worried about how that baby was going to get out and if it would hurt Mom. Ricky was too little—only 2 ; so he just jumped along with the others. My Master would say, “Honey, are you feeling okay?” and showed lots of concern. Now I get it!!! Another little jumper will soon be sliding over my seats and twisting my knobs. The big night finally arrived! “A baby sister! Yippee!!”
80: The little jumpers were all worried about Mom and the baby; so we drove down Thicket St. to Elm-shaded Pond and on to South Shore Hospital. Daddy said, “Look up at that window!” They squeal and jump!! There she is standing at the window, holding their baby sister. Mom is smiling and waving; so we knew that all was well. On July 9, 1966, Ricky’s 3rd Birthday, we brought that precious bundle home. She didn’t jump like the others. “Jill’s my baby,” Ricky demanded. “She came home on my Birthday!” “Mine,” Danny protested. With quiet assurance Chelle said, “She’ll like me best! I’m her sister. They all claimed and protected her, including “Chief Boy—our big hairy German Shepherd. He wouldn’t let anyone near her carriage when I took her outside for a walk. My little Jill is a born traveler. She’s so good, taking all the noise in stride. Of course, It’s me who rocks her to sleep. We’re on the road again! Philadelphia and the mountains, they say. Paul and Margaret Royal and their “little jumpers” live there. Whoa! What’s this??? All of them were piling into my spacious hold. Eleven people and a big dog make our way up into the Pocono Mountains. Top speed—40 MPH. I groan, reminding myself that maybe there is something wrong with me. I’m feeling pretty gritty after three days of sand and sun and glad to be on the road for home again; when I chug-a chug my last. My master pulled to the side of the turnpike when it appeared I was in trouble.
81: Wasn’t it nice of me to collapse right by an emergency phone? Soon the tow truck was hooking up to me and away I was whisked; riding on my two rear wheels. Whew!!!! I get to relax a bit! I had quite a chuckle watching my family, a big dog and baby paraphernalia crunch into a two-door hard-top, the only vehicle they could rent at this garage in New Jersey. My Master came back for me in a few days. “Sir, you’ve been driving this car on three cylinders,” the mechanic complained for me. I could’ve told them that, but nobody would listen to me. I’m just a chunk of metal to them! Ooohhh! It feels good to be well again!! War protests, shooting at Kent State, Space shuttles, Hippies, Flower children---I’ve heard it all for days now. We’re on our way to California. It’s 1969, February---that means I’m in for some treacherous driving. I’ve heard about those mountain passes and am not thrilled. We’re in Wisconsin (not far from the Minnesota border) when I’m having major problems again. “Can’t fix ‘er in an hour! She’ll need a complete over-haul.” “Guys, we’ll have to buy a new van,” my master says. “No! No! We can’t leave her here! Noooo!” whined my little jumpers. Jill is 2 , so she’s joined the jumping.
82: They did buy a new van – a big, blue Ford Club Wagon. My mistress didn’t like it right off. It was cold way back there. When Jill spilled water, it froze to her blanket. This would never fly, I thought! So, they towed me; and what a sight we were! A visit with Grandparents and cousins in Minnesota before our long grind over mountain passes was a lot of fun. Grandpa Ament said, “Do you have chains?” My master said, “Chains, why would I need chains?” Grandpa just grumbles and retrieved a set of chains from his garage. “You’re not leaving here without these,” he said. Those chains came in mighty handy! A stop in Big Sandy, Montana at Uncle George’s family gave us a little more insight into our next leg of the trip. My master said, “What’s a mountain pass?” “It’s a good thing you have chains,” Uncle George said, “You’re going to need them! How right he was! Chugging up the steep, snow-packed inclines of the Rockies, my mistress had to get out, start me up and give that big Ford a boost. Even with the chains Grandpa made us take, we had trouble. That trip’s another whole story!! I groan every time I’m reminded. I was glad to pull into the garage at our new home in San Leandro, California. The rain came down in buckets to greet us.
83: My radio told of mud slides, houses breaking apart and sliding down the mountain with people left standing in what remained; and some losing their life in the slide. Boy, am I glad to be on flat ground; though the wind whistles through me with the San Francisco Bay right down the street. My master pulled my engine and tinkered for days before the ad went in the paper. A prospective buyer arrived. I cringed! To my utter delight, they walked right past me to that big, blue Ford. That was a close one!! They drover off with the Ford!! The kids chanted a verse Grandpa Ament taught them: “Buy a Ford, buy the best! Shove it a mile and walk the rest! I agree! I must’ve served them well; because soon a Beetle was parking next to me. My little Jill called it her Baby Car. Cousins came out by the dozens to visit and they’d all pile in; and we would head for San Francisco’s China town, the zoo, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Cable cars and the Japanese Tea Gardens. My master soon wearied of this and said, “Just take the car. I’ll stay home.” One Uncle said he’d never been colder than when visiting San Francisco. My mistress reminded them of what Mark Twain said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” The year round average temperature in San Francisco is 49 degrees.
84: The hills and winding streets of San Francisco were quite a challenge for me with so much weight in my spacious hold; but we always made it back home. On the way home, my master liked to drive through the slums of Oakland to show the kids how some people live; hoping they would appreciate what they had and feel compassion for kids not so blessed. Another note about San Francisco. I see my relatives painted brightly and loaded to the gills with long-haired, bearded folks. It’s 1970. “Peace, not War” they chant. We drive down the famed Haight-Ashbury streets at the height of the Hippie movement. My mistress told the kids to cover their eyes at times. I didn’t want my little jumpers to witness some of the things going on right on the sidewalks, either; along with their stands selling jewelry, home-made bread and anything else to make a dollar. Home always looks so good to all of us; and the kids sing their “Home again—Home again” song. What’s this?? A newer red version of me in the driveway? They could’ve talked to me about it; or at least hinted that I was ready for the chopping block. They still don’t know that I have feelings. The ad goes in the paper again; and this time it is me that drives away. The kids are bigger now. They don’t jump anymore; but they’re still mine. It’s been a good tour. My new owner (Hippie-type) pats me tenderly and says, “Girl, we’re going to spruce you up a bit.”
86: Thank you Mom and Dad Thank you for the example you set as people, showing us by your actions how to be good neighbors, good friends and how to be good to each other. Thank you for the adventures you created for us, showing us a bigger sense of the world and where we fit in it. Thank you for teaching us all the “little tricks” you learned in the Navy. And for showing us how to make things and fix things ourselves. Thank you for teaching us to be logical. Thank you for making growing up fun and magical. Thank you for stomping on the roof on Christmas Eve and shaking jingle bells. Thank you for making us always feel safe. Thank you for sewing clothes for us whenever we needed them, even if you had to stay up all night so they would be ready on time.
87: Thank you for always making sure we had everything we needed. Thank you for giving us a blueprint for life, a road map so that we never get lost. Thank you for never letting us find out what would happen if you really had to “pull over this car!” Thank you for teaching us how to fold shirts. Thank you for teaching us how to work hard. Thank you for teaching us about God. Thank you for teaching us that we are not entitled to anything. Thank you for teaching us to be secure with ourselves. Thank you for teaching us how to make apple pie and to sew even when we weren’t always the best students. Thank you for loving us anyway even when we were cranky teenagers. Thank you for still being there for us when we need you even though we’re all grown up and have families of our own. Thank you for loving our children (and Pheobe!) in a way that is unique only to Grandparents. Thank you for giving us these roots and thank you for giving us wings. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! Love, Dan, Rochelle, Rick and Jill