I was recently reminded of when my grandpa Richter passed away.  I wasn’t very old, without looking it up, I’d say maybe 2nd grade or so.  I do remember other things from when we would visit him, but the day we lost him is not one.  I have heard stories though and from memory I wanted to put them in writing.  I’m hoping everyone will correct me so that I can get the ‘story right’ in all my family history files.

My grandfather had a live in housekeeper that was taking care of him at the time and grandpa Richter had been outside. As he entered the house through the back porch door he had fallen half in the house, half out.  When the housekeeper found him she called my father (We had moved to the old Abraham Illk house that was 1/2 mile down the road) and my dad came with all of us and checked my grandfather.  From what I remember my grandfather had died of a stroke or a heart attack.  Now with my father having so many issues with strokes, Aunt Margaret and Uncle Frank had aneurysms I think, and even Buddy had a heart attack – I’m wondering if there is more family history I haven’t documented.

The main things I still remember about my grandpa were him giving me the crust from his pot pies – he would sit at the table in the kitchen and give me the crust.  I also remember him keeping Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies in the Living Room and giving me one when I would visit.  Both these and Concord grapes (there was a grape vine in the front yard) remind me still of going to grandpa Richters and exploring.

I also have a memory of the family party where my father spanked me before the party and said he knew I was going to do something to deserve it later so he figured he’d get it out of the way ahead of time…  We had just pulled in and parked in the driveway.

Grandpa also had a pond that Aunt Linda now lives at.  There was a place to cook out and an outhouse and lots of places to explore.  My memories of family parties there are missing from before grandpa passed away, but I’m sure they happened.  I do remember though the parties at Aunt Tooties.  We would make a slide out of her stairs with couch cushions and ride down the stairs and then go outside to play with turtle heads the cousins had caught.  Snapping Turtles keep biting long after the heads are detached and for kids playing in the country the heads plus a stick could keep us amused for quite a while.

The outhouse is all gone now, and all the family parties have moved locations several times since then.  I can’t even picture my kids playing with a snapping turtle head or running around the woods unsupervised. My kids have had their moments of going up and helping grandma clear woods and feeding chickens, but it’s not a normal occurrence.  Their outdoor time is more riding bikes and taking walks around the blocks.

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