Today I visited my ancestral home, Minneapolis, Kansas, population 2,032. Home to George Washington Carver, Miss Kansas 2007 and Rock City, Minneapolis is also where my dad was raised. My dad is alive and well at age 93.
Every single commercial building on the main street was closed. It was Sunday after all.
We met a man in downtown Minneapolis who is about my age. He was sitting on a bench in front of me on the street business frontage. He had a white beard and mustache and a red and white polkadotted railroad type of cap.
He was “the most dependable person on earth” he exclaimed. He said he “has been the most dependable person to 10 different employers in Minneapolis over the last 11 years.” His problem with the community was that they were to clannish.
He had followed a woman from northern Illinois to Minneapolis 11 years ago only to have her Marry local local man just three months ago. He couldn’t wait to get out of Minneapolis Kansas.
Should we change our plans for our return route? Should we come back through Kansas and give him a ride to freedom in northern Illinois?
From downtown I directed Nina towards the Minneapolis high school. It was near this school that I believed that my dad had lived as a child. In fact, the house I was looking for was bordered by trees that my dad had planted nearly 80 years ago. I found the house on my first attempt.
The lawn at Highland Cemetery hasn’t been mowed this spring yet and there was a purple carpet and flowers throughout the grass of the cemetery that was very soothing.
I have been to my grandparents graves at least 10 times in the past 30 years. I was confident I knew exactly where they were at Highland cemetery. I was wrong. I had to break down and use the cemetery directory to find the right Section. Off we went in search of my grandparents in Section 6. Grandma and granddad are buried together next to their daughter Phyllis Boss Patton. We then visited the graves of my Uncle Larry and Aunt Beverly in Section 23. We also spent time with Beverly‘s family, the Harrises.
We drove out to rock city so that I could show Nina this unusual geographical site. She had been there once before but it’s been a while and she really didn’t remember it. So it was nice to take her back and experience it with her.
We went by granddad’s house on Mill Street. I don’t think that’s the street. I have been buying this house many times over the last 30 or more years since granddad has been gone. Every time that I stop in front of this house I take another picture. Someday I will combine all of these pictures to show the progress of the house.
I always get a very good feeling when I stand in front of this house. I remember my grandma Boss her softness, her kindness, her humility,.And, I remember her chicken and noodles!
Granddad was a small statured man with a curved back and a very likable demeanor. He was very shy I think.
If you are ever near your Ancestral homeland do yourself a favor and stop by to pay your respects.