15 December 2008

Gertrude Christiansen Hamstreet - 2 October 2005

My Mother and Dad were born in what they called "the old country", Sweden and Denmark. Swedish was spoken in my early childhood. i do not know what language my sister, brother, and I spoke. My Dad died when i was eight years old. My English was learned in school. My Mom took English and history classes so that she could become a citizen. i was 12 years old at the time.

My Mother had come from a family of tailors. The whole family sewed men's suits. My Mom was an expert seamstress and did this for a living after my Dad passed away. With my Mom's expertise I learned several kinds of sewing at an early age.

My Dad was a musician. He brought his violin and flute with him when he came to this country. Our family attended Lodge functions where they always had a band of some sort. My Dad loved to dance but my Mom was not a dancer. So I knew that I wanted to dance someday.

At an early age I became interested in drawing and painting. So during my grade school, high school and university days I became more interested.

I also became fascinated with history and tried to learn as much as I could about ancient and more modern history. Consequently, history became my major in college.

Getting back to my early teens. My sister and I had the same desire to learn dancing. Several of the neighborhood girls would get together with us and we danced together. it was not a specific type of dance. We just danced. When I was 15 1/2 my sister and her friends were going to attend a neighborhood dance and I wanted to go too. My Mother must have said it was okay. So off we went. A very good looking young man danced several dances with me, and apparently it was okay. He turned out to be the love of my life.

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