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Family Stories

The Uncle Buddy I Hardly Knew
Buddy BronzePin 200"The first thing I'm going to do when I get to heaven is to look up those German boys I killed during the war and tell them how sorry I am." That's one of the last things my Uncle Buddy said before he passed away in 1990. He was a genuine war hero and I hardly knew it. Discover what I learned.

It Ain't All Onions & Radishes

OnionsRadishes 550Who would ever think a story about consuming vegetables that give you bad breath and gas would provide one of the best pieces of marriage advice I ever received? However, that's exactly what happened 12 years ago.

Catholics Planned Siege Of Protestants in Clay County?
BlackWagon 250You may never heard of the plan of the Union County Catholics to siege the Clay County Protestants, but in 1892 many of the Scandinavians were sure more than rosary beads were coming over the hill. One of many stories preserved by my great-grandfather (August Peterson) about the Swedes who settled in Clay County, South Dakota

Stanley Christensen: Mr. Milquetoast or Captain America?
OmahaBeach 127My dad would refer to him as "Mr. Milquetoast". In other words, "a timid, unassertive person who is easily dominated or intimidated". We all knew Stanley Christensen, a mechanic for the John Deere dealership, as a very quite and kind man. You know the type someone who "wouldn't hurt a flea". Well, apparently there weren't any fleas on Omaha Beach at about 6:10 am on June 6, 1944 when Stanley's foot hit the sand, just German soldiers armed to the teeth with machine guns and artillery.

Storytelling: I'm Glad We Took The Time
USSLaw 700It's been nearly a year since I received a call from my friend Jim. He said he didn't have much time and wanted to know if he could see me soon. Jim was an amazing individual, a dear friend and long-time mentor. He was a man of many contrasts: a great leader who was a true gentleman; sometimes a blunt critic with a cutting sarcasm; an intellectual with unquenchable curiosity for the perspective of genius; a competitor in all he did. A couple of days after his call we got together and Jim shared with me (on video) many of his life stories. Little did I realize that he would be dead in only eight days.

Gramps 148Nearly forty years ago, I took a few pictures of the house in which my grandfather was born and raised as well as of the barn that he built with his own hands. Shortly thereafter, my friend, Alan, insisted that I get Gramp's stories on tape. Again, it sounded like a lot of work and time. However, Alan was not going to be satisfied until I recorded Gramp's story. If Gramps were still alive today, he'd be 128 years old.