Monday, November 21, 2016

The Many Faces of Delores

As you have been told, I found a boxed filled with a cornucopia (nice seasonal word!) of pictures from several branches of the Mateske family. There were some very old ones, including three “tin type” photos. Those are old! There were a few recent ones too. But then I found this wonderful collage. I’ll call it “The Many Faces of Delores.”

This collection was interesting in a couple of ways. The frame was nothing special, and it was pretty beat up and held together by a couple of small, poorly placed nails that were too big for the job. The photos were from a variety of years and were in various stages of wear and tear. Some were carefully trimmed and placed in the frame, a couple of others not as much. They were glued on the back-board of an old calendar which had been roughly trimmed to fit into the frame. In a way, I am surprised that this little collection, put together as it was, survived this long.

But it doesn’t take much effort and imagination to see that there was meaning and purpose, and love and pride behind this project. Maybe Granny Schultz put this arrangement together; maybe it was Delores herself. Don’t know that. But what a simple and fairly complete story it tells of the early life of Delores Schultz Mateske!

Mom Mateske has been gone six years now. That’s hard to believe – at least for some of us. That’s probably because her presence is still sorely missed around here by many – and especially for those who live in the house where she grew up (286 E. Montello), and the house she made a home for three score years (60 Church).

The closet where I keep my clothes is the closet that was hers growing up (I think). I think about that occasionally. I even found a little wooden door plaque in there that I keep around as a reminder. There’s not much heat in the closet, and in the wintertime, putting on cold clothes is … well, I’ll say invigorating, to say the least. I wonder if she experienced that too. You can think of her in other places in the house and the yard as well. If you look at the background of some of the pictures you can see it as it was.

Last week I was in charge of getting supper started for the deer hunters. As I rummaged around her kitchen at 60 Church Street, I thought of her and could hear her voice in that hallowed place where she spent a lot of time and made many a meal. Really, I could hear her saying, “Whadya need, John?” which probably was a nice way of saying, “Whadya doing in my kitchen!”

Anyway, I’m happy I found this collage in that box, and I think I will leave it as it is – old frame and all. I enjoyed it. I hope you do too.

(How about some audience participation! :) Let's make this an interactive blog post this time. Here's the question: Which is  your favorite of the many pictures above? And why?) 


  1. This is wonderful and I love your own memories as you live and spend so much time in those houses that have been around forever! I can also hear her voice with asking you what you keen in the kitchen! :)
    As for my favorite pircture-it's hard to choose just one! I love them all because they are new to our eyes and grandma's life. But I think ultimately my favorite is her with the ducks, mainly because we all just have so many memories and experiences with wildlife as we grew up and spent so much time in those areas. I like that it's been that way since even grandma was so little!

  2. I hear the same voice when I rummage around in the 60 Church Street kitchen: "What are you looking for?" Hahaha.... But, I learned some good things about cooking (including how every meal prep begins with a beer) in that kitchen.

    Invigorating clothes. Haha... way to be positive!

    I agree with Katie that it's hard to pick a favorite! I LOVE the bottom left. I also love the one with Granny and Grandpa. It's fun seeing the house and yard in the background. And her baby doll is terrifying. I can't wait to see these pictures in person so I can see more detail!

    I love all your stories and posts, but this one feels a little more special. I wish Grandma had shown us all these pictures and told the stories behind them.

    1. Amy, if you mean the confirmation picture, those are her sponsors - Aunt Martha (Granny's sister) and Uncle Adolph (Grampa's brother)

  3. I forgot to say how much I see my sister Sarah in these pictures. I've noticed that before with pictures of Grandma.

  4. Johannah just made that comment about Sarah looking like Grandma, when she saw their wedding picture on my wall yesterday. I hadn't really noticed that before, but can definitely see it!

  5. And actually, Mom's room was the one we use.

    1. Hmmm. I thought it was the other way around. Oh, well, what I said still works, I guess, but stand corrected.