Friday, September 30, 2011

"I sure hope I was good to you"

 Lou became the principal of Parkview School in Pueblo in 1960.  On the first day that he met with the teachers, he talked with Dorothy Ritchey who had been his 3rd grade teacher in 1931-32.  As they chatted, Mrs. Ritchey said to him as her new boss, "I sure hope I was good to you!"

Lou wrote about her:  "She was one of my most remembered teachers and still one of the best liked teachers on the staff, so all went well.  After she retired, we continued to exchange Christmas cards until I received a card from her husband informing me that she had passed away."

And do you realize that those little third graders pictured 
above are now close to 50 years old!

Getting my bearings

Could you think in the middle of this mess?
 I've got a lot of names, dates, places and events rattling around in my head and all over my desk.  While I regroup and figure out the next direction I want to follow, I'll be posting some random pictures, stories, and memories.  Don't be looking for continuity or predictability over the next few weeks, or you'll be sorely disappointed.  Just enjoy these snippets of history and glimpses into the Butler family history, because sometimes memories just can't be categorized!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Now, how are we related?

I'm My Own Grandpa
by Dwight Latham and Moe Jaffe

Many, many years ago when I was twenty-three,
I got married to a widow who was pretty as could be.
This widow had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red.
My father fell in love with her, and soon the two were wed.

This made my dad my son-in-law and changed my very life.
My daughter was my mother, for she was my father's wife.
To complicate the matters worse, although it brought me joy,
I soon became the father of a bouncing baby boy.

My little baby then became a brother-in-law to Dad.
And so became my uncle, though it made me very sad.
For if he was my uncle, then that also made him brother
to the widow's grown-up daughter who, of course, was my stepmother.

Father's wife then had  son who kept them on the run.
And he became my grandson, for he was my daughter's son.
My wife is now my mother's mother and it makes me blue.
Because, although she is my wife, she is my grandma too.

If my wife is my grandmother, then I am her grandchild.
And every time I think of it it simply drives me wild.
For now I have become the strangest case you ever saw.
As the husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Scout Master's Heaven

Chuck with his Boy Scouts - circa 1970's

Scout Master's Heaven
by Charles Lee Butler
St. Peter stood there at the Pearly Gate
Determining each of the applicant's fate.
When up the path came a quiet man
With a thoughtful look and a suit of tan.

"Come in, come in," St. Peter cried,
"Nothing to you will be denied.
"Your life below we've watched with joy
"As you spent your time with each new boy."

"We've watched you work with real delight
"As you camped beneath our stars at night.
"So here's your harp; it's our golden best,
"And there's your cloud, so take your rest."

Now the Scout Master stood with a doubtful grin.
"I guess I'm not sure I want to come in.
"The cloud and the harp are pretty to see,
"But to ride and to play isn't heaven to me."

"Just give me the boy that was hit by a car,
"And the one who went out in the lake too far,
"The boy that was felled by an illness grave,
"And the one that was lost in the lonely cave."

"Give me the boys who were called back here
"Before they saw their first wild deer,
"Before they hiked on a mountain trail,
"Or found the nest of a hawk or quail."

"A harp and a cloud may be fine for some,
"A welcome rest for a job well done.
"But give me some boys who are just eleven,
"And for me, this will be a Scout Master's Heaven!"

Chuck's life was taken suddenly when he was killed in a car accident 
on his way home from work on August 25, 1977.
This poem that he had written sometime earlier 
was read at his funeral.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Scoutmaster Chuck

Charles Lee Butler - serious Scouter
The Boy Scout program was one of Chuck's great loves.  Together with Lou, he was involved with his sons and nephews and helped each one of those boys achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.  

In 1964 he served as Scoutmaster of Jamboree Troop 52 and attended the Boy Scout National  Jamboree in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania where there were more than 50,000 Boy Scouts and leaders in attendance.   He took his sons, Steve and Gary, and nephew, Don, and had a great adventure.  

 He began whittling while attending Boy Scout camp as a leader, and through the years taught countless young boys how to carve.

Pueblo Star-Journal  April 27, 1967

He was the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 12 in the Pueblo, Colorado Ward for 10-12 years.

Scoutmaster Chuck with his Koshare carving

In 1970 he was awarded the Silver Beaver, the highest honor that a local council can present.

What a great legacy of service.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Spare-time Sculptor

In 1959 Chuck took a group of Boy Scouts to summer camp and sat in on a merit badge class on wood carving.  He started "whittling" then and enjoyed carving as a life long hobby.  His artistic ability really shows in the details of his carvings.

Article from Pueblo Star-Journal
June 3, 1965

Koshare - Indian Dancer

Collection of animals
Boy Scout
Mary and Joseph
Mary, the mother of Jesus

And my personal favorite is the letter "B" Uncle Chuck carved for the back of the rocking chair Don gave me for a wedding gift.

Rocking chair "B"

Wedding gift chair - 1973

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

[Don't] Keep your comments to yourself!

Cute cousins - 1968
Cindy Butler (Delbert) - Beth Butler (Charles)

After journaling my comings and goings and plans to return to blogging in this post of August 7, I got a comment that has thrilled me beyond words.  Some of you may have read the comment - if you're nosy like me, you often click to a comment to see what others are saying even if you don't want to add your own remark.  But just in case you didn't click through, here is what has me so excited:

"I felt compelled to comment when you said nobody else may be reading. I am Delbert Butler's oldest grandson; I have a brother, sister, and one female cousin on the Butler side. I found your blog while Googling my grandfather's name in an attempt to find out more about him. What a gold-mine of history and photos you have shared! I deeply appreciate it. I had never seen my grandparents' wedding picture, nor many of the photos of my grandfather in his youth, and of his parents and brothers. I was able to flesh out my tree using the family pedigrees you made available, and I uploaded a few of your photos to my tree (which I hope you don't mind.)  

"I saw my grandfather only once in the last 3-5 years of his life, when I was a young teenager. I saw him a bit more in the late 80s and met Great-Grandma Mable one time at his house. Since we did not maintain contact with the Butler family, being able to learn about them through this blog has been a real gift." 

Can you believe that?  Because of this comment, I was able to make contact with a branch of the family tree that we had lost track of.  We have corresponded several times, and I recently sent a number of Delbert's family pictures to Andy who is now sharing them his mom and her sisters - Delbert's daughters.  I feel like those pictures have finally made it home!

Isn't the internet wonderful?  I find it amazing that just a simple search for a name has created a new family connection and added leaves on the family tree.  

So, stand up and be counted!  If you're reading, feel free to add your thoughts.  What do you remember about any of the people or events that I've recorded here?  This history belongs to all of us, and I hope you'll add to it.

Thanks for speaking up, Andy!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chuck's marriage and family

The sister of his classmate, Leona Carpenter (who was also his big brother's girlfriend), Charlotte Carpenter caught Chuck Butler's attention sometime in the early 1940's.

Charlotte "Pinkie" Carpenter - early 1940's

They went together through his high school years, and during the time he served in the Navy.

They both look a little young and shy about this "going together"!

A little older and more confident
(note the classic car they are leaning against)

I wish I knew what they were saying!
September, 1944 - in California during Chuck's leave
They obviously got it worked out!

A picture for her sailor - 1945

High School graduation - May 1946

After his discharge they were married in Pueblo, Colorado.
Wedding Day
30 August 1946

And became the parents of three children - shown in their senior pictures!
Charles Steven - born 1948
Gary Lee - born 1951
Beth Lorene - born 1965

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Naval Service

Chuck graduated from high school in 1943 and like his brother, Lou, he went right into the military serving in the Navy as a Radioman from November 1943 - May, 1946.

Chuck Butler (left) "on watch"
March, 1946

A handsome young man in his Navy uniform

Also like Lou, Chuck left behind a girlfriend - who was also Leona's sister!

She told him goodbye.
Lorene Carpenter (Charlotte's mother) - Chuck Butler - Charlotte Carpenter

She sent him lots of letters and pictures.
Charlotte Carpenter - about 1944

She was glad to see him when she got a chance.
On leave in California - Fall, 1944

And he was a typical American serviceman.  
(I think this picture looks like it belongs on the cover of Life magazine as a quintessential image of World War II)
undated, but probably early 1944

from the "kid bro", Chuck

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Charles Lee Butler

If you've been reading here for long, you know that Lou was the oldest of four sons of Jess and Mable Butler.  Charles was the second son and was born 1 September 1925 in Pueblo, Colorado.  

As with the other brothers, I don't have much written about Chuck, so these pictures will have to tell the story.

1928 - 3 years old
Don't you love the socks?

School pictures are serious business


Chuck Shelhammer - Chuck Butler
unknown - Delbert Butler
Tommy Shelhammer
early 1940's

Mother and son
early 1940's

In the yard at the family home
1806 E 5th Street, Pueblo

High School  - maybe his senior picture

August 25 marked the 34th anniversary of Chuck's death, 
but today is the 86th anniversary of his birth, and that's a much happier day to celebrate!