• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Who is the oldest relative you remember as a child?
What do you remember about them?


Henry Magnus and 
Mary Hudson Hopkinson Bohne
likely taken in 1942 when married at ages 74 and 79


I remember going to visit Granny Bohne almost every Sunday when I was a child. I don't really have a memory of Great Grandpa Henry Bohne but have often heard others talk about 'Old One Eye'.  My father lived on the South Hill in Cardston Alberta and says that the boys would bother Henry Bohne a little when he would walk past.  He walked to town, from Aetna (approximately 5 or 6 miles) every day to attend the temple.  Dad says he never really thought about it until after he married mom and realized that he was her grandfather.

After Henry died Mary lived in their home with a woman from Mountain View as a care giver for a short time before moving into the Chinook Rest Home.  I remember her coming to stay at our home many times for a week at a time whenever she was really wanting out of there.  She would come out to the farm until she was ready to go back.

When we moved to the Church Ranch in Mountain View (I was in grade 5/6) she went with us.  All her clothes and things were moved in the station wagon. It rained terribly and everything in the big grain truck got very wet. My mother was very relieved that she was able to set up Granny's bedroom and all her things were not damaged in any way. We had no power or water for a few days - the river was close by though.  I can remember little tiny black 'SenSen' throat lozenge we thought of as candies, about the size of a glass pin head and the shape of a pillow.  Mom would have a fit when Granny Bohne would give them to us because they were like medicine - heavily and often discussed.

100 YEARS OLD (about)

When we would visit the Chinook we would go sit outside on the front step and sneak a few flowers from the  huge bleeding hearts there. They dangled so temptingly that they were irresistible to pick. I have always loved this flower.
Granny was flown back east to visit her 2 daughters - both too old and ill to be flown west to see her for the celebration!  It was very cool to be related but it didn't cut any special privileges - I had to stand forever in a line like all the rest of the town and I couldn't be bothered when I would be going to see her anyway on Sunday.  Nevertheless we had to do the formal meet and greet.  Mom and/or Dad  stood in line while we ran around making havoc while one or the other tried to keep us out of trouble.  I can't imagine.

I look at this picture of a centurion and remember how Granny Bohne always looked just so with her hair colored and her high heels on. She was not related to me by blood but I can't help think about how long I might live.  This picture was taken about January 1964 so she would be just past her 100th birthday.  She was born in 1863 on 27 December and died in the spring of 1969.  I was 15 but don't really remember her passing as she did not visit the farm much after she fell and broke her hip (a couple of years before she died). 

In 1967 for the 100th anniversary of Confederation every child was given a coin and at school at a specified time every child across Canada was in an assembly and we all sang a song we had been taught.  The town of Cardston had a couple of ladies that were over 100 and they honored them with a huge reception in the Cardston Social Centre.