Fon du lac follies


It may just be my memory but winter always takes a couple of our elders. My mother-in-law, Geraldine Dow, died recently. She lived a long life full of helping other people. She just helped people because it was the way she was raised. Some she helped by listening and no one ever walked away from her table empty. She fed any and all that came to visit.

I have a couple of fond memories I will share about this remarkable woman. I remember hearing the story about when she was a little girl playing with her cousins; the Pipestone bus came and she got on with them, she was four years old. Her parents found her at the boarding school.

In the early 40s, while her husband Howard was driving tanks for General Patton, Gerry took a job as Rosie the Riveter in Seattle working in a shipyard. She contributed to the war effort.

Howard and Gerry raised their family at the Lower Sioux Community. They later moved to St. Paul so he could find work. Visiting Indians could always find a meal or a place to sleep at their home.

When I was courting their oldest daughter Patty, I paid the bride price by giving Gerry two and a half horses. She smiled and said, “I was thinking of getting a lawnmower and now I have one”. When I left her house my belly was full. We shall long remember this exceptional woman.