I often talk about the thoughts, or dreams of having a pause button for moments in time. One that when looking back at great memories and times, I would have pushed that button, just to enjoy that small moment just a little longer.
Thinking back to memories while looking through old family photos with my Mother, it also spurs a child-like wish for a time travel button also. One that would give me the ability to go back in time, to meet ones that had passed before I was born. Just to have a few minutes to meet the ones behind the faded black and white photos.
One for sure would be to meet my Great Grandad “Henry M. Freyer”. Looking through just a few brief moments in time, captured by the then, blurry technology, etched into my mind. Even though I never had any time spent with him, I still place memories in my bank of what I imagine he was like, and the times he lived in. Carved into my thoughts by the treasured time captured images. Just small simple moments printed out in black and white give such an amazing window into family, where we came from, and who we are.
Great Grandad was born in 1884. Married Great Grandma “Emma Jane Johnson”, she was born in 1894. I would love a window in time to see them as they grew, and what brought them together. But I am thankful for the small pieces of time that I can look into.
Great Grandad was known all over for his oxen over the years, two different teams over the years named “Dick and Dime”. This team was used for all the work on the farm, as well as making appearances in parades, from Clearfield, State College, and even New York in 1954 when he took the oxen down “New York’s Fifth Avenue in the rain”, as he had the only oxen in Clearfield County, and two of the only ones in Pennsylvania.
Stories of Grandad using Dick and Dime while working on the farm. From pulling logs, plows, and tending to the Maple Sugar Shack. And as mentioned in the progress article, during the severe winter of 1944-45, the snow was too deep for horses or tractors. But the Grandad led team of Oxen could get through delivering fuel and food to the snowbound Kerrmoor families. In a 1947 clipping, it ends by saying “It has been pointed out that the oxen hauling a load of Christmas trees on the seal pictorially depicts the importance of cooperation”
A photograph was taken of Grandad and his team of oxen, joined together by his hand carved “Yoke”. Articles state this photograph was sent all over to Pennsylvania newspapers as being the official state photo. It was also given to the PA Governor “James H. Duff” and other state notables. In 1947 Grandad and his oxen “Dick and Dime” were selected to be the image for that year’s “Christmas Seal”.
I found a few pages of Grandad’s seals a few years ago on ebay and purchased a few pages for my family.
I now also have copies of the original pictures that were referenced in the news articles of Grandad’s Awesome Oxen story. A story of events leading him, Dick, and Dime to be chosen to represent cooperation, gentleness, and small town values throughout Pennsylvania, and across the world in this small “Christmas Seal”.
Such a small moment in time, printed off on a tiny glue backed piece of paper, yet a cosmic stamp of time. I am so thankful for handed down pictures, and historical found news articles of these events and the ones that created, and lived them.
I hope you all enjoy this small glimpse back in time.