Sipple Stories

Pictures & stories of my Grandparents Joy & Adda Rockwell Sipple, their family and their ancestors.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Through the Years...

Several of the Grandchildren (Joy and Adda's Great-Grandchildren) wanted to see photos of their Grandparent when they were little.

I have only one photo with all five siblings (Charles, Opal, Joy Jr, Juleen and Rex) in it when they were younger. Sadly poor exposure has created a glare across who we think might be Joy Jr. The tall girl is unidentified.

Rex and Juleen bottom left...
Opal above them...
Charles on the right

I do have several photos with two or even three of the children in them.
I will post them here, now.
More will be posted later in the individual stories of each one.

(remember... clicking on any photo will make it larger)

Charles, Opal and Joy Jr

Juleen, Joy Jr and Opal

Rex, Joy Jr and Juleen

Opal and Juleen

Rex, Opal and Juleen
(Opal is holding cousin Doris with cousin Eileen in the back in the bonnet)

Charles on the left and the neighbor boy who's last name was Buck
with Rex in front

Joy Jr and Charles

Then next three photos were taken in front of Juleen's house on Pleasant View Dr in Grand Island in September of 1980.

Rex and Charles in the back...
Opal, Juleen and Joy Jr in front...

Charles, Opal, Joy Jr, Juleen and Rex
(standing in the order of their birth)

Rex, Charles, Juleen, Opal and Joy Jr
(Not too clear... a copy of a copy... I'll try to find the original)

This was taken in Oct of 1985 at Opal's house in Kearney, NE.

Joy Jr, Charles and Rex standing...
Opal and Juleen sitting...

And the last photo taken in June 2005 (20 & 25 years after the above pictures)...

Opal, Charles and Juleen
They do not look any older here than in the above photos...
You would never know they are 92, 93 & 86.

We should be so lucky!!

A German word roughly meaning the love of travel or desire to travel...

I love to travel... love to be "gone" from home, work, responsibilities... Happiness might be traveling 24-7-365 around the country, the world, no real schedule or route planned, stopping when something looked interesting.

Where did I get this?? Definitely NOT from my Mother... My Mother loves nothing more than sitting in her little house, reading a book or working a puzzle... she gets "homesick" sitting in her own living room around dusk... she has been known to start out on a vacation only to return home in 2 or 3 days instead of the planned week or so.

I guess I got my wanderlust from my Grandmother Adda Rockwell Sipple. I'm told she always wanted to be a gypsy or to join the circus... she thought it would be exciting... because they got to travel, I would think. Imagine having that desire yet growing up in the early 1900s when travel was hard, there were few good roads and few cars and not much money for luxuries like traveling out of necessity let alone for pleasure. However... while my Grandmother didn't join either a band of gypsies or the circus, she did manage to marry a man who worked for the Union Pacific Railroad and had a pass on which his family could travel any time, any where they wanted... and she did.

We have these pictures of Adda... which I love...

I like to think this is Adda in her "gypsy" outfit... but Mother thinks she was maybe in some play and this was the costume she wore for it. I guess we'll never know. Maybe she was pretending she was the gypsy she always dreamed of being.

The next two photos and the last one were taken in the years before many women wore pants; Adda has on pants. I love that!

The first was taken on a trip to visit her brother Jesse Rockwell in Colorado. Is she really shooting or just posing?

On the same trip to Colorado, Adda & Joy walking hand in hand...

In this photo Adda is shown with Charles & Opal at the beach of Lake Michigan on a visit to Joy's sister Ethel who lived in Chicago.

This photo shows Adda & Opal wading in the Pacific Ocean surf... They went to California after Opal graduated to visit one of Adda's brothers. Opal says they had an hour to kill when they changed trains in Salt Lake City so they decided to go down town to see the Cathedral. They barely made it back, the train was pulling out as they got there and they had to run and jump aboard or miss it.

In the last photo Adda is again on the beach by the Pacific Ocean. This was on a later trip to California to visit Joy & Juleen who were living in the Long Beach area in the 1940s.

My nephew, Phil Haussler, wrote a little story about the time Adda visited Mother and Daddy right after they had gotten married in October of 1941. Adda came out to Long Beach, where they were living, to visit for Christmas. Joy Jr. and Margaret and their baby, Susan, came down to stay with them also. They only had a small, one bedroom duplex but did have a hide-a-bed in the living room which Margaret, Jr. and Susan slept on. Adda joined Mother and Daddy in their full size bed, Mother sleeping in the middle.

Mother drew a long hot bath... by Phil Haussler
Aunt Jodi posted an outstanding biography of my grandfather, Barney Reher. I'll add one of my favorite memories of grandpa Barney:

When I was in college -- probably the summer of 1998 -- I started a small-time one-man contract painting business, following in grandpa's footsteps. That summer, my uncle Dan had replaced some windows in Grammy and Grandpa's sun room. Since his health didn't allow him to sand and paint the unfinished trim, they called me in for the work. He sat at the kitchen table and watched me work for several days. It must have just driven him crazy as my work was something far less than professional. But he bit his tongue and only offered advice a few times over several days.

At lunch, I took a break for some Grammy-sandwiches and somehow we got to talking about their early marriage. Grammy was telling me that shortly after getting married they moved to California with almost nothing to their name. Soon after arriving Grammy’s mother decided to visit. And because they only had one double bed in their small apartment, all three of them had to sleep together. We all laughed at the thought. And then Grandpa said in his typical booming voice (without a doubt the loudest voice you've ever heard):

'...but in the middle of the night “Mother” got up and drew a long hot bath so we could have sex.'

I miss him very much.
I hope Grammy will forgive me if I messed up the story or embarrassed her...

A fun story for sure… but I doubt that it is completely true. I’ve heard Mother tell the story before, but there was never the part about the long hot bath or sex in it. But, then that would be Mother… leaving out the sex.

Wading in the ocean is also a very favorite pastime of mine...
no matter how cold, I have to wade for a little bit.

I love that I inherited my wanderlust from
my Grandmother Adda Rockwell Sipple.