Montana in terms of North Dakota

Back in the 1920s my grandparents, Erick and Caroline Oman, took their four kids on the family’s one and only trip west from their home in Napoleon, North Dakota, which is about as far out in the prairrie as you can get. When the Rockies came in sight, Grandpa turned to Grandma and said, “See, Mama: It’s just like home, only different and more of it.”

That’s the only quote I know that survives from a grandfather who was gone before I was born. Right now I’m in Baltimore with my grandkids, telling old family stories. Fun stuff.

3 comments

  1. Jan Searls’s avatar

    I wish we had known him. I was amazed to find a huge box of the cards they got when he died in 1942. Mom spent a day looking at them and she remembered most of the people. So many wrote of their memories, including two young women from Napoleon who became nurses because he put them through college, right after his four kids finished. And he was just a traveling Rawleigh salesman who was often paid in produce. Still can’t figure out how he did it all.

    If I remember Mom correctly, that trip was in 1925 or 26 and only 3 kids went. Arlie did all the driving (he was 16?) and they drove from Napoleon ND to Seattle in a Model T (touring sedan, I think) that Grandpa fitted out for camping. Most of the roads weren’t paved and I suspect the only time they went over 45mph was downhill!

    Thanks for remembering that phrase – Mom would mimic his Swedish accent when she told the story.

  2. David Terrenoire’s avatar

    Hey Dave,

    I responded to your post over at A Dark Planet, but wanted to make sure you saw my response. Yes, I am the same guy who wrote for the Guide and the Sun and the Spectator and any other pub that would put my words in ink.

    I was always a big fan of yours and by hiring DeWitt Long, by proxy, you taught me how to write good ads. It’s been a good career, but if I had it to do over agian, I’d choose the guy who picks up road kill.

    The stink is bad, but in the other career path, at least you get fresh meat.

  3. David Terrenoire’s avatar

    Oh, wait.

    “Only different, but more of it.”

    I could easily tattoo that to my epidrmal expanse.

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