The Schoenbergers of Wyandot County
I’ve lived most of my life here in Stark County, Ohio, but the western half of the state has always been special to me. Some of my earliest memories are set on the Wyandot County farm where my mom and Uncle Rob were raised, and we visited Upper Sandusky regularly pretty much my whole life, since that’s where most of my extended family lived.
Our brief trip over there this weekend put me in the mood to scan some photos from the family trunk and try to capture just a little of the feeling that corner of Ohio sparks in my memory. Even though these pictures come from well before my time, there are threads that connect them with similar snapshots from my own childhood. (Click on any of the photos to see bigger versions.)
That’s my mom sitting on a blanket in what I’m fairly sure is the yard next to the farmhouse where she grew up. I remember similarly sunny days, and the cornfields and the long driveway.
This, I believe, is my Uncle Rob who got me a boxed set of Lord of the Rings paperbacks when I was in first grade, introduced me to Isaac Asimov, and bought me Ralph McQuarrie’s Empire Strikes Back portfolio for Christmas after my mom had said “No.”
And seriously – how great is this picture? A kid in his cap and overalls with his dog and his Tonka truck and a whole world spread out behind him for the exploring.
Not only can I feel the sun in this one, but I can imagine the cool, still shade of the barn back there, smelling of tractor oil and hay.
Finally, there’s this shot of my grandpa, Reuben Schoenberger, in the yard with my mom. I’ve spent some time over the past year talking with mom about our family history and learning more about her dad. He died when I was in high school, but this smile is very familiar to me. I also love that this picture is taken during what looks like maybe late fall, with the bare tree and the harvested field in the background.