Thursday, March 17, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday: Great Grandpa Louie's Candy Dish

I'm lucky that I got to know my maternal Great Grandpa Louie -- at least for a few years. Lars Hansen Madsen was my mom's maternal grandfather. As I've already written about him, he was born on September 24, 1893, on a farm called Bakkegaard in Risemark, Ærø, Denmark, and in 1908 he immigrated as a 14-year-old boy to Livermore, California. There, he met and married Johanna Bruhns and they raised three kids: my grandma, Donna Madsen, as well as their other daughter, my Aunt Rae, and their son, my Uncle Lloyd.

Since I was such a youngster while Grandpa Louie was still around, I don't have a lot of memories of him. I do remember delighting in his heavy Danish accent and that he was always very kind to us kids. And I think he delighted in having us around. Another thing I always remembered was that he had the prettiest little lidded porcelain candy dish, with two gorgeous and delicate gardenias on top, and that's where he kept his stash of butter mints. My sister, Cindy, and I inherited a powerful sweet tooth (perhaps from Grandpa Louie?), and we'd spend at lot of time with that candy dish whenever we visited him, admiring both its fragile beauty and the deliciousness it held inside.
Grandpa Louie passed away on May 8, 1971. I was only six years old, but I old enough to be sad to lose him. Mom inherited the candy dish and, growing up, it was always on display in the house and often filled with mints. Every now and then, Mom likes to gift Cindy and me with something that was special to her and to our family. A few years ago, I lucked out and got the candy dish. WooHOO! I kept butter mints in it for awhile, but never for very long because, well, I can't resist butter mints. Now, Grandpa Louie's beautiful little porcelain candy dish is the PERFECT place to store my small collection of double-pointed knitting needles. I'm sure he wouldn't mind. =)

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had known more of my great-grandparents. I knew one of them, my great-grandma Ann (my dad's maternal grandmother). She passed when I was around 10 or 11. I think I inherited some of my musical abilities from her. Both her and my grandma could pick up almost any song just by hearing it and then play it on the piano/organ (or, in my grandma's case, accordion).

    Of the few things I've inherited from my great-grandparents, I have Johnston family quilts (at last count, I had 3...but I think I may have 4 or 5), old family recipes (that I have yet to decipher - and I mean old...c. 1910 and older), and tons of photos.

    Someday I'm going to have to sit down and start getting into the family history a bit more. I know a lot more than I think I do...but I want it written down somewhere.