Mom dated this picture as 1969, but Grandpa died in 1972. He looks too healthy in this picture for that late of date. I'd put this picture as 1959.: Dr. Ed Asbury and Grandpa Joe sitting in front of the mural tapestry that his wife Adele Elizabeth Laumann painted in the early 1900's
(notice the mysterious ball of light in the upper right?)
One Hundred and One Uses of My Grandpa's Cane
My Grandpa, Joe Klein was a formidable man. He stood well over six feet tall as a strapping, young man. However, by the time I knew him, he was an old man. Or, at least he seemed to be old. Back then...70 was old! As he got older his shoulders and back were hunched over from years of hard work.
Joseph George Klein was born in Alton Illinois in the late 1800s. He had a hard life and worked hard to make a beautiful home for his new bride, Adele Elizabeth Laumann, whom he married in 1904. In 1910, he found good work as the bookkeeper for the Black Beauty mine. It was located at the bottom of hill on a road that lead into a new community that was started by the Fair brothers. They were going to call it "Fairview." Joe immediately bought several acres so he could build his home. They had to be self sufficient, since there was nothing there. So, they raised their own cattle and cows, had a hen house, and a good sized garden. They canned, and milked and butchered and even made their own soap. Soon they had three children - Roland, Lester and Vera.
Both Grandpa and Grandma had long, tiring days but they always seemed to time for music. Everyone played an instrument. And, if relatives came for a visit, they were treated to a Klein concert. Sometimes, Joe would ask his fellow workers at the mine to come to the house on a Friday night for an impromptu square dance. They rolled up the rug in the living room and Joe played his harmonica and called the squares.
So, there was a lot of love and laughter that went with that hard labor. But by the time I came along in the 1940's, my grandma had died and grandpa was beginning to look old. He had a bald head with a white corn fringe that encircled his shiny tete. He usually wore wire-rimmed classes that fell onto his rather fleshy nose. By then, he had put some extra weight and weighed well over 300 pounds. He always to seem to wear the same shiny, gray suit with a matching gray vest. He had a gold watch fob that he periodically checked during the day to check the time. Because even though my grandpa was slowing down, he was still on the go. And, wherever he went he took his cane. Grandpa's cane was made from dark wood - maybe walnut. It was rather large, because grandpa was still rather tall. It was that cane that I identify the most as being a symbol of my grandfather. He always had it with him.