This weekend’s trip back home was one that brought about some interesting surprises. It first started with heading towards Wahpeton, North Dakota and the notion that we were going to be cleaning out my grandma’s house in order to get it to the necessities she needs in her new apartment. At first it seemed like any other move that I have helped with; packing things up and deciding what should stay and what should go. But this was definitely different. Having never truly dug through my grandma’s stuff, we were astounded at all of the memories that came alive as objects both present and past came to light. Decades worth of memories were being found in every closet, cabinet, nook and cranny. But what really hit home for me was a discarded notebook that at first we thought was trash. Having already gone through many many old papers, note pads and chicken scratch, something caught my eye as it was being looked at. This notebook was one that was full of sketches. Sketches that were placed in a Ford Model T Mechanics student handbook. It was one that was used to train students how to fix these new machines, these horseless vehicles. Since the Model T was first introduced in 1908, it was only two years into the production that this 1910 student training manual was being used by my Great grandfather Parley McCann.
Now what I happened to notice as I started gingerly looking through this student notebook was that wherever there was a spot for “student notes”, there were sketches instead! Now this is my kind of learning. I was astounded at the scenes of steam engines, bailers, farms and such that filled the pages. Having found this new information that I had never known about my great grandfather. He too loved to doodle! How great of a find it was and how much I am going to cherish this notebook. To share with you some of the sketches that I was able to scan without damaging the pages, here you too can see where my artistic roots may have started!