Category Archives: Marilyn Crockett

My Father

By Marilyn Crockett

My single word description of my father is “distant.”  And I don’t really know much about him.  The early history comes through my mother.  It seems he was born in Superior Wisconsin of immigrant parents from Norway.  There was, and still is as far as I know, an immigrant route through the St. Lawrence seaway and the Great Lakes, that helped populate the Midwest.  Nick and Lena Hansen traveled that route in about 1900 to Superior, Wisconsin, once described to me as the armpit of Duluth.  My father was born on March 31, 1905, prematurely, in a Catholic hospital.  The birth, Lena’s second as far as I know, was too fast and they didn’t make it to the municipal hospital.  He was swaddled and laid in a drawer and baptized St. Joseph as the Catholic nuns thought he would surely die.  He didn’t and was re-baptized Lutheran without the saint but retaining the single name Joseph.  Continue reading

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Zermat

by Marilyn Crockett

We flew Icelandic, Tony and I, with its stop in Reykjavik and we really did stop in Reykjavik for three days, I think.  I liked Iceland for its oddness, little multicolored houses with corrugated roofs lining streets punctuated with little trees.  The open, treeless countryside had its great falls, not as great as Yosemite or Niagara, and its hot springs, not as dramatic as Yellowstone – but all interesting.  I liked the sheep turned loose to graze and the feeling of being in a Bergman movie with the Icelandic language surrounding us, so Scandinavian in sound.

But our real destination was Zermat and the Matterhorn.  Tony, an Australian with a physics PhD from Cambridge, the English one, had the English climbing bug.  I had gone along with jogging, hiking, and even two lessons in rock climbing, ever the cooperative girl-friend.  Not that I did that well.  My jogging on the paths around the Cloisters was intermittent, walking when the grade was too steep or when I just felt fatigued.  The hiking, most interesting at the Delaware Watergap, was a plodding thing.  I looked forward to the picnic with a demi of wine at the top.  I met my match with the rock climbing.  I did not like dangling off a rope and rappelling.  I never got the hang of it, bouncing against the side of a vertical cliff.  The first lesson went fine with a pro instructor that Tony had hired.  But on the second try, I got stuck on the face of the cliff – sandwiched – and I could not go either up or down.  Tony to his credit had the strength to pull me up.  The misery of that moment surpassed my embarrassment. Continue reading

College Dating

By Marilyn Crockett

It was a relief to return to school.  I had broken up with Jim but who or what would be next?  Actually I had thought I had broken up with Jim even before I left for college but now I had broken up with him again for good this time, I guessed.  There was a coke date with Bill Hemphill.  It was nothing, but then again it must have been something because I did remember his name.  Continue reading