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Carl F. Krieser and John McElroy Go Fishing on Pelican Lake, Wisconsin

Carl R. Krieser was train dispatching at Antigo, Wisconsin during this summer (1939 or 1940).  Because of the seasonal ore operations in Northern Wisconsin, they needed more train dispatchers on that end of the line during the summer months.  One of the other dispatchers had a cabin on Pelican Lake that wasn’t being used that summer so Carl Senior rented it for the family.  Pelican Lake wasn’t far from Antigo and he could commute that distance.  From the following stories, it appears that Junior might have needed a father’s guiding hand at that age.  The photo shows John McElroy with Junior.  He was a good friend from Kimberly.  John had a big collection of paper model airplanes that he had made.  When his mother decided too many had been collected they would take them to Carl’s garage roof, set them on fire and sail them into the back yard.  (Not a good idea kids!)  Good thing they didn’t burn the house down, as the garage was attached.  John had come to stay with the Kriesers for a week that summer.  John is shown rowing and Junior has an extra oar that he is trying to use as a make-shift tiller.  After John left, Junior hit upon a very creative idea to make life easier for him in his exploring adventures.  Rowing across the lake took more hard effort than he cared to expend so he decided to convert this old rowboat into a sailboat.  He had found an old sail under the cottage, so he tied it to some kind of a pole and jerry-rigged the sail onto it.  He wedged the pole against the front seat of the boat with some rocks and tied it in as securely as he could.  Then he took off across the lake in this Mickey Mouse contraption, again using the ore as a tiller.  He was pretty proud of his ingenuity--at first.  There was a good wind blowing at his back so he sailed right across the lake in very good time and with very little effort.  The problem came in getting back to the cottage.  There was no dagger board in this home-made contraption so he couldn’t tack back into the wind.  He had to take the sail down and row back, hugging the shoreline because the wind was so strong that he couldn’t row directly into it.  Pelican Lake can get very choppy in the wind, and it was a lot farther and longer hugging the shore all the way home than it had been going with the wind straight across the lake.  He was one pooped puppy when he got home.  He quietly returned the sail under the cottage and never bothered to mention the incident to his mother, at least not until years later when they could laugh about it.  Just as well, perhaps.  It might have saved her a few grey hairs at the time.

C. R. Krieser Family Photos 1939-1941

TOP:  Carl Junior proudly displays his new bicycle.  He is wearing long pants here as well as on the other two photos on this page.  This was viewed by him as some sort of  “right of passage” in his life because he was able to shed the dreaded knickers that he had detested for so long.  Most of his friends wore jeans to school and when he protested to his mother saying, “But all the kids wear jeans,” she would just smile and say, “But you’re not all the kids!”  He continued to wear knickers until about 1940 or 1941 when this photo was taken.

CENTER:  The caption on the back of this photo was “Our Kimberly home taken in July 1941.”  This was 5 or 6 years after it was built.  It was located at 302 First Street in Kimberly, Wisconsin.  Ruth and Carl Jr. are sitting on the steps in the photo.  Carl is wearing a hat and holding Jippy.  Later, after returning from the army, he hated wearing hats, or even caps--perhaps a result of wearing them so much all of those years.  Their Cape Cod style home was neat and comfortable.  Hank and Bill Van Zeeland, Carl Senior’s friends had built it in 1935 or 1936.  Carl Senior was also very involved with its construction and did much work on it throughout the process.  This is the house that always seemed like “home” to Carl Junior because they had lived here during most of his growing-up years.

BOTTOM:  They are standing on top of the Porcupine Mountains located in the Upper Michigan peninsula.  Carl Senior had started working summers in Bessemer, Michigan during those years and the family joined him for a vacation on July 20, 1941, when this photo was taken.  They all had their walking sticks.  (Left to right) Esther, Ruth, Carl Senior and Carl Junior.

The Open Road For Boys

The First Presbyterian Church of Kimberly had a program for their youth called The Open Road For Boys, their version of the Boy Scouts.  The remark on the back of the upper left photo says, “Junior in his pup tent.  June 1940”.  One time they made lemonwood bows from blanks that they had to sand down.  They made the arrows also, fastening the feathers into the right places.  Then came the fun part of shooting them.  His parents followed through with this outdoor training when they went to the north woods.  The Middle photo is dated May 15, 1941, and says “Carl Jr., age 12, fishing on Presquille Isle River” in Michigan.  The last two show, “Papa catch ‘em by the hook, Mama fry ‘em in the pan, and Junior ate ‘em like a man”.  They were always delicious.  Lots of fun times.

Early 1940s