Sunday, May 5, 2013

Leif Wrestling With His Cousin Tim

Sometimes I think the photos on this blog leaves the impression that Leif had a sort of solitary existence, since I don't post many pictures with other people in them, but it's a false picture. Leif had friends he cared deeply about and an extended family he enjoyed. Like me, he was more of an introvert and never had a crowd of friends, but he enjoyed and was committed to the ones he had, and he had a good time at social and family gatherings. It would have been fun to show more of that on the blog.

This photo I had never seen until the end of March when my sister, Lannay, brought several photos she had taken years ago. It was taken in 1985 when Leif was ten years old. He's on the floor in the red shirt, wrestling with his cousin Tim. Tim's sister, Holly is peeking over Tim's shoulder at the top left. Leif would have loved to do some of the things that Tim, and his dad, Leif's Uncle Donovan, got to do, like race stock cars. Instead, he raced his used RX7 and later RX8 on the highways. (Not a good idea and it scared the daylights out of us.)

I still wonder how many more photos of Leif I've never seen, that someone else took. Maybe more will surface.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Leif at Twenty - Handsome and Hopeful

It was so very long ago, April 4, 1995 when this photo was taken. Leif was twenty years old and at the height of his handsomeness. He was still exuberant and happy. He still had hair. :) He was slender and athletic, and about finishing his sophomore year at Kansas State University.

Just when I don't think I'll see a new photo of Leif (or Alex as he was still called when this photo was taken), someone brings me new ones. My sister, Leif's beloved Aunt Lannay, brought several photos to me in March that I had never seen before. I was so glad to get them.

This photo was taken at my mother's house on Pottawatomie Street in Manhattan, Kansas. We were there for the "April birthday dinner." Mom would make a big dinner for as many of the family as could come, sometimes as many as sixteen, to celebrate all the birthdays in that month. In April, the birthday "boys" were Peter W. (Leif's dad) and his cousin Tim. The original of this photo has Tim and his sister Holly in it.

Those were good times. Leif really enjoyed those family togethers, all the conversation, bantering, and Mom's excellent cooking . . . and I think he and Tim liked the peach fritters with foamy sauce the best of all.

I love seeing a photo of Leif that looks like this, happy, healthy and optimistic, joyful, even. It's so much better than the withdrawn and depressed person he became. He had hope then. You can see it in his eyes.