Eleanore, Julie, Jenney, Cydney, Janice, Ron and of course Ila: I was saddened to hear from Adah the news of Alvin's passing.
My memories of Al will forever be tied up in the excitement of boyhood expectations of my older cousins from the farm visiting our home in the ‘cities'; the trips to the farm in Brewster e.g. playing ball at family reunions and pheasant hunting which also included walking the bean fields picking weeds [just another adventure at the time and one we got paid for with meals included].
I always enjoyed being with Al and only wish that the barrier of geography hadn't prevented us from spending more time together. Indeed, in our experiences not only as cousins, but as veterans, volunteer firemen, our related college experiences (his in Ag and mine in Forestry) and commitment to family; we had many things in common.
Looking back, I remember the time Al joined the Ebeling boys from Isanti (my Dad, Wayne and me) on our annual excursion to the West Fork of the Madison River in MT.
But, one of my fondest personal memories is in my reminiscence of a trip with “Al and Ila” to Brewster, where the first leg of the trip was driving from my farm near Isanti in my Studebaker Lark at zero dark thirty (about 4am) to Hugo. I must not have had coffee (or not enough), because I wasn't on the road more than ten minutes when (probably driving too fast, nodding at the wheel) I took an unexpected but eye-opening detour. Leaving the paved road at a sharp S-curve, I found myself struggling, navigating a wavy line across bumpy rows of a previous year's corn field and luckily back on to the paved path to Alvin's home. Knees shaking, I made it to Hugo, where the journey continued with Al's steady hand at the wheel; and my destined rendezvous with Mary Beharends, as her date to the Brewster Senior Prom.
I will always be grateful for the kindness Al showed to my father in his visits from Arizona in many autumns past; always making time to go first north to Isanti before the long drive south from the ‘cities' to the fields and busy annual harvests of his ancestral lands and boyhood home of Brewster.
While Alvin will be missed, I will always remember him for his warmth, his infectious smile and unmistakable laugh.