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Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Jul 26, 2007, 04:26 PM
Number of posts: 7,878

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PufPuf is Pacific Giant Salamander

in Karuk.

My favorite Christmas present ever was not a toy and not the favorite at the time.

When I was 9 (1962), my favorite uncle and his wife spent Christmas with my family and he dressed as Santa.

My gift from him was my great grandfather's gold scale from the California Gold Rush era. It was no longer then (and still not now) functioning but sits in my office, across the room from me at this moment.

Uncle Ellis (born 1899) was my Dad' oldest brother and the family historian. I have various old family and mining records, photos, deeds, etc. that people assume came from Dad but were from Ellis, giving them to me periodically up until his death in 1995. He had no children of his own. I have been sorting through them and gifting items recently to the county historical society. Locally my family was prominent in Gold Rush and subsequent times and in the various publications and accounts.

One book is In the Land of the Grasshopper Song. If one skips ahead to the last chapter page 308, Jonas Salstrom is my great grandfather. I have the cast iron and silverware from the meal as well as Jonas's rattlesnake cane, pocket watch, and other ephemera. My grandmother was a young woman at that meal. The mine was purchased by my great great uncle in the 1860s and sold to Jonas, his BIL. There are some factual errors in ITLOGS (Jonas had owned the mine for 35 years, not 20 years, the women knew Uncle Willy and had social meetings with him rather than the two dramatized encounters with him in the book, etc.) but the book is unique and an excellent read (or gift). BTW Uncle Willy died in my childhood in the 1950s when he was butted in the head by a goat. Note: I have no interest in the book other than liking it).


My Dad and grandmother were born on that mining property / farm and spent his entire life except 3 years in Europe in WWII there. I spent my childhood there and now live on part of the former mine in my old age and retirement.
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