E.W. and Lois McNinch had three sons. Their first born, Elba, or Mack, was my husband, Kip’s father. People ask Kip what his real name is and they’re usually surprised to learn that Kip is not his nickname. He was named after a buddy of Mack’s who died of spinal meningitis shortly before Kip was born. Kip’s full name is Kip Rost McNinch.
Mack graduated from high school in Big Piney, Wyoming and Naomi, Kip’s mother, graduated in Laramie. The two met during their first year of college at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.
When Mack and Naomi were freshmen in college, there was a formal event called the Harvest Moon Ball. Naomi wore a pretty blue formal and Hell’s Half Acre Gym was decorated with huge pumpkins and scarecrows. Mack and one if his friends, Graham, decided to steal a pumpkin. The gym was on the second floor and Graham was going to throw the pumpkin out the window and Mack was supposed to catch it.
Mack and Naomi were outside waiting below the window when a policeman came up to them and asked them if they had a bottle. (Drinking was not allowed on campus.) About that time a huge pumpkin came sailing through the air, hit the ground, and burst. The policeman said, “So that’s it, huh?” Naomi’s mom made several pies from that pumpkin.
The couple was married on July 4th, 1940. Their daughter, Karen, was born, on July the 4th, two years later.
Kip was born August 12, 1944 and Mack was drafted into the army in January of 1945. He was sent to the Phillipines and then Italy. He was part of the occupational forces. Mack was killed in an accident in Italy on August 27, 1947. His body wasn’t brought back until October of 1947. He was 27 years old when he died.
Mack and my Dad were two months apart in age, both were in the army, and both were in the Corp of Engineers. Dad was stationed in Guam and I think my brother said he was also in the Philippines.
There is much more to tell about each of these families as they lived through trying as well as joyous times. The threads are woven and the bonds of love continue. Sometimes, history has a way of catching up with us…
**short blog today…headed for Wyoming for my grandson’s graduation.