Gigi was born Marceta Valentine Trask on February 14th, 1914.
Her parents, William "Doc" and Mary Belle "Nana" Trask (née Lindquist)
also had a younger son, William, Jr.
Doc was a sheriff in one of the small eastern Kansas towns.
Granddad was born Paul W Carver in 1911.
His big brother Roscoe was born in 1897, but died 48 weeks later;
He'd had a problem with his gullet, and couldn't keep food down.
There was also a brother named John Rollin, born 1904, who died in 1918.
Granddad's father, Great-grandpa Fred, died of Bright's Disease in 1912.
His mother Cornelia (nee Emmingham, 1872) died in about 1961.
Granddad (Paul) was born in Frankfort, Kansas. Gigi was born in Capioma, Kansas.
They were married in Frankfort, very young. Soon my aunt Irl Dean was born.
And soon enough, my mother was also born, in June, 1936.
Last but not least, their third child, my uncle Paul Crosby, was born.
Granddad was a jack of many trades. He raised horses, he farmed food crops...
plus he served his country during World War Two. He still had horses around when I was a kid.
Daughter Joyce was a competetive saddle rider, and there was a picture in their
living room of Granddad harness riding in a two-wheeled sulkie, wearing a very
austere homburg with a vest and a necktie. No doubt he had some cufflinks on as well!
They moved to Colorado in the late 1940's.
Of course I wasn't around when they lived in Colorado Springs,
but I remember wading in one of the small ponds near the house
they built at Red Rock Ranch just outside of Monument, Colorado.
Their pastoral "neighborhood" was made for a boy's exploration.
They lived in the shadow of Mount Herman, surrounded by ridges and
clandestine sandstone crags. One area in particular, which they called
Pixie Park, absorbed alot of my energy. I used to go there with their dog Rusty
and over the years I managed to climb to the summits of each formation.
I even took my young sons there during one visit, and we climbed several towers.
This vexed my grandmother to no end, this fascination with climbing.
Gigi had a job, which surprised me, because I always thought of her as
the lady who did all the cooking. She was a nurse at Dr. Ainsworth's office.
Granddad seemed more a gentleman of leisure, even though he worked when I was young.
He tried with all his might to convince me to become a fisherman like him,
but everytime I came to their house, I just wanted to climb a mountain. Over the years,
I climbed all three of the forested peaks above their house numerous times. In fact,
my uncle Crosby guided my cousin Scott and myself up Raspberry Peak when Scott and I
were about eleven years old. My cousins satisfied most of Granddad's good
intentions, but I guess I was too hard-headed to change my focus.
The older I grew, the more good advice I received from him.
He was very practical, unlike me, and like my parents, he endured
my youthful, wandering mind.
Gigi's mom & dad, my great grandparents Nana & Doc Trask, were still alive
when I was a kid. At that time they lived in a duplex in Colorado Springs,
with a grand view of Pikes Peak right out the front door. He read to us,
and let us play with his wire recorder. He would while away hours with us,
until Nana would put a stop to it so Doc could take his nap. She always had
a rigid schedule compared to Doc, or so it seemed to my childish reckoning.
Late in life, she developed a crippling dementia, and she died in a nursing home.
Doc became so physically feeble that he too had to be placed in long term care.
I remember him weeping the last time I saw him, telling us he was going to die
if we left him there. They both passed away in the 1970's.
Granddad died quite suddenly in December, 1986. Gigi lived until 2004,
finally succumbing to old age in an uncharacteristic dwindle.
I always think of Gigi as the robust, worldly grande dame of the family.
She had alot of little things, from her travels of the world. I have heard that
she did not want to be called "Grandmother," and so chose to be called "Gigi."
Granddad was a boisterous self-made man. Everything one wanted,
one should earn, in his book. His father had died when he was a baby,
and he lost so many loved ones in his life: little wonder he could be so tough.
He wanted me to go to the Air Force Academy, where, I assumed
(because he said he was in on its construction), he might have had some "pull."
I wasn't the grandchild who fulfilled his desire for that particular dream (that fell to cousin Dave),
but I certainly enjoyed climbing the rocks and the mountains around their home.