Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Promised Land

The Eastman Family Car and Trailer -- 1941

In 1941 the Eastman Clan -- a young father and mother and their 10 children -- left good ol' South Dakota and headed southwest to the promised land -- Los Angeles, California.

My Mom was one of those 10 children, but she was just one year old at the time and has no recollection of the trip.  My Aunt Helen, however, who's just a tad bit older than Mom, still has vivid memories of the trip to Los Angeles and their first night in their brand new three bedroom, one bath home:

"It had a toilet with running water!  And that first night, all us kids flushed it over and over until Dad finally came in and told us enough."

What a cute memory.  Children really are delighted by the simplest of things, which I think we've somehow forgotten in today's society.

A few years after the Eastman Clan settled in, baby #11 was born.  And with the birth of my Aunt Bea, the Eastman Clan was complete.  Having lots of Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins really made growing up a lot of fun!

Life is good.


  1. That's a lot of kids! And yes, big families are fun!

  2. Good Morning KJ,

    As one of the older grandchildern to this clan and to this day I carry the family name proudly.It would be wonderful to take advantage of our Aunts and Uncles that are still alive and roll down memory lane with them. There is some great history there and would love to know more.
    Life is good, indeed!

  3. Hi KJ
    I love the post, I have never seen the photo or heard about the flushing event that is funny. One correction: I was born in the front bedroom almost 9 months to the day from the day they arrived in Culver City the only true Californian in the family.
    Aunt Bea

  4. Thanks for posting this. I'll print it out and pass it on to my Dad, Frank, the oldest of the 10. I'm sure he'll love the picture of the car, as well.

    Dave Eastman

  5. Ash,

    Imagine your two babies times six!

    Deb and Dave,

    I'm happy you enjoyed the post. I'm loving all the old photos and stories.

    Aunt Bea,

    Nine months later... hmmm. Now I know why Grandpa let all the kids flush the toilet for hours on end, it makes perfect sense -- he and Grandma were probably having their own little celebration. : )

  6. From my Uncle Dick via facebook:

    I still remember sitting on a car seat in that trailer all the way, rain or shine. But I thought it was 1942 on my ninth birthday.

  7. KJ,
    Can't believe I missed that one, it was 1942, I was born St Patty's Day 1943.

    Aunt Bea

  8. 1942... All in favor, say Aye!

  9. Kj,
    This is really interesting. Is this the relation of the Eastman of Eastman-Kodak? There was a young Eastman gal who came to Helena on vacation .... don't know the year exactly but you know, way back. She fell in love with a cowboy and married him. They were given a ranch by her parents for a wedding present.

    That ranch is not far from my ranch in Helena. The house was fairly grand for the time but has since fallen into the "needs repair group). Friends of mine were renting the house for awhile and I was going to do just a short story on it and took a lot of pictures.... that are now gone (with my getting rid of stuff period that I'm in.)

  10. No Kodak relationship that I know of, but how cool would that have been. Cameras, film, free!

    I say you should still do the story on the house, and simply use photos of the exterior. Sounds like a great post, but then again, all your posts are wonderful!

  11. Actually, there is a book called "That man Eastman" that was supposedly commissioned by George Eastman, that documented the genealogy of the Eastmans. Our family is in the book, so I think we are related in some way. You can find info about the book by googling the title.