Returning Home

On Saturday, January 23, 2016, I attended the funeral of my great aunt which I posted about in another post. After the graveside service my father, mother, and sister and I drove to Holladay Blvd in Holladay, Utah to see my father’s home he grew up in. It was built in the early 1930s by his father, Clyde Frederick Gutke, and his grandfather Carl Frederick Gutke.

Even as we drove down the familiar twisting street with the arrows announcing the curves ahead, I felt like a child again riding in our large blue and white Chevy van on the way to Grandma’s house. We passed the elementary school on our left and then pulled the car into the gravel lane. We pulled up the lane to get a better look at the house and to our surprise and delight a woman came out the kitchen door. My father explained why we were stalking her home and she was kind and invited us in!

My father’s eyes lit up at the prospect of seeing his child hood home again. As he wandered each room, his eyes took in each detail and I could only imagine the memories flooding in. The decor and the owners have changed over the years, but to him, it will always be the home of his youth.

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My father reflects growing up in the backyard of the house of his youth.

CLYDE GUTKE FAMILY HOME WINTER 1962

The Clyde Gutke Family Home in the 1950s

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The home today

The upstairs attic was never completed in my father’s time, but now the owner has created a fun room for her grandchildren. The upstairs two rooms were combined into a large master suite and a shower was added to the bathroom. The living room still has the original tile and built-ins crafted by my grandfather.

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My parents in the master bedroom upstairs. I remember looking at the stars out the round window when I was young girl sleeping in the crib in the room. I usually ended up in the crib because my brothers would all “call” the twin beds before me. I think I slept in the crib until I was eight! My sister-in-law Julie and I had fun snooping in chest of drawers in the room when I was a teenager. We found some of my grandmother Glady’s clothes from years before and tried a few on while we giggled at each other.

gramp and gram younger

My grandparents Gladys and Clyde Gutke in the 1930s

My father was the youngest of four boys: Bob, Kent, Jerry, and Dennis. These are photos of the family at Christmas in the home over the years. My father has the clock that was on the mantel piece above the fireplace in his home now.

The person on the left is my father and the person on the right is my grandfather! It is crazy how much my father looks like him.

I am grateful for my father and for the man he is. He is kind, smart, and would give you the shirt off his back if he knew it might help you. I was glad to be with him on this tour. Thank you to Nora our new friend for opening her home to us!

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