Written by Panorama resident, Bob Bowers. November 2015
Recently my 7 ½ year old great granddaughter was joined by a new sister and step sister. That makes me a great grandfather of three. Technically, Lily and LilaLou aren’t my great granddaughters because they are the grandchildren of my son’s step daughter. However they are my great granddaughters as far as I am concerned. Ramona Sue the latest to be born came into this world three weeks ago. She is the fourth generation in our little twig of the Bowers’ clan. Her 54 year old grandfather was also a fourth generation child.
My wife and I were so proud to be parents of our baby boy. We were eager to show him to my 80 year old grandfather who lived 65 miles away. I was a busy Methodist minister. We lived in central Iowa. We kept waiting for the right time to get all of us together for a four generation picture—four sons and an 80 year old patriarch in declining health.
One day in early December I said to my wife, “We’ve got to go to Des Moines and get that four generation picture.”
“But, the weather’s not very good. It’s snowy and cold and the trip is 65 miles. Besides you’ve got to lead worship and preach at two churches tomorrow,” She remarked somewhat fearfully.
“We’ve got to chance it. Grandpa’s failing. I want that four generation picture!” I exclaimed.
So we called my parents, bundled Stephen up carefully, and headed for my Aunt Mary’s house in Des Moines. When we got there my parents had already arrived. We chatted for a while and showed off our son. Then, we gathered the four generations of Bowers “men” together and, with a simple Brownie camera, took a couple of pictures. I took the exposed film to the drugstore in our little town and a week later we had the pictures. I still have them.
When Ramona Sue was born I had texted my son on my smart phone early in the evening to find out if her mother was in labor. He texted back that delivery would probably be that evening. When we were ready for bed at 10 p.m. I noticed that I had received a text message. When I opened it there was a sequence of pictures of the new little fourth generation Bowers and her parents and grandparents. She was born about 30 minutes before and 2,500 miles away. Hassle free! Can you beat that?
How times have changed!