This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

The Halls of Grand Rapids, Minnesota

The Halls of Grand Rapids, Minnesota are there because of The Great Depression.

And before you judge my grandfather Robert *Clyde* Hall, too harshly, consider that the United States has never gone through a more terrible economic time than The Great Depression. And his decision to have a *Depression Divorce* was not uncommon at that time. A *Depression Divorce* meant just walking away from your family. It meant deciding not to be *just another mouth to feed* when it was impossible to find a job. And that's what Clyde did, he just walked away.

His young wife, Gertrude Hall, was left with a terrible dilemma. With four children, she decided to divide them up among her parents and his parents. The oldest two went to live with the Truman Hall family (his parents) on the farm in southern Minnesota, and the youngest two went with her to live with her parents in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

The youngest two were my father George and his brother James. And if you went to high school in Grand Rapids you may have heard of James Hall. In addition to being a star basketball player in the 1950s, he went on to coach for many years. My dad, George, played basketball, too, but I guess he wan't as good as his younger brother.

The last time I saw my Uncle Jim Hall was in 1995 and he was impressive. A head full head of hair and the slim, athletic physique that would have been have been the envy of men twenty years younger than him, he played golf every day. And if that doesn't sound impressive, consider that it was two rounds, 27 holes. I remember that he told me that playing only 18 holes of golf was as unsatisfying to him as *kissing your sister*. If you remember Jack LaLanne, that's who he reminded me of.

My father met my mother at Greenway High School, when college classes were offered there after WWII, and they moved down to Mankato, and then to Minneapolis. But a lot of my relatives, the Halls of Grand Rapids, still live there, in northern Minnesota, to this day.

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