As I was watching the Sound of Music recently, I wasn't thinking about raindrops on roses, or whiskers on kittens, or even Do Re Mi.
I was thinking of the Bridgman family of Morningside.
Weird, huh? I haven't met most of the family members, but I feel I know them through photos in our collection. As the Von Trapps biked en masse by lakes and down country roads, I immediately thought of the photo below.
The Tribune caption read: "It's quite a safari when all eight members of the Donald Bridgman family bike together, as they are doing here along Lake Harriet. Ordinarily they can't ride abreast like this but the road was barricaded and there was no traffic. From right to left are attorney, Donald E. Bridgman, Mrs. Bridgman, George, 22, Katherine, 20; John, 18; William, 16, Thomas, 14, and Arthur, 12."
Not so weird, huh? I mean, how many photos have you seen of a large family biking together? So I got to wondering whether the Bridgmans were inspired by the movie when they posed for this family portrait.
I would have bet yes. (Good for me I never gamble real money.) But in response to my email query, Katherine Bridgman Ellgen sent me the newspaper article where the photo first appeared. Dated Sept. 30, 1962, the story appeared in the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune's Picture Magazine almost three years before the movie premiered.
The one page feature was headlined "Biking Bridgmans Wheel Along"
The story read: "There's a garage full of bicycles and a house full of cyclists at the Donald E. Bridgman residence, 4306 Grimes Av., Morningside. All eight members of the family own bikes and ride them as often as possible. The whole family can rarely ride together any more, however, but such an occasion arose recently (above) when one daughter, Katherine, a junior at her parents' alma mater, Hamline University, returned home after a summer of leading American Youth Hostel bike tours in New England and Canada. Bridgman, an attorney, and his wife both biked before their marriage 25 years ago. They have continued to bike since and passed their interest on to their children. In 1938, Donald and Betty Bridgman biked 1,000 miles in England and in 1941 they rode bicycles to La Crosse, Wis., to promote the American Youth Hostel movement in Minnesota. Last spring, Kathie Bridgman talked her mother and two youngest brothers into biking 75 miles or so to Balsam Lake, Wis."
The photo was taken by Powell Krueger, who also lived in the Morningside neighborhood. (For more about the Tribune photographer, see previous post.)
I didn't think to ask Katherine if their family was musically inclined. I'd like to think of them whistling a happy tune while they wheeled along. But I'm taking no bets - as this story shows, odds are I'd be wrong.
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