Thursday, July 30, 2015

Raise Your Hand, Mom!

Back in the late 1980s, I use to go to auctions to purchase glass pieces for my collections.  There are very few auctions that have Greentown glass for sale except around Greentown, IN.  I found that there was going to be an auction in Anderson, IN and they had a Teardrop & Tassel green pitcher.  The auction was on a Thursday or Friday morning - can't remember which.  My son, Robbie, who was about 4 or 5 years old at the time would go to auctions with me.   I collected carnival glass, too and he knew the pattern names as well as I did (he was so much fun).  I had never been to this auction house before so we left a little early just in case I got lost.

I'm sure we put the Patsy Cline cassette into the cassette player, Robbie's favorite is Walkin' After Midnight, and off we went.  No problem finding the place and I had plenty of time to look around.  The building was a huge, tall barn-shape building with a row of windows up around the ceiling.  When you walked in, there were some steps that you walked down to the auction area.  On the other side of the entrance was a food concession area.  The sun was out and it was going to be a nice day.  There were rows of tables with all sort of glassware that was going to be auctioned off, so I went to see the Greentown pitcher that I wanted.

Now, there were some older men standing around the entrance talking.  Appeared that they weren't all that interested in the auction items.  Probably just there with their wives who were.  Now, when Robbie was a little boy, he was pretty friendly and did not know a stranger.  He loved to talk...........So, off he went over to where the men were and joined in their conversation while I went looking.  Soon, it was time for the auction.  Robbie and I found a couple of chairs towards the back and sat down.  There were 3 older ladies sitting next to Robbie.  Robbie always behaved at auctions and paid attention to what was going on.

About 30 minutes into the auction, the auctioneer held up a Daisy & Button crystal clear large relish dish.  When he held it up, the sun shining through the window made that dish sparkle like you would not believe.  It looked gorgeous but it wasn't something that I would have bid on.  Well, Robbie saw that Daisy & Button crystal clear dish sparkling from the sunlight shining through those upper windows and yelled "Mom, raise your hand!  Raise your hand!"  He didn't take his eyes off the dish, he was so excited.  I could see the older ladies smiling.  Of course, I had to buy it and I wasn't going to let anyone outbid me either.

After the bidding, the runner brought the Daisy & Button crystal clear relish dish to us and gave it to Robbie.  He just sat there and looked it over and showed it to the ladies sitting next to him.  He was so excited and proud of that dish.  The love in my heart for my son was bursting that day.  And to top it off, I also got the Greentown Teardrop & Tassel green pitcher.  We were happy campers driving home listening to Patsy.

I use that Daisy & Button crystal clear relish dish on holidays and I think I tell the story every time I use it.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Reuben Williams Remembers 'Bellings' in Kosciusko County

While researching Rachel Saul Fawley, sister to my great, great, great-grandfather Edward Saul, and her life in Kosciusko Co, Indiana, I came upon an article written by General Reuben Williams (1831-1905) called 'Early Times in Kosciusko - Incidents and Anecdotes of Pioneer Days and the Early Settlement of this Region' written in 1901.  General Reuben Williams had served in the Civil War and afterwards, established the "Northern Indianian" newspaper now known as the "Warsaw Times-Union."  Rachel had married Rev. David Fawley in 1846.

Reub Williams had been writing about what the young 'pioneer' lads did for amusement in their early years and remembered that he had neglected to mention 'belling.'
"In some of the earliest of these sketches, I alluded to several of the amusements that were fashionable in the early days, if, indeed, such a word would apply to anything the pioneers did at all.  Whatever amusement they enjoyed was always of home manufacture, or invention, for the reason that, unlike the present day, nothing came to them to enlighten the ceaseless round of hard labor.............In enumerating some of them a few weeks ago, I omitted to mention the 'charivari' or the celebrating of a newly wedded pair by "belling" - a feature that has almost ceased, only sporadic cases coming to light in these times now and then,  Usually "bellings" were participated in to a great extent by the uninvited to the wedding proper, and while in early days there was an occasional groom, or a father of the bride who resented the oft times too rough and too hilarious proceedings, yet there were many principals in the wedding of sixty years ago who would have felt slighted did not a "belling" follow.  In fact, "bellings" in early days were participated in, not only because it was the custom of the pioneers, but in order to work off the surplus of good spirits common to the young people of the period and I remember a good many 'charivaris' that myself and Marion Warner participated in.  I went with him on many occasions, but he would go even though the parties lived ten miles away.  I have known a number of these "bellings" to end in a racket, a fight or two, some black eyes, and even one occasion an enraged bride's father went so far as to send a bullet from his squirrel rifle into the crowd, very fortunately only slightly wounding one of the belling party in the arm.  
We must remember that most weddings took place at the bride's home.  This was Indiana back in the early 1800s and there weren't the big churches that could hold a large party of people.  The people that actually attended the marriage ceremony were the immediate family and back then, the family size was usually quite large.  There just wasn't the room for friends and neighbors of the bride and groom.  Reub Williams went on to describe his first "belling."
"I remember when one of the Fawley boys was married - - David, if I remember correctly, and now a man considerably older than the writer -- and of course the party had to be belled.  I accompanied as a lad the detachment that represented the then village of Warsaw to the place of the wedding -- a log house about five miles west of this city -- where we were to be joined by all of the country boys for miles around.  The late Elijah Tusing -- a whole-souled, jolly young man of that period -- was selected as 'captain' of the combined forces, and as this was one of the first "bellings" I had ever participated in, it was a novelty to me.   
 Anything that would make a noise -- the louder and the most dismal, the better -- was used, and I remember cow bells of all sizes, home-made triangles, sleigh bells, horns of all sizes and even to "mother's" six-foot dinner horn, (I wonder if there are any of my readers who can remember how some women could make that old dinner horn sound the signal for meals so melodiously and so loud -- that it could be heard on all the adjoining farms?) horse-fiddles, shot-guns, single-barreled pistols -- it was before the revolver had appeared -- but of all the inventions for making a noise so loud and so hideous that even its memory still grates on my nerves at this late day!  
The box sat on its bottom and a man at each end of the rail would pull and push backward and forward, the resined edge of the rail coming in contact with the edges of the box, similarly treated, and as the two box edges gave out a different tone as the rail was drawn back and forth, the screeching was not only heard miles away int the night time, but it certainly was the most discordant, dismal, hideous sound conceivable."
Wait, did he say his first 'belling' was for a David Fawley's wedding?  Now, there were a lot of Fawleys around....remember that our Rev. David Fawley first came to Kosciusko County, IN with his parents and siblings in 1844.  David was 20, the oldest and had 8 brothers; maybe 9.  But, our David married Rachel in Ohio and not Kosciusko County so I don't think it could have been 'David' and must have been one of his brothers.  And since Reub Williams was born in 1831, he could have been a teenager or young adult when any of the brothers married.  All I can say is that I am sure glad that this tradition is no longer practiced.

Here is a link to the complete article by Reub Williams published December 21, 1901: Early Times in Kosciusko County  I really enjoyed reading his articles - Reuben Williams seemed quite a character himself.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Rachel Saul - Just The Wife of David Fawley

I was working on the Saul family tree and imputing the information about Edward Saul's children.  I decided to enter the information about Edward's siblings before going to Edward's children.  Edward Saul (my great, great, great-grandfather) was the oldest of 7 children born to Samuel and Anna Saul.  Edward's sister, Rachel Saul, was born about 2 years after him and in 1846 at the age of 18, married a Rev. David Fawley.  She died at the age of 62.

Rachel and David had 12 children and had moved from Ohio to Kosciusko County, Indiana in 1848 after the death of their first child who was about a year old when she died.  Their second child was just about 4 when he died.  Their 10th and 11th children were twins and one died when she was about 6 years old just 4 days after the 12th child died who was about 6 months old. The other twin died just before she turned 20.  Needed to check out this Rev. David Fawley..........

David Fawley was born in Brocks Gap, Rockingham Co, Virginia in 1824.  When he was 10, he and his family moved to Crawford Co, OH and there grew to manhood.  In 1844 he and his family moved to Kosciusko Co, IN in Harrison Twp.  After a little more than a year, David returned to Ohio where he married Rachel Saul in Fairfield Co. in 1846.  Their first child, Margaret, was born in 1847.   Their second child, Samuel, was born in 1848.  The older child, Margaret, died in 1848 about 6 days after her brother, Samuel, was born.  David then moved his wife and baby son to Kosciusko Co, IN.  Another child, Mary ElizaCatherine, was born in 1850.  Samuel died in 1852, just a month before his 4th birthday.
Elder David Fawley  -  In 1848, with his wife and one child, our subject returned to this county, coming with a team and wagon, which required eight days to make the journey.  They were obliged to camp out at night and follow the trails and Government roads.  In 1873 he located upon his present farm in Harrison Township, and has been a successful farmer.  In 1860 he was ordained to preach, having united with the Old School Baptists, since which time he has been a zealous laborer in the Masters vineyard.  He is the present pastor of a church located upon his own farm.  Being of an unassuming and retiring nature, he has always refused office, although frequently solicited to be a candidate.  He owns 191 acres of good land, with modern buildings, and it is considered one of the best farms in the township.  Politically he affiliates with the Democratic party. 
(From the Biographical and Historical Record of Kosciusko County, Indiana published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1887 - page 222).
"Providence Primitive Baptist Church - organized October 5, 1850 by five members:  Abraham Truex, Sarah Truex, Elia.s.O. Pittman, Sarah Pittman ad Jacob Francis.  Primitive Baptists trace their American origin to the early colonies.  The English Baptists from which these Primitive Baptist emerged were often referred to as Particular Baptists.  They held to a very strict form of Calvinistic doctrine.  The acrostic TULIP is often used to describe the main doctrinal points.  T:  represents the Total Depravity of man.  U:  is the Unconditional Election of those God chooses to save from Hell.  L:  represents the Limited Atonement Christ's sacrifice on the cross provides for only the elect.  I:  indicates that God's grace in drawing the elect to salvation is Irresistible.  P:  stands for the ability God gives the elect to Persevere in God's saving grace to their deaths and ultimate glorification in Heaven.  Elder David Fawley served as pastor from 1861 to 1874 and then in partnership with other Elders until 1879."  (from Genealogy Trails website - Indiana - Elkhart County - Providence Primitive Baptist Church and Cemetery of Elkhart County)

The next 6 children, after Mary ElizaCatherine, born to David and Rachel all lived to adulthood.  Then Rachel gave birth to twins on 5-13-1866, Minerva and Saloma.  Six years later, Rachel at the age of 45, gave birth to their 12th and last child, Rosa on 9-27-1872.  Rosa died 4-5-1873. She was about 6 months old.  Then 4 days later, one of the twins, Minerva, died 4-9-1873.  She was around 6 years old.  The other twin, Saloma, died on 1-12-1886, 4 months before reaching her 20th birthday.

Rachel died 5-16-1890.  She was 62.  The last child (31 yrs old), James A. W. was getting married June 8, 1890.  She had seen the death of 5 young children.  The other 7 were grown and no longer living at home.  

The Rev. David Fawley remarried 10-18-1890.  That is 4 months after his wife's death, the wife he had been married to for 44 years and bore him 12 children.

Elder David Fawley died March 28, 1904.  According to his obituary written up in the Primitive Monitor by Elder George Bretz, a few years earlier, David had made him promise to come and speak to his children and friends upon his death.  Here are a few excerpts from this eulogy.
His wife and half of his family went before him to the eternal country.  Six of his children, five of whom are members of the Primitive Baptist Church, and his second wife, with many grandchildren, are living to mingle their tears together and speak f their great loss......................  
But while he was a good farmer, a good citizen and neighor, the greatest events of his life were his spiritual experiences and sweet ministry.  At the early age of fourteen years he became concerned about the condition of his soul before God, and fourteen years later found peace in the wounded side of our dear Redeemer.............He began preaching in 1857 and was ordained in May, 1860..............
He was mighty in prayer and exhortation, I was present at the waterside when his daughter-in-law was to be baptized by me, and had him speak in prayer.  He forgot all but heaven, which seemed so feelingly near us all.  My soul was never so stirred under any man's prayer - a prayer heaven-given and by heaven heard.  In his appeals to his brethren to stand firm in the old paths, and for them to take heed to their ways, he was so tender, so melting!
After his death I was wired to come and I did so under a sense of my weakness and imperfection.  The precious words of the dying apostle came to me:  "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."  they seemed so appropriate, and I spoke from them to a crowded house, although the weather was inclement.
His death was a triumph overall, and we humbly bow in submission to the great and good God.  God bless his devoted widow, his godly children, his dear, sorrowing church, and the hundreds he comforted in life.                                             Geo. A. Bretz
There are so many questions and I will never find the answers.  For some reason, my heart goes out to Rachel.  I think she must have lived a very sad life.  How did the children die?  The oldest child died when Rachel was about to give birth to another child.  Margaret died 11 days before Samuel was born. The youngest child died 4 days before one of the twins died.  Was Rachel unable to keep the children in line?  Were the children behaving ungodly?  Were they crying?  Were they sick?

After the first child died, David uprooted her and traveled to another state, away from the grave of her first born, away from her family - the Sauls.  Rachel was only 20 at the time;  still a child herself.  After reading the obituary, it was obvious that the church members had put Elder David Fawley on a pedestal; he, after all, was the 'dying apostle' and I seriously doubt that anyone would have questioned his words or actions.
I could not find an obituary for Rachel.  My heart goes out to Rachel for all the heartache she must have endured.  She was just the wife of David Fawley.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Distressing Accident - A Father's Love

On September 5, 1827, thirteen years after the death of their mother;  two sons, Leonard Saul, Jr., age 20 and Joseph Saul, age 19, were working with their father in digging a well, when all three were killed by what is known as damps or poisonous gas.  Leonard Saul, Sr , was 51 years old.  Leonard Saul, Sr, had remarried 3-30-1824 and left behind an infant son, Aaron Sahl born about May, of 1827.

The September 5th accident happened near Columbus, Ohio.  The following article was published in the Norwalk Reporter and Huron Advertiser, out of Norwalk, Ohio on September 22, 1827 titled 'Distressing Accident'
On Wednesday the 5th instant, a few miles from this place, Mr Leonard Saul, and his two sons unfortunately lost their lives, by descending into a well filled with damp, or carbonic acid gas.  The well had been commenced sometime before, and at the time this melancholy accident happened was about 30 feet deep.  They had not yet came to water.  A son-in-law of Mr. Saul's was let down in the well in the afternoon but had not reached the bottom before he desired to be drawn up again, exclaiming that he could not stand it to stay down in the well.  One of Mr. Saul's sons then descended who fell lifeless at the bottom.  Another of his sons followed to see what had happened to his brother, who quickly shared the same fate.  Mr. Saul then prepared to descend, anxious to learn what had befel his sons;  and was in vain cautioned as to the result of such rashness by his son-in-law.  He had been let down but a few feet before he fell out of the bucket to the bottom of the well - joining in death his unfortunate sons.  The bodies were drawn out, and some means used to resuscitate them, but in vain.  So strongly was this well charged with the deleterious gas, that a light let down only a few feet, was instantly extinguished.  Mr. Saul was a respectable citizen of about 50 years of age - his sons were just entering the prime of life.  A little prudence on their part might have saved the lives of these unfortunate men.  A well charged with damp can be told by its extinguishing a candle let down in it;  and the deleterious gas may be destroyed by burning straw in the well, or some other combustable.                                                                                                            O. S. Journal,                                 
Leonard Saul, Sr (Johann Leonhard Saal) born in 1776 in Hochst-Odenwald, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany was my great +5 grandfather.  To view the Saul family tree, visit the page Saul

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Most Peculiar Couple

I find the old wedding and obituary write-ups from the 1800s and early 1900s very interesting and fun to read.  The write-ups were much more detailed about the person and/or event than they seem to be today.  I found the obituary write-ups for my great, great, great grandparents are quite entertaining.  William M. Northcutt and Lucinda Gardner were married on September 21, 1853.  They shared a long life together in Union Twp, Hendricks Co, Indiana, she was 75 when she died a couple of years earlier than William.  He was 85 when he passed away.  He was a farmer and Lucinda kept house.
They had six children, Ambrose Dudley Northcutt, their third child, was my great, great grandfather and is pictured to the left.  Quite a handsome man.

Our lineage is:  William M. Northcutt -- Ambrose Dudley Northcutt -- Bertha Northcutt Weisenauer -- Cliffie Weisneauer Shockney -- Joan Smith Beheler and then me.

The youngest two daughters born to William and Lucinda died as infants - one was about a month old and the other died at birth.

Lucinda Gardner Northcutt died October 28, 1911.  She was 75 years of age. Her obituary was written up in the Danville Gazette November 2nd.  It read as follows:
Mrs. Lucinda Northcutt, wife of Wm. Northcutt, died at her home three miles northeast of this place Saturday night from the infirmities of age.  She was 75 years old and leaves a husband and three children, Dudley Northcutt and Mrs. Sarah French, residing in this community, and James Northcutt of Kansas.  Three children are dead.  Mrs. Northcutt had lived in this vicinity since she was twelve years old, coming here from Rush county.  She clung to many of the pioneer ways.  One of her peculiarities was that she would never wear any article of head dress other than a sun bonnet.  She will be remembered in this community as a kind neighbor, ever ready to help others in time of need.  The funeral was preached at the home Monday morning by Rev. John Northcutt, and the remains were interred in the Poplar Grove cemetery.
William M. Northcutt passed away on July 15, 1913.  He was 81 years old.  The write-up by the Danville Gazette on July 17th read as follows:
Wm. Northcutt, 85, living northeast of Lizton, died Tuesday and was buried at the Poplar Grove cemetery yesterday afternoon.  In many ways deceased was a peculiar character.  He never rode on a railroad train and although he lived within three miles of an interurban line he never saw an electrically propelled car.  He had not visited Indianapolis since the early sixties.  During war times he was a southern sympathizer to some extent and one day while in Indianapolis he was roughly handled on account of his political views.  He vowed he would never visit the capital city again and the vow was not broken.  His wife died about a year ago.    
 I hope you enjoyed meeting William M. and Lucinda Northcutt.   

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Birthday Celebrations at My Grandmother's

Holidays and birthdays were celebrated at my grandmother's house with very few exceptions.  Even as we grew up, got married and started our own families, celebrations were always held at her home.  It may not have always been on the actual day, but we celebrated together close to it. This remained the same until her death in January, 1978.  She started combining birthdays that were close together - it seemed we had a lot of birthdays in November and December.  The combinations usually included a member from the older generation with someone from the younger generation.

Wendy's was on the 9th and Uncle John's was on the 15th.  Wendy, my daughter and Uncle John, my grandmother's brother celebrated their birthdays together.  Please note that Wendy had all 4 of her candles, but Uncle John would only take 1.

My grandmother's was the 7th and Jenny's was the 12th.  My grandma and Jennifer, my daughter, celebrated their birthdays together.  This picture was probably taken in December, 1973.

My great-grandpa's was on the 22nd and mine was the 26th, so we celebrated our birthdays together. Taken December 26, 1971, my great-grandfather was celebrating his 90th birthday.  Pretty cool!

Then we have my brother and sister celebrating their February birthdays.  Her's was on the 12th and he's on the 14th.  Yes, that is Valentine's Day.  When he and Debby married, we had three birthdays celebrated at the same time.  Her's was on the 13th.

My grandmother was able to get all 3 sets of candles on the cake.

After the death of my grandmother in 1978, the dynamic of our birthday celebrations changed.  Our own families were growing and my grandmother's generation were soon gone.  She and her siblings were the glue to our Weisenauer family.  Once that generation was gone, each branch went their own separate way.  That's just the way it is for most families.

And, although our own birthday celebrations changed,  my brother, sister and I all got together for our mother's birthday.  Her birthday was on the 4th of July and as she would say, the whole country celebrated with her.  We started celebrating my mother's birthday up at the Lake Shafer, Monticello, IN where my sister and her family had a cottage.  Sitting outside watching the boats and skiers passing by, we ate picnic foods like fried chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, hamburgers and hotdogs.  Debby would make Mother's birthday cake and decorate it as the American flag with strawberries and blueberries.  The kids would go out tubing or swimming and even try water skiing.  Then there were some of us that would just sit outside and talk.  My mother could come up with some of the funniest stories - we'd laugh so hard, tears would stream down our faces.  

And, we would all hope that someone would be setting off fireworks towards the evening.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Last Will and Testament of John Wilson Beheler

The story of my great-grandparents, John W. and Mattie Beheler, and their children is just heart breaking.  I only remember meeting my grandfather, Jessie 'Barnie' Beheler, once and that was at my father's funeral in 1959 when I was 11.  I remember him as a big man with sort of a gruff voice.  I don't think I talked to him - actually, I don't remember talking to anyone at my father's funeral.  I remember the sadness, hurt and confusion.

My great-grandparents were a very handsome couple.  My grandfather, Jessie Barnard Beheler was born January 11, 1890 in Henderson Co, KY.  He was the 8th child of John W. and Mattie Beheler.  This picture looks to be taken around late 1891 or early 1892.  Instead of Mattie holding their young child, John W. is holding him with his arm around him and other hand on his son's knee.  This tells me that John W. was a very loving father and respectful husband. You can see that my grandfather felt very comfortable and safe sitting on his father's lap.  This has to be one of my favorite family pictures.
John Wilson Beheler was born on September 1, 1849 in KY (probably Allen Co) to William C. and Mary Ann (McClary) Beheler.  He was their 4th child.  John Wilson's own father died when he was 12 or 13.  John Wilson Beheler married Mattie Monroe Hancock on June 6, 1872 in McLean Co, KY.  Mattie was born October 28, 1855 in Ohio Co, KY.  She was 16.  John and Mattie had 9 children

James William born 5-20-1875 and died 1-12-1952
Bertha A   born 11-17-1879 and died 8-5-1964
Lulu B  born 1-1881 and died ?
Otha Ola  born 2-13-1883 and died 3-3-1952
Bettie Monroe  born 1884 and died 1966
Mary F  born 3-9-1886 and died 9-8-1894
Minnie Catherine  born 4-12-1888 and died 10-21-1957
Jessie Barnard  born 1-11-1890 and died 8-1-1964
Georgia May  born 12-7-1891 and died 12-1914

According to the Ohio Co, KY 1890 Tax List, John and Mattie owned land in Ohio Co.

John and Mattie became indebted to a F.M. Hoover in the amount of $36.55  This debt was collateralized using 48 acres of land owned by John and Mattie in Ohio Co, KY.  The payment of the debt was due March 11, 1893.

September 8, 1894, The Daily Journal, Henderson, KY reported:  There are seven members of the family of John W Beheler of Audubon, down with Typhoid fever.  His wife died a few days ago of the disease and one of the children was thought to be dying.  The Home Relief Association is having the family cared for by two trained nurses.  My great grandmother, Mattie Beheler died 8-30-1894 of typhoid fever.  She was 38 years old and left 9 children, the oldest being 19 and the youngest 2.  My grandfather was 4 years old.  The 8 year old, Mary F, died one week after her mother.

On September 4, 1894, John W. Beheler purchased Lot 1 with 7 plots at Fernwood Cemetery in Henderson, KY.

John and Mattie were unable to pay the debt owed to F.M. Hoover.  Suit was filed on September 19, 1896 by F.M. Hoover against John, Mattie (deceased) and listed all the children individually.  The land was appraised and valued at $500.00 and by November, 1897 the court ordered the land be deeded over.  The cost to the plaintiff was $78.60  

October 21, 1897, John W. Beheler made out his last will and testament -
In the name of God Amen, I John W. Beheler of Henderson County state of Kentucky being ill in body but of sound mind and disposing memory do make this my last will and testament as follows to wit.  After paying the expenses of my burial and the cost (not to exceed) thirty dollars of erecting a monument at my grave I wish the proceeds of my life policy in the Sun Life Insurance Company to be equally divided among my four youngest children Bettie Monroe, Minnie Catherine, Jessie Barnard and Georgie May.  I wish my son James William to have one bed and bedding.  I wish tat my daughter Bertha Ann shall have my sewing machine.  I also wish my son James William to my cooking stove and oldest set of chairs.  The rest of my furniture I will to my daughter Berta Ann to be held by her in trust and for the use and benefit of my four younger children Bettie Monroe, Minnie Catherine, Jesse Barnard and Georgie May above named.
I appoint David V. Davis executr of this my last will and testament and until guardians are appointed for my four younger children above named.  I wish him to act as such executor without bond.  I wish John C. Clevison Hancock of McLean County Ky half brother of my deceased wife and Francis M Hower of Ohio County Ky if they will do so, to each take two children I wish one half of the remainder of the proceeds of my life policy aforesaid to be paid to John C Clevison Hancock and one half the remainder of the proceeds aforesaid life policy to be paid to Francis M. Hower to be by them each used for the benefit of those of my four youngest children whom they each shall take.  In testimony whereg witness my name signed here to this
October 21st 1897
John W Beheler
his Xmark  
My great-grandfather, John W. Beheler died October 21, 1897 at the age of 48 in Henderson Co, Ky.  According to Dr. Arch Dixon, he died from 'general exhaustion.'

Ohio Valley Banking & Trust Co was appointed guardians of Minnie Catherine, Jessie Barnard and Georgie May.  All three children were committed to Louisville Baptist Orphans Home on April 6, 1898.  Minnie was 9 years old just 6 days before her 10th birthday, Jessie was 8 years old and Georgie was 6 years old.  

My grandfather's 4 sisters -  Bettie, Otha, Minnie and Bertha

 My grandfather, Jessie Barnard Beheler with his sister, Minnie 


I'm not exactly sure how to close this.  I've known bits and pieces of the story, but to put it all together with the pictures brings a new respect for the Beheler side of my family.  I admire the love they had for each other and their strength.  They are good people..........  

Friday, March 6, 2015

State Street House Tour and Mickey

I was reminded that I could use the google street view to see if that house was the same as the house we lived in back in the 1950s.  It is and while it is has been abandoned and boarded up, it made me smile to see it again.  While we can't go inside, I can show you where each room is.  It was really a nice house when we lived there.
The front of the house looks the same except we had a big maple tree in the middle of the front yard and there was no walkway across the front or on the right side.  (1) is the blue bedroom and (2) is the pink room.  The pink room was the smallest bedroom.  The little white house next door is the same.  A single older lady lived there when we did.  She had a big black and white cat and she would let me pet it.  I love cats and use to go looking for strays to bring home.  I think I brought the lady's cat into our house once and Mother made me take it back.  Our living room was across all of the front of the house.

The side and back of the house.  (1) is the blue bedroom.  (2) is the yellow-cream bedroom.  This was the largest bedroom.  (3) is the bathroom.  (4) is the living room.  (5) is our bedroom.  The headboard of our bed was up against the windows.  When it would storm with a lot of lightning and thunder, it was kinda scary.  (6) is the coal bin opening.  The
coal truck would come and they would shovel coal through the window.  The coal bin was just a small area with walls around it to keep the coal contained.  Mother would shovel coal into a bucket and then shovel it into this huge, round furnace.  (7)  This is where our parakeet, Mickey is buried.  There wasn't that enclosed back porch when we lived there.
My mother would not let us have any pets.  It wasn't because she didn't like animals, it was because we couldn't afford to take care of one.  We did have a goldfish once in one of those round bowls.  I don't believe he lived very long.

I don't remember who gave us Mickey, but mother said that we could keep him.  He was a bright blue with white face and yellow beak.  He was very pretty and friendly.  We kept him in our bedroom.  I would take him out and have him sit on my finger and let him climb from one finger to the other.  I would pet him and kiss him - I just loved that bird.

One afternoon I decided to give him a bath.  I pulled the chair up to the kitchen sink and filled it with water - not hot or cold.  I probably filled it about 4 inches and turned the water off.  Mickey was on my finger and I lowered him into the water.  He didn't exactly like it and started fluttering around.  So I took a hold of him and dunked him in the water.  It was a quick dunk, but when I lifted him out,  he was limp.  I hurried and dried him off and started crying.  He just couldn't die - please wake up.  I took him out on the front porch.  It was a warm day and the sun was shining on the ledge.  I laid him down in the sun where I have Mickey written in the picture.  I thought maybe he would dry out and come back and through my tears, I kept asking God to bring him back to life.  I talked to God a lot when I needed help.  I just kept saying please God, bring him back, I'll be good.  I also tried to negotiate with God - it wasn't working.
My mother came out and tried to console me.  After awhile, we got some pretty material and wrapped him up and buried him in the back yard next to the house.  My mother told me he would turn to dust.  After several months, I had to see if he turned to dust so I dug him up, but he was still wrapped in the material.  I checked several more times, but he was always there.      

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

School #14 - It's A New World

The first school that I attended was Indianapolis Public School #14.  It was late summer of 1953 when my mother took me to register.  It was a big brick building.  We walked up the steps and went in.  The kindergarten room was to the left and I walked in holding my mother's hand.  The teacher told me that I could look around the room while she and my mother talked.  At the back left corner was a play kitchen with sink, play stove, dolls - there was a lot of pink. Along the back wall towards the other corner were blocks, toy cars and trucks.  There were shelves of paperback books, paints, paper, rugs and easels standing up.  Plastic aprons and musical instruments like bells, triangles - all sorts of wonderful toys.  There was a blackboard that had the alphabet with a capitol letter and a small letter from A to Z and numbers.  It was a big room with a wood floor and wooden chairs to sit on.

I went over to the building blocks and toy cars and played with those while my mother and teacher were talking - school was going to be so much fun.  I was growing up.......

It was September 1, 1953 and my first day of school had arrived.  I was so excited to go to school and play with all the wonderful toys.  I just wished my brother could go with me, but he couldn't because he was too young.  There was a lady cross guard at the corner of State St and Ohio St.  She made sure the cars stopped so we could cross the street.  I walked down Ohio and turned north on Arsenal Ave and then continued on Ohio St. again.  I walked by a catholic school with a church.  It was called Holy Cross.  It was surrounded with a wrought iron fence - seemed very mysterious.  I arrived at School 14.  I went in and turned left into the Kindergarten room.
The teacher was there greeting the kids.  Her name was Nancy Highland (this is a picture of her).  There were lots of kids in the room and I didn't know anyone.  All of a sudden, I felt very alone and was really afraid to talk.  When we were able to go play with the toys, I wanted to go play with the blocks and cars.  But, I was told to go play in the kitchen with the other girls.  Boys played with the blocks and cars and girls played in the kitchen.  I was not a happy camper.  I follow directions and didn't throw a fit or anything, but I didn't understand why we all couldn't play with all the toys.  That was how my brother and I played.  My mother never told us we could only play with certain toys.

I think my favorite thing was painting pictures on the easel.  We had to wear the plastic aprons to paint.  We also got in a  circle and walked around playing the different instruments.  I wanted to play the triangle, but don't think I got to play it too much.  I really was afraid to say anything.  But, there were some cute boys in my class.  I never went through that "I hate boys" stage.  We also had to take a nap.  That was what those little rugs were for.  Everyone got a rug and laid it on the wooden floor and we were suppose to nap.  The teacher turned the lights off so the only light was the light coming in through the windows.  There was no way that I could sleep - I just laid there until it was time to get up, folded my rug up and put it back on the shelf.

I did meet my best friend that I had while I went to School #14.  She was very pretty and nice.  She had a very nice smile and beautiful curly hair.  Her name was Kathryn Campbell.  We started walking back and forth to school with each other.  Katie lived on Walcott, about 2 blocks from my house.  When she reached State St., we would walk the rest of the way to school together.  Because we lived so far from each other, we couldn't play together all that much.  If I went to her house, my mother would walk me down to Walcott and then watch me until I got to her house.  Neither one of us were allowed to go to each other's house unless someone watched us.  But, even though we couldn't play together a lot, we considered ourselves best friends.

And, because of Facebook, we have been able to reconnect.  It is so cool reconnecting with childhood friends that we really cared about and considered best friends.

My brother, sister and I found all of our report cards that my mother had saved.  I'm going to say this now, but I believe we were very fortunate that our mother was a hoarder.  She saved everything and it is so cool to go through all of these fantastic mementos.  I didn't remember what my teachers had written on my report cards.  Some of the comments really surprised me.
The 1st report from Ms Highland read:  "Donna is a quiet child and has found it very difficult to adjust to the group situations of Kindergarten.  However, she is slowly taking her place as an individual and as a member of the group."   Really Ms. Highland?  Well, I would have found it much easier if I had been allowed to play with the blocks and cars.

2nd report:  "Donna is becoming more cooperative and participates in all activities.  She has overcome her fear of school."   Well, I really didn't have a choice now, did I.

3rd report:  "Donna has adjusted very well to school.  She has learned self control and group participation.  She is now ready for the first grade."  Did she just say that I didn't have self control?  What was that all about?  I would have never, ever disobeyed a teacher or anyone else.  I was scared to death of adults and people I didn't know.  I never talked back to teachers.  Oh well,  I was only going to kindergarten for the first semester and now I was going into the first grade.  First grade - I won't have to play in the pink kitchen anymore............AND I was now a midtermer. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Our State Street Home in Indianapolis

My mother purchased our State Street home that was located at the corner of State Street and Ohio, 1 block north of Washington Street, the main east-west street of Indianapolis, IN.  We moved to this house after living with my grandmother on N. College.  It was a 2 story, white frame house with 3 bedrooms and bath upstairs.  I had an imaginary friend named Jean who lived in the mirror above the sink in the bathroom.  She had dark hair and was a good listener.  Mother rented the bedrooms out and we lived in the downstairs part.  I know we had 'roomers', but I really don't remember anyone ever being there except for my mother's best friend, Joyce.  She lived in the pink bedroom.  There was one roomer that lived upstairs that let us use his TV in the living room, but I don't remember what he even looked like.  Come to think of it, it may have been Joyce's TV.  Renting rooms to single people was pretty common back then.  So, the dining room was converted to the bedroom for my mother, brother, sister and I.  We had a front porch with a brick half wall around it.  There was a small backyard.  On Sunday, my mother would do the laundry down in the basement with a wringer washer and tubs for rinsing.  I was always afraid that I would get my arm stuck in between the rollers of the washer.   She would hang the washing outside in good weather.  She also had lines strung up in the basement in case of bad weather.  The back yard was also our burial ground for our only 2 pets, a parakeet named Mickey and a gold fish.
There was a small house behind us that a little girl and her parents lived in.  Her name was Marcia.  Even though she lived right behind us, I don't remember playing with her that much.  While most of the houses on our side of State Street were single family dwellings, the houses across the street were mostly doubles of frame construction.  Those houses sat really close together and always looked dingy to me.  I don't think I ever went across the street.  Most of the yards in our neighborhood were just dirt.  I remember Mother trying to get grass to grow, but it never would. We had friends that we played with on our side of the street - Butchie who lived with his grandparents (his grandmother was the lady who had the big iron press),  It always seemed dark inside and had that 'old people' house smell.  Do you know what I am talking about?    
There were 4 young girls living in a double down the street with their parents.  The oldest girl was my age and her name was Donna, too - Donna Sue.  One winter after a big snow, her dad made a Daniel Boone snowman with rifle and coon skin hat.  It was really cool!  It seemed like her parents fought a lot - I think he drank too much.  When he built the Daniel Boone snowman, I thought to myself - why couldn't he be that nice all the time.  The Daniel Boone snowman was really cool and everyone was really happy.  Just across the alley from them, there was a boy a few years older that lived there.  They had a big maple tree in the front yard and in order to climb it, you had to throw a rope around the lower big limb and hoist yourself up the trunk.  Once, I got halfway up, the rope broke and I fell on my back.  It hurt and I crawled home.  Actually, I didn't hurt all that bad, I just liked the drama..............After the houses, there were a few businesses on State Street towards Washington Street.  A cleaners that had a sloped parking area in front that was great for roller skating, Next to it was an auto garage that smelled of oil and grease.  The old men would sit outside the overhead garage door.  They were always nice and would say 'hi' when we walked by, but I was a scared of them.  Then at the corner there was the drugstore.   After my grandmother would go downtown on Saturday for her dressmaking shopping, she would take the bus to our house to visit.  The bus stop was at the corner of State and Washington and my brother and I would walk her to the bus stop when she left.  She would give us each a dime to buy something at the drugstore.  You could buy a lot for a dime.  Sometimes we would buy bubble gum or small tablets to draw in and then there were always the wood paddles with the rubber balls.  My brother and I were big suckers for those wooden paddles and balls.  They usually broke within 10 minutes and then Mother would have herself a new paddle.  We had a big heavy white upright piano in our bedroom and when Grandma would call to talk to Mother, Eddie and I would get the paddle and push it under the piano.  There was quite a stash when we moved out of that house.    
Here is a newer picture of our block (1) our house (2) the cleaners (3) auto garage (no longer there) (4) drugstore (no longer there) (5) Marcia's house and (6) was the alley.  Back then, the garbage cans were left at the alley where the garbage trucks would drive through to pick up the garbage.  Garbage was just thrown in the garbage cans - we didn't have plastic bags.  It always smelled bad.  I'm not sure when this aerial was taken or if that house is the same one that we lived in.  It seemed that there were more houses when we lived there in the 1950s.

My brother and I also liked playing on our front porch - it was big.  There was a big glider to swing on and a milk box by the front door for the milkman to leave milk in.  We could even ride our tricycles on the front porch.

We had the freedom to play and our imaginations knew no boundaries.  The house was our toy box.  Here is another aerial picture of our house.   The apartments across Ohio St were the apartments that we stood next to for our pictures with our sister.
This is one of the pictures with Joyce, my mother's best friend, taken with my brother, sister and I.  Joyce was very pretty.  She was a sweet and fun lady and had a bubbly personality.  
The State Street house holds lots of memories.  This is where we lived when Eddie and I had our picture taken on the pony.  My sister was born here and this is where we lived when Eddie and I started school.  That first year of school for me was rough.  Eddie was still at home and was able to play with all the toys by himself.  It was really bad if we got a new 'toy' and I had to go to school.  I remember one time, someone gave us these big photograph books.  There weren't any photographs in them;  just blank thick paper.  We were going to draw in them.  I just knew Eddie was going to draw on all the paper while I was at school.  There were many mornings that I had to be physically pushed out the door.  Quickly the door would shut and I had no where to go but to school.  It just wasn't fair!  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Life Lessons for School Pictures

School pictures happen every year.  Back when I was in grade school, you only had your picture taken once a year.  Now they are taken twice a year.  It is really stressful for girls - hair; what dress should I
wear;  remember not to blink;  do I have any milk or cracker crumbs on my face;  don't touch my hair.  I was 5 going on 6......endless worries.  Our class lines up in single file and we walk to the gym.  The boys start playing around and you are trying to keep them from touching your hair.  Then some adult hands you a comb.  Everyone gets one.  No mirror?  You're not sure if you need to comb your hair or not.  The stress is unbearable ................... For my first school picture which was my kindergarten picture, I wore a pretty dress with some lace.  Put on my favorite necklace - it was gold with red stones - beautiful.  I had curled my hair with pin curls the night before, so my hair was curly.  Now I was being lead to the stool - it was my turn.  I sat down on a stool, they said: "look at the camera" and I'm thinking 'don't blink' 
Weeks later we get our school pictures and voila, this is my kindergarten picture for the 53-54 school year.  I thought it was pretty cool...................  

Life Lesson - How to Make Your Eyes Sparkle for Picture Taking

It was the 54-55 school year.  I was going into the second semester of the 1st Grade (remember, I am a mid-termer) and school pictures were about to begin. I was 6, soon to be 7. I had the hair curling down pat - just twirl my hair around my finger, slip off and bobby pin it. Then, my mother asked me if I knew how to make my eyes sparkle for when I got my school picture taken. I told her that I thought carrots made your eyes sparkle. She just laughed and said, Donna Jo, let me show you how to make your eyes sparkle. So the lesson began............
My mother said, just look at an object and blur your vision without shutting your eyes. Sort of like when you are mad and giving someone that 'look' except smile, but just a little. Or, quint without shutting your eyes. So, I practiced and with her guidance, perfected my 'sparkle' eye look. 
Picture day was still stressful. Trying not to let my hair get messed up.  Remember to make my eyes sparkle and for heaven sakes, don't blink.  Got in single file and headed for the gym.  Boys start goofing around - really!  Don't they ever grow up?  Weeks later, I receive my 1st grade school pictures.  Took them home and Mother opened the packet.   My 1st grade picture was my best school picture ever. As you can see, my eyes sparkled.........

Now it is the 55-56 school year and it's that time again - school pictures.........I was much older and wiser, after all, I was going into the 2nd semester of 2nd grade.  I realized that gaudy jewelry might be a bit much so no jewelry for me.  Maybe my hair was a bit too curly last year so I went for the bigger curls.  And, just maybe I would smile a little bigger this time.  So off to school I went, all dressed up for my school picture.  Soon, it was time to head for the gym.  Got in single file (the boys still acted stupid), but I could not wait to get my free comb.  Yes, a free comb.  Kept thinking, please remember - don't let my eyes blink.  Set on the stool and looked at the camera.  Whoops, think I forgot to make my eyes sparkle, but at least I didn't blink.  Several weeks later, got my packet and took it home to my mother.  Here is my 2nd grade picture.

Jake and Mariah Saul / Weisenauer Get Together 1909

Picture/postcard of the Jake (Henry Jacob) & Mariah Saul Weisenauer family, my great, great-grandparents in Plevna, IN. I am pretty sure they are as follows: Seated left to right: Otto Glen Weisenauer (my great-grandpa's brother) holding his and Lulu's first child, Mary, who was born in May 1909. Goldie Weisenauer Singer (my grandmother's sister), Jake (Henry Jacob) Weisenauer, Stella Weisenauer Hodson (my grandmother's sister), Mariah Saul Weisenaur, Cliffie Weisenauer Shockney (my grandmother), Ed (John Edward) Weisenauer (my great grandfather) holding John Howard Weisenauer (born 1907) (my grandmother's brother). Standing in the back row left to right: Lulu Fisher Weisenauer (Otto Glen's wife), Della Weisenauer (my great-grandpa's sister) and Bertha Northcutt Weisenauer, my great-grandmother. Picture would have been taken in 1909. I believe that the May D. Saul that this picture/postcard was addressed to is Mariah Saul Weisenauer's neice (daughter of Mariah's brother, John Kagy Saul). May Della was born in 1891 and died in Nov. 1911 or 1912 (find a grave) in Liberty Twp., IN. Once again, my great-grandmother, Bertha, has her daughters looking beautiful.

Greentown Festivities of June, 1973

Picture taken on Father's Day - 6-17-1973 at my grandmother's home in Greentown, IN. My great-grandfather, Ed (John Edward) Weisenauer with his 5 children (my grandmother and her 4 siblings). These siblings were the backbone of our family - they were very close and I was lucky enough to have known all of them during my childhood and into adulthood.  
The picture above taken at my grandmother's house in Greentown, From left to right: Goldie Weisenauer Singer, Cliffie Weisenauer Shockney (my grandmother), Ed (John Edward) Weisenauer, Stella Weisenauer Hodson, John Weisenauer and Charles Weisenauer. Picture taken 6-17-1973. Great-grandpa was 91 in this picture.                                                                                                                                                                            
The weekend before, there was the 4th annual Greentown Glass Festival. The glass festival was a 3-day event and included carnival rides, food vendors, the antique glass show (lots of Greentown glass dealers), visits to the Glass Museum, pie eating and egg carrying contests, parachute jumps, square dancing and the glass festival parade. The parade went in front of my grandmother's house so we could sit inside the screened porch or in the yard and watch. The little kids always had such a fun time trying to catch candy and seeing the clowns. More than 100 units participated in the 1973 parade and it lasted for a good 90 minutes. The 3 grand marshals of the parade were Bob Gregory, John Lindsey and Don Hein, all newsmen from an Indianapolis television station. My grandmother had a house full 2 weekends in a row. 
My grandmother, Cliffie Weisenauer Shockney, Aunt Goldie, Aunt Stella, Great-Grandpa and Chloe (his 2nd wife) visiting the Greentown Glass Museum in downtown Greentown, IN. during the Greentown Glass festival. 

Rojay Gotee - Thunder n' Lightnin'

My 45 record player like we had back in the 1950s and 1960s.  I bought this for my Christmas and birthday present of 2013.  It has been refurbished and it works beautifully. Now I can play a stack of records.  RCA Victor in dark brown bakelite. Soooooooo cool!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Summer of 1965, I went to stay with my grandmother in Indianapolis, IN.  We had gotten out of school early because of the Palm Sunday tornado destroying our school in Greentown, IN.  So off to Indy, I went. My best friend, Skip, had a car and every evening around 10:00 pm, he would pick me up and just go driving around, blaring the radio and singing. Our 3 favorite songs were "I Got You, Babe" by Sonny & Cher, "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones and "Thunder 'n Lightnin" by Rojay Gotee. We'd have all the windows rolled down and sing at the top of our voices.  I still have my record of Thunder 'n Lightnin and just played it on my new "old" record player. It is such a cool song.......with teenage attitude!  WIFE, the popular teenage radio station use to play it towards midnight. Don't think it was played during the day. It was just one of my favorites that summer.  Oh, Rojay will never die.............

Enjoy the song!

Monday, February 23, 2015

All In A Day's Work

"A History of The Kagy Relationship in America, From 1715 to 1900" by Franklin Kaegy that I recently purchased is just fascinating.  This book was written back in the late 1800s, taking Franklin Kaegy 23 years to write.  Not only does the book provide a record of births and marriages of the Kagy family in chronological order, but also includes glimpses of the lives, beliefs and character of our Kagy ancestry.  Some of these stories just need to be shared..........first let me show you how our distant cousin, Rebecca E. Groves Terry, fits in our lineage.
  • Rudolph Kagy m. Frances Barglebaugh  about 1774  (Rudolph is the progenitor of our branch of the Kagy name and came to America from Switzerland in 1764)
  • Christian Kagy m. Mary Bibler  about 1796   (Christian is a brother to Rudolph - our branch)
  • Rebecca Kagy m. James A. Ashbrook  11-10-1836
  • Abigail Ann Ashbrook m. Robert Groves  about 1859
  • Rebecca E. Groves m. William H. Terry  9-23-1875
As told by Franklin Kaegy on page 491:  "Mr. Terry resided near Wildwood, Washington State.  On the 21st of March, 1883, he was engaged in clearing up some land, and in cutting down an alder tree it fell on him and killed him.  His wife found him and sawed the tree off in order to release him; she then carried him to the house, distant some two hundred yards, over a creek and up a hill.  She and her two little children (Mary born Dec 3, 1880 and George born Jan 21, 1883) were the only occupants of the house, the nearest house being two miles distant, and as this occurred about 5 o'clock in the evening she was compelled to remain there alone until morning.  When morning came she locked the door and started for her parent's home, carrying both of her children a distance of two miles.  During her stay in the house over night she prepared her husband's body for burial."
Isn't that wild?  Now, Rebecca was born in 1860 and died in 1953.  She was only 15 when she married William Terry.  Mr. Terry was born in 1846 so he was 14 years older than her.  Rebecca remarried the following year to a Charles B. Runyan and they had 3 children.  This incident would have happened during the time that Franklin Kaegy was writing this book and Rebecca lived long after this book was published.  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cowboys, Indians and Pony Rides

My brother and I are only 13 months apart so we were constant playmates when we were little.  We always combined playing house with cowboys and Indians.  I'm not sure that we knew there were girl's toys and boy's toys.  We wore cowboy hats and had cap guns and holsters around our waist.  We used big cardboard boxes to make a fort around our "house" which was a card table with a blanket over it that also served as a tepee when we were the Indians.  We would string cord from the banister to the front door knob for our clothesline.  Dolls were our children.  In the winter time, the floor register was our campfire.  It would get pretty hot when my mother would shovel coal into the furnace.  She wasn't real happy when the clay (our food) melted on the floor register.  Oh, and the time we spilt chocolate milk down the register - she wasn't real happy about that either.

So, when the man came around and asked if we wanted our picture taken on the pony, we got so excited.  Now, we didn't have much money and mother didn't splurge on frivolous things too often, but she ended up saying we could.  And, here we are sitting on our pony.  This was taken in 1953 at our house on State Street.  We were full-fledged cowboys and our pony was the most beautiful and best pony in the world!  Sitting on the pony and playing cowboys and Indians with my brother are some of my most wonderful childhood memories.  
So, when did the guy with the pony stop coming around to take a picture of you sitting on the pony?  He was still coming around in the early 1950s when my brother and I were little.  By the 1960s, I don't think he was coming around anymore.  My sister never got her picture taken on the pony.  So, what happened that ended one of the most wonderful memory makers for any city kid?  
Luckily, for our sister, Ann, we had the best rocking chair ever.  It was perfect. The arms were the horses. We would sit on them and rock like we were riding - even the end of the arms looked like horses' heads, don't they? The seat was used as a stagecoach.  After my sister, Ann, was born, we pretended she was our child and would put her in the 'stagecoach' and take her on our adventures.    We made up stories and played for hours. How this chair has held up for 60 years, I have no idea. It is now in my living room - retired.  I'm just glad that we were children of the early '50s and didn't miss the man with the pony. 

The picture of my brother, Eddie, was taken when we still lived at 839 College with my grandmother just before we moved to the State Street house.  Now, why is my brother all happy and smiling and I'm not? He's got the HAT. He always gets the HAT.  And, he doesn't even know how to hold a gun..............he still gets the HAT!  

The Blender of My Childhood

I unpacked the boxes that contained the blender and mixer we used when I was a child in the 1950s.  The Waring blender was in the dining room closet along with 2 Sunbeam Mixers exactly where my Grandmother had stored them.  I guess my mother and grandmother both had a mixer.  I'm sure the one with a little more wear was my Grandmother's.  I'm keeping the blender - it is just so cool.  Note that the jar does not have a handle.  The jar was made by Pyrex for Waring and is so marked on the bottom.

Look how clean the bottom of the base is.  I don't remember ever using this for anything other than making malts or milkshakes.  The thing was that they never tasted like the ones you got from the soda fountain at the corner drug store.  But, it was still a big treat when we got to make them - usually on Saturday evening as a family.  My brother and I usually had the honors of making them.

You really had to hold the lid down tight when turned on as it did not fit tight like they do today.  It was so much fun to make the malts, but I sure didn't like cleaning the jar with those blades at the bottom.  I am just so happy to have this wonderful childhood memory sitting on my kitchen counter.

Our National Motto - In God We Trust

The following article was taken from the 1980 Farmers' Almanac, compliments of Avon.  It is an article written by Mary Accles in the Liguorian Magazine, a  Catholic magazine.  I am not sure when this article was written, but was probably just after the Supreme Court's ruling banning the word "God" from prayer in public schools.


In God We Trust, originating during the Civil War as an inscription for United States coins, was first contemplated by the Reverend M. R. Watkinson of Ridleyville, Pennsylvania, a deeply concerned churchman who in 1861 wrote to the Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase.
The letter read:  "From my heart I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters."  The clergyman then suggested "recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins."
Secretary Chase, in complete accord, ordered designs prepared with the inscription "In God We Trust."  It first appeared on some U.S. coins in 1864, then appeared and disappeared until 1955, when Congress ordered it placed on all paper money and coins.
In 1956 "In God We Trust" was designated as the United States national motto and was signed into law during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
There are those who would exclude God entirely from the American way of life even though dependence on God was first permanently established by our Founding Fathers in the preparation of the Constitution.  Such permanence has been affirmed and reaffirmed in the context of assertions by many of our greatest statesmen, churchmen, authors and poets. 
We have the undeniable and indisputable claim that America is the only country in the world founded with an implicit faith in God.  The last sentence of the Declaration of Independence states:  "And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor." 
In view of the Supreme Court's ruling banning the word "God" from prayer recitations in public schools, it's comforting to know "In God We Trust" continues as our national motto.
We shall continue to affirm our unqualified reliance on God and joyously acclaim, "In God We Trust."
-----Mary Accles

Liguorian Magazine

My Sister's First Haircut

My brother e-mailed me a copy of a note I had written to my mother back in 1960.  He called it "Donna's Confession."  It's one of those stories that we laugh about today, but it sure wasn't funny Thursday night, July 14, 1960.  
The summer of 1960 - sort of a lazy summer.  I was twelve.  My sister was five.  She had long, thick dark brown hair.  It was very pretty and had never been cut except for the bangs.  My mother loved brushing her hair and making it curl.  I kept offering to cut it, but mother wouldn't hear of it.  She was not going to cut my sister's hair. 

We lived with my grandmother and my mother worked second shift at a factory.  After dinner, my grandmother would go back into her sewing room and sew.  There wasn't much to do except watch the boys play baseball across the street, not that I didn't like doing that.  I'm not sure why but on this particular Thursday night in July,  I decided I was going to just trim my sister's hair.  Just a little.  We were upstairs in our room.  I got the scissors.  I sat my sister in a chair in front of the mirror on the dresser and brushed her hair out.  It was so long and just needed to be evened out a little.  Told her to hold still and began to cut.

I never had any problem cutting my own hair.  Her hair was so thick and I just couldn't seem to cut it straight.  Kept trying to even it out, but this was not going according to plan.  My sister just sat there - have no idea what was going through her mind.  Pretty soon I had cut her hair up to her shoulders.  Not good.  I stopped.  It was too late, the damage was done.  I couldn't put it back.  Mother was going to kill me.  And, oh, if Grandma sees this I'm in worse trouble than my mother killing me.

I called my best friend, Barbara, and told her what happened.  We talked in a whisper so that my grandmother wouldn't hear.  It was before cell phones when phones were actually tied to a line in the wall.  Our phone was in the foyer right outside my grandmother's sewing room.  After we talked (I was sure I would probably never see Barbara again), I went back upstairs and wrapped my sister's head with a hairnet so it just looked like her hair was up.  Put her in bed.  Once she was in bed, she didn't move.  I wrote a note to my mother and here is what I wrote:
Dear Mommy,  I did a terrible thing to Ann you can possible guess.I got my wish, but I wish I didn't do it.  Ann likes it, but she is afraid she will get in trouble or I will.  I know I will but she didn't do nothing except move.  I cut her hair!  I was only going to even it up, but she moved and then I had to cut more off.  I'm sorry, very sorry but don't tell Grandma what I did.  I thought I better tell you what I did instead of you finding out about it yourself.  You'd be madder if I tried to hide it.  I save her hair.   Donna.   Thursday July 14 - 1960 
After writing the note (did you notice how I tried to weasel out of it being my fault and that my sister liked her haircut?), I also got in bed and as far down in the covers as I could get.  She was going to be so mad.  When my mother got home that night, I was still awake.  She came upstairs and into our room.  She saw the note and picked it up.  She read it.  And oh, was she mad.  She yelled and cried.  I didn't say a word.  I think she was afraid to spank me, she was so mad.  She would say that this was the worst thing I ever did. 

At the time, I knew that I had done something that hurt my mother and I really was very sorry.

Here is a picture of my mother with my sister and brother soon after my horrific crime.  Please note that I am not in the picture - I was probably still locked up in the dungeon.  Yes, I was still in the dungeon, please note how happy my brother is;  just all smiles isn't he.....and my sister?  She doesn't seem too upset with her new haircut.  Yes, Eddie and Annie seem to be doing just fine without me while I was wasting away in the dungeon.