Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What I have in common with Steven Spielberg…

‘Sharing Memories’ series of stories...
What I have in common with Steven Spielberg…

[The B-52]

Back in 2012-13, I wrote a series of posts under the theme, Sharing Memories, that came to my attention again today. I was reading the 9 October 2015 (current) issues of the magazine, “Entertainment Weekly.” On pager 40, there is an interview with Steven Spielberg, related to his new movie, with Tom Hanks, ‘Bridge of Spies,’ about to be released (Oct 16).

It was the first few lines of the interview that caught my attention:
“Headline: Steven Spielberg Remembers Looking Up a Lot as a Kid
At night, in wonder. In daylight, at the warplanes lifting off from one of the Air Force bases around Phoenix. “The sky was a crisscross of contrails during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and I could assume these were B-52s going to their fail-safe points,” the filmmaker, 68, says. “It exacerbated my deepest fears that the world was about to come to an end.” his father, an engineer with General Electric, had visited the Soviet Union on a peace-program exchange and tried to reassure his son. “My dad always said, ‘Don’t worry about this, there’s never going to be a war,” he says. “But I never believed it.””

Also referring to the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis, this is what I wrote as my first, of several, memories:

“Probably the most common story I tell (have told) about this time period was that for several days (a week or more) there was never a moment, day or night, when there were not military aircraft in the air, moving east and west, flying over our mesa and house in Winslow, Arizona, in preparation for eventualities 'if' the Cuban missile crisis was not settled peacefully.” From: http://drbilltellsancestorstories.blogspot.com/2012/01/sharing-memories-cuban-missile-crisis.html

It is the first time I recall someone else telling this same story of their observations on those days. Neat!

Families are Forever!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

My first years… from Eileen's Diary - Highlights of March (1st part), 1941

My first years…
from Eileen's Diary
Highlights of March (1st part), 1941
These are highlights from the diary of my mother, twenty-one year old Eileen KINNICK SMITH, 75 Years Ago. She kept a diary from 1932 as a freshman in high school until she left us, too early, in 1999.

[Rather than posting each mundane entry, I've chosen items of interest to me, as I knew my family (or didn't). Also, significant events Mom noted, as seen by me, looking back. Comments at the end.]  

This image is from a year later, but I couldn't pass it up when they mentioned chickens....  ;-)

Month of March (1st part) highlights:

Sat. Mar. 1 - … Buss & Mom came out. Papered the pantry. Boys brought the chickens over. Dad came out at nite. Leo, Ida, Karen came. Played Cherokee Rummey till 11:00. Dad slept. Kids danced, played cards, etc.
Sun. Mar. 2 -  …Leo, Ida, folks came for dinner. Scrubbed, waxed kitchen floor. Cleaned porch. Moved separator to wash house. …
Tues. Mar. 4 - Quite cold. Billy & I went into Mom’s to wash. Really had a big washing. Sang at Tom Herron’s funeral. Lillian, Jack R., Dale T. & I. Ironed when I got back. …
Sat. Mar. 8 - …I made 2 cherry pies. …Pete & I went in town. Got paint from Keister & picked out paper at Bowman’s. Hangers are coming out Monday.
Sun. Mar. 9 - … Buss & Mom here all day. Dad at bank. Painted pantry w.work & green in kitchen. …
Mon. Mar. 10 - Paper Hangers came at 9:00. Papered kitchen & then I got dinner for them. They went over to Eunice’s after dinner & papered a room and then came back here & papered the dining room. I washed my hair, Pete chored early. Took Billy in to folks & we went to Max & Orrin’s for duck dinner. LVene, Verle, Toots there too. Home at 11:30.
Tues. Mar. 11 - Got up in good time. Paper Hangers came at 11:00. They had papered Norma’s kitchen. Here for dinner. Finished dining room, bedroom, hall. I painted pantry woodwork & started the kitchen. …
Wed. Mar. 12 - Paper Hangers came at 8:00. Papered upstairs bedroom & closet. Here for dinner. Pete & I picked up the paper & burned it. He went down to help Don with his hog house. I swept all rooms, finished painting the kitchen, gave closet 1 coat. …
Thurs. Mar. 13 - …Scrubbed dining room, hall, living room & waxed dining room. … Really tired.
Fri. Mar. 14 - Went in to Mom’s. Ironed 7 pairs of curtains. Zumwalt pressed 3 pairs. Left Billy at folks. Home & we cleaned up & met the gang in town. Surprised Arnold & Julia on their Anniversary. Arnold was sick in bed. Helen R., Liz, Virginia, Ed, Elmer, Iva D., Erna, Orel, Marg., Don, Norma, Ramons, Lloyd, Edith T., Helen B., Edith, Harold. Ice Cream., Cake, Sandwiches, Coffee. Home at 1:30.
Sat. Mar. 15 - Kinda tired. Went in town after Billy while Pete finished chores. Mom & Bussy came home with me. Straightened up dining room & kitchen. Put up curtains. Surely makes a difference. Dad came out for supper. He’s so glad Income Tax is over. They left early & we went to bed.

My comments:
We get a pretty fair view of how big the new house was… 2 floors, etc. Wash house. Loved the stories of the “Paper Hangers” and how she had them for dinner a few times… they were working all over the neighborhood. Mom and Dad got to clean up after them. My, how times have changed, in some ways. Painting the woodwork… over and over. And, fixing meals while all the work is being done. Most interesting.
Mom sang in a mixed quartet for funeral… first time I’ve noticed that activity!! ;-)
Also noticed that Billy got left over night with Grandpa and Grandma, in town, several times. What fun! ;-) Love how she lists all the people involved in visits. P.S. I’ll bet Arnold was surprised… in his sick bed… but they had the party, anyway!! ;-)

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Stephenson County, IL, Research Trip

Stephenson County, IL, Research Trip
 We haven’t taken a genealogy research trip for a while, so kind of fun for a change. We have a wedding, Nancy’s side of the family, this coming weekend, in Dubuque, Iowa. A few miles east of there is Stephenson County, Illinois, where a couple of Nancy’s 3-times great-grandparents migrated to from Union County, Pennsylvania, in the 1840s. She has been wanting to visit Stephenson County for a long time, to check out some details. So, we left a couple of days early and stayed in the historic Stephenson Inn, eight story building, right downtown. Built in 1915 as the Freeport Inn; for the past 8 years it has been a Hampton Inn. We got room 801, and this is the view from our room:

The courthouse is next to the spire in the middle… probate records, wills, etc. and the public library is just tot he right of the high building on the right.Here is a street level view, last night. The entrance is between the glass lights on the right. Both images look to the north, toward Cedarville, where we visited the cemetery earlier today.

At the Cemetery, we actually found both the 1868 tombstone of Jacob Hartman, her 3rd Great-Grandfather, as well as his son, also Jacob, and his wife, Priscilla - they shared a marker. It is here:

 Here is Nancy with the 1868 stone...

They are actually just across the driveway and up a little from each other. Nancy spotted each of them first, as I was walking around, looking for them. Good homework paid off!! We are now in our room resting. Successful trip. Successful day. Tomorrow, off the the wedding and family visits.

Families are Forever!! ;-)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

My first years… from Eileen's Diary - Highlights of February (2nd part), 1941

My first years…  
from Eileen's Diary
Highlights of February (2nd part), 1941

These are highlights from the diary of my mother, twenty-one year old Eileen KINNICK SMITH, 75 Years Ago. She kept a diary from 1932 as a freshman in high school until she left us, too early, in 1999.

[Rather than posting each mundane entry, I've chosen items of interest to me, as I knew my family (or didn't). Also, significant events Mom noted, as seen by me, looking back. Comments at the end.]

NOTE: I’ve skipped the first six weeks of 1941. Cold, snowy, everyone had colds… pretty normal stuff. Two things going on in the background, not really any details, but I know what was happening:
1. Pop’s estate was being discussed among Dad’s siblings… what to do… again, no details, but a ‘lot of talking’ - you can feel the tension - that did come to a conclusion, but I don’t know when… perhaps will say, later. AND
2. Pete, Eileen and Billy moved on February 28, as rental farmers often did (March 1 changeover). Not mentioned until Feb 26!! But, they had been doing so much work on house, and barn, I thought maybe was later, but no… so, a lot on this in the next couple of postings.

Month of February (2nd part) highlights:

Sun. Feb. 16 - … Max, Orrin, Gary, Judy here for dinner. Max bro’t beefsteak. Put Billy to bed after dinner. Folks stayed with him. Went up home to talk things over. Had quite a time.
Mon. Feb 17 - … Toots came while we were eating. They talked quite awhile….
Tues. Feb. 18 - …Pete chores and went to Carroll (Cooney). [Think this was the attorney handling the estate.] …
Thurs. Feb. 20 - Greenwald died - pneumonia.  … Gathered eggs. Got 30. Made cherry pie, pancakes for supper. Sewed Billy’s sleeper up, put him to bed and did dishes.
Sat. Feb. 21 - … Billy & I went to Linette Cretsinger’s shower at Albert Carpenter’s. Large shower.
Sun. Feb. 23 - …Mom & Bussy came out in P.M. Dad went to Greenwald funeral. He was pall bearer. Buss & Pete went hunting, got 2 pheasants, we cleaned them & had them for supper. We kids went to “Strike Up The Band.” Folks stayed with Billy. …
Wed. Feb. 26 - Did up usual work. Just had spuds & eggs, pineapple for dinner. Pete put on a load of oats. He, Billy & I went over to Anderson’s. Saw the whole house. Some things about it are nice and other things aren’t. Home at 2:30. Put Billy to bed. Pete took over another load of oats. Sorted things out in living room. Made a spice cake. Billy has another tooth. 17.
Thurs. Feb. 27 - Awfully cold. Ate, cleaned up & went to Club at Freyda Thomas’. Left Billy at Mom’s. Mom & Buzz came home with me. Carrie called & said they were moving tomorrow. So we worked hard. till 10:00. Took folks home. To bed at 11:00.
Fri. Feb. 28 - Quite cold. Really busy. Took Billy in to folks. Took Norma to help. LVene, Lillian, Max helped me. Loaded before dinner. Ate, & unloaded. Surely were in a mess but we got here any way. Folks came out & brought Billy. We all slept fine.

My comments:
Will continue in new house next week, of course. They had moved. Oh, my!! Decision had obviously been made before the 26th, but not a mention… she hadn’t seen the house till them. On 27th, apparently prior renters had moved out… they moved right in… P.S. no electricity, we learn in a day or two.
She seemed amazed that they “all slept fine” that first night… exhausted, of course, likely accounts for that. Quite an experience. Much more to come. This place was over on the county line, three or four miles east, couple of miles north of the place they lived the first two years.
Billy had 17 teeth, now, if I read that right. Got 30 eggs. Another important stat!  What a life! ;-)

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

My first years… from Eileen's Diary - Highlights of December (2nd part), 1940

My first years…  
from Eileen's Diary
Highlights of December (2nd part), 1940

These are highlights from the diary of my mother, twenty-one year old Eileen KINNICK SMITH, 75 Years Ago. She kept a diary from 1932 as a freshman in high school until she left us, too early, in 1999.

[Rather than posting each mundane entry, I've chosen items of interest to me, as I knew my family (or didn't). Also, significant events Mom noted, as seen by me, looking back. Comments at the end.]

[This is six months later, but I suspect this is the table and chairs I got for Christmas]

Month of December (2nd part) highlights:

Sat. Dec. 21 - Cleaned kitchen a little and went to Carroll at 11:30. Got a new song, saw Dr. Walter. Billy had empitigo. He surely fixed him up. Home at 4:30.
Sun. Dec. 22 - Went to Sunday School. To see David afterwards, over home and Irene told us Bob Garst had given us $35.00 for Christmas to get whatever we wanted. Home and had roast pork dinner. Stayed home all afternoon. Mom and Dad came out a minute. Scrubbed and lacquered dinning room floor at nite, went to bed.
Mon. Dec. 23 - … Chored early & Irene went with us to Carrroll. Got chair and ottoman and what not at Matt’s for $35.14. Got Billy table and chairs. Ate supper at Johnston’s. Bro’t Irene to town. Pete and I to Rees’ to sack candy but they were all through. Boys played cards awhile and they served ice cream. Got Billy and came home.
Tues. Dec. 24 - Washed and set my hair. Levee came to have her hair fixed. Matt’s brought the chair set, what not, and Billy’s little table and chairs. Did he like them. Pete and Toots went in town. Toots and LVene went home at 12:30. Ate, Margaret came and had her hair fixed. Did dishes, Billy took a nap and then he and I went in town. Took cream in and got clothes from cleaner. Had Billy’s hair cut. Home and cleaned up and went to church program. Got perfume, scrap book, salt & peppers. Rode in town to see lies.
Wed. Dec. 25 - Pete and Billy gave me an end table. Was I ever surprised & is it every nice. I gave Pete a zipper bill fold. Finished wrapping up presents and cleaned the house. We all took baths & went to Smith’s to dinner. Had turkey & ham etc. Betty gave me P.Js. Verle gave Pete a shirt & tie. Billy got a climbing monkey, ten pins, $2, a drum, a tractor, hankies. Home at 5:00. Chores, went in to folks. Leo’s & Delbert’s there. Had goose. Apron & pounder from Lillian. Pillow cases from Ida, hanky from Louises. Billy got a tea set, blocks, book of Jesus & rubber bear, wagon (red). Mom gave Pete and me socks. To Phitipino dance at Carroll. Not many from Coon. Home late.
Tues. Dec. 31 - … and went to Gertrude’s. Lee & Gleason & Billy Brideson, Ila Jean & we kids were there. Had noisemakers, hats, balloons, etc. Had potato salad, chicken sandwiches, date pudding, olives, pickles, coffee, celery etc. Sang, played cards. Billy went to bed & slept all the time. Drove over in the dark in the fog Lights burned out at Otis Teters. Home at 2:30. Gary in hospital with pneumonia.

My comments:

Lots of fun details, hated to leave any of it out. Really get a feel for the times… At least I do!
The food details, the gifts, all very familiar from years later… most interesting.
Typically, I slept through New Years Eve celebration… that seems about right!! Party animal, for sure! ;-)

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Obituary - Mark Charles Thomas

 Sunday Obituary
Mark Charles Thomas

From the Coon Rapids Enterprise - Thursday, September 10, 2015, Page 2:

Longtime civic leader and esteemed local attorney Mark Thomas died Sunday afternoon at Thomas Rest Haven in Coon Rapids (Iowa).
Funeral services will be held this Friday, September 11, at 10:30 a.m. in the First United Methodist Church in Coon Rapids with Reverend Joyce Webb officiating.
The visitation will be this evening from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Ohde Funeral Home in Coon Rapids. Interment will be at the Union Township Cemetery outside Coon Rapids.
Following that, a luncheon will be held at the Coon Rapids American Legion Building.
Casket bearers will be Larry Schwenk, Mark Coder Thomas, Charlie Nixon, Alan Bolger, Mark Textor and Ron Brower.

Mark Charles Thomas
Mark Charles, son of Wesley Lynk and Mary Elizabeth (Tumbleson) Thomas, was born August 23, 1951, in Carroll. He spent his entire childhood in Coon Rapids, graduating with the great Coon Rapids High School Class of 1969.
Following high school, Mark moved to Iowa City to attend the University of Iowa, where he majored in medieval history. After earning his bachelor’s degree in 1973, Mark briefly pursued a graduate degree in medieval history and worked as a telephone installer in the Iowa City area. He later enrolled at the University of Iowa College of Law and earned his J.D. in 1982.
On February 16, 1980, Mark was united in marriage with Jacquelyn (Jacci) Fisher in Clinton, her hometown. After Mark finished law school, the couple purchased an acreage outside Coon Rapids, where Mark established a thriving law practice. He soon took to “farming” trees and vegetables on his spread, starting his plants from seed indoors during the spring.
During his time on the acreage, he cultivated an affinity for woodworking and target shooting, and became quite skilled at both later in life.
Mark was a pillar of the Coon Rapids community. He served as city attorney for 27 years; member of the Coon Rapids Development Group for more than a decade; member of the Coon Rapids–Bayard School Board for 14 years; and president of both the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs at various times.
Mark was active in the Coon Rapids United Methodist Church as well, singing in the church choir, playing in the bell choir, and serving on the finance committee. He was also a longtime member of the Iowa Bar Association, served on the Carroll County Board of Health and was a founding member of the recently formed Community Foundation of Carroll County.
After Jacci’s death in June 2014, Mark remained in the family’s home and continued to practice law until August 2015, a month after he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. Though he put up a strong fight against the illness, his health declined precipitously through late August. Mark passed away at the Thomas Rest Haven Nursing Home in Coon Rapids on Sunday, September 6, aged 64 years and 14 days.
Mark was preceded in death by his parents and wife. He is survived by his daughter Dr. Helen (Nelli) Thomas and her husband Brian Martucci of Minneapolis, MN; brother John Thomas and his wife Leneice Wu of Falls Church, VA; nephews Mark Thomas and family of Annandale, VA, and Charles Thomas of Los Angeles, CA; and many other relatives and friends.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

My first years… from Eileen's Diary - Highlights of December (1st part), 1940

My first years…
from Eileen's Diary
Highlights of December (1st part), 1940 

These are highlights from the diary of my mother, twenty-one year old Eileen KINNICK SMITH, 75 Years Ago. She kept a diary from 1932 as a freshman in high school until she left us, too early, in 1999.

[Rather than posting each mundane entry, I've chosen items of interest to me, as I knew my family (or didn't). Also, significant events Mom noted, as seen by me, looking back. Comments at the end.]

[David, Billy, Buzzy, July 1942]

Month of December (1st part) highlights:

Wed. Dec. 4 - Birthday note: David T. - LVene & Verle’s baby born at St. Anthony’s at 10:10 a.m.
Sun. Dec. 15 - Snowy. Up late. Didn’t go to church. Billy didn’t feel good. I went with Edith & Erna to church in pm. to practice. Surely snowing. Home at 5:00. Were supposed to go to Max’s for Chili Birthday Supper, but Billy was feverish & I didn’t want to take him.
Mon. Dec. 16 - Really snowed all day. Monday sees to be a bad day. … Billy felt quite a bit better but he still has a cold.
Tues. Dec. 17 - Really a lot of snow and quite cold. Made aprons for Louise’s girls. Wrapped quite a few gifts.
Thurs. Dec. 18 - Scrubbing kitchen wood work & rendering lard. To church in morning to practice. Home and washed and set my hair. Cleaned up and went to Edith’s & Erna’s program at church. I played for them. Pete stayed home with Billy. The girls gave me a set of salt & pepper shakers. Foggy. Home at 11:30. Had cake and coffee.
Fri. Dec. 20 - Did up usual work. Pete went in to sale. He got me a few more Christmas presents & cards. Scrubbed kitchen wood work and rendered lard. Chores early, bathed, took Billy in to folks and went to Don & Norma’s to grab bag Sunday School Party. I got a box of chocolates & Pete got a whistle we put in. Got Billy and come home at 12:00.

My comments:
Getting the feeling of preparations for Christmas. Lots going on. Weather and illness. Pretty normal.
“Scrubbed kitchen wood work and rendering lard” seemed important activities.
Dad got what he put in at ‘grab bag’ - I suppose that happened from time to time… ;-)

Families are Forever!  ;-)