Sunday, December 1, 2019

Editor's Corner

December 2019

“ “The Christmas tree is a symbol of love, not money. There's a kind of glory to them when they're all lit up that exceeds anything all the money in the world could buy.” —Andy Rooney, Andy Rooney: 60 Years of Wisdom and Wit .
-


December this year is not only marking the end of the year but the end of the decade and there is some talk of the uniqueness of it beginning on Sunday which it hasn't for over 800 years and we shall not live in this lifetime to see it happen again. Your editor's lifetime has seen many changes, tecnological advances, medical innovations, shopping online -- let's not go there as am just starting to breathe again since Friday.

Our columnists: Mattie Lennon -- "Irish Eyes," Judith Kroll -- "On Trek," Thomas F. O'Neill --"Introspective," Rod Cohenour--"Cooking with Rod," Marilyn Carnell -- "Sifoddling Along," Melinda Cohenour -- "Armchair Genealogy," have been here faithfully, a few of them for the last decade and longer. Salute the columnists!

Poems this issue include two from John I. Blair who has been under the weather "Golden Eyes" and "Confession;" Bruce Clifford also with two "She's Not the Same Girl" and "It's Not Like Me;" three by Linnie Jane Joslin Burks "My Resolution--A New Year--1986," "Warning," and "Two Thoughts on Time;" Bud Lemire's four poems are "My Life's Story," "A Tap on My Shoulder," "I Hear You," and "M&M." "My Mind Doesn't Need A Cane" by yours truly rounds out December's dozen.

In honor of the Christmas holiday, here is another of your editor's poems, one a bit more seasonal.
(Christmas at Noralee's 1997) Ring the bells and make Mary merry,
But please stay out of the cooking sherry!
Open the gifts and enjoy the party!
Laugh a lot and all eat hearty!
There's packages of things for the kitchen,
Even gifts for the garden ditchin'.
Choosing for pets out in the yard,
Seems like that wasn't very hard--
Bought each a bone made out of leather
And when they got it they didn't know whether
To play with it or just should look at,
But finally, they chewed it and really shook it!
Gifts for Grannie and the newest Babe,
Presents beneath the tree were laid.
All gathered 'round with smiling faces,
Yet, so excited none could stay in their places.
Name-calling is welcomed this time of the year
And everyone listens their name to hear.
Unwrapping trinkets, jewelry and such--
How did they know who wanted to touch
The fur of a Teddy Bear, or Pochahontas' hair,
Or the lace on the bonnet for the dolly to wear.
Pleasing others brings a happy smile--
And who cares that the unwrapping took quite awhile.
For Christmas with loved friends and family,
And passing around the gifts from under the tree,
Is contagious joy and pleasure divine,
Whether the gift being viewed is your's or mine--
We're all together to share this day--
And this is the favorite time-honored way
For there's so much love and appreciation
That's unexpressed during the year's aggravation.
But the caring is there, just under the skin,
And it comes to the surface bringing a grin
When the recipient opens ribbons the color of fire
Disclosing inside the special thing they desired,
And thought no one knew how they longed for this one--
So joy of both gifted and giver is part of the fun.
With carols of Christmas ringing in our head,
There's times that words just have to be said--
And now's such a time-- a moment sublime --
For I want all to know, I've had a wonderful time!
©December 1997 Mary E. Adair 
Dedicated to the memory of my sister Noralee Edith (Carroll)Crowson
(December 4, 1936 - March 1, 1998)

Michael Craner, our co-founder and webmaster, and barbeque master extraordinaire, is the key to our well being, our equilibrium, our dreams. Thanks again, Mike!
See you in January!
Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

 
Refer a friend to this Column
Your Name -
Your Email -
Friend's Name - 
Friends Email - 
 
 

Armchair Genealogy


 

Thankfulness: Treasures in Research

 




    As we prepare this column, the Thanksgiving Holiday inspired a review of blessings. One of my greatest blessings is the opportunity to get to “know” my ancestors – the folks whose genes became part of ME. And that opportunity has been delivered, in my own circumstance, by the ability to “travel” the world via the Internet. The title of this column is directly tied to the technology that has made Armchair Genealogy research possible.

    Just this month, my annual subscription to Ancestry rolled around. It is no small figure for a senior budget, but in my mind, it is well worth the expense. This is my primary access to the world of genealogy, with literally millions of documents scanned in providing the opportunity to view records often written by or dictated by long buried ancestors whose lives were filled with the trivial and the critical. Through the miracle of modern technology and with a bit of time and strategic thinking, I am enabled to unlock the secrets of those who came before me, those who helped make me who I am.

    In the process of research, many surprises have come my way. Glimpses into the lives of these folks often elicited unexpected tears, or smiles, or even gasps as I found a connection to some famous (or infamous, Heaven help us) personages. This column was triggered by your author’s reflection on the things for which to give Thanks. In the process of recounting the love of family, good food prepared well, decent health (give or take a few annoying issues), friends who have enriched our lives, the fundamentals of personal security (shelter, warmth, utilities), my thoughts centered on the non-essential things which bring joy. Primary on this list was my love of genealogy.

    My family history research has also resulted in making the acquaintance of so many like-minded researchers. Many are family members who generously share their own research. Often the researcher became friend as a result of an inquiry arising from viewing one of my columns or finding a common ancestor on my family tree. Amazingly, in reviewing my records many with whom information has been shared have written back and forth for decades! Also, sadly, many who contributed greatly to my research have gone on to join our ancestors in Heaven.

    Talking about those surprise connections, my most recent “gift” was the discovery that Garth Brooks is a 6th cousin, once removed! Now, my husband and I have been HUGE fans of Garth since hearing his first recording nearly forty years ago. He and his connection to our family is now documented in my tree. This find was not mine but came about through my membership in a family Facebook page devoted to our Creek family lineage. My great-grandmother Flutie Creek (later Alexander, then Kendrick) was the daughter of Absolom Creek whose parents were Jacob Haudenschildt Creek and wife, Virginia Lee Younger Creek. Through this line arises our relationship to both the Younger boys whose exploits after the Civil War became infamous, and their cousins, the Dalton boys. One of my columns was devoted to the string of infamous relatives found through researching these guys, entitled Oh! Those Shady Characters! It was one of my more enjoyable bits of writing for pure fun. Shady Characters

    Researching the Dalton boys, one of those intriguing “coincidences” surfaced. My column back in 2014 explored this unusual find. Titled: My Strange Relationship with Julia Ann Johnson Whiteturkey Gilstrap Lewis Dalton Johnson, the column highlights one of the more interesting ladies to appear in our family. My Strange Relationship.

    Another find came in the course of research into one of my most disappointing brick walls (records documenting the birth in New Jersey of one William “P. R.” Joslin or Joslyn seem to have been burned during the Revolutionary War). My DNA test ties to many other Joslin descendants whose documented trees include the Col. William (of Deerfield) Joslin. An intriguing line in one of the histories of the family regarding the Colonel William Joslin read as follows: "He left Fairfield Township about 1730 and purchased land at the Indian Fields (East Bridgeton). At this place, he married Christiana Garrison, daughter of Jacob Garrison, Jr (1676-1751) who lived nearby. "

    Being the good little clue follower a researcher must become, I began research into the Garrison line. (By the way, DNA also links me to other Garrison descendants, the combination virtually assuring that we descend from this Joslin ancestor.) In that research, I found the parents of Jacob Garrison, Jr. to be Jacob “Old Jacob” Garritsen de Haas (anglicized to Garrison) and wife Christina Cresson and that brought about the connection to my 7th Great-Grandfather (may be 8th if we find P. R.’s father was not the Colonel but one of the Colonel’s sons) Pierre “La Jardiniere” Cresson. Pierre Cresson warrants a column of his own as his contribution to the New World rivaled that of almost any other for the impact felt through the centuries. (Stay tuned, readers, for this is proposed to be my first 2020 column subject!) Pierre acquired his nom de plume “le Jardiniere” by virtue of the breathtaking gardens he designed and executed for the Prince of Orange of Flanders, the Netherlands. (William II, Prince of Orange, was the son of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, and Amalia of Solms-Braunfels. On 2 May 1641, William married Mary, Princess Royal, who was the eldest daughter of King Charles I of England, in the Chapel Royal of Whitehall Palace in London. William was fifteen, while Mary was just nine at that time.) Through this ancestor, it appears there are connections to the Post family and another to the DeMarest family. Research must ensue.

    Pierre and family were part of the Huguenot migration to the New World. Likewise, another ancestor, Bartholomew duPuy, was a French Huguenot who made his mark on the New World. His story is one of romance and intrigue and was reported in an Armchair Genealogy column previously. Another jewel of a find! Bartholomew was the head of the personal guards protecting the life of one King Louis XIV of France. Bartholomew duPuy

    One of the most famous of our relatives was Napa Charley Hopper, whose story first inspired my interest in family history. His exploits as the hunter/guide for the Bartleson-Bidwell Party on its trek from Missouri to California triggered historical references in not less than four states! An early contribution to PencilStubs, before I actually committed to do a monthly column: Charles “Napa Charley” Hopper - The Ancestor whose Adventures Sparked my Interest in Genealogy Charles “Napa Charley” Hopper

    No list of treasures in our family tree would be complete without listing both Hugues dePayens (DuPuy) and Charlemagne. These two are without doubt THE most famous of all our ancestors. A tribute to Hugues dePayens was contained in the October 2019 column entitled: An Incredible Lineage: My 23rd Great Grandfather, Hugues dePayenes (DuPuy) Hugues dePayenes (DuPuy). Thus far, no column has been devoted to the connection to Charlemagne; however, that was one discovered decades ago through the inherited research of my grandmother, Carrie Joslin, who was a pen pal of the best-known Joslin family researcher, Edith Wessler. Her treatise on the Joslin (all spellings) family was self-published in 1962 after lengthy correspondence with all known Joslin family historians in that day and age. One of her constant correspondents was my grandmother. Following Mrs. Wessler’s death, her daughter, Carol Wessler Treadway, worked tirelessly to update the many handwritten journals in which Edith Wessler maintained her painstaking records. Carol and I became fast friends, emailing one another frequently through the years until Carol’s untimely death a few years ago. One day the Charlemagne connection must become a column.

    Thus, my love of genealogy has become one of my most treasured blessings. I urge each of you to take the time to talk to your elderly relatives NOW and make notes, take pics, video their remembrances before those stories are lost. There is a wealth of knowledge, family lore, grins, tears, and jubilance to be discovered. And don’t forget to avail yourself of the trove of valuable information to be found on the Internet. Best travels are often taken in the quest for Armchair Genealogy!

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Cooking with Rod



 

It's that time of year again - Thanksgiving when we all get together to give thanks and share wonderful dishes. One staple for Thanksgiving and Christmas is a tasty dressing to accompany either turkey or ham. One of the things that presents a challenge, especially this time of year is preparing a dressing that can be eaten by anyone. Our beloved Earl is deathly allergic to eggs, in even the most minute portion. He has never been able to enjoy dressing.

This year, we decided to devise a dressing without eggs. It was highly successful and Earl has been raving about it ever since. So for all you folks out there who can't eat dressing, here is a recipe you CAN have and I guarantee you will enjoy it.


Bon appetit~!


Delicious Eggless Dressing


Ingredients:
  • 2 pkgs seasoned cornbread stuffing mix
  • 1 pkg seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 cup margarine, in spoon size additions
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1 lg bell pepper
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 3/4 bag Craisins
  • 2 lg seedless oranges
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp rubbed sage
  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • about 1/2 cup maple syrup

Directions:
    1. Prepare diced onion, diced bell pepper, diced celery (try to cut to a similar size for even baking. Add craisins, orange cut into small pieces, and pecan bits. Sprinkle with cinnamon and stir well.
    2. Season bread and cornbread crumbs with sage, pepper, cinnamon, and poultry seasoning. Stir well. Cut in butter and stir well. Add broth and ensure all is lightly moistened. ( I don't like a soggy dressing.) Make sure the seasoning is to your taste by employing the smell test, it should smell pleasantly savory. Add to buttered roasting pan.
    3. Stir in fruits, nuts and veggies. Make sure to blend well. Mixture should be moist, tend to hold together in spoon as stirred, but not be soggy rather have a lightness to the mix.
    4. Add in maple syrup. Stir well. Add more as necessary to achieve the binding essential to roast evenly.
    5. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees until nicely browned on top and cooked through.

Serve hot. Also delicious cold as a leftover.

Melinda's Classic Fruit Salad


(My sweet Melindy started making this fruit salad when still in high school. Back then she used only the whipped cream but a few years ago began adding in the Vanilla yogurt. It gives the dish a slight "tang" that makes you keep wanting more! From the first time the family had her fruit salad, it has been the most requested dish for her to bring for Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas family meals.)

Ingredients:
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 2 apples, (small) sliced, peel on
  • 1 seedless orange, sliced
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
  • 1 cup Craisins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 can drained fruit cocktail
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup Vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup Cool Whip

Directions:
    Mix fruit and cinnamon with pecans.
    Fold in yogurt and Cool Whip.
    Chill for a couple hours to let flavors blend.

Depending on the season, I may add in different fruits like plums, pears, fresh peaches and the like. But these are the basic "musts".

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Irish Eyes


 

Music and Reading for Christmas


Last month I told you about the launch of The very Best Of Billy Keane but I hadn’t read the complete book at the time. Now I have consumed and digested all 64 essays. P. J. Cunningham of Ballpoint Publishers told me, ‘'The collection is a quiver full of arrows that accurately hit Irish life - it is like a first draft of our history from an observer among us. 'The Very Best Of Billy Keane' is a living as well as a reading experience, coming from the pen of a writer who sees extraordinary deeds in the day-to-day living across middle Ireland.'’

P. J. Was on the ball. If Billy is relating his experience in a toilet in Tokyo or a wood in north Kerry the reader feels that he or she is there beside him. He covers everything from advice on not painting a bedroom ceiling yellow to his meeting with the Duchess of Cambridge in Killarney. He complimented her on her dress and invited her to open Listowel Writers Week some time. His essay about the premature passing of his friend Father Pat Moore is a moving piece of literature. The book also includes valuable pieces of philosophy such as, “Worry will get squatter‘s rights in your head unless every moment and live for now.” “Mrs 39” features prominently and I’m not going to tell you why he calls her that, you’ll have to buy the book.

* * * * *


The 2020 Lacken calendar can also now be purchased from the website; www.lackencommunity.com along with fridge magnets if you are looking for gift ideas for friends and family near or far for Christmas.

* * * * *


A new album of Veteran singer/songwriter Christy Moore’s songs has just been released. It contains 26 new live recordings gathered under the title of ‘Magic Nights.’ The opening track is ‘Magic Nights in The Lobby Bar’.
A version of John Spillane/Ger Wolf’s classic song recorded at The Opera House, Cork in 2014. . Producer Jimmy Higgins and Sound Engineer David Meade selected these takes from hundreds of gigs. Every gig develops its own atmosphere, every audience being a unique gathering of listeners. In Belfast ‘Burning Times’ is devoted to Lyra McKee, her Young Life so cruelly ended on The Creggan. Christy says, “In Glasgow I responded to a call-out for Spancilhill and what followed was, for me, a very special version of young Michael Considine’s beautiful song. When we played Dreamland in Athy I sang Johnny Cash’s version of ‘Hurt’. I was 18 when I heard him sing in that very same Dancehall. A night I have never forgotten. Albert Reynolds was on the door.”

Jackie Hayden captured it in Hotpress; “Part of the magic of a live Christy Moore concert is the way his persona expands in ways virtually impossible in a studio setting. There is an inevitable bond between the man, his music and his audience that is a wonder to behold.”

* * * * *


Alarm bells not Christmas bells rang out around the world. Rudolf and his team were sick. December 25th was fast approaching. The hopes and dreams of every child in the world were in jeopardy...An ordinary couple from Ireland planned to send their reindeer to help. Could Seamrog, Bridin, Seanog, Colleen. Paidin, Realtin, Norin, Oisin, Neidin and Olive replace Rudolf and his magic team and save Christmas? And so begins this wonderful adventure. Seamrog the Irish Reindeer, by writer and broadcaster, Peter Grogan was launched on 22nd November by national treasure Marty Whelen. This ideal Christmas present is available from; petergroganbooks@gmail.com

* * * * *

*
The following sixteen pieces of psychology were passed on to me but I can’t vouch for their accuracy;
  • 1 “The smarter the person is, the faster the (person) thinks, and the sloppier the (person’s) handwriting.”
  • 2 “…the way we communicate has an influence on our mood.”
  • 3 “The way a person treats restaurant staff reveals a lot about the person’s character.”
  • 4 “Men are not funnier than women.”
  • 5 “Listening to high-frequency music makes you feel calm, relaxed, and happy.”
  • 6 “Doing things that scare you will make you happier.”
  • 7 “The happier we are, the less sleep we require.”
  • 8 “Intelligent people tend to have fewer friends than the average person.”
  • 9 “The smarter the person is, the more selective they become (in choosing friends).”
  • 10 “People look more attractive when they speak about the things they are really interested in.”
  • 11 “When two persons talk to each other and one of them turns their feet slightly away or repeatedly moves one foot in an outward direction, this is a strong sign of disagreement, and that they want to leave.”
  • 12 “Women who have mostly male friends stay in a good mood more often.”
  • 13 “Travel boosts brain health and also decreases risk of heart attack and depression.” “People who try to keep everyone happy often end up feeling the loneliest.”
  • 14 “Shy people talk little about themselves, but they do this in a way that makes other people feel that they know them very well.”
  • 15 “People who have a strong sense of guilt are better at understanding other people’s thoughts and feelings.”
HAPPY CHRISTMAS.

See you next year.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Sifoddling Along


 

TOYLAND


    Recently I read an article about having too many toys being bad for children. It cited a study conducted at the University of Toledo (Ohio) that supported this theory. This was not a problem in my childhood. An excess of toys was hardly possible in the stark years of World War II. So, one could say I did not suffer from excess.

    As I recall, I had three toys – a panda bear, a “soldier” doll and a baby doll. I treasured all of them and the panda has now served three generations and lives in my son’s attic. There were books, of course. Nothing like the plethora available today. My family had the odd habit of reading at the table. It was my father’s choice and the rest of us followed along. My sister remembers that as a baby in a highchair, I insisted on having a comic book to “read” as well.

    When I was six, I acquired another doll. Mrs. Brown, the janitor’s wife made a flour sack doll for every little girl in first grade (I think there were about 8 of us). I treasured mine and nearly loved her to death (photo). The painting shows my naked doll and the one my friend Jane acquired the next year. Jane’s was pristine. Mom bought it when Jane had a sale of belongings before she and her family moved to Kansas City. The reason Jane’s was so well preserved was that she had many toys as she was an only child and grandchild in her family. Her sensible parents had a solution for that. Half of the toys went “on vacation” in the attic until July when a second Christmas was observed. Jane was very generous to share her toys with me and freeing the toys from exile was a great day.

    When I was a little older, I wanted a bicycle. I dreamed of having one like the new blue Schwinn like Jane’s. That was not to be. My parents could afford only a used boy’s bike that had been carelessly repainted. I’m sure I showed my disappointment but came to love that bike. I must have ridden it a million miles.

    I also got a volleyball one year. Hours were spent serving it to the garage roof and “playing” the ball that rolled back to me. It is easy to see that I got plenty of outdoor exercise as a child.

    Not having a number of toys left a lot of time for other activities. We waded in icy cold Testerman Branch, collecting interesting rocks and attempting to build dams so it would be deep enough for swimming. We also clambered up the tall hill in front of our house and climbed the tallest tree (an old Oak) and surveyed our kingdom. We imagined images from the clouds that drifted by and dreamed of things we hoped to do.

    At school, recess was a time of playing “Red Rover” to blow off steam, but a favorite activity was to create “houses” with small pebbles at the foot of a nearby tree. The earth was bare from our constant presence, so we arranged the rocks to outline rooms and used acorn cap “dishes” for tea parties.

    Without a number of material toys, I had a wonderful childhood. After thinking about it a while, I realize I was blessed to have the opportunities and freedom a child of the mid-Twentieth Century had. We were fearless and carefree in a way that is not possible in the scary world we live in today.

    Merry Christmas.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

 
Refer a friend to this Column