Monday, July 1, 2024

Editor's Corner

 By Mary E. Adair

July 2024

"July is hollyhocks and hammocks,
fireworks and vacations,
hot and steamy weather,
cool and refreshing swims,
  beach picnics, and            
                          vegetables  all out of the garden."                               
- Jean Hersey

That quote describes an idealic period of time which is not true everywhere because in our western desert area, for instance, temperatures are likely to prohibit or curtail much that is mentioned. June has already treated us to triple digit temperatures. Parts of New Mexico endured fire devastation followed by drenching rains that flooded the same locations. Other states also experienced an over-abundance of rainfall, and one western state's mountainous section had an unusual snowy day. So perhaps July will perform more judiciously and bring calmer and more enjoyable weather.

Authors tend to write less, or less often, when days are pleasant enough to get out and around, and summer activities are welcomed distractions.

Thankfully, we received July's poetry and columns in a timely manner. Important point for your editor who has been breaking in a new computer quite advanced compared to her faithful and ancient standby. We have a well rounded assortment of reading this month.

Thomas F. O'Neill in "Introspective" discusses the importance most people place on living a "purposeful life." Marilyn Carnell's column "Sifoddling Along" discloses joys of past vacations. Judith Kroll's column "On Trek," points out how ones actions count. Pauline Evanosky's column "Woo Woo," thoughtfully views the mistake often made of forcing action before ample preparation. Ara Parisien's column "Author-Medium-Spiritual Teacher" reminds the reader that when seeking guidance for yourself in your life, that "a good fit" with the prospective advisor is preeminent.

Rod Cohenour's column is an encore as we are re-visiting the genealogy of the Cohenour family history and this is a repeat of his first cooking column with us. "Armchair Genealogy" by columnist Melinda Cohenour shares her history findings concerning her husband's lineage, bringing part two of last issue's focus. Mattie Lennon's "Irish Eyes" column tells of an exuberant reception for the Listowel's Writers Week of 2024, and adds details.

Walt Perryman's three poems "Changes," "Happiness," and "Perryman News Update" are like Walt himself--discerning and overall happy. John I. Blair's three poems include two encores from previous July issues ("By The Sea At Port Arransas" and "Time To Laugh") plus his "Redbuds" composed in June.

Bud Lemire's four poems are "My Own AI," "Marie, A Special Friend," "U.N.C.L.E. Affair," and "Bafflegab." Each of the four include illustrations by Lemire. Bruce Clifford's two poems are "159th" and "We Both Had Dreams."

Pencil Stubs Online co-founded by Mike Craner and your editor, is still going strong in its 27th year because of his original expertise. I continue to express my gratitude to my talented friend and creative webmaster Mike Craner. We place our confidence in him as we have in the past and shall continue doing so.

See you in July!

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Armchair Genealogy


By Melinda Cohenour

The Cohenour Line

Chapter 2, Encore

      Research continues in connection with my husband’s Cohenour line. The earliest ancestor to have used any form of the surname that has evolved into COHENOUR (as we prefer) was Basthli Sebastian Gachnouwer, born in 1543 in Goch, Kleve, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. From Wikipedia, we learn Goch is an archaic name, originally spelled either Gog or the Dutch form, Gogh. “It is a town in the district of Kleve, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is situated close to the border with the Siebengewald in Netherlands, about 7 miles south of Kleve and 17 miles southeast of Nijmegen.”

Further, “Goch is at least 750 years old: the earliest mention of Goch is in a document dated 1259. It was a part of the duchy of Cleves. During World War II, the city was completely destroyed by Allied bombers during Operation Veritable.” All of this leading up to the family belief that the Gochenour-Cohenour name (in all its many permutations) derives from its earliest ancestor residing in this ancient town. One of the oft-repeated tales about how the surname evolved is that “Goch” referred to “Hill” and that Gochen were people who lived on the hill, and that Gochenour were people who had lived on the hill but were now Gone From The Hill. We find that Goch in German; however, refers to a bog, a fen, a marsh, or similar low-lying body of water. Goch, the ancient village, was close to Kleves (originally Cleves) where the duchy of Cleves held sway. The ancient castle there is the Schwanenburg Castle. Wikipedia informs us: “The Schwanenburg Castle, where the dukes of Cleves resided, was founded on a steep hill. It is located at the northern terminus of the Kermisdahl where it joins with the Spoykanal, which was previously an important transportation link to the Rhine. The old castle has a massive tower, the Schwanenturm 180 feet (55 m) high, that is associated in legend with the Knight of the Swan, immortalized in Richard Wagner's Lohengrin.

Medieval Kleve grew together from four parts – the Schwanenburg Castle, the village below the castle, the first city of Kleve on Heideberg Hill, and the Neustadt ("New City"), dating from the 14th century. In 1242 Kleve received city rights. The Duchy of Cleves, which roughly covered today's districts of Kleve, Wesel and Duisburg, was united with the Duchy of Mark in 1368, was made a duchy itself in 1417, then united with the neighboring duchies of Jülich and Berg in 1521, when John III, Duke of Cleves, married Mary, heiress of Jülich-Berg-Ravenburg. Kleve's most famous native is Anne of Cleves (1515–1557), daughter of John III, Duke of Cleves and (briefly) wife of Henry VIII of England. Several local businesses are named after her, including the Anne von Kleve Galerie.”

      All this makes me wonder if the early Gochenour folks lived upon another hill, similar to and nearby the one that housed the Schwanenburg Castle?

      This column, though, is devoted to tracking the line of descent from Basthli Sebastian Gachenouwer to my dear husband, Roderick William Cohenour. It has not been an easy task as the documents (if they exist at all) are not accessible through Ancestry or any other typical website. It has been an arduous task to seek out family histories and your author is forever grateful for the work that has gone before by family researchers. In our following reports, we shall delve into the stories that highlight this proud line of Cohenours from Goch, Germany in 1543 to California, United States in 1945. This, then, is the result of our initial attempts to verify the direct line ancestors.

First Generation: 10th Great-Grandfather
      Basthli Sebastian Gachnouwer, born 1543, date of death unknown, 10th great grandfather of my husband. Sebastian married Adelheit Heidi Huber (b. 1538) in Goch. Their known children were Anna, Sebastian II, and Jorg (George) Gachnouwer (1569-1610).

Second Generation: 9th Great-Grandfather
      Jorg (George) Gachnouwer (1569-1610) wed Maria Weber on 13 Jul 1589 in Fischenthal, Zürich, Switzerland. This couple had a son named JACOB (also called Hans Jagli) GACHNOUWER whose date of birth is not known but whose baptism was recorded 28 Jul 1605 in Fischenthal, Zürich, Switzerland.

Third Generation: 8th Great-Grandfather
      (Hans) Jacob (Jagli) Gachnouwer (abt 1605-1685) married Margaretha Peter on 26 May 1624 in Zürich, Switzerland, born 1601 in Stralegg (which, presumably gives rise to her complicated naming in most of the family history volumes as Elsbeth Margretha Petter der Stralegg (Petter from Stralegg). Jacob was the first of the family to convert to Anabaptism (later Mennonite), after his marriage. His wife’s family was one of the early converts. Jacob would pay a high price for his faith, stripped of all belongings, his children removed, his wife exiled, while he spent years in a dank prison as punishment for his religious beliefs.

Fourth Generation: 7th Great-Grandfather
      Jacob and Margaretha’s son Heinrich Peter Der Stralegg Gachnauwer (baptized 30 Apr 1631) was but one of their children to be removed from the home and placed with “responsible community members” while their father languished in prison. It is known Heinrich wed, but the name of his wife is lost to posterity. The following notes have been recorded for Heinrich:
NOTES: Birth recorded in Fischenthal Church Register April 30, 1631; Heinrich, Jacob Gachnouwer "on the hill" and Margaretha Peter, Anabaptists, had a son baptized. Sponsors; Heinrich Schoch, "Weibel", said to be a low public official and Adelheit Zuppinger, who is Joe Furrer's legitimate wife.

Heinrich Gachnauwer who was baptized on April 30, 1631 in the parish of Fischenthal is the only family member known to have survived the slaughters that took place in Alsace, France, about 1670-1680. He relocated in the city of Heidelberg, Germany.

In the Palatine Mennonite Census lists, Heinrich is listed with eight children in 1685. the list of his children has not been found, but this record is based on a list project by Dwayne Coughenour, San Antonio, TX.

1643 Heinrich, about twelve years old, was placed as an apprentice with a tailor, Fred Issler, who was to received payment of 50 Taler from the State, plus a gratuity to his wife, for three years during his Father's imprisonment in Othenbach Convent Prison.

Fifth Generation: 6th Great-Grandfather
      Joseph Gochnauer, Sr. (sometimes Christian is added as his second given name), the son of Heinrich, born somewhere between 1698 and 1704, depending upon the resource) is the Immigrant Ancestor of our line. His identification is made difficult as it appears Heinrich named two sons Joseph with birth and death dates either obscured or researchers have created a duplicate record. At this point, your author has not clarified that fact. Thus, we shall use the data that appears factual. Joseph married at least two times and, perhaps, three although the documentation for that third marriage will need to be researched more completely. Wed to Elsbeth (Elizabeth) Naff (Neff), they named a son Joseph Christian Gochnauer II.

Sixth Generation: 5th Great-Grandfather
      Joseph Christian Gochnauer II (1726-1763) married Mary Magdalena Neff in January of 1757. They had three children, the eldest being Henry Neff Cohenour. Family legend indicates this Joseph was killed by an Indian’s arrow while working his fields.

Seventh Generation: 4th Great-Grandfather
      Henry Neff Gochnauer (1754-1787) was born and met his death in Hempfield, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Henry also spelled his name Coghenour, the earliest mutation in the surname that would morph into Cohenour. He and wife, Magdalena Fulwiler, were married in 1783, just four short years prior to Henry’s death. They had three children, the eldest son being John born 25 Aug 1784. (Their daughter Elizabeth Coghenour married Jacob Neff, one of several of these two families’ intermarriages.)

Eighth Generation: 3rd Great-Grandfather
      On 14 Nov 1805, John Kochenauer (also often spelled Cohenour) married Dorothea Ellen Lorentz at the First Reformed Church, Hempfield Township, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This couple had ten children, the third in line named Jacob Neff Cohenour.

Ninth Generation: 2nd Great-Grandfather
      Jacob Neff married three times, the third wife, Sarah Jane Layton, was widowed within months of giving birth to their first surviving child, Elmer Layton Cohenour. Sarah’s husband died 15 Nov 1868. Little Elmer Layton Cohenour had been born 5 Mar 1868. Sarah had not long to live. By the time Elmer was three years old, his mother had also passed, leaving the care and custody of Elmer to her sister, Clementine.

Tenth Generation: Great-Grandfather
      Elmer Layton Cohenour married Martha Jane Lauterbach (Louderback) 30 Oct 1890 in Fairbury, Jefferson County, Nebraska. This couple would have three daughters and two sons, the first in line being Leo Bertram Cohenour, my husband’s Grandfather.

Eleventh Generation: Grandfather
      Leo Bertram Cohenour served in World War I as a Lieutenant, J. G. in the Navy. He was a physician and surgeon. He married Anneffiel Ethel Ann Warner 2 Aug 1917. They had two sons, the second William Edward Cohenour.

Twelfth Generation: Father
      William Edward Cohenour served in the Navy as a surgeon and physician during World War II. He married Suzanne Cecilia Miller on 10 Sep 1944 in Denver, Colorado. There were four children born to this marriage: Roderick William, Christopher Kent, Suzette Cecilia, and Patricia Ann (Patti). Dr. Cohenour continued his practice until his death 10 March 1982.

      Future columns will update the research into this family line, clarify where possible the multiple marriages and numerous children reported by various sources, and – most importantly – provide some of the stories that make this Cohenour family’s history so colorful.

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Cooking with Rod - Encore



By Rod Cohenour

This is an Encore Presentation of Rod's initial column for Pencil Stubs Online.
We are honored to revisit his delight and enthusiasm for his passion about cooking.

Food! Glorious food!

One of my earliest memories was following my mother and Louella around the kitchen. At first, it was strictly to get the opportunity to be the resident "taster." But then on my eighth birthday I asked Louella if she was going to make my favorite birthday cake - Chocolate Raspberry Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting. Much to my surprise, she said, "No. You are going to make your cake."

She smiled at me, set me upon her lap and said, "Ole Louella ain't gonna be around forever, child. You need to learn how to cook for yourself and we're going to start now."

That was the beginning of my lifelong love affair with food preparation.

For me the spicier, the better. Growing up in New Mexico it's easy to understand why my favorite cuisines are Nuevo Mexico, Mexican, Tex-Mex and the like. But I also adore Italian, Cajun, Thai, Chinese, and of course All American dishes such as barbecue - brisket, ribs, kabobs, grilled delights.

I have a lot of wonderful recipes that I have obtained from the wonderful cross section of people that I have been blessed to know over my lifetime. I look forward to sharing some of them with you with the hope that you will have as much enjoyment in preparing food with family and friends as I have over the years.

Bon appetit!

Rod's Stacked Puerco Adovada Enchiladas


  • 2 lbs boneless pork ribs, lean part cubed (about 1/2" cubes)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 3 Tbsp ground cumin (reserve 1 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp Mexican oregano, ground (reserve 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 pkg. (14.5 oz.) frozen red New Mexico Chile (hot or mild, your choice)
  • 14.5 oz. Water
  • 1 tsp all purpose flour
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 12 fresh flour tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp Chile powder

How To

    Prepare cubed pork. Whisk together dry spices and Chile powder. Add to bowl of pork cubes, tossing with hands to ensure all surfaces are coated.
    Heat vegetable oil in skillet. Add pork cubes and saute until browned on all sides.
    In large bowl place frozen red Chile and equal amount of water. Add reserved cumin and oregano. Add flour and minced garlic. Whisk, bring to boil, lower heat and simmer about 20-30 minutes until flavors are blended and sauce is thickened. (Substitute corn starch for flour, if desired.)
    Stage bowl of shredded cheese, bowl of diced onion and tortillas near stovetop. Add browned pork to thickened Chile sauce. Place stack of serving dishes within reach, must be oven-safe.
    Heat oil in skillet. Flash fry tortillas one at a time, 2-3 seconds per side. Dip in Chile-pork mixture and put on plate. Top with onion and cheese. Spoon small bit of red Chile on top. Repeat 3-4 times per plate.
    Keep plated stacked enchiladas hot in oven until ready to serve. Work quickly to prevent enchiladas from becoming greasy.

Serve with Spanish rice and refritos garnished with green onions, cilantro and shredded cheddar.

These puerco adovada estacada enchiladas may be served with crisp hot tostadas and guacamole, a chilled salad of tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, mixed greens with pico de gallo as the dressing, and a pitcher of iced tea or lemonade. Classic New Mexico cuisine. Or pico de gallo on the side and Chunky Salsa roja dressing drizzled over the salad, is good too.

See pic below

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Woo Woo


By Pauline Evanosky

The Less Anxious You Are, the Better Things Get

As a psychic, I learned this slowly, but eventually, I got a handle on it. If you force a psychic connection, things can become quite difficult and distorted—not all the time, just in the before- you-are-ready stages. My guide, Seth, would occasionally remind me, “Have I got a bridge for you!” That was my signal to slow down a little. So, either nothing happens because you are just not noticing the right things or you’re trying to force something that just doesn’t want to budge yet.

It’s like moving your bowels. If you are relaxed, stuff just moves along. Sorry, I have a barnyard sense of humor, but the example seemed appropriate, especially because everybody can relate to it.

I understand that people are anxious whenever they start something new. I never enjoyed dancing more than when I stopped spending so much time watching my feet.

I suppose a waitress carrying several dishes is better able to balance them if she doesn’t look directly at them, though I never learned that skill. It turns out that I have had outwardly focusing eyes since I was a little girl. It wasn’t until I was an adult that an eye doctor diagnosed it. They say if your child can’t catch a ball, that’s a signal that something might be wrong. I’ve never been able to catch a thing. I can remember being hit on the head with a basketball, which, to anyone else, would have been easy enough to either catch or deflect. Nobody wanted me on their team after that. And, as an adult, if someone tossed me a set of keys, I’ve never been able to catch them.

I have a friend who once went to a senior’s class on aging and came back to report to me that people who are aging are less likely to fall if they are not focused on the ground directly beneath their feet but gaze out to where they are going. It takes a little getting used to, but it helps.

When I first learned to drive, my father told me not to watch things too closely that were going on at the side of the road. He said I would naturally begin to steer toward them. In the next moment in the car, I did just that. I believe he was quite tense. It was another three years before I finally got my license.

When you are trying to be a little more psychic, it helps to understand that nothing will hurt you. I realize that you, like I did, have certain expectations about the unseen world of spirit, and some of it is cautionary advice. It’s actually good advice, but it is not entirely true. Keep an open mind, and you will be fine.

For one thing, I do not believe in demons. I also don’t believe in the devil, though I do believe in God. I do, however, believe in evil. So, yes, there are evil spirits out there, floating around, just ready to pounce on somebody who isn’t going to say no to them.

If you think about how good criminals can be, it’s because they are ever watchful for opportunities and will not turn one down. You do not want to get near something simmering with evil. It’s not that they are all over the place, but they are there. Once, it happened to me, and it took a while before I could shake him. And, yes, it was scary. So, I know personally what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a totally obnoxious entity.

Nancy Reagan had the right idea when she said, “Just say no.” I know she was talking about kids using drugs, but the same idea helps when you begin to explore the psychic regions of space to have a firm idea of what is right and what is wrong. And, if any odd feeling persists, just lay off of it and tell them to go away.

What I’m talking about are voices that use a lot of swear words, are especially nasty, and make fun of you. Guides will do that because they do have an odd sense of teaching, but not in the beginning. At least, that has been my own experience.

Another thing to do is to insist that you only speak to your spirit guide. There is lots of time later on to talk to other interesting folks in spirit, but in the beginning, talk only to your own spirit guide. How can you tell it is them? This is the part where you have to take it all on faith. It also helps to ask your spirit guide to protect you from curious passersby.

Which is what the evil spirits you perceived in the beginning might just turn out to be in the end. So, in that instance, they were not truly evil; they were just messing with you more than your own spirit guide would do.

I speak from my own experience with all of this. Other psychics will have different advice for you, but I am a common-sense person in much of what I do, which also includes psychic stuff.

I had a lot of preconceived ideas and beliefs when I first ventured into the realms of spirit that were unknown to me. Like I thought I would be safe after I’d made contact. Yes, the guides will watch out for you, but if you’ve got a major life lesson in the offing and you need to be taken down a rung or two to learn it, then, no, they won’t help. As my guide once said to me when I was angry, he hadn’t warned me about something, “We are not here to make your life easy. However, we can definitely help you get back on your feet and dust you off a little bit."

What have I learned in the years since I have been channeling? These last 30 years? Well, I learned to develop patience. I learned that sometimes bad stuff is really good stuff in disguise. I learned not to blame others for things I didn’t agree with. I have learned to be kinder to myself. I learned that failures aren’t really failures. They are merely steps in the right direction. It’s just the things I can think of off the top of my head. I’m sure there are other benefits.

Have a good summer, and I’ll see you next month.
Pauline Evanosky

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Sifoddling Along


By Marilyn Carnell

Cruising Along

July is in the middle of summer and therefore in the middle of vacation season. I am not going on a vacation this summer, but remember some interesting times long ago. Cruises are very popular. I have been on two, and they fall into the category of “been there, done that” and I have no need to go on another one.

During my first cruise, we visited several ports in the Caribbean. It was a nightmare.

One night, we sailed through a hurricane that caused a lot of damage and I had an epic case of seasickness. I resolved to stay within sight of land on any future boat trips. Later (1989), my husband and I took a cruise on the Delta Queen along the Mississippi River. Although the river was more than a mile wide in New Orleans, the land was visible at all times, so I was willing to go aboard.

We flew from Philadelphia to New Orleans where a representative of the steamboat line met us to take us to the terminal. The check-in procedures went smoothly, better than the larger cruise line we have been on. Since both the Delta Queen and the Mississippi Queen were leaving that afternoon, there were about 500 people to process. Staff members of the steamboat line dressed in 19 th century costumes were circulating and serving a nice array of complimentary snacks to make waiting more tolerable.

A young woman also passed out Mardi Gras beads, and we later found we would board according to the color of the necklaces we wore. Eventually, we arrived at our cabin. It was the only disappointment of the trip. To say it was small would be an understatement. One of us had to leave the cabin if the other wanted to change clothes. Nevertheless, because everything else was wonderful, we learned to love our tiny cabin.

The cabin came well equipped. In addition to a comfortable bed and a private bathroom, there was also a fly swatter (which is needed in the Mississippi Delta) and a helpful sign over the sink “Do Not Drink the Water”. The sign was apt as the water was muddy brown and heavily chlorinated, right out of the Mississippi River.

Fresh water and ice were brought to the cabin morning and evening, so we didn’t mind.

Our cruise was a brief three-day trip from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. We traveled at night and went on land tours each day. At Baton Rouge we visited the state capital and saw where Huey Long, the Louisiana Senator and former Governor was assassinated in 1935.

We also made stops at a Cajun village for entertainment and snacks and at Nottoway Plantation - the largest plantation home in the south — three stories high and 64 rooms. Nottoway was completed in 1859 after 10 years of construction. Built by John Hampden Randolph as the focus of his 7,000 acre sugar plantation — a lot of space was needed to accommodate his eleven children. It was saved from destruction during the Civil War by a Yankee officer who had earlier been a guest at Nottoway.

The Delta Queen is the last of the truly authentic riverboats — she is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. She carries only 176 passengers and cruisers are made to feel like a guest of honor in a fine old home. It was originally built in California in the 1920s to provide service on the Sacramento River between San Francisco and Sacramento. They brought it through the Panama Canal to a new life on the Mississippi.

At one time there were more than 1100 paddle wheelers traveling the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The Delta Queen is the only remaining original riverboat. It was temporarily out of service, but after extensive (and expensive) remodeling is permitted to serve until 2028.

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