Monday, April 1, 2024

Editor's Corner


By Mary E. Adair

April 2024

."Winter’s done, and April’s in the skies.
Earth, look up with laughter in your eyes!"

― Charles G.D. Roberts

Brace yourselves! When April rushes in, it's only a brief respite before the highest temperatures Summer holds in store follow. Of course that also makes this month the one to check out the offers for cruises, or other exciting opportunities. If your household includes youngsters, they will have ideas to bring to the table as well. Family time is synonymous with Summertime.

I shall relax. I may even travel. The benefit of growing older.

Thomas F. O'Neill in "Introspective" calls us to examine our Beliefs and where we acquired them. Marilyn Carnell's column "Sifoddling Along" finds new challenges in building a novel, now research is an earnest part of her time. Judith Kroll's column "On Trek" reminds us that everything changes. Pauline Evanosky's column "Woo Woo," topic is Generosity, and how it affects anyone. Ara Parisien in "Author-Medium-Spiritual Teacher" tells her views on Grief and why it can be a gift.

Rod Cohenour and his helpmate develop a new recipe. Their collaboration, M's Coffee-Orange Pork Loin, is perfect for this season before really hot weather takes over. "Cooking with Rod" shares all the ingredients and how to in this issue.. "Armchair Genealogy" by columnist Melinda Cohenour shares her To Do List, detailing some prime effort attempts to accomplish her goals. Mattie Lennon who promised to get more info to us on the works of Jack Byrne does so highlighted by quotes from his subject.. He adds a few more notes on "Under The Bridge."

Walt Perryman's four poems are "Monday Morning Thought for You," "Big Thought about Life's Little Things," "Listen then Think, Before You Talk," and "Another Sunrise.". John I. Blair's four poems are encore presentations ("Ten Men in A Truck," "Deja Vu." and "Mixed Inheritance") except for "Sailing Around The World in My Chair," . Bruce Clifford's two poems are "Technicolor Lights" and "Hanging." Bud Lemire's four poems are "My Truth," "Pay It Forward," "Snownada," and "Unanswered Questions."

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

See you in May!

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Armchair Genealogy


By Melinda Cohenour

To Do List


Greetings, readers, on this frivolous April Fool's Day. Who knows what pranks and jokes may occur this day? Well, no pranks from this corner, just some introspection and a bit of forward viewing. Your author is attempting to plot a course of action for this year's family research, which always now includes staying aware of advances in DNA technology. This may be an outline for work in the balance of 2024; it is at least a nascent attempt.


It occurred to me that when researching various ancestors the fact arises that their migration to America was as part of the great escape from religious persecution. We have covered the life and times of one of our most famous Huguenot ancestors Bartholomew DuPuy, my 8th Great-grandfather: "He was heir to the title of Count. He enlisted in the French army at age 18 and became Captain of the household guards of King Louis XIV. In 1664 he retired, bought an old chateau and vineyard at Velours, and in early 1685 married Susanna Lavillon." And, ultimately, escaped with his life upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes which had provided for tolerance and civil rights for French Calvinists in a predominantly Roman Catholic country.

How many others were Huguenots? Perhaps we can construct a list sufficient to deserve a full column.


My recollection is that over my many decades of family research I have uncovered several stories regarding the contributions of my ancestors to the founding of New York and its famous suburbs. Some of these stories have already been included in prior columns. Did I miss some?

We have previously written about our 7th Great-grandfather Pierre Cresson: and

Pierre Cresson was a Huguenot exile.

"Their ancient family seat was Mesnil la Cresson (Cresson Manor) near Abbeville, Picardy."

"Pierre Cresson, a Picard Protestant, born in 1609, fled into Holland, and there remained an exile seventeen years; part of this time at Sluis, Delft, Leyden and Ryswich; in the early part of this period acted as gardener to the 'Prince of Orange,' and was ever afterwards called 'Pierre le Jardinier'; with his family emigrated to America, 1657, settled at Harlem, of which town he was one of the first Magistrates in 1660. He removed to Staten Island in 1678; died about 1684."

His line was rather full of folks who helped build New York and it's famous suburbs of Brooklyn, The Bowery, etc. And this ties back to my first potential subject line. (The Prince of Orange was William III, born only one week after the death of his illustrious father. He was named titular head of all the states listed above from his birth; however, he only attained practical rule in the 1670’s when he reached the age of approximately 21. This Prince of Orange, along with his wife, Queen Mary II, co-ruled and that period would become known as the Reign of William and Mary. He became King of England, Ireland, and Scotland in 1689 until his death 8 March 1702.)


It is a constant that I research these key figures in our family tree whose biography is missing some key element(s). Returning often to these personages, no new factual documentation has yet been found to finally break through the wall of "Not Known." Argh! The frustration!


This is an ever evolving field where new processes, methodologies, and procedures miraculously amplify the ease of use of DNA in so many fields: law enforcement, medical advancements, potential cures for historic diseases, improvements in farming and ranching and manufacture of goods derived therefrom, identification of John and Jane Does whose families long for closure, anthropology where archeological finds are used to advanced scientist's knowledge of humankind.


April 17 2024 marks the next court date for Rex Heuermann who was arrested July 13 of last year after DNA, cell phone records, witness testimony and other evidence connected him to the original Gilgo Beach Four. We will stay on top of this case as new facts emerge.

In addition to the ten sets of remains connected to the Gilgo Beach investigation several municipalities around the nation have law enforcement reviews of cold cases with the potential to involve Rex Heuermann. Any news on these investigations will certainly be grist for a new column.


Prior columns have been devoted to a handful of our ancestors whose roles in securing our nation's sovereignty resulted in historical records being created. We shall continue to search for more and give those brave ancestors their due recognition.


That, dear readers, is my To Do list thus far for 2024. Feel free to message me if you have interest in a different scope of research. Ideas are always welcome.

In the meantime, please avail yourself of the millions of documents now available thanks to the wonders of the Internet. Pursue your own Armchair Genealogy!

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Cooking with Rod

By Rod Cohenour

Easter has just been celebrated and Spring is in full bloom. Roasting of meats will soon be passed by to avoid heating up the house. But this delightful dish just might prove to be the exception. Full flavored, with an enticing blend of flavors, give it a try. I'm sure you'll love it as much as we do.

Bon appetit~!

Ms Coffee-Orange Pork Loin


  • 3.5 to 4 lb boneless pork loin
  • 12 cups strong brewed coffee
  • 1 can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed (will use 1/4 cup for rub and remainder as roasting liquid)
  • 2 large oranges, sliced
  • 2 large white or yellow onions, sliced
  • 1 envelope Lipton (or similar) onion soup mix
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. Ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp.. Ground sage


    1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
    2. Prepare loin: rinse in cold water, pat dry. Remove heavy fat cap. Remove white membrane. With side showing remaining fat turned up, score loin using diagonal cuts in a diamond pattern.
    3. Prepare rub mixture: To 1/4 cup orange juice add onion soup mix and spices. Blend well with small whisk.
    4. Set out large roasting pan. Rub loin all over with prepared orange spice mixture, making sure to work into scored sections. Place loin in pan.
    5. Add remaining orange juice to brewed coffee, blend and add to roasting pan. Layer sliced oranges and onions over loin. (Too many? Retain for garnish.)
    6. Roast at 400° for 30 minutes. Then cover pan with lid or aluminum foil sealed tightly. Lower oven temp to 350°. Roast for one hour then check to make sure liquid is sufficient. Baste the loin. Plan 25 minutes per pound overall cooking time. For a crisper surface on your loin remove cover.

    Prepare your side dishes while loin roasts.

    7. Check loin about every 20 to 30 minutes. When almost done there should be enough liquid remaining to make a gravy, at least 3 to 4 cups. If not add fresh brewed coffee.
    8. When done remove loin from oven. Pour liquid into saucepan, returning loin to pan. Cover loin and let set while gravy is made.
    9. To make gravy: Liquid should not contain a lot of grease. If it does pour into a large jar and place in freezer to allow grease to rise to the top and begin to congeal. Remove congealed grease and pour remaining liquid into saucepan.

    Prepare thickening mixture: to 1/2 cup flour add 1/2 cup hot water. Whisk.

    Bring coffee and orange juice mixture to a boil. Add thickening mix, stirring constantly. When at desired consistency remove from heat.

    10. To serve: Plate loin with your choice of whipped mashed potatoes, steamed rice or pasta. Serve gravy over loin and potatoes, rice, or pasta.

Delicious with cranberry sauce, a green vegetable like green beans, broccoli, or asparagus, corn, and a mixed salad of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and your choice of dressing. Hot crusty bread and a cold tea or lemonade top off the meal perfectly.

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Woo Woo


By Pauline Evanosky


I’ve never been trained to be a spiritual advisor, yet when I settle to write an inspirational sort of article, I imagine that I am writing a sermon. I don’t necessarily focus on holy words from the Bible or any other religious work, but I pull from my own lessons of life.

One of those I’d like to talk about today is generosity.

You don’t have to be wealthy to be generous. The definition of generosity is giving money or time beyond what is normal. What is normal? I guess that depends on what is expected of you. If nobody expects much, then your threshold for giving is lower.

If you didn’t already have somebody in mind to be generous to, you might think of any number of organizations that rely on volunteers to help them accomplish their goals. The Red Cross springs to mind. Local food banks are also in need of volunteers. Soup kitchens. Churches. Old folk homes might need people to help. Libraries might need help, too. Hospitals. In your city, schools might rely upon the help of volunteers to help children.

You could ask yourself what you know or are interested in. Then, in this internet age, you might advertise your tutoring services on a neighborhood bulletin board. Maybe you could say you have three hours of time twice a week to help out a single young mother. Or, you could volunteer to do a couple of hours of yard work for an elderly person.

Many times, people in need don’t ask. You are the one who needs to say, “Do you need help?”

You could even learn a new trade. Many businesses are willing to accept volunteers to come in and help with easy tasks. Maybe they need help answering visitors' questions. Maybe they just need somebody to answer the phones. The thing with answering the phones at any business is that it forces you to learn about the business to be able to answer questions. Nobody expects you to know that sort of stuff right off the bat, and yet, those positions are generally filled by new hires. They just throw you into the water and see if you can swim.

At first, there are many “I can ask someone about this for you” questions. That is the same for any job. You get the contact number, write down the question, and pass it along for someone to either tell you what the answer is or they can handle it. What you want is to be able to answer those questions yourself eventually.

The organization might have a training day or a course they want you to take before you begin volunteering. You might need to have taken a basic Red Cross safety course or CPR course. For a soup kitchen, having a food handler’s permit might be necessary or preferred.

Think about this: A customer walks into a store and asks where the toilet paper is. Somebody who has worked there a long time right away says, “At the end of aisle 21.” This means this is a large store. A person who does not know the layout of the store wouldn’t know. One of the first things a newly hired stockperson or clerk in a grocery store needs to know is where the stuff is. I can guarantee nobody is going to quiz you on this. It is your responsibility to know. I know this because I once was a bagger at a local grocery store.

The questions, no matter where you are volunteering your time, you should know before you begin volunteering might include:

  • i. Who is a person who can help you learn the ropes? If there is no particular person, ask how the organization is set up.
  • 2. Who is the boss?
  • 3. Can you have an organizational chart?
  • 4. How do you take messages? Is there a standard policy, or can you just write notes?
  • 5. What is the layout of the campus or building? What doors should you use? Where is the bathroom? Where can visitors go? Where can you go to take a break?
  • 6. Where can you park your car if you have one?
Volunteering at the front desk of any organization is one of the toughest positions. You really do need to learn a lot. The trade-off is that if you are looking for work, you can document how many hours you volunteer and use them on a resume. This shows prospective employers that you both volunteered your time without getting paid and learned what a receptionist knows. Being polite to the public is very, very important in any position.

Often, charitable organizations do not have the money to pay people to help them accomplish their goals. They depend on the help of volunteers. Besides, that volunteer position you have, depending on how much you learn, might allow you to be considered for a paying position eventually. If not that, then you are gaining valuable experience in how the world works and can take that experience wherever you go.

The contacts you make in volunteering will often enable you to plan ahead. If not with a particular company, then just with word-of-mouth endorsements. For example, say an older lady is volunteering with you in a soup kitchen. You work alongside her. She gets to know that you are dependable. As she is more comfortable with you as a person, she begins to show you some of the ropes. You volunteered there for two years, so now she knows who you are. She knows you are helpful, that she can trust you, and that you are resourceful. She knows how you operate under pressure, and she knows you are generous to other people, clients, and volunteers. Guess who will put in a good word for you when her nephew mentions they are looking for someone to help out in his company.

You can’t build a contact base without being generous. Otherwise, you are just another salesperson marketing yourself.

Everybody needs help, but they don’t always ask. Showing a generosity of spirit can be helpful to both you and the people and organizations you volunteer for.

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Sifoddling Along


By Marilyn Carnell

Re-learning about The Civil War

         Last month I wrote I was writing a novel set in the Civil War in southwest Missouri. I was continuing in that task and was speeding along when I bumped my nose against a basic reality. Research. Historical fiction requires a LOT of research. It isn’t enough to trust your memories of stories told by your grandparents. To be credible, it is necessary to stick to the facts unless you tell the reader that you have taken liberties with geography or that some episodes are fictional. I recall being annoyed when reading a novel set in 1812 where the lady slept in a “queen-sized” bed and wore bloomers. Both were invented long after 1812, a couple of factoids I had stored in my brain.

         You may recall that the book is about a young woman, Bonnie Faye Doolittle, left alone in a cabin on Big Sugar Creek in 1861 when her Papa, a doctor, enlisted as a surgeon in the Confederate Army. Her fiancĂ©, Julius Roberts, also enlisted, but he opted to join a company in Wisconsin, his home state. This left her frantic with fear for both of them. Although she was not present at any battle, her home became a place where unexpected and unwanted visitors passed through–bushwhackers and soldiers from both the North and South, stopped by to seek, supplies to liberate, information or pass the time with a beautiful young woman.

         In writing about the early 1860s I found I had to look up details that I casually wrote about in my first draft. The first was when the heroine heard a gunshot and assumed it was a young boy shooting a squirrel with a .22 rifle. Better look that up, I thought. Smith & Wesson’s first firearm was a .22 short pistol first sold in 1857, but it wasn’t until 1887 that the J. Stevens Arms & Tool company produced the .22 long rifle we know today. Therefore, I changed it to “she heard the distant crack of a rifle.” Safe enough.

         Then I decided she had to have a dog. Easy peasy. She would have a smart border collie that guarded and protected her and her farm. Better check that, I thought. Most dog breeds were brought to the U.S. from other countries. Sure enough, “sheepdogs” were not brought to the U.S. in any number before 1890.

         I was talking with a friend and she suggested a “mountain cur”. A breed I had not heard of before. Yes, they were in the U.S. in 1861 and before that Daniel Boone was one of the breeders. They are a rare breed today but were essential to early settlers. They were used for guard duty, protection, and hunting.

Source: :

         Now I am hooked on looking up details and am not willing to stop looking things up on the internet, I also am looking for books and diaries about that time. My bookshelves are creaking with additions from “Gangrene and Glory” to “Bushwhackers, Visions, Star Crossed Lovers. I never know where I will find a tidbit of information that captures my attention, nor do I know whether these little “facts” will make it to the final revision, but for now I am entertained by learning them and I hoped you will enjoy them, too.

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