Monday, May 1, 2017

Editor's Corner


April & May 2017

“"Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.""--Will Rogers Soothsayer or not, Will Rogers often said what others were feeling but couldn't put into words as well as he could. Sometimes listening to the dialogue on TV will bring tiny nuggets of realization, that makes one ponder the intentions behind such comments. But mostly, the comments are expected and very unsurprising.

That is not true of the compositions presented in this combined issue for April and May. Our authors have original and surprising ideas that they skillfully relay. \

Thomas F. O'Neill shares hjs current experiencies in China in his column "Introspective." LC Van Savage speaks of Love and Marriage this month in "Consider This," and admits to a secret longing in her article "Vespa! SS!!!". The other article is by Bethany Davies Whitaker, reprinted from her blog, "Altogether Beautiful." Her insight is always meant to be helpful to others, gained sometimes painfully, but she always seeks the potential lessons .

"Armchair Genealogy" by Melinda Cohenour has the first half of another interesting spotlight into a family member, Sidney Washington Creek, who she titles as "A Much Maligned Man." R od Cohenour helps our menu choices with his "April Beef Stew" in"Cooking with Rod."
Judith Kroll's column "On Trek" relates her thoughts on "Time."

"Irish Eyes" includes some of the various events with "Music, Poetry, Stories And Drama" that have kept Mattie Lennon busy lately. Some of his plays have been performed and another one is upcoming.

Bud Lemire's two poems are"Housework Nightmare" and: "The First of May." Bruce Clifford submitted four poems: "I Won't Blame You," "The Big Extreme," "She Hid Herself So Well," and "Together." Phillip Hennessy tells us his poem "Six Feet Deeper" will soon become a song as it has the "feel of an Irish drinking tune."

John I. Blair's six poems for this month are "Blessed Understanding," "At First Glance," "Sunshine," "Sitting at Their Feet," "Zander Sleeping," and "One O'Clock in The Morning." Your editor managed to get a bit of verse into the mix with "Dancing Branches."

Mike Craner, without whom this ezine would have never made the web, deserves many bouquets for his expertise and patience. Not easy keeping this little ezine able to continue its mission of encouraging writers, experienced and beginners, and to promote reading. Now if he only had a solution for the slow internet service in this area.
See you in June !!!

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

Armchair Genealogy


A Much Maligned Man:

Sidney Washington Creek

Born: 13 January 1832 in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri
Died: 12 September 1892 in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri

      Sidney Washington Creek was the fourth child, third son born to Jacob “Howdyshell” (Haudenscheldt) Creek and his wife, Virginia Lee Younger. There were 16 pregnancies for Virginia Creek, four of those pregnancies ending with the heartbreaking death of the child.

      The Creek family settled in Clay County, Missouri, early in its pioneer days. The progenitor of the Creek family who first settled in Clay County was Abraham Creek (b. 31 Jan 1783 in Pittsylvania, Virginia and d. 14 Oct 1859 in Clay County, Missouri) who made the move from Barren County, Kentucky, in 1821. Abraham was a first generation American, born to our Immigrant Ancestor, Killian Kreek (believed original Germanic spelling Guilliam Grieg, anglicized upon settling in America). He immediately assimilated into the business of settling the little township and participated in the building of its essential infrastructure. The following items appeared in the “History of Clay County” documenting important events in the growth of the county:

      “Court Proceedings in 1826. In May the first steps were taken to build a court house; Wm. Averett was allowed $30 per year for the support of his insane son; and Abraham Lincoln (uncle of the "martyr President"), Reuben Tillery and Abraham Creek were appointed reviewers of a road from Liberty to Estes' mill, on Fishing river.”

      It is believed Abraham, having served in the War of 1812, made the move in response to the government’s enticement to move the population centre Westward by providing recompense to its fighting men in the form of Land Warrants in the western part of the country. The historic association with the Lincoln family, working side by side with the paternal uncle of President Abraham Lincoln, is noted with pride by the author.

Abraham Creek

      The families of Lincoln, Todd, and Creek were the pioneering families whose efforts formed the community and shaped the underlying philosophy of self-government, industrious community effort, bravery, and courage in the face of extreme adversity. Another extract from the same publication paints a broader picture of the closeness of these historic American families and that of Thomas Jefferson, as well:

      “From the History of Clay County, Missouri (Author: William H. Woodson, published by Historical Publishing Company, Topeka - Indianapolis, 1920.) The ?rst circuit court was held in Clay County at the house of John Owens, in Liberty, March 4, 1822. David Todd, an uncle of the wife of Abraham Lincoln, who was Mary Todd, was judge; William L. Smith, clerk; Hamilton R. Gamble, circuit attorney, and John Harris, sheriff. William L. Smith was born in a northern state, a man of education and of many accomplishments, popular with the people, and held this office until 1831, when he resigned the o?ice. Hamilton R. Gamble was a Virginian, born in 1798; came to St. Louis in 1818, came to Old Franklin in 1819, was circuit attorney in 1822, secretary of state in 1824, supreme judge in 1851, and in 1861, on the ?ight of Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson from Jefferson City, was made provisional governor of Missouri. He died in 1864. John Harris was a lineal descendant of Mary Jefferson, sister of Thomas Jefferson; Mary Jefferson married Col. John Turpin and her daughter, Obedience, married Col. John Harris. Very little business was transacted at this term of the circuit court as it was in session only two days. The grand jurors for the term were Richard Linville, foreman; Zachariah McGree, Benjamin Sampson, Robert Y. Fowler, Zachariah Averett, Howard Averett, John Ritchie, James Munkers, John Evans, Thomas Estes, Andrew Robertson, Richard Hill, David Magill, Walker McClelland, Robert Poage, Samuel Tilford, David Gregg, William Allen, Elisha Hall and James Williams. There are many descendants of the men who constituted this grand jury now residents of Clay County. The next term of the circuit court was in July following, and only one jury trial, that of the State vs. Jonathan Camron, who had been indicted for affray. A jury of twelve good and true men were selected to try the defendant; they were Abijah Means, Richard Chaney, Abraham Creek, John Bartleson, James Gladden, Francis T. Slaughter, Enos Vaughn, Andrew Copelin, John Carrell, Matthew Averett, Eppa Tillery and Samuel Magill, who after hearing the evidence, instructions of the court, and arguments of counsel, retired, but soon returned with a verdict, “We, the jury, ?nd the defendant not guilty”.
[Extracted by Melinda Cohenour from the book on September 29, 2014.]
      On 26 September 1852, Sidney wed Lucinda Estes. The reverend John May officiated at the marriage. This union produced a large number of children and, as with so many families in these early days, a number of these children did not survive to adulthood. We do know that at the time of Lucinda Estes Creek’s impending death she listed the following in her will: Charles (Jefferson) Creek, Georgia Ann Franklin, Beau Creek, Jennie Hamilton, Dicey Parks, Sallie Parks, Emma Johnson, and Lillie Creek. At that time, young Lillie was still at home and had not reached the age of eighteen. Provisions were made for her care until such time as she attained the age of majority. (A few mysteries appeared in the Will, causing even the Probate Court crew to scratch their heads. Much research has, hopefully, ironed out those peculiarities as well.)

      Thus far, in the life of Sidney Washington Creek, most of his experiences had been pleasant – a loving family, comfortable home, prosperous farming, marriage to the love of his life and the start of his own family. Notwithstanding the loss of his babies, life had been good. But life has a way of banking sharply against obstacles and disrupting the flow of “milk and honey.” Thus would be the experience of Sidney Creek.

      The second half of Sid’s story will be told in the next column by this author. This will be a story that has intrigue, deception, violence, and every emotion known to man.

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

Cooking With Rod

April Beef Stew

  • 2.5 lbs lean stew meat
  • Nonfat cooking spray
  • 2.5 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
  • 1 lb baby carrots
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  • 3 qts. Unsalted Beef Stock
  • 2 lg. cans Sento All Purpose Crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Mrs. Dash
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp onion powder
  • Brown meat, seasoned lightly with the listed spices in a large pan prepared with a liberal application of nonstick cooking spray. When nicely browned on all sides, remove to stewpot.
    Add all ingredients to large stewpot. Bring to a boil over Medium High heat, lower to a simmer, then lower a bit more and permit to stew until potatoes and carrots are cooked through but still hold their shape.

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

    Consider This


           We do live in weird times, of that I’m certain, and one of those weirdnesses these days is the inclination for some of us to marry things other than humans. Inanimate things. Appliances. And we even consider marrying our own pets because we love them so. Or something. Personally, try as I can, I just can’t think there’s much of a chance for death-do-us-part everlasting happiness when wedded to one’s pet Siamese Fighting Fish for example, but hey, different strokes, right?

           Years ago, I wrote a very serious column about a man of whom I’d read, who wanted to—and did—marry his TV set. His reasons were really quite sound. He told his interviewer he was lonely, that he had no friends and that his TV set was his very BFF, never gave him a moment’s grief until it needed a few repairs, never gave him problems or argued with his decisions, never ran up credit card bills or cheated on him. The man was completely in love.

           A local man of the cloth decided to join in the fun and offered to marry the loving couple. He posted the bans, managed to get a marriage license of sorts for them, and people were invited to the Big Day, refreshments after. The minister pronounced them Man and Philco, and they lived, and watched, happily ever after.

           Then there was the guy who decided to marry his car. He was anxious that if he didn’t marry it—her, whatever—that someone would steal her because she was so pretty, and sell or wreck her and oh how he loved that car. He figured if people knew his pretty car was an old married woman they would lose interest and would leave her be. Besides, neither of them wanted children anyway, so the guy found a priest new to the church business who agreed to say the words. Thus, Man and ’55 Ford Fairlane were then married and lived out their lives in bliss in a local heated garage. It seemed to be a happy marriage. They never fought about anything. He’d chat, she’d play music.

           Folks all over the world seem to think it’s adorable for their animal pets to marry each other, so their owners design and sew up cutesy wedding outfits and invite all their friends to watch their female and male Llamas or Pugs or Ferrets or Shetland Ponies or Parrots or Turtles or Pot Bellied Pigs ---well, you get the idea--to marry each other. They even hire musicians to play Messrs. Kloven and Scott’s “Oh Promise Me” or Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” and they invite all their friends to watch these poor uncomfortable animals struggling down an “aisle” to stand, sit or roll over, fall asleep, or try to run away from being forced to stay still in front of a person in a long robe, holding an open book over them and saying things in a droney voice. Dogs have been known to lift their legs against the clergy’s robes, bride and groom rabbits to suddenly mate vigorously and then constantly, Llamas to spit, and a beloved pet snake, in wedding attire, to constrict and swallow the groom rabbit when no one was looking. Everyone weeps and laughs and applauds lovingly at these bizarre ceremonies, except of course for the owners of the darling cuddly, and now gone angora bunny.

           So the question I have is this; if people can marry their appliances or something from out of their home entertainment centers, or something with tires living in their garages, if they can dress up their animals in awful and embarrassing wedding garb and force them to “marry” each other for the entertainment of their owner’s nearest and dearest, and everyone thinks it is funny and charmingly adorable and absolutely appropriate and acceptable, then how come there are still some folks out there who think that 2 responsible, compatible, loving and productive humans of the same sex do not have the right to marry? Seems oddly weird to me…

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

    On Trek

    Time is Free

    We can save time, give time
    We can do this ALL the time
    Take our time, find time to share
    I don't care

    We gain time and lose time
    24 hours is ALL mine
    I can't get more and I can't get less
    One of a kind...time.. divine

    The gift of time to use as I please
    can't be sold, not for lease.
    Time is precious as it flys by
    Where did it go? We wonder why

    We can't build it up for another time
    must use it right the first time
    As time passes, and the bell's chime
    Keep in mind..There is always time.!!
    ©3/22/17 Judith Kroll

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