Saturday, February 1, 2020

Editor's Corner


February 2020

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." --Charles M. Schulz.
Is there a lovelier reason to indulge one's love of chocolate than receiving a gorgeous heart shaped box of decadent chocolates! Your editor's mother's favorite color was chartreuse and so Daddy had a standing order with a local merchant to order a huge satin covered box of luscious maple cream filled and nut filled candy. Being color blind himself he had no idea what a shocking color that was for Valentine candy!

Mattie Lennon updates us on the Irish poet/author Pat Ingoldsby- and discloses the future Dolly Parton look alike contest (particulars later) in "Irish Eyes." Judith Kroll ("OnTrek") brings her "Finding Self" essay to us this month.

The Genealogist among us (Melinda Cohenour in "Armchair Genealogy") continues delving into the past with part two on Pierre Cresson, “Le Jardiniere” a 7th Great Grandfather in her tree. But husband Rod Cohenour ("Cooking with Rod") gets fancy with Puerco Rodrigo, Cilantro Lime Rice,and Queso, etc.

Thomas F. O'Neill --"Introspective," and his students in China have interesting discussions which gives him a chance to offer his philosophy of life which is altruism and tolerance. Marilyn Carnell -- "Sifoddling Along," entertains us with examples and her definition of her own bilingual ability: Hillbilly.

John I. Blair's poem is titled "My Dreams." "Punxsutawney Phil" was written awhile back by Mona Wanlass but is perfect for this month and appears as an Encore Presentation. Bud Lemire shares two poems "I Received A Call" and "Accept Him." "Lighten The Load" by yours truly plus "His Way Is Best" and "The Old Year Dieth Soon" by Linnie Jane Joslin Burks. "Trying Too Hard," and "If I Was Afraid" are the two poems from Bruce Clifford.

The poem "Love is God's Gift" is very special to your editor since it was composed by her 15 year old mother on Valentine's Day, 1934, following a proposal of marriage from her husband to be John (Jack) Edward Carroll. She, Lena May Joslin Carroll, and he were wed June 10, 1934, after her 16th birthday in May that year. The wonderful photo from that day is shown with her poem.

Happy Valentine's Day, Michael Craner, dear co-founder and webmaster, the key to our well being, our equilibrium, our dreams. Thanks again, Mike! And don't make yourself sick on that candy!

See you in March!

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

Pierre “Le Jardiniere” Cresson
7th Great-Grandfather – Chapter 2

    Pierre Cresson was a French Huguenot, who escaped persecution in France at the time of the Reformation by relocating to the Netherlands before making the long voyage to the New World – known then as New Netherland and now called New York. His story encompasses the intrigue of religious persecution and the impact that had on the lives of many brilliant and talented Protestant French citizens. This chapter takes up his life at the time he determined to migrate to the New World – New Amsterdam.

    Chapter 1 in the annals of the life of Pierre “The Gardener” Cresson covered his early life beginning in France and the geographical relocation of his family first to Sluis, Flanders and then, along with other refugees from Flanders, to Leyden, Holland. Another family historian has discovered some records that substantiate vital records for our Pierre Cresson. These are mostly original records in the native French as they appear in the archives of Family Search (an arm of the LDS church and a sister site to The following is a transcribed document of the recordation of the marriage of Pierre Cresson and Rachel Clausse which also documents the parental identities for both parties:

“Pierre Cresson
France, Protestant Church Records, 1536-1897

Name: Pierre Cresson
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 05 Jun 1639
Event Place: Sedan, Ardennes, France
Gender: Male
Father's Name: Pierre
Mother's Name: Elisabet Vuilesme
Spouse's Name: Rachel Clausse
Spouse's Gender: Female
Spouse's Father's Name: Pierre
Spouse's Mother's Name: Jeanne Famelart

    (Your author shall not introduce all the vital records in this text but will provide a line of descent for reference purposes to guide other family researchers. The additional vital records discovered through Family Search will be added to our tree in which tree is, by my choice, a public resource. They include birth and baptismal, and death records for children of the couple.)

    It is interesting to note this other family historian (Daniel Troublefield) shares in his profile that he speaks both French and English, a fact highlighted by his research into original French documents. The document shared above includes in the original French that Pierre listed his occupation as “serger”, which fact Troublefield reflects:
“Found our Pierre Cresson the younger was a "serger" (silk/linen cloth maker) and "cordonnier" (shoemaker) in the cloth-making industry at Sedan.”
The occupation of cordonnier is discovered in the baptismal record for Jacques, a son of the couple, noted 12 March 1640 at Sedan, Ardennes, France. This shows the family still ensconced in Sedan as late as 1640, although that same year he is recorded as being “among the refugees at Leyden.” Perhaps they awaited the birth and baptismal for this child before making that move. [SOURCE:]
    This find prompted my own research into the probable impetus that brought about Pierre’s migratory decision – the move from Sluis, Flanders to Leyden (spelled Leiden today).

“In the 17th century, Leiden prospered, in part because of the impetus to the textile industry by refugees from Flanders. While the city had lost about a third of its 15,000 citizens during the siege of 1574, it quickly recovered to 45,000 inhabitants in 1622, and may have come near to 70,000 circa 1670. During the Dutch Golden Era, Leiden was the second largest city of Holland, after Amsterdam.”
    This citation also marks the fact that the city sided with the Dutch against the Spanish in 1572, and the citizens’ successful defense of the Dutch army endeared them to William I of Orange, so much so he rewarded the citizenry for breaking the siege by establishing the University of Leiden in 1575. Considering Pierre’s early grounding in the Huguenot’s Reformist beliefs, it is yet another strong indication this played a large role in his decision to move his family to Leyden.

    By tracing other vital records, we can follow the family’s movement. For instance, on 31 Jan 1644, the baptism of son Estienne is recorded at Delft, South Holland, The Netherlands. This baptism is witnessed by Estienne Trouillard and by Elisabet Willesme (mother of Rachel Clausse whose name is spelled Closse in this document).

    At some point, it appears our Pierre changed not only his locale, but his occupation from that of textile artisan (linen clothmaker) and shoemaker to gardener, par excellence. Historical records in America record Pierre’s skill as being so remarkable that Governor Stuyvesant sought him out upon his arrival in 1657 and proffered an arrangement whereby Pierre could satisfy the debt owed New Amsterdam for portage for his entire family from Amsterdam to the New World. The offer was accepted, and the following year Pierre embarked on a return trip to Holland to employ other agriculturalists: landscaping and gardening artisans. The trip back to New Amsterdam is documented. On 25th April 1659, Cresson and his artisans set sail aboard De Bever (The Beaver) from Amsterdam and arrived some six weeks later in the Manhattans.

    Now for you knowledgeable historians, Governor Peter Stuyvesant was quite a character. He was born in 1592 in The Netherlands to a Dutch Reformed Calvinist minister and his wife. He was expelled from his university for having seduced the daughter of his landlord. While in the university, however, he had excelled in his studies, majoring in languages and philosophy. He soon joined the Dutch West India Company and enjoyed numerous postings with that company, serving in positions of ever-increasing authority. By the ripe young age of 30, Stuyvesant was assigned as acting governor of the colonies of Curacao (the main Dutch naval base in that colony) as well as for Aruba and Bonnaire. He served in those positions from 1638 until 1644. As reported in Wikipedia:

“In April 1644, he coordinated and led an attack on the island of Saint Martin – which the Spanish had taken from the Dutch, and had almost been recaptured by them in 1625 – with an armada of 12 ships carrying more than a thousand men. He invested the island (*) when the Spanish would not surrender, but was not successful in preventing them from getting supplies from Puerto Rico. A cannonball crushed Stuyvesant's right leg, and it was amputated just below the knee. Still in severe pain, he called off the siege a month later.
    Stuyvesant returned to the Netherlands for convalescence, where his right leg was replaced with a wooden peg. Stuyvesant was given the nicknames "Peg Leg Pete" and "Old Silver Nails" because he used a wooden stick studded with silver nails as a prosthesis. The West India Company saw the loss of Stuyvesant's leg as a "Roman" sacrifice, while Stuyvesant himself saw the fact that he did not die from his injury as a sign that God was saving him to do great things. A year later, in May 1645, he was selected by the Company to replace Willem Kieft as Director-General of the New Netherland colony, including New Amsterdam, the site of present-day New York City.”
(*) Laid siege to
    The appointment as Director-General of the New Netherland colony took time to be affirmed. He and his new bride finally arrived in the New World in May of 1647. The once thriving colony had suffered badly from the poor management of Kieft, whose travails were certainly worsened by his descent into alcoholism. Few of the original male colonists remained, the villages had been left to deteriorate, and confidence of the colonists was badly shaken. Stuyvesant saw this challenge as the “great” work for which God had saved his life and felt duty-bound to do his utmost to improve the lot of those colonists who remained. He is reported to have vowed,
“I shall govern you as a father his children.”

    The young colony was not well protected and was beset by a number of adversaries. The English who had colonized the land just north of New Amsterdam claimed or chose to assert claims of ownership of the land. Native Americans also posed a threat to the young colony. In addition, the Dutch West India Company had stretched itself thin in its eagerness to extend its reach.
“In 1657, the directors of the Dutch West India Company wrote to Stuyvesant to tell him that they were not going to be able to send him all the tradesmen that he requested and that he would have to purchase slaves in addition to the tradesmen he would receive.”
Thus, Stuyvesant’s decision to make that most acceptable proffer for Pierre Cresson to enlist artisans from The Netherlands to come to join their colony in exchange for payment in full of the steerage cost for Pierre Cresson and his family to New Amsterdam.
     Gov. Stuyvesant, if judged on his vow to be a father to the colonists, was a stern and dictatorial father. Having been born to a Dutch Reformed Calvinist minister and having enjoyed the freedom in the New World to worship as he pleased, it was not his wont to extend that freedom to others in pursuit of religious freedom. He was particularly prejudicial in his treatment of Jewish immigrants, but he was equally disdainful of Quakers – in fact, of almost any who sought to worship under any doctrine but that of Stuyvesant’s own religious choice. When pressed to share power and decision making with other worthy colonists, he absolutely refused. Further, he was adamant in his attempt to quell alcoholism, to the extent of barring certain commercial efforts and even publicly shaming anyone thought to be over-indulging. These stern disciplinarian actions did not endear Stuyvesant to the populace. This would come to bear bitter fruit when, in 1664, the British invaded and the populace refused to assist Stuyvesant in defense of the colony. He was forced to turn it over to the English, thus bringing shame upon himself by his long-time employer, the Dutch West India Company. He was recalled, denounced, and after his thorough dressing down chose to return to his home in the Bowery where he would remain until his death in 1672.

    Our Pierre returned on his second trip to New Amsterdam in April of 1659 and immediately dedicated himself to the betterment and protection of his new home. By 16 August 1660, he was appointed commissary (or Judge) to New Haarlem. He joined in the defense of the young colony and is noted as having served as corporal of 1st Company in 1663 in the expedition against the Indians at Esopus.
1663: Astounding news reached the villagers of an Indian onslaught and massacre at Esopus on June 7th in which some of their friends and kinsfolk were sufferers… Van Imbroch and her little Lysbet were in captivity with the savages. Harlem was all alarm. The town people assembled June 12th, by orders from below, and with the advice of the magistrates, Montagne, Claessen, Tourneur, and Muyden, and clearheaded Slot, asked to sit with them as extraordinary schepen, proceeded to take the necessary steps for inclosing the village with a line of stockades, and putting it in a complete state of defense. Ten persons were designated to cut palisades and four others to draw them to the village; while Tourneur and Jaques Cresson were deputed to procure a supply of arms and ammunition promised from the Manhattans. At the same time the dozen or more soldiers stationed here, together with the settlers (exclusive of the presiding magistrates), forty persons in all, were formed into military companies, which, after some time spent in changing and rearranging the ranks were duly organized. For officers the eldest and most capable persons were selected. In the first company, Pierre Cresson, in the ripe manhood of fifty-odd years and still very active, was assigned the chief and responsible command of corporal…: Immediately following the massacre at Esopus, forty persons at New Harlem were formed into militia companies. Daniel TORNEUR, Jan La MONTAGNE, Michiel MUYDEN, Jaques CRESSON and Jan P. SLOT, were supplied with firelocks; and Isaac VERMEILLE, Abram VERMEILLE, Pierre CRESSON, Jean Le ROY, Glaude Le MAISTRE and Aert P. BUYS, with musquets. Also listed as privates were Joost Van OBLINUS, Jan SCHOENMAKER, [James Riker, REVISED HISTORY OF HARLEM (1904), p.201-203.” The savages at Esopus were soon made to flee before the advance of the resolute Dutch soldiers, but armed parties still kept the warpath threatening vengeance on the whites and whoever should aid them.”

    But his work as a landscaper and agriculturalist is what has placed his name in the history of Harlem. He settled near Gov. Stuyvesant in the farm area on the lush plot of land near the river. A painting of New Amsterdam as it appeared in 1664 is shown here, entitled “Geheugen van Nederland” or Memory of The Netherlands, by Johannes Vingboons.

His land in New York was where the Bowery is today. Pierre Cresson raised many beautiful flowers in his yard - to such an extent that his neighbors emulated his example and the street became known as the "Bower" ... so it was because of Pierre that the Bowery was so named.

“Geheugen van Nederland” or Memory of The Netherlands, by Johannes Vingboons.

    The farmlands were known as The Bowery and, at that time and for many, many years afterward, were the epitome of grand and glorious flowering trees and well landscaped lawns and gardens. It was only after the lands were broken up and the original inhabitants died off or removed their families that the Bowery became associated with ruin and despair.

    Another entry in the Revised History of Harlem (City of New York): Its Origin and Early Annals, by James Riker and Henry Pennington Toler refers to Pierre’s time as a complainant rather than as a Judge, the year 1670 (NOTE: gl translates to guilders):
On the same date the 19th the court room witnessed an unusual scene. Pierre Cresson, three years before, had leased his farm to Glaude Delamater and things had not gone smoothly between them. In a sharp dispute about one of the oxen which, as appeared, had died through Delamater's neglect, the latter called Cresson a villain for driving away his wife. Mrs. Cresson was spending a season at Esopus. Coming into court with his complaint where Delamater was sitting as one of the magistrates, the usually amiable and prudent Pierre, overcome by anger told Glaude that he ought to slap his face. Delamater pretended forgetfulness but remembered that plaintiff had called him names, too. The court regarding both parties at fault fined each 12 gl and costs. Unhappily this did not end the quarrel between the Walloon and Picard…
    The ill feeling between Cresson and Delamater again showed itself when the term of three years, during which the latter had worked Cresson's farm, was closing. The court had ordered payment for the lost ox, but one of the farm tools was found broken. On September 1st Pierre in open court demanded his tools of Delamater, who was seated on the bench with his brother magistrates. Glaude answered that the broken tool was at the smith's, being mended. The court, hearing what passed between the parties, referred them to their agreement of September 5th, 1667, but put the court charges upon Cresson. Shortly after Glaude sent Pierre word by the constable to come and examine his tools. Cresson would do no such thing, but again went to the court room, October 6th, and repeated his demand for the tools. Delamater now promised to send them by his son; but the court, to vindicate its injured dignity, directed Pierre to fetch the tools himself from the defendant's house and fined him 12 gl and costs of suit. Vexed at what he conceived to be a harsh judgment, Cresson at the sitting of the court December 1st, entered, and asked if he must satisfy the sentence given against him. He was answered, “Yes.” Now passion got the better of him, and he denounced the magistrates as “unjust judges,” adding, with other abusive words, that “instead of judges they were devils!” On this the court ordered the constable to take Cresson into custody and convey him a prisoner to the High Sheriff at New York, to be duly proceeded against. Cresson was soon released, but, now bent upon leaving the town, had his wife at Esopus apply for a building lot in that village, and this she asked for and obtained April 15th, 1671.

    We find a delightful entry in the Revised History of Harlem describing village life in that village in 1673:
“This chapter of incidents may fitly close with a glance at the village of New Harlem as it was in the autumn of 1673. How quaint an aspect has the Dutch settlement as e’en now its plain wooden tenements, embowered in foliage whose variegated hues already tell the declining year, rise modestly to view. Their humble eaves, keeping line with the street, lift themselves but one low story, yet the extraordinary slope of the thatched roof gives space to the loft above, so useful for many domestic purposes. Aside the house, quite too near for entire safety, stands the ample and well-stored “schuer” or barn, in its squatty eaves and lofty ridge the very counterpart of the dwelling, but by a noticeable contrast turning its gable with huge gaping doors to the highway. In the spaces between buildings and homesteads flourish rows of choice imported fruit trees, apple, pear, peach, cherry, and quince, and the no less prized garden and ornamental shrubs, the Dutch currant, gooseberry, and evergreen box, dwarf, and arborescent. Tidiness reigns, at least about the dwelling and within reach of the busy housewife's mop and broom but all betokens a plainness and frugality in wide contrast with the elegance of modern living. The daily life of the villagers, -- but let us first note the occupants of the principal dwellings ere we cross the threshold to explore the humble sphere of their domestic economy. Here at the river end, where, about the tavern, smith-shop, church, and ferry gather the stir and business activity of the village, is the comfortable home of the French refugee and newly appointed schepen, David Demarest…This last looks out to the south upon the square or green about the landing place. Demarest's neighbor over the cross street is Glaude Delamater, recent magistrate, testy but kind hearted, his double erf joining that of Cornelius Jansen, late constable, a young but rising man in the town and at whose friendly inn, -- where swinging signboard and feeding troughs mark it merely as the village hostel, but to Kortright, Bogert, and others the veritable counterpart of Mynheer's inn at Schoonrewoer, -- the passing traveler stops for refreshment or the wiseacres of the dorp resort to swallow the latest bit of news or scandal in a bumper of Kortright's beer. Opposite the tavern, past the second crossway, lives the Picard, good Pierre Cresson, from his occupation called by his Dutch neighbors ‘de tuynier’ or the gardener whose erf joins at its rear, or north side, to that of Daniel Tourneur, but just deceased, and westerly to that late of Hendrick Karstens but now of the worthy Joost Van Oblinus, schepen…”

    In a later entry, we find note of Pierre in 1677:
“This year another French refugee left the town with his family. This was Pierre Cresson. After selling out his farm May 23, 1677, to Jan Hendricks Van Brevoort, who had had it a year under lease, he built upon and occupied his outside garden No 14. This he now sold March 5, 1679, to Jan Nagel who owned No 13 for 100 guilders, in goods or grain, a pair of oxen, one cow, and a half-firkin of soap. Cresson removed to Staten Island, having already secured a lot of land at or near Long Neck, on the northwest side of the island for laying out, which an order had issued from the Secretary's office May 14, 1678. A small stream, on which lay his meadow at Sherman's Creek, was long called after him Pieter Tuynier's Run.”
(NOTE: Pierre Cresson was also referred to as Pieter and ‘de tuynier’ translated as ‘the gardener’.)
    In 1679 he sold his lands in Harlem and moved to Staten Island where he obtained a lot at or near Long Neck by the Fresh Kill on the northwest side of the island.

    Riker and Pennington explore the character and origins of those founding families of Harlem, New Amsterdam:
“Very interesting is Picardy, whence came so many of the French exiles who made their homes at Harlem for longer or shorter periods; in all some thirty families of which a full third were Picards or of Picard descent. Of this class were our Tourneur, Cresson, Demarest, Casier, and Disosway, all of whom, except the last, served as magistrates. But who were the Picards? A quite superior people to the average French; being of mixed origin, descendants of both Belgae and Celtae, and occupying the border between these two ancient nations, or rather the district which parted the Celtae from the Nervii, the most invincible of the Belgic tribes. Thus, sanguine and choleric like the Celts, they approached the Belgae in their moral and physical stamina. In stature above the medium, with usually a well-developed frame, they betrayed their affinity to the Walloons, whose patois, rough and disagreeable, theirs resembled; yet, proud and spirited, they held those neighbors and all others in secret disdain. The love of independence was not so strong within them as the love of equality; it was here their vanity showed itself, but it tempered the popular homage to wealth or titles. Though hasty, blunt, and obstinate, yet without the effrontery of the Normans or the superstition of the Champenois,-- and more religious than either,-- the Picards were withal lively, generous, honest and discreet. Their conversation sparkled with wit, mirth, and sarcasm. Necessity, rather than inclination, made them industrious, yet, they yielded their full share of workers and proficients in the arts and sciences; as also of able physicians and divines,-- some of the latter as much distinguished in the controversial history of the Reformation as others had been who were its earliest champions. With intelligence, and a manly aim to excel in what they undertook, even though it were but agriculture,-- in which by far the greater number were engaged,-- the Picards could not but add a valuable element to any society so fortunate as to attract them.”

    Later, in the book is made reference to our line of descent:
“The old schepen Jan Slot ended his widowerhood by choosing another wife and provident Pierre Cresson, whose son Jaques had married since coming to Harlem, found a worthy companion for his daughter, Christina, in a young man from St. Lo in Normandy named Letelier, now a magistrate at Bushwick. Jean Letelier was one of the fourteen Frenchmen by whom Bushwick was settled in 1660, and was one of its first schepens, March 25, 1661. He always signed his name simply Letelier, the usual mode among the French gentry. In 1662, he gave three guilders toward the ransom of Teunis Cray's son Jacob in captivity with the Turks. Removing to New Utrecht, he there died September 4, 1671. In his will, (to which Abraham du Toiet is a witness) he speaks of his children, but does not name them. His widow married Jacob Gerrits De Haes, by whom she had issue, Jacob, born 1678; John, born 1680; etc. Letelier was usually called by the Dutch Tilje (Tilya) and whence perhaps the family of Tillou or Tilyou, whose ancestor, Pierre (see NY Gen. and Biog. Rec., 1876, p. 144), if the son of Jean, took the name of his godfather Cresson.”

    A personal insight – a treasure to a genealogist! – is found as a footnote to the Revised History of Harlem (stet), along with other entries pertaining to Pierre Cresson:

    Pierre Cresson or Moy Pier Cresson (me, Pier Cresson) as he always wrote his name, is the subject of interesting notice in the journal of these Labadists date of October 13, 1679, they say: “We pursued our journey this morning, from plantation to plantation, the same as yesterday, until we came to that of Pierre le Gardinier, who had been a gardener of the Prince of Orange, and had known him well. He had a large family of children and grand children. He was about seventy years of age, and was still as fresh and active as a young person. He was so glad to see strangers who conversed with him in the French language about the good, he leaped for joy. After we had breakfasted here they told us that we had another large creek to pass called the Fresh Kill, and there we could perhaps be set across the Kill van Kol to the point of Mill Creek, where we might wait for a boat to convey us to the Manhattans. The road was long and difficult, and we asked for a guide, but he had no one, in consequence of several of his children being sick. At last he determined to go himself and accordingly carried us in his canoe over to the point Mill Creek in New Jersey.”

    Here they “thanked and parted with Pierre le Gardinier.”

    Pierre and his son Joshua had each obtained a grant of 88 acres on the west of the island which were surveyed for them December 24, 1680 and patents issued December 30. This is the latest notice found of Pierre. His children, so far as appears, were Susannah, Jaques, Christina, Rachel, Joshua, and Elias. Susannah, born at Ryswyk, married, 1658, at New Amsterdam, Nicholas Delaplaine. Her father gave her a marriage portion of 200 guilders.
Christina, born at Sluis, married Jean LeTelier and Jacob Gerritsz Haas. Rachel, born at Delft, married David Demarest, Jr., Jean Durie, and Roelof Vanderlinde. Joshua Cresson, born 1659, and Elias, born 1662, both lived upon Staten Island, the latter, we presume, succeeding to his father's farm. He was high sheriff of Richmond County, under Leisler. One Joshua Cresson lived at North Branch NJ in 1720.

    Jacques Cresson of good repute and much respected at Harlem where he owned property and held office, married, 1663, Marie Kenard of whom we have given some account. They had issue, Jaques, born 1665; Maria, 1670; Susannah, 1671; Solomon, 1674; Abraham and Isaac, 1676; Sarah, 1678; Anna, 1679; Rachel, 1682. Jaques’ injury, January 31, 1677, and sad death August 1, 1684, we leave unrecorded. His widow, with her son Jaques or Jacobus, sold their house in Stone Street September 9, 1685, and taking a church letter, November 25, she sailed with her family for the Island of Curacao. Later they returned, and Mrs Cresson reunited with the church at New York May 28, 1701, but it is evident they soon left again for Philadelphia. Solomon Cresson served as constable there in 1705 and others of the family are found in that vicinity. The descendants include the late eminent philanthropist Elliot Cresson and the present Dr Charles M Cresson. The name of late years has worked up the valley of the Susquehanna into New York State.”

    The Labadists who were quoted above were a religious group who toured the area with hopes of increasing their number by befriending the populace while proselityzing. Some embraced the Labadist views including Jaques Cresson; however, Cresson could hardly have joined the community as he died but a year after Peter Sluyter's second arrival at New York July 27 1683, on his way to Maryland. Nowhere is it noted Pierre waivered from his firm Protestant reformist beliefs.

    Finally, we find where Pierre and Rachel made their Wills:
“Pierre Cresson and Rachel Cloos, his wife, “both being sound of body,” made their joint will March 15, 1673. Cornelis Jansen and Jan Nagel, witnesses. How sensible and wise, thus in health, to calmly weigh the fact of their mortality and deliberately set their house in order. Leaving fifty guilders to “the church at New York,” they say, “whereas their daughter Susannah has enjoyed as a marriage portion the value of two hundred guilders, so the testators will that at the decease of the longest liver each of their other children then living shall draw the like 200 guilders, and our youngest son, Elie, if he is under the age of sixteen years, also a new suit of clothes becoming to his person from head to foot.”

    Pierre’s death occurred 13 October 1681, in what is now known as Brooklyn, Kings County, New York. His place of burial is not known. Rachel survived until about 1692 and is believed to be buried beside her husband, although that place of burial is not known.

    The line of descent from Pierre, the Gardener to William, Prince of Orange, to your author is as follows:
    Pierre "Le Jardiniere" (Pieter) Cresson (Croisson) 1609-1679, my 7th great-grandfather was the father of:
    Christina Cresson (Garrison) 1641-1708, my 6th Great-Grandmother, was the Daughter of Pierre "Le Jardiniere" (Pieter) Cresson (Croisson) and the mother of:
    Jacob Garrison (Gerritszen De Haes) Jr. 1676-1751, my 5th Great-Grandfather, was the Son of Christina Cresson (Garrison) and the father of:
    Christiana Garrison 1702-1757, my 4th Great-Grandmother, was the Daughter of Jacob Garrison (Gerritszen De Haes) Jr. and the mother of:
    William "P.R." Joslin 1757-1846, my 3rd Great-Grandfather, was the Son of Christiana Garrison and the father of:
    William (James) Riley Joslin 1792-1871, my 2nd Great-Grandfather, was the Son of William "P.R." Joslin and the father of:
    William Henry Joslin 1837-1921, my Great-Grandfather was the Son of William (James) Riley Joslin and the father of:
    James Arthur Joslin 1874-1956, my Grandfather, was the Son of William Henry Joslin and the father of:
    Lena May (Mae) Joslin (Carroll) 1918-2010, my mother, was the Daughter of James Arthur Joslin.

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

Sifoddling Along

Being Bilingual


On occasion, I have been asked if I speak another language. My response is always, “I suppose you might consider me bilingual because I am fluent in standard English and Hillbilly.” After the shock about my claim, followed by mild amusement has passed, I hasten to explain.

My father was an English major and school superintendent so I was carefully trained to speak and write “proper” English. I didn’t realize that I had learned another language in grammar and vocabulary from my family (even my father), friends and classmates. Yes, it is similar to standard English, but it largely is based on a time and culture that has remained largely unchanged since the 17th Century when the early English migrants arrived in America.

Old-time words and expressions came to my attention recently while “binge-watching” the TV show “Outlander”. In the show, characters move between the late 1700’s (before the American and French Revolutions) and the mid- to late 20th century. The story, costumes and language fascinate me. A character said she was feeling “a little bit dauncy”. An expression I had heard from my mother and immediately knew the character was feeling unwell. Then I went to my “Bible” on historic language, “Down in the Holler: A Gallery of Ozark Folk Speech” Published in 1953 by Vance Randolph. It says that “dauncy” meant particular about food in the 15th century. Evidently the term had morphed a little by the time my mother learned it.

The only books I was forbidden to read at the McDonald County Library as a child were the works of Vance Randolph, a famous collector of Ozark folklore and song catcher for the Smithsonian Institution. His books were literal and contained “dirty” words and stories. Consequently, I have collected his writings as an adult. Most of them are out of print and some quite pricey, but I love reading them. A favorite is Randolph married a woman from Pineville and collected a lot of data from local residents, some of whom I remember knowing.

This led me to think about other terms and expressions that had been little changed since the 1600-1700’s that were still commonly used Pineville, Missouri, my hometown when I was growing up. Words and expressions will sometimes leap from my mouth and totally confuse others.

It became painfully clear to me that people on the East Coast were not very tolerant of my quirks of speech. I later found out they called me “Pocahontas” long before Elizabeth Warren was slurred by it. I was late to a meeting one time and apologized by saying “I’m sorry I was out of pocket.” My boss said, “Do you need money?’” I certainly didn’t anticipate that.

Another time when we were invited to stay for dinner, I blurted “You didn’t take us to raise” as part of declining. My friends looked puzzled and asked me. “Who is Ray and why are you upset we didn’t take you to see him?” That required some clarification.

A phrase that still puzzles me is my Mom’s remark “She is silly as Kate Mullin.” I asked who Kate was, but she is lost in time.

As I said earlier, my dad was a school superintendent. That meant certain standards of decorum and language. Conventional swearing was not possible, so he would indicate his wrath by saying things like “thunder and guns” or “confound it”. Different words, but it was clear he was swearing.

Like the Eskimos who had many words to describe snow, we Hillbillies found many ways to describe temperature. Some of my favorites are:
“Cold as kraut”,
“Cold as a well-digger’s (or witch’s) - add appendage of your choice, e.g. elbow,
“Hot as a depot stove”,
“Hotter than 11 bears”.

My co-workers at the University of Minnesota made me a chart of hot and cold words they had heard me say. I was a little embarrassed.

My occasional use of old words and expressions help preserve them in a small way. I enjoy surprising people by saying things like: “I’m sorry to be late, but we went all over hell and half of Georgia to get here.” or “He has enough money to burn a wet mule.” (The latter may be more recent. I have seen it attributed to Huey Long, a Governor of Louisiana in the 1930’s, but it sure is colorful.) or “The judge sat there looking as wise as a tree-full of owls.”

Thank you for following me down the memory lane, that is called “sifoddling along" in the Ozarks.

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Cooking with Rod


Puerco Rodrigo

    Ole! It's a New Year! A new decade! Time to spice up our lives. I'm combining some of my favorite recipes using one of my favorite meats to create a Fiesta for your mouth (and soul). These are quick and easy. Guaranteed to please.

    The complete dish combines the chops, rice, queso and pico de gallo. For convenience of preparation, the recipes are listed separately.

    Bon appetit~!

Puerco Rodrigo

    * 2 lbs boneless pork loin chops, cut about 1/2" thick
    * 2 Tbsp. Cumin
    * 2 Tbsp. Chile Powder
    * 1 tsp. Oregano
    * 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
    * Dash ground black pepper
    1. Rinse chops to remove any bone meal. Set aside. Prepare Pico de Gallo and the Salsa Crema and place both in fridge to permit flavors to blend (see separate recipes above).
    2. Mix all spices together, using a whisk or fork to blend well.
    3. Using your clean hands, rub spice mixture over all surfaces of each chop.
    4. Broil on center rack (to permit chops to cook through without burning) until meat develops a nice, rich brown color. Turn, return pan to broiler.
    5. While meat is broiling, proceed to steam Cilantro-Lime Rice.
    6. Prepare Queso Rodrigo per separate recipe. Keep warm.
To serve: Place generous serving of rice on each plate. Top with broiled loin chop. Ladle Queso Rodrigo over each chop and rice. Drizzle each dish with Salsa Crema. Top with Pico de Gallo.(See finished dish at bottom of page.)

Provide warm flour tortillas, crisp tostados, extra Queso Rodrigo, Salsa Crema, crisp cold radishes, sliced avocado, and grated cheddar or Mexican blend cheese as optional toppings.
Delicious served with a cold drink such as iced tea or fresh lemonade.
Ready to cook
Pico de Gallo a la M
    * 1 ripe, firm fleshed tomato, diced
    * 1 medium bell pepper, seeded and diced ( try to make all diced ingredients - except chile pepper - about the same size)
    * 1 medium white onion, diced
    * 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded, stemmed, and minced
    * 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed, leaves gently chopped
    * 1 Tbsp. Lime juice
    1. Prepare all veggies, adding to a medium sized bowl. Reserve a few sprigs of cilantro to use as garnish for portion served as a side dish.
    2. Add lime juice.
    3. Stir gently.
    4. Cover and chill to permit flavors to blend.

Queso Rodrigo

    * 2 cans Cream of Cheddar soup
    * 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
    * 1 (4.5 oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
    * 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, diced fine
    * 1/2 small onion, diced
    * 1/4 cup roasted pimiento pepper, drained and diced fine
    * 2 Tbsp. Corn or vegetable oil (do not use olive oil for this recipe)
    * 1/2 brick cream cheese, softened
    * 2 Tbsp. Chunky salsa
    1. Whisk together soups and green chiles. Set aside.
    2. Assemble diced onion and chile pepper, reserving roasted pimiento pepper.
    3. Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and chile pepper. Stir and braise until onion is transparent. A touch of carmelization is okay but show restraint. A little is plenty.
    4. Stir in soup mixture. Heat through while stirring to prevent scorching. Add cream cheese and continue stirring.
    5. Add chunky salsa, continue stirring until heated through.
    6. Cover and keep warm while preparing dishes.
Cilantro-Lime Rice

    • 8 cups chicken broth (add water, if necessary, to broth to make an even 8 cups)
    • 4 cups white long-grain rice
    •1/4 cup Lime juice (best to use the little lime filled with juice found in the Produce Departmen.)
    • 1 bunch Cilantro, washed, dried, bulk of stems cut off and leaves and top stems chopped roughly.
    Prepare rice per manufacturer’s instructions (usually heat broth/water to boiling, add rice, stir, lower heat, cook about 5 minutes.) Turn heat off and permit to sit for 30 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked tender. Add lime juice and a goodly amount of the cilantro (to taste).
    Prepare after pork is cooked through and resting and just before queso is ready to serve.
    Use this rice as the base for the chops. Drizzle queso over chops and rice, top with the fresh pico de gallo.

Salsa Crema

    * 1 Cup sour cream
    * 3 Tbsp. Chunky salsa (Pace makes a tasty salsa, but feel free to use the brand of your choice, even homemade.)
* 1/4 cup diced fresh tomato

    1. Whisk together sour cream and salsa. Add diced tomato, folding in gently.
    2. Cover.
    3. Chill to blend.

A nice crisp salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, bell peppers, avocado, and green onion (use white and green both) is a welcome side. Salsa Crema drizzled over as a topping is delightful.

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Finished Dish: Puerco Rodrigo

Irish Eyes


From Pat Ingoldsby To Dolly Parton Via Castleisland

“In 1893, W. B. Yeats referred to Zozimus as ‘the last of the gleemen’ but he obviously failed to foresee the coming of Pat Ingoldsby- an old fashioned travelling bard to rival the best of them.” (The words of Bobby Aherne in his book, D’you Remember Yer Man? A portrait of Dublin’s famous characters.)

When I learned that Irish film director Seamus Murphy was making a new documentary film about much-loved Dublin poet Pat Ingoldsby, it brought back many memories about the wit and wisdom of the 78 year old man of many parts. Like the day that, as a bus inspector, I decided to take an unofficial break and nip into Beshoffs in Westmoreland Street for a smoked cod and chips. Only to discover that the famous chipper was closed and all signage was removed. Pat was plying his trade outside and I asked him “Where’s Beshoffs gone, Pat” only to be told, “God, Mattie I’m still looking for Nelson’s Pillar.”

There was a wax model of Pat in the National wax Museum. One year it featured in the Saint Patrick ’s Day parade. The real Pat was present and a TV reporter approached him, stuck a microphone under his nose, and commented, “The wax model looks better than you Pat.” Pat’s reply? “The wax model wasn’t in John of Gods six times.”

When the mobile phone became a virtual epidemic Pat offered a "Mobile Phone Euthanasia" services on the streets of Dublin, where he would destroy phones for annoyed owners.

He was regular presenter of children’s shows on RTÉ, has written plays for the stage and radio, published books of short stories, and been a newspaper columnist but is mostly known for his unconventional and often humorous poetry.

The award-winning Murphy has been working on the documentary and is seeking funding to complete the project. Speaking on RTÉ he said, "Pat is suddenly back in fashion. I talk about him any time I’m doing interviews because I’m trying to raise money for the film but also because I’m trying to build his profile back up again and then there was a poetry festival recently where people were re-enacting his work." He got to know Pat while he was making Home is Another Place, a short film he made for The New Yorker over the summer in Dublin in 2013. He sums up Pat concisely in the following statement, "Pat appeals to our reason through invention and surrealism, in a voice understandable to everyone. He is a rare and sympathetic witness and champion of the underdog - of which there are many in Dublin. Above all he is very funny. There is no better company than Pat and his poems to roam with around the streets of Dublin; absorbing its stories and conspiring with the mirth and darkness of the city."

Since Pat has more or less retired from public life and doesn’t want to appear on TV or film I asked him why he agreed to the documentary. “Mattie, I’ve been plagued all my life by people wanting to do something like this. For the first time ever the right person has come along. I have great respect for Seamus. I have seen his work. I feel privileged that he thinks so much of my poems.” However there is a limit to how much he was prepared to participate. He told Seamus, “You can make the film, I’d love you to make the film but I’m not going to be in it". Seamus ploughed away, ”I said OK, it was almost like the PJ Harvey thing, but slowly I’d go out to him and I’d recorded him and we got to know each other and slowly he started trusting me and now I’ve got lots of stuff. I’ve almost shot all I need of him, it’s the other stuff I need to do."

Every year Pat Ingoldsby produces another book. To date titles as diverse as "Poems So Fresht and So New"-"Yahoo, Pawmarks on My Poems," "Beautiful Cracked Eyes," and "The Blue E-tee Wet" have appeared.

Most of his work is based on personal experiences, with comments in verse on subjects as varied as hotel management, the two fixed points in his life and heading home.

He has written some moving stuff on the death of his father and the ECT (electroconvulsive therapy he received) in a less enlightened age. The reader is introduced to humorous conversations overheard on the bus, or the characters he meets while selling his books on the streets. One of his poems is titled, Mattie Told Me Once, based on a story I told him about my bus-driving experience. He told me one time, “ The worst thing this state gave me was polio and the best was free travel.”

He has also produced stories for children and his poem "For Rita With Love" was selected as one of the Ireland’s 100 favourite poems as voted for by readers of the Irish Times newspaper.
You came home from school
On a special bus
Full of people
Who look like you
And love like you
And you met me
For the first time
And you loved me.
You love everybody
So much that it’s not safe
To let you out alone.
Eleven years of love
And trust and time for you to learn
That you can’t go on loving like this.
Unless you are stopped
You will embrace every person you see.
Normal people don’t do that.
Some Normal people will hurt you
Very badly because you do.
Cripples don’t look nice
But you embrace them.
You kissed a wino on the bus
And he broke down and cried
And he said ‘Nobody has kissed me
For the last 30 years.
But you did.
You touched my face
With your fingers and said
‘I like you.’
The world will never
Be ready for you.
Your way is right
And the world will never be ready.
We could learn everything
That we need to know
By watching you
Going to your special school
In your special bus
Full of people
Who look like you
And love like you
And it’s not safe
To let you out alone.
If you’re not normal
There is very little hope
For the rest of us.

A documentary on this wonderful Dub is long overdue.

* * * * *

Dolly Parton once decided to enter a drag queen celebrity impersonator contest in Los Angeles without revealing her identity. She didn’t win. She was beaten . . . by a man.

Have you ever dressed like Dolly Parton? Have you ever wanted to dress like Dolly Parton? According to the Guinness Book of Records the record for the highest number of people dressed as Dolly is 250. Once again Listowel, County Kerry is well ahead in the charity stakes. To raise money for improved chemo services in Tralee Hospital they will be holding a Dolly Parton Lookalike Day on Saturday June 27th. They hope to beat the record and get into the Guinness Book of Records.

So, put the date in your diary if you want to appear in the Kingdom of Kerry as a head to toe iconic, instantly recognisable, Dolly. ( And you don’t have to be a woman.) More details anon.

* * * * *

And speaking of Kerry, The late Niall Toibin told a story of the Castleisland woman who went to visit her son in Hartford, Connecticut. Her luck was in when she saw a name that she recognised in the “deaths” column in the local paper, because in brackets it said “late of Castleisland.” Off she went to the funeral parlours, unfamiliar terrain to her. She blundered into the first parlour where some lonely Greek exile was laid out under the bored gaze of a black-suited attendant. The poor woman burst into tears, and the Kerry mourners on their way past to the correct parlour, heard her keening bitterly: “Oh Mosheen, if ‘twas back in Castleisland you were , it’s more than one little maneen you’d have guarding your casket." From then on, Greeks in Hartford were known, among the Irish as ‘Castleislandmen’

* * * * *

Here’s a quote I came across recently; “Smart people love mess. You will never find a smart person with an orderly desk.”
See you in March.

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In all my classes I have students that stand out from the rest. It’s mostly due to the questions they ask or their sense of humor. It reminds me of my college days before most of my students were born. I had the same curiosities and thirst for knowledge that I am witnessing in my students.

I find however that many students in China seem more sophisticated than I was at their age. They are not shy about pulling out a smartphone in the middle of a classroom debate in order to back up the facts to their side of the argument. They seem to be putting their technological gizmos to good use and today’s technology is progressing education in leaps and bounds.

Religion comes up quite often in my classes and it’s always a hot button issue. At the beginning of each semester, a new student will ask what my religious beliefs are. I always tell them that I was born and raised Roman Catholic. Several students will then bless themselves to evoke a laugh either from me or their fellow students.

I tell my students that I am no longer a practicing Catholic but I’m always open and honest about my spirituality. I was surprised at first about how knowledgeable they are about the current problems facing the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world. They always bring up the decline of the Church's influence in the world or the sex abuse crises in the Church.

Students always ask me if I’m an atheist and my response is usually - Life and god are one and the same for me and that I can't separate my life from the life of others.

A young female student said, “so you are a Buddhist.”

I told her I don’t have religious beliefs and I tried to the best of my ability to explain that we are simply sharing god's life. I experience my existence and the existence of all things as the subtle altruistic outreach of god’s love. I went on to say that I have a deeply intuitive awareness of my spirituality and the spirituality that is within others

“But that is religion,” a male student said with frustration in his voice.

I don’t believe in religion I told the class once again. I cannot contain god in religious beliefs, buildings, creeds, dogmas, or religious institutions because god transcends all religions. The love that is within us cannot be contained in our beliefs or faith in what God ought to be in our lives. God is the eternal sustenance that sustains us and all things. God is the essence of our eternal love which transcends all human beliefs and faith.

“How can you say that when there are such atrocities throughout the world? If what you believe were to be true then we would all be living in paradise,” another male student said.

Many of those atrocities were committed in the name of religion, I said. It all comes down to beliefs and free will. Evil is the result of a perversion of the human will. We are all free to think and do as we please but for every action, there is a reaction. The consequences of those actions whether they are good or bad will always come back to us.

I may not be a religious person, but I am spiritual by nature. I told the class, my spirituality is what I experience with each second, minute, and day. I try my best to explain that my spirituality is not something I believe in or have faith in. It’s something I experience and come to know within me. It’s simply life itself because I experience it as a living being. We are not set apart from god because god is the intimate and eternal life that is within us and around us.

Questions and debates on whether there is an afterlife always come up in my class as well. I always tell my students that I’m not an expert on death but rather an apprentice in life. With each second, minute, and day I am learning how to live. I like to think of humanity as our significant other. We may come into the world as separate human beings, but humanity is never truly apart from us. When we reach out and touch others, we touch a part of the humanity that is within us. When we open ourselves up to love others, we, in turn, allow ourselves to be loved. When we care for others, we allow ourselves to be cared for. We are not just human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey. We need others in order to learn and grow not only in knowledge but in greater self-awareness.

“America is a Christian Nation,” a male student said, “so I’m sure many people in America don’t think like you.”

When it comes to the reality of life, I said - there are only two opposing views. One view is - there are no miracles in life and the other view is - life is a miracle. It is within these two opposing views that I have chosen to live my life. We are the hands of god -- one hand is used to build a better life for ourselves and the other hand is used to build a better life for others. I do not seek to be understood by words alone because I believe it is best to teach by example.

“In China, many don’t believe in Religion,” a female student said, “but many believe in Karma. When you do good - goodness is returned to you.”

I have experienced that in my own life, I said. A truly spiritual person does not seek conformity from others by imposing their will or beliefs on others. A person with a deep spiritual understanding will bring about positive change in the world by becoming the change that they would like to see in others.

“That is an idealistic way of thinking,” another female student said, “but there are so many problems in the world.”

If the world has become a dark place then it is our responsibility to become the light so that others can see more clearly, I said. Positive change cannot come about by forcing or imposing our way of life on others but rather it is achieved by living our life as we would want others to live their life; in doing so others will embrace and emulate our way of life.

“Religion in America has a tendency to impose their ways on to others,” a male student said, “the slaughter of the American Indians, your previous wars in Vietnam, Korea, and now your wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Isn’t that an example of a Religious Nation imposing its will and beliefs on other Nations?”

Yes, I can see many of America’s mistakes throughout history, I said. That is why it is best to live your individual lives as genuinely and authentically as possible. We are all spiritual by nature and by nature we are all uniquely endowed with extraordinary gifts and talents. The more self-aware we become the more aware we become of all we have to offer. We must also learn from History so that past atrocities’ will not be repeated.

“Average is a dominant gene trait,” a female student said jokingly, “the problems of the world are caused by average people’s short-sightedness. The world’s spiritual problems will always be beyond your pay grade no matter how far the value of the U.S. dollar drops.” That statement got a huge laugh from the class.

She then asked me, “Where do you find your inspiration?”

My inspiration comes mostly from my quiet-time and the interaction from my students, I said. The thought of knowing I am where I’m supposed to be and doing what I’m doing can be an inspiration as well.

I like to remind people that when the mind draws a blank to the world’s riddles it turns to the soul for answers for the soul knows what the mind seeks. Some people may call that intuition. I suppose my intuition and the gift of the imagination are my greatest abilities in expressing to others my perspective on life.

Every semester I tell my students when it comes to life what we learn in the classroom will not define our lives. But rather how well we live our lives in communion with others, will, in the end, define our true character and our true worth.

My students are brighter and more informed than I was at their age and that is a good thing. Today’s Z generation has vast amounts of knowledge at their fingertips, especially, with their smartphones and various other gizmos. The questions they ask in class also reflect their curiosity about the deeper dimensions to life, their future, their nation’s future, and the future of the world and that is certainly a good thing.
    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
    WeChat: Thomas_F_ONeill
    U.S. Voice mail: (410) 925-9334
    China Mobile: 011 (86) 13405757231
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill

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On Trek


Finding Self

I found myself surrounded by the twilight hours, simply put, time between daylight and darkness. That could be before the sunrise or the sunset. I sat all alone. I was not unhappy at all, I was finding myself in the universe. Imagine the whole universe flowing with inhabitants of all sorts, energy being moved and shoved, pushed and pulled in all directions, and I am able to find myself ALONE. Totally. What an indescribable yet undeniable fact.

I have to admit, I could hear things in the trees, and grass moving about, but zero people..NO ONE to share my breath with. I could just BE. As my dad would say, Nirvana.,being part of the whole universe. The true silence experience brings peace, and love, unity and all things good .

I needed to back away from the fake world.. The sphere with fake news, fake like people, greed, dishonesty, lack of values, and find out that I am not that kind of person. Why do I mingle with it? I choose to read certain articles, I choose to watch certain tv shows, and I choose to speak on certain topics..Negatives bombard us daily, from twilight hours to twilight hours.

I share love, and joy, and goodness and peace..all the attributes I find when I am alone in the universe. Many want to be engulfed in the silence of peace. It is right there outside our front doors..or in our homes in a private spot. Or if we have to find a haven, do it. There is comfort in knowing you are “alone” but with like souls always about. Connect with the like souls in the space of oneness with all. That perfect spot awaits you, beckons you to find you and your joy, once again.

Love, Judith 4/4/19

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Punxsutawney Phil

An Encore Presentation
A Timely Favorite

A plaintive ode to Punxsutawney Phil
rodent prognosticator - under hill.
His annual duty from sleep to meadow
Is to 'Close his eyes' or 'See his shadow'.
His one day course of media frenzy
Leaves me jealous (Punxsutawney envy?)

If I were to work but one day a year
supreme chaos would reign, that much is clear.
Who else would do laundry, sweep and scour
working full time, not paid by the hour.
This rodents' life is appealing for sure
while household drudgery I must endure.

Toward the little rat, Punxsutawney Phil
this housewife harbors no extreme ill-will.
But I, for one, would dare dream of the task
To sleep undisturbed till the limelight’s bask.
Work one day a year with one choice to make?
I'd live at Gobbler’s Knob for heaven’s sake!

©February 2001 Mona Wanlass

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I Received A Call

I got a call from Detroit, why such a place
Places can not talk, they don't have a face
Some time ago, New Jersey called me too
Cleveland called me also, which is nothing new
When I received a call from Escanaba, I thought, “I'm already here”
These places that keep calling, I find it might queer
California called me, but I had nothing to say
They never leave a message, I guess it's just their way

What can you say, of a phone call from some place
They can not talk, because they have no face
A place is a “Where,” I want to talk to a “Who”
Yet still these places call, and I'm not sure what to do

Places I never heard of, keep on calling me
I wouldn't know what to say, to a place I couldn't see
Never been there, don't know anything at all
Stay where you are, no reason for you to call

If I got a call from Jupiter, now that's a far out place
Mars or even Venus, or elsewhere in outer space
I prefer a person, to be on the other end
Not New York or Florida, they are not a friend
©Dec 18, 2019 Bud Lemire
                       Author Note:
It always shows up on my phone as a place. But
when a person's name shows up, then it is much better. I know
they are just scams, and cowards, for they don't like
leaving me any messages. Friends will take time to leave
me messages on my Answering machine.

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Lighten the Load

Of all the many tasks I do
I could list quite a few
That qualify as scarely needed
If only some kind of rule I'd heeded.

Rushing headlong to get things done
Can create errors for many a sun
That require many more corrections
Than if I had looked up the directions

So haphazard and sometimes tardy
I tackle the mess with a will that's hardy
It has to be to accomplish even a bit
Since delaying to finish up has doubled it.

But the handiest tool I can find
Is simply to laugh and clear my mind
We can only live one minute at a time
And Life isn't always a pretty rhyme.

So chuckles and giggles pave the way
To turn this night into some sort of day
And brighten the corners of each weary task
Now answer me, What more could I ask?

©Jan 30, 2020 Mary E. Adair

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Love is God's Gift

  February 14, 1934
(after the proposal which
culminated in 62 years of marriage
to John (Jack) Edward Carroll
Wedding Photo below June 10, 1934

Love - love - what can it be?
A sturdy bridge twix thee and me?
Or just a shaky stair
Trembling in every breath of air?
Or could it be that God so great
Has sent His love to those who meet
And vow to always be the other's friend
And try to all his sorrows mend?
For God is there in every union,
That's rooted in devout communion.
With vows to be true each to the other
And God's help to be a good father and mother
For in God we Trust -
For love that time cannot rust!
A marriage is made in Heaven they say,
Must yet be lived on this earth each day!
But with help from God up above,
And our hearts joined in true love,
Perhaps this life we both can live
And keep that center of love alive
Thru all our daily pressures
And build a memory full of treasures
Thank you, God - Our thanks go to You!
And may we always be true to You.

©February 14, 1934 Lena May Joslin
An Encore Presentation
Composed by Editor's Mother

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The Old Year Dieth Soon

Dear Master,
As the old year dieth soon,
Take Thou my harp
And prove if any string
Be out of tune
Or flat or sharp

 Correct Thou, Lord, for me
What seemeth harsh to Thee.
That heart and life may sing
The New Year long,
The perfect song!
©Jan 1, 1958 Linnie Jane Joslin Burks
Ogbomoso, Nigeria

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Trying Too Hard

Trying too hard
Not trying at all
Taking it too far
The rise and the fall

Lost in a dream
Trapped in a time
What could this mean
As I struggle to survive

Trying too hard
Not wasting my time
Is there a god
Do I have a place in this line

Lost in the real
Flying through time
What could I feel
Do I ever arrive
Do I get out of this alive

Trying too hard
Living in clouds
Taking it too far
The noise gets too loud

Lost in the real
Flying through time
What could I feel
Do I ever arrive
Do I get out of this alive

©1/5/2020 Bruce Clifford

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My Dreams

My dreams for you
Are not your dreams.

When will I learn
This simple lesson?

I cannot know your mind
Nor you mine.

We love each other.

Sometimes a hug,
A kiss is all that’s needed.

©2020 John I. Blair, 1/10/2020

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His Way Is Best

It was never meant for me,
     In the future to foresee;
Know the way, plan and decree
     For my Life--
Yet, within my soul I'd dreamed,
     Built my castle--worked and schemed;
That my deeds would rightly gleam
     As a wife.

But, a day came unaware,
     Snatched away my dreams so fair;
For all the time--
     With my grief, I then withdrew,
Even turned from all I knew;
     Disappointment dulled my view
Of all sublime.

But in time I found a way,
     The key was in the word "obey,"
For our Lord had said to pray
     When in need--
So as I resigned my all,
     Christ erased all bitter gall,
My soul freed.

©Circa 1980's Linnie Jane Burks

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If I Were Afraid

If I were afraid to follow the plan
If all got away you wouldn’t understand
If nothing was real in each separate way
How would you feel if it melted away

If dreams weren’t dreams
As hard as it seems
If right wasn’t wrong
If we didn’t belong

If I were afraid to stand out in the crowd
If there was nothing to say,
but you didn’t come around

If dreams weren’t dreams
What could it mean
If the past couldn’t be saved
We would never escape

If I were afraid to live for the dream
If nothing was saved who knows what would be
If memories did fade in the fabric of time
How would you feel if we fell from the sky

©1/19/2020 Bruce Clifford

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Accept Him

“You see me as lazy, but what you don't see”
“I'm Mentally Challenged, it's all that I can be”
“I may not follow, exactly what you do”
“Yet there are things about me, that you never knew”

 “I have a big heart, that is pure and true”
“I keep company, in the way that I do”
“I lend an ear, and I listen with my soul”
“The friends that I visit, they always seem to know”

He's an Angel, disguised so that you
Can open up your eyes, to see what is true
The residents see it in him, every day he's there
Why can't you see it, don't be so unfair

He does what he does, in the only way he can
It's not hard to understand, he's a simple man
Accept him, he is not you nor me
Acknowledge him, for his way holds the key

“I know exactly how you feel towards me”
“That is why I wish, you would just let me be”
“I love this job, these residents love me too”
“You need understanding, because you haven't a clue”

Why are you always at odds, and to him you say
“Do what we're doing, because it's the only way”
He's not lazy, but there are things you need to know
Why do you feel this way, no need of stones to throw
©Jan 6, 2020 Bud Lemire
                   Author Note:
I've seen him embraced by many people thanking him for his
companionship. I've seen him put smile on people's faces where
there was none before. I've seen him make people laugh. What's
really funny is, we at the Harbor Tower know and love this man.
One thing you may not have known is, ever since I moved into
the Harbor Tower, he's been a friend of mine..

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