Monday, July 1, 2024

Editor's Corner

 By Mary E. Adair

July 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you in July!

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Armchair Genealogy


By Melinda Cohenour

The Cohenour Line

Chapter 2, Encore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cooking with Rod - Encore



By Rod Cohenour

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

Food! Glorious food!

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

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

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

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

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

Bon appetit!

Rod's Stacked Puerco Adovada Enchiladas


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

How To

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

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

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

See pic below

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Woo Woo


By Pauline Evanosky

The Less Anxious You Are, the Better Things Get

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sifoddling Along


By Marilyn Carnell

Cruising Along

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Irish Eyes

By Mattie Lennon

The Revived Listowel Writers’ Week and Grave Matters

Regular readers may remember my comments about the 2023 Listowel Writers’ Week which I made before I went to the festival. It turned out that my predictions were accurate. There was friction all around but thank God that had changed for this event which journalist Billy Keane described as “a revived Writers' Week.” And revived it certainly was. There was healing in the air and a return to the standards which had been maintained for more than half a century. No day had less than twelve events and there were twenty on Saturday.

On opening night prize for the Kerry Gold Irish Novel of the Year went to Daragh Kelly for his novel Remembrance Sunday. Paula Meehan won the Piggott Poetry Prize for Solace of Arthemis. President Michael D. Higgins was given the John B.Keane Lifetime Achievement Award, by John B’s son Coner, and his acceptance speech was really one for the books. Michael D., who is a president not afraid to put his toe over the line, spoke of how writers suffer for telling the truth and a lot of truth was told at this year’s Writers’ Week.

Photo from Irish Indepent.

* * * * *

There were six two-day workshops given by authors who are the top of their game.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday started off with a different, excellent, walking tour each morning where experts on the history, architecture, characters and folklore of Listowel, gave commentaries and told stories.

Some brilliant literary works were launched. Tralee poet Noel King launched his fifth collection of poems. ”Suitable Music for a View,” published by SurVision Books. You could hear a pin drop when the poet read from his collection in Listowel Library. Poems had a deep and sometimes subtle meaning. The title poem, Suitable Music for a View, is one of the shortest in the collection; Crossing the river in ListowelMy Walkman sweeps Evita’s funeral; Sounds to match a view I don’t tire of-an odd little house by the river, A Hollywood set in Ireland, A scratch on the map.

* * * * *

Ninety-two year old Father Tony Gaughan launched his umpteenth publication; he published his first book in 1969. This latest is Some Occasional Writings, a collection of 23 articles and reviews written from 2003 to 2024.

In the introduction Dermot Farrell sums it up, ”The illuminating volume will inform, and occasionally entertain its readers, while also showcasing Tony’s extraordinary ability to connect with a wide variety of topics” The heading of the first article is, “Priceless Heritage Sold for Two Hawks.” What would a reader expect after that? It tells the story of how the Earl of Desmond “sold” the Blasket Islands to the Ferriter family for an annual payment of two hawks. The link with the Ferriters ended in 1653 when the poet rebel Piaras Feirtear was hanged by the Cromwellians.

In four pages he gives a condensed history of Listowel Writers’ Week from the first one in 1971 to 2020. Elsewhere we a given an account of how Madame Gong Pusheng, the Chinese Ambassador, spent a day at Writers’ Week. She was staying at the Listowel Arms Hotel. Late in the night a prowler entered her room claiming that he was looking for a vacant room in which to spend the night. The ambassador was shaken and upset and departed at first light while the intruder got free lodgings at the Garda Station in Church Street.

If you to go “On the Road with the Kerry Junior Football Team," to get eye-witness accounts of the Easter Rising ofr learn “How the laity saved the Catholic realign during those long dark centuries . . .” , this is the book for you. You can contact the author at:

* * * * *

James Anthony Kelly’s Novel This Great City was available along with several of his poetry collections. Details of all from the poet/author himself;

* * * * *

There were open mic sessions to beat the band and with MCs like Sean Lyons and John McGrath we were assured of top class entertainment.

* * * * *

Saint John’s Theatre, the greatest small theatre in the country, had a fantastic programme for the week.

I’ll mention just a few. Listowel Drama Group got a well-deserved standing ovation for John B. Keane’s masterpiece, Big Maggie.

Stories, Songs and Shenanigans, with Andrias de Staic, was a show to remember.

Katie, A two act play by the Sugan Theatre Company from Newcastle West was a moving experience. This play was written and directed by Theresa Prendeville a person who obviously has a lot of insight into human nature.

The Kings of Kilburn High Road was written more than twenty years ago, by Irish playwright Jimmy Murphy, but the first time I saw it was the St. Johns Drama Group’s production and they deserve an award for the set design alone. It was a top class performance.

Agnes of God, written by John Pielmeier, questions everything from belief and disbelief to sanctity, guilt, innocence and everything in between. It is about a Novice Nun accused of murdering her infant son and is supposed to be based on a true story. Each character is expertly brought to life by Saint Patrick’s Drama Group, from Westport.

* * * * *

“The Healing Session” an annual event, a marathon open mic session in John B. Keane’s on the Sunday was, as usual, a great success, with poets, singers, songwriters and story tellers strutting their stuff for five hours.

A big thank you all concerned who revived Listowel Writers ‘Week for 2024.

* * * * *

Grave Matters

“How poor this world would be without its graves, without the memories of its mighty dead.” (Robert Green Ingersoll.)

“Would you take my grave as quick” Often asked when the opportunist in me would surface and I’d grab a person’s seat if they vacated it for even a few seconds. If you are near my age and of rural Irish background you remember the awkward and not very witty chat-up line, “Would you like to be buried with my people?”

Graves are central to Irish culture. The word crops up time and again in the titles of books, songs and poems; From “The Graves at Kilmorna” to “Sharon’s Grave”. It’s there in comedy and tragedy. At the tail-end of Listowel Writers’ Week I learned of a publication titled Reusing Old Graves, an examination of, among other things, the reuse of graves by a different family.

Professor Douglas Davies was commissioned to carry out research resulting from concerns by managers of municipal cemeteries in the UK that local authorities were running out of land for burials. Ian Hussein delivered a paper Graves for the Future, to the Joint Conference of Burial and Cremation Authorities. As part of Professor Davies’s research the question, “What period of time should elapse before a grave could be used for new burials by a different family?” was put to 1,603 adults from Glasgow, Sunderland, Nottingham, and the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham.

Three percent were undecided and of the other 97% 35% said they shouldn’t ever be used. The other 62% gave periods ranging from 1 year to 200 years. The most popular being 100, 50, 20, 30, 75, 150 and 10, in that order.

I feel that the “not evers" would be more than 35% on this island. Our family burial ground is in Baltyboys. Whenever my mother or I would suggest any conversions in the home my father, who wasn’t a fan of change, would usually say, “Do what yez like when yez lave me in Baltyboys.” However, I don’t think his permission would extend to having his remains disturbed by strangers.

See you in August.

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Ara Parisien-Author-Medium-Spiritual Teacher

By Ara Parisien

What No One Tells You When You Are Looking For A Psychic Medium
July 23, 2023

So many times on social media I see people asking for recommendations for a psychic medium to consult with. It is amazing to see the response from those eager to proffer names in glowing terms. More often than not, the words used are ‘fantastic’ or ‘accurate’ which, from a high-view, is a good thing to know. However, there is more to determining a ‘good fit’ when it comes to seeking guidance in something as important as your very life.


Accuracy is paramount, of course. But there is so much more! In my estimation, a reading can only be as effective as the clarity within the reader. This takes much inner work to achieve and it is always a work-in-progress. All information, whether psychic or mediumistic, is flowing through the one offering the messages. In this way the messaging is influenced by whatever energy is being held in the reader, be it positive or negative. A lack of clarity and inner work on the part of the reader will result in a mediocre experience at best.


Take your time in your selection. Peruse social media. Pay special attention to whether the person is ‘walking their talk’ in life. Are they posting explosive, judgmental comments? Are they displaying victimhood by pointing fingers and crying foul? Then this may not be the one to seek guidance from in your life. While we all have human traits that seem to want to be displayed by knee-jerk reactions, one who has done their work knows how to override the negativity. Just watch and learn and then decide. If you are still in doubt, contact the reader and ask to speak with them about their work. You will be surprised at how much can be gleaned during a simple conversation.


Word-of-mouth is the most powerful advertisement of all. I know, because for decades I have relied upon it and it has worked beautifully. I have also taken the time to offer consultations to those wanting to know more before engaging in my services. I love this! It provides both parties a little insight into expectations and measurables before a session is conducted. This comfort level is important to me as I understand whomever I do readings for should be comfortable too.

When considering seeking guidance from a psychic medium it is important for you to do your homework. Only someone who is truly committed to their service will do when it comes to engaging in your life. That commitment should be on display at all times.

The services provided by psychic mediums are not about entertainment or parlor games. It is a serious endeavour that helps heal, guide, inspire, encourage, love, and most of all, empower. You are worth the dignity of your own efforts by virtue of doing your homework to ensure you are engaging only the best!



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By Thomas F. O'Neill

A Purposeful Life

Every person, at some point in their lives, needs to ask themselves this simple question: " What is my true purpose in life?”

A purposeful life will help you find something more meaningful -- in the things you do for yourself and others. It can also help you achieve what you most want in life - true happiness. People throughout the world have the same deep desire -- to be happy.

For me, happiness is not something that is given to me with each passing day. It is something I try to bring to each passing day. In other words, happiness is not found in the things we want to get from life. It is found in the things we give to life.

There is an old Buddhist saying, “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

I liked telling my students in China that there will be times when the burdens of life make us feel as if we are carrying them on our shoulders, but without life’s pressures, diamonds will never appear.

Helen Keller once said, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” On our life Journey, things may not always go as planned, but that does not mean there are not greater opportunities before us.

I liked reminding my students that the most precious things in life cannot be built by hand, bought, or sold by man. They can only be experienced through a wondrous soul and shared from one heart to the other. Happiness can only be experienced once it is shared with those around us.

There is also an old Chinese proverb: “Fools seek happiness in the distance, the wise grow it under their feet.” We all want happier lives, and the material things we seek and desire may, in fact, make our lives a little more comfortable. But the material things we acquire in life will never provide us with a meaningful and purposeful life.

There are also things in life that we can give away and keep, such as our word, a happy smile, and a grateful heart. There is an old saying, “It’s not happiness, that leads to gratitude, it’s gratitude that leads to happiness.”

Our greatest achievements in life will not consist in fame or glory but in the unremembered, unrecognized, and undetected acts of loving kindness bestowed on others. That is where our true purpose and the meaning of life reside.

I am a firm believer in the universal law—what we give to others is returned to us a thousandfold. I also liked reminding my students that kindness and love are the greatest forms of wisdom, and love itself is the afterglow of life.

Always with love,
Thomas F O'Neill

    WeChat - Thomas_F_ONeill
    Phone (410) 925-9334
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill

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On Trek

By Judith Kroll

Love Encompasses ALL

I was sitting on the park bench catching some golden rays of sun. I couldn't see, but I could feel.

I heard birds chirping, bugs buzzing and little kids laughing , just enjoying themselves on such a beautiful day.

Someone sat next to me. I wasn't sure if it was a HE or a SHE.

I just knew it was someone.

They said hi. I couldn't tell if it was a HE or SHE from the sound of their voice.

I said hi back.

They said goodbye as they had to go back to work..

I said bye with a smile, and then a thought flashed through my soul.

As a spirit.,angel, invisible soul, having no physical attributes to recognize each other, they still love each other. It doesn't matter about what gender, what one believes, what color one is,

What matters is how one ACTS as a human. Respecting everyone, no matter if they are different or not.

The spirit world doesn't wear signs saying they are Male or Female. They are ONE unified group of souls living together, working together, sharing, laughing, and doing good as ONE.

Why should We, humans, who come to earth for a short spell, fret and fight over labels people make up about other people? Point fingers, humiliate others?

We come to earth to experiment, learn lessons, and experience many many aspects of life.

Then we die, and go back to the spirit world.


Be positive, and loving with EVERYONE, because they are all SPIRITS in human form. Throw out the labels,.. We are all humans on planet earth.


Judith 5/5/2024

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 By John I. Blair

Redbuds are where you find them,
And in my wilding garden
They can be found with ease
Every place you look.

The fertile soil sustains the seeds
That fall in May
When days are mild with spring heat,
Ground moist from April rains.

And starting very young
Each year the new trees they become
Grow glorious with blooms,
Guarantees of future trees.

©2024 John I. Blair

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By Bud Lemire

It's all Bafflegab you see
Confusing words they are to me
It's just a bunch of gobbledegook
To non-Yoopers it's like wearing a chook

Mumbo Jumbo, if you are lucky
Just an assortment of Horse Pucky
Even when you use your noodle
It can be as bad as Flapdoodle

With all things you know, and all things you knew
I'd think the right word to call it, would be Gobbledegoo
You don't always get your wish
In these times it can be Jibberish

It can be small, or it can be very big
It might even be, a thingamyjig
Sometimes it can get so very sticky
To wash your hands, you'll need a Doohickey

No matter what, you hear or see
It turns out to be, just Mallarkey
You can do your best at your job
And come across, a Thingummabob

You can try your best, with all of your wit
Yet still call it what it is, a whatchamacallit
Just remember to never give up, give it a stab
You'll only find out, that it's all Bafflegab

©Mar 07, 2024 Bud Lemire

                        Author Note:

It's interesting the words we use in place of
other words. We've come up with some doozies.

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 By Walt Perryman

(Every Living Thing on Earth Changes until The End)
I’ve lived most of my life going 100 MPH or more,
But in the last few years it’s more like three or four.

When I was young there wasn’t much, I couldn’t do,
But today, I must try hard to accomplish one or two.

Years ago, my reflexes were as quick as a rattlesnake,
Nowadays my reflexes seem to continuing to shake.

So, if anything is changing that would be a good sign,
I don’t know how you’re doing, but I’m doing just fine!

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The U.N.C.L.E. Affair

 By Bud Lemire

They enter The Del Floria Tailor Shop, which is where they work
The United Network Command for Law & Enforcement, where U.N.C.L.E. Agents lurk
Solo and Kuryakin, today tend to be in a rush
It's because, they're battling their archenemy T.H.R.U.S.H.

Mr. Waverly, their boss, has Instructions for them each
So they meet up together, and he gives a speech
He says “it will be a complicated Affair”
“With all caution, be careful and beware”

Two of the top agents Solo and Kuryakin, are sent out
They know that taking action, is what it's all about
T.H.R.U.S.H. Could be anywhere, it's finding out where they are
Many times a mission such as this one, will take them both afar

The womanizer and the Russian, are being chased
So their car must take a turn, and be well paced
They are caught in an ambush, yet where is Solo?
What the T.H.R.U.S.H. Agents wonder is, where did he go?

They look all around, but no Solo was found
Appearing from the side, without a sound
Solo appears, knocking one T.H.R.U.S.H. agent down and out
Kuryakin joins in, and their training taught them to use all their clout
This wasn't the end, of this U.N.C.L.E. Affair
It was only the beginning, which could go anywhere

©May 5, 2024 Bud Lemire

                       Author Note:

I enjoyed Man From U.N.C.L.E. When they showed reruns, and
just recently watched the first season again. I shall return to
season 2 after a break. I also enjoyed the books as well.

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Time To Laugh

 By John I. Blair

Once more the news I hear
Makes me want to cry.
There’s so much sadness,
Violence, rage in the world.
So why not cry? After all,
Some say there’s nothing
Like having a good bawl.
But today I think instead
I’ll find some way to laugh;
For laughter that’s not sour
Seems to cure me just a bit,
Ease my own anger
And cool my urgent need
To scream frustration
At the badness.
Laughter heals my soul;
That’s illogical, but real.
And though my laughter
Won’t make the evil go,
It makes the evil
Almost bearable.

©2003 John I. Blair.

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Perryman News Update

 By Walt Perryman

(Walt Perryman is with Debra Perryman Wagoner and Cindy Perryman Helms.)

So, this is an update on Perryman news,
I’ve been with my two girls on a cruise!

We wanted to spend some time together,
So, we could share our lives with each other.

And folks everything is better than ever before,
And I believe our love has grown even more.

Yes, I believe our love for each other is stronger today.
I love you Cindy and Debra more than I can ever say.

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My Own AI

 By Bud Lemire

I was raised, to be my own AI
I'll be that way, until the day I die
Don't need an AI, telling me what to do
I know enough, to always help get through

The AI is taking over, everything we see
They say, it's the latest technology
I'm not sure I'll like it, I'm not sure I will
When an AI tells me, I need to take a pill

They say in the future, the AI will have a mind of their own
Why they'll most likely, be listening in on the phone
They'll take over everything, humans will be obsolete
Soon you won't know if they're humans or AI, when you meet

Soon AI will know everything, and so much more
They'll even question, what do we have humans for
An AI as a robot, who resembles a human to a tee
You what know what you're dating, in what you see

Then again I wonder, some humans aren't so good
They don't exactly do the things that they should
I guess we'll just have to, give it all a try
Yet, who decides, if the world is ready for AI

©Jun 16, 2024 Bud Lemire

                      Author Note:

AI is taking over everything. They are really great at
all they do. But the thing is, will the AI be taking over
everything? What will become of us?
Only time will tell.


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We Both Had Dreams

By Bruce Clifford

I have a memory of us.
Why did it end with such a fuss?
A memory of you and I.
A memory of a happy time.

We both had dreams.
No limits or extremes.
Not sure what any of this means.
We both had dreams.

I have a memory of a time.
We never knew what we would find.
A memory of the two of us.
Why did it end with such a fuss?

©5/10/2024 Bruce Clifford

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By The Sea At Port Aransas


By John I. Blair

Standing on the beach at the edge of the sea,
Here where the shore is blowing sand
And runs a hundred miles to Mexico—
One enormous edge to all that water—
I am overwhelmed.
How can I have lived for half my life
And never seen this?
Never been beside the ocean’s great expanse
Nor felt the force of its immensity
Full in my face?
On the long, long journey here
The familiar land was taken from me bit by bit,
At first the hills and trees,
And then the soil itself
As we jumped off from shore
And crossed the broad lagoon to the slender island,
So little sand for so much ocean!
My Midwest mind recoils,
Tries to reject the things
It sees somehow as wrong.
It tells me there is too much water
And that I am in danger.
And though I laugh, saying
“I am by the sea, great mother of us all,”
I still feel a nagging nervousness
As if I have a hidden memory
That this mother can be cruel.

©2002 John I. Blair

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 By Walt Perryman

I once believed that Happiness could be bought,
But while living my life, I’ve learned that it cannot.

I once had money, big houses and all that stuff,
But no matter how much I had, it wasn’t enough!

However, Happiness is not just handed out free,
But once you commit your life to God it will be!

Sure, you’ll still have hard times like everyone does,
But with God by your side, it’ll be easier than it was.

So instead of checking your bank account today,
You might want to check with God when you pray.

©June 23, 2024 Walt Perryman

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Marie, A Special Friend

 By Bud Lemire

She was my “In Home” client, I met a few years ago
Every Friday afternoon, it was her home where I'd show
We played Cribbage, and we'd have a lot of fun
Time went way too fast, before long our time was done

She knew my brother Terry, he loved Cribbage too
I was happy to know someone, that my brother knew
Her daughter Deb, was my neighbor long ago
She knew me, I couldn't remember her though

Marie and I, would take time to listen to music there
She had a lot of albums, and music we would share
I came to love this woman, who loved life so strong
I knew that every Friday, this is where I belong

She had the biggest heart, of anyone I knew
Stories that she shared, so much she has been through
Every time before I'd leave, she'd have to have a hug
On the table next to her, was her coffee mug

She moved to Christian Park, then to Bishop Noa Home
That's where this Senior Companion, always loved to roam
Looking back, I'll always remember the times we shared
Of a special woman, who always showed she cared

An Angel came to get her, and said “Your time here is through”
“In the Spirit World, there's so much you'll be able to do”
Marie looked surprised, and then said “Am I dead?”
“You're more alive than ever” is what the Angel said

©June 16, 2024 Bud Lemire


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By Bruce Clifford

I’m not the smartest man in the room.
What I’ve got is more than what most have in tune.
What we’re not are the echoes of long-lost days.
What we’ve got could never fade away.

Never fade away.
Never leave.
Never dissipate.
Never disbelieve.

I’m the one who can think on his feet.
What’s in our minds every time that we meet?
All that’s gone wrong is something living so deep.
Standing tall in the shadows of the street.

It never faded away.

Never fade away.
Never leave.
Never dissipate.
Never disbelieve.

I’m not the smartest man in the world.
What I’ve got is this memory of a girl.
What we’re not are the painful trapped in time.
What we’ve got could never be defined.

©5/2/2024 Bruce Clifford

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Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Editor's Corner


By Mary E. Adair

May-June 2024

"Try to be a rainbow in someone else's cloud."
-- Maya Angelou."

Life comes at us, meaning everyone, from all directions, and sometimes we, meaning some of us, may just wish we could duck and let it go by us. But, hey, isn't this what we were wishing for when we were children, i.e. teens? Didn't we long for the day that we could be our own boss, make our own decisions, face our own problems? Well, guess what? That time is now.

No, not saying it isn't worth it? Not wanting any drastic changes. Maybe, hmmm, fewer windy days? But, see (?) that isn't a decision we are allowed to make. We get to choose our items for the grocery list, or what to cook when. We can wear what we wish to as long as it is basically available, and clean--we want clean.

However intensely we desire it, we cannot control whose composition will arrive in time to be included in the nest issue. We always plan for an abundance of clever and vivacious writings and are often pleased to receive such essays, articles, columns, or poetry. Bless our authors. I'm mostly happy with what we receive. And sometimes we are treated to a new voice in our presence.

Just such a new author is included in this double issue. (Double because we will be on vacation in June, back in July.) Our new author is from Ireland, Anne Mulcahy, whose two poems are "The Jumble-sale Woman" and "The Devil's Game." Welcome, Anne Mulcahy!

Walt Perryman's three poems are "A Few Thoughts to Dwell On," "A Check-off List for Today," and "Good Morning Cyber Space Friends."  John I. Blair's three poems are encore presentations: "My Old Cat," Snake," and "Honeysuckle Nights."

 Bruce Clifford's three poems are "Point of View," "Above All Else," and "We Never Went Out for That Pizza." Bud Lemire's three poems are "Don't Hold A Grudge," "Lost Family Found," and "Don't Be So Paranoid."

Thomas F. O'Neill in "Introspective" admits to dearly missing his many years in China but is ready to set new goals. Marilyn Carnell's column "Sifoddling Along" found some lovely pics of our early settler's children's toys, and tells of her own favorite ones when she was a youngster. Judith Kroll's column "On Trek" features a new poem by Judith, "The Ocean." Pauline Evanosky's column "Woo Woo," tells us that pretending is a valued skill set, and why that's true. Ara Parisien plans to be back n July with her column "Author-Medium-Spiritual Teacher."

This month's "Cooking with Rod" column features three recipes by Melinda Cohenour, who is frequently a "guest" contributor. "Armchair Genealogy" by columnist Melinda Cohenour shares her history findings concerning her husband's lineage. This is the first column and the second on the Cohenours will be in the July issue. Mattie Lennon fills his column with a new book, the first of two promised, "Tomorrow with Bayonets" and shows the monument at Gortaglanna. He adds a link to an interview with Dan Keane and hopes it works for his readers.

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 July!

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Armchair Genealogy


By Melinda Cohenour

The Cohenour Line

      My husband is Rod Cohenour. He is descended from a long line of Cohenours with an intriguing past, many interesting characters, and so many stories! This is a new series, undertaken with the desire to capture his family history (which is now, of course, MY family history as well). This first installment will merely cover the bases: his direct ancestral lineage and the earliest known patriarch of that line.

The Name – in all its variations: (It has been said the Library of Congress recognizes at least 64 various spellings of the surname COHENOUR attached to the same genetic family line.)

      The family originally spelled the surname Gochenour according to my best research. In the Alsace-Lorraine region of France, “Goch” meant hill. “Gochen” referred to people who lived on the hill. “Gochenour” referred to people who formerly resided on the Hill but had removed to another location. Thus, per this version, Rod’s family became the Gochenour folks.

      Other meanings ascribed to the name Cohenour include this reference to one of the original variant surnames: Gochenauer.

      “Americanized spelling of Swiss German Gauchenauer, a habitational name from a place named Gauchenau, named with Alemannic gauch(e) 'cuckoo', 'fool' + au 'water meadow' (Middle High German ouwe). Similar surnames: Cochenour, Ridenour, Gochanour, Gochenaur, Gochnour, Cohenour.”

Given this meaning, it would appear the family may have been associated with the husbandry of water fowl (geese?) in a high meadow pond or lake. Interesting.

      With the extensive accepted spellings of this family’s surname, the meanings ascribed thereto must be equally as formidable. Here, for example are a few of the accepted spellings as listed by William A. Gouchenour, Jr. in the family newsletter “The Trail Seekers” he formerly published:

       Cnowers, Cocannouer, Cocanougher, Cocanour, Cocanower, Cochanauer, Cochenheim, Cochenauer, Cochenaur, Cochenour, Cochnauer, Coconer, Coeghnower, Coghanour, Coghenower, Coghrican, Cohener, Cohenhour, Cohenour, Cohnour, Cohonoor, Cokenouer, Cokenour, Coconaugher, Cokonougher, Connour, Conour, Couckenauer, Coughanour, Coughenour, Coukenhour, Gaachanuwer, Gaachenauers, Gachenauwer, Gachennouwer, Gachenower, Gachnauwer, Gachnouwer, Gachnower, Gacughenower, Gauchenauwer, Gauchnour, Gechnauer, Gocehnauer, Gochanauwer, Gochaneur, Gochanour, Gochenauer, Gochenaur, Gochenour, Gochenouwer, Gochnauer, Gochnour, Gockenaur, Gockenuer, Gogghnour, Gognour, Gognouwer, Gognower, Gouchenour, Goughenour, Goughnour, Kegechower, Kegenhower, Kerschner, Kochenauer, Kochenouer, Kochmour, Kochnouer, Kockemohr, Kockemoor, Kockenouer, Kocknower, Kognauwer, Kohenor, Kokanour, Konouar, Konour, and other variant spellings.

The Heritage – The earliest ancestor your author has been able to find was documented in a family history book compiled and written by Debra Kay Cohenour entitled, simply, “Cohenour History.” She indicates the earliest known ancestor was named Basthli Sebastian Gachnouwer or Gachenower:

      BASTHLI SEBASTIAN GACHNOUWER I was born on 20 Jan 1543 in Goch, Germany . He married ADELHEIT HEIDI HUBER before 1565. She was born in 1538. Basthli Sebastian: Basthli Sebastian Gachnouwer I was also known as Basthli Gachenower. Basthli Sebastian Gachnouwer I and Adelheit Heidi Huber had the following children: i. GEORGE GACHNOUWER . He married MARIA WEBBER in 1589. ii. ANNA GACHNOUWER was born on 1 Jul 1565 in Fischenthal, Zürich, Switzerland. Notes for Anna Gachnouwer: The Parish of Fischenthal is located in the southeast section of Canton Zürich. This Parish has kept a register where the births, marriages and deaths of many parishioners are listed. The record, as many ancient records, is not complete nor perfect. They are said to date back to 1546 although the earliest Gachnouwer record is the Baptism of Anna in 1565. iii. SEBASTIAN GACHNOUWER II. He married ELIZABETH PFENNIGER in 1586 in Fischenthal, Zürich, Switzerland.

The above-referenced George (Jorg) Gachnouwer (who wed Maria Webber) is said to have fathered eleven children; however, no complete record of those offspring has been found. The only documented child of that union was Jacob Gachnouwer, born 1600 in Zurich, Switzerland, where 28 May 1624 he wed Margaretha Peter, daughter of Jorg Peter and (wife) Barbara Meyer Peter. This marriage was a critical milestone in the history of the Cohenour family for her parents were among the very first converts to the Anabaptist faith in Switzerland back in 1522. Jacob converted to the Anabaptist faith thus sealing the fate of himself and, later, his descendants. The story as told by Debra Kay Cohenour reads as follows:

      Jacob Gachnouwer was born about 1600. Jacob is the first member of the family known to be converted to the Anabaptist-Mennonite Faith. He became engaged to Margaretha Peter on 07 May 1624 in Fischenthal, Zürich, Switzerland. This fact is known because on that day a great argument was noted in the Church records. Jacob and Margaretha wanted to be married but the Catholic Church required that they wait two weeks. The Catholic Church was the State Church. Apparently the Priest and Jacob had words. They married on 28 May 1624 in Zürich, Switzerland. Margaretha's family had been followers of Menno Simons since the beginning of the sect in 1522. In the years that followed, the Catholic Church records have many entries referring to Jacob as the "bad Anabaptist". Jacob would not allow his babies to be baptized. They were taken from him and baptized by the Priest with good Catholic sponsors from the community. Jacob was well aware of the penalties for his beliefs as many fellow believers had been hung, beheaded, drowned, or burned at the stake in Zürich. He was put into prison between December 1638 and July 1641 at Othenbach Convent Prison. His wife was exiled; his children became wards of the State, and his farm seized. His wife relocated to Alsace, France with the Anabaptist's Mission there. His eldest daughter, Elzbeth, had married a Catholic, Hans Kagi. They purchased the farm from the State and took in the three youngest Gachnouwer children. Other children were placed in Catholic families as apprentices. Upon his release in 1641, he was exiled. However, he returned to Zürich to gather his children and was captured. He was again imprisoned in 1644. The guards mistakenly released him after the Treaty of Westphalia was signed. They must have thought he was a Protestant. He moved what members of the family he could find to Ohnenheim, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France in 1649.

      Thus, the Cohenour family immigrated to Alsace, France, seeking a safe and secure homeland in which to practice their faith. This haven, however, would soon become the Hellhole that nearly wiped out the entire line.

      From Wikipedia, we find: The Swiss Brethren are a branch of Anabaptism that started in Zürich, spread to nearby cities and towns, and then was exported to neighboring countries. Today's Swiss Mennonite Conference can be traced to the Swiss Brethren.
In 1525, Felix Manz, Conrad Grebel, George Blaurock and other radical evangelical reformers broke from Ulrich Zwingli and formed a new group because they felt reforms were not moving fast enough.
Rejection of infant baptism was a distinguishing belief of the Swiss Brethren. On the basis of Sola scriptura doctrine, the Swiss Brethren declared that since the Bible does not mention infant baptism, it should not be practiced by the church. This belief was subsequently rejected by Ulrich Zwingli. Consequently, there was a public dispute, in which the council affirmed Zwingli's position. This solidified the Swiss Brethren and resulted in their persecution by all other reformers as well as the Catholic Church.
Because of persecution by the authorities, many Swiss Brethren moved from Switzerland to neighboring countries. The Swiss Brethren became known as Mennonites after the division of 1693, a disagreement between groups led by Jacob Amman and Hans Reist. Many of the Mennonites in France, Southern Germany, the Netherlands and North America, as well as most Amish descend from the Swiss Brethren.

      The Cohenour History recites the following: “Heinrich Gachnauwer is the only known family member to survive the slaughter of Anabaptists in Alsace, France that occurred about 1670. He escaped to Heidelberg, Germany where his son, Joseph Gochenour, was born in 1677. Joseph married Frena Musselman in 1725. She passed away before 1732, perhaps the victim of war.”

      This is my husband’s line. The next chapter in this series will trace Joseph’s descendants as they make their way to America where they continued to adhere to their strong beliefs and dedicate themselves to the pursuit of freedom, honor, integrity, and family.

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Encore Column

Cooking with Rod


By Rod Cohenour

For years my sweet wife has had a special love for carnitas. We've tried to capture that special flavor and texture that make carnitas so delicious. This month she decided to really research and compare the many recipes from the traditional to those making use of all the new timesaving equipment.

After all that research, she opted to create her own take on the delicious, traditional Mexican meat - Michoacan Carnitas in celebration of Cinco de Mayo!! Try it, I think you'll like it!

~Bon appetit!


(and Variations)


Ms Carnitas (Pork Marinated, Braised, Roasted, and Broiled)

    * 5 pound Pork butt/shoulder roast
    * 1-2 large Bermuda (white, sweet) or Spanish (yellow and mild) onions, diced fine
    * 3-6 Garlic cloves, minced
    * 1 tsp. Chile powder
    * 1 bay leaf (remember to remove before final step, broiling of cubed meat)
    * 1 Chipotle in adobo sauce, minced. Use the sauce too.
    * 2 tsp. Ground cumin
    * 1 tsp. Ground black pepper
    * 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
    * 1 tsp. Smoky Paprika
    * 1/4 cup Lime juice
    * 2 cans Orange juice concentrate, thawed
    * 1 large Orange, peeled (retain the peel), membrane and any seeds removed, remove sections whole. Retain orange slices in tightly sealed Ziploc in fridge to be used as garnish, as part of your Black Beans Salsa or even in your mixed green salad with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber and avocado
    * 1-3 Jalapeno peppers, minced fine, after removing membranes, stem, and all seeds (Can substitute Serrano or Ancho or Poblano Peppers, but flavor will be altered slightly with the Ancho or Poblano choices. They are more mild generally but possess strong recognizable flavors)
    * 1 cup Butter
    * 1 cup oil (corn oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil - negative is its low heat smoking tendency, positive its incredible flavor. I don't recommend Olive oil here simply because I personally do not like its flavor in Mexican food)
    * 1-2 cups from 1 liter Dr. Pepper
    * I bunch Cilantro, tough stems and any brown or damaged leaves removed. Reserving a few pretty leaf arrays, loosely chop the remaining stems and leaves


Rod and I have never tried to make traditional carnitas. Just kinda tried what seemed right but couldn't achieve that incredible taste. My favorite of all Mexican meats I believe including fajita meats. Maybe a tie with Puerco Adobada. (Adobada is generally pork marinated in a "red" chili sauce with vinegar and oregano. Or Al Pastor, spit roasted pork shaved off the larger piece on the spit, then embellished with a sauce of some type, more like barbecued pork.) So, I spent time doing what I do - I researched... and researched...and ...

Carnitas translates directly as "little meats" actually. The pork butt/shoulder is trimmed of heavy fat but the desirable option will be a well marbled roast. You want the marbled fat to sort of dissolve and add to the pan liquor which will be used to glaze the finished bite size chunks to caramelize.

Traditional carnitas require sauteing in Manteca (Mexican lard rendered from a fatty cut of pork) only available in specialty markets; but often I see my usual choice for chicken and other cuts, a combo of equal parts butter and oil like corn oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil (negative is its low heat smoking tendency, positive its incredible flavor). I don't recommend Olive oil here simply because I personally do not like its flavor in Mexican foods.

    1. To marinate overnight. Cut the pork butt into smaller chunks about 6" cubes to make more manageable and provide more meat surface.
    2. After trimming and large cubing of the pork shoulder for overnight marinating, the meat is added to a pan large enough to submerge the roast in the marinade. Again, traditionalists will encase it in a sheaf of kosher salt to break down fiber and begin tenderizing the meat. We, like so many, are restricted from heavy use of salt for health reasons.
    3. Cover with lime juice, one half the orange juice concentrate and the Dr. Pepper. If needed add more Orange juice and additional Dr. Pepper to cover.
    4. Prepare to slow roast:
    Remove the roast from marinating liquid but do not dispose of the marinade. Strain any bits out but we will use the marinade.
    5. Then brown the cubes slowly in the butter and oil. The pork butt's own marbling and soft fat cap will dissolve and provide the Manteca the traditionalists demand. Not too brown, as the carnitas require many stages of cooking and this is merely the first step toward those tender but crispy caramelized bites you crave.
    6. Once you're getting ready to start cooking, don't trim off the soft fat. The fat will keep the carnitas moist on the inside, flavors the meat and provides the “lard” that will render during the final cooking stage to give that desired crunchy exterior that good carnitas always have.
    7. Then remove the lightly browned cubes to: 1) a Slow Cooker or 2) an instant pot or 3) a large stew pot or 4) an oven proof roasting pan or 5) a stove top pan (remember, you have to spend more time watching if stove top). Spread the meat out to form one layer.
    8. Top the cubes with a melange consisting of the chopped onion, fresh minced garlic, all the spices, Chipotle and Adobo sauce, diced Chile peppers, the orange peel and the strained marinade plus the remaining orange juice, and Cilantro (retaining the best for garnish).
    9. Use a low oven heat of about 300° F to roast the pork for a couple of hours, letting juices permeate the meat and condense as well. Turn the cubes at least once during this process, checking to make sure sufficient liquid remains to cover and permit the meat to simmer in these tasty cooking liquids.
    10. When your pork is cooked through and still moist, remove the roasting pan from the oven.
    11. Now cut the 6" cubes carved from the original pork roast into smaller pieces to provide more surface for the pan liquor to affect. Each 6" cube should now be cut into thirds, each now about a 2-3" chunk. You'll use the pan liquor for a caramelizing glaze as you finish the truly now "little meats" under the broiler. Just let the cubes brown nicely and get a bit crisp (but not dry) around the edges. Turn over, glaze, broil the other side.
    12. You'll use the remaining pan liquor to make a thickened syrupy sauce to drizzle over the carnitas before serving. Simply pour up the liquids, again straining out other bits. Add pan liquor to a sauce pan. These ingredients give the Carnitas that luscious golden brown color, impart all the blend of flavor, and help to tenderize the meat.

Carnitas are versatile. Ready now to use as an ingredient in tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or a layered casserole, but our choice is to make the Carnitas the star of the show.

Serve as a sauced meat with sides of salad, corn, and iced tea or lemonade. Make sure the following embellishments are available for your dinner guests:

    * Ms Fresh Pico de Gallo (recipe follows)
    * Ms Black Bean Salsa and Variations (recipe follows)
    * Warmed flour tortillas
    * Fresh creamery butter
    * Shredded cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, Monterey Jack, cotija)
    * Crisp Bell Pepper strips, celery sticks, green onions
    * Crisp cabbage wedges
    * Radishes, whole or sliced, but icy cold
    * Extra cilantro
    * Sour cream
    * Chipotle or other hot sauce
    * Guacamole
    * Jicama chilled, with lime and lemon slices near
Ms Fresh Pico de Gallo

My Pico de Gallo recipe is simple:

    1 large bell pepper,  membrane n seeds removed, chopped fine
    I firm large tomato diced fine 
    I large Bermuda or Vidalia onion (big white, or sweet) diced fine
    1 - 2 fresh jalapenos, stem, membrane and most seeds removed (control heat by two things, posted heat for the pepper ??? that depends on where it was grown and the weather while growing AND how much membrane and seeds you choose to leave in. I don't like eating the seeds not because of the heat)
    Minced garlic  or garlic powder (gently! Don't over power the fresh flavor)
    Tiny dash ground black pepper

Toss together, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Refrigerate in covered container at least a few hours to let the flavors blend.

I often use fresh veggies but have also chopped up grilled or roasted. A different flavor sensation.

Ms Black Bean Salsa (and Variations)

    1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 can drained, NOT rinsed whole kernel ?? corn
    1/2 cup Pico de Gallo (recipe given above)
    Chopped fresh Cilantro for a bright taste. Don't overdo. Save some pretty leaves for Garnish
    Add a good squeeze of lime juice
    Toss with fresh chopped avocado (use a couple slices with Cilantro for garnish)
    Can add citrus fruit like orange  sections, a big squeeze of lemon  juice, pineapple  tidbits and a Tablespoon of its juice.
    Or  mango or  peach or watermelon  diced fine.
    Try to keep fruits and veggies cut about the same size as a bean.

Cover and refrigerate for a couple hours before serving with hot buttered flour tortillas or corn tostados or add a few tablespoons atop your meat (pork carnitas, flank steak, enchiladas, burritos, whatever)


    1. Can always substitute Serrano, Ancho, or Poblano Peppers for the Jalapenos. The taste will be different, the degree of heat may change but it's your dish when made in your kitchen.
    2. Carnitas leftovers (who ever has leftover Carnitas?) can be refrigerated for up to five days in a tightly covered jar, add some of the pot liquor or water, even chicken broth sprinkled over all to retain moisture. Carnitas can dry out rather easily. They can even be frozen but we do not recommend that as they tend to dry out
    3. Our grandsons, especially Cole, adore Carnitas for breakfast. Eggs your way, warm buttered flour tortillas, fresh juice, melon slices or fruit cup are perfect additions.
    4. Make sure to set your table with a full array of items that enhance the Carnitas. See our suggestions above


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Woo Woo


By Pauline Evanosky

Pretend Is Not Something You Grow Out Of

Pretending is a valuable learning tool for pretty much anything you do. So is daydreaming, but pretend is what I want to talk about now.

When I became a psychic channel, I didn’t have anybody at the time who I could meet with for coffee to ask how they felt about being a channel. I did learn from books, but books are like your Sunday best clothes—your go-to-meeting clothes, as some people call them—the good stuff. When I was a girl, that included a hat for my mother and a small chapel veil for the girls.

Presumably, most of the how-to books you read about anything, including psychic channels, don’t discuss everything involved. They just don’t.

This is not to infer that all the instructors out there for books, YouTube videos, or scholarly texts are bad. Not at all. They can only cover what they’ve learned. But I seldom come across anybody who recommends pretending as a method of learning something.

The books did not indicate to my satisfaction how it would feel to fly on the astral; they just said that you could fly places in your imagination. There are some things you just need to experience to know for certain what people are talking about.

So, here is a pretend exercise you can use to learn to fly on the astral. Pretend to walk down your hallway with your eyes closed. I’m not kidding. Slowly, please. You don’t want to fall down the stairs or mash your toes against something that would only startle you and ruin the exercise. I can tell you from experience that’s what happens.

The easiest way I did it was to lie down in my bed. You could also try it in an easy chair if you tend to fall asleep for a nap while lying down. Anyway, lie on your bed and, without moving, with your eyes closed, imagine in your head, pretend, that you are now sitting up and have put your feet on the floor beside your bed.

This is all pretend, okay? These are tiny steps. It’s like learning how to swim. You just take baby steps and one day you can absolutely do 15 laps in the pool without difficulty.

If you wear glasses, find those and put them on. All the while pretending in your head. Put some slippers on if you normally wear them. If you keep a robe lying at the end of your bed, get up, walk around to where it is, and put it on.

In reality, you have not shifted one inch from your bed. You are just walking yourself through the steps of sitting up, putting on your glasses and your slippers, and getting your robe on. Pretend, right?

In your pretend mind, walk to your bedroom door. You can put your hands out to steady yourself on the door jamb if you want to. Now, walk down the hallway. You can touch the wall along the way if you want to. The idea is to get to the front door of your house or apartment.

Now, open the door. It doesn’t matter if it is night or during the day.

Ideally, you would stand at your front door and look out. You would see what you usually see: the trees out front, the grass, toys if the kids in your house have not put them away, or perhaps a chalk drawing on the sidewalk somebody made. Look up.

And fly. Think of how easily a bird goes from sitting on a branch to the point where it is flying across the yard. Think of how you swim and how you launch yourself from the side of the pool into the water to swim or drift in the water. Same idea.

You fly because you know how to fly in this pretend place of yours.

In my astral travels, I never stayed on the front porch for long. I always went right up into the air, where I was steady and did not falter. Although I can’t rollerskate, I am okay with flying. Think of Peter Pan and Tinker Bell as they flew together to Never Never Land.

I discovered that I was comfortable flying around my house at night. The street lights were on, and I could see the roads. I could see nearby stores and the neighbors. I saw landmarks, and I was generally about twenty feet off the ground.

One time, I told my sister what I was doing and asked her if it was okay to visit her at home. We live about 900 miles apart, which is 14 ½ hours by car. Neither of us knew if it would work, but somehow, I didn’t want to scare her if she could tell I was there.

Night fell and I tried. The thing is, as soon as the thought was in my head to go to see her once I was airborne above my house, I was there. There was no in-between. It was the fastest I had ever gone anywhere in my life. I found myself crouching down next to one of her kitchen cabinets. I could hear her and her husband in the living room. They were watching television and talking. But I remained crouching because I didn’t want to frighten her husband. My sister and I had discussed the possibility of me visiting via astral travel. What I did not know was whether she had told my brother-in-law. In that second, I was back in bed.

I haven’t done any astral flying since then, though it would be lovely to visit one of my childhood homes, the one in Norway. I don’t know if the lilac grove is still there, and I know the apple orchard is gone to make room for a nice swimming pool. All that is courtesy of Google Maps, but wouldn’t it be nice just to see the place again? It was a nice house.

The idea, though, is that you can go anywhere. You can go to the Swiss Alps. You could go see the fjords in Norway. You could go see the beaches on the French Riveria. You could see the Redwoods in Yosemite. You could go see the Alamo.

Pretending gets you going. Dreams keep it moving along.

If you are interested in more information, please visit me on my website,

Thanks for reading.

Pauline Evanosky

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