Thursday, February 26, 2009

Brothers and Sisters...Smile for the Camera, 11th edition

11th Edition - Smile For The Camera
Smile For The Camera10 March 2009

The word prompt for the 11th Edition of Smile For The Camera is brothers & sisters? Were they battling brothers, shy little sisters, or was it brother & sister against the world? Our ancestors often had only their siblings for company. Were they best friends or not? Show us that picture that you found with your family photographs or in your collection that shows your rendition of brothers & sisters. Bring them to the carnival and share. Admission is free with every photograph!
Your submission may include as many or as few words as you feel are necessary to describe your treasured photograph. Those words may be in the form of an expressive comment, a quote, a journal entry, a poem (your own or a favorite), a scrapbook page, or a heartfelt article. The choice is yours!
Deadline for submission is midnight (PT)10 March 2009
Posted - 15 March 2009

Hanaway Clan,

August 31, 1930

I discovered this picture among many that I have of my grandmother. I never really paid attention to WHO was in this picture until recently, when I noticed WHAT my grandmother was wearing. You see she is wearing her wedding dress. This picture was taken the day she married my grandfather Bert Guinee, August 31, 1930. They married at Sorrowful Mother of Mary church in Wheatfield, Indiana.

This picture is of her family; parents, grandmother, her sisters, her brothers and their wives/husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends at the time. Some of my grandmothers nieces and nephews are also in the picture and with some luck I may one day find out who. At this point in time I can only guess.

My grandmother Lucy was one of eight children, she had four brothers and three sisters. She was number six and she grew up on a farm in Indiana. Were they a close family? Oh yes they were! I spent many a Sunday traveling with my grandmother and my mother visiting our relatives in Hebron, Crown Point, Chesterton, and DeMotte, Indiana. We would travel from one of my grandmother's siblings home to another and then whoever we missed that visit we would catch the next time out.

I have wonderful memories of my aunt Mabel and her husband my uncle Chuck Kleckner. They had a large family themselves and so there was always something going on at their house in Gary, Indiana! My aunt Toots (I don't know why everyone called her Toots, her real name was Marie Ethel) lived in a small house way off the road next to a hog farm. You could walk right up and pet a huge hog! My uncle Homer never married and was a farmer, I remember picking green beans during the summer at his farm! Uncle Jim and his wife aunt Marge lived on a farm, they had two boys who I am still in contact with and see one of them occasionally at the Wal-Mart in Valapariso, Indiana where he works! Uncle Jim and aunt Marge had a great big barn that cats roamed around in catching mice. They also had a truck tire swing in the yard that my sisters and I loved to play on when we were at their house. Uncle Von and aunt Margaret lived with their children in Chesterton, Indiana until they moved to a warmer climate in Escondido, California and then relocated again to Missouri. They are my cousins who own the cottage on Lake Michigan (previous post). Uncle Teddy and aunt Jo lived in Indiana and had nine children as well! My grandmother's baby sister is still alive and still lives by herself in Indiana. I paid her a visit last winter and I know I better get another visit in soon. Although elderly and in declining health I love to visit with her and usually bring some questions for her to answer regarding her childhood and her parents. She has shared some beautiful stories!

I consider myself blessed to be related to this happy bunch!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Thanks so very much to Diana over at Random Relatives for honoring me with this wonderful award! I love to blog and although my posts may not always pertain to genealogy they are always about my family in one way or another!

The instructions for the Kreativ Blogger Award are:

1. Copy the award to your site.

2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.

3. Nominate 7 other bloggers. (how to choose only 7!!)

4. Link to those sites on your blog.

5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominate.

Several of my favorite blogs have already been nominated, Creative Gene, Genealogy Traces, Twig Talk, and Heritage Happens, they are all great blogs.

Here are some more than are also terrific:

Kathryn at Looking4Ancestors

Becky at Kinexxions

Apple at Apple'sTrees

Elyse at Elyse's Genealogy Blog

Tammy at Genealogy Simple & Fun

Bill at West in New England

Lisa at 100 Years in America

Evelyn at A Canadian Family

Thank you again Diana! Congratulations to all!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bozo's Circus is on the air!

Bozo's Circus is on the air! Those words were like magic to little children in the 60's and 70's. At least here in the Chicago area. Children would run to the television at noon to watch Bozo and his terrific friends. For one short hour there would be no fighting, no yelling, no complaining, just children sitting in front of the television mesmerized by the colorful characters, games, and cartoons.

When I was in the third grade our entire class went on a "field trip" to Bozo Circus. I am not sure what educational benefit we were going to acquire from such a field trip but I do remember it was fun. Who could forget Bozo, Mr. Ned the Ringmaster, Oliver O Oliver, and Cooky the cook? Bozo would yell out "Whose Your Favorite Clown?", well heck, everyone knew that answer...Bozo of course!

It was exciting sitting on those wooden bleachers being right there in PERSON at the Bozo Circus show, plus we were on TELEVISION. Holy smokes! We had to keep a smile on our face and pay attention, no day dreaming for this hour. No squirming, pushing, or poking, behave! Before we knew it, it was time to play the GRAND PRIZE GAME. Remember the arrows that would move around the audience and randomly pick a special boy and girl to play the game? I didn't get picked, but one of the students from my school got picked. Yep, he has bragging rights, he played the GRAND PRIZE GAME. Guess what, he won too! He won a brand new bicycle, how cool was that? You know he was the "man" for a long time after that at school, his popularity rose about 110%. I always wondered how he got that bicycle home, it didn't go back to school on the bus with us.

Due to a little computer problem (on the operator, not the PC) this is being posted late. It should have been a Monday Memory...thanks for reading!

Friday, February 13, 2009

What's for supper?

When I was a little girl every Sunday we went to my Grandmother Lucy's house. Sometimes we would pick her up and go out to Indiana to visit her siblings and their families but, most of the time we just went to visit her and have dinner at her home. She lived only about five miles from my family's house so it was a short trip. My grandmother could COOK, and I do mean she could cook really great "comfort food" too! Yummy!

I have several pictures of holiday celebrations at her home. Her dining room table would be covered with bowls and platters filled with delicious homemade mashed potatoes (yes, really homemade mashed potatoes, the ones where you actually PEEL a potato and cook it in water!), broccoli, turkey, stuffing (again homemade with bread, chopped onions, sage, apple bits, giblet pieces, etc.), corn, biscuits, a canned ham, of course gravy (again, homemade not out of a jar), and everyone's favorite....baked beans. I'm sure there was more for the main meal, but I probably ate only what I mentioned. That scrumptious dinner was always followed by dessert which included homemade apple, lemon meringue and the "ultimate" pumpkin pies. The joke went around with her grandchildren (and there at least 20+ of us there for these celebrations!) is that we would have a "little pumpkin pie" with our Cool Whip! Heck, I can even remember when we started using Cool Whip in the late 60's! We used the largest spoon Lucy had to scoop it out of the container and plop it on our pie! In those days we were young, skinny, and always went outside to play after eating all that food, no matter what the weather! Oh the energy we had too!

My favorite meal that Lucy made was fried chicken, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes with gravy, salad with her own sweet and sour salad dressing, and of course dessert. I can easily remember walking into her house and the aroma of the fried chicken would hit me. Oooo, it smelled so good! Immediately in her little breezeway kitchen (you could never get more than three people into her little kitchen at one time!) you would see her little serving cart on wheels. On the top shelf was a shiny blue metallic cake saver....and inside, well, it was always some piece of HEAVEN! She made my absolutely favorite cake in the "whole wide world"-- chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Sometimes, she would make a German chocolate cake that was just as heavenly. But, OH MY GOODNESS, to this day chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is still my favorite. (Can I run out to the nearest bakery and get one right now?)

One of my "grossest" memories of Lucy is that she would clean the chicken bone! I mean it too, whatever piece she was eating; leg, breast, thigh, only the bare bone would be left. She loved the grizzle and the other "icky" parts besides the meat! That must have come from growing up on a farm and having so many siblings, you grabbed what you could get! Gross, and one of my cousins does the same thing today! We have a good laugh about it!

Ironically enough, sometime in my late twenties, early thirties I started having a fetish about eating chicken or any meat on the bone. So, although I eat chicken now ( and turkey, and once in a blue moon beef) I can't seem to eat it on the bone, so it is always boneless and of course skinless (you know, the older I get the more I need to watch my weight!) Another footnote, I am happy to report that in my younger years, I actually watched and attempted to make my grandmother's baked beans. It took me about six years of watching her and many attempts at home trying to remember how much of this and how much of that to use and get it right. Lucy rarely measured anything when she was cooking she just threw in a pinch of this and handful of that and wallah...perfection! I am very happy to report that I can make them just like she did! I cherish the memories of watching and observing her in the kitchen! My sister always requests that I make an extra pan of baked beans "just for her" when we have holiday celebrations!

Today, I get a kick out of my children asking me to make something special that they like to eat. I ask them to try to make it so they will know how to cook. My oldest son does a pretty good job, actually my sons can cook much better than my daughters...not sure how that happened but I'm glad someone is watching and learning and best of all enjoying the moment!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ooo, la, la....Smile for the camera, 10th edition.

Alma Guinee

January, 1933

Photo privately owned by P. Taylor

My great grandmother Alma Ball Hirschberg Guinee was quite a lady. Sure wish I could sit down and chat with her about her life! Rumor has it that she left home at a very early age and joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. Although she may have left home at an early age, she defintely did not work for Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. More likely she was in the circus or in vaudeville. From what I do understand is that she could easily ride a horse bareback. A distant cousin also has some fond memories of her singing and dancing to a vaudeville song "Shuffle off to Buffalo." My cousin said Alma was in the chorus line and demonstrated this song and dance routine for him when he was a teenager, in the 1940's!

I love this picture of Alma, her hairstyle, the jewelry, and the dress are beautiful and quite becoming. I don't know what the occasion was that she got all "dolled up." I have one other picture of Alma with that same hair style so she must have really liked it!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Spare, Strike, Gutter? Monday Memories!

By the time I was ten years old my parents had divorced. My mother who had full custody of my two sisters and myself needed physical activities for us to "burn off some of the extra energy" kids always seem to have. Needing support and an outlet to share her "single parent status," she joined a group called Parents Without Partners. I was too young to understand what all the issues of being divorced and single meant to a struggling single parent but I clearly remember some of the activities we participated in; visiting museums, airplane rides, amusement parks, pot luck suppers, and bowling. One of the BEST activities was bowling!

Single parents and their children would meet at a designated establishment introduce themselves and then (hopefully) engage in conversation and fun! I loved bowling! I don't remember if I was any good at it when I was young but as I grew older I got better. In high school I took bowling as a gym elective. Can you imagine getting credit for bowling? Well, I did and thanks to my teacher Ms. Jones, I improved! After high school, when I joined the "working class" I joined a bowling league on Friday nights that was called "Beauty and the Beast". I don't recall where that name came from. I remember becoming a member of the "200" club a number of times too and being awarded a "200 Club" pin. Yippee!

Well, I am happy to say...what goes around comes around. My youngest son is on a bowling league and while I was watching and cheering him from the back tables I noticed a "Sunday evening special" the bowling alley was promoting. Last night I took my two youngest sons to have some "major fun." Now, let me bring you up to date. I have not been bowling in at least twenty years but I did remember how much fun it was!

I paid our fees, got our bowling shoes and went to our lane. Put our names on the automated score board (yeah!) and we started.... I was up first (thank you boys!) I remembered my little stance and how to hold the ball, here I go.... oops, I only hit three pins. Well, hey, it wasn't a gutter ball! Next time up was not much better. My ball was simply too heavy, I elected to use a lighter weight ball (yes, that's right, the ones the little kids use) That would help wouldn't it? Jeremy was having his best game ever. Joe and I weren't doing so well. Game over, oh thank heavens....the next one will be better! Let's eat some pizza first.

Second game, we all vowed to do better. I started off hitting eight! The boys did better too. It seems like we inspired each other, spare, strike, strike, etc....sounds like we did great huh? Well, we did. Jeremy bowled a 136, Joe bowled a 100 and I bowled a 134. We were celebrating with "high fives" and "great job!"

Third game the boys continued to improve and have fun. I was having fun too but kept getting splits! Oh well, who cared? It was just the three of us together having a great time. The boys and I were glad that for once, none of their friends joined in this activity. It was just our family making a great memory! We can't wait to do this again! It was a blast! Who knows next time maybe my older children will join us too!

Friday, February 6, 2009

One year and counting...

Today marks my one year blogiversary! Had it not been for a GSU Library 2.0 Web class I enrolled in, I probably never would have started a blog in the first place. Thanks again to my fearless leaders who guided myself and many others through the process of the newest computer technology; blogs, wikis, online image generators, del.ic.ious, Rollyo, Flickr, Library Thing (although I prefer Shelfari now), and so much more. Whew. What an adventure that was! I have used most of what I was taught and best of all, I am experimenting with technology on my own now!
It's been a blast blogging and I will continue the journey until who knows when. The meme's and carnivals I have participated in are great ways to "meet" other genealogy bloggers. Most of all, I love the COMMENTS people leave. I feel lucky to have my internet friends viewing my blog and reading my posts. I am blessed they come back too! The family connections I've made, and the brickwalls that I've knocked down in my family history wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been blogging. I've learned quite a bit from other genealogy bloggers. I've even enjoyed the genealogy "happy dance" a time or two.
So thank you, thank you, thank you for stopping by and please leave a comment if you have the time!
P.S. The cute little image is from ImageChef but I first saw it on Elizabeth's LittleBytesofLife blog last year. Thank you Elizabeth!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Arlene Guinee (My Mother)
date unknown
Photo owned by P. Taylor

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"M Nagrobek Wtorek" (Tombstone Tuesday)

Ojciec (Father)
Ludwik Sawicki
My Great Grandfather
Digital Photo owned by P. Taylor

Matka (Mother)
Stanislawa Sawicki
My Great Grandmother
Digital Photo owned by P. Taylor
*** A little note here.... Creative Gene has inspired me with all of her Polish ancestry and posts! She brings her Polish ancestors to "life" with the stories, pictures, and history she shares with us so very often. Because of these stories and so many resources she has shared I have decided to work a little harder on researching my Polish ancestors, their history, and heritage.
My Great Grandparents and many of their children are buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Calumet City, Illinois. It is a beautiful cemetery. The employees in the office are extremely helpful too!
I hope that I have that Polish translation correct....M Nagrobek Wtorek -I surely hope that says Tombstone Tuesday...let me know if I've got it wrong.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Dance and the Joy of Genealogy

Absolutely one of my biggest "finds" in genealogy, causing me to dance, shout, sing out at the top of my lungs, scream for joy, and act like a complete fool in front of my children was discovering my ggg grandparents Johann Gottlieb Sommer and Maria Elizabeth Rusch. Actually, I knew my gg grandmother Katharine Sommer and through a friend Cynthia at Chicago Genealogy I also found her sister Julia Sommer.

I posted a query on a Rootsweb message board about Katharine and Julia and their home town Neckargemund, Germany. I was hoping to find out if anyone else was searching for relatives and ancestors. It was another amateur genealogist "Goggling" the town of Neckargemund who found me! We discovered that we were indeed cousins and better still lived only fifteen miles apart. It was fate, it was destiny, it was meant to be that we found each other. Our meetings have been terrific! Thanks to my cousin for sharing some of our history. She has provided me with the names of Katharine and Julia's parents and their sibling Johann Daniel Sommer.

So there it is, as I previously posted in November the story of one of my favorite Happy Dances in genealogy!

The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown


SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.


TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!