Friday, January 29, 2016

Grandma's Own Words

Many, many years ago, long before I was interested in genealogy, I was given a photo copy of a document written by my paternal grandmother, Nina Francis Borden Wright.  I have always intended to read it. The time has finally come. As I understand it, my grandmother's daughters encouraged her to write her memories. Thank you to my aunts, those living and those who have passed, for this very special document. I have learned several things.  I believe this was written in 1970... 45 years ago.  I have tried to leave it as written, but have made a few changes for clarity. I actually kind of like Grandma's spelling for bought.

Grandma's Own Words:
At the age of three we moved from Chicago to Lake City.  Lived one block north and one half east of community building.  In about 1905, my dad bot the place now north Woodlawn.  Lived in the old house until 1912 when he bot the building at the central school & made it in a house that is still at the location.  He was an excellent carpenter and the house was one of the best.
In 1909 we went to Texas with Grandpa DeHart.  Dad built his house, barn, and other buildings.  We lived in a tent most of that year.  Stayed with a cousin, Calvin Thompson, at first.  The antique picture tells of how Ware, Texas looked that was the Hotel. (I am not aware of this photo, but will try to locate it) I remember when we arrived at Ware.  Grandma DeHart said to the conductor (where is the town) he said over there.  There was no depot.  Grandpa DeHart took his cattle & possessions on a train. (They went there for Carolyn's health.)
On Christmas eve we drove six miles in a wagon for Grandma DeHart to play for me to sing (Little Lord Jesus).  How many now would drive 6 mi. in a wagon to sing on Christmas eve.
In 1910 we moved back to Lake City, came by the way of Binkelman, Nebr. to visit Uncle Jim DeHarts.  They were living in town at the time & were hauling lumber to build on the farm.  Our house at Lake City was rented so we stayed with Aunt Alice for a short time.  Having missed the year of school I skipped the 2nd grade.  The school was known as the Clondike. It burned in 1922 and so is now replaced by a new one by name of Lincoln School.
I remember as a child always getting dressed up on Sat. afternoon and going up town. Band would play once a week... so many good times.  On Decoration day all the school children would march in the parade.  Eva Peterson and I went one year and helped decorate the soldiers graves.
The first auto ride was in Texas 1909.   A man came to sell Grandpa DeHart some land.  The next was at Lake City in 1913 with our neighbor's boy Cecil Bradley.
Mr. and Mrs. Bradley were our neighbors all the time we lived there.  Grandpa & Grandma Bradley lived where Campbells live now.  Evert George & Lula bot Bradley's place.  He was a good friend of Albert's and I've known her for years.
Grandpa DeHart built the house where Aunt Alice lived for his son, John.  Then she bot it.  To bad someone couldn't have kept it fixed up.  Aunt Mae is the only one left in that family.
I will never forget the day we moved in our new house.  It was sure swell (still is a nice house)  I walked many times to High School from there.  We had to walk - no cars.
My friend Helen Williams Shultz father ran the Isis Theater.  I sat many times by her while she played the piano for the silent picture shows.  She and Gladys Cloud Summer & I have kept in touch for all the years.  Gladys passed away in 1967.

When I was about ten, I started taking music lessons on our organ.  My first teacher was Katie Tibus.  After we moved in the new house, I won a certificate at Farleys. (They used to deal in pianos) so my Dad put it on the price of the piano.  Hamilton one of the best made.  I started taking music lessons again from Mrs. Farley then Lucy Kilgore (Hinton).  Then Mrs. Stuskenbrack.  My Dad wanted me to continue so I could teach but I didn't.  I played some for the services at the Old Christian Church where my friends, the Radleys, belonged.  Rev. McDonald was the preacher.  His son Charles McDonald is a preacher now.

My good friend Pearl Amaden Heath went to church at the Baptist Church & we sang in the choir.  My grandpas [grandparents]DeHart were very good Baptists & since I was very small I went to church regularly with them & my folks.  Used to go out with Grandma & ride in with them.  In the buggy, I was very close to Caroline so she was my big sister.  Poor Dear she was so bad off with asthma.
 My grandmother as a young girl.
Nina Francis Borden Wright

This is part one of her autobiography as she wrote it. Part II will appear on Monday, January 31. The next section will speak of her marriage and eight children. She is the mother of Harold Gene Wright who recently passed away.  Only two of her children are still living.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wright on Wednesday

A couple of years ago, I obtained a genealogy program called Legacy. I took a class here in my winter haven and decided to start the input with the notes I had on the Wright family, my paternal side.  Last year I started a blog to try to get my notes, papers, memories and information from all sides organized and into a form that could be shared with cousins near and far as well as my own descendants.  However, I have not blogged about the Wrights yet. This was my plan for the winter of 2016. I have even started with a yet to be published document written by my grandmother.  It has two parts and will be appearing soon.

I have connected with some second cousins on Facebook who are also the great-grandchildren of my Great Grandparents Charlie and Jennie Wright.  I have yet to straighten all of them out, but have decided it would be a fun winter project.

Last spring, my posts began with a dedication to my mother's brother and her first cousin who had passed away unexpectedly in January.  I am starting to think I don't like January. My own father left us in January 2010.

And now, we have lost his youngest brother, Gene Wright (January 25, 2016).The family is in shock. Gene was in great physical condition. I guess one never knows what tomorrow will bring. I have said it so many times. Enjoy today, tomorrow may not come your way.

Gene was Harold Gene Wright, son of Albert and Nina Wright. He was the seventh child of eight. As a young man he lived with us for awhile on our farm becoming an older brother of sorts to me. He was cool. He played the guitar and sang and had a bit of a James Dean persona... especially when driving his motorcycle.  I loved riding with him because it made me cool too. I will have to admit not many 10 year olds get to be so cool.

As I write about the Wrights this winter, he will be on my mind and certainly in my heart.         Rest In Peace, Uncle Gene.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Another January - Mondays With Mary

According to my mom's calender, the third week of January in 1991 looks a little chilly. Monday, January 21, starts off with 10 degrees below zero.  Thursday, January 24 is 9 degrees below zero.

I always think of Mom's calendar entries as mostly a weather report. However, once in awhile there is an entry that I can see would be of interest to a generation or two into the future.

For example:

Sunday, January 20, 1991.

18 degrees at 7 a.m.
getting colder all day
read and looked for
 Jacob's ladder quilt for Joyce T.
both read in p.m. and listened to war news

War News? What war news?

On January 16-17, 1991, people around the world watched the beginning of a war for the first time ever on live television. I looked back in the calendar a few days and found this.


Wednesday, January 16, 1991

18 degrees @ 5:30 a.m. washed load of clothes
trees & limbs all covered with frost - Vern
went to town in a.m. I sewed on log-cabin star
for C. Fitzpatrick - War broke out @ 6 p.m.
our time - Arcadia Lime cleaning out pit yard.

Thursday, January 17, 1991

30 degrees @ 7 a.m. Eich trucks are hauling
sand to Carroll Co. - Vern went to Scranton in a.m.
I cut out quilt blocks - went to Scranton in p.m.
listened to War news to-nite. Quilted on log cabin star.

As a review to those who remember that time and to those future descendants and genealogical readers, this was the Gulf War. (August 2, 1990-28 February 1991.)  The first codename was Operation Desert Shield but became Operation Desert Storm in its combat phase from January 17-February 28.  The Iraqi Army began occupation of Kuwait on August 2. This lead to international condemnation, economic sanctions against Iraq and eventually a coalition of nations intent on expelling Iraqi troops from Kuwait. This was also the first ever war seen on television.  With live news broadcasts from the front line of battle, one could actually watch the war.

What a difference this was from Mom and Dad's early married years during World War II. Their granddaughter interviewed them for a history class assignment in the 1980's about World War II. What we learned was that even though Mom had brothers in the Navy, my parents had very little news of the events.  It seems they did not even have a radio so lived their life somewhat unaware.

Fifty years later, they were watching war on television. Life changes quickly.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Throwback Thursday - A day late

I recently read a blog about life getting in the way of blogging. This has been my problem this week. Unlike many of life's interruptions in 2015 which dealt with family loss, these interruptions were very welcome.

First is the report from my Uncle Bill's 90th birthday that I wrote about in Wordless Wednesday from January 16. I am so glad I flew to his state one day and back the next. It was a whirlwind adventure but well worth it to see his pleasure at my presence. The time we have with our older relatives are becoming more precious and time sensitive.

I was able to see several cousins whom I have not seen in many years. Stories, laughs, realizations that we will soon be the oldest generation of our family filled our conversations and memories.  Trials and tribulations, health concerns and relationships added to our collective exchanges. It was a day to remember with love and thanks.  I was thrown back to my childhood and many points in between to the present.

In keeping with being thrown back in time, I encountered a fellow teacher a few days ago who I saw last in 1977. This is almost 40 years ago. She had been my son's first grade teacher. Here we are in a winter's retreat states and states away from where our paths had crossed all those years ago.  Did she know me? One look at my nametag and she immediately said, "Scott's mom." It seems that one of our favorite family stories was also one of hers.  She was a young, young teacher. It was picture day and Scott had accidently cut his shirt with the scissors. What to do? She brilliantly had him turn his shirt around so he was wearing it backwards. The problem was the shirt was thin enough to see the tag through the shirt.

Love the memories. Life is good.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Mondays With Mary January 1990

In last week's Mondays With Mary, the report on January 1985's weather is quite different than today's calendar entry on January 1990.  As my Uncle Bill always said, "If you don't like the weather in Iowa, stay around for 10 minutes because it will change." I know other people, actually lots of people, say the same thing but it is Uncle Bill's variation that sticks with me. He also said, "Company is like fish. After staying around for three days, they begin to stink." I don't agree because I love company, but I do admit that sometimes it can be true.

Monday, January 15, 1990

23 degrees @  8 a.m. warmed up to 65 degrees today.
I went to quilt & to Joyce Terrills for coffee
afterwards - Vern cut wood in garden
John Eich here to talk about buying gravel pit
talked to Tom & Margie to-nite.

Tuesday, January 16, 1990

43 @ 8 a.m. foggy - Short here in a.m.
Duane out to feed cows.  sent Tom the tax papers.  I went to Jeff for a piece of blue fabric
finished putting blocks of wood in cow yard from
mulberry tree.  went for nice walk in p.m. - quilted awhile.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Fun

How to rite rite
  1. Don't abbrev.
  2. Check to see if you any words out.
  3. Be carefully to use adjectives and verbs correct.
  4. About sentence fragments.
  5. When dangling, don't use participles.
  6. Don't use no double negatives.
  7. Each pronoun agrees with their antecedent.
  8. Just between you and I, case is important.
  9. Join clauses good, like a conjunction should.
  10. Don't use commas, that aren't necessary.
  11. Its important to use apostrophe's right.
  12. It's better not to unnecessarily split an infinitive.
  13. Never leave a transitive verb just lay there without an object.
  14. Only Proper Nouns should be capitalized. also a sentence should begin with a capital and end with a period
  15. Use hyphens in compound-words, not just in any two-word phrase.
  16. In letters compositions reports and things like that we use commas to keep a string of items apart.
  17. Watch out for irregular verbs which have creeped into our language.
  18. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
  19. Avoid unnecessary redundancy.
  20. A writer mustn't shift your point of view.
  21. Don't write a run-on sentence you've got to punctuate it.
  22. A preposition isn't a good thing to end a sentence with.
  23. Avoid cliches like the plague

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

The Place: Brooklyn, New York
The Time:  World War II
The Heroes:
Left to right- A nameless friend, Ed Barr, Thelma (Pat) Grisso Barr, William Grisso, John Grisso
They were young. They had fun. They served their county. And now only one remains.
With the exception of the friend, these are my uncles and my aunt.
Uncle Bill remains and we are gathering on January 17 to celebrate his 90th birthday.
Happy Birthday, Uncle Bill.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Mondays With Mary-2016

I am encouraged by the personal comments I get about Mondays With Mary. I am glad so many of you enjoy this feature.  However, my ability to write from those calendars is limited due to my winter location. I only have a few of these treasures with me. One of those calendars is from 1985, and I thought I could do a little 30 years ago series. Oops. I guess it will have to be 31 years ago. Happy New Year.

Friday, January 11

 4 degrees below - windy at 7:45 - we stayed
home all day   watched T.V. - read -
and quilted - windy & cold all day.

Saturday, January 12

2 degrees below at 7:45 a.m.  sun shining
warming up - went to Scranton in a.m.
for dog food - read & quilted
most of day.

Sunday, January 13

36 degrees in a.m. warmed up
to 40ties - Vern drove up to Dales to look at
his calves - I quilted and read to-day.

Monday, January 14

12 degrees high winds this a.m. at 7 a.m. cold day
Vern helping Dale load calves for sale at Carroll
I quilted - wrote letters to L. Keithley & Midge
Went to town for lunch with Ardea- we drove over
to Jeff to 2nd hand shop - got 2 sweaters   home at 2p. m.

The morning temperatures for the rest of the third week in January are recorded as 10 degrees, 18 degrees, 26 degrees, 18 degrees, and then Saturday, January 19 starts off with "13 degrees below zero" "high winds - getting colder" and ending with "22 degrees below to-nite".

Now I know why I am writing from a warmer climate.

Friday, January 8, 2016


A dear friend posted the following on Facebook. I do not have a source for this writing. Hopefully, the plagiarism police can't find me.  The year 2015 was full of deaths for us as well as family and friends. The year seemed to be one long grief period after another. We started right out on January 1, 2015. Maybe I should have seen that as a sign. Some deaths are so recent that the healing has yet to even begin. I hope this writing will be a comfort to those who read it.


                              I had my own notion of grief.
                                I thought it was a sad time.
                    That followed the death of someone you love.
                             And you had to push through it
                                  To get to the other side.
                       But I 'm learning there is no other side.
                              There is no pushing through.
                                              But rather,
                                     There is absorption.
                    And grief is not something that you complete
                                   But rather you endure.
                              Grief is not a task to finish,
                                        And move on,
                              But an element of yourself-
                              An alteration of your being.
                                   A new way of seeing.
                                A new definition of self.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Our Town

Monday's quote solicited responses to the origin of the words. Today I am telling you the source. This comes from the play Our Town. I find it very thought provoking. If you come to my funeral someday, you will probably hear it spoken.

I guess this is why genealogists keep digging for information about those ancestors who came before us. We realize they are eternal as are we.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Who knows?

The following is one of my all time favorite quotes from one of my all time favorite novels.
Who can identify it?
And now I have another paper to toss.