Thursday, July 31, 2008

We Were Not A Picnicking Sort Of People

It's true we were not into picnics. Once a year we would meet for a family reunion (giant picnic) on or near my Grandmother's September 9th birthday. I dreaded September for just that reason. Picnic month.

My Grandmother was a very stern woman or at least she seemed so to a child. She was not demonstrative. My mother instructed each of her four children that we were to kiss our grandmother on the cheek immediately upon arriving at the park. I kissed her, but she scared me witless. You know, as I got older it got easier and I think even Grandmother liked it, a bit.

I should explain why my Grandmother frightened me. She had some very strange "country" practices. As a small child all of the grandchildren experienced warts on their hands. You had to line up in front of Grandmother and one by one submit to having a chicken's foot rubbed on your warts. That was a chicken's foot sans the chicken. It was Grandmother's cure.

My mother was a nurse, for heaven's sake, she knew they were caused by a virus, and she still made us get in line. Even if you didn't have a wart you got the treatment, for the sake of prevention. "It can't hurt you," my Mother would say, "so just stand still." "What about germs," I cried. I was always worried about germs. "Just wash your hands after," she answered. Oh the humiliation. I always prayed no one from school would be in the park and witness Grandmother's voodoo.

Then there was the snake treatment. No, the grandchildren didn't get treated with a snake, the snake got the treatment, if he was foolish enough to be caught and killed. You see, my Grandmother believed that a snake had to see the setting sun to actually die. So my father would have to find a board in the park, nail the "dead" snake to the board, and prop it up facing west, where it would see the setting sun and then die.

Now you have a taste of why I wasn't into picnics. Oh, and there was the taste part. Everything my family prepared was fried, with lard. No wonder most of my family died of coronary artery disease. LARD! I will admit lard did produce the best fried chicken. Now you know where the feet came from.

I did love the iced cold watermelon though. Where I come from we eat our watermelon with salt, not sugar as they did in the wilds of Montana where my husband was raised. Iced cold watermelon and a little salt, now that's a picnic.

It was also picture taking time. All the grandchildren were lined up camera ready. You can see from the photo below that was no easy task. Someone would always make a break for it just as the picture was snapped.

The Cousins

As we got older, the numbers lining up dwindled. You know how it was. They got driver's licenses and dates and the number of grandchildren who lined up became fewer and fewer.

As I look at these photos, I also remember those reunions and all that family could be a lot of fun. Right now, I would let my grandmother rub that old chicken's foot on both hands just to have her here for one more family reunion. I know you understand.


Go For The Gold - BFF Gold That Is

Fellow Washington State GeneaBlogger Miriam Midkiff of Ancestories honored me with a BFF (Blogging Friends Forever) Award that had been bestowed upon her from fellow Washington State GeneaBlogger Carol Wilkerson of iPentimento. We Washingtonians are a blogging group aren't we? Miriam, thank you for the award, you are a true BFF.

The rules for passing on the award are:

1. Only five people are allowed to receive the award.
2. Four of them must followers of your blog.
3. One has to be new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to whoever gave you the award.

I hereby pass this on to Chery Kinnick - Nordic Blue (another fellow-Washingtonian and a BFF in the real world - on a blogging hiatus), Terry Thornton - Hill Country (such a good friend above and beyond BFF), George Geder of George Geder (my BFF who always makes me laugh), Sheri Bush - TwigTalk (a true BFF Girl!), L. H. Crawley - The Virtual Dime Museum (My Writer BFF) and Naomi Stevens - Diary From England (new to my blogs and from the United Kingdom).

Wait, five is not enough. I have eighty more!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Good Question!

Terry Thornton in a comment to my post Creative Non-Fiction - Factual & Fascinating asks this question:

I wish, however, you had shown how this fascinating glimpse is to be woven into your specific family history. In other words, how do you make the transition from what is "REAL" family history within the "CREATIVE NON-FICTION" you are writing."

The master of creative non-fiction or narrative literature is David McCullough. The finest example of how creative non-fiction can be used to write family history can be found in the family history section of Truman, my favorite of McCullough's books.

He writes about the history of Missouri and sets the stage for the story of the Truman family. Read this, as it is much more eloquent than my explanation.

Here is an example of the family history:

Mattie's first child, a boy, was stillborn the couple's first autumn in Lamar. A year and a half later a second child, a boy, was born in a bedroom off the parlor so small there was barely space for the bed. . .

The date was May 8, 1884.

. . . Not for a month afterward, however, did Dr. Griffin bother to register the birth at the county clerk's office up the street, and even then, the child was entered nameless. . .

Harry S. Truman he would be.

For me there is no transition, no line of demarcation. It is all one story. The family history is incorporated with the characters of New York City and Carnegie Hall. These are my first attempts at creative non-fiction and are a first draft, so please be kind. I don't think writing creative non-fiction is difficult, it just takes some getting used to.

I start each section or chapter with a vignette. The Cornerstone vignette in my earlier post was the intro to my discussion of the character, New York City. Here is where I went next:

It was 1890 and the entirety of Manhattan Island was now New York City. Ninety thousand residential buildings and twenty-five thousand commercial structures covered the city. Church steeples dominated New York’s skyline, as most buildings constructed were not over three stories tall. The tallest building in the city was the 284-foot spire of Trinity Church, taller even than the Brooklyn Bridge.

New York City was not just the industrial and economic center of 19th Century America; New York had also claimed the leadership role in America’s cultural life. The theater had taken hold in New York City and the music world was poised to join the battle for dominance with the established music houses of Europe. The Philharmonic Society, founded in 1842 – and the Metropolitan Opera Company, founded in 1882, had made their home there, but at this time there was no central home for symphonic music.

Steinway and Chickering, the companies that manufactured the pianos used in performances, each owned and operated independent music halls. The halls were small and it was acknowledged that the acoustics were terrible. For a pianist to perform, he must first swear allegiance to a particular brand of piano and once done he was the captive of that piano and that hall. No musician was satisfied with these arrangements, but it was what it was.

A young conductor, Walter Damrosch, convinced the philanthropic Andrew Carnegie of New York’s cultural need for a permanent home for the philharmonic. That led to the creation of America’s most beloved institution, Carnegie Hall. In 1889, Carnegie formed a stock company, The Music Hall Company of New York, Ltd. He acquired seven parcels of land that created a square along the block of Seventh Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets. The streets were unpaved and the location, at the edge of Goat Hill, near Central Park, was so far uptown it was considered out in the sticks.

The soon to be built Music Hall’s nearest neighbors were the Hotel Grenoble just across the street, the Dickel’s Riding Academy on the west side of Seventh Avenue, blacksmiths, and saloons. Elaborate private stables on Fifty-sixth Street stood at the backs of dignified residences on Fifty-seventh Street. In 1889, Fifty-ninth was becoming a street of fashionable residences. Carnegie had the foresight to see that in a few short years the Hall’s neighbors would be its potential audience. But at the start of construction, the owners of the dignified residences were appalled at the thought of living near “an amusement center, where carriage calls would disturb the rural quiet of the street.”

There was much abject grumbling, discontent, and speculation voiced by the New York press over the chosen location for the soon to be constructed temple to the Goddess of Music. There were only 575 paved streets in the City lit by twenty-eight thousand streetlamps, almost all of which were electrified, but none of these conveniences ventured past Goat Hill. Travel around the City in 1890 was accomplished in landaus, landaulets and hansom cabs; open, unheated, bone jarring modes of transportation.

There is a good deal more written in this section. Next I travel to opening night at Carnegie Hall:

. . .The carriages had begun lining up on Fifty-Seventh Street early and the hall was completely full before the time set for the program to start. There were no late arrivals on this occasion. It seemed as if everyone in New York had become enthusiastic music lovers, or at least enthusiastic over the opening of what many were now calling the most beautiful music hall in the world. They were not to be disappointed.

The seating capacity in the Hall was enormous, far larger and superior to the Metropolitan Opera House. There was seating on the ground floor, two horseshoe circles of boxes, a dress circle, and a gallery. Possession had even been taken of every foot of standing space. The Hall was filled to capacity. So frightening was the sight of so many people to the architect, Tuthill, he immediately left the Hall and went home to rework the numbers to ensure the building could withstand the weight.

Next I discuss the day to day workings of Carnegie Hall including this section on the character of Carnegie himself and his wife:

Carnegie had never hidden his distrust of the musician’s business sense. He continued to make up the operating shortfall, but did so grudgingly. Having reached the end of his patience, just after the turn of the century, Carnegie revolted. He sent his secretary out to find some other wealthy person to contribute half of the expected yearly payment. The secretary left and returned in a few hours with the necessary amount. Carnegie quickly wrote out a matching check. “You see,” he told his secretary, “we only have to ask. Who is our generous new benefactor?” As the secretary turned to leave the room he replied, “Mrs. Carnegie, sir.”

My family's life was Carnegie Hall. Here is where Louis Salter enters the story:

A twenty year old apprentice electrician named Louis Salter arrived at the Music Hall for his first day of employment. Salter was typical of the average New Yorker of 1893. He lived in a tenement surrounded by Irish, German and Jewish neighbors. Both his parents, John and Elizabeth (Wurtz) Salter had been born in Germany.

John and Elizabeth made the voyage from Germany to England where they stopped long enough to have three children and save the money needed to continue on to America. It was a common practice among German immigrants to live for a short time in England. To work and save money. The Salters were no different.

Louis was the second of their children to be born in American, in New York City, December 18, 1873. . .

Everything is factual, but written as creative non-fiction. (The relationship charts are added to the appendices for all the statistical information.)

Here is an example of Louis Salter as Superintendent of Carnegie Hall and a piece I'm using as another vignette:

Traffic Policeman Pounds enters Carnegie Hall and heads for Louis Salter’s office in the basement. Louis Salter is the manager of Carnegie Hall and it is very important that Pounds speak with him. Standing outside, Pounds witnessed a group of Irishmen gathering on the corner. He is aware that Sir Phillip Gibbs, the British war correspondent, is lecturing in the Hall tonight on “What America Means To The World.” He suspects that the Irishmen are Sinn Fein and are at the Hall to disrupt the lecture.

Pounds tells Salter of the Irish gathering outside the Hall. Salter telephones the Fifty-seventh Street Police Station, explains the situation and asks that reserves be sent to the Hall.

Sir Phillip is about fifteen minutes into his lecture when the audience breaks into groans, hisses, boos, and “squeaks resembling hundreds of caged mice.” The reception is not quite what he had anticipated.

The audience quiets down and Sir Phillip begins again. This time someone in the audience yells, “What about Ireland?” A man springs from his seat in the gallery, tackles the interrupter, throws him to the floor and jumps on him. Sinn Fein supporters, men and women, leap onto the pile in a kicking yelling swearing mass.

At the same time Salter meets the police reserves at the entrance in the front of the house and escorts them to the gallery. The noise can even be heard out front; the fight is well underway.

It doesn’t take the police long to round up about fifteen men and women involved in the altercation. Salter confronts them and asks them to leave; the police escort the Sinn Fein demonstrators from the Hall.

The disturbance squelched, the lecture ends without further interruption. Salter heads to a small room off the Hall to check on the well-being of his guest lecturer who is meeting with well wishers. As Salter enters, Sir Phillip is being besieged by his friends complimenting him on his gameness, Salter is satisfied the night has been a success.

Again, everything is factual, taken from an account in the New York Times and a book published about Carnegie Hall.

I'm just an amateur practicing creative non-fiction, but I love it. The more I do, the more comfortable I become. Source everything you write and stick to the facts. Tell a good story.

Hopefully my family history will be the kind my Aunt Jean has asked for, "Tell me the stories."


Creative Non-Fiction ~ Factual & Fascinating

. . .recycling is important. But what of our own natural resources? Our humor, our compassion, our curiosity? What could be more earth-friendly. . .

~ Shannon Martin, 2008 ~

Recently Jasia (Creative Gene) wrote A Plan For Writing My Family History where she asked if anyone had written a family history similar to hers "where there is virtually no personal information on any of my ancestors."

Chery Kinnick (Nordic Blue) and I both recommended "Creative Non-Fiction" as a genre that would lend itself to Jasia's and many family historian's situation. Family history can, without question, be creative non-fiction. The key word being "non-fiction" or a factual recounting of our family history.

I think it would be advantageous to all family historians to gain an understanding of this relatively new genre.

Creative non-fiction (also known as literary or narrative nonfiction) is a genre of writing which uses literary craft in presenting nonfiction. It is factually accurate prose about real people and events written in a compelling and vivid manner.

Creative non-fiction writers don't make things up they make ideas that already exist more interesting and accessible. Forms within this genre include personal essays, memoir, travel writing, food writing, biography, literary journalism, and family histories.

In the book, The Art of Fact, literary critic Barbara Lounsberry suggests four characteristics of the creative non-fiction genre:

Documentable subject matter chosen from the real world as opposed to ‘invented’ from the writer’s mind.” - the topics and events discussed in the text verifiably exist in the natural world.

Exhaustive research,” - allows the writer “novel perspectives on their subjects” and “permits them to establish the credibility of their narratives through verifiable references in their texts.”

The scene”. - the importance of describing and revivifying the context of events in contrast to the typical journalistic style of objective reportage.

Fine writing: a literary prose style”. “Verifiable subject matter and exhaustive research guarantee the nonfiction side of literary nonfiction; the narrative form and structure disclose the writer’s artistry; and finally, its polished language reveals that the goal all along has been literature.”

The following is a scene I'm writing for my Salter family history. I was not there, none of my ancestors were there. The information was taken from four newspaper accounts, two biographies, a history of Carnegie Hall, and two Carnegie booklets (citations have been included in the history - omitted here for brevity - provided upon request). It is factually accurate, based on documented sources, but written as creative non-fiction.

THE BAND IS PLAYING THE CASTLE AIR FROM “DAS RHEINGOLD” AS WALTER Damrosch escorts Mrs. Andrew Carnegie from the platform. She carries a bright gold ceremonial trowel that she uses to pat the edges of the mortar around the cornerstone of what is to become one of America’s most beloved institutions, Carnegie Hall.

The platform is filled to overflowing, as is the surrounding enclosure. The interest by lovers of music is demonstrated in the sheer numbers of representatives and members of all the New York musical organizations attending this outdoor ceremony. The Oratorio Society has turned out in full force. The “parent organization of advanced musical culture in New York”, the Philharmonic Society, has sent an equally large delegation. Box holders from the Opera Society are sprinkled throughout the crowd as are the many musicians attending. All the Brooklyn and New Jersey musical organizations have arrived to show their enthusiasm and support. Never in the history of the City has so illustrious a group of music, finance, and social elite been brought together in one place for one purpose.

Andrew Carnegie is introduced to thunderous applause; he is the man of the hour, this is his vision. Once into his speech it is clear his vision appears to be markedly different than that of the gathering, but no one notices, or no one cares. Carnegie extols the Hall’s subsidiary function as a lecture platform. His vision is summed up in his hopes that the hall will stand for ages and intertwine itself with the history of the country. His only reference to the world of music comes as he dedicates the Hall as a temple, a shrine to the Goddess of Music, “hovering over and ennobling whatever use may be made of it.”

It is a simple ceremony witnessed by an uncharacteristically boisterous, enthusiastic, hand clapping crowd of New York music high society. Walter Damrosch tosses his hat in the air; the ceremony has come to an end, music history is just beginning.

This is how I see "Creative Non-Fiction." When I write my family history I include more characters than my family, their friends, and neighbors. For the Salters I include Carnegie Hall, New York City, transportation, the year, the weather, etc., as characters in my family history and write about them as well.

Two excellent examples of creative non-fiction writers within our community of GeneaHistorians who blog are L.H. Crawley of The Virtual Dime Museum and Chery Kinnick of Nordic Blue. Read their work. It is factual and fascinating, exactly what we want our family history to be.

This is simply an introduction to creative non-fiction. More information can be found in the following:


Dillard, Annie; Gutkind, Lee (2005). In Fact: The Best of Creative Nonfiction. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Gutkind, Lee (1997). The Art of Creative Nonfiction: Writing and Selling the Literature of Reality. New York: Wiley.

Gutkind, Lee, ed. (2008). Keep It Real: Everything You Need to Know About Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Associated Writing Programs; Forche, Carolyn; Gerard, Philip (2001). Writing Creative Nonfiction: Instruction and Insights from Teachers of the Associated Writing Programs. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books.


Creative Non-Fiction - The voice of the genre.

Bruce Dobler's Brief Reading List for Creative Nonfiction - A must read!


Tastes Just Like Chicken

It seems that Terry Thornton (Hill Country), in his Attempt to Become Unfat, has found himself with visions of frogs' legs dancing in his head. Just for you Terry, the perfect cartoon to go with your visions.

Tastes Just Like Chicken

(Select The Cartoon Image or Title To View The Cartoon)


Monday, July 21, 2008

Blurb! Excuse Me!

I really enjoy Family Matters authored by Denise Olson. She always has something creative to share with her readers. And I am a loyal reader.

Recently I wrote a post on Shades Of The Departed where I discussed Moo Minis. At the time I couldn't remember where I first learned of them, but after checking around I remembered that it was on Family Matters, months ago. So credit where credit is due. Denise found them first!

In her July 14 article, Blogging Family History, she discusses another very interesting idea, Blurb for turning your blog posts about family history into a beautifully bound book. I am using Blogger's book feature to compile all my family history stories at Time And Chance ~ Happen To Them All. My sister, Biblio, had recently asked how she could save all the blog posts about our family, so I ventured over to Blurb for a look.

And I like what I saw. Now I wish I could hold one in my hands and get a really good look at it, but the pictures make the books look very inviting. According to their blog Blurberati, PC Magazine has given Blurb Four Stars and Lexus recently used Blurb to print 1,800 copies of a book promoting the automaker’s green practices. That looks like pretty good printing cred to me.

Also, for those of you working on your family histories this summer, Blurb isn't just for blogs. They print books of all kinds; cookbooks, family histories, biographies, memoirs, and will sell your book for you in their bookstore. Your family can go there to purchase their copies.

There are four book sizes (7X7, 8X10, 10X8, & 11X13) and three cover types (Softcover, Hardcover, ImageWrap, Hardcover, Dust Jacket). Prices start at $12.95 and go to $54.95. You may order one copy of your book or as many as you wish.

Take a look at the Quinlan Family Legacy book preview, professionally created by The Big Picture; and Generations By Kathy Wright. There's a lot of inspiration there.

They offer a list of professionals in their BlurbNation Directory who will design and choreograph your work. Now, I don't think I can afford them, but there are some great ideas to be found on the professionals' websites. Take a look at Shooting Each Other by Dan Hayon billed as the best cat book ever! I really did enjoy the creativity of this book.

There is so much more to explore with Blurb. I have downloaded the software and hope to be able to compare it with iPhoto Print Products. I'll let you know how things turn out.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Robbed Of His Youth

Men grow to the stature to which they are stretched
when they are young.

~ E. W. Howe, 1919 ~

Zora ~ Raymond ~ Otey

February 26, 1933, Otey Reed Campbell died of pernicious anemia. A disease so easily cured today, but one fatal if not diagnosed and treated at that time. He was fifty-five years old. He was my Grandfather.

At the time of his death he was a farmer and a miner in rural Missouri. 1933 was a very difficult time for this country and its people. Otey had been very fortunate to be able to support his family. He supplemented the farm's income by working as a diamond drill foreman for the St. Joseph Lead Mines.

Otey & His Brothers
Working For The Mines

Otey's sons, Otis, Edgar, and Raymond (my Father) lived at home with their little sister (Thelma) Jean. Otey had helped Otis get a job in the mines, Edgar worked on the farm. Raymond, only twelve, attended school with Jean.

Otey and his wife Zora had nine children. Edith had died as an infant; all the girls, Bessie, Allean, Opal and Toad had married and left home to start families of their own. Bessie and Allean had children older than Raymond and Jean, and like most Americans were struggling to feed them.

When Otey died, Zora was left with the meager income of the farm, the accumulation of debts, and four children. Ernest, Otey's older brother convinced Zora to trade the farm for a house he owned in town. A house, he assured her, that was debt free and had no taxes owing. "It will be good for the children to be in town and near school," he said. She reluctantly agreed, signed over the farm, and moved with the children into town.

Ernest was the picture of a son of Isaac Campbell. The men of our clan were partial to drink and stretching the truth to their advantage. More than a stretch, Ernest had lied to Zora and she now found herself faced with a tax bill that threatened to take the only place the family had to live. I am certain my Aunt Bessie would have taken them all to live with her, she was a wonderful woman, but my Grandmother was proud and resolved to pay her own way. Bessie had a family of her own.

Zora took in washing. Bent over a tub in the backyard she worked all day, a job I can not begin to imagine, but never missed putting a hot meal on the table for her children at night. My Aunt Jean often talks of how tired my Grandmother was at the end of the day. Zora was stoic, not a demonstrative woman, but her children knew she loved them.

Otis worked the mines, Edgar got a job with the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA reflected the strongly-held belief that they should not employ more than one person in a household, because it would take one job away from another breadwinner. They would not employ Zora. In rural Missouri 60% of the WPA-employed women were without husbands (12% were single; 25% widowed; and 23% divorced, separated or deserted.) But Zora had sons.

Although Zora shared every penny she earned with her family, it was not the same with the boys. They were young and as they were young; life was lived for "today," not for "tomorrow." They often spent much of what they earned, but Jean says my grandmother never asked them for more money. The major portion of the burden of support fell to Zora.

The WPA began to take a close look at Zora's family. Otis had a job, Zora took in washing, and Edgar had a job with the WPA. Was this the best use of their resources, to give a job to someone who lived in a household with three wage earners?

Rightly or wrongly, fearing a loss of a portion of their income, Zora and Jean moved into the home of an elderly man to care for him. Edgar and Raymond remained in the family home. Otis moved into the home of his soon to be in-laws. One bread winner per household. The WPA was appeased for the time being. But the family had been separated, not living under one roof, a fact my grandmother hated. She moved back into the family home hoping the WPA would not look at them again.

Edgar moved out of the home to live with Otis. Now Zora had only one income. School was an expense Zora could not afford. Both Raymond and Jean were given one outfit a year at the start of school. Edgar and Otis gave Raymond what hand-me-downs they could, but keeping them clean took its toll and the school clothes became thread bare very quickly, as there was nothing new to replace them with.

Raymond was a growing boy soon unable to fit in his shoes. He was teased unmercifully by the other children in school. While by no means rich, these children had substantially more than my father. They had two parents. There was no money other than for food. Zora removed Raymond from school. He was a few days short of his thirteenth birthday.

Raymond had to mature very quickly. He had now become responsible for a portion of the family income and was the man of the house. He took odd jobs in the neighborhood as his contribution. He also paid one of the neighbors, who owned a truck, ten cents to drive him to the berry fields where he picked berries and sold them to a local roadside stand. He turned all of his earnings over to his mother.

Every week Zora gave Raymond back twenty cents of his earnings to take his little sister to the moving pictures. While she made it seem as if it was another responsibility for Raymond, it was Zora's way of giving her two youngest a little joy. Raymond and Jean saw every Shirley Temple movie made. Shirley Temple was Jean's favorite, though I doubt it was my father's. I have no doubt he sat through Shirley Temple for Jean, the sister who was so close to him. His favorite.

I recently asked my Aunt Jean how my Father managed to stay out of trouble being out of school and left to his own devices at thirteen. "He was a good man and a good brother," she said. "He spent his days working and watching out for me. Nights and weekends were filled by the church and its social activities. Mother had a deep and abiding faith. Many of the people we knew were in similar situations." A man at thirteen. No time for a childhood.

My Mother was humbled by the life my Father had lived. She came from a privileged family that knew nothing of the type of poverty my Father had experienced. She had a tremendous amount of respect for my Grandmother, a women with whom she shared so little in common.

Even with the life my Father had lived, he only voiced one regret. He had wanted a red wagon as a boy and my Grandmother could not afford such an extravagance. For my Father's first birthday as a married man, my Mother gave him a red wagon. The man loved the gift the boy had only dreamed about.


Zora, Raymond, Otey.
MOO Mini. 2008. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, Washington. 2008.

Men At Work. Photograph. Unknown. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, Washington. 2005.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Do Not! I Repeat - DO NOT - Read This Post!

Please See Update At End Of Article!

We can only hope that the virus that has inhabited my brain will dissipate allowing me to return to a normal posting schedule. I think it could be a problem with sun spots; as we have seen the sun two days running here in Washington, and that must be some sort of record.

Now I told you not to read this!

Wordle has been afflicting many a good GeneaBlogger:

Miriam at AnceStories has two posts: Midkiff Genea-Wordle-gy and Wordle You Like To Know My Surnames. Miriam has a really bad case of Wordle.

Genealogy Reviews Online Wordle, by Tim Agazio at Genealogy Reviews Online. Resistance was futile.

Randy Seaver has Wordle -- be creative! at GeneaMusings. Randy caught a triple dose of Wordle.

Janet The Researcher wrote Fun with Words & Promoting our blogs, while having fun with Wordle.

My own, Let Me Get A Wordle In Edgewise.

And if that weren't enough, now there's The Dialectizer by Samuel Stoddard.

The Dialectizer takes text or other web pages and instantly creates parodies of them! The dialects are Redneck, Jive, Cockney, Elmer Fudd, Swedish Chef, Moron, Pig Latin, and Hacker.

I have taken a paragraph from an article I wrote this morning and converted it to all the dialects offered and posted them below. (With apologies to all Rednecks, Jives, Cockneys, Elmer Fudds, Swedish Chefs, Morons, Pig Latins?, and Hackers. The Dialectizer states that it is not intended to be racist, sexist, or otherwise demeaning or discriminatory toward any ethnic, religious, or cultural group, or any other minority (or even majority). It's just for fun.)

Redneck (Me and most of the people I'm related to):

This hyar week's Twice Told Tuesday stems fum two special requests. Fust, ah received an email fum a footnoteMaven reader who had read an article on mah Mammy titled A Purdy Gal Is Like A Melody. Carlos GR was thet reader an' foun' his Gran'Pappy's second cousin, Regina Reckholder, listed in thet article. He axed eff'n ah had enny photographs o' info'mashun fo' her. ah have both an' is reprintin' thet info'mashun fum Th' Bayside High Skoo Triangle Yearbook 1942 in this hyar Twice Told Tuesday.

Jive (my neighbor's twelve-year old son who aspires to be baaad...) :

Dis week's Twice Told Tuesday stems fum two special requests. Fust, ah' received an email fum some footnoteMaven eyeballa' who had eyeball an article on mah' moda' titled A Fine Goat Is Like A Melody. Carlos GR wuz dat eyeballa' and found his Grandfader's second cousin, Regina Reckholder, listed in dat article. He ax'ed if ah' had any photographs o' info'mashun fo' her. Ah be baaad... ah' have bod and am reprintin' dat info'mashun fum De Bayside High Farm Triangle Yearscribblin' 1942 in dis Twice Told Tuesday. Slap mah fro!

Cockney (the Geico Geko):

This week's Twice Told Tuesday stems from two special requests. First, I received an email from a footnoteMaven reader 'oo 'ad read an article on me muvver titled A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody. Right. Carlos GR were that reader and found 'is Grandfavver's second cousin, right, Regina Reckholder, listed in that article. Cor blimey guv! He asked if I 'ad any photographs or information for 'er. I 'ave boff and am reprintin' that information from The chuffin' Bayside 'igh School Triangle Yearbook 1942 in this Twice Told Tuesday.

Elmer Fudd (a friend of dat scwewy wabbit!):

Dis week's Twice Towd Tuesday stems fwom two speciaw weqwests. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! Fiwst, I weceived an emaiw fwom a footnoteMaven weadew who had wead an awticwe on my mothew titwed A Pwetty Giww Is Wike A Mewody. Cawwos GW was that weadew and found his Gwandfathew's second cousin, Wegina Weckhowdew, wisted in that awticwe. He asked if I had any photogwaphs ow infowmation fow hew. I have bof and am wepwinting that infowmation fwom De Bayside High Schoow Twiangwe Yeawbook 1942 in this Twice Towd Tuesday.

Swedish Chef (Leek, you know!):

Thees veek's Tveece-a Tuld Tooesdey stems frum tvu speceeel reqooests. Um gesh dee bork, bork! Furst, I receeefed un imeeel frum a fuutnuteMefee reeder vhu hed reed un erteecle-a oon my muzeer teetled A Pretty Gurl Is Leeke-a A Meludy. Cerlus GR ves thet reeder und fuoond hees Grundffezeer's secund cuooseen, Regeena Reckhulder, leested in thet erteecle-a. He-a esked iff I hed uny phutugrephs oor inffurmeshun fur her. Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp! I hefe-a but und em repreenting thet inffurmeshun frum Zee Beyseede-a Heegh Schuul Treeungle-a Yeerbuuk 1942 in thees Tveece-a Tuld Tooesdey. Bork bork bork!

Moron (the guy in front of me at Costco who blocks the aisle so I can't get around him):

Dis weebuhk's Twice Told Tuesday stems from two special rekests. Firss, I receibid an email from a
footnoteMaben readeh who had read an article on my modeh titlid A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody. Gawlly!Carlos GR was dat readeh 'n found his Grandfadeh's seconb cousin, Regina Reckholdeh, listid in dat article. He askid if I had any photographs or inf'mashun f' heh. I habe bod 'n am reprintigg dat inf'mashun from De Bayside High School Triangle Yearbook 1942 in dis Twice Told Tuesday.

Pig Latin (Igpay Atinlay - youay owknay?):

Isthay eek'sway Icetway Oldtay Uesdaytay emsstay omfray otway ecialspay equestsray. Irstfay, Iyay eceivedray anyay emailyay omfray ayay ootnoteMavenfay eaderray owhay adhay eadray anyay articleyay onyay ymay othermay itledtay Ayay Ettypray Irlgay Isyay Ikelay Ayay Elodymay. Arloscay gRay asway atthay eaderray andyay oundfay ishay Andfather'sgray econdsay ousincay, Eginaray Eckholderray, istedlay inyay atthay articleyay. Ehay askedyay ifyay Iyay adhay anyyay otographsphay oryay informationyay orfay erhay. Iyay avehay othbay andyay amyay eprintingray atthay informationyay omfray Ethay Aysidebay Ighhay Oolschay Iangletray Yearbookay 1942 inyay isthay Icetway Oldtay Uesdaytay.

Hacker (the teenage male technology specialist at Best Buy):

this wEeKZ twice told tueday stemz from two special requests!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111~~~ fiRst ,i recieved an e/\/\a1l from a footnotemaven Reader who had read an article on mY motehr ritled a pretty chiX)r si lik3 aa mleody!!!!!!!!!11~~~~~ c arloz gtr waSthat readar andf found his grandfathErz second vc0usin, rweGina reX0rhioldar, listEd in that artilce~~~~ he asked if i had any photogrrAphs ro infrmoation fro Her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 u sXu0r i ahcve borh and ma erprinting thsat infromation frooM eth bAsyide high school triangLe yearbook 9142 in this twice told tuesdAy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

While you were reading this post I was lining my baseball cap with aluminum foil to prevent the sunspots from reaching my brain. I hope this is over!

P.S. Do not visit The Voices Of Many and try the Drunken Slur! Do not!


Here are some people seriously in jeopardy of becoming a pillar of salt!

Looking4Ancestors has an hysterical dialectized post called "The Disease of Distraction," you must read this one!

Randy Seaver has Enea-Musingsgay at GeneaMusings; he has had some surprising results from his spell-checker. Looking at his post I'm sure you can guess what his problem might have been.


Smile For The Camera 3rd Edition - A Reminder

Smile For The Camera ~ A Carnival of Images

The 3rd Edition of Smile For The Camera takes its word prompts from a celebration of home. Where is home and how do you celebrate? Choose a photograph of an ancestor, relative, yourself, or an orphan photograph that shows a celebration of home.

Is it a house, a town, a city, a country, the old country, a group of people, or just a state of mind. Here in America we celebrate our love of home with fireworks and Old Glory. How and what do you or did your ancestors celebrate? Show us!

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 10 July, 2008.


There are two options:

1. Send an email to the host, footnoteMaven. Include the title and permalink URL of the post you are submitting, and the name of your blog. Put 'Smile For The Camera' clearly in the title of your email!

2. Use the handy submission form provided by Blog Carnival, or select the Bumper Sticker in the upper right hand corner.

See you at the Carnival!


Two Special Requests

This week's Twice Told Tuesday on Shades Of The Departed stems from two special requests.

First, I received an email from a footnoteMaven reader who had read an article on my mother titled A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody. Carlos GR was that reader and found his Grandfather's second cousin, Regina Reckholder, listed in that article. He asked if I had any photographs or information for her. I have both and am reprinting that information from The Bayside High School Triangle Yearbook 1942 in this Twice Told Tuesday.

I also received a comment on the footnoteMaven article Hidden Sources :: Alumni Records, about my four privately printed volumes containing information of the Harvard College Class of 1894. The volumes were: The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Report - 1919, the Thirty-Fifth Anniversary - 1929, the Fortieth Anniversary - 1935, and the Harvard Alumni Directory of 1926. Barb, who wrote the comment, asked "Macy Millmore Skinner was my grandfather. Is there any picture, or any story of interest about him in the book? It would be great to get them."

Yes Barb, the article was written by your grandfather. Shades will reproduce that information for you in this Twice Told Tuesday article.

Shades is about photographs and making those connections.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Let Me Get A Wordle In Edgewise

At the last ScanFest, hosted by Miriam at AnceStories, we discussed several things related to promotion of our blogs. Everyone was envious of Randy's (Genea-Musings) and Craig's (Geneblogie) T-Shirts. The ones pictured here at the SCGS Jamboree.

So, I started looking around for an interesting way to publicize my blog on a T-Shirt and I've found something I really like. It's called Wordle.

Wordle was created by Jonathan Feinberg, a "Senior Software Engineer" at IBM Research; where he creates useful collaborative applications. Wordle is one of them.

Wordle is billed as a toy for generating “word clouds” from text you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the sourced text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. As far as I'm concerned, Wordle's application removes it from the toy arena and elevates it to a creative tool.

The Wordle Faq explains how you can use Wordles for T-shirts, posters, and anything else. (In all fairness, I have not created a T-Shirt, so I can not speak to the quality of this use. I will be doing that this week and will let you know how it turns out.)

Here is the Wordle I created for the promotion of Shades Of The Departed and footnoteMaven:

It would probably make a great bag or coffee cup!

Then I started thinking this would be a great T-Shirt idea for the Campbell Family Reunion this September, so I created another Wordle:

Then this became addictive and I created a Wordle of GeneaBlogs and placed it in the

Wordle Gallery. Now I'm working on a Wordle of GeneaTerms.

Web Wandering Wednesday, on Shades Of The Departed, will discuss another use of Wordles for blog promotion.

Now go make your own Wordle and remember I warned you, they're addictive. Put your blog's URL in and create a Wordle of all your recent posts. You may just be surprised at what you've written.

If you've made a T-Shirt using Wordle please tell me how it worked out in the comments section below.


Friday, July 4, 2008

A Matter Of Age!


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As family historians, we take time to carefully mark the birth dates of our forebearers. We print out family tree charts including this all-important data. We make it a point to note at what age family members have married, had children and passed away.

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Take some time to look over the data that you have collected on members of your family tree, and share a story of age with us for the upcoming edition of the carnival.

Do you have a member of the family who went to work to support
the family while still of a tender age?

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Someone who accomplished something that was typically
done by others beyond his or her years?

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A couple who married young? A couple with disparate ages?

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A family member who accomplished something of note
at an advanced age?

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How about family members that lived many years,
outlasting many of their relatives and friends?

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With the understanding that "age is often a state of mind," share your family story about someone whose story stands out because of their age; either young or old.

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The Deadline For Submissions Is July 15, 2008

52nd Edition Of The COG
Hosted by Lisa
100 Years In America

Also, check out Jasia's post "FAQs About The Carnival of Genealogy," for all you need to know about submitting a post. First-timers always welcome and greatly appreciated!

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form or select the 51st Edition COG poster in the upper right hand corner of this page. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Free Spirit?

I have written about my most elusive female ancestor, my great grandmother, Lois Green, once before. She always struck me as a free spirit. That's independent, but lacking responsibility.

I have never been certain that Lois Green was her name. My grandfather spelled his name Greene; she spelled her name Green. Family lore holds there was an argument and my Grandfather changed the spelling of his last name by adding an "e." The reasons why have been many and varied. A feud with his brother? We'll never know. Those with the answers are long gone.

On my Grandfather's social security application he lists his mother as Lula Morangue, not Lois. Lula/Lois evaded the census and her family for most of her life, or so the story goes. It is whispered family lore that she deserted her husband and three children in California to become a madam in a brothel in New Orleans. (Lula rather sounds like the name of a madam, doesn't it?) I have nothing to confirm this, it is just a story. I also know there were hard feelings between Lois and her son, but that could have been for any number of reasons.

I have one small scrap of her colorful life, the following piece of a newspaper article and the photos of her boat building achievement. A boat she built in her backyard in just twelve months. I can't even clean my office in that amount of time, so I marvel that she accomplished this task. Not only that, but it didn't sink when they put it in the water.

The Dream

April 11, 1936
Society Page
Newspaper Unknown

Built By A Woman, Home Made Cruiser Was Launched Today
At Freeport

Boat Started Last July in Gladiola Bed, Is Complete

A streamlined double cabin cruiser, built in Mrs. Lois Green’s back
yard at South Bay avenue and Cedar street, Freeport, largely by
Mrs. Green, for her son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. E.M.
Green, was slid into Freeport Bay at Lake’s shipyard this morning.

Early on July 1 of last year, Mrs. Green started building the boat.
In those early preparations she was assisted by her son and a friend.

Only Woman Builder

Yachtsmen, ship builders, cameramen and writers visited the back
yard to see the boat a woman was building, the only woman-built
boat on Long Island according to their knowledge. They agree the
cruiser is a remarkable piece of craftsmanship.

Besides the labors of an experienced boat builder, who assisted
Mrs. Green last summer, the boat has been mainly built by
Mrs. Green, her son, and a friend, Ben Armstrong.

She is proud of her achievement, but explains she became a bit
bored with the trying details completed in her home during the
winter, such as polishing, painting and assembling a thousand
knick knacks that went into the cruiser.

But it was a lovely job and lots of fun, built out of doors
practically in a gladiola’s bed,” she says.


Mahogany Planking

Constructed of mahogany, the ____ foot cruiser is an impressive
sight in white hull and pea-green topside. Four bunks in the cabin
will be covered with beige and green checked upholstery.

In telling of the kitchen which has both an alcohol and coal
cookstove, and a monel fitted sink, Mrs. Green went into raptures.

“I’d like to have a little, new house, like this boat – so dainty and
compact,” she said. The colors of beige and green are carried out in the

Although the name of “LoElla” a contraction of Mrs. Green’s first
name Lois and the name of her daughter-in-law, Ella has been
suggested for the boat Mrs. Green... (the rest of the newspaper article
can not be read).

While we don’t have the rest of the newspaper article to tell us what
my great grandmother thought about that name, this photograph
shows that the cruiser was registered as “Dream, Freeport, N.Y.”

A Fine Boat, A Fine Accomplishment!
One Fine Woman!