Monday, August 24, 2009

Bring Your Family Together!

79th Edition of The COG


The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is:


Family Reunions!

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Have you been to a family reunion recently?

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What do you know about past family reunions?

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If your family doesn't have reunions, why do you think that is
- family skeletons or feuds, perhaps, or just geography?

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Or, has there been an important or intriguing family or
other reunion in your community
that you can tell us about?


- ¤ - ¤ -


The Deadline For Submissions Is
August 1, 2009
Hosted by M. Diane Rogers at
CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt'.


- ¤ - ¤ -

Attention All COG Participants

Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Introductions for your articles will not be provided for you due to the volume of articles submitted. Thank you!

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 79th 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.

Friday, August 14, 2009

“Hey Cisco…Hey Pancho!”


Yes, that's the footnoteMaven on her steady steed. From the picture you can tell I am not a cowgirl, but a farm girl. We had no lovely ponies to ride. This was our "E Ticket." Dad used this horse to plow and it wasn't a horse that would get away from you. While he worked he'd thrown we little ones on and we would sit there for hours, going nowhere; just spending time with Dad and our imagination.

My imagination leaned heavily toward westerns. I was never the damsel in distress. I was the hero or the villain of the piece depending on my mood. I had a Cisco Kid black double holster cap pistol set with a black hat and vest. They were silver guns that fired strip caps that made a popping noise and smelled like sulfur. No sissy set of guns for me.


Or Girl!


The Cisco Kid was the first program I saw on television. My parents didn't buy a television until I was twelve. I attribute my love of reading and vivid imagination to a lack of the captivating television in my formative years.

The Cisco Kid was a half-hour western television series starring Duncan Renaldo as The Cisco Kid, and Leo Carrillo as the jovial sidekick, Pancho. Technically, Cisco and Pancho were desperadoes, wanted for unknown crimes. They were the western version of Robin Hood assisting the downtrodden when law enforcement officers proved corrupt or unwilling to help.

The Kid was the product of O. Henry's The Caballero's Way. "The Cisco Kid had killed six men in more or less fair scrimmages, had murdered twice as many (mostly Mexicans), and had winged a larger number whom he modestly forbore to count. Therefore a woman loved him. " My kind of reading.



As you can see, I had my own sidekick, my own Pancho, little sister Biblio. The men we killed and the cattle we drove. Yes, give me a pony/horse and a gun. Now that's real adventure.

















Photographs:


Maven On Horse.
Photograph. 1952. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2008.

Maven and Biblio On Horse. Photograph. 1952. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2008.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Passing The Torch!

 
My son called. He had just asked his girlfriend Kate to marry him and he didn't want me to read it on Facebook before he had a chance to share the good news with his family.

Welcome Kate, and your genealogy, to our family. We love you and know you're going to fit right in with the rest of the truly unique (read slightly off kilter) people on our family tree.

After the call I did what I'm sure most Mothers do in this situation. I sat back, put my feet up, had a cup of tea and reflected on the little boy I raised. Not the man he has become, rather the child who made every day an adventure.

Like the afternoon I came home from work and found Raymond and Ken (his best friend) waiting for me in the driveway. They swarmed the car before I could get my door open. They were talking over each other and so fast the only words I could make out were "dead body."

"Alright," I raised my voice. "Slow down. I can't understand a thing you're saying." I herded the excitement into the house and attempted to get to the bottom of what looked as if two twelve year olds were about to have a coronary.

They tried to sit still, but for the most part it didn't work. The story was punctuated by the two of them popping up and down like that annoying game at Chuck E. Cheese. The story, as they told it, was that they had found a dead body in a green garbage bag just over the hill. They wanted me to come look in the bag before we called the police. Just in case. To all mothers of sons I'm sure you know why I went to look in the bag before calling the police.

I changed into my best investigative jeans and loaded the car with the two not quite under control twelve year olds. We lived at the top of the mountain. The bag with the dead body was apparently hanging off the mountain just below our house on a dirt road. The boys directed me to the spot.

I parked the car at the side of the road, got out and walked to the edge. I leaned over and looked down. It was quite a drop, but there was the green garbage bag. Just where the boys had said it would be. A tree was jutting out from the side of the mountain and the bag was under one of the branches.

I told the boys to stay put while I slid down the hill to the tree. I climbed out on the tree branch and hung upside down over the bag. The smell was disgusting, disgusting! The boys and I were going to have a conversation when we got home as to what they were doing down the mountain and up a tree in the first place.

I ripped a hole in the bag and looked inside. There was a body in there. A decomposing body. I could see a section of the skull and other bones. But I couldn't tell if it was a human body, never having seen a decomposing human body before. And I was not going to take anything out of that bag. I was not going to touch the body or drag part of it out of the bag. This was long before CSI and the knowledge by the general public of destroying evidence. I wasn't going to touch it because it was disgusting not because I might destroy evidence!

I shinnied back down the branch, up the tree, and climbed the mountain to the waiting boys.

"Is it a dead body? Is it a dead body? Is it a dead body?" greeted me. "Yes, it's dead." I answered. "I just don't know what kind of body it is. We'll call Dad. He'll know a dead human body when he sees one. If it is one."

As this was BCP, before cell phones, we drove back to the house to get in touch with my husband. He was highly skeptical. While I was talking with Mr. Maven the boys had gotten two mixing spoons from the dishwasher and were practicing interviewing each other for the TV cameras.

Disappointment soon quelled the excitement when it was determined the dead body was a deer that had probably been poached, the carcass shoved in a green garbage bag, and the bag dumped over the little used dirt road down the mountain. (Only a twelve year old boy could be disappointed the dead body wasn't human.) This was followed by the appropriate discussions and admonitions regarding the boys' conduct.

So Kate, I hope the two of you are lucky enough to have a son just like Raymond. Every day will be an adventure and you strike me as the kind of woman who will slide down the mountain, up the tree, out on the branch, and open the bag. Even when you don't quite buy the story.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Diamonds Are Not This Girl's Best Friend


I have several pieces of "Bling" handed down to me from my Grandmother Greene and Great Grandmother Salter. A sapphire brooch and a Tiffany locket. They are lovely and I cherish them, but there is one piece of ancestor jewelry I would love to find; I would love to own.

It contains no diamonds, no sapphires, no gold. It wasn't crafted by Tiffany. It is a simple brooch. A brooch that contains something near and dear to the footnoteMaven's heart. It is a brooch that contains a photograph.

You can see the brooch in the photograph below, pinned to the lace on my Great Grandmother Julia Ernestine Fleischmann Salter's beautiful dress.


Julia Ernestine Fleischmann Salter

Who is the face in the brooch? I scanned that section of the photograph at a high resolution to see if I could identify the person in the photograph. Below are the two insets of the brooch.


Inset A

Inset B

Yes, I can identify that sweet baby face. It is my grandmother, Lillian Salter Greene. She and my Great Grandmother are pictured below.

Julia Ernestine Fleischmann Salter
Lillian Elizabeth Salter Greene

So now, I search. A search for this photo brooch. Many photo brooches were produced at the time these photographs were taken. They were often sold from the photographer's studio or the advertisements in the back of magazines. I have searched for years with no success. I won't give up. I know it's out there just waiting for me.

~

Note: I find this type of jewelry so interesting it has become another category in my photograph collecting. I collect photographs of women wearing photo brooches and photo jewelry. Later this week I will post some of the photographs from my collection and discuss the history of this type of jewelry on Shades Of The Departed.


Sources:
Photographs:

Julian Ernestine Fleischmann Salter. ca. 1906. Card Mounted Photograph. Photograph privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2009

Julian Ernestine Fleischmann Salter - Lillian Elizabeth Salter. ca. 1904. Card Mounted Photograph. Photograph privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Make Tracks To The COG

78th Edition of The COG


The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is:


Pony Pictures!

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This is your chance to show off those pony pictures in your family album.

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Did you ride your first pony at the state fair or on a farm?

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Did you have to sit on the back and hold on to your older brother?

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Was your pony real or a rocking horse?

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Got any pictures of other family members on ponies? Show us the cowboys and cowgirls in your family and tell us the stories to go along with them. Giddyup pony!

- ¤ - ¤ -

The Deadline For Submissions Is
August 15, 2009



- ¤ - ¤ -

Attention All COG Participants

Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Introductions for your articles will not be provided for you due to the volume of articles submitted. Thank you!

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 78th 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.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Auntie Em, Auntie Em!

"Black Tuesday"

May 21, 1957
Shortly After 4pm
St. Francois County, Missouri


I was born and raised in St. Francois County, Missouri. St. Francois County's tornado activity is 58.16% higher than the United States average. I really don't need the statistic; it's here for you, I lived it.

By the time I was ten, I had been taught to read the clouds. Reading the clouds could save your life. When the storm clouds gathered in southeastern Missouri you would find everyone in their yards, their eyes fixed on the heavens. You had to know when to take cover. There were no sirens or tornado alert systems in 1957. That tornado intuition Missourians are born with was all we had to depend on to save our lives; and sometimes even that didn't save us.

It was Tuesday afternoon, May 21, 1957, shortly after three o'clock. I was riding the school bus home with my little sister, Biblio. Mrs. Hill, my fourth grade teacher, had been eyeing the clouds most of the afternoon. She was on edge. We all were. When the final bell rang, she escorted each of us to our waiting bus. Usually she said good-bye to us in the classroom. That day, she didn't.

Our bus driver was Troy Mills, he lived just down the road from us. He was a local dairy farmer for the better part of the day, hard-nosed school bus driver for an hour in the morning and in the early afternoon. He drove a no nonsense school bus. He didn’t talk, nor did we. During the ride home he cricked his neck to look out the window at the very dark clouds forming. When the bus stopped in front of our driveway he instructed Biblio and me to go straight into the house. My sister and I ran sensing the urgency. When I turned to look back Mr. Mills was still standing there in the road, making certain. He had never done that before.

Biblio and I ran. In the kitchen dinner was on the stove, but both my parents and my brothers were out back on the deck. Mom and Dad were looking at the ominous clouds off toward Cantwell and Desloge. My Grandmother, two uncles and an aunt lived in those towns. It was now about 3.50pm.

Dad's Tornado Emergency Disaster Plan was "run for it." He predicated that plan on what I consider to be flawed logic. 1) Our home was on the top of one of Missouri’s rolling hills. We had an almost 360 degree unobstructed view. We could see tornadoes coming and could jump in the car and run for it. This does not take into consideration the dark of night. Tornadoes can’t tell time. 2) Tornadoes do not travel uphill and we lived on a hill. We would always have time to run. This does not take into consideration a tornado forming on the top of a hill and traveling downward, even if the first part were true. He did have a plan, though, and as children we believed in him and were reassured.

I will remember always what I saw and how frightened I was as I stood on the deck. Off toward Desloge the huge outline of a tornado had formed. It swung side to side and was punctuated by what looked like lightning bolts, but were in fact transformers and electric lines exploding. It was shortly after 4.00pm.

F3 Tornado Deslodge 1957

Dad's Tornado Emergency Disaster Plan was implemented. I ran to my room to grab my jewelry box; my girlish childhood treasure. I didn't stop to think that the pop beads Aunt Ella had won in the Bingo games in Florida would be of little comfort to me if we lost our home. Biblio wanted the kittens that had been born a few days earlier. All of them. She wanted her big sister to save them. I handed her the jewelry box and pointed her and the boys toward the car.

My father was yelling, "Get in the Car!" Mother was arguing. Ah, my Mother the fatalist. "If I'm going to die in a tornado, I'm going to die in a tornado. I'm not leaving my home."

I thought I'd have time. I ran out the back door and crawled under the house to grab the kittens and their mother. Just above me, Dad had thrown my Mother over his shoulder, shut off the stove, and deposited her in the car; only to find his oldest daughter was missing.

I couldn't reach the kittens. I stretched and called to the Mother cat, but she wouldn't cooperate. The next thing I knew Dad was dragging me out by my feet. "Animals know how to save themselves in a tornado," he reassured me. Another flawed supposition that saw the light of truth when the neighbor's cow was found the next day pinned to a tree by a two by four.

We were now on the road traveling parallel to the tornado and in a head-on course. It was enormous and an eerily strange greenish color. The tornado did not change its course and we passed it headed in the opposite direction. The direction where moments before it had caused eight deaths, 75 injuries, and millions of dollars in damages. We headed straight to Cantwell and my Grandmother's house.

What we saw when we headed into town will remain with me always. Familiar homes and businesses were nothing more than piles of bricks, in some cases only bare ground. People I knew were wandering around what remained of their homes obviously stunned. What of my grandmother? The tornado had selected a house here, another there, in some cases leaving a house intact next to the rubble that had just moments before been a neighbor's home. There was debris everywhere. A roof, furniture, clothes, the streets were difficult to navigate.

Cantwell After The Tornado

I was hanging onto the back of the front seat staring out the windshield when I saw her. My grandmother! She was standing in the street in front of her home. Yes, she and her home were still standing. She was out checking on the well-being of her neighbors. Most of the homes at the end of her street, which backed-up to a chat dump, were untouched. She ran up to the car urging my father to get to my Aunt's four blocks away to make sure she and her family we unharmed.

I remember the gasps from my mother as we traveled the four blocks. Blocks that in some cases were no longer there. We drove up to my Aunt's house. The house was there, "Thank God," my mother said. As we got closer, we saw my eight-year old Cousin tangled in the chain link fence out front screaming hysterically. My aunt was trying to calm her and open the fists she had made a part of the fence. She would not turn loose.

They had taken refuge in the bathtub in the interior first floor bathroom of their two story home. They had no basement. It was the sound, my aunt old us. It had sounded like a freight train. That was followed by the whine of the neighbors homes as they gave up and succumbed to the tornado. Then, dead quiet. It had been more than an eight-year old mind could comprehend. Mother, a nurse, looked at her and determined their was no physical damage.

We moved on to check on my Uncle and his family, a few more blocks away. My Uncle described his experience to the local newspaper:

Otis Campbell said he was eating supper when it began to look very bad. He told his wife he was going out and feed the dog before it got too bad. When he went out, he looked up and spotted the tornado forming. He called for his wife and she came out to look. When they saw it was headed in their direction they ran to a neighbor's basement. Mr. Campbell said that when it was all over, it was very calm, but then he began to hear people scream. Mrs. Campbell said that hanging on their cherry tree in their back yard was a shirt freshly ironed and still on a hanger. Also, their dog and dog house were gone. They found the dog house, with the dog inside, one block away. The dog was unhurt.

I remember that shirt. My Aunt took us out back to marvel; not a spot, not a wrinkle. Freshly ironed, the shirt hung on its coat hanger, on a tree branch, as if it had been hung there intentionally. We didn't stay long enough to see the dog reunited with his family. No, we had left our home and my mother wanted to return, to be certain we still had one. When last we had seen the tornado it was headed our direction.

We took one of the back roads to avoid the downed lines and emergency vehicles. When we topped a small hill we saw what remained of a familiar home and men digging furiously trying to save the people inside. Dad parked the car at the side of the road, on an incline, and jumped out to help. He left the car running in case Mother needed to move it. She stayed with us. Soon Dad yelled for my Mother saying they needed a nurse. She turned off the car and warned us to stay put.

The four of us were watching out the window as my mother was lowered into the rubble. What a frightening image for four small children. As we watched, I realized something was not quite right. The car was moving. We were rolling down the hill. I jumped into the front seat, gripped the steering wheel, and pumped the brake. I could not stop the car. Biblio opened one of the suicide doors and jumped. I yelled at my brothers to stay put. Biblio was now outside in the road screaming. A man standing in the yard saw the danger we were in and chased the car. He opened the door, jumped in, and set the emergency brake. He turned to me and asked where my parents were; crying and unable to talk I pointed at the house. He put Biblio back in the car and left to find my parents. I moved back into the driver's seat and kept my foot on the brake.

My Mother and Father soon returned to the car visibly shaken. They had tried to save the woman in the house, but she was dead. As I remember, so was her husband and perhaps others. Then a stranger told my parents their four children had been passengers in a runaway car and had to be saved themselves.

My Mother could take no more. All she wanted was to know if she still had a home. It wasn't far, just down the road. As we passed the Black Walnut on the fence line above our house we caught a glimpse of it. Home! Still standing, undamaged. We had survived. We had all survived.

The house still stands today never having been the victim of a tornado. Perhaps my father's logic wasn't flawed after all.

Washington state is not known for its tornadoes, yet when storm clouds gather you will find me in the yard, my eyes fixed on the heavens. Old fears are hard to break!

~~~

Note: Here is the list of tornadoes that hit southeast Missouri, May 21, 1957:

The F#, location, time of day, path length, deaths

F3 E of Doss Dent , 2100 10.2 miles(16.3 km)
F2 S of Squires Taney, Douglas, 2115 14.5 miles (23.2 km)
F1 NE of Mill Spring Wayne, 2130, 13 miles (20.8 km)
F1 S of Centerville Reynolds, 2145, 0.2 miles (0.32 km)
F3 SW of Sunlight to Desloge Washington, St. Francois, 2145, 22.2 miles (35.5 km), 8 deaths
F4 NE of Fremont Carter, 2153, 9.1 miles (14.6 km), 7 deaths
F2 N of Burfordville Cape Girardeau, 2300, 5.1 miles (8.2 km)
F2 E of Lewistown Lewis, 2330, 7.4 miles (11.8 km)
F1 E of Cardwell to N of Deering Dunklin, Pemiscot, 0545, 23.7 miles (37.9 km)
F2 W of Kennett Dunklin, 0545, 0.1 miles(0.16 km)

The stories of this storm are amazing. More accounts and photographs can be found here.

This article brings disaster to the COG.


Photographs:

F3 Tornado. Unknown. Digital Image. 1957. St. Francois County MoGenWeb. (accessed July 2009.)

Cantwell. Unknown. Digital Image. 1957. St. Francois County MoGenWeb. (accessed July 2009.)