Archive for March, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal History and Genealogy – Movies – Old Yeller…

by Sherry Stocking Kline

I’m trying to blog along with the “52 Weeks of Personal History and Genealogy.”  As you can see, I’m more than a little behind.

Week 12: Movies. Did (or do you still) see many movies? Describe your favorites. Where did you see these films? Is the theater still there, or is there something else in its place?

This challenge runs from Saturday, March 19, 2011 through Friday, March 25, 2011.

I grew up on a wheat and dairy farm, about 10 miles from the nearest theater, and my folks were not rich, so we didn’t attend movies a lot.

They used to show movies on the side of buildings…

I learned after I was grown that many of the small towns in our area used to show movies on the side of a building and folks came to town, sat around in cars and chairs, visited, snacked, and made a Saturday night get-together out of it.

In fact, that used to be one of the ways that the merchants ‘lured’ people to town to shop, and then they stayed open on Saturday nights.

My husband remembered doing that, and him just a year ahead of/older than me, but I sure don’t remember it at all.  I wish I did.  It sounds like a wonderful way for small towns to spend some Saturday night fun together.

I Remember When We Saw Old Yeller…

I was eight years old, which means my brother Gary would have been twenty when “Old Yeller” came to our local historic Regent Theater (now newly renovated re-opened)

My brother asked me if I’d like to go to a movie with him on Saturday night.

And I’m all like “Me and you?”

And he was like ‘Yes, me and you!”

I thought he was kidding, I mean he usually went out on a date or out with his friends.

So, he got all Saturday-night-dressed-up, and I did, too, and we met up with one of his friends who had also brought along his little sister.

They bought us popcorn and pop, and sat us two rows in front of them. (Close enough they could watch us along with the movie, but maybe not so close that everyone knew we together, you suppose?)

On the way into town, my brother warned me that the movie had a sad ending, and that “Old Yeller” was going to die at the end.

With all the superior wisdom of an eight-year-old that knew that Disney movies did NOT have sad endings, I told him he was wrong, that it wasn’t going to end that way.

And of course, he said “yes, it does.”

Life Doesn’t Always Have a Happy Ending…

Well, come to the end of the movie, and us little girls are sitting there sniffling about that little boy having to kill his dog, “Old Yeller” because he has rabies, and he’s all like “I tried to tell you”, and I’m sniffling and saying “they didn’t have to kill him….”

I think maybe that was my first introduction to the notion that movies, and life, doesn’t always have a happy ending, and that sometimes you simply have to do things you don’t want to do.

But when I look back on it, it was a good memory, and a really unselfish thing for a twenty-year-old big brother to do.

I wish he were still here so I could say “thank you….”  one more time.

My brother, Gary…

Carnival of Genealogy – Nancy Jane and Other Cars that we Loved…

by Sherry Stocking Kline
April 1, 2011

Gary, Dorothy & Fred Stocking - maybe dressed for church

My mom and two brothers, Gary, Dorothy & Fred Stocking - maybe dressed for church, with "Nancy Jane" before I was born.

Cars were an important part of our lives on the farm. They took me to school, helped herd dairy cows, took us to town for groceries, to the elevator for supplies and nickel pepsi’s, and  made ‘blood runs’ (high speed trips) to the parts store when the combine or tractors broke down.

Nancy Jane…

Our cars had personalities (some more ‘congenial’ than others) and Mom always, always,  named them “Nancy Jane.”

“Nancy Jane, you start now, we need to get to church,” she might say as we hurried off to church on a cold morning.

“Nancy Jane, don’t you dare get stuck,” she’d say as we slid sideways down slippery, muddy unpaved roads to and from our home.

It always seemed to me, growing up, that after Mom called the car Nancy Jane in a firm, encouraging, and sometimes scolding voice that the car made an extra effort to do exactly what Mom asked.

After she spoke to it,  ‘Nancy Jane’ nearly always came through for us.

Do I talk to my vehicles?

Surely you jest!  Of course I do!  How else are they going to know what’s expected of them!

“Come on, Baby,  we gotta go pick up the granddaughters from school….”

 

Week 11 – Chicken Pox times Four – Illness – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History

by Sherry Stocking Kline
March 19, 2011

At first no one knew what the little red,  itchy, dots were. They thought it might be allergies and that being the case, my three nephews were exposed right after I came down with “it”, whatever “it” was.

And then they thought it might be measles.

But it was not measles.

It was Chicken Pox.   By the time our parents figured out what I had, the boys, my nephews, 2 1/2, 4 1/2 years, and 6 1/2 years younger than I, were coming down with it, too.

So we were  miserable together.  We didn’t have air conditioning in our little farm home. It was summer in Kansas. It was Hot.  How in the world did we ever live without air conditioning, anyhow?

We had what was referred to as a squirrel cage cooler that ran air over water from an outdoor hose. It just barely cooled the air down, and it moved it around fast enough to blow your hair, and you had to talk loud to be heard over it.  It also added humidity to the air, so on hot, humid, muggy, days it was like trying to breath under water with that thing running.

No one wanted four miserable whiny kids in the house…

Anyhow, no one wanted four miserable itchy, whiny, hot kids in the house with them, so our parents set up old green Army cots under the shade tree by the water hydrant in the back yard, just a few feet from the back door in the shade and the south wind.  They probably gave us some books and coloring books,  and then they parked us outside in the breeze.

If we had a television then, and I can’t remember if we did or not, there were only three channels and few things that kids would be interested in watching.  I don’t remember much more about that time, except that we were sick, itchy, and bored beyond distraction.  We were close to a sand pile and a water source and we didn’t feel like playing, so we laid on the cots, scratched, and whined.

Fortunately for me, I got it first, so I got over it first, and so I was able to escape our exile sooner than my nephews could!

 

Genea-Dipity – a.k.a. Lucky Finds & Unusual Coincidences – Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

by Sherry Stocking Kline
March 19, 2011

Hi everyone!

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings says: “It’s Saturday Night -  time for more Genealogy Fun!!!”

So, it’s time for you to read Randy’s post here: Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Contribute to the Genealogisms Dictionary.

Have you ever experienced Genea-Dipity?

You know, one of those serendipitous moments, when you have spent hours and hours in your genea-cave searching through page after web page of on-line genea-crapola, and then there it is!

One of those unexpected rare pieces of good luck, a Genea-Dipity!  A Serendipity!

You’ve done it!  You’ve found the one thing you thought you’d never find, the one fact, the one photo, the one really cool piece of information that makes you do a ‘happy dance,’ gives you a “genea-gasm,” and keeps you piecing together family puzzles and filling out the blanks in your family tree!

What was your “genea-dipity” this week?

And what new word can you add to the “Genealogism’s Dictionary.”

Sounds of My Childhood – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History Challenge

by Sherry Stocking Kline
March 17, 2011

Many of my childhood sounds still surround me.

I grew up on a wheat and dairy farm in south central Kansas and I’ve not moved so very far from where I grew up, so the turtle dove that sings in the evening near my city home reminds me of nightfall on the farm.

When I visit friends or family in the country I hear bobwhite quail calling their mates, cattle lowing as they crop the grass, and occasionally the mournful midnight howl of a  coyote.

We actually have fox, deer, and coyotes that roam in our little  area of our small city at night, especially near the creek that runs through town. Wander around near my neighborhood after midnight, and you may spot a deer family grazing in someone’s yard or a fox or coyote hurrying to get out of the headlights of your car.

In the spring, summer, and fall in the country you can hear the sounds of tractors running in the fields, and see the dust they stir up blowing in the wind. It reminds me of when I used to ride on the fender of the tractor with  either Mom or Dad while they worked in the field,  or when I ran barefoot in the furrow behind the plow with our collie dog, Lassie.

In June and July, if you drive by Kansas wheat fields with their golden stalks blowing in the south wind, you can hear the sounds of wheat harvest: combines running and spewing out the spent stalks from the back and trucks traveling in low gear to get out of the field as they hurry to deliver the grain to the nearby elevators.

It reminds me of hot, sweaty, but fun days riding the combines first with my daddy, then with my brothers, and later my husband as they kept an eye on the clouds, worried about the weather, and hurried to get the wheat cut before the rain or hail came.

It brings back memories of the field picnics we had, much like today’s tailgate parties, with sandwiches and potato chips on paper plates and trying to catch the potato chips that were blowing off your plate.  Nothing tasted as good as the cold iced tea from the gallon field jug and no picnic was as much fun as eating in the field when the men stopped for a few minutes to eat, talk about the harvest, eye the clouds for rain, and predict the yields before climbing back on the combines and cutting late into the night.

At night, the combine’s lights shine on the golden stalks as the reel pulls each one hungrily, whooosh, whooosh, whoossssshhhhhh into the combine’s auger and then threshes out the grain and dumps it into the bin behind the driver.

I loved to ride the combines, especially at night, when the heat of the day was gone and the breeze combed your hair with its fingers and cooled your skin with its touch.

And the wheat beards whispered secrets in the wind.

 

 

 

 

Scrapbooking my Family Tree

by Sherry Stocking Kline
March 17, 2011

Scrapbooking for the Family Reunion

We are having a family reunion this summer, so I’ve spent quite a bit more time lately working on my family trees, building digital scrapbook pages, and creating the album covers for the post-bound albums that the pages will fit into.

It has been so much fun that I just wanted to share one of the 12 x 12 post bound album covers and one  of the pages that I created for our family scrapbook!

I just love this photograph of my Mom and Dad, so I’m using it for the cover of the scrapbook album that I will be ordering this week!

 

 

I just love putting digital copies of these treasured old photographs into an album so the whole family can enjoy them.

You Can Personalize the Album Cover…

I also like being able to personalize the covers of my Heritage Maker’s scrapbook (affiliate link) to match the photographs inside the album!

I can’t wait to show it to this mom!  I think she will really love it!   (It might make an awesome Mother’s Day gift, but I don’t think I can wait that long to show her!)

Scrapbooking Links:

Make Wanted Posters for Your Scrapbook

Scrapbooking Your Family History

Make Your Own Handwriting Font (no longer free)

The Journal That Began a Lifetime of Journaling

Grandpa – Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Old Days…

Journal Your Photos – Now!

Make Your Own Heritage Albums with Heritage Makers

 

 

 

 

Amanuensis Monday – T. A. Deffenbaugh Letter – Written in 1908

by Sherry Kline
15 Mar 2011

A copy of the following letter was e-mailed to me by cousin Valerie, whose grandfather was Herbert Deffenbaugh, and I have to confess to not knowing a great deal about this, my husband’s mother’s family.

I very much appreciate Valerie sharing not only this letter, but also several family photographs with me so that I can send them to the branches of the family who would most cherish them!  What an awesome, kind, genealogy-friendly thing to do!


Milan, Kansas
May 17, 1908
My Dear Brother,

I will write you a few lines today as it is rainy and not many coming in to bother me, I would of written sooner byt we have been very busy trying to get straightened up.  Lou has been staying with us and has helped a great deal.  We are just getting things now so we can live.  The girls are so tired at night they can hardly sleep.  I will be glad when they get things fixed up to suit them so they can rest a little.  I wish you could have been out here and seen the way (they) did us when we got home of course Pa can tell you all about it but that isn’t like as it you could see it your self.

I was very mutch disappointed  that there wasn’t more of you folks come I rather expected you to come if none of the rest did.  You know you always seemed a little nearer to me than the rest of my brothers did any way and for that reason I was more disappointed than I would have been. We had a very quiet Wedding there was only about 35 there but they made up for it when we got home.  The people certainly gave us a warm welcome and we appreciated it very mutch.

I don’t remember whether I thanked Mr. and Mrs. Sandy for their Picture or not but I intended to and you tell them if I didn’t that we thank them many times for it I think it just fine it looks as tho it had ought to talk it is so natural.

Well Hurbert I suppose you will come out to see us this summer won’t you?  We want you to be sure and come and bring Ma with you I don’t expect she would like to come by her self but there is no use of that you can come and bring her with you. 

We were so glad to have Pa come out to the Wedding and I think it did him good to get away from home a little while to.  It was so good of Harvey to let Pa have the money to come out here on.  I am so glad Harvey is good to the folks and hope he always is. 

I tell you we can never do to mutch for our folks the more we do to please them the better we will feel when they are taken from us we know they have worked hard to raise us and it has cost them lots of money and that isn’t all it has cost them lots of worry and hard work so we had ought to do all we can to make life a pleasure to them now when they are old and lifes pleasures are most over for them.

About all the satisfaction they get now it to see us children do what is right and get along well.  I do hope that none of us ever do anything to disgrace them in their old age.  Pa seemed to be so well pleased the way you boys all do.  He thinks you and Harvey are sutch good boys and how nice it is that you are it is sutch a pleasure to him to feel that you boys are thought so mutch of and to know that you are always ready to do what is right by everyone.

Now Hurbert I hope you won’t think I am saying to mutch but it does me so mutch good to know you are so good to the folks I can’t help but tell you about it.

My wheat is looking some better than it was when Pa was out here we have got lots of good rain and that has helped the wheat wonderful we will have to start the binder about the 10th of next month.  I will be glad when that time comes then I can tell about how my wheat is going to turn out.

Well I will close for this time as it is just about dinner time come and see us as soon as you can and give my best regards to all of my friends.

Good bye write soon.
Your loving Brother and sister,
T.A. and Lynne Deffenbaugh

Deffenbaugh Link:

Herbert Deffenbaugh Graduates from the Eighth Grade

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