Monday, April 25, 2016

Bucket List Places to Visit! By Many Cousins, edited by Pat Kinsella Herdeg

Part One:

A few days of warmer temperatures has me thinking of traveling! So, I asked the cousins: Where are one or two places in America, or in the world, that you have been and feel others in the family should put on their bucket list?

Here are the first of our places to visit:

From Aunt CB:
I feel like Cinderella! MY bucket list fell apart years ago,  but here are some places that I loved! 
Hampton Court, England- -By the time that we got there, I only had few minutes to RUN through the place but I loved it! Had read so much about it!  Henry the VIII had grabbed it from his councilor 
[ OLD FOOL!} and kept it for himself! As I especially like English History, I wanted to see where he had lived! [he and Ann for One!]

Hampton Court Castle

 I also love Borthwick Castle ,14 or 20 miles from Edinburgh, Scotland. Really enjoyed this because of family connections. Mary, Queen of Scots, slipped through the portal off the side of the great room, to escape her "council'! I could have never have fit through but she had help, dressed as a pageboy! The fireplace in the same room have roasted a whole ox and left room over. Stepping in the worn hollows of the circular steps to the second and third floors, I felt that I was following my ancestors.

As an added plus, Sue Kinsella also chose Borthwick Castle. She writes:

Borthwick Castle - A castle of our own! Through the Baker family, in southern Scotland (TBC story at

Aunt CB At Borthwick Castle

 Aunt CB, aka Mom, continues--As for the rest, I guess I am a USA gal. Loved Watkins Glen as a kid, go visit Bridget (Chris' daughter) there this summer!! 

From Uncle Jack:
Newgrange, Ireland is at the top if my bucket list and I encourage others on the blog to add it to theirs.

Newgrange is in County Meath and is often called the Stonehenge of Ireland. Funny thing, it is 1000 years older than Stonehenge (and in my opinion much more impressive) but was practically unknown until it became a member of the European Common Market in the 1970's. It was then that tourists began to hear about it and it became very popular.  

My first visit there was in 1975, shortly after archaeology work was completed on it. At that time there was just a small bookshop on the site and one or two other visitors. I just walked over to the main entrance which was covered with small quartz stones interspersed with a few football sized black rocks embedded in them. I then walked up a narrow passageway to a large vaulted chamber which was illuminated by electric lights. I learned that on December 21, the shortest day of the year, this chamber is illuminated by the rising sun.

I was told that the quartz stones had come from a nearby river side but no one knew where the large black stones came from. It wasn’t until 2002 that it was discovered that the site of these stones was a beach called Rathcor in County Louth, Ireland. Now hold on to your hat-it turns out that Rathcor is the home of my Ferguson ancestors!! So when I visited Ireland in 2003 with Tim, Kristin and my brother, Bob and his wife, Mary, we journeyed to Rathcor and sure enough there were black stones still to be discovered on the beach. Kristin was kind enough to scramble down and pick up several for us.

From Evelyn Taylor:

For me, it would have to be Australia and New Zealand to be put on your "bucket" list.
 In New Zealand on the north island at Waitomo, a must experience are the
 Glow Worm caves.  

Glow Worm Caves

From Chris Kinsella:

Quebec City - Old world charm in America.  Only walled fortress city in America.  Very historical with battle of Quebec on Plains of Abraham.  Food fantastic

Quebec City

Scotland- very historical with castles everywhere.  People very friendly.  Incredibly kid friendly much more than US.


More places to dream about in the next installment!


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Childhood Poems Remembered by Lloyd Taylor By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

Flowering Quince

I was listening to a tape of Lloyd and Ethel Taylor from the late 1960’s. In it, they both try to remember some of the poems they had learned as children, from McGuffey’s Readers and other books and lessons they had in early school years.
Uncle Jack asked Grandpa to stand next to the tape recorder so he could get it whatever he could remember. An energized Lloyd emphatically spoke: “Come on then, let’s do it!”

Lloyd remembered a few lines about Lombardy Poplars, which helped me to find the actual reading. It was from The Manual for Special Day Exercises, 1904; each verse is a different pupil and twelve year old Lloyd obviously had the Poplars line:

Camperdown Elm

What the Trees Teach Us
I am taught by the Oak to be rugged and strong
In defense of the right: in defiance of the wrong.

I have learned from the Maple, that beauty to win
The love of all hearts, must have sweetness within.

The Beech, with its branches wide-spreading and low,
Awakes in my heart hospitality’s glow.

The Pine tells of constancy. In its sweet voice
It whispers of hope till sad mortals rejoice.

The nut-bearing trees teach that ‘neath manners gruff,
May be found as ‘sweet kernels’ as in their caskets tough.

Birch Tree

The Birch, in its wrappings of silvery gray,
Shows that beauty needs not to make gorgeous display.

The Ash, having fibers tenacious and strong,
Teaches me firm resistance, to battle with wrong.

The Aspen tells me with its quivering leaves,
To be gently with every sad creature that grieves.

The Lombardy Poplars point upward, in praise,
My voice to kind Heaven they teach me to raise.

The Elm teaches me to be pliant yet true;
Though bowed by rude winds, it still rises anew.

Camperdown Elm

I am taught generosity, boundless and free,
By the showers of fruit from the dear Apple tree.

The Cherry tree blushing with fruit crimson red,
Tells of God’s free abundance that all may be fed.

In the beautiful Linden, so fair to the sight,
This truth I discern: It is inwardly white.

The firm-rooted Cedars like sentries of old,
Show that virtues deep-rooted may also be bold.
                                                --Helen O. Hoyt, in the Teacher’s World.

I liked that the older Lloyd, who grew up to show his children the wildflowers and trees of the countryside, still remembered the nature poem that young Lloyd had to stand tall and recite. 

Black Locust tree taken between Yews

Next, Grandpa recited this poem by Eugene Field, who is sometimes called ‘The Children’s Poet’:

Over the Hills and Far Away
From Poems of Childhood

Over the hills and far away,
A little boy steals from his morning play,
And under the blossoming apple-tree
He lies and dreams of the things to be:
Of battles fought and of victories won,
Of wrongs o'erthrown and of great deeds done--
Of the valor that he shall prove some day,
Over the hills and far away--
Over the hills and far away!
Over the hills and far away
It's, oh, for the toil of the livelong day!
But it mattereth not to the soul aflame
With a love for riches and power and fame!
On, O man! while the sun is high--
On to the certain joys that lie
Yonder where blazeth the noon of day.
Over the hills and far away--
Over the hills and far away!
Over the hills and far away
An old man lingers at close of day;
Now that his journey is almost done,
His battles fought and his victories won--
The old-time honesty and truth,
The trustfulness and the friends of youth,
Home and mother--where are they?
Over the hills and far away--
Over the hills and far away!

Peach Tree

When Lloyd was reciting this last part:

An old man lingers at close of day;
Now that his journey is almost done,
His battles fought and his victories won--

 he was quoting about himself, as he would die a few short years later.

Fifty years from now, which poems of childhood will we remember?

The pictures were all taken by Susan Kinsella, and except for the birch tree taken at Otty Lake in Canada, were taken at the California country estate of  Filoli. Thank you Sue!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Garden to End All Gardens By Evelyn Taylor

Warm today--almost sixty degrees! Perhaps spring is around the corner, and that got me thinking of flowers and gardening....

Rex and Bryant Taylor were sons of Floyd Taylor, twin of Lloyd Taylor. Once again, Evelyn Laufer Taylor--married to Bryant--writes a story from their past:

When Rex Taylor and Bryant Taylor came home from service in WW II, the two couples--Rex and Dene, Bryant and Evelyn-- lived at The Greystone, which was a house made into two apartments. These were owned by Floyd Taylor.  The previous owner had had a business of raising and selling gladioli flowers.  He offered to sell them to Dene and me. So, na├»ve as we were, we bought them.     We had 3000 glad bulbs which we planted in rows in a patch behind and at the side of the house.  As they grew, the weeds grew, and we found it very difficult to keep up with them.  Floyd, who was a perfectionist, watched our progress and finally gave us an ultimatum that if we couldn’t keep the patch weeded, we could not have it.

Dene, Eve Taylor

One hot Saturday my dad came down from Rochester to help.  He worked so hard and long in the heat and sun that he got heatstroke and ended up in bed upstairs.   The fellows had their new jobs to learn and work at ( both under their dad as boss), so they did not have much time to help us.

Well, we managed to squeak through that first planting and sold a lot of gorgeous flowers for 50 cents a dozen.  As winter approached, we learned that all the bulbs had to be dug up and stored in the basement to dry. What a relief when that was done!  But another stage was to come.  After all were dry, the little corms ( baby bulbs) had to be rubbed off, saved, and planted in a separate area in the spring to grow large and increase our number.  We had Dene’s father help us with this phase when he was here on a visit.

Front Row--Rex and Bryant
Back Row--Floyd and B.W. Taylor

Spring rolled around again, but we had still another operation to do.  This time we had to soak the bulbs in a big galvanized tub of a solution to prevent thrips ( insects that attack glads).  Then on to the planting, weeding, etc. cycle once again!

When we both became pregnant, our flower business had to end.  I cannot say that we were sorry to get out from under that load.  We never made any money, as we had to pay for them.

All this was a learning experience for us. So many money-making ideas just don’t pan out.  I don’t think Rex and Dene had any more, but Bryant and I had many through the years.  No, they didn’t pan out, so it really wasn’t a learning experience for Bryant and me.

Evelyn, Dene and Rex Taylor, 2010