Wednesday, December 31, 2008

January Birthdays: Part One

We’ll begin with Aunt Ruth, both of them!

Ruth Baker, sister of Ethel and Adin and Lillian, was a January baby, as was her namesake, Aunt Ruth Maney (look to January 9th for a story about this Aunt Ruth). Also in the Maney family, Mike was born this month.

Picture One: Aunt Ruth Baker
Picture Two: Aunt Ruth Maney
Picture Three: Mike Maney

January Birthdays: Part Two

In the Doris Hawkes family, January is the birthday month of Steve, and Mary Ann, wife of Charlie.

In the Lucille Kinsella family, Birthday kids are Jim, and Liz Lehmann, wife of Dan.
Picture One: Mary Hawkes
Picture Two: Steve Hawkes—in blue
Picture Three: Liz Lehmann
Picture Four: Jim and Jill Kinsella

January Birthdays: Part Three

And the Bakers take the prize for most birthdays this month!

We have Elmer Howland, Aunt Lil’s husband, and their daughter, Sylva. Also, Sylva’s son in law, Norris Arnold, husband of Linda.

Dawn Walker, daughter of Phyllis, and Justin Henderson, son of Ron Henderson, grandson of Wendell, great grandson of Phyllis are January birthdays.
Leona’s grandson, Max Body-Maffei, son of Neil, and Allen Smerchansky, husband of Beth Barron (who is daughter of Kathryn who is daughter of Gladys), round out the birthday group.

Picture One: Norris Arnold, taken in 1992
Picture Two: Nick, Allen and Lena Smerchansky
Picture Three: Sylva
Picture Four: Dawn Walker, Fred Emhof, Dorothy Maffei
Picture Five: Elmer Howland—And before our curious readers ask, Aunt CB does not know where this picture was taken or what building is in the background. Do you??? Sing out and let us know!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

MEMORIES OF MY HERO, MY DAD by Nancy Taylor Wright

I remember my Dad as always being the guy that could fix everything (our dads are always our heroes), and I think one of my earliest memories was in Geneva in some apartment complex we lived at and we used to go with my Dad to the dump and pick out treasures (this Taylor clan knows about “treasures”) – parts of bikes that my Dad did some miraculous mechanical stuff with and made our bikes to ride around the streets on. (Boy, you sure can’t do that nowadays in today’s mountainous landfills where they grind it all up before covering it up!)

Those were the good ole days – searching for treasures in someone else’s throwaways! (Gosh, but is that why I get such a “rush” when I find someone else’s castaways alongside the road waiting to be picked up – why do you think I have a van?!)

And of course, I remember the ice cream truck that used to come through that complex and ring that bell “just for us”, and by the time we wormed a little change out of Dad for our scrumptious goody and started savoring the taste of that delight before it melted …. Mmmmm, life was good!
And I remember in Geneva, the times we went to the shop Dad worked at whenever we were in town shopping, or to pick him up after work. It’s funny how you can still smell the engine grease and all the corresponding smells in your memories, but I’m not sure I could tell you which side street that shop was on right now.

Not only was my Dad a great mechanic and fixer-upper, he could also build a house – and that house on Stark and Hecker has some memories stashed there also. Like when the basement had been dug and then rain filled it in – Bob managed to fall in and my Dad the hero had to pull Bob out by the hair and all was well, except maybe for Bob’s pride and a sore scalp! And after the house was built, the boys shared bunks in the back bedroom off the kitchen and while they would be changing into their PJs getting ready for bed – Dad would be scratching away at the back window making like a bear outside and the boys would come running out into the kitchen, scared to death. It wasn’t too long at all before the boys caught on to Dad’s tricks and that ruse didn’t work anymore.

Then we moved to the farm on Old River Road, the memories that come trickling out from there! Like taking the tractor and wagon down in the winter to break up some ice in the Erie Canal to make ice cream with, going back to the house and all sharing in cranking that thing – us kids always took turns on the front end, when the ice cream was still slush and as it hardened, that was when Dad took over. Then us kids would all fight over who was going to lick the paddle – gosh, as if ice cream in our bowl wasn’t enough, there was just something about being the one to lick that paddle clean.

We had a sugar maple tree in the front yard close to the road, and we would tap that in the winter and put some of the maple sap on fresh snow for our winter maple candy.

We had a lot of crops that I remember planting and harvesting with Dad on the tractor, like buckwheat, and maybe regular wheat, and I think we grew corn and popcorn also. And of course we planted the one sloping hill down to the artesian spring with strawberry plants, which we picked (well, actually, Mom and Dad did most of the picking because us kids were too busy fighting with each other about infringing on another’s row or some silly thing like that, and then getting time outs and smacks on our little behinds). But then we would sell it alongside our road (the road cut in between the house and apple orchard side of the road and the other side had the big barn and animals and chickens, and the crops going down to the canal) and us kids would get a share of the money for all of our “work”.

And that big barn housed an airplane fuselage at one point. That barn was also where Dad caponized a big flock of chickens one year, and I still to this day remember the smell of burning feathers – but boy, did those chickens grow big after that!

We had bees for the honey and it was a sight to remember to see Dad dressed in the protective clothing and hat with the veil, and Dad used to make it all look so easy as we would watch from a distance. But boy, that honey sure tasted good on our toast and buckwheat pancakes!

Dad had a friend, Johnny, who owned the hotel in Waterloo, and I remember many a weekend going with Dad to the hotel where we would be treated to a soda while Dad fixed something there. Dad was always fixing motors and stuff in his shop room across from the stairwell in the farmhouse. In the winter, Dad always wore a short-sleeve shirt (and sometimes a long-sleeve shirt) and a vest sweater and he was always warm enough – me, I was always standing on the floor register keeping warm while watching Dad fix things, or talking with him.

Sundays were the day Dad took over the kitchen for breakfast (regular and buckwheat pancakes, waffles, and fritters – those fritters….always a new surprise in the middle of them as Dad loved to experiment – and then Sunday night when Dad would make popcorn, cookies, fudge, and other goodies, and we had a meal of cereal, crackers, or graham crackers with milk and then all the goodies Dad had made, and we played a lot of Canasta those nights.

I remember the cider press we had to make apple cider and sure wish that I had a smaller version of one now as that cider always tasted soooo good, and it became our vinegar after it sat and fermented over the winter.

My Dad gave us a lot of memories to keep forever….he is dearly missed.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Hey Cousins,

Thinking of ALL of the Taylor Baker Cousins, now and ages past.
An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Another An Old Irish Blessing
May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!
A Baker's Blessing
As the Holidays draw near, We wish you
a teaspoon of excitement, a tablespoon of success,
A cup of creativity, a pint of comfort,
A quart of good fortune,
And a gallon of friendship.
May your bread rise high,
Your cookies never crumble,
And May your kitchen
be filled with friends and family,
laughter and love.
--From King Arthur's Flour website



Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wedding of Amanda McBride and Lance Taylor, by Evelyn Taylor

In November, Aunt CB wrote of Bryant Taylor, Lance’s father, and included a picture from his wedding. Now, a little more than sixty-six years later, his mother writes about Bryant’s son’s wedding.

October 19th, 2008—With any wedding there are stories to be told, and this one is no different. In August, Lance and Amanda purchased a lovely old 1825 home at 109 East Main Street in Le Roy at an auction. The closing expected in September or early October, so it became the perfect place to be married in the backyard which bordered on the golf course and to have the small reception in the empty house.

House closings are notoriously unpredictable, and as the date of the wedding crept nearer and nearer, it was apparent that a “Plan B” had to be made. It was decided to have it catered by the D & R Restaurant in Le Roy at the Genessee Country Museum, which consists of about thirty original buildings circa 1850s brought together to form a village. They were told that the Depot Restaurant was not being used and that they could be married anywhere—church, gardens, etc.

Somewhere in the time frame, they were told that the restaurant would not be available after all, but they could have a huge dining room for $1300 and another $1300 to get married.

It was now the week of the wedding and there could still be a closing. However, at 3:30 on Friday they were told it would not take place. They had to quickly come up with a “Plan C”! The LeRoy Country Club came through with their main dining room, but they had to cater it. The manager, Barbie, took control of all the details. On Saturday when Pam and I went there to set up the cake table, which I had taken on, the tables for six were set beautifully.

Amanda’s sister, Lisa, had made lovely flower arrangements for the tables, using Lance’s bud vase collection: corsages for family and bridal party, and the bride’s bouquet.

Where were they going to get married? The owner of the Country Club knew the original plan of having the ceremony in their backyard, so he suggested they get married on the 14th green on the golf course, which was directly in back of their property. How novel is that?

Calls and emails to invited guests had been made, but some might need directions, so balloons were put on the “Sold” sign in front of the house with a sandwich board saying where it was. Guests began arriving at 3:30 as told.

Amanda arrived but was staying outside. Lance came into the room to announce that Amanda had forgotten her bouquet (ten miles away in Batavia). Lance asked if it was necessary for her to have a bouquet. He got a resounding “Yes!” from the women. He sent Jim, a fast driver, to get it, and he was back within a short time. In the meantime, Amanda came in because it was cold waiting in the car—so much for tradition!

The announcement was made that we were all to go to the wedding venue by golf carts, which we had to drive ourselves. They were all lined up outside and when we all had taken our places, we were told that now we could start our engines. Thus, began a twenty single-file cavalcade of golf carts over hill and dale, amid gales of laughter. It was quite a distance and when we arrived, there was an area ringed with pots of fall-colored mums and three rows of folding chairs facing the back of The Homestead.

After everyone had parked, there seemed to be another delay. The two little nephews of Amanda (four and six) who were going to present the rings (in boxes) during the ceremony had to go to the bathroom. They went all the way back to the club!

Finally, the ceremony was performed by Judge Charles Dusen, a close friend. Michael Krouse was Best Man and Lisa was Matron of Honor.

As we all returned to our golf carts, Lance told us to pick up a mum and carry it on the back where the golf clubs were carried. There were seventeen of them so we made a festive sight on the return.

Then we had the reception with wine, beer, hors d’oeuvres, followed by a filet mignon and shrimp scampi dinner.

It was a wedding to be remembered, as all weddings should be. Cheers to Amanda and Lance!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Esther Mildred Taylor Lochner--Dec. 9, 1921 By Aunt CB

I could write miles about Es, the sister I became closest to after we grew up. We lived in close proximity and our temperaments were much the same. Therefore, when we got together, our mouths never closed!
It wasn’t always so. Doris and I were closer than two halves of a walnut when we were in high school. Esther was then living in Rochester, first attending Rochester Business Institute (and being a ‘mother’s helper’ for her room and board), then working in a bank and eventually at Kodak as a secretary.

She was meeting new fellows, and would bring them home, always prefacing their visits by a note to Doris and me to ‘clean up the place’. (We dreaded those notes!)

She was, of course, much more grown up then we were at that time and during one visit home she really showed her stripes! It was winter, and during the colder months we slept in a 3/4 bed in the same room as the double bed that she and Ruth usually slept in (no heat upstairs). As Ruth was not home, Doris was to sleep with Esther in the larger bed, with me in the smaller one. They were placed side by side with two feet or so between them.

Now just before bed time, Doris and I had found some silly thing to giggle over, and we couldn’t seem to stop, once we were all three tucked in for sleep, lights out. Es scolded us twice, and a third time quite forcefully, but we were on a roll and nothing quieted us down.

Suddenly, in extreme aggravation, she planted her feet in the middle of Doris’ back and the first I knew of it, Doris was being propelled, forcefully, across those two feet and landing on top of me! Needless to say, that only revved up our mirth. Poor Es, anyways, happy 87th birthday, sis. I miss you terribly!

Picture One: Esther's behind, Ethel Taylor and Lloyd Taylor, in 1927 Chrysler car we bought from B.W. Taylor in 1943-44
Picture Two: Esther, Sylva
Picture Three: Lucille, Esther, Doris 1940
Picture Four: Esther, 1945, 3 Cambridge St. Rochester