Thursday, December 30, 2010

Maria Taylor Memorial By Diana McCarty

After having our event canceled because of a snow storm last week - we did have a great concert by a Barbershop Quartet Group - the Minnetonka Clippers at the Assisted Living and Nursing Home where mom lived her last couple of years. It was wonderful and everyone really enjoyed the music and sang along. I also provided some meat and chese trays for everyone afterwards.

I have also purchased some items for the part of the nursing home where mom lived for the enjoyment of the residents. Some new DVD's and some exercise and sing a long DVD's. Still waiting for a few more things to come in and then all the money from Memorials will have been spent in a meaningful way to benefit others. I know that mom would have loved this.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Grandma Taylor and Christmas, By Julie Lochner Riber

I remember those Christmases at 427 West Main Street in Waterloo! I can still see all of us kids jammed into Grandma and Grandpa's living room, anxiously awaiting our names to be called out, even though the living room was not very big and also served as the dining room, making it even smaller.

We had to sit on top of each other, but it never mattered as the anticipation was all that mattered. And the smells wafting from Grandma’s kitchen still bring joy to my senses. A big ham, a pot full of butter beans, a fresh apple pie…yum.

We each received a gift, and I don't think our parents were allowed to spend more than ten cents on each kid. But boy! It was a highlight of the Holiday Season.

Afterward we'd all head upstairs into that big bedroom to escape the watchful eyes of our parents where we'd continue to enjoy our new toys. I loved that bedroom upstairs because it always had so many interesting things/cubbyholes/boxes/closets to explore, and it just seemed to wrap you up in comfort.

Grandma's entire house was just what every grandmother's house should be, and Grandma was so sweet and lovable and never yelled at any of us.

All my thoughts about her give me a warmth inside that continues to this day. She never, ever had a harsh word for any of us, no matter how many times we would slide down the banister or ring the front doorbell.

She was a wonderful woman, and clearly was joyful to have her family surround her at Christmas.

Picture One: Julie in April, 2010 in the Rockies
Picture Two: Grandma Taylor, Christmas 1959
Picture Three: 427 West Main, Waterloo, NY—1983
Picture Four: Grandma with MaryLou, Aunt CB and baby Tom—Christmas 1960
Picture Five: After a Long Day of Opening Presents, Grandma with Uncle Dick Lochner, 1960

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

News from the Hart-Wood Family

You may remember reading earlier this year about Brandy Kapp and Josh Hart-Wood, son of Lester Wood.

Brandy writes with more family news:

The last few months have been very busy for us. We found out 4 months ago that I expecting another member to add to the family !

My due date is April 29th, 2011, and we are very excited.

We also found out a week ago that we are expecting a baby boy. We picked out the name Adin Lester Hart-Wood for the new baby--Adin after Great Uncle Adin L. Baker and Lester after (Dad) Chic.

This would be Chic's 5th Hart-Wood grandchild and I think he would be happy !!

Also we just had a new Hart-wood baby girl born Dec. 7th. 2010 @ 5 a.m weighing in at 7lbs. 10 ounces --Jon and Annie Hart-woods 1st. child !! They named the baby Allison Marie Hart-wood. (Jon is Josh's twin brother).

Other great news we have bought and moved into our new home in late October ...Just in time for the snow to fly here in the snow belt !! We got a total of 35 inches of snow in three days hehe ....
Picture One: Brandy and Emma
Picture Two: Josh and Emma
Picture Three: Allison
Picture Four: Allison and Emma
Picture Five: Snow and house!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

News on Dawn Coleman Walker

Many of you know Dawn, daughter of Aunt Phyllis. She is married to Bernie Walker, and I know several of my siblings met up with them again at the last Baker Reunion at Center Lisle. Their daughter is Kelley--scroll down to December Birthdays to see her picture.

Bernie writes me today:

"Dawn went through 29 treatments of radiation/chemotherapy for rectal cancer. I know she is excited/happy the treatments are over."

Terrific pictures-- I love the one of Dawn getting her diploma and I can imagine her joy/relief at ringing the bell to say "It is OVER!"

Thanks for sending these to us so that we can all say "Dawn, You go girl!! All the best coming your way! May health and strength be with you."
Love to you all.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


----------In remembrance of Pearl Harbor, I thought I would use this World War Two story---

Until 1941 we women students at the University of Rochester were insulated from the world. Our lives were contained in the cocoon of the Prince Street campus. Studying, adjusting to girls from different backgrounds and countries, and being on our own proved to be challenges that shut out the events of the world.

However, by 1941 the men were joining ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) in college, being drafted or enlisting. After meeting Bryant Taylor at a Sorority dance in the spring of ’41, I became more conscious of the war as it now could affect my life.

At this time the U of R adopted an optional program whereby you could graduate in December, 1942 instead of May, 1943. Wanting to hurry up and get out of school, most of our class took the option of taking the junior and senior years in one and a half years.

This innovative plan meant you took only one course at a time for six weeks. All your concentration was on that one subject, making it less necessary to cram for exams, as the material was fresh in your mind. It did create a heavy homework load though, especially in foreign languages. An assignment could be one hundred pages or more, which meant it was impossible to translate. Thus, I became proficient in reading in French and Spanish and expressing myself in both languages. Any English literature course was intense, but I enjoyed this type of program more than one that was spread out over a term.

Life, along with the courses, speeded up during the war years. In my life the momentous occasions came and went rapidly: I met Bryant in April, 1941; received his fraternity pin that fall; was engaged Feb. 14,1942; married October, 1942; graduated in Dec. 1942. He went into active service June, 1943; left for overseas Jan. 1944; returned Jan. 1946. There was truly a lot of living and life experiences in such a short space of time.

Besides the course changes in college, a group of “married students” emerged. There was a new “MRS degree”! I was the second girl to be married while still a student. In those days, the relationship between the student and professor was very formal. A student was addressed by her last name. I went from Miss Laufer to Mrs. Taylor in the short space of one weekend. Both the professors and I had a hard time adjusting to this new status, but soon more and more “Mrs.” were on the scene.

This was the first of many changes that the War Years wrought. No longer could anyone isolate himself from the world. We were there!

Picture One: Bryant and Eve, 1942

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Birthdays: Part One

Ahh, December—It is raining as I write this, and so far here in Eastern Massachusetts, no snow yet for the season, but somehow, I will bet at least a FEW of our cousins have already seen snow!

As always, we have Birthday Kids for the month of December!

On the Baker side, Frederick F. Emhof ( Sylva’s husband) and Dorothy Jean Maffei (Leona’s daughter) have birthdays this month.

In Gladys’ family, Wendy Lee Wood Osterhout (daughter of Gladys), and her daughter, Sara Grace Osterhout, and Allena Ruth Smerchansky (daughter of Beth Barron, granddaughter of Kathryn Wood Barron) also celebrate this month.

In Phyllis’ family, Levi Wendell Henderson, son of David Henderson, grandson of Wendell, and Kelley Renee Walker ( daughter of Dawn, granddaughter of Phyllis) share birthday cakes.
Picture One: Kelley
Picture Two: Dorothy
Picture Three: Wendy
Picture Four: Sara
Picture Five: Beth and Lena
Picture Six: Levi

December Birthdays, Part Two:

In Aunt CB’s family, Daniel John Kinsella and Thomas Edward Kinsella share the same birth date--only a few years separate them. Also in the Kinsella December Birthday crew, Glenn Arthur Herdeg (Pat’s husband), Madeline Kate Kinsella ( Jim’s daughter), Alexander Brown Kinsella ( Sue’s son), and Margaret Rose Kinsella (Chris’ daughter) all blow out candles.

Picture One: Dan
Picture Two: Tom
Picture Three: Glenn
Picture Four: Maddy
Picture Five: Alex
Picture Six: Maggie

December Birthdays, Part Three:

In Aunt Esther’s family, Aunt Esther Taylor Lochner is the Birthday Girl—Thinking of you, Aunt Esther.

In Uncle Harold’s family, Kathleen Taylor Mills, and her daughter,Yvonne Michelle Hauf Baley, and Matthew Taylor Spear ( MaryLou’s son) all have birthdays this month.

In Aunt Doris’ family, William Charles Colley, (son of Kristyne, grandson of Charlie Hawkes), his brother Jonathan Paul Colley, and Joseph Michael Gabrys (Cindy’s husband) all are Birthday Kids.

Picture One: Aunt Esther, Christmas 1958
Picture Two: Yvonne and Kathy
Picture Three: Matthew, Jesse, Daniel Spear
Picture Four: Paul and William Colley
Picture Five: Paul and Jack Colley

December Birthdays, Part Four:

In Uncle Arnon’s family, Arnon Lloyd Taylor is the Birthday Boy, and two of his children--Nancy Carolyn Taylor Wright, and George Laurens Taylor.

Also, William Patrick McCarty (Diana’s husband), Jacob Robert Desgroseilliers (Barbara's son, grandson of Bob Taylor),and Adam Samuel Taylor (George Taylor’s son) all celebrate.

Congratulations to all!

Picture One: Uncle Arnon
Picture Two: Nancy and baby Graham, 2008
Picture Three: George, 2010
Picture Four: Bill McCarty
Picture Five: Jacob