Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Birthdays, 2011 By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

Ahh, April Fools Day was ALWAYS looked forward to in our house. For days ahead, we worked out pranks and jokes. Particularly in the morning, I tried to wake up more quickly than usual—could be salt and not sugar I was spooning onto my cheerios, could be the clock was ten minutes behind what it should be, could be, well just about anything! We tended not to believe anything we were told that day. This morning, I feel like another prank has hit me—snow! It coats the trees and then plunks loudly to the ground in wet white dust storms. THIS is April?! On to the Birthdays! Graham Gabby Mike

In Uncle Arnon’s family, Michael Anthony McCarty (Diana’s son), Graham Alan Wright (Donnie’s son, grandson of Nancy), and Gabrielle Michelle Letourneau (Cynthia's daughter, 1st grandchild of Nancy Taylor Wright) are the Birthday Kids.

Paul and Angela Rosemary

In Aunt Ruth's family Marlene Ann Maney ( Richard’s daughter) is the Birthday Girl.

In Aunt CB's family, Rosemary Holz Kinsella (Tim’s wife), Paul Christopher Kinsella (Tim’s son) , and Kelly Ann Kinsella (Jim’s daughter) all celebrate this month.

Uncle Harold's grandson, Jessie Taylor Spear (Mary Lou’s son) is the Birthday Boy in their family.

William Carson
Pam and Mitch Taylor
Laurie and Sarah
Charlie and Mary

On the Taylor side, William Carson, father of Emma Jane Carson, was born in April 1830 in Northern Ireland. Pamela Taylor Crane (daughter of Bryant and Evelyn Taylor) blows out candles this month.

In Aunt Esther's Lochner family, Laurie Acker Lochner (Rick’s wife), and Judith Powers Lochner (Ted’s wife) are April Girls.

Aunt Doris' son Charles William Hawkes, and Kelly Marlene Walker ( Cindy’s daughter) celebrate this April.

Gavyn and Aedyn Rhoda
Dawn and Annie
Dawn and Bernie

On the Baker side, Gladys Howland Wood, her son, Michael F. Wood, and Glady's great grandson, Aedyn Langstaff (Kathryn Wood Barron’s grandson), all have Birthdays this month.

In Aunt Phyllis familiy, two of her daughters--Rhoda Lynn Coleman and Sheila Ann Coleman (known as Annie), and Bernard C. Walker (Dawn Coleman’s husband) are the Birthday Kids.

Neil Carmen Maffei, Jr. ( Leona’s son) also celebrates an April Birthday.

Wow! Lots to celebrate this month. Congrats to all.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Oakfield, NY One Room School House: By Aunt CB, Uncle Jack and Pat Kinsella Herdeg

We’ve written about the Center Lisle School House (, so now it’s the Taylor family’s turn to hear about their school house.

The Union Free Schoolhouse is now a home; Aunt CB never got a chance to go inside of it, but as a home now, it probably has had extensive renovations and would not look much like the Woodlawn Taylors remembered it.

Years ago, during one of their visits to Aunt Florence’s home (Florence Taylor Doran), Jack Kinsella asked her to tell him about the one room schoolhouse that all the Taylor children attended while growing up next door at Woodlawn.

It stood at the intersection of their road (MacComber Rd) and the Oakfield-Batavia Townline Rd, in Oakfield, NY.

The drinking water used was carried daily from the well at “Woodlawn” by the older students. Quite often during the late summer someone in the Taylor family would come down with typhoid fever. It was a common illness at that time, and could be fatal. You may remember that Florence’s younger sister, Mildred, was still recuperating from typhoid fever when Florence came home from school with scarlet fever. Mildred caught it, was too frail to get through it and died. Only years later, when typhoid’s cause was better understood, did the Taylors realize that their farm well was being contaminated by its proximity to the barn and animal waste. Aunt CB often wonders how many school children caught typhoid from the water at the school house.

Aunt Florence told of one student, Clara NewKirk, who came to school in a two wheeled gig. Upon arrival, she would put the reins around the whip socket and send the horse home. In the afternoon, her father would send the horse and gig (alone) after her and then she drove it home!

Later, in 1911, Ethel Baker accepted a position at the Oakfield school house to teach 7th and 8th grade mathematics and art. She met Lloyd Taylor at a “Christian Endeavor” (Presbyterian youth social group). Soon, Florence Taylor, Lloyd’s younger sister, noticed that her brother began meeting her after school to help her unharness her horse and he would ask her all sorts of questions about her teacher.

Eventually, as Ethel was included in the group of young people who often gathered at ‘Woodlawn’ for taffy pulls, Florence realized that Lloyd and Ethel were interested in one another.

Aunt CB continues the story: “Daddy and Mom used to go back for yearly reunions at the school house. Every fall, they would meet there with Daddy's old school mates and they would go into the school and eat. Each year they would appoint a classmate to arrange for the pot luck meal they enjoyed together. Mom usually took her beans she was famous for!! These reunions went on for many years, maybe from the 1940’s through the 1960’s.”

When the school closed for good, Lloyd made sure he got his old desk, which Jim Kinsella now has in his extensive ‘historical pub’.

In both Center Lisle and Oakfield, the one room school house held so many memories and stories!

Picture One: 1960 Reunion--Lloyd is in front row near the right, Ethel is diagonally two rows above him.

Picture Two: School house in the early 1960's

Picture Three: Aunt CB’s diagram of what school used to look like inside

Picture Four: Lloyd’s school desk

Picture Five: Lloyd’s pencil case

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom, also known as CB, or Lucille Kate Taylor Kinsella

March 21st—Spring officially arrived last night, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief that we have survived MOST of this cold and snowy winter.

But, we here on the cousins blog have more important events to celebrate—namely, my mother’s 84th birthday!

Little Lucille has come a long way from her summer days helping Adin milk cows in Center Lisle, suffering through two bouts of scarlet fever (and so getting her never-been-cut red hair sheared extremely short—so the long hair did not drain her energy), working in the fields during WWII to help the war effort (and thereby gaining her long-time nickname of ‘CB’ because she worked as fast as the legendary racehorse Sea Biscuit), and in 1949 marrying John Joseph Kinsella in Waterloo, NY.

I think we can all tell numerous stories of my mother, but today, I thought I would help celebrate her birthday by giving a short rundown of her eight children and their families, thus helping cousins place us all when you see the ‘Kinsella’ name in a story on the blog. For almost fifty years, Mom and Dad lived in West Irondequoit, a northern suburb of Rochester, NY. About five years ago, they moved to a smaller home in Greece, yet another Rochester suburb. But, back to the kids:

Picture Two: Kinsella Family, 1969—Back Row—Tim, Dan, Sue; Middle Row—Pat, Tom, Jack, CB, Beth; Front Row—Jim, Chris

Susan Ethel Kinsella, their first child, arrived in 1951. She now lives near San Francisco. Her son Alexander Brown Kinsella graduates from high school this June.

Daniel John was born in 1952. He married Liz Lehmann and they both live in Fairport, a suburb of Rochester.

Timothy James was next, born in 1955. He married Rosemary Holz in 1976. They live in Liverpool, NY. Their oldest is Kristin, who married Tim Walker. They live in Clay, NY with their two young children, Cameron and Leah—Mom and Dad’s first great grand-children. Paul is Tim and Rose’s middle child, born in 1982. He married Angela Cooper last summer, and they both live near Los Angeles. Matthew, Tim and Rose’s third child, was born in 1985. He lives in Baldwinsville, NY with his long-time girl friend, Gina Herzbrun.

Patricia Ann was Jack and CB’s fourth child. I married Glenn Herdeg in 1983. In 1987, our oldest, Brian was born. He will be marrying Gina Marzullo this summer. Alison, our middle child, was born in 1989. She graduates from college this May. Nicholas, our youngest, was born in 1991. He is a freshman at CU Boulder.

Thomas Edward was born in 1959. He works in NJ and lives in Absecon with his long-time love, Christine Farina.

Elizabeth Ruth was born in 1961 and she is married to Takeshi Sakanishi. They live in Chiba, Japan.

James Matthew was born in 1965. He is married to Jill Miller and they live in Greece, NY, a few blocks away from Mom and Dad. Their oldest daughter, Madeline, was born in 2000, and Kelly was born in 2004.
Christopher Paul was born in 1968. He is married to Jen Dalle and they live in Cicero, NY with their four children (and yes, various assorted pets). Their oldest, Margaret, was born in 1997, Bridget in 2000, Patrick in 2003 and Joseph in 2005.

Ma, we love you! Have a terrific Birthday—we wish you energy, health and peace as we ALL surround you with our love and gratitude.

Picture Three, 2009 : Back Row, Left to Right—Tim Walker, Angela Cooper, Paul Kinsella, Gina Herzbrun, Matt Kinsella, Christine Farina, Tom Kinsella, Sue Kinsella, Alex Kinsella, Liz Lehmann, Dan Kinsella, Gina Marzullo, Brian Herdeg, Glenn Herdeg
Middle row: Kristin holding Cam, Tim Kinsella, Rose Kinsella, Jim Kinsella, Jill Kinsella, CB, Jack, Chris Kinsella, Jen Kinsella holding Joe, Pat Herdeg, Alison Herdeg, Nick Herdeg
Front Row: Maddy, Kelly, Bridget, Maggie, Patrick

Picture Four: Ma and Pa and the crew walking up to dinner, 2009

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day, and Thank You from Beth in Japan

Thanking You

The thing that has helped me most (besides my immediate family, here and in the US) is the messages from cousins, from friends, from people who know that my parents have a daughter and son-in-law in Japan and have called them. People on my internet lists, people from all sorts of times and places in my life, people from work, have all sent love and prayers.

Even as I consider how very much that emotional support has helped me, I realize it is one more thing that those in the evacuation centers are largely deprived of. Along with lack of electricity, food, water, warmth (in temps that are now back to winter’s range, the snow on the debris obscenely pristine looking) -- they must have little idea of how much the rest of the nation, the rest of the world, is thinking of them.

Pat adds here that Beth had previous written and told us that Takeshi's nephew--San-chan-- spoke to his Dad and he is all right, but in an evacuation center with no electricity and running out of food.

It is, as it so often seems to be, the smallest gestures that move the most. I was just watching a program talking about the many relief efforts under way (and how so much of it is moving slowly or not at all because of the acute gasoline shortage. Trucks loaded up and ready to deliver, stalled). One was a delivery of special warming blankets (and this one had reached a center): every box had hand-written messages of support and encouragement on the outside. I think that would be as much help to those inside the centers as the blankets they desperately need.

This is not a culture of easy hugs and huge emotional (verbal) outpourings. It is like all the arts here: the subtlest shade has tremendous meaning and impact. The writing on the boxes; the young rescue worker I saw caressing a obaachan’s (the word for your grandmother, but also for any older woman, thus making strangers your family, in a way, something that struck me the moment I started to learn Japanese) hair and stroking her hands to warm them up, tears streaming down his face; the child I heard about, from a friend, who thanked the trainman (in Tokyo) for working so hard to get the trains running again; the sake maker factory who was out the next day after the quake looking for his workers and upon finding them hugged them (in a country where I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen adults hug each other), also in tears. On and on. Small gestures, small actions, that reveal so much of what is going on underneath.

Minds on other matters. I know what I am going to write about next is natural. I am just recording the oddness of it, for me. I sit in front of the television, tuned to the station that has English coverage, and realize at times that I have been listening for a good 5 or 10 minutes and have not understood or retained a single thing because my mind has let the wild horses loose again -- I am thinking not one other thing while the spiel continues, but fifty different things, all tangled together. Impossible to sort out. I know then it is time to turn down the sound for a while.

I flip to other channels, first, though just to see. See what? I don’t know, just to find something else, to see if there something else I should be paying attention to. Almost a week after the disaster, about half the stations are still doing daylong earthquake/tsunami coverage. I zip past the many Korean dramas, talk shows, etc. on other channels, thinking -- too soon, too soon. The only program, besides news, I can bear to watch for a few minutes is one where a dog and his owner go around and ‘meet’ other dog owners (this is a regular show -- it is filmed in a different location each time). It sounds odd, but it is very Japanese, I think. I have always liked it. I love the dog owner’s laugh and the dog is good-natured and well-behaved. I find myself stopping at this channel and watching this, when I won’t watch anything else. Because, I realize, it is all about communicating with strangers. Making immediate friends, because of the dog, and then finding out in ten minutes more about these new friends, than you would in days. The instant rapport, the quick opening up, reaching past most ‘normal’ social barriers.

But then I go back to news, or turn the tv off for a while because my heart and mind have taken as much as they can again. I turn on the internet, get lovely emails from people sending all of Japan such love, but then also see how my internet lists have gone back to their normal lives, how others are discussing things again that have no meaning for me yet. I can’t think past what is here and though, as I said, it is natural for others outside of Japan, to go on, we can’t. Nor should we. It just smacks me up against the reality of some types of ‘borders’, of worlds that exist outside our ‘accident that has not yet ended’ (I forget who said this recently, but it was someone high up, about the nuclear situation. I took it immediately, though, as about life here, at the moment.)

As usual, I meant to be saying one thing in this email and got on to others. I meant, though, to say again to you all, how very much your concern and encouragement and thoughts have helped us all. I wish we could somehow beam these messages into the evacuation centers. We ARE all thinking about them, but they do not know it. Can they feel it? I hope so.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Beth Kinsella Sakanishi: More Thoughts From Japan

Earlier today Beth wrote:

I can see how even as protected and safe as we are, able to live in our house and eat and drink and have heat and food -- even we are getting very tired, just from the total wrenching of emotions, again and again and again. I cannot begin to imagine though, even with the small taste I have, what is like for those (300, 000 at last estimate) who are in evacuation centers.

I was thinking of Pakistan just now -- remember how it was weeks before they got to some villages and how angry everyone was? Well, now I understand it more clearly. Japan is one of the most sophisticated countries in the world (in ways), is as prepared as any for as much of this as you could be, had the Kobe earthquake 15 years ago and made a lot of mistakes then, so had learned from that.
Even so -- there are villages like the one where only 7000 of the 17,000 have been contacted. 2/3 of the village was just swept away. It must have been one of the first places hit. There are towns like that and small towns (this is a whole area of small towns) in very isolated areas that no one can get to. With all that Japan can muster. With no electricity, with no radio or cell phone, even with helicopters, you can't get everywhere. I understand that now in ways I wish I did not.

Then, just now Beth emails again:

Hi All,

Just a quick note, this time. I am actually going to venture out today, for the first time, after I send this. Takeshi has been doing the shopping (and all the stores have very little in them, NOT that I am complaining. Just 'reporting' the way it is even here, far from the real dangers/tragedies).

But people have wondered how they can help and I think until we know more (and even after that, of course), people can help best by keeping us all in your thoughts and prayers. People do that instinctively, but may wonder if it helps. It does.

Otherwise, there is not much yet even we can do. The one thing we have started today is a 'rolling blackout' system, where different parts of the Kanto area (Tokyo and environs; not Hokkaido, which has had power plants out, too, and not all of eastern Japan which is on a different power 'frequency' -- 50 vs 60 Hz) will have their power turned off, so it can be given to Tohoku, which is still very cold at night, among all their other problems.
Our 'shift' today is 3 to 7 pm, so I will go out and do things before then. {And it DOES feel good to be able to help, in this way, anyway. Something concrete we can do for them. We really all do have a huge instinct to help don't we, and when it can't, it is part of the pain.}

It IS hard to watch this and not be able to help. No one can much, even the rescue teams, when 500 (at least) bridges are out and roads are flooded, but they will get there as fast as they can. More teams are coming all the time. Besides the NZ, Aus. and American teams I mentioned, some from Singapore and Korea have come.

I think you are getting pretty good reportage of all of this on your end, so I won't write as much, but we are still getting all day coverage and it helps, sometimes, to write about it. Will write as I think of things.

In the meantime -- thank you each and every one of you: for your emails, your thoughts, your love. We feel it.



Saturday, March 12, 2011

More Thoughts from Beth on Japan’s Earthquake Aftermath

When I think of 'Tohoku', the northern part of Japan that starts at the prefecture just above us and goes up to the northern tip of the mainland (Hokkaido is the big island just off that northern tip), I think: rice farmers, small business owners, small farmers, many, many older people because it is a relatively poorer area of Japan and so the young all flock to Tokyo. It would break anyone's heart to see all those pictures of the devastation, but that it is Tohoku seems to make it worse, somehow. It will take them years to come back from this. Some towns, never.

I was trying to think of how to explain the 'stereotype' of Tohoku people. Is it even helpful? I don't know. I am just following what my mind gives me. Think of New Englanders, maybe people from Maine (or my stereotype of them -- Pat can correct me). They are used to very harsh winter conditions, many different rough weather conditions, in fact. They are are self-reliant and resilient and perhaps not given to chatter, shall we say. The strong silent type, who is serious and hard-working. A pride of place, as their 'country' is one not for sissies.

They are used to tsunami warnings, they are used to big tsunamis (I've been hearing for years about some of the notorious ones in the past 100 - 200 years), but it all depends on how much time they had to get away. It is all being complicated, of course, just as it was in Kobe 15 years ago, by the lack of communication. If everything is washed away, there is no way to get the full picture.

We are still watching the nuclear power plant news, but there is nothing we can do but wait and see.

All my Tokyo friends are okay. Our part of Chiba is relatively safe.
Hi All,

I am starting this now -- 6:30 pm my time -- and will finish it up and send it before I go to bed, which will be your morning and then you will know more than we do, by the time we wake up tomorrow.

I feel wrenched in a thousand ways. I feel like I did on 9/11 -- I can hardly stand to watch any more television, yet I need to know what is going on. Too, because of the nuclear power plant situation, we really do have to be up the minute informed.

I think of how Japan's economy is fragile enough as it is and now we have this? With the best will in the world, how do we help all these people? I think of these families and how do they start to put their lives back together? But I thought the same after Kobe and though things (as friends tell me) are not the same there even now, you do put the pieces that are left back together.

Teams from the US, Australia and NZ are on their way here, as we speak. Only a few days, in fact, since the Japanese team got back from NZ.

How do I sleep with these images in mind, and we are not even badly affected, here??

The news is showing us before and after photos of different cities. The interpreter (and I know from Takeshi how professional they are), as she finishes talking about one photo, can be heard catching her breath as if she is doing her best to hold back tears. As we are, all day long.

They have asked everyone in the nation to preserve electricity as so much is down in Tohoku, so that is something (thank you!) concrete that everyone can do to help them. Stores in Tokyo are closing early, etc.

The Prime Minister just spoke, as of 9 pm:

He says that the explosion was NOT the container itself. The inside of the container, with the nuclear fuel inside, was not damaged. It was the outside concrete wall that fell off.

His expert says the radiation levels AFTER the explosion were measured and they did NOT go up and are, in fact steadily, decreasing.

They are going to fill the container around the core reactor, with sea water, to further cool it down.

Earlier reports of the container itself exploding are wrong.

He explained in more detail, but the gist is, don't worry. While I wouldn't go that far, it seems a less frightening picture than an hour ago.

Finally, the last piece of a picture of those in Tohoku: they are not into spring yet, as we are just starting to be. It is still quite cold there and they have snow in places. Most places have no electricity. But as happens, too, everyone is helping everyone.

Japanese PM's don't make inspiring or poetical speeches in times of crisis, yet I found myself profoundly moved at the suggestion that the opposition parties and the DPJ stop their bitter fighting over the budget (just going on now), recess the Diet (parliament) and all come together and work only on this issue of getting Tohoku the help it needs....



Friday, March 11, 2011

Beth Kinsella Sakanishi –“We are all Fine”

The Kinsella Family woke up to the news that Japan was hit by an 8.9 Earthquake, its largest ever. Our sister Beth has lived there most of her adult life, with her husband Takeshi, so we followed the news closely. My brother Tim was able to get her on the phone, which was a relief to us all, and then she emailed in more detail to Mom and Dad.

Beth wrote this morning:

“It was big, it was scary, even here (5 or 6 hours south from the biggest of the tsunami waves, but we are all fine. Things were shaken here, some things broken, but mostly it was just very, very long (much longer than most quakes are) and the swaying was very back and forth and then speeded up until I thought for a few minutes it was THE one. Downstairs, Michiko and Atsushi (Takeshi’s parents live on the first floor of their house) did not feel it as bad, so it was just worse on the 2nd floor.

Takeshi just got home a few minutes ago. I cannot tell you how relieved I am. It took him two hours to walk home, after the train stopped (and he was stuck in the train between stations for 90 minutes before that...).

The tsunami is going to have done the most damage. The highest waves in Fukushima (about 5 or 6 hours north of us), were last recorded at 7 meters, but they have not had any readings after that because, likely, the observation areas are inundated. The tsunami area is huge -- when you see the map of Japan about 70 % of the coastline is highlighted.

We are inland, so don't have to worry, but the pictures of the tsunami-hit areas, and those near the epicenter, are scary as heck. I am sure the number who died will rise (it is now 48), but my impression from watching the non-stop reporting, is that they did have a good amount of warning time and most people got to higher ground.

It is night here, we will see what tomorrow brings, but again, the tsunami will do the worst damage.

Pray for Takeshi's nephew who goes to school in Sendai, where the really big tsunami hit. They haven't been able to get in touch with him yet.”

Beth just wrote a short time ago:

"Dear All,

We did finally get a hold of Takeshi's brother and he said San-chan, T's nephew in Sendai, is fine. We don’t know any more than that, and Sendai is very hard hit (a lot of it is underwater) and still under tsunami warning, of course.

There were towns all along the coast that were just washed away.

We are still having aftershocks and have been warned that a big as or bigger (than the original quake) one may come any time in the next month. I did not get much sleep last night (every 15 minutes or so, during different times at night, there would be an aftershock and we'd be on the futon thinking, 'Is it bad enough yet that I should get up and run to the doorway?')

But -- Tokyo is getting back, slowly, to its routine. Not all train lines are running but some are. One of my friends -- central Tokyo -- had to stay overnight at her office and was wisecracking to us about how the 'emergency rations' tasted like rice Krispies, only with soy.

Dad - I am sorry I did not call you and Mom but the phones were out. I can't believe Tim got through. Or Takeshi, twice, on his 'journey' home

Last we heard, the death toll was 1000, but that will rise. Most of the dead are from the tsunami areas.

Things are not bad here, at the moment. In fact, I am waiting to see if anyone calls me to cancel the Sat. com. center class I am supposed to teach today. If no one does, by 9:30, I will go.

We are fine. Not in any danger, at the moment. I know it looks terrible -- and is terrible for those in the tsunami area -- but it would have so much worse had the epicenter been underneath Tokyo. Our part of Chiba is one of the safest areas to live in.

The huge worry right now, for us, is the nuclear reactor (that we had all been worried about from the moment it was built -- HELLO, this is earthquake country -- near the coast -- hello, again, tsunami???) that is leaking radiation. Supposedly, it is only a small amount, but they don't have the electricity to cool down the reactor, and we are all watching that. That's about 5 or 6 hours north of us.”

Thanks Beth, little sis—we are thinking of you and your family, and praying for all there who are in such worse straits than you are. Love and safety to you!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Diadamia Mott Youngs by Spencer Drown and Pat Kinsella Herdeg

March 10th--Happy Birthday Diadamia, or Damie, as she was known.

Here on the cousins’ blog, we have written before of Diadamia Mott Youngs, who married William Youngs and was the mother of Rosena, Edwin and Kate Youngs (Kate would go on to marry Byron Baker—their children were Ethel, Adin, Ruth and Lillian). See the previous story at: has provided me with many clues and documents about our ancestors. Occasionally, it lets one far flung cousin find another. Last month, Spencer Drown, a descendant of Kate Youngs Baker’s older sister, Rosena, contacted me and we exchanged pictures and family information.

Spencer writes:
This recollection of Diadamia is from my cousin (really my grandmother Dorris Spencer's cousin) Olga Spencer Fenby. Olga was the daughter of Edwin Ernest Spencer, the son of Louvet Spencer and Rosena Youngs. Olga sent us a bunch of history jottings on the Spencer family.

Edwin E. Spencer's four older children knew "Grandmother Youngs." Until near the end of her long life she spent several weeks with the Spencer family in the summer. Diadamia was very deaf. She claimed this handicap came on her when she was talking on the phone during a thunderstorm. We were very careful not to use the phone when we heard thunder and saw lightning.

At that time there were no hearing aids. Grandmother Youngs carried what she called a "trumpet" and if she wanted to converse with someone she would just put one end in her best ear and extend the cord, the end of which the other person would hold close to his mouth in talking.

We children never had much contact with her. We considered her queer and too old to be interested in what we might have to say. There was a framed picture of Rosena in our parlor
(Pat adds—Rosena--Diadamia’s daughter--died when she was only 26 years old, 39 years before Diadamia died). She would open the seldom used parlor, stand before the picture and talk with Rosena. She spoke of her Spencer great-grandchildren as Rosena's grandchildren.

Diadamia and Charles Spencer, one of Rosena's grandsons

Diadamia lived until the age of ninety. For her 90th Birthday, she enjoyed a cake with 90 pink candles. The newspaper article about her birthday explained: “She is still very active, having pieced two quilts and knit seven pairs of socks and a pair of mittens over the past winter. She is now working on another quilt”. Today, we would need 179 candles squeezed onto her birthday cake, but Diadamia, we are thinking of you today, on your Special Day.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Winter Hike to Dix Mountain By Tim Kinsella

Since I am not on facebook and therefore not able to tell you what I have for breakfast each morning nor pass along other interesting daily adventures I will tell you about my winter hike via this email (which his sister, Pat, has just posted on this cousins blog).

Last Saturday four of us hiked another Adirondack High Peak, this time the 6th highest in the state (elevation 4857 feet) – Dix Mountain. The other guys all hiked several high peaks last winter and convinced me to come along this time. I bought a pair of mountain climbing snowshoes with Christmas money and have been doing lots of snowshoeing since then to get in shape for this 14 mile hike.

Friday night we stayed in nice low budget Inn in nearby Keane Valley and were on the trail by 6:30 AM on Saturday morning. The weather had been unseasonably warm for the 2 days prior to this hike but it was now back to winter – temperature in the high teens, light snow, and wind gusts of 30 – 50 MPH. We expected this so were bundled up appropriately and found the trail to be well packed from previous hikers with just an inch or two of new snow from the night before. As expected the woods shielded us from the wind so with a light snow falling it was actually very pleasant as we hiked towards our destination.

This trail is relatively flat for the first 5 miles so we made good progress. After stopping for a rest at a lean-to on the trail we headed across the Boquet river (thankfully still frozen solid, even after 50 degree temperatures from the day before), and started the final climb to the summit. The final 1.5 miles were almost straight up but with our crampon snow shoes we could stay on our feet and didn’t have to climb up rock ledges like you sometimes have to do. The elevation increase was so steep however we had to stop every 10 – 20 steps to catch our breath.

As we got within ½ mile of the summit we entered the “alpine zone” where the trees shrank to a foot or two high and the wind started to really whip up. Heading up to the summit it was at our backs but we knew as soon as we turned around to head back down it would pummel us. We gathered in a small depression near the summit where we were somewhat sheltered, took off our backpacks, and then moved to the summit as quickly as possible. We had to clamor over bare rocks with our snowshoes on for the last hundred yards and now the wind and snow was pelting us like bullets. I’m sure the wind speeds were over 50 MPH and according to the NOAA weather site the wind chill was around 40 below zero (F) up there.

Upon reaching the summit we high fived, turned around, now into the wind, and made it back down as fast as possible. The wind was absolutely incredible and we all had the impression that we wouldn’t last 15 minutes up there if we somehow were stuck there.

We quickly retreated back into the forest and were now faced with that steep incline but now we had to get down without breaking our legs. I suggested we try a butt slide and before we knew it we were racing down the mountain laughing and screaming. We could use our snow shoes to keep our speed in check and to help us steer; I think that was the fastest mile descent I have ever made.

The trip out was fairly uneventful. We met two guys with their 3 dogs on the trail; they were heading up to the summit and were then going to spend the night at the lean-to (I guess that is what you would call a “3 Dog Night”). Just as we arrived back at the lean-to a French Canadian couple hiked up and said they were spending the night there too. As it was to get down to single digits that night I couldn’t imagine spending the night there.

We finally made it back to our cars, and quite a snowstorm, around 5:30 PM – an 11 hour hike. I made it back home around 11 PM. Although it was a very grueling hike it was absolutely beautiful to hike in the snowy woods and was quite an accomplishment. This represents my 16th High Peak (out of 46 – still a long way to go) and my 1st Winter High Peak.

By the way, for breakfast on Saturday I had a hard boiled egg, some yogurt, and a banana, washed down with blue Poweraide (I would have bought Gatoraide if Paul still worked on that account but since he doesn’t I have gone back to the drink preferred by hockey players).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March Birthdays, By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

You can't see Canada across Lake Erie, but you know it's there. It's the same with spring. You have to have faith, especially in Cleveland. ~ Paul Fleischman.

People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. ~ Rogers Hornsby

March Again! As my birthday begins this month, I am particularly partial to it. But, let's celebrate all in the Cousins Family who have birthdays this windswept month.

Aunt CB

In CB Kinsella's family, we have Lucille Kate Taylor Kinsella herself, Elizabeth Kinsella Sakanishi and Pat Kinsella Herdeg all celebrating this month.

Beth and P-Chan


In the older group, we have Diadamia Mott Youngs and her daughter, Kate Youngs Baker ( mother of Adin, Ethel, Lil and Ruth).
In this picture, we have Kate and her daughters, Ethel and Lillian, and their first cousin, Ed Spencer ( son of Kate's older sister, Rosena). Diadamia sits holding her great grandchild, Elizabeth Spencer, with Olga and Ruth Spencer (all of these are Ed's children) off to the side. I am guessing the year to be about 1913.

In Leona Maffei's family, Leona Howland Maffei herself, and Carol Ann Maffei are the Birthday Kids.


Carol Ann

In Glady's family, Beth Barron Smerchansky ( daughter of Kathryn Barron who is daughter of Gladys) and Andrew Joseph Osterhout ( Wendy's son, grandson of Gladys) have Birthdays this month.

Beth and Andrew

In Arnon Taylor's family, Bethany Taylor Velasco ( Jim Taylor's daughter), James Velasco ( Jim's grandson), and Salvatore Fiorello DeLuca (Cynthia's son, grandson of Nancy Taylor Wright) all have birthday candles to blow out.

Sal and Auntie Fe

In Ruth Maney's family, Debra DeSio Maney ( Richard's wife) is the Birthday Girl.

Colleen and Debbie

In Sylva's family, Frederick David Emhof ( Sylva's son) has a March Birthday.

Freddy D

Aunt Phyllis

In Phyllis' family, Elsie Phyllis Howland Mudge herself, and Alexis Henderson, daughter of Ron Henderson, granddaughter of Wendell, and Dyland Edward Marlatt, son of Kathleen Henderson, grandson of Wendell, all have special days this month.

Alexis and Dylan

In the Taylor family, Dene C. Taylor, wife of Rexford Taylor, Dene's daughter, Barbara Taylor Salenbien, and Cathy Taylor, Dene's daughter-in-law, all are March Birthdays.

Happy Birthday to ALL the March Birthday Cousins!

Enjoy this month of birthdays and weather--be it spring or winter temperatures, it will HAVE to lead to green grass sometime soon--too early for crocuses?!