Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene By Various Cousins

Christi's house last May--notice the wonderful old tree out front.

Christi's tree today

Pat and Glenn’s weekend began with the plan to drive Alison, their daughter, down to DC with MUCH of her stuff—Ali has a new apartment and a new job there. But, Hurricane Irene compacted that schedule.

We drove down Thursday and drove back Friday, with much of New Jersey driving north with us, as many of them were under mandatory evacuation. It was not the most relaxed trip home.
Saturday, we decided our boat in Maine should come out, so we again fed the cats extra food and drove north.

Meanwhile, in southern New Jersey near the coast, Tom was keeping us in the ‘Irene Loop’:
“It's just after 6 pm on Friday. Christine has driven off with her cats to her parents' house in central Jersey. She was under a mandatory evacuation order, so she tidied up the house, unplugged the computer, and went.

I am a bit further inland and have decided to experience the hurricane right here in Absecon. Neighbors on both sides have a gone (one to Buffalo, another to Cape Cod if you can believe that). The county to the south, Cape May, is under a mandatory evacuation. So are coastal areas of my county, Atlantic as well as Atlantic City. The casinos will be closed as of noon tomorrow,
only the third time since they opened that they have shut down.

I have cleared all movable items out of the yard. Closed the windows and await the storm. It should start to show signs around noon tomorrow; we expect the worst of it after midnight, then it will be gone by noon Sunday.
So they say.

I missed the local earthquake. Everyone else in the area felt the shaking -- it woke Christi up -- but I was driving from School to Christi's so I missed it. I guess Irene will be my big adventure.

Don't worry. I've got plenty of supplies. I can handle quite a while without power (during the day I have several thousand books to read, if I so choose). I'll try to keep you up to date.

Much love from South Jersey,

It's 9:45 AM Saturday morning. Gentle rain started about a half hour ago (it's been over cast since dawn). I've completed my last preparations -- pulling the air conditioner from the living room window (it was on a shaky base), closing windows, etc. Looks like this will last until sometime early tomorrow afternoon.

Wish me luck. I have my reading material picked out."

While Sister-in-law Rose was making sure Tom had all the necessary supplies on hand, Brother Chris was being helpful, in his own way:

“ahoy storm approaching by port bow. reef the foresails and batten the hatches. I hope you are reading sea novels

Tom writes back: “It's 4:15 PM and raining pretty good. The wind is not ferocious, but it's starting to blow. I have begun my final preparations.

First, I have taken Sue's advice and filled the bathtub with water. I'm not sure my plug holds a good seal, so this is a test, but if it does, I'll have water galore (Sue tells me it's to help flush the toilet once the electricity goes). I told her that's what the back door is for (some of the time).

I have also begun my cooking preparations. While I am happy enough eating cold beans and buns (I do know where the hand can-opener is), I thought I'd cook some short cake and also red beans and rice. Both will keep well enough. So, tonight we'll have peach shortcake and rice and beans. We because the cats like short cake.

I was just in the bed room -- figure I needed to find my jack knife before the storm hits -- but the rain woke me up. I hope you are all safe and snug. Atlantic City is a ghost town (so the TV tells me). Very unusual for the last weekend in August.

Much love from a moist South Jersey,”

Tim writes from Syracuse: “Keep those stories coming Ol' windybags. Great adventure.
Dry Tim “

Tom writes a quick email and then his power goes out. He follows up:
“Power went off as I was writing it. It just now came back on. Wanted to get it to you. It's 9:41 now. The storm is moving slow. The eye won't be here till 3 or 4, which is a couple hours later than originally forecast. That means the storm will blow hard till probably noon or later tomorrow.

Got a call from Ted Lochner. He asked me whether I had a canoe. All is fine up his way at the moment.

We've got bands of very heavy rain. Horizontal for 10 or 15 minutes, then quiet, then it starts again. There are tornado warnings around, but none very close. The wind is not too bad.

The kitties have had their short cake -- I have too -- I got to light the candles and my iPad is a good source of entertainment when all else fails. Thanks to my land line I can still phone. All is fine here. I'll update you if I can. If not, I'll see you on the other side (of the storm).

PS. The seal in the bathtub held, so plenty of water.”

Tom writes again later that night, under the heading of ‘Good Night Irene’:

“10: 17.
I don't mean to inundate you (pun intended), but wow, this is getting exciting. Lots of flooding -- the Schukyll river in Phila is expected to crest at a level not seen since 1869. Interruptions on tv stations for tornadoes (none close to me yet). My local tv station has been knocked out. I may sleep in the basement. It's still dry and safe. (Where is that sleeping bag?)

Bands of very very heavy rain followed by dry, but the wind is picking up. Whee!

I'll send this out before I lose power again.

Much love,


PS. About that subject line -- just wanted to use that one. Irene isn't going anywhere for a bit.”

Now, I am not sure HOW many people remember the folk song ‘Good Night Irene’ but apparently Tom did—way to go!

Chuck Lochner, no doubt thinking of the rising flood waters, emailed Tom: “If you decide to sleep in the basement, be sure to sleep on an AIR mattress.”

On Sunday, Tom tells us:
“Gentle rain with stiff breezes persist, but I believe the worst of the storm is over. The news says we'll get more rain as the final bands work their way through from 10 am through noon, but it's mostly the aftermath we need to deal with now. I don't see any big branches down in the yard (lots and lots of leaves though).

The cats are antsy -- they want food and to go outside, so they are back to normal.

Philadelphia has lots of flooding. We probably do to, but the local channel is still out, so I'm not
sure of the situation. I think I'll head back to bed for a bit -- still haven't found that jack knife. Thanks for listening.

Sorry New York City -- this is your problem now.”

His last report is about Christi’s house—“Christine lost a big old maple right in front of her house. Lucky it fell parallel with the road. Her house was build around the civil war, and I bet the tree was about as old. It was probably 6 feet in diameter, with much of the top gone from previous storms. It was a shrubby old thing, although we liked it very much. Turns out the main trunk was quite rotten and it just uprooted taking out Christine's electrical.

Guess we'll be planting a new tree in the Fall.”

So, that is it for Hurricane Irene on the Cousin’s front. In DC, Alison said they had high winds, but no problems.

Hope everyone has a safe and fun last few days of August!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

427 W. Main St., By Aunt CB

Our Geneva life was disrupted in 1944 when 30 West St, which we rented, was sold to someone who wanted to move in! Thus, we had to move out! The folks found a grand brick house with a cupola on the Main Street in Waterloo. Daddy had to sell his beloved 1941 DeSoto to make a down payment and manage a mortgage. (No cars were made after 1941 because of WWII thus he could get a good price)-- for the sum of $3800 427 W. Main St. was ours!

This is the house where Harold lived while he was attending Waterloo High School. It must have seemed very strange to him after growing up with five older siblings, to be the only kid in a house. (I stayed in Geneva, baby sitting for family and working in a 10 cent store to finish my senior year there.) Add to that the fact that he knew not a soul in town when school started!

The house means more to the grandchildren perhaps than to us older ones but we did have some grand times there! Three bedrooms upstairs with one large closet off the master bedroom, it also provided a ceiling door to be lifted as access to the cupola. By means of a six foot folding ladder we hoisted ourselves up to the attic and thus into the cupola. Years and years of dead flies met us, even as we swept them up. The four sides were windowed but also had to be cleaned and how to get to the outer sides? The tin roof prohibited our climbing out even if we dared. We did a half way job and enjoyed the view. And was this attic floored? No more than 30 West St. was and this one had no windows, only dark spaces surrounding the central cupola.

Mom and Daddy had one bedroom, I had one small one (with hooks for clothes when I was home, slept on an old army cot.) Harold had the other one, same size as mine, with a single size bed I think. Made no difference as there was enough room for him and me to lie, side by side, reading our books, as we passed back and forth a rubber tube, fitted with a stop-cock which was attached to Harold’s latest batch of “wine” which lay on its side on a shelf above the bed. All the amenities of a hotel!

Downstairs, double front doors (with a marvelous clanging door bell to wind!) led to the hall and the dining room straight on, or the living room to the side. Beside the dining room was a small room, used as a bedroom, and as they grew older, Arnon put a toilet in there as upstairs was too steep to climb often.

Then lastly the kitchen, with the old fashioned kitchen cupboard with a flour bin and sifter in it as well as spice cupboard, pull out metal counter and a big bread bin as well as potato one. Here, too, the cast iron stove was king but had become a “combination” 4 stove lids above a fire pit while 4 gas jets fired the other side! Even had a broiler (which was never used). Mom still turned out her incomparable chicken and dumplings on this.

Not done yet, behind the back wall (which held cupboards for all the dishes, pots and pans, kitchen tools and whatever) was a shed where Mom’s washing machine held sway. In this shed also was a drain, which became the bane of her life! The men in the household found it far too convenient to pause there, rather than climb the stairs. I’m sure she was pleased when downstairs plumbing was installled. Still attached to the shed was a sort of “lean to” that held all the odds and ends of life, paint cans, burlap bags, etc.

Outside, Mom, who loved flowers, had several small beds between our house and next door. And the backyard, which extended back aways, was planted in a grand garden, Daddy’s swiss chard, raspberry bushes, tomatoes, onions, etc. in season. They both had green thumbs. Behind the lean to, and near the driveway which led to a very skinny garage, Mom would have several inverted mason jars, covering the cuttings of rosebushes that only she could start! I never could!

What did they put in that skinny garage? Daddy bought his father’s 1927 Chrysler for $50 and he drove that all over. It worked well!

I can’t forget the porch at 427, which covered 2 sides and was wonderful to sit on. Tall spiriva bushes ranged along the front and other side and best of all, around the back, were two wooden doors slanting up three feet or so from the ground, protecting the cellar entrance. Grand to run on and play but better not let Grandpa catch you or he’d “tan your hide”.

Wonderful Christmases there, for having raised six kids, there we 32 grandchildren and you’ve seen pictures of the staircase between floors full of kids!

And Harold, alone among us, put his roots down in Waterloo, earned still another nickname (after all our family ones) TUFFY, met Barbara Buck, married, raised a family, and built his oil and gasoline business there. Not bad for a kid who started alone in a strange place.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rex and Dene Taylor's 70th Anniversary By Evelyn Taylor

Rex and Dene at their 70th Wedding Celebration!

Last year, we told you the story of Rex and Dene's Wedding on August 17th, 1941. Please go to this link to read the story:

This year, for the big 70th, Rex and Dene's sister-in-law Evelyn Taylor (wife of Bryant Taylor) and Evelyn's daughter Pam drove out to Ohio for a surprise anniversary luncheon for the wedding celebrants.

Evelyn writes:

"The luncheon was at 1:00PM at the Welshfield Inn in Welshfield, Ohio. It is a lovely old Inn with a front porch entrance. As we approached the entrance at exactly five minutes to one, Rex and Dene’s daughter, Barb, spotted us and escorted us to the guests of honor. Both of them were really surprised to see us, and kept mentioning it throughout the day.

Rex and Dene Cutting the Wedding Cake

Surprises are hard to pull off, but up until Rex and Dene spotted some familiar family faces, they truly thought that just the five of the immediate family were going out to lunch—Rex, Dene, son Barry, and wife, Cathy, and daughter, Barb. When all the guests arrived, the total was 30. Of that number, five were friends and the rest were family. There were five siblings in Dene’s family (4 sisters and 1 brother). Rex had only Bryant as his sibling. so Pam and I were the only representatives of the Taylor side.

The Welshfield Inn played a prominent part in Rex and Dene’s lives. It was only five miles from Hiram College, which they attended and where they met in their junior year--so they had been going there for 74 years!
Rex Feeding Dene the Wedding Cake

The luncheon was held in a private dining room, with tables seating 6-8 people. Pam and I had the good fortune of sitting with Rex and Dene, so had a chance to visit longer than others did. After all, we do not see them like the family does. Hors d’oeuvres were served with drinks: we ordered from a menu of 5 items such as chicken pot pie, beef stew, broiled salmon steaks, julienne salad. After finishing, Rex and Dene cut a lovely decorated cake, which was the wedding cake they never had. This was served with ice cream.

While we were waiting to be served, each guest introduced himself and shared a memory. Being a small group, it was not at all intimidating, and pleased Rex and Dene immensely. The stories brought a lot of smiles and laughs.

Evelyn Taylor (the author of this blog story), Dene and Rex Taylor

On a side table was a huge paper banner which people were asked to sign, a framed collage of snapshots of their life together, and a 90- picture slide show of the same.

70 years together, Rex and Dene! Congratulations!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My First Television Viewing--At the 1939 World's Fair, by Aunt CB and Evelyn Taylor

August 26th, 1939 was the date we began our big trip. We drove as far as Grandma Baker’s to spend the night for we were on our way to visit the New York World’s Fair. The next day we left early to drive on through the Poconos, but not before Daddy took a picture of me with ‘my’ calf—the one I’d seen born a week or two before.

We reached East Orange, NY about 5PM. This was where our beloved ‘Aunt DeDe’ lived with her mother and sister (she was a friend of Mom’s from her teaching days and always sent us a much anticipated package for Christmas). This was to be our base for the next four days to visit the fair and nearby parks.

August 28th we were up and left early to take the train to Flushing, NY (the same train Mom used to ride to and from Scranton, PA when she taught here in East Orange and her Uncle Frank was the conductor who kept watch over her!) The first ‘building’ that greeted us was the upright triangle and ball, ‘Trylon and Perisphere’, symbol of the 1939 World’s Fair.

In through the gates were streets and buildings and food courts and pools, more than this twelve year old had ever seen. We wandered in and out of several, one of them being the Heinz Company where we each got a pin in the shape of a pickle and had many small snacks from their list of commodities. Very nice!

Somewhere in that day we went through the RCA building and I am ashamed to write that I remember very little except I have a distinct impression in my mind of the first television. It was sitting on a table, a big black box whose screen was no larger than 12 by 18 inches, I’d guess. We stood and watched a clown do a dance and some animals do the same. It was black and white and I was not at all impressed.

We just walked on to the next building (I remember being very tired of walking!). We did stay late that day to watch the fireworks which were not so bad as we could sit on the ground to watch them.

Much more to my liking was the next day’s adventure—attending the Aquacade and seeing Esther Williams dive from a tower ‘way up there’ into a tiny pool—and she made it! First time I ever saw synchronized swimming and this was much more impressive than a dimly lit picture that moved.

I have to say that when we first bought a second hand television, almost twenty years later, the screen was even smaller than that at the fair and I insisted it be set in our bedroom so that our children could not spend all of their time watching it!

And, Evelyn writes:

At the end of my Freshman year in college, a friend of mine and I decided we would like to go to NY City to the 1939 World’s Fair. There were a few reasons why this might not happen. First of all, we were both only children, and girls who had never been away from home on their own. We made all our plans for a week of sightseeing in the city and 2 days at the Fair, and presented them to our parents. What a surprise to have them say,”Yes!”

We travelled by Greyhound Bus, stayed at the YWCA, and did the touristy things: show at Radio City Music Hall, boat trip around Manhattan, trip to Statue of Liberty, tour of Chinatown and the Bowery. But the highlight was at the Fair.

Like CB, we were thrilled with all the different countries represented. I bought a silver filigree, butterfly lavaliere, which a few years later I wore at my wedding as did my daughter at hers. We were so taken by the model homes with their “picture” windows and beautiful furnishings. Another thing of the future was the model of highways which had figure eights and crossovers . Then it seemed unbelievable, but only a few years later, it was reality.

At one point we were walking along and happened to look up to see a screen showing us walking! We backed up and passed by again. We had no idea what this was!

We had no fear of anything bad happening to us. It was a safer world 72 years ago.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lloyd and Floyd Taylor’s Births by Pat Kinsella Herdeg

Our thanks again to Cousin Diana for finding our Great grandmother Emma’s diary from the year of 1892, AND for sharing it with us all!

To set the stage: It is1892—Emma and Bryant Taylor have five year old Clara and four year old Leon. They live in Springville, NY at this point in their lives, with Bryant working in a store with his partner, Mr. Winner. On May 31st, Mr. Winner’s wife Hattie, by now close friends with Emma, dies in childbirth.

Emma is expecting her baby early in August.

August 4th, 1892: “Some cooler today. I am feeling real well but people outside seem to think I am sick or something they send me in so many flowers. My arrangements are made for the advent—Mrs. Johnson (the midwife who will help the doctor) shown what is necessary. We are ready. May God be with us. I am trying to keep myself calm, and to borrow no trouble, but shall be so glad when all is over.”

Friday, August 12th: “Little did I think when I wrote last that all would be over so soon. Here I am sitting up in bed writing. My twins a week old tonight. God has indeed been with us so far. I have not dared to think how we are to manage two babies.

A week ago I got up before Anna (her sister) and Bryant, started the fire, so as to get my bread kneaded before breakfast. I did not feel so very good but a little later in the day felt better, kept busy. Later, my pains kept getting worse. I met the doctor at the door, sent Bryant after Mrs. Johnson and got myself to bed. I wasn’t at it long before work began in earnest and about six , or soon after it, two babies were here—two boys.”

September 7th, 1892: “So they are over a month old. They weighed six and seven pounds apiece. We call them Little Carson and Little Taylor now. Cannot seem to find names to suit yet. Little T. is not so strong as C, but real bright.

November 16th, 1892: “Father and Mother’s 40th Wedding Anniversary (Bryant’s parents, Cordelia and Daniel) at their house. The morning rainy. The babies are baptized by Mr. Manley too on this day, which makes it famous. We call them William Lloyd and Daniel Floyd.”

December 31st, 1892: “God bless my four lovely children for sweeter little ones never lived. I think I am happier now than I ever have been.”

Monday, August 1, 2011

August Birthdays, By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

Kristin, Cam, Tim, Leah


Ron and Becky

In Aunt CB’s family, Timothy M. Walker ( Kristin Kinsella’s husband) celebrates this month.

In Aunt Sylva’s family, Sylva Christine Emhof Jenkins ( Sylva’s daughter), Jeffrey Emhof ( Freddy D’s son), and Kathleen Marie Arnold ( Linda Emhof’s daughter) blow out candles.

In Aunt Phyllis’ family, Rebecca Dingman Henderson ( Ronnie Henderson’s wife), and Landon Patrick Henderson (son of David, son of Wendell), have August Birthdays.

In Aunt Ruth’s family, Matthew Stephen Maney ( Dan’s son), and Timothy John Maney ( Michael’s son) blow out candles.

Floyd, Abel (friend), Lloyd, Leon Taylor

In the Older Generations, Leonard Baker ( grandfather of Ethel, Adin, Lil and Ruth) and his daughter, Florence Baker Young (Aunt Florence) enjoy August Birthdays ,William Lloyd Taylor and his twin, Daniel Floyd Taylor, enjoy Birthdays. Also, their nephew, Thomas Taylor Doran (son of their little sister, Florence Taylor Doran) is an August Birthday Boy.

Paul and Laurel



In Aunt Gladys’ family, Laurel Amy Wood Decker ( Gladys’ daughter) and her husband, Paul J. Decker , Alicia Lynn Osterhout (Wendy’s daughter, granddaughter of Gladys), and Nicholas Smerchansky ( son of Beth Barron) all have August Birthdays.

Uncle Bud and Aunt Doris


Justin and Nathaniel

In Aunt Doris’ family, Charles William Francis Hawkes (Uncle Bud), two of Cindy’s children-- Heather Walker Towlson and Justin Aaron Walker, and Justin’s son--Nathaniel Walker all are the Hawkes August Birthday kids.

In Aunt Esther’s family, Andrew Taylor Lochner ( Ted’s son) is the August Boy.


Ann and Dennis


In Uncle Harold’s family, Ann Marie Taylor and her husband, Dennis Catherman, Gordy Mills (husband of Kathy Taylor), and Zachary James Alberts ( Judy’s son), all celebrate this month.

Congratulations and Happy Birthday to All!!