Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Pat Kinsella and her Grandma Sharing Bunk Beds, By Lucille Taylor Kinsella

Not so many stockings as in the later years, with 20 or more!

Pat remembers that this happened near Christmas. We had lit candles in each window that shone a glow over the walls. Remember doing strange animal shadows with hands? Well, Pat added to the complexity by using her toes and feet. The Famed Bald Eagle was born, and so the legend began…..Many in the 2846 household that Christmas came down with sickness, but not those who were lucky enough to see the Bald Eagle. Grandma shared the room, so saw the fabled bird show, and was healthy the entire visit.

 Tom and Grandma Taylor, December 1967

When my father, Lloyd Taylor, died in June, 1969, Mom made a few visits to stay with her kids, but really wanted to stay in her house, tending her flowerbeds, her garden vegetables and visiting her neighbors! They had a good circle of friends who visited often, so we all agreed and made frequent visits ourselves to help her shop and take her to doctor visits. However, as fall turned to colder weather and snow was forecast we laid out a schedule that she stay three weeks with Ruth in Geneva, then three weeks with Esther in Spencerport, three weeks with Doris in Lockport and three weeks with me in Rochester. Harold and Arnon kept track of the house in Waterloo in her absence.

Pat's Room in 1971, with bunk beds on the left

 We all looked forward to her coming to our house and each of the kids offered her their bed! However, it was determined that she’d sleep in what was then Pat’s room and all that contained was a bunk bed set.

 Jim and Chris on Christmas morning, 1969

 That didn’t faze Grandma at all. She decided that she was surely able to climb that little ladder and make the top bunk. (She was 82.) However, Pat had an idea— she declared that each night she and Grandma would flip a coin and see who’d sleep up there. Grandma agreed that was fair. However, Grandma did not know that Pat had learned from her father how to toss a coin so that it always went the way she wanted. Thus, night after night, they flipped a coin and it always landed so that Pat climbed the ladder to the top bunk. Mom wondered, thought she “smelled a rat” but could see no way “angel face” Pat was cheating.

Thus ended a lovely visit with Grandma, still unaware of the deviltry she’d witnessed!!

Now, if only Pat could remember that coin trick! It would come in handy for nephews and nieces at just the right age.

1969 Christmas Tree at 2846
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year's to All on our Cousins Blog!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

More Car Stories By Dan Kinsella, Tim Kinsella and Jack Kinsella

We first began this topic with Evelyn and Bryant Taylor's various automobiles. See:

Here is our next installment. Do you have car stories? Send them to us!

From Dan--

 Dan, 1976

My first car was a Maverick Grabber.  This was a small car that Ford somehow shoehorned a V8 engine into.  Changing the oil was not easy. Changing the spark plugs was nearly impossible. (In fact I only tried it once, and couldn't even get to the last two plugs to change them.)  I started taking it to a mechanic to get the plugs changed when they needed it (not very often so was no big deal).

He said he only knew of one model car that was harder to change them on.  That one required the entire engine to be 'dropped' so a mechanic could get to the plugs.  I'm sure it saved Ford a penny or two when they manufactured the cars to set it up this way, but what a pain for the next 100,000 miles of its life!

VW’s from Tim and Uncle Jack:

Sometime in the 1980's I decided to buy a diesel car. I bought a VW. I found diesel was cheaper than regular gasoline so that pleased me. But than winter came and I discovered a problem with the car. It would start up OK in the cold weather but 2 miles down the road (right by the entrance to the zoo) it would start sputtering and finally it would stop. Sometimes I could get it started again but not always. I once missed an early flight at the airport because of this.

Then once Jim borrowed the VW for a fairly long trip but he brought it back without any dents or scratches (not that I checked it out). The next time I jumped into the car it really sputtered (and it wasn't cold out). I finally got it coughing and sputtering down to the St. Paul gas station and asked them to check it out. The guy came to me and said, "Somebody filled your diesel tank with regular gasoline." So I went back home and said to Jim, "Did you fill up the tank on the car when you came home yesterday?" He said, "Yeah, Pop and I even used the high octane blend gas to fill it!" You should have seen the look on his face when I said, "Jim it is a diesel, it doesn't take regular gas."

Jim in 1981

Another time Tim and Rose were coming back to Rochester by plane and Mom and young Kristin picked them up--in the VW. They were gone for a very long time and then I heard there had been an accident. It was very dark at the exit from the airport and Tim, having volunteered to drive them all home, mistakenly drove over a strangely placed curb which caused considerable damage to the underside of the car. Mom remembers her glasses flying off onto the floor, and they had to take a taxi home.

Should I add--all my subsequent cars used regular gasoline?

Nick Holz, Tim and Rose and baby Kristin, 
Jack Kinsella, Dan Kinsella 1981

Four VW’s--

 Tim and Rose told me that VW had a magazine and at one point, they highlighted a family that had 2 VW's. So, we all ( Nick Holz, Tim and Rose, Mom and I, and Dan as VW owners) took the picture of the 4 VW's in the family. Unfortunately, the magazine never used our picture or our wonderful story!