Monday, January 22, 2018

Winter storm temporarily maroons local couple

I am waiting until tomorrow to break out the machinery.  The plows have been here once but the snow is still falling.  With already a couple of inches since the plows were here I know that the municipal authorities will be here some time overnight for another round of plowing.  Neither of the people living here needs to get to work in the morning.  Snowblowing will commence after plowing is complete.

For now we are marooned.
Wind direction has this time caused some drifting on the picnic table in back.  It looks like a foot and a half or more on the deck.
The snowblower has a maximum cut of 22 inches.  I am quite certain that the cut through the snowplow furrow at the end of the driveway will include a pass or two where the depth of the snow exceeds the maximum cut that the snowblower can take.  The snowblower will go through under the top level of the snow.

But the blower has five forward gears and if I drop down to gear 1 and just let the machine work the blower will slowly work its way through even that amount of snow and then turn around to do it again.  This is a snow event well within the capabilities of available machinery.  This is what I have that machine for.

News flash in the city where I live:  Local couple is temporarily marooned.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Residue of fun

The little girl visited us again yesterday.

Well, we had fun.

We had so much fun that even after she left we could not bring ourselves to put her toys away.
We just left them out to help us remember.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Happy Holidays

In a conversation we recently had with TCWUTH she revealed that she is probably soon going to acquire a new telephone and that when she does she may depart from our family phone plan and start paying for her phone herself.

TOPWLH said that really wasn't necessary but TCWUTH played her "after all, I am a grown-up" card.

Undeniably true.

Another facet of her being a grown up now is that she isn't here today to arrange the nativity scene.  This has been one of her holiday tasks for many years.

This arrangement may be the first time ever for me.
In the second or third row left, right behind the M&M and in front of and in between Goofy and the Big O is the newest addition, the soldier we acquired at the gift shop at Westminster Cathedral when we were in England last June.

Some fan favorites didn't make the cut this year.  I downsized.  Notably absent are Superman and the Pink Power Ranger and that giant crowd of aliens.  Also possibly notable is the fact that it was 17F here today.

Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 18, 2017

From "Pathways", the Chapter entitled "Mother"

The first family history writing that I have access to is "Pathways", written by Edgar J. Jones.  A subtitle is Oak Grove, Oregon, February 1, 1937.

I believe that Edgar J. Jones, sometimes referred to as E. James Jones is the Uncle Jim of my childhood who I sometimes heard about but never really came to know.  I know that a 1928 letter reproduced in "Pathways" from George L. is addressed to: "My dear son James".  Edgar James was my grandmother's brother, my grand uncle, or maybe more commonly great uncle.

Here is how far we have come from 1937.  In his preface the author of "Pathways" notes that: "By using quantities of new carbon paper six copies of this book can be made.  One will go to John, one to Sylvia, one to George.  Will keep the original.  Disposition of the other two has not been decided."

One copy to his brother, one copy to his sister, one copy to George.  This George must certainly be the son of John Jones.  John, the elder son of G. L. lost his wife when his son George S. was three months old.  George L. and his wife raised the boy until he was 16.

So there were only six copies.  I remember as a child that we had a version of "Pathways" that was a carbon copy.  What exactly we had I do not know, but I do know that we had a copy.  It may have been one of the original six copies or perhaps somewhere along the line someone used some more carbon paper and retyped the manuscript.

Somewhere along the line in the early 90s, probably during his "first" retirement, Jim retyped the manuscript again, this time into a modern word processor.  I now have a clean copy although page numbers and page references do not always match up.

Within the next couple of months I am going to take the copy of "Pathways" that I now have and create a .pdf.  "Pathways" will go digital and anyone and everyone who wants to read it will have the chance to do so.

I read it again tonight.

There is a chapter of "Pathways" entitled "Mother".  Here is part:

"My contact with the Jackson's has been very limited.  After a search of many years for a picture of mother I finally secured one from Mrs. Hill.  I found out later I was supposed to return it.  I have not done so."

Mrs. Hill?  Jennie's brother Andrew Jackson had two children, the elder of whom married William Hill.  Mrs. Hill would have been Jim's cousin.  She had a picture of her father's sister, her aunt.  Jim borrowed the picture.  It was a picture of his MOTHER.  It was a picture of Mrs. Hill's AUNT.  He never got around to returning it.

Jim Jones was 17 months old the day his mother died.  This is his description of the picture of his mother Jennie, the only picture of Jennie Jones he and any of the rest of  us have ever had:

"I like to get out the picture during quiet moments and study the features.  It is an oval painting, 6x8 inches, very lifelike.  I do not know by whose hand it was executed, but on the back of the picture there is written the name, Dick.  It is an enlargement of a tintype picture, such as Sylvia has.  I should judge mother was somewhere in her thirties when this picture was taken."

"The picture shows long brown hair of fine texture, blue eyes, high and broad forehead, a straight nose and rather full lips which could smile sympathetically and understandingly.  She wears a gray suit and white neckpiece, collar and tie all in one.  On these features may be read refinement, intelligence, kindness, breadth of vision -- a personality anyone would be proud to claim as mother.

What do I know of her?  It seems I have felt her presence -- often.

She left this world shortly after I entered it . . ."

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Though the day of change may be long deferred, it must come.

My paternal grandmother's parents, the blacksmith and the newspaperwoman.

George L. Jones, 26 January 1834 to 1 April 1931.  He lived to the age of 97.
Born in Wisconsin, he was the fifth of 14 children and the eldest son.

Part of the story of his life is described in "Pathways", a family history written by his son, Edgar James Jones.

At the age of 24 in 1858 George L. Jones joined a group with five other young men and went to Texas.  At the outbreak of the civil war his companions entered the rebel army but he made his escape to the north leaving several hundred dollars worth of property which he lost.  He enlisted as a private in the Union army (Company K, 30th Wisconsin Infantry), served three years and was mustered out an orderly sergeant.  He had eleven relatives who served in the Union army.

Pension records show that he was when enlisted 28 years of age, had blue eyes, black hair, dark complexion, was 5 feet 9 inches in height and was by occupation a farmer.

After the war he moved to Bloomer, Wisconsin, where he operated a blacksmith and wagon shop until 1880 when his health failed after which he engaged in newspaper work.  In June 1869, in Bloomer, he married Sarah Jane Jackson, the widow of Walter Gage and the mother of a daughter, Hattie.  His wife later assumed the name Jennie Jones.  They had eight children, only three of whom lived to adulthood.  They were John E. Jones, E. James Jones and Sylvia Melissa, my grandmother.

George L. Jones became a member of the Greenback Party and attended the National Convention in Indianapolis in 1876.  He was one of three on a committee who drafted the first platform of the party.  One of the other two was former Governor of Ohio, James B. Weaver.

The couple founded the weekly Bloomer Workman in July 1880 and operated the newspaper until it was sold in May 1886.

Three of the couple's children died of diptheria within eleven days in early 1882 and another died of the same disease in 1883.  Jennie was in 1883 pregnant with her youngest child, Sylvia Melissa, who was born May 15, 1883.  Less than a month later Jennie died of an overdose of laudanum on June 9, 1883, a death considered at the time to be a suicide.

George L. later lived at Weblake, Burnett County, Wisconsin where the Official Report of Burnett County Board of Immigration, Concerning the Resources of Burnett County, Wisconsin, published in 1902, described his life as having "an excellent opportunity to engage in the raising of cranberries and at the present time the spring brooks on his farm are filled with hundreds of speckled trout.  The visitor who stops there for a few hours wonders how any man can live in a great city after having seen how Jones and his family enjoy the pleasures of backwoods life."

In 1903 his daughter Sylvia married George Eugene Miller.  The third child of that union was my father.  Their fourth child was my Aunt Jane.

George L. entered an Old Soldier's Home in Orting, Washington, in 1915 and died there on April 1, 1931.  During his last years in the Old Soldier's Home he sent his Civil War pension each month to his granddaughter, Jane Miller, so that she was able to attend college where she was educated to become a teacher.

Sarah Jane Jackson Jones, known to the family as Jennie.  Born 1 March 1840, died 9 June 1883.
Jennie's great great granddaughter Emily Melissa Elvecrog Miller was born 100 years to the day after her death.  Also, Jennie's granddaughter and Emily's grand-aunt Jane Ruth Miller Brockett was born 28 years to the day after her death.

During the time that George L. and Jennie Jones operated the Bloomer Workman the following editorial entitled "No Looking Back", written by Jennie, was published in the newspaper:

"It was forty years from the inception of the anti-slavery movement in the United States to the achievement of success.  The struggle resulted in the freeing of four million or more people from one form of slavery, only to plunge them into another form of bondage.  Comparing the magnitude of issues involved, it would not be strange if the present contest for the liberation of labor should require a century of patient, sacrificing effort.  Men who live for themselves alone will not engage in such an undertaking.  They will do what the Tories did in the Revolution - stand by the powers that be and gather the crumbs that fall from the tables of their masters.  No faint-hearted followers after success need apply for a place in the ranks of men who are seeking exact justice for the masses of people.

The struggle will be too long and too fierce.  But brave, unselfish men who appreciate liberty and equal rights will not falter or turn back though they are assured the generations shall come and go before the complete triumph of the principles for which they are contending.  What nonsense to talk about a cause dying or being dead!  What better work can we do than to protest against the tide of injustice toward the masses of people - although there be no prospect that we shall gain the power to right these wrongs in our day and generation?  No!  A thousand times no!  We are right, and though the day of change may be long deferred, it must come."

-Jennie Jones, Bloomer Workman, December 28, 1882.

Monday, December 11, 2017


Well, actually the writing on the back of the first photo says Labor Day 70.
 I wasn't there.  I do remember the Fiat.  The writing on the back says: "4 cars, 4 people, 3 houses and 2 tricycles.  Photo by Sylvia's husband John."

Oleander Court?

The processor printed a date in the margin of these two.  1971?
I was in the Army in 1971.  My memory is a bit fuzzy but I think this must be late 1971 after I returned from Vietnam.  The first one doesn't look like any lamp Sylvia ever owned and the second one has a print that I definitely associate with Jim.
I may have visited them both, my memory is a bit fuzzy.  I do know that I went back to Fort Stewart, Georgia, and served another six or seven weeks in the Army before receiving my final honorable discharge.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Hair cut

Our dafter scheduled an appointment with the family hair dresser for this time a cut only.  We live much closer to the family hair dresser than she does.  It makes sense for her to drop off our granddafter at our house for the period of time when the hair cut is in progress.

Plus, we love it.

She is mostly just unbelievably full of energy.  But she is just a small person and she does seem to have a bit of a lag in late morning.  It is too early for lunch, but . . .

She reacts very well to a glass of milk and some snacks.

For which she is plenty good, for now, with sitting in the chair.
She was eating Jim's cereal here.  She seems to like the crunch.

Her Mom came home, we all had lunch and then a couple of us took naps.

I had fun, TOPWLH had fun, we think both of our visitors had fun.