It is the celebration of the Chinese New Year. When we lived in San Francisco (now 18 years ago) it was a highlight of the year. We do not see it celebrated as prominently here in Healdsburg. But we still have the sense of the the festivities and especially of the food featured throughout the many days.
Obviously, it is the year of the "rooster". And prior to the 70s I was not that aware of the personality of a rooster other than the usual characterization given in nursery books or school books. But we bought a rooster and several hens and quickly learned the barnyard behavior of these interesting birds.
The sentiment expressed in this celebration hopefully ties into the start of the new administration we have in the country. Hopefully the parallel of "wishing you the best of wealth" will spill over in many forms as the year progresses.
While I was born under the sign of the "tiger", Donald Trump was born under the sign of the "fire dog", and I can see that. Well I take it all in stride and really wish that Healdsburg had a "dim sum" restaurant, I miss the days when we had multiple choices of Chinese restaurants within a few minutes of where we lived.
Again this week, in between regular duties, I have squeezed in writing assignments for the class I'm taking online.
There are between 30 and 40 of us students and 2 instructors giving us guidance and critiques.
Of course I use examples from the "Hiles Family Tree" for inspiration. Specifically this week, I have concentrated on writing a little bit about what I know of Dayton Bumgardner and his journey through his younger years.
I'll excerpt some of the things that I wrote about.
Here is a picture of Spirit Lake, Iowa in 1902.
I love the car. I believe that Dayton and his parents and siblings lived in this area starting about 1885.
While his parents remained in the Spirit Lake area, Dayton left about 1905 to live in Chicago.
In the photo above, notice the sidewalks. They are raised wooden ones that would eventually play a significant role in the life of the Bumgardners. About 4 years after Dayton left town, his father Charles, while walking along one of these sidewalks, would step on a weakened or damaged walkway causing him to fall and break his leg. That broken leg eventually caused his death in 1909.
In 1910, another tragic event occurred -- Dayton's oldest brother, Gilbert (Woody) would drown in Silver Lake while ice skating in November of that year. Woody himself a widower with one living son, Keith ( my mother's favorite cousin).
Dayton, while living in Chicago and employed as a book keeper at a Dental Manufacturing firm for almost 5 years, felt the need to return to Spirit Lake (Lake Park) to comfort and assist his mother.
He did so in December of 1910 with mixed results -- on the one hand he helped his mother and on the other hand, the firm he worked for could not wait for his return, so replaced him . . .
But -- all of the above played a big part in the next stage of his life:
Above is an envelope containing a letter to Hildred Nelson, written December 14, 1910 and post marked December 15, 1910. Below that is a excerpted transcription of the letter itself.
Surprising to me in reading that letter was the fact that it did not seem that there were definite plans in place for Dayton's and Hildred's relationship to advance "to the next level", but in a few weeks, they were married.
Also, I had read that letter a few times before, but had not tied it to the events that caused Dayton to go back home to comfort his mother.
And now, a segue almost as surprising as Dayton and Hildred's :
Recently I posted a brief look at the Pizza ATM, and last week I posted about the new family of Big Macs at McDonald's.
This week -- it is all about the Big Mac ATM -- what can they possibly think of next . . .
McDonald's is introducing a test ATM in Boston for one day only -- January 31.
From this machine will emerge the requested Big mac of one's choice -- wow! There's another ATM that won't be found in Healdsburg . . . too bad though.
It's all "food for thought" and for some the real thing. We did enjoy the two new Big Mac sizes earlier this week -- a reward after a doctor's visit, go figure.
And lastly, I imagine this might be the reaction if I was seeking employment (which of course I'm not). I do feel bad though that earlier in my career I did not seek employment in the genealogical spectrum of job opportunities.
Finding and working within a career that was fueled with passion would have been so satisfying.
And that is a bit of our week. See you all "in a few"!