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Saturday, March 12, 2011


This is a special day, for a special Grand Son. It is birthday number 5 for Caleb, so we send our best wishes to him! Even though he lives far away we think of him often -- wondering how his day is going and hoping all is well.  I think that I can remember some things from that age but most of it probably comes from "tales" that others relate to me. I can only hope that the "tales" Caleb remembers about being 5 are the very best.Here is picture (taken last year) of my Grand Son Caleb:

It is interesting that Caleb shares this birth date with at least  eight others from our family tree -- starting from 1841 up to 2006. Happy Birthday to all!

It is also interesting how things can trigger different remembrances from our past. For example, in the morning I walk our dog, Auggie and I listen to something on my iPod as I walk. I subscribe to and usually get an interesting new book once per month -- this month I am listening to "Known & Unknown" read by the author Don Rumsfeld and it is fascinating to hear his recollections of the behind the scenes activity to so many of the world events that I lived through. The other morning in the middle of the walk the section of the book that I had on the iPod concluded and I would either walk in silence or listen to my library of music shuffled to play randomly. I chose to listen to the music and up came a hauntingly reminiscent piece relating to the days of the Civil War.The song was written by a young war widow about her recently "fallen" husband and his favorite color "blue". That struck a cord with me because not only is that my favorite color as well a memory from my childhood days popped into my awareness. I recall playing with the neighbor kids and one time I was asked whether I supported the "blue" or the "gray" . . . the Civil War has been over almost 150 years but at the time of the question it was less than 100 years but still it was something that us kids related to and reenacted somewhat in our play.

That remembrance made me think of the relatives in our tree that took an active role in the Civil War. There were many ancestors who were from both my paternal HILES line and from my maternal BUMGARDNER line that were directly involved in the war -- most on the side of the "blue". One that comes to mind is John Bumgardner who was in the 35th Iowa Infantry and he enlisted at the age of 19 in the year 1862, September. Less than two months later he would die of injuries suffered in that war -- 11th of November, 1862. I visited his grave in Muscatine, Iowa a few years ago.

In downtown Muscatine, Iowa is a monument dedicated to those that gave their lives in that war and John's name is on that monument:

In the weeks to come I will try to highlight some of the many others from our family known to have been in an active role in the Civil War.

Now I thought it might be interesting to see an ad for a product that we use probably everyday and could not exist as  a country without. The ad comes from the Sheboygan, Wisconsin newspaper some 62 years ago -- 1949:

Those were the days -- I can recall riding in the car with my father who would pull into the "full" service gas station and ask for "Two Dollars, Ethyl" now I know why . . . then, he might get around 6 gallons, today we get less than a half gallon for that price.

It being Saturday I am looking forward to the sliders tonight!  Have a fine week!

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