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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cracker Hats (& Jack) -- Along Route 79

It has been a pleasant week even including the couple of routine doctor visits that we both had. I usually have an elevated blood pressure at the sight of the white coats but even that was well within the acceptable range. Maybe it has to do with the fact that we both are going to a new doctor and we have good expectations as to the working relationship and followup.

Route 79 played a part in this week's festivities -- it seems just a bit ago that Route 66 was popular . . . 79 is actually back East probably covering a lot of the region where our ancestors lived two hundred and some years ago.

World Series -- Cracker Jack -- and the "Beards"

Last week at this time we did not know who was going to be playing the St Louis Cards in the Series, but of course we now know -- the Bearded Boston Red Sox. And the Series is tied at one & one with a game coming up shortly in St Louis.

So there you have it -- a Cardinal nesting in the beard of one of the Red Sox and that beard is one of the better looking ones -- it seems that we are back into the "60s" with so many beards showing up -- now if only the beards would cover up some of the tats. it might be worthwhile.

Speaking of Facial Hair . . .

Baseball does not have a monopoly on facial hair -- as mentioned above the 60s and 70s were well known hair periods. For me though the 40s and 50s era hair seems more "athletic" and "clean-cut". Some of the players today do not appear as though they are "Wheaties" candidates.

But I have to plead guilty as well and above you can see some of the folks from our tree that for whatever reason sprouted facial hair. There are a lot more that are in the tree but these were accessible for now.

And Speaking of Hats -- Sort of . . .

The times have changed as to the "wear-ability" of hats for women. There was an era -- up until the 60s and maybe a bit beyond that women wore hats everywhere. I can remember being blocked from seeing the pulpit e.g. because of the magnitude of a hat in front of me -- not always a bad thing.

The main difference with hats on men versus women is that most men removed their hats when inside a house or building -- women usually did not.

Above are some examples of hats from a by-gone era. My Grandfather and his cronies looked fairly dapper in their straw hats -- my Grandmother on the other hand made a different statement.

Above are a few examples of my Grandmother's numerous hats. The one in the middle is my all-time favorite. As my brother pointed out -- she is wearing that black hat in a "rakish" manner. I can only imagine if that hat was worn like that today . . . that is a picture of my Grandmother -- Mamie -- as she came to visit us in La Grange, Illinois -- that is my sister and me about 1945 or 46.

The bottom picture shows my Grandmother, Mamie with her sister Tada. Mamie has a major flowery hat on while I hope that is an umbrella over Tada's coif. The thing about that picture that interested me the first time that I saw it was -- what is Mamie holding -- and then with closer examination I can see that it is a box of "Cracker Jack" and a larger size than what we see on the shelves today . . . and I think she just got to the "toy" and is examining that. Some things do not change.

Birthdays & Anniversaries -- From the Tree

This week again there were several folks celebrating birthdays and a few celebrating a wedding anniversary.
This would have been the 101st wedding anniversary for Gail's paternal Grandparents. And this week I saw the birthdays of my two brothers -- they are thirteen years apart with me in the middle.

Since my one brother lives only a few blocks away -- within walking distance -- we held a Route 79 party for him -- and just like when we were kids -- he got to pick the menu.

Route 79

We spared no detail for the celebration and dinner especially since it is one of my favorite entrees as well --
meatloaf, twice baked or mashed potatoes and fresh green beans.

We utilized the traditional meats -- beef, veal & pork -- to make two loafs. I am always afraid that we'll run out OR there won't be enough leftovers for sandwiches . . . but thankfully we have just enough for a few lunches.

The twice-baked potatoes, I eat the skins and Gail eats the "meat" works out well and we have extra of those too. For dessert Nancy brought a delicious cake along with a representative number of candles.

Above you can see some of the dinner prep along with a very relaxed Dino. We used a "ricer" to ensure that there were no lumps in the potatoes and the rich bronzed color of the "loaf" was appealing -- at least to me.

We had a leisurely dinner with the World Series on (with no sound) just to keep track when interested. Following a couple of helpings of meat and potatoes we had the traditional birthday dessert including pyrotechnics.

And following that course we headed back to the family room to enjoy a round of gifting and visiting. We both expressed how we enjoyed the evening and are pretty sure everyone else did as well. The gift in the middle is a bowl of Himalayan Salt Crystals that are brightened up via a light and supposedly gives off healing and calming ions . . . we enjoy ours. Another gift was the book that our cousin Melissa wrote --"I Tried Being Tasteful" . . . which Gail and I thoroughly enjoyed.

And so ended the evening and another family celebration -- we are looking forward to the coming Holiday season just around the corner starting next week with Halloween . . .

Webinar Wednesday -- Church Records

I did not think that I would learn a lot on this webinar -- but was I ever mistaken. I guess the reason is that I am not sure how much some of our family attended church and so for them -- what records would there be anyway. Now after this webinar I have a "road-map" to hopefully uncover the church attending habits of our family.

I know about growing up and the church involvement at that time -- but prior to that I'll have to do some investigative work -- but there would be some real potential rewards by doing that -- I look forward to uncovering that aspect of our ancestor's lives.

The presenter was Mary Hill who was excellent and "knows her stuff". She used a very helpful interactive approach which actually demonstrated the search process.  In the above map -- which Mary used with permission from the originator (David Dilts) Nancy may find that name interesting . . .

I hope that I can find the time to delve into this and see if it will unblock a few of the brick-walls . . .

And Lastly . . .

I can multitask sometimes while enjoying football or baseball on the couch. I have a portable scanner that I use to scan photos and a tablet (or two) to work on genealogy while enjoying the game -- and so I have mixed reaction when I see comics like the following:

Zits is one of our "must read" comics daily and we do enjoy the strip a lot -- but this is a "cheap-shot" as far as I am concerned -- I say, you can enjoy both AND I certainly do.

And so that is a bit of our week -- we hope that you had a great week as well! See you in a few.

Hamburgers tonight . . .

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Where Did "That" Week Go . . .

Almost everyday this past week was partially filled in with MLB games -- and since we record them we can, if necessary, speed them along for whatever reason or take another peek if we want. At this moment in time the St. Louis Cardinals are going to the World Series to play either the Detroit Tigers or the Boston Red Sox, the determination will come tonight or tomorrow . . .

And there is a full moon the last couple of nights and mornings. In the early morning hours the western sky out our back window has a very bright moon hanging close to the horizon. This morning I was able to capture it -- along with a pensive Dino, waiting for his breakfast.

Dino has a built in clock -- he gets fed usually close to 7 a.m. and then again near 7 p.m. AND his timing device works well. If we are up before 7 a.m. he just sits like above until the "time" and then he starts to stir a bit. In the evening usually within 15 minutes of feeding time he comes and sits close to me . . .

The Path to the Series

We have enjoyed watching the ALCS and NLCS games and we have a pencilled--in chart that keeps us on track as to the standings -- only it didn't. Somewhere along the line we must have forgotten to chalk up a win for St. Louis because shortly before they won the game last night (the nail biter that it was) we realized that they were definitely on their way to the Series . . . it seemed like LA's heart was just not in the game.

We are pretty certain that we are "on track" with the Red Sox leading the series 3-2 meaning that the Red Sox only need one more game to make it into the Series. We'll be watching (eating our burgers) later this evening -- we love it when the season "is on the line" . . .

Thursday night we recorded both the baseball game and the NFL game which were on at roughly the same time -- we kept switching back and forth and speeding up where necessary, and we managed to see both games -- the marvels of recorded TV . . .

Webinar Wednesday -- Again finally . . .

After a couple of weeks (withdrawal pains) Legacy Family Webinars returned from their annual genealogy cruise and we shut-ins got to participate in another great webinar -- this one on "scooping the news" on your ancestors in the newspapers . . .

And as you can see in the above -- the presenter was Lisa Louise Cooke (hosted by Geoff Rasmussen) and as always Lisa did a great job -- I always have learned  many things from her webinars and her podcast -- Genealogy Gems.

While I have a couple of paid subscriptions to online newspaper sites and I frequently search those looking for bits & pieces of interesting facts about folks in our tree -- Lisa introduced a new site that I had not really searched in before --  -- so when I had some free time I did follow up on that site:

You can enter a variety of search terms in the above -- I used a variety of surnames from our tree and I used the advanced search button to pare down some of the results. I did find a lot of results for various surnames but one caught my eye more than others:

Click on the above to read the details. When searching in newspapers a great deal of the found material is from small tidbits of "social" type information like so and so attended a party at so and so's house . . .
but as in the case above -- this was "front page" type stuff.

I recognized the name "Guy Bumgardner" but I wasn't sure who he was or even if he was related.  Checking in our tree I confirmed that Guy is related:

Guy Bumgardner is my 1st cousin 2x removed (two generations apart). He is the son of my Great grand uncle George W Bumgardner (the brother of my great Grandfather Charles Bumgardner).  Growing up I never heard anything about Guy or his family.

If it had not been for the "elephind " site I would not have probably ever known about how or why he died at such a young age. The story as reported is amazing to read about -- and of course we probably will never know the cause of his death at 24 years of age.

There are numerous unanswered circumstances surrounding Guy's life and death and facts about the rest of his immediate family -- he was not married but his father was still living as were his two brothers at the time that he died:

How did Guy come to be farming in Goodland, Kansas. I had never even heard of Goodland, Kansas before seeing the newspaper article.

And for Guy's final resting place:

It looks like a typical cemetery and the grave has a substantial marker. If one just saw the marker, or even just the entry of born & died, it would be easy to just accept the dates and "move on" to another entry.

So, thanks to Legacy Family Webinars and thanks to Lisa Louise Cooke for presenting another vehicle that provided "one more" peek into the life and death of someone from our tree.

I hope to uncover other facts about the tree folks using  in the future.

Still Working on Pics

I continue to work on the many new pictures that my brother shared with me -- for all of us. Because partly of our sports related viewing I did not get to edit very many new photos this week -- but did manage a few.

The following are also of the Bumgardner family because after all the scrapbook came form Hildred Nelson

On the left side is Buster Keaton Dayton Bumgardner with my mother Ruth and I believe Tada (Elsa) Bumgardner.  On the right is Dayton & Hildred Bumgardner. I'm guessing the year was about 1915.

And Lastly -- Dates from our Tree

There were numerous birthdays this past week along with anniversaries for five couples:

Clicking on the above you can see more in detail. For even more detail visit:  The Hiles Website

I have been adding some of the photos to that site and updating information as I can.

That is a bit of our week and we hope that your week was meaningful as well -- see you all in a few!

Burgers tonight . . .

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Major League Seasonal Colors

We actually used the heater a couple of times this week to "take the edge off" in the morning. The afternoons were back to warm temps and the early to late evenings were back to edgy.  Major league baseball division and league championship series are underway as we speak. We have watched some of the games and have renewed our enjoyment of the slower paced games.

The colors of the MLB and the season are abundant. The array around the yard continues and the clear skies are creating some visual masterpieces in the air:

Most of the above are from the yard -- there are four photos though from the family room. In the bright sunshine there is plenty of glowing leaves and petals to enjoy and inside the basket of Himalayan salt crystals glow with a brilliant orange. The basket looks like live embers and is pleasing to see. There is supposed to be a slight soothing fragrance given off as well -- I have not noticed that but I'm sure it is there.

Dates & Anniversaries from our Tree

Besides the numerous birthdays this week there are nine wedding anniversaries as well. Also one of our cousins joined the Union Army during this week in 1862.

We wish all the best as we remember those on the above list.

TV Genealogy this Week

The Genealogy Roadshow, for me has been really refreshing. The series is three quarters done and there is just one more show this season.  This past Monday night they featured requests from San Francisco folks.
We hoped that we would see someone that we knew maybe -- a long-shot of course and it did not happen.

We did though see several folks that were able to have their genealogy questions answered. The show took place at the San Francisco Mint in downtown.

Next week -- Monday night the 14th -- the last of the four shows this season will air. It will be from Austin, Texas and it promises to be very interesting with a variety of different genealogical questions solved.

Of interest too is that The Genealogy Roadshow is calling for applications to be "in the show" next season. So that means if you have a story to confirm or a brickwall maybe to solve -- go to the website and fill out the questionnaire.

Check out their website:    Genealogy Roadshow  and supply the needed information on the provided forms and maybe we'll see you in the next season -- that would be fun!

Civil War Cousins from our Tree

We have several folks that have fought in the Civil War who are from our tree, but today I am reminded of two who supposedly joined on the same day back on October 11, 1862. Amos Hiles joined the 114th Ohio Volunteers, Company H as did his Uncle, John C Hiles.

Click on the charts above to see the relationship to me for each man. Amos was just seventeen when he enlisted and sadly about six months later he died somewhere near St Louis. He is buried in Jefferson Barracks Cemetery, in St Louis (I have been there for another service).

John C Hiles, the Uncle of Amos, was a musician attached to the 114th Cavalry and did make it through the war, serving through June of 1864. He died in 1896.

Columbus Weekend

When we heard on the news that this was a "three-day weekend" we had to stop and think about that. What holiday was it -- then our school day memories kicked in and we realized that it was Columbus Day or as some of California calls it -- "Indigenous People's Day".

Right away we wondered what we were going to serve for dinner on the Holiday and so we looked up a typical meal on board the Santa Maria as shown above -- who doesn't love Cod Cakes. I'm sure it is better than the Norwegian Cod -- Lutefisk . . .

Usually this might be a mid-fall break for the Federal working group -- but then we remembered that they were already "off" and would gladly work on the 14th . . .

There is much controversy about Columbus Day.  Growing up we accepted the day and went about our business as usual. Today some states do not recognize the day at all and others have a variety of names for the day.

Still Working on Pictures

I utilized my portable scanner -- the Flip Pal -- and while watching Monday Night Football and also a MLB championship game I scanned a ton more of the photos that I recently received. My fingers were blackened from cutting many of the photos loose from a hundred year old scrapbook that must have belonged to my maternal Grandmother.

My maternal Grandfather owned and operated a dental laboratory in Chicago and while not certain I think my Grandmother must have used some sort of dental adhesive to affix the photos as a lot of them could not be freed from their black backings.

Since the book was my maternal Grandmother's, above are just "some" of the many pictures of my Mother that I can identify. I had never seen these photos before. I have to guess that most of them were taken in Marinette, Wisconsin and some others in Iowa. Of course others were taken in Chicago.

I can usually recognize my Grandmother, Hildred -- Hildur -- Mamie, easily in the photos with my Mother. As to some of the others with her -- it is only a guesstimate.

As my Mother was born in 1912 many of the photos I have scanned are over 100 years old.

On Our Nightstand for Reading

Well, we finally finished "Manson" none too soon for Gail -- I enjoyed the detailed writing a lot and had mixed feelings when it came to a conclusion. That story and era seems so long ago but not so much when we get news about "Charlie" still in prison. His next parole date opportunity is when he is about 94 . . .

But we have started another book -- this one a biography and we have stayed in the entertainment field again. It is fun to read about folks that we have come to know and enjoy from music or film or TV. And this person we actually met -- albeit briefly:

Gail and I were attending a party at the home of Philip Adams -- her former Father-in-Law. Also attending was George Lucas and his current lady-friend, Linda Ronstadt. At one point we did meet both George and Linda and mostly talked briefly about George's two children.  It seems so long ago . . .

We are enjoying her book so far and are at the point where she has left her home and is making her start into the music world. We look forward to reading more about her life -- we always enjoyed her singing.

And Lastly

We actually have decorated the house a bit for the upcoming Halloween time -- we are way ahead of the game and almost ahead of the rest of the block. We also have tons of candy at the ready (and we have not opened any as yet to my knowledge).

Halloween bunting . . . amazing and so easy to hang -- too bad it didn't match the size of the flag bunting. Oh well, Dino is impressed.

In the early night sky the other night the setting sun reflected off some jet trails but by the time I retrieved my camera the plane was almost out of sight.

A slight half-moon can be seen in the lower left picture as well -- we are enjoying the displays . . .

That is a bit of our week -- we hope that you had a good week as well. Burgers tonight! See you in a few!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

There's a Number (and an App) for This 'n That

If I was going to vote on the perfect weather-day, today would be it. Not too hot, not too cool with just a hint of wind . . . mostly clear skies, blue with the wispy white bits of cloud here and there. And almost no sounds being generated in the neighborhood , wow!

If I were going to put a picture to the above description it would be the picture that my brother took a few years ago. I actually developed the photo (in the days of actual film) while I worked in our local photo lab. The simple scene speaks ( a very high number) tons without so much as one word, allowing the viewer to add their own interpretation. ♥

I don't know how long this weather will last and I know that some parts of the country are having some extreme weather such as blizzards but we are enjoying this to the max. Probably not an App for this . . .

This Week -- Birthdays from the Tree

We want to recognize all those that celebrated birthdays this past week. There are numbers and apps for all that:

Hopefully you recognize some of the above folks -- especially "Daughter Two" on the 3rd . . . (numbers)

Picture Perfect

Just like the last few weeks I have been working on pictures -- and I am not alone as I heard my brother mention on the phone the other day "I have pictures all over the floor . . ." He is working on a project that tells his story in some of the pictures that he has accumulated over his life.

I have accumulated a ton of pictures and I hope that I can "leave" them to folks who will not have to guess as to who the subjects are "too much" . . . and as I have to answer to Gail frequently about how many I have actually labeled . . . not all of them -- yet.

The above collage is an example of what I have been working on this week. In the above are all three of my siblings and one pic of my Uncle.

Top left is Stewart Bumgardner in a cart pulled by a goat. It is in the front yard of their home in Chicago (about 1930) at 2521 N Bernard St. I remember that enterprising photographers used to come around the neighborhoods and sell pictures of kids either on ponies or carts like the above.

To the right is my sister, Marilee standing in the back of our grandparent's home (2521 N Bernard) I am guessing that it would have been taken around 1942 . . .

On the left middle is a beautiful shot or my younger brother, Jon, walking with "Lady" our Great Dane about 1950 in the back of our house at 240 S La Grange Road, La Grange, Illinois. The picture is the only one that I have seen of "Lady" -- we do have others of Jon.

The bottom picture came to me pretty much scratched and marred after what seems to me folding and refolding for whatever reason. I worked on it for a couple of hours and have gotten a reasonable photo out of it . . . my brother Marv is in the photo taken probably around 1938 in a housing complex in Chicago.

Try to guess which one is him -- for those who know him it should be apparent for a lot of reasons. For those who don't know him -- a hint -- someone may have "stuck a gun in his back" . . . it really wasn't that
kind of neighborhood though . . . but I do see one young lady with a rifle.

And lastly (about the pictures anyway):

When working on my family history I had sent away for my Father's Army records so that I could piece together his at least two terms of service -- but the Army's response was that his records along with millions of others all were lost in a fire in the St. Louis repository several years ago.

So it is always great to get a picture that documents some of that Army experience of my Father's:

Sergeant Marvin S Hiles Sr is 2nd from the right on the bottom row -- this was the first time that I had seen this photo and it does document when and where -- I just don't know for how long. I know that he was in the Army in the mid 1920s and now through the 1931 period, but there is a lot missing to that period.

Here's a Number:  25945 & Counting . . .

Well that is a number that I hope to grow for a while. That is the number of days that I have been around so far to date. And what is interesting is just how many of those days that I can remember in any sort of detail.

One of my all-time favorite actresses -- Mary Lu Henner -- has been around for 22462. One significant difference though with her is that she can remember almost every day and it's details. She has "hyperthymesia" which gives her that memory capability. She has written books on her highly superior autobiographical memory -- I would like to read those books.

Another interesting fact about Mary Lu -- she was raised in the Logan Square area of Chicago -- the same area that my Mother and family lived growing up -- small world.

A fun and quick site allows you each to plug in your birth date and calculate your "days" . . . visit it at:

Days Calculator and click on the "days alive" button.


Genealogy Roadshow this last week was produced in Detroit, Michigan -- and it was a great show with several folks participating. I find every instance of the search fascinating and know that for every few minutes we see on TV -- there is probably hours and hours of research being put into that.

So last week,  Detroit,  this coming week -- San Francisco and who knows maybe we'll see someone we know -- could happen . . . Monday Night on PBS, check it out.

What Sports are All About . . .

It can't all be work genealogy -- there should be some sort of break. This week there is:  the start of the post season MLB. We watched a game last night -- we have to catch up knowing who plays on what team and all and we usually do by the time the World Series is over . . .

It is too early to tell who will be in the series but we look forward to seeing some of the games. In the meantime it is week 5 in the NFL -- San Francisco is 2&2 so the outcome of this weeks game versus the Texans on Sunday Night will be interesting and may tell the good story.

I have to say that MLB misses a real facet to the game that the NFL endorses . . . you'll have to guess.
There may be an App for that . . .

That was a bit of our week -- hope your week was great -- see you in a few! Burgers tonight!