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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fall is Near -- Some Fell Last Week

Of course, what else could be the BIG news of the week other than -- QUAKE! Both Gail and I were abruptly awakened in the early morning hours last Sunday and we both said:  "Earthquake" and I listened for sirens or other signs of imminent danger and then went back to sleep . . .

The above shows just a sample of the destruction and there are hundreds of red-tagged structures. Fortunately there does not seem to be any fatalities relating to this event.

This is the largest California earthquake since Loma Prieta in 1989 which was 6.9 compared to this one, 6.0.
I was fortunate enough to miss Loma Prieta as I was visiting my son in Germany at that time.

We look at this quake and immediately think about the possibilities here in Healdsburg of such a quake -- from time to time we do feel small quakes as they hit locally.

There is no mistaking the feel of your house shaking for what seems like "forever". The "wake-up" call sent by these quakes are soon forgotten to some extent and we continue our everyday lives hoping NOT to experience additional events . . .

We received calls from concerned relatives the next day and as we had slept soundly after being awakened we had not seen the news about Napa and were surprised to see all that happened.

Dates Next Week

There are a ton of birthdays next week, though some of them represent just the month as I did not know the exact day:

There are also many wedding anniversaries including Marilee & Bill, my sister and husband. So we wish all the very best on these dates!

Now, Even More Back to School

Last week I posted a couple of "back to school" mementos and I have four additional ones this week -- all courtesy of and their "School Yearbooks -- 1880-2012" collection:

Top left is Gail's mom from her senior picture at Bremerton High School in 1937. Top right is Marv Hiles in 1951 pictured in the Lions Township High Orchestra photo. Bottom right is Marilee Hiles singing in the Hinsdale Township High's Chorus in 1954. And lastly -- me -- in 1963 at PCC, Foreign Language Council.

I will continue to seek other yearbook photos from Ancestry and post them. I know that there are a lot more to discover and they are adding books all the time. Maybe I should donate my old yearbooks to them . . .

Now What is on Our Nightstand . . .

Actually we still are finishing up (one more night) reading "Taking the Lead" by Derek Hough. His book has been very upbeat and a pleasure to read. I am sure that he will write follow up books as he is still a young man -- and we look forward to them.

But our next read is sitting next to Derek's book and we'll probably start tonight:

This book was finished being written this year and has great reviews. John Wayne of course was a legend for our generation and we look forward to reading this book.

One thing I remember from my days living in Orange County -- besides the "John Wayne Airport" -- I remember seeing his yacht in Newport Beach -- the "Wild Goose".  What makes this so interesting to me is that the ship was a Navy Minesweeper, used in WWII and then converted to a personal yacht.

My younger brother served in the Navy during Vietnam on the USS Gallant, a minesweeper that had a complement of about 70 - 80 sailors. I believe that the "Wild Goose" and the USS Gallant were similar.

Speaking of Reading . . .

I have always enjoyed reading and usually I read some before going to sleep every night and I have done this since childhood.  For whatever reason just yesterday I was reminded of a night almost exactly 53 years ago this Sunday night -- September 1, 1961.

I was still living in Hinsdale, Illinois and on this particular evening I was reading while on our "jealousie" porch which has the kind of louvered windows that allows for a lot of air to be let in. This night was the afterglow of a stormy day and the air was fresh.

While reading in the wee hours (around 2 am) I heard a horrendous crash off in the not-too-far distance. Since we lived about a mile from a major Interstate (Route 83) I quickly assumed that it was a major truck accident.  When more and more sirens began to wail, I got up to see about investigating:

It turned out far worse than I imagined -- at the time it was one of the worst single-plane disasters in the U.S.

My older brother, who happened to be visiting at the time got up also and we ventured out a couple of miles to the scene of the above crash. We were fairly early onto the site and of course the fires and the smells were unforgettable.

We walked a bit out of curiosity along with others until we were sickened by what we saw. Even today, 53 years later I can "see" the images in my mind's eye.

The plane pictured above looks small compared to current models and of course it was "prop-job" not a jet. But it was large plane for it's day and after the investigation was concluded it was determined that the cause of the crash most likely was a missing bolt . . . 78 folks lost their lives in the crash -- no survivors.

Find-A-Grave has created a virtual cemetery for many of those folks at a site there for TWA Flight 529.

Current Sports Viewing

We still are watching the Giants play baseball, but now mostly if there is NO football game. Next week the regular season NFL games begin and we are anxious to watch.  It is amazing the difference in watching a pre-season game and a regular season game:

Above you can see the schedule for Week #1. We'll be recording several of the games to view. This week during the last pre-season games we watched both the Forty-Niner's and the Raider's games even though they were being shown at the same time live -- thank goodness for the DVR.

And I have to say that the Raider's first-time quarterback, Derek Carr was impressive to watch even though I have a hard time getting "into" a Raider game . . .

After the Niner's had a two and two pre-season, we hope that they can move forward with a winning style -- it makes it sooo much more fun to watch.

And, Lastly

It is hard to believe that 242 days have already gone by in 2014 with 123 remaining. And it is hard to believe that we are in a major holiday weekend:

However you celebrate -- have a great day! It is Saturday and that means burgers tonight!

See you all in a few!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Burgers -- Baseball -- Apple (Sauce)

It is that time of the year when the apple trees in our yard keep dropping tons of apples. Since most of these are damaged and heavily pecked by the birds, if we wanted to make applepie applesauce we then pick the amount we need and begin processing.

Gail is peeling, cutting and getting the apples ready for slowly cooking to make the sauce. Dino is watching patiently in the event anything were to hit the ground -- but he would not like the apples anyway . . .

Dates From the Tree for Next Week:

Again a fair amount of birthdays next week and for some recognizable folks . . .

Gail and I celebrate an anniversary next week as do seven other couples.

Best wishes to all!

More Back to School

Last week our local public schools started their "fall" classes. I wandered around some data bases and in and found a couple of school related items:

My mother always said that "High School" was a very pleasant experience for her. She was raised in Chicago and graduated from Lake View High in 1929:

I always find it interesting to read these old yearbooks and even though I do not have the yearbook above, did. And the above shows my mother's senior picture and one other of her in the "home economics" club.

So there are three references to Ruth Bumgardner in the book including a "Verse or Worse" relating to certain folks, my mother being one.

The caption on her senior photo mentions "Moser Business College" which did not happen as she enrolled in Nurses Training instead.

When graduation came that year the U.S. economy was still very much in a boom -- but by the fall the Wall Street crash happened and the class of '29 was the first to experience the beginning of the "Great Depression".

My mother's younger brother (by 14 years) is Stewart Bumgardner and I happened across him in a year book from the University of Illinois in 1948:

Pictured with his fraternity -- Delta Chi -- he is in the top row, farthest right.  By this time, 1948, the depression was over as was WWII (which Stewart served in) and the boom years were starting again.

Stew was always a favorite Uncle and was considered to be very studious. He was someone that the kids in our family looked-up-to.

I managed to find a few other of our folks in various yearbooks -- thank you -- and from time to time I will refer to them.

Some Cousins in Indiana

So many of our cousins come from Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Virginia and several other states but only a few have shown up in Indiana.

Above is the obituary for George William Hiles, who is my 4th cousin once removed ( a generation apart).

George seems to have led a very interesting & rewarding life including raising 5 children, playing the drums in various bands and enjoying car and motorcycle racing.

Here is how he is related:

George comes down the line from Christopher Hiles (brother to our 3rd Gr Grandfather John Jr). I do not know the reason that they wound up in Indiana, but it looks as though George's Grandfather, David Martin Hiles was the first to live (and die) in Indiana.

To see a slice of  George's tree (data from the obituary):

There are lot more things to learn about the cousins in Indiana and over time we'll probably uncover facts and maybe even meet and communicate with some of them -- I hope to.

WDYTYA -- This Week

I have been relating a bit about the weekly shows from Who Do You Think You Are. This week I felt was a particularly strong show -- featuring Kelsey Grammer. It was truly amazing to see and relate to his astonishment as some of the details of his family were revealed to him.

I am not sure who will be featured next week, but I know that I'll be watching. As a matter of fact I believe all the episodes can be viewed in a variety of places as well as rerun on TLC -- check it out.

That was a bit of our week -- it is Saturday and it will be burgers tonight!  See you all in a few!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

School . . . Bleak Week For Some

Unbelievably, school started in the public schools here in Healdsburg on Thursday, August 14. We know that means a lot of things to different folks. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago we never went back to school until just after labor day.

There are a lot of kids in town that have not gone back to school as yet because they go to private schools, lucky them.

Since our backyard backs up to an elementary school playfield, the sounds of recess have begun to waft across the fence and brings several emotions to the former school-teacher (Gail) who lives here, plus she has great fondness for her days at the University of Puget Sound . . .

Dates Next Week

Many familiar names are on the list for next week:

Best wishes to them all!

Bought on eba Recently

I like to check eba for items relating to our family. Several years back I managed to outbid someone for the "HILES ICE CREAM" sign which now hangs outside on our pool house wall along with several other family items.   Joining them soon will be my latest find:

The red sign to the left came from the HILES FIRE DEPARTMENT in of course Hiles, Wisconsin. I am happy to be able to put it up with the other memorabilia "out back".

I actually have been to Hiles, Wisconsin -- several years ago, and while I have yet to tie us to the founders of the town (there are actually two HILES, Wisconsins) I feel a close identity. How many Hiles branches  can there be anyway . . .


This week's program featured Valerie Bertinelli. Her story was very interesting in that she was able to learn quite a bit about both her father's line and her mother's line. Her father's line is Italian and her mother's line is English -- but SOME English!

It turns out that her mother's line links directly (through the Claypooles) to King Edward 1st . . . very impressive. And how nice it would be to find something like that out . . .

Next week -- Kelsey Grammer will be featured. I look forward to seeing his story.

So What is on Our Nightstand (and our iPad . . .)

We finished reading the book "Behind the Curtain" all about Jay Leno and the Tonight Show. We found the book to be excellent and we enjoyed reading it together.

So, what is next?

Since one of our favorite TV shows is "Dancing With the Stars" it was a natural to select the above book written by one of the stars of that show. Even though he is still a young man he has a lot to share about his "take" on life and we are enjoying his book.

While the above is a book we are reading together, I have a couple that I have on my iPad that I am reading whenever I grab the time:

Having lived through the "Watergate" period I purchased the Audible version of "The Nixon Defense" by John W Dean. When I take the time the book is read to me and I can stop and start whenever I want to and the book is bookmarked for me to pick up later . . .

Then, on my Kindle app on the iPad, I have the book "David and Goliath" by Gladwell and this book I do the reading one page at a time. I also can start and stop whenever I want to and can enlarge the print or look up words etc.

The iPad using Audible and/or Kindle is really nice. While physical books are great, the ability to carry several with you on an iPad is a bonus. I have many books on the iPad and so I can pick and choose which one I would like to read or be read to . . .

Lastly, an update on found-stuff

I did manage to find tons of little clues here and there across a wide spectrum of the family tree. While browsing through an issue of "The Spirit Lake Beacon" -- Spirit Lake, Iowa (on I spotted this ad:

Since our family never really talked about many of the Iowa relatives, I never knew about "BOYD'S , THE MEN'S SHOP" until now.

A couple of posts ago I had published the information about Penn Blair and his unfortunate story and this shop was owned by his father Boyd Blair, a first cousin of mine.

That is a bit of our week. It is Saturday, burgers tonight!  See you all in a few!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Taking Care of Business

Often lately our business has had to do with the health care system with respect to us -- this week we attended to the needs of our faithful pooch Dino. He never complains (nor ever barks) but we did notice that he had a little redness in the corner of one eye.

We waited a couple of days to see if it got better, but it did not. We made the appointment and took him into see his favorite vet place. The first event -- just like with us -- they weighed him. Oops, it looks like age is catching up with his metabolism so a "slight" reduction in feed is called for.

In addition, after a thorough examination Dino got medication for the eye infection, medication for an ear infection AND medication for the rash on his belly . . .he is a lab.

The hood he is wearing is a hassle and he isn't totally smooth on his navigation through the house, not unlike others I know. But the pill pockets that we put the antibiotic pills in are a huge hit -- he loves hickory . . .

His prognosis is good and he looks better already. He is so patient though with that hood -- we take it off for him to eat his reduced rations.

Dates Next Week

Lots of birthdays, few wedding anniversaries. There are a lot of familiar names on the upcoming birthday list. For those names that you do not recognize, if you'd like check them out at

Who Do You Think You Are -- This Week

It was another week highlighting the amazing things that we can learn about our ancestors, or in this case the ancestors of the McAdams sisters, Kayleen & Rachel.

A few generations back on their maternal side the sisters uncovered a gr gr gr grandfather who happened to make his living as a "footman" in the service of others. First they learned what that occupation entailed and then they actually visited the house in-which he was employed.

Unfortunately there often was a high risk in that profession and their ancestor died at an early age of that related risk factor. If they had only just seen the dates and geographical references they would never have found out the circumstances surrounding this part of their heritage.

Things Found in My Search -- This Week

I found a ton of small details for a variety of folks in our tree -- but I'll mention really just one for now. I have talked about a favorite cousin of my Mother's before, Charles Keith Bumgardner. I had only ever heard of him as "Keith Bumgardner" from my Mother, I never met him.

This week I stumbled across a form that he filled out in 1950 when he was applying to receive some military pay due to him pertaining to WWII:

Above you can see both his relationship to me and the form that he filled out. It looked like he was applying to receive $415 due him for his service. The amount is interesting but what I found more interesting was on the second page he listed the name of his current wife -- a name that I had not seen before -- Dorothy Bumgardner with her address in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania..

I will have to do more research with respect to that "new" name, which is often the case when finding new documents . . .

The other piece of information that I found this week for Keith was his final resting place. I knew that after WWII he had returned to Japan, married a Japanese lady and had at least one more daughter, Mariko. But I did not expect to see his gravestone -- that comes courtesy of Find-A-Grave:

Apparently this cemetery is primarily for those from other countries who have died while living in Japan. The grounds look very well attended.

Sporting Choices This Week

As soon as Thursday came about this week, baseball quickly took a backseat to football. Preseason football began for real and we watched (most of) the game between the 49ers and the Ravens, a battle between the brother coaches named Harbaugh.

Above you can see this week's preseason NFL action some of which is taking place tonight. We did watch a bit of the game between the Vikings and "that other team" just enough to convince us though that we had better things to do.

Preseason NFL, while fun to watch, probably will not take us away from watching the SF Giants play until the real season gets started in September -- then there are only so many sporting entertainment hours available for us . . . we are also anxiously awaiting (a week from Sunday) for the first game that the 49ers will play in their brand-new Levi Stadium.

Lastly -- A Sad Farewell

Sadly Gail and I lost a friend of many years this week and may she R.I.P. !

The above photo was taken on February 28, 2014 . . .

That was a bit of our week. See you all in a few.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


This week was a lot like the days in "Groundhog Day" that is, each day seemed to be a repeat of the previous one. That 90s movie with Bill Murray sticks in our minds when we have the kind of week that we just had.

But the weather is semi-moderate today and the temperature is a bit cooler today than yesterday. Out in the back this morning I snapped this collage:

There are still some colorful blossoms and some plants that we just discovered this year (the red ones). Dino resembles his wall art and the morning is giving in to some sun after an overcast start . . .

Next Week's Dates

There are quite a few birthdays next week as well as several wedding anniversaries -- today though we send birthday wishes to our cousin Bruce Hiles who celebrates this day, August 2nd.

WDYTYA -- After Two Episodes

As usual, the episode of WDYTYA this week was again very interesting as Jesse Ferguson finds out that a great grandparent was charged with some serious crimes just as a great grandparent in Cynthia Nixon's previous episode.

What I find so interesting is the depth of the information that is uncovered AND the fact that apparently the families today had NO idea of these events until WDYTYA and reveals the details.

While I do not necessarily want to find out the kinds of things that Cynthia and Jesse found out, I would love to be able to get that level of detail of events in some of our relatives lives.

Some "Details" Found in this Week's Searching

On the maternal branch of my tree e.g. one of the main relatives that I know things about is George Franklin Bumgardner, my Gr Gr Grandfather who along with some of the Rider family boys rode from Virginia to Iowa in search of lands they felt would be suitable to move to.

And they all agreed on settling in Muscatine, Iowa. I have written in previous posts about George. This post I thought I'd look at some additional facts:

Muscatine was at one time (after the decline of the timber industry) known as THE button capital of the world. And why was that so -- the abundance of available mussels and their shells from the Mississippi river.

Who would have thought that from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s that buttons and the production of them would figure so prominently into the economy of Muscatine.

At one point it was mentioned that almost 50% of the labor force in Muscatine was engaged in button cutting and related efforts -- and that included many of our relatives living there:

In the above picture is just one example of a relative working in the button industry in Muscatine. In this example, George Franklin Bumgardner's younger brother, Jacob and his Grandson George Harry Bumgadner along with his wife Pauline are shown in the 1930 census working in the button industry.

We probably have some of those buttons in a collection in some drawer in our home . . .

More Iowa Detail found this Week

While nosing around the many surnames from our family tree who lived in and around Iowa I did find some detail of a sad nature about a second cousin.

My mother mentioned that the BUMGARDNER'S were intermingled with the BUTLER'S, the BLAIR'S, the RANKIN'S, the RIDER'S and the HOOPES' -- which I have found to be the case as I search through the branches.

Most of the Iowa folks I have never met -- just my Grandfather Dayton Bumgardner, his brother Carl and a couple of others. This week I found details about the life of a second cousin that I had never met:

Penn Boyd Blair was close to my age and was the grandson of my grandfather's sister, Bess, as you can see in the above. He unfortunately died in -- at the time the 4th worst air-crash in history -- in a DC-10 near Paris, France.

The cause of the crash later was revealed to be a poorly secured hatch in the rear of the plane . . . all 346 aboard perished.

A Saturday Webinar

My post this week is published a little later than usual as I attended a very informative webinar on how to prove or disprove some written evidence:

Tom Jones gave a very detailed informative presentation using several real-life examples.

Lastly -- Why Burgers?

I remember growing up that Saturday nights were special in our 1940s home (1930s for my brother & sister).

It was special because in those days we got our weekly bath on that day and as we were relaxing in our clean sleep wear we were treated to listening to the radio AND to burgers. We also got to have root beer, usually "Dad's Old Fashioned" and Jay's potato chips -- what more could you want?

Well, that is where the "Barn Dance" came in . . . we listened every Saturday night, in front of the little radio and as a family enjoyed that program -- I especially liked "Homer & Jethro".

Well, we no longer take baths, we no longer listen to the Barn Dance -- but, we do have burgers!

So now you know -- see you all in a few!