Thursday, August 25, 2011


The year is 2011. Hurricane Irene is expected to arrive on Sunday, August 28th somewhere between the Carolinas and Maine. Weather reporters say it is forty years since the last powerful hurricane landfall in New England. We'll have to wait until Sunday to learn of the intensity and path Irene will show and follow...

The year was 1635. Anthony Thacher, with his new wife Elizabeth and four children by an earlier marriage along with his cousin (and new world adventure partner) Joseph Avery, his wife, six children and manservant, boarded the ship Watch and Wait at Ipswich, heading for Marblehead. No weather forecasts predicted the hurricane. 21 passengers and crew died as their ship was tossed and beaten on the rocks of a small island just off Rockport, Massachusetts. There were two survivors: Anthony Thacher and his wife Elizabeth. Anthony wrote of his woe to his brother the Rev. Peter Thacher in England.

Excerpts from THE LETTER...
"I must turn my drowned pen and shaking hand to indite this story of such sad news as never before this happened in New England....
"We embarked at Ipswich August 11, 1635, with our families and substance, bound for Marblehead... The next morning having commended ourselves to God, with cheerful hearts we hoisted sail. But the Lord suddenly turned our cheerfulness into mourning and lamentations... ut before daylight it pleased the Lord to send so mighty a storm, as the likes was never known in New England since the English came, nor in the memory of any of the Indians.... We were driven before the wind and waves.
"... The waves came furiously and violently over us and against us; but by reason of the rock's proportions could not lift us off, but beat her (the ship) all to pieces... and mind own children so untimely (if I may so term it without offence) before mine eyes drowned....
"... but by a mighty wave I was, with the piece of the bark, washed out upon part of the rock, where the waves left me almost drowned. But recovering my feet, I saw above me on the rock my daughter Mary to whom I had no sooner gotten, but my cousin Avery and his eldest son came to us... We four by that wave were clean swept away from off the rock also into the sea; the Lord in one instant of time, disposing of fifteen souls of us....
"... I was overwhelmed with water, and driven to and fro again, and at last I felt the ground with my right foot... and I made haste to get out... (and) crept to the shore, where, blessing God, I turned about to look for my children and friends but saw neither, nor any part of the pinnace... but I saw my wife....
"... we sat about an hour, almost dead with cold. But now the storm was broken up and the wind was calm... But my heart would not let me sit still any longer - but i would go to see if any more were gotten to the land in safety... but I could find none, neither dead yet living.
"...time and manner how and when I last saw and left my children and friends. One was severed from me sitting on the rock at my feet, the other three in the pinnace; my little babe (ah, poor Peter!) sitting in his siter Edith's arms, who to the uttermost of her power sheltered him from the waters; my poor William standing clost unto them, all three of them looking ruefully on me on the rock, their very countenances calling unto me to help them... Oh, I yet see their dheeks, poor silent lambs, pleading pity and help at my hands....
"There we remained until the Monday following when, about thre oclock in the afternoon, in a boat that came that way, we went off that desolate island, which I named after my name, Thacher's Woe, and the rock, Avery, his fall. In the island lie buried the body of my cousin's eldest daughter, whom I found dead on the shore. On the Tuesday following we arrived in Marblehead."

2011: Let us hope sufficient information, alerts and warnings have been aired and printed so that everyone in the path of Hurricane Irene will take heed, take precautions and take action to protect their safety and the safe well-being of those around them. Amen.

-Anthony Thacher of 1635 hurricane is a cousin, many generations removed, from our father/grandfathers Clarence Evan Thatcher, son of Lewis Ellsworth Thatcher, son of Nathaniel R. Thatcher.
-Thacher's Woe is now Thacher Island. Look just offshore on the Massachusetts' map.
-A subsequent Thacher (probably Daniel) added the middle 't' = Thatcher.
-A Google search regarding Thatcher, Anthony Thacher, the letter, etc., changes frequently. The beautiful webpage of Lady Katherine, in which the entire Thacher letter was beautifully presented, has disappeared....

Here are a few sites - as of August 25, 2011:
To read Anthony Thacher's letter in it entirety, see
* * *

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Don't you love being an American? Doesn't your heart swell with pride when you see the flags lined up on a parade route, the county square and the veteran's cemetery? What are you thinking when the night sky lights up with fireworks?

Independence Day usually falls on a warm day with a clear evening for celebration - flying the stars and stripes, joining a parade and enjoying a barbeque. Does everyone's menu include hot dogs and hamburgers and potato salad? How about iced tea and popsicles? The perfect topper is the fireworks display.

Over many years, Independence Day has been celebrated by my family in large or small ways. It is one of those benchmark dates in our family's history. You see, my husband and I met on July 3rd. I won't tell you the year. Before that evening with our friends ended, my future husband invited me to join him for the fireworks display the following evening. I said 'yes' and we were together ever after - so to speak. OK - the year was 1950 and we were married the following year.

Our family has attended lots of fireworks displays or watched them from or own back yard in Illinois and in Arkansas. We celebrated most of them with family and friends in a backyard barbeque of hot dogs, hamburgers and potato salad. These past few years the area I reside in celebrates Independence with a 2-3 day schedule of events from a street parade, auto show, rodeo, music and art festivals, a turtle race topped off by a spectacular fireworks display on the beautiful new college campus. I attend with family and friends and it is more impressive every year.

Like everything else in the ecoomy, the cost of fireworks is outrageously expensive so that local businesses contribute generously to this 2-3 day event. One major contributor is the attendees themselves as they purchase lottery tickets for a 'one-of-a-kind' pendant, designed and created by a local jeweler and valued, this year, at $7,000. We purchased a bunch of tickets. We did not win the pendant but the fireworks gave us a spectacular return for our donation. There will be two more fireworks displays in nearby towns on the 3rd and 4th. I'm not sure we will be going to those events but we will certainly be flying our Red, White and Blue flag of Stars and Strips. We may invite a few friends over as we cook up some hot dogs and carve a fresh watermelon for the occasion.

God Bless our Patriot soldiers from 1776 - and all the Minutemen (and women) who have guarded our independence and freedom to this day. Don't you love being an American? Doesn't your heart swell with pride when you see the American flags flying. Does the Fourth of July, with fireworks bursting in air, hold some special meaning for you? Tell me how you celebrate Independence and Freedom. I'd like to know.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thatcher Magazine - June 2011

FAMILY HISTORY - remembering Agnes Lake
She was known to the world as Agnes Lake. As a performer her talents were unequaled. Agnes's curiosity, imagination, persistence and remarkable energy carried her to greater heights than any woman in circus show business before or since. She was just five feet three inches tall, with chocolate brown hair and dark blue eyes; well built and lithe, she was daring and innovative in her performance. Ultimately, she became one of the few women to own and manage a highly successful and very profitable circus.

Perhaps she chose to marry a circus man, W. L. Thatcher because she was drawn to adventure and excitement. Obviously she didn't expect to be just a spectator. She would be a part of it, and she had no fear of the exhausting work involved. A circus presents continual problems in travel, schedules, personnel, equipment, animals, costumes, food, housing, weather and troublemakers; equipment breaks down, animals get sick and patrons cause trouble. When tragedy visited Agnes's life, her strong character, determination, fortitude and problem-solving abilities came to the fore.

As a young widow, why wouldn't Agnes marry the tall, handsome J. B. Hickok and expect to commence upon yet another exciting adventure? His past had certainly been as eventful as her own.

During more than eighty years of her lifetime, Agnes was so busy living that it didn't occur to her to write down things important to her so that those of us who arrived later might know her better. We can only guess at her thoughts, cares and ambitions from a few surviving letters she wrote or received and from other people's comments found in (unreliable) newspapers, magazines and books.

And so, Agnes's life is pieced together (here, in the Agnes Lake biography by Nancy Thatcher Cerny, 2005) for the most part, from the writings and recollections of others who cared enough to tell us about the life and time of Agnes Lake.
-by Nancy Thatcher Cerny, Agnes Lake's great-grand niece \

Queen of the Circus; Wife of a Legend, edited by Linda A. Fisher* & Carrie Bowers, pub. 2009Nancy Cerny shared Agnes Lake information with Linda a. Fisher prior to the publication of her book, "Queen of the Circus; Wife of a Legend." Linda A fisher was a public health
physician. She edited a book, The Whiskey Merchant's Diary, a review of the life of one of
Agnes Lake's brothers.
Wild Bill Hickok and Agnes Lake, self-published by Jan Cerney in 2008.

Nancy (that's me) has been adopted (sort of) by a family in Fishguard, Wales... Yes, it's true. My friend from England, a fellow writer, introduced me to her brother living in Wales and we have been corresponding 'across the pond' for several months. My friend and husband come for tea every few weeks although they live busy, artistic, international lives. Joe shoots in 'sniper' competitions while Jo is a wood carver, artist, writer and, recent student of blacksmithing. In addition to being writers, she and I have a quirky sense of humor in common. It would appear her brother in Fishguard has a quirky humor as well. I am flattered they call me Cariad - Welsh for 'beloved sister' in person and in correspondence. The letters, which he calls Paper Pigeons (P/P) are paper and pen letters. Mother was the last person I wrote to regularly in pen... thirty years ago. I find our P/P greatly enjoyable: a new friendship; learning about life overlooking a seaport, interests of people in a Welsh town, descriptions of people I've never met and places I have never been. In return, I'm taking a renewed look and interest in (previously ordinary) things around my home and town that are of interest to someone who has never visited America. WOW, it is like black and white photos of Pigeon creek, Mountain Home and the Ozarks morphing into Technicolor as I describe them to a pen pal. Even in my old age, new and interesting people and opportunities come knocking on my door.... "Come on in...."

The sisters haven't taken any bus tours recently so we had to make our weekend visit June 24-26 special! Marjorie drove down on Friday afternoon. We relaxed and chatted and went to dinner but we were up early Saturday morning and ready to whip up some of Marjorie's famous body cream. We re-strung my Westminster wind chimes anc we made our way into town to review the Annual Art Exhibit. We didn't agree with the expert's choice for 'Best of Show' and gladly completed ballots with our own selections (even Marjorie and I didn't agree on which was 'best'). Since Marjorie had never seen our huge new library, we stopped in for a grand tour. It is quite impressive in many ways - while disappointing in others (cannot download books on e-books or Kindle yet). It was too hot to do anything outdoors so we headed for home and got out paints to recolor some faded steppingstone tiles and cutesy garden ornaments before heading to the ASU College Campus for the Red, White & Blue fireworks celebration. It was spectacular! With the parking lot filled beyond capacity, it took a very long time for Carol to ease her car to the corner where we waited (and waved at friends as they drove by or pointed 'shame on you' fingers at drivers who sneaked into line - out of turn). I think we were glad to go home and get some relief from the heat.

On Sunday morning we were up and out with Carol to an excellent brunch before we drove out to Bull Shoals and surveyed Gaston's Fishing Resort. We took photos at the White river park that was so inviting that birds chirped in the trees and deer grazed in open areas between campgrounds. We watched a small private plane take off across from the bird sanctuary where free-roaming, colorful peacocks, and a white peacock, were busy showing off for girlfriends in the enclosures. We looked for a familiar gift shop, now gone, then drove to the dam's oveerlook at the National park where we watched a movie about Bull Shoals Lake, toured the museum and the gift shop before heading back to Mountain Home. Marjorie had a long drive ahead of her so we said good-bye - reluctantly. Nancy yTe\

Every day, in a big or small way, you make a difference.

It was one year ago when I decided to join Toastmasters, Int'l. I found it rather expensive but decided it was worth the price to keep my speaking skills sharp. Quite by coincidence, following the first meeting, I was asked to speak on writing before a Friends of the Library group. I spoke on Haiku and 6-word stories. That talk went well but, before the year was out, it was apparent Toastmasters Int'l. was not as helpful as I hoped or needed. Was it coincdence that upon discontinuing membership I was asked to speak before two other groups? - Twin Lake Writers on public speaking... and the Bull Shoals Historical Society on writing biographies - which resulted in an invitation to return to speak on Deborah Sampson, a biography I wrote two years ago. At any rate, I seem to be an example of the adage that 'when one door closes, another opens' or 'knock and it shall be given to you.' It all depends on what you want to believe. Sooo, I prefer to believe I have not toally lost my ability to read, write and speak publicly. It is something I have a good time doing and people seem to enjoy what I have to say. (I may get a hearing aid so I don't miss any knocks on the door....) Nancy yTe\

Mountain Home's Red, White and Blue Weekend Celeration included music, art, auto shows, children's programs, a rodeo, fireworks and TURTLE RACES. We did attend and enjoy several of the events. I wanted to enter the turtle races! The rules clearly indicated contestants had to provide their own turtles. None came to visit my yard all week. I was devastated to learn on Tuesday, following the races, that there were unclaimed racing turtles available at the event!
I could have been a contender! Nancy yTe \


ThatcherMagazine BLOG is intended as a magazine of monthly editions with five major categories: Family History, Family Newsletter, The Sisters, Inspiration & Stories to Share. Family members are welcome to contribute to the BLOG by contacting the editor through the comment' space on the blogsite, by e-mailing , phoning or by snail mail. To date I know little about managing a blogsite but I learn something new each month. Thank you for your patience.

Now, I am just sitting here waiting to hear from you...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Thatcher Magazine - May 2011

FAMILY HISTORY: Our cousin Julia - Alive and Performing
I thought you'd want to know that Julia Child, who was reported to have died in 2004, at age 91, continues to make personal appearances in print and in film!

~After discovering our 'cousin' relationship with Julia (about 30 times removed) I had to learn more about his incredible woman. I researched her interesting life and shared my findings with relatives (and anyone else who was interested) in a biography "Bon Appetit" published in Family History News 2005.
~It would appear a good number of friends, relatives and strangers are also intereted and have kept our cousin 'alive.' For instance, shortly before her death, Julia was working with her great-nephew Eric Prud'Homme, on an autobiographical review of her years in France. The book was not completed when Julia died so Prud'Homme continued alone. You can almost hear Julia's familiar voice as you read "My Life in France" published in 2006.
~At the same time, and much to Julia's disfavor, a young woman was blogging about recreating every recipe in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." She called it 'Project 2002:' 536 recipes in 365 days. Julia referred to the project as 'the stunt.' Julie Powell went from blog to book, creating "Julie & Julia" a 2005 best seller then movie in 2009. I actually went to a theater to see "Julie & Julia" and truly enjoyed it! The movie starred Meryl Streep and Amy Adams as Julia and Julie with Stanley Tucci as Paul Child (I think Tucci gave an outstanding portrayal of Paul as I characterized him from Julia's writings and comments).
~Julia Child authored 17 or 18 books - all on cooking ("My Life in France" being the only exception).
~"Appetite for Life" was written by Noel Riley Fitch, with Julia Child's approval and published in 1997. This biography, along with a box filled with articles and notes on her teleision series were the bases upon which I wrote "Bon Apetit." I never interviewed nor met Julia in person.
~In 1985, Charlotte Painter interviewed Julia for a book "Gifts of Age: 32 Remarkable Women." Julia is on the cover.
~"As Always, Julia; The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto" was published in 2010 by Joan Reardon who compiled and interpreted the letters of friendship exchanged by these two women. Julia was writing her first cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle while living in France.
~Yet another Julia Child book hit the bookshelves in 2011. "A Covert Affair - Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS." written by Jennet Conant. Julia was asked over and over again about her involvement with the OSS and her service in SriLanka, India and China: "What did you do? or "Were you a spy?" Her responses related to the weather, the landscape or the food; never her work. She repeated again and again that she had taken an oath to never discuss her OSS job - and she took pride in the value of her word. Note, too, that Paul's life and livlihood had been devastated by the McCarthyism inquisition as Paul became a target due to his service for the US in the OSS. By 2010, much of the WWII and OSS information archives were available to the public. If you lived through that destabilizing era, your stomach will be in knots again as you read "A Covert Affair."
~Each of the authors mentioned had a desire to view Julia Child from a different point of interest: cousin, nephew, government agent, world traveler, cook, author, television star or friend. All found honesty, humor, loyalty, dedication and integrity. In the end, Julia's nephew relates how her memories reminded her that the pleasures of the table and life were infinite - tourjours bon appetit!

Yankee relatives (Illinois and Michigan) survived the LONG, white winter of 2010-2011 while Tornado Alley relatives (Missouri and Arkansas) survived the first round of 2011 tornadoes.

THE SISTERS:Trying to Catch Up with the Calendar....It's May!
It has been many months since Marjorie and I have been able to get together in person - though we solve the problems of the world by phone at least once each week. If all goes well, we will meet in Branson May 21st for a writers' meeting. We are both grateful to be able to do that after so many tornado threats these past five weeks - Oh, what sad devastation they left in their wake!

Take it easy! Having a good work ethic is a good thing, but (I know you) overworking and getting overtired are easy for you to do. When you have a lot to do - you probably push yourself too hard. The best way to recharge, reorganized and rejuvinate is to relax. Do something nice for yourself. You deserve it. You earned it. (I'll second that...ntc)

STORIES TO SHARE: Holding Hands with Christy.
Now I don't remember which evening it was when all the news media set off alarms. Tornado sightings with touch-downs were heading right for my house! I think it was the fourth time in a week that I had prepared to dive into the hall closet. I closed off all the windows with curtains or blinds, closed all the doors, turned off all the lights and removed the vacuum cleaners from the closet before I checked my emergency equipment: battery and windup flashlight, radio, water, inhaler, purse with cash, credit cards, keys and cell phone. Don't forget shoes. (I always forget shoes.) The warnings were coming faster, closer, louder and more urgent - when the phone rang. It was Christy. I told her what was happening and she offered to get off the phone if I would feel safer closed in the closet, but I said I would rather she kept talking - and so she did. I have no idea what she was telling me; something funny, something serious, something interesting... who knows... I don't remember. What I do know is that the tornado split in two, part going to the north of my house; part to the south. We got wind and hail and rain. I also got the bonus of having Christy hold my hand, so to speak, through the storm - and gratitude when the All-Clear sounded.

INTERESTING STUFF: Wind,Water,Fire & Bumps in the Road.
As the television cameras scanned tornado damage at Tuscaloosa, Alabama the week of April 25, 2011, the camera and I saw a Bible message painted on the only piece of a church wall left standing: The earth shook and the Heavens poured down. Psalms 68:8. (I'm not religious, but I know the sentiment.)

On March 11, 2011, an earthquake rattled Japan and stirred up a tsunami. There are more earthquakes and tsunami in Japan than any other part of the world. I'm not sure whether this wall of water was bigger than the one that hit Haiti a year ago but it appeared to be greater than anyone in Japan experienced before.

It was April 11, 1906 when headlines of the San Francisco Daily News read, "The earth shook; the sky burned" as that city was devastated by earthquakes. That time it was fire that followed the Earth's rumble.

I live in 'Tornado Alley.' This has been a horrific year for tornadoes in the Unted States. I know I have been fortunate. I think I am prepared - but never want to find out for sure!

May 1, 2011: The sun came out to reveal the wonderful effect of wind and warmth and rain. The grasses have greened into a pale and plush carpet. Leaves have unfurled on every species of tree, replacing sneezy, pollin-pods. Just outside my window, the gnarled and darkened tree trunks of last month are hidden behind a velvety curtain made up of millions of leaves in a thousand shades of green - my favorite color!

~~The BLOG ~~
Family members are welcome to contribute to the BLOG by contacting the editor through either the 'comment' space on this blogsite or by emailing or phonong (870) 425-8264. You can use snail mail if you prefer. To date, I know only ow to manage transcribed print information (no pctures - cut-paste or fancy formatting).
OK - I'm sitting here waiting to hear from you. Nancy yTe \

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thatcher Magazine - March 2011

FAMILY HISTORY Bruce K. Thatcher - Distinguished Flying Cross citation Google: "FIRST LIEUTENANT BRUCE K. THATCHER ARMY for Service as set forth in the following: CITATION: The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the distinguished Flying Cross to First Lieutenant (Field Artillery) Bruce K. Thatcher (ASN: 0-5419513), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism and gallantry while participating in aerial flight while serving with Headquarters and Service Battery, 1st Battalion, 77th Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). First Lieutenant Thatcher distinguished himself by heroism in action on 28 June 1967, while serving as an aerial observer during a mission assisting artillery forward observers of three rifle companies which were engaged with a hostile force in Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam. Lieutenant Thatcher remained in the area for a period of one hour to assist forward observers in adjusting artillery fire. As fighting progressed, friendly and hostile positions moved to within 50 meters of each other. Later, aerial rocket artillery helicopters arrived to help the friendly elements in breaking contact with the hostile force. Realizing the danger to friendly troops if the rocket fire would be a fraction off, Lieutenant Thatcher, with complete disregard for his own safety, directed his pilot to lead the aerial rocket artillery helicopters to show the exact path of the desired rocket fire. Making several more passes over the hostile positions, his aircraft came under intense enemy fire. Lieutenant Thatcher's courageous action is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit uopn himself, his unit and the United States Army. Footnote: A copy of Bruce's recollection of 28 June 1967, in his own words, has been sent for inclusion in an official record book. A copy, with Bruce's permission to Marjorie, will be printed in its entirety in FAMILY HISTORY NEWS - 2011 issue. . FAMILY NEWSLETTER It has been a long, dark winter... Family members escaped to warmer climates when Carol and Colleen spent nearly a month in Aruba, Rob took a trip to Arizona while Nancy and Rich flew to Acapulco. Nice! . SISTERS Marjorie and I had hoped to take another Sunnyland Bus Tour at the end of March 2011 - Just a brief four-day tour into Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas. Unfortunately, I got mowed down by some mysterious malady even my doctors cannot figure out but which leaves me with no energy (no brain and not much ambition, either - tho I passed all the medical 'tests' with flying colors). I even had some new clothes for the trip - lots of bright orange so Marjorie couldn't lose me. We may try shorter trips later this spring. In the meantime, you can find me in the company of celebrities as I will be going to rehab to learn how to be healthy. (I've had nearly eighty years of practice but medical people are going to teach me how to breathe.) Nancy y Te \ . INSPIRATION LAUGHTER and MUSIC keeps you Happy! That's the title of a health article Carol copied and left on my computer desk (so I read it). The article has to do with Albuterol, Carbohydrates, Fat, Salts and Cholestrols. I don't know much about those things but I do agree with LAUGHTER and MUSIC keeps you Happy! . I keep telling people to find the bright and humorous side of something that happens each day and to keep company with people you enjoy laughing with so you can chuck thoughts of grouchy people in the nearest trash bin. Turn on music and sing along - or dance. In the olden days, I cleaned house with gusto while Tijuana Brass blared from the record player. For years I used the mantra "Life is short - Eat dessert first." At my current age my mantra is "Hasten Slowly" - as that gives me time to see and enjoy the funny side of people and things (there are soooo many of them!). I have a granddaughter who, I am sure, is sick and tired of hearing me tell her "Turn on soothing music so you can relax and get more accomplished. Find something to laugh about every day and something to be grateful for at the end of every day." (I'm so good at this topic - I don't know why I have to go to rehab. I spent years teaching 'life skills' to really 'sick' people!) . STORIES TO SHARE I invited Joe and Josephine, my friend from England, for tea yesterday (Joe is American-born). Although we had corresponded by email and phone, we hadn't met in person this past winter as poor health took a heavy toll on each of us. Josephine tells me she has signed up to take classes in blacksmithing! She is already a writer, world traveler, speaking several languages including reading and writing Arabic, and she has won awards for her artistic works in pencil, watercolor, oil and carving (She even peels potatoes with a scalpel-sharp paring knife!). Obviously, she takes a great interest in the history and culture of every location she has visited in the world, including the years she has lived in the United States. This time, Josephine took up the challenge by one of our writing groups and has written a cowboy story for competition. She read her story to me and I'm confident she will walk away with the prize! I have to admit that I was notified of the same competition but disqualified myself because I don't know enough about writing 'westerns.' I think I learned something at teatime: Have a friend with confidence - some of it may rub off on your own wimpy self. If you call yourself a writer, you should be able to pick up a pen and write a story on any subjet. Thank you, Josephine, for being my friend and an inspiration. . INTERESTING STUFF Our cousin Julia Child said all retired people should learn to use a computer. Friends, information and 'the world' are just a click away with the internet and FaceBook. An AARP poll seems to confirm 25% of adults 55+ prefer to chat with friends via social media rather than talk face-to-face. (Something to think about...). Certainly this 'instant information highway' was instrumental, recently, in having the voices of Egyptians heard effectively; in locating and rescuing travelers lost in the blizzards of this past winter; in warning the world of Japan's earthquate, tsunami and subsequent atomic plant dangers -- in time to hear, evaluate and (hopefully) react in a responsible manner. . Technology is moving as fast as white water. It is like shooting the rapids. I feel like I'm always two steps behind and playing catch-up. Even so, I recommend you climb aboard and hang on for dear life - This new superhighway of information can be a bumpy ride. But, being left behind is definitely worse. It is like being stranded alone on Gilligan's Island without the rest of the crew. . THE BLOG Family members are welcome to contribute to this BLOG by contacting the editor through either the 'comment' space on this blogsite or by emailing or phoning (870)425-8264. You can use snail mail if you prefer. To date, I know only how to manage transcribed print information (no pictures - cut-paste or fancy formatting. I just heard courses will be available this summer at my local library - or I may have to rent a 12-year old computer nerd). OK - I'm sitting here waiting to hear from you. Nancy y Te \

Thursday, January 20, 2011


The new year finds me and one of my sons taking down and packing my husbands cameras. You see, we had a computer/camera room that held Franks collection of old cameras as well as our computers and office equipment.
We still lived in northern Illinois when Frank had heart problems. We started walking a lot and when the temperature dropped, we started walking around flea markets for our exercise. It was at one of these flea markets that Frank saw a camera just like the one he once owned. He had learned to use the camera, shoot pictures and even develop the film in a school photography class. Of course he had to buy this camera. As soon as we got home, Frank cleaned the camera, checked it out and later he bought film and shot some pictures with it. Well that was the first one. Now it is about twenty years and many cameras later. The camera/computer room has shelves on every wall, over every window and cameras nicely arranged by type, size or manufacture. There are photos that Frank or I took over the years placed around with the cameras too. This collection gave reason to get out in bad weather, walk some shops and the satisfaction of the find.
It is now almost two years since Frank died. The cameras were important in his life and now it is time to share them with his sons. Frank, the oldest son, and Bob, the youngest, only wanted a few of the collection. Roy said he would like to set-up his home office with the rest of them. So Roy put some of each type of camera in a box for each brother. Then he and I set about packing the rest. I kept a few cameras because they played a large roll in Franks and my life, especially the last few years when he spent more time at home. Frank spent a lot of time in the research and history of the cameras, using books and his computer. One of the cameras I kept is the first camera I had, I used it in high school and when we were first married. Another camera that I kept is an old one that I photographed and had that image engraved on Franks head stone.
While going thru old pictures and advertisements, I came across one picture of two young people. They had their heads together and were smiling into the camera. This photo is only about 1 3/4 inches by 2 1/2 inches with about 1/4 inch metal frame. It has a cellophane cover and a cardboard backing, then the metal frame holding it together. The cardboard backing has a place to write the date; taken at; and message; area for you to fill in. The bottom of this backing says; taken by the Photomatic made in U. S. A. International Mutos??? Corp, New York.
Seeing this brought back memories. I remember as being quite young, probably grade school age, we would go to Chicago at times. These photo booths were in the Union Station as well as other places. You would go, push aside the dark curtain, sit down (close together if it were two or more of you), put your money in the slot and smile. I remember we had money for Nancy and I to have our photo taken in one of these booths one time. I think some photo booths did the single metal holders and other ones did three or four shots and sent out a strip of the photos.
Seeing this photo also remined me that there were street photographers when we went into Chicago. Our mother took us to houseware shows, special boat shows at Montrose Harbor and sometimes even a professional base ball game. It was on these special occasions that street photographers were out on the busy sidewalds taking pictures. They would snap your picture as you were walking in the crowd, as as you walked by they would hand you a card. If you mailed in the card and the required money, you received a photo of yourself at this great occasion.
I am glad that during what could be a difficult time, with the change in my life and home, this task sparked great memories. Good memories of the many things Frank and I enjoyed as well as bring back some long ago, almost lost memories I share with you today. Marge

Thursday, December 23, 2010


December started with Nancy and I enjoying our time in San Antonio, Texas. The following week, I drove to northern Illinois. It has been three years since I have gone further than Peoria and four more hours of driving makes a difference. I left on a Saturday morning in a mist that later turned into rain, then hit fog in areas and arrived in Dundee, Illinois in the rain. I got to youngest son, Bobs before dark. We rested and talked then left for the pizza place where my children ate pizza on special occasions. My grandchildren also ate at that pizza parlor in their growing up years. It was the perfect spot for our family to get together. All were there except granddaughter, Beth. She had car trouble and did not get there. We all ate and retold old stories and added a few new ones. We took pictures before all left to go their own way. The next morning, Bob and I took off for De Kalb to attend Northern Illinois University Graduation Ceremony and see grandson Brad receive his degree. It was bitterly cold and very windy. Most of the 45 miles to the college I drove in white-out conditions. Sometimes I could see the tail lights of the car in front of me and sometimes not. Bob watched the side of the road and guided me so I would stay on the road. We got there in time but just in time for the start of the service. Bob was able to get some great pictures of Brad. We met him after the service and were able to get more pictures. It took for ever to get out of the parking lot and on to the road. The way home after the service was a little better. It was good to stop for lunch and warm up as well as get down some coffee for the nerves. After a nice dinner that Jacky, Bob's girl friend, made for us, we relaxed and watched TV for awhile. After a nice breakfast with Bob, I headed back home for the good old Ozarks. There were icy patches to watch for, even south of St. Louis. I stopped at every rest stop and walked around a bit, I even went to a sit down restaurant for lunch after filling up the gas tank. I got home before supper and better yet, before dark. It was a great time and I am so glad that Brad invited me to his graduation.

The third week in December bring up "Shop with a Cop". Our Bolivar Police Department and Wal-Mart have worked together for the past eleven years. Our police have many donations from people who give each year for this great program. Last year the Polk County Sheriffs Department joined us and this year we even has some Conservation Officers join in.. For eight years Frank took photographs (I worked for Wal-Mart at that time and helped Susan with this program) and he made booklets for both Wal-Mart and the police. His last two years he was not able to walk around to photograph the children and the officers. Lynn Flick, one of the police chaplains and I did the picture taking and Frank did the booklets. Last year I did a small version of the booklet and I hope to do a better job of it this year. The important thing is that this year 80 children were able to shop with 100 dollars each, to buy whatever they wanted. So many of the children buy for their family members and have to be reminded to get something for themselves too. It is a heart warming time for everyone involved. On this note, I wish Each of You, A Merry Christmas!