Monday, October 31, 2011

How I Love Halloween (And Made My Mother Pay for It)!

Roland, Ian and Liz
As many of you know, I am the oldest of seven children.  When I think back on my childhood, it didn't get much better than Halloween!  FREE candy! Costumes! Laughter! Racing from neighbor to neighbor at night!

The Halloween I will never forget happened when I was six years old -- one of the best ages for trick or treating.  A day before the annual ritual, I came down with chicken pox.  (My grandchildren will have to google it).  I was miserable.  If you can believe it, MY VERY UNREASONABLE MOTHER WOULD NOT LET ME GO TRICK OR TREATING!  Are you kidding me?  Well, I'd show her -- I probably remember that Halloween not so much for what I didn't get to do, as much as what I did.  I don't remember EVER behaving so badly.  I threw a tantrum.  I kicked. I screamed.  I blamed my mother.  It was her fault, wasn't it?

Well, now I'm 62 years old.  I still like Halloween, but I wish I didn't have to get up and down from the chair every couple of minutes to give candy to children I don't know, hoping to have just enough candy so my husband and I won't eat the leftovers.  Some of the costumes were cute and a few of the kids took me back in time, but I feel a little bah-humbuggy.

My Urban Cowboy, Ian

Maybe it would be better if I lived closer to my daughter's family.  They've sent me pictures.  How can these not get you in the mood?

Ian and Preschool Friends

Well it's now 7:32 -- less than a half hour to go. There was a lot of traffic at first, and I sent my husband for more candy -- candy that it now appears we didn't need. I hope your Halloween was a happy one and that you made a wonderful childhood memory for some little kid. Anyone for a Reese's cup?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sepia Saturday 98: Transportation in Cincinnati

A friend over at Attics and Old Lace has tried to convince me to take part in Sepia Saturday.  Sepia Saturday is a weekly meme which encourages bloggers to publish and share old images and photographs.  When I found out that this weeks topic was related to transportation, I was immediately "in." 

My grandfather, Charles "Fred" Jones, worked his entire life with the Cincinnati Street Railway (aka Cincinnati Transit and Cincinnati Metro).  He was the foreman of a "car barn" and loved streetcars.  He was not very happy when they were replaced with buses. I wrote about his impressive record with the "bus company" both here and here.

Photo Credit:  Rombach and Groene
Availabe for download from Cincinnati Metro site
I love this particular picture because it shows multiple modes of transportation in a time of transition in Cincinnati.  Not only is there a horse-drawn carriage and streetcar, but a bus is pictured in the background as well as the Price Hill incline.  At one time, Cincinnati had five different inclines enabling the growing city population to locate outside of the city basin and move to communities that lined Cincinnati's hilltops.

The same Cincinnati Metro site had a picture of an incline that was known as the Bellevue or Elm Street incline.

Bellevue Incline
Recently my blogger friend from Attics and Old Lace found a beautiful picture postcard that pictures the incline that connected downtown Cincinnati with Mt. Adams.  It has become the background for the Hamilton County (Ohio) Genealogical Society blog.

Mt. Adams Incline

All of these forms of transportation were no longer available at the time of my birth, with the exception of the buses.  The last incline stopped operating in 1948, one year before my birth.  I know my grandfather hated the demise of the streetcar.  I'm told that streetcar maintenance was much easier than the buses with their combustion engines.  I find it interesting that Cincinnatians are once again voting to decide whether or not streetcars should be a part of the Cincinnati landscape.  My grandfather would have loved it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Camp Nelson near Lexington, Kentucky in the Civil War

Today I attended a session on how to prepare for the release of the 1940 Census scheduled for April 2012.  It was held at the Main Branch of the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library.  While there, I scanned the shelves to see if there were any books that might provide additional insight about my Civil War ancestors.  One book immediately caught my eye because it was about Camp Nelson, Kentucky.   This camp, located near Lexington, Kentucky was an important recruiting and training camp for black soldiers who often abandoned their slave owners to sign up for service.

I was shocked to open the book to p. 105 and read this interaction between Col. John G. Eve and Lt. G.A. Hanaford:

U.S. Mil. Tel.
July 30th 1864
By Telegraph from Camp Burnside
To Lt. G.A. Hanaford

Some negroes in Govt employ here on last friday night got some arms & went out of Camp to rescue a negroe woman from her owner.  They did not find the woman or her owner & came back.  What shall I do with them.  Answer.

Camp Nelson
July 30 1864 Col. JG Eve
Camp Burnsides

If you have any balls and chains put them on the negroes and make work with them on the Severest labor you can put them at.  I do not know but it would be a good idea to (have) one of them court martialed and Shot. as an example to others.

By Order of Brig Gen SS Fry
Signed Geo A. Hanaford   Lt & A A A A G

I have nothing more to add to this post. 

Sears, Richard D.  Camp Nelson, Kentucky -- A Civil War History  Lexington, The University Press of Kentucky, 2002.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Dying or Going on Vacation . . . "

My Dad used to say of his sister, Margaret Ann, that every time he talked to her she was either dying or going on vacation.  I don't know if that was an original phrase with him or one that had been part of a lexicon of expressions that he had heard growing up. 

My brother, Tim, and I were discussing that phrase shortly before I left on my trip for Europe.  I was telling him that if I found out I had cancer (the curse of our family), I would immediately try to assess my odds.  If I felt that it was incurable, I would book a vacation immediately as I have no intention of extending my life with "treatments" that might give me a few more unbearable months.  I want to LIVE the life I've been given.

Tim holding Dad's motor
Not long after my return from Europe, Tim came by the house with the results of his CT scan.  It showed a "solid appearing mass" in his left kidney that "should be considered a malignant lesion until proven otherwise."  He referred to our earlier conversation and asked if I didn't find it ironic that the last time we had spoken, it was about whether or not I would "go on vacation" if I got a cancer diagnosis.

Well, we could definitely agree that we needed more information before we could decide whether to schedule a vacation.  Thankfully, with everyone's prayers, support and concern behind him, Tim got the best possible news.  Additional tests verified that his lungs were clear and the "hot spots" in his back were arthritis -- what Tim calls the "Jones back."  His kidney was removed yesterday and, at this point, his surgeon doesn't think he will even need chemo.  The tumor appeared to be pretty intact.

Coincidentally, Steve Jobs (founder of Apple) died yesterday at the age of 56. You can't log on today without reading quotes from a commencement address he gave at Stanford in 2005.  The predominate theme seems to be one of encouraging each of us to identify what is important to us in our lives and go about achieving our dream -- not that of someone else.  Jobs, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, confronts his immortality head on.  It gives him focus.  One of my favorite quotes is this one:  "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life."

So I'm happy to report that Tim does not have to decide between dying and going on vacation -- at least not yet.  I know all of us have felt the love and support of everyone during this difficult time -- and Dad and Mom -- I certainly felt you.