Monday, May 26, 2014

Honoring My Veterans Near and Far

I thought this would be a great day to honor my veterans who have served our country in a variety of ways. I do not include the names of my husband, brother or other relatives who are still alive -- for their privacy, not because I don't honor them as well!
My brother in AF years past -- alive and doing well!
The husband -- USCG a few years younger than now! 
Dad and Mom on their wedding day in  1944 - WWII
Robert S. Weber, WWII
Uncle William Weber, WWII.  While Uncle Bill was in fact a Conscientious Objector and did not join the military per se, he served his country very honorably and at great personal risk, being a Smoke Jumper in the US and being on site helping with the liberation of the holocaust survivors in Germany. 
Uncle Bruce Duane Tangen, WW II
Uncle -- may he continue to live and prosper!  WW II
Uncle Dean Ray Wilson, WW II
 Grandpa Ole O Tangen, WWI 
 Great Uncle George Stevens Sherwood, WWI
George, again, Right side of photo, WWI
Edward Byron Rhodes, WW I
While our relationship is distant, I don't want him to be forgotten.  His father and my Great Great Grandmother were first cousins.  His parents and widow took a trip to France after the War and traveled the route he had taken.
Great Great Grandfather David McIntyre AKA McIntire, Mexican War
Great Great Grandfather Philip Weber,  Civil War, Union
Great Great Grandfather Richard William Sherwood, Civil War, Union
Great Great Grandfather James Baker Vandervort, Civil War, Union
Vandervort Great Great Uncle Edwin Giles Kinne, Civil War, Union
Great Great Uncle George Thompson - Civil War, Union
Great Great Uncle Henry Carlton Richardson, Civil War, Union
Great Great Great Granfather David McIntire; father of the David McIntyre above; War of 1812
Great Great Great Grandfather John Robert Vandervort, War of 1812
Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather Church Tabor, Revolutionary War
Great Great Great Great Grandfather David McIntire, Grandfather and father of the two previous David McIntires above
Falmouth, Cumberland Co., ME;
Revolutionary War; promoted to Sergeant August 3, 1776

And lastly, at least at this time,
Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather John Van der Vort
Revolutionary War
My late sister bought this coat of arms.  I have no idea if it really is our Vandervort coat of arms, but it makes a nice stand-in for lack of photo of John Vandervort or his headstone.

I apologize in advance for the probably myriad of others who should be included.  I'll be happy to add to this list as I become aware!

Thanks to all of you for your service so long ago and up until today.
Including our newest member ~~

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Beautiful Spring Wisteria

 Each and every year the Wisteria growing in our back yard gets better and better.  My husband and the neighbor next door built the arbor together about three years ago and each year it gets more and more beautiful.  Not much explanation needed with the photos -- the Wisteria speaks for itself!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day, Mommy

 Thought I would take a few minutes to remember Mom today, on our annual official Mother's Day of the year.  Above is Mom, Bernadine Adele, at about 18 months of age.  Who would have thought she was already heading to be one of the best mom's of all time.
 Here's mom with her dolly - don't know it's name or where it may have ended up.  What a little cutie.
 And here's me and mom a few decades later.  I was a bit of a handful, I do believe.  Even what I can remember gives me pause these days. 
 This is the Ole Tangen and Kathryn Vandervort Tangen family when the kids were all grown up.  Mom is the one on the left behind the grandparents.  Two of the other siblings are gone, but fortunately the three younger ones are going strong and should be running around the track for a few more years.  Grandpa Tangen's family had been in the US from Norway for a couple of generations. Grandma could trace her family back to the founding of New Amsterdam, now Manhattan.
 Our parents took us all on a cruise to Mexico in March I think it was in 2000.  Little did we know that Dad wouldn't make it past the summer.  But we had great memories from the trip.  Silly old men.  I mean, he had heart trouble anyway but could still mow the grass on his nearly 2 acre home in Happy Valley, OR.  So the engine quits.  He and the old man next door (obviously sharing cognitive abilities) decide to pick the front end up and "take a look."  They didn't think to set the brake of course and so Dad fell.  He had a lot of pain but no apparent fracture. But off he went to rehab and apparently while the OT and PT were doing wonders for his gross motor skills, they also let lose the blood clot that resulted in his double pulmonary embolism.  But he would much have preferred to get through dying quickly as opposed to dragging it out.  The staff at the rehab center were great but also commiserated that these old guys "think they can do what they did in their 20's."  Everyone but me has gotten older since the photo above was taken.
 Looking good, Mom!
 Grandma and the "Selfie Queen" on our cruise to Alaska in 2003. 
Mom on our last Tangen Family Reunion for which she was still alive.  My late sister was also there and we were having a lot of fun cruising on the Mississippi River.  At the last family reunion in 2013, we remembered both of them at the memorial.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

94 Years Ago at Castle Gate

94 Years ago my Great Uncle George Stevens Sherwood had returned to Wisconsin from WWI and decided to seek his fortune out west where his older half-sister Dora and her husband were living in Utah.  George came west and worked in a variety of interesting places over the next few years including such romantic sounding towns as Winter Quarters, Raines, Castle Gate, Soldier Summit and Helper. The romance ended with the names of the towns, but the mines did provide work provided work for a time.  Just after Christmas of the same year he had come home from war, he penned the following lines to his sister, my grandmother,  Susan, her husband Herman and their son William Philip AKA Billy Phil.   The photo of George Sherwood below was taken in Raines before he left there. 
Castle Gate, Utah
Dec. 26 – 19

Dear Sister, Brother and Billy Phil,
            We got your Xmas letter and were sure glad to hear from you to know you were all well and that all was going well.  Since I left Raines I have made several attempts to write to but each has been a failure for one reason or another.  I spent the better part of the week with daddy or alone procuring the little Xmas tokens we got for you folks and the few others we graced with more than cards.  I sent Grace a purse, one of those new back handle affairs and Norine a breakfast and boudoir cap.  Mother and I got father a pair of gloves and Father and I got mother a pair of gloves. We got Guy a pair of motor gloves as he drives a company Ford at times, wow.  That about completes the list except for the vacuum cleaner we all got Dora. I got a photograph from Norine, a handkerchief from Guy and Dora, a book from mother  and $20 from mother and dad, and best of all we got a long newsy Xmas letter from Susan and family and I got the letter with insurance dun that you sent to Rains.  I am enclosing a letter I got from Wash and the Dec receipt.  After reading letter you will see its importance so keep safe with regular receipts.  Oh, sister, while we all thank you all for the added joy our share of your gift of money gave us, can’t you realize that the chance to have the folks out here with us and the chance they have to be here is the greatest Xmas gift you could make us.  At what sacrifice you have made this great Xmas possible we can only guess.  We can only say a very heartfelt merry Xmas and Happy, Happy, New Year to the Weber family.  Thank you all many, many times.
            Let us know if the package fails to arrive with everything -- should contain Thermos Bottle, Baby spoon, mittens and jack knife.
            Tell aunty I’ll try to drop her a real letter soon.  I am working on the Tipple here now, spragging[1] and slowing loaded cars.  Pays $5.20 per day for 8 hour hours.  All young fellows work there as you sure have to be up on your toes and watching your step there.
            Well, I tried to step off a few last nite for the first time since leaving home, so I’m too sleepy to make this longer.  Besides, there is really nothing to say.  We sure are having a Gee-lorious time but are getting dead for lack of sleep. 
            The other nite I took Dora, Mother and the kids up to a movie.  Dad felt a little off feed so did not go. I thot I’d surprise Guy as he did not know we were coming but he is sure hard to startle for he only smiled when he saw us come in and came over and sat down with us as tho he expected us all the time.
            Paper is running out so bye by with love to all, a huge hug for W.P.W.  Make him laugh.

            Love again to all,        George
The photo above is of Guy Lindsey taken at Castle Gate while they were living there.  The houses are now all gone, moved all together to an area on the edge of Helper.  Today the coal mines are still there in Castle Gate -- creating electricity for the grid and to power electric cars (but I digress).  Castle gate today --

 A vein of coal along the highway
 The train then was the lifeline of these small mining communities. Years before Uncle Guy had been a detective for the railroads and had chased after notorious thieves.  Aunt Dora made him quit because of the danger.
 Castle Gate today producing it's share of the electricity for the energy driven nation.  

[1] Here is a longer description of stopping railroad cars with wood for friction – or digging in your heals in a pinch!  Spragging can save your life!