Thursday, March 31, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday: The New Home, 1973

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

The linking and transcribing projects continue, here, and there, when time and energy permit.

It's surprising what has survived - -

This letter was written in January of 1973 just weeks after we had moved into our first home, a brand new almost 1000 square foot ranch. The Red House, I showed it to you here. A description of the rooms and furnishings filled up most of this letter.

And, some of of the furnishings have also survived.

"Kitchen - Coppertone stove + frig; avocado can opener, Meals in minutes, tablecloth; white blender; silver 4 slice toaster; white with avocado and gold design curtains.

Bath - white tile, Formica + floor; white curtain + shower curtain; avocado scales + hamper.

Den  - gold curtains; red (major color), blue, white + gold Moroccan rug; (desk + shelves later)

My Room -  dark royal blue pile-less corduroy bedspread and pleated drapes to match with pale blue sheers underneath; blue, red, gold + white Moroccan tapestry rug the same as den; tapestry pillows for bed, one red, one blue (blue-kittens in basket, red - lions head gold);  blue background tapestries for pictures on wall.  Makes for plush, rich looking bedroom, nice!

(written off to the side - I made bedspread + drapes (not the sheers tho)."

** I believe this is that rug, with a very young son # 2

"Front room - - Gold curtains and sheers (I like a little privacy and even if I plant shrubs this spring there's no way I'll have coverage for a few years, stuff grows slower here - remember)
Rocker with gold pads.

**Here is the same hutch, years and years later, in our current home.

Steamer Trunk"

**  As with the hutch, the steamer trunk is still with us, this photo obviously taken around Christmas.  Actually the Buffet is also still with us, but, I don't seem to have a photo of it.

"Chair - tan with browns, golds and rust.
Couch - dark brown, gold + rust, gold throw pillows - corduroy
Brass lamps and knick knacks."

** The lamps are actually a form of a samovar, possibly Russian in design.  With a little image research on Google, I found this photo of a similar samovar at Flicker.  You can learn more about samovar at this Wikipedia page I found.  We purchased them in Morocco and Man "electrified" them.  And, yes, they are still in our home.

Much changes, I cannot imagine a copper-tone stove these days.  Much stays the same. The color scheme of the master bedroom is still blues, the carpet is dark navy blue.

By the way, it is OK to laugh at the descriptions, I know they have brought me a few giggles over the last few days.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Different Kind of Easter Photo

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This Easter photo, or what I believe is a photo taken at Easter (see the corsage I am wearing) was taken about 1960ish.

It was taken at my grandmother's home.  The structure on the right is her home, the brick structure on the left is the town's water supply treatment plant.  In back of us, the hill goes slightly up, and then, it drops off dramatically to the North Branch of the Shenandoah River.

Now, why we are standing out there with the cows is beyond me.  And, I am gonna say it right here, for some reason, my brother Don and I look less than thrilled. We were NOT raised on a farm.  OK, the baby chicks were fine, but, this cow thing??  MMM.  Not so sure.

Some flower appears to be blooming, down center front.  Or a weed.

No colored eggs, no chocolate bunnies, no marshmallow peeps, just cows for us.

Happy Easter - - 


Friday, March 25, 2016

Hillsborough River State Park, near Tampa Florida, A Hike with Friends: Rolling, Rolling, Keep Them Wheels a Rolling - Winter 2015-2016

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Recently we spent a day with RVing friends, Ron & Terrie.  They are in the area to marry off a son, after that little important chore was over we spent the day together.  The day included eating, visiting, laughing, more eating, and a bit of a nice walk at the Hillsborough River State Park.  We were so busy visiting (mmm, talking), that I did not take a lot of photos.  But, I did spy this air plant growing in the nitch of a tree, the pink at the bottom will be a bloom.

Man and I have visited this park several times, and never saw fish in the river.  The light must have been wrong. Not this day.  OK, you fish people - - catfish??

Ron wanted to see a "gator" in the wild.  Your wish has been granted, Ron.

Taking Sony III zoom to the max.  

The supervisor.  No, he was not hiding from the gator, he was just taking a short break.  He walked the entire distance.  His buddy Sirius was with us.  Sir Winston sure thought it was fun having a "hiking" partner.

The weather was "coolish" for Florida, brisk, sunny and marvelous.  A great day spent with RVing friends.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Throwback Thursday :: Let's Cook

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

I so remember this cookbook, and I now have it back in my possession.  There are torn pages, a few food stains, memories, and a recipe or two I really did love.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

A Travel Story From A Different Time

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Geneva Halterman, my great aunt, or grand aunt.  My grandmother's sister.  I have written about her before here on Reflections.  She was a favorite of mine. Recently I was given this typed transcription of a piece she wrote on her 1972 travels to the Holy Land.  It seemed appropriate to share at this time before the Holy Week for Christians.

It was a different time.


in December 1972

My Friend, Miss Geneva Halterman

Yes, it was a wonderful trip to the Holy Land.  The food was excellent on plane and boat.  I should like to go again to see the beautiful country and to see how the people live on the other side.

I went with friends from the United Methodist Church in Philadelphia.  It was exciting to fly in those large jets, B-747s, at the rate of 610 miles per hour.  Made the trip from New York to Amsterdam in 6 hours, a distance of 3,700 miles, at an altitude of 39,000 feet (almost 8 miles).  The temperature over the North Atlantic in places was 33 degrees below.

Amsterdam is a beautiful clean city.  Then we transferred there to another plane, stopped in Athens, a beautiful city, then flew to Nicosea, the capital of Cyprus.  There we toured the island with a guide from the country who explained things in English.  Everywhere we traveled we always had a guide from the country in which we traveled.  In the evening near Nicosea we boarded a nice boat which we traveled in was our hotel for nine days. Only one night we spent in a hotel in King David in Jerusalem.  During the winter months the Mediterranean Sea is very stormy.  IT was very stormy in sailing to Metsin and Tarsus Turkey at night.  We traveled by boat at night, and in the daytime on sight seeing buses.

It was a beautiful trip to Lebanon, a nice agricultural state with many vineyards.  Then we went to the capital, Beruit, a beautiful wealthy city where the rich people from Saudi-Arabia have lovely summer homes.  A thriving city where the people live leisurely.  Next we visited Boalbek where the ancient people worshiped false gods.  The temples are now partially in ruins due to earthquakes.  It was picturesque, as down in the valleys the citrus fruits were growing while 10,000 feet of barren mountains peaks were snow covered.  They really glistened in the sunshine.  There the mountains are barren due to volcanic origin.

One day we went to Damascus, Syria, a large beautiful city, the capital.  There they have excellent shops of beautiful silks, brocades, etc.  We traveled over the road that the Apostle Paul did going from Tarsus, Turkey to Jerusalem. There we visited a Mosque carpeted with Persian Rugs.  We had to put on a black robe and take off our shoes before entering inside the Mosque. Inside, the Moslems were lying on rugs, kneeling and bowing as in olden times.  Then we went down the street to one called "Straight Street," There we came to a building where the Apostle Paul was let down in a basket.  One day we went to A Tel-A-Aviv, a modern Israeli city, resembling New York with its large skyscrapers.  One building I noted was 33 stories high.  Then we visited Joppa in the suburbs of Biblical significance.  From there we went to Caeserea, where Cornelius became a christian.  We saw the old Roman theatre and many excavations.

We visited the area around the sea of Galilee which is so beautiful.  We rode on the sea of Galilee in a boat.  Then we had a delicious fish dinner at Tiberias near there.   Rode along the Jordan River, although I did not get any of its water to bring home as some of friends did.  The Jordan River Valley is beautiful.  The Jews have really made the desert bloom with their up to date farming methods, irrigation and fertilizers, enabling them to grow cereal crops in winter and cotton in summer.  They have the finest oranges, enough to supply Europe if they had the labor to pick them, although, ten thousand Jewish refugees, some there annually.  Strangers are welcomed there as they desire to build a strong National State since Israel became a State in 

(Page 2)

1948.  Taxes are understandingly high there as money is needed to get the refugees established.

Their citrus fruit is fine, much better than Florida.  I believe the State of Israel has 100,000, acres devoted to citrus friends.  I never saw so many olive trees.  The cabbage was the size of a dishpan, and the red radishes the size of turnips.

Mekiddo is a beautiful place in the Jordan Valley.  This is supposed to be Armageddon in the latter days.  There I walked through a large old tunnel 200 feet in length that led to the city's Water System in the early days, tasted the salty water of the Dead Sea.  The cities are located on high hills with beautiful walls, a wonderful piece of masonry that put America's to shame.

We visited Capernaum, Acre, Nazareth, Jericho Bethlehem, Shepherd's Field, Mt. of Olives.  Spent one day and two nights in the beautiful city of Jerusalem.  While there, it snowed and sleeted while poinsettias bloomed outside. Jericho is so beautiful too, much excavation is in progress there.  Saw the Mt. of Transfiguration from which Christ ascended into Heaven.  Nazareth is so beautiful with its many walls situated so high.  On top of the Mt. of Transfiguration's barren ledges is a large monastery.   Jericho has many beautiful walls which impressed me deeply until they are worthy of a trip just to see them. Bethlehem is so lovely.  We went into a number of churches there.  About ten miles away we visited Jacob's Well.  We hiked five miles through Old Jerusalem through rain and snow.  The Alleys were full of water from the heavy rains.  We saw so many shops there. We visited St. Anne's Church, also The Church of Many Nations, was in the Upper Room. Visited the Garden of Gethsemane.  There were so many old olive trees there and many flowers in bloom.  I had my picture taken there.  Also visited the Rock of the Dome, where stands a beautiful gold domed Mosque of many stones where King Solomon's temple was.  This can be seen all very the old city of Jerusalem.  Saw the Wailing Wall where the Jews wept when they saw the temple had been destroyed.  There are some beautiful churches there.

Saw via Dolorossa, the Steps Jesus took to Calvary.  It was so inspirational to walk in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was betrayed.

Then to think that one walked where our Lord once walked and talked.  We spend one night in Haifa, a beautiful thriving city of Israel, on the Mediterranean Sea.  There is where we meet our boat.  This city is the only one with a subway that leads from the top of the hill to city center.  Automobiles are quite expensive there, we did not see as many cars there as in America.

It was the Jewish Sabbath when we were there, so cars didn't run, everything was very quiet in observance of the Sabbath.  It was 168 miles from Haifa to Jerusalem over the Mts. of Samaria, so that is the reason we spent the night in Jerusalem that we would not have to return to Haifa where our boat was.  It was most divine riding over the Judean Mountains, where the roads were good, but not many with hand rails, traveled through Israeli-Arab occupied territory.  All was peace and tranquility.

We saw many Bedouinc taking care of their flocks of goats and sheep on the hillsides.

I am sorry we did not go to Egypt as was scheduled as I had wanted to see the Pyramids, Sphinx and the Nile River Valley.  Due to tension between the Egyptians and Israeli it was called off.

(Page 3)

On our return we went from Haifa to Nicosea by boat, from there to Athens by plane.  In Athens we transferred to another plane to Amsterdam, from there to New York in another plane (Royal Dutch Airliner).  In all that one day we traveled 7,000 miles via boat, three planes and two buses.

On our return, the visibility was good flying over Europe.  We were able to get a bird's eye-view of cities in Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Austria, and Germany as well as the Alps Mts. in Austria.  Could see fairly well the tops of buildings in Frankfurt, Munich, and Darmund, Germany.

Must close as I shall tire you with my hieroglyphics, so in all, I had a real nice trip and if the opportunity were to present itself, I think I would go again.

It would be nice hearing from you again.

With love,

Geneva Halterman

It really was a different time to travel.

* For the most part, the spellings put forth in the typed transcribed copy of Geneva's writings were kept as presented.  Forgiveness is begged for my typing errors, as I am sure there are some.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Faded and Out of Focus Memory, The Prom Dress

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Many, many moons ago, there was a high school prom, and a dress sewn for the special occasion by my mother. Note the white gloves.

I thought it was a gorgeous dress.  Different too.  One of a kind.

Ah, memories.  They fade and tend to be out of focus.


Monday, March 14, 2016

The Red House

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Part of a letter, dated 1973, found during the document review project:

Man’s "working - - as usual.  He’s been working 6-10 hr days every week ‘cept two since we moved in.  At times it sure gets to be a drag but the $$ is great, specially when you have to make a $200 house payment each month."

Yes, you read that correctly, $200.00 a month, included taxes and insurance too!

We lived there almost 8 years.  It was a 3 bedroom, 1 bath, full basement home.  No family room.  And, yes, the payments went up as time went by. Insurance rates increased and you know taxes did.  I don't remember how much.  I actually did not remember what the payments started out as, till I found this letter.

Oh, and that auto in the drive, I loved that car.  Man hated it with a passion. I believe it had to do with the car and it's need of frequent repairs.  But, I did love that car.

And, those that know me will guess, that red paint on the house, it was my idea.  I totally loved that red.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Minnie, You on that 1910 Census??

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Another interesting document found in the queue of documents and photos that need linking.

Dated, October 23, 1989, it reads, in part:

In response to your application, search has been made of the records of the censuses listed below, but we were unable to find the name of:  Minnie Agnes Halterman, April 15, 1910, Alphabetical Index for the State of Virginia.

MMM, well, maybe they could not find her, but, I eventually did:

I found them indexed thus:

United States Census, 1910
name: David Halterman
birthplace: Virginia
relationship to head of household: Self
residence: Plains, Rockingham, Virginia
marital status: Married
race : White
gender: Male
immigration year:
father's birthplace: Virginia
mother's birthplace: Virginia
family number: 276
page number: 14
  Household Gender Age Birthplace
self David Halterman M 34y Virginia
wife Ida M Halterman F 35y West Virginia
dau G*On F Halterman F 8y Virginia
dau Sarah E Halterman F 6y Virginia
dau Minnie A Halterman F 4y Virginia

Just goes to show that not all indexes are created equal, and it does not have to be a index created in the last 10 years or so to have errors in it.  Also teaches us that we just have to keep reviewing and doing the research over and over again with every new index, book or data base that becomes available.

Knock down those brick walls.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Grinning and Splitting Logs:: David Halterman

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

When I can steal a few minutes I link photos and documents I have accumulated in my years of research.  It usually ends up in a bit of time spent reviewing research and a lot of time enjoying the fruits of the years of gathering family.

This is David Halterman, my great-grandfather.  He lived up at the Virginia/West Virginia line right on Route 259. I remember visiting the home many times.  I have very good memories of both David and his bride, Ida.  I have a number of "heirlooms" in my home that came fro the "farm".  They are among my most beloved belongings.

Today, I came across this photo during some review and linking.

David splitting logs about 1960.  On the left is brother, Don, and on the right is yours truly. (Gotta love that babushka).

David died in 1965 at the age of 89, so, he is about 84 here.

Look at that grin on his face.  Priceless.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Leonard Trumbo's Tie Do Dahs

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

In the possession of this blogger now, thanks to the family and his daughter.

Our knowledge is limited as to the "history" of these tie bars.

Close up.  What we think we know, from his daughter:

"The Ford medal was probably given to him from the Ford Motor Co. as he worked for them so many years. Have several possibilities. I do not remember any particular event where that was given to him but remember seeing both (doo dahs/tie bars) in their bedroom in a box in the dresser drawer. It could have been given to him before I was born.... Maybe he got when he was in Detroit at the Ford school or could it have been a contest of some kind? He was chief mechanic for so many years. Another thought could it be a gift when he left Ford and started running the foundry and his own shop? I know Mom kept it and had in her possession when she passed away."

Close up and some thoughts by his daughter:

 "As for the other - since it has a T on it am assuming like you perhaps that it was a family thing and would love to know if it belonged to his Dad as I never saw my Dad wear either medal. I had forgotten about them until I saw them and was sorta thinking about why Mom never told me what they meant. So much had happened maybe she forgot she even had them in her stash." 

I spent a few minutes with Uncle Google and did not find any hints as to more stories/facts about the Ford Service Merit Club.  The search will continue as time permits.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Florence Bowen's Christmas Tree Decoration

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

I know, it is not the holiday season.  

Sometimes ya just gotta blog it when the mood strikes.

This old holiday tree decoration belonged to my grandmother, Florence Ruth Dews Bowen.  When you yearn for the olden days - - 


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Not All "Do Overs" Are Painful

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Those that know me, know that I am prone to rants of the negative kind when I have to "do over" chores. Techy "do overs", like fixing software, or data bases when I do stupid things to the data base push my angst buttons.  Yes, I have done a few really stupid things to my data base, like deleting tons of my sources.  That was sad, and I was irritated with myself. I did manage to turn it into a positive activity.  Still, I despise "do overs" and it is one reason I am so into "backing up" my computer and my data files.  In fact, one of those backups is what saved my bacon during that deleted sources fiasco.

Now, there is an exception to my angst over do overs, and that is revisiting online web sites and data bases.  They are always changing, adding new goodies.  I have garnered so much information for my genie from the changes online that I cannot even put numbers to it.  Mind boggling new data comes from those web sites adding, adding, adding.  Yes, it is true, now and then, there are "take aways", data bases shut down or deleted.  Nope, we don't like "take aways".

But, today, I am going to show you a small example of why re-visiting web sites can be a very good idea, the "do over" of a wonderful kind.

Just this week I have been working on many documents I have farmed and are waiting to be linked to my data base, images are wonderful, don't you agree?

Last night, it was time to process the death certificate for one Hollice Ormond (or Ormand) Smithson.  Hollice died at the very young age of 9 months and 8 days.  Just a babe.  His death certificate can be found at Ancestry dot com, in the Virginia death certificates data base.  It is not indexed as Smithson, but rather as Hollice Ormond.  I actually found Hollice's death certificate because of his parents names, Miles Smithson and Elnora Roberts.

So, as I began to process his death certificate I noted that it made no reference as to where he was to be buried.  In 1913 when Hollice died, the Virginia form asked for that data on question number 19.  It was blank.

And, so, I was off, trying to see if I could find his burial place, reviewing all my notes in his parent's text files on my digital data base.  I found I had the family on the 1910 U. S. census of Norfolk, Norfolk County, Virginia, living in the household of Franklin Pierce, age 59, married 37 years, born Virginia, parents both born Virginia, policeman for the city; Sallie A., wife, age 63, married 37 years, 4 children, 3 of whom survive, born Virginia, both parents born Virginia.  There are 3 others enumerated in the household,  Miles Smithson, age 27, married for less than a year, listed as a boarder, born North Carolina, both parents born North Carolina, painter for the US Navy yard.  The others are Elnora (presumed to be married to Miles - see note below, no marriage record found yet), age 15, married for less than a year, born Virginia and a grandson, Franklin Roberts, age 11, born Virginia, both parents born Virginia.  Here is a partial image of the census enumeration.

It should be noted right here, that I have nothing else on Miles.  I have yet to discover his marriage record to Elnora. I have not found him in subsequent census enumerations and I have not found a death record for him.

I do have these notes in the data base, this note was made during prior research, months ago.

Magnolia Cemetery, Norfolk, Virginia:
SMITHSON, MILES G I136 GUS 0 01/11/1913
SMITHSON, MILES G I134 GUS 0 12/15/1911

Hmmm??  I know where I got that information, there is a wonderful web site with Norfolk Virginia cemeteries.  It is stored at the USGenWeb Archives Virginia, THE CITY OF NORFOLK.  It is a treasure trove.  I also know that it has some wonderfully dedicated volunteers that seem to be constantly working on the site and updating the information there.

So, off I went in search.  Let's see if there are any updates.  Oh, boy, were there ever!

Look what the prior entry for Miles G has morfed into.

Smithson, Miles G  November 27, 1876  January 11, 1913  CP 229
Smithson, Miles G    February 17, 1911  December 14, 1911  CP 191

Even better, now I was also looking for Hollice, and guess who I found, on my "do over" research:

Smithson, Hollice Ormand  April 8, 1912  January 16, 1913  CP 229

That is my Hollice.  Wahooo!

And, even better, note that last CP 229, that is the burial location and look close at the Miles who also died in 1913, same location.

And, now note, the Miles in location C 229 died 5 days prior to Hollice.

I have yet to find a death certificate for Miles, even with all this new information.  It is not indexed via Smithson, or Miles in the year 1913.  Maybe I should try 1912??

In any rate, by revisiting, a "do over", of a web site, I find many changes, much new information and this time I found some closure on Miles.

See, some "do overs" are more than worth the effort.  Especially when we are talking online data bases.  I do repeat research many times.  There are times I spend the time and find nothing more, then there are times like this.

Lesson??  "Do overs", reviewing your research, NOT a waste of time.

Good luck in your "do overs"!

* Please read my Disclaimers page here on Reflections.  I use and pay for Ancestry dot com, they take my $$ and have not asked that I review their services.