Thursday, December 31, 2020

No news

 That's it! I have no news, new or old. Or perhaps a little. My drug store has let me down! For years I have frequented the drive through window. The pharmacy is at the absolute back of a big box store, and I simply am not stable enough to make the walk in comfort or mental peace.

For the last six weeks or more the drug store has administered Covid tests. I have no idea what is the protocol; I only know it happens at the drive through window, with a line of cars winding around the building. For a short time they opened the pneumatic tube pick up, but it was impossible to get through the line of Covid cars, so I park and go in.

First I dry my feet thoroughly; I am terrified of slipping on the tile. Then I tap, tap, tap my way to the back, and then out, with a tiny bag in my right hand. As I passed the greeting cards this time, I remembered I absolutely must get some. I made a handsome selection, and started to the front again.

Heading for the counter, not the door, I had to detour a table of orphan holiday plants, quite reduced in price. My irritation at succumbing to an extra purchase because I was made to come into the store crumbled before a stunted and dehydrated amaryllis. I crammed the prescription into my purse, grasped five slippery cards and my essential cane in my left hand and awkwardly lifted the amaryllis and secured it to my chest.

The cashier had a go at me for being unable to find the real end of the line until she had yelled about proper distancing, retracing my steps and going down an aisle to find the end. Muttering "Spawn of Trump" into my mask, I did so.

Pretty little thing, isn't it. I believe there are four blossoms there, on one stalk, and possible two more stalks to come. I believe we'll enjoy each other's company for some time.

Enjoy welcoming the new year tonight. Be happy, stay safe. And a good new year to all. May joy be with you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Two true stories

My mother returned to the work force when I was in seventh grade. I estimate that was 1956-ish. I added enough years to my birth date to come up with that, and subtracted some years from when I graduated, and both answers were close. So, I picked 1956-ish. No matter which I do, that makes my sister very young. Mom going back to work changed her life. Another story.

For a long time mom worked in an insurance office. Now she had stories to tell at the supper table. Exactly one of those tales stuck with me, the cat story. It's not great, and you may want to skip the next paragraph. Sadly, it's the core of the story.

One cold winter day the family cat of the insured crawled up under the hood of the family car, curled up on the warm engine block, and settled in for a good night's sleep. Dad started the car the next morning and the fan blade put the cat though the radiator and generally in bits all under the hood. Enough of that.

Now it's 2020, the year without end. My friend Ann in Wisconsin calls me about once a week. Checking up. Remember the week at Thanksgiving I was not answering my malfunctioning phone and the chain of phone calls sent my neighbor Cathy over to knock, first on my window, then on my door?

Once when Ann called and we were exchanging a week of news she suddenly gasped, and told me what she just happened to see from her kitchen window. One of the stray cats they've taken in this winter climbed a tire and disappeared under the hood of her car. Enterprising fellow, warm engine blocks beat cat igloos on the porch, paws down.

I told her the cat story. On her way back to the kennel after lunch, Ann called me and told me she'd opened her hood before leaving and eventually got the cat gone at the end of her snow brush. From Ann, that's a major threat.

One warm day in Wisconsin, at the end of last week, Ann called me. She was laughing too much almost to not speak. "You'll never believe! I'm on my road, just left my drive, and I heard such a thunk! What did I hit? I looked in the mirror for something flattened in the road, and there is Lonzo (all their cats have a "Z" in their name), high tailing it back to the house! First day I have not chased him off the engine. I didn't look because it's so warm today!"

At work she parked the car, a late model Ford mid-size, opened the hood and looked. The next time we chatted, she told me she could see Lonzo's escape route, from the warm bed to the cold road. Such a cat. With luck he learned a lesson. However, the neuter fee may not be wasted.

I perused the internet to understand the current configuration under the average car's hood. Nothing like they looked when I was a teen. There are no exposed moving parts I could see, and certainly not a fan blade. Thanks to Lonzo for a story I forgot half a century ago.

At the old house, mom and a pair named Toe-Toe and No-Toe. By the time she'd worked back to the crossword mom generally had relinquished her cereal bowl to the cats. I call this picture "Breakfast with Mom".


Sunday, December 27, 2020

Take that, MIT

It's the end of December, it's a holiday week; eleven of the recent twelve inches of snow remain, and I am not about to go for groceries. All my fresh food is gone, save those reliable staples of garlic and onion.

For three nights I've leaned back and rubbed my tummy after one of my favorite soups whose secret to success is taking the potato masher to a can of white beans before adding the can of tomatoes. Yum. I could make another round of that, but then I could have doubled the batch, and didn't.

What to make for supper tonight, and the next couple of nights before I go shopping? Thumbing my recipe book, I stopped at Bruschetta Spaghetti. No, I do not have garden tomatoes or grocery Roma's on the counter, but it's winter, for crying out loud, and I'll try anything.

However, and essential to fitting the recipe into my small cast iron pot, the recipe calls for the spaghetti to be broken in half. I've made this stuff several times, and broken spaghetti in half, and spent five or ten minutes with the broom, after the mess.

This time I consulted Google. Yes, there are instructions on breaking spaghetti in half, with no accompanying mess. It was devised by MIT students, who won an ig-Nobel prize. However, they contributed to the study of force science, and have built a machine to break spaghetti one strand at a time, efficiently.

You must twist the spaghetti almost 360 degrees, then snap it.

My brain is not up to all the pain in my hands, doing that.

Nevertheless, I wandered down to the pantry. I don't know why. Sheer perverseness, I suppose. Standing with the package of spaghetti in one hand, looking to see if there is an empty jar to hold half a package of broken spaghetti, I looked down at the shelf. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I put the middle of the package on the edge of the shelf and pushed both ends. Ka-ching. Two halves. I looked closely, and I swear I can see or hear no little bits. However, I do not have a glass jar to store the spaghetti, so I will not open the package until I make supper.

Time to go tie on some warp ends. Here is a picture of a foot of snow in Boston Township, to play us out:

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Aren't we amazing!

 Yesterday Jan came and stationed herself on the other side of the loom, and we began. The goal was to replace forty diminishing tubes of warp with forty new tubes of warp.

That we did. When a tube was near done, she warned me to stop, and I waited while she tied the new to the old. Her help saved me from going to do that job, too. She could reach over or through to get to every spool. Alone I would have to skinny around the loom to get to the spool rack. It's so tedious.

The result was I turned the crank 1,100 turns and filled all eleven sectional bouts on the beam in one day. Actually, in ninety minutes. Isn't that amazing! Every bout but the last has a new tube of thread.

And their chubby selves wait until I get to them. Before and after:

And on to interesting news. At the beginning of this month, I lost my credit card. Six decades of a plastic card, and I lost it. I know where it went; I dropped it into the bag, in an effort to end my transaction and get out of the way of the long line behind me. Later in the day I put the bag in the waste basket, card included.

A week later I missed it, reconstructed its demise and ordered a new card. It was a tough two weeks without a card. I have another, for which I have no card. When a new one comes for that account I shred it, on the premise I do not need and will never use twice the amount of credit I permit myself.

Watching the old card on my computer, I realized recurring deductions for the old card were appearing on the new card. Hold the phone! I had congratulated myself that a couple of recurring charitable donations would go away, but there they were. I called my mighty New York bank and asked What the Hell?

Oh, yes, that deduction I'd authorized for Tree Huggers Forever, and all the rest of them, has a teensy line that says the charge can "slide up", from a discontinued card to its replacement. Furthermore, I must contact the beneficiary, not the bank. And, the only phone number I can find for the most egregious cause is 555-555-5555. Try ringing that up.

In closing, I raise my glass to the close of the most egregious presidency I've lived through. I borrowed these pictures from my hometown paper, The Akron Beacon Journal. I subscribed, by the way, and yes, the charge "slid up". Here are two photos in tribute to the man in the Oval Office.

This is one of the two mail sorting stations that served the area. The other, of course, was shut down. Look closely. Every dock has a truck unloading. There are nine trailers to be unloaded. There are three or four more in the facilities' drive. There is a yellow cabbed truck waiting to turn in, a red cabbed truck behind, and four or more waiting behind. But wait. There is a white cabbed truck waiting on the other side of the street, to turn left. 

This is a still picture. In the video accompanying, trucks are lined up on all four streets of this cross road. And here is the inside of the facility:

I wonder if an envelope I'm expecting from Arizona, since December 2, has even made it this far. So, here's to you, Mr. President. Rather reminiscent of Grant through Georgia, don't you think.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Done with the past, the future has plenty of room for change (unknown author)

I worked to a deadline this week I just typed "weak" and laughed. But I did, just like churning out the budgets for five departments and getting them out and understood. Though actually that would have been done in November.

When I next warp, each of the forty spools will empty and need to be changed. That means stop turning the beam, make a note of the number of turns on the beam, get to the end of the thread on the spool, tie on the new spool and put it back on its peg.

I was not truthful! When I put on a new warp last November, I had to change out one spool, that one on the left, fourth one down. This is the only job I consider really ugly, far worse than tying on a new warp, and you know how I despise that.

The topmost spools are out of my reach! I stand on a little stool, which really isn't brilliant. But, my tall sister agreed to come help me during the two weeks she took off at year's end. She will be here tomorrow. But, not before ten in the morning.

And I have worked to that deadline! I finished the warp on the beam, then fulled the lengths of fabric, and cut them. Yesterday I serged off the ends of the towels. I missed a knot in the serger thread and let it go through the eyes. Of course it did not make it. It was too late in the afternoon for me to understand, so Jan came to rethread the machine. That last hook that is threaded from behind. Saved!

Today I finished hemming everything, and took new pictures. I almost titled this post, Cream Rose on Top! And, it is. I straightened up my shelf. I'm in good shape for next year.

I cleared off the last of the old warp and got the loom ready to begin the new warp tomorrow. Ready to go. And I promise you, I will not rush tying it on.

I read the fearless leader had promised a thirty day reign of destruction. I wonder if he may be frog marched from the scene before worse damage can be rendered. As if a massive intelligence breach is not damage. I wonder if McConnell has had enough.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

How near, how far

Twelve days until a new year. My calendar has two events; my youngest grandson's birthday, on Christmas Eve, and Christmas itself, the following day. I doubt I will be invited to any celebrations, even with Laura. She has relationships with her siblings, and that is good. They will be here far longer than I will.

This is close to the traditional time of surveying the year past, giving it a review. I generally feel no need to do that. This is not a general year, and it's taught me much.

I've quit whining. I've learned at long last, if something does not happen, don't attempt to engineer its occurrence, and especially do not complain, except possibly to your best friend.

Be content. 

And that is the end of my pontificating.

I did have an epiphany this week. Children grow up far sooner than they grow old. They are marvelous adults for a very long time before they undertake the job we old folks are engaged with, growing old.

Here's a truism. Every weaver knows this! At its end, a warp stretches. No matter how often one thinks "I'm done!", the truth is, there is another turn on the beam.

I'm weaving cream, to fill in that depleted pile of towels. I've decided that on the next warp I will dedicate the last set to cream, instead of tucking in a few at the end.

When I began weaving towels for sale, I changed the name of this color from "natural" to "cream". It simply felt better. I suppose someone said it to me and my brain decided that's how "the public" perceives the color.

We always called it "natural" because that is the natural color of almost all the cotton in the world. Cotton has been bred down to this cream color for so long, most of us have no concept that it comes naturally in brown, tan, green, yellow, red, blue...almost ad infinitum. 

Sadly, there is not much market, except to handspinners.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Trash day, another week is gone!

Almost every day, first thing, I tell myself what day it is. I tell myself on Wednesday night, "Tomorrow is trash day!"

And so this morning I was ready for it.

Of late the cat has taken no notice of me in the morning, even saying nothing when I pass him, lounging on his high shelf. But this morning, such howling outside my door. I expected to find his bowl empty, but nothing. However, look at this:

It did take me a minute to puzzle out. Some free range pup came through, under my deck, paused to make obligatory turns, though perhaps only two, squatted for a leak, and left pretty much the same way. The authority figure out in the street called!

The cat's continuing anguish explained.

But Toby remained tangled in my feet all morning. I have no idea how to tell him I feel his pain, and certainly will when he trips me!

I continued on Trash Thursday duties, leaving waste baskets assembled in the kitchen, in addition to feeding the cat and then myself.

There you have it, my week's high light. Wastebaskets to downsize to trash and recycle containers. 

Do those wastebaskets look empty? They are! I carted the trash to the front door:

Amazon, too. Another cat cranker, exposed! 

Oh, how I hate winter. I know the east coast, from Georgia to Maine, is under feet of snow, not an inch. But my inch is still my problem. Before the trash hits the can the snow must leave. Fortunately, the broom handled it.

Back in the house I had to shake the ice melt off the rug and sweep it all up from the floor. Mr. Cat feels compelled to eat at least one of everything he finds, and I don't know the effect on a cat.

And finally, the highlight! I opened my package.

Hooray, new toothbrushes. I buy these ones of bamboo because they are biodegradable. Every time I open a new tube of toothpaste, I get a new toothbrush from the box. Earlier this week I took the last brush from the last box. I ordered new.

All this methodical behavior is what I'm down to, and not a result of Covid. That virus only makes life actions more stark, in my opinion, because we do so little, the spotlight is brighter.

No, this methodology is directly attributable to first the stroke, ten years ago, compounded by the TBI, and I don't remember when that happened. I can subtract back; it was a February and Laura was in ninth grade, and she graduated this past June, so 2016. I'm going to look, now.

March, 2017. That's right. When the new president started, and we did not go look at the White House. The stroke was left brain; you wake up fighting mad, every inch straining to recover. The TBI was right brain; you wake up feeling cozy, and go back to sleep again.

With the stroke, as soon as I put something back in its place in my brain, I had it. With the TBI, I need routines, and still I remember little. As I tell the cat, "Get over yourself! You can't change it so learn to live with it."

Monday, December 14, 2020

Right answers

There were so many good questions, and interesting remarks in the last post, here is an attempt to come up with some answers. The very first is the one that sets my teeth on edge. Buy/sell. What is it at an art show?

Have you ever been at a local show and seen someone come by with just the cutest thing they'd purchased. And then you saw more and more people with the same object, then you saw the booth where you could buy them. Probably an earnest young couple, one in the back making more and one at the street side, selling, with stock piled half way up the outside of the booth, if "it" happened to be big.

Do you remember garden sculptures made of old garden tools? Or watering fountains and sprinklers made of copper tubing. Someone somewhere probably fashioned the first, but by season's end they had become "buy/sell", popular in garden stores. By the next season they were in WallMart. 

These operatives bought container loads of stock, and even sent operatives out to half a dozen shows a weekend. When shabby chic first came around, it probably began at craft shows. I once exhibited next to a young woman with a booth of battered watering cans, painted, and interesting three pronged trowels, chattering with customers about scouring the back roads of New York for these items. During one long break in the action, I became aware of her on the phone with someone, laughing that her husband was in China as they spoke, sourcing another container.

Those of us who honestly produced our craft cringed at the sight of buy/sell that got past the sponsor of the show. We generally asked the buy/sell exhibitor not be invited back next year, and they were not, but there were two more to fill the shoes.

About the plastic barrier on my window: this morning I scrunched down in bed, waiting for the alarm to ring, and listened to the sparrows calling. I could hear them, a bit muffled. They are loud and noisy fellows.

I bought a Roomba, probably ten or twelve years ago. It was the first year I thought it just past prohibitively expensive. They still weren't advertising on TV, just in magazines. I think I paid almost four hundred dollars for the machine. But, you could sit in our living room at any time and watch animal hair floating. I thought it would be a good investment. It was a family Christmas extravaganza.

Every room on the ground floor level had a hard surface, wood or tile. There was a minute step up between the wood and tile surfaces; the Roomba could go down, but needed a boost up. Watching the little fellow work was more entertaining than TV, and we even set it to business for guests.

And then it quit working. Emptying the dirt reservoirs made no change. Reading deep in the instructions, there was much more to be cleaned. In essence, the thing had to be disassembled. Much cleaning was involved. It was beyond the interest of any of the family it was purchased for, and beyond the skill of the person who bought it. I gave it to an engineer friend to learn about how it navigated.

And finally, what is a Bazingo? It is a tool I bought from a wood worker friend at a show, and brought home for my brother-in-law. It had a different name, that I don't remember. The wood worker moaned that every man he sold one to probably went home and made a dozen. I said that's exactly what I knew Tom would do.

The original name was lost in translation, and Tom christened it Bazingo. It is the best back scratcher I've ever known. It hung in the kitchen in the old house, by the Hoosier.


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Been a helluva year

There we were, one year ago, back in the days of innocence. My township held its annual Bazaar, and Jan and I took a table. We had so much fun we agreed to do it again this year, and her husband Tom even decided to fire up his ShopSmith and turn out a pile of his ever popular Bazingos, and take a spot at our table, too. Why, he wouldn't even have to sit down, he'd be so busy.

And here we are, a year later. I wonder if I should have had warning when I lost a friend over that Bazaar. I wound up with items she had purchased in the wrong size and needed to return. She decided instead I could put them out for sale at "that buy/sell bazaar next December".

Nothing would convince her I never have and never would deal with "buy/sell". Eventually it led to hard words and blocked phone numbers. I was sad for us for a couple of weeks. It seems like another life time, now.

Fast forward to the present, Laura came over today, to help me with some chores I no longer deal with. First and foremost, vacuuming, which simply hurts my back too much. That hasn't happened since the last time she did it, and I can't remember when that was. Long story short, my nose still is running from all the dust she raised.

My ironstone tray of worldly stones and a cactus needed a good scrub, which Laura administered, and then put all the stones back artistically. In my opinion, at any rate.

I hoped she would help move my desk farther from the window. Winter is coming on, and the cold air just radiates! She assessed the situation for a minute, then asked if I'd considered putting plastic over the window. She has just moved into her own place, and, she says, her first investment was plastic over her wall o'windows. "Do you have a hair dryer?"

What women of a certain age do not have hair dryers? We went off to the dollar store to buy a plastic window kit, and up it went.

Now I wonder where she borrowed a hair dryer to install her wall of plastic.

I took her back to Kent in the afternoon. Kent is a small city about twenty minutes southeast of me, and is home to black squirrels.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

New business

My mind is blank tonight, because I'm tired. I don't like this state of being, when thoughts and ideas that were around all day are no longer available. I wonder why I don't just stop at noon and write a blog. I still remember two things on my mind, to say the dark green towels are finished, and to ask about another blogger.

I've posted the dark green towels on the Towels for Sale page and put up a new color wheel. The new rose is rust, and it sure ain't a rose. It will keep me remembering that the next run of towels plus a few cream will be the last before a new warp, and the first towels finished will be a cream, to turn into a rose.

This is what my loom looks like now. Hard to believe this warp went on barely a month ago, around election time.

One of these three colors will be the last set of towels, plus the cream, off the warp. They are khaki, orange, and red wine. I welcome suggestions.

Some time ago a fellow blogger returned to the hospital for more surgery after a hip replacement. That was the end of October. The end of November another blogger asked me if I'd heard from Kristi Jalics at Thicket House. I have not, so I contacted another blogger, and another no. I sent a note addressed to Kristi and her son, Andy, who lives with her.

Long story short, it's been two weeks and no answer. I'd told the other bloggers my famous line, "I'll just go down there and knock on the door!", as she lives twenty minutes from me. That's fun to say when it's an idle threat, but when it's actually intrusive, not so good.

Has anyone else heard from Kristi? I hope she's just in one of our many good rehab facilities.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Are young people taking up weaving? Or old people...?

David Gascoigne (Travels with Birds) asked in my last post, "are young people taking up weaving?" I've puzzled over answering that question these last couple of days. How could I, gone from weaving nearly twenty years, make an honest answer?

I did a fair amount of research. I checked the rosters of art shows where I used to exhibit for weavers, old vs. new. I called a national yarn shop owner I know and talked about who was currently taking classes, and her general impression of the weaving end of business. And, I talked to a weaving friend still going to guild meetings, who used to teach weaving.

The conclusion, weaving is out there. It attracts all ages. But, it is an expensive hobby. You better have a job. Or, be retired, and have disposable income. The loom I'm weaving on cost a thousand dollars--used. In the same post, Diane Tolley (On the Alberta Montana Border) mentioned her grandmother bought her first loom at age 76, taught herself and soon was showing her skill to a large convention.

Google "weaving schools". Google "where can I buy a loom?" Google "weaving magazines." You will be inundated with information, more than you can ever assimilate or use. You can learn how to weave, from a rug underfoot to exquisite lace and fine fabric.

So, I'll give you some paragraphs on my weaving career as fairly typical of taking the bit and going somewhere with it.

My aunt and uncle became weavers after my uncle retired. They were in a little town in Ohio, looking for an organ advertised for sale. They went into a shop to get directions and my uncle was mesmerized by the machines with treadles, just like organs. That was their story, anyway. He bought his first loom.

Much later my uncle became too ill to weave, and the looms were sold, the rug loom to my sister and two other looms to me. Our aunt did not have time or energy to teach us, so we did figure out how to weave by ourselves. It may be easier to take formal classes, but alternatively, we devised many short cuts to long processes that were invaluable in our weaving career.

Within a short time we hit a tipping point. We each looked over our shoulders and saw our output exceeded our ability to gift what we were weaving. The expense of buying supplies and material to weave to give away was becoming apparent. And, each of us was ready to leave our day jobs. So, we did.

At first we exhibited and sold at local shows, and in a couple of years were at national shows. We bought a house together, with a studio. We worked together as weavers from 1984 to 2002. Then my sister began her quilting career and I retired, got a new hip, and went to work for my township.

Eventually I began weaving again. Who all remembers when I fell back on old habits and began giving away towels? I actually gave away two hundred towels before I said obviously people like them, I think I'll begin selling them. 

And here's a last story for David. I demonstrated weaving for an hour at a national show. Suddenly a young girl, perhaps eight, darted across the road, shouting back at her parents, "She's not going over and under! She's not going over and under!" I stood up, showed her how I could weave without going over and under, and by the time her parents crossed at the intersection and joined us, my little weaver was weaving on my four harness, six treadle loom.

Any child who makes a potholder on a frame is a weaver.


Sunday, December 6, 2020

The rose is off the wheel

I weave limited numbers of each towel color simply because  two tubes of thread yield twelve towels, and changing to a new color at the end of two tubes keeps me interested. When I am at the end of a warp and there isn't enough thread left on the loom for twelve towels, I finish off the weaving in the same thread as the warp, for the cream colored towel. I generally get two or three more towels.

For some time now I've used a cream colored towel, folded into a rose, to disguise the ends of the towels in that circle of towels I make to show each new color, and the colors I have available. I found roses among the many tutorials out there on napkin folding. I've tried other shapes, too, but I liked the rose the best, and this last rose has been the best.

It was beyond easy to fold, and the fold was so clever it has not disintegrated with handling. So, it has been on the shelf of color wheel towels for some time. 

That stack of towels there on the top shelf are the towels to which I add a new color and turn into a circle with the rose in the middle. If I sell the very last towel of some color, I take it from that stack. I just checked back through a year of photos to see if I had a picture of the rose up there, in front of that white envelope, but no luck.

Today I had a customer with questions about colors, so I sent a picture of the two towels in question, lavender and cream. Both came from the color wheel pile, as I am down to one each.

This is the photo I sent, and said I would fold the rose back into a towel. And the customer said, "Please don't. It's a gift."

So there you have it. The rose is off the wheel. And the lavender towel and one other I don't remember, in another order. But, the green is almost done. One more set of colored towels after that, and some roses.

And as so many of us are saying in signing off, that's all I have on this quiet Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Yesterday and today


I even stopped for a new picture of the pond, for my header:

But I just can't make myself post it. 

And today I got up to another bright and sun shinny day:

Without snow! So, I got to work and hemmed the rest of the rust towels, straightened up my inventory, to keep track of it,

and tied on the apron to begin weaving again tomorrow.

Last thing, I wound the bobbins for the next lot of towels. They will be dark green. They will be lovely. You can almost see them, back there in the blue basket.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The envelope with pictures of my dad

When I was perhaps twelve, my dad and I were in a discussion, subject no longer recalled. My dad said he had something in his trunk that would illustrate the subject. We went to the bedroom off the living room and he pulled a grey, wooden trunk from the closet.

The bedroom was my brothers', and although I had prowled every other closet and drawer of the house, this was new to me. I never messed around in "there". The trunk had been my dad's when he was a seaman, he explained. I knew all about Sparks and his adventures, and waited to see what he was after.

He handed me an envelope of pictures and kept on digging. The envelope was for some other purpose, and pretty full. I asked to look at them and he said I could. The first out the the envelope:

That's my dad on the right. I was shocked. I turned it for my dad to see. He snatched the picture and the envelope, put the trunk away and that was the end. I never saw the picture again until about five years ago, when my brother-in-law was sorting out my brother's accumulation out in the barn. There was the very same envelope, and in my dad's handwriting, my name.

That's Uncle Taps on the left, my dad's mother's youngest brother, at their first communion, twelve years old. My dad broke bitterly and completely with the church, which may account for his reaction to the picture. I date that picture 1918 or 1919, five years before dad left home for the Army.

My dad on a picture postcard mailed September 28, 1907, so he was thirteen months.

This picture of our dad and Uncle Bill is a favorite. I date it about 1910, when dad was three. Mom said dad always looked like an old man in his young pictures. You judge.

Dad is bottom row, left, shirt and tie. The picture is dated 1912, so he is five years old, and first year of school.

Primary school, 1913. Dad is in the white shirt and tie, back row, teacher's end. Dad is six.

I cannot identify any of the girls in this photo. Dad has the cap, and I guess it's also 1913, six years old.

And a picture of my dad from the late forties, early fifties, just for comparison. Dad had a very difficult childhood; pictures ended at that first communion picture. He mostly grew up in the Children's Home, until he reached age 17. One week later, he was enlisted in the Army.