Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year.......New Hope


A lovely orchid was given to me by Aric and Jeannine when I had my surgery back in the winter. It soon lost its petals and looked as if it was ready for the trash can. Jeannine cut it back and set it out on the deck in the bright spring and summer sun. There it resided until fall, when I brought it back into the house.

Still looking pretty well spent, I had thoughts again of throwing it away....but didn't.

Look at it now! Resplendent with color

Cycles in life......2010 is almost behind us.....welcome 2011......a New Year.....a New Hope.


© 2011, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Vonderbank


Several weeks ago while wandering around the Metairie Cemetery, located at the end of the Cemeteries line in New Orleans, I came upon this mausoleum and statues of the two children.

I was more interested in the statue than the names, so unfortunately I can't provide much information on who is interred in the family vault. Apparently the two children are mourning the death of their dear aunt, Babette Vonderbank. In the urn is Uncle Ahrens. Find A Grave provided the name of the third person, Mathieu Vonderbank.

Googling the Vonderbank name I have been able to locate some information about the sculptor and those interred.

Metairie is filled with wonderful sculptural markers and they are what captured my attention while walking from mausoleum to mausoleum. I did not do to much in the way of actually taking notes and photographing the names as I usually do.

Vonderbank Children on flickr. This has a comment from a relative that is interesting.

Vonderbank listing on Find A Grave.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve


I had high hopes of actually submitting a post of Christmas Eve traditions. Driving to and from Chicago for my son's emergency surgery put an end to that notion, so I am opting for a vintage Christmas Eve post card.
Hopefully next year, Flipside will reveal some of our Christmas Eve fun. I am thinking of one year in particular, when I was in my infancy of family genealogical research, that brings gales of laughter to everyone who participated.
Stay tuned til December 24, 2011....wink wink

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Advent Calendar Day 23--Christmas Sweetheart Memories

My great great grandfather has such beautiful handwriting
AND, don't you love the use of "spinster"..lol

This was not one of the advent calendar memes I was going to use.....primarily because I don't have any personal sweetheart memories of the holidays.....then I seemed to remember that one of my ancestors was married on or near Christmas. And my memory served me right!!!

George Henry Hughes and Mary Ann Storey, my paternal great great grandparents were married on CHRISTMAS DAY! The date, December 25, 1870. The wedding ceremony took place at All Saints Church, Stranton, Durham County, England. This area is located in good old Hartlepool, England.

Witnesses for the ceremony were:

Jane Sharp and George Robinson Sharp--to date I don't know who these people were or if they relate to the family. Mary Ann Storey has Robinson lineage.

George Henry Hughes signed his name to the marriage license, but Mary Ann Storey Hughes signed with an " X "

Address for both George Henry and Mary Ann is listed as Stranton.

George Henry's father is listed as Samuel Hughes a puddler.
Mary Ann Storey's father is listed as John Storey a blacksmith.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Advent Calendar Day 22--Christmas and Deceased Relatives


Growing up, I can remember driving to Allegheny County Memorial Park, Allison Park, Pennsylvania and placing a Christmas wreath on my maternal grandfather's grave. I drove with Mom. I never knew this grandparent as he died several years before I was born.


In 1961, we actually moved into a house that was almost across the street from the cemetery. The tradition continued. After my Mother's death, I felt it was important to have a wreath placed on my maternal grandparents grave.

Most of my family is now buried at Memorial Park. Last Christmas marked the tenth year since my Mom's death. We drove to Pittsburgh, placed a pointsetta in front of her burial place and sang her favorite Christmas hymn, O Come All Ye Faithful.




Then we drove around the cemetery paying our respects to both of our grandparents, finally stopping at Dad's tombstone. My brother Jeff had something special planned for Dad instead of a wreath. Our father was a civil war buff and in 1999 his Christmas wreath was a union cap and small American flag.....very unique and festive.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Voodoo


When visiting New Orleans a week or so ago, you know I had to visit St. Louis #1, located on Basin Street. This is the oldest cemetery in New Orleans and the resting place of at least three persons who practiced the art of Voodoo.



Marie Laveau, the Queen of Voodoo is reputed to be buried here. The name and dates of the Marie Laveau listed first in the family vault appears to match Marie's daughter, who happens to have the same name.



Wandering around, I found two more grave sites of Voodoo practitioners. They are easily identified by the numerous "XXX" written all over the vault. Noodling around the net, I found that when someone writes the "XXX" on the tombstone, the deceased will grant a wish. There are no names or dates on these sites; however, current day believers seem to know that these belong to Voodoo folks.



You will also note some of the items left for the deceased....there were wine bottles, a half glass of wine, fans, chachkies of every shape and size.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Advent Calendar Day 21--Christmas Music


There were two Christmas albums that were constantly played by Mom when we were Growing Up Hughes. Last year Flipside featured Now Is The Caroling Season. Even now the three of us Hughes kids can't get enough of this LP....now in CD form. Certain songs bring back rich memories and a tear to my eye.

Second on my list of old family music albums is The Wonderful Songs of Christmas by the Harry Simone Chorale. This one was a little more difficult to identify and find. Back in the 1970's, I taped the two albums and used that tape throughout the years. As mentioned in last year's Christmas music blog, even my two boys grew up hearing the two "Hughes" albums.

Over the years, portions of the tapes wore out and memory of the actual names of the albums became non-existent.

I wanted those two LP's....in CD form, if possible and took a spin around Ebay. Finding the Now is the Caroling Season album was easy.....the Harry Simone Chorale was a little more difficult. First off, I couldn't remember who the album was by.....my brother, Jeff, was able to supply that. One of my favorite songs on the album was Pat A Pan....not one of Jeff's...lol Again, out to Ebay, I spent much time looking at the songs on each and every Harry Simone album until I found the one! It has not been reissued in CD; however, with all the techno-freaks in my family.....that was not a problem.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Monday, December 20, 2010

Advent Calendar Day 20--Religious Services

Gotta love the "indifference to school
and Bible School (didn't like) comments...LOL

God Bless my Mom for saving little bits and bobs of our childhood and beyond. We each had, what she called, "Baby Boxes," which then turned into elementary school boxes....teenage boxes....and even some adult items were collected and saved.


Growing up Hughes, religion played a big part in our holiday celebration. In fact, religion played a BIG part in our lives. We were members of Hiland Presbyterian Church in Perrysville, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. A short walk from our home on Washington Drive and right across the street from Dad's first medical office.

Frankly, church was our social life. Mom was an active participant in the theatre group, The Hiland Players; Dad was first a Deacon and then and Elder in the church government; and the three Hughes Kids did it all--Sunday School, Summer Bible School, Choir and every weekenend church activity that was offered. My first summer camp experience was at church camp, Camp Crestview, located north of Pittsburgh.


No surprise that I was involved in the religious services of Hiland....as a member of the Carol Choir. I can remember walking up to church for weekly rehearsals and the fun we all had. No surprise that many of the members of the choir were also my school friends and neighbors.

I can remember the little choir robes we wore--cream colored with a purple neck piece that had to be latched with a snap at the back of the neck, which was somewhat hard to manipulate as a kid. We loved to play with those neckpieces.....attached to the neckline was a long, thin, straight piece that would rest over our chests ending about the waistline....sort of resembled a cross when you looked at the neck piece and the long straight piece...you get the picture...lol To drive the choir director nuts, we would push the interior of the bottom of the cross up into itself---the neckpiece had a front and back---just before we were to enter the sanctuary.

Red stars mark the two "secret" doors
Entrance for the ministers and choir

Entering the sanctuary was kind of cool. The choirs entered the service through double doors beside the altar....I always thought it was a "secret" entrance...adding the the intrique of being in the choir. The children's choir would line up on the steps, in front of everyone and I could always count on Mom and Dad sitting up near the front with smiles on their faces.

I can't remember how long I sang in the choir....probably just through elementary school....frankly, I really don't have a "true" choir singing voice. Undoubtedly, I realized this by the time I was in junior high aka middle school.

Good memories!

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Advent Calendar Day 19--Christmas Shopping


Walter sneaking behind the presents in 2005

What I seem to remember, as a kid: I was ALWAYS strapped for money when it came to Christmas shopping. Granted, most of my shopping was done at the local 5 & 10 in Perrysville....still, there never seemed to be the necessary coin in my wallet.

My entrepreneur spirit kicked in while I was still in elementary school and we were living on Washington Drive. This is one of those....which came first, the chicken or the egg.....memories. I began the Hughes Family Wrapping venture in my bedroom. Not a "fly by night" operation....I would cut little swatches of the various wrapping papers and ribbons and attach them to a large piece of cardboard along with the different colored bows, plus the assortment of name tags. All were assigned a number.

Maybe those are ones I wrapped

During the last few weeks leading up to Christmas, family members would drop by my room with their gifts and choose how they wanted me to wrap the present. The cost was minimal per package.....somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 or 10 cents.....however, it added up and gave me the additional money to purchase my own family gifts. Thinking back....isn't it amazing what a few bucks would buy back in the 50's!

This tradition continued into the 60's when I was in high school. Truth be told, I DO enjoying wrapping......but did that come from necessity back in the mid 50's or was I just a natural...LOL

I suppose that during the Christmas holiday, Miss Snap Happy can also be called Miss WRAP Happy.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Advent Calendar Day 18--Christmas Stockings


Back in the day, I was a fairly crafty person....no, not sly....crafty! A good friend and I were babysitters....home daycare providers, if you will. During naptime, every afternoon, we would bring out our latest craft project.....sit, sew and watch daytime soaps, while the kids slept.


Sometime before 1984, I handcrafted Christmas stockings for my boys. I guess we must have been into Snoopy and Charlie Brown back then.

These same two stockings have hung on the mantel ever since....although now that they are adults, they are purely decorative.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Friday, December 17, 2010

Advent Calendar 17--I'm dreaming of a PINK Christmas


Last year on Flipside I featured my grandmother's, Sarah Margaret VanGilder Hughes, Christmas ceramics.


This year I am adding a couple of additional ones that are part of my collection. As I mentioned last year, my Aunt Faith gave me three pieces several years back. It was apparent that the originals had been repainted, so I took it upon myself to clean the newer paint off.

Grams signed the candle: Sal Hughes
Pop Pop called her Sal or Sally

What I found were three PINK holiday ceramics. Long story short....I LOVE pink...and PINK they stayed....lol

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday--Heirloom Christmas Ornaments


Decades ago, I came into the possession of an old Joseph Horne's box that belonged to my maternal grandmother, Martha Marie Frederick Stark. Inside the box were numerous Stark and Frederick heirlooms. Some were in other smaller boxes...many were just loose. All treasures.

Another view of the Dresden ornaments

Found among the bits and bobs were several old Christmas ornaments. My research shows that they are Dresden Christmas ornaments, made in Germany in the from about 1880 to 1919. I have no idea which branch of the tree they came from, but my "educated" guess is the Stark side.

Last year I featured
three little blue ones that my Mom had professionally framed for me one Christmas. They have graced my dining room wall for decades.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advent Calendar Day 15--Holiday Happenings


Jumping ship here....I have decided to add a new category to my post listings....Growing Up Hiser....which features memories of my two sons. How adorable are they....sitting there with Old Santa back in 1984. Let's see...Aric would have been 6 and Garrett, 3.

What Cleveland kid doesn't have memories of this?

I was an "almost" full time working gal back then...almost being the operational word. I would find a day during the week early in December when I drove the boys into Cleveland for a day with Santa, Mr. Jingeling, and lunch. The MO always was....park in the May Company parking lot...head up to the May Company Santa Floor early for the annual visit and photo op....ride the little train....head over to Higbees for lunch.....see Mr. Jingleling, get the Good Luck cardboard key...be fascinated by Bruce the Talking Spruce....and finally, send the two boys into the Santa Shop to purchase items for the family.

Just talking with my oldest son this morning by phone brought back this annual trip and pushed me to relive the memory. Later in the day I asked Garrett if he had fond memories of our day visiting Santa. Always the comic, he responded, "I don't remember Santa being the focus in my mind. It was Bruce the Spruce that was interesting. It was like going to Oz and seeing the Wizard....you just knew there was a man hiding behind that tree making his eyes move and doing the voice."

I think we were still going when Aric was in middle school and Garrett was past the "I believe" age. I was still able to pursuade them to do the photo (it was a Mom thing); however we primarily just wandered around the Santa Floor, enjoyed a few laughs with Bruce the Spruce and had lunch!

By that time in their young lives, it was....in a word....TRADITION.





© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--More Woodmen of the World


EUGENE J. PERRIER
Died July 31, 1904
Age 49 Years
Erected by Palmetto Camp No. 2



ALCEE ABNER MERIC
Born January 15, 1860
Died May 4, 1910
Member Tulane Camp No. 48


These two Woodmen of the World tombstones are in the Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Blog Caroling---Fall on Your Knees


Growing Up Hughes the three of us Hughes kids annually composed a Christmas pageant. Truth be told, I composed the pageant and coerced my two younger brothers to participate. We all wore white sheets as angel costumes. Aluminum foil wrapped cardboard held our music and I used the family Bible to read passages from Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

I seem to remember we performed for Mom, Dad and Teek each and every Christmas. As the narrator, I would read from the Bible and interspersed were appropriate Christmas carols.

As adults we have a good laugh remembering when we sang ..."fall on your knees" how both of my two brothers would immediately drop down on the floor. Yes, it was quite a well rehearsed performance. Secondarily, we wonder why we have bad knees as adults....lol

O HOLY NIGHT

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Friday, December 10, 2010

Advent Calendar Dec 10--Christmas Gifts


Yes, today is Christmas.....I got everything I asked Santa for and more.....but here I am playing with one of my brother's presents and wishing it was mine!!!!


That was me....back in the mid 1950's. Santa had tucked a Remco Movieland Drive-In Theater under the tree. It wasn't on my list....in fact, I had never heard of it before....but when I saw it unwrapped....I was fascinated. I probably did the older sister routine....."Here...let me show you how to set that up" and hours later allowed my younger brother actually play with his gift.


Truth be told, it was a pretty unique toy for the mid 50's. There were little cars that could be driven in and parked in front of the movie screen AND a little projector with a light inside. The "movie" was a small film strip that was wound through the projector by turning a large knob.

How cool is that!!!

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Advent Calendar Dec 9--Aric's Church


This little hand crafted church has become one of the treasured family Christmas decorations over the years.

It was purchased in 1982 by my son, Aric, when he was in Kindergarten. Several weeks before Christmas, the school's PTA annually sponsored a Santa's Shop. The students were able to buy presents for their family members for a reasonable price and all the proceeds went to the PTA.

Aric went to school that day with a five dollar bill and could purchase three gifts....one for me....one for his father....and one for his brother.

Entering the Santa's Shop, Aric browsed around looking from table to table until he saw the little white church. Having made his decision he approached the kind lady behind the table and said he wanted to buy the church. He handed her his five dollar bill and she handed him a bag with the church inside.

Aric began to cry.....where was his money? He still had two more gifts to purchase and no more money. As a little fellow, he just assumed that three items would add up to five dollars.....not that one item would cost the entire amount he had been given to spend.

When I arrived at school to pick Aric up following class that day, his teacher told me this story with a smile on her face. My son was still upset as he only had one gift.

The gift became one for the entire family and has been showcased every Christmas beside the old Hughes creche from the 1950's.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Woodmen of the World Bonanza

This summer I photographed my first Woodmen of the World (WOW) tombstone in the Bellevue Cemetery, Bellevue, Ohio. I have always been fascinated with tombstones that are shaped like tree trunks and happened upon the WOW symbol by accident since it was on a tree trunk tombstone. The find as put me on, yet another, tombstone quest.

While wandering about the Lafayette Cemetery # 1, in the Garden District, New Orleans, Louisiana this weekend, I spied a tree trunk tombstone. Imagine my surprise when I saw the deceased was a member of the Woodmen of the World.
It didn’t stop there…..I found several more.

John Crane Ermon
Son of
John Ermon
And Susan Crane
Born
August 15?, 1802 maybe 1882
Died
October 28, 1914
Member of
Magnolia Camp
Number ?


Paul Andrew St. Pierre
Born
May 18, 1868
Died
November 12, 1916
Excelsior Camp
Number 471


Harry T. Melling
Died
June 20, 1919
Aged
22 years and 10 months


John T. Holtzmann
Born December 26, 1854
Died
May 22, 1899
Erected by
Palmento
Camp No. 2


Nicholas W. Larkin
August 18, 1902
Aged 50 Years


Charles L. Raymond
Born
March 21, 1872
Died
July 19, 1919
Eureka Camp No. 27 WOW


William A. Lashley
1861-1918
Acorn Camp No. 51
W.O.W.


Henry Lee Haas
1865-1909
Member of Palmento Camp No. 2 W.O.W.


Emma D. Fallon
Died October 20, 1900
Aged
26 Years
Erected by
Rose Grove No. 5
WC (Woodmen Circle—Women’s Auxiliary to Woodmen of the World)


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser