Monday, January 29, 2024

Influencer--The Reverend Dr. Harry William Pedicord

     Amy Johnson Crow has a 52 Ancestors Week blog challenge which I have decided to join.  I am hoping it may help me to pinpoint someone or something that I have researched and not blogged about on Flipside.  AND push me to blog about family each week in 2024.  Sometimes I get lazy. 😁  Let's see how well I keep up.

     Week #5 (January 29-February 4) is Influencer. I was stumped as to what to blog about with this prompt.  I was talking with a good friend, also named Linda 😊, and she mentioned a minister.  Thank you Linda!

     When I consider this, I actually had two ministers who were influencers in my life, The Rev. Dr. Harry William Pedicord and Rev. Keith Brown.  Dr. Pedicord at Hiland Presbyterian Church was an important part of my developing years from Kindergarten through eighth grade.  With attendance in Sunday School and Bible School I was heavily schooled in the Bible and when I was in college decided on religion as my second major.

     We moved to a new house and from ninth grade through my senior year in high school, Rev. Keith Brown, assistant minister, took charge of the youth ministry at Memorial Park Presbyterian Church.  I was active in church youth groups and Key Club after school.  His influence opened my eyes to the social injustice in our country and probably my major in college--sociology.

     Both ministers were important influencers in my life; however, this blog will focus on Dr. Pedicord.

Rev. Dr. Harry William Pedicord
Cropped from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
January 7, 1961

     In the Fall of 1950, my Mom and Dad bought a house in the North Hills area of Pittsburgh.  The neighborhood was called North Hills Estates and was located between Perrysville and the Borough of West View in Ross Township.  I've never been clear if North Hills Estates was part of Perrysville or just a place of it's own.

     Mom and Dad decided to join Hiland Presbyterian Church once we were settled.  A beautiful old historic white framed church located on a gentle hill on Perry Highway.  Dad's first medical office was located across Perry Highway in an apartment building.  The Hughes family had arrived in this area and it would be our home for the next ten years.

     Both of my parents were active participants in high school and college activities.  Once they joined Hiland, we all became active participants.  Dr. Pedicord, a dynamic church leader, became a very close friend of the family.  Under his leadership programs and church events were established to involve all members of the family.  

     My memories span ten years, my growing years.  Before the Fellowship Hall was built, Sunday School classes were held in small rooms behind the church sanctuary.  Reading the church history, this area was added in 1914 as the Sunday School building with seventeen rooms along with a dining hall, pastors study and a ladies sewing room. 

     With a growing church membership, it was a necessity to build the Fellowship Hall.  Not just for a large fellowship room but also for larger classrooms.  Under Dr. Pedicord's leadership the church congregation grew.  Money was donated and financed the new Fellowship Hall built in 1954. 

     The opening of the Fellowship Hall is the beginning of my memories of Dr. Pedicord and my time at Hiland.  I was seven, in second grade and already busy within the church.  I had been attending Sunday School and Summer Bible School since Kindergarten at age five.  

     Numerous fun events occurred at Church.  I remember an annual Pancake Dinner.  And I'm certain there were other family church dinners; however, the pancake dinner sticks out in my mind.  

Ken, Mom and Jeff

     The church celebrated Twelfth Night with a burning of Christmas trees brought up to an open area beside the old educational section at the back of the sanctuary.  Following the service everyone gathered in the Fellowship Hall for beverages and a piece of spice cake.  There were huge spice sheet cakes in the kitchen and hidden inside were twelve gold crosses.  When I got older, I would literally starve myself to eat numerous pieces of cake hoping to get a cross.

     I loved Vacation Bible School.  It ran for two weeks.  Everyone would gather in the Fellowship Hall and Dr. Pedicord would lead us in song.  I'm sure he made up the Books of the Bible tune sung while singing the Books of the Bible....Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers.........We learned all the Books to the New and Old Testament.  Dr. Pedicord had a commanding voice and a very dramatic presentation.  Following the opening sing, we were dismissed to our class.  

Dr Pedicord is the tall man back center

     I have several Vacation Bible School Class group pictures and almost all of my achievement sticker charts.  The ones pictured above were from my final year attending Bible School in 1958.  I was eleven and heading to junior high school.

     You can see from the photo, the church had a large amount of children attending Bible School and there were probably more coming in on Sundays.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette
February 1, 1956

The Allegheny Journal
October 5, 1957

     The Hiland Players, a drama group under the direction of Dr. Pedicord, was begun in 1956.  My mother was heavily involved in most of the stage productions.  Like all theatrical shows there were costumes, scripts, programs, set design, lighting and sound.  The stage was the stage in the Fellowship Hall.  Listed in a local newspaper article, I saw the ticket price was one dollar. 

     Mom was a member of a circle organization and Dad served as a deacon and an elder in the session.  I sang in the junior choir and was confirmed at Hiland.  Dr. Pedicord was my Dad's sponsor when he joined the Masons.

     I do not know the occasion for this gift from Dr. Pedicord to my parents.  It was not until I researched for this blog that I was made aware the Dr. Pedicord has a lengthy list of books he either wrote or co-wrote on the theater and David Garrick

     We moved to a new house in 1961 and changed to a more local church.  Dr. Pedicord wrote a letter of church membership for the family.


     I believe that the Pedicord's gave this beautiful water color to Mom and Dad as a gift for the new house.  I still have the picture.

     I have been focused on Dr. Pedicord.  He had a family.  He was married to Adah Smith and they had a daughter Alison.  The Pedicord's were with Hiland from 1947 to 1962.  Previous to serving at Hiland, Dr. Pedicord was at a pastorate in Bridgeville, Connecticut.  He left Hiland to join the faculty at Thiel College as professor of English language and literature.  

     In 1950 Hiland celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the church.   Dr. Pedicord wrote the hymn for the celebration.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Saturday, January 7, 1961

     This article is very interesting, Dr. Pedicord was very active in theater in his younger days and was a graduate from Washington & Jefferson College.  There's the tie in with my family.  My Dad was also a graduate of W&J and my Mom was active in theater in high school and college.  

Scanned from This is My Story
This is My Song Bicentennial Celebration (1800-2000)

     After doing a little research, it now makes sense to me why Dr. Pedicord was such a dynamic force in the church during his time at Hiland.  The singing, the dynamic sermons, the Hiland Players and the new programs and church events all stem from his previous education and love of writing and the theater.

Family attended Easter Service at Hiland

     Unbeknownst to me, Dad maintained his membership at Hiland.  Whether he rejoined after he and Mom divorced, or he just continued a membership there while being a member at Memorial Park Presbyterian Church when we moved in 1961 is unknown.  I was surprised to see his name listed as a member in the Bicentennial Yearbook from 2000.

     Over the years I have blogged about the many wonderful aspects of my days at Hiland Presbyterian Church.  I have never mentioned the effect those years had on me during my college years. I declared sociology as my major focus of study in my junior year.  I needed additional course hours and dipped my toe into the religion courses.  I loved them and did well.  All of my religious training from ten years at Hiland reemerged.  I decided to have a dual major of sociology and religion.  I visited and applied to the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in my senior year.  I did not follow through, instead choosing to apply to the Peace Corps.  

     As the reader can see, I have written about my time at Hiland on four separate blogs, often repeating some of the same information.  Thank you Reverend Dr. Harry William Pedicord for your positive leadership at Hiland during our years there and leaving a lasting impression.  You are remembered.

Other Hiland Presbyterian Church Blogs on Flipside

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2024, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Witness to History--My Maternal Grandmother

 Amy Johnson Crow has a 52 Ancestors Week blog challenge which I have decided to join.  I am hoping it may help me to pinpoint someone or something that I have researched and not blogged about on Flipside.  AND push me to blog about family each week in 2024.  Sometimes I get lazy. 😁  Let's see how well I keep up.

1969 Teek and I in the living room before my wedding

     Week #4 (January 22-28) is Witness to History.     I was somewhat stumped as to what to write on this topic.  I finally decided to blog about my maternal grandmother, Martha Marie Frederick Stark or my nickname for her, Teek.  That nickname came from a very young, early talking little Linda.  Teek did not live close by and for Mom and I to visit, we had to take a streetcar or two.  I would call it a "teekcar" and that was the nexus of her name.  It stuck until her death, although in looking through old holiday cards I have noticed that she signed them Teet.  

      Why did I choose my grandmother?  She lived ninety years and was witness to nine decades of history--the world, country, and family.  I am embarrassed to admit I have not blogged about Teek, so this will be long.  It also has taken me countless hours to scan and get the photographs and research together.  Shame on me!  It has turned into her biography with a focus on history in each decade.

     Martha Marie Frederick was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, the youngest child of Alfred F.  Frederick and Lucinda Bell Orr.  Teek had two birth certificates.  She celebrated her birthday on April 8, 1880.  Note that the information for the March 8, 1880 was given by her mother and the April 8, 1880 was given by her Dad.  Dad's birth date won out. 

     I have been fortunate to have Teek as my grandmother for many reasons.  Important to my genealogical research has been that she did save some wonderful family treasures.  Her precious items have been so helpful working on the genealogy of both the Frederick and the Stark family, the family she married into.  

Martha Marie Frederick
circa 1883
carte de visite

Martha Marie Frederick
cropped from a family photograph
Circa 1885-1886


     My grandmother was age birth to nine in this first decade.   Teek's father, Alfred Frederick, worked on the railroad and for this time in history, must have made a decent income.  She grew up in small towns in Columbiana County, Ohio.  There were schools, stores, churches and a social life.  There was extended family nearby.  Transportation would have been walking, horses, wagons and buggies.  There was a local photographer and Teek saved some of those early pictures.

     Among the jewelry items housed in a small leather box, is a pretty child sized ring.  Some of the smaller stones are missing.  Of interest to me was the engraving under the band--Mattie.  My grandmother's childhood family nickname.  

     Also there is a collection of engraved sterling silver spoons.  One was my grandmothers and is engraved with MMF on the handle.

     Photographs show a well dressed family.  I do not know how much of their clothing was hand sewn by Lucinda Fredrick or if it was purchased in a shop.  If you enlarge the pictures the outfits are beautifully sewn with lovely details--pockets, trim, bows.  I do know that my grandmother was an expert seamstress, could knit and embroider.  

    I google searched to see what was happening in the 1880's.  Edison was in the process of developing and commercializing electric lights.  Early pioneers were experimenting with gliders, flight machines, submarines and automobiles.   As Prohibition was taking hold a new alcohol drink called Coca-Cola became popular.  New children's books that were written in the decade were Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Pinocchio and Treasure Island.  I wonder if my grandmother had access to these novels and was reading them?  


     This decade finds my grandmother age ten to nineteen.  The family continued to live in Columbiana County in the town of Columbiana.  Travel locally would have been the same as in the previous decade, although distance travel was done by train.  Teek's older three brothers all began working with the railroad once they became of age.    

Teen age years 
     When my grandmother was between seventeen and eighteen, the Frederick family removed to the McKees Rocks/Esplen Borough area of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  Located on the Ohio River, railroad tracks ran the distance of both communities.  Teek's father had a terrible train accident in 1898 and lost a leg and her brother, William Walter Frederick, died from typhoid fever.  

     Moving from a small town in Ohio to outside the city of Pittsburgh, the family was probably able to have and use some of the latest technology of the 1880's and 1890's.  Living down river from Pittsburgh they had the opportunity to visit Carnegie Museum of Art, Kennywood Amusement Park, The Pittsburgh Zoo and shop in large department stores.

     Did grandmother know of the Wounded Knee massacre or Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee?  There were labor strikes in the local steel companies and also in several railroad and miners companies.  The Klondike Gold Rush began in this decade.  Bicycles became very popular and Thomas Edison was perfecting the forerunner of the motion picture.



Gibson Girl Hairdos 


     During this decade Teek was age twenty to twenty-nine.  On the 1900 Pennsylvania census, she is listed as a "scool teacher" in Esplen Brough, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  She lived with her parents and brother, Robert Bell Frederick.  

     By 1904, the family had relocated to a house in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  Teek was employed in the city as a clerk in the Frick building.  The 1907 Pittsburgh City Directory lists the Frederick's as living in the Oakland neighborhood with Teek still employed in the Frick Building; however she is now a stenographer.  The family has a telephone at their home.  

Teek with her mother, Lucinda Bell Orr Frederick
and two unknown young women
     On December 15, 1909, Teek's mother, Lucinda, died  at the family home in Bellevue, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  

     When the family moved to Bellevue is unknown.  Teek's brother Robert married in 1906 and he is the head of the household in Bellevue on the 1910 census.  Teek was still employed and probably took a streetcar into Pittsburgh daily for work.  I took that same streetcar from Bellevue into town when I was in elementary school with my paternal grandmother.  

     Teek was able to experience Pittsburgh baseball, football and hockey games during this time, although I do not think she was much of a sports fan.  A Nickelodeon and vaudeville theater opened.  The Frick Building, where Teek was employed, opened in 1902.

     A few national and international events; Hawaii became a territory of the United States, President William McKinley was assassinated, the Panama Canal was built, Congress passed a bill establishing an income tax, Lincoln's face became used on the penny and the Wright Brothers were working on powered flight in Kitty Hawk.



Circa early 1910
Bathing beauties

Time to swim or get wet

     Entering middle age, my grandmother was age thirty to thirty-nine in this decade.  She continued to be employed as a stenographer at American Bridge Company in Pittsburgh and enjoy fun outings with friends.  One fun finding was that her friends and some family members called her "Freddie".

The Pittsburgh Post
July 4, 1911

     There are numerous Pittsburgh newspaper articles listing her in attendance at weddings and wedding showers.  In the one shown above Sara Evans was a dear friend of my grandmothers and Mrs. Robert Frederick was Teek's sister-in-law.  I have posted old photographs of her with a group of friends probably from work.

I believe this is a wedding photograph
The photographer was Walter Stark, my grandfather's brother

     A male friend that my grandmother met at American Bridge was Charles Stark.  On June 10, 1914, at age thirty-four she married thirty-four year old Charles Edward Stark, son of Charles Stark and Wilhelmine Catherine Schwarz Stark.  

     Once married, my grandmother settled into the housewife role and did not work outside the house again.  My Stark grandfather was a good provider as the chief clerk of the Traffic Department at American Bridge Company (United States Steel).  The traffic department was in charge of the money, primarily paying the bills and employees.  My mother once told me that her father did all the math in his head--no machine.

     Some of the changes, news and inventions that my grandmother saw this decade were:

  1. World War I
  2. The luxury liner Titanic sunk
  3. First heavier than air airline flight from St. Petersburg, Florida to Tampa.
  4. Mother's Day became a holiday
  5. Oreo cookies came on the market
  6. Girl Scouts were organized
  7. Ford opened first assembly line for the Model T
  8. Congress passed a bill for daylight savings time
  9. There was a Spanish flu pandemic
  10. The beginning of Prohibition


     Teek was age forty to forty-nine in this decade.  

Martha Marie Frederick Stark 
Martha Jean Stark
March, 1922
     My mother, Martha Jean Stark, was born on December 4, 1921 in a hospital in what is today, the north side of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  Her parents were both forty-one.  I have to imagine that having a child at that time and at that age was of concern.  Probably Teek took it easy and was on bed rest.  To add to her discomfort was rheumatoid arthritis, which she suffered from the remainder of her life.

611 California Avenue
Avalon, Pennsylvania

     After the birth of their daughter, the Starks moved from Pittsburgh to this house in Avalon.  

Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
     The Starks did travel and there was a vacation every summer.  My grandfather never owned or drove a car, so travel was primarily by train.  I chose the photo above to show Teek's hair.  My mother told me that Teek lost her hair after her pregnancy and for decades wore a wig, which was called a transformation in the twenties.  

Front and around the car
My Mom, Teek, Granny Stark, Aunt Frances and Grandfather Stark

Grandfather Stark and Teek

     This trip is a focus of a blog on Flipside.  It was taken in the summer of 1928 and the travelers were my Mom age seven, Teek, Grandfather Stark (I never gave him a nickname because he died before I was born), my maternal great grandmother Stark (Wilhelmine Schwarz Stark), my grand uncle (Alfred Walter Stark) and his wife Frances Stark.  Teek referred to cars back then as a buggy or a machine.  The one pictured belonged to Uncle Walter.  I love how well dressed the ladies were while traveling.  Coats, dresses, heels and hats.  Teek is even pictured wearing what appears to be a fox fur collar.

     The Stark Family took a summer vacation and many weekend trips somewhere every year; however, Teek is rarely to never, pictured.  I wonder if she was the photographer.

      The Starks lived an upper middle class life.  They never owned, but rented apartments in Avalon, a borough outside of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  My Mom talked about Teek inviting family in for dinners on weekends.  She was meticulous planning the meal and setting the table with her Limoges Haviland china, crystal glasses and sterling silver flatware.  BTW, I now have all her tableware 😀

     When I interviewed an older cousin of Mom's, she talked about loving to visit her Aunt Martha.  Teek would open  the door and the girls would come in for cookies, or applesauce, or whatever Teek had prepared that afternoon.  My aside on this.  Teek was much older when I came into the picture and I do not remember her as the grandmother who cooked.  

The Starks were active members in the Bellevue Methodist Episcopal Church (later known as the Greenstone United Methodist Church).  Teek enjoyed the social aspect and was an active member of one of the church circles.  She maintained her membership there throughout her life.  

     I mentioned in an earlier decade that my grandmother was an excellent seamstress, even with the arthritis in her hands. My mother said Teek made most of her clothes during her lifetime living with her Mom and Dad. Teek did not use paper patterns. She would order dresses from Joseph Horne's in town, lay the dress on a piece of fabric and copy it. The store bought dress would then be returned.


     One of her signatures was embroidering small roses on the collar of a dress or blouse. The photo above is on a dress she made for me when I was a toddler. Note the hand stitching on the lace.

     During this decade, Teek's father, Alfred F. Frederick died as did her older brother, Albert L. Frederick.  Both died in the Chicago, Cook County, Illinois area.  

     Google searching events of this decade, I decided to list the following:  

  1. KDKA in Pittsburgh was the first radio station to broadcast
  2. Wall Street crash and beginning of the Great Depression
  3. Fitzgerald and Hemingway popular fiction authors
  4. Charles Lindberg and Amelia Earhart trans-Atlantic flights
  5. Jazz Singer first motion picture with sound
  6. Bill passed in Congress to give Women the Right to Vote
  7. NBC and CBS radio stations
  8. Flying in an airplane became commonplace 



836 Florence Avenue
Avalon, Pennsylvania

     During this decade my grandmother was age fifty to fifty-nine and was raising a daughter age nine through high school.  My mother told me that they did not suffer financially through the Great Depression.  Grandfather Stark continued to be gainfully employed.

     During the day, when Mom was in school and my grandfather was at work, Teek would wear her housedress/housecoat to clean and cook in.  At the end of the afternoon, she would change into a more presentable outfit to greet her husband.  I can remember, even in the early 1950's, my mother wore a housedress until late afternoon when my Dad would come home.  

     Dinner was meat, potatoes and a vegetable.  Dessert was served afterwards.  My Mom told me a story of once, during the Depression, Teek served mush and scrapple for dinner.  My Mom thought that perhaps her Dad had lost his job.  Apparently, mush and scrapple was often served as a breakfast meat.

     Teek would walk "up town" or take the streetcar from Avalon to Bellevue to purchase groceries a couple of times weekly.  They had a refrigerator; however, that appliance did not hold the amount of food that we are accustomed to today added to the fact that meats were not processed like they are today.  Also, my Mom remembered that there was a block of ice in the refrigerator to keep it cold.  

Counted Cross Stitch made by Teek in 1933
for my Mom.  Later it hung in my bedroom
and today it is on my dining room wall.

     The Starks had a telephone.  Grandfather Stark loved classical music and opera.  My Mom said he would listen to records on an old Victrola nightly.  Teek usually worked on a sewing or needlework project.  They also had a radio as listed on the 1930 census report.  Laundry was done in a wringer washer in the basement and clothes were hung in the basement to dry.  Mom told me that the laundry was dried in the basement even in the summer because the air in Pittsburgh was so dirty from the steel mills.

     This is a close-up of a dress made for Mom probably in her later elementary school years.  Teek had a pedal operated sewing machine and did all the embroidery and smocking by hand.  Unbelievable craftsman ship.  Mom told me that Teek continued to made her clothes through high school, although Mom wished for a store bought dress.

     Teek was an organization member.  She joined the Avalon Women's Club.  The earliest record I have is in the 1930's.  

Mom in Chicago at the Sinclair Exhibit
Chicago Worlds Fair

     As I mentioned in the last decade that the Stark Family did enjoy their vacations and this decade is no different.  With my Mom now in her teens, some trips took in an educational aspect.  Old photo albums have pictures of my Mom at the Chicago Worlds Fair A Century of Progress International Exposition in 1934, the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto Canada which a side trip to Niagara Falls in 1935 and the Cleveland Exposition in 1936.  There was a week at Belle Isle near Detroit for some swimming fun.

     Many Saturday's the family walked into Bellevue from Avalon to go to the movies with a bite to eat at a restaurant afterwards.

     The final year of this decade ushered in a dramatic change in the Stark family, my Mom graduated from high school and in the fall went to Ohio to attend The College of Wooster.  Teek and my grandfather were empty nesters.

     Certainly Teek was aware of this collection of events during the 1930's.

  1. The Great Depression
  2. Birdseye packaging frozen vegetables
  3. H.J. Heinz of Pittsburgh canning soup and baby food
  4. The Lindberg's baby kidnapped and found dead
  5. The Roosevelt Years--my Grandfather Stark was not a Roosevelt supporter.  My mother said her Dad detested Roosevelt.
  6. Prohibition ends--the Starks were teetotalers
  7. the Hindenburg disaster
  8. Superman appears in Action comics
  9. Television stations launched and President Roosevelt gives a speech broadcast in 1939
  10. Social Security Act


      Teek was age sixty to sixty-nine during this decade.  She had always been involved in local women's clubs; however, with my Mom away in school, she began to take hostess roles.  My grandfather was still gainfully employed.      

Needlepoint by Teek

     Since my Mom was away in college at the beginning of the decade, I have no stories of Teek.  I do not know if they continued to take trips.  There are no photographs to give me a clue.

     In 1943 my Mom and Dad married.  They stayed in the general area, so any visits were made by streetcar or bus.  

     On January 24, 1945, my Grandfather Stark died quite suddenly. Teek's husband left her financially well off so income was not an issue for the remainder of her long life. 

     I would like to mention here that Grandfather Stark had invested in several blue chip stocks.  Money from those stocks financed Teek for the next twenty-five years.  They were handed down to my mother and were sold by me at Mom's death in 1999.  As part of her estate my two brothers and myself each received a portion of Grandfather Stark's investments.  My portion was invested in an annuity from which receive a monthly amount.  As a money manager with the United States Steel Company he wisely saved his money in stocks which are still providing for his family seventy-nine years after his death.  I gave my son a piece of my portion and it is the cornerstone of his investments.  Yet another generation added.

501 California Avenue
Avalon, Pennsylvania


     Teek, now a widow, moved from the family rental property in Avalon to a smaller one bedroom apartment.  I vaguely remember this apartment.  There was a living room, dining room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen in the back.  There was a long dark hallway and the doors to the rooms connected to the hallway.   

     As I mentioned earlier, Mom and I would take the streetcar weekly to visit in Avalon (the apartment with the long dark hallway 😇).  Thus the nickname was born--teekcar to Teek.  Teek's apartment was on the first floor.  Looking at the photograph, I would think apartment 1 would be on the left side; however, I remember the long hallway with rooms going to the left.  That would be the apartment on the right hand side.

     I now become part of Teek's story on May 1, 1947.  She had a new little girl to sew dresses for and add her signature embroidered roses.      

     Teek purchased a car for Mom and Dad.  My Mom never drove it until Dad served in Korea.  Dad needed a car as he had completed medical school and needed transportation for his internship, residency, etc.  


     My first Halloween and of course Teek made my costume.  There was a huge amount of material turned inside and hemmed at the waist to let it out as I grew.  I was still wearing this costume until 1952.  I still have the costume and both of my boys wore it for Halloween when they were young in the early and mid 1980's.  

Teek, Pop Pop and Me
Summer 1949 Brigantine Beach, New Jersey

     Teek was always included, even on family vacation to Brigantine Beach, New Jersey in 1949.  Note she is wearing a dress on the beach.  

     Once again I Google searched for events that occurred during this decade.

  1. Cartoon characters introduced were:  Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, and Woody Woodpecker
  2. Color TV was demonstrated
  3. Regular television stations CBS and NBC
  4. Commercial airlines became popular
  5. Pearl Harbor and World War II
  6. Atomic bombing of Japan
  7. Harry Truman becomes president
  8. Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier in baseball
  9. Polaroid camera
  10. On TV:  Meet the Press, World Series, Texaco Theater staring Milton Berle


     My maternal grandmother is age seventy to seventy nine in this decade and this decade progressed, I was old enough have my own memories of Teek.

Easter 1955

     She made the majority of my school clothes, which in this decade was dresses, jumpers and skirts and blouses.  I had pants and shorts for play; however, I cannot remember if they were store bought or if Teek made them too.  When Santa brought me a Ginny doll for Christmas, Teek made my doll matching dresses. 😀

Joseph Horne Department Store
Historic Pittsburgh 

During my early elementary school years, before the school year began, Mom and I made the trip in town to purchase the new school shoes.  We took the streetcar from West View and got off at Horne's Department Store.  Teek was always there ahead of us and would wave from the open balcony on the second floor.  First stop was the shoe department and a pair of Stride Rite shoes.  Teek always paid for my school shoes.  Lunch was either at Horne's Restaurant or Stouffers'.  

     My mother would call Teek several times weekly, and she was often at the house for Sunday dinner.  Teek was always included all of my paternal grandparents celebrations.  Grams and Pop Pop lived nearby and would pick Teek up.  


1953 Family picnic at North Park

     This picnic was a celebration of my Dad's return from Korea.  Pictured is Teek, Great Grandmother Hughes, Ken about 15 months and Pop Pop.  My great grandmother was born in England in 1876 making her only four years older than my maternal grandmother, Teek.

At age seventy-six, a program co-chair

     I was not aware of my grandmother's social life when I was young; however, I have found numerous newspaper articles from the 30's and into the 60's of her membership in the Avalon Women's Club.  She maintained her active membership at Bellevue Methodist Church after Grandfather Stark's death.   My Mom said she always felt Teek was there for the social aspect.  

There's that fruit cocktail
Christmas 1954

     One vivid memory both of my brothers and I have of Teek was her holiday fruit cocktail.  It was made from fresh fruit, primarily orange and grapefruit segments with maraschino cherries.  It was so tart it made our mouths pucker.  😄

     In 1955 Teek moved to a studio apartment in Avalon at 909 California Avenue.  She lived there until her death.  I know this apartment very well.  In 1963, once I got my driver's license, I was Teek's primary mode of family transportation.


     Some of the events Teek heard covered on her radio, maybe a TV and read in the newspapers.

  1. Dial telephones
  2. Korean Conflict--our family was impacted
  3. Golden Age of television beginning with I Love Lucy
  4. The comic strip Peanuts
  5. Dwight Eisenhower president
  6. St Lawrence Seaway
  7. Brown vs The Board of Education
  8. Emmett Till murdered
  9. Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
  10. Disneyland opens in California 
  11. Polio and Salk vaccine--my brother, her grandson had polio
  12. Sputnik and space race begins
  13. Rock and Roll and Elvis Presley
  14. Alaska and Hawaii become states
  15. Jet airplane passenger service



Teek with her family
Her daughter, my Mom
Her grandchildren: Myself, Ken and Jeff

     My grandmother lived until 1971, so this final decade is covering two additional years.  She was age eighty to ninety, just three months shy of her ninety-first birthday.  I was in my teens and early twenties during this time period and spent time with Teek.  

     My grandmother no longer made my clothes, instead I was sewing dresses and skirts.  Whenever Teek came to visit, she would sit on the floor, pin up the hem and do the hand sewing.  

     By the 1960's my paternal grandparents had moved to Florida.  We saw a lot of Teek.  She usually came to Sunday dinner at our new house.  In 1963, when I got my driver's license, I drove to Avalon to pick her up.  Our secret was that she always gave me a couple of dollars for driving her.  

McSorley's was a favorite for lunch

     There were times I would pick her up and we would go out for a nice lunch.  She loved a good hamburger and ice cream dessert.  Reflecting back, my oldest son, Aric, did the same thing with my Mom, his maternal grandmother.  Just like Teek, did with me, Mom would have Aric come get her and they would go to a show and lunch together.  

     Teek loved African violets.  She had quite a collection of them on tables near the large picture window in her apartment.  I never realized how poorly she watered them until I was the recipient of all of her furniture after her death.  Every table had to be refinished due to the water marks on top.  

     By this time, Teek was no longer wearing a wig.  She never wore pants or slacks.  I never saw her in anything other than a dress and short heels.  She loved jewelry.  Always a pin, earrings and often a pearl necklace.

     She continued to spend time with girlfriends, playing cards, having lunch and shopping.  

     Happily, she was able to attend my wedding in August, 1969.  

     My grandmother, Martha Marie Frederick Stark aka Teek, died in a  hospital in the North Hills of Pittsburgh on January 6, 1971 at age 90.  My father was her physician.  She was buried beside her husband, Charles Edward Stark, at Allegheny County Memorial Park, Allison Park, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  My husband and I flew back home from Boston to attend the funeral.

     I know Teek had a TV during this decade, so she was well aware of the currents events.  This is a small sample.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. John Fitzgerald Kennedy elected president
  3. John Fitzgerald Kennedy assassinated
  4. Vietnam
  5. Lyndon Baines Johnson president
  6. Richard Milhous Nixon president
  7. Satellites
  8. John Glenn circles the earth in Friendship 7
  9. Andy Warhol
  10. The Beatles
  11. March on Washington
  12. Assassination of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy
  13. Medicare and Medicaid
  14. Feminist Group NOW formed
  15. Woodstock
  16. Neil Armstrong walks on the moon
  17. Kent State
  18. Hippie movement
  19. Social and sexual revolution

     I realize this was supposed to be primarily a historical account by the witness; however, it has given me the opportunity to do a biological blog about my maternal grandmother.  To be fair she did live and witness ninety years here in the United States.  I have cherry picked some of the historical events at the end of each decade.

    My grandmother was a lady and she raised a lady--my Mom.  One final thought.  Teek was sharp as a tack when she died.  A year before her death she wrote a letter to her daughter, my Mom, outlining her final wishes, the banks where she had accounts, where the stock certificates were located and how to close out her apartment.  

     Teek lived from horse and buggy to automobiles, From airplanes to space travel.  From candles to electric lights.  From wood heat to electric and gas.  Central air conditioning.  Saw the inventions of telephones, washing machines, ovens, refrigerators and numerous other appliances and conveniences.  Canned goods and packaged foods. Inventions of radio and television--black and white to color.  Numerous wars abroad which US citizens were called to service.  High button shoes and fashion changes almost every decade ending with the mini skirt. Experienced a social revolution in the country.  Motion pictures.  Music from classical and opera to ragtime, jazz, blues, bluegrass, big band, rock and roll, folk, psychedelic rock and funk.  And finally nineteen presidents from Rutherford B. Hayes to Richard M. Nixon.

     And BTW, she did mention seeing Annie Oakley at a fair back in Columbiana County, Ohio. 😁


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