Saturday, February 17, 2018

Ancestry

Elaine has done a lot of work with our family history by researching family records, obituaries, pictures, etc. but has never gotten into Ancestry. com and only sightly into census records. She has worked with a friend, who turns out to be a distant relative who is obviously very proficient in tracing family ancestry. She just sent us  notebooks for both Elaine and I that contain significant new information. She has found a common ancestor in  the Watts family that connects Elaine with her. She lives in Colorado but gets back to Seward and the area where she was raised. Her Uncle and I were best friends in High School, worked road construction and as farm boys, worked and roomed together one winter in Omaha at the Swift Packing Plant. I spoke with her on the phone today to express our appreciation for her good work. She told of how much she enjoys doing it and asks that we provide her information on our children that she might get them included in her "family tree" since the linkage between our families. We will be pleased to pass this new information along to our family.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Love of Family

Julie and Carolyn came to visit this afternoon along with Sadie and Jack. It had been a while since they had been here because of the flu so we really enjoyed seeing all of them. It doesn't take very long for playthings to get pulled out of the cabinet. Some of Jack's trucks and tractors have a place with the stuffed animals and are left out for "decoration".  We are so fortunate to have Great Grandchildren living near us where we can watch changes occur in their development. They are both more "mature" every time we see them. CBS National News had a story this evening on a Father sending postcards to his children every day for the past several years. It was his way of letting them know of his love for them. 
I hope that my writing this blog has some of the same effects. It is a way of letting family, especially those who live away from here, know that we are doing O.K. and that we are thinking of them. Our generation has never felt as comfortable in expressing our love of family members as is done by younger people. That doesn't mean that we don't have very strong feelings for our kinfolks but are less likely to express them. Maybe this frequent blog page can help carry the message.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Seward Magazine Club

The Seward Magazine Club is reportedly the oldest social organization in the City. We were recently asked the date when we became members and for Elaine and I, it was November 5th, 1992. This picture was taken at the 2000 Christmas Party. Historic records indicate that the Club originated in 1898. The City population was about 1,600. The Seward County Courthouse was constructed at this same time at a cost of $87,225. The Club began when businessmen got together regularly for coffee. They would share and discuss articles from various magazines to which they subscribed. Eventually the men decided to form a club for regular evening meetings, including their wives. Meetings were scheduled from 8:00-10:00pm on the first and third Thursday of the month beginning in September and recessing for the summer in May. There were specific rules that were established for achieving new members which are still followed. Other archaic customs are still followed including men and women having lunch at separate tables. Some changes have been made, such as meeting only once a month, but it is still a very viable organization for achieving social and educational benefits.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentines Day Crowning at Brookdale

The Brookdale King and Queen were crowned this afternoon at a 2:00pm Valentines Day program. Marian and Gene Faszholz were the honored recipients. The folks on either side were first and second, runner ups. Nominations and final selection was done by vote of residents. This has become a custom here dating back to the initial crowning in 2010. This may be the first husband and wife crowned at the same event. The Faszholz have been very instrumental in community activity and certainly helped welcome us a few months ago. The 2010 King, continues to be a resident here in the Independent Living side, and appears to enjoy it. A Ladies Trio from Fremont, NE provided entertainment.
The Fremont Trio had recorded accompaniment and sang like the "Andrews Sisters" and others who were popular in years past. One of the ladies is the wife of Greg Spevak who had a dance band some years ago and had played at Utica among other Ballrooms. Another of the group was a music teacher who told of their setting around a kitchen table deciding whether they might reach the level of perfection to go public. They certainly have and even picked up the little nuances which emulate the Andrews Sisters. I suspect that the lady with Greg Spevak may have been a vocalist with the orchestra.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Conclusion of Home Moves

             (Continued from 2 /12/18)
My retirement and our moving back to Seward at the end of 1991 was prompted by several factors, not the least of which was my increasing PSA level. I had friends who had gone the various routes of intervention so had some idea of choices that would need to be made. John Cattle offered the opportunity for me to join the Bank's Board of Directors; I joined the Kiwanis Club of Seward, and became a full-time member of the “Little Herrods” coffee group within the first couple weeks. Dr. Hoff gave me a couple injections which enabled us to have an “around USA” Amtrak trip and a USDA Work Group trip to Budapest, Hungary, to work with former Soviet Countries. I then had a Prostatectomy at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Lincoln. In July we took Carolyn and Julie and drove the Motor Home to Yellowstone National Park. It was the beginning of many years of travel, and involvement in Religious, Environmental, Political, and Community organizations.            
Our next housing move didn't occur for nearly 25 years with the move into Rivendale; a retirement facility in Seward on September 1, 2017. Our 3 boys were back from Indiana and Virginia to assist and Carolyn provided the leadership in making this move. It involved cleaning out our house at 131 North 1st Street in Seward that we had owned for 35 years, having an Auction and listing the house for sale. Our move to the Independent Living section of Rivendale was not prompted by any specific problem but rather by a realization that we were no longer able to take care of our house and yard and that we wanted to make the move while we were both able to enjoy it. And we do.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Back to Seward Again

              (continued from 2/11/18)
Our Condo was in Building #4 of Maplewood Village in Ankeny, IA. It was new construction  so we were able to select paint colors, etc. My first SWCS responsibility was participating in the Annual SCS State Conservationist Meeting in Traverse City, Michigan. It was great to be back amongst old friends. We got moved in and changed office locations with Larry Davis in the headquarters building. We were back to Seward for Dad's 93rd birthday and the folks 69th wedding anniversary in October. Dad was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia and died on December 15, 1989. We made every effort to bring the staff and Board of Directors into a unified body but the lack of continuity of leadership for some time, had led to independent activity by top staff. Elaine became a “regular volunteer” clerical worker on the 22 person staff.
I learned quite quickly that “fund raising” was one of my main responsibilities. A tornado hit our building at Maplewood destroying 1 unit in March of 1990. We dedicated the D.E.Hutchinson Prairie on Earth Day at the Headquarters location later that spring. We did a lot of official travel during the year along with 29 weekends back to Seward. Mother had a stroke on December 5th and died the next day. I alerted our Board of Directors fairly early in '91 that we desired to return to Seward by the end of the year. We received an offer to sell our Condo in mid-summer, rented an apartment where we lived till returning to our house in Seward at the end of the year.
                                                         (To be continued)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Move back to Seward

         (continued from post of 2/10/18)
My last day of work with USDA SCS was June 27, 1980. The Van moving us to Seward left the next day as we did with Elaine and Verlon in the Pontiac, and I drove the Buick with a small trailer. We had a stop at Tim's in Indiana and got to Seward the next day. We stayed with our folks until our furniture got unloaded in the Farmhouse, but I went to work right after the 4th of July. Elaine went to work for SCS in a computer job in the Lincoln Regional Office a bit later. Julie was born to Carolyn and Vic Beaudry on January 11, 1980 and they moved from North Carolina to Seward shortly before we moved back. Vic worked as an auto mechanic in Crete. Their marriage broke up in February of '81 and Carolyn and Julie moved in with us. Carolyn got a job at the Seward Court House in late March. With all the remodeling of the old farm house, it was not a desirable environment for a 1-year old so we began looking for a house in town. 
On May 15th, 1981, we closed on the Brockhoff house at 131 North First Street in Seward and moved in right away. My folks did a lot of mowing, watering and yard work in general, out at the farm and enjoyed it. Elaine's last day with SCS was July 9, 1982 to be home with Julie and to get ready for the “Down on the Farm with Charley Thone” at our farm. Carolyn got her BA in education from Concordia in May of '83 and we bought a Lindy Motor home in July, and built the Deck in October. Tim and Laura were married on the last day of '83. In May of '85, Carolyn was selected as a 2nd grade teacher in Seward. March 31, 1988 was my last day of work at the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission. We sold the west 40 acres of the farm with the buildings and pond privately and on April 15th had a Public Farm Auction and also sold the east 40. We traveled to Alaska in our Pickup Truck in the summer of '89 and took on the Job as Executive VP of the Soil and Water Conservation Society at Ankeny, Iowa on August 3, 1989. We reported for duty on at SWCS Headquarters on September 1, and bought a Condo at Ankeny. 
                                         (To be continued)