Friday, January 28, 2011

Follow Friday - 28 Jan 2011

Follow Friday - 28 Jan 2011

Brenda at "journey to the past: HOME, LOVE, FAMILY" wrote: "Don't Let Yourself Be A Future Brickwall."

I find this an interesting subject to ponder further.

With lots of stuff, as well, my main concern is in what form should I be leaving this stuff behind?
How can I be most helpful to those who come behind... should I care?

I'd love to hear your thoughts, as well.

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless (nearly) Wednesday - Our Engagement Weekend

Wordless (nearly) Wednesday 
Our Engagement Weekend

Haven't seen this photo in years - just came across it, looking for something else (as usual!). This is April 58 - in my parents' farm house, in front of the fireplace - we were each home from our respective colleges (in Ames and Cedar Falls, Iowa) for the Easter Weekend, and announced we planned to get married - with two years of college to go... Well, that got both sets of parents involved quickly!  ;-)

P.S. It worked out ok, we have now been married 51 years and counting...

On left, my parents, Pete and Eileen Smith, and youngest brother, Paul; Nancy and Bill (Yes, we are wearing matching shirts - she made!); her parents, Glenn and Ruth Bolger, with youngest sister, Janice; my maternal grandparents, Paul and Dorothy Kinnick.

Many more memories...  ;-)

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 4: House

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 4: House

I've said I don't attempt to do this exercise every week, but for the second week in a row, this one "strikes my fancy" - it also is useful as a springboard for Sharing Memories posts, as well.

Thanks to GeneaBloggers and Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog for these prompts.

Week 4: Home. Describe the house in which you grew up. Was it big or small? What made it unique? Is it still there today?

I'm using the same photos, again, because they show our house, as well as our cars!

In this first one, you see the house as it was during the 40s, with the old porch on the right. In about 1948, the old porch was replaced with the "New Porch" which was an extensive "family room" - Fireplace and bookcases on the far end, on the right, in the photo below.

I put "porch" in my query, and came up with two photos I don't think I've used below. The first shows the left side, where the "old porch" used to be. This was a youth group meeting at our house, in the "New Porch" - the kitchen is behind, on the left. I have my slide projector lid, and my eyes closed. Donna was a good family friend (second from left). Nancy - became my wife of 51+ years is seated in the center, and my cousin, Dennis, is in the brown shirt.

This one is the family standing in front of the fireplace - bookcases on both sides. About 1954-5. Love that Motorola TV, as well!

 The house, on the farm, has been gone more than a decade. The farm is no longer in the family, either... near Coon Rapids, in Greene Co, Iowa.

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Follow Friday - 21 Jan 2011

Follow Friday - 21 Jan 2011

I try to be consistent in encouraging each of my readers to tell their family history stories, whether stories of their ancestors or their own stories. Emily Aulicino writes the blog "Writing You Memories."

Her recent article, "Skeletons in the Closet" especially caught my attention. I've had discussions with a number of persons about this topic of how to write about sensitive subjects, either about  an ancestor or in our own history in memoirs or sharing our memories (see Sharing Memories label on my blog).

I comment this to your reading just for many great ideas that are presented. What do you think? Have you faced this issue in your own stories?

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Monday, January 17, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Cars

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Cars

I don't attempt to do this exercise every week, but try to pick out the ones that strike my fancy - this one I can also use as a springboard for Sharing Memories posts, as well. Thanks to GeneaBloggers and Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog for these prompts.

Week 3: Cars. What was your first car? Describe the make, model and color, but also any memories you have of the vehicle. You can also expand on this topic and describe the car(s) your parents drove and any childhood memories attached to it.

Needless to say, I was pretty proud of my 1949 Chevy Fleetline with fender skirts and visor. It was seven years old when I got it. I was a junior in High School. We lived seven miles in the country, so it sure beat riding the school bus!  ;-)

As far as memories, I'll just say here that this was my car through high school, including dating may future wife (we've now been married 51+ years!) - so there are plenty of memories.

We were a Chevy family. Here are my Mom, me and my two younger brothers (other two came later on...) in front of our farm house in Iowa with our new 1950 Chevrolet...Mom and Dad's first new car. What a big deal! Dad took the photo, of course!  ;-)

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sharing Memories - Life in Tucson

Sharing Memories - Life in Tucson

This series of blog post was inspired by an event posting on Facebook by Lorine Massey at the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog.

The terrible shooting incident in Tucson last weekend brought back a lot of memories to our family, as it may have for many others. In the summer of 1983 we moved to Tucson from Iowa and lived in a house a short distance west of the Ina and Oracle intersection where that Safeway store is now located on the southeast corner. My first accounting office that I opened shortly after arriving was on the northwest corner of that same intersection. We passed through that intersection multiple times daily for several years. Later, our office was moved south on Oracle and we bought a house a few miles to the west, but we still continued to drive through that intersection, regularly, for a number of years. Our youngest daughter graduated from both high school and the University of Arizona there. She does know people closely connected to some of the victims. Our middle daughter also graduated from the University and stayed in the community for many years after my wife and I moved to Kansas in 1994 following my Ph.D studies at the University.

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Follow Friday - 14 Jan 2011

Follow Friday - 14 Jan 2011

There are many techniques available to conduct interviews to obtain family history stories and some of them come from other disciplines. Today I feature one of my favorite personal historians, again.

Dan Curtis shares: "How to Use "Acknowledgment" to Build a Better Interview."

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday at My Hometown - Nielsen Holiday Gatherings

Monday at My Hometown - Nielsen Holiday Gatherings

My Hometown is Coon Rapids, in West Central Iowa, in Carroll County but near the corner with Audubon, Guthrie and Greene Counties.

I still get the Coon Rapids Enterprise each week. Here is a useful story that lists many of my relatives and where they are now. This family is my maternal grandmother's sister's family - her children, and their children and grandchildren. We shared holiday gatherings with them often in my youth!

Early Christmas dinner guests on December 12 at Helen Nielsen’s
home were Junior and Winona Huffman and Marie Nielsen of Audubon;
Darrell and Marjorie Nielsen of Glidden; and Jerry and Annie
Vincent of Jefferson. Holiday guests on December 26 at Helen’s
home included her son, Maurice Nielsen of Hartland, WI; also Maurice’s
three daughters and families: Jenni Maskel and children Mike
and Mia of Cottage Grove, WI; Erin and Ben Kossow and their children
Tyler and Grant, all of Mukwonago, WI; Paul and Laura Tesch
of Hartland, WI. Other guests were Helen’s son and daughter-in-law,
Bob and Ann Nielsen of Lenexa, KS. Everyone left for home on December
29. During the holiday time, Helen received a telephone call
from her third son, Keith and his wife, Karen, of Fort Walton Beach,

From: Coon Rapids Enterprise - Thursday, January 6, 2011/page 4 - online

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sharing Memories - Air Force Summer Camp

Sharing Memories - Air Force Summer Camp

Last week in this Sharing Memories series, I began to recall my experiences around AFROTC and becoming an officer serving in the United States Air Force.

Today, I will briefly discuss Summer Camp, part of the AFROTC program, that took place near the Black Hills of South Dakota at Ellsworth AFB. This will be from memory. I will pull out the records, later, and perhaps provide more specific details.

Two memories stand out: 1) Survival training, and 2) riding in an Air Force Refueling plane. Also, I suppose, our active duty leader was a Major, who drove an old (wonderful) Mercedes... interesting what one remembers.

Survival Training

A group of us were 'placed' in the woods in the Black Hills - simulating a crash scene, I suppose. It lasted three days. We had the rations and basic equipment we would have with us in that case. There was some sort of compass and 'get to here,' if you can, game... but I don't remember much about that. I did survive, pretty well, as I recall. From time to time I do recall things from that experience that have been useful. Moss on the north side of trees, for example. Being able to "get along' with out all the normal 'niceties' was probably the most important lesson. Not real exciting, but it was a very useful experience - that I mostly have never needed to use! I'm happy about that, actually!

Refueling jet ride

We refueled a B-47 (which I worked with a lot in my active duty career). I actually had my camera with me, and, somewhere, I'll find and share the couple of photos. I was laying on my belly, looking out directly over this extension tube, boom - maybe 30-40 feet long, that reached down to the nose of the B-47 that came up right under the refueling plane. The boom operator was responsible to maneuver that tube to attach it to the plane below. The pilots of the two planes being refueled were responsible to maintain their relative positions, of course. Below could be seen the hills and lakes of SW South Dakota. Quite a view! Quite an experience.

Image added, Mar 2019; my point of view
We were over South Dakota summer, not snow on mountains, of course!
One more thing...

This was a military training camp. I was responsible for cleaning between the tiles in the latrine (toilet - bathroom, if you prefer) with a toothbrush. I volunteered for it, because I knew I'd be able to work alone, and would do a good job. You may draw your own conclusions.

More memories to come...

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Follow Friday - 7 Jan 2011

Follow Friday - 7 Jan 2011

Hope your New Year is off to a good start.

With the new year, I want to continue the Follow Friday theme, but may make some changes. Whether and how that may occur have not yet been determined. In the meantime, I am recommending the following three blog posts. The first is a "Best of..." from Randy Seaver - who I reference regularly. Next is Greta's regular weekly blog post, which is always good. The third is from my friend, Susan Peterson, who provides her special insight through her readings - always good stuff.

Especially if you are a new reader, I encourage you to continue to check back and read these blogs regularly, if you don't already.

The Best of Genea-Musing in 2010 (My Choices)

Friday Newsletter and Follow News: 31 December 2010 at Greta's Genealogy Blog

Follow Friday: Around the Blogosphere - December 31

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sharing Memories - Beginning

Sharing Memories - Beginning

This series of blog post was inspired by an event posting on Facebook by Lorine Massey at the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog and her entry of a year ago.

With my previously published Writing Plan for 2011 I certainly must adapt the concept Lorine has suggested, so here is my plan. This will be a weekly Sunday Theme - Sharing Memories, labeled as Sharing Memories. During nearly every week, some 'random' memory that comes up will be recorded, written about, and posted on an upcoming Sunday.

I also have a list of 'memoir' topics I've gathered in recent years - thinking a number of times that some sort of memoir would be prepared and written. So, this becomes a bit more extensive 'modern Genealogy Journal' as well. For years, I've had a notebook to enter my thoughts ' in longhand' (that one of my daughters gave me). It sits with blank pages. Perhaps a weekly blog post will do the trick.

So, my first Sharing Memories post is that I have not done a very good job of Sharing Memories, to date, and pledge, to myself, to do better. Photos are good memory generators that I may use, from time to time, to base a memory post on.

OK, one story from last weekend, talking to my grandson, Alex. I was wearing an Air Force t-shirt. We got talking about the fact that I had served three years active duty, in the Vietnam era. That means that my tour of duty ended two weeks before the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution; this was the 'official' beginning of US involvement in what became known as the Vietnam War. It gave President Johnson authorization to use conventional military force in Southeast Asia without a formal declaration of war.

We talked about AFROTC summer camp experiences, riding in an Air Force refueling tanker, and how I served in a detachment of the Radar Bomb Scoring Squadron in the Strategic Air Command. His mom and dad, and uncle and aunt, seemed as interested in hearing the story as he was. Sounds like I need to share some more of these memories, here, later, as well.

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

Writing plans for 2011

As a retired 71+ year old person (professor), making "New Years Resolutions" is really not especially useful.

First, I am retired; I can do pretty much as I wish (if my wife doesn't object) most any time I wish.

Second, family comes first - grandpa, husband, father, brother, uncle, etc.

Third, I have a contract to teach an/my on-line university course in the Spring.

FInally, with the time left, I write.

1. I expect to complete and publish my second novel in the Spring of 2011. I will continue to promote both novels through appropriate activities throughout the year.

2. I will continue to write weekly articles for on both my topic areas: Springfield Genealogy Examiner and Ozark Cultural Heritage Examiner.

3. I will continue to research and begin to write the non-fiction Revolutionary War family history book on Sergeant Major William Kinnick.

4. I will continue to research and write the non-fiction family history book on my great-grandfather Michael Smith.

5. I will continue my primary blogs, with most entries related to the research, writing and promoting I am doing at the time.
Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories
Dr. Bill on Retirement
Dr. Bill's Book Bazaar
The Homeplace Series Blog
The KINNICK Project

6. As mid-year approaches, I will step up the Civil War research and writing for my young adult Civil War novel and "The Beginnings" novel in "The Homeplace" series.

Families are Forever!  ;-)