Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Wow, I can't believe I've been able to keep up daily postings in the dryer for three whole years. But, the archives don't lie!

Check out the original vintage post from 31 October 2005:

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Right on, Lynn!

It's not often that yours truly will readily allow someone else to speak for him. But, when it comes to the threat to this country posed by the junior senator from Illinois, I wholeheartedly endorse the words of Lynn Forester de Rothschild as they appear in today's edition of the Orlando Sentinel:,0,1341555.story

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The secret's out

Now that the Rays have gone down in defeat, I can fess-up to ye socks.

I have been secretly rooting for the Phillies all along.

That may come as something of a shock to you given my deep roots here in the Sunshine State.

But, I have my reasons.

The foremost being the way certain members of the Rays roster were fawning all over the junior senator from Illinois after they won their pennant.

I just couldn't stomach that. The image of it kept popping up in my mind every time I tried to get behind the "home team."

I'm sure there are more than a few Phillies of the same political bent. But, I didn't see so public a display on their part. And, now that they have won the series, I finally feel free to make this little confession!

Now, back to football . . .

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Killing two birds with one stone

OK, ye socks, like just about everyone in this little corner of heaven, I look forward to the temperature dropping as it has the last few days, because it means I won't have to run my AC and can save a few pennies on ye olde utility bill.

But, there's only so much chill one can take.

To take said chill off a bit, I decided to fire up the oven tonight rather than cranking the thermostat.

The result was an amazing batch of lemon bars.

Jealous much?

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Monday, October 27, 2008

The slightest hint of winter in the air

Let me preface this post by saying I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

That being said, Christmas has its time and place.

It comes AFTER Thanksgiving, not BEFORE Hallowe'en!!

Does pointing that out make me a Grinch?

I hope not.

But, it seems that the temperatures are only starting to drop and all the merchants in this little corner of heaven are already putting up their Christmas displays.

What really irks me about the whole situation is that I know the displays aren't the result of any real Christmas spirit, but out of desperation to add to their bottom line in this economic downturn.

Give it a rest, and give us a break!

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Liberte, egalite, et BROKE

I just got done watching a story about the healthcare system in France on my favorite CBS Sunday Morning show.


The "resident correspondent in Paris" who put the piece together extolled the virtues of socialized medicine, but buried the most important part of the story:

The French government extorts an awful lot of money out of its workers to pay for their socialist boondoggles.

AND, they still come up short!

Even with the high taxes, their national healthcare "system" still operates with a DEFICIT!

Don't gloss over the FACTS, ye media types!

Socialism is NOT the answer to healthcare . . . or anything else for that matter. It deserves its place in the proverbial dustbin of history, not to be glamorized in a segment on a tv news magazine.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

They don't call it The Swamp for nuthin'

All I can say is WOW.

In case ye socks missed it, the Gators pretty much destroyed the Kentucky Wildcats today.

It was brutal.

I mean, it was so difficult to watch even the most die-hard Gator fan I know had to leave at half-time to go run errands.

Let's hope they do the same to Georgia next weekend!

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Blockbuster late fees

Ye socks know what a creature of habit I am. So, this Friday was no different than any other. I stopped by the local Blockbuster on my way home from work to pick up some weekend entertainment.

The kindly clerk behind the counter informed me that my annual Rewards Club membership was about to expire, and asked if I wanted to renew it.

Of course, I did.

Then she asked if I'd heard the new late fee policy.

Of course, I had not.

Well, at least in the location closest to my house, they're brining them back.

That's right, late fees are making a comeback. If they haven't already reappeared at your own local store, get ready! They're coming!


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Uncle Bill!

I can think of no finer way to mark someone's birthday than to dig up embarassing old pictures.
So, today I post this doozy of my Uncle Bill, taken at Manston RAF Base back in the 1950s.
He's the little fellow on the left, in case ye socks couldn't figure that out on your own. Next to him is my mother, then my Aunt Roberta, the family pooch, my Grandma G, and my Aunt Mary.
OK, now I've done my part. Who's in charge of the cake and ice cream?!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bush's tax policy already soaked the rich

With so many yayhoos spreading lies about the last eight years, I'd like to point out the hard numbers out today on actual tax receipts.

In 2003, the richest 1% of U.S. taxpayers paid 33% of the bill for running our bloated federal government.

In 2007, the same group paid 40% of the bill.

And, yet there are still those running around preaching socialism and redistribution of wealth?!

The facts show we're already doing it!

Everything by degrees, I guess . . . wratchet up those tax rates, though, and see what happens to an already struggling economy . . . ARGGGHH!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lies about pie

It seems like the presidential candidates have dredged up that old cliche' about pie.

John McCain (appropriately) pointed out that the junior senator from Illinois wants the government to have the final say as to who gets what size piece of the pie instead of trying to grow the pie.

Sidebar: I thought you BAKE a pie, not GROW a pie?!

Anyway, this tired-yet-valid analogy only serves as the latest example of the very poor job we have done in teaching economic theory and its impact on our nation's history.

Personally, I blame the Keynesians who have been free for far too long to perpetuate their bogus theories. Using the Great Depression as an example:

LIE #1
The Great Depression was triggered by risky Wall Street speculation that led to a stock market collapse.

The Great Depression was caused by the federal government's systematic reduction (33%!!!) in the money supply during the 1920s.

LIE #2
"New Deal" social welfare programs, increased income taxes, and increased market regulations helped the economy.

FDR's socialist agenda actually PROLONGED the depression by creating a huge dependancy class, robbing the market of capital, and making it harder to operate a private sector business.

LIE #3
The eruption of World War II produced an ecomomic boom.

It was not until the war ended, workers returned to the private sector, and the dismantling of FDR's big government programs allowed money to be used as market capital that we fully recovered from the depression.

The lessons of history can and should be applied to the present economic situation. We don't need a rabble-rousing cult of personality approach. Rather, we need to cut taxes, reduce the size of government, and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit.

Or, is that too "pie in the sky?!"

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Monday, October 20, 2008

The Graveyard Rabbit

Well, in case ye socks can't get enough of my ruminations, I have recently joined forces with a group of other bloggers to form the Graveyard Rabbits Association. To learn more, click on the association logo below:

I know some of you loyal readers get a little annoyed by the volume of genealogical posts that end up in the dryer. (You know who you are, Darrell!) Well, while they're never going to disappear completely, at least I can promise future musings on local cemeteries will be posted at my new graveyard rabbit blog:

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Redistribution of wealth

Raising taxes on those who are already paying taxes to write checks to 15 million people who never pay taxes is NOT a tax cut.

It's called socialism.

And, I don't care how many pretty words you can string together in your efforts to sell it, I'm not buying.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

CPNA Historic Homes Tour

Well, ye socks, I have agreed to put the new abode on the College Park Neighborhood Association's historic homes tour next month.

Mark your calendars: Sunday, November 16th, 12:30-4:00pm.

We should be in pretty good company. I hear the Kerouac House (where Beat Generation icon Jack Kerouac lived and wrote) is also on the tour. For more info on that, see

Also, the Central Florida Plein Air Artists will be on hand. I assume they will be rendering images of the homes on the tour. Their website is

If you're interested in doing the tour, check-in at the community center at 2393 Elizabeth Avenue (just a few blocks north of my house). Tickets are $15, or $10 for seniors. But, members of the CPNA get in free or charge. To find out more, visit their website at

A portion of the proceeds from this year's tour will be donated to the Michael Welborn Education Grant, which supports history-related activities in local schools.

Having this 11/16 deadline is probably the best motivation I could have to wrap-up the remodeling and renovation efforts, right?!?

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Blogger Tag

Judith Richards Shubert has tagged me from over at Genealogy Traces.

There's a game of Genealogy Blogger Tag going around and now it's my turn.

Where do I begin? Oh, yes, the questions - should begin like this . . .

10 Years Ago I . . .
1. lived in my grandmother's old house in Audubon Park.
2. drove a grey Chevy Cavalier.
3. worked on the Jeb Bush campaign.
4. took a roadtrip with my dad to Lynchburg, Virginia, to do some ansearchin' in old courthouses and cemeteries.
5. discovered Biloxi, Mississippi.

5 Things on Today's To-Do List
1. Find my notes from that Lynchburg trip for my cousin who is in that neck of the woods this weekend and wants to find some of the places we visited.
2. Pay a subcontractor.
3. Paint the back porch.
4. Go to Blockbuster.
5. Watch The Ghost Whisperer.

5 Snacks I Enjoy
1. Publix raspberry and cream sherbert.
2. Cashews.
3. Pretzels.
4. Onion rings.
5. Gum drops.

5 Places I've Lived
1. Orlando, Florida.
2. Apopka, Florida.
3. Springfield, Virginia.
4. Lubbock, Texas.
5. Universal City, Texas.

5 Jobs I've Had
1. Business manager.
2. Writer.
3. English tutor.
4. Photography shop clerk.
5. Pizza delivery.

Tag, You're It!
1. Alice at The Simmons Family.
2. Michelle at Ok . . . So . . .
3. Tipper at Blind Pig & The Acorn.
4. Miriam at AnceStories.
5. Elizabeth at Little Bytes of Life.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

60 years ago today . . .

Well, ye socks, today would have been my dad's 60th birthday, a cause for reflection.

Were it not for the insidious nature of Alzheimer's Disease, he'd probably still be with us today to engage in a little reflecting, too.

Instead, I'll be writing out a check to the Alzheimer's Association in his memory. If moved to join me, you can get the pertinent details at their website:

And, if you're in this little corner of heaven, feel free to join us at Scruffy Murphy's on Edgewater Drive for a 60th birthday toast in honor of the old man.


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008

Well, ye socks, 'tis the day when thousands of folks across the blogosphere have been asked to post on a common topic.

This year, it's poverty.

There aren't any firm guidelines, as I suppose they want each participating blog to put their own spin on things.

I thought I might dig thru ye olde genealogy files to cull a story or two about how poverty has affected my family over the generations, but found that I descend from a lot of incredibly blessed people.

Don't get me wrong, there were some "economic disadvantages" here and there. But, I don't think anyone considered themselves to be poor.

I guess that's because we believe poverty should be measured by much more than the financial yardstick.

You can be spiritually poor. You can be morally bankrupt. Etc, etc, etc.

I did rediscover one old story from the Gleeson side of ye olde family tree. Apparently, back in Ireland they were what most folks would consider "poor." They were so poor . . .

"How poor were they?"

Well, they were so poor that their meals generally consisted of little more than boiled cabbage and potatoes. Only on the very rare occasion did an edible piece of meat arrive in their little sod farmhouse. Since it usually wasn't enough to feed the whole clan, the meat would be hung on a hook suspended from the rafters. Each member of the family was allowed, from time to time, to spear a potato or piece of cabbage in their stew and touch it to the enticing bit of protein. But only for a moment, because the hook had to be swung across the table to the next eager diner.

And, we wonder why they came to America?!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The sad story of George Spencer Millet

Thanks to Chris Dunham at The Genealogue for bringing this story to my attention.

The original version actually appeared in the 16 February 1909 edition of the New York Times.

In a nutshell, young George accidentally stabbed himself to death on his fifteenth birthday--which ironically followed Valentine's Day--because he was trying to avoid a half dozen young ladies who wanted to give him a kiss.

I have to wonder where young ladies like that were on my own 15th birthday, and why George wanted to avoid them . . .

Anyway, stories like this always give yours truly a convenient excuse to engage in some genealogical sleuthing. The result in this case is the following ahnentafel. I welcome any additions/corrections!

1. George Spencer Millet, II, *15 Feb 1894, New York City; +15 Feb 1894, New York City.

2. Cornelius Jones Millet, *19 July 1871, Philadelphia, PA; 1880 census, Philadelphia, notes he suffered from "lung disease"; 1900 res 2201 Seventh Ave., New York City, occ pork packing.

3. Carrie Louise McMannus, *Sept 1874, NY; 1910 widow, living with widowed motheer, NYC.

4. George Spencer Millet, I, *Aug 1840, PA; 1880 res 1925 Wa__ck St., Philadelphia, worked for railroad; 1900 res 122 W 133rd St., New York City, occ c___ broker; =(2) 18 Oct 1898, NYC, the widow Carolyn B. Munder Decker (*Oct 1850, Newark, NJ) whose teenage son W. Dewey Decker ironically worked (in 1900) as a clerk in a fire insurance office; =(1) 6 Jan 1870, Philadelphia.

5. Clara Louise Jones, *ca 1844, PA.

7. Jane, *ca 1843, NY; 1910 widow, res 425 Pleasant Ave., New York City (living with her was son Charles F. McMannus, who also worked in an insurance office . . . hope he was able to avoid kiss-crazy women!).

8. George Jonathan Millet, *25 Dec 1804, England; cr 13 Jan 1805, St. Peter's, Liverpool, England; 1880 res Philadelphia, PA, occ commission merchant.

9. Ann Barrow, *ca 1803, England.

16. Thomas Millet, = 2 Oct 1803, St. Peter's, Liverpool, England.

17. Catharine Spencer.


  • 1880 Census, 1925 WA__ck St., Philadelphia, page 408a, family/dwelling 122/147; and page 414d.
  • 1900 Census, 2201 Seventh Ave., New York City, page 173b, family/dwelling 39/41.
  • 1900 Census, 122 W. 133rd St., New York City, page 258b, family/dwelling 65/163.
  • 1910 Census, 425 Pleasant Ave., New York City, page 172b, family/dwelling 32/186.
  • IGI batches C004634, C595483, M01335, M009140, M020945, and P020271.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Would you care to comment?

That was the question posed by one of the bloggers I follow on a fairly regular basis.

It was issued as part of a "Fun Friday Challenge."

Let me preface the details with the admission that yours truly is very much guilty of perusing blogs and failing to leave any comments.

So, I don't know why it surprises me when ye socks say things like, "I was reading your blog, and I wanted to tell you . . . " The little "comment" link at the bottom of each post would let you do that almost instantaneously. Blog authors love getting feedback--be it positive, negative, or indifferent.

Anyway, here's the challenge: Go visit ten blogs, and post a comment on each.

I've already accepted the challenge myself. Here are the links to the blogs who were graced with my commentary:


Sunday, October 12, 2008

The incredible exploding candle

Well, ye socks, it's the weekend. And, that means weekend cleaning in this little corner of heaven.

On the advice of some friends, I decided to use a couple of new products.

The first was Counterop Magic for the avonite recently added in the kitchen and bathroom.

The second was Orange Glo for the hardwood floors.

Both did a great job, adding an awesome sheen to the surfaces in question.

My problem was the conflicting aromas of the two products. So, I lit a candle to "clear the air."

About 30 minutes later, as I was settling into my La-Z-Boy for the tail end of an NFL game and my weekly dose of Cold Case, a tremendous explosion rocked the house.

Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration.

I instantly knew the startling BOOM emanating from the kitchen had to be attributable to the candle, so I shot out of the easy chair like a cannon ball.

Good thing, too. The explosion had splattered hot wax and shards of glass all over the formerly pristine room.

And, what was worse, some of the wax was ON FIRE!

Full panic mode ensued. I grabbed a dishrag and swept all the remains on the countertop into the sink basin and flipped on the water. Then, I took the dampened cloth and began running around like a mad man to snuff-out the flames.

Suffice it to say, since I'm typing this, that all ended well. But, it was way too much excitement to end an otherwise enjoyable weekend . . . And, now I have all that wax to scrape!!!

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

THE MIGHTY GATORS 51, lsu kitty-cats 21

How great did that victory in The Swamp feel for ye Gator fans tonight?!

After suffering the heart-breaking 1 point loss to Ole Miss and the lackluster follow-up against Arkansas, it seems the guys in Orange and Blue are back to their winning ways!

They shut down the #3 team in the nation in their most convincing performance since the '06 national championship game against Ohio State.

LSU's big "star" Charles Scott was held to only 35 yards in 12 carries. In fact, their total rushing only amounted to 80 yards.

The real heroes of the gridiron were the home team, especially:

1. Tim Tebow (of course), who threw for 210 yards including 3 touchdowns.

2. Jeff Demps, the pint-sized power-packed true freshman who accounted for 179 of the teams 265 rushing yards.

3. Brandon Spikes, who returned an interception for a 52-yard touchdown run.

Now, Urban Meyer's crew is headed into a bye week. We fans will be lost next Saturday with no worthwhile match-ups to watch. Hopefully, though, the ascendant Gators will use the break to chart out their path to the SEC championship . . . and beyond. It would seem they are once again the masters of their own destiny.

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Friday, October 10, 2008


Some of ye socks may recognize the name Gilead as the "hill of testimony" mentioned in Genesis 31:21.

It's also the title of a Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Marilynne Robinson. [ISBN 978-0-374-15389-2.]

I just finished reading it and now fully understand why it won so much critical acclaim.

In a nutshell, the story is written from the perspective of Rev. John Ames of Gilead, Iowa. He knows he's dying, so wants to leave some written guidance for his young son.

Of course, there's a lot more to the tale than that. But, I'll leave it up to you to read it yourselves.

In the mean time, you may enjoy some of these quotes:

(Page 85) His grandfather's written response to his father's pacifist sermon: "No good has come, no evil is ended. That is your peace. Without vision the people perish."

(Page 113) Explaining why he embellishes the story of his church's historic weather vane: "It is hard to make people care about old things. So, I thought I should do what I could for that poor old rooster."

(Page 173) Describing his hometown: "There have been heroes here, and saints and martyrs, and I want you to know that. Because that is the truth, even if no one remembers it. To look at the place, it's just a cluster of houses strung along a few roads, and a little row of brick buildings with stores in them, and a grain elevator and a water tower with GILEAD written on its side, and the post office and the schools and the playing fields and the old train station, which is pretty well gone to wees now. But what must Galilee have looked like? You can't tell so much from the appearance of a place."

(Page 176) On the generation gap: "I have thought about that very often--how the times change, and the same words that carry a good many people into the howling wilderness in one generation are irksome or meaningless in the next."

(Page 177) On why he doesn't defend his religious views: "Because nothing true can be said about God from a posture of defense."

(Page 190) On the tragedy of the human condition: "History could make a stone weep."


(Page 245) "There are two occasions when the sacred beauty of Creation becomes dazzlingly apparent, and they occur together. One is when we feel our mortal insufficiency to the world, and the other is when we feel the world's mortal insufficiency to us."


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Like I need another project . . .

Well, ye socks, tonight's meeting of the Central Florida Genealogical Society inspired yours truly to participate in a will indexing project.

Any of you who have engaged in ancestor sleuthing know how valuable old probate records can be in tracking-down your elusive forebears.

This is one of the ways I can "give back" to all those whose efforts have helped me in my own research.

Plus, it keeps me off the streets.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A fresh perspective on The New Deal

Well, ye socks, I have to admit that I did NOT stay up to watch the presidential debate last night.

I figured, why bother getting all riled-up when you've already made up your mind who you're going to vote for?!

Instead, I turned to a book for my evening entertainment. Though it was an economic history of the Great Depression, I was surprised to see how many lessons could be applied to current events.

If you want to go out and get a copy at your local bookstore or library, here's the bibliographical info:

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, by Amity Shlaes, ISBN 9780060936426.

Ms. Shlaes is an economist by training and uses her egg-shaped head to pick apart one of the biggest icons of big government: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Her indictment against FDR contains the following charges:

1. That his socialist economic policies actually prolonged the country's depression.

2. That his expansion of welfare programs created "indebted constituencies" and led to class warfare.

3. That his attacks on the free market led to the rise of special interest groups and their lobbyists.

I sincerely doubt that the junior senator from Illinois, or any of his ilk for that matter, would bother to crack a book that criticizes the godfather of big government taxing and spending.

I just hope the electorate hasn't been dumbed down to the level where pretty words and pompoms can make them overlook the warnings from Shlaes and other economists.

Reagan was right (again). Big government isn't the solution. Big government is the problem.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The original Maverick

As ye socks prepare for tonight's big presidential debate, I couldn't resist a little history mini-lesson on the term "maverick."

Be assured it was coined long before John McCain decided to run for president as someone who doesn't follow the crowd.

Believe it or not, it is actually older than McCain himself. And, that's saying something, no?!

The word was originally the surname of the gentleman pictured here: Samuel Augustus Maverick (1803-1870).

A native of South Carolina, he went to Texas as a young man, was at the Alamo, but escaped to see Sam Houston win the state's indpendence at the Battle of San Jacinto.

What turned his surname into the descriptive moniker we use today was not old Sam's exploits.

In fact, it derives from his laziness.

While other early ranchers busied themselves branding their cattle with specific marks, Sam just let his run wild. Thus, all the unbranded cattle were simply assumed to be "Maverick's!"

Somebody saw the humor in all that and began to say the same thing about politicians who defied branding.

John McCain certain does that . . .

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Ansearchin' by flashlight

The 58th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is inviting bloggers to post on the theme of "Halloween Hauntings . . . Fact or Fiction?"

Kinda appropriate since Hallowe'en is only a few weeks away . . .

I'll let ye socks determine just how much truth is in the following second-hand account:

Twenty years ago, Skip Morgan's full time job was as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. His part-time obsession was genealogy. The little library near his base in West Texas had a remarkably good collection of research material, and it was there he discovered a book that listed the final resting place of his great great grandparents James Lorenzo Morgan and Martha Virginia Brown Morgan.

(Shameless plug: For a compelling account of James and Martha's experiences during the U.S. Civil War, check out my book Like the Cats of Kilkenny.)

Their names were recorded among the many early burials at the Washington Cemetery in the little Missouri River town of Glasgow--about halfway between Kansas City and St. Louis.

As luck would have it, just a few days after Skip discovered this little genealogical tidbit, he was sent on a mission to Whiteman Air Force Base. It was just over 90 miles away from Glasgow, a trip that would take over two hours to make-- even for somebody who knew the backroads of rural Missouri. And, he was only going to be there overnight. But, Skip was undeterred.

Upon landing at Whiteman, the intrepid genealogical sleuth commandeered one of those old blue Air Force trucks all of we brats recall so fondly from our childhood bases. You know the ones with the yellow lettering and bad suspension. Soon, it was carrying him up bumpy Highway 65 to Marshall, and east on county roads 41 and 240 to Glasgow.

Unfortunately, by the time he got to the little river town, the sun had long since set and all the businesses were closed. There was no one about to tell a stranger where the cemetery was. And, it would be a peculiar question to ask, anyway. So, Skip decided to just cruise up and down the streets until he found it.

Fortunately, Glasgow is a small town, and his cruising did not take too long. He found the cemetery just before midnight, which would have deterred almost any non-genealogy addict.

Grabbing a flashlight from the glove compartment of the truck, Skip began exploring the eerily quiet cemetery. There were none of the proverbial hoot owls or spooky winds that generally accompany late night visits to such places, just a lot of quiet and a lot of dark.

He made his way to the biggest monument he could see outlined against the night sky, and flashed his beam onto the obelisk. Amazingly, it had been erected in memory of his namesake William D. Swinney--an uncle to both James and Martha! Surely, their stones must be nearby!

So, Skip began circling the Swinney plot as slowly and methodically as his excitement would allow. Around and around he went, shining his small light on stone after stone, looking for his elusive ancestors. But, all his patience was for nought.

It should be mentioned that the cemetery in question is not on a level piece of ground. So, before too long, our intrepid genealogist found himself atop a small rise. Frustrated, he was just about to admit defeat. Then, out of nowhere, a breeze blew across the garden of stones and he could have sworn it whispered something in his ear, "Over here!"

He spun around to see whose voice might have been carried on the wind, turning so quickly as to lose his footing. His flashlight fell from his hand and rolled down the rise, and Skip would have gone tumbling after if he hadn't reached out to grab a nearby stone to regain his balance.

Muttering a curse of resignation, he carefully made his way down the rise to recover his still shining flashlight. He knew he better get out of there before he caused any alarm amongst the townfolk, and he had to cover the 90+ miles back to his base for the return flight the next morning. But, as he knelt to pick up the flashlight, he noticed its beam was illuminating the same stone that had steadied him atop the rise.

A chill went down his spine as he read the name: James Lorenzo Morgan.

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Cinnamon makes my eyes burn . . .

Well, ye socks, today was Jeremy Mixer's last full day as a civilian. Tomorrow he gets on a bus for Tampa, and will fly from there to his Air Force basic training in San Antonio.

Valda and Howard of Jenks Manor thought the occasion warranted a barbecue and, of course, no one objected to that.

I hate to show up empty-handed to events like this, so thought I'd pick up one of those cinnamon brooms they started selling in our local Winn Dixies this week.

If the heat and humidity keep it from feeling like autumn in this little corner of heaven, at least we can make it smell like the right season!

Anyway, while I was there, I picked up two brooms for myself, to be strategically positioned at the front and back doors back at home.

Unfortunately, I didn't think to leave the window down during the 4 hours I spent at the BBQ. So, when I got back in ye olde Blazer to head home, the thick cinnamon air was unbearable--literally brought tears to my eyes!

Silver lining: My ride smells as autumnal as my abode.

Things could be worse . . . I could be going to boot camp!

Good luck, Jeremy!

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Carnival of Genealogy, 57th Edition

Well, ye socks, one of my old posts has been selected for the current edition of the "Carnival of Genealogy."

The topic was "I read it in the news," and posts were gleaned from across the blogosphere to demonstrate how news articles can shed light on our family histories.

To see the complete listing of selected stories, check out the 10/4/08 post at:

The selection they chose from yours truly was originally published right here in the dryer back on 6/23/08, and featured a transcript of an old New York Times article about the secret marriage of my grandparents Tom and Lil Norton.

But, that story pales in comparison to some of the others in this little carnival.


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Friday, October 03, 2008

Peculiar Names

Ye socks with a comparable genealogical addiction have no doubt run across some peculiar names in musty old courthouse records and spooky old cemeteries.

I recently stumbled across a site that allows you to generate some offbeat nomenclature of your own:

Some of my own results:

  • If I were a hippie, you could call me Herbtree Plumgroove.
  • If I were a Greek god, I would be Apyads, God of Maintaining the Status Quo and Limb Fractures.
  • If I were a celebrity baby, you would know me as Hawk Solomon.
  • And, if I were a fictional character, I would be Dudley Ector, a bewildered building inspector from Norwalk.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Slick Willie visits Orlando

Well, ye socks, in case you missed it, this little corner of heaven played host to our illustrious former president yesterday.

Ostensibly, he came down here to stump for the presidential aspirations of the junior senator from Illinois.

He seemed more than a little unenthusiastic. That's probably why this was only the first (and possibly last) time he's headlined an event to support his party's candidate since their convention. I know I'm biased, but it looked like Hillary's Hubby was just going thru the motions.

One Valencia Community College student muttered, "I would have rather seen Hillary . . ."

Monica Lewinsky's former boyfriend did, however, display his incredible ability to state the obvious with this zinger: "This country is a mess."

Well, duh!

Imagine what kind of a mess it would be in, though, if the Obama people were put in charge of things.

I mean, they flubbed this little appearance, hosting a rally OUTSIDE in the 90-degree Florida heat . . . what were they thinking?! 20 people had to seek medical treatment, while the air-conditioned UCF arena served only as a backdrop to the whole pathetic display.

Fortunately, there were a few dozen members of the group Knights for McCain on hand to spice things up. One of them, Sarah Lucenegro, declared, "I came out to show that not the whole campus is in love with Obama."

You're not alone, Sarah. Based on Bill's lackluster performance, I don't think the Clintons are, either!

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Penmanship, a lost art?

This digital age with all its wonders has also made the human touch to communication a rare commodity.

Take handwriting as an example. When's the last time you sat down and wrote somebody a letter? I bet it's been a long while. It's much easier to shoot an email or make a call on your cell phone, isn't it?

One symptom I have found is the deterioration of our handwriting skills. The scribbles I produce today would have resulted in a sharp rapping of the knuckles not so long ago.

Today, though, I stumbled across an interesting website created by the University of Cambridge that is giving me some hope:

The palaeographic eggheads over there have created an online course to teach anyone with the inclination how to read old handwriting.

Of course, they're focusing on the period between 1500 and 1700, not the modern era.

But, it could be that ye socks may pick up some general deciphering tips to apply to the here and now . . . not to mention genealogical pursuits thru musty old courthouse records . . .

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