Monday, August 14, 2017

Grandma & Grandpa Genson

It seems a shame that I know next to nothing about my grandparents, George Elroy Genson & Edna Emogene Larson, but such is the case. As far as I know Gramp's always worked in logging or construction of some kind, and they moved all over the place, never settling long before he was off on another job. I do know they were very attached to my mother, and often moved to live closer to us, so keeping with that tradition they moved to Goldendale, Klickitat Co., Washington sometime soon after we did in 1973.

Below is the one and only picture I have of my maternal grandparents. I took this while I was in high school, and I believe it was the summer of 1976 or 77 on the place we lived at the time, which was a ranch owned by Dr. & Clarence Tupper, a few miles west of Goldendale.

Before I tell about when they lived in Goldendale, I will recount to you a hilarious story as told by Grandma Genson. This concerned one of the most embarrassing moments in her life, and how she kept her head, and avoided disaster.

While they were still living in the Snoqualmie Valley, not so long after they were married, it seems she and Gramp's had gone into town and were walking together along the sidewalk. Suddenly the elastic in her bloomers broke and they fell down around her ankle's. She not missing a step, kicked them up into the air, grabbed them with her hand, and stuffed them into her pocket. Meanwhile, Gramp's had stopped dead in his tracks and began peering into a shop window, acting like he didn't know her. When it finally dawned on him no one had noticed, he still wouldn't take her home so she could get other underwear, so she had to stay in town, not wearing any, until he decided to go home. She wanted to murder him.

An early memory of mine is going to their place, which she kept neat as a pin, and playing in the button drawer of her treadle sewing machine. She had a button collection that was tied on string and it was very interesting to look at and play with. She also taught me to sew on her treadle sewing machine, sewing patchwork blocks together for quilts. It is the earliest memory I have of sewing, and it seems to me the source of my first experience, I was only nine or ten.

About the time I finished 8th grade, they moved to Goldendale, as I said before. They lived in and became curator's of, Presby's Mansion in Goldendale, Klickitat Co.,Washington. I spent many a happy hour clambering all over that stately pile and investigating its every nook and cranny. Now there was a place with scope for the imagination. If you ever happen to be in the area I recommend that you check it out, it is chock full of local history, and historical artifacts.

My granddad used to walk people through it and told the most outrageous, "Tall Tales", about how he was related to Mr. Golden, the founder of Goldendale, and how he as a boy had played in the mansion and his folks had gone to elegant parties there, complete with carriages. When I got on him about it, he said it made no difference to the people that visited, and it made it a sight more interesting for him to tell. The man was a card, but I would have hated to be a genealogist that asked him for help. My grandmother made quilts and sold them in the museum to tourists, and sometimes she let me dress up in the old clothes. They lived there for many years and I think they were the happiest years of their lives. Grandpa socializing at the local tavern, and Grandma at her local church.

A funny thing that happened when they were there. My grandmother kept a canary or a parakeet, I can never remember which?! She used to clean its cage and dump out the left over birdseed in the flower bed by the front steps. One day when I went to visit I noticed some very unusual plants growing there. I went into their apartment and asked grandma to come out and look. When she did, I asked her why she was growing marijuana?! She hadn't even noticed and denied she had planted them. On further investigation it was found the birdseed had come from Mexico and had a bit of interesting seeds in the box. No wonder her bird acted so happy! ha ha ha

Things look a bit different now than they did in those days, and sadly I haven't any of my own pictures. I found these on-line, of what it looks like more recently, and as it has only changed a little, I have put them up here for your enjoyment.

They used to run this old thing on the 4th of July when I was a kid, but I don't know if they still do?! It belched a lot of black smoke and had a very loud whistle.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Chow Down from Puget Sound - COOK BOOK

Here's a fun cook book I have that I inherited from Mom, (Maryann Hanners), tho I think it first may have belonged to Grandma Matie. I wasn't sure why either one of them would have it since it hales from Bremerton, Washington's Naval Base. The date of 1957 puts it well past when Dad, (Dan Hanners), was there in 1940, so the whole thing had me stumped. I thought Mom might have bought it while on one of her many trips up North as a souvenir, but it was the finding of one of the names that solved the mystery.  Margaret Pineo-Coffee was one of the contributors to this fun piece of work and she was a very dear friend of both Matie and Mom. Being's this was a  book for the benefit of the Wives' Club charitable activities, I have no doubt Matie or Mom purchased it in support of their friend.

It is not a large book so I will be sharing its pages with you from time to time. Today I share here the first twelve pages and I hope you get as much of a kick out of reading it as I did. You might even want to try some of the recipe's?!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Yvonne Mary Genson

I know it's been a while and for that I do apologize. It has been right busy here on Hawaii's Whole Acre, and the coming's and goings have been relentless. I have a few moments time and I  am determined to get these few pictures up and this story told if it is the last thing I do.

Every since these first two pictures were sent to me, I have been wanting to put them up, but before I did I wanted more of the story behind them. This is what I found out, thanks to my brother, Phil. When our mother, Yvonne Mary Genson was in her early teens, she was invited to a farm one summer in the small eastern Washington town of Granger. There it was that Grandpa Tupper, as we used to call him, had his dairy and raised his family. She was new to a farm such as this and enjoyed learning all of the chores and eating the good wholesome food. She so wanted to learn to ride the ponies but it was thought they were too frisky, so they wouldn't let her ride them, but instead let her ride this gentle cow.

They had no idea that mom was descended from folks much tougher than that and I have no doubt, given half a chance, she would have ridden a horse or pony like a trouper. Funny, Clarence sure didn't have the same consideration when we lived in Goldendale. We tried to ride his calves and they wouldn't stand still for it. No gentle cows there just fence jumping crazies!

   Mom, age one year and four months, I can only assume this is in North Bend or Snoqualmie?!
 Mom age 8 with her younger sister Eleanor age five in 1944 in Renton, Washington. This is with friends or schoolmates, which if the latter, makes me wonder if they were living in Renton at that time?
 Mom age 13 or 14, when they were living at the, "Y" in North Bend, Washington, not far from where we took swimming lessons at Si View pool.
 Mom age 13 or 14 living at the "Y", this is their front porch and grandma Genson is taking the picture. Summer of 1949 or 1950.
 Mom age 15, her freshman, and only year in high school. Picture taken at Auburn Academy, 1951. Whose is that school pin there on her collar I wonder?
 Near as I can date this picture is to June 1952, going by the fact the hollyhocks are in bloom, and mom & dad, Wesley Gerald Robison, haven't married yet. Mom said this was the dress she got married to Wes in, which would have been later that year on December 30th in Renton, Washington.
 Mom and her children, Angelina aka Angie, Cheri, & Linda Robison. part of the first troupe of five.
     Blaine & Lesa Robison, also part of the troupe of five.
 Brent Madison Still aka "Toby Joe" Thomas, an adorable 6th, adopted by our step-dad, Richard.
 Mom and her 3rd husband, Richard Duane Thomas, the best and only step-dad. They were married at his parents house on September 5th, 1968.
This is a picture of Richard when he was a boy. I would say about 5 or 6 give or take. He grew up in the Snoqualmie Valley and knew our mother very well. His sister being her best friend in school. he told me once he had always loved her, which is why he married her and took on our whole troupe, going on to have two more of his own, Andrew Richard and Philip Andrew Thomas.

Here's a picture I took of Alison and Phil Thomas when they came out for a visit to Oregon in 1998. It was at a reception in honor of their recent marriage.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Daniel O. Clark & The Durham Bull - Santa Anna

I thought today I would share a bit of my family history, which I happened across in the History of Johnson Co., Iowa. This story was so fun it inspired me to write a poem and put it here. After which I shall give a more detailed account of the story.

For your better understanding I have included a picture of a Durham bull which I found on the internet. The thing looks like a monster.

Daniel O. Clark And The Durham Bull, Santa Anna (1845-47)
© Lesa L. Hanners May 19, 2017

Only a boy named Daniel, with a bridle he,
went to fetch a Durham bull, out on the lone prairie.
It would not be driven, what could Daniel do,
it was wild and woolly, that our Daniel knew.
It could not be cornered, he took another tack,
he grabbed bull Durham by the horns,
and leaped upon his back.
The bull let out a bellow, then let out a roar,
went to wildly bucking, on the prairie floor.
Daniel held on tightly, there were none to scoff,
when the bull’s gyrations, bucked poor Daniel off.
If this tale was usual, it would have ended here,
but he was made of sterner stuff, and hadn’t any fear.
Only a boy named Daniel, with bridle in his hand,
got back on bull Durham’s back, just the way he’d planned.
It’s name was Santa Anna, just like in that war,
tho he fought and tore the ground, Daniel hung on more.
It finally stopped gyrating, the battle had been long,
our Daniel gave a whistle, and put the bridle on.
For all the sweaty puffing, neither came to harm,
Daniel turned the bull around, and rode him to the farm.
The sight made a sensation, Daniel riding there,
the neighbors laughed and shook their heads,
but couldn’t help but stare.
They said he was amazing and if he wanted to,
he could ride a buffalo, and tame it like a shrew.
Only a boy named Daniel, with the surname Clark,
listened to the chatter and thought it all a lark.
Only a boy named Daniel, out to have some fun,
put the bull into the barn, was glad that he was done.
Thus ends my true story, the things that happened here,
all took place in Iowa, the book is very clear.
This dear boy was Daniel, my 4th grt. grandpa’s son,
who had a sense of humor, and loved to have such fun.
He was quick and witty, and very light of frame,
fearlessly he rode the bull, and made himself a name.
They wrote it in a history, of Johnson county too,
so I could right this poem today,
and share the tale with you.

As  I said above, this poem is about Daniel O. Clark the son of my 4th grt. grandfather, the Rev. Israel Ludlow Clark, and his wife, Hannah Willis. He was a brother to my 3rd grt. grandmother, Elizabeth F. Clark, who married John Roberts in Johnson Co., Iowa on Christmas day, Dec 25, 1849, and crossed the Plains to Oregon in 1850, along with several of her siblings. She giving birth to her 1st son, William A. Roberts, in The Dalles, Oregon Territory, Nov 24, 1850.

The History of Johnson Co., Iowa tells the tale of Daniel riding his fathers Durham bull, named Santa Anna, which had been purchased from George Wein, who had traveled all the way to Ohio to purchase it as a calf. The Durham bull, it is said, grew to enormous size, and as it had been left to roam freely upon the prairie, became much too wild and  fearsome for George Wein to manage and so he sold it to my 4th grt. grandfather,  Rev. Israel Ludlow Clark.

Daniel, being fearless by nature and full of youthful adventure, went alone on foot one day out into the prairie, with only a bridle in his hands, in hopes of capturing the wild bull and driving it back home. He spent we know not how many long hours in the fruitless attempt, for it refused to be driven, and ran wildly hither and thither. Tiring of this Daniel hit upon another plan, and when he had once more approached the bull, he this time grabbed it by the horns and threw himself upon its back. The bull being of course startled, let out a bellow of rage, and began to snort and paw the ground, and then to buck and gyrate in every direction. We know not how long this first ride was, but do know the bull succeeded in throwing Daniel off. However, Daniel was a son of the soil and made of very stern stuff for he did not give up, and after much difficulty, once more threw himself upon the wild beasts back. This time, tho it fought, bucked, stomped, and gyrated, it could not get its rider loose, for Daniel stuck to him like a stubborn cockle-burr. What a ride it must have been and I would have loved to have seen it, for I have found no records before, of such a wild ride as this.

Finally too tired to fight any longer the bull stopped and stood still, its breath heaving in and out like a great bellows. No doubt Daniel was doing some very hard breathing by this time as well. Now all this time Daniel had somehow managed, to not only stay upon the great bulls back, but had kept a hold of the bridle in his hands. He now slipped the bridle quickly over the bulls horns, buckling it into place. He then proceeded to turn the great beast with the reins, and rode it across the prairie back home to his fathers farm. The bull now, according to the story, completely docile and malleable.

In the days that this happened, for we know it to have been sometime between the years 1845-47, there were but few people in this part of Penn Township, Johnson Co., Iowa, all the neighbors of the Clark’s could easily see Daniel come riding in on the Durham bull. It made a sensation, and Daniel became the talk of the county. He became so famous for this feat of daring do that some said he could ride a bison and bend it to his will. Whether this be true we know not, for no record was found of our Daniel ever attempting it or being that foolhardy.

The story says that Daniel did this out of pure need for thrill-seeking, but in truth at this time, his father Israel was a trustee for the Oregon Trail Association at Iowa City, and had been since 1843. He and his family had not yet set off upon the trail, but were in process of readying themselves for such a future trip. A Durham bull would have been a good purchase, for in a short time, you could breed up your own livestock to pull your wagons. Durham bulls had historically been put to such use. No doubt, Israel’s father, Staphanus, had used this or a similar breed when he brought the family from New Jersey to Ohio, in the 1790's, then on to Indiana in the 1820's, where he passed away. Israel may have used them when he left Indiana for Illinois, and then again in the 1840's on their move to Iowa. Durham’s were a strong breed and when crossed with oxen made for a perfect wagon puller. They were usually gentle, if not let to run wild, and had good endurance under harsh conditions. They were bred for work, such as pulling a plow or wagon, or for meat, and were not bred  for dairying.

The Clark’s therefore were very well versed in the ways of wagon travel for they had been moving from place to place for two generations. They had used the heavy Conestoga’s to remove from New Jersey to Ohio and now they would build lighter weight Prairie Schooners to cross the Great Plains and follow the trail that led over the mountains to Oregon.

In future I hope to place here a more detailed account of Rev. Israel Ludlow Clark's life and of his travels from New Jersey, where he was born in 1790, and his journey clear across the American continent, where finally in 1876 at the ripe old age of 86 years, he passed away in the home of the Rev. Abbott Levi James Todd in Looking Glass Valley, Douglas Co., Oregon. His was a life that saw so much and was filled with the desire to spread the gospel to a growing nation.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Take A Look At My Hawaii Garden

As I went around my garden and yard this morning taking pictures of my flowers and critters, I thought I would share some of them with you. Enjoy and God Bless.