Happy Birthday! November 10th, 2010
Does anyone else always say Happy Birthday in the voice of Frosty the Snowman? Oh that’s just me? Nevermind then.
Today is a special day in our household. Today is the 235th Anniversary of the United States Marine Corps.
In August I posted my father’s Marine Boot Camp class photo. The Marine Corps birthday hasn’t always been big in our household. I know my Dad has always talked about his time as a Marine but until I was older, I just didn’t get how big his love of the Marines was. In fact, my father being in the Marines is the reason that I’m here today. You see, my mother’s brother was also a Marine. It was how my parents met. My father and uncle were both stationed in North Carolina when my mother went to live with her brother. The rest is history.
Not only are my father and uncle Marines (there is no such thing as a former Marine), but my cousin is also. That’s 3 people I wished a Happy Marine Birthday to today on Facebook. If there are any Marines in your life, be sure to tell them Happy Birthday and don’t worry, they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about. They take this day very seriously and I’m sure it would bring a smile to their face. I’d make my Dad a cake but the last cake took us so long to eat it got a little fuzzy. He’ll just have to settle for some leftover Halloween candy!
It Suckered Us All In October 26th, 2010
As I was writing up yesterday’s Mystery Monday post, I was reminded of the single, most consuming mystery I’ve ever had. It started when I first started going through the boxes of treasures/photographs/papers. When I first started scanning the photographs into my computer, I just labeled them UnknownMooreThorward-01 and so on. Funny enough, years after solving this mystery and they’re still named that.
This is the photo that launched the hours, months, years of frustration. Okay, so I’m exaggerating a tiny bit. It did take me years to solve this though. I would pick it up every few months and try again. I don’t know why I was so struck by this picture. I was just so curious about this building.
At one of our reunions, I brought the picture up on my laptop and asked around. Many members of my family chimed in. No one really knew where it was though. We dissected it many times. We were analyzing the routes that the cars were taking. My father thought he saw a crane in the back and chimed in that it was probably a temporary structure. I scoffed at that! Who would tear that kind of building down! That was nonsense!
A few months later I stumbled upon this photograph among the others. This one doesn’t show the structure very well, but it gives a bit more detail among the pillars. This one was taken on a different day I think. Here you can see something draped between the pillars and you can see what looks like balloons!
This set our family on all new tangents. My Aunt even showed the picture to some of her customers and got their input. We researched everything from European architecture to the Sesqui-centennial celebration of 1926 in Philadelphia. I went so far as to order a program on eBay from the event and even emailed the Boston Historic Society! No stone was unturned. Then one day I found a genealogy community online. I decided why not see what happens and I posted the first picture. In a twist of fate that is very common to me, someone posted back within a few hours!
This may sound silly and redundant, but have you checked out Victory Arches?
Silly me, I didn’t even know what a victory arch was! So I quickly put my Google-fu to the test! Here’s a simple Google Image search of Victory Arches. Holy canoli, I was back on track!
I was eventually led to an expired eBay auction for this item. In fact, if you search for it today, there are even more images now! It turns out my structure was an Arch of Victory that was erected to welcome the troops home from WWI.
Arch of Victory at Madison Square, New York City, with men of the Twenty-seventh (New York) Division marching in a victory parade that was witnessed by hundreds of thousands of cheering spectators. The city turned out in masse to do them honor, and they received a tremendous ovation along the line of march. The avenue was packed from buildings to curbs.
This is why I love the internet. It took two years, and many hours of research for this huge family mystery to be solved by one poster on an internet message board. We spent many a hour at reunions discussing what this structure could be. My Dad always maintained that it was probably temporary. Well, you can bet he had bragging rights for a long time on this one!
It’s funny how different the street looks today, yet it still looks the same. I don’t know if you can tell from the size of the images but the buildings from the original photograph seem to all still be standing and look almost exactly the same!
I love to torture myself now. Sure one mystery was solved but that leads to more questions! Was my family in the hundreds of thousands of people welcoming the troops home? Were any of my relatives one of the troops being welcomed home? Gosh I love a good story!
The Comedic Chapter October 10th, 2010
One day, I hope to write a memoir. Not to publish or distribute. Just a way to maybe connect with future generations of my family. Llewellyn’s journal has made me feel connected to her and I want to recreate that in some small way.
If I were to write my memoir, I’d include all those funny child anecdotes, and not to mention all those teenage years where I was unruly and needed a good talking to. I’d be sure to include how I dealt with the fact that I was bullied mercilessly in middle school. All that drama and deep thinking wouldn’t be a very accurate portrayal of my life. To be perfectly honest, we’re pretty funny in this family. Our family is not only filled with drama, loss, and tears. We’ve had a whole lot of laughter too. The latest adventure I’m definitely putting in my memoir. It would be titled “The Comedic Chapter”.
You see we’ve had a battle going on since we put our new house on our property. We lived in a trailer here forever and never once had an issue with anything. You put a shiny new house on a lot of land and all of a sudden you’ve lost all street cred in the neighborhood.
The first year there was a mysterious incident where our mailbox was infested by ants. When I say infested, I mean INFESTED. After much discussion, we don’t believe there was any reason for it but hooligans. You know the type.
Six months after the infestation, our house was broken into. The only things taken were an X-Box and a bag of quarters. Well and the laundry hamper they used to carry it off. Again, HOOLIGANS. We have all kinds of shiny equipment that would make anyone drool. Yet it wasn’t touched.
The second year (or six months after the break-in), our mailbox fell victim to a rash and rare case of Mailbox Baseball. We’re pretty sure that’s what it was since the box was only hanging on by a nail. It wouldn’t have been so bad except we were the only mailbox affected along the whole street.
The third year, our signpost was physically picked up and thrown onto the pavement. How Rude! When I say physically picked up, I mean they had to use force because we’d gotten smart and started sinking things pretty deep. The signpost was shattered on the hard surface of Highway 235.
This Saturday was our breaking point. Things just went too far. Only this time, it wasn’t anyone’s fault. Well, no one’s fault that we can prove. On Saturday morning a police officer knocked on our door at 6:30AM. He was informing us that our mailbox was involved in an accident on the road. The kind police officer handed over what mail he could find in the dark and gave us a information booklet about being the victims of a crime.
When the sun came up and we could finally go out and survey the damage. We were all shocked to see the carnage left behind.
This is all that survives of our mailbox. The poor box was shattered. We’ve just put up our new box. It’s only temporary while we get a battle plan together. Gosh darnit, we will not be victims again. My idea to paint stop signs on the box was rejected.
This is what I would put into my memoir. This is a peek into our everyday life. Dinnertime conversations can be anything from politics to ways to thwart mailbox vandals. It’s at least a way to break up all the monotony of everyday life. This is what I find interesting. You never know what a future family member could take away from it. Will they call us the eccentric nutjobs? Maybe they’d keep reading in hopes of finding a sitcom like chain of events? Or maybe they’ll take the advice given and get a big, oversized dog to chase off any would-be vandals. It seems to work for my neighbors.
Busy Weekend July 7th, 2010
It’s been so busy around here this week. My Aunts and their husbands visited for the first time in like 30 years this weekend. So we were busy cooking, catching up, cooking, and revisiting some old haunts. It was definitely a great visit. I’m getting much better at prying information from people. Don’t worry, there was no harm done, but sometimes you just have to steer that conversation back around to why Grandpa’s family practically disowned him. It’s just vital to my getting to sleep at night. Many things my Aunt told me, she said if I ever published before she died, she’d haunt me forever. Yikes!
We definitely have a project we’re working on though. Our own family cookbook. We have a very basic binder in the shed we can use. Everyone is going to send me some recipes for it. The ones that don’t, well I’ll just bug them until they do. The idea came about when I was showing them the Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant Cookbook that I wrote about earlier. Both of them loved it so much they immediately had me order them both a copy. They should have them by next week, if not the end of this week. So that’s something we’ll be working on, and we hope to finish putting at least a first copy together by Christmas. We’ll see how things go!
Unfortunately, because my Ohio Aunts were coming, I had to miss my annual New York Moore Reunion. My dad and siblings went, but I stayed in Maryland to help Mom with the company. I don’t regret it! I did miss not seeing everyone but I had a lot of fun and I learned a lot of family stories when everyone was cutting loose. Now all I have to do is log them in One Note before I forget all the who, what, when, wheres.
I’ll keep everyone informed about how the Recipe book is coming!
Happy 4th of July Everyone! July 4th, 2010
I’ve got my Aunts from Ohio here, so I’ve been having a real good time this weekend. I thought I’d pop on real quick this morning and share my most patriotic pictures with you. These are from my Washington DC day trip back in April.
Happy Fourth of July guys, we’ve sure come a long way in this country. I couldn’t be more proud to be an American!