The Genealogist's Breakroom, On the Lighter Side


--Adams County Press, Sat Aug 15 1903, P4
Just as the audience were entering and seating themselves under the canvas of 
the Bosco Wild Animal Show comapny's tent Monday night, and as people were 
passing by the wagons containing the wild animals--Mike CAVANAUGH--was caught 
in the iron grip of a large and fierce African Lion. Not being satisfied with 
the sinking of the claws of one powerful paw into Mike's hand, it reached out 
with its other fore paw and caught him by the arm, thus drawing him up 
against the cage where it held him fast, and but for the quick assistance of 
those standing by the beast would have drawn its man through the iron bars 
piece by piece, when it would have ravenously feasted on the remnants of its 
Mike at once was given over to the care of a physician who dressed the wounds 
and eased the intense pain as much as possible and the next day Mike was able 
to be out to tell the story. His hand and arm are well bandaged and he 
carries the arm in a sling. He stated that the pain was great and that he 
wouldn't go through another such experience for anything in the world, but, 
though a bite or a scratch from a wild animal is considered a very dangerous 
injury, he is getting along nicely and there seems to be no fear of any 
serious results.
As soon as the wound was dressed and cared for Mike returned to the show 
grounds where a settlement was made, the company paying the doctor's bill and
paying Mike $15. Mike said that a member of the company told him this lion 
has a record of killing five men.--Kilbourn Dells Reporter


Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York:
Born 1903--Died 1942
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down.
It was. (Antique Weekly, 24 Apr 1989)

In a Thurmont, Maryland, cemetery:
Here lies an Atheist
All dressed up
And no place to go.

The death notice of Jim Barrett in a Dakota newspaper, reprinted in the March
21, 1874 Adams County Press (P2C5):
"Jim Barrett had been shoveling snow, from which he caught a bad cold, 
which turned into a fever. The fever settled Jim's mundane affairs;
He won't have to shovel snow in the country he has gone to."

The Story Tellers

We are the chosen. My feelings are in each family
there is one who seems called to find the ancestors.
To put flesh on their bones and make them live
again, to tell the family story and to feel that
somehow they know and approve. To me, doing
genealogy is not a cold gathering  of facts but,
instead, breathing life into all who have gone

We are the story tellers of the tribe. All tribes
have one. We have been called as it were by our genes.
Those who have gone before cry out to us:  Tell
our story. So, we do.
In finding them, we somehow find ourselves.
How many graves have I stood before now and
cried? I have lost count. How many times have I
told the ancestors you have a wonderful family
you would be proud of us?
How many times have I walked up to a grave and
felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot

It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to
who am I and why  do I do the things I do? It
goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever
to weeds and indifference and saying I can't let
this happen.
The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh
of my flesh. It goes  to doing something about it.
It goes to pride in what our ancestors  were able
to accomplish. How they contributed to what we
are today. It  goes to respecting their hardships
and losses, their never giving in  or giving up,
their resoluteness to go on and build a life for
their family.
It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and
keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense
understanding that they were doing it for us.
That we might be born who we are. That we might
remember them. So we do. With love and caring
and scribing each fact of their existence,  because
we are them and they are us. So, as a scribe called,
I tell the  story of my family. It is up to that one
called in the next generation to answer the call
and take their place in the long line of family
That, is why I do my family genealogy, and that
is what calls those young and old to step up and
put flesh on the bones.
( Unknown  Author ) 

We Will Never Forget 9-11-01

In memory of the attacks on this country on 9-11-01, a good friend of mine 
sent this:

In sorrow we mourn for those lost
In gratitude we embrace those around us
In sympathy we reach out to those who grieve. 

From New York to LA... I'm proud to be an American where at least I
know I'm free, and I won't forget the men, women, and children that
died who gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up next to you and
defend her still today. Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land - 

God Bless the USA.... 

MAK Maj USMC (Ret)

Rules Lived By During World War II

There are those among us who are old enough to remember World War II, but many are too young 
to recall those times.  For this reason, I have compiled a listing of some of the sacrifices 
made by both the military and civilian population of the United States, and Canada; the 
temporary suspension of certain liberties we hold so dear, in order to preserve those very 
liberties for future generations. And as you read this list, remember that things were much, 
much worse in Great Britain. 

All workers were "frozen" at their jobs.  You could not change employment. 
Wages and prices were frozen at the 1941 level. 
All road and street signs were taken down.  This was to complicate matters for any enemy 
Speed limits were set at a strict 35 mph.  This was to prevent wear to vehicles, to reduce 
gasoline and oil consumption, and to reduce wear of tires. 
Gasoline was rationed.  Only doctors were permitted extra gasoline, for they still made 
house calls. 
Absolutely NO weather reports were broadcast.  The enemy could use that information against 
Food was rationed.  Each person was issued a ration book containing stamps, as only a 
specific amount per person per week was permitted.  Red ration stamps were for meat, eggs,
and dairy products.  And since this included butter, oleo margarine was invented.  Blue 
stamps were for all other food items. Change for purchases was issued in tokens of the same 
SPAM was invented for military ration purposes. Some cheese and flour was available, but it 
was of a lesser quality; the better foodstuffs went to the military. Organ meats (liver, etc) 
were not rationed. Laundry soap was hard to get, and so were bananas and other fresh produce.
Cloth and animal hides were rationed.  Brown stamps were used for these purchases.  Silk was 
totally unavailable for civilians, as it was used for parachutes.  So, nylon was invented.  
There was actually a law passed limiting the number of yards of material that could be used 
in women's skirts.  Hem lines went up, up, up.  Buy a new pair of shoes?  Only if you had 
the correct ration stamp. These brown stamps had various pictures on them, indicating exactly 
what items of clothing they could be used for. 
Buy a new car?  Forget it!!  They did not exist.  If an engine, or an appliance wore out, 
you had to apply for permission to buy a new one. That is, IF you could find a new one. 
There was a 10:00 curfew.  Only military and emergency personnel were permitted outside 
between 10:00 pm and sunrise. 
There were civilian defense drills, which included total black-outs. 
All windows had to have thick, black curtains which could be pulled down so that absolutely 
no light could escape outside, and electric lights were turned off inside as well.  The only 
person permitted outside during these drills was the air raid warden, whose job was to see 
that all precautions were strictly followed. Each household was required to have buckets of 
sand in each room, in case of fire. 
Automobile headlights were required to be painted over in black on the top half.  In some 
cases only parking, or fog lights were permitted. And on some critical bridges headlights 
had to be turned off completely. 
All civilian light planes were grounded, except those whose owner-pilots were members of the 
civil air patrol, who were assigned to arial observation, search and rescue. 
Coast guard passes were required to operate any type of water craft. 
Military personnel were required to be in uniform at all times. 
Paper was rationed.  Newspapers were reduced to 25% of their normal size. Pocketbooks were 
And there was censorship.  All letters were opened by official censors, and any passages that
might, in any way, become useful to the enemy, were cut out.  Mail to military personnel was 
censored, microfilmed and reduced in size; this was called V Mail.  Letters to military 
personnel were sent to the Army Post Office, or the Fleet Post Office.  A letter to, of from 
service personnel could take weeks, or even months to be delivered.
And these personnel were restricted regarding exactly they could, and could not, tell their 
We made scale models of aircraft, both ours and the enemy.  These were painted black, and 
donated to the military to be used in teaching pilots and gunners to identify planes by 
silhouette only. 
We were trained as aircraft spotters, using the same methods; but we were also required to 
be able to identify most of our own aircraft by engine noise alone.  One twelve year old boy 
saw a plane fly over his home which be believed to be a German Messerschmitt 109, and 
immediately reported it to the authorities.  But he was in for a big surprise, and an unusual 
reward.  He had seen our new P-51 Mustang, still a military secret, which is very similar to 
the German plane he thought he had seen.  As a reward, he was taken to an air base and 
permitted to see the actual P-51. 
Factories went on 24-hour operation.  And quiet was urged between 7:00am and 3:00pm, in 
order that those who worked the "grave-yard" shift would be able to sleep. 
For the first time, women went to work in factories and shipyards, including munitions 
Daylight savings time was year around.  This was so that those who had plowed under their 
lawns and planted "victory gardens" would have time to work them before dark. We canned and 
preserved as much produce as we could, and mason jar lids were hard to get. If you saw them 
in the store, you bought them, because when you needed them they might not be available.
Recycling was invented.  We turned in aluminum cooking utensils, copper and brass fixtures, 
to be used in aircraft and shipbuilding.  We turned in any and all old rubber products.  We 
saved all old cooking oil and grease, to be turned in for use in manufacture of explosives.  
Soap was rationed, because the same ingredients were used in its manufacture.  The copper 
penny disappeared, to be replaced by the steel penny, and later the "shell-casing" penny.  
If you were lucky enough to have safety pins, straight pins, paper clips, or metal hair pins, 
who hoped you would not loose them, because you could not get any new ones.  And newsprint 
was also recycled. 
Every red cent that we could spare was used to purchase war bonds and war stamps. An $18.75 
war bond would be worth $25.00 in ten years. 
We rolled bandages for the Red Cross, and studied first aid almost constantly. 
All males between ages 18 and 65 were required to register for the draft. They were classified
according to age and physical condition from 1-A to 4-F, and were required to carry their 
draft cards at all times. 
Women went into the military on a volunteer basis.  Previously only registered nurses were 
permitted to enlist. 
The USO was created. 
Cigarettes, candy, and chewing gum were scarce to nonexistent, as they were primarily issued 
to the military. 
Cosmetics were scarce, as those ingredients too, were used in the manufacture of explosives. 
All families with members in the military lived in dread of the telegram, "The President 
regrets to inform you." 
We were constantly reminded to be extremely careful with regard to what we knew, or thought 
we knew, with regard to talking about such matters.
There were posters and signs everywhere. 
    "A slip of the lip can sink a ship!" 
        "Loose talk costs lives!" 
            "Shhhhh!!  The enemy is listening!" 
And we lived by the old New England proverb.  "Use it up, wear it out. Make it do, or do 
without." And there was a LOT of doing without!! 
It was at this time that we lost our sense of safety due to isolation. 
The Atlantic and Gulf Coasts were alive with German submarines.
Anything from a banana boat up was a torpedo target.  Here along the Gulf Coast
we were asked to assist the Coast Guard in patrolling the beaches.  We were to search for 
such things as evidence of buried rubber rafts, which would indicate that someone had slipped 
ashore from an submarine during the night; in other words, spies.  The Gulf beaches along 
Santa Rosa Island were so black with oil slick, that I though they would never be white again.
And the brown pelican disappeared.  They did not return until the 1960's.
I can recall many nights when I was awakened by the distress signals of sinking ships.  And 
looking from my bedroom window, seeing tracer bullets arcing up from gun emplacements on the 
east end of that same island. 
So, the changes now taking place in the American way of life are not at all new to some of us.
Therefore, while we are, of course, concerned, we are not afraid. 
May I suggest that as you read this, please add anything I may have missed, and pass this 
information on to the younger generations.  
We did it before, and we can do it again... 
And we WILL do it again!! 
We've got a heck of a job to do, 
But you can bet that we'll see it through.... 
We did it before, we'll do it again!! 
Remember the Alamo!! 
Remember the Maine!! 
Remember Pearl Harbor!! 
Remember the Twin Towers and the Pentagon!! 

A Soldier Died Today

In Remembrance of my Dad, 1919 - 1986, a WWII Navy Veteran
He is getting old and thin, and his hair is falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.

Of the wars he once fought in, and the deeds that he has done,
In his exploits with his buddies, they were heroes, every one.

And tho' sometimes to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly, for they knew of where he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer, For ol' Sam is pasing away,
And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier will die today.

He won't be mourned by many, just his soldier friends, children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary, very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family, going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing, 'tho a soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing, and proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier, goes unnoticed, and unsung.

The politician's stipend and the style in which he lives,
are often disproportionate to the service that he gives.

While the odinary soldier, who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps a pension, small.

It's so easy to forget them, for it is so many times that our Sams and Bobs and Johnnys,
went to battle, but we know, it was the the politicians with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom, that our country still enjoys.

He was just a common soldier, and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us, we may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict, we find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the world's politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise, 
Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline, "Our Country is in Mourning, A Soldier Died Today"

--Sam Pardee


What's mainly wrong with society today is that too many Dirt Roads have been paved.

There's not a problem in America today, crime, drugs, education, divorce, delinquency 
that wouldn't be remedied, if we just had more Dirt Roads, because Dirt Roads give 

People that live at the end of Dirt Roads learn early on that life is a bumpy ride.

That it can jar you right down to your teeth sometimes, but it's worth it, if at the 
end is home...a loving spouse, happy kids and a dog.

We wouldn't have near the trouble with our educational system if our kids got their 
exercise walking a Dirt Road with other kids, from whom they learn how to get along.

There was less crime in our streets before they were paved.

Criminals didn't walk two dusty miles to rob or rape, if they knew they'd be welcomed 
by 5 barking dogs and a double barrel shotgun.
And there were no drive by shootings.
Our values were better when our roads were worse!

People did not worship their cars more than their kids, and motorists were more courteous, 
they didn't tailgate by riding the bumper or the guy in front would choke you with dust & 
bust your windshield with rocks. Dirt Roads taught patience.

Dirt Roads were environmentally friendly, you didn't hop in your car for a quart of milk, 
you walked to the barn for your milk. For your mail, you walked to the mail box.

What if it rained and the Dirt Road got washed out? That was the best part, then you stayed 
home and had some family time, roasted marshmallows and popped popcorn and pony rode on 
Daddy's shoulders and learned how to make prettier quilts than anybody.

At the end of Dirt Roads, you soon learned that bad words tasted like soap.

Most paved roads lead to trouble, Dirt Roads more likely lead to a fishing creek or a 
swimming hole.
At the end of a Dirt Road, the only time we even locked our car was in August, because if 
we didn't some neighbor would fill it with too much zucchini.

At the end of a Dirt Road, there was always extra springtime income, from when city dudes 
would get stuck, you'd have to hitch up a team and pull them out.

Usually you got a dollar...always you got a new the end of a Dirt Road!

~by Paul Harvey~

Recipes for Busy Family Tree Researchers

If you are working on family history very long, there are days when you need something that 
can either cook while you work on the 'puter or at a library, or be made ahead and baked 
when you return after a day of meeting new relatives. Hope you will enjoy trying something 
new and creating good family memories of your own from this new area of the breakroom. 

Reader contributions welcome, but a few simple rules: nothing complicated or requiring alot 
of last-minute fussing; preferably food that is appealing to both youngsters and grandparents.
Crockpot and make-ahead recipes are especially welcome.
 Cranberry Apple Cider Warms in Slowcooker and Smells Wonderful

Creamy Cranberry Salad Impressive and not too sweet

Fruity Gelatin Salad Quick and Refreshing, and low-sugar alternative

Beef or Venison Stew Slow Cooker Convenience

Caesar Chicken Healthy and from the Grill

Chinese Pork Ribs Slow Cooker Convenience

Grandma's Busy Day Casserole Can be made ahead and baked later

Three Bean Cassoulet Slow Cooker Convenience and Healthy

This site is maintained by Joan

since January 2001 and was last updated
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WIGenWeb Project logo created by Debbie Barrett