Sunday, August 31, 2008

Listen to George…

"Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party generally. . . . A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume."
George Washington
1796 - Farewell Address
Reference: George Washington: A Collection, W.B. Allen, ed. (519-20)

"bane" noun [usu. in sing. ] (baneful)
a cause of great distress or annoyance• archaic, something, typically poison, that causes death.

Today, people are literally fighting to see that their party's candidate gets elected in November. No mention of qualification, issues, world views, loyalties or biases.



That's the only thing that's important. Both organizations are run by the same people and we have been allowed the perception of change every four years to assuage our fear of losing control.

Ron Paul got it right when he said,
"Since the change of the political party in charge has not made a difference, who’s really in charge? If the particular party in power makes little difference, whose policy is it that permits expanded government programs, increased spending, huge deficits, nation building and the pervasive invasion of our privacy, with fewer Fourth Amendment protections than ever before?"

Something to think about.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Gov. Sarah Palin

Gov. Sarah Palin. I have been talking about her since June. Well, not to you.

Actually, I'm still enamored of Chuck Baldwin, but I'm moving towards the "get rid of the socialist movement" which might have a toe-hold in this VP candidate. Maybe not.

Oh, how wonderful it was to see Ophra on TV again (I don't watch at 4PM for personal reasons). She was so insightful as she described her tearful response to the encapsulated socialist line.

Will I get into trouble with this entry? I hope so.

Please check out Chuck Baldwin. A simple favor to me and your country.

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Hen" and "Kat"

In my mom's "Memory Book" the first page dates the work - September 12, 1926. There are about one hundred pictures glued on to the thick, black sheets. Most of them have some initials penned nearby, some a name, but most are unclaimed. Too bad, for me. The ones that have a name that's understandable give me hope that I can find out something about my mom's side of the family. There's Fields, her maiden name, and Bechtold, her mother's maiden name and the family name of some folks identified as cousins, "remember me as your true cousin" writes Viola Bechtold. Others say that too, "remember me as your true cousin". I wonder why they said that? There's Mary and J.C., Bettie, Jewel, Velma and Ernestine. Oh, and Henry - "always remember me as I was while in your town - always. Henry "Hen"". These pictures are of my mom and dad when they were about eighteen years of age. Living the good life (what a tie!). Having fun with friends and writing casual messages that would come to be oh, so true.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cooking Tips - Something good!

OK, I said I'd get something here everyday, and I'm trying. Here's a recipe. Oh look, you say, He's just trying to fill the void of good stuff with a silly recipe for something anybody can get in a can or bag at Trader José (I am in California, after all).
No, a thousand times NO!! I have been contemplating releasing this method for hash browns for the last three weeks. Now, I have to say up front that it is not my recipe. It comes from an edition of "Sunset" this past year sometime, and they got it from someone who wrote in to reveal it as their favorite thing. Well no wonder! Who doesn't like hash browns? Who doesn't love grating potatoes and onions and frying them in huge quantities of oil? Who doesn't like cleaning up the stove and cutting the splatter with a tablespoon of Mr. Clean? Who? I say.
Well no more. We have been freed from the misery of hash brown remorse. Here's how it goes.
OK, at the grocery store, be sure that you get a small onion, some garlic and a five ounce bag of "salt and pepper, krinkle cut potato chips". Work with me here and don't laugh too soon.
Cut the onion up into a bunch of pieces (I never counted) I think they say "chopped". And get the garlic in the same condition, only finer. Put a little oil in a cold frypan and the onion and garlic. Start the heat. Bring the temperature up and cook the mixture 'til they are translucent. In the meantime, cut the top off of the potato chips (so the bag won't make a hard pillow), and crush the chips with your hand or if you are a "gourmet cook" use your stainless meat pounder. Leave a few pieces about an inch square so people can know where the potatoes came from. After the onions and garlic are done, pour all of the crushed potato chips into the frypan and stir them around for about five minutes or so, let them get good and hot. Have a cup of water and a tight fitting lid for the pan somewhere within reach. When the potato chip, onion and garlic mixture is hot, pour the water into the pan and slam the lid on tight. Set a timer for about six minutes. Turn the heat down to medium. Wait, don't peek.
You can peek briefly, if you want to, to put four eggs in little depressions you have made in the mixture before you put the water in. Do this at about three minutes. If you like really hard eggs, put them in just before you pour in the water. They'll be hard as Easter eggs. Three minutes is better.
After the six minutes is up, take off the lid and crisp up the "magic hash browns" to your liking. We put graded cheddar cheese on them while they are crisping up. It's good.
OK, so they're not like those "browns" you get at one of those places you see on "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" on the food network. But who wants to come in a five AM, boil new potatoes 'til half done, squish them out on the hot plate (do you have a 4x5' stainless steel slab in your kitchen? Can we see it?). Well, you get the idea. Try it, you'll like it. They ARE NOT SALTY, but they don't need anymore salt. The chips are seasoned just about right.
Crab from the Monterey Bay would be better.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What a Bust!

No, not that woman I saw at Nob Hill an hour ago, but rather my resolve to get something on this blog most everyday. It's harder than it seems to the newbie.

A new beginning!

Here I go again. Promising to get something added here at lest a few times a week. It says somewhere that my mind is here most days, well it hasn't been true. Come to think of it, it may be true in that I've been giving myself a huge guilt trip everyday that I don't get here and put something down.
Whatever. It's been hot, it's not my table, I ran out of gas, the Olympics were on, the Democrats are having a liberal orgasm in Denver. (What a mess that'll be.) I'm getting angry with the general citizenry who'd rather "win" than vote the issues. A whole bunch of things keep me from doing what I have to do - and want to.
My parents. We left off the story as they met and dated, thought about marriage and did it! All the wheres will be in tomorrow's post (DV) and a couple of great (IMHO) pictures of them in the early days. PLUS! the added attraction of a complete listing of all of the places we ever lived and why we moved so much.
Stayed tuned, family members. Casual observers will not be left out either - recipes and valuable stuff to be included in every edition.

Now what to do about an illustrative item…

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Wilson Kids

When Henry and Dianna were married on December 8, 1893, they continued to work on the farm. Later, in 1920, they moved into Corsicana Texas and Henry got into the contracting business. I still have two of his block planes.
Here are the children born to Henry and Dianna…
Grace Rosser, Sept 18, 1895
George Calvin, Oct 8, 1896
Nora Pearl, June 5, 1898
Eva Mary, Feb 16, 1901
Velma Lou, May 13, 1903
Rosa Marguerite, Sept 16,1906
Henry Ramsey, Nov 20, 1908
Rufus Carl, Apr 13, 1910
Jewell Woodrow, Apr 28,1913

Rufus Carl lived to be barely three months old.

Here's a picture of most of the family (George is missing) and a few of Dianna's brothers and their wives. My dad is in the white shirt in the right foreground.
Now, with this background complete, I can share a few things about my folks. After all, it's their centennial we're celebrating!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Prisoners of War

My aunt related a story to me years ago that goes something like this…
"During the recent unpleasantness here in the Nation, when brother fought against brother, there arose, of necessity, camps where prisoners could be safely incarcerated. A prison camp for Confederate prisoners of war was built at Point Lookout, Md., on the tip of the peninsula where the Potomac River joins Chesapeake Bay. In the two years during which the camp was in operation, August, 1863, to June, 1865, Point Lookout overflowed with inmates, surpassing its intended capacity of 10,000 to a population numbering between 12,500 and 20,000. In all, over 50,000 men, both military and civilian, were held prisoner there.
Two men in particular were held in the camp and not repatriated until the end of the war. They did not know each other, nor did they ever meet, neither would they. When the war was over, each returned home. One to Tennessee, and the other to his home in Georgia. Some years later, both of these men moved to Texas with their families. It was the fastest growing state of the union at that time. They both began farming. Again, years later, a son Henry Wilson and a daughter Dianna Ramsey met and married. Diana and Henry were married in 1893, both of them were 23 years of age at the time. The story of their fathers' prisoner of war status became known. Their fathers had been together in the Union's Prisoner of War Camp.

Catching up some

When you take a day off from writing these things you forget what you've written. At least I seem to. I've mentioned more than once that my parents met at a Woolworth store, were married in 1929, and were then transferred westward, never to live in the South again (unless you consider St. Louis a part of the South). Well, here are a some of pictures of the newly wedded couple and the store in which they first met. You'll note that the candy counter is on the right. You can see the glass case and with imagination those chocolate covered raisins I told you about. As an aside, most know that the Woolworth Company went out of business quite a few years ago. It would have killed my dad. Like so many large corporations seeking the most profitable path, the Woolworth Company started hiring "Harvard MBAs" as executives and they soon sold the assets of the company to show greater profits. Before that, there had never been in the history of the corporation, an executive who had not started as a stock boy many years before. The people who populated the Woolworth Building in New York City knew their retailing. I fear that they didn't know what was happening in our Country in terms of the regional shopping center.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

More about "Kat"

Whoops! I found out some more stuff about my mom, "Kat". The place where she was born wasn't exactly like the "Ritz". Her single mom Kathryn (Bechtold) Fields hadn't yet found someone to replace the man who died. The house was simple. We think "shack" but it held the heat as best it could and Kate raised the kids (Myrtle and my mom) as best she could. A sharecropper's wife who becomes a widow has a tough time. When my gramma Kate (know to me as "meemaw") remarried, they moved into town. Unfortunately Mr. Harrison didn't last either. Meemaw had to move in with Myrtle and her husband Edgar, a welder. He didn't last long either. Tough times those late twenties and thirties. Here's a picture of the house, young meemaw and and the Grandmother I loved so much. My mom met my dad when she was working at the candy counter and they married in 1929, Easter Sunday, in fact. They moved to Yuma Arizona and further west, Hanford, Klamath Falls, El Monte, Spokane, Glendale, Seattle, San Mateo, etc. It's all to come.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More about Kathryn Elizabeth

OK, so I took two days off! Sorry.
I'm trying to get together what I want to say about my mom here. It's kind of sad in a way. I don't know much. Her family? Well I think she had two step brothers and a biological sister. She was born a Fields and stayed that way, but her dad apparently passed away and her mom remarried to become known as "Kate" Harrison. Pretty lady and a great cook. Can I assume that my mom was named after her mom? Probably. Her sister's name was Myrtle, she married a man named Edgar Boaze. They had two boys, one, Jerry, was killed in a car accident at age 16 or so and Bill, the older of the two lived in Houston at last contact. Mom's family was always poor and she was seemingly embarrassed by that most of her life. They were dirt farmers and my mom was born in a house that had only three rooms and no plumbing or electricity. That's about all I know. I think it's really sad that there isn't more. I have some good info on my dad's side of things. Here, not much more.
Mom married that good looking store assistant in 1929, and they moved to Yuma Arizona. The Woolworth Company at that time established a western division and therefore they always moved west, never to see Texas as home again.
I'll continue this short family tale tomorrow with something about my dad and then we'll get back to what's really important - their legacy and what has or hasn't changed in the last one hundred years.

27 She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Quick Bible lesson…

"…and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done."
Gen 2:2

Saturday, August 2, 2008

How much has changed in one hundred years?

Today, I am paying honor to my parents and their long lived love for the Lord and each other.

It was written of Henry Ramsey Wilson, "What a fine Christian man! That's why he went so for in the business world - he worked hard and was honest. His bosses could depend on his every word as being true." What a wonderful thing to say about someone. His success in the retail world was not because of wile or guile, but hard work and a sense of fairness for everyone.

He started in retailing as a stock boy at the F.W. Woolworth store in Corsicana Texas in 1923. He was 15 years of age. He retired in the Woolworth Building in New York in 1973 - fifty years! I can remember my folks getting Christmas cards from people who worked for my dad throughout his career. From former secretaries to corporate executives - worldwide, they all had fond memories of Henry and Kay.

Back in those early days in Corsicana, the Woolworth store was the place to go for almost anything a person wanted, except for groceries, perhaps. There were sundries, household supplies, bits of hardware, candy and those hot, fresh cashews. MMMMM!

At the candy counter one could purchase as much as you could afford. "A nickel's worth of marshmallow peanuts, please" or on a good wintry day, "a dime's worth of chocolate covered raisins. I've got a date!" Behind the counter, carefully weighing treats by the scoop, making change and noticing the young assistant manager, was Kathryn Elizabeth Fields.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Centennial Week-end

This is the week-end where we celebrate the one hundredth birthday of Kathryn Elizabeth (Fields) Wilson and Henry Ramsey Wilson. Both born in 1908, April twelfth and November twentieth, respectively. This week-end marks the mid-point between their two birthdays and it seems a good idea to me to begin celebrating by starting several editions of this blog which will honor their lives and legacies.

There will be more tomorrow, as the Lord tarries.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you." Exodus 20, verse 12.