Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Here is a wish for you from me for a healthy, happy 2010 and for many years beyond that. May you and yours be able to stay reasonably stress free and relax and enjoy the simple wonders of life.

I was able to find a picture of a long ago New Year's Eve after a square dance. This was in our basement in Ft. Madison back in the late 50's or early 60's. I am sure Ray took this picture. Two of the couples are with the Santa Fe. Also there was the principal of the junior high there in Ft. M., and as I understand it he was one great principal and stood for no shenanigans. Probably could not do his job that way anymore - of course, I am sure he would have been retired a long time ago anyway. One of the fellows is Ray's cousin and the one behind me was a guy who was absolutely the salt of the earth. His wife is in front of me. What a great group of people. Many of New Year Eves were spent at square dances - such fun and such nice people! Wow, time has really flown by! (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Maternal Great Grandparents

Thanks to my cousin Ken in California, I have this copy of an old picture of my great grandfather, Eugene Owen Carroll, who must have been a foundary worker. He was born in Cork County, Ireland. The arrow points to Owen, which is what he preferred being called.

And this is a picture of my great grandmother, Anna Reynolds Carroll. They were married in 1866. They had six children and my grandmother, Maggie, was the third child. I will later post a copy of a tintype showing Anna with three of her children. In an earlier post, there is a picture of the casket in which Anna was lying in state in the living room of the Pearce home in 1917. Almost all of the pictures that I have in this blog are in a book I did on both my family and Ray's that I finished in 2001. It's not geneology in the true sense of the word, but it does record what I knew and who was who in pictures. There are surely lots of errors, but it is much better than nothing at all. Ask questions of your parents and grandparents - I wish I had asked more! I think you enjoy learning about your ancestors more as you get older. I so enjoy looking at all the pictures and wondering what they were doing and where they were going. Hope you also enjoy these little peeks into the past. (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Little Girls from Rome, Illinois

This picture was taken on a Sunday morning probably in 1942 before or after going to Sunday School at the grade school in Rome. A young couple from Chillicothe had a little non-denominational Sunday School for the Rome kids and lots of us attended the little service. Two sets of sisters are in this picture and I don't remember why my sister isn't there - could be she wasn't feeling well. I am the girl in the cool white majorette boots - although I wasn't a majorette. The second girl in the front row is Fern Davis - my paper doll playing buddy. Looks as if hats were in fashion - and if no hat, a hairbow! (Click to enlarge)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Card

Here is a picture of our little family in 1956, just before we were transferred away from Chillicothe to Ft. Madison by the Santa Fe. Billy was just three and Sherry 5 1/2. I thought this looked like it would have been a good picture for a Christmas card, so I will use it here on Pieces of the Past to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2010. I so enjoy this blogging and love the fact that there are people who seem to enjoy the pictures and what I have to say. Thanks so much for logging on and for comments. Take good care and God bless. Carol

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas Hi to My Brother and Mike

Back in October, I put in a picture of my brother and Dot, his wife, and Michael, their son. I think this one was taken on the same day. Just thought he might like to see it here on my blog - it is a great picture of the two of them. Merry Christmas, all of you!! (Click to enlarge)

Neighborhood Kids in Ft. Madison

When we moved to Ft. Madison, many of the families that were transferred there both from Chillicothe and from Marceline, Missouri, bought homes in a newer subdivision that was on the edge of town. We were mostly young with families and there were plenty of kids to play with. Our house was on a dead end street which is really great. On one side of us was a family with five children - four girls and one older boy. Sherry played mostly with the two older girls and especially Melinda, the one closest to her in age. Pictured above are Melinda, Jan, Sherry and Toni the next to the youngest. There was one more little girl, Kathy.
On the other side of us was a family with one child - a little boy about a year older than Bill. What a pair of little boys! They were such good buddies and funny little guys. Also in the neighborhood were many other kids and lots of them congregated on the dead end street to play. Back in those days, the kids spent most of the day outside playing. If it was too hot sometimes they would play in our basements. The soil in Ft. Madison was very sandy and at the end of our patio was kind of a sand pile where they could play with their trucks and cars.
The little girls did a lot of sewing for little dolls they got at the dimestore. Sherry and Melinda had all kinds of boxes of things they carried around and would sit under the shade of our one little tree in the front yard to sew - then later on would be on the patio at the back of the house when the shade got around there. One day a little whirlywind came along and scooped up fabric and all kinds of things and swirled it down across the creek behind our house. What a surprise. Nice memories of the neighborhood in Ft. Madison, Iowa - a very good time in our lives. (Click to enlarge)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Time in Topeka

Sherry by the fireplace at Christmas time in Topeka in the late 60's. She is wearing a dress I made her and I am sure the spots are on the picture, not the dress. This was our bottle brush tree - the branches were just like green bottlebrushes. I can spot some of the ornaments that have been on our trees for years - especially the little chenille candy canes which we bought for our very first tree. You will notice the candlesticks on the mantel - actually there are four of them. They are chair legs or the pieces between the legs covered in gold gift wrap that you wrinkle up, paint with antiquing glaze, tear it all in pieces and glue to the wood. After it's all glued, you lightly rub on some gold paste like stuff to cover the seams. It actually looked quite good. What a crafty person I was. I also made a big toothpick tree by sticking toothpicks into white styrofoam balls and piling them on top of each other. However, I did not put glue on the toothpicks so it didn't last very long.
Bill built a snow girl in our little front yard. I am sure he was an eighth grader at the time. She had a lovely flip hairdo and was very well endowed. Grinch Mom made him knock off the excess snow. Don't you love his short jeans? That was the style in Topeka. All the guys wore Flag Jackets, too. Fun time in our lives. (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Growing Up in Rome, Illinois

Pretty much the entire elementary school population of Rome in the mid 1930's with our teacher, Evelean Placher - such a great lady. I can still see and hear her standing and reading to us and crying if it were a sad story. In the picture, my sister is the first little girl in the second row that is seated. I am the second little girl in the row behind. Our little brother, Bud, was not in school yet. Again, this picture has been on my other blog but it also needs to be here with the rest of the old photos. Naturally, I have been thinking Christmas - and it dawns on me that there are absolutely no pictures at all of any of the Christmases in our childhood. In this day and age when almost everything a child does is documented by photo after photo and videos, also, there is nothing for many of us who grew up back in the old, old days. I wish I did have some to see what we wore, how things were decorated, or just what it "looked" like when we were little. You have pictures in your mind, but they are not always the true facts. I do enjoy the few pictures we do have and hope you enjoy them also.

One of the memories I have is of the school's Christmas program. I do not remember just what it was but everyone would gather in the school on an evening before Christmas. There was a stage at the back of the one room school and the school was set up in the auditorium, I guess you would call it. On that night, they made room for chairs for the audience and the program was held. My big memory was that a train came through at a certain time on the Rock Island Track that ran alongside the school and after the train had passed through, Santa miraculously came in with candy for everyone! Big deal, huh? Really, we thought it was. I never was really sure who "Santa" was! What is so nice to remember is the fact that we were happy with small things - none of the kids got very much so you were thrilled with what you did get. Everyone was in pretty much of the same boat in Rome, Illinois, so there certainly wasn't much of trying to keep up with the Jonses! A few people had more but I think that was just accepted. (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Little Guy with a Gun

I found this photo someplace on the internet and it just made me keep looking at it - it looked so much like Bud when he was little. Uncanny! However, the military hat would have had no meaning in our family. Although we were used to guns since my dad did so much duck hunting. I have no idea what kind of a gun this is except I am quite sure it is too big to be a beebee gun. Dad had one gun which was a 410 or something like that which he let us use to shoot at cans sometimes. We knew not to mess with Dad's guns - they were just a part of our life. Anyway, I am just drawn to this picture and it certainly does look like my little brother. Not many pictures such as this taken nowadays! Kind of scarey in a way.

Friday, December 18, 2009

From the Old Catalog

The other day when I was scanning pictures from the old catalog, this picture leaped out at me. It looked so familiar - it reminded me of a picture we have of Sherry. Well, the other day when I was looking in some of the old albums, I found this one! What do you think? (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All Dressed Up

These pictures were most likely taken before we went to church and I cannot remember whether it was on Christmas Eve or on a Sunday in the Christmas season. Again, this was in 1961 in Ft. Madison, Iowa. At the time we weren't aware of the fact that our next Christmas would be spent in Topeka, Kansas, where Ray was transferred later in the year. There were two more transfers after that - to Newton, Kansas, and then to the Kansas City area. As one of the Santa Fe wives said - you finally get towels to match your new bathroom and they transfer you again! (Click to enlarge)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Another Tree in the Snow

Here is another Christmas tree outside in the snow - this time on the Pearce porch - with Aunt Leah sitting prettily beside it. This was probably in the late twenties since she is wearing a short skirt, cute shoes and bobbed hair. Actually, it was probably taken around the same time as the one of Ray who was born in 1926 so his picture was taken either in 29 or 30. Maybe that was a popular thing to do back then. Regardless, it's a cute picture of Leah, my favorite aunt. (Click to enlarge)

Little Ray at Christmas

A sweet picture of Ray when he was a little fellow pobably three or four years old. Cannot figure out why the Christmas tree is in the yard although it would certainly be an easy little tree to carry around. It almost looks like one of those old German artificial trees. What a nice wheelbarrow Santa brought for Ray. This picture was taken about 80 years ago. Old pictures are so much fun! (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sitting on Santa's Lap

Back in 1956, my mom and I took our little kids into Peoria to Block and Kuhl's, a big department store, so they could see Santa Claus. I so love this picture of Sherry and Bill--such great little kids - and now they are great adults! This was a pretty good looking Santa, too, albeit rather young looking. I am sure the kids were well pleased with him. I posted this picture on Funoldhag last year, but I think it should be here, also, as part of Pieces of the Past. Heavens, I just happened to think this was taken 53 years ago!!! WOW! (Click to enlarge)

Friday, December 11, 2009

To Chillicothe for a Visit

Still in 1961, we went back to Chillicothe from Ft. Madison for a Christmas visit with my family. Here we are - Jo, Bud and I standing behind Charlie and Nan, our mom and dad.
My brother and I by the Christmas tree at our sister's home. Hard to believe that was 41 years ago. Time has raced by at an incredible pace and seems to be speeding up more all the time. (Click to enlarge)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Opening the Presents in 1961

Whatever is in that box is a hit with Billy! And Sherry is looking happy, also, so it appears that Santa was successful in leaving presents for the little kids on Crescent Lane. I should apologize to my dear daughter for burdening her with my firm belief that all women and little girls had to have curls!! My Shirley Temple hangup! That explains the little pink hairnet she is wearing. The good old times were really good except for some things! Sorry, Honey!!

If you notice over the chest there is a kind of a wall hanging. It was something I found in an old McCall's Needlecrafts (which I took for years) - a felt nativity scene. I cannot remember whether it was glued or sewn. It was mounted on cardboard with gold rickrack around the edge.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Our Christmas Cards in 1961

Ray was an amateur photographer and had a darkroom in the basement. He had purchased the equipment and a good camera from a friend and he took lots of pictures for quite a few years. We made our Christmas cards several times. The one above was what we sent to our families and non-square dancing friends.
This is the one we sent to the couples we danced with. "One More Two" is what the caller always called when there was a square with only three couples standing waiting to dance. We danced for many years and it was such good fun and we made such good friends. On top of that it was wonderful exercise. The clothes were rather silly but we most certainly enjoyed the time spent in the world of square dancing. (Click to enlarge)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Decking the Halls

Here we are trimming the tree in the little house on Crescent Lane. Sherry was 10 1/2 and Bill was 8. Ray always set the tree up and put the lights on and the kids and I did the decorating. I can see the one bubble light that we had on our tree for years, along with a little homemade Santa ornament that Sherry made one year. Aren't the things you put on your tree year after year precious? It would be nice to have a color coordinated, themed tree - but only if it was the second one! I love all the things you discover each time you put up the tree. Last night I went over to have dinner with Sherry and Barclay - and after we ate, I helped her hang the ornaments on their tree. One was a little thing she called "peanut Jesus" which was a seedpod filled with cotten and a little peanut with two little eyes drawn on lying on the cotton. Adorable! Who could resist a sweet little peanut Jesus. Is not that what it's all about?

When I was a child, our tree had a little rooster which must have been made of celluloid since plastic had not been discovered yet way back then. I think a nephew of mine has it now and I am sure he hangs it on his tree. We also had a little group of sparkly houses that you put a string of lights in. There were colored cellophane windows and the lights showed through. My father made a low table that was maybe 2 1/2 feet square with a hole in the middle for the tree. They laid a cotton batting on the table and the little houses on that. He also whittled a little fence that went all the way around the table, complete with a little gate. I wonder where that went. We had a chenille wreath with a light in it that hung in the window. The decorations back then were nothing compared to what they are today. The celebration of Christmas was actually more wondrous and simple, I think. Nowadays everyone is stressed out - what a shame.
We had a room in the basement and we put up a second tree down there. Bill was a real Christmas kid and full of enthusiasm. During the trimming of the tree, he commented - "This is togetherness!" Lovely times and lovely memories. (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas on Crescent Lane

I just spent some time doing some scanning of old pictures of my family - Sherry, Bill, Ray and I. For today, I will just post this picture of our little house on Crescent Lane in Ft. Madison, Iowa, where we moved in January, 1957, when the Santa Fe consolidated the Illinois division with Missouri. Lots of Chillicothe families and Marceline, MO, families made the move and lots and lots of us became fast friends. It was the first of quite a few moves along the railroad. Quite a few of us ended up in the same subdivision and part of living there was putting a big plastic candle that lit up (it came with the house) in front during the holidays. It was very festive especially since some of the families put out some outside decorations. The picture was taken in 1961. More later! :-) (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Gloria Ann

For the life of me, I cannot remember who Gloria Ann is but I can remember her. I know she is not related to me, but the name is so very familiar. She might have been the little child of one of my Aunt Leah's friends. However, here she is in her stroller. In the background in the yard next door there is a little boy watching what is going on in the Pearces' yard. That is Newell Smith who I remember playing with when I visited my grandparents. I think I wrote a little about him one other time. He lived with his grandmother and Aunt Rose. His grandma had a very strange voice and my grandma referred to her as "Squeak" - not to her face, I am sure.
Gloria Ann's stroller is parked by one of my grandfather's rock creations. He had several rock gardens and also a fish pond - which is in the second picture. There were goldfish in the pond. Sitting on the little bench is my little brother and sister, Bud and Jo. Behind them is grandpa's rocking chair. Looks like someone has a "fishing pole", too.
Speaking of my "little brother", tomorrow is his birthday! Happy Birthday, Bud! (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nan and BJ

I remember my my mom talking about BJ Carney, an old beau of hers before she met my father. I am certain these are pictures of Nan and BJ. In the first picture, I love the rather coy smile she has on her pretty face. And what a lovely hat she is wearing.

This is most certainly taken at the Sionilli, the Pearce cottage upriver from Peoria in Rome. BJ has a cigar in his hand. The cars back in the early 1900's were really great looking pieces of machinery. (Click to enlarge)