Today, Groundhog Day, is Eloise Grubb’s birthday. Many of you have never heard of her. Eloise Chastain Grubbs (1916-1986) lived across the street from the Spencer family in the 1960s. She was born in 1916, the daughter of Mabel (Harmon) and Wesley Erskin Chastain on their farm near Harrison, Arkansas, when her parents were twenty-six … Continue reading "Why Groundhog Day makes me think of Avon"
Last week James and I were looking forward to a short excursion on Saturday. We had planned to visit Old Cahaba, the first capital of the state of Alabama. The weather forecast suggested a rainy day so we decided instead to spend a few hours in nearby Wetumpka, AL, just a few miles from our … Continue reading "Ode to a Church: First Presbyterian Church of Wetumpka"
One hundred years ago today, on January 17th, 1919, students at the University of Missouri were required to wear masks. Why? Because the scourge of influenza had returned. It was thought the nightmare had ended. The influenza epidemic had surged through the fall of 1918 and had dampened the joy over the end of the … Continue reading "The Unsung Heroes Behind the Masks"
Mr. David Leong, creator of Cashew Chicken [photo courtesy of leongsasiandiner.com].During our Christmas holiday travels we visited family in Southwest Missouri. One evening we chose Leong’s Asian Diner in Springfield, Missouri. As we were seated, my Dad whispered to me, “Do you know who that gentleman is?” referring to an older man seated alone … Continue reading "David Leong: The Man Who Blended Local and Distant Flavors to Create a Lasting Favorite"
Roma Clara Josephine Rasa Siegel (1909-1988) was my maternal grandmother. She passed away when I was a senior in high school but has nevertheless remained a presence in my life for a number of reasons. The biggest reason, perhaps, is that I’m fascinated with her life story.
Roma grew up in a small town, the … Continue reading "Roma"
Although he was born Lewis Arthur Mothersbaugh (1875-1941), our family knew him affectionately as “Uncle Bud.” Bud was married to my great-grand aunt, Maria Magdalena Raiffeisen. I never had the chance to meet him but I have gotten to know him through my grandmother Roma Siegel (1909-1988). As we sifted through Roma’s possessions following her … Continue reading "Uncle Bud (Part 1)"
Part One: The Outbreak
Genealogy is so much more than family trees, records and dates. People’s lives are shaped by the events of their time. One such event is the Spanish Influenza Pandemic. The disease took on many names including “Spanish Influenza,” “Spanish Lady,” “La Grippe” or simply the “Grip.” While it affected virtually every … Continue reading "Grip, Grippe and the Spanish Lady: The 1918 Pandemic"