Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Remember When: Ice Cream

I have many pictures of my sister and I. She was ten years older and so many of them look more like mother and daughter. She never liked having her photo taken so I'm surprised there are as many as there are.

This one makes me smile because of the pure devilment in her eyes. I'd hate to be the person on the other end of that look. lol She never lost that look; it just got more intense.

I'm not sure that is an ice cream cone in her hand, may be a candy bar, but I decided to write about ice cream. I don't remember having a lot of ice cream growing up. There was a Dairy Queen across from the park in town and also a Tastee Freeze a few blocks from our house. Oh, and the A&W with root beer floats. sigh

Now it's everywhere and there are so many flavors it seems impossible to decide on a favorite. I think back then there was chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. And Neapolitan: the combination of the three in sections. Usually my favorite because I wasn't never good at making decisions.

My favorites now are chocolate chip and mint chocolate chip. Matter-of-fact when I was carrying my daughter mint chocolate chip ice cream was my primary craving.

I also love Ben & Jerry's. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and sometimes Cherry Garcia.

Ice cream isn't spurring any major memories except going to my cousins and watching them make ice cream with a hand crank machine. I don't remember if I helped, except when it came to the eating part.

I just got a memory flash of my sister in high school with a big bowl of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup. We must have had it more than I thought. Do you remember the Hershey Syrup in the cans that had to be opened with pointed can opener and then we never quite knew what to do with it.

As always, once the memories start they lead to more and more memories. Write about your favorite ice cream as a child and now. Did you use Hershey Syrup? Did you have homemade ice cream? What other memories do you have?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Travel Log: Home Again

 Just a few photos from my three-day drive home. I left Yakima Tuesday and traveled through Oregon, Idaho and into Nevada. There was a lot of construction in Nevada and I had three long waits while flagmen kept us in line. The times did allow for photos.

I didn't plan on spending another night in Pioche but I did want to stop and see if the Lincoln County Museum was open. It was. It is stuffed full of cool stuff.

While I was in side (about 30 minutes) a storm hit with hard rain and hail. 
The thunder in the mountains was terrible. 
My poor little car was fighting to stay in place. 

So I stayed another night at the Overland Hotel.
This was my room. Isn't it lovely?

No strange experiences this time. 

I was up early and on the road. 
Finally back in Arizona.
The Joshua Tree National Forest.

And home to my Maggie.

I have a lot more to share but for now I'm unpacking, playing catch-up and resting. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Travel Log: Homeward Bound Day 1

As much as I love to travel to Washington and see the kids I'm always glad to head home. I got lots of big hugs to held me over until I get home.

Today was a beautiful day as I cruised through Washington, Oregon and Idaho. I'm just north of the border with Nevada. I took a slightly different route and the scenery was gorgeous. I didn't get any pictures because it was getting kind of dark by that time and a storm is coming in.

So I'm settled for the night.

I just talked to Hubby and the Phoenix area is flooding so I have a feeling tomorrow will be a long, wet day. Thankfully my little car handles it all well.

Again I tried to imagine what it was like to travel the Oregon Trail which I crossed a few times as I headed southeast.

I did take some photos at a rest stop in Oregon. It overlooked the Snake River at one of it's narrower points.

I also snapped some of the surrounding countryside. The mountains go on through 
the entire northeastern corner of Oregon..  

Sometimes as I topped a mountain and looked over the valley to the next rise I felt overwhelmed. 
I can't imagine those pioneers topping a mountain after using drags and ropes and chains to get up there only to have to use them to get back down and then do it over and over again. 

My family came to Oregon much later and probably had trains at least part of the way.
My husband's family came on the Oregon Trail in the 1850s and 60s. 
One of them went to the goldfields in California first and then on to Oregon and then Washington where his family finally met him. They had stayed behind in Missouri while he traveled the West.

So many amazing stories. 

Stay tuned for Homeward Bound Day 2.
(If I don't get washed away. lol)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Travel Log: Last Day

Here are some highlights from my visit with The Boys.

A special lunch at Red Lobster with Flat Stanley.
Each boy has a day with Grammy.

A special birthday party since I can't be here for their actual birthdays.

Working on our journals after one of our walks. 

And a special weekend with my daughter.

I head home early in the morning. I never know where or when I will stop 
or what adventures Flat Stanley and I will have . . . 
so stay tuned. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Travel Log: Goldendale, Washington

 Jessica and I are in Goldendale, Washington for the weekend. We have seen some beautiful things,
such as the Yakima River.

The Presby Mansion and historical society museum.

I did NOT go up the three stories of stairs. I stayed on the ground floor and did some research while Jessica mounted the stairs and took some photos. 

I learned some more about the Martin and Beeks families who settled in this area.

Dinner at an old saloon. Fantastic hamburger.

Then we walked around Main Street and found some really odd things like a 
plastic gorilla and a playing card stuck to the side of a building.

And a thrift store. 

The sign says "Chester drawers w/single bed  . . ."
And some teens in the back who found some old matches in a box and thought it would be fun to light them. 

Tomorrow we head for the old family cemetery and then back up to Yakima.

Stay tuned. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Travel Log: Back to School

Most people look forward to Christmas or even Halloween. 
My favorite time of year is back-to-school.

 Especially when I can take the boys shopping. 

Each boy had a day with Grammy. A shopping spree for school supplies
and lunch at Red Lobster. 

We also take walks and watch for yard sales. No yard sales yet.
We'll try again this weekend. 

Then it will be time to head home. 

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Remember When: Family History

There are as many reasons for starting the search in family history as there are  . . . well, genealogists.

Actually, many start for the same reason I did. They didn't know one or both parents or didn't have a chance to know other family members. I started my quest to learn about my dad but it didn't take long for me to get the genealogy "bug" and search for all my ancestors. 

I have file drawers full of documents and copies of photos. I've tried to get it all in the computer 
but I have had a couple of computer crashes and then got side-tracked. 

Along the way I have found cousins: first, second, third and more, along with those many times removed. 

This is a photo of my dad's family. I don't remember ever meeting any of them except the lady on the far right, my great Aunt Nell. I think that is my dad in the back row, fourth from the right, his head poking up above everyone else.

I do know that is my great grandmother in the wheelchair and her husband seated to her left. That may be my grandfather in the hat and grandmother to his right. Not sure though. 

This photo is much later. There's my dad front row, second from the left. 
He is the handsome one holding the little girl in the bonnet: my sister.

This is my cousin, Linda, who I met a couple of weeks ago 
when she came to Arizona for a wedding. 

Linda is on the left. We had a great time sitting over tea at Starbucks 
talking and talking as if we'd been friends our whole lives. 

She remembers seeing me when I was tiny. She talked about my dad having a beautiful bass voice. He stayed with her family for awhile after he and my mother split up. 

Have you started your own genealogy? What interests you about the search?
Have you found some unexpected relatives? Have you been able to meet any of them?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Travel Log: Nevada, Idaho, Oregon

After leaving Pioche I traveled on up through Nevada in to Idaho. It rained most of the way.

Flat Stanley was glad for the occasional breaks. 

I passed over the Snake River and the Powder River. The book I am reading is the journals of a guy who traveled west during the Civil War. He eventually settled in Montana. Even though it wasn't the exact same area he wrote about the Powder River and what it was like traveling by wagon.

Covered Wagon Days: From the Private Journals of Albert Jerome Dickson

I was really glad for my little car and hotels at the end of the day.

On entering Oregon I stopped at a rest stop and took a photo of this sign. 
Oregon has the best rest stops and visitor's centers. 

The scenery of northeastern Oregon isn't what you would expect. 
The view across the highway from the rest stop. 

 I also crossed the Oregon Trail. 
Then the Columbia River which never ceases to amaze me. It looks like a long lake.  

I think a lot about history and my ancestors as I drive. 
I compose articles and stories. I just hope to get them on paper. 

Tune in later for more about my travels in the West.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Travel Log: More in Pioche

Pioche was founded after a Mormon missionary was shown a rich vein of silver ore by the Paiute Indians. That was in 1863. More than $20 million of ore was mined from the area. 

Pioche claims a more violent history than other well-known Old West towns. 

History can be found on every corner.

Fire house built in 1864.

 The Thompson's Opera House was first built in 1873 by Aleck Brown and renamed 
Thompson's  in 1892. It was used for weekly dances for many years. 

Below is the Million Dollar Courthouse; built in 1871. Political misuse, delayed payments 
and interest payments made the original price of building explode to nearly 1 million dollars.
It was finally paid off in 1936.

Next door to the courthouse stands the Mountain View Hotel where guests stayed when court was in session. Herbert Hoover was listed as one of those guests.

It is said that 72 men died with their boots on before anyone died of natural causes. 

The more I learn about this town and its history the more fascinated I become. I can't wait to visit again.

I'm also wondering about all the other towns out there and the stories of the people who lived there. Historians and Old West enthusiasts are fascinated with Tombstone, Deadwood and others. I hope to find a way to learn and share the history of some of those "lost" stories.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Travel Log: Overland Motel

The first day of my trip I was on the road at 7:30 a.m. By about 3:00 I had been driving in pouring rain for a couple of hours and was exhausted. 
I pulled over in Pioche, Nevada to made the decision if I should go on to Ely another 110 miles or stay in Pioche. 
I pulled over across the street from the Overland Motel which we had recently seen on an episode of "Ghost Adventures." When Doug and I realized it was close enough for us to visit on day we decided to do just that one day. But here I was, tired, in front of the hotel itself and not sure if I should go on. So I called Doug and he said stay.
So I did.

 There are a number of sites on the mining history of Pioche and the haunted history of the motel.

I soaked up the history. From the saloon on the ground floor to the first floor rooms. 

I put Flat Stanley in the window and took a photo from the parking lot. I'm kind of glad nobody was around. Lol

Yes I did a little evp (electronic voice phenomena) work in the room. And took some photos. See the orb in between the two doors?
What's your opinion? I haven't had time to listen to the audio recordings.

I heard some strange creaking sounds, voices and had a strange feeling of energy going through my body around 3:30 a.m. I told "it" to leave me alone and it stopped instantly. I can't wait to go back with my hubby and do it right.

The next morning I roamed around the town and took some great photos. Then I went back to the highway and headed north. I pulled over at one point and took this photo of the clouds over the distant mountains . . .

We found that circle/orb? rather strange. Any ideas?

Tune in tomorrow as the journey continues.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Travel Log: Northern Arizona

 I'm on my yearly jaunt from the desert of Arizona to the hills of Eastern Washington state. Those of you who have followed my blog for awhile know I usually blog every day. This hasn't happened for various reasons. One night I stayed in a place that didn't have Internet. The next day I drove through pounding rain and was just too exhausted. Now I'm at my destination so I'm going to recap my my journey in installments . . . with lots of photos.

My first stop was at the Lake Mead visitor center north of Kingman. 
Flat Stanley was glad to get out of his pocket for a bit.

There was this great display in the visitor center.

The lake is amazing. Here's just one piece of it. 

Assorted cacti in front of the center. I passed through a Joshua Tree Forest but I didn't take the time to stop and get photos. They are really odd plants and they appear all in a clump and then just stop. There's another batch of them above Las Vegas. I drove through that city and could see some of the casinos but I didn't stop. It is all pretty dreary to me.

It started raining north of Vegas and pounded for mile after mile. It is a narrow two-lane highway without a lot of traffic. My plan was to make it to Ely for the first night but it was raining so hard I stopped in Pioche, Nevada.

Those of you who watch "Ghost Adventures" may have seen the episode filmed in that mining town. I pulled over and debated if I should stay at the Overland Motel where they had filmed an episode. Doug and I had talked about staying there sometime and I really didn't want to stay by myself but locals warned that with the bad weather the elk, horses and cattle would be migrating and the road to Ely was really dangerous.

Ghosts or pounding rain and migrating animals.

I stayed.

More of my adventures in the next installment of Travel Log.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Remember When: Letters

I have no memories of my dad. He and mom divorced when I was about three. He died in a car accident a few years later.

About the time I got married I started doing my genealogy. Part of it was to learn about my dad and that other family I didn't know anything about. My mom and my older sister weren't real excited about it even though they were fond of my dad's sisters. Living on the other side of the country I didn't push getting together with any of them. Two of my aunts and a couple of cousins have been to Arizona over the years and made the effort to visit with us. We always had a pleasant time.

This week a first cousin, Linda, came to town. Her son has moved here and was married on Saturday. Thursday Linda and I got together and went and had tea and talked and talked and talked. It was great.

She was apprehensive, not knowing how I felt about the family, but I think I set her mind at ease in that I have no hard feelings and want to hear about my dad. I know he wasn't a bad person but at that time alcoholism was treated as a crime. Mom being a divorcee in a small town in the early 1950s wasn't easy.
That's just the way it was and although I still have questions and wonder about some things I may never have answers to I'm glad to have "met" another cousin.

When her mother passed away Linda found a box of letters she had kept for many years. Linda took the time to make copies of all of them and put them in these boxed notebooks.

There are letters from my grandparents and I'm hoping to find one from my dad. She hadn't been through them all yet and wasn't sure what all was in these notebooks.

We both love to collect postage and there were some postage marks and stamps that caught her eye.

Many are handwritten although she said that at one point our grandfather, who they all called Papa, was given a typewriter and he learned to use it. Somebody wrote on that letter that it was his first typing lesson.
She told me she always loved my dad. He was tall and handsome and had a deep beautiful voice. He even sang in a quartet.

I had a tear in my eye as I drove home with the folders tucked safely in the seat beside me. Linda felt the same way as she soon called so we could talk some more. She wanted to make sure I was okay with hearing about the family, my dad, and the letters. Oh yes, Linda. And the hugs and everything else.

Sadly I had just put a new SD card in my Nikon and it didn't work so I didn't get a picture. She did and will send it to me when she gets home.

For now I'm cherishing my memories and my letters.

Do you have family letters? Are they in a place where they will be recognized as something important? Have you thought of copying them for other family members? These things are all precious and even if the letters talk about the weather they are my people and I do care.
A fun picture of my older sister and my dad, probably taken at the state fair or some such event.