And climb the stairs to the beach...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Morning Folks 6-29-09

Sunday night Kathy, (Ed's sister) and I went to a concert at the local cultural center. I hadn't ever heard of any of the three musicians we were going to hear but I was glad we went. The three people were Aoife (Effie) Clancy who is one of the Divas of Irish and contempory folk music and has performed as soloist with the Boston Symphony, the Pops and made several CDs.

With her was Chuck Colley who played guitar and Dobro

He also sang and was the writer of many of the original songs they presented. He is a bluegrass artist The Dobro is an interesting instrument, a type of resonator guitar, played like the steel guitar, on the lap. It's louder than a regular guitar and he put metal picks on a couple of the fingers on his right hand to pick the strings and with his left hand, he used a metal slide on the strings at the neck of the instrument. We only know what it is called because Kathy asked him during the break.

The third member of the trio was Eric Wendelsken who played the stand up bass, the mandolin and sang. He also wrote several of the original songs they did. He is a bluegrass artist and a Celtic artist.

Aoife is an Irish red head and has a lovely voice. Eric and Chuck are both Americans and only recently joined forces with Aoife.

They were very good and performed folk, Irish, bluegrass and even some Bob Dylan songs. Wine and cheese was served during the break and it was a very enjoyable night.

Today, Monday the 29th, is my brother Chuck's birthday, so Happy Birthday, Chuck.

But it is also going to be the birthday of my niece Angie's second baby, my sister Cindy's first granddaughter. She is having a scheduled C-section and my blessings go out to her and the new little one who we can't wait to meet! Welcome to the family little one, whoever you are! We will know the name soon!

Have a great day everyone.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Morning Folks-Father's Day 2009

In doing genealogy research one acquires a passion for the search and real excitement with the forks in the road that come unexpectedly. Often small historical tidbits catch my eye and off I go down a path I never expected to find. It can be just a little interesting information that surfaces when I look at the history of a town someone lived in, or an address from a census that sparks some curiosity about the neighborhood that points me off in some direction. For example, the hospital my father was born in in New York City has had me curious ever since I was a child, really, when my grandmother spoke about it as though it was a place where celebrities were born. She made it sound like it was the hospital to the stars. But, the fact is that back in the early part of the 20th century, having your baby in a hospital instead of at home was a fairly new idea and that is probably why she always seemed so proud of having her children there.

Anyway, as I started to satisfy my curiosity about the hospital in New York City, I thought that as a Father's Day tribute, it would be fun to do a little digging into a couple of other places I have identified in New York City that played a role in my father's childhood.

My Dad, Bill Hall, entered this world at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City in June of 1927. That hospital is still there and was first established as the German Hospital in 1857. It was started by a group who recognized the need for medical care for the large immigrant community there in New York City.

It is located between Lexington and Park on 77th Street.
In 1918, they renamed it Lennox Hill Hospital. Nine years later, my Dad was born there.
In 1931, Prime minister Winston Churchill was treated there afer he suffered a serious injury crossing Park Avenue when he was hit by a car.

Over the years many firsts happened here. For example, the first Physical Therapy department in the US was opened here in 1907. The first angioplasty was performed there in 1978. Early in the hospital's history 4 German-American nurses started a nurses training program there and it grew into a large and well respected nursing school. In 1969 Margaret Mead spoke at their commencement. Over the years it grew in size and reputation and became a teaching facility associated with NYU.

Many famous people have been treated there over the years, like Elizabeth Taylor, Barry Manilow and Jimmy Cagney. Joan Rivers and Sara Jessica Parker both had their babies in this hospital. Some famous folks have died there, too, such as Wendell Wilkie, Ed Sullivan and just last March, poor Natasha Richardson, injured while skiing. Enough about the hospital.

When my grandparents took little Billy home, back in 1927, near as I can tell, he was brought home to 1374 Lexington Ave. We find the family there in the 1930 census. It looks like it's 16 or 17 blocks straight down Lexington Avenue from the hospital.

Here is a link to a map showing the area and how close the neighborhood was to everything. When you get there, just type in 1374 Lexington Ave, New York City, NY and you will get a good view of it. Plus you can find pictures of buildings as well.

Here is a picture of 1374 Lexington Avenue now.

I couldn't find anything specific for that building on, a website that shows values of properties everywhere, but unit #5 at 1384 Lexington Ave, a roomy 2,907 square foot spot has a price tag of $4,232,500. They estimated on Zillow it would only cost a little less than $20,000 per month to finance it. My grandmother told me that one of her apartments back then cost $12 a month.

From the map of NYC, it looks like he lived in the upper east side only a couple of blocks from Central Park, near museums and lots of fascinating places. I know he used to love the museum of Natural History as a kid. He has told me about hanging out there.

1324 Lexington

In a 1931 NYC Directory, my Dad's family had moved to 1324 Lexington Avenue and his father's father who ran a grocery store with my grandfather lived at 1377 Lexington Ave.

Dad probably visited his grandparents here.

1377 Lexington Ave.

Here is an ad that ran in a 1925 brochure for the Park Avenue Church who were running a capital campaign at the time. This was my Dad's church where he was likely baptized. His grandparents and parents and various aunts and uncles are listed as members. The Ad is for the grocery store my grandfather and great grandfather ran at 1074-1076 Park Avenue.

Here is what 1074 Park Avenue, where Hall's Food Shoppe was, looks like today.

Here is a picture of their church from 1925:

and today. It looks like they are still doing work on that capital project

Well, I am sure there were a couple of other places Dad lived before he moved to Sudbury in 1942, but this is what I have found so far. I'll keep looking and he'll have to fill me in on some other addresses.

And here is a picture of my Dad, holding his youngest Great Grandson, Michael Anthony Hall, taken a couple of months ago.

There is a line in the movie the Amistad that I think about a lot when I do my family history research. ( And if you haven't seen that movie, you should.) But the quote is spoken by the leader of the slaves accused of leading an uprising on a slave ship in the 1830s, I think. He had been royalty in his homeland and now he was a slave going into a trial and facing death. But, even in my free, safe, fortunate life, I understand what he meant.

"We will not be going into this alone...I will call into the past - far back to the beginning of time and beg them (my ancestors) to come and help me at the judgment. I will reach back and draw them into me; and they must come, for at this moment, I am the whole reason they have existed at all".

I love the continuity found in what I discover when I research genealogy. Makes me connected and grateful for the past and hopeful for the future. Seeing my Dad holding his great grandchild and having had the privilege to have known my father's grandmother means that right now I have had direct contact with 125 years of personal family history. I think that's awesome.

But this is a Father's Day tribute, really. And leaving genealogy aside for a minute-

Dad, Happy Father's Day. I love you very much and am so grateful that you are always there when I need you, even at my advanced age! Thanks for your sense of humor and your sense of fairness and your sense of curiosity, all things I like to think I inherited to some degree; For your wisdom and for your patience. Especially thanks for keeping me on an even keel when I was headed for stormy seas and for encouraging me to take risks at times and play it safe at others. Thank you for giving me a love of music, and words and poetry, learning and laughing. And for teaching me by example to be loving and caring and how to parent my boys. For bringing all these things and more to me and to my sisters and brother, I will always be grateful. So have a wonderful Father's Day. You are the best Dad a girl could have!

And to the rest of you, I am sure you will all be thinking today of Dads who are in or have been in your lives. And maybe of your grandfathers, great grandfathers and on and on. I hope you have as much to be grateful for as I do. And for those of you who are Dads, Happy Father's Day! Play some golf. Watch a game. Eat some barbecue. Talk to your kids if you can, but whatever you do, enjoy your day! You deserve it!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Morning Folks June 13, 2009

I was telling my friend Melinda the other day that I can't seem to write about "nothing" like I used to. I mean there are blogs I did about lemons, for gosh sakes, you'd think I could come up with something. But, Ed encouraged me to do one today and so to combat the gloom of 3 weeks of rain on Cape Cod I decided it was time.

So, the subject today is Crows.

Ed's mother was a Crowell and I have been doing a lot of research lately on his line. This name probably originated as Crow. And maybe that has something to do with where my mind is, but I am not going to write about his family. Rather, the blasted murder of crows that seem to have moved into the trailer park just to wake me in the morning with their ear-piercing taunting caws and bullying behavior toward the smaller more welcome birds at the feeder. Of course the squirrels are not scared off, although I wish they were, but that is definitely an entirely different blog.

These crows are like a street gang of huge black nastys. Like thugs on the corner lying in wait for the old ladies who got their checks and are heading for the market, they wait to inflict harm on the inhabitants of Bass River Trailer Park.

Most of us know the term for a group of crows is a Murder of crows. Now if that doesn't sound menacing, I don't know what does. Here in the trailer park, there are probably 10 to 12 of them who appear each morning.

It starts with one high in a pine tree in the yard next door. He, or she (its impossible to tell) calls the others and one by one they appear.

Like a scene from Hitchcock's horror movie, they begin to move closer and descend on the trees around the trailer. Then above me I hear one land. On the roof.

The sound is unlike the squirrels who sometimes scurry around after dropping an acorn with a loud bang. No, these things are much more substantial and you can tell by the landing thud that there is some heft up there. But when they walk, being bipedal, the sound is more like a human being walking on the floor in the apartment above you. But there is no apartment above me. And in the morning when I am not quite awake, and something is walking on the roof, it makes me think of something from a Twilight Zone episode. Small bird-humans pacing back and forth and just waiting for the right moment to start tearing pieces of the roof off and coming through a hole they've made in the ceiling. Okay, so that might be a little far fetched, but it is rather unnerving and certainly annoying.
Do you hear something up there?

At first, I wasn't sure if they were ravens or crows. So, naturally, I Googled them. They are American crows. You can tell because their beaks aren't curved and their tails are more fans than pointy. But, both ravens and crows are from the same family. Corvids. And a raven is a crow but all crows are not ravens. I am happy to learn they aren't ravens, who have been known to kill and eat weak lambs! Although these do look large enough to attack a little lamb, I don't think they would go after a lamb unless it was already a chop.

Acoording to Wikepedia: "Mated pairs form large families of up to 15 individuals from several breeding seasons that remain together for many years.[12] Offspring from a previous nesting season will usually remain with the family to assist in rearing new nestlings...There are estimated to be 31,000,000 crows in the US."
I don't know how to get rid of them.

And watching these things, who incidently do disappear after terrorizing me each morning, I see nothing funny about them and wonder what twisted mind ever came up with Heckle and Jeckle. Do you remember that cartoon? And is there any of you who thought they were actually funny? I did find out that they were supposed to be magpies, but they too are corvids so I am going to consider them crows.

Man I hated those two. And the only reason I watched them was because they were on with Mighty Mouse. By the way, my sister Cindy had a crush on Mighty Mouse. She wanted to marry him. Now that was weird.

And what about the crows from Mad Magazine? Those horrible spies that gave me the creeps as a kid. I really didn't like Mad magazine.

I only read it because my brother Chuck got it during the summers down here at Caroline's, the store down by the beach, and I liked to do that thing with the back page where you folded it in a certain way to make a picture of one thing turn into something else, like Alfred E Newman or someone.

I never really got that "What Me Worry" thing, either.

All I know is that if I had a BB gun, and I don't believe in guns, I would use it on these loud- mouth nasty things.

And once I did, I would be bothered by them never more.

Have a great day! I think the sun's out! YAY!



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