Monday’s Mystery

Today’s mystery is a universal mystery for most people including most all genealogy people.


Do you do regular computer backups? WHY? What motivates YOU to complete this vital research step??

I really would like to hear from all of you with your good reasons, bad reasons and whinnings.

Okay. We know we should back up our everything but we don’t for perhaps one or more of these reasons:

  1.  It won’t happen to me. (Yah, sure.)
  2.  I don’t know how. (You can/should learn how.)
  3.  I think it happens automatically. (If you’ve set it up that way, yes.)
  4.  There are so many choices and methods that I’m overwhelmed. (Start at the beginning and learn.)
  5.  There is nothing that important on my computer. (Your genealogy files aren’t important??)
  6.  These backup plans cost too much. (How much is your genealogy worth to you?)
  7.  Just didn’t realize I should. (You been living under a rock?)

I just asked Grandma Google (who knows and happily tells all) for this phrase: “how to backup your computer.” There were 807,000 hits in 0.63 seconds. Would surely be the same when you talk to Grandma Google. Do you think that amidst those 807,000 hits that there are some tutorials for you? Answers for you?

I agree, 807,000 hits to explore is way too overwhelming. I do have a life and so do you. So skip through those 807,000 listings and pick a few that look the best to you……perhaps by companies or speakers or bloggers that you trust.

If all else fails, ask these two questions at your next genealogy gathering:  (1) What back up plan do you use on your computer?  (2) Will you teach me?

It’s “only” your life’s work, right?

Or maybe share with me how this sharp poke in the tail motivated you to action. Great. 

Monday’s Mystery

Roberta Sunday.  Does that name ring a bell with anybody? How about Robert Martin of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho?  When Robert served in Vietnam in 1970, his platoon rescued a baby girl among the dead and in the remains of a bombed out bunker. They turned the baby over to the Catholic orphanage and when asked for her name, and of course not having one, the platoon suggested naming her after Robert: Roberta. And Sunday since she was found on a Sunday. Now 48, and perhaps living in New Zealand, Robert wants to much to find out what happened to her……….. Any WSGS readers know anything??

I read about this in the 7 Feb 2018 edition of The New Zealand Herald (Auckland) and found that my paper, The Spokesman Review, had published the story back on 23 Jun 2017.

So, I wonder, have Robert and Roberta connected? Anybody know anything??

Monday Mystery

Today’s Mystery: What was a Conestoga wagon???

What is your mental image of a Conestoga wagon? Like “all the pioneers” used? Well, they didn’t all use a Conestoga wagon but many did. Here’s a wonderful description:

“A Conestoga wagon in all its glory was a brave sight. The wagon body was that color so dearly loved by the Pennsylvania Dutch, a light but brilliant blue; the great wheels and all running gear was black and the hempen homespun top was white; the great wheels and all the running gear was well as the sideboards were vermilion. The horses were often black or bay; over the horses were bows of bells…rising were flat iron hoops with three to eight bells carefully selected to chime………..

Can you imagine or picture that grand sight? Here tiz:

Want to read “the rest of the story,” I’m reading The Pennsylvania Dutch by Fredric Klees, 1950, page 227.


Monday Mystery

We all want to know the answer to this mystery….. how to keep from growing old. Just ask Maxine…. she’ll give advice.

Beyond dear Maxine this list of “Ways To Keep From Growing Old” contains no mysteries:

  1. Don’t wear a seatbelt
  2. Do eat with your knife.
  3. Do talk back to a law officer.
  4. Don’t ever wash your hands.
  5. Do eat an exclusive McD’s diet.
  6. Don’t pay any attention to what’s happening around you…. walk on! drive on!
  7. Do step in front of a bus.
  8. Do take a dare and lay down on the railroad tracks.

Monday Mystery

The newspaper ad on October 24, 1900 in the Omaha Daily Bee read:

“CANCER cannot be cut out or removed with plasters!! Surgical operations and flesh destroying plasters are useless, painful and dangerous, and besides, never cure cancer. No matter how often a cancerous sore is removed, another comes at or near the same point and always in a worse form. Does not this prove conclusively that cancer is a blood disease and that it is folly to attempt to cure this deep-seated, dangerous blood trouble by cutting or burning out the sore, which, after all, is only an outward sign of the disease?”

“To cure a blood disease like this you must cure the entire blood system…remove every trace of the poison. Nothing cures cancer effectually and permanently but S.S.S. which enters the circulation, searches out and removes all taint and stops the formation of cancerous cells…….”

Here’s the “mystery”….. if this stuff was a cure, how come we aren’t using it today? HA!

Monday Mystery

The origins of Valentine’s Day are shrouded in centuries of dust. No matter to the retailers of today; Valentine’s Day is a $15 billion dollar industry!!! (Now THAT’s a mystery to me.) Anyway. 

Some history here: In the year 380, Christianity became the legal religion, so dictated the Holy Roman  Emperor Constantine. But all those “converts” did not entirely abandon the traditions and practices they had held before their “conversion.” One of these was a fertility celebration, known as Lupercalia, which eventually became Valentine’s Day.

Now you know…………. somewhat.

Monday Mystery


There is no “mystery” to making hard-boiled eggs is there? Not to most of us anyway. According to Dorothy Dean, the fictitious cooking guru whose recipes were featured for decades in The Spokesman Review, there definitely was a right way to hard cook eggs.

“Take eggs directly from refrigerator; place in saucepan. Add cold water to 1 inch above eggs; bring rapidly to full rolling boil. Cover pan and remove from heat. Let stand 25 to  30 minutes. Cool immediately in cold water.”

Any mystery there??????

Monday Mystery

“Mr. and Mrs. C.B. Brown were awakened at night by the “violent ringing of the doorbell.” Mrs. Brown ran to the door, but saw nothing except a big pasteboard box. “Fearing it might be a bomb, she called her husband to investigate,” said the article in The Spokesman Review back on 11 July 1917.

Inside the box “they found a baby boy, wrapped up in a clean little pink blanket.” An attached note said, “Please take good care of me. My birthday was June 20. Buster.”

The box also contained a bottle of milk and a package of baby food. Mrs. Brown telephoned all of the neighbors, as well as the police and a doctor. The doctor arrived and reported that Buster weighed ten pounds and was perfectly healthy.

Mrs. Brown said she was willing to keep him. Mr. Brown, railway mail clerk, said, “it’s all right with me, if the boy is healthy, I guess.”

The mystery is: Whose family tree includes a Buster Brown, son of C.B. Brown, whose birthday is June 20, 1917 in Spokane???

P.S. I found nothing positive in the 1920 census. Ah, the mystery!

Monday Mystery

According to a report recently on the front page of our newspaper (The Spokesman Review), “Washington drivers logged more than  60 billion miles on public roadways in 2016. If that sounds like a lot, that’s because it is.” Reporter Nicholas Deshais continued that “Washington drivers drove more than 4 1/2 times the total distance that the Voyager 1 spacecraft has traveled since 1977… which is only 13 billion miles.”

How many of those miles did YOU contribute?? And where were we all going and so often?? Ah, that’s the mystery.

Monday Mystery

It’s a mystery to me………… the experts proclaim that not one snowflake in 100 Bezillion is like another. (Has anybody looked at 100 bezillion??) Given for Christmas a cool book all about snowflakes, how they form and how to photograph them. Mysteriously interesting. One really cool factoid: Anybody, with a handheld magnifying glass and a black surface, can go outside and see the mystery that is a snowflake. 

Somehow I think our ancestors had a very different opinion of a snowflake than we do today……… we who sit warm and dry.