Wednesday Nostalgia

Everybody, but everybody, knows the story of Humpty Dumpty and can quickly recite the rhyme: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall…… Humpty Dumpty  had a great fall….. all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put Dumpty together again. Bet you’ve recited that to your grandkids more than once.

Look again: where does it say that Humpty Dumpty was an EGG???

Quoting from TIDBITS, the freebie thing found everywhere, “the rhyme dates back to 1797 but it wasn’t until Lewis Carroll’s 1872 book, Through the Looking Glass, that he was described as an egg.

“In the original nursery rhyme, the last lines read: “Fourscore men and fourscore more could not make Humpty Dumpty where he was before.”

Thank you, TIDBITS, for this most educational tidbit.

Wednesday Nostalgia

Cannot speak for you, but my heart kinda breaks when I see a nearly forgotten gravemarker   …………….like this:

It was a small wooden curved marker, well rotted off at the bottom, and looking to me like somebody stuck it into this bush. No writing was visible.

Who did this marker memorialize? Did they want a marker that would eventually turn to dust? Was it a quick-simple marker by a family of limited means?

I took this photo in the un-endowed portion of Greenwood Memorial Terrace cemetery here in Spokane.

Would this be a fun challenge: Who would like to write the story of this little wooden marker, how it came to be and who it was for? If you would, send it to me,

Wednesday’s Nostalgia

I love chomping into a fortune cookie and (as my family and friends well know) I believe in them absolutamentally. What’s not to believe about “Traveling at this time would be a good investment of time & money.”

Of course, I’m always waiting for a little slip stating: “When you leave this restaurant your car will have a flat tire.” Oops.

But here is the best fortune-cookie-fortune EVER:  “One generation opens the road which another genealogist travels.” Amen and for sure. 

Wednesday Nostalgia

My daughter, Jane, has a thriving re-purposing business. She hunts up rusty old discards, buys them, changes them a bit and resells them. Like tiered locker baskets from a high school gym….. folks love those for sorting kids’ toys or for a mud room.

Take this old bedsprings I spotted in a salvage yard in Tacoma. “Carman’s Guaranteed for 20 years” with Carman Manufacturing Company in Tacoma, Spokane, Portland and Seattle. WELL! Spotting this was cool enough but then I Googled those words……… and found out that back on 12 June 1907 in the San Francisco Call (newspaper) a headline screamed: “Portland Furniture Magnates Plead Guilty!” The “Carman Manufacturing Company of Tacoma” was one of 20 members of the furniture trust who appeared in court charged with conspiracy to monopolize trade.

There is history everywhere!!  Even in salvage yards in Tacoma!

And why was this notice in a San Francisco paper, I wondered?



Wednesday Nostalgia

I have something I want to give away and have a place to give it to……but nobody seems to want it.

Well, it’s upside down but you get the idea. When my father was a young 18-year-old in Ashley, Illinois, he worked as a cook in the local Greyhound Bus Station. Apparently they gave him this gold pin in 1939. Yes, I could keep it, but I thought “is there a Greyhound Museum? They might like this artifact for their museum.”  And yes, there is, in Hibbing, Minnesota. They don’t have an email and they don’t answer their phone.

What would YOU do with a tangible little piece of family history??? That was such a teeny-tiny part of my father’s life.

Wednesday Nostalgia

Did you or your mother or your grandmother or (like me) your Aunt Dorothy ever use one of these?

For our family it was not a tea strainer but a thingy to put Italian spices in and then hang onto a pot of simmering tomato sauce in the “true old fashioned Italian way,” Aunt Dorothy used to say. She ought to know; she was married to an Italian, Angelo Cicero.

Aunt Dorothy would mix cans of all of these spices in a mixing bowl: rosemary, cumin, sweet basil, oregano, anise or coriander seed, marjoram, tarragon, parsley, fennel seed. Then she’d fill the little metal ball with these spices and add “1 bay leaf and 1 chili pepper per tea ball.”

Her Spaghetti Sauce was the absolutely bestest over! Try it yourself….. if you can find a metal tea ball.


Wednesday Nostalgia

Last summer Cheryl Elder, Maureen MacDonald and I spent four wonderful delightful days at the Fiske Genealogy Library under the helpful hands of Gary Zimmerman. One of the things he offered to us was a tour of the upper floors of the Fiske Library building…….where the various pioneer organizations house their treasures. These photo are of things in that upstairs museum room:

Did you ever (or, lucky you, do you today) get to sleep in a bed like this? Keep in mind that while it’s huge and grand, it’s only a small-ish double bed. Bet you wouldn’t like that.

Share your memories of “Grandma’s Feather Bed?”  (Thank you, John Denver.)

Wednesday Nostalgia


Little coin-operated-table jukeboxes……. who remembers dropping a quarter into one?

According to Wikipedia, “coin-operated music boxes and player pianos were the first forms of automated coin-operated musical devices.” Jukeboxes were most popular from the 1940s through the mid-1960s, particularly during the 1950s. By the middle of the 1940s, three-quarters of the records produced in America went into jukeboxes.”

Jukeboxes were cheap entertainment and we used to calculate the popularity of new music. Like Elvis. Like so many stars of Back Then.

What was your favorite song to plug in a quarter and play as you waited for your hamburger, shake and fries???

Wednesday Nostalgia


Dandelions. The bane of a pretty-lawn-seekers existence. What earthly good are dandelions?? WELL!

According to the magazine Birds & Blooms, Apr/May 2017, dandelions make a dandy drink…”Pharmacists in 19th century England made tea from roasted dandelion roots; the drink is still trendy today, thanks to a coffee-like taste and color without the caffeine.” Google dandelion tea for many hits………. even today it’s a desirable drink.

Bet you did not know that dandelion flowers can reach heights of 6 to 24 inches and their roots can be as deep as 10 to 15 feet………..which I can attest to! Every spring, my digger, bucket and I go on a killing spree…….. but now I know why the rascals always come back.

From blossom to root, 100% of this plant is edible “for most people.” (Humm….what might that mean?)  A cup of chopped raw dandelion greens provides 112% of the daily requirement for Vitamin A at only 25 calories.

Wednesday Nostalgia

Do you see the penny? The very un-shiny, battered up, old penny trying to hide in the grass and sticks? Can you guess my point in sharing this photo with you? 

Sometimes (perhaps every time!) we MUST look harder, longer, more carefully to see the clues that are right there before our eyes when doing our genealogy. The evidence is there (so is that penny) but can we see it? Can we find it? Only if we keep looking!!