Archive for May 2011

More thoughts from Dad

May 27, 2011

More on Dad’s thoughts

Earlier this month I posted ‘Thoughts From Dad’ and mentioned that Theresa and Robin had loaned me dad’s notebook with writings in it.  I promised to share those with everyone but after reading them and reflecting on them I’ve come to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be fair to him.  He wrote these thoughts over 50 years ago and at that time all he had for reference was his own experience and his own reading and research.  He couldn’t Google facts or even spend time in the library since he wasn’t very mobile.  They didn’t have 24 hour news shows or the history channel and he didn’t have money for subscriptions to ‘Look’ or ‘Life’.  Having lived with him I knew him to be a renaissance man and a free thinker without any hateful or racist views and a wonder about the world and what we didn’t know and might be capable of.  I know both my parents were members of the ‘Workers Alliance’ which was labeled subversive in the McCarthy era but they weren’t Communists, they just wanted a fair shake for the working man.  Sort of the same struggle we have going on today with anyone demanding those things being called Socialist or unpatriotic. 

So, to prevent those kinds of undeserved concerns and with the advantage of hindsight to see where his musings might seem naïve or questionable I’ve determined that the best way is to take excerpts from those writings that I feel show his intent and insight and share those with some commentary that might help in understanding where he was coming from.  

The Battle of Vimy Ridge

(The Battle of Vimy Ridge began at dawn on Easter Monday, April 9, 1917, when all four divisions of the Canadian Corps attacked Vimy Ridge above the Douai Plain in France.  Dad was in the Canadian Army at the time and  he was there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vimy_Ridge )

That was a holiday in hell

The Canucks went over with a yell.

All the young Canucks were there,

They came from everywhere.

Under a curtain of fire

They stumbled through the wire.

They heard the sound of heavy guns

And the Devil seemed to hum

With war shells passing overhead

A lullaby for the dying and the dead.

Wizbangs sneaking softly through the air

With messages of despair.

Swarms of bullets seemed to whisper

I will get you mister.

Our wounded pals greeted us with casual smiles

When we stopped and spoke with them for awhile

They asked us for a smoke

Or for something else from our poke

But then dropped off to sleep

Game to the last heartbeat

Some went out like a light

Some lingered throughout the night.

The memories haunt you

A loved one wants you

A gentle mother across the sea

Prays, God send my boy home to me.

Vimy Ridge is strewn with bones

Boys that won’t come home.

Three hundred thousand men are sleeping there

They have laid aside all their cares

The noise of battle ceased

And now they rest in peace.

 

Wedding Bells

Hail, hail the bride and groom

They are off on their honeymoon

Their world is bright and new

They have such wonderful things to do.

They will walk beside some rippling brooks

And find some cozy nooks

There in the sparkling dells

She will tell him the lies he loves so well

How handsome, brave and strong he is

Everything she ever hopes to have is his.

He will kiss her soft red lips

And tell of his love from toes to fingertips

To the marrow of my bones

I will never leave you alone.

Love, happiness and hope is theirs

God fulfill and help with their cares. 

 

Ark of the Covenant

Noah built a refuge

From the great deluge

He had a date with Davie Jones

And knew it in his bones

Noah called a warning

It will soon be storming

It’s getting awful dark

Time to climb aboard the ark

They sailed around about a year

Until the weather began to clear

Noah looked the situation over

And said the worst is over

It’s time to go ashore

And be about our chores

You’ll be happy by and by

See the rainbow in the sky

 

Prophecies

The prophet Dan

A wise old man

Inspired by some power divine

Looked down the halls of time

Read the writing on the wall

And then foretold the fate of all

Fire shall sweep the whole world o’er

And time shall be no more

The hour will surely come

When man’s work on earth is done.

The prophecies of Daniel have been hitting right on the nose.  Most all his prophecies have been fulfilled.  Man has set the stage to bring the curtain down on the last act.   Busy saturating the atmosphere with radiation when the earth’s atmosphere is already well saturated.  By design or by accident a bomb will explode and burn up the entire atmosphere instead of that of a five or ten mile radius. 

(Dad wrote this during the time when people were digging bomb shelters in their back yards and grade schools were training kids to hide under their desks as protection from an atomic bomb attack.)

Chief Cosongas

This story was told to me by a man who lived on a frozen sea.  How wolf dogs and shivering pups crouched at
the sides of rude Eskimo huts and all the while the wind howled past Little Diomede Isle.  On this day sturdy hunters sought the warmth of their oil lamp; Chief Cosongas was in his camp.  His title was one of love and veneration; he was the greatest hunter of his generation.  He had brought respect and comfort to his tribe and now sons and daughters knelt by his side. Where he lay upon a couch of skins his wife drew one of these up to his chin. A gesture of love that every mother does, a demonstration of her undying love.    

 

A mighty roar is heard

An angry ocean sweeps across the land

And obliterates the works of man.

With all the forces he commands

What e’re the mind of man conceived

His skillful hand achieved

Now lies beneath the ocean sands.

This was the start of a lengthy dissertation by dad on the great flood and the 7,000 year cycle of great floods.  He thought it was the buildup of the ice in Antarctica that caused the earth to tilt on its axis from the weight and proposed ways to melt the polar ice cap.  This included covering it with coal dust to absorb the suns heat.  He went into several other methods to release the water in the ice cap and mine the ores beneath it but I think science and global warming has made his ideas passé.    The Antarctic ice cap is now melting and doesn’t need any more help from us.

Dad wrote another lengthy dissertation on how we have treated the Negro in this country and how other races distrust us because of our past actions and history.  It more or less just shows his liberal views but also that he was a man who thought about these things and formed his own opinions because this was years before the Civil Rights Act and the raising of our national consciousness on this issue.  

He also wrote a piece on the Gold Standard which we were more or less still tied to at this time.  Gold was $35/oz. until the 70’s which helped keep inflation in check but resulted in very unstable economies.  Dad thought it was foolish to use gold as a measure and thought steel or wheat would be a better choice because they had more real value to people than the artificial value of gold.  He was especially concerned with
burdening future generations with debts they can’t pay – sounds familiar, huh?   He didn’t like the credit society we were becoming and was especially concerned with giving people dignity through social and economic planning.

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Samuel Parker Ware

May 20, 2011

Samuel Parker Ware

By Theresa

He was born October 18th, 1892 in Valley Head, West Virginia.  His mother was Fanny (Parker) Ware and his dad was Gordon Ware.  Gordon had a twin brother by the name of Samuel so he named his son after him and his brother, Samuel, returned the favor by naming his first son Gordon.  his father died on July 17th of
1895 of consumption when dad was three years old. 
His mother, Fanny, remarried a few years later but dad never got along with his stepfather.  By the time dad was 14 he had enough and ran away from home leaving his mother and sister Lucinda.  It was very hard for him to find work because he was so young but he finally got on as a galley boy on a cruise ship.  Dad loved his job and readily made friends with the passengers, most of whom were well off financially and some of them well known artists.  Dad was fascinated with their work and learned a lot from them.  He enjoyed the arts and painting all the rest of his life. 

(I’m going to digress a little here because of some omissions in Theresa’s story about these early years of his life. For instance she doesn’t mention his joining the Canadian Army and fighting Germany in World War I but I know he did and have a picture of him in uniform.  Whether he actually did all the things he told me about – see ‘My Old Man’ posting- is something I don’t know.  I do know he was almost 30 when he married mom in 1921 so he had time to do a lot of living in the 15 years he’d been on his own.  Back to Theresa’s Story.)

He was in Boston in 1921 and caught sight of my mother who was 17 and attending the Boston Telegraphy School.  They dated for six weeks before getting married on September 24th, 1921.  Dad found jobs painting and drawing on billboards.  He made good money until I turned about six years old and he was told by doctors to get me out of the severe New England climate.  I had been sick all of the last two years.  So he
bought a Hupmobile and loaded mom and all six of us kids and headed for Springfield, Oregon in April of 1932.  Mom was pregnant with twins and she was miserable.  Dad’s namesake, Uncle Sam, had a nice home
farm and six boys and one girl in Springfield and we were headed there.  I would stay with Uncle Sam for awhile because of my illness.    This is a picture of the family in 1932.  I think it was taken at Uncle Sam’s place in Springfield and is of Ginnie, Theresa, Edythe, Millie, Uncle Sam’s daughter, Dolly and Pete. 

In 1932 we were deep in the depression and it was extremely hard for dad to find work.  He figured with his kind of work he’d have to go to the bigger cities so he worked his way south doing odd jobs until he got to Los Angeles.  He was lucky enough to find work for a couple of months then started looking for work while heading north up the coast.  Barely any work to be found until he got to Seattle where he found something but it wasn’t stable.  He finally worked his way on a ship to Alaska.  He loved Alaska and got a job in the Aleutian Islands with the government as a paint boss painting military barracks.  During his time in
Alaska, which was several years, he did pretty good and even took my brother-in-laws, Harold Sederlin and Bob Moody, back up with him once.   They didn’t find it as rewarding as he did and came back shortly. 

Dad became ill in Alaska and the doctors wanted to operate on him but he said no and came home and had the surgery done in Eugene, Oregon.  He had a very bad impacted bowel and it took several months to heal.  Then he was hired to work on the Sacred Heart Hospital expansion.  After several months working there he fell down a long flight of concrete stairs.  Someone found him at the bottom of the stairs in a pool of blood at the end of the workday.  He had a serious head injury and was in a coma for over a week.  He lost his sense of balance and was never able to walk steady the rest of his life.  (I think that happened in ’51 or ’52.)

He died of a stroke in Sacred Heart Hospital on August 4, 1962 just short of his 70th birthday.

Note:  I’ve added this posting by Theresa that is information already posted in ‘Mom’s Story’ and ‘My Old Man’ because it is from her perspective and it has elements that I never knew before.  I think the ten or so years right after mom and dad’s marriage is covered best in ‘Mom’s Story’ and I think that the posting of ‘My Old Man’ is probably true also because dad had been knocking about for 15 years before he met mom.
Also, he spent several years in Alaska and made several trips back there.  (Now I see haw he got there in
the first place.)  However, I think the story dad told me about meeting mom in a speakeasy and her having the stage name of ‘Bubbles’ is probably false.

My Story by Theresa

May 19, 2011

My Story

By Theresa

My family moved to Oregon because of my health problems.  Since I’ve been here, I’ve been healthier than the rest of the family.  (This could be, in part, because Theresa was the only member of the family that never smoked.)

I can’t remember when I started babysitting my younger siblings but by the time I was 11 I was babysitting others children.  By 12 I was picking strawberries, beans and fruit with my sisters and when I was 14 I got a job cleaning a beauty shop to get my hair set once a week.  When I was 15 I was working summers at the cannery in Eugene and when I was 16 and a Junior in High School, I went to school in the morning and caught the bus to Eugene at lunch-time.  I ate my lunch on the bus and at the railroad yards I changed my clothes in a friend’s car then worked a half-day on the railroad’s first crew of women to work for them.  That was when they tore up the railroad tracks between Eugene and Springfield on Franklin Boulevard.  The railroad work gave me money for clothing and other things until I graduated. 

Right after graduation my dad took Edythe, me, Ginnie and Millie to work at the shipyards at Swan Island.  Millie was too young and had to return home.  Ginnie worked with a ship fitter, knocking the butterfly welds loose.  Edythe and I went to welder’s school and earned our Commercial Welders certificates. I thought I was in tall clover.  At the railroad yards I was earning $1.32/hr, at the shipyards I was making $3.20/hr.  I saved all I could the summer of ’43 so I could start college at UofO in October. 

I majored in art and minored in music.  At spring break I married my High School sweetheart, Aloyisus Koepl, on March 4, 1944.   I finished that year of college and that summer I spent two months with my husband who was working with the Forest Service at Mount Hood, building the ski lift above the lodge.  When they finished the ski lift he worked on making Forest Service maps.  I went home the first of August and went to work for Pacific Northwest Bell in Eugene as a toll operator.  I worked for five years there.  By the time Aloyisus was discharged from service I had saved $3,500, enough to lay the foundation for our home.  My folks deeded the property on the corner of Mill Street and J Street to us to build our home. 

Aloyisus and his brothers had their own sawmill on Big Fall Creek so Aloyisus was able to hand-pick the best lumber for our home.  It took almost five years to build it and by then I was pregnant with Robin.  I got real sick every time into the house because of the smell of paint, plaster and floor varnish so I had to stay with my folks next door until that cleared up.  Robin was born on July 25th, 1949.

Soon after Robin was born, Aloyisus left the mill with his brothers and went to work as a millwright for Weyerhaeuser’s.   Three years later Aloyisus started having trouble with confusion spells.  I tried to get him to go to a doctor but he kept putting it off and his spells got a lot worse.  Our marriage became unbearable and I left him in January 1955 and filed for divorce. 

He married a woman with five kids.  It wasn’t a good marriage.  One day he collapsed in his driveway and was in a coma for two weeks.  When he woke up he was paralyzed from the neck down.  They did exploratory surgery and found a large brain tumor.  He got surgical pneumonia and died in May of 1963.

After my divorce I married Don Redfield in Stevenson Washington on January 14, 1956.  Don was a sportsman for sure.  He loved fishing and hunting, especially in Central Oregon.  He was born in Nyack New York on July 10, 1914.  His family moved to Silverlake Oregon about 1920.  He
finished Grammar and Junior High and then had to go to High School in Lakeview.  He worked for room & board on a ranch and at a mill. 

He had a very close friend, Charlie, that helped him entertain at special celebrations.  He played harmonica and guitar and sang and Charlie sang with him.  He was the life of any party.  He loved to have a big garden so he could give half of it away.  I would can three or four hundred quarts a year.  He kept fish and venison in the freezer and we usually bought half a beef a year.  So we were set except for a few perishables like milk and eggs.  I baked our bread and pastries. 

Charlie and Mern Hill 1980

Charlie & Mern Hill

 

Don worked on the log pond for Booth Kelly Lumber Co. in Springfield.  He worked long hours and went on fire watch during fire season when the mill was shut down.  Several years later, Booth Kelly sold out to Georgia Pacific.  Don had a very social personality and got along well with everyone at Georgia Pacific and was promoted steadily until he was Log and Quality Control Supervisor and also Pond Supervisor.  He was also a timber cruiser for Columbia River Scalers.  He retired with 32 years seniority in 1978.  The next two years after retirement every day was planned out with where to go and what to do. 

On New Years Day in 1980 I was with my stepdaughter, Cindy, in Roseburg helping with her twin boys.  Cindy had Multiple Sclerosis and was confined to a wheelchair and sometimes needed help.  Don called me and told me something was wrong and he was very sick so I came home immediately. 

(This is where Theresa’s narrative ends, I don’t know if the rest was misplaced or it just became too hard for her to complete.  However, I’m fairly familiar with subsequent events so I’ll do my best to complete her story)

I remember when Don retired and had every day planned out for the year ahead.  Patty and I were lucky to be in those plans and Theresa and Don visited us while I was stationed at Travis AFB.  We took them to San Francisco and scared the bejesus out of them in the back seat of our Toyota SR5 on the hills of the city.  Then we took them to Reno for the glitter and gambling, this was before there were any Indian Casinos and they really had a good time there.  It helped that they won a little. 

We had always kept in pretty close contact and whenever we were home for a visit we usually stayed with Theresa and Don as our home base.  So after Don retired we called back and forth quite a bit.  I soon became aware of a change in Don.  He was a stoic in an Indian sort of way and when I would call and ask how he was doing he started telling me about these health issues he was having.  That wasn’t like Don.  At first his doctor told him he was suffering from gastroenteritis.  This was the same doctor that was the mill doctor that he had been seeing for years.  Then he said it was colitis.  By the time Don finally saw a specialist the specialist said he had classic symptoms of cancer.  They operated and found that he had an enormous tumor on his pancreas and it had metastasized and spread everywhere.  They just sewed him back up and he died shortly after that. 

Theresa had buried her second husband and was living in the house on Loop Lane in Goshen that she had lived in for over twenty years.  Millie’s good friend Lorraine knew Theresa and introduced her to her widowed brother Jim Johnson.  Jim was a railroad conductor living in Ventura California and was visiting Lorraine.  One thing led to another and one day Theresa and Jim stopped by our vineyard in Fowler, California on their way to Ventura.  They stayed with us for a few days and then, on August 10, 1981, we met them in Reno where they were getting married.  I don’t remember specifically everyone that was there but I do remember short-sheeting their bed.

Theresa and Jim became very active in the Moose Lodge and Jim held an office with them.  They had a pretty active social life and they also owned a couple of homes on the coast where they would sometimes go in the summer to escape the valley heat.    Jim died on May 16, 2004 and Theresa has been alone since then.  She is currently living at the Tierra Rose Senior Living Community at 4254 Weathers St. N.E. in Salem, OR 97301.  Her telephone number is 503-851-4844.  Robin visits her every day and takes her out or home for dinner frequently and for holidays.   When she was living at Loop Lane by herself, Rob made a weekly trek down to take care of things and more often if she needed to be taken to the doctor or something.

Robin asked me to mention “that my mother enjoyed camping, fishing, hunting, cake making, and Japanese embroidery or Bunka. She once caught a 25″ 7 1/2 lb German Brown at Wickiup Reservoir and she has a lot of antlers including a big 4 point that she got at Chemult. She made a lot of wedding cakes including mine. I could not have found one that good anywhere else. She also embroidered dozens of Bunka pictures and has a shoebox full of ribbons from State Fairs and other competitions for her work.”

I’d like to add that I have one of her Bunka pictures and I’ve proudly had it on display for about 30 years now.  I remember Theresa playing the clarinet and the Steel and Electric guitar and she did some painting that she learned from dad too.  She always had a lot of talent in anything she tried.  Her cakes were really awesome and sometimes she had more to do than she had time for. 

For many years Theresa was the rock that I tethered to in the family.  She’d lived in the same house since I was in Junior High and had the same telephone number which I knew better than I knew my own.  Once Dolly called me from Perth Australia asking for Theresa’s phone number and I couldn’t believe she didn’t know it.  It was 503-747-9678 and before that it was Riverside 79678.  It never changed. 

Theresa, or Tippy as dad called her, never seemed to get in the petty squabbles that my other sisters engaged in.  She always seemed even-tempered and pleasant to me.  I don’t remember her having any serious disagreements with anyone and she is a good mother and sister.  She’s now the matriarch of the family which is ironic since she was the one that was sick and now she’s outlived everyone else.  Shows the benefits of a good and healthy lifestyle, doesn’t it.

Note: 

This is an addendum to Theresa’s story.  It was in her notes and I misplaced it when I did the original post so I’m adding it here This should have been inserted where Theresa was telling about being with Cindy in Roseburg and getting a call from Don telling her he was sick…

Don went from bad to worse and from doctor to doctor but none could find the problem.  I asked for the head surgeon.  He took x-rays and made tests and said Don needed immediate surgery.  He found cancer in the pancreas and it had spread throughout his abdomen.  They started chemotherapy but it was too advanced.  He died July 18, 1980. 

Don and mom were very close and enjoyed each other.  Their bond was their Indian blood, they were very proud of it.  (They both looked very Indian and could probably have started their own casino just on their looks.)

Last but not least we have a cat, Dirty Harry.  He’s an 8 year old Himalayan with Siamese like coloring, big black bushy tail, dark tiger striped head, black ears, thick hair like a Persian and light cream colored body.  At his shoulder he has a big brown (mink colored) saddle.  He got his name because he has so much hair and plays real rough.

 

 

Thoughts from Dad

May 15, 2011

To My Loved Ones

Samuel P. Ware (early 1950’s)

My children, the thoughts you hold in your mind are just what life will give you, just as sure as when you’re planting a garden.  You plant a row of carrots and that is what will grow.  In your homes try to have plenty of good books, musical instruments and pets for your children. 

Radio cannot be considered as music.  The world’s greatest music is recorded.  We do not get much of that on the radio, rather an untrained voice yacking some senseless ditty.  Thoughts of the world’s greatest
thinkers are recorded too but we don’t get the Philosophers Hour to acquaint us with their thoughts.  No, we get some bright young man that didn’t get through grade school that writes their programs.  To put what he calls interest, suspense and punch in his lines there must be an unhappy marriage, plenty of sobbing and screaming.  Anything evil is what he dishes out.  Lots of gunplay and murder.  America drips with murder, ask the Shadow.  “He knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men.  Har, har, har!”  Today you need the radio all the time for company.  It’s an admission that you are a mental pauper and cannot generate an interesting thought of your own. 

Our newspapers give too much space to crime.  The worse a crime is the more space it gets.  A crime should get no more space than a death listed in the obituary column.  When possible, punish the criminal and let that be the end of it.  Do not keep digging at it and chewing it over for months and years afterward  like the  Gila Monster that lives in the southwest desert that doesn’t have a proper digestive tract.  It retches it’s food
up, picks it over carefully and then eats some of it again.  
People wonder why crimes are increasing.  Children are growing up  in homes where the radio roars most of the time.  Newspapers, magazines and funnies are loaded with crime.  Well, that is what we are planting in young people’s minds.  That is what grows there.  Why plant that kind of thinking if we don’t want that?  This is a free country.  We have pure food laws to keep people from being cheated or poisoned, why not have laws to keep peoples’ minds  from being cheated or poisoned by purveyors of thought? We have plenty of crime without cooking up imaginary  crimes to entertain and poison peoples minds.

NOTE:

This is a writing from Dad and he felt strongly enough about it to write it down so I think it’s something that should be included in Chronospots.  This was from 60 years ago!  Wouldn’t he be dismayed to see the TV, Movies and digital games that entertain today’s children.  It goes to show that the more things change  the more they stay the same and it doesn’t pay to get too upset about it.  I got this in a notebook of writings that my nephew Robin got from his mom, my sister Theresa. 


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