Archive for the ‘Family’ category

A memorable night

August 19, 2018

This memory just happened, and I had to capture it for Chronospots.   Let me set the stage, Patty is 18 and I am 21.  I am working for my brother-in-law, Bob Moody, moving houses and I’m living with Bob and Millie at their house on Riverview Street, on the south side of Hendricks Park hill.  Patty is working at the Cannery and part-time for the Arctic Circle drive-in restaurant and washing cars on the weekend.  Goes without saying that we were both exhausted all the time and were constantly falling asleep on our dates.  Waking up at the Motor Vue Drive-In at 2AM the only car in the lot comes to mind. 

Anyway, Bob and Millie invited us out with them and they took us to the Laurelwood Golf Club where they knew the guy who ran the place for dinner.  The manager was a friend of Bob and Millie and a devotee of Robert Service and he entertained us in the bar with renditions of The Cremation of Sam McGee and the Ballad of Salvation Sam and other poems before dinner.  Then we went in the dining room and had a wonderful dinner with after-dinner drinks, a King Alphonse I believe, which I surreptitiously shared with Patty.  There was a dance band and it was a dream date which Patty and I didn’t want to end but end it did with Millie and Bob taking us back to their house.  Millie and Bob left us alone and went to bed and Patty and I sat on the couch promptly succumbed to our narcoleptic tendencies. 

I woke about 7AM the next morning and immediately knew I’d screwed the pooch, Patty was sleeping peacefully beside me.  I called out to Millie what I’d done, and she was horrified.  I remember her saying that Patty’s folks had probably called the cops and were understandably frantic.  I said it could have been worse, my mother could have come home and caught us. My mother called out from the other bedroom, “I seen you!” 

Well, we ran out of the house and jumped in the car and tore out of there and went to Patty’s brothers place where Patty was staying.  They’re having breakfast and it’s up to me to explain to Freddy why we stayed out all night and he’s smirking at me.  While I’m trying to convince him that Patty’s honor is intact, who should show up but Opie, Patty’s mother.  She wants to know why Patty is in heels and an evening dress at the time of the morning.  Meanwhile I’m trying to blend in with the drapes.  I really can’t remember anything beyond that point, I don’t remember Opie ever noticing me, but I know she must have.

Family history from Eugene Register-Guard posts v1

February 24, 2018

Virginia (Ginny), Theresa, Edith, Mildred (Millie), Dorothy (Dolly), Leona (Cousin), Peter (Pete)


4-11-32 Chicago

6-5-42 Uncle Sam Obit

6-7-31 Frank military


8-26-36 Frank shot

Gabriels Big Adventure

October 25, 2017


We were awakened about 2AM by something and shortly thereafter noticed the motion detector light on the garage was on.  This was a concern because we had a bear get into our garbage just last week and today is garbage day and we have a full container, so I got out of bed and went downstairs to check on it.   Patty had moved my flashlight, so I couldn’t find it, so I turned on the porch light and stepped onto the deck but couldn’t see anything.  Well Patty was ‘concerned’ that I went outside in my skivvies so when the motion light clicked on a half hour later she got up and got dressed to check it out.  I got up too and put on a robe and slippers in case I had to run down and do battle with a bear.   Patty retrieved the flashlight from where she had hidden it and shone it down into the yard and illuminated a skunk.   So, this is my life.  Robin and Karen, my nephew and his wife, live in Salem and have a nice house with bluebirds, canaries and chickadees feeding at hanging feeders and we get buzzards, bears and skunks. 

I guess one reason we were awake was that Gabriel, our grandson, joined the Navy through the Delayed Enlistment Program yesterday and I was thinking about when I had done the same thing almost 60 years ago.   He will be trained as a Hospital Corpsman and had to sign up for 5 years because of the training.  When I signed up it was for 3 years on a Kiddy Cruise, which means in at 18 out at 21, although I was extended because of the crisis with the Soviet Union over the Berlin Wall being built.  Anyway, I was thinking about how that had changed my life and what an exciting change it was for me.  Now I get to experience it all again through Gabriel’s eyes.  I’ve never been to Great Lakes Recruit Training Center because, at that time, people in the western US went to San Diego but now the NTC there is closed.   But Basic Training is the same old bullshit.  A lot of screaming, calisthenics, jumping off a 12’ tower and swimming the length of the pool, being put in a building and having it set on fire, being put in another building and being gassed…good times!  Once he finishes that, about 8 weeks, he’ll be sent to San Antonio for his class ‘A’ school as a corpsman.  That will be 19 weeks and that means he’ll be there in the winter.  I went to Lackland AFB in San Antonio in the winter for NCOIC school in the Air Force.  I was stationed in Denver, Colorado at the time and I flew in for the training that was recommended for senior NCOs.  I’ve never been so cold!  I bought a coat that I still have that I call my winter coat.  Well, Gabriel will have a pea coat I’m sure. 

Gabe has been told that he’ll get a ‘C’ school to get additional training after his ’A’ school, but I’m worried about that.  He could get trained as a Combat Medic, X-Ray tech, Pharmacy Tech or any number of specialties but I imagine that will be based on the needs of the Navy and how well he does in school.  But maybe, since he had to enlist for an extra year, the Navy won’t play games with him and he’ll get the training.  Anyway, having spent my final years in recruiting, I believe in the service and that it is a viable option in personal development and a good way to decide what to do with your life.  He’ll get some training and have the GI Bill when he gets out.  He’ll be 23 years old and not too old to go to college and earn a college degree.  I tried to talk him out of it but really, I’m fine with what he’s decided to do.   And I’m sure he’ll have stories to tell.

So, Patty and I never got back to sleep.  We read for a little while then turned off the light but our brains were going a mile-a-minute so we just laid there and talked.  We’ll probably get tired sometime today but for right now we’re wide awake.  But while we’re talking about reading, I do have a gem to share.  It’s Origin by Dan Brown.  It’s a great read and completely factual or plausible as are all his books.   You can bet that Tom Hanks and Ron Howard are planning a blockbuster right now but don’t wait for it.  Buy the book!


March 7, 2016


B:  September 24, 1924Woburn, MA     D: February 25, 2016




 My sister,  Theresa, died on February 25th at Tierra Rose Nursing Home in Salem.  She was 91 years old and had been suffering with Alzheimer’s for the last several years.  She has been cremated and there will be a Memorial Service in her honor on March 19th at 1:PM at the Golden Funeral Home at 605 Commercial St SE in Salem.  She is survived by her son, Robin N. Koepl, his wife Karen and their children Lisel, Devin and Brian.   The minister for the service will be Bob Weinberger.  Robin requests that any donations be made to The Alzheimer’s Association<>

The links above are to her family tree on Geni (1), her story that she wrote on Chronospots (2) and the story of our family which she also wrote, on Chronospots (3).   Thankfully she took the time to write about her memories, at Robin’s urging, or a big slice of our family history would have been lost.  Many of her friends and family members will be together for the first time in years to honor Theresa.  

Here’s a copy of her obituary:  

Theresa May (Ware) Johnson   (1924 – 2016) Obituary

September 24, 1924 –  February 25, 2016

Theresa Johnson passed away peacefully on February 25, 2016 at Tierra Rose Care Center in Salem. Theresa’s life revolved around family and friends. Beloved by family, she had an easy-going, even-tempered demeanor with the ability to get along with everyone, loved animals and babies and had a quirky sense of humor, delighting in playing pranks. 

Born in Woburn, Massachusetts, her family moved to Springfield in 1932. She attended Brattain Elementary School and Springfield High School, where she played clarinet in the band, graduating in 1943. In high school Theresa began working for the railroad on the first women’s crew, pulling up track between Eugene and Springfield. She earned enough money as a welder in the shipyards on Swan Island to attend U of O for one year studying art. After working as a telephone switchboard operator for five years, she spent the remainder of her life as a homemaker. 

Theresa hunted and fished, canned vegetables from her garden, and baked bread and pastries. Her artistic flair is evident in the cakes she baked and decorated, floral arrangements, crafts (beading & ribbon roses) and Japanese “bunka” embroidery which she both taught and exhibited in fairs, winning many blue ribbons. She enjoyed traveling to visit family members, spending time at her second home in Florence, playing her lap steel guitar, and was active in the Springfield Moose Lodge, serving as senior regent in theWomen of the Moose. Her final years were spent at Dallas Retirement Village and Rosewood Court Residential Care in Salem. 

Theresa was preceded in death by her parents, Samuel and Effie Ware; her siblings, Edythe Heintz, Virginia “Ginny” Thompson, Mildred “Millie” Moody, Pete Ware, Dorothy “Dolly” Sweeney and Naomi “Omi” Murphy; and husbands, Aloyisus Koepl, Donald Redfield and George “Jim” Johnson. 

She is survived by her brother, Frank “Jack” (Patty) Ware and son, Robin (Karen) Koepl, three grandchildren, Lisel, Devin and Brian, and many nieces and nephews. 

A gathering of family and friends will be held at Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service, 605 Commercial St. SE, Salem, at 1:00 pm on Saturday, March 19. Donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association .

A selection of pictures pertaining to Theresa and her life are included here.  Anyone wanting to contribute pictures or comments for this posting please submit them to me at and I will gladly add them to this post.  Here’s a link to other family pictures on Chronospots:  <>


Theresa's Wedding

Theresa’s Wedding

Smokin Outhouse

December 29, 2014

THE THREE BARES by Robert William Service

Ma tried to wash her garden slacks but couldn’t get em clean And so she thought she’d soak ’em in a bucket o’ benzine. It worked all right. She wrung ’em out then wondered what she’d do With all that bucket load of high explosive residue. She knew that it was dangerous to scatter it around, For Grandpa liked to throw his lighted matches on the ground. Somehow she didn’t dare to pour it down the kitchen sink, And what the heck to do with it, poor Ma jest couldn’t think.

Then Nature seemed to give the clue, as down the garden lot She spied the edifice that graced a solitary spot, Their Palace of Necessity, the family joy and pride, Enshrined in morning-glory vine, with graded seats inside; Jest like that cabin Goldylocks found occupied by three, But in this case B-E-A-R was spelt B-A-R-E—- A tiny seat for Baby Bare, a medium for Ma, A full-sized section sacred to the Bare of Grandpapa.

Well, Ma was mighty glad to get that worry off her mind, And hefting up the bucket so combustibly inclined, She hurried down the garden to that refuge so discreet, And dumped the liquid menace safely through the centre seat.

Next morning old Grandpa arose; he made a hearty meal, And sniffed the air and said: `By Gosh! how full of beans I feel. Darned if I ain’t as fresh as paint; my joy will be complete With jest a quiet session on the usual morning seat; To smoke me pipe an’ meditate, an’ maybe write a pome, For that’s the time when bits o’ rhyme gits jiggin’ in me dome.’

He sat down on that special seat slicked shiny by his age, And looking like Walt Whitman, jest a silver-whiskered sage, He filled his corn-cob to the brim and tapped it snugly down, And chuckled: `Of a perfect day I reckon this the crown.’ He lit the weed, it soothed his need, it was so soft and sweet: And then he dropped the lighted match clean through the middle seat.

His little grand-child Rosyleen cried from the kichen door: `Oh, Ma, come quick; there’s sompin wrong; I heared a dreffel roar; Oh, Ma, I see a sheet of flame; it’s rising high and higher… Oh, Mummy dear, I sadly fear our comfort-cot’s caught fire.’

Poor Ma was thrilled with horror at them words o’ Rosyleen. She thought of Grandpa’s matches and that bucket of benzine; So down the garden geared on high, she ran with all her power, For regular was Grandpa, and she knew it was his hour. Then graspin’ gaspin’ Rosyleen she peered into the fire, A roarin’ soarin’ furnace now, perchance old Grandpa’s pyre….

But as them twain expressed their pain they heard a hearty cheer—- Behold the old rapscallion squattinn’ in the duck pond near, His silver whiskers singed away, a gosh-almighty wreck, Wi’ half a yard o’ toilet seat entwined about his neck….

He cried: `Say, folks, oh, did ye hear the big blow-out I made? It scared me stiff – I hope you-uns was not too much afraid? But now I best be crawlin’ out o’ this dog-gasted wet…. For what I aim to figger out is—-WHAT THE HECK I ET?’

 Smokin outhouse

OK, I came across this ditty from my old pal Robt. Service and I realized I must have saved it because of a thing I did when I was a kid. We had an old relic of a car in the back field, I think it was a Model ‘T’, and I was playing in it and found to my surprise and delight that it still had gas in the tank. Being the enterprising youngster that I was, I figured out how to siphon that gas out into a bucket. As I remember, it took more than one bucket.

Anyway, now that I had the buckets full of gas, what to do with it? I couldn’t let it go to waste and I probably didn’t want to bring it to anyone’s attention what I had done. I looked around and spotted the outhouse that was only 20 or 30 yards away. Well, what better use? It was smelly and had bugs in it and who knows what else. So I hauled the buckets over and poured them down the hole. Didn’t seem enough. Those dang bugs and stuff were already surviving some pretty frightful conditions and some gas fumes probably weren’t going to bother them much. Well, I bet if I threw a match in there it would make a difference! So, I snuck into the house and found some stick matches and ran back to the outhouse.

When I threw that match into the hole there was a tremendous ‘whoosh’ and I fell back into the field as a huge column of black, greasy smoke billowed out of the outhouse and covered the neighborhood. I asked Mildred Hardenbrook, who lived behind us, about five years ago- she was about 90 then, if she remembered that and she said, “Oh, yes! I remember!”

I thought that darn fire would go on forever! It took hours to burn out and all that time it stunk and created a terrible spectacle and I just wanted it to be over with. I do think it took care of those pesky bugs and whatnot though.

It was a very good year~2014

December 25, 2014

  I’ve gotten a little lazy in the last couple of years.  I haven’t kept up my blog, Chronospots, as I should and haven’t put together a Christmas Card and family update as I have in past years.  About 30 years, I think.  So, I’m feeling a little guilty about that and decided that I would kill two birds with one stone and do this.    This being a years-end newsletter and a blog posting together. 

To start off, Patty and I went to Hawaii and Oahu last November (big surprise) and had a great time.  We actually left the end of October and got back about mid-November.  Then we went back to Maui and Oahu from February 7th until March 3rd.  We did our usual whale watch thing with the Pacific Whale Foundation and had about 2 ½ weeks at the Ka’anapali Beach Resort and then about a week at The Hale Koa at Waikiki before catching a hop home.  The only fly in the ointment was that we flew over on Hawaiian Airlines and left our car at Travis AFB because we were coming home on an Air Force cargo plane.  But they changed the rules on us and since we weren’t flying out on a hop, we weren’t able to leave our car in short-term parking and had to leave it in the BX parking lot instead.  We were gone a month and I worried that something would happen to the car the whole time.  We had talked to the Security Police about it and they said they couldn’t promise anything but that it should be OK.  I worried about it anyway. 

 Happy Hour @ Ka'anapali Beach Resort -2 IMG_3873

Patty@ Ka’anapali Beach Resort        

 IZ on the Bose, Mimosas in the jug  and Jack’s toes  waiting on  the sunset  

Then, in April, Patty went to Salt Lake City with some of her genealogy buddies and had a great time talking about and searching for dead people in the Mormon Library for a week.  Patty has proven 17 ancestors that served in the Revolutionary War so far.  She has another 5 in the works.  She is the Registrar for the Crater Lake Branch of DAR and is also a member of The Mayflower Society.  I guess she’s shooting for her own regiment in the Revolutionary War. 

She got back from Utah and spent about a week with me before heading to Seattle on the 18th of April where she spent some time on Patos Island getting it ready for the tourist season and also spent some time with Susan.  She came home on the 24th.  It seems like she can only take me for a few weeks at a time.  I can understand that and I don’t blame her.  Who wants to be around an old man in his 70’s?  I wasn’t that easy to take when I was in my 30’s.  

Patos 2 2014

Anyway, we went to Kala Point on one of our quarterly weeks on May 9th and had a good week there with pleasant weather and then hurried home to host The Magnificent Seven which is(are?) six of Patty’s Springfield High School classmates from the class of ’62.  (That’s 1962.)   We had a great time with them and took in the Oregon Cabaret’s production of the SHS 10 year reunion.   Also drank some wine and beer (what a bunch of hosers!)

Best @ Caldera

@ Caldera Brewery Restaurant (Vicky is missing)






Patty went back to Hell’s Canyon with some of her Forest Service friends from May 30 to June 9th.  They had to boat in from Idaho on the Snake River and spent about a week building trail and cairns.


Again, she was home less than a week and then left for The San Juan’s again.  She spent another week working on several islands including Lopez, Patos and Shaw. 

 Patty has volunteered with The Children’s Festival in Jacksonville for several years and this year she dragged Samuel along with her.  He went because he needed the Community Volunteer hours for graduation but when he got there he found some of his friends and classmates so I think he enjoyed it.  I know Patty liked having him there to help out and I understand he was a big help.

On July 31st Patty drove down to Reno with the Magnificent Seven to celebrate Vickie and Lyle’s 50th Anniversary and enjoy Hot August Nights.  Patty caught a ride in her brother Scotty’s ’69 Camero. 

Reno 2014 3 Scotty's Camero

 Back to Patos for another week of clean-up and frivolity.  Again, Patty took Samuel with her and again, I think he enjoyed it even if he was stuck with Grandma and her friends. 

 Patty & Sam  2~ Patos, Aug 2014 Gang of Orcas Patos Is.

Patty & Sam on a paddleboard

Gang of Orcas @ Patos



In September we were visited by Tom & Sheryl Cray, a cousin that Patty didn’t even know until they met up online looking for mutual ancestors.  As a matter of fact, Patty has found quite a few cousins that way.  They flew out from Chester Iowa where Tom is the mayor and owns an insurance company.  We took them to Crater Lake and to the Oregon Cabaret.  Then, at the end of September, Patty flew up to Seattle to meet Susan and start their third European Adventure together.  As usual it was meticulously planned by Susan and all Patty had to do was show up.   They started off in Venice, just a few days after Clooney’s wedding so they missed him.  I’m sure he was disappointed but c’est la vie. 

Venice selfie 4Canal in Borano

Selfie on the Grand Canal                                   Canal @ Borano


From there they went to the Loire Valley in France where Susan had booked some fantastic accommodations and a hot-air balloon ride over the valley.

Balloon over Loire Valley   OK, that may not have been where they stayed but it was in the neighborhood.






They finished up in Iceland before heading home.

Blue LagoonBlue Lagoon





When Patty got home from Europe, we hung around for about a week and then we went back to Kala Point for a week and got back the first of November.  The thing that was special about that was that the fall colors were at their peak on the peninsula while we were there and they were just peaking in Ashland when we got home. 

At the end of November we headed south again to catch a flight back to Hawaii.  We had a week booked at Bellows AFS on the windward side of Oahu and then a week at the Hale Koa at Waikiki

Patty @ Bellows 3 IMG_4216

Patty catching the sunrise @ Bellows AFS

Honolulu Hale (City Hall)




Well, that’s the year for the super self-indulgent Ware’s.  In past years, the Card/newsletter has been mostly about the rest of the family.  We’re getting selfish in our old age.  However, we are extremely proud of all our kids and their accomplishments so bear with me for a little longer. 

Traci is very busy as an Educational Assistant in the Ashland schools and libraries.  She seems to have all the work she wants and is in constant demand.  She keeps very busy with her crafts and scrapbooking and is totally devoted to Samuel and Gabriel.  Rene has a full schedule at Southern Oregon University and works weekends on Master’s Programs off campus and out of town.  During the summer he teaches Master’s Programs at Copenhagen Business School and usually gets in a lot of travelling too.  Sometimes he teaches in Guanajuato,  Mexico.  This year they are all travelling to Naga City to visit family after he gets back from Denmark.  Samuel is planning on pursuing an engineering degree at Oregon State University so we’ll be rooting for the Beavers (except when they’re playing the Ducks (we do that anyway).  And Gabriel will be in his Sophomore year at Ashland High School.  He’s very close to becoming an Eagle Scout and still helps out at the Medford Train Park during summer weekends.  I’m sure Patty will be after him to help out with her volunteer activities now that Samuel has escaped her clutches. 

Susan and Kai are both still working at Microsoft (and I hope they always will be since I think it’s the greatest place on the planet to work).  I don’t know what they do but it’s very technical and complicated and they’re always going off somewhere on business.  They’re both Program Managers which doesn’t explain anything.  Kai’s actually with CompuCom Systems, Inc. but that’s under Microsoft.  Of course Kai is also heavily involved with several bands of a totally eclectic mix.  The Bucharest Drinking Team, The Debaucherauntes, Shiplosion and this summer he toured the East Coast with a group called DAMA/LIBRA.  

That’s it.  Thanks for sticking with me through this long (sorry) posting.  If I’d been more diligent about posting it wouldn’t have been so long. 

A Girl Named Sue

September 8, 2014

1983 Estacada

A girl named Sue

Let me tell you a story about a girl named Sue

Never would do what her parents told her to

Dropped out of school and out of college too

Wouldn’t clean her room (seen better lairs in a zoo)!


She ate junk food and listened to Aerosmith

Palled around with friends that gave her poor dad fits

Then one day she said she’d had enough

Couldn’t stand her parents and packed up all her stuff.


She left her mom and dad, such sweet and gentle souls

And went into the world to see what her future holds

Her only talent appeared to be her skill at video games

A very promising future in the gamers “Hall of Fame”.


Well, to make this short she landed on her feet

And found the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet

Although he is a drummer in a hard rock band

He also has a job and in the house he gives a hand.


Sue went to work for a guy named Bill

Himself a dropout so he held her no ill will

She makes a lot of money, way more than her parents do

Although they’ve worked and trained for more than a decade or two.


Now she eats fruits and veggies, her and her vegan friend

And they have their own house to clean, keep up and mend

She has a big fat mortgage, insurance and taxes too

She’s now part of the system,  Who’d have thought it?  Poor Sue!


The perfect end to this story, and it tickles me to think

If SHE had a willful daughter that drove her to the brink

Her perfect mom and dad would watch with hidden glee

And Sue would ask for our advice, which we always give for free!


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