Saturday, July 11, 2015

Elizabeth Busch

 by June T. Bassemir

Elizabeth Busch born (ca) b.1880 was the youngest daughter in a large family of six children – four brothers and one sister Anna, who was my maternal grandmother.  The ages spanned from Anna to Ed, the youngest.  He was only two or three years older than my mother.  But this is to speak of Elizabeth Busch fourth in line.  She was a single grand aunt of mine who was not given outwardly to expressing her love with kisses or praise.  Perhaps this was due to the disappointment of love she suffered while still a young girl.  [A question: When deep love is lost early in life either by death or divorce, does it follow, that that person finds it hard to give again the same unconditional love to another?  Maybe so... to avoid being hurt again.]

When she was only about nineteen she was engaged to be married to John Weeks but before the ceremony took place, he died of some disease that was going around in the early 1900’s.  It was very sad and a blow to be mourned and remembered.   It was probably that tragedy that drove her to a nursing career.  She worked on the 9th floor of an upscale department store in Newark, NJ called Bamberger’s.  In those days the ninth floor was an Infirmary, not only for employees but for customers too.   Miss Busch was well liked and was chosen to be the nurse in attendance, when each of the four Bamberger children were born.   [This was common family history but the Internet says that Louis Bamberger was a shy man that never married.  The mystery remains...whose children were they?  There is no one left to ask.]  

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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Peace Pipes, Battle Axes, War Clubs

by Delores Miller

 The Potawatomi Indians  resided in the Township of Dupont (Wisconsin)  from 1863-1940.  Eighty acres of land in sections 26 and 27.  The name Chap-au-dack was on the title, who, legend says was the son of Chief Waupaca.   The 1870 census of Dupont lists Chapuadock, squaw, children Keekepa, Micheline, Cheeone, Joseph, John, Souqua, his squaw.  Other Indians were listed, so there must have been a large village located in Dupont, with neighbors of Elsworth, Witt, Quimby, DeVaud and Palmer.  After John Shopodock died in 1940 the land was sold to the late William and Minnie Schoneck.  The Shopodock  log and frame homes slowly settled into dust.

Legend says that Chap-au-dack or Shopodock's English name was Sam Wapuka or Chief Waupaca.  Sam had two wives, an Indian squaw and a red-haired white woman.  From these he had many children, including two sons whose names were Shopodock and Hangkoot.

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Three Widowers In My Life

by June Tuthill Bassemir

At the present time, there are three widowers in my life.  

One is an old H S. boy friend. One is a bit older whose parents rented a cottage of my father’s. The third is another H. S. classmate from Spanish class. 

My communication with each one of them is not known to the other two and I might add we are all Octogenarians.  Driving to the East end of LI is no longer an option for the first two, so our communication is by telephone or the US post.  Neither feels they can overcome the learning process of joining the email generation, justifying their objections to their extreme love of the telephone and the mailman.   The third is email literate but... just barely, sending a love note from Texas now and again.

The H.S. boyfriend worked in the television industry when IT and he were young, so he was more “people” oriented than “hobby” oriented which puts anyone in the later years of life at a disadvantage.   For the last few years, we have enjoyed dining at the various restaurants here on the “East End” of LI. and there are many good places to eat.  However, due to doctor appointments, he ran out of steam before we ran out of restaurants and now he can’t make the 65 mile Toyota journey to Jamesport.  I miss his company and the lobster dinners ...  I clip articles from the local newspaper showing the different places where we have been and that keeps his spirits up.  He follows the Yankee ball games with devotion and I share the joy and excitement of seeing the ball get whacked out of park too...wondering if they will play in the World Series.. yet again.  He is single handedly paying my mail lady’s salary with numerous cards and letters sent weekly, sealed with multiple stickers that he gets for free from those organizations to whom he donates money.

The second widower has been to visit me just once when he came with one of his daughters after an absence of no communication for over 50 years.  He has been invaluable sharing his practical knowledge and advice with the things needing attention around my house.  In exchange for this, I send him essays and stories of our younger days that he reads while sitting in his open garage, facing the activity on the street in front of him.  As a young husband he was in the construction business, (when he wasn’t in bed) and built seven buildings interspersed with giving his wife seven reasons to visit the maternity ward at the local hospital.  He jokes that he never had enough money to go bowling.  When he lived in my Dad’s cottage as a boy, my romantic interest in him was non existent because his family was of the strong Catholic persuasion and I was of the strong Protestant persuasion.  My parental advice was not to marry a Catholic as the Priest would be in the bedroom with us and this vision of course, limited my list of potential boyfriends and a husband.  Now the residue of our upbringing doesn’t matter anymore except if we discuss the Presidential candidates and we try to sidestep that subject while chatting on the phone.

The last friend from the Spanish Class, emails heartfelt expressions of long lost love that he has been nursing for lo these many many years.  I never accepted a date with him although he would ask each time the class was dismissed and we both reached the exit door at the same time.  I dreaded the moment the class was over and often hung back as long as I could, but then he would too.  He came to the 40th and the 50th Class reunions all the way from Mexico where he fled after High School to marry a Mexican woman and sire three kids. He obviously did much better in Spanish class than I did.  He now lives in TX with a son and I am trying to keep his brain active.  He is pleading with me for my phone number to be able to call at Christmas time.  He says that he calls all his friends at that time to explain all his health problems that he’s had during the year.  I’m not eager to hear that as it seems to me to be an unproductive waste of breath but I did give my three digit area phone number.  I told him he has to work for the other seven digits in a little whimsical exercise that I gave him... I also said the rule was that if he called he couldn’t discuss any medical problems and I wouldn’t talk about mine.  Since the end of August he has yet to decipher my phone number hidden in this sentence.....  “Seven too too small Pygmy men, for years ate seven won derful donuts”.  See if you can figure it out.  Of course, if the other half of his brain were active he would be able to get my phone number and any body else’s phone number by calling 411 with the name and address.  Actually there may be another reason he is not anxious to break the code of my small quiz and that is he won’t have anything to talk about.

So much for life here in Jamesport – written by the 11th direct descendant of John Tuthill who landed on LI in Southold in 1640 along with 12 other English families.

copyright June T. Bassemir, 2014

 June Tuthill Bassemir is the widowed mother of four and grandmother of 10.  An artist and writer, she  volunteers as a docent in a 1765 farm house.   June loves old cars and antiques, and has also enjoyed furniture stripping and rug hooking.  "I used to say I was a stripper and hooker.but with so many trips around the sun, no one raises an eyebrow anymore. They only laugh."  June has given up furniture stripping, but is still an avid rug hooker.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

What Will They Think?

by Jackie Welsh

     The First Methodist Church of Dellrose, Tennessee, was an imposing, old brick edifice that stood next door to the small, white frame house where Mama and Papa Meeks lived.  It was just a very few feet away; so close, in fact, that if a person was feeling a bit out-of-sorts and not much in the mood to sit through one of Brother Tomlin’s Sunday sermons, he’d better make sure he stayed out of sight because everybody in town would know it was a case of just being plumb ornery.  You could also be assured that speculation as to the cause of it would be the topic of a good deal of the morning’s conversations.  Now I’m not saying that that’s the reason my grandparents were so faithful in attendance at the church, but then, it didn’t hurt either.

     That old church was an important part of their lives and to ours, when we children would go to visit.  It’s next to impossible to think of a visit to Dellrose that didn’t include some memory of the church.  Why, some of life’s most memorable occasions actually took place within those hallowed walls.

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Jackie Welsh was born and raised in Fayetteville, Tennessee and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in English.  She married her high school sweetheart and had almost forty years together before he passed away the first day of 2004.  They raised three children and Jackie now has nine grandchildren.  Just this past February  Jackie became the great grandmother of a beautiful baby girl.  Jackie says she has always loved story telling and enjoys writing stories from her memories to give to her family.  She also writes poetry.  Jackie divides her time between Williamsburg, Virginia and the east coast of Florida.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Those of us in the business of the word gather magnificent companions. That is, we make friends with those with whom we are constantly in communication or communion–the writers we read. For we tend to do more than read their works–listen to their side of the conversation. We observe them, go behind their backs to converse with others about them, travel around to see where they have been. It makes no matter if our friends are alive or dead–I dare say, most are legally dead. But to us they are alive and very much parts of our lives.

I have a friend–alive, tangible, still making his physical way on earth–who became enamored of Jane Austen. I do not know what it is about her, but he went so far as to become a member of the Jane Austen society. To me he seems well acquainted with her, having read her novels multiple times and knowing something about her environment. If she were a contemporary movie star, we might see him on the news arrested for stalking her. But she is dead, so he is free to go through whatever of her refuse he can find. Not long ago, he went to the society’s annual national convention and came back humbled: how little he knew about Jane. Compared to her other friends at the affair, he was a mere acquaintance. Those others really knew her. The color of her eyes; one cannot learn that from that one silhouette representation of her in Winchester Cathedral, but the close friends of Jane knew the color.

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Clarence Wolfshohl is professor emeritus of English at William Woods University. He has published  both creative and scholarly writing in small press and academic journals.  He is a member of AAPA and operates El Grito del Lobo Press.  A native Texan, Wolfshohl now lives with his writing, two dogs and one cat in a nine-acre woods outside of Fulton, Missouri.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


by Sandy Gurev

On a blustery December night in Rochester, New York in 1979 my husband and I headed to the Rochester International Airport.  We planned on meeting with other members of our synagogue, Temple Sinai, to greet a Laotian family whose father had escaped after six years in a Vietnamese concentration camp and rejoined with his wife and six children at a refugee camp in Thailand.
Our small group came prepared with shopping bags of coats, boots, mittens, scarves and hats to fit two adults and six children ranging in age between fourteen and six.  Our synagogue sponsored the family.  Our commitment entailed finding an apartment for them on a bus line, providing furniture and kitchen ware, enrolling the children in school, and obtaining Medicaid and Aid to Dependent Families, helping them to find jobs, enrolling them in English language classes and providing friendship.  It was a tall order but we had such a large group of enthusiastic volunteers willing to share the responsibilities.

We were told that the family would be arriving from a refugee camp in Thailand where they had lived for 1-2 years.  Since we anticipated them arriving in lightweight clothing not suitable for Upstate New York winters, we were ready for them with the warm outer clothing.  Much to our surprise they came off the plane fully dressed for snowy weather.  We later learned that the Jewish Federation outfitted them during a flight stopover in San Francisco.  It was the first of many surprises.


 Sandy Gurev is a wife of fifty-one years and mother of two sons and four grandchildren.  Sandy was an elementary school counselor prior to retiring to Williamsburg, VA nine year's ago from Rochester, NY. Her volunteer work includes providing lunch to cancer patients and fitting women with wigs after they have lost their hair.  Playing competitive duplicate bridge and belonging to two book clubs rounds out her time.  Within the past two years she has written a memoir for her grandchildren and a couple of articles for the American Amateur Press Association. Sandy found that writing helped to reduce her perception of pain while she was awaiting back surgery.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Oldtimers Hometown

© Lini Richarda Grol

It is a picture pretty village
down in the valley, with a few sedate stores
garages,and old banks,
and lately as a brave attempt
to elegance with fancy suburbs
for the hotshots, you know
from the big city.

But the heart of the old town
still has a dozens of simply
lovely old homes
for everyday folks.
Hard working people
the likes of you and me.

And yes there are galore
men and women ‘s clubs
and a dozen of train buffs
who gather every so often
just to let of steam
and dream their impossible dream
while fondly watching
their littlie trains circling
the tracks leading no where.

He chuckled softly adding
“ Like some of us
racing all our life and going nowhere grand,
but who are simply content
in finding joy in life itself.

He paused and dreamily smiled,
then threw at me adamant:
Well. ..and why not?

Lini Richarda Grol  is a Canadian from the Netherlands and a  life member of the Canadian Authors Asssociation, The Ptofessional Women Writers and of Poetry Societies.  She belongs to the Anmerican Amateur Journalists  and was for 2 years their  Poet Laureate.  Her scissor cuts,  stories and poems are  in  books and periodicals in Canada and abroad.  Lini has been interviewed on television in the Netherlands, Canada and the United States. She received the Canadian Authors Award from the Canada Club for her World War II Novel, “Liberation 1944-45.”  Her poems have been broadcast to schools and general audiences in Canada.  Lini’s book, “Lelawala,” is based on Canadian American Indian folktale.  It was made into a ballet and premiered at the Glen Gould Studio in Toronto.