Monday, November 30, 2015

1975 Roberta's India Letter -Nov.30

Nov. 30, 1975
Dear Family ––

Hi!  It's only 6:15 AM but the sounds of the city below woke me up so I thought it a good time to do some writing.

I had a great time in Darjeeling – it is known for its tea.  We (a Canadian girl I met there) walked around a good deal – we saw a tea estate where the ladies were picking the leaves & putting them into big straw baskets on their backs.  We did NOT go to Tiger Hill – because you go there to see this fantastic view & the entire time we were there it was very foggy!  We went to what is called the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center – there you could see everyone busy at work – metalworkers, weavers, etc.  Also there is a community kitchen where all the food is fixed for some 700 people!

I also went to my 1st Indian movie – it wasn't a good movie – but it only cost 25¢!  Called "What a Lovely War" – about World War I.

The bus trip back was as bad as the one there.  In fact I can now say I got sick in India – going from Darjeeling to Siliguri I was in a jeep – packed full it would have held 11 people – but there were 17 people, 2 chickens & a few pieces of luggage – that did not fit on top.  I picked this time to get car sick!  The mountains were something else!  Darjeeling is some 7,000 feet above sea level.  When I got to Siliguri I had about 2 hours to wait on my bus back to Calcutta – so I tried to get my stomach in order again.  Drank some hot tea & had some bread.  I had a very uncomfortable trip back but was not sick again!

Arriving in Calcutta I took a tram (.20p.) – about 3¢ to the Y.W.C.A. – where I found out my room had been filled & also all beds full.  They had taken in a group of 20 or so – so my reservation went out the window.  I called the Salvation Army hostel – they referred me to their  new Salvation Army Hostel for Women.  It's new – not the building.  I consider myself lucky to be here – 10 rupees for bed & good breakfast.  Dorm style – I am in a room w/ 4 other girls – 1 a nurse from France, 2 students from Thailand & 1 an airline stewardess from a small town about 200 miles away.  Last night she came in from a flight & brought us all back candy –cotton, pens, etc. – compliments of Indian Airlines!

We have a bath-tub here – only cold water but you can buy a bucket of hot water for 50p. (6¢) I considered that a bargain.  Took my 1st bath in 2 weeks!

Last night I had dinner w/ Banergee's [Bombay host] cousin here in Calcutta.  He is a Botany prof. at the Calcutta Univ. – just got back this last summer from spending 5 years in Australia teaching.  He is married & has the cutest 7-year-old daughter.  Also his father (more on him later) & his sister (23 years old) was there.  It was a very enjoyable evening.  Their English was good – just the accent a little different.

As to the grandfather – he reads palms & wanted to do mine. 1st he said I had had a minor operation about a year ago as concerned w/ my stomach – but no good results came from it.  He went on to say that in 4 years I will have another operation as to the stomach & I will be in the hospital 3 weeks – I asked him several questions – one about Catherine & he said she has not been getting along w/ her husband – that they will lead their own lives & that in 2 years Catherine will remarry. He said I will be married at about 33 years old, have 3 children & that the 1st will die at birth.  I asked him about Grandma – he said she will live at least 2 more years – have alot of pain & trouble w/ legs – but will be good mentally & physically (except for legs).  He said I will like India alot & will hate to leave, that I like to travel & meet new people.  His English was very good & I tried to write down everything he said when I got home – so we'll see how it all comes out.  [Can't say about Roberta's stomach operations but can add that Roberta got married at age 32, Catherine remarried in one year, correct about Grandma living at least 2 years – she lived an additional 18 years. Roberta's love for traveling and meeting new people seem obvious.]

I had only talked to Mr. Chakrabacki [the cousin?]  a short time last week before going to Darjeeling.  Next week I am to go out again for supper & also to see the Univ. & visit one of his classes.

The meal was really something – started off w/ soup – then tomatoes, cucumber, onions, & radishes, fried rice w/ prawns (like shrimp) a meat dish – w/ goat meat, potatoes, sweet & sour mangoes (excellent), and for dessert yogurt & 2 "sweets."  The yogurt was also delicious!

As to the Zakhani's [?] – they are still busy w/ after wedding festivities – I stopped by their office & got your letter yesterday Dad – written the 20th of Nov.  They said that there had been another letter but it got lost in all the excitement of the wedding.  Thanks anyway for the letter – I also enjoyed the articles – what a contrast – $4000 dinner vs pork & beans. I was glad to get the latest shop news – I know JB was happy to get home – was he in good or bad spirits about his safe?  What did he do with his stamps?

As to stamps – please send me lots of U.S. stamps to Bombay.  I made a BIG mistake as to bringing U.S. coins here – everyone is afraid to take them – they say that should their house be raided & the coins found they will be in serious trouble.  Right now what is called Emergency measures are happening in India.  I don't understand it too much but I know for a fact that there are uniformed police EVERYWHERE!  On every bus, every train car, every street corner – I don't mean just 1 – but several police together everywhere.  I also understand there are lots of un-uniformed police.  There is a terrible Black market here for $ – every time I walk down the street I am told I can get a good rate for my $ (much better than the Banks),  But I do stick with the banks – safe in the long run.  Also you must show your exchange slips from the bank at all hotels, and also I'm told when you make a purchase for any amount at all in a store.

I leave tonight at 8:00 pm for Puri – just 300 miles away but a 13 hour train ride.  I'll be going 2nd class – guess the main difference is in the bathrooms.  I have reserved a sleeper – that cost 3 Rupees extra – I do enjoy certain luxuries –

I'm actually beginning to like Calcutta – I find that hard to believe myself.  When I 1st got here –– I thought that the ghettos of NYC would look good to me!  But now I am meeting girls here at the hostel & have called upon several people I met at the wedding.  I'm learning the trams & am better located now than at the Y.W.C.A  I'm w/in 2 blocks of the Oberoi Grand Hotel – also near Dalhousie Square.  There is a tram stop right in front of the hostel – which by the way occupies the 2nd & 3rd floors of the building.  You know the 1st floor here is always 1 flight up!

I've even been thinking of cutting my time short in Puri to come back to Calcutta earlier.  As planned now I will be back in Calcutta the 7th to 11th of December.  I imagine I would not be able to get new reservations (as to changing sooner) to Calcutta from Puri.  Puri is suppose to be very nice – also alot of nice side trips – to Kanarak [Konark] & Bhubanershar [Bhubaneswar]. I'm leaving alot of my things here at the hostel – locked up – my heavy clothes, extra film, etc.  If I never wear my heavy underwear again – I'll still be glad I had it in Darjeeling – I had on 5 layers (minimum) of clothes on all the time there!

Tonight a family I met at the wedding will come after me at 4:00 – I'm to go to their house for dinner & then on to the R.R. station.  They have 5 children – boy 18 collects stamps – I gave him JB's address.

I have seen jacks here – called 5 stones – they are plastic – made here in India.  Sell for about 5 rupees (60¢)

I also met a lawyer & his family at the wedding – was over at their house (HA – flat!) yesterday.  His office is in his bedroom – or vice versa.  He is young – only been practicing for 5 years – He hopes to buy his wife a small stove someday.

I have not been to Zakhanis but once – as they ask me too many questions.  How much $ I have w/me, how much $ I have at home in the bank, how much my father makes, how much Dr. Zakhani makes, on & on & on.  They are NOT satisfied w/ a joke or a laugh for an answer – they want THE ANSWER!

I've had my breakfast now & am planning to go to Church services w/ some girls here.

Hope all of you are doing fine – Mary V –I'm sorry you were sick & what a shame to be sick when J.B. was at home – you missed out on alot of extra teasing.

Is it getting COLD – the Buick will have to be winterized.

I mailed the film yesterday – cost me enough $ – I just hope it gets there!  I wish I could be there to explain the pictures – but that will have to wait.  In Delhi – Banergee is the one in the suit at some of the tourist places.  He is lighter skin than Raja – from South Africa.  I'm being more careful now in making sure the settings are right on the camera.

Mother – have a nice Birthday – I'll be thinking about you & will be sending you something.  Eat a piece of cake for me – also some raw lettuce leaves – haven't had any since Marquis (sp?) Nov. 12th!  NO – TANDOOR – Nov. 13th.

This turned out to be LONG – my greetings to everyone.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

1975 Roberta's India Letter to GHU & Hortons -Nov.30

Nov. 30, 1975
Dear Grandma, Uncle Bill, Aunt Mary & Rob,

Hi!  So how does it feel to be back in the "sun shine state" again, Grandma?  It is hard for me to believe that this time last year I was also there – struggling my way through school!

I've been in Calcutta for the last 2 days – will be going to Puri tonight at 8:00 pm & will get there tomorrow AM.  The trains here are very comfortable – but I cannot say that for the buses.  I went to Darjeeling & back on the bus.  Took 15 hours 1 way and the only padding under me was my own!

I'm staying now at the Salvation Army Youth Hostel for women.  It is very clean – well located just 2 blocks from the Oberoi-Grand.  Also there is a bath-tub here – all for $1.20 – which includes a good breakfast!

At 1st Calcutta was too much for me – the beggars haunted me & the city itself scared me – but now – and I even find this hard to believe I'm beginning to like it.  I've met many nice girls here at the hostel – also at the wedding I met alot of people so I've been busy visiting them – etc.  I'm getting good at riding the tram.  Only 20p. (about 3 cents).

Last night a man – father of man I met – read my palm – he said I would marry at age 33 – will have 3 children – the 1st will die at birth.  That I will have a very successful career but that I'll never be rich because I spend too much.  (THAT'S TRUE) Well – at least I didn't have to pay for it.

Please write me in Bombay – I'll be there 13th of Dec. to Christmas.  I'd appreciate it if you would send me U.S. stamps – to give to people I meet here.

I'm learning some Hindi ––

Hello to John M & Aunt Sarah –

Saturday, November 28, 2015

1975 MV's letter to John -Nov.

Dear John,

I finally got to read your letter after it had been lost for approx. 2 days.  On thanksgiving day we went out to fallsville with Cris.  WE only drove past button springs.

As you can see I am finally learning to ty- xxxx pe on my own.  I know it needs somework.


Friday, November 27, 2015

1965 Serena's Florida Letter -Nov.28

Nov. 28, 1965
Lake Worth, Fla.
Dear Everybody,

I have been to one Girl Scout Meeting and looking forward to tomorrows meeting.  At the last meeting we played a game that we played at my last meeting in New Vienna.  We learned how to build foundation fires, a Tepee fire and  Crisscross fire.

I went to a football game Wednesday night.  It was with Seacrest and the score was Lakeworth: 12 Seacrest: 7.  We were right beside the rooters (mostly Lake Worth because cheer leaders were near us.  But the football players were so far away it wasnt funny.

Guess what? I am Mary in a Christmas play, Cris is a storekeeper & Aunt Mary is a teacher (in school) (in a play).  And Joseph is a boy (of course) but any way he is pathetic.  He blows bubbles with his bubble gum all the time is ready to drive everybody nuts espasally [sic] me even the director (John Murphy) is ready to go nuts.  Pathetic.

So far I've been swimming four times.  You already know about the first two so I'll tell you about the last two.  Friday was the first day it wasn't worth it (I don't think so, Aunt Mary doesn't think so.)  One reason I couldn't go swimming second reason is we got tar all over us (it was all over the beach).  Saturday I had a ball the waves were just right and you didn't have to get out to far to get to the waves before they broke.

Your daughter or sister,
Serena (Uible)

Mary V. – Ga Ga Ga Ga
Dad – Adress [sic] Book??
John – Cub Scouts??
Catherine – Pete??
Roberta – How's My work??
Mom – Transportation for G.S.?? & Say hi! to Mrs. Harner.

P.P.S.S. I'm expecting (a baby) [as Mary in the Christmas play]
P.P.P.S.S.S ROBERTA - _I  am not a it even though you are.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

1975 Roberta's India Letter -Nov.27

Nov. 27, 1975
Dear Family,

Hi!  Greetings from Darjeeling – it is beautiful here – w/ all the mountains – also the people have a much healthier look to them.  I was glad to get out of Calcutta – it is truly an experience.  Getting here was also an experience.  I left by bus at 8:00 p.m. out of Calcutta.  About 10:00 AM we got to Siliguri.  The bus was labeled DeLuxe – but it was similar to our school buses – only louder, dirtier & very cold.  My window didn't even close all the way.  When I got here I checked w/Indian Airlines thinking I might allow myself the luxury to fly back but no seat available till 2nd of December.  So I'll be going back via the bus.  At Siliguri I had planned to take the famous [Darjeeling Himalayan Railway] toy train but it wasn't running.  So I waited about an hour for a shared taxi to fill up.  Only 56 miles from there to Darjeeling but the ride took about 4½ hours.  The drive here from Siliguri was a beautiful one – the only real problem is the COLD weather.  In my room I can see my breath.  But at night they give you a hot water bottle & when you wake up you get hot tea.  Since I've been here I've had about 5 or 6 layers of clothing on – 24 hours a day!  I met a girl here from Toronto, Canada.  We have been out seeing the sights.  Yesterday we walked out of [to] Mt. Herman School – I was going to look up one of the Meth. people for the 1st time.  It was a beautiful school but the people (Meth.) were out of town.

I'll be sending some film home soon.  Please see to it that the [looks like 2akhems] get to see the wedding pictures.  The wedding was truly beautiful.  I just hope the pictures turn out OK – as I'm not so good at checking whether it is switched outdoors/ or indoors.  I have seen much poverty but have taken few as to it – as I don't want to remember India that way.  Any way it will be awhile before I forget the sights I saw in parts of Calcutta.

I have bought my tickets & made reservations to Puri, then back to Calcutta then to Bombay.  Train reservations are hard to come by – travelling from place to place in India is no picnic (from buying tickets to actual getting there).  It cost me 60 Rupee ($7.20 for Puri-Calcutta (Round Trip) and 1 way to Bombay.  That is 2nd class – 50% off.  That all together is 4 nights on the train!

Please send me Amer. stamps – they can be cheap ones – to Bombay.  I'm doing fine – and anxious now to get to Puri – Hot weather again!

Love, Berta

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

1975 Roberta's India Letter -Nov.24

Nov. 24, 1975
Dear Grandma,

Hi!  Yesterday was the BIG wedding – it was quite an occasion.  The festivities started about 9:00 AM and when I left at 10:00 PM – they were still going on.  The ceremony itself lasted about 2 hours!  It was all very beautiful – the dresses the women wore were so colorful – there were flowers everywhere.  Two bands played and there must have been hundred of people there I was the only NON-INDIAN and was treated like royalty.

I met many people there – a lawyer, accountant, insurance man, etc. – all from Calcutta.  They lead a very different life than the people you see living out on the street!  I've seen poverty beyond belief here in Calcutta.

Tonight I leave for Darjeeling – it is suppose to be very beautiful there – but COLD!

So far the only thing I miss and wish I had brought with me are American safety pins.  As to the Indian ones – you are lucky if you can use them one time.

My health continues to be excellent.  I've seen some things that nearly made me sick – but as for food & drink – I'm A-ok.  I've eaten less since I left but more starch.  Yesterday at the wedding there was so much food – it seems in India either you starve or you eat good!

I've seen very few American here in Calcutta – there are some pretty things here – Victoria Memorial, Gardens, etc.  We saw some beautiful temples too.  At the temple you always see the Indian people giving sacrifices to their gods – i.e. – fruit, $, flowers.  You always have to take off your shoes.  My socks will never be the same color again!

At the Y.W.C.A. you just have hot water from 6:00 to 9:00 AM.  In the afternoon you are lucky to get cold water!

I guess you will be leaving soon for Florida.  I wish you a safe trip down, and my greetings to the Hortons.  There are palm trees here – weather up in the 80's – my long pants get hot but women here don't show their legs!

Drop me a line in Bombay – I'll be there through Christmas – at least.

Hope all is well ––

Love, Berta

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

1975 Oscar & Elizabeth Johnson's Windmill

1975 Wilmington News-Journal - Feb. 19 p.8
Elizabeth and Oscar Johnson dwarfed by their towering windcharger

Electricity as 'free as the wind'
Staff Writer

Last month, the Oscar Johnsons of 10251 SR 73, New Vienna, paid more for their electricity than they paid during the entire 10 year period from 1937-1947.

After an initial investment of $69.95 for a Wincharger in 1937, their electricity was as "free as the wind."  Last month they paid $82.

Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson explained recently, "Our farm is one-half mile back a lane from SR 73 near Snow Hill Country Club.  I went there as a bride almost 42 years ago.  At that time our electric came from a 32 volt generator powered by a gasoline motor and 19 storage batteries.

"In 1936 we built a new house and in 1937 replaced the gasoline generator with a 32 volt windcharger (brand name Wincharger).

"It consisted of the generator and a 10 foot air plane-type propeller, a governor to maintain the proper speed (375 RPM) even in the strongest wind.  It weighed 170 pounds and cost $69.95 at the factory in Sioux City, Ia.  It generated 650 watts of electric which was stored in the 16 glass storage batteries."

"It was something new in this part of the country, and although many told us it wouldn't work we were determined to try it anyway.  

"We had a 45 foot windmill tower in our yard and we mounted it on top of the tower.  It would generate in any breeze of seven miles or more.  I always picked a windy day to wash and iron, as those motors required a lot of power."

Oscar said the advertisement and booklet which came with the windcharger said it could be assembled with a screw driver, wrench and pliers. "And, that's all it took."  He assembled it by himself atop the windmill tower.

"We kept the old gasoline powered outfit just in case, but I don't remember every having to use it, Elizabeth added.

"In those days, all light bulbs, small motors and household appliance could be bought in either 32 or 100 volts.  It furnished power aplenty to operate my washer, iron, sweeper, radio, lights and various small electric motors in Oscar's farm shop.

"In 1947 the war was over and the power company could get the wire to build us a line back our long lane, so we changed over.  So for 10 years, our windcharger solved our energy problem.

"By this time, they no longer manufactured 32 volt things.  The windcharger still stands atop its tower in our backyard to remind us of the good old days when our electric was as free as the wind.

"The only upkeep we had was a few drops of oil when we thought of it.  The water for the storage batteries we got by melting snow in winter and storing it in glass containers."

"We still melt snow for our car and equipment batteries," Oscar said.  If we run our of snow, we catch rain."

Monday, November 23, 2015

1975 MV's Letter -Nov.23

Nov. 23, 1975
Dear Everybody, [Hortons, John, possibly Catherine, Roberta]

Hi!  I decided to write a letter, so here it is.  Chris [sic] called tonite to say that he would be here for Thanksgiving.  Sorry you people couldn't come to New Vienna.  In case you haven't noticed this is a carbon copy letter.  I'm sure you have hard of them.  Especially Aunt Mary. HA! HA!  Mom is writing one on the type-writer.

At school, the band is selling magazines. Grandma bought one called "Family Health."  The sale ends Tuesday and I will have sold aproximatily [sic] 16.  I'm not sure my name will be in the paper.  So don't count on it.

Grandma was up for lunch today for the last time this year.  It would be something if we had a big snowstorm the day she left.

Aunt Mary you ought to come up and buy Evelyn's family store out.  Everything is 50% off except the candy.

Tonight I am going down to Grandma's as Mom and Dad are going to a little town below Hillsboro to hear the Tom Salisbury's speak.

What is new in Exeter and Lake Worth?  About the only thing new around here is that Martins garage burned down.  And the Tom Salisbury's are home.

Well write soon!

Mary Va. (Uible)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

1972-75 Uible Guest Book

The pages below are scanned from a guest book that begins on April 3, 1948 – certainly an important date in family history – continues through May 1949, and then skips to 1972.  Is there another book for 1949-1972?  Perhaps it will emerge soon.  After 1972, various years are represented, but nothing from 1985 or 1995.  In 2005, there was an open house for Catherine's friends, members of the East Clinton Class of 1967.

These five pages include 6 languages – feel free to practice your language skills and send me the translations!  Visitors included the Goodings, Angela (exchange student), Hiroko Suzuki (Japanese), Dr. Otterland (Swedish Dr. who briefly practiced in New Vienna), Lena Greene (Nashville) & Pearlie Mayfield, Jane Burnette & Anne Stewart, Arch & Janis Henderson Devel (Wyoming), Note about Serena leaving by bus to Kansans City to attend Park College, Blaine Ballantyne, Joe Horton (who writes in French?), Aunt Mary, and Lan Le – whose note on 1/1/76 in Korean (?) is also accompanied by a note written the next day in English and will be included in a future post, hopefully in the upcoming "6" year.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

1985 Roberta's Letter to GHU -Nov.

[Undated, but approximately Nov. 20, 1985]

Dear Grandma,

It is raining real hard outside & there is lots of water in the street out front even more than when you left 2 weeks ago!  I bundle all up – with mittens & hat when I go out now – it's that windy – chilly weather!  The interesting thing is Saturday Afternoon it got up to 75ยบ & I was outside reading my nutrition textbook in my swimming suit!

We just about have the news letter done – you should get it before you leave for Florida.  I talked with Aunt Mary – sure feel bad for Cris & Angela.

I had a typed letter from Wendy yesterday.  It was pretty short (about 6 lines!) but well done.

We bought a turkey at 19¢ per pound (got $50.00 worth of groceries at same time) or turkey would have been 29¢!  We are going to eat out that day – but will have the turkey when the family is here.  Please give article to Mom & Dad.

Love, Roberta

Thursday, November 19, 2015

1975 Roberta's Chandni Chowk, Delhi postcard

Chandni Chowk. according to Wikipedia, is one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi, India. The Chandni Chowk is located close to Old Delhi Railway Station and the monument Red Fort is located within the Chandni Chowk. Built in the 17th century by Mughal Emperor of India Shah Jahan, and designed by his daughter Jahan Ara, the market was once divided by canals (now closed) to reflect moonlight, and it remains one of India's largest wholesale markets.
Chandni Chowk, Delhi postcard - mailed 1975
1975 Roberta's Chandni Chowk, Delhi postcard
[about 11/18/75 addressed to Wells Mfg.]

Hi!  This is "main" street in Delhi!  There are very few cars but alot of buses they are so crowded the Indians are actually hanging out the windows!!  I've met 2 really nice Indian people – one went to Ohio State to college!

Cows wander here & there – part of Delhi pretty modern – but then other parts – MASS POVERTY!  Am getting along fine & hope the same is true for all of you – Love, Berta

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

1975 Roberta to GHU India Letter -Nov.17

WARM to HOT during the day – cools down at night – nice for sleeping.

Dear Grandma ––

Good morning – it's only 6:00 here but is is impossible to sleep past 5:30 or so here because then all the cleaning people go to work here.  The place is very clean.  The food also is good – break fast is "free" – which is Tea, toast, hot cereal, & eggs fixed however you want them.

I've met an awful lot of really nice Indian people.  2 Especially from Bombay staying here at the Y.M.C.A. for a conference on business mgt.  Dr. Shamara [?] got his doctorate at Penn State – Mrs. Mooz got here at Ohio State.  They both are professors in Bombay.  Last night we went to the Red Fort for what is called Sound & Sight show.  It only cost 1 Rupee (12¢)  and was it ever good – it told the history of India & at the same time lighting effects were used.  It (Red Fort) was built 1648!

I've been  very careful as to what I eat & so far no problems what so ever! I've been eating w/ my 2 friends from Bombay – also w/ an Australian couple whose missionary son & family are here from Decca.  Went to Church yesterday – Methodist hymnals were used – I felt right at home.

Today I'm taking a tour of New Delhi w/ some kids I've met here.  A couple (on 3rd month of honey moon) from Hawaii, boys from South Africa, and 2 Japanese boys.  We are an international group!

My bed is a cot – w/ very thin mattress.  Sheets & blanket were here so I use my sleeping bag as a pillow.  One was here – but it had no give to it at all.

Leave for Calcutta Wednesday night –

Greetings to my family –                            

Sunday, November 15, 2015

1975 Roberta's India Letter -Nov.15

Dear Family,

Hi!  I send you greetings from India – my plane finally made it here – only 6½ hours late.  Then I took a coach to here – it's a nice place – and should be as I'm paying $5.50 per night for simple room & breakfast!  My room is on the 4th floor – no elevator!  I have a balcony & am right next to the ladies room.  In the room next to me is an Australian couple – they just got back from Kashmir – said the scenery was beautiful but food terrible.  Couple in their 60's!

So far here I took a shower & then walked to the post office to buy stamps.  Cars are driven on left right left side of road – there are no pedestrian crossings and crossing a road is quite an accomplishment.  There are lots of motorbikes, rickshaws, some cars & many bikes on the road.

Tomorrow I am to go to Old Delhi & also Church in the morning w/ the Australian couple.

The airport was full of birds – inside the building.  Outside I was greeted by many beggars.  I couldn't help but watch the woman in Red w/ the doctors group.  Surely you remember her.

Almost all women are in sari's – very pretty & must be cooler than my pants.  It's hot here – hope you all made it home safely – thanks for the good time in N.Y. and the send off.  There are alot of bugs here but I'm doing fine.

Love, Berta                            

Friday, November 13, 2015

1975 Roberta's enroute to India Letter to GHU -Nov.14

Nov. 14, 1975
Dear Grandma,

Am now in Frankfort – Germany at the airport.  Have been here 4 hours – was too foggy to land in London.  We have been told we will be here about 2 hours longer – but I imagine it will be longer.

So far everything is behind schedule.  We were suppose to leave New York at 8:45 – but didn't get up in the air till 10:30!  But did have a good flight here – all the seats were full.  I met a girl at the airport who I sat on the plane with.  Ask the family about her – she is quite a character!  She is going to India to study w/her teacher – a spiritualist or something of the sort.

This airport is very modern – we were just served our lunch here.  We had roast beef, peas & carrots, salad & sauerkraut. (purple colored cabbage)  We hope to have supper on the plane –

The meals on the plane have been good.  It was just after 11:30 PM last night when I was served my supper.  Then at 4:30 AM our time we were served breakfast.  That is putting your meals pretty close together!

There are a group of doctors on the flight w/ us.  They all walk around w/ their noses up in the air.  They were supposed to fly 1st class but because of all the computer problems in N.Y.C. they are stuck in with us.  Believe me – they are really complaining.

Also on the plane next to me is an Indian man from the Southern part of India.  He has been in the U.S. 3 years working in a textile factory in Tennessee.  He is on his way home to pick up & move his wife and 5 year old son to Tennessee.

The plane has majority of Indian people – except for the doctors group I was talking about earlier.

Alot of the rich Indians have diamonds on the side of their nose.  Some of them had the biggest suitcases I had ever seen.

I packed some orange, apples & grapefruit in my carry-on – also some canned pop.  I'll make good use of them when I get to India.

Hope you are doing fine & I'll write my family upon arrival at Delhi.

Love, Berta

Thursday, November 12, 2015

1955 "Hi, Joe (Hiestand), Watta Ya Know?"

Wilmington (Ohio) News-Journal – 7 Nov. 1955
Joe Hiestand of near Hillsboro O., points out one of his fine Holsteins to Joe Hiestand of Taranaki, New Zealand, who stopped in for a visit on his way home from his native Switzerland.  New Zealand Joe first learned about Hillsboro Joe in 1938 when he read a news account of the Ohioan's winning several national trapshooting titles. He said then he hoped to meet his "twin" some day.  Both Joes are successful farmers, the wife of each is named Mary, and each has one daughter.  Yes, the daughters' names are (or is) Linda.  And the whole thing is coincidental.

* * * * *

The article fails to mention that New Zealand Joe had five daughters and five sons, and Ohio Joe (1906-2004) had two daughters and one son.  But, yes, both did have one daughter named Linda.  The New Zealand "cousins" have visited Ohio several times since 1955, more on them at some future date.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

1964 or 1965 Fire on First St.

Found on

1964 Fire guts New Vienna house -Jan.2

1965 Frump house after fire -First St. New Vienna, Ohio -CJU on far left

Since the photos were dated "November 1965" there was some difficulty in locating a clipping about the fire, which then indicated the pictures were actually taken 22 months prior to the date embedded on the photo.  Unless there were actually two fires – though according to the clipping the fire in January 1964 destroyed the house.  Another part of the mystery is that in the pictures the people  do not appear to be wearing heavy coats.  Second part of the mystery is that CJ Uible appears in one of the pictures.  Would he have been in Ohio in January of 1964??  Some of the trees have leaves, others do not.  In summary the Frump house which sat almost opposite the driveway of 66 College Street, did burn down and was replaced by a "modular" home that was not an improvement to the scene out the kitchen window.
1960 Jean in front of house on College St. wearing polka-dot dress, Frump house (prior to fire) in background

Monday, November 09, 2015

1905 Nat to Lucie letter - Nov.13

The following letter was mailed from New Cumberland, WV, postmarked 4PM Nov. 13, 1905 addressed to Miss Lucie Sara Brown c/o Marshall College Huntington WV.  In 1900 Nat was living with his younger brother, James, his mother Irene (Freeman) Ballantyne and James' wife, Maude.  Their residence was in the Clay District, Ridge Ave., of New Cumberland.
1905 Nat to Lucie letter p.1 - Nov.13, 1905 – Nathaniel Ballantyne to his future wife, Lucie Brown
1905 Nat to Lucie letter p.1a - Nov.13, 1905
1905 Nat to Lucie letter p.2 - Nov.13, 1905
1905 Nat to Lucie letter p.2a - Nov.13, 1905
1905 Nat to Lucie letter p.3 & 3b - Nov.13, 1905
1905 Nat to Lucie letter p.3a - Nov.13, 1905
Home. 11/13/05 [1905]
My Dear Lucie,

Will now be as good as my word and write to you to day as I promised you in my last to you.  Your letter came the next morning after I had mailed you mine and I'll forgive you for not answering sooner for you must have your hand full these days. and that investigation is surely a strain too, especially when you are compelled to take an active part in detecting her.

Well Lucie this last week has been quite an exciting one for the people here and both Bert and myself have held our own and feel quite elated on the way matters have turned out for both of us.  The trial was very exciting and Bert did himself proud and conducted the trial as one of years experience.  You have received the papers though (The Friday Daily Independent [currently not available online]) and it gave a detailed account of it.  But you should have seen Frank Huff on the stand.  He was certainly dramatic at times and the gestures and expressions were something that would be hard to imitate [page 1a] on the stage.  At times he would get up in the chair and go through this little speech (which it seems he had down perfect) that would cause the whole Audience in the Court room to howl with laughter.  The Court room was crowded and to think the excitement here was equal to the Baxter [?] trial while it lasted.  So you see Bert is certainly getting his hand in right at the start.  Your father was there a great deal too and he seemed so pleased to see Bert do so well.  Lucie Your father has so much better color and he seems to e improving.  He is so determined too and so many people remark that they believe he is going to get well I think myself too that with such a determination as he has and such vitality he will.  He certainly enjoys the horse and buggy.  Now mustnt forget to tell you about myself too.  Believe I did mention to you that some of them here wanted to get me to resign and quit my position up to someone else here at the Bank.
well I wouldnt do it and at our meeting Mr. Bymer [?] congratulated me on the showing we had made.  [page 2] and said he was very well satisfied for to continue as we had been with the same officers so we elected the same over again.  And then we have had so much contention at the Porcelain Works too. and if my scheme works out OK then we will get full charge of it too later on.

Yes we are having quite a time with the Auto where the roads are fit to go out in it.  The folks went to Lisbon and got caught in the mud and had to leave it in Wellsville.  [Wellsville Ohio is about 17 miles  NE of New Cumberland, via East Liverpool.]  Mac and I went after it yesterday and brought it home and we had quite a time riding out twice last night.  They have a friend visiting their a Mrs. Foster [?] from Allegheny not very pretty but a bright girl and we all enjoyed it immensely.  This morning they went to church and Mac and I cleaned it up and it is quite a job.  Was just covered with mud from the Lisbon trip.  After dinner we went to Toronto [Ohio, across the river from NC but 19 miles via the road through Steubenville] and back to Island Creek on the Pike and the roads were fine.  While we enjoyed it and had a fine time often wished that you were along and its too bad you are away just when we are getting initiated.  However am going to have our next [indecipherable] so we will have some rides and some good big ones too.  This was a fine day so much like the day we were enjoying the Drive in Huntington.  How could I help it but think of you so much today. and its [page 2a] six long weeks until you are home too.  So you are intending to visit Mrs. Martin in Parkersburg on Thanksgiving.  You will certainly have a fine time for its a fine town.  and you said you had your fortune told again.  Now why didn't you tell me what it was at least some of it any way.  I am going to see the Clairvoyant at Wellsburg some day when I'm down. but dont know whether I'll tell you about what she tells me or not for you never told me what your's was at Lisbon.  Did you

Say Lucie have heard some more about that little story Kartryn told she heard.  She didnt tell it all.  It seems who ever told it in Toronto gave the impression that I couldnt decide between you and Kartryn.  Now did it ever occur to you that Kate was mixed up with me or with us.  Havent seen her yet for she has been sick as you have heard and if she heard it all she should have told us.  Dont you think so. probably she has told you but I never knew anything until yesterday when I called up on the phone while at Mac's works at Enterprise [?] and the first thing Kate Liggett said, was, that she heard I was to be married.  Said at first [page 3] that it was to you but afterwards stated she heard I was undecided.

Now has it ever appeared to you that any other was baiting me Not for a moment has it entered my mind, but you Know how people get concerned.  I laughed it off and said that was what was the matter.  So many are included on my list and she along with the rest that I couldn't decide.  So she's none the wiser.

The boys gave a dance at the old Swan Hall on Friday eve and they had quite a nice little dance too.  Of course Harry Smith played for them and his timing is something awful at times.  Lara Hill [page 3a] was down and Mrs. Plattenberg invited me to go and of course you know I wouldn't refuse.  She has been making quite frequent trips here of late.  She says her folks are away in Canada and she is visiting among her friends.

Well Lucie their isn't much new here.  Miss McMavern [?] & Rhea were in town today Understand that a go.  soon

Yes needed my tutor for the party at the Fortnightly and am sure I'd have won the prize.  Well, we will have another one when you come home and will look forward to winning then.  Am also looking forward to winning the prize of my life then.  Surely I won't be disappointed Will I?  Now my dearest must say good bye for am billed for Church to night as I missed it this morning so write me soon or when is convenient, or sooner if you can, for you.  Remember me to Mrs. Martin.

With much love I am
Affectionately Yours,
Expect to go to the City the last of the week so be on the lookout for a little package.  Give my regards to Missrs Harvey, Schon & Parson, when you see them.  That last name is so much like the same as the man who I'm having a law with with that it is hard for me to think of it as kindly as I might under different circumstances.  –Nat

 [page 3b] [further] P.S. Since writing you have just learned that Steel [the defendant in the trial] tried to commit suicide.  Bert thinks it his scheme to work the sympathy of the Judge before he is sentenced on Tuesday.  He has feigned insanity all along.

And by the way Lucie have a little Controversy with a Mr. Wm J. Harris of the Miller Supply Co. of Huntington on an arbitrary account and have been wondering if you have met the "Gentleman" or know who he is.  He seems so determined on us allowing a bill for brick we shipped them.  Its such a small account that I'm surprised he keeps following it up so long.  If you know him let me know what kind of a fellow he is as I didnt get to see him while down there.

Sat down at the Office so added a line or two before mailing.  What a grand night.  Makes one feel so lonesome.  The moon looks so much like the night we came in from Fairview.  Do you remember?  But can never be more beautiful. Good bye.  Yours –Nat

Sunday, November 08, 2015

1905 Background on Bert Brown & Murder Trial

In 1905 Bert Brown was Hancock County (West Virginia) Prosecuting Attorney.  The following clippings contain information about Brown – a poem plus details about one of his biggest cases.  This is background for an upcoming letter from Nat to Lucie.  Fans of the Ballantyne-Brown family history may remember that Robert Morrow "Bert" Brown, 1877-1946, was the older brother of Lucie Brown Ballantyne.
East Liverpool Ohio - Evening Review 24 Jan 1905 p.4

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

1905 Big trial for Prosecuting Attorney R.M. "Bert" Brown - Nov.7.  Upcoming trial for attempted murder of William and Frank Huff, to begin this week in New Cumberland, West Virginia.
East Liverpool Ohio - Evening Review - 7 Nov 1905 p5
The "Fairview" where this crime took place was one of nine places in West Virginia known by that name.  The pertinent Fairview, the one in Hancock County, has since changed the community name to New Manchester, and is about four miles north of New Cumberland.

Other clippings can be found at the following links:

Saturday, November 07, 2015

1905 Nat to Lucie letter - Nov.7

1905 Nat to Lucie letter - Nov. 7, 1905 – Nathaniel Ballantyne to his future wife, Lucie Brown

Home, Nov 7 '05 [1905]
My Dear Lucie,

Was so disappointed in not getting a letter from you this morning.  Felt it more so on account of it being Tuesday morning and your Sunday letter should have come and now am looking forward to tomorrow and hope I'll not be disappointed.  Will I.

Have had quite a day to day.  First this morning Mr. Gaillard called on me and we had quite a nice little chat.  He told me all about his troubles with the Judge C. and you have no idea what a Crank he is.  Mr. G stated he wouldnt be a tool [?] for him any longer and told him so. and said he would resign from the Committees.  (You understand the Porcelain business) and told the Judge I was the man to take charge and for him to take all matters up with me in the future.  This was certainly unexpected by me to come from Mr. Gaillard, but he meant it and I think I can handle the Judge O.K.  This is what we have wanted all along.  We are getting along fine considering all or have had to go on and our mail is the heaviest of any of the firms here.  We get a big bunch every mail and from any state and even Mexico & Canada.

And then we had a meeting of the Trustees & Directors this afternoon and had quite a time over it too.  Do not know whether I told you or not but Walmer [?] has been trying to force me out and when he tried to show his hand today I succeeded in showing the gentleman up and he resigned so in the future do not think he will try to work anymore games of his on me.  I was sure that everything comes out alright in the end so am feeling quite good over it.

I want Bert to go on the Board if he will and every body on the Board is agreeable so think he will do it.

Now Lucie theres nothing much new.  Suppose you know Kartryn [?] Robb is sick.  Saw Ester yesterday and she said she was a little better but not able to be up yet.  Am sorry for Kate but she hasnt looked well for sometime.  Was in Wheeling and called to see about the gloves and they do not seem to have what you want. but I saw something else in Pgh Saturday that I think would please you and I believe I will send one down to you and the gloves we can arrange for later on.

Now must say good bye as I have to go so write me at once or when convenient for you and I will tell you more news on Sunday.  Hoping you are enjoying yourself and with much love I am

Yours affectionately,          
Excuse this as I have no fire and am half frozen.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

1985 Roberta's Letter -Nov.5

Dear Folks,

Before I forget -- sending back with Grandma a red fabric type suitcase with some black trim, and tan straps.  Good luck in finding it without too much trouble on the luggage go-around.

We had a storm last night -- lots of rain and thunder.  Both of the phone lines are out this A.M.  It's all of 5:30 right now.

Grandma's sore spot is somewhat better, tho it concerns me since there is an opening in the skin -- that has increased in size.  The good news is that the size of the hard area has gone down and the amount of bleeding is also down.  I have talked to two nurses and they both felt that a Doctor should see it -- in case there is infection in the area now.

I have my third nutrition test tomorrow night.  Actually only my second one -- since I missed the first one while in Ohio.  Think I told you all that I didn't take it.  The first week back I was ready to take the test and the teacher didn't have it with her.  Then the next week she had the test and I had had a very crazy day here at Senior Village so asked if I could possibly take it another time.  Then she told me she felt like I had such a grasp of the material that I didn't have to take it.  That sure put the pressure on for the next test.  Luckily, came through with a decent score on it -- one point from an A.

The time the test is on digestion and metabolism  I'll plan on studying tomorrow afternoon.

We have had a new lady move in -- in fact she got here the same day Grandma arrived.  She hasn't stopped complaining since she got here -- usually about some ache or pain.  Last night she had two themes -- one was chest pains and the other one was she thought her head would burst open.  Before coming here she had MANY Emergency room visits and had gone to alot of different doctors, but none could find anything medically wrong with her.  Grandma can tell you more about Margarite.

Again welcome back -- and we are sure anxious to hear more about your trip!!  Did you do any shopping while in India??  You folks will have to plan another trip next fall so Grandma has the excuse to come out again to visit us.  Did we tell you we just turned the front room (living room) into her bedroom.  She slept on the couch -- and that was just about the right height.  Also the room was plenty big.  We never use the room, so glad to put the room to good use.

We had the excuse to eat lots of things we don't eat everyday --- tho I must admit we do eat well.  (perhaps too well -- or good)  The only meal that was a complete disaster as to taste was the scallops -- just ask Grandma.

*It's time for me to motivate.  I didn't mean to put in that star!!!  We sure enjoyed having Grandma here.


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

1985 Roberta's Letter - Nov.5

Dear Folks –

Welcome Back!  It's great to have you back in the USA!  Grandma is doing just fine – we are so glad to have her here for the visit.

We have sure appreciated your cards!  Tho anxious to hear more about your trip!

Today Sid had lots of errands to run for me – county hospital, downtown Library – etc.  He took G'ma with him – just for the ride.

We have had many successful shopping trip (for G'ma) –– new slippers, hearing aid batteries (official Beltone), bone shoe polish, hose, dress, flash light, etc.  Just have a few more items on the list.

The bed was too high for G'ma – so she has been sleeping on the Living Room Couch – makes for a spacious bedroom.

Enclosing some Halloween pictures – please note G'ma's shoes, etc.  I went punk!  Down to the fingernails!

Had scallops tonight for upper –G'ma is a good eater.  Had apricot pie for dessert.  We also have bought a good supply of dates (Calif., natural) to go back to N. Vienna.


Tuesday, November 03, 2015

1975 Catherine's Letter -Nov.2

Nov. 2, 1975
Dear Mom, Dad, Roberta & Mary,

Hi!  Did you get my letter in N.Z.?  Thanks for all the postcards.

I am still planning to meet you in N.Y.  I will be leaving here Tues. A.M. on the bus and meet Ardy in Boston and then go on to N.Y. with John on the train.

Next week is my last week at Stop & Go.  I gave them two weeks notice last week.  I may look for another job after Christmas but I figure in the mean time 'll be semi-retired.

The library addition is causing alot of chaos at the library.  They have torn out alot of the back wall and the wall that was between the office & the stacks behind the desk.  Last week & this week we are only open 4-8 after the construction crew has departed.

Send me the details on the N.Y. trip.

Love, Catherine

Monday, November 02, 2015

1975 Catherine's postcard to John -Nov.2

Captioned: Chicago's Near North Side on the shores of Lake Michigan, in the heart of the "Magnificent Mile," has many points of interest indicated – all within walking distance from the ALLERTON HOTEL, Michigan at Huron.
Sent from Sanford, Maine to Exeter, New Hampshire

All set to go to NY?  I'm planning to meet you in Boston so we can get the same train to New York.  I'll call you to arrange the details.  I'm going to meet Ardy in Boston on Tuesday.  When will you be going back to Exeter?  I quit my job at Stop & Go.  See you next week.
Love, Catherine

Items from Uible photo album