Monday, December 30, 2013

War Ration Wallet- WWII (part 7) Waste Fats

The need is urgent as the next page states.   Save your "Waste Fats".  Not a single drop of bacon grease, meat drippings, frying fat, etc., etc...every kind in use is to be saved.  Don't throw away a single drop.  Read why below:

Today we are certainly saving our "fats", but it seems that it is around the waist.

Friday, December 27, 2013

War Ration Wallet-WWII (part 6) Conserve

The next pages of the wallet show "Roasted Coffee Credits" and a suggestion to "Share Your Car".  Conserve gas, tires, and autos is the motto.

Office of Price Administration must have gotten into many lives and households during this period of our history.  Also, Shenandoah, Iowa must have been a busy place.  Conserve!  Recycle is the motto now.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

War Ration Wallet - WWII (part 5) Rubber

The need for rubber to aid the war effort was given in detail by the next two pages of the wallet.

It was called "The Rubber Situation".   Facts are given for at least the year 1943 to include the year 1944.  The "War Needs" as compared to the "Crude Supply" are listed, along with the hope that "synthetic" products will help meet the projected needs.  All this was to allow the holder of the War Ration Wallet to a single pair of "Rubber Footwear".

My Dad tells the story that his Mom (my Maw maw) sent him the slip for shoes while he was stationed in Germany.  His new shoes arrived, and in a short period (only worn once) they were stolen from under his bunk.  Guess at this time, there were a lot of folks without shoes!

Friday, December 13, 2013

War Ration Wallet-WWII (part 4) Essential Activities

The "C STICKER" was to be place on the automobile and represented those who were defined to have "essential activities".  The follow page of the War Ration book list these activities.

Of course, official government or Red Cross business was first on the list.  School teachers and school attendance were next. [4 or more in same vehicle.]  Then came the mail delivery, newspaper, and "newsreel" all before the physician, surgeon, and veterinarian.   The Public Health nurse was listed just before "Embalmer".  The minister, priest or rabbi followed the embalmer! [seems like it should have been the other way around...:-)]

Are you on the list?  No gas for you if not! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

War Ration Wallet-WWII (part 3) Distilled Spirits

One unit of wines in excess of 14% alcohol by volume it reads.  Void if detached follows.  That was stamp 28 as shown below.   You could also get one pair of shoes, and a 5 pound bag of "pure cane sugar". ["Every Kind For Every Use"!]

Thus continues the rations during WWII on the home front.  Don't waste is needed for defense.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

War Ration Wallet - WWII (part 2) The Stamps

Ration stamps were the next section of this wallet.  They were numbered in order starting with "Ration Stamp No. 1".  On the front side of the stamps were military symbols such as a tank, airplane, ship, etc...

On the back of the stamp was the name "sugar", "coffee", "spare", "flour", etc., etc.

A gasoline and mileage ration sticker was required to be placed "...only in that location which conforms with the state law."  A "Gasoline Ration" and "Mileage Ration" sticker was included on the 4th page of the wallet.  There is no information given as to where the correct location on the "vehicle". 

Let's see now; sugar, coffee, and flour to be rationed.  I wonder how many cups of coffee it was good for on a typical day?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

War Ration Wallet - WWII (part I)

Rationing was part of the daily life during the war years of World War II.  A family was given a "War Ration Wallet" which gave the admonition: " When you think of  RATIONING ... Remember what our boys are doing WITH those things we are doing WITHOUT! "

The following few posts will give a copy of each page of such a wallet.  It is given to help remind us in this day of easy access... that it was not always so.

Official looking, yes.  The front cover page is shown above.  It also listed a suggestion to buy war bonds which became part of the American thought process of the day.

The second page gives a warning.

A "Ration Board" existed which followed "Rationing Orders and Regulations".  You could received up to 10 year imprisonment or a $10,000 fine, or both, according to the warning page shown above.  It is not given as to what consisted of a violation or how one would go about making such an infraction.  The books were numbered and a record of their issue must have been kept.  The "Office of Price Administration" seem to control the access, control and removal of these books.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


For some, collecting things begins in childhood.   Stamp collecting and coin collecting usually start things off for boys.  The stamps and coins started things out for me, but there was soon, bottle cap collecting, insect collecting, leaf collecting, rock collecting, arrowhead collecting, book collecting... you get the picture.   The following picture is some of my Boy Scout patch collecting.

There were all sorts of patches.   Camporee, "Scout-O-Rama", "GO" Roundup, fall encampments, from all sorts of activities they were collected.  Many colors, many shapes, many sizes, and many memories.
Just a few are shown above.

Now this thing called "genealogy" came to be important for know...ancestor collecting.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Corridor In Time

A continuum which lacks spatial dimensions and in which events succeed one another from past through present to future is one definition of time.  It is considered the measured or measurable period during which an action, process or condition exists or continues.  As a genealogist, we often deal with measurable periods of time during which our ancestors existed.  Mostly, it is time spent going from present to past.  Here is a picture of my grandson and I sharing some time in one of those passageways which leads to other places.

Hand in hand, moving on down this hallway...we walked, and talked...and shared.  Past, to present, and hopefully to the future...this corridor in time.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Those Thousand Words

The Henderson side of the family comes through my great grandmother Ellen Dorcas Henderson.  Family records show that  "Richard Henderson had a son named Samuel Henderson who had a son named William Henderson who had a son named: Abraham B. Henderson (nickname Sonny)...".  He was born October 22, 1843 and died April 12, 1908.   He married Armilda Berryman (nicknamed Millie) who was born January 12, 1844 and died November 14, 1914.

The picture above is Sonny and Millie.  Their faces appear stern... foreheads wrinkled... and a determined look that seems to say life is rough, but we are determined to press onward.  Sonny's beard is full, hair kept, and a penetrating look that passes through the picture that seems to say...I've seen a lot...done a lot...and know a lot about life's difficulties.  Millie shares the same facial expression, but her eyes are a little softer.  Her hair is parted carefully down the middle, and must have been pulled tightly into a bun at the back of the head. What stories they could tell.  Their faces already speak those thousand words.

Monday, August 12, 2013

In Those Days

Scouting in America has a very lengthy story.  It actually began in South Africa, where a young British army officer was placed in charge of training new soldiers from England in the skills of tracking, trailing, and wilderness living. [Can you imagine such a thing today?]  His efforts led to a series of activities that came to be known as "Scouting".  Robert Baden-Powel was his name, and reaching the rank of "General" he returned to England.  Here he took a group of twenty boys to camp on little Brownsea Island which came to called the first Boy Scout Camp.  In 1908, he published the first Boy Scout Handbook, Scouting for Boys, and the rest is history.  On February 8, 1910, Boy Scouts of America was formally incorporated. [What a deal!]

Some 50 years later, Scouting continued in the heart of the Bluegrass.

The patch above was worn on my first scout uniform.  The "Blue Grass Council" was the name, which was certainly appropriate for the location.  Troop 84 of Winchester, Kentucky was the title.  A Scout is: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.  Wow, what a list.  In 1962, it seemed like a good list to apply to any life.  No one flinched when saying "The Scout Law".  We talked about these things in those days.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Good Conduct Medal

"Efficiency, Honor, Fidelity" are the words which appear on the obverse (front) of this medal.

An eagle with wings displayed and inverted stands guard on a closed book and a Roman sword which is encircled by the words given above.  The ribbon is of scarlet moire' with three narrow white stripes at either edge.  It is the Army Good Conduct Medal authorized by Executive Order 8809, on June 28, 1941.  During wartime, this medal was to be awarded on completion of one year of continuous service.

The revers (back) has a five-pointed star, slightly above center, with a scroll beneath for the recipient's name.  Above the star are the words "For Good", and below the scroll the word "Conduct".  A wreath formed of a laurel branch on the left and an oak branch on the right, surrounds the whole design.  The recipient of this award is shown in small print "Henry E. Jones".

Here he is...this Henry E. Jones standing in the Alps during the 18 months of his honorable service.  For good conduct it says.  Efficiency, honor, and fidelity is my Dad.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Stitch In Time

A counted cross-stitch is what it is.  Done with Aida fabric, embroidery threads, needle, backing felt, and a full charted set of instructions.  What a deal!  My middle daughter, Lesley, with her heart and hands made this for me as a symbol of our family's heritage...the Welsh Dragon, the heraldic symbol of Wales.

Now a symbol is something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, or convention.  A red dragon...hmm...where in the world did this come from in the annals of history?

The earliest reference to a red dragon connected to the legends of Wales can be found in the writing of a Welshman of the early ninth century. [ ca. 829 AD]  The writer introduces himself as "Nennius", and the formal title is Historia Brittonum or the "History of the Britons".   He certainly had a chip on his shoulder because in his introduction he states:

"I, Nennius, disciple of Elvodugus, have endeavoured to write some extracts which the stupidity of the British nation had cast away..."

Well anyway, in his book, part III, chapter 39 - 42, he gives a fairly lengthy story regarding the building of a fortify city [citadel] by a fellow named Vortigern.  After traveling "...far and wide..", he came to a province called "Guenet",  and "...having surveyed the mountains of Heremus, they discovered, on the summit of one of them, a situation, adapted to the construction of a citadel." This of course is believed to be the mountain range of Snowdon.

To make a long story short, every time Vortigern built a foundation, it disappeared in one night.  Frustrated, he got some help from a fellow named "Ambrose (in British Embresguletic)" who uncovered a "pool" with two vases in the pool.  The two vases contained two tents, that contained "two serpents, one white and the other red".  After a lengthy struggle, the red serpent "expelled the white one from the tent".

Ambrose explained "...this wonderful omen..." as follows:

"I will now unfold to you the meaning of this mystery.  The pool is the emblem of this world, and the tent that of your kingdom: the two serpents are two dragons; the red serpent is your dragon, but the white serpent is the dragon of the people who occupy several provinces and districts of Britain, even almost from sea to sea; at length, however, our people shall rise and drive away the Saxon race from beyond the sea, whence they originally came..."

Wow, the red dragon of Wales...our first stitch in time.

A translation of this text can be found at Medieval Sourcebook: Nennius: Historia Brittonum, 8th century,  for those who would like to stitch together the rest of the story:


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Circa. 1920

"Gertrude Monroe Circa ; 1920" is written on the back of this family photo.  We knew her as "Mam maw".

She was born August 11, 1904, and she would be around 16 years of age when this picture was taken.  I have never thought of Mam maw as ever being a teenager until this picture crossed my path this morning.  Flipping through a stack of family pictures, this one caught my attention.  Mam maw as a teenager!  What a deal.  She certainly looks like she is ready to go to where ever life was to lead.  Maybe it was one of those first dates with Pap paw.  Hair fixed, purse in hand, and a hat of some sort that helped block the sun from the eyes.  I am ready to go...she seems to be saying.   There is a lot of life yet to live.   She certainly did.

She died March 17, 1989 at the age of 84 years.  She introduced me to cinnamon toast, coffee, and a great number of family stories that remain alive in my heart.  Thanks Gertrude Monroe Circa. is good to see you as a teenager.  Your coffee cup sits on my mantel as I write... still dancing with your stories.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Eyes Have It

Here she is, in living color.  Taken around 1890, this photo is unique among the many, many, family pictures that have been captured  among my ancestors.  It is the only color picture taken during this time period that seems to have survived.

 Her name is Lillie Henderson, and she was the older step sister to my maternal great grandmother Ellen Dorcas Henderson.  Not much is recorded of her life among the family records.  Her mother's name is not even recorded, but her father was Abraham B. Henderson (nickname Sonny) who by a first marriage had two children.  She is recorded to have died around the age of 16 years.

Red hair, blue eyes, and  a determined look, fills the camera.  There is a certain sadness about her... shoulders straight, hair perfectly combed, blue dress and a red bow that surrounds a high necked, laced collar.  But it is the eyes that captured my heart.

Some say that the eyes are the windows of the soul.  In this photograph of a long forgotten ancestor, the eyes have it.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom

On the 18th of April, 1930, my Mom was born.  Her family had moved from Kentucky to Indiana trying to find work at the period of our history called "The Great Depression".  Being in the middle of 12 children born to this Ewen family, she would have to make her own way among the four brothers and four sisters. [two sisters had died earlier]

Myrna Jean Ewen was the name given.  Myrna being an unusual family name, most in the family just called her "Jeanie".  Here is her sixteenth year picture just after the family had moved from Slate, KY to my birthplace called Winchester, KY.

School days 1946 - 47 it reads.  She was about to meet my Dad around this time and start that relationship that was to make our family.

Some two years later, she appears as Myrna Jean Jones in this photograph below, which was taken the second day of her married life.

May 9th, 1948 it would be.  That "just married" look is evident.

Happy Birthday Mom!  Thanks for your life, and giving our family such love.
Your heart pumps in my chest, and your gift of love will echo through our family for generations.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

It's About Time

What time is it?

 Some say "a time for every purpose under heaven".

Wait a minute, you mean all the time, part time, or just any time?

Well I guess over time it would be every time, thus timeless.

Wow, time after time...a never ending story.  But, what about "once upon a time"?

That's certainly time-honored, however you would need a time-keeper, and we need to let the good times roll...certainly time-consuming...not sure enough hours in the day.

Wait a second, who's the timer anyway?  Wouldn't they need a time sheet, with a time-piece, and a time-line to keep things straight?  And at the same time, they would need a time-table, time zone, and maybe even a time-capsule? It would certainly take the summer time, and this is when the living is easy.

One more time, "a time for every purpose under heaven".

Time out!  Time out!  This is getting time-worn...and not sure it can be time-tested.  Anyway, times up and I will need more time.  Maybe even some time travel.

Well, it's about time!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Catch Me...If You Can...

Playing "tag" always involved several folks.  At least three or more would be necessary to make it exciting.  Of course "hide and seek" could be played with two, but in "tag" chasing the same person around got less interesting as you came to recognize all the other's moves.

Now on a summer day, being alone would make it much more difficult to play any of the above.  The following picture shows my Dad on such an occasion.

 June 10, 1929...3 yrs...Henry Edward written on the back.  It must have been high noon since the shadow is perpendicular.  The yard is grassy, with bushes, trees, and shade...even some possible hiding places.  A man in the background is oblivious to this picture taking as he crosses the street.  Anyhow, take this picture if you must.   Then lets play...catch me...if you can.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Exploration has been part of man since the beginning of time.  As a matter of fact, the word "explore" comes from explorare which is French ex + plorare meaning to cry out.  It seems that was the action taken by hunters on sighting game, which was the yell (outcry) to let others in the hunt know that food was finally in sight.  Can you image, all those empty stomachs, hunting for days, following all those tracts, and finally seeing some food!  "Explorare"  would certainly seem appropriate.

The following picture is my older brother [ in his youngest days] being in exploration mode. 

Let's see...nothing down that side of the shed...although it did look a bit shaky.   Good thing the grass was not any taller because I might of had some problems with navigation.    But hey, I have made it this far, and there is still a smile on the face.  I am sure there are some falls yet to come, but so far so good.   I must go on... it is part of that human gene you know.  Wonder if there is any game around this corner.  Only one way to find out...explorare!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Four Generations Side by Side

A few days ago, I noticed these pictures my wife had placed on some of our kitchen cabinets.  They were positioned  pretty much as shown, the black and white on top, and the color picture below.  Four generations I thought.    Looking carefully, I saw myself in both pictures.  About the same age [when the pictures were taken], about the same position [the right hand side], the same round head, the same eyes and nose,  is my youngest grandson Ian. 

The upper picture was taken in the 1950s.  The lower picture was taken not so long ago.  My family and me, and my youngest daughter Ellen and her family, are shown some 50 years apart.  The smiles look much the same.  Four generations on film side by side, how about that.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Valentine's Day

There's Cupid...arrows in hand...gazing into the sky along with the the wishful female who seems to be sitting on the sands of time.  The clouds have joined in, adding their hearts to the to the moment. "OH, BE MY VALENTINE" is the wish of so many at this time of year.  How all this got started is somewhat of a mystery.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica states:

            "St. Valentine's Day as a lovers' festival dates at least from the 14th century."

That would be from the 1300s onward when the idea of romantic love had its roots in the age of chivalry. [King Aurthur and his knights started big time by Geoffrey of Monmouth and picked up by the Normans in 1155 AD]  More elaborate, more ceremonious, and more romantic as the sands of  time moved forward.

However, the earliest St. Valentine's Day celebrated on February 14 was not related to romance.  It was associated with martyrdom.  A early Roman priest and physician was put to death because of his beliefs during the reign of Claudius II [268-270 AD].  Can you imagine what sort of clouds he was gazing into on this first St. Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sitting At The Table

Last post showed a picture of my family setting the table at one of our family reunions.  The women folk were mostly involved in the cooking and preparation.   They would bring their "best" dishes to the gatherings and carefully place them along the tables set before us.   The following picture shows the sitting at the table.

It seemed to me the males made it to a sitting position most of the time during this phase of the gathering.  Food to the mouth is shown to be the main activity.  There were even some younger folks sitting at this table.  Don't remember ever sitting myself, but there were other things to do.  You could go a long way on a fried chicken leg in each hand.  Yes sir, the women would set the table, and on the most part, it was the men who would sit the table.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Setting The Table

Family "get-togethers" where a special event.  It was one of those times that the best cooks in Eastern Kentucky would gather to demonstrate their culinary skills.  Setting the table at these events would take a special kind of organization and cooperation.   The picture below shows such a "get-together".

The year was 1957.  The table was the back of a hay wagon. [A wheel can be seen in the lower left.]  Picnic baskets, Mason Jar boxes; all kinds of bowls, plates, pans, and lots of growling stomachs are shown.  Care was always taken to get things just right, and the desserts were my first plan of attack.  [All the other folks started at the other end.]  The oldest of the family were always placed first in line.

Women were in charge.  They set the table, arranged the order, placed all the dishes, and kept the kids at bay that were circling the tables.  Trying to grab a fried chicken leg in advance was always a challenge.  The men would sit around in their hats and talk, or play horseshoes while the women got the table just right. [The men can be seen in narrow gap between the standing women.]  Setting the table in would it be done today...setting the table in 2013.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Front Porches

Facing the world around us comes from all sorts of opportunities.  Sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches give us all types of input.  A little here, a little there...and off we go into this thing called life.  How we learn and grow is often a result.

My Dad is shown in one of his opportunities.

It would be around the year 1926 - 1927, and he would have been less then one year of age.   There is this look of deep thought which must have been from seeing a passing bug, or perhaps caused by one of those diaper filling events that parents get to enjoy on many occasions.

A front porch it would seem to be.  He has been placed in one of those wheelie things that give you a chance to move around once you have figured out how to navigate the contraption.  There is a small chair placed to the side, but I bet Dad would not sit still to occupy this space for very long.  Let's get rolling!  Got to take advantage of this opportunity to explore this front porch.  Where did that bug go anyway?   Life, and the front porches...let's get going...opportunities await.