Saturday, April 22, 2006

Girard: Joining The Circus... Sort Of...

Today I journeyed east a few miles and stopped in Girard, PA. It's always just sat there and all I've ever done is pass through. But today I walked around a bit and finally actually read the sign in the middle of town, which says:
CIRCUS HISTORY: American's most famous clown of the Nineteenth Century, Dan Rice [1823-1900], had the winter quarter of his circus in Girard from 1852-1875. The nearby Soldier's Monument was donated by the versitile clown and showman whose home stood opposite.

So whattaya know about that...They celebrate Dan Rice Days here every summer but I did not know what that was about. After some research, I discover that he was quite a guy. Dan Rice was born in New York City. He was friends with Abe Lincoln. He wore red, white and blue and became the inspiration for "Uncle Sam"...you know... Uncle Sam wants YOU!

At one point he let some presidential candidate [Zachary Taylor I believe] ride on his circus bandwagon in parades, thus lending him credibility to the crowds. So from this, others began to use the term "jump on the band-wagon." He also placed the first monument to Civil War veterans which I believe is the one seen in this photo.Anyways, here the best link on him that I can find. DAN RICE ...And for what it's worth, this genuine Dan Rice circus poster is stored at Princeton University.

Girard: One More Time...

Here are a couple more scenes from Girard and then I'll let ya go!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Cemetery on an Old Indian Burial Mound...

I asked Mr. Blick the other day if he knew anything about this little cemetery. It's perched on a little rise of land that sticks up in the middle of the flattest farmers field around. He told me it was an old Indian burial mound. Apparently someone thought it a good idea to keep with the theme and bury some of the town's dead right there on top of it. I don't know... Maybe that is a good idea, maybe it isn't. Anyways... here it is in all it's moundedness:Here are some samples of all that remains in tribute to some of the towns early citizens:Check out the double double trees.You can click on these photos if you want to see them bigger, ya know...One more time....Oh, yes. And what did I tell you? There is an Anderson in every cemetery!Here's another story about this place. First off, quite a few groundhogs live in the bushes on this mound. Mr. Blick said the other day that he remembers that one of the groundhogs brought up a human jawbone years back. The gentleman who found it took it into Griffey's store one day. It was quite the exhibition when he did. Everyone knew about it.

Someone made a joke that it had to be the jawbone of a woman. They asked him how he knew that and he said it had to be since her mouth was open. Well, I suppose that could be funny!;-) I kind of looked today to see if there were any such finds but no. Descendants of that great grave-robbing groundhog family are still there, however, and appear to be thriving:Right! That's the front door smack in the middle of the pix.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Quick Trip to Conneaut...

Here are some of the things I saw today...

The building is the back of Gerdes Pharmacy in Conneaut, OH. My family has been filling prescriptions there forever. And I never bothered to look at it until I was sitting there waiting for my dad, and I saw the cool little arches over the windows and the grates on the lower levels. So you get to see it too!Here are the grates... I suppose for security...And then here's some photos of how Lake Erie looks today. It’s pretty calm and not a cloud in the sky. The one picture shows the lighthouse in the distance…And then this little bridge is at the Conneaut Twp. Park. I saw it on the way out and bought into its charm. So here it is too. My mom told me this little creek is called Kelsey Run. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Finding My Great Grandma Ida...

I did the Center Cemetery in Conneaut with my mom today. We found my great grandmother’s grave. This is a pix of her stone:My mom’s mom was only 3 when Ida died in childbirth. Ida is the one I get my psychic abilities from. She was married twice. Her first husband was killed in the train yard, crushed between two trains. She knew about it before they arrived to tell her and was already taking down the washing. She told THEM what had happened. Said she had seen it all in her mind as it happened.

I dreamed about her recently. The first and only time. She was elderly and lying in a bed. She drew me close to her and brushed the hair away from my eyes and told me she was looking out for me. It made me cry in the dream to realize this woman whom I never knew, knew ME. Anyways, here is her stone.

The other stone is one I took because I liked the way it looked and because of the verse:

Tho lo in dust her boddy lies
By death releast from every pain
Her soul ascends unto the skies
Where second death can never reign


The cemetery is filled with Finnish names. I did not realize that there was a Finnish colony in Conneaut. My mom said they all lived down by the harbor and that their houses and neighborhood were always immaculate. Everything painted and in place and flowers and hydrangeas in every yard. I guess they imported themselves [?] to work at the docks.

The John Edward Anderson is not a relative. I just always note that there seems to be an Anderson in every cemetery I’ve ever gone into. This one was born in Hellestad, Sweden. Not sure where that is or why he came.

I’ve got Norse ancestry, so maybe he IS a relative. Anyways, this is some of what I did today…

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

School Daze...

These are pix of the school I went to in Kindergarten, and 4-6th grades. That’s a recess tree out front. And I remember having Girl Scout meetings under that tree when the weather was nice. Some dude bought the place and from what I can see, has not been able to figure out what to do with it since. I wish he would turn it into apartments.

This is the same school my mom went to when she was a kid. It was the high school. I think kids went to one-room schoolhouses for early years back then, but not sure about that.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Griffey's Store...

Here is a pix of the general store down at "the bend". As kids we would stop in there daily for penny candy after school and sometimes even during school. I was one of the chosen ones who was trusted to walk to the post office everyday for the school mail. Gads! When I think of that I am amazed. Bonnie and I often "loaded up" on the way back to school.

Everything was within walking distance of my house. I would ride the bus to school, but would walk home when the weather was nice and sometimes when it wasn’t.
I never noticed this before, but when you have a camera in hand, one is inclined to see what's been hidden in plain sight for years. Not sure if this is a chicken or not. Maybe an eagle? But I looked and there it was... durable as the building itself.Sometimes, it takes a creative friend to direct ones attention to detail. They're always there... the details... but not always noticed. I guess the friends are always there, too.

Faith of our Fathers...

This is pix of the first church I ever went to. Did not go there long and I barely remember it...except for the shiney metallic attendance stars. Oh well… that’s how it goes.
Mrs. Brown taught Bible School there every week during elementary school. And I always stopped in and partook. The only thing I remember about that is the Roman soldier picture they handed out one time. Every week, if you learned your verse, she would give you another piece of armor to glue onto the dude.

Well that seemed significant. So I memorized everything and outfitted him good and proper with shield of faith, sword of spirit, helmet of salvation and breastplate of righteousness.

Not sure what ever happened to him, though. He's well-armed, wherever he ended up.