Saturday, January 7, 2017

Terri Kallio Blesses Me with another Keepsake

It's common to get rewards from blog posts in the way of comments, compliments, or connections to cousins. But I was blessed with a unique treasure yesterday after my post about my father's hymnal that originally belonged to his parents. 

I always link my posts on my Facebook page so my friends will know when I've written a new post, and can easily read it by clicking a handy link. Yesterday my post drew a few comments from friends. Here's the notification of the blog post and resulting comments: 

I was moved to humbling but joyful tears last night as I found this beautiful composite on Facebook that had been produced by my dear friend Terri Kallio, as a result of that conversation. She has an amazingly talent and expertise at creating photographic original compositions. 

Terri took the memory of a small child with a grandfather as expressed by Debbie Blanton McCoy in the comment above, and the guitar, as referenced in my post about my own father, and added the piano, hymn music and the visual "Old Rugged Cross" and created this Masterpiece. Terri, you're a Treasure and a Blessing. Thank you for this keepsake!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Dad's Hymnal Reveals Our Shared Favorites

The holidays are over, we're settled into our new house, there are six inches of snow outside, and I'm off work for the next three days. And I'm tired. As I started my day I thought it would be a good one to spend reading. I bought a small blank notebook this week (can't pass up those impulse sale items as I'm checking out at Office Depot!). I opened this storage cabinet to put away the little notebook.

And I noticed this blue book covered with duct tape.
I pulled it out and found that it was a Lutheran Hymnal, published in 1941, that belonged to my grandparents. 

As I leafed through it, I found small white index cards marking several hymns. My dad had most likely inserted the cards, but they sure could have been hymns of my choice, for they're all my favorites! I know where I got my taste in Lutheran hymnody. 
 "A Mighty Fortress is our God"
My all-time favorite: # 47: "Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise". I have special memories of my twin brother playing this hymn on the pipe organ at Trinity Lutheran Church, specifically as the LAST hymn he played during his employment as the Organist, and the Sunday before he deployed to Viet Nam with the U.S. Army in 1967. I've never been more proud of my brother, nor felt more love in my heart than I did that day as our family processed out of church in Great Bend, Kansas. He played it again as the final hymn at the funeral of our mom, Phyllis Jones Margheim. I've written about that hymn before (you can read it here).
 "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross", 
a favorite selection to be sung on Good Friday. 
 "I know that My Redeemer Lives"
 "Just As I Am, without One Plea"
"Abide with Me, Fast Falls the Eventide"

Tucked in the hymnal I also found this listing that Dad wrote of his favorite songs by Bob Wills.
Music was such an important part of Dad's life, as he learned to play the guitar in high school, then performed on the radio and stage as "The Sunflower Wrangler" in the 1940's. His idol was the Texas recording star Bob Wills, who performed with The Sons of the Pioneers. You can read my previous post about Dad's singing days here

I still hope to spend some time today leisurely reading, but I had to make note of my discovery of Dad's hymnal and its hidden treasures, as I feel like he was visiting me today. Such a blessing to start off the New Year!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Setting up our new house for the Holidays

One of the first things to go up at our hew house was our American Flag waving to all who pass by. And the first thing to go up the morning after Thanksgiving was our Christmas tree. 

The most delightful thing to go up after Thanksgiving were the blinds on the seven windows in our Sunroom. You can see the south half of the sunroom in this picture before anything was moved in. 
My son so graciously installed blinds on those seven windows, in addition to windows in five other rooms of the house. You can see below what a difference the window coverings make in our Sunroom. 
I can still see the American Flag waving proudly in our front yard.
Just a few more Christmas appointments. Now our house feels like Home. 

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Amos J. Cummings Re-appears from my Personal Library

In July, 2012, I wrote two posts about books from my library that had at one time belonged to Amos J. Cummings. I invite you to check them out here: "The Story behind One of my Books" and "What Else I Discovered About Amos J. Cummings".

Three weeks ago we moved from our residence of 20 years to another home, so I've spent many hours the last 3 weeks unpacking several hundred boxes of our possessions. I'm down to the final 5 boxes. While filling the last remaining spaces on our bookshelves, I grabbed a dusty book to wipe it clean and opened it to discover it was another book that had belonged to Amos J. Cummings in 1900. 
This book is "D'Aubignes Reformation in Germany and Switzerland", four volumes in ONE, published in 1846. I was particularly interested in this book as I grew up as a member of the Lutheran Church which became established as a result of the Reformation. 
I will again post the chart that shows my ancestral connection to Amos J. Cummings. 
This chart shows that my 7th great grandmother, Mary Parkhurst, had a sister Abigail, who was married to Nathaniel Cummings, the brother of Amos's 4th great grandfather John Cummings. That means that my 7th great grandaunt was married to Amos's 5th great granduncle. I personally think this is cool! Perhaps I was directed to purchase these books from the private collection of Amos J. Cummings many years ago when Larry and I were shopping at the Book Sale of the Union Printers Home in Colorado Springs. I treasure these books and hope they can stay in our family. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

I found Helen Keller's letter in an old Autograph Book

We're getting ready to move to another house in the next few weeks so today I spent time going through our several hundreds of books to determine if I can possibly eliminate some of them. I discovered this little autograph book that we had purchased many years ago at a Used Book sale. As I  opened it, I found these first two pages:

The book was obviously a possession of a Ronald Simpson, whose mother was Mrs. S. O. Simpson, and whose sister was perhaps Carolyn Simpson. 

Tucked inside this book was the following letter:
One of the pages of the Autograph Book also holds Helen Keller's autograph, written in pencil.

I invite you to take a minute to read the letter. It offers a rare personal look into the heart and mind of Helen Keller and offers a valuable perspective into the life of a deaf and blind person. It's well worth the time to read it! 

I feel privileged to have this letter and look at it as the reward for my hard work in sorting through books and my willingness to consider letting some of them go. I may have missed this little gem otherwise. 

This chart shows how Helen Keller is my cousin.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

My Dad would Love this Cousin Connection

As I've been exploring cousin connections, I've found many surprises. I posted this chart yesterday showing how my father's Volga German ancestry was connected to cousins on my mother's side of the family, who were not Volga Germans. 

I continued to look at descendants of the Richard Hill and Sarah Strait family and noticed the name of Acuff. Being the daughter of Ernie Margheim, I KNOW that Acuff name. Dad, as "The Sunflower Wrangler" was a singer/guitarist of Western music in the late 1930s and 1940s. He had quite a collection of Western music and memorabilia, among which were recordings and song books of Roy Acuff. 
This chart illustrates my connection through cousins to the late Roy Acuff. His 2nd cousin (2 generations back), Zulema Wallace married Mark Cord Hill, my 5th cousin 3 generations removed. I know my dad knows of this connection now, but it would've been fun to have had the opportunity to show him and discuss this while he was alive. My dad was interested in the family history decades before I ever caught on. He'd be so thrilled.