Friday, July 26, 2013

How Is the Garden Growing???

Here it is today.
Jungle tomatoes!  Cukes are taking over and they are supposed to be 'bush' plants, not vine.  Peppers, well, eh.

Compared to the photo in this post:

Here are a couple shots of plants given to us by our hippie friend, Pete.
These are going to be purple tomatoes.
R says these will be purple, too.
And of course, a massive amount of cucumbers.  This weekend I think I'll can (jar) some sweet and sour.
I kind of forgot to check the plants for a couple days.  Should have this many more in about 4 more days.

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Family Story - Found Photos

Thought I'd post a few photos that I just found.
Marion, in 1942, on 31st Street, Camp Shelby, Mississippi.  Could this be when she married Connie?
Connie 1944
George and Marion 1955
For the fun of it I have included this last photo.  Parrot Jungle just outside of Miami!  A really cool, old Florida attraction that I believe no longer exists.  I went while on vacation with my parents when I was three years old.
George, Sr., Parrot Jungle 1956

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Family Story - the third part

So, last I wrote, I had left Marion and family in San Diego.  They remained there for the duration of the war.  My grandfather worked as a groundskeeper.  His daughter, Marion, worked in a defense plant.  A Rosie the Riveter! 
Marion with Paul as a baby and at four years old
At some point in the late 40's the entire clan moved back to Stamford, CT.  Marion, Connie and Paul moved into an apartment created in a Quonset hut near the beach.  My mother remembers visiting them there.  Shame that there are no photos of it.  My mom and dad remember Connie as being a real nice guy.  He owned a gas station, worked hard, but got nowhere. As a husband, he evidently was not Marion's ideal.  Connie liked to spend more time with his buddies over a couple beers than home with wife and baby.  Sometime in the early 50's, I think, Marion divorced Connie and took Paul to live with her parents.  For several years they lived together in a small rental house in Stamford.  Marion's dad, my grandfather, worked as a machinist for McCall's publishing.  Marion earned a certificate in bookkeeping and found a job in that field.  I suppose that my grandmother spent a lot of time taking care of Paul!  The fifties years moved along and Marion met George.  They were happy together.  George was divorced and had two sons.  When George and Marion married they all lived together with George's father.  Marion, George, George Sr., Paul, Arnold and Allen.  It was a full house that burst at the seams with the children moving out as soon as they could, especially when another son was born.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

A Family Story - Part 2

Marion and her family lived in the Greylock area of North Adams for most of Marion's childhood.  She and her siblings, my uncle Tom and my dad Al, would tell many stories of those growing up years.  Like the boys smoking corn silk, "hiding" behind the mill to avoid getting caught, while their fathers watched from the windows above them.  Or Marion, just a young girl, having to care for her parents and brothers during a flu epidemic and how when she headed out to get bread from a neighbor sank knee deep in mud at the foot of the back stairs, with only her screaming bringing the neighbors to check.  I remember a short tale told each time we drove past a vacant lot at the foot of the Mohawk Trail, entering North Adams.  "There used to be a house there," my Dad would say.  "There was a big mudslide that came down the mountain and destroyed it." (Obviously never rebuilt!).  As a youngster, my uncle Tom built a glider.  Full sized!  The neighborhood boys dragged it up part of Mount Greylock and "launched" him off a cliff.  It flew.  Uncle Tom flew!  His dad heard word of it and took an axe to the glider!  Tom would become a professional pilot in adulthood. 
Marion in her late teens

While living in Greylock and working at the mill, there was occasion, some mill business of some sort, to travel to New Bedford and meet with other mill workers.  That's when my father's family met my mother's family and became lifelong friends.
The Birch/Jennings kids at Mausert's Pond, l-r: Marion, Hugh J., Tom, Norman J., and Al (my mother was not yet born)

Marion, Tom, and Al grew up and into the start of WWII.  Tom entered the Army Air Corps and was stationed in Arizona for part of the war.  Al joined the Navy and spent the majority of the war in the Pacific.  After a short stint when Marion and her parents lived in Stamford CT, the three moved west to San Diego (Marie, Tom's future wife accompanied them) to be closer to Tom and also, they felt, where Al would come ashore.  Sometime near the beginning of the war, Marion met and married Connie, an Army man.  During her time with her parents in San Diego, my cousin Paul was born.  That was Feb. 8th 1945.