The Class of 1970 is Turning 70!

Back row: Gary Turner, Diana (Suter) Berkshire, Dwight Burkholder, George Lehman, John Augsburger. Middle row: Pat (Heatwole) Hertzler, Karen (Smucker) Shelly, Sherill (King) and Darrel Hostetter, Randy Kiser. Front row: Carla (Janzen) Jacobs, Elaine Strite, Bonnie (Barnhart) Shoemaker, Edith (Layman) Rhodes and Linda (Hunsburger) Booker.

Last year was the scheduled 50 year reunion for the class of 1970 at Eastern Mennonite High School. Ever heard of that pandemic called Covid-19? It had everyone in a panic so officially we did not meet although a few fearless ones met in the garage of our class mom, Diana Berkshire.

Yesterday, Saturday, October 16, we celebrated our official fifty year reunion one year late. Fifteen classmates with some of their spouses met at the beautiful home of Gary Turner. We enjoyed our time reminiscing and one well-kept secret was revealed that only those attending will ever know! It was a good one!!!

We discovered that the class of 70 is now turning 70. We remember when seventy looked old and 50 year reunions were unimageable! We think our oldest classmate is Randy Kiser who celebrated the big 70 on October 11 (no, this is not the secret!) and was quickly followed by Karen Smucker and Phil Kanagy on October 14. Sherril Hostetter had a birthday on October 13 but she just turned a young 69 making her probably the youngest in the class. We have seven classmates that are deceased: David Neer, Bernie Christner, Grace Driver, Dennis Kauffman, Margaret (Oswald) Jackson, Ted Brilhart, and Darwin Wissler. There were 79 outstanding students in our class.

Some pictures of the day…. taken by Karen Smucker and myself.

Carla Jacobs and Sherill Hostetter
Diana Berkshire and Pat Hertzler
Sherill and Darrel Hostetter
Jim Shelly (Karen) and Allen Berkshire (Diana)
Edie Rhodes and Linda Booker
Bonnie Shoemaker
Gary Turner
Gene and Pat Hertzler
Elaine Strite
Dwight Burkholder
Edie Rhodes, Gene Hertzler, Linda Booker and Randy Kiser
John Augsburger, Randy Kiser and Darrel Hostetter
George Lehman and John Augsburger
Elaine Strite and Gary Turner
Gene Hertzler, Edie Rhodes, Darrel and Sherill Hostetter and Paul Doctorian

Paul Doctorian was a junior when we were seniors and was invited to stop by as he was friends with a number in the class and a part of the touring choir. He even took one of the senior girls to the junior-senior banquet!!! (This is not the secret either!!!) There were many shared memories together.

I will close with one final class picture. There is usually one clown in the group. Do you see who it is this time?

Until the next time….God bless each of you as we grow old together….gracefully!

I loved the view from Gary’s house, looking out over the rolling hay field. Might I be a farmer’s wife!!!

Past Blogs:

EMHS Class of 1970: 50 Years (2020)

The Class of 1970-45 Years Later (2015)

Oh The Games We Played

Recently I posted on facebook a comment about the games I remembered playing as a youngster. The response was so interesting, resulting in a trip down memory lane for many of us. It was funny how we had trouble remember the names of the games or even how to play them. But we remembered bits and pieces. That must be a sign of our age! I didn’t remember that so many were rough and tumble, contact games that involved chasing, tagging, catching, running into each other or hitting another with a ball. Parents today would probably shutter at the thought of their snowflakes playing these games. We all had memories; mostly good and few bad. I thought I would list the games. The descriptions came from the people who listed the game.

  • Tag, Freeze Tag: One person is it and runs to tag another. The tag person is now it and does the tagging. In Freeze Tag when you are tapped you have to freeze exactly as you are until someone unfreezes you. The goal is to get everyone frozen.
  • Hopscotch, Russian Hopscotch: Russian Hopscotch was similar to Hopscotch but consisted of 2 sets of three large squares side by side. We’d throw the rock into successive squares and hop with one foot into the squares with no rock, not touching the line or falling and pick up the rock.
  • Red Rover: Two teams line up facing each other holding hands in a horizontal line. One team says, “Red rover, red rover send dear _______ (person’s name on other team) over”. That person runs over and tries to break through the line. If unsuccessful, they have to join that team.
  • Piggy Wants a Beckon: It is a version of Hide and Seek that can go on for a long time. “Piggy wants a beckon” is what a player shouts from base when they are caught. You need to see someone that is hiding wave their stick to you… beckon…before you are free to steal away from base.
  • Dodge Ball
  • Basketball
  • H-O-R-S-E: Competition between two or more people shooting basketballs. One person would shoot a basket. The next person had to copy the exact same stanza and distance. If they succeeded they got to be the leader. If they failed, they earned an “H” and that continued until someone spelled H-O-R-S-E and they were the loser.
  • Hide and Seek
  • Softball
  • Prisoner’s Base
  • Badminton
  • Croquet
  • Horseshoes
  • Button, button, who has the button? (Or thimble)
  • No Bears Out Tonight: We would take off from the porch, run around the trees by the road and have to get back to the porch without being caught by the “bear” (another sibling), who was hiding in the darkness to chase us down.
  • Annie Over: Form two teams, one on each side of a building and we would throw a ball over the roof to the other team, while yelling “Annie over” – if they caught it in the air, they would run around the house to try to tag someone before they got to the other side of the house. If they missed it, they threw it back, again shouting “Annie Over.”
  • Mother May I: One person is “mother” and everyone else lines up in a vertical line about 25 feet away from “mother”. Mother gives each player a command. They have to say, “Mother may I” before beginning to do what mother requests such as take 2 steps forward, etc. If they don’t, they have to go back to the starting line. The person who makes it to mother first wins.
  • Kick Ball
  • Jump Rope, Run Through the School
  • Football
  • Blind Man’s Bluff: We tied a man’s hanky around our eyes and you had to find someone and guess who they were.
  • One O’clock Ghost: A form of Hide and Seek
  • Burney Ball: The person who submitted this said, “the players stood in a circle and a bouncy ball was thrown into the air. That’s all I remember”.
  • Twister
  • Old Gray Wolf: A form of Hide and Seek
  • Marbles
  • Bum, Bum (New Orleans Here I Come): We would divide into two teams. One team would figure out something to act out and tell the other team only the first letter of each word and act it out. Then the team doing the guessing would ask the questions and the team doing the acting would answer. Where you from? New Orleans. What’s your trade? Lemonade. Get to work and show us something. When guessing what they were doing was correct, the “acting people” turn and run back to their home base without getting tagged. Losers transfer to the opposite team until one team wipes out the other.
  • Football
  • Drop the Hanky: Everyone forms a circle. The player who is “it” runs around the outside of the circle and drops the hanky behind a player who picks it up and tries to catch the one who dropped it. Whoever makes it to the spot where the hanky was dropped is safe and the other has to go around the circle and drop the hanky behind another player.
  • Duck, Duck, Goose
  • Bouncy Ball: A schoolyard game where players hit a bouncy ball against a wall, using their hands. The game requires the ball to be hit to the floor before hitting the wall.
  • Run For Your Supper
  • Four Square
  • Crack the Whip

Besides all that, we caught lightning bugs, played in the creeks, climbed trees, went fishing, swam in the creeks/rivers, ice skated on the ponds, roller skated in the basement/sidewalks, sledded down the hills, walked on stilts, rode bikes on the road, slide down metal roofs, walked the top rail of the board fence, and took the gullible on snipe hunts. A lot of our friends and family had hay barns which were great fun. Those were the days when all the hay was square baled and stacked/piled in big barn. We loved to climb the mountains of hay, build tunnels and forts and swing from the rafters. Us girls did all of these fun activities in our dresses!

Our yard swings hung from long ropes hanging from the tallest tree, not a chain from an eight foot metal A-frame. At our home the big elm tree close to the house made for the perfect swing. We could go upstairs, crawl out the bedroom window onto the front porch roof and jump off the roof with the swing that was thrown up to us. It was thrilling, however, I never got brave enough to do that daring feat!

You can see our swing hanging at the corner of the house from the tree.

We had a good childhood. Our play was creative, competitive and interactive. We were not afraid to get dirty and didn’t worry about getting hurt. I wonder how many of today’s children know what half of these games are. The only telephone we played was the gossip game. We would sit in a line and first person would whisper something in someone’s ear and then would repeat it to the next person to the end of the line. The end result was often hilarious.

These were only the outdoor games. We had a whole arsenal of fun indoor games. That is a post for another time!

Cat On the Tin Roof-Part 2

This morning, like every morning, I heard Gene open the patio door and go “meow, meow”! It struck me so funny! He was calling for Kat and soon she came running for her breakfast.

A little later we saw her on the warehouse roof. This is a low roof with only a mild grade, and a low-hanging tree for climbing up and down. We saw her there the other day playing a game of “pounce” with the leaves.

Obviously she has not learned her lesson about roofs! She was sitting on the roof crying “meow”.

We snapped a few pictures of her looking over the edge and left her to her own devices. After a while she disappeared.

Sorry, Kat, but we are not going to play your little “come get me” game-unless you are in real trouble!!!

Cat On the Tin Roof-Part 1

Cat On the Tin Roof

Yesterday afternoon while Summer and I were in the store, we kept hearing this very faint, soft “meow, meow”. One moment it sounded like it was on the right, the next meow on the left, then in the ceiling, in the walls, upstairs, and under the building. We had seen a momma cat with her kitten close by earlier in the day and thought it was probably her but we wanted to find her. The meow would come and go. Our search would go and come depending on where we thought the direction of the last meow came from. Of course while we were looking there was no meow!

This morning first thing we heard it again. Meow! We walked outside on the porch of the store and out of the corner of her eye Summer saw Kat peak over the edge of the roof.

Have you ever heard the story of the “Cat On the Hot Tin Roof”? We had a cat on the tin roof but fortunately it was not hot.

Kat came to live with us this summer. One morning when we got up she was sitting on the patio waiting for us. She was a beautiful kitty; hungry and a little skinny. She must have been scouting for a new place to call home and chose us. We called her Kat until we could figure out a name. She is still Kat! Gene is her favorite human.

Kat is not a cuddly cat but does like to be talked to, rubbed and given attention. She knows how to beg for food and is a social eater. She is an outdoor cat but if she sees us eating through the patio door then she wants to eat also. She will peer through the glass door and go “meow” until there is food in her bowl.

Somehow “Her Royal Highness” got herself into a pickle. She was on the barn roof with no way down. She likes getting on the warehouse roof and playing “pounce” with a pile of leaves. But there is a tree by that roof; it is easy on, easy off. I guess she saw the store roof as a new, thrilling adventure.

When we started talking to Kat she tried to come to us. She stepped onto the steep barn roof and almost slid off the gutter above the steps.

We tried reaching her from a step stool but just could quite reach her and she took off slipping and sliding to the end of the barn. She discovered claws did not give her footing on the metal roofing!

We tried to convince her to jump into our arms. Kat seriously considered that option but just could not make that leap of faith.

Should I do it?
I want to do so bad!
Nope, no way!

Finally “daddy” Gene came to her rescue with the forklift. Summer took the elevator ride up and got her.

Kat-Kat now has her paws back on solid ground and there are no more meows coming from unknown sources. Hopefully she learned that steep tin roofs can not be climbed as they are slick sliding boards that send you scooting downward, fast!

Check out the sequence…Part 2.

Henny Penny Wonky-Wackers

Just when we think we have heard it all, answered all the questions….. we hear some more!!!

  • Hens are not chickens.
  • Are the chickens unisex?
  • Are the baby chicks humanely hatched?
  • A hen can lay eggs then “change” into a rooster.
  • Not all breeds lay eggs. (Answer: All breeds lay eggs. Bantams lay smaller eggs)
  • Their hens lay multiple eggs a day. (Answer: hens can only lay one a day at their peak. Every hen will not lay every day.)
  • A rooster has to be neutered to not have babies.
  • Hens can’t lay eggs before one year old. (Answer: hens start laying by 20 weeks or 5 months of age.)
  • Hens can’t lay eggs without a rooster. (Hens lay just fine without a rooster. A rooster is needed if you want the eggs fertilized.)
  • Roosters have to be a year old to fertilize eggs. (Answer: by 5 months they are fully mature.)
  • Green eggs are lower in cholesterol. Green eggs are higher in cholesterol. (There has been no proven data on this. Just wishful thinking.)
  • White eggs are better than brown. Brown eggs are better than white. (Answer: the color of the egg shell has nothing to do with the quality of egg; it is what they eat. The more grass and natural foraging they do, the richer, more flavorful, and darker orange the egg yolk. Typically backyard chicken owners like the hens that lay brown eggs and the commercial farmers like the white leghorns because of their smaller bodies, feed conversion and higher egg production.)
  • Only chickens lay eggs. (Answer: Turkeys, guineas, ducks, geese all lay edible eggs).
  • Debeaked chickens can’t eat right.
  • One backyard chicken owner bought his eggs from me and threw the ones from his into the woods. He can not eat something that comes from his pets.
  • Another chicken owner buys their eggs from the store. They say it is disgusting how their chickens lay eggs!!! They didn’t want to know how store bought eggs came to be!
  • You can’t eat fertilized eggs or they taste different. (Answer: you can not taste any difference in a fertilized egg. Most times you can not even tell.)

Folks, we just can’t make this stuff up!!!

Hen House Talk: Interesting True Facts

  • Did you know that you can tell the color of the egg the chicken will lay by their ear lobes? Chickens with white ears lobes lay white eggs. The ones that are dark, red or brown, lay brown. The Araucanas that lay tinted eggs are greenish or blueish in color.
  • There is a gland in a hen’s eye that is light sensitive that determines when a hen lays eggs. When the days start getting shorter, she molts and stops laying eggs. Yes, she loses her feathers in the fall or winter. When the days start getting longer, she feathers out again and starts laying. You can counter this by having a light on a timer and extending the daylight hours to 18 hours so there is no variation in daylight hours. It is best to have it come on in the early morning so that the hens rise with the light but go to roosting naturally. They can not see in the dark.
  • Chickens sleep by roosting on a roosting rod. Their leg joints lock so that they do not fall off.
  • Baby chicks can go three days without food or water after they hatch. The last thing that happens before a chick hatches is that the egg yolk is absorbed into the body providing them nutrition for about three days. That is the reason they can be shipped through the mail.
  • The reason they nip and cauterize the beaks on hens is to prevent pecking and cannibalism. In small flocks this is not an issue but the bigger the flock and more confined the area, the more they bully and are cruel to each other. The pecking order is extremely strong and if they draw blood, particularly in the rectum area, they will literally degut and kill the “picked” on hen.
  • Do not feed egg shells or toss an egg to the chickens to eat. They love eggs and you are introducing them to something they love. They will start breaking their own eggs and eating them and it is impossible once it starts to break them of the habit. You have to get rid of the offending bird.
  • You can not mix different ages of chickens together until they are 5-6 months of age. Before that, the older birds will pick on or kill the younger birds. If a hen hatches chicks, she needs to be separated immediately from the flock with her young ones or the other birds will kill them. The exception is if they are free range and the mother hen can separate herself from the others and protect her chicks.

Dr. Jesse Bennett-Known As The Doctor History Almost Missed

Historic marker on Route 42 just south of Edom. His name is on the web two ways: Jessee/ Jesse and Bennet/Bennett. Not sure which is correct but most seem to use Jesse Bennett.

My brother Ed recently asked me if I knew the first Caesarean Section was performed in Edom, a tiny, little, don’t blink, no stop light, blurb between Harrisonburg and Broadway, Virginia. Edom is not a town, it is just a “has been” area that 60 years ago had a filling station and tiny store, long gone, on the first floor of the McKay’s house (It is still standing-the burned out shell of a house). When we were young, we could safely ride our bikes the quarter of a mile to purchase penny and nickel candy from our hard-earned money. We would stand at the counter and gaze and gaze at the candy trying to decide how to spend those precious pennies. I had heard the story about Dr. Bennett sometime through the years, but would not have been able to recall it until Ed mentioned it.

It sparked my curiosity and I started digging for the story. I found several fascinating articles about Dr. Jesse Bennett on the internet. It is a story worth telling.

Bennett was born on July 10, 1769 in Frankford, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. Historians disagree about his medical education but after completing his studies, decided he wanted to go west. In 1771, he stopped in Rockingham Country and stayed. He built a little log cabin, hung his diploma on the wall and started his medical practice. In the spring of 1793, he married Elizabeth Hogg, the educated and talented daughter of Peter Hogg, a noted attorney in Rockingham County.

Within the first year, Elizabeth became pregnant and Bennett solicited the service of Dr. Humphrey of Staunton, VA to attend to Elizabeth during her delivery. To me this was amazing as Staunton today is a 45 minute drive by car going 70 mph on interstate from Edom. How did the doctor get there on time and how was word gotten to him when she started labor? Did he ride the train to Edom or his horse?

Her labor started January 14, 1794 and after a prolonged, difficult and agonizing labor the two doctors determined the only two options were a caesarian on Elizabeth or a craniotomy (a crushing of the skull) on the unborn infant. They had tried to deliver the baby vaginally with forceps but were unsuccessful. Dr. Humphrey refused to attempt anything else and left as he knew Elizabeth could not survive the operation. The situation was dire and probably meant death for either or both the mother and her infant. (References #5 and #6)

Desperate to save her baby even at the cost of her own life, Elizabeth pleaded for her husband to perform the caesarian. This surgery had been done successfully to save a baby but had never been successful in saving the mother. The twenty-four year old doctor, with only about three years of experience, was faced with a horrendous decision. Weighing the consequences, he remembered his resolution when he first hung out his shingle, “that he would attend the sick, in good or bad weather, night or day, rich or poor, and do all he could to relieve pain and aches.” In an instant, his decision was made, he would save both if possible, and he did. He assembled a crude operating table from two boards supported by barrels and gave his wife Laudanum (opiate drug) to make her sleepy. Her sister, Mrs. Nancy Hawkins, held a tallow candle to light the makeshift operating table and two slaves supported and held her down on the table. (Reference #5)

Using a knife from the kitchen he opened her uterus with one long swipe and extracted his precious infant daughter, Maria. (Source #3 says 2 cuts) He then removed both of her ovaries and placenta saying “he’d not be subjected to such an ordeal again.” Using stout linen thread, the kind used in frontier homes to sew heavy clothing, he sutured the wound closed. When Elizabeth learned he had taken her ovaries, she was not a happy wife. After a month she was able to be up on her feet and on March 1, 1794 Jesse declared his wife healed. He wrote notes on the title page and margins of one of his medical books but refused to publicize the details of the surgery during his life fearing repercussions from the medical world. He said other doctors would never believe a woman could survive such a hazardous operation done in the backwoods of Virginia. He was not going to give them the chance to call him a liar. Elizabeth died in 1836 after living another thirty-six years. (References #2, and #5)

Dr. A. L. Knight, a boyhood neighbor of the Bennetts, remembered hearing the story of Maria’s birth when he was a youth and collected eye-witness testimonies from Mrs. Nancy Hawkins and the surviving African-American slaves after Dr. Bennett’s death and published the story in The Southern Historical Magazine in 1892 as part of “The Life and Times of Dr. Jesse Bennett, M.D. (References #5 and #6)

Jesse Bennett Way is probably half a mile from where I grew up. Route 42 is the main road running north and south between Harrisonburg and Broadway. Some years ago, Route 42 was widen and a mile long stretch of road coming through Edom was cut off to become a side road. It was named Jesse Bennett Way after the doctor. There are only maybe a dozen or so homes on the road and two churches; one home is an old homestead with a small log cabin behind it at the corner where the road turns into the Lindale Mennonite Church parking lot.

I decided to to pay a visit! This past weekend when I was in Harrisonburg, my sister Evelyn and I went by the house and found the occupants at home. I will refer to them as the B’s. The B’s were gracious and let me take pictures. They knew the story but had never had it connected to their place. The current house where they live was built in 1851 (54 years after the Bennetts left the area) by John R. Wenger and he had a broom making shop in the log cabin. This was the history of their place as they knew it.

History records that in 1797, five years after the historic caesarian, Bennett moved his family to his father-in-law’s land in western Mason County, West Virginia. There, he established a large, well-known and popular medical practice. He got involved in politics and helped to establish Mason County‚Äôs government and served as their representative in the Virginia Assembly. It is recorded that Aaron Burr tried unsuccessfully to get him to join the Burr conspiracy. Fortunately, he did not as Burr was later convicted of treason When the US and Great Britain began the War of 1812, he served as army surgeon. (References #5 and #6)

Mr. B said that Route 42 was not a road at the time of the Bennetts, it wasn’t built until 1928. The main road going north and south was Route 11 several miles to the east. There were paths connecting the farms to Route 11. They traveled by horse at that time and had to go through the a series of neighboring farmers’ gates to get there. That would make sense with the info in some of the below articles that said the doctor’s log cabin was located in the back woods. In those days doctors usually traveled to homes rather than patients coming to the doctor’s office.

Another reason I found this story so fascinating was my great-great grandmother Lahman was born prematurely, also very close to Edom, just a mile or so down the road on December 2, 1855. Her face was the size of a silver dollar, a kernel of corn covered her hand and she reportedly weighed 1-1/2 lbs. The story is found on my blog post, A Family Story: An Amazing Birth Miracle I had to look to see if by chance Dr. Bennett could have been the doctor attending her birth, but it was 58 years after he had left the area.

I am posting a picture of the log cabin at the B’s house. Was it by chance Dr. Bennetts? I searched and searched the internet and could not connect the dots but it is the only log cabin on a mile long stretch of road named in his honor. It was built in the same era of time. To me it seems highly possible but I do not know. I do know the current house was not his. If anyone has any more insight on the cabin and/or location, I would love to know.

The cabin is currently being used as a dog house. Sometime through the years a concrete floor was poured. The cabin is still weatherproof and the steps going to the loft are sturdy. Regardless of who built the cabin or who it belonged to, it is a step back into time. You can almost feel the history when you stand in the darkened cabin and creep up the stairs to the loft. And to think that one time the successful “factory” of Mr. Wenger or possibly the office of Dr. Bennett.

Quick Reference Time Line From This Post:

  • 1769: July 10, Jesse Bennett was born.
  • 1791: Dr. Bennett moved to Rockingham County and started his medical practice in a log cabin at Edom.
  • 1793: April 8, married Elizabeth Hogg.
  • 1794: January 14, Dr. Bennett performed a successful caesarian on his wife, Elizabeth at the age of 24.
  • 1794: February 9, Elizabeth was out of bed and by the 15th could walk. March 1, he declared her healed.
  • 1797: The Bennetts moved to Mason County, West Virginia.
  • 1812: Dr. Bennett served as surgeon in the War of 1812 against Great Britain.
  • 1836: Elizabeth Bennett died.
  • 1842: July 22, Dr. Bennett died.
  • 1851: Wenger house was built.
  • 1855: December 2, Pat’s Great-great grandmother Lahman was born prematurely.
  • 1928: Route 42 was built.
  • 1956-1972 Pat lived at Edom.

References:

The Amazing Henry B. Ford Museum

This summer Obe and Jill (our daughter) took their family and two nieces on a trip around the Great Lakes. One of their early stops was the Ford F-150 Manufacturing Plant and Henry B. Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, on the outskirts of Detroit. They weren’t prepared for the depth and massiveness of the facility and had only allowed one day. After circling the lakes, they swung back to the museum for another day and decided that we needed to go!

This past weekend they took us to Dearborn. It was a great trip, a lot of fun and an incredible history lesson, parts of which we have lived!

Dearborn is an eight hour drive from Harrisonburg plus however many times you “need” to stop for gas, food and other essential needs. Interstate 81 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike takes you most of the way there.

FORD F-150 TRUCK MANUFACTURING PLANT

Friday morning we had tickets to tour the Ford plant that manufactures F150 pickup trucks. It was in full production and it was fascinating to view the process from the overhead catwalk. If I remember my facts correctly, they produce 600 trucks a day. It takes 93 minutes from start to finish for a truck to come off the assembly line. Right now they are having trouble getting some needed computer chips from China. For a while they shut down but are back building the trucks and will install the chips later. All over the area, there are parking lots full of trucks waiting for chips. It is incredible. We watched a video with the story of Henry Ford. He is well known for making the first car but his innovative skills, knowledge, passion for inventing went way beyond cars. We had no idea. He developed farm equipment, steam engines, worked with innovative ways to use soybeans, built a hospital, two churches, the first assembly manufacturing facility, and had a passion for collecting Americana history.

Ready for the day…here we go. Had to wear masks inside the plant.
Just about everything you see here is part of the Ford Manufacturing Plant. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the plant but this shows the “green” roof. It is a 10.4 acre garden planted with a perennial ground cover known as sedum. It lowers the temperature in the building by 10 degrees, absorbs up to 4 million gallons of rainwater and converts carbon dioxide into oxygen improving the air quality. There are also plants growing up the sides of the plant and the little buildings on top are to let in natural lighting. Ford was a leader in innovative ways save on energy.
Solar panels at the manufacturing plant, and notice the fruit orchard with bee hives. Ford loved his trees, especially fruit trees.
While we were looking out the windows these trucks went down the road. I thought they were so cool and took a picture of them.

HENRY B. FORD MUSEUM

The museum is a display of HIS collection and it is huge. It was hard to wrap your mind around the fact that this was almost all his stuff, his collection. any items that weren’t his were labeled. The whole complex sits on 250 acres. He collected everything; cars (not just Ford), farm equipment, steam engines, horse drawn equipment and stagecoaches, trains, trucks, buses, airplanes, the Weiner hotdog car, household items, violins, guns, houses, barns, full line of Presidential limousines, the bloodstained chair Lincoln was sitting in when he was shot, Thomas Edison’s light bulbs and production equipment, the famous bus where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat and was arrested, telephones, George Washington’s cot he slept on when in the field with his troops, and the list goes on and on. You wondered, how did he acquire all these things? Where did he store them? How did he have the time and energy for his never ending mission? How was HE able to acquire the limousines and Lincoln’s chair?

Henry realized people were not interested in preserving their own American culture and history. They were passionate about Egyptian artifacts, Persian rugs, Victorian period furniture and style, imports from France and Britain and other far away places while he envisioned a museum full of Americana history. Before he died on April 7, 1947, he had realized his dream come true. His museum was attracting thousands of people. Ford’s impact on Dearborn and the surrounding area is evident. There are Ford signs everywhere; schools, a hospital, water towers, manufacturing plants, billboards, a restaurant and too many places to name. He was well-known around the world and one of the richest.

The pictures inside the museum are all things Henry collected. He did not manufacture them all-some items he did. I had to pick and choose my pictures, I couldn’t show you all of them but tried to give you a taste of what it was like.

Entering the Ford museum complex. Everything was done first class.
This was a 1949 car. Gene said it was just like his first car! Ford built this car after World War II and people loved the clean-cut new look and legendary V-8 engine. It sold between $1420-$1638
1949 Coup. 6-cylinder, 95 h.p, top speed was 100 mph and fuel consumption was 20 mph. Price tag: $1420-$1638. Doesn’t look like much as changed on specs except for the price tag!!!
This was an innovative idea for an affordable house kit. All you had to do was put it together. This was the only one that was sold and lived in. The idea never caught on.

A huge steam engine used in his plant. We are standing on top of it. I don’t remember which engine, but one of these was moved to the location and the museum literally built around it.
Thomas Edison’s light bulb producing machine. It was his whole factory!
George Washington’s fold up cot when he was in the fields with his troops. He camped like his men. It fit into the case under his pillow.
The blood stained chair that Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated.
The bus made legendary by the defiance of Rosa Parks to the racial inequity of her time. She chose to be arrested then move to the back of the bus.. We were able to sit on her seat.
President Nixon and Reagan’s 1972 Lincoln Limousine. This was the car Reagan was getting into when he was shot by John Hinkley.
President Kennedy’s 1961 Lincoln
1961 Ford 100 pickup
Teddy Roosevelt’s 1902 Brougham limo! He was not fond of automobiles and preferred to use a horse drawn carriage. It was an elegant carriage for the rich and powerful.
I think this was a replica of the Wright brother’s first aircraft.
DC-3
This and the following three pictures show the progression of the home, especially the kitchen.

GREENFIELD VILLAGE

On Saturday we went to the village. You can easily spent a whole day there. The village encompassed 60 acres. It is huge and designed in an elongated oval. There is a lot of walking but not difficult walking. It is set up as a village with the houses and buildings he acquired; the house he grew up in, the two churches he built, the home of his favorite teacher, his doctor, the houses of Thomas Edison, Wright brothers, Firestone’s house, barn and out buildings, Robert Frost, Webster who wrote the dictionary, George Washington Carver and many more. Each were stocked with housewares, tools, equipment, animals, and information, most were the authentic belongings of each family. We peaked into basements, pantries, bedrooms and kitchens and barns. There was an orchard, gardens, and bee hives. There was a custard shop where they sold frozen custard using a recipe from England. It was so smooth and refreshing. There were working shops; pottery, weaving, glass blowing, printing, and a general store. There were display buildings; saw mill, grist mill, a spinning and cobbler shop, his soybean experiment, the shop where he built his first car, the Wright Brothers shop where they built their airplane, and Thomas Edison’s shop. These guys were all contemporaries and friends. Ford was especially fond of Edison who was older and a great encourager.

Circling the village were two trains; “Edison” is the oldest steam engine still working. Ford loved trains. Draft horses pulling stagecoaches and Model T cars were the only transportation in the village. At the gate you could purchase a ticket giving you access to ride as many times as you wanted. The train stopped at different locations and you could hop on and off or circle the entire village getting an overall view. The stagecoach and Model T’s left and returned at specific locations. The drivers gave a very informative running narrative. We were saving the stagecoach for the afternoon but because of the heat they were forced to discontinue them for the day. We did get to see them munching hay and swatting their tails under the shade trees in their pen. I was disappointed I didn’t get to ride one.

The first thing we did was ride the train around the perimeter of the village.
The Ford homeplace and farm. Henry’s father did not understand young Henry dislike of the farm and wanted him to eventually take it over. His mother recognized her son’s innovative spirit and became his encourager. It rocked his world when she died when he was twelve.


Ford House
Inside the Ford home.
Shop where Ford built his first car.
Wright Brothers House
If I remember correctly, this was the house of Firestone family.
Firestone’s barn.

Weaving
Model T’s waiting in line to pick up their passengers.
Passengers’ loaded!

Glass blowing
Extracting soybean oil.
Incredible. He truly had his fingers in many pots.
I loved the black cherry trees that were in the village. They were different than our cherries and not sure if they were edible.
The General Store. Jill said this would have been our store if we lived back then!

OLD FASHION BASEBALL GAME

We were fortunate that they had a live baseball game the day we were there. Gene especially enjoyed that. It was a beautiful setting, built like an oblong bowl with hillside seating under the trees for fans. The players marched down the street in a processional with a band playing to the field. The train track ran along one side and every 20 minutes a train puffed and chugged, blowing steam and whistled as it rolled by. The players would all pause, stand at attention and lift their hats as they waved to the iron horse as if it was the first time they had seen it. It was such an honoring and respectful sight to witness.

It was a brutally hot day but a gentle breeze was blowing. The players wore antique uniforms, no helmets or gloves, used wooden bats and pitched underhand. They played by the original rules which were somewhat different from today’s highly competitive version. There were no strikes, balls or umpire. If a ball was foul and you could get it on the first balance, it was an out. The announcer walked among the crowd and gave an interesting commentary during the nine inning game. It was a gentleman’s game, played to be fun versus competitive.

Lah-De-Dah Team parading to the field.
Our commentator for the game.
The train passing by and the outfielder saluting.
Pitching underhanded.

RESTAURANTS

In the evenings we ate at two very interesting restaurants; Ford’s Garage and Bone Yard.

The Bone Yard was a barbecue joint and the locals were out in full force. We became intrigued with the take-out line that went on and on and on. We have never seen the likes. It never stopped the entire time we were there. The platters were huge and the barbecue delicious. There was no way we could eat all the food.

Ford’s Garage was an experience, so unique and special. It was everything cars!

A tailgate used for the back of the waiting bench.
Hostess station
Gas nozzles were the handles on the entrance and bathroom doors.
The sinks in the bathrooms
Sign designating the location of the bathrooms.
Grease rags and stainless steel clamps for our napkin and holder.
Onion rings served on a funnel. We didn’t get any as they were out of stock for the evening!
Menu
Sign designating the kitchen
Food!

THE OSCAR MAYER WEINER HOTDOG CAR

The second evening when we came back to our hotel, parked in front was the Oscar Mayer Weiner Hotdog car. After we went up to our room I decided I wanted to see the car closeup and see if by chance I could get a ride!!! Gene and Jill were party poopers and laughed at me but Obe became my partner in crime and giggles. It was so cool. We laughed and laughed at ourselves acting like kids! We talked to the folks at the front desk of the hotel and found out that the car had been there all week, apparently participating in something around town. They said the guys had gone out somewhere for the evening and were not at the hotel. We got paper and pencil and I left a note taped to the windshield with my name and phone number asking it they gave rides.

Here is my proof!

I did not receive a call and the next morning the car was gone and my note was laying in the grass. I think the dew caused it to fall off and they probably did not even see it!! Bummer! But it was fun to just see and touch that iconic car!

LAKE ERIE

One afternoon we took a side jaunt over to Lake Erie. This is the dirtiest of the five freshwater lakes with the big cities like Detroit, Cleveland, Toledo, Erie and Buffalo surrounding it and with that brings nuclear plants and manufacturing. It was neat to dip our toes in the warm water and enjoy the beauty of the lake.

Obe and Jill
Gene and I
Nuclear power plants in the background.

So folks, I hope you enjoyed a peak into our trip and it wet your appetite to go sometime. It was hard choosing pictures but decided against posting all the steam engines, farm equipment, cars and houses. This is a trip worth having on your bucket list. You won’t be disappointed.

Flight 93 Memorial

Coming home from our trip to Detroit, we decided to stop at Shanksville, PA at the site of the crash of Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. After 46 minutes of flying over eastern Ohio on that fateful day, hijackers in first class attacked at 9:28 a.m., incapacitating the captain and first officer. They turned the plane southeast, heading for Washington, DC. most likely the US capital. Thirteen of the passengers placed thirty-seven calls to family, friends and authorities and began to piece together the intent and seriousness of the situation. Their plane was part of a planned attack on America. They formed a plan to rush the hijackers, knowing that it would cost them their lives. The struggle lasted six minutes.

At 10 a.m. the plane was spotted flying low and erratic and at 10:03 it crashed, upside-down at 563 miles per hour into this Somerset County farm field. All thirty-three passengers, one unborn baby, seven crew members and four hijackers were instantly killed.

The plane came over the hill above the trees and went down the hill to where it crashed. The wall at the bottom of the hill marks the path and the large boulder sitting along in the field marks the spot of impact.

The Tower of Voices

Just after you turn off of the main road (Route 30-the same road that runs across the state into Lancaster), is the Tower of Voices. It is 93 feet tall in homage to the number of the flight. This is a musical instrument with forty chimes representing the voices of each of the forty passengers and crew members. Each chime has a different tone. It takes 12 mph wind to make the chimes ring and even though it was a very breezy day, only one on of the chimes occasionally chimed it’s sorrowful tone. A young fellow with a wind app on his phone said it was blowing at 7 mph. It was disappointing we didn’t get to hear it. The tour guide on site said she hears them about once a week. Even though it had an open design, the structure seemed to block the wind. There were quite a few visitors that day and it would have been so meaningful to have heard them ring. We were disappointed in the restrictive design and wondered why they chose one so limited.

View of the chimes.

The walls to the right and left of the gate represents the flight path. On the wall are the names of the victims. The gate faces the boulder sitting as a head stone on the crash site. The woods behind the boulder burned and was replanted with spruce. The families of the victims wanted a simple memorial. On that day, an ordinary, obscure farm field became a memorial attracting thousands and thousands of people and yet remains a simple, peaceful, burial site. Only family is allowed to walk to the boulder. No bodies were ever recovered.

if you turn and look back up the hill, there is a visitor center overlooking the site filled with the story and artifacts recovered from the site. There are bits and pieces of the plane and amazingly there are a few things that survived: several bent forks, the black box, and a bank statement of one of the hijackers were a few of the items. The black box was the only one recovered from the four planes involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and this site. Pieces of the plane were scattered over the forty aces and woods. There were too many people and we were too short on time to see all we wanted at the center. The design of the center also reflects the path of the flight. This site is 18 minutes flying time from Washington, DC. The heroic action of unarmed passengers and crew thwarted and defeated the terrorists’ plan, saving many lives and kept our government intact.

The design and position of the building also reflect the path of the plane.
A walking path goes from the visitor center down to the wall and memorial. There is also a road that circled down on the left side.
The boulder, chosen from the land surrounding the site, became the marker for the site., Note the beauty of the wild flowers growing naturally.
It is wonderful to have a good zoom on my camera!
To the left and through the trees you can catch a glimpse of the farm buildings.
A memorial at the beginning of the walkway to the wall.

I quote from the a plaque in the visitor center…. “A common field one day. A field of honor forever”.

Rest in peace, America will not forget.

A Community Honors Its Own

Today something very emotional and special happened in Powhatan. A community, in droves, lined the main route through the county (Route 60) to welcome home one of their fallen, Caroline Schollaert, who was shot during an attempted car burglary at her home in Florida last week. Her dad’s facebook post reads in part, “…She was an active member of the United States Coast Guard. She served in the elite Hitron unit which conducts drug interdiction ops. A service is being held at her unit hangar Tuesday morning (August 10), then we will be escorted back to Powhatan, VA by an honor guard …….please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.”

Picture of Caroline taken from Pat Schollaert’s fb page.

This post is not so much about Caroline as it is about the community that showed their love, support and care for the Schollaert family. I did not know her but her dad is a customer in our store. I didn’t realize this was happening until this afternoon and I decided I wanted to be a part of it. The family and body landed at the Chesterfield Airport and made their way up Rt. 288 to Route 60 and west to the Bennet-Barden funeral home directly across the road from our farm. We had a front row seat!

Community gathering and waiting.
Lining the road. From what I heard there were people lining the road from the county line up to our road. (8 miles)
Lining the road. Our fields in the background.
Hometown USA-the real America!
ABC News was there. He said to watch at 11 p.m.
This man had his drone ready to fly for aerial pictures as soon as the procession arrived.
Stopping traffic at the crossover for the motorcade.
Lead car. Here they come. Everyone watched in silence.
Respect, honor and patriotism.
And there they are…..
Lots and lots and lots of motorcycles. It was impressive and sets such a respectful atmosphere.
Sobering and sad. Coming home to be laid to rest. Gunned down in a senseless murder in the prime of her youth.
There had to be hundreds of cycles.
The parking lot at the funeral home.

I was impressed with the turn out of people showing their love and care for the Schollaert family. Some were friends and co-workers and some, like me, just wanted to be a part of the community support, honoring and welcoming home one of our own. Something special happens to a community when they come together in times like this.

Piercing High-Pitch Squeal

We have a piercing high-pitch squeal in our house and it is driving me to the crazy house!!! In fact I told Gene the other evening I was getting ready to run away from home!!! Over the weekend we final found the source-the toilet. If you don’t believe me, come hear mine!

It started a week or so ago. I kept hearing this very quiet but very high piercing squeal that you could hardly stand. At first Gene couldn’t hear it which told me what I already knew, he had to be hard of hearing! I would crawl in bed, and off the squeal would go. By the time I was in the living room it would stop. I checked everything I could think of; the computer backup, my blue-tooth, the super-sonic pest repellers I had just brought in from the garden, the door bell, and smoke detectors (they usually chirp). I would sit beside some of the items and wait to no avail. As soon as I was back in bed, off it would go.

The squeal started getting one degree louder, more frequent and lasting a little longer. That is when Gene started hearing it and found the source. The toilet; throne or lowly stool, depending on your view! Who knew a toilet could be so annoying? Closing the bathroom door, pulling the covers over my head and sticking my fingers in my ears did not help. Did you ever try sleeping buried under the covers with your fingers in your ears?

Toilets used to have a simple float system in the back and you could replace pieces. Now they are newfangled contraptions that you can’t fix. The water is not leaking but apparently something on the float has gotten a little worn and it is letting us know! Jingling the lever does not help and neither does flushing. If you tap the float it will stop the squeal until the next squeal.

There will be no peace in this house until one of us makes a trip to the hardware store. How fast can I go!

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