Panguitch Lake 1966

As I remember the story:  Dad came back from a fishing trip with friends at Panguitch Lake, Utah, with a story about having seen a UFO.  He told it to the family right away, but I never heard it again.  My speculation:  someone teased him about this ‘outrageous’ claim and he was embarrassed.  He could be silenced by a threat of humiliation.  Really sad, because this could have been a fine story to tell the great-grandchildren.

Postcard Dad sent to his mother on this Panguitch trip.  July 1966.

The Reed Dance

It was 40 years ago this summer that I had the chance to be part of the Reed Dance in Swaziland (now Eswatini).  The best known part of the event is bare-breasted maidens dancing for the King.  The was not my part – I was in the fully-clad married women’s group that danced for the Queen Mother.  There were three of us non-Swazis who were invited to join in.  It was an honor and a wonderful day.

ARC Life Saving Badge 1931

My Mom, Harriet Duncan (Claycomb), was a fine swimmer.  She earned the American Red Cross Life Saving badge when she was 16, but she had to wait until she was 18 to officially receive it.  She was often ahead of her time.

She would have earned it in the summer of 1931 before she turned 17.  DeKalb, Illinois.

Voter Registration 1937

Mom and Dad registered to vote in Detroit, MI, 1937.  The municipal elections there had the biggest turnout in their history that year.  My guess is that, as usual, Mom and Dad’s votes cancelled each other.  The following year, FDR was elected President for a second term.  Can you tell I’ve been sorting more family ephemera lately?  Hope to continue and someday finish.

Grandparents’ Gift

In these days of calling parents and grandparents by their first names, this note that accompanied a gift to my father and his brothers harks back to an earlier time.  I would guess it was written in the mid-1920s.  The Bresslers are the boys’ grandparents (and probably included their daughter, Dorothy).  No warm and fuzzy Grandma and Grandpa here, just ‘The Bresslers.’  My father did refer to them as Grandma and Grandpa.

Hairy Heirloom

It’s more properly called a friendship album.  I got a chance to see one with a distant family connection.  It was made by Emma Osborn with help from her sister Erista, beginning in 1860.  Emma married my great-grandfather’s brother, Thomas C. Duncan in 1866.  Besides poems and obituaries, the book contained locks of hair – from children, friends, and deceased folks.

The woman who generously shared it with me – and provided these photos – found it at an estate sale.  Her research brought her to my blog.  I’m grateful for her diligence.  If the book had a more direct line for me, I would have considered buying it.  It later sold for several hundred dollars.

T. C. Duncan served in the Wisconsin cavalry in the Civil War.

An entry for Francis Osborn Duncan, the adopted son of Emma and T. C.

Lots of genealogical information here.

Hair from a deceased woman braided.

A child’s lock of hair. I think the black ribbon indicates the person has died.

One of Emma’s poems.

A lot of hand work has gone into these tributes.

More intricate designs.

A funny story from our visit is here.

2027 Stanley Hills Drive Hollywood California

This is where my parents lived when they first came to California in 1939.  They rented 2027 Stanley Hills Drive in the Hollywood hills.  The house was built in 1938.  They may have been the first tenants.

2027 is at the center of the photo – part of a duplex.

It’s fun to compare it with a Google Earth shot taken in December 2017.

Hollywood Nights

My parents, Frank and Harriet Claycomb, moved to Hollywood California in 1939 – in time for their first born child to have that glamorous birthplace.  I think this was an exciting time in my parents’ lives.  They were in their early 20s and Hollywood star power was at a peak.  The Wizard of Oz was released that year and Gone With the Wind in 1940.  Mom said she often saw big stars at local stores.  It was almost a small town atmosphere.

Dad was a salesman for Anaconda and often entertained customers at night clubs.  These are souvenir photos from two of those evenings.

Folder for Florentine Gardens.

(about 1942) L-R: __, Sally Chamberlain, Frank Claycomb, Harriet Claycomb, __, Blair Chamberlain, __, __.

On the reverse of the Florentine Gardens folder, it states one can write for additional copies from Hollywood Nite Club Photos – $1.00 each plus 10 cents for mailing.

February 1940. L-R: Frank Claycomb, Cele Snow, W. E. Sprackling, Harriet Claycomb, Herbert Hawks, Win Snow, Mrs. Hawks, E. A. Casey, Mrs. W. E. Sprackling.

Local News Column 1890

I like reading obituaries for their information and often for their wording.  How many ways can you say someone has died?  This was not meant to be an obituary, it was just in the local news column, but the wording is not what we would use today.

“The aged wife of Mr. Thomas Duncan who has been with her son, Dr. Duncan at LaMoille, had a stroke of apoplexy recently, but the Gazette reports her as improving.  Dr. F. Duncan, formerly of this city, is one of her sons.
Since writing the above we learn that the old lady died.”

Mrs. Duncan is Eliza Cation Duncan.  She died 9 Dec 1890.  LaMoille is in Illinois and was the home of Dr. James C. Duncan.