Monday, September 24, 2007


The best laid plans of mice and is just about perfect. Brian had his surgery on Friday-came through with flying colors, and, thankfully, has been in little pain and has felt pretty well. That's where our good luck ended. We brought him home about 11 on Friday, and I went to the basement to get the knex set I got him as a surprise for him to play with while he was sick-and splash! The mainline ujoint sprung a leak sometime on Thursday, and flooded our basement. The storage/treadmill room had two inches of water all around the edges, flowing through my scrapbook room, via my carpet, to the sump pump. Plus, the carpet was wicking all the water throughout the basement. So, now we get to enjoy the fun of disaster repair again. We spent most of the day getting stuff out of the water and moved around to dry parts of the basement to get the water removal company in to do their job.

The damage was minor as far as "things". I lost several scrapbook things, but managed to save many-though the ones that got wet were a total loss. No photos were damaged, and all the Hinkle-Wilson items were safely far away in their plastic boxes. But, it was pretty disheartening, as I was so close to getting my room organized and ready to work, and now it's all back in piles and boxes (much of it bent and damaged) in being thrown around and blown around by the industrial dryers. We didn't lose much else except my stuff. We had a few clothing items that we had ready to donate to Goodwill get wet-and tossed those not worth saving. Eric didn't have much in the area, and the kids toys that were against the wall closest to the water leak were in plastic containers, so they were not damaged.

So, back to the best laid plans...I was hoping for a few days off to get something done and take some much needed relaxation from the high-stress of work, but it was not meant to be. But, maybe soon we'll get it cleaned back up. Looks like much of two walls were damaged in my scrapbook room, which will require removal of the drywall, then repainting before I can even begin to clean that back up again. I can tell you this-this is the last house I'll own with a basement!

Oh, and the topper on the cake-Sabrina caught the flu and spent much of Friday and Saturday throwing, it has been so much fun, trying to keep them separated so Brian doesn't get it, and cleaning up after her.

But, the photos keep beckoning me to take care of them....I hope to do something about that very soon. Eric has promised to install my scanner before he leaves for Florida on Monday, so maybe I can get something done while he's gone next week. He's planning on being in Florida most of October, so that will give me some time at night after the kiddos go to bed.

Got to get Brian back to doing homework---think of us (with buckets!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Quick Update

OK, so it's been a month since my last posting-eek. But, I have done a bit of work since then. We bought some nice plastic containers at Target to start putting things besides the photos in some order. There's so much paper, it's hard to get it in an order, but we're working on it slowly. I've sorted it into genealogy, personal correspondence and then documents, which is making it better. Next task is to re-sort into, needs scanned, doesn't need scanned, and then who would be most interested in the original. There are several things that are from Sami and Jen's childhood that need to go directly to them, that were mixed in with the boxes.

The big news is that Eric graciously purchased me a new scanner, that scans both photos, negatives and slides. He had to find some of his scout stuff to get signed up for den leader here in Hutchinson, and when I gave him his box of stuff to look through for it, he didn't realize he had so many slides of his scout trips to Philmont, and I think that may have encouraged him to buy the scanner. I'm very excited, because it will hook up to my laptop, so I'll be able to watch TV or be upstairs supervising homework or cleanup, and still be able to work, as the scanner is more portable than the all-in-one machine I would have had to use to do the scanning.

Not going to get much done for three weeks, between the grand Carpet Install at my mother's house (which necessitates removing EVERYTHING from her home) and the KS State Fair, which I will have to work much of, but after that-I'll have a whole week off, as Brian will be recovering from tonsil and adenoid surgery, and has to remain at home for a whole week from school. I hope to get some work done then, and show you what the new scanner can do.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Got through the first pass!

Last night, I finally got through all the boxes at least once, and removed the photos from their bad homes in cardboard, broken frames and manila envelopes to stop deteriation.

I found one my favorite photos of the bunch last night, a photo dated 1962, but I think its a reprint from earlier, of Madge and Oscar. It's a candid, of the two of them together, and I think it was probably taken about the time they married-they're both dressed up, and smiling-it's just a special photo. Madge appears to be wearing an outfit she had as a teacher in Tampa, which was about 1936. It's a really sweet photo-Eric really liked it. I'll try to get it scanned and posted on Monday.

I did find a bit of a mystery in one box. Madge had written out about three generations of the Gibbs family tree on "family information sheets", which contain some neat information about the individuals-like notes on hair and eye color, personality and illnesses and other traits. When organized, we'll actually know quite a bit about the Gibbs side of the family. But, here's the kicker. On each and every sheet, she lists her name as Madge Harriett Gibbs. Anyone know the story behind that--every legal document clearly states Kent as a middle name (which is a wierd name for a woman anyway, and even more so, when I can't find a single Kent in the family trees that are in the boxes). So-there's a mystery for us.

I do have a question for all. Now that I've taken the photos out of the old frames-I've got a paper box full of old photo frames. Two or three of them are in decent shape, and nice looking, but the majority are in poor shape, with some broken glass. Does anyone have a use or desire for these? I thought if no one wants them, I will throw away those frames that are broken or bent. I am throwing away any of the broken glasses-just for safety with Brian and Sabrina around. If someone wanted the frame, they'd have to have a new glass cut anyway to use it, so I think that's best, so I don't end up in the emergency room over old broken glass.

I was excited to find in the last box, three very clearly written generational family trees that go back for at least five-six generations depending upon the branch of the tree. It will certainly be nice, as I can use those as a starting basis, then compare the PILES of notes and snippets in the other boxes to see if we can get one family tree incorporated together. When I say piles-Jim and Sandi can appreciate. I've found old envelopes with notes, a publishers clearing house entry form with notes around every spare inch of space, old receipts with notes on the back-and just an almost overwhelming group of notes that may or may not be related to the research. Based on the work for my family trees-I know that once you hit a certain point, you basically start searching for anyone with the same name, hoping that you can get back to your tree. Much of the Hinkle research done is not related, as best as I can tell. Madge was also meticlous about getting every detail of all the Gibbs cousins-so I don't know how much of that information everyone will want, but that won't be the area I concentrate on first.

So, that's the update for today. More to come. I've got a bunch of fun stuff to share.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Back to the Boxes

After a stressful day at work, it was fun to dig back in the boxes. The two today were quite diverse in their treasures. I did find Jennifer's original crib card from the hospital in 1968-so, Jen, would you like that sent to you, or hold it until I see you in person? I also found several pictures of Jen as a baby, including a fun one of her up to nearly her neck in snow. Your boys will laugh.
For Sami, how about your mother's induction program and certificate into Psi Chi at ISU? Thought the psychologist in the family would enjoy seeing that one--the certificate is very vintage 60's-really kind of cheesy, compared to most honor certificates.
We did find Oscar's HS diploma from 1940, when he apparently completed school at one of those diploma places like you see on the TV channels late at night. I believe it was the "American" school, but I'd have to dig it out again to be certain.
I found a ton of notes from Madge, that may be some Sunday School homework or lesson plans. They are quite complex, in typical Madge fashion.
But, at the end of it all, the floor is a mess---I spent a lot of time simply removing photos from old picture frames covered in tape, rusting nails and broken, chipped glasses. Miraculously, most of the photos were relatively undamaged, but we did find a small stack of negatives, and were disappointed to discover that negatives of Jim in his Wentworth (or maybe Army) uniform were damaged beyond use or repair. I'll take them to Amber to see if she can do anything with them, but it looks like they were exposed to some heat and possibly some water, and they're pretty much destroyed. If the package hadn't been labeled, Eric and I couldn't have told what they were.
We also found Jim and Sandi's wedding invitation, and some nicely detailed Hinkle family history, though some of it is in disagreement with other parts-so it will take some work to figure out which version Madge wrote might be the correct one-if any!
With Board of Trustees meeting tomorrow, I won't get back to it for a few days, but it was great fun, although mighty dirty.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Our $750 cat is stupid

For those not in Kansas last week, Diego (our kitty) spent much of the 4th holiday at the vet, sidelined with a nasty urinary tract blockage. So, $750 later, we now have an insane cat with two wierd shaved stripes on his front paws.

His revenge has been "loving" the boxes of items that arrived last week. I think he must smell Kurt's dog smell on them, because he keeps going up and rubbing them, and chewing the corner of the one closest to the laundry room. Hasn't created any damage, but watch a cat "love" a box, is well-funny.

I did manage to get another one opened last night, but didn't get much chance to go through it. I did find some interesting pictures from the "Cosmopolitan" club. Apparently Madge had a group of friends, that I suspect are from her days at KState. For the time, it was an unusual group, an African-American woman, several folks from India or maybe Pakistan, and a couple with id that indicated some European descent.

Going to do some research-I'll keep you updated.

Monday, July 2, 2007

New Things Arrive

The rest of the documentation and history has arrived in Kansas. The formerly nice clean family room now has a stack again in the corner-but that's ok (except for Diego the cat, who isn't as appreciative of the "dog" smell that must be on the boxes, because he keeps sniffing at them and snerling up his nose at them before he saunters away).

I got the Gibbs/Gilpin photos sorted, and have a huge album (that won't close!) with them sorted out by person. There are enough of some that each of the grandchildren (Jen, Eric, Sami and Kurt) will be able to have an original or excellent copy, where there are only one of some of the others that will need scanned or copied. Still not sure where some fit into the tree, but at least, I know who the heck they are.

I did open one of the new boxes last night, but it didn't have much in it but old genealogy magazines from 1967 and 1968--not sure they'll be very useful, as so much of the info has long since been digitized and can now be found online or through other sources, but I'll put them in a box and try to organize them by date to see if they're useful later on. I'm thinking that they may just end up in the trash unless someone has a hankering for them, but you never know. Grandma Madge did a lot of research on the Hinkles, but it appears that she was searching for lots of related trees in hopes of linking back to our particular branch, but I haven't put enough of it together or not to be certain of that.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Home Today

With Sabrina at home today with a slight fever and cold, I had time to sit with her and sort through the trunk of photos. Lots of interesting and fun things to find.

I've got most of the Gibbs side of the family photos sorted into a single box. There's lots of duplicates in the stacks, but still will take some detective work in getting them in groups. I would find one photo with no id to it, and then get into another stack, and find the same or similar photo, with voila, a name to it. I think with some work, some of the unidentified folks may also be renamed-by comparing the photos with identified ones--many are unique looking folks, so I think we can identify many, but alas, probably not all. I've also got a stack for Jim to view, in the hopes that he might know some of the people.

I did find some fun things in the piles--in one letter to Susan, Grandma Madge explained some of the origin of the Philippine chest that Jennifer took back to Atlanta--even with her suggestions for restoration of it--I'm going to copy that portion for inclusion with a photo of the chest I shot over the weekend in a scrapbook page--thought it made a nice side note to the chest. Soon as I get it copied, I'll get that to you Jen so you can have it to go with the chest.

I found a graduation picture of Grandma Madge on her graduation day from Kansas State, and part of what I think is a scrapbook of photos from her KState days. There are a few photos of buildings of on the campus-I'm betting that some of the KSU alumni at HCC might be able to tell me a bit more.

I also figured out the English church we kept finding stuff on over the weekend---Jane Clark Gibbs was born in England, in that area that Grandma Madge had all the information on. In another stack-Madge had written out a nearly complete explanation of the history behind that--the Clarks owned the Abbey Mill, and Jane had played as a child on the steps of the church-next door to the Mill. How cool is that.

The key thing was to rid the photos of the cardboard, bags, tape and other acidic items that they were wrapped and stored in, to stop further deterioration.

It's a treasure trove folks, I've had such fun going through the stacks-the old history major is enjoying the mysteries that lie within.

I'll share more in the coming days-don't want to let all the cats out of the bag at once. I hope to install the genealogy software sent by Uncle John and attempt to make sense of the hundreds of pages of meticulous notes (some of which aren't genealogy related, but fun to read), and start to piece it together for us.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Military Medals

I was telling Jennifer about being able to request medals or replacement medals for family members from the various branches of service (I've requested ones for my father's service in WWII). The National Archives provides tons of interesting information...

3. How can I get my medals or those of my family?
NPRC (MPR) does not issue service medals; that is a function of each military service department. Nevertheless, veterans may request issuance or replacement of their medals and awards. Family members may only request medals and awards of living veterans by obtaining their signed authorizations. For deceased veterans, requests will be accepted from next-of-kin (unremarried widow or widower, son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister of the deceased veteran). Military Awards and Decorations contains instructions and addresses for submitting requests. A sample authorization is also included for review.

To request, hit the link below. It looks like to get Oscar's medals, Jim and John will have to request them, as grandchildren are not eligible to request, the way I read the page.

There's also a neat Cold War Certificate that it looks like Jim would be eligible to receive for his service with a written request as well.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Angel Photos

Those wonder photos of Madge at age 3 have a history. The photo frame that Sami and Jen found does have reprints of the original "Cupid Awake" and "Cupid Asleep". They're quite famous photos--I found a bit about them on the internet.....

"Your pictures are known as "Cupid Awake" and "Cupid Asleep." They picture a real little girl named Josephine Anderson. The original portraits were taken by M.B. Parkinson. The copyright was owned by a large printing company, Taber-Prang Co. of Springfield, Mass. But it was the Ohio Art Co. that made the prints popular across the country. Ohio Art of Bryan, Ohio, was founded in 1908. It began as a manufacturer of metal picture frames (today it's best-known for the Etch A Sketch). To increase sales, the company sold the frames with pictures. Among them were the cupids. Matted and mounted originals in their original frames sell for about [US]$50 to [US]$100 a set"

M.B.Parkinson Little is known about M.B.Parkinson who was a New York photographer in the late 19th and early 20th century. He formed the Parkinson Art Co in the early 20th century, a few years after he had sold the rights for the Cupid Awake & Cupid Asleep to Taber Prang Art Co.Printer :Taber Prang Art Co. Springfield, Massachusetts. Louis Prang (1824-1909)was considered to be the finest chromolithographer of his time and he is credited with creating the original Christmas card. His objective was to offer the great artworks to the masses but in a quality form. He stopped making Christmas cards when they became a cheap commodity in the late 19th century. Ohio Art Company offered Taber Prang $100,000 for the rights to the pictures, but the company refused. In an odd twist, Taber Prang went bankrupt in 1938 and Ohio Art Company bought the rights for $10. It still holds those rights and in the 1940's they released the much larger reproductions that are more commonly seen in Australia. All Taber Prang original prints have the Taber Prang stamp on the pack of the print

Model : Josephine Anderson was the daughter of a friend of M.B Parkinson, a single mother who worked and sometimes left her child in Parkinson's care. Josephine was four when these photos were taken and she continued to model for M.B.Parkinson for many years, some of the photos are in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The later prints of Josephine are also very sought after collectables. Josephine died in the 1970s.

Since these photos were shot not long before Madge was born, probably they were the inspiration for the photos we found. I'm guessing that some family member noticed the resemblance between Madge and Josephine, and saw an opportunity to recreate the photos. Kind of cool though huh? If anyone finds out more, please update me.

Where We can Keep Updated

SO, with the photos at least partially now in Kansas-thought the far-flung group would like to know progress on the scanning, sorting and making sense of the boxes and piles.

This will be a spot where I can keep you updated easily on progress, and you can check whenever you like, or nag me to keep updating and posting as we scan and update things.