Friday, June 14, 2019

Serendipity or What???

So, a couple of days ago a post for an estate sale popped up on my Facebook feed. I decided to ignore it as I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to estate sales anymore. Today that post popped up in my feed again. Just for the heck of it I decided to check it out. The sale started yesterday and runs until Sunday and is in Coldwater. I scrolled through the pictures of the items for sale and was shocked at the number of old photos that were for sale as well as an old Cabinet Card album. I thought to myself, “Well, those are probably all gone now” and decided not to go.

It kept nagging at me and I finally said to myself “Just go and see if any of them are still left (including the Cabinet Card Album) and if not you’ve been wanting to go to Hog Creek Antique Mall in Allen and you’ll be right down in that area so it won’t be a wasted trip.”

So, I hopped in my car and headed down to Coldwater and to the estate sale (FYI today everything was ½ off). There were in fact still quit a few photos left including some of the old ones as well as some old documents.

But, alas the album with a red velvet cover (I found that out when I asked about it) had been sold first thing the day before. So, I bought a bunch of the old documents and photos and headed out to Hog Creek. Upon arrival I went to my favorite booth and started going through the tons of photos she had (I bought a ton as well as an old Cabinet Card album). Funny side note: as I was sorting through a big stack of photos in a bin a guy came up to me and asked if I worked there. I told him, no. I needed to use the bathroom so I took my stuff up front and a guy that works there said he’d be out of my way in a bit so I could put my stuff down. I told him I was just going to sit the items down on the floor so I could go to the bathroom. When I came out of the bathroom he asked “You’re the photo lady that comes in here once in awhile aren’t you”, to which I replied “Yes.” I gave my items to the gal at the counter so she could start ringing up my purchases while I continued to shop. The gentleman noted the Cabinet Card album I had and said “We just got another album in but she hasn’t priced it yet. I can contact her and find out how much she wants.” I walked over and there sat a Cabinet Card album with a red velvet cover on it. Surely it wasn’t the one from the estate sale…..

I proceeded to go walk around the store some more killing time for him to hear back about the price for the album. I came across a case with about 10 albums in it and told the guy that I wanted to look at them. He opened the case and I looked at each one and ended up purchasing four of them. As we walked back up to the checkout counter I asked if he ever heard back on the album. He said “No.” As we got to the counter a woman was standing at the end and he told her I was interested in the album (turns out she was the one that had brought it in) and was wondering about the price. She said she had just gotten it and paid $50 but would sell it to me for $60. She said she had not even had a chance to remove the photos from the album. I told here I wanted it and as she brought it over I asked her “Would you mind telling me where you bought that?” She said “Well, there’s an estate sale going on right now”. I didn’t even let her finish cause I knew exactly where she bought it. I told her I had been to that estate sale and had wanted to purchase that album.

Serendipity or what???

Sunday, May 26, 2019

"Meant To Be"

I don’t normally go to the Flea Market and Antique Shows at Cornwell’s Turkeyville, but I decided that this weekend I would go check it out and see if I could find any photos to rescue.

As I perused the items in one of the booth’s, yesterday, this photo caught my eye. I took it up to the people running the booth and asked if they would take $15 for it (asking price was $25). They told me they would take $20 and I agreed. I told them that I was a photo rescuer and that I wasn’t interested in the frame but the picture itself. The woman told her husband that he should tell me about an item that they had at home. He proceeded to tell me that they had an old “photographer’s desk” that had an album on the outside and inside was a desk with an inkwell in it. He also told me that it wasn’t for sale. Unfortunately I had forgotten to bring my business cards with me and told them that. My hope being that someday they might decide to sell it and would contact me. At the end of our conversation it was agreed that he would bring it today so I could see it and I told them I would return today business card in hand. He again reiterated that it wasn’t for sale.

Mike Wright holding the "Photographer's Desk" album.
Today, I hunted down the booth again but did not see them sitting in their chairs and to be honest I had forgotten what they looked like. There was a guy there moving things around but I wasn’t sure if it was him or not. So, I walked off and checked out the remaining booths. I was almost thinking of leaving when I decided that I would go back to the booth one last time. As I approached I saw the gentleman from earlier talking to another gentleman and showing him what I knew was what he called a “photographer’s desk”. I immediately stopped. He looked at me and said “You’re the one from yesterday?” and I said “Yes!” I stood there as he opened the album up and was showing the other gentleman the contents. Every album page inside still held all the photos that originally came with the album and in the back was indeed a mini desk with an ink well, the pen for the ink well and some loose photos and real photo postcards!! I told him it was rare to find an album like that that still had all it's photos inside. The other gentleman asked what something like that would go for and he said “Well, we weren’t going to sell it but my wife and I talked last night and decided that if I was interested they would sell it to me for $350.” I told him I was definitely interested. As we went to his booth so I could pay him he said that when he and his wife were talking last night he had told her “That is the right person to sell this to.” So, it was definitely "meant to be" for me to now have this beautiful album in my possession.

The "desk" with inkwell and pen.

There are 72 Cabinet Cards in the photo pages, as well as 16 loose Cabinet Cards and six RPPCs.

Just a few of the Cabinet Cards in the album.

Friday, July 22, 2016

My Great Big Ohio Cemetery Adventure

While visiting my sister, Karyle, who lives in Beavercreek, Ohio, I wanted to take her to the Strait Cemetery near Ansonia, Darke, Ohio and show her where our 3rd great grandparents, Richard Fletcher and Rachel (Jennings) Strait are buried. Clinking on their names will take you to their Find A Grave Memorials.

It was quite an adventure!  But long story short, as a result of that trip we ended up tombstone trolling in five cemeteries that day, and I completely photographed one of them.  We started out by mistake (bad coordinates) at Wesley Chapel Cemetery (Franklin Township), Anna, Shelby, Ohio (I photographed the entire cemetery before we left).  All the markers in this cemetery had been placed on a concrete slab as you can see in this photo.

Then we moved on to the Strait cemetery which was difficult to find because it was between two corn patches and we almost missed it. 

On our way back to my sister’s house we came across the Old Teegarden Cemetery in Darke Co., Ohio and stopped (because we have relatives buried there) and took some photos to fulfill some Find A Grave requests. 

From there we came upon Greenville Union Cemetery, Greenville, Darke, Ohio.  As we had relatives buried there I turned into the cemetery so we could look around.  There were some fascinating tombstones in this huge cemetery and I took photos of some of them.  While we were walking around, my sister found some Strait’s so I had to photograph them as well. 

We left there and continued on toward Beavercreek when we came across the Abbottsville Cemetery, Abbottsville, Darke, Ohio.  I told my sister that we had relatives buried there so we pulled into the parking lot.  While we were sitting there, I decided to see how many photo requests had been made for this cemetery and it turned out that there were 85 of them.  We drove around and found a few of them.  Also, because my BFF’s maiden name is Albright we photographed all the Albright’s (and there were a bunch) we could find as we drove around, just in case they turn out to be related to her.  

We also found this very interesting marker, belonging to Clayton E. Moore, Sr. (1952-2005).  

As it was turning out to be a long day, we stopped looking and decided to come back another day.  

The Friday before I headed home, my sister and her oldest daughter, Wendi, and I went back to Abbottsville.  I had hoped to find someone in the cemetery office to help us with burial locations for the rest of the 85 photo requests.  Really didn't want to have to walk that entire cemetery, it is huge.  We didn’t see any cars (other than a pickup truck in the cemetery) at the office but I pulled in just in case, but didn’t see any lights on.  As we were leaving I saw the pickup truck pull up in front of the building, park and the driver got out and entered the building.  I turned around and pulled back into the parking lot and the gentleman came out of the door to the office and asked if I needed help.  I showed him the list I had and told him I was looking for burial locations.  He said to come on in and he proceeded to look all the names up for me and marked their locations on a map of the cemetery.   The cemetery was founded in 1878 and it turns out that some of the photo requests were for folks who died before 1878 so not sure where they are really buried.  One of them it turns out is actually buried in the Old Abbottsville Cemetery.

As we hadn’t had lunch yet, we decided to head into Greenville to grab a bite to eat.  As we left the cemetery I noticed a small cemetery just down the road from Abbottsville Cemetery.  We turned down the road leading to it and found out it was the Old Abbottsville Cemetery.  All the markers had been bunched together on four concrete slabs as you can see in this photo.  Well, of course I had to photograph the entire cemetery!

After we left Old Abbottsville and continued on toward Greenville, Wendi spotted another cemetery but we couldn’t quite figure out how to get into it.  So, we continued on to McDonald’s to have some lunch.  When we headed back to Abbottsville, my niece spotted the entrance but I missed it so I had to go down the road aways to turn around.  Turns out that it was the Darke County Home Cemetery.  Once we got into the cemetery and I walked to the three rows of markers in the back of the cemetery, I saw that they all only had numbers on them.  There actually were only a few of the markers in the cemetery that had names on them.  There was also a recent burial which turns out to be that of Norma (Sheets) Ryan who had died on 29 Jun 2016.  Some of the numbered markers had veteran’s markers in front of them and guess what!!! I found a Strait relative buried there!!! My third cousin 3 times removed, Ephraim Boze (son of David Lindsey and Letitia (Strait) Boze) is also buried there but his marker #143 is gone. 

That's my sister, Karyle, in the background.

Once we finished with Darke County Home Cemetery we headed on back to the Abbottsville Cemetery to try and find the markers on my Find A Grave photo request list.  We spent several hours there (and got sunburnt) but weren’t able to find some of the markers so we decided to call it a day. 

I will be going back to visit my sister again later this year and plan to photograph all of the Old Teegarden Cemetery and as much of Abbottsville Cemetery as I possibly can.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

My Civilian Career: The Tiller and Toiler Newspaper

This photo was posted on Facebook today and that prompted me to write this blog post.

I started working at The Tiller and Toiler in Jun of 1972, shortly after graduating from high school.  I worked there until September of 1979.  At that time, we were located in the new Tiller and Toiler building, at 113-115 West Fifth street, just down the hill from where I lived.

My first official job title there was as a perforator operator.  I worked with Bill Beck, Loretha Huxman and my uncle, Otis Roberts.  My primary job was to punch computer tapes for news copy, which I then took to Bill who ran it through his machine to produce the copy and then my uncle proofread the copy.  I also did page layout, worked in the darkroom with Paul Zook, helped my uncle proofread copy and also helped get the newspaper out.  Pete Daniels was the pressman with Bill Beck assisting him.  Uncle Otis, Loretta and I helped by inserting the advertising inserts into the newspapers as they came off the press, counting them and wrapping them with twine to go to the newspaper carriers.

Me at the perforator machine.
Me doing page layout.

Some of the other positions I held while working at the newspaper was as assistant advertising manager, circulation manager and assistance office manager.  I also wrote several newspaper articles that were published in the paper.  I will share some of these in future blog posts.

When I started at The Tiller and Toiler, Jack Zygmond was the editor and publisher.  His wife, Leslie, was a photographer at the paper.  Also working there were Mrs. Larry LeSage, page make-up and office assistant; Mrs. Jerry Stapleton, circulation; Mrs. Neal McChristy, society reporter; Don W. Foster, advertising manager; Mrs. Virginia Johnson, office manager; Orin Dodez, advertising and photography; Loretha Huxman, perforator operator; William O. Beck, mechanical superintendent; Paul W. Zook, manager of commercial printing; Hilton Gordon, job printing; Otis Roberts, proofs and mail and Vernon "Pete" Daniels, newspaper pressman.  Some of the other's I worked with over the years were Marie Chamberlain, Juanita Skelton and Bob Sallee.  I'm sure that I have forgotten some of the folks I worked with and apologize for not including them here.

The Tiller and Toiler crew in March of 1973.
Don Foster
Loretha Huxman and Bill Beck
Mrs. Jerry Stapleton
Orin Dodez
Pete Daniels and Otis Roberts
Virginia Johnson
Bill Beck and Otis Roberts working the press run.
One of my fondest memories was being able to work with my Uncle Otis.
My uncle, Otis Roberts, wrapping twine around the newspapers.
Another fond memory I have is that Hilton Gordon always brought soup for his lunch and just before lunch he would open up his thermos and let his soup cool.  He would allow me to dip crackers in his soup while it was cooling.  He always had some delicious soup and I always looked forward to him opening up his thermos!!
Hilton Gordon
One of the projects I was instrumental in working on was the publication of the "Panorama of Progress", which was published as a supplement to the newspaper in 1972.
Me and Mrs. Jerry Stapleton looking through the newly published "Panorama of Progress."
Here I am between stacks of the Panorama of Progress.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

It Was In My Blood

I come from a long line of family members who served in the military and I'm proud of every one of them.

My father, Ray Ross "Smitty" Smith, Jr., served in the US Naval Reserves during World War II as an Aviation Machinist Mate 1 and was a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans.  He enlisted 5 Feb 1942 in Kansas City, Kansas, was sworn in 10 Feb 1942 and was discharged 29 Sep 1945.  

My grandfather, Linzie Sheldon Roberts, served in the Kansas State Guard during World War I in Company A, 26th Battalion under Captain John M. Garrison.  He was a corporal.  He served from 26 April 1918 to 28 Mar 1919.  

A number of my uncles also served and here are photos of some of them.

Arthur Franklin "Artie" Roberts
US Army, World War II, Private
30 Aug 1943 to 7 Dec 1944
Elbert Earl "Earl" Roberts
US Army, World War II
22 Aug 1942 to 20 May 1943
Walter Ray Roberts
US Army, World War I
8 Jun 1917 to 3 Feb 1919
Leo Undine Smith
US Army, World War II
1 Mar 1944 to 11 Jun 1946
Wilmer LaVerne Smith
US Navy, World War II
21 Oct 1942 to 8 Dec 1945
Ellis Wayne "Wayne" Smith
US Army, World War II
26 Mar 1941 to 26 Oct 1945
John Franklyn Smith
US Army Reserve
29 Jul 1962 to 29 Jan 1963
And then, there's me!!
Kansas Army National Guard
Larned, Kansas
17 Feb 1976 to 4 Dec 1981

Kansas Air National Guard
Wichita, Kansas
5 Dec 1981 to 29 Aug 1990
Battle Creek, Michigan
30 Aug 1990 to 30 Sep 2005