07 September 2014

Me and the Mardasson Memorial

As this previous post suggests, I have been participating in my own personal scanfest of late. Since March of this year, I have uploaded 7.7 GB to my cloud drive. That's 4,430 images and 25 videos. (Some of the files came from my digital camera, to be fair.) If only I were close to being caught up!

I have been curious for years about one of the photos I scanned just this morning. It's a picture of me, on a rainy day, standing in front of some sort of monument / memorial. I think I was about 8 or so years old. All I knew for sure is we were in Europe. (I so stink at geography.)

I searched images online using characteristics seen in the photo: "American monument shaped like a star" (or something to that effect). I tried to place it in France first, but got close enough to find the truth with Germany, I think.

Anyway. I discovered I was standing (in my yellow slicker, no less!) in front of the Mardasson Memorial. Check me out:


The Mardasson Memorial, located in Luxembourg, was built in the shape of a pentagram and stands 39 feet tall. It was dedicated 16 July 1950 to honor the memory of the 76,890 American soldiers wounded or killed during the Battle of the Bulge. A memorial stone reads, in Latin:
LIBERATORIBVS
AMERICANIS
POPVLVS BELGICVS
MEMOR
IV.VII.MCMXLVI.
This translates to:
"The Belgian people remember their American liberators – 4th July 1946."

[More at Wikipedia.]

02 September 2014

Combining the Front and Back of a Photo when Digitizing (an Off-Topic, Superimposing Post)

Did you get my feeble attempt at a double entendre? (Heh, Heh.)

Since a lot of genealogists and family archivists read this blog (big thanks!), I thought it might be worth passing along this little tip I stumbled upon this morning. While I have no doubt this trick has been done over and over by other quicker thinkers, it was a light bulb moment for me. :-)

I was digitizing a few photos that also contained captions on the back. (Grandpa Lincecum did a pretty good job remembering to do that on most occasions. That in itself is a rare find!) I wanted to combine the front and back so as to have the caption -- in his writing -- stay with the front image. I simply used the collage feature in Google's Picasa to do so with a couple of these, like this:


Well, one of the front-back collage attempts wasn't working the way I wanted. I guess it had something to do with the size of the photo. Anyway, I was playing with the collage settings, clicked on Multiple Exposure, and violĂ !


Pretty cool, huh? Don't forget to digitize the front by itself, so you still have that true image.

Got any more tips for digitizing family history artifacts?

Thanks for letting me interrupt the regularly scheduled programming. ;-)

28 August 2014

Is Man Different From Fish or Hogs? (a Spoon River Epitaph)

A sweet co-worker recently introduced me to Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a collection of free-form poems written as epitaphs for deceased residents of a small town. S graciously lent me a copy of the book, and I have since found an online edition. Though these epitaphs are fictional, I hope you'll permit me to share some of my favorites with you here.

Schroeder the Fisherman (pg 124)
I SAT ON the bank above Bernadotte
And dropped crumbs in the water,
Just to see the minnows bump each other,
Until the strongest got the prize.
Or I went to my little pasture,
Where the peaceful swine were asleep in the wallow,
Or nosing each other lovingly,
And emptied a basket of yellow corn,
And watched them push and squeal and bite,
And trample each other to get the corn.
And I saw how Christian Dallman's farm,
Of more than three thousand acres,
Swallowed the patch of Felix Schmidt,
As a bass will swallow a minnow.
And I say if there's anything in man --
Spirit, or conscience, or breath of God
That makes him different from fishes or hogs,
I'd like to see it work!

27 August 2014

Ignorantly Accidental Overdose (This Time It's Personal)

Leslie Lee Lancaster was my (half) 2nd great grand uncle. But he never made it to adulthood. You see, when Leslie Lee was a little over a year old, having a bit of a hard time while teething, someone gave him a tad too much morphine. Overdosed while teething. Ouch. I cannot imagine how his parents felt -- whether one or both were "the cause", or not.

Source:  Missouri Digital Heritage

The official cause of death was listed as "Ignorantly accidental (overdose morphine)". The secondary factor was "Teething."

Leslie Lee Lancaster was laid to rest in Hickory Grove Cemetery at Morley, Scott County, Missouri. I've submitted a photo request via FindAGrave. Fingers crossed for a marked (and labeled!) grave.

25 August 2014

Dr. Holtzclaw Suicides (This Time It's Personal)

When conducting any kind of historical research, coming across a suicide always gives me pause. Even though it's not always a conscious act, I know I'm taking a brief moment to mourn the loss. A loss I don't pretend to understand. With the recent passing of Robin Williams, I'm reminded that those who seem to "have it all" sometimes are wrestling with demons unseen.

© 2008 S. Lincecum
In 1922, two days after his 63rd birthday, Dr. Henry Macon Holtzclaw, Jr. took his own life. Why? Heaven only knows. Following from 22 January 1922 edition, Macon Daily Telegraph (Georgia) -- via GenealogyBank:
DR. HOLTZCLAW, PERRY, SUICIDES

Prominent Physician Shoots Self in Head With Pistol.

REASON FOR DEED UNKNOWN

Found in Bed Dying By Brother; Funeral Will Be Held Today.


PERRY, Ga., Jan. 21. -- Dr. Henry M. Holtzclaw, 63, prominent citizen of Houston county, died tonight at 8:30 o'clock from a bullet wound in the right temple, it being self inflicted between the hours of 9:30 o'clock this morning and noon. The motive for the suicide is unknown.

Dr. Holtzclaw, who had operated a drug store here for the last twenty-five years and was also a practicing physician, arrived at his home at 9:30 o'clock this morning, and announced to his daughter, Miss Clifford Holtzclaw, he would go to his room and take a nap. Miss Holtzclaw left shortly afterward for a few minutes.

John Holtzclaw, his brother, arrived at the home shortly before noon for lunch. He was informed that the doctor was in his room asleep. Mr. Holtzclaw went to the room and found Dr. Holtzclaw in a dying condition. He was unconscious until the end. A large calibre pistol was found under his body.

No Motive for Deed.
The family can advance no motive for the deed. It was stated by Miss Clifford Holtzclaw that her father came home in cheerful spirit, talked a few minutes before retiring to his room and showed no signs of being despondent.

It was stated that the bullet entered behind the right ear and penetrated the brain. Dr. W. J. Little, of Macon, and local physicians were summoned, but no hope was ever entertained for his recovery.

It was announced at the family residence that the funeral services will take place from the residence Sunday afternoon.

He was a brother of Maj. R. M. [sic] Holtzclaw, who passed away recently. He is survived by two brothers, John G. and B. C. Holtzclaw; two daughters, Misses Katherine and Clifford; a sister, Mrs. L. D. Roberson, of Marietta, and his mother, Mrs. M. C. Holtzclaw, of Marietta.
The brother lost prior to Henry was Robert, and he died only eighteen days earlier. Their mother, Mary Etta Clark Holtzlcaw, buried two sons in less than three weeks. All rest in Evergreen Cemetery at Perry, Houston County, Georgia. Henry lies next to his wife Kate.


What's my connection? A nephew of Henry Macon Holtzclaw, Jr. was Robert Clifford Holtzclaw. He married my 2nd cousin, 2x removed -- Claribel Peavy.

24 August 2014

Peasant Girl and Her Son (a Spoon River Epitaph)

A sweet co-worker recently introduced me to Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a collection of free-form poems written as epitaphs for deceased residents of a small town. S graciously lent me a copy of the book, and I have since found an online edition. Though these epitaphs are fictional, I hope you'll permit me to share some of my favorites with you here.

Elsa Wertman (pg. 79)
I WAS A peasant girl from Germany,
Blue-eyed, rosy, happy and strong.
And the first place I worked was at Thomas Greene's.
On a summer's day when she was away
He stole into the kitchen and took me
Right in his arms and kissed me on my throat,
I turning my head. Then neither of us
Seemed to know what happened.
And I cried for what would become of me.
And cried and cried as my secret began to show.
One day Mrs. Greene said she understood,
And would make no trouble for me,
And, being childless, would adopt it.
(He had given her a farm to be still.)
So she hid in the house and sent out rumors,
As if it were going to happen to her.
And all went well and the child was born -- They were so kind to me.
Later I married Gus Wertman, and years passed.
But -- at political rallies when sitters-by thought I was crying
At the eloquence of Hamilton Greene --
That was not it.
No! I wanted to say:
That's my son! That's my son.

19 August 2014

Life Without Meaning is Torture (a Spoon River Epitaph)

A sweet co-worker recently introduced me to Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a collection of free-form poems written as epitaphs for deceased residents of a small town. S graciously lent me a copy of the book, and I have since found an online edition. Though these epitaphs are fictional, I hope you'll permit me to share some of my favorites with you here.

Credit: Vintage Kin
George Gray (pg. 49)
I HAVE STUDIED many times
The marble which was chiseled for me --
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one's life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire --
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.
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