2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 21 (May 20 – 26): Military

2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 21 (May 20 – 26): Military

“first” joined Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on its “first” year in 2014… and what a whirlwind year that was… writing, editing and researching daily for 365 days! As much as I wanted to continue the following year, I found that I didn’t have the time to continue another year with that type of research… although I did continue blogging and writing stories at my own pace, which allowed me to write on other topics as well as family stories when ideas came my way… but I’ve often missed it. The first year were no specific weekly prompts like today… but I’m taking a different spin on them. There will be some posts on a specific ancestor, but most will be memories that spring from those prompts. Head over to 2014 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks to read about my ancestors in the first years challenge.

If you’re new to genealogy, make your “first” stop to Amy’s website for genealogy ideas or even join in on this 52 Week challenge… you learn by doing… not procrastinating! There is no right or wrong… anything you do is a start!

Timing was perfect for this prompt… In looking through many of my photo and family history albums, I came across my father-in-law’s military information and all documents he saved.  In visiting my mother in law one day, I found her cleaning through things that she was planning on discarding… immediately I asked if I could have them. I knew they were dad’s treasures and I wanted to save them, as I love all my treasures I’ve saved through the years…  and hoping my children or grandchildren will also save them one day.

Stephen Joseph Insalaco

1921 – 2000

SteveInsalaco Army

Dad often talked to me about his life growing up and while serving in the military… and from those afternoon talks – I’ve written these words.

Stephen Joseph Insalaco was the first American born child born to the Insalaco family in America. He was the son of Stefano and Giacinta DiRosa Insalaco – the third child born to this family by 1921. Stephen was born on April 24, 1921 in Willimantic, and like most births at that time, he was born at home. Steve was one of nine children in the Insalaco family, and one of four sons – he was the second oldest.

Dad enlisted in the Army Air-Corp on July 21, 1942 in Hartford, CT., for a term of enlistment so-written as… for the duration of the war or other emergency, plus six months… subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law. He was listed at a height of 5 ft., 7 inches with a weight of 137 lbs.

SteveInsalaco Army clipping

I’m sure his mother was very proud of him, as she was the one who first saved this small notice in the local paper… and was probably quite annoyed that they misspelled the family name. This tiny article has survived for over seventy-seven years!

Dad was inducted into service on August 4, 1942, and left on August 21, 1942 for Devens, Massachusetts camp and then onto Fort Myers, Tampa, Florida, where he spent about six weeks; he trained with the 582th Technical Squadron Training School No. 727. In talking to my father-in-law about his life in the Army Air-Corp, I knew he enjoyed time spent in the service and his job of aircraft mechanic. (I’m assuming the newspaper put Miami by mistake as his paperwork read Tampa, Florida.)

SteveInsalaco Army card 1

He spoke of all the bases he was stationed at and the many planes he worked on, but now I wished I had asked even more questions! Dad never forgot his TI (Training Instructor) at boot camp and how he resembled the actor, Lee Marvin, although he didn’t remember his name. When Dad first saw Lee Marvin on stage later on, he thought that he might have even been his TI in boot camp – remembering the voice and mannerisms being the same as his TI. (Lee Marvin did not serve in the Army Air-Corp – he served in the Marines.) After boot camp, Dad was sent to the Army-Air Forces Technical School in Madison, Wisconsin…. and it was there he completed a course for radio operators.

SteveInsalaco Army card

Next stop was MacDill Field

In March of 1943, Private Insalaco was sent to MacDill Army-Air Base – a base located eight miles south of downtown Tampa, Florida on 5,000 acres… being on the Southwestern tip of the Interbay Peninsula on the west coast of Florida. It was mainly used in World War II for training airmen on B-17 and B-26 aircraft and originally known as Southeast Air-Base; later renamed MacDill Field in honor of Colonel Leslie MacDill. After the establishment of the United States Air Force in 1947, it became known as MacDill Air Force Base. (The MacDill Base closed in 1991)

Flying operations at MacDill began in 1941, and the base’s first missions included transitional training on the B-17 Flying Fortress. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, MacDill became a major staging area for the Army-Air Corps flight crews and aircraft. In 1943 the base discontinued B-26 training and returned to B-17 training which continued through the end of World War II. During the war, as many as 15,000 troops were stationed at MacDill at any one time. Several bases in Florida, including MacDill, also served as detention centers for German prisoners-of-war (POWs) in the latter part of 1944 and 1945. Before leaving Private Stephen Insalaco was promoted to Staff Sergeant Insalaco.

Headed to Fort Myrtle Beach

After leaving Tampa in January of 1944, Dad was stationed at Fort Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where he was an airline mechanic on the flight line. It was a very small place at that time, having only one hotel in town. The landing field on the base seemed to be carved out of the woods, and from the air it looked like a cross in the middle of a wooded area. Steve served in the 316th Airdrome Squadron and was a mechanic on the B-25 planes. Dad enjoyed talking about this base and how it seemed to have just been plunked smackdown in the middle of those woods… and while he never saw with his own eyes how it resembled a cross in looking down from high above, he remembered it from being told by all the pilots.

SteveInsalaco Army card 2

Leaving for Kellogg Field

In July of 1944, Sergeant S. J. Insalaco was sent to Army Air Base, Kellogg Field, Battle Creek, Michigan. He served in Squadron “N,” 357th AAF Base Unit and remained there until 1945.

SteveInsalaco Army plane 3

Back to Florida

Steve soon returned back to Florida… to be stationed at the Marianna Army Air Field in Marianna, Florida with the 137th “H” Squadron AAF Base Unit. He was sent to the MAAF – Marianna Army Air Field Advanced Flying School. While Dad never talked about if he was sent there to learn how to fly a plane… in my research, that seemed to be the only reason you were sent there. If only I had questioned this!

While in the Air Corp, Steve developed a way to determine which phone was ringing at locations where numerous phones (EE-8) were lined up on a table or desk. This was always a problem because whenever a phone rang, you couldn’t tell exactly which one was ringing. He wired up a relay on each phone and when a phone rang, the relay would chatter and could be seen. The military brass were so impressed that they sent him to other bases to wire up their phones (EE-8) also. (As told to me by Steve’s brother, Pete Insalaco.) I questioned later as to why Dad never told me this story… but he wasn’t the type of man to brag on his accomplishments!

SteveInsalaco Army plane 2

Dad had several pictures of himself and his buddies; being an airplane mechanic, most of those photos were always near the planes he worked on. He enjoyed talking about time spent as a mechanic on the B-25 planes to me – and I enjoyed listening! I never had the opportunity to hear my father talk of his time spent in the Navy, so I treasured my father in-law’s stories.

SteveInsalaco Army plane

Dad by one of his planes he worked on!

While on leave

On one leave, Dad stopped in Manhattan at his Uncle Jimmy Insalaco’s tavern, “Tivale Bar & Grill” on 8th Ave; Jimmy owned two taverns in the city. Uncle Jimmy drove his Indian motorcycle to Shelton once for a visit . (Jimmy was Vincenzo Insalaco, brother to Steve’s father.)

Discharged

On January 7, 1946, Sergeant Stephen J. Insalaco was honorably discharged from the Army-Air Corp; he separated at Mitchell Field, New York on January 7, 1946. He then returned home to Connecticut and back to work at The Armstrong Rubber Co. in West Haven, Connecticut… where he soon married in 1947 and began his family in 1948 with the birth of my husband, Stephen David Insalaco.

My father in law never met anything he couldn’t repair… he saved every motor that webt bad… thinking “one day he’d get around to repairing it.” While he did repair a few motors, we found a barrel full next to his workbench in cleaning out the cellar. It’s not easy to actually rebuild a motor, but he had a lot patience. He worked in maintenance at Armstrong Rubber and was known as the man who could repair “anything.” When the plant closed and machinery was sent to the Nashville plant, they couldn’t install it to work correctly… he was sent to get them up and running. Throughout the family he was known as the man to call when anything broke… nephew Paul said at his funeral… “now we have no one to call anymore.” My husband often says, “if my father was here, he’d know how to repair this.”

Stay tuned for Week 22… At the Cemetery

Continue reading 2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks over HERE!

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© 2019, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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Weekend Weathervanes: Ride Through Pennsylvania

Weekend Weathervanes

Now I know what to do with those photos – “thanks” to Heather Wilkinson Rojo at Nutfield Genealogy; she blogs Weekly Wednesday Weathervanes  in New Hampshire.  Please check out her page and enjoy the many unusual weathervane photos and be entertained with a history lesson. It’s amazing at what you can encounter in your travels – You Just Need To Look Up!

A ride through Pennsylvania found these weathervanes!

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This one made me laugh… pointing out what was to be found below!

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What a beautiful town Kutztown, PA was!

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I loved the detail in this one… hubby was driving so I only managed to grab only one shot!

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Want to read more, click…. Weekend Weathervanes:

© 2019, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

 

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Weekend Weathervanes: Amish Horse and Buggy

Weekend Weathervanes

Now I know what to do with those photos – “thanks” to Heather Wilkinson Rojo at Nutfield Genealogy; she blogs Weekly Wednesday Weathervanes  in New Hampshire.  Please check out her page and enjoy the many unusual weathervane photos and be entertained with a history lesson. It’s amazing at what you can encounter in your travels – You Just Need To Look Up!

Amish Horse and Buggy on RT 7 – Kent, CT.

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It’s really up there on top of that cupola… darn trees ruined my shot!

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Sky made a nice backdrop in showing it off!

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I might have to revisit this in the Fall!

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Want to read more, click…. Weekend Weathervanes:

© 2019, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

 

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2019: A to Z Italian Famiglia and Memories: Synopsis of all Recipes

2019: A to Z Italian Famiglia and Memories: Synopsis of all Recipes

Thank You to all my readers this year!

Continue reading more of the A to Z…  Cooking Famiglia Italian Foods and Memories

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2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 20 (May 13 – 19): Nature

2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Week 20 (May 13 – 19): Nature

“first” joined Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on its “first” year in 2014… and what a whirlwind year that was… writing, editing and researching daily for 365 days! As much as I wanted to continue the following year, I found that I didn’t have the time to continue another year with that type of research… although I did continue blogging and writing stories at my own pace, which allowed me to write on other topics as well as family stories when ideas came my way… but I’ve often missed it. The first year were no specific weekly prompts like today… but I’m taking a different spin on them. There will be some posts on a specific ancestor, but most will be memories that spring from those prompts. Head over to 2014 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks to read about my ancestors in the first years challenge.

If you’re new to genealogy, make your “first” stop to Amy’s website for genealogy ideas or even join in on this 52 Week challenge… you learn by doing… not procrastinating! There is no right or wrong… anything you do is a start!

Week 20… Nature

Tornado

 

I struggled with my writing again this week on the promptnature” until I read a post on Facebook… and Bingo… ideas came flowing into my mind!

Even though I grew up in the South, where tornados spur every spring and fall… I personally have no memories of being frightened… or of one touching down anywhere near where I lived… although my mother experienced a couple in her lifetime. One as a young girl while living with her parents on the family farm and once as an adult.

Mama was about 10 years old when she experienced her first tornado on the farm. While it didn’t cause any damage, they somehow inherited a small black and white dog that showed up… lost and scared. No one ever claimed him and he quickly made the farm his new home… in as he was spotted in coloring, mama named him Spot. Whenever a storm came up, Spot ran quickly to hide under her bed… so it seems animals are left with impressions of what happened to them. After mama married, he stayed there on the farm with grandmama and granddaddy… but one day when she came home and asked for him, granddaddy said, “he caught a ride.” You can imagine what it meant!

Another tornado touched down on the farm after mama moved back there in the 70’s. She remembers hearing the sound of it coming… sounding like a freight train coming down the road… and heading toward her house. Mama hid under the mattress in the bedroom… not sure how that was going to keep her from being swept away…. but she survived! It did cause a large tree to come down on the front porch roof and the strong winds sucked dust out of the attic into the house, but other than that the house remained standing, and mama was fine. I laughed when she told me how she called her cousin Kenneth and told him that there had been a tornado and that she thought she’d died… he laughed and said, “well, I’m talking to you.

Mama’s Uncle Villa and Aunt Mae lived a few miles away in a small house that didn’t fare so well… as the tornado picked up their house, with them inside, and set it back down further in the woods on top of tree stumps. They were ok, but had to come live with grandmama and granddaddy on the farm until a new house was built.

When I moved to Connecticut, I went from tornados to now experiencing hurricanes… of which neither is stoppable. It’s a scary feeling when you realize that nothing you do, can stop the wrath of nature! My first hurricane experience was while living with my in-laws… my husband was overseas in Thailand. Those winds that night were so scary, and when their huge weeping willow crashed in the backyard… it showed me quickly what nature can do… in a quick instant!

Hurricane Gloria gave my husband and I quite an experience on September 27, 1985… and after being pounded with wind and rain… nature threw us another curveball… no power! We had two small children… and no power, but it could have been way worse. Our house was spared, but two trees held our cars hostage inside the garage… chain saws took care of that! Steve and I were big OTB betters at that time… and he wasn’t going to not place his bets that day, hurricane or not… he freed his car!

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Under those trees was our garage and cars… cars undamaged!

For over two weeks our house was silent… board games came out for the kids to keep them busy. Lucky for us, we had a gas stove and a perk coffee pot… I needed that morning coffee… perked coffee still has the best taste! That gas stove was a 1940’s stove we bought when moving into this two-family… and as it didn’t have an automatic pilot, we were fine for cooking… as long as we had matches to light it. We loved that vintage cast iron stove, but it sure weighed a ton. When we bought a house, we decided not to move it again… as we had struggled so much in getting it up the stairs to that second floor.

Nighttime for us was laying in bed “listening” to TV programs on a small radio we had that picked up TV channels… that was before they scrambled them off the airwaves. It was actually quite relaxing to just lay there… listening to our favorite programs and imagining the scenes. Finally one night… the lights suddenly came on! While I was excited to have electricity back on… it was erie… we had enjoyed the quiet time away from the television sounds… but now back to reality… and lights… and noise! The kids were the most excited to have television once again… they wanted the visual!

We have had a few scary tornado moments surrounding us… but fortunately we never experienced anything personally. One Saturday evening, during a pounding rain and wind storm… or so we thought… hubby was going in and out with the umbrella to cook our weekend steak dinner. While the the wind was strong, we didn’t even know we were actually under a tornado threat… until after it happened… we were too busy eating our steak dinner.

While eating, a news flash came on telling us that a tornado had just touched down in the next town over and had done considerable damage…  and we’d thought it had just been all wind and rain.

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Photograph taken by Hailey Wilson atop the castle at Sleeping Giant!

In May of 2018, my daughter experienced tornados in her neighborhood… thankfully it only circled around her house, but took down over fifteen trees in her yard…. leaving the street a mess of trees and tangled wires… making it impassable… and left her without electricity for over two weeks. She lives near the famous “Sleeping Giant” state park in Hamden, CT., and it was devastated from the front parking area, and throughout the walking paths up the mountain. As my granddaughter Gracie said, “Sleeping Giant is very sick.” It was just unimaginable to believe all that destruction could happen so quickly.

tornado damage

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It’s taken over a year to somewhat clean up Sleeping Giant Park… not easy when you have to go in and cut timber to haul out of a wooded park. As of today’s posting, it still hasn’t opened, but we are hoping by summer.

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My granddaughters, McKinley and Grace in front of just one part of the timber that has been cut and stacked! The camera lens couldn’t even take it all in… the camera doesn’t often see the same photo that the eye sees!

Nature Event Likes…

  • Listening to the rain on a tin roof… preferably at granddaddy’s farm house
  • The fresh smell of rain
  • Watching the show of lights in the sky during a lightning storm of strikes, especially over the water at the beach
  • Walking in the rain
  • Jumping in mud puddles… my granddaughters favorite activity!

Nature Event Dislikes…

  • Thunder Booms are my least favorite nature events
  • Tornado watches and warnings
  • Hurricane winds and rain
  • Snow amounts over a few inches
  • Pounding rain that causes water in my cellar

Stay tuned for Week 21… Military

Continue reading 2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks over HERE!

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2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 19 (May 6 – 12): Nurture

2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 19 (May 6 – 12): Nurture

“first” joined Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on its “first” year in 2014… and what a whirlwind year that was… writing, editing and researching daily for 365 days! As much as I wanted to continue the following year, I found that I didn’t have the time to continue another year with that type of research… although I did continue blogging and writing stories at my own pace, which allowed me to write on other topics as well as family stories when ideas came my way… but I’ve often missed it. The first year were no specific weekly prompts like today… but I’m taking a different spin on them. There will be some posts on a specific ancestor, but most will be memories that spring from those prompts. Head over to 2014 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks to read about my ancestors in the first years challenge.

If you’re new to genealogy, make your “first” stop to Amy’s website for genealogy ideas or even join in on this 52 Week challenge… you learn by doing… not procrastinating! There is no right or wrong… anything you do is a start!

NURTURE

I’m sure I made a face when I first read the word “Nurture” as my prompt word for Week 19… seemed like an unusual choice to write on… and threw me into a slump for a blog post. To nurture has several meanings… first definition was of giving attention to someone… to nurture them to grow, develop and succeed in life. As parents, we all nurture our children… hoping we give them the right nurturing to succeed as adults who will continue the circle of nurturing.

We nurture by providing a protected life… ensuring they are well fed… a feeling of security. The odd “nurture” would be as in “nurturing” an idea… holding onto an idea for a period of time. Isn’t that somewhat… what we do in writing our blog posts… we take that idea and nurture it into the story it becomes!

We learn to nurture early on from our parents… my mother was a nurturer, but sometimes now I felt overwhelmed… as I was an only child. While it wasn’t directly her fault, I did somehow feel smothered in her nurturing… wanting to know every minute where I was, what I was doing… even who I was with. Even today at age 67 and she at 89… she hovers over me… especially when we are on the road traveling to visit. Lately I’ve begun to not let her know when we are driving there… so I don’t get the calls on the road of “where are you“… or “are you home yet?” I tell her there’s nothing she can do… so don’t worry unless you have to. Yes, I worry about my grown children when they travel, but I try and put it out of my mind and let someone higher than me take care of them… why worry when you don’t have to. I feel like I’ve nurtured them into responsible adults who can now take care of themselves.

My grandfather was a nurturer by working his farm… he fed his family and provided a home for them. Mama always talked about how whenever they visited family, he always brought butter and eggs. Even though he’d complain that he could never visit family without bringing butter and eggs… he always gathering them to bring. It was the “nurturer” inside of him that it was something he should do… whether he wanted to or not! Even during bad times, he always provided for their table… food was something they never went without! Mama might not have had a new pair of shoes, but she never went to bed hungry!

Grandmama nurtured the family by running the house, cooking the food provided by my grandfather, and sewing clothes for the family. It might not have been the dress my mother wanted, but she had new clothes sewn by her mother… even the underwear. That was the one thing mama always said she wanted as she grew up…. bought underwear!

In the meaning of “nurturing an idea”… I usually first draw a blank! Writing blog posts from someone else’s prompts are not always that easy. I first obsess… then a light bulb idea comes from somewhere… and I begin to write. Later, I’m usually pleased with the post, as often that idea, and those words, would never have crossed my mind in that direction… so maybe those unusual prompts are a good thing!

I’ve nurtured our family of two children into responsible adults and in watching them raise their families… I see my nurturing continue in them. While they don’t have my exact ways… they along with their spouses, nurture their families together… and the cycle continues… it’s a good thing!

Now I nurture my five beautiful granddaughters when I am with them. I nurture… I teach… I mold… I love…

Stay tuned for Week 20 … Nature!

Continue reading 2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks over HERE!

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2019: A to Z… Reflection Post

A to Z: 2019… Reflection Post

2019 A to Z Banner (2)

 

While it’s extremely hectic during the April A to Z as you hop around discovering new blogs, my reflection post will now give me time to go back and discover all I’ve missed. I managed to write all my A to Z posts before April 1st this year… as we travel during this month… which leaves me only to quickly edit each night. While this made it less hectic and stress free, but like always… on the last day I felt sad in having no more daily postings!

I’m sure I’ve probably missed logging a few blogs here that I visited… and I do apologize… it was such a hectic month of writing, reading and trying to keep up with blog sites I visited… sometimes the mind just loses track. Hopefully on the reflection posts, I’ll discover even more that I missed. Now my thoughts are already churning to what will I write in 2020. I’m running out of favorite ideas…. so I can’t even imagine coming up with another fun post… but we will see!

Please check some of my favorites!

2019: A to Z Reflections

 

The Joyous Living: The A to Z’s of Theater: I enjoyed checking out her site to discover classic movies to watch… such as Brigadoon with Gene Kelly.can’t wait to find Brigadoon now to watch.

Anne’s Family History: Visiting England, Scotland and Wales on the A to Z. As I’ll never probably visit there… I enjoyed following along on her blog.

HackyTips.com: An A to Z of Favorite Shows. I’m always looking for a new show to watch, especially on Netflix, so I’ll be checking this blog often. Love discovering new shows!

Keith’s Ramblings: I truly was entertained with Keith’s daily rambling of stories. A daily prompt had him turning them into cute stories!

LessBeatenPaths: I was glad to see him back this year… as I enjoy seeing what new signs he has discovered in his many hours on the road. I also enjoy discovering signs in my road travels, he’s found some really great ones.

 Words from Sonobe: Each post this month will be associated with a letter of the alphabet with the themeFood Memories‘. I enjoyed checking out her food memories as I also wrote on food and memories this year.

Janet Smiles: Crafty fun always on her A to Z… and she even has an Etsy shop. I’ve enjoyed following Janet’s crafts along the way!

Doesn’t Speak Klingon: This A to Z begins with audience participation – I start with one story for A, but in the comments each day, I want YOU to offer a suggestion. It could be a word or a phrase, a hint of a character, a setting, an event, ANYTHING. It doesn’t specifically have to begin with the next day’s letter, either. Hopefully there will be enough comments that I can build a stockpile for days when no one offers anything that inspires words. I thought this a truly fun blog to follow… and very unusual… loved their blog name!

The Old Trunk in the Attic: A to Z on newspaper clippings… she’s found some awesome family mentions in the papers. How exciting to have found all those clippings!

Finding Eliza: This was my sixth year doing the A to Z Challenge. I took small social items from The Emancipator newspaper, published  between 1917 and 1920 in Montgomery, Alabama. The items were of marriage, death, travel and movement to other cities – Detroit, New York, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. Most were family or friends of my grandparents, Merchell and Fannie (Turner) Graham. Amazing newspaper articles she found on her family… such finds!

Romance and Mystery Writing My Past: My A to Z Challenge is Micro fiction, using 300 words or less, inspired by selected words along with a photo for inspiration. The words were chosen in reverse order from this lesson plan page. This was an interesting idea and fun to read!

Travel Genee: Here I share extracts about the people and places in my family history. Sometimes I add the adventures I have had in life traveling, researching and thoughts about my life; The TravelGenee blog is a place to record these for future generations. Quite the interesting mix of learning on another’s family.

Black and White Words and Pictures:   My theme for this year’s April A-Z Blog Challenge is fantastical creatures, celebrating my upcoming book, “On the Virtues of Beasts of the Realms of Imagination.” I learned about many new creatures I’d never read or saw before… and I loved the black and white photos.

Tell Me Another: My chosen theme is Migrants, Refugees, and Exiles, a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot recently and which, of course, is an urgent issue—perhaps the urgent issue—worldwide. A very interesting read!

My name is Marion Ann: The best of both worlds – hotel life and food/cooking. An interesting behind the scenes adventure.

Stories Served Around The Table: Welcome to my 2019 Blogging A-Z Challenge. Each day in the the month of April (except Sundays), I will bring you a memory of games and a jump rope song. It is similar to the classic A My Name Is…  Do you recognize the chant? A world of children will greet their friends and skip… This was a fun and cute read!

QP and Eye:  Architecture around Australia… I’d so love to visit there one day!

Ruth Blogs Here: For this year’s April Blogging from A-Z I’ve decided to share my love of colouring in by posting one image each day following the alphabet. I keep saying I’m going to color… but then get sidetracked!

In case you’d like to peruse through my older A to Z’s… I’ve listed them below!

  •  2016: Southern Foods and Memories. They say write what you know… and being a girl born in the South… well this was what I knew!
  • 2017: Conversations with Mama was a somewhat easy one for me as I’d journaled our conversations for years so I researched some of my favorite topics to write on.
  • 2018: All About Nancy Drew has been my favorite topic so far, and I don’t know if I’ll ever come up with another to equal it. It literally had me researching every day for over six months… researching, reading and perfecting every post. I was totally consumed with Nancy Drew for months… and still am!
  • 2019: Italian family foods and memories. I didn’t want to “not” participate this year, but I was drawing a blank. Finally, mid February, I came up with writing on my husbands Italian foods as I did my Southern foods in 2016.

2019 A to Z Banner (1)

If you discovered the A to Z too late to join this year, hope you visited blogs to discover what it’s all about… and plan on joining us in 2020. If I might offer you one piece of advice… Plan! While I see many writing their posts on the daily cusp, I find it too stressful. Usually my A to Z is something I’m very passionate on, so it takes planning and writing way ahead of schedule.

Hope to see you writing in 2020!

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2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 18 (April 29 – May 5): Road Trip

2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks –

Week 18 (April 29 – May 5): Road Trip

“first” joined Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on its “first” year in 2014… and what a whirlwind year that was… writing, editing and researching daily for 365 days! As much as I wanted to continue the following year, I found that I didn’t have the time to continue another year with that type of research… although I did continue blogging and writing stories at my own pace, which allowed me to write on other topics as well as family stories when ideas came my way… but I’ve often missed it. The first year were no specific weekly prompts like today… but I’m taking a different spin on them. There will be some posts on a specific ancestor, but most will be memories that spring from those prompts. Head over to 2014 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks to read about my ancestors in the first years challenge.

If you’re new to genealogy, make your “first” stop to Amy’s website for genealogy ideas or even join in on this 52 Week challenge… you learn by doing… not procrastinating! There is no right or wrong… anything you do is a start!

Road Trip

This prompt had me thinking of the many road trips I took with my parents… or remember being told about.

The many road trips I do remember are the ones we took on weekends to my grandparents farm, about two hours away. They often began on a Friday evening after daddy came home from work. To pass time away, mama played car games with me… we counted coke bottles on both sides of the road… car colors… and cows. It sure made the time pass by… and it never hurt to have a cold Coke for the ride!

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One of my first road trips, that I have no memory of… was a “Bryan” reunion in Dahlonega, Georgia when I was about five years old. We drove up with my mother’s parents; I only found out about it when I questioned as to where the photo below was taken.

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My grandparents, Ola & Edgar McKinley.

Sure wish the photo was clearer so I could make the car out and read the sign for the Fair. I’ve also wondered if this is were they actually parked… at Aunt Sage’s house, as there was water nearby… it might even be the famous Cane Creek where my Bryan ancestors lived near.

Mama told me this story about the ride up… “As we drove round and round the mountain roads looking for the house where the reunion was, my father noticed that he wasn’t seeing any cemeteries… he wondered why. Finally, after finding our turnoff, which was only an open field with a gate… we arrived. My father opened the gate, and we drove through a pasture to reach their house… which was back in the woods… never even seen from the road; the back porch was built over a running creek. We arrived to find tables and tables of food waiting… and all day long, I watched the woman kill chickens… and see plate after plate of freshly fried chicken appear on those tables… the best fried chicken I’ve eaten other than at my mama’s table.”

When my grandfather asked some of the men, “why aren’t there any cemeteries around here,” he was quickly told… “we don’t need any!” Seems the Bryan’s had long lives there in the Blue Ridge Mountains. My great-great grandfather, Berrien Clark Bryan lived to be almost 100 years old, and a cousin, Ila Stargel Jones Sewell, died at age 114… holding the oldest living person in Georgia until 2017.

(From my research, I believe the house of that Bryan reunion belonged to Sara Catherine Bryan Long (1872 – 1964), known as Aunt Sage. She was the daughter of my great grandfather William Madison Bryan, and seemed to have been the one who held that family reunion from all I’ve learned.)

Little did I know at age five, that one day… I would be drawn back to Dahlonega, Georgia in my family research.

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Road Trip to Meet Family

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My father’s brother, Floyd Bryan, lived in North Carolina… so we often took weekend road trips to meet them at Lake Hartwell, S.C… which was about halfway for us. I’m assuming I took this photograph of my father (left), mother and my grandfather (Paul Bryan). Mama was sitting in my favorite spot when we traveled! First time I’ve noticed I can actually make out daddy’s license plate on his station wagon… another Pontiac!

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Road Trips to Florida

As a small child, my parents took many road trips to Florida. I have only faint memories, but I’m often reminded by my mother.

On one trip to Miami, we stopped at a diner where my favorite chicken noodle soup was ordered for me. Somehow I managed to spill that hot soup all over me… the waitress quickly brought butter to the table for my parents to put on my burn. Butter was what was once used, until they discovered that butter holds the heat in… today we use cold water to cool the burned area. I guess my burns weren’t sever, as I never had any scars from those burns.

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Florida Welcome Center… how they’ve changed!

I think it was the trip to Miami when we stayed at someone’s house on the beach… it was a boarding house like a B&B today. About the only memory I have is of smelling the cinnamon buns as I came downstairs for breakfast. What happened to all my memories?

Another trip was to Daytona Beach, and my cousin Paulette came with us. I remember the big waves there and how I’d ride them in on my tube. Mama watched me like a hawk… reminding me constantly how the tide could pull me under very quickly.

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All the family road trips were taken in a station wagon… guess Daddy loved a wagon, especially a Pontiac! I’m thinking this might have been where we stayed?

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My older cousin, Paulette, accompanied us on one road trip to Florida! Does anyone wear a bathing cap anymore?

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 Sure wish I had memories of seeing all those cars on the beach! If you’re wondering why my photos are cut… mama decided to put the family pictures in an album one year… making them fit!

There were so many beach road trips when I was young, that I don’t remember them all… but I do know they took place from seeing the many photos of me on the beach with my parents.

In thinking back, I think the main reason we went to Florida often was so Daddy could go deep sea fishing… that was his favorite hobby. When we went to Tallahassee, we always stayed at the same small motel just outside of town… the typical U-shaped motel with a small restaurant attached. I was old enough there to be allowed to go up to the restaurant in the morning by myself and order breakfast… and I always ordered a bacon sandwich…. just bacon and bread… no mayo! That was when children were usually safe out of your eyesight… although my mother didn’t often let me out of her eyesight for too long… who knows, I might have just snuck up there in the mornings!

While daddy spent the day out on the ocean, mama and I swam in the pool… hunted for shells, and walked the long pier behind the motel… while waiting for daddy to return. Daddy always took us out to dinner in the evenings to our favorite seafood restaurant… where he ordered me red snapper and a shirley temple drink. We came to Tallahassee often… always staying at the same motel and eating in the same restaurant.

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Another roadtrip was with our neighbors to stay in their cottage at Alligator Point, Florida. I thought for sure I’d see alligators walking around there from the name… and Mama probably thought so too as she never let me outside by myself. The town was so-named as it’s a peninsula town shaped like an alligator from an aerial view. It wasn’t the type of beach where you swam or laid, but it was loaded with awesome shells. Mama and I often walked and picked up buckets of all types of shells and sea life to bring home… sand dollars, hermit crabs, crabs, and so many shells we’d never ever seen before. The hermit crab was a new one to us… mama quickly dropped it when the crab came out of his shell and tickled her palm.

When we returned home, mama cleaned all the shells… fastened wire to a frame and mounted the shells for me. It hung in my room for years… I even kept it for several years after I married, but eventually I dismantled it.

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I was excited when I found this photo showing that seashell frame… I must have been dancing in my room… probably to the Beatles… when someone took this photo!

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Camping Road Trip

The weekend camping road trips to Lake Sinclair were the best! We probably went a few times when I was about fourteen. Mama would be all packed… just waiting on daddy to come home from work on Friday night. They’d load up the station wagon with quilts, pillows and cooking pans… mama’s cast iron pan was a must for cooking over an open fire.

We usually arrived about dusk, finding it already alive with several campers already set up. I don’t remember having to camp in any certain area… just pull in where you wanted. Daddy always picked a spot where he wanted to sleep, as he slept out under the stars in a fold out recliner. Mama and I made a bed inside, after folding all the seats down… no fighting bugs for us, but he never complained of any. Having a station wagon always meant you had a place to sleep… was even better than sleeping in a tent at least… I thought so.

Waking up Saturday morning was the best, as daddy had already started breakfast… you woke to the sound of bacon sizzling in mama’s cast iron pan… I can smell it now! Breakfast was always daddy’s thing, even when we were home. The area would be buzzing with noise from all the campers who arrived overnight… and the kids would be checking out who was there… looking for friends they knew.

Daddy would have a beer while waiting for his friend Henry… who was married to mama’s best friend Willie Mae…. he often would bring his boat down on Saturday for fishing and water skiing. They had three girls… so I had friends for the day. My one and only skiing adventure was quite an experience… and never to be again. They were experts at skiing… me,  I was a newbie. They hung the tow rope around my neck while putting on my water ski’s … but didn’t work so well for me as I went under… which ended me wanting to ski!

My best memories there were the Saturday night get togethers… the teenagers gathered at the cement covered pavilion where the jukebox was. We played that jukebox until an adult tired of it and pulled the plug. The one song that always takes me back to those Saturday nights is “Wooly Bully” by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs… anytime I hear it, I remember when it was No. 1… at Lake Sinclair. Too bad I have no pictures of that old jukebox… it’s only in my mind!

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Last road trip to Panama City, Florida

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We stayed at the Fun “N” Sand motel on the beach… I was into taking lots of pictures so I had more to document this trip! This was during my “sewing” phase… I even made my outfit!

Panama City was the last trip I took with my parents… I was sixteen years old. and being an only child, I brought my best friend with me. We had a kitchen-apartment at a motel on the beach. There wasn’t big waves rolling in like there had been in Miami, but they had the clearest water and whitest sand I’d ever seen. As far out as you could walk, you could still see your toes through the water. There wasn’t large shells on that beach, but there were small colored shells they called periwinkles… we enjoyed picking up the many colored ones we found. (Notice the advertisements on the motel sign… Pool, air conditioned, TV, Apts., and steam heat… that one really cracked me up! You come to Florida for the beach in the summer… steam heat, really!)

Panama City had a long strip by the beach of hotels, food and attractions… everything you wanted to see or do was along that long strip. I remember my girlfriend and I spending time at the nearby mini-golf. Mama usually cooked breakfast and lunch for us, but daddy took us out to eat in the evening. I think this was the one place where he didn’t go deep-sea fishing… unless I’ve forgotten.

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Mama’s Road Trip

My mother had a couple of road trips she’s laughed about through the years. One was an impromptu weekend trip after work on a Friday night. She and her best friend, Willie Mae, went home to pack a bag… after midnight… and headed to Florida. They were going to spend the night with Willie Mae’s uncle and spend a couple of days on the beach.

The funny part of that road trip was when they were leaving to come back home… Willie Mae locked her keys in the trunk. Before her uncle could offer any help, mama just took her keys out and said, “I bet mine will work.” The uncle was without words, when she opened up that trunk. When I picture those two on the road, it reminds me of Thelma and Louise.

Another road trip mama took, was with a friend to Texas. It seems her trips were usually just all of a sudden… no planning. This time, it was mama’s first plane ride and they were going to Texas… why, just because! While at the airport, their plane was delayed because a plane had been hijacked to Cuba. As they were finally boarding, mama said… “hope our plane gets hijacked to Cuba, I’ve never been there.” Her friend was like, “don’t say that, we don’t want to go there.”

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Just an afterthought…

Sadly, hubby and I didn’t take many road trips with our children… and I so regret now that I didn’t give them those long winding road trip memories. At that time, he was too busy working, I worked every weekend and what time we had was spent at his parents house… as they had a pool. Even though they don’t have the road trip memories, they definitely have pool memories to remember. That was where they learned to swim and as many of the family gathered at the pool in the summer… they have memories spent with family. I try and take the grandchildren on local trips with us in the summer, but nothing too far away as they aren’t used to spending much time in the car, and no matter what games or books you bring… you hear from the backseat, “are we there yet?”

Stay tuned for Week 19 … Nurture!

Continue reading 2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks over HERE!

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© 2019, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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2019: Z… A to Z Italian Famiglia Foods and Memories: Zabaglione

2019 A to Z: Zabaglione

I Made It… My Last Post!

Italian Famiglia Foods and Memories

I’m back for “Year 4” of the A to Z… April Challenge!

My first year of this challenge had me racking my brain for a writing topic… especially as I didn’t quite understand the process. But finally I came up with 2016: Southern Foods and Memories. They said write what you know… and being a girl born in the South… well this was what I knew.  2017: Conversations with Mama was a somewhat easy one for me as I’d journaled our conversations for years so I researched some of my favorite topics to write on.  2018: All About Nancy Drew has been my favorite topic so far, and I don’t know if I’ll ever come up with another to equal it. It literally had me researching every day for over six months… researching, reading and perfecting every post. I was totally consumed with Nancy Drew for months… and still am! I didn’t want to “not” participate this year, but I was drawing a blank. Finally, mid February, I came up with writing on my husband’s Italian family foods and memories. I did my Southern foods the first year, so it was time to finally give his family their due! I’m also participating in the yearly 52 Ancestors 52 Stories this year… I am really feeling over-extended this month. April is a tough month for me, as we usually are traveling to my mother’s and my son in Florida… but somehow I’ll manage!

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Zabaglione

I first ate this when my son made it for my birthday in 2007… it’s been way too long… so he definitely owes me another birthday treat!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
  • pinch salt
  • 1 lb. strawberries
  • Opt: serve with whip cream or toasted nuts sprinkled on top

Directions:

Add cream and chocolate to a small heavy saucepan. Cook over a low heat, stirring often until the chocolate chips are melted and smooth. Set aside, but keep warm.

Now is the time to start a pan of water on stove and bring to a medium simmering boil… it’s for the next step.

Whisk egg yolks, sugar, Marsala and salt in a large glass bowl until blended well. Set bowl over the saucepan of simmering water – do not allow bottom of bowl to touch the water. Whisk egg mixture over water till thick and creamy… abt. 4 minutes. Remove from heat and with a large spatula, fold the melted warm chocolate into the egg mixture… blend well together.

To Serve: Have your best 6 glass parfait cups to serve in. Can dollap whip cream on top and a few berries if desired.

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He learned this recipe form one of his favorite cooks on TV… Giada De Laurentiis (Giada’s Zabaglione on The Food Network)

While visiting my son in Florida… he forgot to buy the wine… so no Zabaglione was made… he owes me still!!!

Continue reading more of the A to Z…  Cooking Famiglia Italian Foods and Memories

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© 2019, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

 

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2019: Y… A to Z Italian Famiglia Foods and Memories: Yes we made Pasta

2019: Y… A to Z  Italian Famiglia Foods and Memories: Yes we made Pasta

I’m back for “Year 4” of the A to Z… April Challenge!

My first year of this challenge had me racking my brain for a writing topic… especially as I didn’t quite understand the process. But finally I came up with 2016: Southern Foods and Memories. They said write what you know… and being a girl born in the South… well this was what I knew.  2017: Conversations with Mama was a somewhat easy one for me as I’d journaled our conversations for years so I researched some of my favorite topics to write on.  2018: All About Nancy Drew has been my favorite topic so far, and I don’t know if I’ll ever come up with another to equal it. It literally had me researching every day for over six months… researching, reading and perfecting every post. I was totally consumed with Nancy Drew for months… and still am! I didn’t want to “not” participate this year, but I was drawing a blank. Finally, mid February, I came up with writing on my husband’s Italian family foods and memories. I did my Southern foods the first year, so it was time to finally give his family their due! I’m also participating in the yearly 52 Ancestors 52 Stories this year… I am really feeling over-extended this month. April is a tough month for me, as we usually are traveling to my mother’s and my son in Florida… but somehow I’ll manage!

mom pasta machine

Yes we made Pasta!

I had such fun Saturday afternoons making pasta in my mother in law’s kitchen. That’s one recipe she must have had in her head, as I have found no written recipe in any of her recipe books. In searching and reading pasta recipes… I see why she had no written recipe… you really don’t need one.

Egg Pasta Dough

2 1/2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting

4 eggs

2 Tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Add 2 cups of your flour onto the table… and just like my mother in law did.. make a well in the center to add your eggs into. Crack eggs, one by one, into a large measuring cup with the oil, mixing well with a whisk. Pour into the center of your well… and get your hands busy breaking up the eggs and mixing into the flour. You can also begin with a fork and gently stir around, incorporating the flour into the eggs until it turns into a shaggy mix. P.S. Be sure and crack eggs in a cup and not your well… you want to make sure that no “shells” sneak past you!

Begin mixing the dough with your hands to form into a ball, as you add the extra 1/2 cup of reserved flour… that craggy mess will soon turn into a smooth ball. At that time, take your bench scraper and clean up your working area and dust working surface again with clean flour. Add dough and begin kneading until the dough begins to feel smooth and look satiny… usually about 7 – 10 minutes. Sprinkle more flour if you need more during the kneading to keep it from being sticky or too soft.

Now… Time to Rest the dough!

When your dough ball is ready for a rest… clean off your work area again, and shape your dough into a ball… tucking dough edges underneath to make the ball. Cover with a large “overturned” bowl and let it rest for about 30 minutes… then you’re ready to roll. This dough makes about 1 pound of pasta.

Divide dough into a couple of pieces and roll with either a rolling pin or pasta machine… as thin as possible, but never paper-thin. It depends on what type of pasta you are making as to the next step. The only pasta I ever saw my mother-in-law make was sheets for manicotti… so out would come her pasta roller and after she had rolled out pieces of dough, we’d feed small pieces through the machine… over and over until “she” told us it was the right size. I don’t remember the numbers she set on the machine, but she knew when it was the right size. You might need to add a little flour to the dough before rolling it through to keep it from sticking on the rollers. Nothing is worse than having to stop and pick out sticky dough on a clogged machine!

Before rolling the pasta through the machine, mom always covered her bed with a clean white sheet… that was the holding area for the rolled pasta before cooking. After the pasta was rolled and cut into lengths for the manicotti, it rested a bit on the bed to dry. Once all the pasta was made, rolled, and rested… the pots of water was brought to a boiling roll.

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The famous pot which boiled all that pasta and water that dripped all over the floor… and we continue using it today!

Now for the fun part…

Fresh pasta doesn’t take long to cook, and once it’s ready… you best be ready… with all hands on deck! I remember those Saturday afternoons… the cooked pasta was dumped  quickly on the table, water dripping off onto the flour… hands all around the table. The cooked pasta had to be quickly separated or it glued together faster than a speeding bullet.

As we separated the cooked pasta, we quickly added the ricotta filling and began layering the manicotti into waiting baking dishes. This is not a dish to prepare by yourself… or you’d even want to… but a dish made with fresh pasta is the best! This was a dish that my mother-in-law usually only made at holidays… as it is a lot of work!

The only regret I have on making pasta, was not having the incite to have taken photographs of all of us around that kitchen table… laughing and joking as water was dripping off the table… we were all a hot mess by the time we finished! Everyone that stood around that table, can still visualize those days… and remember those good times without a photograph… but that doesn’t stop me from wishing that I still had one!

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Even though I don’t have the family pasta making photographs around the table… I have found several family pictures of my husband’s family around the table at other events!

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around table

Continue reading more of the A to Z…  Cooking Famiglia Italian Foods and Memories

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© 2019, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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