Monday, November 25, 2013

Book of Me, Written by Me–Prompt 9: Halloween

I am participating in the The Book of Me, Written by You project which will last 15 months. Prompt for week 9 is Halloween. 
  • Have you ever participated in a Halloween event?
  • When was it?
  • Where was it?
  • What did you dress as?
  • Trick or treat?
Hiawatha_costumeHalloween was always a fun time when I was young. We lived on a small street with only a few houses, so Trick or Treating went by pretty fast. Mrs. Peterson at the end of the block always had some really nice home-baked goodies to eat and hot chocolate. At the other houses we got the typical miniature candies. Only Mr. Gardner would give us apples!
Some years our parents drove us over to a block with lots of houses. These streets had sidewalks so it was much safer for us to walk.They would park at one end and wait while we hit both sides of the street. I went Trick or Treating until I was about 12 or so. After that I took my sisters Trick or Treating and waited for them to dole out some candy to me.
I don’t remember too many costumes. I was an Indian once. Perhaps a ghost out of a sheet another time. My sisters liked being princesses; my brothers hobos or pirates.

1993-10_Halloween Party at Horks (2)
Fast forward to adulthood: My parents liked having Halloween parties after we well all grown up. They would invite us kids with our spouses and children. We had pumpkin carving contests and costume contests. One year my Dad dressed up as a nun and another year as a woman. Gosh, he looked just like his mother!

1997 Halloween

My daughters loved to dress up in costumes. Some years I made their costumes and other years we bought costumes. A neighboring street would decorate with colored lights and other decorations and it was a great place to go Trick or Treating. After they got home, the girls would sort out the candy into types and count them. I would hope they would pass along Mounds, Almond Joys, or anything Cinnamon-flavored like Red Hots or Hot Tamales to me.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         There were times when my friend invited them over to make cookies. Basically they were Christmas cookie dough but they cut them out with Halloween shapes and frosted them.

2000_halloween party at the Kellys

I found a photo where I did dress up. My daughters and I attended a Halloween party given by a friend of theirs. This year I made their costumes and we three won the costume contest!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Book of Me, Written by Me--Prompt 8: Time Capsule

I am participating in the The Book of Me, Written by You project which will last 15 months. Prompt for week 8 is Time Capsule.

·         You can choose who to create the time capsule for as that will influence what you put (or would put into your time capsule).
·         The creation of a time capsule:
o    you can do this in the literal sense or
o    you can simply write what you would place into your time capsule and why. It is much more fun to create though!

This is an interesting concept. What would I put into a time capsule so that some future descendant would know a bit about me? Genealogies will have all the facts but this time capsule should have the items that tell about my feels and character, and perhaps would I love to do and what is important to me.

GS vest, Troll, SF cap, Softball photo
From my childhood, I would put in one of my Troll dolls. (I even still buy them if one from a flea market tickles my fancy). I did not care for regular dolls or Barbies much but loved making clothes and troll houses for my trolls. I bought my first troll for $.75 in 1965 after saving for two weeks (at 50 cents per week). My mother found a pattern where we could make clothes using felt fabric. I would also add my Girl Scout sash from my two years as a Junior Girl Scout and two years as a Cadette Girl Scout.

From my teen years, I would put in a softball and glove. I played on a city league team while in high school and played some in college, too. I would probably add some San Francisco Giant’s memorabilia, too, since I have followed them since the early 1960’s.

My trips on Greyhound
In my college years, I was very involved in model railroading, so I would add something about HO scale—perhaps my Great Northern Ry locomotive model or Western Pacific Ry caboose. I also traveled across the U.S. and Canada twice aboard Greyhound using their Ameripass. So I could create a map showing my route and the places I stopped to visit.

Reading, bird watching, playing the guitar, doing crossword puzzles,
& working for BART

I worked 32 years at the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BARTD) and could put in some BART memorabilia such as anniversary buttons or pins, or my train operator baseball cap.

I love reading and writing. A copy of a book from any of the following authors would be good: W.E.B. Griffin, Tom Clancy, Tony Hillerman, Louis L’Amour, Victoria Thompson, William Kreuger, Dorothy Grimes, or Elizabeth George, to name a few. I also wrote some stories and novels but they have not been published. Putting in pages from the hand-written notebooks would be cool.

Favorite past-time items could include binoculars & bird guides for bird watching, guitar music sheets, Scrabble or Boggle games, and a crossword puzzle from the Wall Street Journal.  I’m not sure how to show activities such as hiking and bike riding.  Boots and a bike would be too large to add to the capsule.

For attitudes and values, I would add “I Voted” sticker; environmental action brochures about clean air and water, planting native plants, and saving endangered species; and COEXIST and NOH8 bumper stickers because everyone should be allowed to live peacefully among each other.

Copyright © 2013 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Book of Me, Written by Me–Prompt 7: Grandparents

I am participating in the The Book of Me, Written by You project which will last 15 months. Prompt for week 7 is Grandparents.
  • What were their names?
  • Where were they from?
  • Were they related? – Cousins perhaps
  • Where were they born, another Country or state/area
  • Photos
  • What did they do?
  • Did you know them?
  • What was your relationship with them?
    If you didn't know them have you researched about them?
I knew three of my four grandparents. My mother’s parents, Tom J & Pansy Johnston lived in Pleasant Hill, California not far from us. We called them Tom-Tom and Mam-ma. My father’s mother, Anne M. Hork lived across the street from us in Pittsburg but when we moved to Walnut Creek, she moved to Burlingame and San Mateo. We called her Nana. She was separated from my grandfather, so I never met him and he died when I was 13. All of my grandparents have since died.

Mom’s Parents
Tom-Tom and Mam-ma were born in Texas, married in Texas, and had my mother in Texas. During
World War II they traveled west to work in construction camps and finally settled in California. Tom-Tom was a carpenter and could build just about anything. We have some pieces of furniture that he built. Tom-Tom’s last job was with the Contra Costa Community College District at the Diablo Valley College campus. Mam-ma was a great seamstress and did alterations for men and women to earn money. Later she worked as a sales associate in a woman’s shop called The Clothes Horse. I worked a few weeks with her one Christmas season where I was to wrap the purchases in Christmas paper.

Tom-Tom was kind of a gruff guy—not the typical grandfather, but he liked watching football, especially his Dallas Cowboys, and playing with his dogs. I remember the poodle Pierre, who he taught to stand on his hind legs and sing “I love Mama.” Mam-ma loved her dogs, too. Her last dog was named Angel.

Mam-ma expected us grand kids to behave--no running around, yelling, or slamming the screen door. We had to eat all the food on our plates—even the black-eyed peas! She would try out new recipes on us before serving them to “company.” Mam-ma took us shopping every year for new school shoes and she took us to lunch on our birthdays. Still, she was not one of those lovey-dovey grandmothers, who played games or read to us. She only had a few toys for us to play with at her house, but they had a great sycamore tree out in the front yard to climb!

Dad’s Mother
Nana was born in Montana. She attended a Normal school where she learned to be a teacher but also played basketball and tennis, and sang in the Glee Club. After her marriage to William Cyril Hork, they moved to Southern California and had 4 children. After separating from her husband, Nana brought her family up to Napa. She had to return to college to get a valid credential to teach in California. She taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Napa county. Later, she moved to Concord and taught at Williams School until she retired. She was a devout Catholic and also taught CCD over the years.

Nana was one of those fun-loving grandmothers who loved to play games and read to you. We learned lots of cute little songs that we sang while washing dishes or doing other chores. She also always had sour ball candies or other goodies to eat. One memory I have was the yearly Christmas present of pajamas that we were allowed to open on Christmas Eve so we could wear them to bed. They would always be made of the softest flannel material. She came to take care of us when my mother had the last two babies—the last time at Christmas. In the apartment building in San Mateo, there was a large park where she would invite all of the grandkids to have a big picnic. It was lots of fun!