Thursday, March 20, 2014

Book of Me, Written by Me, Prompt 17: Toys & Games

The Book of Me, Written by You is a blogging theme where one can write about their own life using blog themes posted each week. More information can be found at Anglers Rest here.

This week’s prompt is – Toys & Games
  • Can you remember your first toy, or game?
  • Do you still have it?
  • Who did you play with?
  • Did you play board games?
  • Have you inherited any of your family games & toys?
  • Share some pictures if you would like to!

I don’t remember my very first toy. According to my baby book, my first toy was a stuffed giraffe. Some toys I remember from younger days—mostly from photos: cowgirl set with a hat and guns in a holster, Lincoln logs, blocks, puzzles, and many dolls which I hated. 

I never was much for dolls. I liked the cars, trains, and guns that my brothers got for Christmas better. I did have a Barbie, given to me in the 4th grade. I also got this cool Barbie house made of cardboard and my next door neighbor, Maryanne also got the house. My mother made a lot of the Barbie clothes for me but I think I had more fun playing with the house than with the Barbie. 

The next year, Troll dolls were the big hit and I saved up my allowance for two weeks to purchase one at 79 cents. I still have that troll doll and many more that I have bought over the years. I made lots of clothes out of felt and little houses from cardboard boxes.

Not my first troll (that's in storage) but very similar to ones I collect now
Some other toys I remember are board games such as Monopoly, Sorry, Scrabble, and Yatzee. Mom loved to play games and we had great fun, especially on rainy days.  We also learned to play all kinds of dice and card games such as Liar’s Dice, Rummy, and Spades.

When we were younger and living in Pittsburg, California where there were nice sidewalks, we had little pedal cars. I had a blue Cadillac that worked with a chain that kept getting loose. My brother had a black and white police car.  It was great fun riding on the driveway and sidewalks. Later we had bikes and would put playing cards on the spokes with clothes pins so they made lots of noise as we rode. Probably drove the neighbors crazy!

I was the oldest, so I remember toys that were in the house for the younger children, such as blocks, metal cars, slot cars, Tinker Toys, dolls and doll clothes. I still have a soft spot for toys. I had fun playing with Legos as my daughters were growing. I still fancy my trolls and love to play board games, especially word games like Scrabble and Boggle, and trivia games.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Book of Me, Written by Me, Prompt 15: Snow

This week’s prompt is – Snow!
  • Do you live in area where you routinely have snow?
  • How old were you when you first saw snow?
  • Did you make snowmen? Throw Snowballs
  • Have Sledge Rides
  • What is the image that first came to mind when you read snow?
  • What does snow feel like, smell like & how do you see snow?

I grew of in sunny California, so snow was not a part of our winters. The closest we got to snow was in our readers at school! I was always envious of the places in our readers that had definite 4 seasons: Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring.

One day, though, my father got us out of school early and drove us up to the top of Mt. Diablo, a mountain near us that peaks at 3,864 feet (1,178 m). It had been raining all day at home but at the top of Mt. Diablo, it was snowing! I have no photo of us but I remember the joy in trying to make a very small snowman. The snow was so slushy, that we got very wet in the ill-equipped clothing we were wearing.

The next time I experienced snow was an overnight trip to McCloud near Mt. Shasta. It did not snow while we were there, but there was quite a bit of snow on the ground. I was with my high school girlfriend, Beth, her sister, Phyllis and her father, Mr. Harvey. We made snowmen and slid down mini hills with cardboard we found while Mr. Harvey worked for a day on the tourist steam train. We slept in the car, an old Ford Country Squire overnight and boy was it cold! Phyllis remained the warmest as she slept between us.

Phyllis, Beth, & me at McCloud 1972 or 73
Since that time I’ve experienced snow and it snowing in Salt Lake City, Utah. On several occasions during a genealogy trip to the Family History Library in January or February, it has snowed and we got to enjoy a bit of it while walking to lunch or dinner.

When I think of snow, these images come to mind:
  • Soft & fluffy
  • Wet and cold
  • Clean & white (until it’s been there awhile)
  • Hot chocolate and a warm fire
Still, I’m glad I live in a moderate climate and didn’t have to travel to school and work in the snow.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick’s Day – My Irish Lines: Gleeson, Sullivan, Tierney, Murray, Sheehan

My father, William J. Hork, was one half German through his father’s line and one half Irish through his mother’s line.  In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to summarize a bit about the Irish side of my family. These families came from both Ireland and Canada. The records in Ireland are a bit sketchy and I hope to someday learn more!

Generation 1
1. William Joseph Hork: born 23 Apr 1930 in Ontario, San Bernardino Co, California, USA; died 13 Oct 2007 in Walnut Creek, Contra Costa Co, California, USA.

Generation 2
3. Anna Marie "Anne" Sullivan: born 15 Oct 1892 in Anaconda, Deer Lodge Co, Montana, USA; died 14 Feb 1979 in Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co, California, USA.

Generation 3
6. John H. Sullivan: born 20 Jun 1854 in Ireland; married Anna Marie Gleeson 1882 in South Dakota, USA; died 28 May 1932 in San Bernardino, San Bernardino Co, California, USA. He claimed on the 1900 census he arrived in the U.S. in 1866. He was not naturalized until 1882.
7. Anna Marie Gleeson: born 13 Feb 1860 in Carleton Co, Ontario, Canada; died 3 Jan 1912 in Anaconda, Deer Lodge Co, Montana, USA. She came to the U.S. with her parents in 1879 where they settled in Davison County, South Dakota.

Generation 4
12. Jeremiah Sullivan: born 1811 in Co Cork, Ireland; died 6 Nov 1888 in Morrison Co, Minnesota, USA. He probably came in the mid 1860’s. He married Mary Sheehan probably in late 1842 or early 1843 in County Cork.
13. Mary Sheehan: born 1832 in Co Cork, Ireland; died 24 Feb 1892 in Villard Twp, Morrison Co, Minnesota, USA.
14. John Gleeson: born 25 Feb 1835 in Canada; married Margaret Tierney 15 Feb 1858 in Nepean, Carleton Co, Ontario, Canada; died 21 Apr 1915 in Portland, Multnomah Co, Oregon, USA. John and Margaret arrived in the U.S. in 1879 and settled in Dakota Territory. They moved to Oregon in 1902.
15. Margaret Tierney: born 24 Apr 1835 in Carleton Co, Ontario, Canada; died 26 May 1920 in Vancouver, Clark Co, Washington, USA.

Generation 5
28. Martin Gleeson: born 1787 in Ireland; died 9 Oct 1859 in Carleton Co, Ontario, Canada. He married Ann Gleeson sometime before 1820 in Ireland. He came to Canada before 1830.
29. Ann Gleeson: born 1790 in Ireland; died 9 Apr 1848 in Carleton Co, Ontario, Canada.
30. John Tierney: born 1804 in Ireland; married Ann Murray 27 Nov 1832 in Ottawa, Carleton Co, Ontario, Canada; died 14 Dec 1891 in Fallowfield, Carleton Co, Ontario, Canada.
31. Ann Murray: born 1813 in Co Tipperary, Ireland; died 8 Oct 1899 in Fallowfield, Carleton Co, Ontario, Canada.

Generation 6
60. Denis Tierney: born 1777 in Ireland; died Jan 1856 in Nepean, Carleton Co, Ontario, Canada. He married Margaret Eagan in Ireland probably before 1800.  He came to Canada in the 1820’s.
61. Margaret Eagan: probably born and died in Ireland.
63. Jane: died 1874 in Fallowfield, Carleton Co, Ontario, Canada.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Book of Me, Written by Me—Prompt 13: Special People/Iconic People

The Book of Me, Written by You is a blogging theme where one can write about their own life using blog themes posted each week. More information can be found at Anglers Rest here.
If you had to hold a dinner party and could invite a maximum of 12 special people who would you invite?
  • You can NOT include family in this – the special people could be famous or historical people. What made you select the people that you chose? What questions would you like to ask them?
  • What meals would you serve and why?
  • Perhaps include the recipe or a photo if you decided to actually cook the items!

I had a very hard time deciding which special 12 people to invite. Do I select anyone I’d like to speak to or should I think about whether the guests will enjoy speaking to each other? There doesn’t appear to be any rules about whether the special people are alive now or whether they are real (ie: I’m thinking about characters from a book, movie, or T.V. show).

Historical women I’d like to invite: 
  • Abigail Adams
  • Florence Nightingale
  • Lou Strentzel Muir
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Louisa Alcott
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder

I would want to know about their lives. I would ask:
  • For all: What was life like for a woman in your time period?
  • For Abigail, Lou and Eleanor: How did you manage living with such busy and famous men?
  • For Louisa and Laura: What was it like to write and publish your books?

For this meal, we would sit outside in the garden and have tea, sandwiches and pastries. Flowers would be blooming nicely and the weather at a nice 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  If they felt it was too hot for tea, we’d have some nice homemade lemonade.

Fictional Characters I would invite: 
  • Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation  
  • Benjamin Sisko from Deep Space Nine 
  • Cork O’Connor from the William Kent Krueger books 
  • Illya Kuryakin from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 
  • Mrs. Pollifax from the Dorothy Gilman books 
  • Inspector Thomas Lynley and Sgt Barbara Havers from The Inspector Lynley Mysteries 
  • Richard Jury from Martha Grimes’ books on New Scotland Yard mysteries
These are characters from my favorite books or television shows. It would be pretty exciting to meet their character selves.

I’m not sure what I would ask, but would just enjoy talking with them. I think this party would be a bit more difficult—mixture of men and women, and a mixture of occupations.  Hopefully Picard and Sisko would have something in common to talk about, as would Lynley and Jury. Havers would probably find Mrs. Pollifax eccentric but hopefully being the only women would get along all right. Cork O’Connor and Illya Kuryakin would definitely be the odd men out, though their work as policemen might be interesting to the Scotland Yard characters. I would want to hear about their cases. I would want to hear about the space adventures of the Star Trek show, too.

For the meal, I would serve a variety of foods buffet style so everyone would find something they would like: cold and hot meats, roasted potatoes, peas, green beans, and salads, along with a variety of breads. For dessert, we would have both cakes and pies to choose from.

imageBy (Liyster) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Book of Me, Written by Me--Prompt 12: The Year You Were Born

The Book of Me, Written by You is a blogging theme where one can write about their own life using blog themes posted each week. More information can be found at Anglers Rest here.
This week’s prompt is - The year you were born
· What happened
· Historical
· Films
· Music
· Books
· Television
· Or use any other historical (well known or otherwise) event

I was born in 1954 nearly one year after the marriage of my parents. Of course I don’t have a clue what happened that year but Wikipedia gives a great list.  Here are some highlights:

--Marilyn Monroe married Joe DiMaggio.
--The first nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus was launched.

--Mass vaccination against polio began in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
--Gamal Abdel Nasser became premier of Egypt.

--The French began the battle against the Viet Minh in Dien Bien Phu.
--I was born on March 26.
--The first subway opened in Toronto.

--Bill Haley & His Comets recorded “Rock Around the Clock.” 
--Senator Joseph McCarthy begins hearings investigating the United States Army for being "soft" on Communism.

--Unification Church was founded in South Korea.
--Roger Bannister ran the first under 4 minute mile in Oxford, England.  
--The Boeing 707 was released.

--The words “Under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance.
--First atomic power station opened in Obninsk.

--Food rationing in Great Britain ended.

--First issue of Sports Illustrated was published in the United States

--Lord of the Flies was published in London.

--NY Giants defeated the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series.
--Transistor radio developed by Texas Instruments.
--Hi and Lois by Mort Walker and Dik Browne was launched.
--West Germany joined NATO.

--Immigration port of entry at Ellis Island closed.

--The Nutcraker ballet was staged for the first time in New York.

This was a good exercise because I learned a lot about what happened in 1954.  Some of it I knew, such as the NY Giants winning the World Series. I'm a big SF Giants fan and that had been the last time the Giants won the World Series until 2010.

Those born on my birthday (March 26):
Kazuhiko Inoue, a Japanese voice actor.
Clive Palmer, an Australian mining tycoon. 

Some famous people born in 1954: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Oprah Winfrey, Christie Brinkley, John Travolta, Patty Hearst, Ron Howard, Robert Carradine, Jackie Chan, Dennis Quaid, Jerry Seinfeld, Sonia Sotomayor, Hugo Chavez, Al Roker, Dennis Eckersley, Al Sharpton, Ang Lee, Condoleezza Rice and Denzel Washington.

Some films released in 1954Godzilla, Seven Samurai, Rear Window, On the Waterfront, Sabrina, Dial M for Murder, The Caine Mutiny, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I have seen most of these movies.

Some books published in 1954: Lord of the Flies, The Lord of the Rings (#1-3), Horton Hears a Who!, Lucky Jim, The Little Red Hen, Live and Let Die, Twelve Angry Men, The Bad Seed.  I have read most of these books.

Some TV Shows that debuted in 1954:  Annie Oakley, The Public Defender, Stop the Music, Lassie, The Tonight Show, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Disney, Face the Nation.  I have watched some of these television shows. There were lots of other shows that were broadcasted that year that I have seen in re-runs or late night TV: I Love Lucy, The Ed Sullivan Show, Dragnet, Jack Benny Show, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Adventures of Superman, What’s My Line.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Book of Me, Written by Me--Prompt 11: Military

The Book of Me, Written by You is a blogging theme where one can write about their own life using blog themes posted each week. More information can be found at Anglers Rest here.

This week is week 10 and the prompt is Military.

  • Did you join the military
  • Were you encouraged or discouraged?
  • Did a family member?
  • Regular or for a particular incident
  • Did you or your family serve overseas in the line of service either during a war or as a posting?
  • Any thoughts, photographs, memories relevant
I had two close calls to joining the military. At a job fair in my senior year of college, I spoke to a recruiter from the United States Coast Guard. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my very general degree of a BS in Biology. He was looking for graduates who would then go to Officer’s Candidate School and then serve time in the service (the time I don’t remember—this was way back in 1977). I think I let him take my contact information and then I didn’t think about it again. 

I got a job working in the office of a sporting goods store. I didn’t like the job at all but felt a bit stuck there. Well, the recruiter contacted me and I thought, why not? I’d get to see a bit of the world and do something more exciting than counting money and entering data into a computer. Since I didn’t know much about boating, I took a class given by a local Power Squadron group. Then I had an interview with a panel.

The recruiter was shocked when I showed up with a cast on my foot, resulting from a sprain when I tripped on a curb. He tried to take the photo of me without the cast showing (luckily I wore slacks which covered most of the cast). Then I had the interview.

I had been very honest in the interview for the sporting goods job and it got me the job. Being very honest with the Coast Guard interview did not get me a spot at OCS. And I knew it as soon as I walked out of the room. I so wanted to reopen the door and try a “I think I blew it and can I try again.” But I didn’t.

I learned to never say you hate your previous job. I learned to really research what the job entails and to answer questions with those details. I also learned you tend to get things when you really, really want them.

And, I would have never met my husband, Norman.

Flash forward a few years. I’m a train operator now and working a late shift. A regular on Sunday evening was this guy who worked for the San Francisco Muni. We’d talk some and I let him ride in the cab. One day he spoke of his Naval Reserve job.  He was in a unit where he drove trucks and that if one had a background in the field, one would not have to attend basic training. It sounded like fun, so I enquired about joining his unit. This was before women in combat (in the 1980’s). So I went through the application process, took some aptitude test, and had a medical physical (where the doctor informed me I had a heart murmur that I never knew). 

But this was never to be either. I think my friends who I had asked to fill out recommendations never did. Probably just as well. A few years later my two daughters were born and I had a new role to play in life, one I was now very ready for.

Now if I want to involve myself in the military, I just pick up a nice novel and read. Some favorite authors include: Tom Clancy and W.E.B. Griffin.

Family members who did serve in the military:
  • Grandfather, Tom J. Johnston, Jr. in the Navy for a short time in 1944.
  • Grandfather, William Cyril Hork in the Navy, aboard the submarine tender, USS Alert, out of Long Beach, California during WWI
  • 2nd Great-Grandfather, Reuben Mack Johnston, Confederate Army from Texas in the Civil War
  • 3rd Great-Grandfather, George W. Lancaster, 6th Texas Cavalry, Civil War
  • 3rd Great-Grandfather, Benjamin W. Jones, 3rd MS Cavalry State Troops, Co A.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past