Crafty Man

Week 49: #52 Ancestors – Craft By Eilene Lyon My maternal grandfather, Laurence M. Smith, was a crafty man in more than one way. He loved to play practical jokes. He used his wit in a cunning, sneaky way. But he also like to make things, especially in his retirement years. It isn’t surprising that... Continue Reading →

Trip Around The World – Part 2

By Eilene Lyon Part 1 A Mysterious Disappearance Emily and Harvey Ransom expected W. C. to return home no later than Thursday, July 19. When he didn’t appear, Harvey and a friend headed to Chicago and began making inquiries. They retrieved the doctor’s bag and mail from the Sherman House. Thinking the correspondence might contain... Continue Reading →

Trip Around The World – Part 1

Week 48: #52 Ancestors – Thief By Eilene Lyon Note: The Historical Society of Michigan published a version of this story originally in Michigan History Magazine May/June 2018. Due to length, I will present it in two parts. South Haven, Michigan, 1894 The schooner George L. Wrenn rested lightly in the South Haven harbor. Her... Continue Reading →

The Slide Years: Thanksgiving

By Eilene Lyon The Slide Years is a series in which I select an image my dad took from 1957-1982 with Kodachrome slide film, then I write a stream-of-consciousness essay – a sort of mini-memoir. Sadly this slide somehow got covered in little black spots, and the color is quite poor. One thing I like... Continue Reading →

Minnesota Pills

Week 47: #52 Ancestors – Soldier By Eilene Lyon When I recently watched portions of the film “They Shall Not Grow Old,” I was struck by how the young men (many just boys of 15 and 16), were eager to volunteer to serve in World War I. Even after all the horrors they experienced, the... Continue Reading →

Good Intentions

Week 46: #52 Ancestors – Poor Man By Eilene Lyon He had to be desperate – it was such an insane thing to do at his age. Traveling to California and mining gold was for the young and strong, not for 49-year-old family men. But Henry Zane Jenkins made that difficult choice: to leave his... Continue Reading →

The Slide Years: Resort

By Eilene Lyon The Slide Years is a series in which I select an image my dad took from 1957-1982 with Kodachrome slide film, then I write a stream-of-consciousness essay – a sort of mini-memoir. When we were living in Guatemala in the 1970s, we would sometimes head to the coast for a vacation. The... Continue Reading →

Lone Star

Week 45: #52 Ancestors – Rich Man By Eilene Lyon This really isn’t about a rich man, or even a poor one, or actually, even about a man, though it starts out with one. Robert J. Halse was born in Highland Township, Winneshiek County, Iowa, in 1860.1 Along with most of his family, he relocated... Continue Reading →

Wrong-Way Emily – Part 3

Week 43: #52 Ancestors – Transportation By Eilene Lyon Part 1 and Part 2 Stranded Robert and William Ransom had meager funds. There was no way for them to send a message to their family at home, or to Henry Jenkins in California, to let them know of their predicament. Families in Indiana and elsewhere... Continue Reading →

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