Philadelphia Firestorms

Week 33: #52 Ancestors – Troublemaker By Eilene Lyon Henry Z. Jenkins rose before dawn one morning in June 1827 in his single room in north Philadelphia’s Penn Township. His workday normally began at sunrise and ended at sundown – just like that of every other journeyman in the city. The master tradesmen dictated the... Continue Reading →

The Trailblazer

Week 31:#52 Ancestors – Large By Eilene Lyon The person in my tree who looms largest in American history is my cousin, Col. Ebenezer Zane. He could be, and has been, called many things: Frontiersman, Pathfinder, Indian-hunter. Zane was quite literally a trailblazer, helping to open the Midwest to settlement before and after the Revolution.... Continue Reading →

Justice for Mrs. Loftus

Week 29: #52 Ancestors – Newsworthy By Eilene Lyon Newspaper articles feature prominently in my family history research, as I’ve amply demonstrated on this blog. There were the outrageous tales of Dr. William C. Ransom and Adoph Dills. The peek into the railroad career of Arthur L. Ransom. The sad ends of Clifford Cutting, postman;... Continue Reading →

Erasing History

By Eilene Lyon “There are those who wrap themselves in flags and blow the tinny trumpet of patriotism as a means of fooling the people.” -- George Galloway I recently saw this meme posted on Facebook and felt it brought up issues regarding history that this blog ought to address. Taken at face value, I... Continue Reading →

Saving Grace

Week 18: #52 Ancestors – Where There’s a Will By Eilene Lyon William Zane Jenkins barely knew what hit him. Suddenly blind, deaf and numb, in a dark hole deep in the bowels of Mother Earth, his life took on new meaning. He’d always been a taciturn, pessimistic, Eeyore of a man. For some reason,... Continue Reading →

The Slide Years: Seismic

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. The freight-train rumble woke me out of a sound sleep at 3:04 a.m. on February 4, 1976. Wait a minute,... Continue Reading →

Back on the Bayou

By Eilene Lyon We picked up a rental car at the New Orleans airport and headed to our hotel – a reasonably priced national brand right on St. Charles in the Garden District. For our brief stay in the city, we could take the trollies wherever we needed to go. We took the St. Charles... Continue Reading →

Flying Fortress Falls

Week 16: #52 Ancestors – Air By Eilene Lyon This pre-Memorial Day story honors 2nd Lieutenant Jack P. Laird, my mother’s 4th cousin on the Ransom family tree. Born John Paul Laird in December 1919 in Klamath Falls, Oregon, Jack’s parents were Thomas W. Laird and Sylvia Lee Rackleff. He had one sibling, a brother... Continue Reading →

Mothers of Invention

By Eilene Lyon  –  May 5, 2020 “Necessity is the mother of invention” – a proverb Why “mother” and not father? I suspect women frequently find themselves in need of a solution to a problem. We tend to be multi-taskers by tradition and that means shortcuts and mechanical aids come in real handy. Plus, we’re... Continue Reading →

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