Thursday, May 10, 2012

My first of many cats...

"My first of many cats that I have had came into my life as a dirty stray brought home from the street by my grandfather.  I was very ill with scarlet fever at the time and was delirious from the high fever and started to scream in fear.  The family tried everything to quiet me to no avail until they put the kitten on my bed.  It was love at first sight and Mickey lived with me for the next ten years."

Printed on back of photo
"Kathryn's Mickey 1937 south side of house - Alvington"

I was always a tomboy...

From the Library of Congress American Memory. 
Girls roller skating in Central Park in 1942.
"I always was a tomboy and hated ruffles, ribbons and fancy clothes.  My favorite outfit was a pair of kakhi knickers and a boys shirt.  I practically lived in them the summer I was ten, much to the horror of my grandmom who loved to curl my hair in long Shirley Temple curls and dress me in pretty dresses with matching hair ribbons every afternoon.

Being a city kid, the back yard and front sidewalk was our playground.  We had no organized activities and made our own fun, making mud pies, building houses and forts and pirate ships from scraps of wood and old blankets in the back yard.

About 4 o'clock every afternoon, a bath and a clean dress transformed me back into the semblance of a girl.  Then we moved our play to the front steps and sidewalk.  In the spring we jumped rope and played ball.  With the heat of summer came jacks and paper dolls mostly on rainy afternoons and all the games of tag, red light, hide and seek, giant steps hop scotch and many many other games that kept up our imagination.

Fall was roller skating time from the moment we came home from school til dark.  A big treat was to go to the park to skate on a long smooth sidewalk without cracks and bumps.

In the winter we would pull each other on our sleds and make snowmen.  Also it was fun to walk along the top of the piles of snow by the curb where people cleared their sidewalks.

I relate these things to give you some idea of how we amused ourself before TV, organized sports, play grounds, camp and all the things kids have today."

Monday, May 7, 2012

When I was six...

Public Domain image from Library of Congress. Downtown Philadelphia 1927
"When I was six, we moved to 1234 N 18th Street.  I started to school at the Gesu across the street from our house.

My best friends were the G. children, Dot, Billie and Bob.  We had lots of scrapes growing up together.  Once I pushed Billie off his pedal car and cut his head.  The sight of blood and a couple of stitches put a strain on the friendship for a while.  Dot gave me a haircut and I wound up looking like a boy when the barber tried to smooth off the tufts that were left.  I liked it so much I wore that boyish bob for years.

Their mother was a pretty widow and we kids tried to fix her up with my Dad so they could get married and would all be one family.  However the grownups didn't think it was such a good idea.

Daddy met a woman in New York City and married her when I was about eight years old.  She continued to live in New York where she had a big job and spent the weekends with us or Dad went there with her.

I stayed with grandmom which suited me fine because I hated her and was afraid they would take me to New York.  It didn't work out and they got a divorce after about a year or so."

I attempted to contact the man who posted about this family, and unfortunately his email address is inactive.  The search continues.

They lived with my grandmother...

St. Francis DeSales Roman Catholic Church from the Library of Congress
"They lived with my grandmother Lilly and grandfather Will.  My mother worked in a candy store and my father worked for a thread company.  Grandad had a gas station near Fairmount Park.

Uncle Frank moved to the Blude Ridge Mountains of Virginia and ran a saw mill.  He and Aunt Fannie lived there until he hurt his leg and had gangrene.  He came home to stay with our family and died when I was eight years old.  Aunt Fannie died a couple of years later in 1933.  She was my best friend.  We played games together and she taught me to embroider and sew.  When I was sick, which was after, she would read to me for hours.

My parents had three children, Margaret, William and me.  I was born in a house on 21st Street in Philadelphia, October 14, 1921.  My brother, who was four years old, had died in July of scarlet fever before I was born.  My mother insisted that I be born at home and due to complications died a few days later, leaving my father with an infant and a five year old daughter, Peggy.

Grandmom took on the chore of raising us.  I twasn't easy at her age but she did not want anyone else to have us.  In November 1922, Peggy in the first grade of school, contracted measles which went into pneumonia and she died.  I had them also but made it through okay.

She was buried with a mass of the Angels from St. Francis Church where she attended school.  A dainty little ballet dancer had gone to join her mother and brother, leaving my heartbroken father with a year old toddler, me, and a shattered life.

My once happy grandfather, Will, heartbroken over the loss of his darling Peggy, locked me out of his heart so he wouldn't be hurt again.  He never acted like a grandfather or paid much attention to me as I grew up.  Thank God for my grandmother who loved me and raised me as her daughter that she never had.  After her boys I was a pleasure for her."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

To my children...

"To my children,
This is a short history of the H. side of your family.

My grandmother Lily H. was born and raised in Baltimore.  She was a small child during the civil war and her mother was a southern sympathizer and hid confederate soldiers in her attic until they could escape back to the southern forces.

Lilly eloped to Towson to marry William H. who came to America from London England as a child.  Lilly had three sisters Etta, Fannie, and Rose and a brother, Harry.  Their father Harry W. came to America from Hess Castle Germany.  He was a marble cutter and cut many fancy angels and other tombstones in Greenmount Cemetery in Baltimore.

Lilly and William moved to Philadelphia where William opened a fancy grocery store with Fannie's husband, Frank B.  Rose and Etta moved in a house around the corner from them.  Lilly and William had six boys, one who died at birth, two who died from diptheria at three and four years of age and Hutter, Walter and Frank, who was my father.

Hutter married and moved to Atlantic City, New Jersey where he managed a department store.  Later he moved to Shreveport, Louisiana and over the years we lost contact with him.

Walter married Lady Catherine T., a Scottish noble lady and settled in Chicago, Illinois.  They had no children.

Frank, my father, married Margaret C. when she was very young.  I've heard she was sixteen but I'm not sure that was right and I have no one to ask."

As I was researching everything I could find so that I could get my hands on a picture of some sort to accompany this post (I have searched every name in the list and not been able to find much), I found something truly remarkable:  a descendant of Walter H. who is looking for more information about his family.  The post is from 1998 but I'm going to send him an email and maybe he can help me piece this together and find the family that belongs to this time capsule.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

“Only the discoverer of Tutankhamen’s tomb would know how she felt upon finding this treasure"

I have acquired a time capsule.  It was not made by anyone that I know.  It was given to me by a friend saying, "I know that you like to read blogs, so I thought you would enjoy this non-digital blog."

I plan on going through this time capsule and seeing where it takes me.  I've briefly gone through the box and it seems to have a large number of photographs as well as a journal inside.  The journal seems to chronicle a family history written by a woman named Kathryn.

I plan to copy this history and attempt to match up the photos in the box and photos that I can find online so that this history can have new life.  I do not plan to share any last names that I find or any recent pictures that may surface.

Thanks for joining me.