Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - 27 April 2010

This is the grave marker for my grand-uncle Laurance Wilber Mix.

The story that has been passed down to me on the unusual spelling of his first name is that his mother, Cornelia Akins Mix had the name "Laura" picked out. When he turned out to be a boy, she just added on the "-nce".''

He was the 3rd of the 10 children born to William and Cornelia Mix and he had 7 children of his own, 4 boys and 3 girls.

I was able to locate his obituary at newspaperarchive.com in the Post-Standard (of Syracuse, NY) and it states that he was a master mechanic, and an avid hunter and fisherman.

Although he did not die until 1989, I'm afraid I did not get a chance to meet him (that I know of, if I did, I was a baby or small child).

He is buried in the same plot as his father, William Homer Mix, in Willow Glen Cemetery, Tompkins County, NY.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"The horror! The horror!"

Yeah, yeah, so I finally got a DVR a little over a month ago. I put it off for a long time because I find it hard to commit to television shows, so why would I bother to record anything?

I don't just sit and watch TV, I'm on the computer and the TV is on. Shows will come on and I'll watch them and just love them love them love them for a few weeks, and then I forget they're on and the next thing I know it's season 3 and I just don't care!

An admittance though....I actually do sit quietly, staring at the TV, when Who Do You Think You Are is on. Except when the commercials come on of course! I DVR it, but I like watching it when it's actually playing for the first time.

So even then I wasn't quite sure why I'd gone and gotten the DVR, if I really love it, I watch it, and for the 99.999999% of programming, I just really don't care, if I stumble across it, I'll watch it.


I starting setting up some searches looking for movies/shows that had certain actors and directors.

My first one?

Vincent Price.

It's true, I've loved him all my life I think. Sometime around the age of 6-7 I discovered the magic of old horror movies. They had a Creature Double Feature which I believe was on Channel 48 here in the Philadelphia area on Saturday afternoons.

Yes, you spoiled young whippersnappers out there, I grew up with 7 channels! SEVEN! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-done!!!!! You had the main networks, 3, 6 and 10 (NBC, ABC and CBS), Channel 12 (PBS), and then the UHF channels - here we had 17, 29 and 48. Eventually we had a channel 57 too, can you believe the choices! Then cable happened and my attention span went all to crap. Wait, what was I talking about?

Oh yeah! Channel 48 would show the Creature Double Feature - two truly horrible back-to-back horror movies. Vampire movies, mummy movies, werewolf movies, Frankenstein monster movies, those weird occult movies the Brits cranked out in the late 60s, early 70s. I loved them all. Except the alien movies. Those 50s alien movies just never really did it for me. The 1950s loved worrying about how man would be the cause of his own annihilation what with atom bombs making giant ants and things from outer space and all that. Eh.

Give me a haunted mansion on a seaside cliff with a days long thunder and lightning storm, slamming doors, creaking floors....I LOVE IT!

And Vincent Price was one of my favorites! I think every Edgar Allen Poe story put to film starred Vincent Price (even if the title was the only thing the story and movie had in common).

And now, I get to search for him in upcoming movies! I already have like 4 saved up. And guess who tends to play them? Early morning hours on good old channel 17. Thanks Channel 17!!!

You might think a channel like, oh, say, the Sci-Fi Channel might play cool stuff like that? Oh no, they are too busy showing wrestling shows. Go figure. Oops, sorry, that's the "Syfy" channel now. They changed it. Why? My guess is because you can't copyright "Sci-Fi". But maybe I'm jaded. Or right. Either one! :-D

So now I have awesome searches saved in my DVR like Vincent Price (of course!), Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and so on.

I'll be re-living my childhood!!

My poor mom never did understand why I wanted to watch these movies and I think she was always on the verge of prohibiting it - but I never had nightmares or anything..except for once.

I had watched one of those stupid alien 1950s movies (why? Because there were only SEVEN channels people!! What else was i supposed to watch? 60 Minutes???

[Oh, and that's a story for another day - 60 Minutes and the Walt Disney show were on opposite each other on sunday nights and can you believe it, my father would actually sometimes make us watch 60 Minutes? Dad??? What the hell?]) - see it's another tangent, a symptom of my non-existent attention span.

So I watched one of those alien movies, and they were like a huge blob with feet and a dish-sized eyeball in the middle of their blobbiness and at some point some flailing human poked the eye of an alien and I was totally grossed out. Blech! And that night I dreamt there were 2 of those big-eyed aliens under my bed.

But I swear Mom, that was the only time! And it was an alien movie which I don't watch much of anyway....

Except of course for Alien, Aliens and Alien:Resurrection (you can just dump Aliens 3, even my generous nature doesn't bother watching it when it comes on). I've said it before and I'll say it again....Aliens is one of the best movies EVER. Bill Paxton should have won an Oscar. He was robbed.

But except for those, no alien movies.

So yes, I am very glad I finally gave in and went through the effort of getting a DVR installed. Now on some upcoming weekend I can get a snack and watch my own creature-double feature. I can't wait!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - 20 April 2010

This marker is for my maternal great-grandfather, William Homer Mix. His parents were John and Mary Mix and he was the baby of the family. There were 6 to 8-ish children (sorry, haven't quite nailed down a possible couple oldest siblings). William was father to 10 children of his own.

From my research so far, it looks like he spent his entire life in New York state in either Tioga, Tompkins, or Ontario counties. He worked as a carpenter, farmer and farm laborer in the federal census records I've been able to find for him.

He married my great-grandmother, Cornelia Akins, on Christmas Day in 1904. Unfortunately, they divorced in 1935. He never re-married.

I never heard a lot of stories about him from my grandmother, she was just shy of 15 when they divorced. One of the few things she shared was a memory of the family all together in the kitchen for a meal, the kids being wild and noisy and her father saying to her mother: "Nelia, can't you control these kids?!"

Sure, easy for him to say when there are 10, count them, 10 kids running around!!! :-) Man oh Man, it was a different world when large families were the norm!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Remember This Picture When They Are Fighting

One of the 8,424 pictures my sister took of my niece and nephew for Easter is below (gotta love digital cameras!).

Awww, so sweet, isn't it?

When I saw it though, I immediately thought of a picture of my mom and her brother:

To me it was just a little reminder that really we humans are all connected, no matter how different we like to think we are!

Also, I wished that my nephew had been standing on my niece's foot just so the circle could be complete, but hey, you can't have everything! :-)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Flat Grave Markers Are Just No Good

I took a stroll through the Philadelphia Memorial Park this morning seeing if I could locate some requested grave markers from findagrave.com.

It's a really big cemetery and it's about 99% flat grave markers (there's one small spot where there are a couple dozen regular grave stones from a cemetery that was re-located from Philadelphia).

You know what that means of course...

Me saying: I hope they didn't just move the headstones! (although according to the blurb on the findagrave.com about the cemetery - they weren't too careful!)

Sorry, I've seen Poltergeist WAY too many times.

Anyway, back to the story...
So it's a very pretty cemetery, lots of rolling ground and trees. I went to the section where people thought a bunch of their markers would be and was bitterly disappointed.

It never occurred to me what happens to flat grave markers once there's no family around to maintain them.

Yep, totally grown over. I wish I'd known to bring my gardening tools this morning, I spent a lot of time scraping debris off of markers with various sticks.

It broke my heart.

And it's not like this is some ancient little cemetery - it's a modern facility with burials going on right now. But this area I guess was "full" because it seemed like the most recent death date I came across was 1996. I didn't find ONE of the requested names from findagrave.com.

It just seems a shame.

So, moral of the story is, don't use a flat marker that will disappear under grass and leaves in a few short years. Please, on behalf of all future genealogists!!

Now, I realize that the office has a map of all plots, it just wasn't open this morning, so I can always try that, but still, in my opinion, above ground markers are better!

Below is a pic of one I came across that I un-earthed, literally. There were a lot of veterans in this particular part of the cemetery.

Poor guy fought in World War I. I tried to find out about Battery A, 311th Field Artillery but nothing comes up easily in the search engines. There's tons on Battery D, but I didn't see anything on A. I looked him up in ancestry and there's a few possiblities - I found a WWI draft registration card, but it lists the birthdate as March 19, rather than 17th. Of course, the grave marker could be wrong...

Of course, flat grave markers are protected from the elements, but even so I'd still rather have them above ground.