Saturday, November 26, 2016

AN UNEXPECTED DEMISE

RICHARD DAVID KOBER
March 28, 1953 – February 9, 2005

An insurance claims adjuster died early Wednesday morning when he was struck by a tractor-trailer rig on Interstate 40 near Brinkley, Arkansas while he was investigating an earlier accident.

Richard David Kober, 51, of Baton Rouge, was struck by an eastbound tractor trailer rig at 3:26 a.m. when he attempted to cross I-40 near the 208 mile marker.  Kober was conducting a claims investigation for Great West Insurance co. at an accident that had occurred earlier at 11:44 pm on Tuesday involving two tractor trailer rigs and a vehicle towing a horse trailer. 

The driver of the tractor trailer rig which struck Kober told Arkansas highway officers that he had slowed his vehicle and was attempting to change lanes because of the vehicles parked on the side of the road.  He checked his mirrors to make sure he had clearance for his trailer.  When he looked back around at the roadway he saw a pedestrian in the middle of the road.  The driver said he swerved his truck in an attempt to miss Kober, but struck him with the left front fender. 


Religious service was held at Rabenhorst Funeral Home in Baton Rouge; interment was in Liberal Cemetery.  He was survived by his wife, Veda Lynn Norfolk Kober, twin daughter and son, Ashley Lauren Kober and Stephen Mathew Kober, both of Baton Rouge, mother Beryl Kaufman Kober, of Lake Charles, brother and sister in law Ronald Kober, MD and Stephanie Kober.   He was a member of Beth Shalom Synagogue, president of Beth Shalom Men's Club and a graduate of LSU.

****


The Kober family were actually closely related to Jerry's first wife, Carole, she being a first cousin of Richard's mother, Beryl.  (Beryl's dad, Louis, was a brother of Carole's dad, Edward.) The families had stayed close through the years, even though miles separated them.  As one can imagine, the tragic nature of Richard's demise was a shock to everyone.

Friday, November 18, 2016

LUCY WAS A LADY!

LUCILLE M. SCOTT
1928-2004

Dear John, Brian and families

I was so sorry to receive the phone call notifying me of Lucy’s passing.  I retired from work about the same time as Lucy did and since I had moved out of the area, I had been unaware of her stroke or her worsening condition.  It saddened me a great deal to receive that call.

Lucy and I worked closely together for the six years I served at the Rehab Center.  We covered jobs for each other, consulted each other – and frankly, depended on each other a lot.  We also laughed a lot.  Lucy was a bright spot in a sometimes-grim environment. 

We also shared with each other a lot about our families.  I feel as if I know each one of the family members, including her sisters, even though I have never met any of you.

If I could characterize her in a few words, I would say that of all the people I have ever known, Lucy loved her family the most.  She thought her sons were the most handsome, the smartest and best sons a mother could have.  She was so proud of both of you.  And when she interviewed me for my job, sitting on her desk looking me straight in the eye were pictures of her three grandkids, who of course were considerably younger than they are now.  She was fiercely proud of them, and of course with their parentage they also were the most handsome (or in the case of Jessica and Justine, most beautiful), smartest, and cleverest grandkids anyone had ever had.  And how she loved her sisters.  I was envious that I did not have the kind of relationship with my sister that she had with hers.

Lucy was caring and compassionate, sometimes to a fault, and she often ended up on the short end of the stick with the residents of in her sober-living house.  But at work if we had a problem, Lucy would be the first one to step up to help us.  She was a very kind, warm person, a beautiful, beautiful lady, in body, soul and spirit.

One of my fondest memories is how Lucy always told me about lounging around the house in her silk pajamas.  One day she told me she had 10 pair of them.    She asked if I had any and I said mine were all flannel.  She insisted, as only Lucy could insist, that I go buy myself a few pairs, that I would feel better about myself, that my husband Jerry would appreciate it, and that it would make such a difference in my life.  I did not rush out to buy any, to her chagrin.  But last December I called her to announce that I had just bought my first pair – that finally in my retirement I could sit around the house in my jammies if I felt like it and her many admonitions had finally come home to roost!  And yes, I did feel quite elegant – and yes, Jerry DID like them, a whole lot!  She said to me, “Think of all those years you wasted!”  Vintage Lucy, right?

At Christmas the six of us girls in the office exchanged little Christmas gifts.  The only gifts I can remember specifically are the ones that came from Lucy.  Her taste was exquisite, and I am still using the vase, the scarf and the pill case that she give to me at various Christmases.  She always was careful to let me know that they were gifts she had received from friends but had put away because she didn’t really need them.  She wanted to be up front with me about how it was that I got such a lovely gift.  But I knew her friends to be as elegant as Lucy was and I cherished each one of the gifts.  I still use them and think of her each time.

It is hard to lose a mother and grandmother (and sister).  I am sorry I didn’t know earlier of her illness because I surely would have sent a card and come to visit her in the hospital.  Please accept my condolences at this sad time.  Unfortunately I was out of town on the day of her funeral.  I am grateful that Brian called to let me know the sad news.  She was a very special lady.  I shall miss her.

Hugs to you all.

                                                    Bobby Title



Saturday, November 12, 2016

CLARA & NELLIE C. LONG - Missionary Children


On January 1, 1868 an accounting was taken by the U. S. State Department entitled "Lists of Citizens of the U.S. residing in Istanbul on January 1, 1868.  (National Archives.  State Dept. RG59, Consular Dispatches, Constantinople, Microfilm T-194, Roll #9).  

This is how the Long family appeared on that list:

Albert Long, age 35, born Washington, PA,  Missionary – arr. 1857
Persis S., ----  [no age given], [no birthplace given],wife
Mary L.,   [no age given], b Massachusetts, dau.
Nellie A.,   age 9, born Constantinople,  dau
Clara S., age 7, born Constantinople, dau
Rosa C., age 5, born Constantinople, dau.

On a single tombstone in the Protestant Cemetery, Ferikoy-Istanbul, there is inscribed the names of both girls.   Under Clara's name appears this:  "Died Feb. 15, 1868" and under Nellie's name is ascribed this:  "Died 3 Aug 1879, age 21."  From the information above, we can see that little Clara died a month after the information for the State Department was collected.

Their father was the Rev. Albert Long, DD, at that time a Professor of Natural Science at Robert College in Istanbul.

In a book entitled "Fifty Years in Constantinople and Recollections of Robert College," author George Washburn tells about Dr. Long's work:

"Dr. Long, not yet 40 years old, taught several years in America, was a missionary of the American Methodist Church in Bulgaria for 12 years, and a co-translator of the Bible into Bulgarian."

"On our arrival at Constantinople…we found Dr. Long very anxious as to the health of his daughter, and not long after, Mrs. Long and his daughter went to southern France in the hope that a change of climate might restore her health…. His daughter died at the college on August 3, 1879."

"Dr. Long left Robert College in June of 1901 for a year of rest in America.  He had been in failing health and the doctor thought a year off would restore him.  He and his family left for Liverpool, England, where he was hospitalized.  He died on July 28, 1901 and is buried there….Mrs. Long died in December of 1901 at Enfield, New Hampshire leaving two daughters who still reside in that town."

Lynn Scipio, in his book "My Thirty Years in Turkey," wrote the following: "Dr. Long had been a professor at Robert College for 29 years.  He was born in December of 1832 and graduated from Allegheny College.  He came to Turkey as a missionary of the Methodist Episcopal Church."

When I was in Istanbul in 1992, the girls' tombstone was broken in half.  One half was tossed in a rubbish pile.  I was able to retrieve it, and in my rudimentary Turkish I asked the custodian who lived on the grounds to please keep these two pieces together because Nellie and Clara were sisters.  He said he would fix it.  I truly hope he did. 

It is all that is left of these dedicated Immortal Nobodies in Istanbul, Turkey.



Friday, October 28, 2016

A MOTHER-IN-LAW PAR EXCELLENCE



IDA MAY BARRY KIRKPATRICK
27 August 1904 - St. Andrews, TN
15 July 1987 - Orange, CA

Mothers-in-Law get a bad rap, I think.  I suppose there are some of them, like some daughters-in-law, who leave something to be desired, but I've had two Mothers-in-Law and I count myself lucky with both.

I became Ida May Kirkpatrick's daughter-in-law in 1955. I was young, only 20 and in college.  I didn't really know then why people said that about mothers-in-law, because my dad's mom lived far away and died shortly after my mother and dad married.  Hence, I didn't even have a pattern of a mother-in-law's function in the larger family.  All I really knew was that often, there was mother-in-law trouble in a family.

Well, Ida May knew instinctively how to be a good one.  She was born and raised in the south.  Her first child was a girl, a few years older than her only son - the one that I had married.  She adored both her kids and was predisposed to adapt and adopt into the family whoever her kids wanted.  I was the beneficiary of her open arms as she welcomed me as if I had always belonged there.

She was a warm and caring person, good natured and very giving.  My new husband probably told her that I didn't know how to cook, so almost every weekend we were invited to their house – early enough to let me help in the kitchen, where we learned a lot about each other all the while I was learning how to cook.  (I never mastered fried okra, much to my disappointment!) 

After the babies began coming, the weekend visits didn't end.  She made sure we learned some of the southern tricks to entertain the little ones as well as the bigger ones as they grew.  I was always so grateful for her warm loving arms around the newest baby when it was fussy, and by singing to them, she taught me lots of old southern rhymes and songs to add to my repertoire of mainly Girl Scout ditties from my childhood!

Later after our kids got older, she made sure that when summer came there was always fresh plum juice in the fridge for the kids, because she introduced them to it, along with the fried okra and other southern delicacies.  My own mother, who hated to cook and therefore wasn't very good at it, had little to teach me about cooking, and I literally and figuratively ate myself to a substantial size on Ida May's lessons!

She worked hard during the day as a cook at a little local diner, but she was never too tired to do what needed to be done.  When she saw that a certain item would help me in my wifely cleaning or cooking duties, she always tucked one in my purse (or diaper bag!).   

She was a traditional southern wife to her husband, who was a somewhat difficult man who worked hard as a blue-collar worker in the Southgate area, and she also took care of her mother-in-law Gertrude, who lived in the tiny garage apartment.  Once Ida May's children left home to be married, Aunt Bettye, her single sister-in-law, moved in.  All this was Ida May's responsibility, but the only time I ever heard her complain was when Gertie hid a pound of bacon in between her box-springs and the mattress and it was up to Ida May to trace where that awful smell was coming from.   Gertie was nursed by Ida May until her dementia drove her into a nursing home.  And Ida May nursed her husband Ray until he died at home of emphysema.   

Life was not easy for her.  Between her two children she ultimately had twelve different sons and daughters-in-law – (yes, her adult kids were the marrying kind).  She was my mother-in-law for 16 years, and never once during that time did I ever have an occasion to "roll my eyes" at something she did or said.  I loved her a whole lot, which made the dissolution of my marriage to her son a double loss. 

She spent her own final year in a nursing home, and I was able to spend some time with her there.  She barely could carry on a conversation, but she was able to tell me that "Aunt Bettye" (her younger sister-in-law) was a good person and asked me to tell her that, and she apologized to me for my ex-husband's behavior.  She also said she loved me a lot. 

Ida May Barry Kirkpatrick was truly a good-hearted, warm person.  My children, now mostly grandparents themselves, know how lucky they were to have her in their lives, and I am glad that I had as much time with her as I did.  She helped me understand the role of a mother-in-law, though I really think I fall short of her in the image I try for.


REST IN PEACE, MY SWEET MOTHER-IN-LAW


Sunday, October 2, 2016

WHO KNOWS J.J. WILLIAMS OF TEXAS?




I wish I knew.  But unless I get more facts about him, it is hard to give him the fullness of an Immortal Nobody.  I only have two letters….

What do I know about J. J. Williams?  I know that in late 1891 in Grosebeck, Texas, he wrote a letter to a young lady of 17, who lived in Kosse, Texas.  She was Maud McConnell, who many years later would become my grandmother.  In December of 1891, he writes that she was "the sweetest girl in Texas" and he called her "sweetheart." 

Apparently a misunderstanding followed, and his letter written from Hubbard, Texas dated February 14, 1892, ends with "Maud, now write me a long sweet letter and tell me that you love me as in the by gone days."   

~o~

On February 18, 1893, Maud's family received word that her sister Lillie's husband, (Ben McCammon) a train engineer, had been killed in a railroad accident in Colorado, and the McConnells, which included Mom, Dad, Maud and little brother Bert, left for Colorado City.  Lillie and her children lived in a big house at 18th and Colorado Street, and that is where the family stayed to help Lillie through this terrible time.  In due time, the parents and Bert went back home to Texas, but Maud stayed with her sister to help with the children.  Once the kids were of school age, she got a job in town and in 1898 married Scott Dobbins, a rancher and musician from Las Animas, Colorado.

Here's the beauty of this story.  In 1984 when I went back to Colorado, I went to the still-standing old  house, which in the meantime had been turned into a commercial property.  When I introduced myself to the current owner of the property and told her of my Grandmother Maud's relationship to that house, she went to the company safe and returned with two letters for me.  "I've been waiting for you," she said.  "These are yours now."

She gave me Maud's letters from J. J. Williams.  I had no idea they existed until that time.  It is obvious that she did not marry J. J., but it is interesting and maybe significant that those letters came with her from Texas to Colorado.  Sadly, we will never know the details of this story.

I have always wished I could share these letters with descendants of J. J. Williams. For genealogical purposes, the lack of his first and middle names, while common in the South is a real problem for genealogists,  the commonness of his surname, and the lack of an 1890 Federal census has made all my research to find additional details turn up empty.  There are a couple of things in the letter that might be clues:  He had a friend named Webb Price; J. J. and Webb had dinner with Miss Jennie; he mentions his school is having a concert and he wants Maude to come and hopefully stay permanently; he hasn't been anywhere since Christmas except to Hubbard.  He confesses to a spell of the blues, to which Mrs. Wood said he needed some one to make a living for him.


This is all I know, which renders J. J. Williams as the most nobody of the IMMORTALNOBODIES that I know.  Lest he be completely left out, at least this much about him we'll know forever – or for as long as this blog stands.  

McCammon house at 18th and Colorado - taken in the 1960s

*If anyone has THIS J. J. Williams in their family tree, let me know at <laughingallegra@aol.com>

Monday, September 26, 2016

A DEDICATED LIFE

ANNIE T. ALLEN
1868-1922

Annie was the fifth of six children born to Orson and Caroline Wheeler Allen, missionaries sent to the Near East by American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.  All the children were born in Harpout in eastern Turkey.  

Orson was born in 1827.  He graduated from Amherst College and Andover Seminary.  He married in September of 1855 and sailed from Boston in October of that year with his bride.  He remained on the mission field until 1896, when he resigned and returned to America.  His wife died in 1898.  The first three of his children had died very young, and at the time his wife died, two of his three children were still on the Mission Field, and Orson moved back to Turkey to be with them.  Daughter Annie had graduated from Dana Hall, Wellesley, Bible Normal, Springfield, Mt. Holyoke College in 1890. She left Boston in 1890 to help her parents in Harpout.  She received full missionary status and appointment in 1903.

According to the James L Barton, author of "The Story of the Near East Relief (1915-1930," Annie T. Allen, of Auburndale, MA, for many years engaged in mission work in Turkey, died from typhus at Sivas on February 2, 1922,  From the time that the Turkish Nationalist regime was set up in Angora (today's Ankara), she was the representative of the Near East Relief in that city and acted as a liaison officer with the government.  At the time of her death she had journeyed several hundred miles overland on horseback to Kharput in mid-winter to investigate conditions among Armenian and Greek deportees, then on the march to exile, and to adjust difficulties between relief workers and the local government in the city of Kharput.  The weather was bitterly cold and traveling difficult.  She contracted typhus from the refugees she was attempting to help.  She died in Sivas on 2 Feb 1922.  She was 54 years old.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

IMMORTALNOBODIES OF A DIFFERENT KIND

The animals below have played a very important part in our lives.  It occured to me the other day that these precious pets out to be considered as Immortal Nobodies too.  Why not give them the same treatment as I have when I've selected the ordinary human ImmortalNobodies.   Yes, why not!

1975-1992
 SPOT came to us as a wedding gift from Bev & Ed Duffy. She was smart and sweet natured. She lived to be an old lady, looking like a bag of cat fur with some bones rattling around in it.  But she was beautiful to us, and we kept her forever until she got Alzheimer's at 18 and we had to put her down.
  

 1978 - 1989
DOLLY was originally Bryn's cat, but we acquired her when Bryn married.  We called Dolly our "dumb blond" - she was very pretty but a little short on judgment.  She loved her catnip!  She died from Feline Leukemia

1980-1991
ANNIE was Kerry's cat until Kerry graduated and moved out on her own.  Annie was not a very pretty tortie, but her smarts made up for it.  She took walks with us every afternoon, running across the lawns while we walked the dog on the sidewalk, no matter how far we went.  She lost her life when the house was fumigated for termites.  :(



1980ish-1993
This kitty, when about 4 months old, walked up to our front door one day and said he was lost.  I carried him around two blocks, hoping to find his owner, but to no avail.  So he became ours.  We named him Sammy Davis III, a black jewish cat, we said.  Everyone liked Sammy.  He was kind, gentle, friendly and never under foot.  He was easy to love.  When we went to Istanbul we passed him on to our niece, Robyn, who had loved him like we did.  He ultimately died of cystitis.

1985-1985
This is Chauncy, who appeared one day in our back yard and sauntered into the house to have a mouthful of the cats' IAMS.  He stuck around for about 4 days, long enough for me to give him a name that I thought would be an ego-boost for him (he was a scrappy male cat!), and then he left as silently as he arrived.  I was so sorry.  I did like the cat a lot.

1981-1995
Missy Maud was a "found" puppy, turned in at my cousin's vet clinic.  She was the first dog I'd ever had and what a pleasure it was, every minute of it.  All the little grandkids knew and loved her too.  She was just their size.  She got sick with an unidentified ailment and died from a stroke.

1991-2008
Tigger arrived at our apartment in Istanbul as a tiny little kitten.  That was our lucky day.  This cat gave us more pleasure that we ever would have expected.  He is the one we have cremated and will somehow find a way to have his ashes buried with us.   He was one loving cat, though he didn't tolerate any what he considered "nonsense" (like vet exams!)

1992-2001
Cipsi (pronounced Gypsy) was our second Turkish cat, arriving in the arms of a Turkish neighbor who heard her screaming underneath a parked car.  She was hardly even weaned and she wanted milk!  The Turkish neighbor spoke no English and I no Turkish, but the understanding was that if the lady could catch her I would care for her.  Cat lovers both won!  She had very long, thick hair, and once home, we had her "summer cut" done for the hot months.  In the winter she looked like a furry bowling ball.  She died in 2001 of diabetes.

19?? to 2005
This is GLORIA DARLING.  We moved into a rented house upon our return from Turkey, and it was in a neighborhood where the residents let feral cats run everywhere.  In the middle of them was this cat, who definitely had been someone's cat once (she had been spayed) but she had run with the pack for so long she was really skittish around us.  But we persevered, slowly bring her back to her real self, and giving her a name that should have let her know what we thought of her.  After a year, we had to move, and for some reason I can't remember, we left her at the old house.  The next morning at 7 a.m. I jumped in the car, pulled up in front of the old house and yelled, "Gloria Darling, I've come to get you."   She separated herself from the pack and ran to my car.  I tossed her in the cat carrier and took her to her new home with us.  She was a fabulous lady.  She ultimately died from cancer.  We'll never forget her.

1994-2000
Bucky was a fostered dog; he was a purebred sheltie belonging to my cousin, a vet, and lived with us, I think because we needed a dog after losing Missy Maud.  My cousin named him "Bucket of Fun", because as a tiny puppy he was the life of the litter.  He answered to Bucky.  He was such a dog, so much fun, so smart,  We were so lucky to have him until we retired and moved out of the area.  My cousin found a new home for him with a friend, but he died shortly of bladder cancer.  :(



2004-
Squeaky is our lovely old-lady cat now.  She all but talks to us and she understand exactly what we say.  There are three of us in the apartment, Jerry, Squeaky and me, and I swear we understand each other.  I used to baby-sit this cat when her owner went out of town, and at that time I told Joan if she ever needed to find a home for her, give me first crack.  All it took was a phone call about a year later and she became ours.  She resides on the end of my bed.

2011-
This is our newest, whose name changed from "Blue Eyes" to "Ziggy" when she took up residence at our apartment.  She belonged to Jerry's sister Judy, and we always were the backup for her if she needed to find another home for the cat.  When Judy decided to move to Oklahoma to be nearer her daughter, that's when Ziggy came to us, just a month or so ago.  We couldn't be happier.  She is a talkative cat, not a fussy eater, doesn't care which potty box she uses, and has commandeered my computer chair as her bed. And no, she isn't deaf. We hope we outlast both her and Squeaks; we would hate to ever have to give these two up just because we are getting old!  

So now you know the ImmortalNobodies who have touched our lives in the 41 years we've been married.