Tuesday, January 24, 2017


August 1869 - December 1882

Today's ImmortalNobody comes from England and is shared with permission from the Hastings Observer newspaper.

"A photographer who stumbled across an unusual headstone in St. Leonards' woodland is attempting to find out more about its origins.  Sid Saunders, from Hollington, was walking through the woods when he made a bizarre discovery in the undergrowth - a 134-year-old headstone for a rabbit.

Sid explains: "I lost my wife three-and-a-half years ago, so I started doing my old hobbies - a lot of walking and photography.  "On this particular day two years ago, walking in Marline Wood, just off Queensway, I noticed a bit of concrete just poking out of the undergrowth.  I pushed my foot against it and it would not move, so I moved the undergrowth and released it...it was a little headstone."  

The stone was filthy and overgrown with moss, so the following day Sid returned to Marline Wood to clean it up.

He said: "It says on there 'In memory of the little Duchie' which tells me it's part of the Dutch rabbit family.  "It's obvious the family had money to buy a headstone.  "It must have been part of the estate there."  The headstone includes an image of a rabbit and the inscription shows that 'Duchie' was born in August 1869 and died in December 1882.  Although 13 years does sound like a remarkably long time for a rabbit to survive, experts say well cared for rabbits who live indoors can live into their teens.  Sid returned to the site recently to once again clean up the tiny headstone.  He said: "It's something for this 73-year old man to keep his brain active."  This year Sid says he wants to do some research in a bid to find out more about the family who left this tiny headstone behind.  The Marline Valley Local Nature Reserve, which includes Marline Wood, is owned by Hastings Borough Council and managed by Sussex Wildlife Trust. *Pictures taken by Sarah Lawler.

Reproduced by permission of the Hastings Observer
http://www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/.  Picture by Sid Saunders.

Friday, January 13, 2017


February 18, 1927 - January 2, 2017

In 1959 my husband and I bought our first house.  It was in Westminster, California, and on our street most of the husbands were former GI's and qualified to buy a home on a VA loan.  As I recall, the buyer had to have a monthly income of $350, and we barely qualified.  Our little family at that time included a 3 year old son, and two daughters aged 18 month and 2 months.  In 1961 our final daughter was born.  The house was small - only 1100 square feet, but it was a mansion to us compared to the apartment we had been living in.

Everyone on the block, it seemed, had little kids, and the first thing we looked for was a good doctor who would take good care of our children.  

Now in 1955, Dr. Melville Singer settled in Garden Grove, right next door to Westminster, and it wasn't long before the word went around that Dr. Singer - and later also his partner Dr. Kegel, were accepting patients ....and before long, every child on our street was placed in their care.  There were children from the Brown family, the Ritchie family, the Umnesses, the Zepedas, the family of the Zachers, the Beckstroms, the Dews and the Dominskis.  Oh, and there were more...but you can see that the word was out......and advice given was always:  "You'd better take him/her to Singer and Kegel."  

These children were part of the Shirley Street 'gang" -- all getting a good start under the good doctors.
It was comforting to know they were there for us.  

Dr. Singer was the first pediatric cardiologist in Orange County, and he joined the staff of Children's Hospital of Orange County in 1964.  His career spanned 60 years; he did good all over the world.

I was sad when I saw an obituary with his name.  Although my "baby" at the time was 56 year old, I couldn't help but remember how it seemed just yesterday when I cradled her in my arms and took her in with a high fever.  It was a good memory, not of her sickness but of Dr. Singer's legendary care.

Learning how to be a mom has to be credited in good part to listening to what doctors tell us to do for our little ones.  Thanks, Dr. Singer, for being there when we needed you.