Monday, September 30, 2013

A Wrinkle in Time(or just Wrinkled by Time?)....Camping At Blue Creek

 So for the past 3 or 4 years the Gardners, Skidmores and Grovers have been having FHE dinners on Monday nights...and each week they all write a little story from their lives and read it to each other...by now they have MANY!(and know each other REALLY well).... I joined them the last few weeks (since Skidmores are gone) and have started writing a few little memories...this was my first one...if any of you (kids) have suggestions of topics for me, let me know...they will be pretty random!


Camping at Blue Creek
  Dean family vacations usually consisted of going fishing on the Klamath River for two weeks every August, when the Steelhead were "running." Grandpa Roger grew up fishing for trout, having spent a lot of summers camping and fishing in Yosemite.

But all that changed when he married into Grandma Janiece's family. Grampa Lou and Grandma Della were avid salmon/steelhead fishermen, serious "food gatherers" as they had survived the Depression...and my father was "hooked" after landing his first 30 lb. salmon.


So every August we prepared to head into the wilds of the Klamath River, sometimes with both sets of grandparents. Mom's main job as we gathered all our camping and fishing equipment seemed to be making cookies.  Purchasing cookies was never considered, probably out of economy, and since making cookies on a camp stove wasn't possible, she baked batches of our favorites which she stored in 1 gallon glass jars. Of course it never occurred to us to go WITHOUT cookies for two weeks! So in the warm days of August our counters were filled with chocolate chip, snowflake and apricot filled cookies as the jars filled up. Gramdpa Roger would usually have to do most of the packing as mom pretty much exhausted herself getting the cookies made.

Finally departure day arrived. Valerie, and I (and eventually Jesse) piled into the cozy bed made in the back of the station wagon (no seat belts in those days) with piles of comic books to keep ourselves entertained for the 8 hour trip. We drove up the Redwood Highway which wasn't a freeway in those days. Geyserville, Cloverdale, Ukiah, then past the entrance to the Drive Thru Tree...we never stopped of course...Grandpa Roger would never waste money on a "tourist trap"! On to Garberville, past the Benbow Inn, north to Scotia and Fortuna.  Somewhere along there was the little town of Pepperwood where we would stop at a roadside fruit stand and buy a case of tomatoes and corn.  Midafternoon we'd go through foggy Eureka where we might get to stop at the Woolworth's and I'd get some stamped pillow cases to embroider....and also a few more comic books. finally we went through a tiny wide spot in the road called Orick and knew we would soon see the Klamath Bears guarding the bridge over the Klamath River.
But we weren't there yet! four miles up the river Grandma and Grandpa Eck would be waiting for us at Klamath Glen where we launched our boat. We loaded all our gear into our boat(including our cookies), probably  a 16 foot with a 25-30 hp outboard engine and started the 15 mile trip up river.  Often water from the Klamath had been lowered for agricultural needs over the summer and there were many areas that had barely enough water to allow the boat's passage...these were called "riffles". If the prop of Dad's engine hit a rock, the "pin" holding the prop on would break or "shear" off, and Dad would have to stop in the rocky shallows, get out of the boat, slosh to the back, raise the engine up out of the water and replace the pin. Sometimes it seemed this happened 10 or 12 times before we finally got up to the deep water part of the Klamath.



Finally we made it. Our favorite up river camping spot was where Blue Creek flowed into the Klamath.  There was a high rocky bank alongside this small stream of melting snow where we pitched our tents and set up camp.  Both my grandmothers were excellent campers and soon we were set, the "bathroom" area established, the tents erected, and the fire pit filled with wood for our first campfire.

     Then followed days of lazy delight...pancakes and bacon for breakfast, days spent swimming in the cold waters of Blue Creek, diving off the rocky mountain wall it hugged.  Afternoons munching peanut butter and tuna sandwithed and reading comics in our sun warmed tent.  Or maybe we'd dig "mudsuckers" out of the shallow pools along the river edge. In 1958 Jesse was a year old and learned to walk on the rocky banks...when we got home to flat floors he really took off!

Back along the bluffs of the river were acres of wild blackberries. Grandpa Lou would cut paths into them with his machete and we would gear up with long sleeved shirts, hats and garden gloves with the finger tips cut out to facilitate our berry picking.  We filled 5 gallon buckets with the delicious fruit.  Grandma Janiece and Grandma Della would then make and can dozens of jars of blackberry jelly on the camp stove.





Grampa Roger and my grandparents spent most days fishing and would return home with dinner! Much of their catch was taken down to the Glen where it was smoked and canned or frozen in milk cartons and taken home to stock our larders.  At dinner time we feasted on fresh fish, tomatoes and corn, biscuits and blackberry cobbler around the campfire.  As we sat contentedly eating, Grandpa Roger would usually say, "I wonder how the poor people are living"!




(Photos: me...about 10 with a fairly good sized fish...I cleaned it myself; Grandpa Earle...he was pretty proud of his fish; me and Grandpa Lou, Grandma Della holding Val in front of their airstream trailer; me sitting in the boat...that car was eventually given to mom and dad and I drove it to high school; a tug boat pulling a raft of logs down the Klamath; Grampa Roger with some nice fish in his boat...Dean's Delight)

Postscript: Here's another picture I found of the bridge over the Klamath River after the floods(1955)...notice the logs caught in the cross braces...water filled the valley and came over the top of the bridge!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Nancy Drew Genealogy...Wilbert Crane (Aunt Thelma's husband)

Grandpa Earle (Grandpa Roger's father) had one sister, Thelma.  The Dean's were a very tightly knit family...they all lived in close proximity as they moved from Pennsylvania to Colorado and New Mexico and finally to Oakland about 1915...Grandma Clara and Grandpa Jesse Dean, Grandma & Grandpa Browning(her parents)...and when Earle and Thelma each married (Dorothy and Bill, respectively) the young couples were each other best friends.
They each had only one child (Grandpa Roger and Aunt Pat) and I remember most holidays with them in Oakland.
 Thelma and Bill's daughter, Pat, had one daughter, Lynne who was about 2 1/2 years younger than I was...we loved playing together ...although Val, being 3 years younger than Lynne, often got left out! Sorry, Val....


So I decided to research Aunt Thelma's husband, Wilbert Crane....all I had was his 1920 Census record...he's 15 years old, living as a "boarder" in Oakland with Minnie Vogelson and gives his occupation as "lens grinder",interesting as he became an optician...the impression or story I heard in the family was that he was an orphan...it seemed I should have been able to find him in the 1910 Illinois census as a child with his parents...but no luck! Where was he? And who is Minnie Vogelson??? I had no success searching on Ancestry so put this aside for a few months.


With the enormous surge in records available on Family Search last year I starting revisiting some of my dead ends(and dead relatives!)...and found Uncle Bill's  Illinois birth certificate which WASN'T available on Ancestry.
This gave me his parents names and from here I could find him as a child in the 1910 Census. The reason I couldn't find him was because the last name, Crane, had been indexed as Frane! (Understandable, if you look at the handwriting on the census:)



From here I saw that he had two sisters...Florence and Mildred, and his mother said she had had 5 children, 3 living...so then I found his parents, George and Martha,  on the 1900 census with another sister, Caroline, who died when 2 months old...haven't found the 5th child yet.
So I continued researching Wilbert Crane's family....in 1920 he was a 15 year old boy living in Oakland CA as a "boarder" with Minnie Volgman and her daughter Florence....
I wondered why he ended up with them in California...I started looking for Florence Volgman in Family Search and found her in 1930 census living with George E Crane (Wilbert's father) as sister-in-law....so I guess Uncle Bill's mother died, his dad remarried  Erna Volgman in 1914...(he was 42, she was 27).He had two more children with Erna, Erna and George Crane, Jr.
I don't think he(the dad, George)  was a very stable guy...in 1920 he's living in Atlanta, Georgia and says he's a "stock salesman"...probably the Wall Street type not cows...in 1922 he's in St. Petersburg, Florida selling real estate....in 1930 he's in Los Angeles selling stocks and "leases"
Wilbert was sent to live with George's new wife's mother, in Berkeley...somehow this is where he met the Dean family and married Thelma.
   So many stories here....I imagine the young Wilbert (or Uncle Bill as I knew him) being sent to live with new relatives in California while his dad moved with his new young wife to Georgia...all this in the uncertain times of WWI(another good storyline for a novel???)...I admire his resiliency as he became an optician, married and made a very stable life for himself and his family in Oakland. They had a beautiful home in the Montclair district of Oakland just up the street from Grandma & Grandpa's home on Ascot Dr.
He must have loved being part of the close Dean family. I wonder if he had any contact with his own family who eventually moved to LA?
     The main story I remember about Uncle Bill is that one Sunday, after trying to make waffles in a very "sticky" waffle iron (before the days of Teflon)...he took the offensive appliance to the back yard and destroyed it with an ax! And Val told me one of her memories of Uncle Bill was that he LOVED to watch Mr. Rogers...not with kids, just by himself! What a sweet guy.



Quinoa Salad...light and lovely!




1 C quinoa cooked 15 minuets in 2 C water or broth (I used vegetable broth)

Cook and cool quinoa in refrigerator.

Chop these veggies(I didn't really measure these...just eyeball or use more of what you like most):

1/2 C English
cucumber (the long skinny ones although you could probably use regular)
1  tomato
1/2 small red onion, diced
2-3 green onions, sliced
2-3 T chopped cilantro (or use basil if you hate cilantro)
1 t chopped jalapeno (I used the jalapeno paste in a tube from Safeway...add a little more if you like it zippy)


Stir these into the cooled quinoa and dress with:

3 T olive oil
1 T fresh lemon juice (I used a whole lemon...a little tangier...or try using a lime)

This serves 4...

Monday, September 16, 2013

 Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

These take a bit of time, especially if you chop the ginger and garlic...but you get 12 patties; they can be refrigerated (or frozen) and used for a quick lunch or dinner. They have a much softer texture than a meat hamburger but....no fat, lots of fiber and lots of spicy flavor!

First step is to mix up most of the ingredients in a food processor:

1 1/2 lbs cooked yams...about 2 really big ones or 3 medium sized (I cooked mine in the microwave, then peeled them)
1 C black beans (more than half of a 15 oz can, drained and rinsed)
2 T natural peanut butter
4 large cloves garlic, minced (or ready minced garlic from a jar)
1 heaping tablespoon minced ginger root  (I actually used about 2 T....you could also substitute 1 t ground ginger for each table spoon fresh)
2 t ground cumin
1 t paprika(I used smoked paprika)
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 t ground cardamom (or leave it out if you don't have it)
salt? It called or 1 t ...but I forgot to put it in
1/2-1 t cayenne pepper (I used 1/2 t)










Then blend up in food processor...I added about 1/4 C water to help it along. If you cooked the yams in water in a pot on the stove, they'd probably be moister and you might not need any water....


 Then dump the mixture into another bowl (sorry, you have to get two bowls dirty for this recipe)
Add:
another 1 C black beans ( the rest of the can or a bit more if you've cooked your own...I opened another can and used part of it too)
1/2-3/4 C chopped onion
1/2-1 chopped green pepper
1/2 C uncooked old fashioned oats
1/4 C gluten flour (or you could probably just use real flour?)

Mix well.
Scoop out 1/2 C portions on lined cookie sheets (sprayed with Pam); flatten to 1/2 inch
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes; carefully flip over with spatula and continue cooking another 15 minutes. These firm up  a little as they cool...and when you reheat them in the microwave. If you bake them much longer they can burn!


Serve on buns with lettuce, tomato, avocado, etc. Yummmm....

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Nancy Drew Genealogy...John Leslie Walter

So I thought I would describe some of my genealogical wanderings here....so I can remember! and it may be of interest to any of you researching more on these family names...
First my search for John Leslie Walters (Grandma Janiece's biological father).... he is here on my tree...I don't know if you can view it by following the link if you don't have a subscription....let me know.
http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/15680020/person/298500385
This is one of the few pictures we have of him as Grandma Della divorced him when mom(Janiece) was 4 years old...in 1930.....more interesting stories about him to follow.


So I found John Leslie Walters in the 1940 Census. It wasn't exactly like I didn't know where he was because I had his WWII "old man" draft ....showing he was living in Muncie Indiana in 1942 with his 3rd wife, Leona. On the 1940 census Leona was listed as Leona Grant Walters.
 At first I thought her maiden name was Grant, and so I started searching for a Leona Grant born in 1893 in Ohio (from other info on the 1940 census)...you may ask why research her at all...well, what I'd really like to find out is John Leslie Walters death date/place...and also considering he is my biological grandfather, I am pretty interested in just finding out a little more about him....anyway I was interested in this Leona Grant. So in searching for her on Ancestry I came up with a lot of city directory listings for her...and came to find out that Grant was her married name...she was first married to a William L Grant, a doctor in Muncie Indiana....her maiden name was Dumar(from Ohio Birth Index)...so also found her parents...you can see her here on FindAGrave

This was all I found for a while...note someone posted her gravesite in 2011...but at the time I first looked at this last year, her husband's grave (John Leslie Walters) had not been added.
But earlier this year as I revisited this info, I rechecked FindAGrave and "voila!"...someone had posted his site with a full obituary!
So this finally gave me his death date and location. He didn't die until 1965...Grandma Janiece really wanted to find her father (although i'm sure Grandma Eck did NOT)...too bad we didn't have the resources to track him down before she died...although I'm sure he didn't want to be tracked down!

This obituary was pretty fascinating (to me, at least) as it listed his children by his first marriage (to Helen Gould) but made absolutely no reference to his children by Della...I really wonder if he told his 3rd wife, Leona, about the 2nd wife! I don't think he told Grandma Della when he married her that he was divorced and had 3 kids! Della was 19 and he was 33!
Anyway, from this obituary I found out the married name of his daughter, Jane, by his first wife...she married a Leo Hardy and they had a son named Roger who lived in Los Angeles.  His sons by his first wife, John Leslie and Richard, lived in Hemet, Riverside, CA...not far from Fresno where Gma Eck lived with Uncle Les.