Monday, April 30, 2012

Stand by

Stand by folks.  Due to weathering one of life's many storms, this blog is on stand by but will return soon.

Thanks for your patience.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ancestry of a Fisherman

100 years ago today the Titanic left port bound for her maiden voyage to America with 3000 souls onboard.  Two days later, she sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic where she and more than 1500 souls remain today.  A tragedy not to be forgotten.

This past few weeks I’ve been going through old boxes in the basement and found family photos of old ancestors and relatives.  Some dating back 100 years, around the time the Titanic set sail.  Some dated back even further.  It got me thinking about my family’s past and about the folks in the photos.  I wonder who they were.  Yes, there are names on the backs of some and even explanations such as “wife of… daughter of… son of….” But I can’t help but wonder who they were, what their profession was, what their character was like, what they did to pass the time, what books they read.  Well, ok, the last question was answered when I found the Bible published in 1880, a 132-year-old Bible engraved “Manahan”.  I also found 2 others published around the turn of the century, one in 1901 and the other in 1905.

The oldest looking relatives I found was this picture of David Donalson  (no "D" )and Sarah Elizabeth Laltimer Donalson with baby Louella.   Here is a picture of the three of them and one of baby Louella later on in live.  I don’t know anything else about this family other than David died a Veteran at Camp St. Louis, Mo. Feb. 8, 1863 at 27 years of age.  He must have been in the Civil War.   Louella’s gravestone is in Jerome, Ohio.  

David, Sarah Elizabeth and baby Louella Donalson circa mid 1800s

Louella Donalson

David Donalson's gravestone in MO

In more recent years is a picture of my great-great grandfather, C. W. Manahan, on his 100th birthday in 1913 along with many others who were over 70.   Again, I don’t know much about him or what he did for a living other than he lived in Norwalk, Ohio. 

Charles W Manahan (in center chair) on his 100th Birthday, 1913

Moving further along in time, I found some old photos of where my grandfather, David Peckham worked.  These photos were either the Port of Sandusky or Elyria, both in Ohio. 

Ships of Lake Erie

Ships of Lake Erie

Longshoreman of Lake Erie. David Peckham (grandfather) top row on right

 One of his sons, my Uncle Tom, did some time in the U. S. Navy.    I know it’s a stretch, but it’s the only sea-faring bit I could find in my family.  Perhaps adventure and water runs in my family.  

Tom Peckham

Ironically, today is the 36th anniversary of the death of my Uncle Tom.   I discovered this after I posted my blog.  Rest in peace, you will always live in our hearts.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Coffee with Murkowski, part II

This week’s blog is riding in on the shirt tales, or I guess I should say the fish tales, of last week’s blog.    It’s the story of how I ended up meeting with Senator Murkowski in Washington D.C.

As some of you may know, I’ve spent my winter sailing down the east coast through the Intracoastal Water Ways (ICW), around the Florida Keys and the Dry Tortugas, a set of small keys approximately 70 miles west of Key West.   My fishing season is approaching so I wasn’t able to sail the boat back north with Vince where it will be stored in Maryland until next fall.   I needed a faster than 7 knots mode of transportation to get to Ohio, visit family then continue on to Alaska.  So we rented a car.

Vince, who did the road trip with me then went back to his boat, needed to stop off in North Carolina and southern Maryland.  I was looking at a map of America, figuring our route from Florida to Ohio via those states and lo and behold, Washington D.C. is right on the way.   I figured, what the hay?  I’ll see if I can swing in and meet with my Senators about Pebble Mine.  I went to each of their websites, Begich and Murkowski and saw that each had a “Coffee with the Senator”. I RSVP’ed on line, it was that easy.

Now, being that I’ve been on a sailboat all winter, I didn’t really have the kind of clothes needed to meet with a Senator.  Even my best flip-flops were a bit ragged.  So we stopped at a few outlet malls along the way.  I gathered up what I thought was a conservative outfit.  Turns out, I missed the mark completely, but so did most the other Alaskans there.  Anyway, we pull into D.C. the afternoon before my morning meeting.  We were going to settle into the hotel, then enjoy the warm evening by walking into historic Georgetown for dinner.  Opening up the trunk of the car to grab my outfit, complete with new shoes, I picked up the box with my new shoes in them and what do I see?   Mouse pooh!  The tissue paper was all gone and there was mouse poop in the box.   Luckily, the shoes were not damaged.  But, oh no!  My new sweater!  I tear into that bag and find my sweater, which was also wrapped in tissue paper.  Again, the paper was gone. I feared the worse.  What if a mouse ate a whole in my new sweater that I got at the J. Crew outlet for 35% off?  I’m in the middle of D.C.   There are no outlet malls here. Where am I going to get a new outfit on this short notice?   Everyone knows you can never find what you are looking for when there is a time crunch. Especially not on sale!  How much will that cost.  Panic was setting in as I yanked the sweater out of the bag and inspected it.  Schew.  Only the paper was gone, the sweater was fine.

Long story short, instead of our nice romantic evening in Georgetown we had what looked like a yard sale in the parking lot of the hotel as we pulled everything out of the trunk, pulled every piece of clothing out its bags.  And at that point in time, I couldn’t help but wonder why I can’t have a normal life.

We never did find the mouse, only his nest and his trail of mouse pooh in bags on the back seat.  I called the rental car company to switch out the car.  They said they would bring me something similar to the gas sipping Nissan I was driving.  They showed up with a Ford F150 4x4 four-door that got 14 miles to the gallon, but that’s another story.

Anywho, that next morning I took the subway all by myself with my new outfit that didn’t have mouse holes in it to the Senate building and didn’t even get lost, much.  I walk into Senator Murkowski’s office and, of course, there is Jim, a guy I know from Anchorage.   He was an old hat at this and showed me the ropes. I started chatting with Stefanie, the fisheries gal and found out we know some of the same folks from Petersburg.  Then I met with the Senator and we chit-chatted about how much snow Cordova got over the winter, our mutual love of Copper River Fleece ( and that both of us own too many jackets.  She told me how her sons work on tenders in the summer.    Then I slipped in my concerns about Pebble.  She listened.  And that is, as they say, the rest of the story.