Sunday, September 24, 2017
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Chart of Biography (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Creating a Timeline  In the early 1700s, time charts were simple, two-column affairs. You listed the year down the left side of the paper and next to a specific year, an event in that year. Joseph Priestley, a university professor, decided his history students needed an easier way to grasp the sweep of time and events. He changed two things about time lines up to that time when he created A Chart of Biography. He made his chart horizontal, instead of vertical, so you read it left to right, instead of top to bottom. And, he made the spaces between the... (Read More ...)

Johnny Appleseed, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, 1871 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) On long rides home from daycare, I used to entertain my toddler son with stories about Johnny Appleseed, Johnny Pearseed, Johnny Plumseed and Johnny Grapeseed, depending on what snack I’d brought him to eat in the car. One day, he asked me why I always brought him fruit for a snack. “I thought it would be a good idea for you to have something to eat before we get home. It is a long time  before we sit down to dinner, and I didn’t want you to be so hungry.” “Cookies would be a good idea,”... (Read More ...)

Weekly Recap. Sunday, September 23, 2012 Look for posts next week about radios going out and car crashes, apple trees and sunny windows, poetry and cancer survivor tips. Last week, readers spent the most time on: What Does It Take to Make an Egg Float? You Mean People Didn’t Get to America by Walking Across the Bering Strait? When Does Mommy Become Mom? Did You Have Sugar Cubes or Shots? Did You Ever Drive a Stick Shift? Last month, readers spent the most time on: Letters of Condolence. Email. Where Did You Go? Out. Are You Your Children’s Storyteller? What Is It About February and... (Read More ...)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving The History Having recently visited my family’s homestead near Schenectady, New York, originally a Dutch settlement, stories from the area are of interest. My grandmother was buried in the cemetery of a Dutch Reformed Church, not unlike the one in Irving’s story. Ichabod Crane, Respectfully Dedicated to Washington Irving. by William J. Wilgus, artist chromolithograph, c. 1856 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving, is set in Tarrytown, New York, which is in the Hudson River Valley, like Schenectady,... (Read More ...)

Rip Van Winkle On a recent visit to New England, where I went to Schenectady and Guilderland Center, New York, to visit my father’s old neighborhood and ancestors’ homestead, I had the good fortune to borrow a copy of the book, Rip Van Winkle. This story was originally published as one of 34 short stories and essays in Washington Irving’s The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., in 1819, along with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The Return of Rip Van Winkle Irving was born in 1783, the year the American Revolutionary War ended, so perhaps he was well suited to a story about an old man... (Read More ...)

My Great-Grandfather’s Name Was Abraham. Both my uncle on my mother’s side and my grandfather on my father’s side gathered extensive family genealogical records. This year, to celebrate my 65th birthday, my Texas-based brothers decided to gather their families with mine near Boston, where one of my sons lives. During the week, we drove to Guilderland Center, near where my father was born in Schenectady, New York. Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There is an historic house, the Mynderse-Frederick House, there that used to belong to a... (Read More ...)

Weekly Recap, Sunday, July 15, 2012 Readers spent the most time last week on: I Must Tell You About My Novel. Grandfather Poems What Did You Get When You Graduated from High School? Top 10 Children’s Books What Did You Get When You Graduated from College? Can You Make Popcorn Kernels Dance? Readers spent the most time last month on: Only a Dad. Grandfather Poems. Did You Cry the First Time You Left Home? The Grandmother. Grandmother Poems. Bird by Bird. Book Thursday. What Did You Get When You Graduated from High School? Coming up next week: Rip Van Winkle Illustration by NC Wyeth (Photo... (Read More ...)