Tuesday, June 27, 2017
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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 ...)

Have You Ever Made Your Own Slingshot? I recently visited the neighborhood where my father grew up. Wooden slingshot with rubber made in Mexico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) On an earlier trip I’d seen the street that was closed off for sledding and the one closed off for ice-skating where my father and his cousins went sledding. I would like to imagine many weekends in Schenectady, New York when children were allowed to skate and sled on closed streets. But, what did they do in the summer? Robert Paul Smith, author of How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself, grew up in the 1920s, as... (Read More ...)

The original version of General Electric’s circular logo and trademark. The trademark application was filed on July 24, 1899, and registered on September 18, 1900 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Have You Ever Visited the Old Family Homestead? On a recent trip to Schenectady, New York, where my father was born, I showed my brothers an historic plaque that honored our great-grandfather, Julius Zander, our grandmother’s father. He was an immigrant from Germany. The plaque reads: On this corner site stood first Bellevue Blacksmith shop, from 1885 to 1925. Started by Julius Zander, followed by Julius... (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 ...)

Where Did You Go? Out. Storm drain (Photo credit: Wikipedia) “Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing” is an ode to a childhood in the 1920s. Author Robert Paul Smith was born the same year as my father-in-law, 1915. My father was born in 1918. His book must have been much like their childhoods. My father was surrounded by friends and cousins. His father walked to work at General Electric in Schenectady, New York and walked home for lunch. When I visited my father’s old neighborhood, I found the hill a couple blocks from his house that was closed to traffic for sledding much... (Read More ...)