Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sometimes It's a Small Note That Has the Biggest Impact

My great-grandfather, John William Gannan, was a hard-working dairy farmer from Harrison County, Missouri.  I had the great good fortune to know both he and my great-grandmother, Jane Waterbury Gannan, well into my teens and early 20's.  (My profile photo is Jane on the family farm, probably waiting for my great-grandfather to bring in the cattle from pasture.)

I received this note from Grandpa in 1978, the year I graduated from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Missouri.  I had worked summers and during the school year, sometimes three jobs at the same time, in order to put myself through college.  For some reason, this note was very inspiring to me, and I've kept it all these years.

Grandpa probably never attended school beyond grade school, but he was very proud of the fact that I was able to finish college.  

Here's a couple of photos of Grandpa.

The last photo is of my great grandfather (on the left), and his son Harold Gannan, who stayed on at home to help run the farm.

Miss you, Grandma and Grandpa!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Digital Memories

Like everyone else, I have a box of old VHS and micro-cassette home movie tapes stored in the back of the closet, begging to be digitized.  Luckily, my brother John owns a small company that does just that, so he graciously offered to tackle the job of converting all my tapes to a more permanent digital format.
John sent me a message this evening, telling me to check our shared DropBox folder, to review the first clip he had digitized.
This small clip brought tears to my eyes, as I heard my Grandfather's laughter for the first time in many years.  It's an inconsequential little movie, taken in the backyard of my grandparent's house when my son was not quite a year old, but it brought back very powerful memories of all the wonderful times spent with them.   My grandfather passed away in 1986, and my grandmother in 2004, so having this digital memory is such a wonderful thing.
I know the box of tapes will hold many more digital memories, and can't wait to see what else we uncover.   If you have a box of old tapes sitting around, what are you waiting for?!!  Convert them and see what treasures they hold.

My First DAR Meeting

It's been a long-time goal of mine to become a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Last night I got a little closer to achieving that goal, by attending my first DAR meeting as a guest of the Prairie Rose chapter in Overland Park, KS.  I was very moved by the experience, especially their opening ceremony.  The first thing they did was recite the Pledge of Allegiance, which I haven't had the good fortune to do for quite a while.  Then, a prayer for our servicemen and veterans, and finally, the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.  I met a lot of lovely ladies who do good work with local schools and veterans groups.  Can't wait to complete the application process and become a full-fledged member!!

The 1940 Census - Bethany, Missouri

My mother's family is from a small group of farm communities in Harrison County, Missouri, close to the Iowa border.  This is a view of Bethany's main square in 1935, and since it looks basically the same today, I'm sure this is what the local residents saw in 1940 as well:

In 1940, the new courthouse was completed.  Love the very distinct architecture for the time period.

Another interesting piece of trivia is that Hy-Vee grocery stores were started in the 1930's, and by 1940 there were 23 stores, including this one in Bethany:

Lots of hustle and bustle in a small town in 1940!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Special Place In Heaven For Dog Lovers - Jerry Sue Shoaf

There has to be a special place in heaven for dog lovers.  This week's obituary from the Kansas City Star is for Jerry Sue Shoaf, who loved her dogs so much that the family asked for donations to the SPCA.  Godspeed, Jerry, and I know you found your dogs on the Rainbow Bridge.

Jerry Sue Shoaf
Jerry Sue Shoaf, 75, Leavenworth, Kan., passed away peacefully at home March 1, 2012.  A visitation will be held from 10am to 11am, Tuesday, March 6th at Highland Park Funeral Hoe.  The services will be immediately following.
Jerry was born on March 5, 1936, in Bonner Sprints, Ks to John and Emma Lingo.  She lived a life full of love.  She loved spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She enjoyed cooking, camping and fishing with her family and friends and she always loved her dogs.
Jerry was preceded in death by her first husband Roy Ross Munson and her husband of 29 years Norris Shoaf, daughter Melody, son John, stepson Jimmy, Brothers Max and Carl and sister Murial.
She was survived by her daughters Debbie Palmgren and Theresa Richardson and her husband Steve, stepson Danny, Stepdaughter Marsha and husband Billy, god daughter Holly, Sisters Anna Jo and Juanette (Jane), brother Richard, 8 grandchildren and 17 grandchildren and many other loved ones.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to Heartland SPCA in Merriam, Ks.
(Arrangements:  Highland Park Funeral Home & Crematory 4100 State Avenue Kansas City, Kansas 66102 (913) 371-0699 Online Condolences: