Monday, February 28, 2011

Amanuensis Monday Letter of Ray Whitson to Little Sister Last Installment

We left off last Monday with Ray telling his sister Mary that  their father had cancer and they had to amputate his leg...
Page 13
that he became irritable and short tempered.  No one will ever know what he went through in the suffering, later he would hold his stump in his hands to keep it from jerking.  He didn't have the pain pills we have today.  His body finally rejected aspirins.  He got to where he would take a dozen at one time and it did not help much.
I think this would adversely  affect anyone, don't you?
Page 14
Dear Mary I will quit for now.  I will tr to fill in gaps that I have overlooked.  I have always loved the memory of my kids but like my dad I have accepted it as something I had to give up and live with.
Your Brother Ray
P.S. it the other kids would like to read the details of dad's life will you let them?

Taken in front of Service Station. 

[My mother made copies for those that had been too young to remember their father and gave it to them.  She was very grateful to Ray for sharing, and had an empathy for the pain her father had with his leg loss as my father lost his leg also.  I have empathy for both. I grew up watching the challenges an amputation gave my father, and then the pain the Hero had with cancer...I can only imagine how bad it would have been before the pain medication of today.]
So grandchildren, what do you think?  Would you have wanted to have known your great grandfather? I wish I had known him, and my mother does too.  Thank goodness for those who share their memories.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Played Baseball

Texasblu had us write a post on sports in our lives a few weeks ago on Sharing a Slice of Life.  I could not think of any sports that our family really embraced.  Then I was going through the pictures trying to find something for her regarding her grandmother and came across this information my mother-in-law had given us when she broke up housekeeping.
I remember talking to her about the Hero and his twin brother and how she handled the competition between the two in sports.  She said that everything the Hero would enter his twin would jump in also.  She finally made sure they were never in the same classes or teams.  I don't know if it made any difference or not.  I do know the Hero would only talk about his years on swimming team which he excelled at but when you spoke of baseball he would say, I was a skinny runt.  I don't know about that, but looking at the picture you can tell his mind was somewhere else.  

Which one do you think was the Hero?
This is the write up about their little league his mom kept.

This was obviously not at the same time as the above picture, she took them to all the games.
 Grandchildren, sports are okay and fun, and you learn a lot from the principles of team work, that was your granddad's philosophy. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Just in Case You Were Wondering

I only write family stories. I do not promote products.  If I include a link or name of a site it is because I found pertinent information about the subject I was writing about. 
I have several badges to different sites on my sidebar.  I do not receive any compensation for the sites. They are places I loved and thought someone else might like to know about them.
Just FYI.  ; )

Amanuensis Monday Letter of Ray Whitson to Little Sister Sixth installment

We left off with Ray trying to convey to his sister what kind of father Harry Whitson was...
Page 11: 
We moved to Fay in three covered wagons, took several days, onto grandmother's homestead.  It was close to the Frisco River Bridge.
World War one broke out and dad went to Fort Sill to help as a taxi driver, his own cab, The car did not have a door on the drivers side.  He would climb out over his side of the car hitting his knee on the mechanical horn, bruising it.  Which caused the cancer to start in the knee area.
Page 12:
Doctors didn't know much about cancer at that time.  They thought at first it was only pain cause by the continued knocking.
He had a nervous breakdown and had to be rushed to Oklahoma City where they cut the leg off at the knee. 
They tried to get him to cut the leg off at the hip.  He wanted to have an artificial leg, being an outdoors man all his life.  I think he would have lived many years longer if had.
It was at the time...
TO be continued....
Surgery would have been done at St Anthony Hospital.  I will have to investigate this further.  This was where I was a Inhalation Therapy Tech during the Viet Nam War.
A snippet view click here to read more about St Anthony Hospital

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero and Junior High Cheerleading

The Hero was always a supporter of his school mates.  His Junior High School did not have a pep squad. He wanted to show support so he formed a pep squad of his own.  He always had to do it tongue in cheek, so they were called the Fleas.  Do not ask me why.  It was just so.  Apparently they had a lot of fun the one year, but that was all.  He said they wore the huge glasses as their trade mark, I know what he was talking about they were a gag pair of sun glasses that would have fit a giant.  Can not believe I could not find one picture of them, but then I am not good at search terms.  I give you the alternative...
This is the Hero at that age:

This is his grandson, a wee bit younger, volunteered to model how he would have looked.

Can you imagine a group of boys showing up at the football game in the over-sized sunglasses yelling "go team! Fight team!"  I would have had a hard time suppressing a giggle.  He had quite an imagination.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Amanuensis Monday Letter of Ray Whitson to Little Sister Fifth Installment

We left off as Ray was telling Mary that their dad was quite a horse buster and always and fine horses.
Page 9:
Dad decided to move to Arnett so the kids could be close to school.  There were only one seven miles from home.  There were about 6 kids by then.  Mr Davidson offerd dad a junior partnership if he would stay, but dad wanted us kids to get an education.  Ive always thought he could have hired someone to take us.  He went into the freight business.  It never turned out like he thought it would.  He tried farming...
Page 10:
He had a model T FORD rigged up with tractor wheels in the back, also had a barrel of water connected up to the radiator o keep it from heating up.
He would take one of us kids to be with him while he plowed. On time I got sick on eating too much of the lunch.
In the winter time, he would come in from the cold and warm himself at the kitchen wood stove.  Often he would let me sit on his lap during these times.
This shows the kind of father he was.
To be continued next Monday.....
I researched and found that there was a kit sold that utilized the Model T and a tractor wheel. I have made a collage of newspaper articles and ads.
Sources for the Model T Conversion: 
1. Vintage farm tractors: the ultimate tribute to classic tractors in google books

2. 1915-07-08;Paper: Perry Republican on

3. Website Antique Farming.

Sentimental Sunday The Hero was Romantic

Happy Valentines Day

Monday, February 7, 2011

Amanuensis Monday Letter of Ray Whitson to Little Sister Fourth installment

The last post left off with Ray telling Mary about cotton seed cake...'would pour the cake out the back of the wagon on the the ground'...
Page 7  ...for the cattle to eat.  One time we were at the watering place (windmill and tank).  Mr Davidson and dad had pure alcohol from Canada hidden near by.  They would delute the alcohol with water and sugar.  They were very secretive about it.
One time just as the moon was coming up, dad let us kids fire his pistol.  I thought I had hit it because of the fire from the gun.
Another time he came racing up on a beautiful ...
Page 8....blaze faced horse, grabbed and kissed mother and told her about the *Champion Jack Johnson being whipped by Jefferies.  He always brought us kids something. 
One time he brought me little red cowboy boots, they were too small.  Shortly before that I had gotten caught in a cyote (coyote) trap, a large bump had formed and I couldn't get the boots on.
Dad was quite a bronc buster.. He had many fine horses.
(There are not any pictures I can find of Harry Whitson on a horse I did find a picture of a blaze horse.)
...See you next week. Hope you are enjoying.  I am finding out history I didn't know.


*[This was "The "Fight of the Century" in 1910 and my grandfather apparently had not stayed to the end.  Champion Jack Johnston was the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion (1908–1915) Click here to read more about him.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sentimental Sunday and Sharing a Slice of Life, The Hero Asked Questions

This is a combination post for Sharing a Slice of Life for Texasblu and Sentimental Sunday. They go together; her prompt was to write about an Emotion that brings back a memory for you,  my memory involves the Hero. When I thought about it, I have to admit, the panic I felt back then was nothing compared to the funny picture I now have in my mind of myself.
We were attending a business lecture.  The Hero was a stickler for looking good in public.  I had worn my favorite dress and was feeling pretty.  In fact I had gone into a rendition of "I feel pretty oh so pretty..." just before we left.
After the lecture, I went to stand in line to meet the speaker and ask a few questions.  As I was standing there, I felt a swish on my leg.  I looked down, and egad!, my slip was lying in a neat circle around my ankles.  A quick glance up told me no one had noticed, so I carefully stepped back, bent down and scooped up my slip. I tucked it between my arm and waist and hurried back to the table to put it in my purse.  As I arrived, the Hero said, "What do you have there?"  My response was Shhhh, and looked to see if anyone else was listening.  Luckily, not yet.  He returned with "Why? What are you doing?"  All this was going on as I was stuffing my slip into my purse. [Can you see trying to stuff a calf-length slip into a pocket book purse.] In a quasi (I use that because I was getting desperate and didn't know what I was saying by this time) whisper I said, "Hero, I will tell you later, Not Now!"
As we were leaving, I whispered to him I lost my slip as I was standing in the line.  Was he tactful?  No, he cackled. (Where is my picture of him with his head thrown back and having a big laugh?)  Can you imagine, losing your slip in a public line, and then having your sweetheart cackle about it like it was a great joke?  Well, it was okay, because a day later I was able to laugh about it too.  Today in my mind I can see myself and it seems almost like a 'Lucy' show.  He was right to laugh, maybe not so loud and hard, but a giggle would have been okay. ; )  Grandchildren what can you learn from this Slice of my life to help you in relationships?  Love you.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Icy Cold Weather Took Me Down Several Memory Lanes

When I was an infant, my father told me they were so poor, the walls were actually just wall paper hung up to divide the spaces, and that we had a pot bellied stove to warm the drafty one room house. He said he would get up to put more wood in and clean the ice crystals off the area I had breathed on. 


My first personal memory of cold was when I was five.  My dad got a brick heated it on the wood stove and wrapped it in a towel, then put it next to my feet.  I can still remember the radiating warmth from my feet up my legs.

I remember in the 1990's a fad came through to make rice heating pads.  I made several for the family.  The Hero would laugh and say, 'Hey, I like this, keeps your cold feet off."  Funny man.

When the unexpected cold came through two days ago, I went to look for a heating pad for my shoulder.  Would you believe, anything that had to do with heating was sold out with in a 25 miles radius of the farm.  Back to my own resources, I cast around in my mind and remember the rice heating pads.  I pulled out a scrap of piggy fleece I had bought in memory of my favorite aunt who collected pigs, and made myself a rice bag and one for each of the toddlers.  The 3 year old did not appreciate it, but the grandson said "yeah! my legs are cold and took hers too.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

FamilySearch Indexing Moving Forward

I began indexing for FamilySearch while the Hero was in and out of hospitals while fighting cancer.  There would be hours sitting by his side while he was resting or sleeping that I would index on our laptop.   He loved family history research and was excited that there was a way we could give back.
click on picture to see larger, then back to return to page.
I was looking at my Indexing Goals for this year, and feel for me they are realistic with all I do.  I plan to Index 500 names a month and Arbitrate 500 names a month.
 FamilySearch Indexing has posted its goals for 2011. 
Below is a synopsis.  Click here to read the entire article
  • Encourage 175,000 volunteers to participate
  • Assist volunteers in contributing regularly, at least once a month
  • Help first-time indexers feel more comfortable with the program
  • Complete 220 million records
We hope the first three goals will help us easily reach the fourth goal. The best way for us to increase the number of records we complete is to go out and find more people to index and continue indexing.