Monday, February 1, 2016

SHORT LIFE & LONG REMEMBRANCE


In 1953 when I entered George Pepperdine College in Los Angeles (the OLD Pepperdine, not the new one in Malibu), I met Carl Osterhaus, also an entering freshman.  He was a heck of a nice fellow, a great athlete and a good addition to Pepperdine's baseball team.  Everybody liked him.

Near the end of our sophomore year, Carl died of an aneurysm.  It was the first time most of us had been touched by the death of one of our contemporaries.  It was really hard for us.  I remember Eddie Myers, my friend and a frat brother of Carl, breaking the news to me.  It was something I never forgot.

I don't want Carl to be forgotten, so checking the internet for anything pertaining to his short life, I turned up the information below

Randy Angel, Easy Reader News, Hermosa Beach, CA
Published March 24, 2005

It took five decades, but Mira Costa High School formally honored its first baseball star last Saturday with the dedication and unveiling of a Mustang green-and-gold sign, proclaiming the home diamond as Carl Osterhaus Memorial Field.

Carl Osterhaus was a standout pitcher and a member of Mira Costa’s first graduating class in 1953. He led the Mustangs to a CIF championship that season, hurling two no-hitters, winning 10 straight games, and being honored as the team’s outstanding player.

Osterhaus’ dominance on the mound earned him a baseball scholarship to Pepperdine College (now University), where he pitched until his life was drastically cut short at the end of his sophomore year. He died of a brain aneurysm.

Soon thereafter, Mira Costa administrators decided the baseball field would officially be named Carl Osterhaus Memorial Field. But as time went on and memories faded, no official marker had ever been placed.
A group of former Mira Costa teachers and alumni who remembered Osterhaus began a drive in 2004 to raise funds for the sign, which now stands prominently above the bleacher section and is visible from the field and Meadows Avenue.

After the Mira Costa band and cheerleading squad supplied pre-ceremony entertainment, Master of Ceremonies Bob Brigham introduced former teachers and teammates of Osterhaus, before Bill Kelly and Jerry Striff removed the tarp to unveil the overdue memorial.

Kelly, who was Osterhaus’ catcher for the Mustangs, recalled the pinpoint accuracy his battery mate possessed.
Striff, who had lived across the street from the Osterhaus family, was in Little League when Osterhaus pitched for Mira Costa and remembered how much he idolized the tall southpaw.

Among those in attendance was Osterhaus’ Pepperdine coach John Scolinos, whose college coaching career spanned 45 years and included three National Championships while at Cal Poly Pomona. A member of the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Scolinos was named as the NCAA Division II Coach of the Century by Collegiate Baseball. ER

***

Hermosa Beach hasn't forgotten him, and I haven't either.  RIP, Carl.

Monday, January 25, 2016

STRESSED, NOT INSANE!


JOHN SALATHIEL, THE OLD KANSAS PIONEER
April 30, 1836 - December 9, 1915

Independence [KS] Reporter, Saturday, February 17, 1899, page 1

MR. SALATHIEL VERDICT REACHED THIS MORNING
He Will Not Be Sent to the Asylum - His Family
Will See That He Receives Proper Treatment
In Private Institutions.

Since Wednesday noon, the question of the sanity of John Salathiel has been on trial in probate court and a verdict was reached at 11 a.m. today by the jury, which consisted of Dr. Elly, W. C. Millikan, M.V. Strine, J. M. Walker, A. B. Yeager and H. W. Hazen. 

The verdict was in accordance with an agreement made by all the parties most interested and is that Mr. Salathiel is unfitted to attend to his own affairs; that his condition is probably due to the excessive use of tobacco and close attention to business; that it is not hereditary or caused by epilepsy and that he has never had any medical treatment for it.

His son Thomas Salathiel was appointed guardian.  It is not the intention to send Mr. Salathiel to an insane asylum.  It is believed that a rest from business, a change of scene and proper treatment in some sanitarium will restore him, and he will be taken as soon as possible to Manitou Hot Springs, the sea coast, or some other place to be agreed upon.

For several months past it has been evident to Mr. Salathiel's family that in some respects his mind was unbalanced.  On most all subjects and in the conduct of his business he has been perfectly rational, but he has had strange hallucinations of family troubles for which there has not been the slightest grounds and he has made threats against various citizens which have caused his family great uneasiness and impelled them to take action to avoid a possible tragedy.  Mr. Salathiel, at first, was disposed to make a bitter fight against this legal proceeding and employed O. P. Ergenbright as his attorney, A. B. Clark representing the state, but even the defendant himself seemed convinced by the testimony adduced; that his actions had been strange, and this morning cheerfully agreed to the disposition that has been made of the case.

The simple truth is that his nervous system is badly impaired.  For months he has slept but little and rest and a change are clearly needed and there is every reason for hoping that complete restoration will follow, as his general physical health and strength are good.

The proceeding has excited much interesting in this city, where Mr. Salathiel and his family have resided for many years, enjoying the full confidence and esteem of all our citizens, and everyone hopes that in a short time he will return to us fully restored to his accustomed mental and physical health.


Mr. Salathiel's grocery store will be kept running as usual and Walter Salathiel now with I. G. Fowler, will give his attention to it for the present.

~o~
Note that Mr. Salathiel lived another 15+ years.

Friday, January 22, 2016

REMEMBERING DIDDY

She had such a short life - and such an unexpected ending.  The tribute below was copied from my blog "HOT COFFEE & KOOL JAZZ."  It also belongs here.

I think of sweet Diddy often.  Still, after all of these years.

sunday, october 19, 2008

RIP, DIDDY


Los Angeles Times, October 19, 1960
MISS DIDDY H. KAERGER
Funeral services for Miss Diddy H. Kaerger, 25, a World Airways stewardess who was among the 77 persons killed in an explosion of an airliner over Guam on Sept. 19, will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday in Grace Chapel, Inglewood Park Cemetery. Miss Kaerger, born in Los Angeles, lived in Castro Valley. She leaves her mother, Mrs. Martha Keller and a sister, Mrs. Louise Strange.

Diddy was one of my college roommates and a sorority sister at Pepperdine College. She was cute as a button, smart, funny and a friend to everyone. She graduated from college in 1957 and spent a couple of years teaching elementary school. Soon she decided teaching wasn't how she wanted to spend the rest of her life, so she became an airline stewardess.

Life plays tricks on us sometimes. As far as I am concerned, it was a dirty trick played on my friend Diddy.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A HIDDEN BIT OUT OF "DON QUIXOTE"


If I told you that today's Immortal Nobody was born in Calabria, Italy as Giovanni Dionigi Galeni, the son of seaman Birno Galeni and wife Pippi, and that he died in Constantinople, Turkey with the name Kilic Ali Pasha, you might be surprised that this nobody was also named in Miguel de Cervantes' notable book 'Don Quixote de la Mancha."  And that he also built a mosque that even today carries his name.

Giovanni was born in 1519 and died in June of 1587.  His dad wanted him to receive a religious education, but around his 17th year he was captured by one of the pirate Barbarossa's corsair captains and forced to serve as a galley slave.  It was during these slave years that he converted to Islam and became an able mariner with a reputation as one of the boldest of the Mediterranean corsairs.

Now I learned a little about Ali Pasha when I was living in Turkey, and later read the book "Constantinople Old and New" by H. B. Dwight, Chas. Scribner  Sons, N.Y., 1915 where Dwight, a former missionary with the ABCFM shared his understanding about today's Immortal Nobody.

Kilic Ali Pasha Mosque was built by an Italian who was born in Calabria.  Captured by Algerian pirates, he turned Turk after 14 year in the galleys and changed his name of Ochiali to Oulouj Ali – Big Ali.  He then became a commander of Galleys.  At the battle of Lepanto he saved a shred of Turkish honor by capturing the flagship of the Knights of Malta, turning the squadron of Doria and bringing 40 galleys safely back to Constantinople.  For this exploit he was made high admiral of the fleet, and his name was turned into "Sword" Ali – Kilij Ali.

An interesting sidelight is thrown on this picturesque character from so unexpected a source as the novel  "Don Quixote."  In Chapter 32 of the first part of that book, in which the captive relates his life and adventures, Cervantes tells with very little deviation from the fact, how he himself lost his left hand at the battle of Lepanto, how 4 years later he was captured by pirates and then taken to Algiers, and how he lived there five years as the slave of a cruel Albanian master.  Trying then to escape, he was caught and brought for trial before a personage whom he calls Uchali, but who was none other than our friend Kilij Ali.  The upshot of the matter was that the builder of our beautiful mosque bought the author of our immortal novel, whom he treated with great kindness and presently accepted for him, in 1581, the very moderate ransom of 500 crowns.  So might a half-forgotten building in Tophane be brought back to light as the mosque of Don Quixote.

Kilic Ali Pasha's legacy is thus:
     1) He built the Kilic Ali Pasa Mosque (1580) and Baths (153) in Istanbul;
     2) Several warships and submarines of the Turkish Navy have been named
            after him, and
     3) His statue is in the center square of Le Castella in Calabria, Italy.

Now this story, a true one, shows you the width of the net that holds Immortal Nobodies.



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

WHO WOULD YELL FIRE IN A CROWDED ROOM?


Calumet, Michigan was a copper mining town in 1913.  In July of that year over 7,000 miners struck, and almost 6 months later no agreement had been reached.  Of course the miner's families knew that their Christmas would be bleak, so the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Western Federation of Miners gave a Christmas party on Christmas eve for the children.  Held on the second floor of Italian Hall, accessible only by a steep staircase on the left side of the building, the party saw about 500 children receiving presents and some 200 parents watched the festivities. 

About the time the party was drawing to a close, the door at the bottom of the staircase was opened and someone outside yelled "FIRE!"

As would be suspected, everyone made a run for the door, only to find it blocked from the outside. Fifty-nine children and 14 adults, most of them Finnish immigrants, were trampled and suffocated by the throng of bodies trying to escape a fire which actually did not exist. 

The youngest child killed was 2-1/2 years old.  The oldest person killed was 66.  A few families lost all of their children.

The perpetrators of this terrible disaster were never discovered, thus no one was ever prosecuted. 

-~~-

I have listed the names of those who died and the person who created this list.    I know it is a long list, but for me, it is a list of Immortal Nobodies.  I don't want them to be forgotten. 
  
1. Lempi Ala..........................12 years.........................Female.......................Finnish
2. Herman Alla......................60 years.........................Male..........................Finnish
3. Sanna L. Aaltonen..............39 years.........................Female.......................Finnish
4. Syvia Altonen.....................3 years...........................Female........................Finnish
5. Wilama Altonen..................9 years...........................Female.......................Finnish
6. Will Biri..............................7 years 11 mo................Male............................Finnish
7. Ivana Bolf...........................9 years 4mo...................Female........................Croatian
8. Katarine Bronzo................21 years.........................Female.........................Italian
9. Victoria Burcar...................9 years 4 mo..................Female.......................Croation
10. Joseph Butala...................7 years 8 mo..................Male............................Slovenian
11. Nick Cvetkovich..............33 years.........................Male.............................Croatian
12. Jenny Giacoletto...............9 years 10 mo................Female.......................Italian
13. Katarina Gregorich..........10 years 10 mo...............Female......................Croatian
14. Edwin Heikkinen..............7 years...........................Male..........................Finnish
15. Eino Felpus O. Heikkinen.10 years 5 mo................Male.........................Finnish
16. Eli Issac Heikkinen...........9 years 5 mo..................Male..........................Finnish
17. Ina Isola...........................33 years........................Female..........................Finnish
18. Tilma Isola.......................5 years 4 mo..................Female........................Finnish
19. Barbra Jesic.....................25 years.........................Female........................Croatian
20. Rosie Jesic.......................5 years 6 mo..................Female.........................Croatian
21. Uno Jokepil......................13 years.........................Male............................Finnish
22. Anna E. Kalunki................9 years 7 mo.................Female.......................Finnish
23. Brida Liisa Kalunki............42 years........................Female.......................Finnish
24. Efia P. Kulunki...................8 years.........................Female........................Finnish
25. Johan Emil Kiemaki...........7 years..........................Male..........................Finnish
26. Katarina Karich.................7 years..........................Female.......................Croatian
27. Kristina Klarich..................11 years ......................Female....................... Croatian
28. Mary Klarich.....................9 years..........................Female........................Croatian
29. Johan Hendrik Koskela......10 years........................Male..........................Finnish
30. Anna Kotajarvi...................4 years.........................Female........................Finnish
31. Anna Kotajarvi...................39 years.......................Female........................Finnish
32. Mary Krainatz....................11 years.......................Female........................Croatian
33. Hilja K Lanto......................5 years........................Female.........................Finnish
34. Maria G. Lanto...................40 years......................Female.........................Finnish
35. Sulo Rubet Lauri..................8 years.......................Male.............................Finnish
36. Mary Lesar.........................13 years......................Female..........................Slovenian
37. Rafael Lesar........................2 years 6 mo...............Male.............................Slovenian
38. Arthur Lindstrom.................12 years......................Male...........................Unknown
39. Lydia Johanna Luoma..........10 years......................Female.......................Finnish
40. Alfred J.W. Lustic................7 years 9 mo...............Male............................Finnish
41. Elina Manley........................26 years......................Female..........................Finnish
42. Wesley M. Manley...............4 years........................Male..............................Finnish
43. Ella E. Mantanen..................8 years........................Female.........................Finnish
44. Mathias E. Mantanen...........10 years......................Male.............................Finnish
45. Y.H. Mantanen....................13 years......................Male...............................Finnish
46. Agnes Mihelchich.................7 years........................Female..........................Croatian
47. Elizabeth Mihelchich............5 years........................Female..........................Croatian
48. Paul Mihelchich....................9 years........................Male..............................Croatian
49. Walter Murto.......................9 years........................Male...............................Finnish
50. Edward Emil Myllykangas....7 years.........................Male...........................Finnish
51. Johan W. Myllykangas.........10 years.......................Male.............................Finnish
52. Abram Niemela....................24 years......................Male...............................Finnish
53. Maria Elizabeth Niemela.......22 years......................Female.........................Finnish
54. Annie Papesh.......................6 years........................Female............................Slovenian
55. Mary Papesh........................14 years......................Female............................Slovenian
56. Kate Petteri..........................66 years......................Female............................Finnish
57. Saida M. Raja......................10 years......................Female............................Finnish
58. Terresa Renaldi....................12 years......................Female...........................Italian
59. Elma W. Ristel......................6 years.......................Female............................Finnish
60. Emilia Rydilahti.....................16 years..................... Female..........................Finnish
61. Heli Rydilahti........................13 years......................Female...........................Finnish
62. John Saari.............................5 years 11 mo.............Male...............................Finnish
63. Elida Saatio..........................11 years 9 mo.............Female............................Finnish
64. Mary Smuk..........................5 years........................Female............................Solvenian
65. Antonia Staudohar................7 years........................Female..........................Croat/Slov
66. Elisina J. Taipalus..................6 years........................Female.........................Finnish
67. Sandra M. Taipalus...............4 years........................Female..........................Finnish
68. Edward Richard Takola........9 years........................Female.........................Finnish
69. Lydia E. Talpaka..................10 years.......................Female..........................Finnish
70. Kaisa G. Tuippo...................45 years.......................Female...........................Finnish
71. Mamie Tuippo.....................10 years.......................Female............................Finnish
72. Hilja Wualukka ....................8 years.........................Female..........................Finnish
73. Johan Peter Westola.............48 years........................Male.............................Finnish

This list was complied by Ms. Peggy Germain. She is the author of an excellently researched book on the subject of the 1913 tragedy entitled "Tinsel & Tears" The book is available for only $5 + $1.25 postage. The address is Peggy Germain, 712 Pine Street, Calumet, Michigan



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

DOBBINS CEMETERY - VERMONT, FULTON CO., ILLINOIS


Robert Boyd Dobbins and the Dobbins Cemetery full of Immortal Dobbins Nobodies.

Not all cemeteries have a lock on the land they fill.  When I was a little kid growing up in Whittier California, there was a wonderful cemetery near our house that my dad often took my sis and I walking thought.  Mother did not like cemeteries, and she wasn't crazy about daddy taking us there; she always said it is sacrilegious to walk over graves.  But dad was respectful of those buried there, and the only reason he let us walk up to the headstones was he was teaching us the letters of the alphabet by having us touch the letters in the words and say what they were ' H, E, R. E.  L. I. E. S...."
and eventually we began knowing the letters and putting them together into words.

Many years later I had occasion to be in Whitter and I drove to that cemetery.....but it wasn't there anymore.  In its place was "Pioneer Park" and a single large stone with names inscribed on it.  I was SO disappointed.  

In the prairie area of Illinois not too far from the Spoon River the Dobbins Cemetery still stands.  Like many rural cemeteries, it was set aside buy Rev. Robert B. Dobbins when he bought property in Illinois after retiring as a circuit riding Presbyterian minister who covered Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.  He bought enough property to give each of his children a farm when he died.  All the people buried in this cemetery are related to Robert B. Dobbins and his wife Katy Alexander Dobbins.  And thus to me.

Just in the event that this cemetery disappears, I want to put the names of all these Immortal Dobbins Nobodies in my blog today.  There are a couple of people that I do not recognize, but I am sure there was a reason they were there.  

DOBBINS FAMILY CEMETERY
VERMONT TOWNSHIP, FULTON COUNTY, ILLINOIS

Robert B. Dobbins, b Aug 23, 1773 d in 82nd y of his age
Catherine Alexander, wife of Robert B. Dobbins, d Nov 18, 1849 74y 6m

FAMILY OF JAMES A. DOBBINS
               Robert Gaston, son of James Alexander & Elizabeth Perkins Dobbins, d July 28, 1851 23y 1m 9d
               Emma S., dau of Levi J. & Paulina .Jane Dobbins  Sperry d Sept 13, 1852 7m 24d
               Olive Alvira Winton b June 19, 1862 d Dec. 21, 1885 (Olive is daughter of Caroline Elizabeth
                               Dobbins Winton)

FAMILY OF ELIZA DOBBINS THOMAS
               William Thomas d June 8, 1882 81y 11m 25d
Eliza Dobbins, wife of William Thomas, d Feb 25, 1894 87y 2m 4d
John F., son of William.A. & M.S. Kost Thomas d Jan 12, 1848 3y 3m 7d

FAMILY OF MARY GAGE DOBBINS MILLER
               Abram Miller d Dec. 5, 1889 85y 4m 14d
Mary Gage Dobbins., wife of Abram Miller, d Apr 16, 1891 82y 7m 13d
Addie, dau of J.C. & A.F. Cadwalader, d Apr 1, 1863 3y 3m 9d

FAMILY OF JOHN CALVIN DOBBINS
James H., son of John  C. & Harriet A. Miller Dobbins d June 20, 1842 1y 8m
Laura C., dau of John C. & Harriet A. Miller Dobbins d Nov. 22, 1858 2y 18d
William A. Dobbins  (son of John C. & Harriet A. Miller Dobbins)  Sept. 1863 age 28y

FAMILY OF ROBERT NEWTON DOBBINS
               Robert Newton Dobbins b Jan 20, 1814 d March 26, 1892
Martha J. Ewing, wife of Robert Newton Dobbins, b 19 Sept. 1819 d 22 June 1891
               Ady Clemens b May 15, 1839 d Feb 14, 1914
Mary J. Dobbins., wife of Ady Clemens, (dau of Robert Newton &
Martha Jane Ewing Dobbins)   b Aug 30, 1845 d Mar 9, 1908
               Martha L, dau of Robert.Newton & Martha Jane Ewing Dobbins d Apr 1, 1862 6y 11m 1d
Eliza M., dau of Robert Newton & Martha Jane Ewing Dobbins d Jan 23, 1860 1y 11m 23d
Catherine E., dau of Robert Newton & Martha Jane Ewing Dobbins, d Oct 9, 1854 11y 5m 7d
James Ewing d Mar 8, 1869 89y 7m 28d
Jannat, wife of James Ewing d Sept 8, 1854 70 y
Eliza Amelia Ewing d Apr 20, 1880 65y 2m 14d
Fanny J. Clemens b Dec. 22, 1892 d Mar 29, 1908
James, son of A. & M.J. Clemens d Apr 2, 1866 (age illegible)

FAMILY OF AMANDA JANE DOBBINS MILLER
Phyletus N. Miller, son of Jacob. & Amanda Miller, d Oct 21, 1863 19 yr 7m 7d
Jacob Miller, d Aug. 30, 1894 79y 8m 24d
Amanda J. Dobbins Miller, his wife, d Feb 22, 1894 76y 6m 18d
Eliza Miller, 1848-1910
Charles O. Hickson,, d Nov. 3, 1888 29y 5m 8d
Caroline J  Hickson (dau of Jacob & Amanda., wife of Charles O. Hickson,) b Jan 6, 1853
d June 19, 1915
               Clyde M. Hickson,  b June 21, 1887 d March 13, 1968

FAMILY OF WILLIAM STEVENSON DOBBINS
               William S. Dobbins d Jan 25, 1847 25y 8m 27d

UNIDENTIFIED

               Ann Eliza O’Brien d Sept 24, 1852 age 41y  ( Anne appears with Levi J. Smith family on the 1850  census – age 38.  No relationship shown.  Born in N.Y.  Also an 18 year old Ann O'Brian with her.  


Friday, December 11, 2015

WHEN IS A McVICKER NOT A McVICKER? WHEN HE'S A YORK!


Little Jack Russell McVicker was born to Paul Russell McVicker and Lucile Fulton McVicker in August of 1919.  I don't know much about Paul, because shortly after Jack's birth, Paul was sent to San Quentin for a long time on a robbery charge and was divorced by Lucile.  In due time Lucile remarried and took on the surname of York, becoming the wife of Rex York.  At some point, little Jack dropped McVicker as his name and took on York.  In fact, he married Virginia Nash as Jack York and also joined the military using that name.  I don't know if it was a legal change or not.

What I do know is that in 1948 Jack was a 1st Lieutenant and piloted an airplane that took his life in a crash in Michigan.  He was 29.

This is the kind of plane he was piloting.  The picture above and the material below are from the website of the Michigan Aviation Archaeology website.

Ethel Popek was in the observation tower on the Wurtsmith AFB gunnery and bombing range watching her husband, Major Edward Popek, leading a flight of F-80 Shooting Stars of the 62nd Fighter Squadron in a practice bombing run.  At about 5:30, the fourth plane in the flight of four, flown by 1st Lt. Jack York began its bombing run.  As Ethel watched, she thought that York's dive seemed a little steeper and faster than the other planes' had been.  No doubt she was horrified when the jet leveled out at just 300 ft. and smashed into the ground just beyond the bombing target, bursting into flames and skidding to a halt after 2,000 feet.  Rescue teams responded within minutes and the remaining planes flew out over nearby Lake Huron, dropped their remaining bombs and landed to await word on their comrade.  Sadly, 1st Lt. Jack R. York was killed on impact.  He was survived by his wife Virginia and two children.  The cause of the crash was determined to be either failure of the dive flaps to properly deploy or failure of the pilot to deploy the dive flaps prior to beginning the dive.  The 62nd Fighter Squadron was using the first production jets in the USAF. Training SOPs in use at the time were still those written for the much slower propeller planes.


At the time there was a small article shown in a local newspaper,

  

I later learned his two children were a son Allan Russell York, born 4 October 1941 in Los Angeles, CA, and a daughter Carol Louise York, born 21 Dec 1942 also in Los Angeles.  His wife later married a Mr. Saban and then a William C. Murray of Lynwood, California.

Why is Jack York of interest to me?  His grandma was Pamelia "Millie" Stevens Fulton, a sister of my great-grandmother Nellie Stevens Davis.    Millie's daughter, Lucile, (Jack's mom) was a cousin of my grandma Jessie Davis Ryland.  My mother, Virginia, was a second cousin of Jack York…. making me a fourth cousin of Jack's children.  Interestingly, at the time they were living in the area around Inglewood, California, I was in college in that same area.  Since my grandma was already long dead, I didn't have a clue that a distant relative lived nearby.  But like a good genealogist I was was interested to learn "historically" that our paths could have crossed.

In 1984 I read a letter that his mother Lucile had written in a genealogy search:  "I had three children, two boys and a girl.  My older son Jack was a pilot in WWII.  He came back from Italy - but cracked up his jet in '48."  And sad to say in all those years since, Jack is the only descendant whose whereabouts I have found.


Jack's remains were brought back to California for burial and he rests in Inglewood Cemetery.