Monday, September 30, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013


While searching for a particular photograph in the old family photo tote, I found a frame that held my grandfather's real estate license from the year 1966. I decided to do some research. (I've really gotten into research this month.)

I found the website for the Department of Commerce, Real Estate and Professional Licensing Board and called them. The guy was helpful to direct me to the area of their site to find a form specifically made to request the history of a license. I printed it out and mailed it last Thursday to Columbus and waited for the results. Monday morning my telephone rang. A gentlemen said they would not be able to fulfill my request and he would be mailing my paperwork back to me.

Their researcher reported that no records were available anymore for anything over ten years old in the State of Ohio. He said they purged all their records within the last couple years. WHY? Why would the state destroy old records?

I recently learned that our county keeps records for civil, criminal, and probate at the Archives Building (formerly the Armory) as far back as the late 1800s. So if counties keep old records in archive, why can't the state? It sure was upsetting to learn. I wanted to research my grandfather's license to ascertain what year he got his original license issued to him. Unfortunately, due to circumstances in the political game of Ohio right now, nothing is available.

I followed in my grandfather's footsteps for a few years while living in South Carolina (for almost 20 years) by taking a real estate course, passing the state test, and acquiring a real estate license which I held for at least three years. I worked part-time with a realty company called Baymark during my licensed years. This is one more thing I can add to my legacy bucket list of 'mission accomplished' items. I'm just sorry my research on my grandfather's license hit a dead end. I can remember in my young years seeing his business sign hanging on the porch of the house until 1967 when he died.

My research found a bend in the road and I am now searching for someone else. When I removed the 1966 license from the frame to make a copy, there was another license behind it. Grandpa, being a real estate broker, had a salesman working for him and that employee's license was there. I went to the Archives and requested the probate file for this individual to locate a next of kin. Today, that request was fulfilled. The problem is that the son and daughter of this individual live in Washington state and Florida, respectively, and are now old enough that they might be deceased. I now have to turn to to find a grandchild descendant to find a connection to the salesman. My quest is not yet finished as I forge ahead to complete this mission. Research. Research. Research - my new passion.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


These are photos of the frames I previously hung on a wall in my office room in my house. I have taken them down to make room for newer items. I can now take the certificates out of the frames and reuse these frames for other items. (Sure saves buying new ones!)

When I held an active EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) license in the State of Ohio for six years, I had to attend a certain number of continuing education courses to keep my license up-to-date. These are some of the certificates I received and framed in the first three years of my service. Two certificates are for ambulance drivers training and proficiency, even though I rarely got a chance to drive. I was a volunteer crew member, not a paid full-time member.

When my mother took ill in late 2004, I took a leave of absence from the Life Squad to take care of her. When mother died in February 2005, I decided not to return so I voluntarily let my license expire. I now have the memories of my service, these certificate to remind me of my training, and a sense of pride that I accomplished something good that will enhance my legacy.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I was leaving the house around 11 am this morning, and as I drove around the corner at the end of my street, I stopped abruptly at the side of the roadway. The sight that caught my eye was unusual.

As I had turned that corner, my eyes were drawn to the rooftop of the house there. Perched all over the roof, I saw over a dozen buzzards (better known as turkey vultures). I reached for my camera phone to capture the moment, but as soon as I opened the car door and stepped out, they began to fly away, circling over the house and trees. I knew it had to be an omen of some kind, so I researched it when I got back home.

On the website it stated that seeing a vulture was an omen of death. I then worried about the people living in that house.

Another website was about Bridgewater, New Jersey and the invasion of 130 vultures that gathered after Hurricane Sandy. The USDA wildlife services said that vultures gather to roost in trees in the fall and winter. The birds like pine and evergreen trees because of protection from the elements. If their habitat was disturbed or destroyed, they seek out a new roosting place near where they can feast on dead creatures.

The third website described a turkey vulture (or turkey buzzard, or just buzzard) as a scavenger, not a killer. They fly low and have a keen sense of sight and smell. The birds nest in small groups and are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1918. Turkey vultures can be found in grassland areas and is most commonly found in relatively open areas which provide nearby woods for nesting and it generally avoids heavily forested areas.

This information seems to fit...I live by an open grassy area, a cemetery, and a nearby wooded area. I wonder what could be in the cemetery that would attract them - they normally eat carrion and are attracted to the smell of dead animals. I will keep my eyes open to see if they return this week, whether to perch on another rooftop or in the trees.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


After hearing that the immigration bill in Congress has been stalled, I read an article that made me wonder why Congressmen hate immigrants so much. They add to the economy and have built successful businesses that probably donate to many political campaigns. I found the following information, and wondered how many people in this country buy products from the corporations listed below, started by immigrants.

These corporations were founded by immigrants:

Founder: Sergey Brin
(COO)Country of Origin: Russia

Founder: Alexander Graham Bell
COO: Scotland
Note: Bell came to the U.S. as a teacher of the deaf, which led him to invent the microphone and telephone.

Founder: Marcus Goldman
COO: Germany
Note: Sachs was started in 1869 in a one-room office in New York City

Founder: Pierre Omidyar
COO: France
Note: He is one of the largest donors against human trafficking.

Founder: Theodore and Milton Deutschmann
COO: England
Note: The company was named after the wooden compartment aboard ships that held the radio equipment. The first store was opened in Boston, MA in 1921.

Founder: Maxwell Kohl
COO: Poland
Note: He worked in Milwaukee till 1927 and saved enough money to open a small grocery, the beginning of Kohl's.

Founder: Daniel Aaron
COO: Germany
Note: He started as a journalist who did a story on a cable company sparking his interest in cable.

Founder: Sol Shenk
COO: Russia
Note: Big Lots started in 1967 as an auto parts wholesale store.

Founder: Jerry Yang
COO: Taiwan
Note: At the age of 10, the only English word he knew was "shoe."

Founder: John W Nordstrom
COO: Sweden
Note: He came to the U.S. in 1887 at the age of 16 with $5.00 in his pocket.

Founder: William Colgate
COO: England
Note: In 1806 his first business was a starch, soap and candle shop in New York City.

Founder: Nathan Cummings
COO: Canada
Note: He was accidentally born in Canada when his parents got off the boat in Saint Johns, Canada, one stop early, instead of New York City, when immigrating from Lithuania.

Founder: E. I. duPont
COO: France
Note: He studied explosives production in the 1700s in France before coming to the U.S.

Founder: James L. Kraft
COO: Canada
Note: He invested in a cheese company that went bust, then scraped up enough money to start Kraft.

Founder: Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart
COO: Germany
Note: They started the company with a $2,500 loan from Pfizer's father.

Founder: William Procter and James Gamble
COO: England and Ireland
Note: Procter came to the U.S. in 1830 after his London shop was destroyed by fire and burglary; met Gamble and they teamed up.

If you are against immigrants and are shopping at any of the above stores, you are shopping at the wrong place!

Friday, September 20, 2013


It has been a very long time since I've seen a wall dispenser like this; they just aren't around anymore. Most public womens restrooms used to have these many years ago.

I went into an old public building in the Village of Greenfield last week and was surprise to see this on the wall. I didn't look to see if it was full with product, but the shock of seeing it was enough to bring out my camera phone.

I was also surprised the price was still only 25 cents each.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


At the beginning of the summer, I planted two rose bushes in my yard. The red rose bush only produced one blossom this year.

Shortly after the red rose bloomed, the white rose bush produced a bud that opened wide. I thought both bushes were finished for the year.

About a week ago, I went outside to find another open white rose, to my surprise. Then I noticed four buds growing along side. (Photo above)

A late blooming bush was a great joy to find. A little water and sunshine brought new growth, even late in the season. New buds are ready to pop any day now.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


My quest for knowledge about a farm where my mother spent at least six years of her early life is coming together, slowly but surely. Finding old land and probate records has been exciting.

My great-grandfather, Jonathan Albertus Irion was born November 11, 1856 in Fayette County, Ohio. Cordelia Floyd Mallow was born April 29, 1853 in Ross County, Ohio. They were married January 11, 1888 in Ross County, Ohio. Jonathan and Cordelia Irion had a daughter named Sarah Florence Irion, (known as Florence) born in Fayette County, Ohio, September 14, 1891. Sarah Florence Irion married William LeRoy Porter (known as Roy, born May 28, 1885 in Greenfield, Ohio) on September 21, 1912 and lived in Fayette County, Ohio.

Jonathan Albertus Irion died July 28, 1928 and at the time of his death he owned a farm (128.81 acres) in Perry Township, Fayette County, Ohio now known as 6117 State Route 41 South between New Martinsburg Road and Miami Trace Road. (As shown on the plat of 1913 above next to the survey number 661 in the center.)

My grandmother, Florence and her brother William J. Irion were the only two living children at the time of Jonathan's death. They inherited the property in equal shares by record of the Fayette County Probate Court as Administrators of Jonathan's estate. According to the estate records, Jonathan died owing approximately $1,800 and his worth was stated as $250; therefore, the land was order to be sold by Probate Judge S. A. Murry to pay said debts.

The land was appraised in October 1928 for $11,610, according to records. My grandparents (Florence and Roy) purchased the farm from the estate on October 16, 1928 for the appraised value through a loan from The Washington Savings Bank in Fayette County.

Then came Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, the day the stock market crashed causing the start of The Great Depression (Herbert Hoover was President at the time). According to a history site I read, farmers were usually safe from the severe effects of a depression because they could at least feed themselves. Unfortunately, during the Great Depression, the Great Plains were hit hard with both a drought and horrendous dust storms, creating what became known as the Dust Bowl.

Years and years of overgrazing combined with the effects of a drought caused the grass to disappear. With just topsoil exposed, high winds picked up the loose dirt and whirled it for miles. The dust storms destroyed everything in their paths, leaving farmers without their crops.

Small farmers were hit especially hard. These small farmers were usually already in debt, borrowing money for seed and paying it back when their crops came in. When the dust storms damaged the crops, not only could the small farmer not feed himself and his family, he could not pay back his debt. Banks would then foreclose on the small farms and the farmer's family would be both homeless and unemployed.

My grandparents were affected by the drought and depression. According to Probate records, the property was conveyed to the Trustees of the Liquidating Trust of The Washington Savings Bank on August 29, 1934.

The next record of conveyance for that land, which was held by the bank for three years, was on February 19, 1937 to William and Florence Hook. What are the odds that William and Florence Porter were the owners, then the bank became the owner, then sold the property to William and Florence Hook?

I personally find it incredible! According to my grandmother, after the sale of the farm, they moved to the city and my grandfather became a real estate broker here. My next effort will be to contact the Board of Realtors (or similar agency) in Columbus to find out how far back their records go to learn what year my grandfather got his real estate broker's license. The quest for knowledge continues!

Monday, September 16, 2013


Sunday afternoon was the first concert for this season of our local Community Concert Association.

Leading the musical entertainment series were The Gothard Sisters from Seattle, Washington. They are a dynamic Irish music and dance trio performing a lot of Celtic tunes and write their own compositions.

They perform Irish step dancing and have competed overseas at the World Championships.

The eldest, Greta 26, began training as a classical violinist when she was 5 years old. She plays guitar, cajon (plus several other instruments) and sings backup with her two sisters.

Willow is 23 and also learned to play the violin at a very early age. Like her older sister, she also competed in Irish dance competitions due to the family influence of Irish and Celtic music. In addition to the violin, she plays a bodhran, a mandolin, and sings backup for her younger sister.

Solana is just 18 but is the lead singer for the trio, also trained as a classical violinist starting at the age of 3. She also plays bodhran, pennywhistle, cajon, and various percussion instruments. She is also an accomplished Irish dancer and was the youngest to qualify for the World Championships at the regionals in 2006.

Their program included songs and music titles such as: Danny Boy, Scarborough Fair, Dueling Bodhrans, The Call and the Answer, Orange Blossom Special, and their special violin version of Charlie Daniels' The Devil Went Down To Georgia.

They were a crowd pleasing talent and have seven music albums and one video on iTunes and other outlets.

Note: a bodhran is a handheld, shallow Irish drum with a single goatskin head, played with a stick.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Today holds many memories for me, personally and for the United States of America.

First, I want to wish my parents a Happy Anniversary; they were married September 11, 1937. I'm sure they are celebrating together in Heaven.

Second, I remember September 11, 2001 watching the live news stories of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers in New York City. So for those who gave all that day, we remember you. May peace prevail in all things.

Monday, September 9, 2013


That magic bug hit me again today - the cleaning bug.

Yesterday, I read an online article entitled "Pack Rat Or Hoarder? Here Are The 6 Signs That Tell The Difference." It was so interesting, I reviewed it again before I went to bed.

When I woke up, I thought of cleaning out something. I chose my cabinet in the kitchen where I store cooking items, such as large pots and crockpots. Some time ago, I wrote a blog about cleaning every cupboard in my kitchen and downsizing it earlier this year. After I re-cleaned this cabinet, I had a few more items to add to the sale stuff stored in the garage.

That one task did not satisfy my "bug" so I also cleaned out what I call my 'Tupperware' cupboard. I don't have but a few pieces of original Tupperware these days, but my food storage containers needed looking at. I matched lids with containers and threw away the bad ones. That cupboard looks neat again and I had a few more items to take to the garage.

After cleaning a cabinet, a cupboard, and completing three loads of laundry today, my 'bug' was healed and I was able to relax for the evening. I never know when this 'bug' will hit me, but this year it has visited me at least eight times. The bug caused me to clean each room in my house, my attic, and my outdoor storage shed. I know the bug is waiting a week or so to attack me for the garage cleaning. More work to do, but I've got to keep busy. Until next time...

Thursday, September 5, 2013


This framed print entitled "A Child's Prayer" used to hang in my bedroom when I was a child. I found it recently while cleaning out a box from my 'shed project'. I thought it over, look at the picture many times over days, and finally decided to put it in the sale pile in my garage.

Some things like the past must be set aside, or disposed of, like the past. It is gone and can not be recovered. Time to move on.