Showered With Cards and Other Celebrations

Hello everyone! Welcome to my Druck Family History blog. 

A lot has happened since my last post!

I’ve written about this event on my companion blog, www.boonvillebeat.wordpress.com, but since this really is part of family history, I thought it deserved a place here, as well – even though I’m a bit late getting it posted!

My brother Ted (real name George!) pours the wine for dinner.

My parents, Ben and Hazel Druck, observed their 70th wedding anniversary on Tuesday, February 8. Yep! That’s right – 70 years together. When filling out an information form for a local newspaper announcement, the question appeared: To what does the couple attribute their long marriage?

Well, I had my opinion, but decided to ask Mom and Dad to discuss the question and let me know their answer. They agreed: their marriage has lasted because they “have always done everything together”  – whether it’s working, dancing, traveling, hunting, or golfing. Until recently,  my mother has been blessed with excellent  health. At 92, Dad has his share of medical issues. But, together they raised five kids, who produced 12 grandchildren, who gave  them  22 great-grandchildren. I’ve written a lot about my parents previously, so I won’t go into their life histories again (for more information check the earlier blogs on this site go to www.boonvillebeat.wordpress.com).

One of several floral arrangements my parents received for their anniversary.

But, since they are both amazing people, I wanted to honor by parents on this special occasion. Given Dad’s health issues, however, Mom asked that we forego the partying. Instead, she suggested that I ask everyone to send cards – which I did. Cards from all over  the U. S. and even some from overseas arrived to fill their mailbox. They were surprised and amazed by this generous outpouring of love and caring.

The  highlight of their anniversary week for me (I was staying at their house) was actually the night before the celebration date.  Two of my brothers who live nearby and their wives (both of whom are named Linda) joined us for dinner that  evening.  Always ready and willing to feed us, Mom made her “world-renowned” chicken pie, as it’s known in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. In other places people call it “chicken pot-pie.” Whatever you call it, it was absolutely delicious!  We spent a wonderful evening reminiscing and laughing about the “good old days.”  Missing from the group was my only sister, Bobbi (real name Barbara!), and her husband Mike, who were wintering in Arizona; and my brother Phil and his wife, Carol, who live in northern Pennsylvania.

Mom’s in the Kitchen, making chicken pie!

A 70th wedding anniversary is something not many couples achieve. The many  lovely cards (nearly 200) sent by old friends, family, fellow church members, and strangers alike helped create a lasting memory.

Also in February, my sister-in-law mentioned above, Carol Forbes Druck, celebrated a birthday on the 13th. Jenna Renee Druck, daughter of my nephew Benn and his wife Denise, turned  14 on February 17.  And I can’t forget cousin Kathie Gettle Boop, whose birthday was February 11.
 
Moving on to the month of March – several family members observed special days, one of which was daughter “number one” (meaning she’s the first-born!) – Kristina – who celebrated her birthday on March 13. My sister’s husband, Mike, observed his birthday on March 19, and a day later my hubby Keith observed his natal anniversary. That same day – March 20 – Keith and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary! He gets kidded a lot about having been married on his birthday. The usual remark is that he’ll never forget his anniversary – to which he replies, “Yeh, but I’d like to forget the birthdays.” 
 
Amanda Jo Nuss, daughter of my niece Jenni Druck Nuss and husband Andrew, turned five years old on March 22, and on the 23rd, my nephew, Tedd Benjamin Druck  and his wife, the former Anne Ruby Miller, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. Congratulations! Only 50 years to go, kids,  and you’ll  match Mam-maw and Pap-paw’s record!
 
And the biggest news of all – today, March 29, as I write this,  my younger granddaughter, Morgan Cassidy Geesey,  turned sweet sixteen! Morgan is the daughter of my son Brian Geesey and his wife, the former Diane Myers.
 
In other news, Morgan’s brother Joshua appears  in a Lafayette College publication honoring a fellow debating team member (http://www.lafayette.edu/about/news/2011/03/18/james-hilbert-debate-forensics-society/?utm_source=Main+Subscription+List+for+From+the+Hill&utm_campaign=f1dae6b2a7-From+the+Hill+Daily-03-23-2011&utm_medium=email). And my older granddaughter, Brigitta Kiessling, was an honorable mention winner in the WITF Central Pennsylvania Magazine writing contest (Girl’s Song” – 2011 Central PA Writing Contest Winner – witf.org) Congratulations to both grandkids! We’re all proud of you!
Our clan had the most members present at the 2010 Druck Family Reunion. In back row, left to right are: Brigitta, Morgan, Joshua (wearing hat). Jenna is seated front row, second from left.
 Congratulations to everyone who recently celebrated a birthday or anniversary! I’m sure there are many other birthdays and anniversaries in our extended family during February and March, but I’ll have to post them next time. Also, I’ll gather up the ones I missed in January.

So, please stop again soon. Thanks for visiting my blog. 

Celebrating Ben and Hazel's 70th Anniversary!

   

 

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Filed under Druck Family History, DRUCK FAMILY REUNION, Memories, Personal

“Two Rooms: One Up, One Down”

Stop the Press! Strike Up The Band! Call Out the Militia!

 This event will go down in history. Not many couples celebrate a 70th wedding anniversary! But my parents, Benjamin E. and Hazel K. Bentz Druck will do just that on February 8, 2011.

That’s right. They were married on a snowy Saturday afternoon in Towson, Maryland. Clifford Richmond, a Minister of the Gospel, pronounced them man and wife. The 17-year-old bride  wore a blue dress with a matching jacket. She had bought it especially for the occasion. The groom, 22, wore a suit and tie.

A handsome young couple! Not Ben and Hazel's wedding photo, but taken a few years later, possibly 1943 or 1944.

On their way home, the newlyweds stopped to make their first purchase together. “We bought a suitcase,” recalls my dad. “We paid 75 cents for the suitcase.”

Ben and Hazel had met while enjoying a favorite pastime: roller skating. Their friendship blossomed. And then one day, Ben came courting in his 1934 Ford.

Hazel lived with her mother, Martha “Mattie” Bentz, and sister “Mots” on a farm in York Township, Pennsylvania. In the waning years of the Great Depression, Hazel, Mots, and Mattie eked out a living by raising vegetables, which they took to the City of York to sell. Mots drove the car. Hazel stayed home and tended the animals or worked in the fields.

When Ben came by to ask her out, Hazel – now 87 years old – was helping thresh wheat. She was covered with brown dust. “But it didn’t scare him away,” she said of her future husband. 

The roller-rink romance led to something more serious. “We fell in love like most young couples do,” Ben says, “and the next thing you know we were getting married.” It wasn’t a big wedding. “In those days,” explained the 92-year-old great-grandfather,  “you hunted up a preacher or Justice of the Peace, and you got married.” 

Ben and his Ford!

What a hat!

The young couple moved into their first home: a renovated “nice little summer house” on Mattie’s farm.

“It wasn’t much of a house compared to what people have today,” said Ben, who had grown up on a small farm, “but it was a way of getting started.”

“It had two rooms,” recalls my mom, “one up, one down; toilet outside.”

Ben and Hazel have come a long way since those early days; I’ve written often of their progress and success. I’m proud of them both.

From their first two-room home, they eventually moved to a 40-acre farm, where they lived for 30 years and raised five children, along with thousands of chickens that produced thousands of dozens of eggs! Possibly millions. We all shared the farm work, but my dad always held a full-time job too.  He’s a hard-working, self-educated man.

Mom feeds Dad a slice of cake during their 25th anniversary party.

Our growing family in the living room of the old farm house.

During World War II, Dad sweated long hours in a hot, dirty foundry, making bombs. He next took a job as a carpenter. Several years later he was working as an overhead garage door salesman and the department manager.

In late 1969, he started his own business, and Ben Druck Door Company is still going strong. Now Ben’s grandsons own and operate the successful, well-known area business. The company is thriving and has an excellent reputation (see www.bendruckdoor.com).

 During the later years of their marriage, Ben and Hazel enjoyed hunting together, especially out West, where they pursued deer and antelope. They’ve also traveled to several other areas of the world, including Hawaii, Alaska, South America, Trinidad, and the southern United States. In his younger days, Ben became involved with the Dallastown Lions Club, serving a term as president in 1973-74.

Another highlight of my parents’ lives was square dancing. They started hoofing it up in September 1979, dancing their way around the country for 12 years. They had to hang up their western attire only when Dad could no longer hear the caller, and the fast pace became a bit too strenuous for him.

“We square-danced in the northernmost square dance club in Alaska,” recalled my father. “We also danced in Florida, and every place in between.”

They danced their way around the country!

When they quit square dancing, they took up golfing. They began the sport in 1989, while living in Florida, where they had bought a doublewide home. They no longer go south for the winter, though, and Ben has given up golf. Hazel, however, continues to take to the greens weekly throughout the season, despite some recent nagging shoulder and back problems.

Incredibly, she still takes care of their large lawn, tends dozens of flowering plants in her garden, and bakes bushels of Christmas goodies. When she needs a break, she’s usually working on a cross-stitch piece, reading, or doing a crossword puzzle.

Since Dad can’t get around the way he once did, he reads a lot, especially inspirational pieces, and watches TV – although often he can’t hear what’s being said!

Ben and Hazel are both truly amazing. Neither was born with a “silver spoon” in their mouth. Both suffered hardships growing up. Not only did they live through the Great Depression, they both endured what today would be called a “dysfunction” family life. In the early years of their marriage, they struggled to make ends meet, as most young couples did. But they persevered and have lived a full life, with many good memories. Although they both had only eighth grade educations, Dad became a successful business owner. It took lots of hard work and dedication, and Mom was always by his side.

Dad in 1981 at age 63.

To what do they attribute their long marriage? Ben and Hazel agree that it’s because they’ve “always done everything together,” whether it’s working, dancing, traveling, hunting, or golfing.

Together they raised five kids, who produced 12 grandchildren,  who have given Ben and Hazel 22 great-grandchildren. They also have a step-granddaughter whom they first met in 1981.

I’d like to throw a big bash to honor my parents on this special occasion. But given Dad’s health issues, Mom thought we should forgo the partying. She suggested that I ask everyone to send cards instead. Dad loves to get cards in the mail. So that’s the plan. I hope everyone reading this – even if you don’t know them – will send a congratulatory note to:  

  Ben and Hazel Druck, 392 Sparton Rd., York, PA 17403.

Mark your calendars now, so the card arrives in time for the big day. But, even if it’s late, I’m sure they won’t mind!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO A TRULY AMAZING COUPLE:

BEN & HAZEL DRUCK

MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU! 

Still going strong after 70 years of togetherness!!

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DON’T GO AWAY…Please!

Welcome to my blog about our Druck family history. Sorry, I haven’t posted anything new lately. But don’t let that stop you from visiting. I’ll be posting important news in just a little while.

So, please don’t go away….come back to see what all the excitement is about.

Besides the news of a very important anniversary, future topics include: 50 years of wrestling; what happened to Millie Mouse, and what’s the difference between being alone and being lonely?

My maternal grandmother, Martha Ellen Dentler Bentz, known as "Mim"

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Missing in Action?

Hello, and welcome to the Druck Family History Blog.  Sorry, there’s no news here at the moment.

My brother-in-law Randy, who’s living in the middle of South America somewhere on a boat with his wife, Pat,  (www.hbsailing.com)  recently sent an email asking if everything here was all right. He mentioned that it’s been a while since he’s seen any new postings here.  And he’s right! There are many reasons for that.

One is that I’ve started keeping my personal journal on another site, www.boonvillebeat.wordpress.com. I’ll get back to this one (which I’ve decided to dedicate solely to family history information)  as soon as I find a spare moment in my day – or night!

I apologize to all the October family birthday and anniversary celebrants, but I’ll get them listed soon. Of particular interest  is the story of my dad, who turned 92 years old  on September 14.  He’s every bit as amazing as my mother, and since  I devoted a post to her on her recent birthday, I’d better do likewise for Dad!

Meanwhile, if you need any family history information, please write to me at jaroutson@aol.com, or find me on Facebook.

And if you’d like to find out why You Can’t Go Home Again – click on this link: www.boonvillebeat.wordpress.com.

Thanks for visiting and stop by again soon!

Belated Birthday Wishes to my Dad, who turned 92 years old on September 14.

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Birthday and Anniversary Wishes

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO AN AMAZING WOMAN!    

My mom, Hazel Bentz Druck

 

         

 

  

If you had to guess how old my mom will be on her birthday, you’d probably get it wrong!      

  

  

What can I say about her that I haven’t already written somewhere in this blog?        

I can sum it up in one line: She’s an incredible woman.         

On Saturday, September 4, 2010, Hazel Bentz Druck celebrates her 87th birthday – and she’s still going strong.          

I’m the oldest of five kids my parents raised on a 40-acre farm in York Township, York County, Pa., where they also raised thousands of chickens, which laid thousands and thousands of eggs.        

It was not an easy life; Mom and Dad both worked hard. Eventually Dad started his own garage-door company, and my parents gave up raising chickens and eggs. For a while Mom worked in the cafeteria at the Dallastown Area High School.         

Me with my Aunt Martha (right) and my mom during a recent visit to York County.

 

       

Despite some recent nagging shoulder and back problems, she continues to golf regularly throughout the season. She remains in good health, and her energy and enthusiasm are boundless.        

Happy 87th Birthday to a truly amazing woman!       

 Also celebrating a birthday soon is my granddaughter Brigitta Kiessling, who was born on her great-grandmother’s birthday, September 4. You’ll soon hear more about my dad, Benjamin E. Druck, who’ll celebrate his 92nd birthday on September 14, 2010.       

In the meantime, other family members observing birthdays this month are: Sept.  2 –Warren Gregory Boop; Sept. 8 – Robert Lee Sterling Druck and Jonathan P. LaPorta; Sept. 15 – Larry Dennis Sechrist; Sept. 17 – Charles Russell “Rusty”  Wilson and Amanda J. Druck; Sept. 18Tammie Sue DruckSept. 19 Eileen M. Goodling Druck;  Sept. 24 – Jesse Ryan Druck and Jared A. Burger; Sept. 25 – Kenneth Lester Kreidler; Sept. 26 –  Rae Catherine Burger Gettle; Sept. 27 – Jenni Lynn McWilliams; and Sept.  28 – Ronald LeVere Druck      

Wishing you all a happy birthday and may you have many, many more!       

Family anniversaries this month are:       

Anthony Allen Shaw and Rhonda Denise Wilson – 6 Sept 1981       

Guy M. Shaw and Patricia Ann Druck – 12 Sept 1992       

Benn Anthony Druck and Denise Rhonel Diemer – 12 Sept 1992       

Daniel Hunt and Katie Rebecca Sechrist – 14 Sept  2007       

Jeffrey Lynn Burger and Anne Louise Wagman – 30 Sept 1978       

Happy Anniversary to all the celebrants!        

Thanks for visiting my family history blogsite. Please stop and visit again soon.  And leave your comments, if you’d like.         

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In Memoriam: Robert E. Sellen, Sr.

Sincere Sympathy to Libby Wilson Sellen and her family    

I didn’t know Bob Sellen very well. Actually, I didn’t know him at all. But he came to our first George Druck family reunion in the summer of 2009 with his wife, my cousin Libby, and other family members. Having read his obituary last week, I now know why he came to meet lots of people he had never seen before. That’s the kind of person Bob was.    

Several months ago, when I asked Libby if they would be attending this summer’s reunion, she wrote back to say they couldn’t make it: that Bob, a life long resident of Woodbury, New Jersey, was suffering from terminal cancer. He was in a lot of pain.    

“Right now he is the first priority,” wrote Libby.    

I replied that I’d add him to my prayer list. That was on July 3. The reunion came and went. On August 23, 2010, Bob Sellen died at his home, at the age of 86.    

Libby’s grandmother, Elenora Edith Druck, and my grandfather, George Benjamin Druck are brother and sister; so Libby and I share the same great-grandfather, George W. “Wash” Druck.    

Elizabeth “Libby” Anne Wilson and Robert Edward “Bob” Sellen, Sr., were married on June 22, 1984, at Central Baptist Church, Woodbury, Gloucester County, New Jersey.  Both Libby and Bob had each been married previously.    

After working for 26 years as Assistant Supervisor in Mobil Oil Corporation Accounting Department, Bob started R.E. Sellen Public Accountants in 1971. He continued to work in his home office until retiring just several years ago.     

As a high school senior, Bob enlisted in the US Army days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He left Woodbury for boot camp in early January 1942 and returned in June as an Army Corporal to graduate in uniform with the Woodbury High School class of 1942. He served five years active duty during WWII and again as an Active Army Reservist, from 1960 to 1961 during the Berlin Wall Crisis. It was during this period that he was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer II and was assigned as Personnel Officer of the 82nd Airborne stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In addition to his active duty service, he served 18 years in the US Army Reserves and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer III.    

Best known for his smile, his sense of humor, and for always having time to listen and a shoulder cry on, Bob found it difficult to say no and was always willing to volunteer his time and services.    

Prior to becoming an active member of Kemble Memorial United Methodist Church, Bob also served on many boards and committees at the Central Baptist Church; he was very involved with county and state accounting associations, a Boy Scout volunteer, and loved to entertain friends and family by playing the organ. As a teenager, he played drums professionally.    

Bob was predeceased by his first wife, “Bunny,” who died of cancer in 1983. In addition to Libby, Bob is survived by two sons: Robert E. Jr., and his wife, Corrin; and L. Scott, and his wife, Carolyn; by step-son David MacGibeny and his wife Lisa; step-daughter Jodie Richeal and her husband Michael; two grandchildren: Elizabeth and Aaron Sellen; and six step-grandchildren: Lauren Greer; Marlena and Patrick Richeal; and Collin, Emily and Julia MacGibeny.    

     

Kathie Gettle Boop identifies members of her family and Libby’s relatives in this photo, taken at last year’s Druck family reunion, as follows: “Left to right, back row: Libby’s son, David MacGibeny and his wife Lisa; Anthony Shaw and wife Rhonda Wilson (there is a head between them at the pole that I am guessing is Rhonda’s mother (Alta Wilson); next in the background is Sharon Kreidler Leiphart Bennett; back to beside Rhonda are Lisa and David’s two daughters Emily MacGibeny and Julia MacGibeny; then to the way back is Bob Sellen, Rusty Wilson, and Libby Wilson MacGibeny Sellen; beside Julia and Kathie Gettle Boop are Jodie’s twins Patrick and Lanie Richeal; in front of Kathie is Jodie MacGibeny Richeal; seated in front are Kathie’s patents, Jim Gettle, and Rae Catherine Burger Gettle.”    

    

Libby Wilson Sellen, Hazel Bentz Druck, Rae Burger Gettle at the Druck Family Reunion in summer 2009.

    

Those who knew Bob well, and even recent acquaintances, will miss his fun-loving spirit, his gentle guidance, and his loving heart. Nobody left his presence without a smile on his or her face. He was a gentleman and a gentle man.    

Visitation was Monday, August 20, from 10:00 a.m. until the funeral service at 11:00 a.m. at the Kemble Memorial United Methodist Church. Bob was buried with military honors, in Eglington Cemetery.    

Our sincere sympathies to Libby and her family and to all of Bob’s family.    

Note: Most of the above information is from Bob’s obituary published in Gloucester County Times on August 26, 2010. For the complete obituary, go to this link: http://obits.nj.com/obituaries/gloucester/obituary.aspx?n=robert-edward-sellen&pid=144941902. 

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More Birthday Wishes

Just wanted to add the name of another Druck to the list of August birthdays!    

Peggy Sue Dalton Druck, of Louisville, KY, celebrated her big day on Saturday, August 28, when she turned 52 years young. Peggy is married to Timothy Eugene Druck, and I believe we’re related somehow. We just haven’t figured out the connection yet. Peggy’s been very helpful since we met online, diligently digging up family history information for me about the Drucks in Ohio and Kentucky. Like me, she too is a Virgo!    

Birthday wishes a day late to Peggy. May you be blessed with many more.    

If I’ve missed your birthday or anniversary, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’d love to hear from you. And thanks for helping to preserve our family history.    

This is my young-looking mom! Her Birthday is Coming Up on September 4. Guess How Old (Young) She'll Be!

 

On a sadder note, I just learned of the death earlier this week  of a cousin’s spouse; hopefully, I’ll get that information posted shortly.

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Birthdays and Anniversaries

Hello and Welcome!  

I thought I’d try a new idea, and post the birthdays and anniversaries of family members on this blog – just so everyone can become familiar with their relatives!  

We’ll go back a month to July. Among those celebrating the anniversary of their natal day were Lance Alan Gipe (July 1); Mary Jo Smith Druck (July 8); Katie Rebecca Sechrist Hunt (July 11); Linda Marie Klahold Druck (July 16); Jack Anthony Druck (July 17); Nancy Lee Kreidler (July 18); Linda Darlene Middleon (July 21); and Karlie Nicole Gipe (July 28).  

 Celebrating a wedding anniversary in July were Richard Edward Druck and Betty Jane Clouser (July 4, 1954); Gretchen Carol Sechrist and Patrick Kehan (July 14, 2007).  

In August, the celebrants are Rachel Elise Zielinski (August 1); Wendy Sue Hess Druck (August 4); Benn Anthony Druck (August 7); Cara Marie Druck (August 17); Pamela Ann Eppley Ameduri (August 17); and yours truly on August 27.   

 August 7 is the wedding anniversary of my only son and daughter-in-law, Brian Patrick Geesey, and Diane Elizabeth Myers, who were married in 1993. Also, cousin Jane Louise Eppley and Timothy James Rojahn exchanged their wedding vows on 19 August 1967.  

Tim and Jane Eppley Rojahn with their first grandchild, Kylie, in April 2009.

 

I’m sure this is not the entire list of family birthdays and anniversaries, and I’ll be adding more in the days ahead. But meanwhile, best wishes  to all the celebrants.  May you be blessed with many more birthdays and anniversaries.  

If you’re a Druck relative  and would like me to add your important date, please contact me. I also welcome comments. Don’t worry if they don’t show up immediately!  

Y’all come back again soon!

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We’ll See You Next Year!

Hi everyone! Welcome to my Druck Family History weblog.  

The second George Druck Family Reunion took place Sunday, July 25, in the picnic grove of Salem Lutheran Church, Jacobus, Springfield Township, York County, Pennsylvania, with about 53 people of all ages attending.  

  

The morning started out bright and sunny, but in the midst of the sweltering afternoon heat, a terrific thunderstorm struck. No damage was done, but unfortunately, everyone seemed to want to leave long before closing time. Nevertheless, a lot took place. Many prizes were awarded, and I actually got to talk to a few more relatives this year than last. We also had some new folks join us for the event. The food, of course, was plentiful, and all of it very delicious. Thanks to everyone for bringing all those goodies!  

During our business meeting, we decided that we would hold another reunion next summer. There had been some mention that it would be better to hold a family gathering only every two or three years. But it was determined that there will be another one next year. We’ll publicize the fact that a vote will be taken on how often to meet, so next year’s attendees will make the decision on how often we should hold the reunion in the future.  

NEW OFFICERS: Former vice-president Rhonda Wilson Shaw has agreed to serve as the new  President; Eileen Marie Druck will take over as the new Vice-President. Graciously consenting to continue as Secretary is Kathie Gettle Boop, and George T. “Ted” Druck as Treasurer. Thanks so much to the new officers and the previous ones for consenting to serve, thus helping to  preserve our family history!  

Congratulations to Donald and Mildred Druck, Glen Rock. They received the  award for the longest married couple in attendance. Unfortunately, I can’t remember how long they’ve been married, but as soon as our secretary returns from vacation and sends me her notes, I’ll post that information. Donald was also – if memory serves me correctly – the oldest family member attending.  

Donald and Mildred Druck

 

The award for the family with the most members present was won by the Ben and Hazel Druck (my own) family for the second year in a row! Those traveling the farthest this year were yours truly and hubby, who drove about 350 miles from central New York state.  And the youngest in attendance was Jack Anthony Druck, son of my nephew Tony and his wife Wendy. Jack wasn’t at last year’s reunion, as he was  born just a few days earlier!  

I’ll be posting more photos and information soon. But meantime, just wanted to say thanks so much to everyone who came out on such a hot summer day. And a special thanks for all those who helped in any way, especially my sister, my mom, and my aunt, who took over kitchen duties. Many thanks, also, to my brother Ted for helping to organize everything;  to Amy Druck and Denise Druck for helping with the kids’ games, and to Kathie Gettle Boop for all her hard work on the Heritage Auction. Thanks also to my grandkids, Brigitta, Josh, and Morgan, for helping at the registration table. Hope I didn’t miss anyone. Sorry if I did, but please know that I’m grateful to each and every one of you for all your support.  

More news coming! Please stop by again soon!

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Just a Reminder!

Just a reminder! The Druck Family 2010 Reunion countdown has begun. I just wanted to make sure everyone knows it will be at a different location this year! 

It’s in Jacobus, at the Salem Lutheran Church picnic grove. Please take a look at my earlier post for details. Or let me know if you need directions. 

Also, one small detail that I forgot to mention: Please bring your own place setting, if you can. If you forget, don’t worry. We will have some plastic ware, as well as  paper plates and paper cups available. 

An early ancestor. Note the family name is sometimes spelled Drook. Learn more about your ancestors at the family reunion!

 

And please, please tell everyone in your family about the reunion! We’d like to have a good turnout. And, I’d love to see you there. 

Questions? Please write to me at jaroutson@aol.com or call Kathie at 717-755-4941.

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Auction Details

My family at last year's reunion. Front, left to right siblings, Bobbi, Judy, Benn, George (Ted), and our mom, Hazel Druck. Missing is my dad, Ben Druck, and my brother Phil

Hello and Welcome to this Blog! It’s dedicated mainly to news about the Druck Family – no matter how near or far we are. I’ve decided to create another blog devoted to my personal activities: www.boonvillebeat.wordpress.com  – problem is, I haven’t had time to update it yet. But please be patient! Stop by and visit often. Hopefully, you’ll find something that interests you.

 For now, I’d like to post some details about the upcoming Druck Family Reunion, planned for Sunday, July 25, at Salem Lutheran Church Picnic Grove, from noon to 4 p.m.  We’ve rented the building beginning at 11 a.m. , so you can come any time after that (thanks to my sistrer Bobbi J. Druck Kehr, for taking care of that detail)!     

What’s new this year? As a fundraiser (we have to pay the rent, you know!) someone on the committee suggested an auction. We’re calling it a Heritage Auction!   

Here is some information provided by our reunion secretary, Kathie Gettle Boop:   

“People buy tickets and then place their tickets in bags that are with each item…we pull a ticket from each bag and the person gets the item.  I think many people would be willing to donate an item or two. . .it can be anything, because everyone liks something different. If an item seems very expensive, we can specify that winning that item requires 2 or 3 tickets. We can even mention who donated the item if people would like. Hopefully people would want to buy tickets for a chance to win something displayed that interests them…we [could] do $1 a ticket or 8 for $5, ect. to encourage people to buy more…   

  

Nice, gently used items are ok. For example: I will have a bucket full of car care products. Someone who makes great cookies could have a dozen in a baggie. A basket of bath products is a nice item, or some craft that someone does. A gift card to any place local. Bottles of wine, homemade or purchased. A box of often used groceries. We have even had people put out an envelope with cash inside.”   

So, there you have it, folks! Lots of ideas.  
 
It will be lots of fun. But don’t feel obligated! Just come with your family and plan to have a good time!  
 

If you have any questions about anything whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 315-942-4173 (leave a message if we don’t answer) or by email, or leave a comment here.
 If you live in the York area, you can call Kathie at 717-755-4941. And follow the latest developments here on this blog! 

 

     

 

 

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Counting the Days…

Welcome Summer!

It’s officially here. And now that summer’s officially here, we’re counting down the days until the 

 2nd Annual George Druck Family Reunion

A Druck Ancestor, William Aaron Druck (1855-1918)

The reunion will be here before you know it. And we want to see you there. If your name is or ever was Druck (or any variation thereof!) or if you’re related in any way – no matter how distant – you’re invited. 

Here are all the details: 

Come One! Come All!

To the 2nd ANNUAL

GEORGE DRUCK FAMILY REUNION

SUNDAY, JULY 25, 2010

 NOON UNTIL 4 P.M.

at

Salem Lutheran Church Picnic Grove

 Jacobus, York County, Pa.

Please bring a dish (preferably with food in it!) to pass (or bring the food without the dish!) 

Drinks will be furnished. 

Fun for all ages!  Games for the kids! Door prizes! 

Get to know your relatives – even those you didn’t know you had! 

NOTE: As a fundraiser this year, we’ll do an auction of new and/or gently used items. If you’d like to donate something for the auction it would really be appreciated!  

 Plan to attend!

We look forward to seeing you all again

  PLEASE! – tell everyone – your parents, siblings, cousins, children, aunts, and uncles!

Follow the latest developments here! Questions? Please email jaroutson@aol.com  

Or  call Judy at 315-942-4173   

Hope to see you soon! 

Another Druck Ancestor, George Druck, 1823-1904.

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A FATHER’S DAY TRIBUTE

Remember those cartoons of kids arguing, “My dad’s stronger than your dad”?
This scenario came to mind last weekend.

 

 During a conversation at a social gathering, someone started bragging about her father. Lacking a college degree, the man nevertheless worked his way up from a menial job with a big company to achieve a long and successful career. Several other self-made men were mentioned. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I piped up that my dad had become a successful entrepreneur with just an eighth grade education.

Since I wrote a tribute to Mom on Mother’s Day, it’s only fair that I do the same for my dad for Father’s Day. He’s a perfect example of what a person can accomplish without a formal education: all it takes is lots of determination, perseverance, and faith.

The second son of George Benjamin Druck and his wife, Mary Emma Blum, my dad will celebrate his 92nd birthday in September, and he’s still going strong!

Born and raised in York County, Pennsylvania, a direct descendant of the first George Druck in America, Dad’s family moved from the city to a small York Township farm when Ben was in second grade. “I grew up fast on that farm,” he once said.

Dad was 12 years old when the Great Depression hit. Times were tough, but he has many fond memories of boyhood days, fishing, hunting, walking to the one-room country school, making ice cream, and attending Saturday night box-suppers.

At age 14 my father received his eighth grade diploma. His dad told Ben he didn’t need any more schooling to be a farmer. “I had no intention of ever being a farmer,” explains Ben. Farm work for a dollar a day was the only way to earn a living, however. Five years later, Dad had saved enough to buy a used 1934 Ford. The car enabled him to get his first factory job, making $10 a week. With this fat paycheck, Dad felt like he was “living on top of the world.” 

A car and some spending money enabled the young man to drive to town and roller-skate with friends. While enjoying this favorite pastime, he met a dark-haired young lady named Hazel Kathleen Bentz, who also liked to roller skate. They married about a year later.

My dad was 22 years old when I arrived in 1941, the first of five children. We eventually moved to a 40-acre farm, next to where Ben had grown up. As the family grew, the Drucks undertook an egg-producing business to make ends meet.

In 1954, Dad had given up his high-paying – but hot, dirty, and difficult – foundry job, to become a carpenter. Four years later he went to work as a garage door installer. My dad declares that 1958 was the year his life changed. He and the garage door salesman decided to start a business together, and the rest – as they say – is history.

Ben Druck was determined to better himself, and he proceeded to do so, taking night classes and reading everything he could get his hands on about self-improvement and the business world. Although the partnership grew and became successful, Dad ventured out on his own in late 1969, running Ben Druck Door Company from the farmhouse.

The door company continued to expand. It has gained an exceptional reputation throughout the region, and now three of Ben’s grandsons own and operate the business. They outgrew the original location and recently relocated to larger facilities in York (see www.BenDruckDoor.com).

Men in the forties and fifties when I grew up were a different type of father than those of today. They were strict, but my dad and others of the time didn’t verbalize or show their emotions as dads now do. But I knew my dad was proud of us kids, that he cared for us, worked hard to provide for us, and that we could count on him for whatever we needed.

Throughout the years, he’s enjoyed big-game hunting, golfing, traveling, and square dancing. Although his health is declining, he still loves to read, and he exercises daily. He’s a great role model for the younger generations.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO MY DAD, A TRULY AMAZING MAN!

Ben Druck in January 2010 with left to right, Mary Jo Druck, Judy Druck Routson, Joe Druck, and Hazel Druck

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Welcome to the family, Dan!

Rich, Dan, Kris, Brigitta after the exchange of vows

 After a lengthy courtship, daughter number one – as she refers to herself –  married long-time friend Daniel Andrew Rebert.  The son of Clay and Janice Rebert, Dan is a Gettysburg  native. He and Kristina Lynne Geesey Kiessling  were married on June 12, 2010, at 1:30 in the afternoon. The couple exchanged vows at the Upper Temple at Camp Nawakwa, a Lutheran Church camp in Arendtsville, Adams County, Pennsylvania. The two first met  years ago when they both worked there  as camp counselors. Following the ceremony, a cocktail reception took place at Sharpshooters Grille on the Chambersburg Road, Gettysburg.    

Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Rebert

  Kris’s daughter, Brigitta Elizabeth Kiessling, served as maid of honor. Rich Roush was best man for his fraternity brother and former college roommate.         

A graduate of Dallastown Area  High School, Kris earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania in 1985. Dan is a Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania  alumnus, class of 1985. He received an MA from Ship several years later, and then  did graduate work at the University of Illinois, earning an ABD PhD  (that means he did everything but his dissertation) in 1993.          

 For nearly 10 years Kris has been employed at  Gettysburg Hospital, where she’s currently a senior application analyst.  Basically, her job involves helping hospital employees in various departments with computer support, maintenance, problem solving, and upgrades. Formerly manager of the Mechanicsburg regional billing offfice for Yellow Roadway Corporation, Dan started a new job two days after his wedding. He’s now employed at his alma mater, Shippensburg U., in the Computing Technologies Center as a Remote Support Specialist.          

 Kris and Dan will head to Europe for a delayed honeymoon at the end of July.      

 They plan to  spend 15 days in England, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France.  They’ll stay an extra night in Paris before heading back home.           

 Congratulations and best wishes to the bride and groom!         

 See more rehearsal and wedding photos at :       

http://www1.snapfish.com/snapfish/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=2265957012/a=107943461_107943461/otsc=SHR/otsi=SALBlink/COBRAND_NAME=snapfish/          

 Me with my girls at the reception: daughter number two, Kathi, center, and Kris.   

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One Man’s Trash…

We got rid of some more stuff and made a few bucks in the process on Friday and Saturday – although I’ll be the first to admit, holding a yard sale is hard work! We earned every nickel, dime, and dollar we took in!

Since we live off the beaten path, we always join our friends Terry and Cathy, who live along busy Route 12. It’s great that they let us use their yard, and it’s always fun to be part of a yard/garage sale with them and their granddaughters.

 But I wonder – is it really worth the effort?

We pack up our treasures…er, trash…and then spend lots of time waiting for customers to stop and browse. And hopefully buy. Keith says this was the last yard sale he’ll ever do – but I think he said that last time, too!

We sold all the bigger, more expensive items a few years ago at our first-ever yard sale, so now we’re just trying to clear out some smaller things. It’s part of our Two-Year Plan – to eliminate everything but the necessities in preparation for our move to warmer climes. Can’t wait to get out of Dodge – I mean Boonville – during the winter months.

One man's trash is another man's treasure - or so they say!

 

We brought a few yard sale things back home with us, but most of them will be donated to our church’s rummage sale. They’re having one Saturday to raise money for the Campership Fund. Camperships are like mini scholarships, only for kids to attend summer church camp. I’ll stop by, but only to see if there are any good books for sale. Honestly! 

I refuse to bring home any more stuff.  

Lizzie and Sophia entertained us by blowing bubbles during slow periods!

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What Does Memorial Day Mean to You?

The three-day weekend that marks the beginning of the summer season is traditionally a time for family outings and celebrations. But beyond that, this day is set aside to honor men and women in the United States military services who lost their lives serving their country.

Originally called Decoration Day, the custom began soon after the Civil War. In 1868 General John A. Logan, commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, named May 30 for decorating graves of Union soldiers. May 30 was possibly chosen because that was the date of discharge of the last Union volunteers.

In 1968 Congress passed a bill, effective in 1971, changing Memorial Day’s observance to the last Monday in May, although some states still celebrate on the traditional date.  Many people, especially veterans, would like the original date restored. They feel that when Congress created a three-day weekend, it distracted citizens from the spirit and meaning of the intended observance.

This month (May 2010) marks the 65th anniversary of Allied victory in Europe during World War II. V-E Day was celebrated on May 8, 1945, when a treaty was ratified after Germany’s unconditional surrender. Fifty years later, during the war’s end  anniversary observance, William Detweiler, National Commander of the American Legion at the time, wrote,        

“On this Memorial Day, it’s fitting that we Americans pay special tribute to the men and women who gave their lives while serving in America’s armed forces during that war…”        

 It’s an appeal that 15 years later is especially appropriate, as veterans from that era – those of the Greatest Generation, as Tom Brokaw called them – are rapidly passing away.

I was just three months old when America entered the War. By  the time it was finally over in September 1945, I was a walking, talking toddler, with a little brother, and a soon-to-be born baby sister.  I have to admit, Memorial Day in the past didn’t hold much significance for me. But in the past few years, as I’ve learned more about the holiday and what it really means, I make it a point to participate in the local observance, honoring our military dead – those who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and more recently, in Iraq.

We all need to pay more attention to what Memorial Day really means. Sure, it’s fun to hold a family picnic or barbecue, but please pause a moment to remember why you have the day off from work. Remember all those who gave their lives for their country. And this year, especially, remember not only those who died in WWII, but everyone who gave up the civilian life to put on a uniform.

As Commander Detweiler wrote 15 years ago,  “They are the men and women who saved America and the free world from absolute, certain destruction.”

My late father-in-law, Wilbur J. Routson, Jr., served in the Navy during World War II, and also in Korea.

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So close, but oh, so far!

My recent  blog post, “So Close – And Yet So Far!” about an area doctor attempting to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, is now on CNY CyberVillage: Mohawk Valley. 

To view the post, visit:
http://mohawk-valley.cybervillage.com/profiles/blogs/so-close-and-yet-so-far?xg_source=msg_appr_blogpost 

Thanks for visiting! Please come back again soon. 

The famous Mt. Everest, the highest peak on earth.

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The Answer to the Question “Did the Cat Come Back?”

Here’s the answer you’ve been waiting for!  Did the cat come back? Yes, but not on his own!

In a recent post I wrote that my mom’s cat, Tiger, had disappeared. My parents have had the cat for many years, and he was like another child – almost! (I don’t remember that I ever got to sleep in the same bed as Mom and Dad!) Living where they do in the country, they thought maybe a coyote had gotten the cat.

A day after he went missing, Mom and a group of kids and grandkids went searching for the favorite feline. One of them finally heard a faint “meow” coming from a distance. They followed the sound, but at first couldn’t see Tiger. Eventually they saw him – high up in a tree, hidden in the branches. The cat wouldn’t come down, and the searchers had no way to reach him.

The following day, my brother brought an extension ladder to the site and successfully rescued the terrified and howling critter.  Tiger was indeed traumatized by his ordeal and was thirsty and hungry, but otherwise unharmed. How or why did he get to the treetop? It’s too bad cats can’t talk.

Needless to say, both Mom and Dad are relieved that their “boy” is now back home.

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The Surprise Bridal Shower

Keeping a blog updated definitely takes time! But I do enjoy it. It’s just sometimes hard to keep it fresh  and interesting – key rules of hosting a blog – when there’s always so much to do in my daily life. Even though I’m officially “retired,” I’m never bored. I can’t imagine how anyone can be. Life is too exciting.

Surprise, surprise!

 Since we came back from Pennsylvania last Sunday, May 9 (Mother’s Day), I’ve gone to my weekly aqua therapy session (80-mile round trip); enjoyed lots of food and an awesome program at our church’s mother-daughter covered dish dinner (minus my mother and daughters – but I still had a great time); written my weekly column for the Boonville Herald; wrote an update on a local doctor’s attempt to climb Mt. E verest (for the Herald and for a local blogsite); interviewed a WWII vet for another story; had my hair cut; walked along the canal tow-path; and spent most of the day Saturday, May 15, at a lupus educational symposium and luncheon. Plus, we’re getting ready for our annual spring yard sale with friends over Memorial Day weekend. This week I need to finish shopping for my outfit to wear for daughter Kris’s wedding on June 12. Speaking of which…

Kris's brother Brian even decided to help later in the afternoon!

  Kris had planned a “wedding-favor-making party” on Saturday afternoon, May 8, at her home, while we were visiting. She’s planning an outdoor ceremony (hope it doesn’t rain!), and  made all her wedding invitations; she’s also making all the favors and other goodies for the reception. Not that she’s saving any money, according to Kris – she’s just always been a “crafty” person. She wants the satisfaction of saying, “I did it my way!”

Little did she know that her sister-in-law, Diane, had cooked up a surprise shower. It took some detective work by Diane, Kris’s future mother-in-law,  and yours truly, but we came up with the names of a few friends, co-workers, and relatives to invite to the shower (most of them, we

discovered, had already been invited to the favor-making party, so we updated them on the new status).

Brigitta

T he bride-to-be was appropriately surprised! And after she opened her gifts, we all pitched in to help make the reception favors, which included an alcoholic mixture –  bottled, labeled, and sealed – called First Kiss, and decorative and useful fans.  We all worked long and hard, but we still didn’t finish the job.

Kris and her fiance Dan had their (belated) engagement pictures taken Friday before we arrived. They’re beautiful! Here’s a link where you can check them out: 

 

Please come back and visit again soon! Comments are welcome (although they won’t show up immediately).

Kris with her great aunt "Auntie Mots" (left) and "Mam-maw Druck"

Dot and Diane Making Favors

Kris's Aunt Bobbi (center), with Auntie Mots, left, and Mam-maw Druck

Morgan

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Dinner At Gettysburg Eddie’s

Continuing from my last post… 

Our next stop on Friday afternoon, May 7,  was daughter Kristina’s home in Gettysburg. Granddaughter Brigitta had just gotten home from college a day earlier. We all  did some quick shopping at the Outlet Shoppes before heading to Gettysburg Eddie’s to meet Dan (Kris’s soon-to-be-husband) for dinner. The restaurant/bar was named for a long ago left-handed baseball pitcher, Edward Stewart Plank. Born 10 years after the Civil War on his family’s farm north of Gettysburg, he became the first major league southpaw to win 300 games. But, he’s rarely mentioned with other great players of his era.  Currently ranked at number 13 on the all-time wins list, Eddie died from a stroke at the age of 50 in 1926. (Also see my earlier post on January 9, 2010, or visit www.gettysburgeddies.com for more information.) 

Someone offered to take my photo with the baseball players in 19th century uniforms!

It was a surprise to see a group of baseball players gathered around a table in the bar. They were wearing old-fashioned uniforms. The guys were competing in a tournament, and during a conversation I learned that the team was from Maryland. They played the game as  it was played in the early days! Their uniforms, bats, and balls were all specially made. 

Later, we all enjoyed a great dinner, while watching Dan play Buzztime Trivia. I had tried it earlier at the bar, but was too preoccupied to concentrate. 

In my next post, I’ll continue with news of our weekend visit and the story of the Wedding Favor-Making Party that turned out to be a Surprise Bridal Shower. Stop back again soon!

Brigitta

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Did the Cat Come Back?

First, a correction to my last post! I was reminded that my mother now has 22 great-grandchildren, since the arrival of the youngest, Jack Anthony Druck, on July 17, 2009.  I didn’t forget this latest twig on the family tree  – I just forgot to change the number!

On Thursday, May 6,  Keith and I traveled to Adams County, Pennsylvania, where we met daughter Amy and her fiance John for dinner. Amy brought along a co-worker from Germany. The company she works for is headquartered there, and several people from HQ had come to visit her office. Amy invited the young man – whose parents were actually of Asian descent –  to join us for dinner.  It was an interesting and enjoyable evening!

We drove to York Township on Friday morning, for lunch with Mom and Dad. They were upset because their 9-year-old cat, Tiger, was missing. He had not come back home since the previous day. They love that cat! They couldn’t understand what had happened to him. Would he return?

Mom and her "boy," Tiger.

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A Mother’s Day Tribute

Happy Mother’s Day – A Tribute to Mom!

Hazel K. Bentz Druck, age 86

 My mom is an incredible woman. She still swings a mean golf club, and at age 86, she continues to hit the links often. She’s in better shape physically than I am. Not only does she do most of her own yard work, riding on her John Deere mower (it’s a big yard), she also lovingly tends dozens of flowering plants every summer, and she still bakes up a storm at Christmas.

 The youngest of four children of Harry Alvin Bentz and Martha “Mattie” Dentler, Hazel Kathleen Bentz was born in 1923 in York County, Pennsylvania. According to family legend, her mother’s ancestors were of Irish descent. To date, however, I’ve not determined from which country they emigrated.

Mom’s life was not an easy one. Her parents divorced when she was just six weeks old. Her sister Martha is about 14 months older than Mom. They had two older siblings, Jacob Franklin and Edna Kathryn, both deceased, who were around 13 and 14 years old when Hazel was born.

Hazel Bentz, right, with big sister, Martha.

Mom was not quite seven when she and sister Martha went to live with their paternal grandparents in Emigsville, York County. After about a year they moved to Lancaster County, but they came back to York in 1933.

Hazel walked to a two-room schoolhouse for her early education. “It was about a two-mile round trip in all kinds of weather,” recalls Mom. After sixth grade, she walked and took a trolley to a larger junior high school, until her mother moved again to a small country farm. Hazel walked a mile to a one-room school, where she finished eighth grade.

In the waning years of the Great Depression, Hazel, Martha, and their mother eked out a living by raising vegetables, which they took to the city to sell. Martha drove the car. “I stayed at home and tended the animals or worked in the fields,” says my mother. But as a teenager, she also enjoyed roller-skating. Their mutual fondness for going around in circles on wheeled footwear is how Hazel met her future husband.

50th Wedding Anniversary Photo taken several months early, in 1990

 

After dating for a year or so, she and Benjamin E. Druck were married. The bride was 17; the groom 22 years old. They started out small, in a little summer house on the farm of the bride’s mother. “It had two rooms,” recalls Mom, “one up, one down; toilet outside.”

School Days

About six years later, they moved to a 40-acre farm in York Township, where they raised five children and thousands of chickens, which laid millions of eggs. The kids, the chickens, and the eggs  required much time and energy for many years, and Mom and Dad  often struggled to make ends meet. They eventually went out of the egg business. Dad  started his own garage-door company, a smart move. It’s still going strong. The kids grew up, married, and moved out,  eventually producing 12 grandchildren, who gave Mam-maw and Pap-paw 21 great-grandchildren.

Throughout the years, Hazel has enjoyed traveling, hunting, and square dancing. Nowadays, when she’s not cutting the grass, raking leaves, or baking cookies, Mom enjoys reading, working on crossword puzzles, or making beautiful cross-stitched pieces, many of which she gives as gifts.

Despite some recent nagging shoulder problems, she continues to golf regularly throughout the season. Her energy and enthusiasm are boundless.

Happy Mother’s Day to a  truly amazing woman!

 

 

What a hat!

Hazel's mother, Martha "Mattie" E. Dentler

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Filed under Druck Family History, genealogy, Memories, Personal, Uncategorized, York County

Mountaineering High: Top of the World

Dr. Vora atop Denali (Mt. McKinley), Alaska, in 2009 (Photo courtesy of Manoj Vora)

I’m still writing a weekly column for our local community newspaper, the Boonville Herald (see link at right). Often I write on other topics, as well. In March I wrote about a doctor from neighboring Lewis County, who is attempting to scale the highest mountain in the world.

Although I’m scared to death of heights, I’ve been enthralled by high-altitude mountaineering adventures ever since I read the book, “Nanda Devi, The Tragic Expedition” by John Roskelley, back in 1987. Since then, I’ve read about and watched films – some of them more than once – about Mt. Everest expeditions. Several have ended in disaster. Jon Krakauer memorialized one such fatal episode in the book, “Into Thin Air,” one of my favorite reads.

What fascinates me is how people find the courage to attempt to scale Mount Everest. Or why they try at all. Is it because, as George Leigh Mallory, one of the first to attempt to reach the peak, said, “Because it is there”?

Since Dr. Manoj Vora arrived in Nepal to begin his climb, I’ve been doing weekly updates of his progress for the Herald. It’s a project I’m enjoying a lot.

Dr. Manoj Vora, doctor of internal medicine, Lowville, NY (Courtesy of Lewis Co. General Hospital)

Dr. Vora is now at Everest Base Camp, from where he’s acclimatizing (preparing his body for the ascent into thin air). Mountaineers gradually hike to higher camps, and then come back down to lower levels to rest, before heading higher again. It’s a method that’s been used for many years by high-altitude climbers. Otherwise, they’d encounter all kinds of medical problems, including possible brain damage by climbing too high, too quickly.

Aside from the lack of oxygen at high altitudes and other serious medical risks – including hypothermia and frostbite – there are many dangers involved with climbing the world’s tallest point. The trail to the top is littered with frozen bodies. One of them – somewhere – is that of Rob Hall, from New Zealand, an expedition leader and guide who died in May 1996, during an especially tragic climbing season. He’s one of the subjects in Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air.”

Although a highly experienced guide and climber, there was a series of tragic errors made during Hall’s expedition. All told, at least nine mountaineers died that May, and Hall’s body was never found. Recently, it was announced that a team of Sherpa would be climbing Everest to conduct a clean up. They would also attempt to recover Hall’s body. His widow says she’d prefer if they didn’t disturb the body, should they even locate it.

But – back to Dr. Vora. Yesterday, Monday, April 25, there was news that an avalanche had come roaring down the mountainside. The tumbling ice chunks struck some climbers. Reportedly, one person is dead and another was injured. Thank heavens; everyone on the doctor’s team is safe – as far as I know. His team is just one of many in the area right now, all hoping to make it to the top of world. Why not join me and follow Dr. Vora’s adventures at www.summitclimb.com? You can also find him on Twitter.

You can also read my latest update at http://mohawk-valley.cybervillage.com/profiles/blogs/lewis-county-doctor-doing or check my homepage at http://mohawk-valley.cybervillage.com/profile/JudithARoutson.

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Filed under health issues, Personal, Uncategorized, Writing

Where Does the Time Go?

We arrived home safely from Florida on Wednesday, April 14, after an uneventful flight – thank God! – and since then, time has flown by. 

Keith and I enjoy lunch with Kathi at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. Unfortunately Chris had to work (he's an accountant for Disney), and Ryan was in school.

 

Between my aqua therapy sessions (a 25-mile-drive in one direction) twice a week , volunteer and church activities (mostly United Methodist Women lately), and writing my weekly column and other stories for our local newspaper, there just aren’t  enough hours in the day sometimes. 

We had a great time visiting in Florida and eating Kathi’s wonderful  cooking! She loves to cook and makes a mean grilled salmon, as well as lots of other delectable edibles.  She and hubby Chris are putting an outdoor kitchen on their patio, complete with a new grill. They used it for the first time during our stay. The salmon and grilled veggies were out of this world. 

Kathi and Chris figure out how to use their new gas grill.

 

Unfortunately, the solar panels they had installed while we were there didn’t have time to heat the swimming pool before we had to leave. Hopefully, they’ll be working by the time we visit next year. 

Is it Rachael? Or Julia? No! It's Kathi! She loves cooking with wine. Sometimes she even puts it in the food!

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Quality Time

Having a good time in Florida! 

Yesterday’s (Sunday’s) highlight was  a ride on Chris and Kathi’s boat. They can launch from a private dock right in their neighborhood. Convenient. Weather was lovely.  Just perfect. 

Chris, Kathi, Judy, Keith at boat dock. Taken using the camera's auto timer, something I rarely do!

Keith and I are  not into doing anything too strenuous or exciting – just relaxing and enjoying spending quality time with Kathi, Chris, and Ryan, and catching up on things, since we only get to visit with them about  once a year – if we’re lucky. We’ve already done all the Disney, EPCOT, and other touristy things here over the years.  It’s great just to relax by the pool or soak in the hot tub. Hoping the water warms up enough by this  afternoon, so that I’ll be able to get INTO the pool.

Kathi and Chris love to entertain on their patio, so they're installing a DIY outdoor kitchen! Here, they're working on it Saturday afternoon. It's fun to watch others working!

One small correction on my last post – Daughter Number One will actually be getting married in Arendtsville, Pennsylvania, not Gettysburg. She lives in Gettysburg, but the wedding takes places at Camp Nawakwa, a short distance away. She and Dan first met when they were counselors there many years ago.

More photos coming as soon as I find a cable for the camera! Please stop by again soon.

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Florida Vacation

I look as though I'd been drinking on the boat trip (but not so)! That's daughter Kathi, center, and my husband Keith, at right

We’re in Florida!

Keith and I arrived in Orlando Thursday evening, after a rather uneventful flight – except for the kid in the aisle across from us, who screamed for almost three solid hours on the trip down. Daughter Kathi picked us up at the airport; we’re staying with her and our son-in-law Chris and grandson, Ryan – who’s 14 and a gung-ho basketball player – at their beautiful home in Windermere until we leave on Wednesday morning.

After a fantastic  lunch Friday in downtown Winter Garden, Kathi, Keith and I took a scenic boat ride on one of the lakes there. Although the day started out rainy and overcast, it turned out to be a  sunny afternoon, with a cloudless, beautiful blue sky. Later we all – including Ryan’s girlfriend Dani (short for Danielle) – enjoyed dinner at a marvelous restaurant called Stonewood.  We made it in time for Happy Hour, with two minutes to spare! It was the first restaurant I’d ever been to, where they have lobster ravioli on the menu. Naturally, I had to try it, and it  was delicious. 

Our grandson Ryan and his girlfriend, Dani, at Friday night dinner at Stonewood Inn.

This afternoon, Kathi, Keith, and I went shopping, looking for something I can wear to a wedding – that of Daughter Number One, to be specific (Kathi is Daughter Number Two). Kristina will  marry her fiance Dan, on June 12 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Kathi took us to a very nice thrift shop, where I found not one, but two, possible dresses.  I usually dread shopping for clothes, but with Kathi helping me try things on it was a cinch. I wish she didn’t live so far away. I’d take her shopping with me whenever I go. Now to find the perfect jacket and a pair of comfortable, stable shoes (it will be an outdoor wedding, weather permitting), and I’ll be all set.

Stop back and visit again soon for more updates on our Florida vacation!

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Here’s to You, Peggy Sue

Thank you, Peggy Sue!

A fellow  genealogist and family history  researcher, Peggy Sue Dalton Druck deserves a lot of credit for her work in tracking down kinfolk in Kentucky and Ohio. But, as it turns out, her kinfolk aren’t necessarily my kinfolk!

I met Peggy Sue on Facebook. We had previously communicated on another genealogy site, and I was hoping we could connect our families. But her husband’s relatives were  from the Louisville area. How did they get from York County to Kentucky?

It was a challenge! And  Peggy dug right in, coming up with document after document that supported the Druck clan in her area. But – it  was disappointing to learn that the ancestors of Timothy Eugene Druck, Peggy Sue’s husband,  arrived at the Port of Philadelphia quite a few years after my forefather, Johan Georg Druck, arrived in 1741. At least according to Peggy. Not that I don’t trust her research, I just haven’t taken time to really read it all in detail.

But at first glance it seems we’re not connected after all. I was sure there had to be a link; that some of the Drucks who migrated early to Ohio had crossed over to Kentucky. ( And I still believe  there are descendants of Johan Georg Druck in that area!)

We’re all still family, though, and I’d like to publicly thank Peggy for all her hard work and research. She did an amazing job of tracking down Druck family members. She’s a family historian extraordinaire! For more about Peggy Sue and her husband’s line, follow this link to  her page at http://www.genealogywise.com/profile/PeggySueDaltonDruck?xg_source=activity.

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27 Years of Togetherness

Keith and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary on Saturday, March 20, the same day he observed another birthday. Now he’s only two years away from Medicare, assuming our federal government doesn’t undergo any serious crises within that time!

And celebrate we did! Dinner at Red Lobster in New Hartford  Saturday evening was a once-a-year treat. It’s my favorite place for seafood, but we don’t go there routinely. Special occasions only. And right now the restaurant is featuring its annual  lobster fest. Lobster – as good as it gets!

March 20, 1983

So, appetizer, drinks, dessert…we did it all. I had to bring some of my dinner home, but had purposely put a bit of it  aside so I could enjoy the tantalizing key lime pie –  the best you’ll find anywhere – for dessert. Irish coffee topped it all off. Wow! Feelings of guilt overcame me on the 45-minute drive back home, when we calculated that the cost of our meal could have fed a family of four for at least a week. But it was worth every penny. Thank goodness for a gift card that helped ease the financial strain.

I’m looking forward to celebrating there again soon. Maybe even before my birthday in August…

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Spamming?

First of all, I apologize to anyone who may have tried to access this blog recently and was informed that it had been “de-activated” because of my failure to comply with the WordPress “Terms of Service”! WRONG!

I had not logged on for a week or so, and when I did attempt it, I got the same message. How embarrassing. I immediately contacted those who doled out that erroneous propaganda, and we got the matter straightened out quickly.  Seems I had linked to someone/place/thing that had started spamming, and WordPress thought I was part of the operation. Go figure! What happened to make them think that, I have no idea, but WP has promised it won’t happen again.

Secondly, I apologize  – once again – for not keeping this blog up to date. Writing assignments for the Boonville Herald, plus medical appointments, selling on eBay,  and other obligations,  have kept me busier than I’d like to be. I’ve written  some really interesting stories lately, for example, about a woman who suffered four heart attacks before the age of 50 – the first of which was a type that almost always kills. But she lived to tell about it.

Anoher fascinating story was the one that’s in this week’s Herald, about a local doctor who will attempt to climb Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world. His goal is to climb the tallest peak in each of the seven continents on Earth. He’s already done five. If he’s successful on Everest, the last one on his list is a difficult, cold mountain in Australia.  I’m excited to have actually spoken with someone who will be climbing Mt. Everest!  What an incredible challenge. He’ll certainly have a lot to tell his grandchildren!

(Click on the link to see a photo and part of the story I wrote about  Dr. Manoj Vora, who hopes to make it to the top of Mt. Everest and back home between March 27 and June 6 – www.boonvilleherald.com)

 

 

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International Author?

Well, I guess I could say that I’m now an international best-selling author. I could say it, but it wouldn’t be one hundred percent accurate – especially the “best-selling” part.

But, I’m proud to say that my book, The George Druck Family Chronicle, has now been sent across the pond, to a gentlemen in Brussels, Belgium,  Mr. Jean Druck (Jean speaks French, so I guess I really should address him as “Monsieur”).  I connected with Jean about a year or so ago, after he visited my nephew Joseph Druck’s website. It’s been a challenge on both parts, but especially from Jean’s side, to determine if we are related. I recently sent Jean a copy of the “Druck book” and he tells me he’s been busy reading it:

“I really appreciate your book. I take my time to read each page carefully and try to drench myself in the history… It will take sometime to read everything. But I want to read it entirely.”

 Jean has also been very helpful in providing some background and geography about the land of our forefathers in Europe.  Here’s what he wrote in one of his earlier emails to me (in reference to the port that my ancestors may have sailed from).

 “…in the 1700’s there was also a port at Brugge, in Belgium near Antwerp. Not far away from now, the port was closed because it dried out. I have also imagined a scenario were my ancestors were with yours at a moment of time in Europe and they changed their mind to go oversea; that’s perhaps why they stayed in Belgium. I mentioned Brugge, because the oldest Druck I know was born there.”

What an interesting perspective…that perhaps our ancestors were related a long time ago.

There is much more to tell,  but that will have to wait until the next post – hopefully soon. 

Stop and visit again! And please feel free to leave your questions or comments.

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Only A Few Family History Books Left!

Hello and welcome!

Sorry, I haven’t posted anything new lately…it’s not that I haven’t been busy. In fact, I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to post any updates. But, hopefully, I’ll have more news for you in a day or so.

Meantime, if you’re interested in my family history book, The George Druck Family Chronicle 1741-2008, I just wanted to let you know there are only a few copies left! Yes, believe it or not. I never thought they’d all sell, but the stack has recently gotten much shorter than it was originally. To make it easy for those of you who are eBay shoppers, I listed the book for sale under JKBooksAndMore, so if you’d like to check it out, please don’t wait. I wouldn’t want anyone to be disappointed.

If you’re not an eBayer, please write to me at jaroutson@aol.com, and I’ll let you know how you can get a copy. It will never make the New York Times Best Seller list, but many of  those who’ve read it have told me they enjoyed it immensely. For more details, click on the page tab either at the top of this page or at the right for  “The Book – and What They’re Saying.”

If you’ve already read the book, I’d love to hear your comments!

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MOM & DAD!

Ben and Hazel Bentz Druck, about 1943-44

Sixty-nine years ago, on February 8, 1941, it was snowing as Ben Druck and Hazel Bentz drove from York County, across the Mason-Dixon line to Towson, Maryland. The storm wasn’t anything close to the record-breaking snow that area of the country experienced  this past Saturday, February 6, but Ben and Hazel recall that it was a cold and snowy Saturday morning. After a Minister of the Gospel pronounced them man and wife, the newlyweds headed back to Pennsylvania.  The bride was 17 years old, the groom, 22. Their witnesses were Hazel’s sister, Martha, and Martha’s future husband, the late Richard W. Baer. Hazel’s mother, Martha “Mattie” Bentz, also attended the wedding.

The young couple’s first home was a renovated “nice little summer-house” on Mattie’s farm off Leader’s Heights Road in York Township. “It wasn’t much of a house, compared to what people have today,” Ben recalls, “but it was a way of getting started.”

“It had two rooms,”  Hazel remembers. “One up, one down; toilet outside.”

My parents have come a long way in 69 years. Neither was born with a “silver spoon” in their mouth, and they both grew up amid hardships, including  the Great Depression years.  Although Dad had only an 8th grade education, he became a successful business owner through hard work and dedication, and Mom was always by his side.  They have five children (Judy, George T. “Ted”, Barbara “Bobbi”, Philip, and Benn), who gave them 12 grandchildren, who in turn produced 22 great-grandchildren.

To look at what I submitted to the York Daily Record’s online site, click on this link: Your Photos gallery, and then click where it says, “New – Post your photos.” If you don’t see one titled “69 Years of Togetherness,” do a search under the category “People and Portraits,” and when it asks to search by photographer name, type in “Judy Druck Routson.” Enjoy!

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DID YOU WEAR RED?

I wrote this last Thursday, February 4, but because I had a very busy schedule last week, it  didn’t get posted in time. I hope you all remembered to  wear red on Friday,  

 NATIONAL WEAR RED DAY! 

Click here: Judy Routson – FEBRUARY 3 2010  to see more about National Wear Red day, and  what I wrote last week in my weekly column for our local newspaper, the Boonville Herald (www.boonvilleherald.com). 

It’s important to remember that heart conditions can run in families, as it does in the Druck family, so make sure you check out your family medical history!  

Yours truly, center front, wearing red to call attention to GO RED FOR WOMEN!

 

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NATIONAL WEAR RED DAY IS FEB. 5

Are you seeing red? Red, as in Go Red for Women?

 On Friday, February 5, National Wear Red Day, you should  see lots of people wearing red to call attention to the fact that women – not just men – die from heart attacks. In fact, you may not have known it, but heart disease is the number one killer of women.

National Wear Red Day, a program of the American Heart Association, is spreading like a California wildfire.

How did it begin? In 1997, the American Heart Association launched its groundbreaking “Take Wellness To Heart” awareness campaign created by women for women. In February 2004, the association launched Go Red For Women – extending the effort that began in 1997. The primary goal was to educate women that heart disease is their leading cause of death, a fact that most women still do not take to heart.

So National Wear Red Day is the one day each year dedicated to building awareness of risk, and raising funds for research and education on behalf of women everywhere. But it’s not just women who are participating.

Over the past two years, 10,000 companies showed their support for the Go Red For Women movement. To generate awareness and provide fund-raising opportunities, they allowed employees to pay $5 each to wear something red with their jeans to work. All proceeds from these events went to the American Heart Association.

Usually, what you wear doesn’t matter all that much. But on National Wear Red Day, it’s important, because wearing red makes a statement about the number one killer of American women of all ages: cardiovascular disease.

Participating is fun and it’s easy. Wearing a red tie, dress, shirt, or sweater will call attention to the Go Red For Women movement and to the fact that too many women die each year because they’re unaware of stroke and heart attack warning signs.

Lots of times people aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help, especially women. It’s a known fact that women’s heart attack symptoms are often different from those suffered by men.

Many heart attacks are sudden and intense, but more likely than not an attack will start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. Or the pain goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Symptoms sometimes include discomfort in other areas of the upper body, such as in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. There could also be shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort. Other signs might include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.    

While women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort, women are more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. So, even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1.

February is Heart Month and wearing red on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5, is a great way to begin the month. Wearing red  will show people you care, as well as remind them to learn more about cardiovascular disease. It just might save the life of someone you love!

For more information, visit www.goredforwomen.org. 

To print a handy bookmark showing Heart Attack Warning Symptoms, click this:  WEARREDDAYBOOKMARK1COL

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How Can You Help Haiti Earthquake Victims ?

Are you wondering what you can do to help people in Haiti? We’ve all heard so much about the unbelievable devastation , and there are so many people trying to collect money to help, you’re probably thinking: “Who can I trust?” Lots of people have started collections on their own, but sometimes it’s better to stick to what you know is trustworthy and reliable. 

 I’ve officially taken on the role of publicity chair for our United Methodist Women’s group at church, although I’ve been doing publicity work for some time without the title!  I grew up in the Lutheran Church, but I’m now a United Methodist (is there such a thing as a religion of convenience?), because when we moved to Boonville, we learned the nearest Lutheran Church was about 30 miles away.

Hang on…we’ll get to the point soon!   

So, even though I sometimes find myself thinking “Lutheran Women” instead of “United Methodist Women,”  I’m committed to our women’s fellowship and friendship, and of course, missions.   

Boonville UMW President Kay Skjellerup (center) checks supplies for health kits, during regular monthly meeting January 20. Looking on are Kathy Crofoot, left, and Debbie Hayes.

  One of the  projects  we’ve done regularly over the years is make health kits for UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief), especially during emergencies, such as the most recent one in Haiti. I’ve attached a Word document of an article I submitted to our local newspaper about our latest effort on this behalf. I’m not sure this will work, but I hope you can read it (please be patient – it may take a while). Click here:  Health Kits a Tradition for Local Women

If you can’t connect – in a nutshell – it tells about making health kits for UMCOR, one of the top-ranked relief efforts in the country. We collect several basic hygiene items, which are put together in a kit. They’re then sent wherever needed – in this case it will be to Haiti. 

UMCOR claims, “Every dollar you give to UMCOR goes to the program you designate.  UMCOR is 100% efficient.”  Not many agencies can make that claim.  

Bottom line: If you’d like to send a monetary donation to help our United Methodist Women make health kits, please send a check payable to UMW, with “Health Kits” on the memo line, to 105 Ann Street, Boonville, NY 13309; or if you’d like to send a donation directly to UMCOR, please go to  www.umcor.org  for information and instructions.

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More Family Found

Hello once again! Winter’s getting a bit old, and I’m beginning to feel I need to get out more often. Watching the feisty little chickadees and the agressive woodpeckers cavorting and jostling at the birdfeeder is fun for a short time, but I’m thinking I need a change of scenery. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. I’m on this computer constantly!

This blog and the one I maintain for the Boonville Historical Club need regular updating, and my latest project is trying to design a website for our United Methodist Women. I’ll be back to writing more often for our hometown community newspaper, The Boonville Herald (see link on the sidebar), and presently  have about four stories I’m working on, plus my regular weekly column.

The view from my kitchen window!

This past Monday morning, January 18, the news director of the local radio station  interviewed me on  the phone  about the Boonville Historical Club’s projects: collecting reading material, personal hygiene articles, and foodstuffs for our two “adopted” platoons. He wasn’t sure when it would be on the radio, but possibly toward the end of the week. Radio interviews are something I’ve done before, but I always hate hearing myself later. (See  www.boonvillehistoricalclub.wordpress.com for more details.)

While  busy with volunteer work for our church (I’m also on the administrative council) and the historical club, I continue to search for distant cousins and other relatives. It’s absolutely amazing how many people with the last name Druck have become my FaceBook friends. I’m not sure how or if we’re all related, but I know a lot of them are.  There are lots of descendants of the original York County immigrant, who now live in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana, and even parts of California and Texas.  If your surname is Druck, and you’re not of Jewish heritage, we’re probably related. The Jewish Drucks came over to the U.S. later, some of them from Poland, according to what I’ve read.

And speaking of Drucks in Ohio, I recently communicated with a Ms Liza Druck, which coincidentally was my paternal grandmother’s married name. Her maiden name was Eliza Stump, but she was called Liza. What a small world. Liza’s father is Donald Edward Druck, Jr., son of Donald Edward Druck Sr., who died in 1959. He was married to Hazel Yunker. Her great-grandfather was Edward F. Druck, married to Artie M. Wright.  According to Liza, Edward F.’s parents were Fredrick Druck and Mary Linkman. “And this is as far as I’ve gotten on the Druck side,” says Liza. She writes, “From what I’ve  found on ancestry.com, Edward F. Druck was born in Cincinnati but lived most of his life across the river in Campbell County, Kentucky, where my father and grandfather grew up.”

 Can anyone shed any light on this line and help Liza? I’m sure that we’re connected; I just haven’t figured it out yet.

One Druck that is related is Michael Hoover, who found this blogsite and contacted me to tell me that his grandmother was Viola Druck Hoover.  During a recent phone call with Mike, he also told me about some relatively unknown Druck burial sites. Mike graciously offered to guide me to these sites next time I’m in York County, and I fully intend to take him up on his offer. He also offered to share photos and other information about his grandmother’s line. So, thanks to Mike, who it turns out is about a fifth cousin, once removed, I’ll be adding still more data to my collection of Druck family history. If anyone else out there would like to share, I’d be happy to hear from you.

There's plenty to eat for everyone!

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Digital Photo Frame is a Hit!

 A digital photo frame was the highlight of our Saturday afternoon visit with my parents at their York Township home over New Year’s weekend. 
 
My sister Bobbi and her husband Mike joined us for lunch, after which our nephew Joe, his wife, Jo, and two of their three boys, Alec and Sam (Bailey was at wrestling practice) stopped in with a special Christmas gift for Maw-maw and Pap-paw Druck: a digital photo frame. It was a unique gift, as it contained many photos that some of the kids and grandkids had contributed (some from long  years ago). Thanks to Joe for coming up with the idea and for taking the time to download all the photos.  Pap-paw Druck was fascinated by this latest technology, and to be honest – so was I!    
 
(In the photo above, Pap-paw and Mam-maw – Ben and Hazel  – Druck,  with Bobbi  Druck Kehr, kneeling,  and in back, left to right, Joe Druck, Judy Druck Routson, Mike Kehr, and Keith Routson. On the table at left is the digital photo frame. If you look closely, you’ll see the photo that was onscreen when this picture was taken – their granddaughter Kathi Geesey Feese, with her husband Chris and son Ryan, vacationing in Costa Rico.)

 A digital photo screen is somewhat like a small computer screen. You download digital photos (thousands of them), and then you can watch a slide show of all the photos moving across the screen. I’d love to have one myself, since I have more photos on my computer and on CDs than I know what to do with. As usual, lunch was wonderful. It was a delightful visit, and we all enjoyed the photos.  But the time spent with family was much too short.        

Another shot of Pap-paw and Mam-maw, here with nephew Joe Druck, and Joe's wife, Mary Jo, who took the other photo.

Later Saturday afternoon, we visited an aunt of Keith’s and a cousin and her family in York. We hadn’t seen them in many years. His Aunt Phyllis is the widow of Keith’s dad’s brother, Bob Routson, who passed away about 14 years ago. Their daughter Sheri is married with two teenage daughters, whom we had never even met before! We had a nice visit, before heading back to Gettysburg for the evening.     

Snowstorms seem to be the usual routine on our travels through southern New York State during the winter, and driving home Sunday evening was no different. In about the same area where we had run into the fluffy white stuff Thursday on the way south, we were again caught in the midst of a snowstorm. Visibility was near zilch, and the roads were slick, but we finally made it home safely.  

After sitting in the car most of the day and driving through blinding snow, I’m in no hurry to travel anywhere soon. 

Aunt Phyllis Routson with her daughter Sheri Routson Parker, Sheri's husband, Philip, and their daughters Kristin, left, and Jessica.

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It’s Old News, but…

The expression “old news” is an oxymoron. If it’s old, how can it be new?  But here I am anyway, behind schedule, bringing you belated news about the holidays.  

By now, most everyone has put away Christmas decorations and is thinking of the next observance: Ground Hog’s Day, Valentine’s Day, maybe the Spring Solstice? As I write this blog, though, I’m still thinking of our Christmas festivities. Well, actually there weren’t many festivities.   

Morgan and Brigitta hamming it up for the camera!

    Keith and I observed Christmas a little late this year. Except for an enjoyable afternoon get-together with the Boonville Herald staff and the Christmas Eve worship service at church, our celebration here in the snow-covered pines was uneventful.   

Dan concentrates during a Trivial Pursuit game

As explained in my last post, we decided to delay our usual holiday trip to Pennsylvania until after Christmas weekend. So we actually celebrated the coming of 2010 before we held our usual family Christmas gathering.     

We stayed with daughter Kristina at her Gettysburg home, and she once again outdid herself as hostess for a wonderful New Year’s Day brunch. Following a sumptuous meal that featured everything from traditional breakfast foods – like Kris’s tasty homemade French toast – to hotdogs and sauerkraut and lots of delicious sugary treats, we traded gifts with Kris and our granddaughter Brigitta (home from college), as well as future son-in-law Dan; our son and daughter-in-law Brian and Diane, and their two children, our grandchildren Joshua (also home on college break) and Morgan; and daughter Amy and her fiancé John. We missed our Florida family: daughter Kathi, her husband Chris, and our grandson Ryan, who enjoyed the holiday at home.     

Josh plays guitar, along with a computerized game, which I won't even try to explain! In background: his mom and dad, Diane and Brian.

We don’t get too many opportunities to spend the greater part of a day with family, so it was a joyous occasion. Watching the younger generation try to keep up with the animated Guitar Hero X-Box pros playing Beetles tunes was a fun treat (entertainment for the younger set is a whole lot different from it was in my teenage years!) Towards evening, some of us – mostly the older generation – tested our skills during a hilarious game of Trivial Pursuit. It’s always a lot of fun to play the game with Kris and Dan, who have to be two of the smartest people I know! I love this old game, but it’s frustrating sometimes to realize just how poor my memory has become!     

Stop by again soon for news of a special  Christmas gift for two special people! 

Kris tries for a piece of the pie during our Trivial Pursuit challenge!

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Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

There’s no truth to that old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  Let me explain.

Several months ago my husband and I  decided to forego the usual trip to Pennsylvania over Christmas weekend, for several reasons. We planned, instead, to head south for the  New Year’s celebration with family in York and Adams Counties and trade Christmas gifts with kids and grandkids on New Year’s Day.

We had no sooner arrived and unloaded the car at the home of Daughter Number 1 in Gettysburg on Thursday evening, December 31, when we headed out to a restaurant/bar called Gettysburg Eddie’s. This unique eatery  honors  a native son, a one-time famous left-handed pitcher and 1946 Baseball Hall of Famer named Edward Stewart Plank (1875-1926).

 Not only did Kris treat us to dinner there;  she and her fiance Dan introduced us to a new recreational activity called Buzztime Trivia

Buzztime Trivia is an interactive electronic game that’s played in selected restaurants and bars across the country, and Kris and Dan are devoted fans. In fact, they’re listed among  the top five scorers at Gettysburg Eddies. I’ve always been a Trivial Pursuit board game aficionado, but this was the first time I’d had to test my hand-eye coordination along with my trivia knowledge.

But even a senior citizen like me can learn to play Buzztime Trivia. You play against your friends or family at your table (in our case it included Dan’s parents), or against other individuals in the same restaurant/bar in which you’re sitting. Or, they might be in another establishment across town, or anywhere in the country. It took several games to get coordinated,  but eventually I caught on. While watching the questions appear on an overhead screen, you push a button on a hand-held device for the correct answer. Your score depends on speed, as well as accuracy. It was a fun way to spend New Year’s Eve, and I had been looking forward to it. 

As to Gettysburg Eddie – well, that’s another story. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn about this unique  restaurant, Buzztime Trivia,  or the baseball pitcher, visit www.gettysburgeddies.com. Click on the link on the left-hand side – “About Eddie Plank” –  for more on the farm boy who scored big time in the major league.  

Stop by again soon for news of our New Year’s Day/belated Christmas celebration.

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Move Over Der Bingo! And It’s a Bad Day When…

In my last post I commented on the fact that Bing Crosby had been singing for a long time about going “Home for the Holidays.” After recently listening to some holiday music, however, I stand corrected. I believe it was Perry Como who had the most popular recording of that nostalgic tune!

On a totally different subject, have you ever noticed you can always tell when it’s going to be a bad day, shortly after you’ve thrown back the covers and put your feet on the cold floor? Like today, for example, four things happened to get my day started with a groan. Aside from the fact that I woke up at 5:30 a.m. (before I really wanted to) feeling stiffer than normal and achy all over – which is par for the course, considering I suffer from lupus, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease – the morning started out wrong with a succession of frustrating incidents.

With a cup of fresh-brewed coffee in hand – thanks to my helpful husband – I wanted to check my email for a response to something I’d sent yesterday. I was able to get into AOL, but when I clicked on the messages, nothing happened. I had to reboot.

Number two: As I attempted to move my abundant Christmas cactus plant, two large appendages broke off, leaving it looking a bit sad and forlorn. 

Number three: The fire in the living room woodstove had almost died out. Mr. Firestarter was in the shower, so I thought I’d attempt to get it blazing again. Picking up the box of matches, I opened it upset down, and of course, nearly 50 wooden match sticks flew in all directions across the floor.

Number four: Stinging, burning, painful, debilitating soap suds somehow managed to find their way into the corner of my left eye as I was washing my face, sending me scrambling for artificial tears eyedrops. I still haven’t recovered, and will be walking around all day looking like I’ve already started celebrating New Year’s!

These are but minor mishaps  compared to larger world problems, and I’m confident things will improve as the day goes on – hopefully! Unless it snows six inches…

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Home For the Holidays

  

 

Oh Holy Night, the Stars are Brightly Shining…

It’s Christmas Eve! 

 MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Bing Crosby has been crooning it for decades, and we all know there’s no place like home for the holidays!

But again this year, we won’t be going “home,” choosing instead to travel south a few days after Christmas Day.  Although we’re spending the day quietly here in Boonville by ourselves, we’ll celebrate New Year’s Day with family in York and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania.

Because we won’t  be celebrating Christmas with kids and grandkids until then, we haven’t done much shopping! Nor has there been the usual flurry of activities (which is one of the reasons we chose to postpone the traveling). So, thankfully,  the stress level has been lower this year. But, if you’re feeling a bit stressed by all the holiday hustle and bustle, here’s a prayer I’d like to share:

 “Let the significance of Christmas never be dwarfed by the manifold activities of the festive season, nor the worries and perplexing cares rob me of my Christmas joy.”

Actually, it’s part of a Prayer for Christmas Eve,  from the Lutheran Book of Prayer, published in 1951.  Something to think about! Instead of stressing yourself to the max trying to accomplish the impossible, take a deep breath and calm down. And remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas!  And have yourself a Merry Christmas.

Click below for an enjoyable website  that will really put you in the Christmas spirit (you have to click on the left-hand Play icon). Enjoy!

Music Box website.

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To Tree or Not to Tree

Once again, the countdown to Christmas Day has begun!

And once again, I’ve opted out of that age-old German tradition of decorating a Christmas tree.

There is just not enough room in our tiny camp in the woods to put up even a small tree. And because we live in the woods, many people have thought over the years that our obvious choice would have been to  put up a  real, live tree.  Wrong!  We nixed that tradition many years ago while still living in the Syracuse area. I know – there’s nothing quite like the smell of  pine. Call me a Scrooge, but the whole ritual of putting up a live tree is also a lot of work.  If  we want to inhale the scent of pine trees, all we need  do is step outside our front door on any warm summer day.

Since I couldn’t even get to the Christmas decorations last year because of my October 2008 neck surgery, we gave away our faithful old artificial tree.  I’m hoping that this year it will bring someone else happiness, as it had for us for many years.

The view from our kitchen window

All that being said, you might be surprised to hear that instead of  putting up one Christmas tree, we’ve put up two! Two tiny ones that are designed for outdoor use (see photo above).  But they work inside, as well. They’re too small to hang  most ornaments on,  but the best part is – they already have bright, tiny white lights attached.  I love the way they sparkle  and glow, and we leave them on all day long when we’re home. And here’s another nice thing.  I can still put my wooden nativity figures (which my daughter gave me a long time ago)  around the tiny trees. Which proves that  you don’t  need a large coniferous  tree to observe  Christmas.

I’ve gotten out many of my favorite ornaments and hung them on some (artificial) garland strung around the doorway between our dining area and living room. Others I’ve placed on the windowsills or hung wherever I could. None of our  tree ornaments are ordinary. They’re treasures that we’ve  collected in our travels over the years,  our grandchildren have made, or that  friends have given us, so each one has a unique  history.

The point of this narrative is : Christmas joy is not dependent on how many decorations you hang or where you hang them! Or how much you spend shopping. Christmas is first and foremost the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ!

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Schmuck & Druck!

When I saw this photo, I just knew I  had to include it on this blog!  Thanks go out to Patti S.  Stirk,  who took the picture  during  a recent visit to Berlin.  She emailed it to my sister, Bobbi Druck Kehr, who forwarded the photo  to me.  Bobbi wrote that Patti and another running friend had gone  to the World Track and Field meet to take some photos, and she thought I’d enjoy this one.    

    

We had quite a dialogue about the meaning of the word Schmuck, but for the purposes of this blog, we’ll just say it’s a German surname. As a matter of fact, when we lived in Lower Windsor Township in York County, we lived on Schmuck Road, across from a farmer, Mr. Schmuck and his wife.    

Maybe you’ve  heard someone who is stupid or a jerk called a “schmuck,” which is originally from the Jewish. But it’s usually pronounced “smuck” almost like Smucker’s jellies.     

On the other hand, Schmuck  (schmook – rhymes with took), in German supposedly refers to jewelry, trinket or a brooch, and it is  not related to the Yiddish word, the origin of which is considered obscene!    

Here’s what Wikipedia said:    

Schmuck is a surname.  Of German origin, it means jewel or jewelry. The name is commonly seen on signs and billboards in Germany and Austria related to the merchandising of precious jewelry. The Schmuck family name has been traced to the birth of Christian von Schmuck in 1370. In 1624, an Armorial Patent, or Coat of Arms, was granted at Rattenberg by Archduke Leopold V of Austria.    

There are other associated surname variations throughout Central Europe, as Hungary and Romania, including spelling variations of Szmuk in these countries.    

Thanks again to Patti for allowing me to use the photo.

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More on Growing up Gwich’in

When I last wrote, I mentioned that I had just received a copy of a book by Velma Wallis: Raising Ourselves, A Gwich’in Coming of Age Story from the Yukon River. It was such an interesting story, I finished it a day or so later.  Of course, the book was only 212 pages long, which made it easy to read quickly!

The sixth of thirteen children, the author writes about growing up in Fort Yukon, Alaska, in the sixties. She writes in a simplistic style, but one that keeps the reader hooked. She describes her world in such a colorful way, that I could picture myself right there, in the snow and the mud, riding on a sled across the frozen lake, by the fire at her campsite, or walking along the road in her dingy neighborhood.  Her life was not an easy one, but she’s persistent and she survives, despite the constant threat of alcoholism, drug addidction, poverty, and discrimination. Here’s a line from the cover of the book: “Velma Wallis tells a kick-ass story of growing up Gwich’in.  If you want to know the truth about being Indian in a White-dominated world, read this book.” (Quoted from Duncan Sings-Alone, Cherokee storyteller, author of “Sprinting Backwards.”)  I guess I’d have to concur with this statement, because the author bares  her soul in this honest memoir of growing up with little parental supervision. It often focuses on the stark reality of “living off the land” and the continual fear of physical abuse.

As  I wrote earlier, I was interested in Velma’s story, because I had learned there were native people in the area of which she writes who bear the surname Druck. The author’s descriptions of the geography were much as I expected, having previously done a good bit of research online. What I didn’t expect was the predominance of alcoholism, which according to Ms. Wallis, is rampant among the Gwich’in people. But, in a way, it ties in with my discovering  the obituary of Chester Joseph Druck. He died after being struck in Fairbanks by a hit-and-run driver, who was later arrested for drunken driving.

Although the author maintains a website, the only way to contact her personally is by writing to her physical address. I fully intend to do so, to ask whether she can help me learn more about the Druck family in Fort Yukon. From the many survivors listed in Chester’s obituary, it appears he came from a large family. After reading Velma’s story, though, apparently large families were the norm. I firmly believe there is a connection to our York County Drucks for several reasons, but I won’t elaborate on that at the moment.

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A Gwich’in Story

I was excited today to receive a small package in the mail. It was a book I had ordered. I know, I know….I told myself: No more books! Not until I had sold or given away enough to clear some room on my shelves. But when I learned of this book, I just had to order it! 

 Why, you might ask, would I be interested in reading “Raising Ourselves, A Gwich’in Coming of Age Story from the Yukon River,” by Velma Wallis?

Well, after my family history book was published last year, I continued to research the Druck name. It was a surprise to learn that there are  members of a Gwich’in tribe in the Yukon Territory who bear the name Druck. Many of them, in fact. Here’s some of what I included in an addendum I wrote  for my “George Druck Family Chronicle, 1741-2008”:

While searching for Druck obituaries online, I learned that Chester Joseph Druck, 57, of Fairbanks, succumbed on 15 December 2006, after being injured earlier in a hit-and-run accident.

Chester was born in Fort Yukon, Alaska, a village of about 600 inhabitants that sits along the Yukon River at its junction with the Porcupine River, some 145 miles northeast of Fairbanks and about 400 air miles northeast of Anchorage. A son of Joe and Leah Druck, he attended high school at the Chilaco Indian School in Oklahoma. He served in the U.S. Army in the 1970s, and was stationed in Germany.  

According to his obituary in the Fairbanks Daily News, “Chester had a passion for living the subsistence way of life among his Gwichin people of the Yukon Flats.” The Gwichin are one of the “First Nation” tribes in the Yukon. “First Nation” is a term that has replaced “Indian,” much like our term, “Native American.”

The Gwichin people live in the northernmost part of the territory, one of the oldest settled areas of North America. Because of the remoteness of the area, their main source of livelihood is working for the growing First Nation government, but many residents still rely on trapping, hunting, and fishing.

Mainly because of the names of his father and brothers, I’ve concluded that Chester could be a descendant of the original York County Druck family, and perhaps a descendant of one of the family members who relocated to Ohio or Indiana. He was preceded in death by his father, Joe Druck Sr.; brothers, Johnny, Raymond, Mason, Gerald, Michael, and Abraham Druck; and sisters, Rebecca and Susan Druck. Most of these names are York County family names. Chester was survived by his mother, Leah Druck; a sister and brother-in-law; two sons and a daughter; two brothers and a sister-in-law, and “many relatives in Alaska and Canada and the Lower 48.”  He was laid to rest in Chalkyitsik on Saturday, December 23, 2006.  

Just like Chester Druck, author Velma Wallis was born in remote Fort Yukon, Alaska.  Velma tells the story of growing up in a “raw, unsettled aftermath of a cultural invasion of her village on the Yukon River.” Here’s a line from the book’s back cover:  “This is a riveting account of Gwich’in village life, revealing peril and hardship as well as innocence and mysticism.” For more about Velma and her books, log on to www.VelmaWallis.com

I’m eager to read about their culture and the story of the Gwich’in people. Perhaps it will shed some light on how Chester Joseph Druck – and the others in his family – lived in the Yukon. I’ll keep you posted on what I learn. 

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Site of America’s First Thanksgiving Day?

We all know the story of the Pilgrims and the mythical 1621 First Thanksgiving, but another important Thanksgiving observance occurred in December 1777, while the Continental Congress was meeting in York, Pennsylvania. 

During the 1700s, the individual colonies often observed days of thanksgiving throughout the year. Instead of the lavish feast associated with today’s celebration, however, the colonial Thanksgiving Day was a day set aside for fasting and prayer. Later in the 18th century, states sometimes designated a day of thanksgiving to celebrate the adoption of a state constitution, an exceptionally bountiful crop, or a military victory, such as the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga.

Colonial Court House, now on W. Market Street, York.

A nationwide day of prayer and thanksgiving on December 18, 1777, commemorated this patriot victory. It was the first Thanksgiving Day designated by the new government.

 Since the delegates had by then signed the Articles of Confederation declaring the colonies as the United States of America, it’s the reason that York, Pennsylvania, often claims to be the site of America’s first Thanksgiving Day.

President George Washington signed the first official Thanksgiving Day proclamation in 1789. The decree set aside Thursday, November 26, as “A Day of Publick Thanksgiving and Prayer,” which was “to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many. . .favors of Almighty God.”  What a coincidence that 220 years later, in 2009, Thanksgiving Day also fell onThursday,  November 26!

President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation in 1863, declaring the fourth Tuesday of November as a national holiday. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the third Thursday of November (to extend the Christmas shopping season and boost the economy). In 1941, he changed it again to the fourth Thursday in November, where it stands today.

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It’s More Than Just A Turkey Day!

These guys are lucky they didn't end up on someone's dinner table!

It’s hard to belive that Thanksgiving Day is nearly here.

Has it really been a  year ago that I sat here updating this blog, recuperating from surgery to repair my damaged cervical vertebra? Sometimes it seems as though just  a few weeks have passed; but maybe that’s because the stubborn incision on the back of my neck has  refused to heal. Nevertheless, I have so much to be thankful for!

As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s a good time for all of us to reflect on what  we’re thankful for. Oh, sure, Thanksgiving Day is a wonderful 0pportunity for families and friends to gather, maybe play some board games, take a walk, watch football. And of course, most of us will overeat, stuffing ourselves with delectable delicacies, available only on these rare occasions.

But the real purpose of Thanksgiving Day is to pause and give thanks.

Most of us in America  live bountiful lives.  Beyond the basics, such as food, clothing, and shelter, we Americans often take for granted our freedoms; freedoms for which our forefathers fought and died, and freedoms that our military today continues to defend.

Many of us have had – at one time or another – financial, health, or family problems. But if you have a roof over your head, clothes to wear, and food on your table, you can be grateful. It may be just peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but you’re not starving to death, as are many children in Africa and other third-world countries. Or even those who live in our country’s slums.

People who live in shelters for the homeless can be thankful they’re not freezing to death on the streets. If you’re able to put both feet on the floor most mornings, you have a lot to be thankful for. There are those who’ve lost their legs, because of disease, or because a bomb exploded in front of them. And  many are paralyzed for one reason or another.

You may have difficulty figuring out how to stretch your paycheck, but if you have a regular income, be thankful. There are those who’re not able to work or think through a problem, and there are some who’re blind; they’ll never see their checkbook, the sky, or anything else.

If you have friends and family surrounding and supporting you, you are richly blessed. There are those who are alone, not by choice, but because they’ve been forgotten and neglected.

I could go on endlessly about how each and every one of us should be thankful for something in our lives, even if it’s just a tiny “something.”

I'm thankful we had a fun day last week with friends Ed and Kathy at a fifties restaurant. This is Kellie, our server, with Elvis himself!

Don’t get me wrong. There are days when I find it hard to be thankful, just as we all do at times. But if you stop and think about it, there’s bound to be something in your life for which you’re grateful.

So, count your blessings, and I’ll count mine.

Here’s wishing you and yours a truly blessed Thanksgiving!  

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Weekend Update

newestvioet

The newest addition to my family - of violets! This is Wanda's Red Velvet.

Where did the weekend go? It was a busy one, beginning with an impromptu gathering Friday at 4:00 at Boonville’s favorite  gathering place (the Historic Hulbert House) for an adult beverage with the Boonville Herald crew! It was so good to see everyone again. We haven’t shared a happy hour in many months.

Saturday was the annual holiday craft fair and luncheon at the Boonville United Methodist Church. This was the second year in a row that I didn’t help out in the kitchen or somewhere doing something, so I did my part by eating lunch, complete with a piece of luscious pecan pie! Our United Methodist Women were in charge of the luncheon, and it seems we did fairly well. I’ll hear a full report at the meeting Wednesday night. Holiday shoppers, however, were few and far between, at least while we were there. Other than lunch, my only purchase was a lovely little African violet (see photo above)!

No1 CraftFair2009
Friends from our United Methodist Women group, selling their holiday wares.

  Sunday morning was the first I’d been to church in several weeks for one reason or another, and I was busy afterward shooting photos for the Boonville Herald. Our guest pastor was Rev. Davis Matovu, from Uganda.  Unfortunately, I had a difficult time understanding the Rev. Matovu because of his heavy accent and the fact that I’m hard-of-hearing anyway! His  sermon stretched out just a bit too long for comfort for my bad back, but others in the congregation seemed to enjoy him.  Davis is the founder of Nexus Seminary of Africa, and is spending several weeks in the area.  Our own Pastor Bill Mudge went to Uganda in 2007 to teach at the seminary, so this was sort of a pulpit-exchange, you might say (see www.nexus-seminary.com).

Pastor Bill and Davis2 

 

 

Below is a photo of some of our young people who’ll be helping out with the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box project, something our church has been involved with for quite a few years. You take an ordinary shoe  box (or similar-sized box)  and fill it with all kinds of small items for needy kids all over the world. Boonville U. M. is a regional  drop-off point, and thousands of shoe boxes are brought there every year from all over the area. Then the boxes are  loaded onto a tractor trailer, delivered to North Carolina,  and from there they’re  distributed to hundreds of povery-stricken areas around the world (see www.samaritanspurse.org).

 

Shoe Box Kids

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Thanks to all our vets!

vets memoria2l

Veterans Memorial - Completed in 1990, it is a lasting tribute to all veterans, and provides a spectacular view of Boonville and the surrounding countryside.

Today is a special holiday.

 Sometimes in years past, I may have completely ignored this day, not giving a second thought to its purpose. This year, however, it has a new connection, although I’m ashamed to say I didn’t get out of bed early enough to attend the Veterans Day services at our local park.

uncle ben2

Benjamin F. Druck, who served in WWI

November 11 is the day when the fighting ended during the First World War. Although the official peace treaty wasn’t signed until June the following year, an armistice, or temporary truce, was declared between Germany and the Allied nations on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. My paternal grandfather’s brother, Benjamin F. Druck, my great-uncle, was a member of the cavalry during that war. 

Since then, other family members have served in the military and have fought in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Several still serve today, and at least one has been injured in the War on Terrorism.

Serving their country is a tradition that began with our ancestor, George Druck, son of the immigrant, Johan Georg Druck, who – although he reportedly never saw action – volunteered to serve in the York County Militia throughout the late 18th century.

A year after World War I  ended, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day. It was changed to  Veterans Day – a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars, not just World War I – in 1954.

 What’s the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?

Bob Druck

York County Cousin Robert P. Druck

Memorial Day was originally set aside as a day to remember and honor military personnel who died in the service of our country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. And while those who’ve died are certainly remembered on Veterans Day, this day is intended mainly to thank and honor living veterans for their service, in wartime or peacetime. Veterans Day is also an opportunity to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to recognize that all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty.

Okay, so now we know what Veterans Day is all about. But why does it have special significance for me?

Our Boonville Historical Club chose as this year’s theme, “Freedom is Not Free.”  Last month, we heard a speaker with Fort Drum’s Public Affairs Department, who told  us about the hardships that soldiers who’ve been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan sometimes encounter, especially those who’ve been injured. She mentioned the difficulties families often go through, for example when a “wounded warrior” is hospitalized at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Little did I know that within three weeks, a young Pennsylvania relative serving in Afghanistan would be injured by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED ), or  a roadside bomb, and sent to Walter Reed to recover, where he is making rapid progress. Married, with a two-year-old son, Brad is a Staff Sergeant with the US Army. At our November 2  Historical Club  meeting, local priest Father Sean O’Brien, a commander with the Navy reserves, talked and showed photos about his experiences as  a military chaplain in Afghanistan. It was an interesting presentation and an eye-opener, as well. 

militiamen

The club had previously voted to adopt a Fort Drum platoon. Fort Drum is home of the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army, located about 50 miles or so north of Boonville.  After receiving news that the troops would not be deployed in January as expected, however, we’ve decided instead to “adopt” a local boy serving with the Marines in Afghanistan. Christopher Combs is the nephew of one of our club members. We’ll  collect articles of food, reading materials, and toiletries, which we’ll send to Chris to  distribute to others in his company. For more information, see the weblog page I’m setting up for the Historical Club at www.boonvillehistoricalclub.wordpress.com or click on the link at the top of the right-hand sidebar.

Today and every day, remember to thank a veteran for helping to keep our nation free.

us_flag

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Halloween Weekend in Pa.

jackolanterns1

Artistic Halloween Creations

Happy Halloween, a week late!

 I’m just now finding time to update this blog, after a busy week, and having spent last weekend in Pennsylvania.

diand and brian at table

Diane and Brian relaxing after lunch!

We traveled to Adams County last Thursday, October 29, and stayed with daughter number one, Kristina, at her Gettysburg home.

A Photo of Granddaughter Brigitta Taking a Photo!

A photo of granddaughter Brigitta taking a photo!

 The reason for the trip: Keith’s York Suburban High School class had an informal gathering at a place in East York called Porky’s on Friday evening, October 30. It wasn’t an elaborate affair, but the pulled pork and chicken were excellent! The party only lasted for a few hours, but Keith was happy to see some old classmates.

On Saturday, October 31, Kris hosted lunch at her house. Our son  Brian and daughter-in-law Diane, along with our granddaughter Morgan and a friend joined us, as did daughter Amy and her fiance John. Kris’s daughter Brigitta interrupted her studies at West Chester University  to spend the day with us. The girls spent most of  the afternoon carving pumpkins, and Morgan and her friend had fun dressing up for Halloween.

morgan and bri in costume2

Morgan and her friend, Bri, ready for Halloween!

Kris, Amy, Diane, and I spent most of the day reviewing Kris’s wedding plans, while the guys relaxed on the sofa! Unfortunately, Kris’s fiance, Dan, wasn’t there, as he’s still working in Topeka, Kansas. And we missed grandson Joshua, Morgan’s brother, who’s studying hard at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.

We left Gettysburg Sunday morning en route to Boonville, with a stop on the way to deliver Brigitta to WCU  (in  the Philadelphia area), before continuing home. It was a long trip, and with the change to Standard Time, we didn’t arrive home until after dark.

girls with jackolanterns

Bri and Morgan, front; Brigitta, back, with the finished Jack O'Lanterns

As usual, though, the trip was worth the backache! Not only did we get to see kids and grandkids, we also visited one of Keith’s aunts (Madelyn Thompson) and my parents on Friday. As usual, Mom had prepared dinner for us – a wonderful Pennsylvania Dutch meal of hog maw! But afterward we headed to Keith’s party; I was stuffed!

On Monday evening, November 2, I attended our Boonville Historical Club meeting, where we heard an excellent presentation by the local Catholic priest, Father Sean O’Brien, who is also a commander in the Naval Reserves. While he talked, he  showed computerized photos of his time in Afghanistan. It was  a real eye-opener.

Stamp Club was Tuesday night, but at the last minute, I decided not to make the trip to New Hartford – about 35 miles one way. Well, actually Keith usually drives me, but he wasn’t too enthusiastic about going, either. Sorry to say, my philatelic adventures have sort of fallen by the wayside – but only temporarily, I hope.

I’ve spent most of the remainder of the week setting up a blog site for the historical club (see the link at the top of  the right-hand side or click here: www.boonvillehistoricalclub.wordpress.com), and listing/re-listing items on my eBay site (JKBooksAndMore). It’s fun, but time consuming!

amy & john closeup2

John and Amy

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