Friday, May 31, 2013


I have been searching records for the village of Curry Mallet, England and the surrounding area. I placed a large microfilm order for parish records of the area. They finally arrived and off I went to my local FHL.

I was unprepared for how tiny the handwriting was on the microfilm. I requested a magnifying glass, however, my eyes just could not focus on the print. I left that night with a pounding headache.

I decided to visit again, but at a different time. The daytime clerk was most helpful when I explained my dilemma. The original records must have been on a large printed page and needed to be significantly reduced to fit onto microfilm. She happily directed me to a microfilm viewer that had a magnifying lens built into the machine. Hallelujah! My problem was solved!

I didn’t realize that microfilm viewers come with different magnifications and am wondering if others know this. I hope this little post helps someone else read microfilm more easily!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day, 2013

I thank God for my Grandmother Meyer. Her Bible holds The Meyer Family treasures and each time I turn the pages of her Bible I find a new treasure. Here is a newspaper clipping from 1942 and a photograph of the sons she prayed for.

Alvin, Marvin, Paul, Bob and George Meyer

In Flanders Field – Memorial Day, 2013

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The lards, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD
Canadian Army

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D., “In Flanders Field,” Arlington Cemetery

These poppies from Flanders Field were a gift from Robert Meyer to his mother. Bob was a World War II veteran who visited Flanders Field in 1941 where he picked these poppies.

His brother, Paul, is a Korean War veteran. He followed his older brother’s lead and sent this Japanese rose home for his mother. Both wartime gifts were obviously appreciated as she preserved they remain preserved in her Bible.

Throughout the generations, our families have been blessed. Sons survived battle and were able to return home safely. My uncle, Richard Dollen, is our only fatality and is the reason why his mother passed out poppies each Memorial Day.

Freedom isn’t free. May God bless those who died in service to our country. May God also bless those who have served, presently serve and those who will serve.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother’s Day 2013

When my Mother was alive, I was not a big cemetery visitor and she held very little hope of me visiting her gravesite let alone decorating it. I think she would be pleasantly surprised to discover her first-born child to be a regular visitor.

Last Mother’s Day I planted a bleeding heart by her grave. In our geographic area, the bleeding heart blooms in May just in time for Mother’s Day. Small, perfect hearts adorn the perennial making it a perfect plant to remember mothers; at least in my humble opinion. With a little hope and a little rain, my plan was for bleeding hearts to decorate Mom’s grave each Mother’s Day.

It was a good, well thought out plan until the cemetery landscape crew weed whacked my bleeding heart in its first year of life. Shame on them! Today, I found my bleeding heart a mere three inches tall and struggling to survive. 

I will wait and see if my little plant survives. But not to worry, the good news is that maternal love survives generations.  

My Mom taught me about motherhood.

Have a Happy Mother’s Day!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday- Ellen Robert LaPine

Finding the lamb tombstone on Captiva Island, Florida reminded me of another find. This little lamb tombstone was found while wandering St. Anne’s cemetery on Mackinaw Island, Michigan.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Those Places Thursday – Romano’s Pizzeria of Des Plaines, Illinois

Romano’s was the Italian restaurant of my youth. We lived just three blocks away, mostly carried out and occasionally dined in. As Mom and Dad aged, Romano’s became our family meeting place. Romano’s had the best thin crust pizza with Dad’s favorite being pepperoni with green olives! 

Romano’s fell upon hard times and suddenly our family restaurant was suddenly closing. The residents, past and present, were devastated!

The threat of closing did wonders for business. People flocked for one last chance to enjoy a Romano’s pizza. Of course, I went for pizza and the opportunity to sit amongst the fake glittering trees of my childhood! My brother, his wife and Nancy, my best friend since first grade joined in the fun.

It was a busy week for the Romano family. Business was brisk and suddenly there was a turn of events. Romano’s was not closing just yet!!! Eventually the restaurant closed only to reopen in a new location at 9785 W. Higgins, Rosemont, Illinois.

I hope you enjoy my walk down memory lane. 
I know I am! 

Photographs of celebrities dining at the restaurant lined the hallway.

Romano's fans dining under the glittering trees of our childhoods!


Looks like someone couldn’t wait for a piece of that pepperoni and green olive pizza!

Of course, there was the fake door in the parking lot.

The Romano Family served Des Plaines residents for fifty-six years.
Thanks for the memories!