Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Samples Coming

Angela at Archival Methods responded to my request and is going to send me a catalog as well as samples of their various envelopes!

We'll see if Light Impressions responds to my sample request as well.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Making Sense of the Prints

So I've learned a few things about sorting prints -- often times, their backs, not their fronts, hold the clue to dating and placing them.

I've got several hundred prints with nearly identical corrugated edges, printed to nearly identical gray tones. But what isn't identical is a stamp on the back that seems to be a stamp used by the printer. It isn't just the number that is unique, but the ink, color, and even the placement of the numbers on the back of the prints. It then becomes a jigsaw puzzle.

Even photos that have been cropped, glued down into an album, and torn out of an album, some kept in the dark and sum exposed to the sun -- if there is a fraction of that stamp there (in one case, even a tiny speck of the purple ink in the same approximate position), I know it belongs to a particular batch for printing. And then if even one of the prints in the same batch is dated, or has a place reference, I have some additional clues as to where it came from.

This is a significant help because this helps me make sense of prints that come from something on the order of _sixty_ similar-looking batches. A neat trick! And so large swaths of the collection start to fall into place.

This is my work surface for sorting these prints.

I could easily make good use of five or ten times this much space!

Archival Storage Materials

Figuring out what to do with all of these thousands of photos is hard!

Some of them can go into albums -- suitably archival albums -- but if I fill up the albums with the second-rate or third-rate photos, no one will want to look at the albums. And at somewhere upwards of 10,000 photos, that's a lot of albums. A lot of shelf space. A lot of money!

So, the plan is to put most of the prints into storage boxes. But not to clip them together with paper clips or wrap rubber bands around the bundles, stuff them into mailing envelopes and cram them into shoe boxes. They should go into sleeves or envelopes that are appropriately acid-free and which won't damage the prints, and which will also support them and keep them flat, and then into solid boxes.

There are various companies out there that will sell sleeves, envelopes, etc. of all different types; side-loading, top-loading, with flaps and without, of polypropylene or polyester, frosted, clear, with stiffening cards or without... a dizzying number of options. I was going through the online catalog for a company called Archival Methods picking out products I'd like to try, but the minimum purchase seemed to be either 50 or a 100 of each sleeve or envelope. I realized I was going to spend over $150 just to try out a variety of items, most of which I would probably not use. So I wrote them a note and requested one each of a variety of sleeves and envelopes to try out.

We'll see what they say! I will write to Light Impressions too and request the same kind of thing (they have similar products, but some that don't overlap). And maybe I'll be able to settle on a storage method and start getting these things packed up!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Linda, Christmas 1961

Looks like she got a dolly, a horsie, a ball, and one of those little stacking-ring toys that I'm always tripping over in our own living room. Plus ca change!

The Scanner is Amazing

Here's an example of why I'm really glad I got the nicer scanner. It does an amazing job of capturing detail at high resolution.

Here is one of the pictures from the collection as I came across it: a tiny little print:

This is a tiny little thing, and is too bright in the foreground and too dark in the background, but I noticed that it appeared to be a contact print -- that is, printed with the negative directly in contact with the paper. This means that it has potentially quite a bit of detail in it. So although there is normally no point in scanning prints at a resolution higher than about 600 dpi or so, because there just isn't more detail to be found, I decided to scan this one at 1200 dpi. After a little tweaking of highlights and shadows to bring out detail that initially appears to be over-exposed and under-exposed, I had a grayscale image that I was able to print at 8 1/2 x 11:

It's hard to show in this digital picture of the print, especially since my printer isn't all that good (it doesn't do dark blacks well), and I don't have a profile for it, but there is a huge amount of image detail that the scanner was able to retrieve from that itty-bitty picture. And I'm sure a much better print is possible.

I'm really looking forward to tackling the 1910 cyanotypes -- I suspect that there are astounding details in those pictures that no one has ever seen, except possibly the photographer who printed them in Tidioute, Pennsylvania almost 100 years ago.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Possibilities of Image Restoration

I'm just barely beginning to learn some techniques for image restoration, but already what I'm finding is amazing. Here is a scan of one of the old instant pictures:

It's very dark -- perhaps the flash didn't go off. But with only a few seconds of cropping and adjusting of levels, you can see a lot more:

There's a person there, hiding in the shadows! It is probably Wence. It's the kitchen of the house at 765 Highmeyer Road in Harborcreek, Pennsylvania in around 1978, undergoing kitchen remodeling. I think Wence did most of this work, although I can't recall if he had contracting help or not.

Here is an instant photo that has undergone severe color degradation. In particular, the cyan is blown all out of proportion. That seems to have happened on a number of the Kodak instant photos:

I know very little yet about the best way to do this, but I'm finding that there is tremendous room for improvement and a lot of information in these images that I can't really see, but the scanner can:

And this is before doing any detailed cleanup whatsoever.

Finally, here is a shot from the trailer on Big Bend Lane -- my favorite restored image so far! Although there is a lot more that could be done to improve the surface texture, and color.

The possible improvements in black and white images are also amazing... more on that later.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

In Conway, SC, 1998

This was taken in July 1998 when Marcella was staying with my parents, Don and Joan Joy, in Conway, SC. Marcella stayed with my parents for several weeks when Amy Potts was pregnant with her second child, Collin. At the time, Marcella was living with Susan in her house on Bird Drive in Erie. Wence Witkowski, Susan's husband, was ill and in a nursing home. Marcella was 94 at this time, and although she was sharp and still able to do many things, she was becoming frail and unable to live alone. So, a few months after Wence moved to the nursing home, Marcella moved into to Susan's house. To enable Susan to go to Ohio to help her son Brian and his wife Amy through a difficult pregnancy--Amy was hospitalized, Marcella went to stay with Joan and Don in South Carolina for awhile. Susan went to Ohio and watched after Madelaine, Brian and Amy's oldest child, until Amy was able to return home with Collin. Then Susan travelled to Conway for some R&R and to bring Marcella back to Erie. Amy and Brian and family have since moved to Las Vegas.

From left: Don Joy, Paul Potts, Susan Witkowski, Marcella Armstrong, and Joan Joy in Don and Joan's backyard.

Susan and Dick Zahner

Susan and Dick at one of their favorite restaurants--the Waterfall in Erie--not long after they were married in September 2002. Susan and Dick truly enjoyed the time they had together before Susan's unexpected passing in August 2007. They came to Myrtle Beach in June 2007 to help celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary; they enjoyed a week in Chatauaqua, NY, in July, just before Susan began to feel ill. Earlier this year, they visited friends in Oregon and went on a cruise on the Columbia River.

Brian, Marcella and Paul

I don't know exactly when this photo was taken, but "8 20 '0" is visible in the lower right corner. I saved the file on my PC in April 02, so my best guess is that the date is Aug. 20, 2001. Brian is on the left, Paul on the right. The furniture looks like Dick Zahner's living room in North East.

Marcella Clarke Armstrong, 101

This photo is among the last I took of my grandmother. I went to visit her in December 2005, knowing that none of us knew how many more opportunities we would have together. She lived in the Presbyterian Lodge nursing home in Erie at that time. I stayed with Susan and Dick Zahner in their new house on Sandy Trail Drive in Harborcreek. It was a lovely visit--one of the few times I went there on my own without other family members. Aunt Susan showed me old photos and Marcella's journal. I remember the wonderful baked salmon dinner she fixed me (my mother later told me that Susan asked her what I might like for dinner and my mother suggested the salmon). We also went to church together and visited grandmother each afternoon. Marcella died very peacefully at the Presbyterian Lodge with Susan holding her hand on March 14, 2006, at age 102 just three months after my visit.

Marcella at 100!

Here we are at Marcella's 100th birthday, Feb. 18, 2004. From left, seated: Dick Zahner, Shannon Ford, Katie Ford, Marcella Clarke Armstrong, Brian Potts; in back from left: David Joy, Susan Zahner, Isaac Potts, Paul Potts, Grace Potts; on floor: Linda Joy. First Presbyterian Church of North East, Susan and Marcella's church for several decades, held a party for her following the service on the Sunday nearest her birthday. Nearly 70 friends attended. She received about 100 birthday cards. She seemed overwhelmed by all the attention, but I know she was pleased to have her family around her.

Marcella's 90th Birthday!

This was taken very close to Marcella's 90th birthday, Feb. 18, 1994. From left, seated: Katie Ford, Shannon Ford, Cameron Ford, Wence Witkowski, Susan Witkowski (Zahner); standing: David Joy, Donald Joy, Joan Joy; in chair: Marcella Clarke Armstrong; to right of chair: Paul Potts and his girlfriend Beth Snyder; on floor from left: Linda Joy, Carson Ford, Amy Potts, Brian Potts, Tony Witkowski.

In 1994, Susan and Wence lived in a small rambler on Bird Drive in Erie. Marcella lived in an apartment at Parkside (senior living) in North East, PA.

Venture Magazine, December 18, 1955, by Marcella Clarke Armstrong

As she notes in her journal entries, our grandmother pursued creative writing training and joined a writers' group when the Armstrong family lived in California. She published some of her short stories including this one in Venture Magazine. The full text is below. As with many things, she was characteristically humble about her writing. Years ago, I was excited to learn that she was a published writer because I was a professional writer too--a newspaper reporter at that time. She was dismissive about her published stories, as if they weren't very significant. I was more proud of her than she probably realized.

For Junior Highs
December 18, 1955

An Angel at Work
By Marcella Clarke Armstrong

“Why aren’t you dressed, Virginia?” Mrs. Holmes’s voice edged sharply, impatiently. She looked up through the well of the high stairway to her daughter above.

“Oh, I don’t know. I thought I might stay home.” Ginny leaned over the railing, her chin on her arms. Now that she was fifteen, she should make up her own mind. Wasn’t that reasonable?

Her mother had disappeared, and Ginny sank again to the top step, he dark eyes filled with memories. She hadn’t always had to worry about clothes. Form the pedestal of fifteen years, she looked down and back to Christmas Eve services when she was a child. In white silk dress, scattered about with rosebuds, she had lisped the tiny greeting from the first graders. And the next year a long white nightgown had been sufficient to draw applause. But now she was too old for speaking pieces and not one cared how she looked.

Rudely, Don pushed by her, smelling of soap. Down the bannister he glided. “Com on, Sis,” he called as he landed. And her father’s voice from below questioned her right to decide.

“What’s this I hear about your staying home?” The words were stern, warning her that she’d better get ready. Ginny recognized the tone.

“I just don’t want to go. I can celebrate Christmas here.” She added the last to give her independence the build-up that it needed. If she as much as breathed the real reason, her father was sure to blow up and there’d be a dreadful scene.

“You’re making us all late. Get into some clothes.” Then his voice changed and became kinder. “Virginia, we want to be together on Christmas Eve. We can’t go without you. Have you forgotten that Bill Todd and Judy Stevens will be there? And a lot of others are home from college.”

A silence followed in which Ginny sat huddled, retreating into the shadows on the stairs. She has forgotten that the college kids were home. That made it impossible. She just couldn’t go.

“Why aren’t you coming?” Again her father’s impatience boomed from below.

Frantically she thought. “Well, if you must know—I haven’t anything to wear. I never have anything as nice as the other girls.” Ginny had risen and had come down a few steps ready for the impending, inevitable battle. She had always loved her father. Why was he so stubborn? She grasped the railing to withstand the shock of his reaction.

He was silent. After a moment, he said quietly, “I don’t want to ruin this evening for our family, but I do know that your closet is full of dresses.”

“But they’re old. Everyone’s seen them. Jane has a new velvet dress for tonight. Barbara’s mother bought her a knitted dress. Francie has a cashmere. I’ve worm everything I have!” Ginny’s white face under the soft brown bangs and short hair was not Ginny’s at all. Hardness and snobbishness had no right there.

Don, wise at thirteen, had thrown himself into a chair, waiting until this was over. He now rose, a little bored and advised, “Well, you keep your coat on then.”

A sizzling, hissing sound made them all look at the girl above, It was Virginia trying to find words.

“Why, why—that coat! I’m so ashamed of it. I wouldn’t keep it on if—if—Oh!” She turned and ran up the stairs. The brief run along the hall ended with the slamming of a door.

Soon another door closed firmly. The sound of the car backing our of the snowy driveway made Virginia raise her head from her bed and listen. They had left her alone on Christmas Eve. Her wild sobbing now protested against the unfairness of her parents, the party she had missed, the cruelty of life.

Some time later, enveloped in a scarlet quilted robe, Ginny wandered into the living room. The now outside gave a twilight felling in the room. The Christmas tree was a shadow in a corner. She inserted the plug into the wall socket and the tree emerged into sheer beauty.

“Jeepers,” Ginny said aloud. She sat down on the nearest chair, pulled her feet up under her, and stared at the quiet glowing of the transformed tree. Gradually the individual ornaments began to bring back other times. The gold tinsel she had chosen in the ten cent store years ago. Donnie had made the silver fan in kindergarten. The Santa she had colored. She guessed these things never stopped being—well, precious to he mother and father, no matter how worm out. They still helped to make the tree beautiful.

Suddenly Ginny slid to the floor and carefully reached toward a branch where a little figure rested. Slowly she lifted it out and held it in both hands. The little angel she had always loved, her blue dress faded, the tiny stars all erased. But the shining face and smooth gold hair, the erect and happy figure charmed her again.

Ginny sat a long time holding the image, thinking of the time when it was new. The Italian woman had been so old and wrinkled, sort of like a dried grape, selling little figures in the snow. It had been several days before Christmas, she remembered, for she had kept it wrapped until just the right moment on Christmas Eve. She had held onto her mother’s hand in the street and has shyly pointed to the blue angel. It had looked so cold.

Now the little dress was faded and part of it had chipped off. She had worn the dress so long—

Footsteps on the porch startled Virginia. She waited until she heard a soft knock. She shouldn’t go to the door for she was alone in the house. She put the angel on a bit of snow under the tree and sat, not moving. The knock came again, this time on the window, and as Virginia looked, a little flattened nose was pressed against the pane and two dark eyes reflected the color and wonder of the tree.

Ginny jumped to her feet and opened the front door, letting in the joyous notes or carollers down the street, of sleigh bells riding high, and the cold misery of a child who grasped a wreath of evergreen.

“This is the last one. I’ve sold all the others. Won’t you buy it, please won’t you?”
came a scared, muffled voice. The child was breathing fast, his gaze clinging to the colored balls and the tinsel.

Virginia took the wreath, led him over to the tree, and left him standing while she went in search of money. He was in the same position when she returned. Into his pocket she thrust a dollar and onto each cold hand she pushed a warm red mitten, her skating mittens, lined with fur. As he felt their warmth, his eyes turned to her. A smile so warm and bright lighted the boy’s face that Ginny stared unbelieving. She filled his pockets with candy. She couldn’t think of anything else to do.

After he had gone, Ginny again picked up the angel. She sat thinking. She wished she had given the boy more. That smile of his! It would have made everyone happier if she had smiled tonight. A faded angel and a ragged child where making her ashamed. Ginny knew now that velvet and cashmere were only substitutes for a bright shining light inside you. The thing is to make people forget how you’re dressed and to love the real you.

Of course, you couldn’t be queer, she thought. But dresses a year old wouldn’t be queer, maybe.

When the family came home, the Christmas tree was sending out a vivid welcome. A small table with clean white cloth was set with four saucers and four cups. Hot chocolate steamed from them. In the center was the blue angel. And Virginia was carefully dressed in—why, no one could afterward remember. She looked so shining that you didn’t even notice.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Marcella Armstrong's Journal, Installment 9

Dick had a second heart attack December 10, 1976. I had taken him to Dr. Gordon Massey, who said to take him to Hamot Hospital. Dr. William Underhill happened to be in the emergency room and became his doctor. In a hospital room Dick went into an attack. The "blue team" was caled and with electric paddles brought him out of it. He was in Intensive Care for several days. Then in a semi-private room he began to walk with a nurse in the hall. He came home the day before Christmas.

While he was waiting to come home, he realized that his roommate was in trouble. He called a nurse, who immediately called the blue team. Dick saved his life.

But all of the weeks into Spring Dick wasn't well. He would sit up many nights with hearburn and pain. Why didn't we find help then? He saw Dr. Massey many times. Dr. Massey called it diverticulitis. and later pneumonitis. He was not thorough enough.

Finally in April Dr. Massey realized that he was very sick so he sent Dick to Radiology Associates on _April 13th_. Dr. Underhill was determined that he would find the trouble. Blood work, then x-rays. They showed that Dick had cancer which had spread from the colon to the liver. It was too late. There was nothing that could be done. He was sent home.

My brother Joe Clarke and William Hiller from Westfield drove to Erie and brought Dick home. He was very, very ill -- and kept falling. That was _April 23rd_.

Susan and I tried to care for him. Susan had to work daytimes and couldn't stay up all night. We couldn't lift him when he fell. Susan arranged with Homemaker Upjohn Agency to send nurses around the clock.

So that is what happened. I bought a comfortable chair for the nurses. They came and went -- very kind and efficient girls.

Joan flew here from Washington, D.C. She was met at the airport by Donald Campbell of our church.

Ruth and Ella Grace came. They talked to Dick only briefly. He knew them. But Joan felt so badly she couldn't to in to see him. She helped me and answered the phone.

Reverend Baird came every day. He prayed with Dick and with us. The day came when he realized that Dick didn't know him.

Dick was so yellow. His abdomen was swollen and hard. He couldn't eat and soon he couldn't take medicine.

On May 3rd the North East Rescue Squad took him to Western Reserve Convalescent Home in Erie. Susan made the arrangements. The nurses were costing $1,000 a week.

I will _always feel badly_ that we took him away from home to a strange place where he knew nobody -- he must have realized. From May 3rd to May 8th, he was there. At 4:30 on Sunday morning, May 8, 1977, Susan received a phone call that he had died. Dear Dick.

Ella Grace, Ruth and Joan had gone home, but Joan, Don, Linda, Kathy and David drove here from Maryland. And Harrison flew from Eugene, Oregon. Joe and Clara met him in Buffalo. It was a sad time.

The following two years -- and more -- have been very lonesome. Susan and Ethel Wells have phoned every day. Susan has never left me alone on weekends or holidays. And Joan writes every week. They are the finest daughters that anyone could have. I will never like living alone.

Living Alone

Always I have seen homes where only one person lived, a widow or widower. I never wondered abouth is or her life. I never wondered how she spent her time. I never thought she might be lonely.

And now I am one of those... It is like a world set apart from the mainstream of life and activities of couples. There is so much silence unless I fill the air with stereo or radio music or TV.

When I close the drapes at night, I close out the world. Inside there's a small space with me and my thoughts -- and regrets -- and memories. There are the gost sounds of words said when my world was normal.

There is Dick's empty chair -- always to remain empty. There are his books, a notebook with pages in his writing: a schedule of what he planted in the garden -- with dates. There is the bookcase that he built in the basement. He had thought of standing it between the living room and dining area, making it a divider and more a continuing of the living room. He made the wood so smooth, satiny.

I try to find meaning for my life. I will keep going in the same direction as we did together. Curch, Bible study, prayer group, worship on Sundays, trying to keep friends.

To me, the church library is a ministry. To encourage someone to read the right book is a service. Perhaps I was getting ready for these years when I learned library procedure.

I am sort of "left over" from what used to be. Dick was the strong one, the intelligent and charming one, the one who was consulted and listened to. I think I am becoming stronger -- driving the car, managing the dividends which are accumulating; paying taxes; health, house and car insurance; writing letters; keeping the house.

Dick always said that he would die first. That is the reason for arranging his pension so that it would go on as long as I live, why he bought stocks and bonds. I do not have financial worries as long as I stay well. He was so good to take care of me.

Marcella Armstrong's Journal, Installment 8

I am afraid that I have digressed from writing about Dick.

He was transferred again, this time to Central Quality Control in Westfield, N.Y., but we continued to live in North East, Pennsylvania. We had bought quate a new house on Haskell Rd., three miles west of the borough. It had been built by Earl Dailey, who worked for Welch Co. He had planted many trees and shrubs.

Dick commuted in a car pool with several girls. Normal Jell was one.

He was liked by everyone. He was on the Session of the First United Presbyterian Church. He was chairman of the church library board for a while. I was the librarian then. He as very interested in church.

Because I wanted to live in Westfield so badly -- he agreed to move there. We found a one-floor house at 73 Third Street and moved. We rented our North East house to Tony Balut, who worked for the Welch Co. Dick had a feeling that we would come back. The year in Westfield was not happy -- even though we were near his work.

So we moved back and sold the house to Norman and Irma Kramer, who had lived in Kennewick and were transferred back too. Their home had been in Silver Creek, New York.

When Dick retired from the Welch Foods, Inc. there was a dinner for him at the Country Club near Dunkirk. There were speeches and gifts. Two brown suitcases of different sizes and bookends were given to him.

After he retired he was very busy. He was asked to help at the Lansmith Cherry plant in Ripley. He trained their chemists. Then he went to the big Veterans' Administration Hospital in Erie and asked if he could do volunteer work there. They interviewed him and put him in the Physical Therapy Department one day a week. He chose Mondays. He enjoyed the work and did far more than he was required to do. He cleaned the whirlpool bath, repaired anything needed, helped patients, made friends. His last certificate of service award stated that he had given "1681 hours and 6 years_ of dedicated voluntary service on behalf of veteran patients." The last certificate was dated May 5, 1977.

He also drove the GECAC van every Wednesday. He picked up senior citizens for the government's nutritional program. It was for lunch and recreation at our church. The women liked him so much. He was nice to them all. He always got out of the van and helped them in and out. He drove extra times too -- to the dinner theater in Erie, etc.

Every Saturday morning at 8:30 he was at a Bible class at church. It was taught by Reverend Lloyd Baird. Dick was faithful and became such good friends with Dan Reese and Glenn Shorts. He would sometimes take our dog Kees to class.

On Tuesday evenings he played Duplicate Bridge, a Y.M.C.A. project. He played Bridge well.

We were in a Bridge club with Adelaide and Roger Marshall, Paul and Nina Homer, Mae and Peter Smaltz. The latter couple dropped out. Evelyn and Philip Hatch took their place. We played in the club for 15 years at least.

He loved his garden. His rose bushes bloomed. He had enormous dahlias and gladiolii. He raised string beans, peas, broccoli, cabbages, Swiss chard, tomatoes and even cantaloupes.

He canned peaches, pears, prunes and tomatoes with my help. He froze vegetables. He kept the yard mowed and trimmed. He bought riding mowers, beginning with a small one and ending with an International Harvester Cub Cadet. He bought a cart to attach to it. He took Paul and Brian for rides and Kees. He could fix anything, even the color TV set.

He liked photography. We had a movie camera and projector when the girls were small. He bought a Retina Reflex camera and we had slides and a slide projector. Our trips to the Grand Canyon, to Yellowstone, to Yosemite, to Victoria, British Columbia, to Grand Coulee Dam, to Grants, New Mexico, to Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Los Angeles and Mexico, to Glacier National Park, etc. were more interesting with a camera. We joined the Erie Color Slide Club.

Marcella Armstrong's Journal, Installment 7

At Grand Junction, Colorado, we stopped for a week, living in a motel. There were peaches that Dick had to inspect. It came time to go and he found that he was being sent to Vancouver, British Columbia. We were put on the train, the Union Pacific, for San Francisco and Oakland. Our dog was put in the baggage car. It was so new to us -- travelling in a Pullman car. We were met in Oakland by the Welch plant manager and taken to the big Leamington Hotel, where we stayed for 13 days -- waiting for our furniture.

School began and I had to find out where the schools were. Dick had bought a very nice new house in _Castro Valley._ this was a community of all new homes. Susan was to go to Castro Valley school. Joan's school was in Hayward, a big High School. At the desk in the hotel I found where and what time in the morning to board a bus to the two places. So that was my schedule every day: to take Joan and then Susan. Finally our furniture came and we could leave the hotel and retrieve our dog Brownie, who had stayed at the plant manager's home.

It was Halloween before Dick came home. We were well established by that time. I was helping with a Girl Scout troop. I had gone to a PTA meeting and had volunteered. I was assistant leader. Dr. Runyon's wife was leader. Later I was given the troop alone. Also I began to write the publicity for many troops for the Hayward paper.

Hayward High school looked like a small college. There was an English building, a science building, an adminstration building, etc. Joan and Susan were very good students. Joan made California Scholarship Federation -- Susan in seventh grade began to learn the clarinet.

We like California. I went to an adult education evening course in Creative Writing at Hayward High School -- and made "writing friends" -- Alice Robb, Dorothy Hutchens and Florence Sims. We met for lunch in our homes and read and criticized what we wrote.

But it all came to an end. The Welch Co. again transferred Dick -- this time _to Washington State._ It was the summer of 1953 when we moved to Kennewick. Susan was a Junior in High School. Joan had a year at Oregon State College.

While Dick was finishing the Welch Co. work in California he had a severe heart attack. (The Welch operation had been moved to Redwood City in the S and W plant). He had a 50-50 chance of surviving. There was a blocking of an artery in his heart. I flew down from Washington and later Joan and Susan flew to Oakland, where people met them. Dick was in the Redwood City Hospital for five weeks.

We had to go back to Washington because school was beginning. I drove Joan down to Oregon State at Corvallis. But first I drove from Redwood City to Kennewick. It was a little difficult climbing 4,000 feet over the mountains of northern California, then up the Columbia River.

Leonard Cook, an engineer at Welch's, came up on the train with Dick when he left the hospital. It took so long to come up the front steps of our rented home on Olympia Avenue in Kennewick. When he was ready to go back to work, I took him to Welch's where he worked only an hour a day at first. The time was gradually increased.

We liked Kennewick and bought a new three-bedroom ranch-style home at 320 South Ledbetter Avenue. We went to the Presbyterian Church across the river in Pasco. Dick was ordained an elder. The minister was Reverend Jack Adams.

Susan was in the band with her clarinet at Kennewick High School. It was hard for her to change shcools just before her junior year. She entered the College of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington and decided on a career in Occupational Therapy.

Joan was majoring in Bacteriology. She joined a good sorority and lived in the house for three years. After she graduated she worked for a year in cancer research at the college. She met Donald Joy, who was studying mineralogy. They were married June 15, 1957 in Westminster House near the campus. Don had another year so Joan worked as a research assistant at Oregon State College.

After his graduation, they left with a U-Haul trailer for their home at Grants, New Mexico, where Don was to be in the laboratory of a uranium mill. We visited them there. The company had built rows of new homes. Albuquerque was the nearest city.

Back in Kennewick -- the Yakima Presbytery wanted a church in Kennewick; so we started to make plans. We met first in the Odd Fellows' Hall, then in an old Lutheran church, where Susan was married. Dick was on the committee to find a minister. At first a very modern manse was built at the edge of the golf course. The men of the church built it. The architecht was a church member. Reverend Jack Wilson was the first minister.

I was the first president of United Presbyterian Women. I had gone to Whitworth College two weeks of two summers for training. The other officers were Lu Murphy, Frederico Uhrenholt, Augusta Clements, Hannah Chamberlin, Barbara Wilson and Lillian Stradford. Also my friends were Treva Rudnick, Jessie Pease and Vera Stahl.

We couldn't stay to see the church built but we have gone back -- even to see the beautiful sanctuary, which was built last.

While we were visiting Joan, Don and their Boxer Sam, a telephone call from Westfield asked that Dick come back east to be quality control supervisor at the North East, PA plant. It was a _hard move_ -- leaving the West and our girls. That was in the summer of 1959.

We stayed with Joe and Tootie in Westfield while we looked for a place to live in North East. We found a duplex apartment on South Pearl Street and lived there until the next summer. We moved down near Lake Erie to a quite new grey house which belonged to Ted Sprague. We signed a 2-year lease. We enjoyed living there because of the many birds which came to our feeder. We had the use of a private beach.

I had needed something to do so I drove to Chautauqua to summer school and enrolled in a Library Science course in Reference Works. I drove to Westfield and over the hill for 3 weeks. It was a course from Syracuse University.

I applied for a job at the Westfield library -- and got it. It was part time, for the library was open only afternoons and two evenings a week. I loved the work.

Mother and father were in a nursing home in Westfield. Joe and Tootie lived in Hartford but visited Westfield often. We were in Washington. Harrison and Molly in Oregon. Clara -- in North Carolina. It was the only thing for Joe and Tootie to do -- to sell their house and move Mother and Father into Caldwell Nursing Home, a large house which was once Bill Welch's home. It was on the corner of East Main and Cottage streets. They were in one room with their own single beds.

I saw them many times. Mother died on August 7, 1962. Father died on December 31, 1962. He was very lonesome alone.

Marcella Armstrong's Journal, Installment 6

Richard Dennis Armstrong

I now want to talk about your father. He was an Iowa boy, born in Missouri Valley, Iowa, on September 22, 1905. His mother was Dora Bagley Armstrong, who had been a teacher of Latin at Missouri Valley. She graduated from Grinnel College. His father, Dennis Eugene Armstrong, was a mail clerk in the Rock Island Railroad, which ran between Omaha and Des Moines.

Richard's two sisters are: Ruth Emeline and Ella Grace. Rugh was born on April 10, 1903; Ella Grace, May 25, 1910.

The family lived in Omaha, Nebraska, and in Des Moines. Richard was in Omaha High School until his junior year -- when they moved to Granger, Iowa. His senior class was composed of one girl and five boys.

Dick went on to Des Moines University while he lived on the farm at Granger. He went to college on the interurban (street car), leaving early in the morning after milking cows and carrying cans to the station. He majored in Chemistry. He graduated from Des Moines University.

Then he entered graduate school at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. He earned a Master's degree in Organic Chemistry [in black ink: Biochemistry?] He was studying toward a doctorate when Howard Johns came to Iowa State looking for a chemist to work at the Welch Grape Juice Company at Westfield, New York. He interviewed several and chose Richard.

So Dick arrived in Westfield, by bus, one very cold February morning in 1932. Nothing was open but a diner.

He found a room in the Y.M.C.A. and lived there until September 1933. He started work at the Welch laboratory in Quality Control. There were only two chemists, Harry King and Dick. Now there are many, with a whole floor devoted to research, quality control and new products. It is now Welch Foods, Inc.

I met Dick when I was home for a weekend from Jamestown. Clara knew him and invited him to a party at Healy Hall. it was a brickh ouse across from the Westfield school. Mrs. Healy was opening a tea room. Clara asked Richard to bring Verna Dodge. But the next party was different. He asked me -- and from that time on "I was his girl." He proposed marriage _after he called on Mother and Father_. We were married on September 2, 1933 in St. Peter's Episcopal Church. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful wedding.

The attendants were:

Maid of honor (in pink) - Clara Clarke
Matron of honor (in yellow) - Dorothy Miller Stone (my cousin from Rochester, New York)
Bridesmaids (in blue) - Genevieve Waterman, Caroline Anderson, Verna Dodge, Gertrude Fuller
Best Man - Howard Johns
Ushers - Harry J. King, Charles Welch, S.C. Weir (Y.M.C.A. secretary), Allen Fripp, Charles Miller (now a doctor in Rochester), Melvin Bemis
Organist - William Welch
Rector - Rev. Dimmick Baldy

My gown was white satin with long sleeves. The veil had a small cap which fit over part of my hair. The bouquet was beautiful. The attendants gave me six sterling silver salad forks to match the Louis XIV silver pattern which I had chosen. Mother and Father gave us one half dozen forks and one half dozen knives. Dick's mother and father gave us the same.

There had been many showers by friends: Edith Thompson, Ruth Horning, Verna Dodge, Gertrude Fuller and Frances Barhite, Genevieve Waterman, Marie Bemis and a supper at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harry King. And on September 9th, a shower by Agnes and Sholer [sp?] Weir (Y.M.C.A. secretary).

Our first home was on Elm Street, a furnished house. We bought furniture and moved to a house on Cottage Street -- around the corner from Mother and Father's house. Our daughter Joan was born on August 25, 1934 at Jamestown hospital.

We moved quite a few times in Westfield. We next lived in a large brick house on the corner of Union and First Streets. Susan Clarke Armstrong was born January 24, 1937. Then we moved to Howard Johns' former home on upper Elm Street. After that -- to the house on Academy Street next door to Mother and Father. Joan was in school by that time.

Finally we decided to buy a house, the Eddy house on Union Street across from the Baptist Church. Dick took off the glass enclosure on the front porch and painted the house white. It improved it so much.

At that time the _Welch Co. transferred Dick to Lawton, Michigan_. We left Westfield by train on Joan's 12th birthday -- 1946. We lived in a large grey house in that small town 15 miles from Kalamazoo and a mile from Paw Paw. The school was inferior but we found that there were very fine people. The Hardys next door were so friendly. Lillian took me to Kalamazoo often. She sould knockon the back door and say "Here comes temptation!" Then she would invite me to go shopping.

The Hardys loved our Cocker Spaniel, Brownie, about as much as they loved their own dog, Inky. They would go out to eat late at night and would bring back hamburgers for both dogs. Lillian had a beautiful voice and sang in the Methodist Church choir. There were only two churches -- Methodist and Baptist.

I had a large Girl Scout troop. During the meetings there would be a badge group in every room downstairs, including the kitchen pantry.

Dick was gone so much -- back to Westfield, to Arkansas or California.

It was August 1948 that he flew back from California with the news that we were to move again -- this time to California! We didn't have time to pack our furniture but left it to the movers. We left by car for the West.

Marcella Armstrong's Journal, Installment 5

Beckey went into nurse's trailing at Albany, New York, but she did not finish. She met Tom Nicholson who was at a military base nearby. She got a job as ward clerk in a hospital at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where her mother was house mother in a sorority. Tom and Beckey were married in an Episcopal Church. They went to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to live. Laurie was born there.

Tom and Beckey did not get along very well. Tom flew to Mexico and got a quick divorce.

Clara then gave up her position in Chapel Hill and helped Beckey, staying with Laurie while Beckey worked. Soon they sold Beckey's house and came to Westfield, where a house was built across the driveway from Joe and Tootie. The house is very nice -- large rooms, two fireplaces, two bathrooms, family room, double garage attached, a large lot. Clara had the patio enclosed -- planned by an architect.

Becky worked in the cardiac unit at Hamot Hospital in Erie, Pa. She drove at least 60 miles each day in all kinds of weather.

She met Paul Marsala... [Redacted]

It was in December. The Episcopal Church in Westfield was filled. Beckey wore a cream white gown and veil. The reception for 100 or more people was at Clara's house. The "elite" of Westfield were there. A wedding trip to Niagara Falls.

The marriage lasted only a few months. Beckey asked to come back to Clara's. [Redacted].

It was a long time before Beckey was accepted into Hamot Hospital. She got a job at Lansmith's in Ripley -- working with cherries, a factory job. Finally Hamot Hospital hired her as messenger in the kidney unit. Laurie is now ten years old, very active. Beckey keeps her busy -- with Girl Scouts, church junior choir, baton twirling lessons and later parades all summer, swimming, softball, flute lessons, Chautauqua girls' club, ice skating, etc. And she would fly to Hartford for every vacation with her father and his new wife, who is a registered nurse. Tom lost his position and now he is in Denver, Colorado, learning to service guns. His wife works in the VA Hospital there.

Clara is very busy in Westfield. She was president of the Episcopal Guild, president of Garden Club, is very active in the Episcopal Church. She attends a Wednesday morning prayer and communion group. She plays in the Bridge club and goes to the dinners of the Cabin Crowd near Jamestown. She takes Weaving at Chautauqua summer school.

Gift Cards from 1933

These seventy-four-year-old cards from my grandmother's album of shower and wedding mementos are in amazingly good condition. Some of them look brand new.

Marcella Armstrong's Journal, Installment 4

My sister, Clara Louise Clarke had such curly hair. She was a pretty girl. She was eight years old when we moved to the farm. She attended the country school near our farm. Then to Westfield school. She graduated from high school in 1926. She entered Lake Erie College and after two years went to Fredonia Normal (now a State University) to study art. Finally -- to Cornell University, where she became a Home Economics teacher. She taught in the Celeron [?] and Chautauqua Schools.

She married Gerald M. Lynch December 18, 1936 in the living room of Mother's and Father's home in Westfield. There were no attendants. Jerry worked in a bank in Jamestown and soon beame treasurer of Chautauqua Institution. They had a Cape Cod home built in Chautauqua at the end of Cookman Avenue. They also had a home in Southern Pines, North Carolina, where they played golf in winter.

Gerald died of cancer September 15, 1960.

There were two children. Bill (William Howard) was born November 15, 1937. Rebecca (Beckey) Ann was born March 28, 1941.

Bill was a handsome boy with curly hair and a nice smile. He joined the Marines after high school. Then he went to a two-year school in upper New York state (Delhi, N.Y.), where he studied surveying and building roads. He decided to go to California, where he attended the Police Academy in Los Angeles. He became a highway patrolman. He married Kay, who had a boy, Donnie, by her first marriage. A second boy was born -- Jeffrey. They lived at Tehachapi [sp?], California, up in the mountains.

Clara and Beckey once drove out to see them. They chose a route through the Rocky Mountains. The mountain driving frightened Clara. It was through Rocky Mountain National Park.

Bill collapsed one day at home in 1978. He was taken to a Bakersfield Hospital where it was discovered that he had a brain tumor. He was operated on but was left in a coma. Clara and Beckey flew out but he did not know them -- he showed no signs of knowing anything or anyone. But he did begin to move. He was transferred to the Veterans' Hospital in Los Angeles, then to Tacoma, Washington. He received much physical therapy and cooperated well. He was made to walk in Tacoma. He was taught cooking and typing but he was legally blind.

Harrison and Molly went to see him several times, staying in a motel overnight each time. They took him to a restaurant for steak dinners. They phoned to Clara each time to report Bill's progress.


Clara is going to take him. [Redacted] It is now 1980.


The Wedding Album, 1933

My grandmother Marcella Armstrong left behind another remarkable artifact -- an album of clippings, notes, gift cards, greeting cards, and visiting cards from her engagement and marriage to my grandfather, Richard Armstrong.

This album is in deteriorating condition although many of the artifacts inside it -- particularly the cards -- look as bright and crisp as the day she received them. They made better paper in those days.

This album poses a preservation challenge. The album sheets are acidic. The newspaper clippings glued to the pages are brittle and yellow. The album itself does not provide much structural support for the pages themselves, so a new binder should be considered. The worst problem was that a block of flowers preserved in wax was tucked between the pages, and oozed wax onto several pages. I have removed this item from the album to prevent further damage but now the flowers are loose and also need protection. I could put the individual album pages into archival sleeves, but part of the fun of looking through this album is that many of the greeting cards can be opened and read. The best bet might be to permanently mount each original album page on some kind of acid-free card stock sheet and put those in a more supportive binder.

It might also be worthwhile to place each sheet on the scanner, although the 3-dimensional nature of the cards means that not everything will be captured this way. Digital photos of the pages might be a better bet.

The text of the newspaper article reads:

Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry E. Clarke of Westfield, whose engagement to Richard Armstrong of Des Moines, Ia., was announced last Saturday. Miss Clarke is an instructor in the English Department of Jamestown High School. Mr. Armstrong is a chemist at Westfield.


Member of High School Faculty To Be Bride of Richard Armstrong

The engagement of Miss Marcella Clarke, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry E. Clarke of Westfield, to Richard Armstrong of Des Moines, Ia., was announced by her mother last Saturday afternoon at a bridge luncheon at Healy Hall in Westfield. The wedding will take place in the Fall.

Miss Clarke was the honor guest at a luncheon given by members of the faculty of Jameston High School on Monday afternoon at the Apple Inn. Covers were for 32. Miss Clarke was presented with a gift. [A note on the album page indicates that the gift was a "silver creamer and sugarer lined with gold."]

Miss Laura F. Freck assisted by the Misses Madeleine Rogers, Myrtle Paetznick and Wendy Lutzhoff, had charge of arrangements.

Miss Clarke is a graduate of the Westfield High School. She attended Lake Erie College, Painesville, O., and was graduated from William Smith College, Geneva. She is an instructor in the English Department of Jamestown High School.

Mr. Armstrong was graduated from Des Moines University with a B.S. degree and received his M.S. degree upon graduating from William Smith College where he is a candidate for a Ph.D. degree. He is a chemist at the Welch Grape Juice Company, Westfield.
Another clipping:
The engagement of Marcella B. Clarke, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry E. Clarke to Richard D. Armstrong was announced by Mrs. Henry E. Clarke at a luncheon at Healy Hall on Saturday, June, twenty-fourth. Miss Clarke, who is a teacher of English at Jamestown High School is a graduate of Westfield High School and William Smith College. Mr. Armstrong received his bachelor of science degree at Des Moines University and a master's degree at Iowa State College. He is now working for his doctorate. He is a chemist at the Welch Grape Juice Company. The luncheon was followed by bridge at Healy Hall. The guests were Miss Clara Louise Clarke, Miss Gertrude Fuller of Portland, Miss Verna Dodge, Miss Caroline Anderson, Mrs. Harry King, Miss Ruth Horning, Mrs. Melvin Bemus, Mrs. Agnes Weir, Miss Barbara Bedford, Miss Genevive Waterman, Miss Edith THompson and Mrs. C. Wilson Hopson.
And another:

Teachers Give Party for Miss Clarke of High School

Miss Marcella Clarke, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry E. Clarke of Westfield, whose engagement to Richard Armstrong of Des Moines, Ia was recently announced, was the honor guest at a luncheon given by members of the faculty of Jamestown High School yesterday afternoon at the Apple Inn. Covers were for 32. Miss Clarke was presented with a gift.

[This next paragraph is scrambled presumably due to typesetting errors]

Miss Clarke's engagement to Mr. charge of the arrangements, assisted by Miss Madeleine Rogers, Miss Myrtle Paetznick and Miss Wendy Lutzhoff.

Miss Clarke's engagement to Mr. Armstrong was announced by her mother at a bridge luncheon Saturday afternoon at Healy Hall in Westfield. The wedding will take place in the Fall.

Miss Clarke is a graduate of the Westfield High School. She attended Lake Erie College, Painesvile, O., and was graduated from William Smith College, Geneva. She is an instructor in the English Department of Jamestown High School.

Mr. Armstrong was graduated from Des Moines University with a B.S. degree and received his M.S. degree upon graduating from Iowa State College where he is a candidate for a Ph.D. degree. He is a chemist at the Welch Grape Juice Company, Westfield.

Lots of Books and Cleaning Supplies

Last night I received two packages: one from Light Impressions, containing some cleaning tools and supplies. Light Impressions seems like a great resource and their catalog of archival supplies is very comprehensive, but I can't say I'm very impressed with their prices. Their prices on storage boxes and papers, sleeves, and envelopes seem reasonable, but these various items seem extremely expensive. I feel like I've been ripped off. They also charged me $20 for shipping and handling, but yet it took over a week to get the materials. I'm keeping an eye out for a source for the same materials that is a little more competitive on service and price. I'd love to actually support a local store if I could find one that stocked the boxes, sleeves, and albums that Light Impressions carries.

Anyway, I received two cleaning brushes, an anti-static cloth for cleaning transparencies, PEC cleaning fluid and non-abrasive tissues, a pH-testing pen, a slab of pH-neutral rubber eraser for cleaning prints, and a tin of wax which can supposedly be used to clean and protect prints. I'm a bit uncertain about all this stuff, but if some of it can help me get a cleaner scan and preserve the materials a little bit, I'll go ahead and give it a shot.

I also received the books on scanning and digital darkroom techniques from Amazon.

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed! There is a great book about digital restoration of damaged and faded photos but it is a massive tome that goes into extreme detail with hundreds of examples. The author Ctein has a huge arsenal of techniques he has used for dealing with all different kinds of problems.

I was planning at this stage to just make as good a scan as possible of the original and deal with the image files later. That is still a reasonable plan, but it turns out there are a lot of issues involved in just getting a good scan to work with.

For example, some of the prints develop a "sheen" which I think comes from silver migrating to the surface of the emulsion. They look almost like they are printed on foil. The scanner can have a difficult time with these because the surface is very reflective.

There is an arsenal of techniques for getting better scans. Among them is scanning black and white prints in color, instead of grayscale, on the grounds that one of the channels will inevitably get better information than the others.

One of the interesting techniques Ctein recommends for solving some particular problems is not to use a flatbed scanner at all, but to set up a copy stand and take a high-resolution digital photograph of the original. Then the issue becomes all about just how you light it -- with polarized light at certain angles, etc. Complicated!

Then, if I'm going to make prints myself, it brings up the whole topic of color management. Doing that well requires a really good monitor, with a hood. Room lighting has to be color-neutral. You need a colorimeter to calibrate it. You need a proofing light to inspect prints. At the moment, I've barely got a square foot of usable desk space!

So I have to think carefully about what is "good enough" -- what will give the best preservation for a reasonable cost. I think spending money on the input devices -- the scanner and maybe a better digital camera -- is definitely a no-brainer, since that determines what all the other steps have to work with. Maybe I should let go of the idea of making high-quality prints at home, at least for now. Maybe a reasonable solution would be to make a homemade hood for the iMac monitor and calibrate it and then plan to do printing via a service bureau and hope for the best.

At this point I should mention that I would gladly accept contributions from family members who might like to assist with the organizing, scanning, preserving, restoration, and distribution effort!

Cast of Characters: Beckey, Cindy

This photo shows my mother Susan Zahner (then Armstrong) on the far left with her sister Joan on the far right, flanking Rebecca (Beckey) Lynch on the left and Cynthia (Cindy) Clarke on the right. The taller woman in the back is Nancy Clarke, daughter of Harrison (Marcella's brother) and Molly Clarke.

A note on name spelling: to the best of my knowledge, "Beckey" was the spelling that she herself wanted, although it was used inconsistently by other family members.

H. Harrison Clarke

The Armstrong Family

When Marcella Armstrong was older, she did not like to have her picture taken and would rarely smile for a photo. By comparison, it is startling to see her smiling so unself-consciously in this photograph. Left to right: Marcella, Joan, Susan, Richard Armstrong.

Marcella Armstrong's Journal, Installment 3

Note that with this installment I am going to start redacting small portions of the text. This isn't so much to protect Marcella Armstrong's privacy, since I believe she would have approved of sharing most of her journal's contents, but instead to remove some details or opinions that I feel some living persons might not want mentioned.

[Page eight text continues after a slight vertical gap. This entry is primarily about Joseph Clarke and family.]

My brother Joe was a curly haired boy. He learned to swim when he was very young. In a swimming meet at Chautauqua he beat everyone -- all ages. He was ten years old when we moved to Westfield.

Joe graduated from Westfield High School. He went to Penn State College for his first year, joining the SAE fraternity. He, Paul Cutting, and another boy drove in an old Ford to State College. Joe transferred to Springfield College, taking Physical Education. Of course, he was on the swimming team. He also played football.

After graduating, he accepted the position of swimming instructor and registrary at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. Later, he became Dean of Students. He earned his Master's degree.

Joe married Lucille Hopson, who was called Tootie. She lived in Westfield. She and Joe were friends from 5th grade on -- Tootie went to school in Boston and became a dietician. She worked in Child's restaurant in New York City. Her father was Wilson Hopson. Her mother died when Tootie was in high school. Her sister is Jane Cardell. She had two half-sisters, Priscilla Robbins and Virginia Griffin. Also a half-brother, Tom. Their mother was Helen Consella, before her marriage to Wilson Hopson, Physical Education teacher in the Westfield schools. [Redacted portion].

Joe and Tootie have one daughter, Cynthia (Cindy). She attended private schools in Hartford and graduated from Westfield High School. She is a very bright, unspoiled girl. She graduated from Wells College and received a Master's degree from Buffalo State College. She taught English in a Buffalo high school.

Joe retired from Trinity College after being very successful and very well-liked. He had been Director of Times Farm, a summer camp for underprivileged children of Hartford. Tootie was dietician at the camp too. They did this for many summers. Their very close friend was Latham Howard, comptroller of the Hartford Times newspaper. Latham was very interested in the camp.

After Joe retired, he and Tootie with Cindy came back to Westfield, bought Tootie's father's grape farm, and moved into the big house where Tootie always had lived -- until her marriage. Cindy went to her first public school.

Joe took evening courses in Counselling at the University of Buffalo. He became student guidance counsellor at Westfield High School. Soon he became Principal of the Junior-Senior High School.

Then Chautauqua Institution chose him to be Director of their Summer School. It was a year-round job. He hired teachers, planned courses and guided the school for several years.

He was selected to be acting President so he did that until a president was found. He did not want to be the permanent president. So he retired and stayed on the farm. He loves the work. He is a life-long trustee of Chautauqua.

In Westfield, he is on the Hospital board, the Library board, the board of a new bank. He is a Rotarian.

Cindy graduated from Wells College and taught English in Buffalo. She attended graduate school at the University of Buffalo and obtained a Master's degree. She was married to Freddie Krieble of Hartford in a ceremony in the Hall of Philosophy at Chautauqua. They no longer attended the Episcopal Church in Westfield. The reception was at Moonbrook Country Club in Jamestown, N.Y. A gala affair.

Cindy had known Freddie since kindergarten. His grandfather taught Chemistry at Trinity College. He developed a product which his son, Freddie's father, developed into a big business, the Locktite Co. [Redacted portion].

Cindy and Freddie went to France. She studied at the Sorbonne; he went to an international business school. He grew tired of it, went to England and bought a car. They toured all over Europe.

The marriage did not last. Freddie left his wedding ring on a table. He filed for divorce. [Redacted portion]

Cindy lives in an apartment in Rocky Hill, Conn. and has taught 7th grade English for quite a few years. She is now attending the University of Hartford to study guidance counselling. She lives in the same apartment. She uses her maiden name, Ms. Cindy Clarke. Joe and Tootie do not go there so often now because Cindy must study. They have gone on many vacations together -- to a dude ranch in Arizona, to Bermuda, to an island in the Carribean, down to New Orleans, to Hawaii.

Cindy has bought the farm adjacent to her father's farm. It had belonged to Harry Hopson, her mother's uncle, then to Roy Ryan, former president of Welch Foods. She has a hired man who runs the farm. Her aunt, Jane Cardell, bought the house from Mr. Ryan.

(In a different ink color, perhaps added later):

Cindy and David Ballard announced their engagement on Christmas even 1980. Dave is divorced. He has two little daughters, Lisa and Brenda. [Redacted portion].

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Marcella Armstrong's Journal, Installment 2

[Page six text continues after a slight vertical gap. This entry is about Henry Harrison Clarke and family.]

My brother Harrison graduated from high school in June 1921. He entered Springfield Y.M.C.A. college in Springfield, Massachusetts, the following September. I will never forget the evening he boarded the Boston Sleeper alone. It went silently into the night -- taking him.

College years were not easy, for he worked at a railway express until very late at night. He even kept house for a bachelor.

Harrison has done so very, very well. He has changed from a "y" secretarial course to Physical Education. His first position was at Chautauqua, N.Y., teaching both girls and boys. He planned a new gymnasium, which was built there. He had championship basketball teams.

He was recommended by Dr. Frederick Rogers of the New York state Education Department for a position at Syracuse University. He was Intermural Director there and began to study toward a Master's degree. He did attain that and went on -- teaching and studying -- toward a doctorate.

I neglected to say that he was married during the Chautauqua years to Molly (Florence) Osborne. Molly was from Junbridge [Tunbridge?] Vermont. She had taken a business course and was living at the Y.W.C.A. in Springfield.

A son David Harrison was born on August 14, 1930 while they were at Chautauqua. It wasn't easy to teach and study -- with a wife and baby -- but they accomplished it. Some courses he took at Columbia University. Harrison's course in Statistics was very popular. He was a good teacher with a sense of humor.

I have a biography of H. Harrison Clarke, written by Vicki E. Ranta as a thesis for her Master's degree at Oregon University. It is entitled "H. Harrison Clarke: His Life and Contributions to Physical Education." It is dated August 1969.

His thesis for the Master's degree was entitled "Administrative Problems in Required Physical Education for Men in Universities." He received the degree in August 1931.

He then began the course work for the Doctor of Education (Ed. D.) in educational administration. Ninety hours of course work and comprehensive tests. The degree was granted in 1940. (He wrote for 48 hours in the comprehensive testing.)

As Dr. H. Harrison Clarke, he was called back to Springfield College as Director of Graduate Studies in Physical Education. He established a graduate school there.

In World War II, he entered as Major in the physical fitness program. He advanced to Lieutenant Colonel. He was in the Medical Administrative program -- assigned to both Armay and Air Force -- operation of Convalescent Centers for Air Force Personnel. He was in active duty until January 15, 1946, and in the reserves until 1965.

I neglected to say that a daughter Nancy Ann was born in 1934 (September 30).

He was chosen to be research professor at the University of Oregon at Eugene and moved from Springfield in 1953. He became internationally known with his Doctoral programs. Students came from Australia, Belgium, France, Canada, Japan to study under his guidance.

He was given a Fulbright lectureship and spent a year in Australia: six months at the University in Melbourne; six months at the University in Perth. Molly was with him. There was great interest in his lectures.

Harrison's son David has followed in his father's footsteps. He graduated from Springfield College, went into the Medical Corps of the Army (in Texas), and then to the University of Oregon, where he earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree. He teaches, carries on research and writes books (some with his father) at the University of Maryland.

David and Lou have three children: Gregory, Stephen and Meredith. Greg is completing his doctorate in Immunology. He took some courses in Switzerland. Steve has graduated from the University of Maryland and is now teaching in a college in Indiana. Meredith is at Bucknell University.

Harrison's daughter Nancy graduated from the University of Oregon and was married the same day to Stanley Hunston. Nancy has taught all of her married life. Stan and Nancy have two children: Scott Harrison, who has entered Willamette University in Salem, Oregon; Tamara, a senior in high school as this is written (1979).

Susan, Early Photos

A few of the better photos formerly in the red album. I am looking for a good photo of my mother in her Girl Scout uniform, but the ones I've run across so far aren't very clear.

Joan and Susan, Early Photos

Scanned photos removed from the red album, with some basic cropping and gray-level enhancements for legibility, but without any attempt (yet) at detail work such as scratch removal. The originals are in somewhat rough shape.

Why is it that, in just about every single photograph I've found that contains the two of them, Joan always on Susan's right?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Marcella Armstrong's Journal

Marcella Armstrong left a journal, filled with detailed genealogical and autobiographical information. This is a tremendous resource. She started writing in it in 1976. If you find this site looking for genealogical information, however, I must caution you that Marcella's journals should probably not be used as a primary source and could contain errors. Also, she often uses nicknames and when she does give surnames, it is not always clear whether she is giving maiden names or married names.

The journal pages are in reasonably good condition, although the cover is worn and the paper is acidic. Just handling it for transcription has resulted in the binding coming apart. More elaborate strategies such as deacidification and re-binding in a new cover are possible, but I don't have money on hand for a task like that. For now my preservation strategy will just be to transcribe it, perhaps scanning some of it, and then put it into an archival-quality box. I'm contemplating repairing the cover a bit with some acid-free linen tape and interleaving some protective paper with the glued-in photo.

There were some loose papers inside the cover, but they are keepsake articles and things that are not specifically tied to the journal, so they will be organized with the other clippings.

There is one loose leaf inserted, which will stay in the journal itself because it is dated and written in sequence with the rest. There is a photograph glued in which I will not attempt to remove.

Here is the title page:

Here is the beginning of the first entry:

Here is the glued-in photograph:

An Album in Progress

My mother was apparently assembling an album out of loose photographs. By "loose" I mean some that seem to have never been stuck into albums, and some that seem to have been torn out of black paper albums. The black paper albums are not archival -- in fact, they are acidic, so removing the photos should be considered a good thing, except that they were glued in and removing them left a mess.

The new album -- one of the "magnetic" kinds with sticky pages -- is not safe for long-term storage of photographs. The adhesive on the pages is nasty on the photos, and the paper is acidic. The pages are visibly yellowing already. So, for preservation purposes, they have to come out.

Fortunately, most of them were loose. A handful of them had been attached with (cringe) scotch tape to the album. There was nothing to do for those but tear off the tape as cleanly as I could, which was not all that cleanly.

So, we have in some cases prints which had notes written on the back, which were then glued to black paper, then torn off the black paper. Sometimes additional notes were written on the back, or somethings on the front. A variety of different inks were used, but most often ball-point pen ink, which is destructive and eats through photographic paper. Then some of those had scotch tape attached. It also looks like in many cases the prints were cut, by hand with scissors, sometimes unevenly, to fit album pages. Even some instant prints (the kind filled with chemicals) were cut. In some cases the cutting wound up indiscriminately cutting off or cutting in half some of the explanatory text written on the back of the prints. I can only grit my teeth and sigh. The end result is that some of the notes on the back are now completely illegible.

Family photos have a hard life!

I have not decided where they are all going to wind up -- they will go back into the sorting process with the rest of the loose photos and then get scanned. They would have survived better in a loose pile in a shoe box than in these multiple albums. I don't want them in a pile, though, because the leftover black paper and glue and ink and tape residue on the backs will be in contact with the fronts of their neighbors. So they should go into albums again, or into boxes. I think we can do it a little better this time, but they will not last forever no matter what I do.

In case my mom's ordering winds up being important to date or otherwise contextualize the pictures, for reference I took a series of 1-megapixel pictures of the pages as they were laid out in the album. Then, while I was at it, I took a 1-megapixel picture of each picture. The album went in the trash. The pictures are going to get sorted with the others, and scanned. and then put into what I hope will be a better home.

Marcella Armstrong's Journal, Installment 1

November 8, 1976

I am your mother, Joan and Susan. Of course, you know my name: Marcella Bucklin Clarke Armstrong.

I was born in Tidioute, Pennsylvania, a little town on the Allegheny River between Warren and Oil City. it is in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, so beautiful in the Fall and Spring and Summer. So much fun in winter -- with sledding down the hills and ice skating on the river.

My birth date is February 18, 1904. There are four of us, children of Henry and Isabel Clarke: (1) Henry Harrison, the oldest, born on June 30, 1902; Joseph Cornelius was the third, born on February 9, 1906; Clara Louise was the fourth, born on August 8, 1908.

Harrison (Henry Harrison) was named after Mother's brother, Harrison (Harry) Bucklin. Joseph Cornelius was named after a family friend Joe Walter and mother's half-brother Cornelius. Clara Louise received our two grandmothers' names. I was named after a nurse, Marcella Warren, who took care of some one in Father's family -- probably Maria.

My maternal grandfather was William Decature Bucklin, who was born on February 17, 1834. He was married twice. His first wife, Hannah McCue, died on July 2, 1868. My grandmother was his second wife; Clara Elizabeth Shearer, born in 1857. There were two children: Harrison, born on January 6, 1874; Isabel Theresa, born on July 12, 1880. Their mother died on May 9, 1884 at the age of 27,when my mother was 3 years old. Their father died on November 26,1899,when my mother was 19, just after she graduated from Tidioute High School.

My cousin, Miss Rhoda Bucklin, brought up my mother and her brother. They lived in my Grandfather's hotel, which had a suite of rooms. My mother had a horse and "buggy" of her own. She had a nice social life in Tidioute. Her brother Harry graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. He worked as purchasing agent for Todd Protectograph Company in Rochester, New York. He married Henrietta Hoffman (Aunt Etta). They had one son John, who now lives at Hinckley Ohio, near Cleveland. (John died on February 15, 1981, one day before his 75th birthday.

My paternal grandfather was David William Clarke II, whose wife was Louisa Curtis. They had eleven children:

1. David William (Uncle Will) who married Clara Porterfield.
2. Franklin Curtis, who married Elizabeth Birdseye.
3. Howard Marcus, who married Amni Brown.
4. Harriet Beach, who married Louis Porterfield
5. Clara Louise, (Aunt Lou) who marrried William J. Elder.
6. Maria Elizabeth, who married Adam Riechert.
7. Susan Ann (Aunt Sue) who married Willard Porterfield
8. Julia McClintock, who married Dr. J. Leon Antes
9. Ellen Eunice, who married Dr. Glenn Bowman
10. Henry Elliot, who married Isabel Bucklin.
11. Florence Rosalind, who marrked William O. Fuellhart

Uncle Will and Aunt Clara had very musical children. The "Clarke Sisters" sang with Tommy Dorsey's orchestra. They lived in Valley City, North Dakota. They later changed their name to the Sentimentalists.

Uncle Frank lived in California.

Uncle Howard and Aunt Amni lived on Central Avenue in Fredonia, New York. They moved to Texas. Two children: Mary Amni had a beautiful voice; Elizabeth graduated from Mt. Holyoke College and was a writer.

Aunt Hattie lived in a large house in Tidioute. There were four children: David, Helen, Elliot and Willard. David worked for Standard Oil Co. in South America. Helen had charge of all playgrounds in Detroit, Michigan. Elliot played the piano expertly.

Aunt Lou married a banker, Will Elder. They had a large home in Tidioute. Their children were John, Louse, Margaret, Harriet, and Livingston. John became a presbyterian minister, a missionary to Iran. Louise married Don Thompson. She was a librarian in Cleveland. Margaret married a Smith and lived in Albany, N.Y. She was beautiful. Harriet married Dr. Walter Sutton, a dentist, and lives in Erie, Pa. Livingston played the piano and became an architect in New York City.

Aunt Ellen married Dr. Glenn Bowman, an orthodontist. They lived in Oakmont, Pa, a suburb of Pittsburgh. They had a summer home on the Allegheny River below Tidioute. Their children were Nancy and Betty. Nancy became a doctor.

Aunt Florence married Will Fuellhart, who worked for Wheeler and Dusenbury in the lumber business at Endeavor, Pa. Children: Bob and Bill.

Aunt Sue married Willard Porterfield. She went to Penn State College and graduated the same year as her two sons: Henry and Willard. She earned her Master's degree and taught Spanish at Penn State for years. She had a daughter Susan also. Susan married an Army Colonel (Rogers) and lives in Georgia.

Aunt Julia married Dr. J. Leon Antes, an osteopath. They lived in Detroit and had one son, Richard.

Aunt Maria married Adam Reichert but died soon after. There were no children.

Henry Clarke, my father, entered Grandin Bros. bank in Tidioute after he graduated from high school. He worked as assistant cashier, then cashier, for 23 years. He wanted to be a farmer and so bought a grape farm east of Westfield, New York.

Tidioute was a fine place in which to grow up. There was the river for swimming, ice skating, boating, canoeing, picnics. We played tennis and roller skated. My friends were Sarah Hague, Margaret Anderson, Kathryn Kennedy and Charlotte Carnahan. Betty Ulf came to visit from Kane, Pa.

We were Episcopalians and attended the small white church regularly. We often had the visiting rector to dinner on Sunday.

I remember Christmas eve services, of speaking "The Night before Christmas," of the lighted, burning candles on the tree. Joe and Harrison pumped the organ. They would let the air almost all out before they would pump again.

I took piano lessons from Miss Gertrude Shugart, whose brother was the only doctor in Tidioute. He brought us all into the world -- at home.

We lived up town in a white house which had a sleeping porch. We always had a "hired girl" to help. One was Eva Singleton, another Josephine Russell, and Bertha Singleton. There was a small room in the back hall upstairs.

Father rode a bicycle to work. There were no cars until later. The Grandins were millionaires and their first cars were limousines with chauffeurs.

We sold our house and moved into the square house across from the Presbyterian church.

At about 1916, the Grandin Bros. bank moved to Boston. Father did not want to move there. He wanted to buy a farm. He and Mother looked in New Jersey and New York State. They decided on a farm at West Portland, _three miles east of Westfield, N.Y._
We moved a few days before Christmas 1916. I was twelve years old. What a time to leave friends and familiar surroundings. We lived at the Kenyon, a small inn on South Portage Street in Westfield. Then our furniture came and we lived in a small house until Spring. I was very homesick.

My mother had never made butter or bread -- or lived without luxuries. A Delco system was installed so we had electricity and running water.

Clara and I had a bedroom together with twin beds. The boys slept in an unfinished attic.

We had a hired man, Mr. Mortimer Pratt. His wife did our washing, ironing and cleaning.

I was lonesome in the summer. I read many books. My father called me a "hot house plant." What was there to do outdoors? Harrison and Joe helped with the farm work. We went to school on the B & LE street car, which went from Buffalo to Erie through Westfield. Harrison was often late for the street car. He would see it coming as he left our house, 1/4 mile to the Burrows store, where it stopped for us. He always made it. He didn't know then but he was to break the record for the quarter mile race in college.

The boys were both athletes, playing football and basketball and running track. I played basketball and loved it.

My friends from Portland were Gertrude Fuller, Florence Morse and Frances Barhite. The boys from Portland were Donald Fuller, Melvin Roberts, Sherman Matthews.
In Westfield my friends were Frances Overton, Josephine Hall, Dorothea Brown, Edith Nixon, Marian Ogden, Genevieve Waterman, Caroline Anderson, Verna Dodge.

After I graduated from High School (June 1922) I went to summer school at Chautauqua to take a teacher's course. That September I began teaching a country school of eight grades -- on the Lade Road north of West Portland. I bought a horse for $60 and rode horseback each day to teach. I don't know how I did it. I had never attended a country school -- nor had I ridden a horse. I saved $800. And the next fall entered Lake Erie College at Panesville, Ohio, as a freshman.

I worked part time in the college library -- typing cards, checking out books at the desk. Gertrude Fuller was my roommate. My other friends were Rose Walchli, Mary Ellen Goeppinger, Mary Elizabeth McIlwain. It's hard to remember after so many years.

The next year I transferred to William Smith College at Geneva, New York, where I graduated in 1927. I majored in English. My friends were Irene Overs, Ellen Sill, Huberda Wall, Dolly Hubbs, Marianna MacKay, Marian Thomas, Sophronia Sims.

My first year of teaching High School English was in Salamanca, New York. The next two years were in Westfield and I lived at home. My family had moved from the farm to 42 Academy Street in Westfield. Then I taught three years in the high school at Jameston, N.Y. That was all, for I had met Richard Armstrong, a chemist with the Welch Grape Juice Co., and we were married on Saturday, September 2, 1933, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. Richard was from Iowa.