Saturday, April 23, 2005

Mt. Calvary Cemetery -- Stanton marker

This is the marker for my great-uncle and great-aunt Edward and Tonnie Stanton. Aunt Tonnie was my paternal grandfather's half-sister and plays an important role in our family history.

She is the aunt who watched Fred Astaire as a youngster when his father would visit Ravenna and other small Nebraska towns along his liquor sales route. (My Uncle Edward -- who passed away before I was born -- owned "Buddy's Place," a tavern in Ravenna.)

My sister and I also inherited (through my mother) a lot of her antiques and furniture when she passed away in 1964.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Southwest Nebraska sunflowers

During our August 2002 visit to Nebraska, my mother and I spent quite a bit of time commuting between Ogallala (where our motel was located) and Grant and Madrid. Grant is located 20 miles south of Ogallala and Madrid is 10 miles east of Grant.

There is literally nothing but farmland between Ogallala and Grant. Several farmers are growing sunflowers as a cash crop. Some of the fields were located along the highway. I stopped and snapped several photos of the flowers including this closeup.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Lake McConaughey, January 13, 2002

I was going through some photos I took the weekend of my father's funeral in January 2002. We intentionally stayed in the Madrid area for an extra day after the funeral to see family and friends and to show my wife and son the sights and sounds of the Cornhusker State. They had never been there before so we were determined to show them around.

Since we were staying in Ogallala, we took them to see Kingsley Dam and Lake McConaughey, the big reservoir north of town. We crossed over the dam and were on the north side of the lake. There was a small area just past the dam where we turned off. It was a bright, but a windy, raw day. Something about the area intriqued me and I got out of the car and carried my digital and my video cameras with me. The way the sun was shining through the barren trees created an interesting effect. The cloud pattern combined with the blue sky appealed to me. I snapped several pictures, got back into the car and thought nothing further of it.

It wasn't until I got back to Chicago that I realized what a beautiful picture I had taken. I played around with the photo in Photoshop and discovered that the photo looks even more dramatic when changed to black-and-white. For comparison, here's the original color picture.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Madrid Cemetery -- Chamberlain marker

This is the grave marker for my great-grandparents -- George and Mary Jane Chamberlain. Their daughter, May Chamberlain Cornelius, was my paternal grandmother. George and Mary Jane built the sod house that I wrote about back in October. Click on this link for more information about George and Mary Jane.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Madrid Cemetery -- Entrance

Here's the entrance gate to the Madrid Cemetery. It acts as a lonely sentinel welcoming visitors as they pass through it.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Yahoo! 360 invitations

I managed to secure an invitation to the new Yahoo! 360 community. Similar to the strategy that Google used when introducing Gmail, Yahoo! 360 members have free invitations to use for anyone who wishes to join. Let me know if you want one.

Madrid Cemetery -- Floyde and May's grave

My father passed away in January 2002. Later that summer, I accompanied my mother back to Nebraska to pick out a tombstone for his grave. The Madrid Cemetery -- where he is buried -- and the Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Ravenna -- where my mother grew up and where her family is buried -- is a virtual walking history of my two families. In fact, that is what I did -- spending several hours walking among gravemarkers looking at the names of my relatives.

Both cemeteries are very old and a number of my relatives lived and died long before I was born.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to post photos of some of the markers. This particular stone marks the graves of my paternal grandparents.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Push 'em back, push 'em back, waaaay back!

I found my father's Madrid High School football picture. I believe they played 6- or 8-man football back in his day. Doesn't appear they were on steroids either!