Monday, May 31, 2010

Ruby Tuesday: Glass Spiral

Once again,
I express my passion for art glass
by Dale Chihuly.

For more Red photography,
click the new Ruby Tuesday button
on the sidebar.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mosaic Monday: Meet Me in Seattle

You can't traipse around Seattle
without taking at least
photo of the Space Needle.

For more Mosaic Monday players,
click the button on the right.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sepia Saturday: Lithuanian Immigrants

Who knows what dreams immigrants
carried with them on to ocean-going vessels,
ships that spirited them away from the land
of their birth, their families, their known world?
Certainly they imagined a better life
for themselves and their children,
born and not yet in being.

What did they bring with them?
What were they forced to leave behind?

Pranciskus Kremenskas from Lithuania  
was a handsome, curly-haired 33 year old
 when he brought his pretty 23-year old
wife Manki Vaitekunaite Kremenskas
to the land of dreams
aboard the ship Kroonland.

Manki, who became Monica in the U.S.,
  was pregnant with their first child.
They had the princely sum of $25 in cash
when they arrived at Ellis Island.

Their destination was East St, Louis, Illinois,
specifically 443 Collenwell Avenue.
Though the passenger manifest is hard to read,
it looks like their "American" contact in Illinois
 was a member of Manki's family. 

It also appears that a brother or cousin
 of Pranciskus (Frank or Franz)
named Kasimier Kremenski sailed on the same ship
and accompanied them to East St. Louis.
What happened to him, I don't know. 

 This photo of Pranciskus and Manki must have been
taken in 1911, the year
after the young couple's arrival.
 Daughter Valarie is seated on her daddy's lap.

Frank worked as a builder and carpenter,
among other things. He built the family
home in an area of Chicago near Midway Airport
and the Lithuanian National Cemetery
where he and his wife are buried.

Daughter Bertha arrived in 1915.
Son Alphonse was born in 1925.
Were there other children conceived
in between? I don't know.

Frank died in 1933
when Alphonse was only seven.
He didn't have time to teach Alphonse
the skills he'd need to be a good husband and father.

Manki died in 1955, having done her best
to raise her Lithuanian-American offspring 
to be American. 
My sons are some of the great-grandchildren
she never knew, 
grandsons of her son Alphonse,
who never knew them either.

For more Sepia Saturday posts,
click HERE 
or on the Sepia Saturday button to the right. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Photo Friday Challenge: Arranged

 Murrelets Flying in Formation

They skim  through the air
just above the water,
beaks pointing east toward first light,
arranged just so, a leader,
his three or four loyal lieutenants
jockeying for position and the rest
 of the murrelet troops arrayed behind, 
a surprisingly silent procession.

"Rossano's Mirrored Murrelets" - photo © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian. All rights reserved.

In the pastel light, the still pool
reveals a parallel flight, submerged,
bellies exposed, floating
in perfect formation upside-down,
a dark ribbon joining each one
to his double like a bloodless umbilical cord. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday Challenge: Rest

Sunday morning. Resting quietly,
supported by the fertile earth,
back tickled by fingers of grass,

clouds providing cinematic entertainment.
Quiet worship.

For more responses to Thursday Challenge,
Click HERE

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lens Day Wednesday: Rock

I found a new-to-me Meme for Wednesday.

The assignment: a photo

The topic: rock

 I can do that!

( the last one is just a tiny bit
of a great big rock 
by the name of Haystack Rock)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sepia Saturday: Isaac and Sarah

I don't think I've properly introduced you to Isaac Lile and Sarah Caroline Ellis Lile, at least not officially. I've given mention to Sarah, I think, when I told you the story of her brother Ellis Ellis. But Isaac and Sarah deserve to have their story told.

Where shall I begin?

Issac, twin to Jacob, was born December 23, 1836 to John Lyle and his wife Catheren Fry in Pennsylvania. His father died when he was not quite nine and his mother was forced to place several of her ten surviving children with neighbors or relatives. Issac lived with John and Sarah Kunkle in 1850. I've often wondered if Sarah might have been a sister to Catheren, but Pennsylvania records are spotty and I can't assign Sarah to parents, let alone figure out the family structure. John Kunkle was a farmer, but somewhere along the line, Isaac learned to make shoes and boots.  

Catheren remarried in 1847 and had two more children, a son born in 1848 in Pennsylvania and a daughter born in 1849 in Ohio. I can't find hide nor hair of them in the 1850 Census, but I know that Catheren was the head of her own household in 1860.  Two married daughters stayed in Pennsylvania, but most of the other children were living in Ohio or adjacent Michigan by that time. Issac was the exception. (For more on the his Lile siblings, click here.)

He migrated to Washington Territory by wagon train in 1854 when he was 18. He set up shop as a cobbler and boot maker in Walla Walla and was said to have lived in the 16th building constructed in that little frontier town. He was a single man and there were few unmarried women around. He missed his family and had decided by about the early 1860s that he would buck the tide and find a wagon train going east, back to civilization and his kin.

The night before the wagon train was to leave, there was a community-wide dance given as a send off to those who were leaving. Well, as luck would have it, Isaac went to the shindig and danced with a young lady who had recently arrived with her family. Her name was Sarah Caroline Ellis. She was born in Maryland in 1841 and had lived in Iowa for a few years before her widowed mother and several siblings had accompanied the Kennedy Wagon Train to Washington Territory.

Isaac was smitten. Apparently Sarah was too. Isaac's homesickness and his urge to go east were forgotten. They were married on New Year's Eve in 1863, one of the first marriages recorded in the marriage records in Walla Walla county.

Sarah and Isaac Lile had three sons. Levi Townsend Lile was born in December 1864 and died when he was 12 from unknown causes. Their second son, George David Franklin Lile, was born November 25, 1866. He was my great-grandfather, husband of Sarah Emoline Clayton (who was a twin, like George's father).  The third son was Charles Arthur Lile, born November 5, 1868. Charley died unmarried on October 26, 1895. Family legend had it that Charley died from crush injuries to his chest sustained when a wild horse reared so violently that it fell backwards and landed on top of Charley, who had been trying to saddle break it. Pretty dramatic image, no? Death records at the Garfield County courthouse, however, list his cause of death as consumption (tuberculosis). 

Sarah died November 4, 1887, at a relatively young 45 years of age. I don't know her cause of death. There was no obituary published, just a one line condolence note in a column in the weekly paper in Pomeroy, Washington saying that Issac Lile had lost his wife, an early pioneer. Issac eventually moved in with his son George's family on their farm in Garfield County. When George and Emmy sold the farm and moved to Wallowa County, Oregon, Issac accompanied them.

Isaac died on January 31, 1920 in the latter stages of the influenza pandemic of the time. His son George succumbed to complications less than two weeks later.  My mother never knew her great-grandparents Issac and Sarah Ellis Lile, both deceased before she was born, as was her maternal grandfather George Lile. Her maternal grandmother died when she was less than three, so she has no memories of  Sarah "Emmy" Clayton Lile. 

My mother's father, Elmer Miller, remembered both Isaac and George. He was courting Lela at the time her father and grandfather died.  His characterization of Isaac was not particularly flattering. He emphasized, "He was a mean old man."  But Lela's siblings recounted that, in his younger days, he wasn't such a curmudgeon. Isaac had a hand-cranked Victrola and a collection of records and he'd load it in a buggy and provide music for gatherings in the farming communities where they lived. 

For more Sepia Saturday participants, click HERE. Thanks to Alan Burnett for being such a congenial host of this theme day. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Photo Friday Challenge: The Family

Photo Friday's assignment this week
was The Family.  

 These folks came to mind.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mosaic Monday: Faces

He had a face like a blessing.
- Miguel de Cervantes

Every time you smile at someone,
it is an action of love,
a gift to that person,
a beautiful thing.

- Mother Teresa

Be a blessing.
Give the gift of your smile.

For lots of reasons to smile,
visit Mary at Dear Little Red House
and see all the Monday Mosaics.