Archive for July 2016

A Family Heirloom   6 comments

It’s in the telling.

Family heirlooms are valuable because the family thinks they are valuable. The value is generally not measured in dollars and cents … the value is measured in feelings. In remembering. In hearing the story, and telling the story, and then hearing it again.

The family is a part of the story, you see, so the sense of belonging, of support, of family is created, enhanced, and increased through the story.

Most families do not have earthly riches, but all families can have family heirlooms that grow in value over the generations as the story is told. And re-told.

Here’s the story of our rocking chair.

Edna Mildred Lee Boring was born March 14, 1895 near Maitland, MO. She was the daughter of Norman Ernest Boring and Frances Emaline Miles Boring, and, importantly, the first granddaughter of Alban and Elizabeth Piles Boring. Six more grandchildren followed: Cecil (1897), an infant that died unnamed (1899), my Grandmother, Juanita (1900), Joe (1902), Lena (1907) and Lucy (1913).

Upon the occasion of their first Grandchild’s first Christmas (1895), Alban and Elizabeth Piles Boring bought a child’s rocking chair. That chair stayed in the grandparents’ home, and was used by all seven of their Grandchildren, including my Grandmother, Juanita Elizabeth Boring Mowry. Eight Great Grandchildren would have also used that chair. When Grandma Boring (my Great Great Grandmother) died in 1955, the family decided to sell her possessions to the family members in a private auction to pay her funeral expenses. It was a family affair, taking care of family business.

My father wanted to buy that child’s rocking chair – perhaps because he had a 3-year old daughter that would have been a perfect size for it. He paid what was to him a large sum of $10 to bring that chair home. It remained a part of our family home, used by both my sister and I, and was a continuing favorite of visiting pre-schoolers, as the rocking chair was just right for them.

When Velda and I moved to California and started our family, the chair soon followed. We took the chair to a photographer with our firstborn, Christopher, and captured this image in 1986:

Christopher Andrew Mowry, sitting in the chair. 1986.

Christopher Andrew Mowry, sitting in the chair. 1986.

This week, we took Christopher’s firstborn, the delightful Miss P, and captured her sitting in the chair, just as she does when she visits Grandma & Papa’s house.

The chair is now 121 years old. I’m sure it’s worth a dollar or two … probably more than the $10 that it cost in 1955. However, the value of the chair cannot be expressed in dollars and cents.

Still, it’s the most valuable piece of furniture I’ve ever owned.

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Your Family’s Stuff

Digitizing Family Photos

Posted July 31, 2016 by henrymowry in Genealogy

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Contemplation   Leave a comment

Cute. But Dangerous.   Leave a comment

Posted July 29, 2016 by henrymowry in Photography

Trump’s Mouth   2 comments

Decision 2016This election is far from over.

Today, Trump found a way to indict Hillary while playing to the crowd in a spirited fashion. He’s a grand master at this, and no amount of hysteria from the left has derailed his effectiveness at reaching and motivating the common man to vote for him.

His (possibly) tongue-in-cheek call for President Putin to look for Hillary’s lost emails is simply astonishing to me. The comment is certain to greatly inflame the left and greatly amuse the right. Doesn’t that make for great media coverage?

And isn’t that free media coverage?

Please allow me to say this with great certainty: no one really understands how this man put together the coalition that nominated him. The media and the pollsters have written his obituary many times since this campaign began, and yet he’s the last man standing.

There is no telling what will happen between here and November 8.

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Victor Davis Hanson’s Private Papers: Trump and The Politics of Moral Outrage

Posted July 28, 2016 by henrymowry in POTUS

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Points Of Light   Leave a comment

Midnight makes for a dazzling display of stars in this shot of the Milky Way over Oregon's Crater Lake National Park. Photo by Matt Shiffler. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 7/26/16.

Midnight makes for a dazzling display of stars in this shot of the Milky Way over Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park. Photo by Matt Shiffler. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 7/26/16.

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Crater Lake National Park

A Blanket Of Snow

Crater Lake Sunrise

Spectacular

The Blue Lake

Posted July 27, 2016 by henrymowry in National Parks

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Looking Up   1 comment

Desert Moon   Leave a comment

Pure magic: An eclipsed supermoon rises over Arizona’s Saguaro National Park. Photo by Jack Suman, September 2015. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 7/20/16.

Posted July 25, 2016 by henrymowry in National Parks

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Alaska Vista   Leave a comment

Posted July 24, 2016 by henrymowry in National Parks

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The Politics of Charity   2 comments

Mike Rowe has had some dirty jobs, but he's also a Distinguished Eagle Scout.

Mike Rowe has had some dirty jobs, but he’s also a Distinguished Eagle Scout.

Mike Rowe is a favorite media personality of mine. He hosts a show on CNN that’s about the tough jobs … “Somebody’s Gotta Do It.” He believes in doing work that’s dirty. He’s a Distinguished Eagle Scout. And, he’s a consummate showman and fundraiser for his non-profit, non-partisan foundation, mikeroweWORKS, that exists to fund scholarships for people getting training in the trades.

Mike Rowe is a big supporter of honest work, where collars are not white, if they exist at all. He’s about to award $600,000 in scholarships. That may not be a dirty job, but it’s certainly an important one.

He regularly auctions off C.R.A.P. to raise funds for the foundation … that’s Collectibles, Rare And Precious, to the uninitiated. He typically finds things in his storage room to auction, and occasionally one of his fans will contribute their skills to, for example, make his faded blue jeans into a purse. He regularly auctions off memorabilia from his shows, such as a warning light globe from the Mackinac Bridge, which was the subject of one of his shows several years ago.

Recently, he mused about auctioning off something from our leading political candidates in this tumultuous season … an autographed bathrobe from the Donald, or a similarly autographed pantsuit from the Hillary. Or something like that.

And a smart campaign worker made one of those ideas happen.

If you know Mike’s work, then you know he is independent. He did not seek one candidate’s contribution over another, and he’s specifically promised that he will auction off a contribution from the other candidate, with all appropriate pomp & circumstance, should they make a contribution. That didn’t stop the boo birds from coming out, though, and his Facebook page has been alive with flames saying “How COULD you?”

He’s doing it for the money to fund more scholarships, and I have no problem with that. Do you?

Want to own your own Trump bathrobe – and support mikeroweWORKS at the same time? The auction is open on ebay until August 1 … and, as I write this, bidding is now over $10,000. You can bid, here.

Posted July 23, 2016 by henrymowry in POTUS

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Stars   Leave a comment

Posted July 22, 2016 by henrymowry in National Parks

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