Manchester, Iowa Is In My Roots

Manchester, Iowa is on highway 20 halfway between Waterloo and Dubuque. It’s a lovely town in the county of Delaware and has very special meaning to me. Population: 5,053 (2016). Please read on…!        .

On June 27, 2018 Todd Piro a correspondent from Fox and Friends stopped in to Jude’s Cafe on Main Street in Manchester, Iowa! He visited with some of the men eating breakfast and drinking coffee! It was broadcast on Fox and Friends!

Jerry and I were watching Fox and Friends, as we do every morning! Imagine our surprise when this segment came on. Oh, are you wondering why it was actually exciting to us?

My dad, Glen Williamson, grew up in Manchester, Iowa! Dad was the youngest of seven children and was born on the family farm near Masonville, Iowa. When dad was nine years old, his dad, my grandfather, Andrew Williamson, retired at age 59 from farming. Andrew and Rose bought a lot, at 152 Gay Street in Manchester, where Andrew, built a house for them! They moved in on February 4, 1920. Dad was 10 and the only child still living at home. He built a large enough house for the rest of the children to know they could always come home and especially for holidays.                                                                                                Scan_Pic0006

That’s Grandma and Grandpa Williamson on the steps of the front porch,  in their old age. Grandpa died in 1942. Grandma died in 1948. The last time I was in Manchester the house was still there on Gay Street. Their car, a 1916 Saxon is parked in the driveway! He bought it new and never bought another car!

Dad had gone to the one room school house, through half of fourth grade, that all of his brothers and sisters had attended. But now he was enrolled in Manchester Elementary School. He was in fourth grade. He did well in school and was the only child in the family to attend and graduate from high school! Scan_Pic0011

This is a picture of Manchester High that Dad attended and graduated from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the end of Dad’s Manchester days except to return to visit. But later Dad’s sister and brother-in-law, Bessie and Earnie retired from farming and moved to Manchester. We visited them several times. They lived very close to Main Street in a lovely home.

Bessie & Earnie                                    Aunt Bessie lived to be 102 years old! When she was 100 years a party was held for her at the Good Neighbor Nursing Home in Manchester where she then lived. What a wonderful party it was! Relatives and friends came from California, Iowa, Michigan, Washington, Illinois, Colorado, Arkansas, Minnesota and Saskatchewan, Canada all to honor my Aunt Bessie! This is a snapshot of Aunt Bessie and me at her birthday party. There were lots of pictures taken.  Bessie & me         DocFile (2)  She received this birthday letter from Willard Scott on the Today Show at NBC News.  Aunt Bessie lived for just over another two years.                                                                                      Uncle Earnie and Aunt Bessie are both buried in Manchester Cemetery along with their son, my cousin, Fred. Bessie & Earnie graveFred Sommer grave                                                                                             So you can see Manchester, Iowa means a lot to me and that’s why I got so excited when Fox and Friends featured Manchester, Iowa on their show! If you’re ever in Iowa it’s a great little town!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ireland, My First Impressions

I love to travel! I’ve had several countries on my bucket list and I’ve been able to visit some, but not all! I wish I could say Ireland was on my bucket list but it wasn’t! So when our daughter, Christy, and her husband, Sean, and their two younger children, Mason and Maddie, moved to Ireland for Sean’s job, I quickly added Ireland to my list!  Our daughter, Pamela, and son-in-law, Gene, decided to go and invited us to go with them. They didn’t have to ask me twice! We flew by Aer Lingus. It’s a very modern airline and I loved it! They served us a very delicious dinner and of course, beverages and snacks. Our flight was long, about eight hours, but very smooth!Ireland Air Line (2) Traffic is, of course, very different. Driving on the opposite side is the norm. The traffic moves smoothly with few stop signs or lights because they have roundabouts! There are some traffic lights, of course. In the city of Dublin, there are more traffic lights, but not as many as we have in the US. There are few stop signs! It’s no problem! Roundabouts take care of the traffic! We have one roundabout here in my town and no one likes it! Folks get confused with it and complain about it all the time! But the many roundabouts in Ireland were very fascinating to me!

Ireland Parking Notice the parked cars are facing each other! That’s perfectly fine!

Signs were another very fascinating subject to me! Folks respected and obeyed the warning signs! Ireland warning sign (2) The end of this street ended in the Irish Sea! This sign warned drivers not to go any closer and they didn’t! Ireland sign (2) This man made right into the cement sidewalk showed which way to walk! It’s so simple! Ireland Pam and guard rail (2) Pam is standing beside the guard rail at this harbor! No one was falling in! This was warning enough! Ireland sign bends  I smiled at this sign. We would have written Dangerous Curves Ahead! But this works! DANGEROUS BENDS AHEAD.

We took the train to Dublin to do some sightseeing. I love riding the train, but oh my…I’ve never been on such a modern train before!   It was wonderful! It ran so smoothly and so quietly, it was incredible! 

Ireland Modern train (2) Ireland train                We sat and visited like we were in our living room! That’s how quiet the train was! We visited without raising our voices the least bit and we could hear just fine!

We took a tourist bus on a sightseeing tour of the city. This isn’t the actual bus we rode on but I wasn’t quick enough to get a good picture of our bus! So this one will do! We went all over the city! The driver explained everything to us! We had a woman driver and when we were in an area of not too much for her to explain about, she sang Irish songs for us over the speaker! She had a real Irish brogue!         Ireland tour bus (2) Ireland open air bus (2)              We sat upstairs on the bus, right in the front seats where we could see well! Pam, Christy, and Gene sat back where there was no roof over them! You can see them in the picture here. They could probably see even better but we wanted the protection from the sun or rain or wind or whatever! It was a ride worth taking.

Ireland is a country that cherishes and protects its history. I love it! Notice the building here behind the tree! It’s been there for hundreds of years! It’s only what’s left of the building but its hundreds of years old! Ireland Old Building (2) Ireland preserves its history! I love it! Another interesting feature here is the wall around the property. Everyone has a wall around their property! This one, above, is of bushes and vines and is hundreds of years old! Ireland Pam & Jerry by wall (2) Jerry and Pam are beside a wall covered with stucco.

Ireland stone wall (2) Jerry is standing beside a stone wall. This next one is an ancient stone wall with vines overgrowing! It’s hundreds of years old!Ireland, very old wall (2)

Most walls are stone, some are cement! The height varies from a few feet high to several feet high. Some are hundreds of years old and some are new. It was very interesting to me! In Canada, almost everyone has a fence. In the USA some folks have a fence and some don’t. In Ireland, everyone has a surrounding wall!

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This is Christy’s house with a brick wall across the front and a high wall covered with stucco along the side yard! The house is very nice and fairly new. Downstairs it has a living room, completely separate from the rest of the rooms! There is a family room, office, laundry room, kitchen, dining/sun room, and a half bathroom. Upstairs there are four bedrooms and three bathrooms!                                             Then there is the third floor! It’s all open but with the spiral stairway going up in the middle so it’s like there are two rooms. There are two skylights, one in each room.

Ireland spiral stair (2)

Mason

 We visited places that go clear back to the 11th century! Unbelievable! I’ll show a few examples here.  Trim Castle! The building of this castle was begun in the 1100’s! It was added on to in the 15th century and again in the 17th century! The folks standing here aren’t quite that old, but getting close! It’s Jerry and me, in case you don’t recognize us! Castle with Jerry and Anita Ireland Cemetary Dublin 3 (2)

Cemeteries are so old and some date back to the 1300’s or older! This picture is of one in Dublin. It’s unreal! I have more cemetery pictures I’ll show in a later post.

It was chilly that day but you can see the sky was blue with white clouds! We had beautiful weather the whole time we were there! It rained one day! We were so thankful because it was quite unusual! I’m going to stop now and write more another day! It’s actually taken me several days to write this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday in Iowa

On our recent trip to Iowa Saturday was a day of driving around, observing the Amish and visiting their stores; touring Gray Transportation; reminiscing about our childhood days; visiting graves of loved ones; going out for supper; watching an hour of Gaither music and just visiting. It was a wonderful day!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Of course, we saw many horses pulling buggies. I didn’t get a picture of one going down the road, but we saw many of them. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I took this picture of the man plowing for a garden.  LeRoy and Carolyn assured me it was okay to take pictures as long as I didn’t take their faces. This man’s hat was covering his face so this is okay. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I love windmills and there were many in the Amish community. I also love old barns and got some pictures of a few. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  They have large houses because they have large families! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  We stopped at an old Amish cemetery. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Off in a back corner of the cemetery we saw a stack of these headstones, waiting to be used. There are recent graves here as well as old ones.

There are many Amish stores! We went into several, they are very interesting…and tempting! The only thing I bought was some homemade apple butter to take home to our children!

We left the Amish community and went to Waterloo, where I lived during two different periods of my life. I was born in Waterloo, Iowa, but we moved to Des Moines, when I was about two. Then, after living in Oklahoma and Illinois from 1946-1949 , we moved back to Waterloo in 1950.

Today we toured Gray Transportation. That was so interesting. I was glad daughter and son-in-law, Pam and Gene; son, Tim; cousin, Kay, were all with us too. But then they left us and we went on to do some major reminiscing!

We lived in an apartment house behind my cousins, Roy and Beulah Gray. This is when LeRoy and I became best friends. We were in the same grade’s, 5th through 7th  and the same rooms in the little Elk Run Heights School. We also attended the same Free Methodist Church in Waterloo. We spent many happy hours playing together, making hide-outs in the bales of hay in the big round barn, riding the Shetland pony, playing softball, climbing trees and swimming in the creek down the road and through the pasture!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This is one of the two apartment buildings. One is gone, but this one is still standing and being lived in today! They were built to be chicken houses but before they were used, the man who built them, died and the family sold the farm to Roy and Beulah Gray. They turned the chicken house buildings into apartment houses! We were the first family to move in. Behind our apartment house were woods and beyond the woods was pasture land that Roy had subdivided. My dad bought a lot so he could build us a new house! It was a very small house, but it was ours! It’s still standing and lived in today although some changes have been made in it! We drove by slowly and even stopped to finally figure out which house was our home back in the early 50’s!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  A large round barn stood here when I was a kid. We had so much fun playing in the barn and making hideouts in the bales of hay being stored in the barn! I can’t believe it’s been torn down! The owner of the farm built the round barn and was up on top working on something like a steeple, when he fell to his death! That’s when and why the family sold the farm to Roy and Beulah. Oh, the memories I have of living here!

We drove to the cemetery where LeRoy’s parents, Roy and Beulah and sister, Evelyn, are buried. Evelyn died this year.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I felt so bad and still do today because I didn’t think ahead of time, to buy some flowers to lay on the gravesite. Next time we go, I will definitely have some with me.

It had been a full day and so Carolyn didn’t have to cook supper we went to a Chinese restaurant for supper. Then home to watch an hour of Gaither music and visiting before going off to bed.  What a wonderful day this was!

Final Good-bye’s

Putting a person’s body, or in our case, ashes into the ground is really the final good-bye. Today was our final good-bye to Lorraine, two years ago today. Her ashes are beside those of her husband, George. They are in the most beautiful and most well cared for cemetery I’ve ever been to! It’s a veteran’s cemetery, only for military personnel and their families. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On September 9, 2013 we buried my Mother’s ashes in Washington so on our way we stopped in Oregon at the cemetery to visit Lorraine’s grave again and put fresh flowers on it. ??????????????

Lorraine’s name had been put on now so I was glad to see it finished. The three words at the bottom are: LIVE LIFE LARGE! That describes Lorraine well!

We also looked for the grave of my brother-in-law, Bob.???????????

Then on to Washington to bury my Mother’s ashes. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She was buried beside my Dad. The next pic is my nephew, Chris, officiating.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                                    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy brother and his wife, Cookie. Richard, talked about our sister, Lorraine, and her untimely death.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Bill and Vel, my younger brother and sister-in-law. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA My daughter, Pam, son-in-law, Gene and my husband, Jerry. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Cousins who attended: Rhonda, Chris, Pam, Sonja, Austin, Taylor and Mackenzie.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  A  few of my parents friends came to pay their respects. Most of my parents friends are gone now. This is Beth, Gene and Harold, such good friends.

We stayed all night so in the morning we went back to the cemetery to see the grave with the stone placed. We arranged the flowers again.

????????????????????????  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I don’t know of any way or time I can go back out to the west coast to visit these grave sites again. I treasure these pictures.