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About laleo

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    Do I have kids or did I read it in a thread?
  1. Dear Lisa, I thought very highly of your father here on these forums. So many times, I sought his opinions, counsel, and insights regarding the trivialities of life (but they were important, to me anyway, at the time that I asked him, and he respected that). I was heartened by his optimism through his diagnosis and treatments, as I'm sure you were inspired by his courage. I know (as do you) that your father thought the world of you. He took very seriously his role in your life, bragging about you at every opportunity, or even when he didn't have the opportunity! He would then create one, fitting into the conversation (even if it didn't fit) how extraordinarily proud he was to have you as his daughter. Not everything he has said about you here has survived the moves, prunings, and various other adjustments that have been made to these forums over the years, but here are just a few of his thoughts about you -- his vignettes, praises, and the unabashed pride he had in your accomplishments. He made sure it was all recorded for the universe to take note: Feb. 11, 2006, 02:41 a.m.: Due to poor maintenance in the past, my body is breaking, much earlier than it should have. I'm not sure how much of the damage can be reversed at this point, but unless it can, I don't think I'm going to be around too much longer. That's pretty depressing in one sense, but being the somewhat optimistic pragmatist that I am, I tend to be thankful that my life has been better than many, if not most, and am now focused on trying to make sure that I leave behind the best legacy possible, given my circumstances, and at least the certainty in my daughter's mind that I love her and have, within my severe limitations, done my best for her. Not much else matters. Jan 17 2006, 12:39 AM For myself, about all the comfort I would wish would be the knowledge that those I care about would carry fond memories of me and hopefully benefit in the future from whatever good I have been able to instill in their lives. Knowing that I have positively influenced my daughter's life, and thereby the lives of others she will impact in the future, gives all the value to my life that I need. As long as I have my affairs in order, so that I don't leave her a burden, I can die a happy man, whether it be tonight or fifty years from now. Jan 17 2006, 12:39 AM: My daughter was not raised to believe in God or gods. (I was still trying to sort out what I thought about that during her early years, but I was quite open about my doubts, and became secure in my conclusion that there is no God by the time she was six or seven.) She is now 22 years old and is a better, more loving, more stable person than I was at her age. I actually find myself envying her for that at times. Jan 16 2006, 07:25 AM: She had a weekend job as a cast member in a Renaissance fair. Part of her costume was a dagger. One weekend, she forgot to take her costume out of her car and drove to school that Monday with the costume (and dagger) in plain sight in the back seat. She was called to the Asst. Principal's office, where she explained the situation and suggested that she give him the dagger and that he call me to come to school and pick it up. He said that wouldn't be necessary and told her to put the dagger in the glove compartment, where it would be out of sight, and to be careful not to bring it to school again. If he'd gone the "zero tolerance" route, I probably would have had my daughter drop out, take a GED, and go on to college a year early. She would have lost out on some financial aid but that probably would have been cheaper than suing the school district, which would have been another option. Instead, the guy used good judgment, my daughter learned to be more careful, and I was spared the hassle and expense of dealing with stupidity. A good outcome all the way around, much better than the outcome of the near-concurrent outcome of a Fort Worth honor student who worked as a waitress in the Stockyard district, carried mace for her protection, and was found with iit in her purse at school. She was put in an alternative education program, which screwed up her chances to graduate with honors and several scholarship opportunities . . . Instead of all the potential problems, the situation turned out well for everyone. My daughter went on to have the best grades in her class (would have been valedictorian had she not received credit for extracurricular drama activities that were not weighted like advanced classes, and the extra non-weighted credits dropped her to third in her class, even though she had the best grades in both regular and advanced courses). Dec 16 2005, 08:06 PM: I raised a daughter by myself. The sorts of intimate conversations women have with their daughters, I’ve had with mine. The sorts of things they do with their daughters, I've done with mine. The things they teach their daughters, I’ve taught mine. That often required that I learn or do things that I otherwise wouldn’t have, so I learned and did. It required that I explore and discuss feelings and interests that were foreign to me, so I explored and discussed. May 7 2005, 12:00 PM: My daughter died her hair purple once, but that was after she graduated from high school, and she died it back to her natural color (well, almost) shortly afterward. Things like that are silly, IMO, but they're harmless. Apr 28 2005, 09:24 AM My daughter is a theater major at UNT in Denton and was active in both high school theater and the community theater in a larger town not far from our little Northeast Texas town . . . The drama program at my daughter's high school was mediocre until her junior year. In the Spring semester of that year, a new speech and drama teacher came in and immediately took their one act play to State. My daughter, who had the lead role, made the State all star cast . . . Dec 12 2003, 02:24 PM [M]y daughter just turned 20. She has already stepped out into the world, to some extent, being away at college, but is still not completely independent. I don't have any younger children, but if I did, I think I would be just as optimistic for them as I am for her. Dec 12 2003, 01:16 PM: I'm thrilled to be a parent, and optimistic about many things about the world my daughter is stepping out into. I would love to be her age, facing such a future. And, concerning your step-brother: Feb 11 2004, 01:03 AM: I married a woman with a two-year-old son. I poured my heart into loving and raising him for over ten years. I'm sorry for your loss.
  2. I'm Dying

    This is very, very sad news. George, like so many others have said, yours is one of the voices I've looked forward to hearing. I will miss you greatly. This (the internet) is an unusual medium for getting to know people -- one with which I'm not quite comfortable -- but I'm grateful that our paths crossed here. I've appreciated your directness, and your thoroughness in explaining your point of view. And, more than that, your empathy, which you've extended liberally. You're an excellent communicator, and a decent person, despite being from Texas and all. I don't mean to sound trite, but, really, your willingness to put this out here is an act of generosity. In your own time, I look forward to reading your thoughts, musings, recollections, lessons, contemplations -- whatever you wish to say, whenever you wish to say it.
  3. Genealogy Question

    German ancestry? You asked for it. Actually, my mother's side is well-recorded, beginning circa 1300 in Hessen-Darmstadt (wherever that is). Hans Peter Umstat of Crefeld, Germany arrived here in 1685, and settled in Germantown, which was divided between thirteen families. The place where my family settled is now Fairmont Park, if you're familiar with the area. When I was around four, my family went on a world tour to visit some of those places where my family originated, which included Switzerland, Holland, and Germany. The only thing I remember about it is the ducks at the fountain, and the reason I remember even that much is because my father bellowed something about how he didn't travel across the globe so that he could see ducks, and I started to cry, and my mother said it was alright to look at the ducks. So for a few days afterward, my mother took me out early to the fountain, where I would chase the ducks around before my father woke up, and we'd be back at the hotel room before breakfast. Germany has ducks, that much I know. Or maybe it was Holland. It's my father's mother's side that we're working on right now, although I want to get back to his father's side. My great grandfather came from Frankfurt, and my great grandmother came from Switzerland (German speaking). We have the names of the ships they came in on, and the dates. We know my great grandfather did something with leather (he was a pocketbook maker), as did my great-grandfather from his mother's side, apparently ("Morocco finisher"). Do you know anything about the Ashenfelder family? Are they German or Pennsylvania Dutch? When did they arrive? Where did they come from? What was their religion? We think they might be somehow connected to a "Jacob Holtzman." Right now, I got sidetracked trying to find more about this Irish great-grandfather, who's been a little hard to track down. I'll find him yet. (Sudo, you'll be relieved to know that my father found some civil war heroes on our heretofore unknown Irish side. Yankees, the entire lot). My grandmother's life has been a bit of a mystery, between the fact that she was orphaned, died relatively young, and had a tumultuous childhood. HAPe, I very much enjoyed your story about your travels, and where all these discoveries have taken you. Templelady, sometimes those little gaps (like the 2 year age difference) are what make the person come to life. Suddenly, you know a little more about the character of the person. Linda, again from my father:
  4. Genealogy Question

    This is like a Sudoku puzzle. After once spending twelve solid hours and five pots of coffee trying ferret out all the possibilities on one, I tossed the thing away from me in disgust, then a couple of days later I glanced down at it, still on the coffee table, the newspaper open to that page, and said "Of course." The whole thing came together in minutes. Right now I've got reams of possibilities on one Sarah Mooney, sister of "Tim." Tomorrow the answer will be obvious. Thanks, everyone, for your help and suggestions. I'm taking it all in. Templelady: "Mrs. William Loveland" made me laugh. I'm sure at one time it gave her stature in the community. Who knew how maddening it would be a few generations later for those who want to know her? This tuberculosis thing is amazing. I didn't know anything about Arizona's history as a "health community" until now, except I did once know someone who moved there to relieve her asthma symptoms. Evidently, it was a maze of sanatoriums, for every income level, with the poorest patients living in tent cities. Unfortunately, they didn't keep patient records. I wonder who sent Jennie there (her father?), and where she stayed, and also why they didn't take in her child after she died. A rift in the family? Too much vital information is missing from the Census documents, and yet it's surprising how much can be surmised by the little that is recorded.
  5. Genealogy Question

    Again, thanks, mstar. I got sidetracked with the tuberculosis outbreak in Philly. Thanks for looking into it. And what a great little story, too. I remember that from way, way back. I think Karen only narrowly escaped the scarlet letter. A moral lesson for all of us. Linda, you are so right. Now that you explained how to use ancestry.com, I've done nothing else. This is going to turn into a horrible addiction, I can tell. My mind is already creating all sorts of little fictions around these people, based on those tiny facts. Little Jennie raised in a proper, industrious, orderly, methodical German household, whisked away by the young, obstreperous, ex-communicated, and fatally ill Tim Mooney (My father thinks that's his name if only because of the family friend who shook her finger saying, "Tim Mooney will never be dead as long as he [my father] is alive"), with only Helen left to sort it all out. This was in my inbox, from my father:
  6. Genealogy Question

    Linda, I can't thank you enough. I'm starting to have fun, since we're actually getting somewhere. Great advice, on all counts. It's helped me tremendously, especially the idea of going for the alternate spellings. And we found his grandmother!!!! Now we need to find one (from all accounts) volatile, recalcitrant, elusive Tim (Tom? John? Jim?) Mooney (Mahoney? Moony?). Tom, I think you remember correctly. That's about how it is. Thanks for the good wishes. mstar, thanks. I didn't give this much thought before, mostly because we do have a family history that, for the most part, is carefully recorded. This was the missing link. Little things in the family stories I grew up with are starting to make sense; those small ironies in the little ways that history repeats itself. Yeah, it's worth the effort. Does anyone know how a "Morocco dresser" or a "Morocco finisher" makes a living? Is this related to shoes or furniture or something else? I looked it up on google, and all I found were people who were asking the same question.
  7. Genealogy Question

    I knew this would happen. I called the telephone number of the Philadelphia County Courthouse, given to me by the clerk at the Dept. of Health & Welfare. They told me they only handle marriage licenses, and gave me another number to call. I called that one. "No, ma'am, we don't provide birth certificates here. You have to go through the state." "I went to the state. In person. They only have records after 1906. This is prior to 1906. They told me to contact you." "No, ma'am. The county courthouse doesn't provide records to the public. The state does." And on and on. Anyone besides me ever encounter Pennsylvania bureaucracy? My daughter, on a whim, bought a car in Vermont from someone who had it registered in Minnesota, and she wanted to transfer the plates to Pennsylvania. The Vermont auto mechanic she consulted told her that the car would pass inspection without a problem. (It did. Nine hundred dollars later.) The paperwork took (in total) seven trips to the DMV, and three to AAA. Every time she or I went, there was yet another form, or piece of information, that was required, which we didn't have with us, which they didn't tell us about the last time we went. There's this circular bureaucracy thing happening, where paperwork keeps getting shifted to someone else's desk, and no one actually has any responsibility for anything, or the ability to provide a service. After it was all over, I turned to my daughter and asked, "Does Pennsylvania have the lowest rate of car theft in the nation? Otherwise, what's the point of all this?" "They're protecting us from ourselves," she answered. And I think she has it right. I don't know. I can tell this isn't going to be easy. HAP, now what? Linda, I sent you an email through your profile.
  8. Genealogy Question

    The praise belongs to my spell-checker. It took a lot of tries before I figured out what was wrong with "geneology" (which is how it ought to be spelled). Rest up, HAPe, because I'm looking forward to picking your brain. This is something that would mean a LOT to my dad (and me, too), if I can help him trace this down. When my father visited in October, he was jetlagged (along with having other health problems), so he spent a couple of days recuperating here, and spent the time talking extensively about his family. I grabbed a pen and jotted down a few notes. In the interim, before this more recent visit, he's written down many more memories, along with subscribing to ancestry.com. Any additional help would be greatly appreciated. I'm overwhelmed by it all, but feel a small amount of urgency in finding out what I can, as soon as I can. doojable, I'm looking forward to hearing your stories. bowtwi, thanks for looking into it. If you come up with any more ideas, please post. likeaneagle, the family website sounds like a great idea. It's amazing when the long forgotten names of never known relatives begin to come to life.
  9. Genealogy Question

    Linda, I can't get too addicted if only because my genealogy on my mother's side has been scrupulously tracked for centuries, and meticulously recorded. I have a very thick binder -- a gift from my mother's cousin -- as proof. Come to think of it, a lot of it did come from the Philadelphia Historical Society. (Thanks Sudo. I forgot about that. Another avenue.) My father's paternal line has been easy. We've got family stories that match the records we've found. It's his mother that's missing. I'm going to take you up on your email offer as soon as I hear back from my father. He left a couple of days ago, so I just sent off an email to double-check my details, what few I have. I'm interested in hearing more questions from your questionnaire, if you remember what you asked. I love your bigamist story. It reminded me of a friend from years ago who painstakingly researched her fiance's family history to be sure he didn't have an axe murderer lurking in his family tree. He came up clean, so she married him. As it turned out, she had one in hers, which she found out about years later. We had a huge laugh over that. I'm reluctant to take on the courthouse thing. I'll have to call on Monday to see what all is involved, and what the chances of success are. Sudo, I always suspected you came from a fine pedigree. Your heart must have been crushed to learn otherwise. Actually, I didn't think we had war heroes on any side of our family, or on any side of a war, but I think a distant cousin of someone somewhere once fought in the revolutionary war. Just a long line of farmers, ministers, and teachers. HAPe, Templelady, I hope you chime in. I'd like to hear how you've gone about this, and what you've found.
  10. Genealogy Question

    If memory serves, a few of you here (HapE? Linda?) are genealogy buffs. Over the past months, my father has been working on his family history, piecing together a narrative. With the help of ancestry.com, he's had a lot of success tracing his family tree on his father's side. We spent the whole of last weekend perusing passenger and census lists, which is where we've had the most success. Unfortunately, we've hit a few snags in trying to piece together his mother's history, and I wondered if anyone here has charted these waters and could furnish me with a map and a compass. From family stories, my father remembers that his mother was born in 1897 in Philadelphia. She died in 1955. Her parents contracted tuberculosis when she was an infant, which her father died from when she was three. My father remembers that she mentioned traveling to Arizona with her mother, we think under doctor's orders. Her mother (name unknown) partially recovered, then remarried either in Arizona or when she returned to Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter, her mother died. My grandmother lived for awhile with her stepfather, then was adopted by an aunt and uncle (from her father's side), who later disowned her when she married a German Protestant. My father never met any of his mother's relatives. Here is what we know from our searches (which is very little). From census documents, we know where my grandmother lived in Philadelphia when she was three. Her mother is listed as "head of household" but her name is illegible. We don't know her deceased father's first name, either. We know her maiden name. I thought a birth certificate would solve the whole mess, but when I went to the Dept. of Health to file for one, I was told that the state keeps records only since 1906. The clerk suggested that I go to the county courthouse in Philadelphia to look through the records. When I looked online, I learned that in 1897, birth certificates didn't require the mother's maiden name, so even if I found the thing on one of their self-service coin-operated microfilm machines, I don't know if it would tell me more than we know. Any advice on where to proceed from here? Are there shortcuts? Other avenues? Other websites?
  11. United 93

    Raf, got it and answered. If those who are going to see it have seen it, let us know. I wouldn't mind talking about the reasons and the effect of how some of those scenes were directed, if it doesn't spoil the movie for those who haven't seen it yet. Krys? Tom? Linda (go watch it)? Anyone else? We're waiting for you to check in. Raf, have you or are you planning to read Guests of the Ayatollah? I got the book, but haven't started it yet.
  12. United 93

    It's a good movie. A very good movie. Maybe because I was prepared for utter agony -- I half expected an emotional breakdown that would cause me to be escorted out on a stretcher, in four-point restraints, hooked up to thousands of dollars worth of medical equipment -- the worst didn't happen. I didn't even need my tissues, not that it wasn't sad, but there wasn't even the slightest hint of melodrama in the re-telling. At no point did I feel that I was being manipulated. Just given the facts, and the sequence of events. I liked it. It did more to allay my fears, rather than resurrect them, because it gave me a context to put it all in. The crew and passengers did what they had to do, and that was that. Kudos to all those air traffic controllers, who did what they could. Their responses were very human, but also professional. The movie is well paced. I wish I had gotten to know the characters a little better, but because it was all happening in "real" time, the camera switched from person to person so quickly that the introductions were superficial. It had the effect of making me feel as if I was right there with them, in that group of strangers. I didn't know anything more about each person than what they knew of each other. A few of the passengers were true to their stereotypes, like that Dutch(?) guy who kept advising everyone to just do as they were told and everything would be okay. Not too long ago, I saw Paradise Now, and I felt that gave me a little background on the hijackers. Paradise Now humanized the suicide bombers. United 93 didn't offer commentary, which I think is to their credit. No one applauded, though. In fact, the theater was quiet, maybe because the showing was at almost 10 p.m. on a Sunday night. About a dozen people showed up. Overall, a good movie, for those inclined to see it. Raf, the only time I felt the beginnings of contempt for Islam was at the beginning, when they were doing their prayer ritual, with the ominous music in the background. After that, the motives of the hijackers were incomprehensible to me.
  13. Thanks, sock. I just wrote out a long post that wasn't nearly so gracious and was having second thoughts about posting it. I'm glad you wrote yours. Allan, I still would like to say that, honestly, the reason people are getting so annoyed with you is because you tend to be very persistent, and, whether you realize it or not, also insulting, which makes your persistence even harder to take. No one wants to put a muzzle on you, but we all need space to be able to thoughtfully consider other opinions and ideas, without one voice dominating or derailing the discussion. Yours is one of the more strident voices on GreaseSpot, and it's part of what is contributing to the current tone here. Again, people are getting frustrated with you, not because you are a Christian, not because of your belief in the law of believing, not because you found a goldmine in PFAL. People are frustrated with your (lack of) social skills. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but that's how it is. Let me repeat Tom's question: But folks constantly harrassing you like you have MO? ...I never saw that, if you can show it to me I'll gladly rescind my statement that your character is somewhere on the lower rungs... no one is saying "you have to be like everybody else" or "your beliefs don't matter" we're just saying "what are you proving by constant harrassment?" I am interested in your answer.
  14. United 93

    Hey, Raf, I was hoping you would see this quickly so I could read your review. This movie made the front page headlines earlier this week with the directive: Go see this movie. The newspaper predicted that it will bring closure, healing, and lots of other good things. So I think I will, as long as it isn't the sort of thing that will haunt me for weeks to come. If it's sad, I can take it. I'll bring a box of tissues. But I don't like "disturbing."
  15. Throwing Stones

    A few thoughts, for what it's worth. It's not too often I get angry over something that's posted at GS. I take most of it in stride, figuring that people have their own reasons for posting here, even if it looks ugly to me, or is unpleasant to read, and that if the catharsis helps them somehow, that's part of why GS is here. Fine. But what really gets my ire is when I see posters used as target practice; when whatever contempt people feel toward The Way, God, or just life in general, is directed at the unsuspecting, and the unprepared. Belle, you made a parallel between these current trends and JWO. Where I see the similarity is in the way people are being trashed, not for who they are, but because they don't fit in. Sogwap didn't post on any thread about sexual abuse. She posted on a thread about Craig. She wrote about her experience with him. Someone who has had contact with Craig was trying to reconcile his impressions of Craig with what he was reading here and on other sites. From her post, it sounds to me like Craig is someone she once loved, and still cares about on some level. What amazes me more than her story is that so many of you can't relate to it. Her post was on-topic and relevant. So why isn't there room for that topic here? Why isn't there room for her here? Maybe you all can't relate to her, but you don't have to. Not everyone can relate to some of your stories, either. With or without modifiers, it is her story to tell, in her own words. Is sogwap really the only one here who has had sex under morally ambiguous circumstances? I find that hard to believe, but, okay, if you say so. Even if that's the case, she said it was a relationship that happened in the seventies. Doing the math, it could quite possibly have been before Craig was married, and I assume it was, if only because she said she thought she was "the only one." If he were married, it would likely have been obvious to her that she wasn't the only one. I don't know if that makes a difference or not. If she had held a grudge, would she have been welcomed here more graciously? It's disappointing to think so.