of the Son of a Kansas Pioneer Woman
A Book of Poetry about the Life of Donald Warren
By Donald J. Warren

History of the Sherman family has been contributed by my Cousin by marriage Etta-Claire Abrahams, and edited into poetic form by Donald Warren. Aunt Ethel's narrative is recorded as prose to maintain accuracy in her own words. Information concerning my Peppiatt anchestors came partially from material compiled by Mrs. Aletha M. Collyer, originally collected and written by Martha Alban as planned by Elizabeth Peppiatt, the daughter of Shadrach Peppiatt, the son of John Peppiatt. John is the first person about which we have fairly complete information. Other contributors to Mrs. Collyer's work are too numerous to mention, and are not included here since I am only trying to record our direct line of decent. Mrs. Collyer was not a Peppiatt but married a decendent of one. Her book includes literally hundreds of Peppiatt decendents!

My Aunt Ethel Holmes nee Peppiatt lived to 102 years of age. During the last 10 years of her life she wrote notes about her childhood growing up in Kansas, which were typed by her Brother-In-Law. Where I find more stories about my Grandmother, Grandfather or Mother, I plan to include these in future updates. I can't believe all of these things are still in my head because I do not have a photographic memory. All I have to do is think about some "image" and there are thoughts which come back to me. Like, I think about the airport hanger in my home town where they stored planes, where I learned to fly and even though I can't really see the image, I almost can. In my mind, I can walk inside and admire the heavy rolling doors, and the steel cross beams in the darkness toward the roof, and the entrance to the office and a small control tower.

I am amazed when I go to research some of the things I remember. I use Google on the Internet to verify the history of things I remember. Therefor, I have not included a bibliography. For example, I discovered many things first occured about the time I was born: Crystal Cat-whisker radio kits in 1915, Eskimo Pies in 1920, Soapbox Derbies in 1934, and the first airplane safety (seat) belts in World War I! On the other hand, hula hoops, circa 1960's, have been around 3,000 years or more in almost every culture!

Formatted to print best using the Internet Explorer Browser (IE). Go into the printer "page setup" menu, select margins and footers, and enter "Page &p" for page numbering - in the correct margin box. If necessary, IE shrinks the output to make it fit on the page. Mozilla Firefox print really blows it up (60% larger) and may truncate lines! Use Firefox for viewing only (not for printing)!


This book of poetry is about my growing up during the century of greatest growth in history, starting in Manhattan, Kansas. My Mother was born in central Kansas in 1885, barely 20 years after the Civil War. I picture her standing on a grassy open plain, arms outstreched, wind blowing her ankle length skirts, or out riding a horse... Raised on a farm she was a Kansas pioneer. She earned a teachers' certificate at age 14 and began teaching school. At a time when women didn't normally attend college she earned both a three year and a four year college degree. She also homesteaded 365 acres, bought another half square mile, bought 4 lots to build a home on, and raised a family. All of her sisters as well as my Dad were college graduates. It was understood that their children would do the same. Electrical Engineering was central to everything, power generation, radio communications, the telephone and telegraph, lighting, elevators, car ignation, boilers, air conditioners, refrigerators, electric signs, etc.

With a woman life is all about love, security and being wanted. With a man it is all about sex, work and sports! Other things are less important. Younger people today do not know what it's like when the stock market colapses, and banks fail, and you lose your life's savings, or twenty percent of the population is out of work and joining bread lines and soup kitchens. Or when inflation destroys the value of your money, and there's a war and shortages of food and rationing of these and other things like womens' hose and gasolene. I know - I grew up during the depression!

Life changed rapidly during the last century and I hope I have captured some of it as history. Many things are discussed in print which years ago would have been taboo. All my life I have been too shy to break the ice. Now I make a point of talking to every sexy pretty lady, even if their married! Most of this information is set in modern poetic style to make it easer to read. It has to have some rhythm and a punch line, a closing so to speak.

This book is also about my Daughter, Lily Nell Warren (an artist, singer, poet, and former corporate head-hunter), her dear departed Mother, Ruthe Lorraine Warren nee Sherman (also an actor, singer, artist, writer and talent agent), and about my family, the Warrens, and the Sherman, Peppiatt, Quimby, and Levinson family history.

My daughter has a Master's Degree in Creative Writing (a subset of English, I guess). On our way to St. Thomas USVI she showed me her just published book of poems. It did not look like any poetry I knew. The classical form, four lines each stanza, the second and fourth indented, the first and third rhymed! Her's had no rhyme, no structure, all random. I said, "this looks easy." In jest I exclaimed "Why did it take you eight years to complete it?" Her response: "I'm working on my second book." Actually, her book was just a small selection from a much larger collection of other material. Lily is a member of The Artist's Way which meets Sunday Mornings in Kingston, NY. She frequently participates Monday evenings on Poetry Night at the Colony Arts Center in Woodstock, NY. She does readings and book signings at other locations.

I have two Cock-a-Pooh dogs, Gigi and Teddy Bear. When they run, side by side, together, and then look at each other I wonder what they are thinking. If I knew, I could write a book in their names. But first, I thought I'll put their story into a poem and publish some of it here! Stimulated by the fun of writing "Gigi and Teddy Bear" I started writing other poems about stories I frequently tell. A lot of these are included here as well. In fact, this has become an auto biography of my life, a sort of history book in poems. I wanted to find a publisher. "Writers' Market" said you needed an agent. The first three I tried to reach had gone out of business or were reported as being crooked. So I decided to copyright it and put in on the Internet. You can print it yourself using Internet Explorer. Don't use Mozilla Firefox for printing (it truncates lines!). I don't feel like setting up a business, you know - a DBA (doing business as) certificate, an EIA (employer identification number) and a state sales tax certificate and having to collect sales taxes and handle the quarterly reports, just to sell a book. If you really like it and don't want to pay the sales tax, you can send me a donation by check at P. O. Box 5, Willow, NY 12495, to Donald J. Warren. For a $25 donation I will print you a copy, three hole punch it, put it in a notebook binder and ship it to you. Don't forget to include your address!

I want to dedicate this to my daughter who is very dear to me, and to my late departed wife, Ruthe, who I miss more and more each day!


Introduction How This Came To Be
Early Memories My Childhood and Growing Up
Sex Boys Will Do It
Death Sad Ending for a Dear Departed Soul
Ego Trip Climbing Mount Evens in Colorado
After Hours Life on an Air Force Base
Mom Growing Up On a Farm In Central Kansas
Mom Fast and Fearless
Dad About My Father
Cats From Childhood and Later
Vacation A story about hearing chichens on the island!
Possum A ruckus in the hen house!
Dead Raccoon End of my Brothers Mail Order Eggs
Stock Car Racing Life as a teenager
My Brother Walter Peppiett Warren
Corporate Cannibalism History of the Jeep!
Later Years Kingston and New York
Retired Years Willow and Woodstock
My Fall Visiting my Uncle In Kansas
Ruthe Warren My Wife
Ruthe's Mother The Levinson Side of the Family
Ruthe's Father The Sherman side of the Family
My Grandmother The Quimby Side of the Family
My Grandfather The Peppiatt Side of the Family
Aunt Ethel My Aunt's Recollections from her Childhood
My Daughter Lily Nell Warren
"Gigi and Teddy Bear" About my Dogs
Strange What you remember!
Dating Services Not So Good
Boys! What it means to be a male
Women The Love of my Life
Been There, Done That! Life Experiences
Advertisement Looking for Love?
Reply To True Love Dating Service E-Mail
Pornography It's No Help!
Reflections Some of our experiences on this trip
The End What the Future Holds



"Bark, Bark!" I wake up to the sound of dog. Opening my eyes It's light out (6:00 AM) rubbing my eyes and getting up two black forms Gigi and Teddy Bear waiting ready to go outside. Forget the bullshit-- Go directly to their poem You can leave the rest for later... My daughter and I travel to her Westin St. John Resorts and Villas Time Share, US Virgin Islands duplex apartment for our vacations. It is a beautiful place, but not as stunning as the Ritz-Carlton on St. Thomas where we have also vacationed. The umbrellas at the Westin are the color of beach sand and look like they have been there fifty years! At the Ritz they are pure sparkling white with bright blue trim! The beach side restaurant at the Ritz is under a white inverted canvas funnel surrounded by three white sails! Guest houses at the Ritz are a light shade of pink. At the Westin - olive, and blend in with the foliage very nicely. I like the Westin lay-out. Our Westin duplex featured a big boom-box. No one complained when we used it loudly late at night! My daughter likes to dance. The walls must be very thick and well insulated! The Westin has two Internet personal computers in the reception area. The Ritz-Carlton has only one and they charge five dollars to access it, a dollar per minute and a dollar per web page! Most libraries give you free access and will print 10 pages per day, also free. Why pay all that money to stay at the Ritz and have them nickel and dime you to death! I forgot to pack a swim suit or floppy shoes. The gift shop at the Ritz charged 68 dollars for the floppys, and 64 dollars for the swim suit. The floppys hurt my feet but the swim suit was excellant! When I took a 150 dollar massage the next day they gave me floppys for free. They were much more confortable! We also stay at the Raleigh in Miami Beach, Florida. Warning: There a small bag of laundry cost us $88-- more than the cost of buying everything new! At our duplex we had a washer-dryer in our room! And our time-share unit was stocked with all the necessary supplies. The Raleigh loans guests a wireless IBM ThinkPad notebook computer for two hours at a time at no charge! Much of the original material in this book was created using the Internet PC's at the Westin. I am extremely grateful for the free and unlimited access to their computers. However, I was careful not to continue using them when other guests appeared! They don't stay that long - doing E-mail or looking for something. But next year I may bring a notebook PC so I can write in my room! I had one problem at the Westin. They told me I could not store a temporary file on their computer. This was not true - they just would not tell me how. So I put my text into an E-mail on AOL.COM and sent it to myself. Each day I accessed my sent or saved E-mail selected a character, did "select all" and "copy" and pasted the text into a new E-mail. One day I found a file on the desktop someone had created with only one word in it. I assumed someone created it to do a spell check. I used this file to save the contents of my latest E-mail and then up-loaded it to my server. Afterwards I cut my text from the file on the desktop. While there I composed eight more poems I decided to edit them directly on my server even though I hate to use it's text editor. It's very primative - has no cut and paste and the text is too fine for me to read with my poor eyesight. The Westin IT lady would have me go to town to the "Surf Da-Web" computer store and buy a USB memory stick to save my text (about 20 dollars cab fare round trip with tip and $49 for the flash memory). These are less expensive back home! Apparently you can save a file under the path name ending in GUEST. The walk from the beach at the Ritz is up a long incline topped by stairs to the second floor! It nearly killed me to walk it. And another block up an incline to the reception area! And no usable elevator! Before going to the Ritz I could barely make it into Wal-Mark. After I left St. Thomas I took my daughter for a good three mile walk and back. Each way, two blocks before our destination she said "get me a cab - I can't go any further!" Now I look forward to going to our Westin time share and the equally hard walk back to her duplex! I hope I'll gain back my strength! And lose a few more pounds! (I lost 21 pounds on our last trip and was able to stop taking COREG and ACCRUPRIL blood pressure pills!) Both places provide go-carts on call if you want to ride instead of walking! And it's hard to turn down an offer to pick you up when they drive by! Reservations should warn you that check-in time is four PM and you may want to pack things like medicine and swim suits in a carry-on bag so you can go swimming before four PM.

About this Book

By the time we left St. John all my stuff was on the Internet (except for part of "Gigi and Teddy Bear" which I wanted to publish commercially) for all the world to see! That's what I call really fast publishing. After returning to Willow in New York I begin to add information from previous web pages about my family. As it grew I decided to call this an autobiography and tell more about my life growing up and the history of my and my wife's familys. Now I have placed the entire book on the Internet.


Early Memories


My earliest memory is of my Mother lying me on an ironing board and changing my diaper, catching the poop with her hand so it wouldn't soil the board! I remember a photographer taking a picture of me at age two in a yellow stroller in the living room. We kept the photo on the Victrola. Out on our front porch about age three, looking north in the night sky I saw the glare of the great fire that consumed the Willard Chemistry building at Kansas State College, in Manhattan, Kansas about one mile from our home. There were a lot of sirens and heavy traffic.

First Period (1936 -1937)

Zoe Wright, a student in my kindergarten class held a birthday party, I was invited and attended. She had two dozen guests! She lived at the opposite corner of the school yard about two blocks from home. I had my first birthday party at age nine and another one at 77. At some point my Dad bought me a windup American Flyer Train on a curved track with three passenger cars and a caboose. Some three or four years later I made them buy me a Marx electric train set and a lot more track. And later, I bought electric switches, a Lionel engine and more cars. I still have these trains in a box. My wife had some much earlier wooden train models. Her dad collected smoking pipes and wooden model figures. Her mother collected porcerlians but they're mostly broken and gone. My brother's hobbies were building model airplanes which usually crashed and were trashed and played the clarinet before me. We used to have soapbox derbies. Kids made small car-like boxes out of wood and paste-board, with wheels which could be steered like a sled with your feet or with a rope tied to each end of the front axle. We had contests riding them down a hill on a street closed off for that purpose-- The western end of Houston Street started half-way up a hill. I know some kids rode soap boxes down this street, but I think the contests may have been on the much longer run down the west end of poyntz avenue. I loved to watch but never participated. I remember going up Houston street to go sledding on that hill. A lot has changed since the first soapbox derby in 1934. According to the Internet, more girls are racing today-- wind-tunnel technology and computer modeling are the norm-- and the cars are made mainly of plastic from easy-to-build kits, and lubricated with the lightest weight oil! But the sport almost didn't survive the loss of corporate sponsorship, the changing American family and the tastes of 21st-century kids. Over the past decade, soapbox derby racing has come barreling back thanks to a blend of tenacity, adaptation, and renewed interest from national sponsors! I had a little red wagon with a tongue to pull or guide it. It went too fast to ride free down hill - it had no breaks! But it was good to carry things in. Dr. Nelson attended Mom when I was born. At age six his daughter Joyce came to stay next door. Joyce became my playmate. She came over to our house crawled in the window every morning over me on the bed where I was sleeping. We played together, getting stuck together in a shallow cave we built! She only stayed while her parents were away. After they split up I saw her only once or twice. Even at the tender age of 6 I had a sexual desire for her! Some time later the doctor took us out to the airport while he went flying. I developed a desire to become a pilot. Years later I polished airplanes for money for flying lessons and with Mom's help I got a pilot's license.

Second Period - Grade School (1937 - 1943)

I do not recall ever having vaccinations before attending school. I believe there was a small pox vaccination. Later, there was a "Tine Test" for TB. Much later there was a Polio Vaccination. We just got all of the usual childhood illnesses-- Chicken Pox, Mumps, Measles, etc. They were controlled by quarantine-- A big red sign tacked up by the front door warning everyone not to enter! One Halloween school kids took a Ford Model T car apart got inside our Theodore Rosevelt school house and carried it to the roof-- planted it on the side of the mansard roof. There it sat at an angle the next morning perched ready to fly! We lived a half block from the school I went home for lunch each day. Other children brought a lunch box. Mother taught my brother Walter to read. He found school boring and did not do well! I learned to spell in the first grade. In second grade the teacher said I talked too much and put some tape over my mouth! I never forgot. The teacher's name was Miss McClaine. I remember farmers from Hunter's Island, it wasn't really an island but flat low really sandy wetlands good for raising melons, strawberrys, squash and quecumbers, bringing melons to town in horse drawn wagons, selling musk melons-- we called them cantalopes, at five cents each, and water melons at just two cents a pound! A loaf of bread, Coke, Doctor Pepper, Orange Crush or 7-Up and a really big Hersey candy bar were all just five cents each! An Eskimo Pie may have been more expensive - it was an ice cream bar sandwiched between two layers of chocolate first created in the 1920's in Iowa, called I-Scream! You want to learn more about the history of something? Just go search for it on the Internet-- You couldn't do that even 10-15 years ago! In the fourth grade the teacher's name was Miss Lois Sitterly. I liked to tell stories. People believed them! Charlotte Perry believed I had a Superman suit. Followed me home and demanded to see it! My Mom thought I had friends in the FBI. And that they took me flying! My Uncles, the Peppiatt brothers from Ellsworth came to visit; they brought their brood of kids in their Ford Model A sedans. There must have been a half dozen of them. We went to the local bakery. While their parents went inside to get some bread, we talked and told stories and rhymes. They sang "Catch a N..... by the toe, "If he hollers, make him pay fifty dollars every day!" Years later, in the Willow Art Gallery I was telling a story and mentioned this to a group of local Woodstock girls when to my amazement they all broke out in unison singing the rest of this crazy ditty. I didn't expect to hear this kind of thing out here! After all, lots of people back in Kansas were from the South and the Civil War was only 70 years away! I was never prejudiced. In grade school there were only white kids. It seemed normal since the colored lived across the tracks in the southern part of town and had their own elementary school. In high school we were all together. Only 10% were colored. The only thing I knew was one colored boy was really loud and tough and stank of sweat, really bad! The girls though very dark seemed smart and mostly pretty, quiet and sweet with thicker lips and knotty hair. I would have gone to bed with any of them if they were willing and not too fat. One bright sunny day summer 1949 my friend Leroy Coffey and I went to Kansas City MO to see the zoo at Swope Park. All of a sudden we discovered we were alone in the midst of thousands of colored familys picknicking all around us. We were a little scared and quickly found our way away from there. Kansas City has a wonderful art museum. A grade school assembly itinerate artist talked, sketched and painted one day. Made me want to paint and draw took a long time before I did. I still begin with a replica of his work.


About age 10 (1941) a Jehovas Witness came by to give us some literature, They offered to sit and study the Bible with us. Mother accepted and thereafter we met once a week. Mother was raised a Congregationist. Dad was a Baptist. In those days they didn't have enough money to buy clothes good enough to attend church. They sent me to attend sunday school and sing in the boys' choir. But while I liked to read the stories in the Bible books, I experienced no personal contact with God. When we started studying with the Jehovas Witness I learned that all the stuff the other religions believed were wrong! They quoted documentation from the period like hell was the sulfur pits where garbage was thrown to destroy it. Not a place where evil souls were sent for torture. This solidified my belief that God existed as a fantasy in the minds of men! And after all, who created HIM! The Jehovas Witnesses helped strengthen our civil liberties, but I didn't like their rejection of blood transfusion to save lives. And I don't like their persistent violation of my privacy trying to give us pamphlets.


Vacuum tube radios became available. The telegraph was replaced by teletype. Telephones had progressed from wooden boxes with a hand crank to metal or Bakelite enclosed wall or desk-top variety with a dial. Automatic telephone switching equipment replaced the manually switched network. And there were three radio networks: NBC, ABC and CBS. Cowboy Westerns and Science Fiction soap operas ruled the day. John Wayne, Gene Autry, Roy Rodgers and Trigger, Arthur Godfrey, and Lawrence Welk. Then there was "Gone With the Wind." And epics like "John Brown." Movies were five cents, often double features with cartoons! As long as the movies were, we often stayed over and saw them a second time! And enjoyed the popcorn as well. We listened mostly to the news And Walter Winchel! And went to see "For Whom the Bell Tolls," We had typewriters, automobiles, income taxes, the dust bowl, a depression, labor unions, the CCC, the WPA, and social security. I started playing the clarinet. Then came World War II. The second one to end all wars! And women in the work place, victory gardens, rationing of food and sugar, gasolene and tires. A man at 1425 Poyntz Avenue put together a tire re-treading business at his home in a garage facing the alley less than a block from our house at 1512 Houston Street. We had a common alley. We had a shortage of tires during WW II. He bought rubber material. Ground off the outter layer from the tire. Coated the tire with some kind of rubber cement and wrapped the new layer of rubber around the tire putting it into a steel form. Turned on the steam boiler and vulcanized it; it came out like a new tire. I used to go an watch. I met a solder and his girl friend, he invited me to visit Fort Riley and see his barracks and his horse. He was in the cavalry! Can you imagine in 1942 we were still fighting wars riding horses! Like in the middle ages.

On the Farm

I knew a farmer, Frank Stockwell who had a big stone house, barns, silo, and a windmill. I went to visit him on weekends. Helped him husk corn for his cattle. We threw the corn in a horse drawn wagon. He ground the corn and put it in the silo. Then I got to saddle up and ride. Every night he called the cattle to come and eat. Si-caa! Si-caa! Si-caa! They came slowly through the gates and across the road like they were tired from a long day in the field! One day he tied a rope from his horse's saddle horn around my chest in case I fell and he had to pull me out. He had me climb down inside the cistern, nearly 70 feet deap. to get a dead snake out of the water before it affected the drinking water. They didn't have electric power lines there, he had his own electric generator and some 24 big 3-cell glass batteries. Made his own power for lights. His wife cooked on a big black coal stove, used a lot of wood for cooking. He had two daughters, Beth and Alice. I never met Beth, she was married. And Alice was eight years older than I. In later life she married a man named John Warren. (No relation to my family.) She was in the real estate business and did quite well for herself despite the frailties of age.

More About the War

My brother was 8 years older than I. He was drafted and spent time in the South Pacific in military intelligence coding and decoding messages. But that's another story. In the fifth grade I began playing with electricity. made a Jacob's ladder watched it go zzet-t-t, zzet-t-t, zzet-t-t ... as the arc move up the wires! I wired my boy scout tent for fluorescent lights using a Ford Model T ignition transformer and burned out tubes. I had a crystal cat-whisker earphone radio. They first became available as a set in 1915! A girl I knew was 12 years old barely out of the sixth grade when she fell in love with a sailor boy he probably was not more then 18. And Boy! Was she a beauty. I was only 11 years old but I really wanted to screw her. She was very fully, well developed, physically for 12. Her parents let her drop out of school and marry him because it was war time! Her name was Delores Veal. I didn't remember her name at first but her brother was Gene Veal. Her father was the manager of a big supermarket. They moved to Califorina for his next big store. Shirley Ebberts, an attractive girl, lived in the next block. Her dad a college professor but she married a house painter. I bet her dad had a fit! And Jessie Lee Dobson another block away. I never got bold enough to ask them out. Yes I did. And Jessie Lee refused me! I don't know why. Before I knew it, they were married or moved away! Arthur Childs lived across from Shirley. We used to play together. Somehow I don't remember what we did. The way this is going it may come back to me some day. These names haven't come to me in 40 years! Denzel Kastner lived north-east of town on a small farm. I was in the band during the sixth and seventh grades. Stopped reading music and played by ear. That's when I dropped out of the band. Another bright kid lived on 13th street between Houston and Poyntz. Houses there faced the cross street which led to the bridge going to Hunters' Island. His father managed the local Kansas Telephone Office. Strange, they moved to 1517 Poyntz diagonally across the alley way back of our house. But he become so busy and with vacations I didn't see much of him. Like all people who work for big corporations, they get moved away. IBM used to stand for "I've Been Moved!" During the war I worked at the USO helping solders get refreshments and collecting empty bottles afterwards. Had to walk home late at night. Saw lots of women but they were all much older!

More Trivia (1943 - 1946)

I started building vacuum tube circuits. Made an illegal radio transmitter for the fun of it. Didn't care to be a broadcaster. Was just too slow clicking morris code to become a ham radio operator. About the seventh grade, I had a boy friend who was very bright and gifted his name was Edward L. Askren. He lived with his grand parents while his mother and father were away at college. He had a younger sister, Cynthia I believe. She was too young for me. His mother was a violinest in the Kansas City Orchestra. His father was studying to be an eye surgeon. His grandfather was a self taught optometrist had made his own charts and graphs for testing eyes. He had an office in Manhattan, Kansas. After Edward's father graduated he practiced in Atlanta, GA. Edward was white, light skinned, slightly red around the eyes with very dark whiskers and somewhat kinky hair kind of like arabs or Jewish men. From all I knew, I thought sure he and his whole family were Jewish! Edward moved away a few years later. I lost track of him. Both grand parents were very overweight and kept beehives. I was sure they wouldn't live past sixty five. Sadly, I was right! Another Jewish family owned a warehouse right here in town specialized in buying out failed businesses and held auctions in his vacant lot. Another owned a war surplus store. They were very industrious. Based on what I knew about Jewish people I was very impressed with their history, intelligence, education, cultural and professional achievements. I knew I would prefer to marry a Jewish woman. Which is what I did in later life. Some sixty years later my wife and I were traveling to Florida and stopped in Atlanta and located Edward he had become a psychologist had married, had a half dozen estranged kids, was divorced, and living all alone. We reminisced about our childhood. I mentioned I always thought he was Jewish. He was surprised He said he was Episcopalian of English origin. Several other people told me the name Askren was not Jewish. Some time later I could no longer locate him in the phone book. The Social Security Death Database lists him: born November 11, 1931, died April 30, 2000. All he has left is his Social Security Number! It's still hard to accept, people are born, they live, they die, and then are gone from us!

The Joker is Wild

Orphan children were sent to live in the Odd Fellows Home. I must have known some but don't remember. After the seventh grade I took a summer school art class. I did one Kansas landscape water color a day. Learned the four Greek columns and their capitals. Discovered I could not do portraits, even stylized ones. Or remember people's faces. Even of my family! That's when I discovered I was near sighted. George and Lewis Peck lived at 1417 Poyntz. Lewis was the younger and a little wilder probably about my age. I heard he died a few years later. A girl I knew, Dorothy Wonder, was a gifted violinest in high school but once in a while Mr. Brown, our music teacher would stop, and say "Well Wonder I wonder!" She was very attractive, but had a boy friend, Bruce Wilson. I never stole anything, except I once swiped a spark plug from the local Montgomery Wards-- I didn't have any immediate need for one. I guess I was curious to see if they would catch me! I felt so guilty I vowed never to do that again. Years later, I had an argument with a checkout store clerk and neither of us realized that she had not charged for a chicken, and when I discovered it, I was still so angry-- I don't remember what we fought over! I did not go back to pay her. Mr. Brewster worked in the electronics repair shop upstairs at the back of the local Montgomery Wards store. He helped me test vacuum tubes and sold me parts which helped me in my hobby - electronics. I also sent away to Chicago for parts by mail. Arrow Electronics. In the eighth grade, I got a typing manual and bought a Remington Rand typewriter, it cost some 250 dollars. Mother must have given me the money, and I taught myself to type. In the ninth grade, I learned to play chess and read history. We had an era of door-to-door salemen. First there was the Fuller Brush Man, come to sell you sets of brushes. Then there was a number of encyclopedia, book and magazine salesmen. Followed by the vacuum cleaners. Next there were Tupperware Parties selling pots and pans and plastic food containers. And the Avon lady selling perfume, creams, candles and underarm deoderant! She's lasted longer than any other. Even my wife was one for a while. Now it's mostly done on the Internet or by Tele-marketing. My daughter tried that once! And then there were pyramid schemes the first people at the top those that started it made money and ended up going to jail!

The Joker is Wild

After the war, there were fast foods, MacDonalds, Dairy Queen, and frozen foods. Refrigerators, air conditioning, the Atomic Bomb, and Civil Rights. And lots of cars and motorcycles! Kids didn't have cars back then. At age 17 motor scooters were all the rage. My friend Don Younkin was a year older. He led the pack - he lived at 1115 Poyntz Avenue. Don taught me how to drive using his family car. It was a black 4 door Chevy sedan. We went out across the viaduct and south into farming country. His home has since been raized and replaced by the new city offices, police and fire station. All my friends had Cushman Motor Scooters manufactured by the Cushman Motor Works in Lincoln, Nebraska, first introduced in 1946 and produced till 1965. Cost about five hundred dollars in 1948. Only a little more than 3.5 horse power-- like a lawn mower easy to drive - had an automatic clutch but could go 55 miles an hour! Some later models had a shift and two speeds. There was the 60 series in 1949, the Road King in 1960, and the 9 horse power Silver Eagle in 1961.

1948 Cushman Motor Scooter
Parts and Engine Overhaul Manuals are still available on the Internet. A 1948 model is available, but with a Husky engine. They had to be overhauled every few hundred hours. Got us around very well back then. If you could find one now in good condition it would be worth a lot of money! Don had bought a used Cushman motor scooter and when someone wanted to buy it he sold it for a quick profit and went to Lincoln Nebraska and bought a new one. Over time he owned five or six of them. He got good at fixing them. When Emo Kentz, owner of Modern Motors, the local Kaiser-Frazer Car dealer wanted to market them he hired Don to become their repairman. I first tried his scooter. On the second corner I hit some sand and skidded falling on my right elbow and skinned it. We bought mine from the Kaiser-Frazer Dealer. The only one they had in stock was a light pea green color-- I took it because I didn't want to wait for one to come in. I didn't really care about the color. Mom forked out the money. Don was a little mischievous back then while he was overhauling my scooter he told me he needed a little "blue compression." He sent me down town, I believe to the Smith Brothers' Sporting Goods Store, Carl, Art and Clide; they had the largest collection of old guns. They told me what I wanted was "red compression" and sent me elsewhere - where I found out it was a prank! Don's family had been displaced in 1940 when the Army bought up the farm land north of Fort Riley for tank training. We went back once to collect honey and water cress from his old farm. Water cress grows best near old out-houses! The bees had made a hive out of the wall of the house. His father and uncle tore off the siding and scooped out the honey with their bare hands with no masks! They used a smoker to calm the bees. When bees smell fire they eat a lot of honey and fly away from the hive. Then their not so aggressive. And some people are not so alergic to their sting! I was standing fifty feet away with a bee helmet and gloves yet two bees got inside and stung me! We brought back a couple of hives and put my Dad into the honey business. His dad sold me some excess fire arms from the farm. Got a 410 shotgun pistol which I later found was illegal and had to turn it in to the local Sheriff's Office. Anyone could buy a gun. It was legal to carry a loaded gun in Kansas. I owned a 22 caliber pistol, two rifles, and three shot guns. Most belonged to my parents before me. My father had a 4280 Winchester which he had hunted antilope in Wyoming. We hunted rabbits and pheasants in season. Nobody ever shot anyone. Except in the book "In Cold Blood." In the tenth grade, I did well in math, science and social studies. I was especially good at multiple choice tests. Written or oral tests were a different matter. I finished the eleventh grade lacking only 4 credits, two courses, of completing high school graduation.

College Days (1948 - 1952)

My Mother had my teeth straightened. They pulled the four first bicuspids. It cost her nearly five hundred dollars way back then. And food got under the bands and wires and etched the enamel so now I get a couple cavities every time I go for a cleaning. I guess I would rather had crooked teeth. I took the necessary correspondence courses during the summer to meet college entrance requirements. I asked the high school principal if I could take some twelth grade high school classes at the same time while attending college. He said no. So I skipped my senior year in high school and just went on to college. In high school I always did my home work in class so I never learned to do home work at home. This made it hard for me to do college work. Especially after I learned to play contract bridge! This made it hard to get good grades since I did not develop good study habits! Others did not ask permission and took both! Which is what I should have done. I really missed the social life that comes in the senior year! Dating girls and all that! Ann Clevenger was another good looker in my class. She had very attractive legs! I'd really loved to have felt and stroked them and if I had completed my education, and had a job, I would have asked her hand in marriage. I tried dating girls in college and dancing and even though I got the beat I could never repeat the steps. I just wanted to go to bed with them! I never found a woman who wanted to go to bed with me-- till I met my wife that is! We got into the cold war with Russa and China. Followed with a hot war - in Korea. When I had a physical exam at the student clinique the doctor said he thought I had a heart murmur. Later, when I took a physical to get my pilots license and they found out that I might have had a heart murmur, they made me go to Kansas City, MO and take an FAA physical. They cleared me as having no heart murmer and I got my license. I had a night time job welding aluminum ammunition cases for the Navy at our local Viking manufacturing company. Used Argon, an inert gas to protect the weld. Could run as high as 400 amps if you were good. On steel, it starts to sputter and explode above 75. Went home bright red under all my clothes from the heat. Attending classes the next day I had no tan. I wanted to take Water Color Classes even though it was not in my curriculum. It was in the Architecure Department. They said I didn't have the necessary pre-reqs in drawing and I could only take the course if I never tried to use them for credit in their field. I agreed and took the course. Made a A+ grade despite lacking the pre-reqs. Painted Kimbal Castle at the end of Poyntz Avenue. It was a dark stone towering crenulated building with an entrance gate. Attending college, Electrical Engineering and contract bridge, I joined the Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) and became a member of Pershing Rifles and did a lot of marching drill. If you were looking for women, forget it. In those days women did not take ROTC or join the Pershing Rifles. We were real good we did the Queen Ann's salute and fired blank bullets at half time on the football field. We drove all the way to Stillwater Oklahoma in a old army truck just to do our stuff. This didn't keep me out of the draft and Korea. Riley County draft board gave one year deferment if you were in college! I tried to enlist in the Air Force as an officer-- as a navigator/bombardier, but failed because you had to have at least 20/40 vision without glasses.

Service Years (1952 -1956)

Instead, I enlisted as a raw recruit! Being the oldest (21) I was appointed officer-in-charge of some 300 inductees on the 3 day train ride from Kansas City to Oakland. No problem, the train was loaded with Military Police. You know, "join the Air Force and see the world." Spent six weeks basic training at Parks Air Force Base crawling through Texas sand burs and tear gas night marches ninety miles south of San Francisco California. Flew to Lowery Air Force Base in Denver Colorado in a beautiful propeller driven three tailed Constelation. It looked like a swan. Spent two years teaching K-series Bomb Navigation Radar and computers maintenance. Then I was assigned to the Mobil Training Wing, at Smoky Hill AFB, Salina, Kansas just sixty miles from home, and El Paso, Texas, then back to Kansas and home. I did some flying in the Air Force. Flight officers have to maintain their proficiency every month flying a certain number of hours. If you go down to the flight line you can catch a ride on one of these night time junkets, in a C46 airplane going 500 miles out at 250 MPH. just touching down and then returning. I tried going to the USO to meet girls but we didn't seem to have a common interest. They only wanted to talk about their life and family, or sports, movie stars, music, clothes and lipstick. I don't know what I wanted to talk about anymore. Probably flying, hiking, science fiction, history or sex. Not in that order, and certainly not sports. When the Red Cross needed blood the Master Sargeant called us out to drill. We marched around the parade grounds in the hot summer morning until we had enough voluntiers to meet their quota. I have never liked the Red Cross especially when they paid Mrs. Elizabeth Dole a salery of nearly four hundred thousand dollars! Many barracks were from World War I and were coal fired. We each had a tour of duty to keep the home fires burning! Every morning at revelry bugle call after shave and shower and shine we had a bed and foot locker inspection. If you couldn't bounce a quarter off the blanket you were due for some extra K-P, as in Kitchen Police pealing potatoes most likely! Of course that's where all the vitamen C is found-- We didn't have a very healthy diet. They had steam cleaning dishwashers so that was never our lot to do. When I needed money I could always go down town in Denver and donate some blood for about 10 dollars and some juice. It made you feel a little high without a drink! I discovered I had a right brain and a left brain. I could start to drive into town to some particular place and while I was driving I could carry on a conversation without being aware I was actually driving the car! I was a good driver. Only problem was, I often ended up some place other than where I intended to go! And coming home late at night I would sometimes stop at a red stop light when there were no cars in sight and then drive through it without thinking. Then I would get a real shock at what I had just done! And wake up to driving instead of dreaming or thinking. Service people are always short of money I had a slide rule from college days I would take it into town to a pawn shop and borrow thirty dollars for it and on returing to base I could always find some poor soul who would borrow fifteen dollars from me and pay back thirty on pay day! We had a couple of colored boys who made a practice of shooting craps each pay day. They cleaned the white boys out of money in a very short time with lots of admiring watchers! Thank goodness I didn't gamble. Three of us were in my car going into town. One guy had a target pistol with him. For lack of something better to do he demonstrated disassembling it and putting it back together. Including shoving the magazine in pulling the breech slide back, racking it and cocking it as they say. Bang! Accidently, he had also pulled the trigger without realizing that the magazine was full of bullets! Thank goodness, the gun was pointing toward the floor boards but the bullet deflected under the floor mat passing right under my right foot! I'm glad it didn't bounce and hit us. He was just as shocked as we were. El Paso, Texas was a dry sunny place. Kind of like a desert with craggy ridges behind. Airmen went across the border to Juarez, Mexico for some fun. A guy and I went to some bars for beer. An attractive girl came and set beside me. I thought she had some nerve she took my penis out and began to play with it sitting at the bar. She proprositioned me. To get a blow job for two dollars! The exchange rate was 12 pasos for the dollar. Or for two and a half more for a condum I could screw her! The guy I was with went crazy when I went with her, I was holding his wallet and he was afraid she would take it and steal his money He burst in and ended it! I think he was just jealous she picked me instead of him! I was kind of sorry. She was pretty and sexy enough-- I don't know why I didn't just give him back his wallet! I never seem to think quick enough. I would gladly have taken her home. But I remembered my mother telling me Mexican girls look nice when they are young but by the time they're thirty they look old and ugly. I could have gone back on my own but I was afraid to go there by myself. We heard stories of what happened-- you know, the gangs, the police, the crooks. You were lucky to come back with your car! I joined the SAC aero club and rented their planes. In El Paso time was so tight you could only go night-time flying. We had a big old lumbering 175 HP Stenson. It had big flaps and decended like a rock when you came in for a landing. One night two military jets coming down, circling above me appeared as one plane. It looked like it was coming right at me and would hit me if I didn't take defensve manuvers till I realized both wing tip lights were red and it could only be two planes, not one and much higher up in the sky! President Eisenhower ended the war in Korea, well a truce anyway-- we've still got the Korean problem, and initiated building of the interstate highway system. He warned against giving the military-industrial-complex too much power! While teaching RADAR maintenance we discovered a fluorescence lamp would light up placed in front of a RADAR antenna while it was turned on. An egg set on the antenna would cook. And you got a head-ache if you spent too much time there too! A Tech Sargeant in our Squadron was named George D. Day He came from Michigan where his Dad was a GE plant manager. He and his wife played bridge with me almost every evening. She made wonderful dacaries. Her younger sister came to visit-- she was thin and very pretty. While she was there I asked her to marry me but she said she had a boy friend and was getting married! I since lost touch with him or our Master Sargent Bill Summers. But researching the Peppiatt Family History I found a dozen relatives of ours named Day, including some named George. We didn't know it then, but we must have been distant cousins! I just wished I had kept track of some of the friends I made in the service. A big Polish guy was from south-west Chicago. In Denver another instructor had been a "Best of the West" radio announcer in Dallas, Texas. He called himself "Donald McDonald, the Red Headed Scotchman from Texas" On Mothers' Day he organized a dance and brought in a Texas band to play. The local Veterans Organization competed and attracted all the customers! I helped him and learned a bitter lesson in showmanship.

Environmentalists are Enemys of Humanity

I have found good intentioned environmentalists could hurt humanity. They fought building an 11 mile tunnel under the mountains. said it would despoil a virgin canyon so today millions of people have to drive nearly to the top of the Rocky Mountains to cross the Contenental divide. God knows how many die each year in bad weather! And how many hours are waisted or gas expended. There should be some way to make these environmentalists pay for the damage they do to us. And blocking the building of cell phone towers on the tops of our local mountains is criminal neglect for all the people who have an emergency and can not make an emergency call from their car. I hope the environmentalists are the ones who suffer! They were never there before "Love Canal." Or the chemicals used in the Vetnam war. And stopping the building of nuclear power plants leaves us using coal and oil when nuclear powered electricity could be making clean burning hydrogen for our cars and drinking water from the sea! Nuclear power is safely managed and the waste can be safely stored under 16 foot of water it doesn't have to go to Yuka Mountain till they develop ways to reprocess it. And imported oil just pays the terrorists money they can use to kill us! When oil was discovered in Pennsylvania oil rigs soon plasted the sky line and never have I heard anyone complain that that state had been damaged by oil drilling. The same thing happened in Texas a few years later when Spindle Top was discovered nobody claims that Texas was damaged by oil drilling. So what's the point? We should drill for oil where ever it can be found! Even under the White House if it's there! And what damage has been done in Alaska? None by drilling! Make the oil companies liable for any damage done. And take the God Damm Environmentalists out and ......... all.

Sorry for the interruption

We started using 727 jet airplanes and TV. That plane was designed specifically to take off and land at La Guardia Airport in New York. It had very short runways which were bounded by Long Island Sound! The only TV station we could receive was in Topeka. It took a real big antenna to pick it up. For a while I worked in a radio/TV repair shop while in college. In 1956 I took my Mother and Father by car to San Francisco, Fresno, Los Angeles and San Diego to visit all of my Fathers brothers (Frank, Cyril and Walter) and sisters (Lorinda Scofield) and his Mother. We also visited his cousin Ruth on San Diego's Coronado Island. Her husband used to be a shuttle captain before they built a causeway. Grandma Warren never expected to die thought she would be taken up to heaven with the next coming of the Lord! She died a few years later after falling off a pillow she had crocheted at the age of 93. Afterwards, I finished my education and went to work for IBM on SAGE digital computers writing diagnostic hardware testing programs. By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2008


Sex - Boys Will Do It

When I was thirteen a boy I played with, I won't reveal his name, went hiking with me one day. Running through a corn field which was way above our heads. We both wanted to have an orgasm so we jerked off on the run! He suggested doing it up each other's rectum. Afterwards, I didn't find it that appealing or clean. Far more pleasing to do it by hand when you both can come at the same time-- and it's a lot easier than getting a girl. The pleasure of masturbating is almost a great as the orgasm. And it takes (lasts) longer! But it's not anywhere as intense or hot as when you feel that burning sensation that comes all over your body when you come! I wonder, do women ever feel it this way? Whenever I look, or think about a woman I feel the urge to go have sex with her. Some nights I can't go to sleep fantasying about a sexy woman. My Mother had a lot of books and encyclopedias, including ones on medicine and sex. I knew a great deal about sex and anatomy from them! But I never forgave her for forbidding me the pleasure of sex. No one in my family ever talked about sex, except, don't do it! By Donald Warren, © 2008


Death - A Sad Ending for a Dear Departed Soul

I hate to end this poem of my life on a sad note. But a girl I dated this past summer, 2008, took an overdose of sleeping pills and ended her life! Her name was Margo. She just turned 66 but looked like 45. She was dedicated to caring for another person and attended Catholic Church every sunday morning. She worked "off the books" cleaning peoples' houses and didn't meet the requirement for 10 years of employment to get social security benefits! At one point I even offered to hire her to work for me so she could qualify but 10 years was just too long for her and I might not have lived that long. She often was irrational and had a quick temper. She smoked a little, then put them out and saved them to finished later. She drank quiet a lot but she was fun to be with the rest of the time. She could have come to work for me, or if she was inclined - to live with me, but she said she was celebrant and devoted to caring for another poor soul. I wondered if she was a former nun and felt she was still married to God. I wish I knew what happened to her. It is speculated by some who knew her longest that she had too much to drink and her usual sleeping pills just did her in. Maybe it was't really suicide! That I would like to believe.

On the News one Night

Poor Bears-- They were happy bears, Moma and baby. But they lived in dangerous places across a super highway from their feeding area. One day baby got hit by a car while crossing over! Moma tried repeatedly to get back to her cub, but the traffic was just too heavy-- The highway patrol came. They stopped the traffic while rifle men stood by at the ready and others dragged the dead 80 pound cub to the side of the road near the mother, who grabbed her cub by the scruff of the neck and took off into the forest. By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2008


Ego Trip in Denver Colorado

When I was in college I tried out for boxing. Coach said I was too short winded - go take swimming! When I was in the Air Force We got a new batch of recruits every couple of weeks. They were sent to learn maintenance of bomb-navigation computers and Radar. As a teacher I met a lot of fresh young high school graduates. Every week I took a car load (6 or 7) up Mount Evans west of Denver. Drove to the 14,500 foot level and parked the car. I ran up a 1,000 feet slope, stopping to get my breath I turned back to see my passengers-- most were down on their knees throwing up! Young athletes have to become acclimated before making that climb! Some pilots black out from a lack of air without oxygen at that elevation. Imagine, me being short winded. I had an ego trip each time! The Rocky Mountains provided other opportunities for exciting and dangerous hiking and climbing like following bear tracks in the snow going into abandoned mines and crawing into caves (there are lots of them) looking for bats and snakes. Around Castle Rock, half-way between Denver and Colorado Springs there were some interesting cave formations where water had washed out the ground under giant rocks. (watching out for vertical mine shafts in the floor of a real dark mine-- some hundreds of feet deap.) The Red Rocks Amphitheatre 15 miles west of Denver near Morrison, is a great place to climb and view the sun rise. Especially on Easter Sunday services! Located between two large outcropping of sandstone each sloping 45 degrees upward to the west some 400 feet high, you can see for miles. The Brown Palace Hotel and many old stone houses in Denver are built out of this material. In the fall the trees here tend to turn a golden color. Nearby in Golden Colorado you can take a tour of the Coors Beer Company and get a free drink! The Denver Museum of Nature and Science in the center of town used to be the Phipps Museum of Nature and Science where you could go to see giant replicas of dinosaurs. It's expanded now with an IMAX Theater and other features tracing evolution. Thanks to the Bill Gates Foundation. In the Museum of Mines you can see a model of Baby Doe Tabor who was married to one of the biggest mine owners in Colorado. He became a United States Senator just so he could get married there! There are some great art and natural history museums-- I liked the ones in Denver, Kansas City, Baltimore, Washington DC, the Clark Art Gallery in the Berkshires. and, of course, New York. By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2008


After Hours

Great Time

After second shift classes at Lowery Air Force Base we used to look for things to do especially on warm summer nights. Sometimes we drove toward the mountains to the water reservoirs holding drinking water for Denver, Colorado. There was one possibly, two reservoirs. Looking at a map today there appears to be a number of locations, the largest is Marston Lake, then Bowles #1, Johnston Reservoir, Grant C, and Bowles Lake. I really don't know which one it was. There people parked all around the water every hundred feet or so (there was not a road, just muddy banks) building bon fires and going swimming! It was a wonderful sight at night. The reservoir was about a mile across. There were no lifeguards! Just an occasional floating log. We swam across and back. It was lots of fun. I bet you can't do that today! Sometimes we went to Lakeside Amusement Park with a swimming pool and roller coaster in north west Denver. Strictly off limits for swimming after hours! When the police drove by we hid under the diving platform.

Crazy Time

On other nights we hit the mess hall for some late night fortification. The bars closed at 2 AM so we headed to Aurora to do some serious drinking before they closed. We had a contest to see who could drink the most. I drank 21 shots, including several boiler makers! I'm glad I wasn't driving. When we got back to the barracks I threw up - including some blood! If I hadn't thrown up I might not be here now. I never did that again. Speaking of bars, Colorado had that crazy law you could not get up and take your drink the waiter has to move it for you! Like Kansas was one of the last four states to get rid of the prohibition on drinking more than 3.2 percent alcohol.

The Best Sex

I met an colored fellow in the service I gave him rides down town to the disco places one night somehow he offered to do me a favor. He gave me an oral blow job sitting in my car. It was the best orgasm ever! I kept a piece of pipe beside the car seat for protection. Just in case someone pulled a knife on me. He said you don't need that pipe I'm not going to hurt you. At one point he said "get down." It seems an MP patrol car was cruzing by. That's when I learned that homosexuality was illegal in the military service. He warned me that the fellows he usually went with could be dangerous and I should not get involved with them. I only saw him once or twice after that. By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2008


Mother Growing Up In Kansas

My Mother, Florence Nell Peppiatt was born on a farm October 3, 1885 only 20 years after the Civil War near Ellsworth in western Kansas. She was the third of nine children and had to do her share of farm work, like feeding and watering animals, collecting eggs, milking cows, churning butter, cleaning house, and helping care for brothers and sisters. There were no automobiles, no telephones, no radios, no movies, no airplanes, no TV, no computers, no cell phones and no electric lights. I wonder what they did for fun? They wrote a lot of letters. These were usually added to and forwarded to the next member of the family. When they came back, they were often circulated again! There were oil lamps, guns, newspapers, books, horses and carriages, mail, cameras, musical instruments, even canned food, schools, colleges, the telegraph, steam driven tractors, rail roads, steam ships and Factories.

What's It Really Like

Can You imagine a house with no radio, no TV, no electricity, no lights? You have to use a candle, a whale oil lamp, or a kerosene lamp to see or read by. And yes, you may have matches. No need to create fire like the Indians did it. There's no gas or gasolene. A cook stove which burns wood, coal, or dried cattle dung which someone has to go out and collect! A house with no running water-- If you have a cistern which catches the rain water from your roof, maybe you have - can pump it by hand in your ketchen sink or go outside to the horse tank to get water. If the wind is blowing, and you have a windmill maybe it's pumping water for the cattle and you can catch some fresh water to drink. A house without a toilet-- you have to go outside to a outhouse to shit! Or if your too sick or it's too cold-- you use a slop bucket and someone takes it out in the morning. There's no toilet paper You tear pages from last year's Sears or Ward's mail order catalog to wipe your ass. It's really thin and soft enough. They canned a lot of food. You put the food into ball or mason jars with water put the jars into a large steam boiler like a super sized presto cooker put it on the stove and heat it up it has a pressure gage and a safety release valve when it gets hot enough the water boils and creates a vapor This cooks the food and forces the air out of the jars and when the jars cool down creates a good vacuum to seal the lids on tight with a rubber seal. Of course there is a screw on lid to hold the glass lid in place. Other food is dried, smoked or soaked in brine to keep it fresh. Stored vegetables are kept in the storm celler where the tempature is usually about 52 degrees. You could buy some canned goods. And put flour or grain in tightly sealed bins. When the farmers plowed the prairie and there was a dry season and the wind began to blow you could get a dust storm all the from Kansas to New York! It stole the top soil and changed the landscape and took your seeds right out of the ground-- and ruined an entire year's work! They had a number of farmers' depressions late in the 1890's, 1904, and the 1920's There were plenty of hard times. There was no ice except in winter. If you lived in a more northern area like Michigan or New York ice cut in winter and stored in a well insulated sawdust facility might have ice for sale well into the summer but until large commercial refrigeration units were available during the 20th century, there were no other sources. And if you want to take a bath, you have a long oval copper tub or a galvanized round one which you fill half way with warm water heated on the kitchen stove in a bucket or tea kettle. It's awfully cramped to sit in - knees drawn up, and really heavy when you have to dump it out. The only sound is the sound of the wind or the cattle moowing or chickens crowing. Victrolas don't come too soon, Victor Victrolas with the horn enclosed began to appear in 1906. you had to crank them to wind up the spring mechanism. And records were expensive. Town is ten or fifteen miles away and the only way to get there is by horse or horse and buggy if your lucky and have someone to put the harness on. There's no local library you order your books by mail order. And yes, there is mail if you can get to the Post Office. When your going to have a baby you get a neighbor's wife to come and serve as a mid-wife. There's no going to a hospital. You hope there's no complications! And after ten or fifteen years of having babys your lucky if your still alive. The greatest danger was getting TB. Other childhood deseases were controlled by quarantine. To keep it from spreading to others. If you survived, OK otherwise, too bad! A lot of children died. They say life expectancy has gone up. Actually, it hasn't if you survived your childhood years, you had about as good chance of living as now-- sxcept in the last decade with so much new medicine for heart desease, high blood pressure, and treatment for cancer.

And Yes, there are good times

Going to school. Going to church. Neighbors getting together maybe singing or telling stories. And having barbeques and cook outs. Helping each other out when it's needed. My Mother tells of taking the train back to Michigan to visit relatives left behind, and to hear their stories when there were family reunions. Of eating fresh maple syrup or dumplings or plum pudding and taking steam ship rides on the great lakes! They stored their milk in a stone enclosed milk house where a rain fed cistern kept wet so evaporation would keep the milk fresh. At harvest time teams of men starting in Texas with their steam powered combine machines worked the fields northward just in time as crops ripened all the way to Canada cutting wheat. Mother read books riding horseback herding cattle always watching out for prairie dog villages since a horse stepping into a prairie dog hole could break a leg and through you to the ground! She rode a horse drawn mower, rake, and wagons, cutting and bailing hay to feed the farm animals. Horses can get spooked and bolt, throwing riders or overturning wagons! Farm work was, and is very dangerous. Older equipment used big wide drive belts to connect tractors to machinery these could catch you or break and kill you. My Uncle Howard, Aunt Alice's husband cranking his tractor-- the crank was on the side in front of the rear wheels. Accidentally it was in gear and when it started it run over him, you know, that big rear wheel broke a few bones! Mother never learned to swim. In college she took fencing and basket ball. She helped smoke-cure meat did canning and laundry and stored dried food and roots in their storm cellar. There was always a need to keep an eye on the weather to take shelter in the storm cellar in case a tornado was threatened. Note that Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma each have more tornados than Kansas. Mother attended a one room school house where grades one through eight were all taught by one teacher in the same class room. They did a lot of singing. Learned the names of all 105 counties and the names of the county seats as well. Earlier, Kansas actually had 32 more counties. When she completed the eighth grade she went to Fort Hays State Teachers College for one summer gaining her teachers certificate. Try to do that today! Upon returning home she began teaching grades one through eight in the neighboring county at age 14 riding a horse five miles there and back each day. Going back to Fort Hays she completed a three year college degree. She went to teach somewhere between Casper and Douglas in Wyoming. There had been a bloody range war some years before between the ranchers and sheep herders. There were a lot of tough people still around so Mother had to wear a German Lugar pistol or a 410 shot gun riding to and from her school! My Father used a 4280 rifle to hunt big game for food. While in Wyoming she took advantage of the Homestead Act to acquire some 365 acres of government land. She had to build a cabin, fence in the land, and live on it three years to own it. She bought another 360 acres. and actually owned more acreage in Wyoming than her Father in Kansas. After teaching some more she attended Kansas State Agriculture College in Manhattan, Kansas gaining a four year BA degree in home economics. K-State as it was called was known as a land grant college. I believe she went to Wyoming before going to K-State. After graduation, marriage, building a home and the birth of my brother, they both taught in Denver Colorado before going back to Wyoming to teach. When times got hard in Wyoming, they went to Oklahoma where Dad taught Indians to operate a boiler. Then went to Arkansas before returning to their home in Kansas where I was born April 29, 1931. I never saw her ride a horse. I don't know if she ever rode side saddle. Mom and Dad had a small morgage on the house to help finish construction. During the depression Mom had to actually beg the bankers not to forclose on the morgage and the house. Mother was 46 years old when I was born. She said she could have had babies till she was 52. Mother sent away for bulletins from the Kansas Department of Agriculture on many subjects, such as food preparation and healthy diets, baby care and how fast a normal baby should grow. She anotated in the margins how much I weighed each week. She canned a lot of food mostly peaches, plums, pears, and berrys. During WW II she attended dietetic classes. When brother Walter started school mother taught him reading, writing and arithmetic at home so when he went to school he knew it all and was bored. I don't think he was ever challenged to do well in class. When I started attending school mother never pre-schooled me because it did't help my brother. I did alright getting B's and A's but never was a streight A studient. Although mother's father was a successful farmer, my mother paid for her own education with money she earned from teaching. I guess you could call her a conservative. We never discussed politics. She met and married my father who had just returned from France and World War I on January 1, 1922. I don't know why we never celebrated their anniversity, only New Year's day. I never new the date of their anniversity! My brother was born in Manhattan, Kansas, January 10, 1923. When my father completed his college degree in Mechanical Engineering he elected to work for the railway postal service because of higher pay than in his field. In those days, the mail was sorted on the train going between towns. He got to do a lot of traveling! With money my Mother had saved from teaching they bought four lots in Manhattan, Kansas numbered from 1500 through 1514 on Houston Street, and bought a building from Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas for lumber which my Father used to build a home. But first, they needed a place to live in while constructing the house. Dad put up a one room garage measured 16 by 20 feet on the third lot from the corner and while it had a double door at one end and a single door at the other, it was never intended for a car. The wood floor was 15 inches off the ground and there was a brick chimney and a cook stove, and a window on each side. They lived in this building till the house was finished. There was no running water within the building. No toilet. I never asked how they managed. There was city water and sewer lines to the property so they must had a facet somewhere. I never saw an outhouse. There was a hen house. And later a much smaller car garage. The roof was almost high enough for a second story. And four foot wide racks were built on each side to store their belongings. Later on it contained scrap lumber. After I sold the property they built a brick apartment house there. Our house was very well constructed but sat on a gumbo clay soil which shifted under weight when it got wet. They did not put enough re-inforcing rods into the cement basement walls which later cracked and bowed and eventually had to be replaced. This caused some minor cracks in the plaster. The house was a two bedroom, bath, hallway with living room and dining room and kitchen with breakfast nook, and a full sized dry basement. The original furnace burned coal and there was a coal bin. The heating ducts were wrapped with asbestos. Coal became too expensive, so Dad converted the furnace to oil but it didn't work too well. Anyway, we had natural gas and a big beautiful heating stove in the dining room. The bathroom and each bedroom had a gas heater and the kitchen cook stove was gas too. Until mother inherited her mother's refrigerator we used a great big oak ice box. and had to buy ice every day from the delivery wagon. Our milk was delivered each day in glass bottles on the front porch. Empty ones had to be washed and placed the night before.


My parents traded one lot (1504-1506) in exchange for a used 1912 White Motor Car Company touring car. It was equivalent to a high priced luxury car today. It was a four door sedan convertable with really big leather seats and could seat at least seven people, plus two more on folding seats. The wheels had wooden spokes and the tires measured 38 inches top to bottom. They used this car with a large trailer to move their belongings to Denver where they both taught school. It had an all-aluminum body and engine, it was a large bore in-line six cylinder engine. It used three six volt batteries to start the engine, but also had a hand crank if the batteries were dead. The starter switch was a big knife switch mounted on the dash and looked like it could carry a couple hundred amps! The starter motor was an 18 volt compound motor-generator and served as both a starter and a generator to charge the batteries. While the engine was running you left it on all the time so it could charge the batteries. It was strong enough to actually move the car if it was in gear! The engine bolts were English style with left hand threads instead of right hand ones like the threads used in America. To remove them you turned them clock-wise instead of counter-clock-wise. I found out the hard way! The collector who bought the car at the auction of my Mother's property has one clock-wise bolt in an otherwise English specification engine. The White Motor Car Company later switched to making only trucks, not autos. Recently, I believe they were bought by General Motors. During the depression my dad removed the rear seat and converted the car into a dump truck. He thought he could get work with the truck. He converted the rear wheels to 36x6 inch truck tires. The 36 was the outside dimension, not the rim size. The truck idea was not a good one and he then went to work for the State Hyway Commission. During this time he bought a used 1934 Dodge 4-door Sedan for transportation - kept it in the second garage. Bought another one for parts - put the engine inside the garage. Later on my brother cut a door in the back of the first Dodge turning it into a five door station wagon but never got around to welding in the rear door. Later still dad bought an old yellow enclosed truck body sat it on blocks in the side yard in front of the first garage just to store things in - like chicken feed, paint, and parts. After Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President, dad want to work for the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) helping young people find work saving our forests and building public facilities. I had my brothers side-car bicycle. I could take Mother shopping on it sitting on the side car bicycle or go south west of town along Wild Cat creek to pick boysenberrys in season. We had wild plumbs, peaches, black berrys, rhubarb and strawberrys growing in back of our house. We also raised corn and okra, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes in our garden. I must have had a bicycle sometime but I just don't remember anything about it, except when I used my brother's side car. During the depression they could not pay the taxes and had to sell the land in Wyoming for twenty five cents an acre! But kept the oil rights which paid off well in later years. Mother taught school some eleven years. She did some tutoring later on. During the war years she took classes on healthy food preparation and vitamins. Of course, we had a victory garden. Every one was suppossed to raise vegetables. My dad got very angry when I didn't hoe the weeds out. Mother saved my but from getting a licking! Mother lived long enough to see cars replace horses and buggys, busess replace trolleys, tractors replace horses and steam driven combines and movies (which I don't ever remember her seeing) and juke boxes. She witnessed interstate hyways replace wagon tracks, airplanes replace trains and steam ships, radio, TVs, record players and recording devices replace traveling salesman and Victrolias, refrigeration and airconditioning, availability of frozen and fast foods, and the dawn of the computer age. Mother never expressed strong convictions about religion, except in her letters to me when I was in the Air Force. She wrote that you must have faith in God. That God keeps his promises. I believe some of her letters were written while listening to Bible programs on the radio. In her letters she sounds much like her sister Ethel D. Holmes, and Aunt Minnie Fern Peppiatt, who was a Methodest Deaconess. She complained that I did not write often enough. It is totally amazing at how totally brain washed most people are about God. To believe in anything for which there is no scientific evidence is ignorance! She did not live long enough to see video cameras, PCs, CD/DVD players, and cell phones! My goodness, what a change she witnessed. Maybe in another hundred years she would have lived to see that God is a fantasy! Later in life she came to visit several times in Kingston. She was so independent she never wanted to stay. Once she had to have surgery for breast cancer. It was just before Medicare Part B became effective. She had the operation at Vasser Brothers' Hospital in Poughkeesie. The doctor's bill was only $750. She had no radiation or chemical therapy and lived nearly 20 years afterwards. We took her to Brooklyn to have her eyes examined. The doctor told her to have a shot of hard liquor every day to improve the circulation of blood to the eyes. Whenever I went home to Kansas I got her a bottle of peach brandy. Usually she used it up before the next visit. After my father died mother needed to get the house repainted. She hired a retired shop practice high school teacher, Mr Taylor, to manage the job. He was active in church work and helping elderly people. He hired some solders from Fort Riley to do the work. After it was done he continued to come and see if she needed help-- Like getting groceries. For the remaining years of her life he stopped to check on her almost every day. She became totally blind at the end but she still was able to prepare her own meals and cook. Toward the end she was loosing her sense of touch and tended to burn her fingers touching something hot! She lived in Manhattan, Kansas at 1512 Houston Street for the rest of her life, except for several short stays at a nursing home at the end of her life of less than a month. She died in a nursing home at the age of 100 less 7 days of irregular heart beat. When she went into the nursing home she expected to return home in time for her 100th birthday and told people who were helping her not to tell anyone she was in the nursing home.

Manhattan, Kansas

The first settlors who established Manhattan, (my home town) visited there in 1864 about the end of the Civil War. They returned the following year and thought a town near the junction of the Kansas (called the Caw) and the Blue rivers would be ideal. At that time a lot of commerse was carried on on rivers and canels. To the north and west were hills which formed that side of the valley containing the rivers. These hills formed the boundries of the original town. Between eleventh street and fourteenth streets (about a quarter of a mile) In the center of town on the north side of Poyntz they laid out a very large city park, with a large sunken garden, a band pavilion, base ball courts and swimming pool. We used to walk to the park to listen to band concerts. In 1937 the WPA replaced the old round pool with a great big rectangular one with a bath house great big filters and an enclosed fence. This was my favorite play ground! During consruction, we played in the big sand filters! They used to call me "sawdust" because I wouldn't put my head under water. Eventally, I learned to swim side-stroke. I was too short-winded to do the breast stroke. I had trouble getting a breath. From the park down 13th street they built a large storm sewer all the way down to Wild Cat Creek. It was nearly 6 feet in diameter. We kids used to climb in up in the park and walk all the way down to the creek. It was scary - if a storm came up unexpectedly we might not have been able to get out. The man-hole covers were big and heavy. Now the town has grown miles to the north and west and even into the flood plain to the east. Somehow the hills seemed to have protected Manhattan from a direct hit by tornados. But in 1952 water flooded downtown to a depth of seven feet and again a couple years later to about four feet. Water backed up as far as thirteenth street and covered all of Hunters Island south of town. It failed to reach our home by just two blocks! The Army Corp of Engineers solved this proplem with a system of dikes to the south and east and large reservoirs on both rivers upstream. West of town past the Sunset cemetery was the zoo. A really great one for such a small town See Appendix for how the town was laid out. When I lived there the population was about 10,000 but when college was in session, grew to twice that number! In the zoo were eight big buffalo If you ratteled their cage they would charge-- all two tons of angry buffalo would hit the chain link fence so hard it would bulge three or four feet toward you! Down the bank of the Sunset cemetery from where my mother and father are buried toward the Wild Cat creek is where I used to go to do my target practice. We always shot into the bank, and within sight there were no houses for miles. One of my class mates did his target practice at the college ROTC under ground range. A fragment of a bullet rebound and blinded him in one eye! Now the town has blocked off access to this area-- it used to be my favorite place, where lovers could go and park. What right do they have to block off a public place? I would like to banish the town officials! Send them off to Siberia. The latest thing is blocking off Poyntz Avenue through the down town business district to make a really big mall. See the Appendix for how the town was laid out. There were a lot of interesting places near Manhattan. We could drive south-east on a road called "Pillsbury Crossing Road" to Pillsbury Crossing Lane where there was a flat rocky crossing of Pillsbury Creek. Water flowed over the rock about 4 inches deep and 100 feet across in dry weather. You could drive across it safely. Up stream, it was maybe 30 feet deep and 50 foot across. Someone had suspended a rope from the overhanging trees and tied a car tire to the end. You could get it swinging and catch it on the bank and swing out over the water and drop off. It was a lot of fun. North of Manhattan was a small dam and hydro-electric power plant called "Rocky Ford." North of Rocky Ford, in the 1950s the government built the Tuttle Creek Dam on the Blue River. It backs up water for 50 miles, into Nebraska and is 2 or 3 miles wide, For flood control and recreation. West of the dam, there is an area where granets are found in natural "pipes" like diamonds, probably brought up by hot mineral water.. One year returning from Denver it was very hot, about 120 degrees and I blew a head gasket about 20 miles north-west of Manhattan. I looked like a steam engine train coming the rest of the way into town.


Fast and Fearless

My Mother was 36 when she had my older brother. A few years later she spotted a big rattle snake moving toward my brother's play pen in the yard of her Denver home! Grabbing a hoe, she dashed to the rescue and chopped the snake to pieces before it could reach Walter! A few years later a big wild rabbit was bold enough to invade our yard. She made a mad dash and caught him! That night she served rabbit stew for dinner! You think it's easy to catch a wild jack rabbit? Try it some time. By Donald J. Warren, Copyright © July 2008


About my Father

My Father, Rees Conway Warren was born June 4, 1891, in Cotton Wood Falls, Kansas. He died April 2, 1965 in Manhattan, Kansas. I don't currently have a record of his sisters, one was Lorrinda scofield. His oldest brother Frank was born April 4, 1877 and lived in malibu California and died December 15, 1966. His brother Cyril lifed in Fresno, California. He worked for Southern Pacific Railroad maintaining electrical signals. He married late in life and had no children. He was probably born November 1, 1894 and died March 16, 1997. His youngest brother, Walter Moore Warren was born August 2, 1895 and lived in Oakland California before he retired and moved to El Crrita CA where he died September 16, 1989. His wife, Violet R Warren was born May 2, 1900 and Died October 2, 1988. Dad had a cousin Ruth Niemeyer whose husband had been a ferry captain between Coronado Island and San Diego CA. When my Dad was 13 years old, his Father took most of the family by car to live near San Diego, California in Escondido. There he became a caretaker for the local cemetery. My Father and his oldest brother wanted to stay behind Dad wanted to attend Kansas State College in Manhattan, Kansas, where he completed his high school education and started working on a Mechanical Engineering Degree. When he arrived in Manhattan, he found a minister who had a farm near town where he could live and work to earn his keep. World War I interrupted my Father's education he was sent to serve in the trenches in France. While traveling to his port of disembarkation, he did some research in New York and thought he had determined some of his ancestors. He said the Viking leader who besieged Paris in 911 had settled in Normandy, and had a heir named Duke De Varna who joined in the conquest of England with William the Conqueror and changed his name to Warren. A subsequent heir was a British solder who deserted during the war of 1812 in Canada, coming to Kingston, New York. My Father's grandfather, John Warren lived in the town of Hurley where the Shokan Reservoir is now. He made his living cutting small oak trees, and shaping and selling them as axe handles. He also was a heavy drinker His son lived in Kingston at the former Kingston Academy it's not there anymore but was located at academy park across Albany Avenue in front of the Governor Clinton Hotel. The son, my grandfather obtained a good education, married and moved to Cotton Wood Falls, Kansas, where he taught school and worked in the county treasurer's office. While working in the county treasurer's office, the Victor adding machine was developed and was being sold "office-to-office" by sales reps. There was a test where my grandfather added a 5 digit column of numbers in his head against the adding machine salesman. My grandfather completed first and had the correct answer, the adding machine salesman made an error keying in the data! I was told that my grandfather used to go to the nearby Cottonwood Falls river to bathe, where he had to chop a hole in the ice in winter. During my Father's stay in the trenches in WW I, he survived mustard gas attacks and green moldy French baked bread! This left him with frequent bronchitis. Returning home from the war he continued his education where he met my Mother and they were married January 1, 1921. I understand he told my mother he would not get her pregnant until she was ready to have children. I have boxes of his love letters to her which I have yet to study. It is possible I may want to add some more to this poem! After my Father graduated, he elected to go to work for the Postal System sorting mail on trains traveling between cities because the pay was better than for Mechanical Engineers. He did a lot of traveling after graduating. He taught in Denver, Wyoming and Oklahoma, the latter on an Indian reservation on how to operate a boiler. Some what ahead of his time he built a parabolic mirror to heat a hot water tank with sun light. He worked for the Kansas State Highway Commission, for the Civilian Conservation Corp, and the Works Progress Administration. Then during the war, at munitions plants. In 1939 my Dad's youngest brother Walter Moore Warren brought his wife Violet east to the New York Worlds' Fair. On the trip he bought a new car which they drove back home to San Francisco, California. Stopping to visit us and take us to see their old home place in Cotton Woods Falls. Most of the roads in Kansas were still dirt roads and we really got stuck in a heavy rain storm. Nice thing about country roads in Kansas, there used to be one every mile north and south, east and west! You couldn't get lost unless there was a stream. Uncle Walter was a financial reporter for the Associated Press. At some point he suggested that the AP needed a financial editor for the West Coast. They took the suggestion and gave him the job! When he retired he sold his investments in IBM at an all time high and bought a retirement home on the edge of the Pebble Beach Golf Course in El Cerrito CA 20 miles east of Oakland. Don't let that confuse you-- There's another one on the Pacific Ocean. Aunt Violet R. Warren was born May 2, 1900 and died October 2, 1988. She was a school teacher and married later in life and had no children. Walter Moore Warren was born August 2, 1895 and died September 16, 1989, almost a year after his wife. There were a couple of Dutch children who lived across the street from them in Oakland CA and who came and cared for them when needed and who they came to reguard as their children. My Dad had several Aunts named Wright living in San Francisco at the time of the 1906 earthquake - they survived! His oldest brother, Frank, lived in Malibu CA. His other brother, Cyril, lived in Fresno CA. During the 1920s there had been a farmers' depression. And Republican Congressmen enacted tariffs that put a strangle hold on the economy. Germany defaulted on debts from World War I. The stock market crashed in 1929. A lot of people lost all their money and many jumped out of windows and commited suicide. Our next door neighbor committed suicide. Went in his garage and closed the doors. Put a pipe from the exhaust pipe into his car and started the engine so the carbon monxide would do it. Made it harder on his wife and kids! A lot of banks had speculated in investments and went down the tubes causing depositors to lose their life savings! When Franklin D. Roosevelt became our president he declared a three day bank holiday. He then had Congress pass legislation making the Government responsible for insuring peoples savings! And made rules keeping banks from speculating with other peoples money. Something the Republicans are doing away with today. He saved the country from total financial colaspe. The Democrats passed laws favoring labor unions. Labor unions helped balance the power against the wealthy and powerful corporations. This created a large middle class and set us on the road to recover. Republicans are out to destroy the power of unions with state "Right to Work" laws. They find a lot of support from people who want individuals to be responsible for themselves. What most people don't understand is that wealthy people and corporations are all powerful and individuals don't have a chance without some protection by government. When World War II started, dad went to work in steel plants and munitions factories. After the War, he was an instructor in Mechanical Engineering at Kansas State College where he taught foundry and shop practice, teaching students how to cast metal objects, operate machines, and use Johansson Blocks to make micrometer perfect surfaces. Dad was active in the labor movement. After the War he became a secretary and treasure of the local union at the Viking Manufacturing plant in Manhattan, Kansas. He worked as a metallurgist at this local farm elevator company. His specialty was heat treating metal to make it hard. Then had his own machine shop till he died in 1964. He had helped my brother lift a 55 gallon oil barrel. It must have strained his heart, because he died during the night of a heart attack. He appeared to have been masturbating when they found his body! I remember Mom saying my dad had bragged that he could still have an orgasm at his age. I hope when I die I am having such a pleasant time! By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2008



When I was 8 or 9 Two stray cats adapted us. They came to stay on the front porch We fed and watered them brushed and washed them They were so soft and furry. Mother was raised on a farm She did not believe pets should live indoors! I guess with nine children in her family there was no room for pets indoors. One was all black with a white diamond on her chest! Her name was Ming. The other was a gray tiger. I don't recall his name. I entered Ming in the annual 4H Club animal contest and brought home a ribbon. Back then we did not have medicine for cats. They did not get spayed or neutered or get rabies shots. They lived about two years. Then died I guess of distemper. I really missed them. Many years later another cat adopted me She was very affectionate and was house broke. But when she saw me use the toilet she followed suit and did the same. But she did not flush! She climbed a tree one day could not get down. We had to use a ladder! She had a daughter looked just like her didn't know who the father was. They lived a long time for cats. Both eventually were killed by cars. My daughter had two rabbits. They were kept in a cage in the back yard. One night the raccoons got to them through the wire on the bottom of the cage ripped their skin clear off they died! Later she had a pair of kittens. By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2008



We were staying at the Westin St. John Resorts and Villas, USVI. A very proper and immaculate place. As I lay awake, sleepy, watching the sun's rays creep over the hills I hear it! Really! Again! It's the crowing of a rooster! No sight of any here. Except the eggs at breakfast. (The island has lots of cats and chickens! They say "don't feed them." They have an animal clinic that cares for them-- feeds and keeps them healthy. If you want to take one home they will help you. It reminds me of my childhood! My Mother was raised on a farm. She sent me out to collect eggs and catch a hen. Asked me to select one for dinner. I picked one for execution. She boiled a pail of water. I take the prisoner by the legs to the chopping block axe in hand. I worry, will I strike a clean blow on the first strike? I'm not sure! I'm not that good chopping wood! Taking careful aim axe raised high enough Wham! It's a good cut! The head falls to the ground The body still kicking! Once I dropped the body and it started walking! Then I plunge the body into the pail of boiling water! Once, twice, then hold it I start plucking off the feathers. They come off easy after the boiling water. All done? Next, to an open fire on the kitchen stove To singe the hairs off that didn't come off with the feathers. Now it's Mother's task to remove the entrails. I've done my duty! Later, we had roast chicken for dinner Today I guess they would arrest me for animal cruelty! By Donald J. Warren, Copyright © July, 2008



What a ruckus! Squawking, clucking feathers floating, chickens flying every which way back and forth! Real alarm! I went to investigate. A possum in the hen house! (Stealing eggs) I closed the door. He was trapped. I got my pistol (It was legal to carry a loaded pistol in Manhattan Kansas). We called the police. They came. They looked. They asked "Do you want to shoot it?" I replied "Now that your here you can do it." That night we had a fat possum for dinner instead of chicken. By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2008


Dead Raccoon

Old "Doc" - lean and tall always flipping a real long butcher knife ran a very small hamburger lunch counter across from the Junior High School. We often went there for a quick bite. Back then hamburgers some places were five cents apiece or 12 for a dollar. He had a son. I was told some called him "Wormy" I'm sure that was not his real name. He was supposed to have taken girls in after closing and screwed them on the lunch counter! If only I had been so lucky. I heard Doc had a gimmick when solders came in of gambling how many times his cigarette lighter would work before it ran out of fluid or the flint would fail. The solders would place their bets and the count began. Soon, Doc would run out of meat and have to go in the house for more of course, he just refueled the lighter and put in a new flint. So he always won the money. Old Doc owned a pet raccoon which got loose one day. During the night he came our way and killed 25 of my brother's chickens. Killed them just for pleasure. Didn't eat them. Ended my brother's 4H Club project raising mail order chicken eggs. The raccoon went next door and ripped some shingles off the roof made a hole big enough to get inside the attic. Don't know what he wanted. There weren't any chicks in there. The neighbors called the police. They tracked him down a few blocks away. In a tree - he was cornered and shot dead. The owner, old Doc was very upset. I don't remember if he paid for the damage done-- I'm sure he had to. No doubt Doc is passed and probably his son as well. By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2008


Stock Car Racing and Life as a Teenager

One thing which was big when I was growing up was stock car racing. Little did I know that many of the pioneers were bootleg whiskey runners! At night they out-ran ATF agents by day they raced on dirt tracks on farmer's fields. Half the year farmers raised crops on the field which then became race tracks at the right season. Their cars were mostly coupes. All wrecked and junk yard looking. Usually several more got wrecked! I don't remember anyone getting hurt bad Usually, there was barn dancing and country music afterward. One could buy liquor underage with a fake driver's license. I didn't like beer. Never did. So I just watched. I could not dance so I never got a girl! My friend, Leroy Coffey took me there on his Harley Davidson Motorcycle through Zeandale to Wabaunsee just south of Wamego Kansas in I believe Pottawatomie County. Once upon a time this was Indian country! That's when I tried to smoke a cigarette and burned my throat. I never smoked again! I joined him when he helped his dad fishing. They set a line on the Blue River to catch catfish. Came back the next morning to recover the catch-- Never cared much about fishing. Too much waiting for the fish. Leroy's dad went prospecting in Wyoming. Came back with a ton of solid green jade rock. It was more than three feet across. I don't know how he got it in his pickup truck! Bought a diamond saw and began making jewelry. He was a house painter by profession. One time I was riding with Leroy in an old 4 door Chevy south of Junction City when the engine threw a rod through the side of the block! That was the end of that car. I don't remember how we got home some 25 miles away. Leroy died of cancer age 75. Couldn't stop smoking. His wife Louise is not too well-- she's too heavy to exercise or walk around the block, but she has five children left (one son and grandson died in an auto accident) and she has 14 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Someone shot a bebbie gun at one son and blinded him in one eye.

Gypsy Rose Lee

The Mobil station owner was an older man I guess he like me because he extended me credit. It was the most expensive gas in town cost 25 cents a gallon - 17 cents a gallon elsewhere. A half dozen of us went to Topeka 57 miles away to the Kansas State Fair on our Cushman motor scooters mainly to see Gypsy Rose Lee do her famous strip club act! She and several others twirled about a couple of poles. I don't remember what they did before their clothes came off nor do I remember her singing or talking, because we were too busy watching. She just wore a g-string and had little doilies on her nipples. She was totally bare otherwise-- but It was very dark inside the tent so we did not see very much! We ended up sleeping out in the park. Footnote: "Gypsy" was born "Rose Louise Hovick (called 'Louise')" on February 9, 1911 in Seattle, Washington. She died April 26, 1970 of cancer. In the movie "Gypsy" her part was played by Natalie Wood in 1962, and by Cynthia Gibb in 1993. I spent my spare time reading Jack London and Zane Gray novels (at least a hundred of them) and books like Anthony Adverse and the Mongol Genghis Kahn. And went to the local airport to polish air planes and earn money for flying lessons. One day at the airport standing near the hangers at the south-east end of the longest runway looking north-west some three miles distant were three small tornadoes in a row moving north-east. Their path would take them west of Manhattan up toward North Loop and west of the college. Today this path would go right through a lot of new homes and maybe hit part of the campus. The worst thing about taking flying lessons was having to do stalls and recover from spins. When you are landing you come to a near stall just before touching down. And just in case you get into trouble and stall out, you have to learn to recover from a full power-on stall. You pull the nose up real high on a single engine propeller driven airplane when it stalls the left wing usually drops first and the nose follows through really fast the plane begins to spin turning to the left and diving. Quick reacton is required to stop it with the right rudder and achieve a gentle pull out before you gain too much speed Of course you practice these manueviors at a safe height. And you always worry that the wings won't come off! Some high performance planes are very hard to recover. One thing about landing an airplane you always land into the wind - checking the wind sock first and if there is a cross wind you dip the wing into the wind so you are actually slipping sideways to compensate for the drifting wind and keep lined up with the runway. You could of course, crab into the wind, but when you hit the runway the plane might take a loop! When you are taking off you turn your ailerons so a cross-wind does not pick up a wing. Before you take off you must do a flight check of all the active surfaces and the airplane in general, making sure the controls are free and working, and you have enough gasolene. Several times I landed at small stop-and-go airports and forgot to switch tanks to be sure I had a full tank at take-off. And sure enough, just on take-off the engine sputtered and I made a hasty switch from one wing tank to the other. Fortunately the engine never died and we continued safely. One day, taking a check ride with a flight instructor we were in the airport landing pattern and had just turned into our cross-wind leg and was about to make our left hand turn to our final approach-- When coming from our right about a hundred feet below us and passing several hundred feet in front of us came a plane making an illegal streight-in approach to an airport without a control tower! We had to go around the pattern a second time. It can be a little scary. One time when I was flying as I was returning home the weather closed in and the cloud ceiling got much lower I could actually see the marker lights of the Manhattan Airport some ten miles distant. But as I came abreast the Junction City radio tower, I was no higher than the tower and could have hit it, so I turned around and went back to Hutchison Kansas and landed for the night. I was lucky to make it before it got too dark to land-- that airport had no lights. On one prior landing at this airport-- it was just a grassy strip with trees and power lines at the ends I had to make three passes to get down low enough and slow enough to actually land. Eventually, with Mother's help I got my Pilot's license-- it was the conclusion of a dream. At the time I joined the Air Force I had the choice of buying a used Cessna 120 for $1,500 or a one year old 1952 Mercury for $1,800. I chose the Mercury. When I was in the service in California I rented a plane at the San Francisco International Airport and took a fellow Airman for a ride over the bay area. We had to use the grassy area between two active runways. To land a plane this way you had to make a "sea plane" approach because you have no way to judge you elevation as you're landing. In other words, you came in flat and with power until you touched down. In a normal runway landing you slow the plane into a power-off stall just as you touch the ground. In Denver Colorado the elevation was 5,280 feet above sea level. I rented a Piper Super Cub airplane with and extra powerful engine and took a check ride and passed. The thermals were a little heavy and I got "sea sick" for the only time in a plane. The side window was open so most went outside. My glasses landed inside the plane. The check pilot was behind me and probably had to duck the other way. Needless to say, I had to clean the plane inside and out! I tell about flying in El Paso somewhere else in this book. After coming to Kingston the airport was bounded by a bridge and river at one end and hills and houses at the other making it feel unsave so I quit flying except when I returned to Kansas. The car was probably the better choice but I often wished I had bought the plane. For the next ten years I rented planes and went flying whenever I could find the time. Living in Kingston New York a young drunk by the name of Gorsline slamed into my mercury and totalled it just sitting on the street. He stunk of alcohol but they carted him away in an ambulance and never arrested him at all! I replaced it with a 1964 Wide Track Pontiac. By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2008


My Brother, Walter Peppiatt Warren

Named after our Father's youngest brother and our Mother's maiden name. He never cared for his middle name - just went by Walt or Walter P. Warren. He was born January 10, 1923, and died September 20, 1997. As a teenager he delivered newspapers and sold ice cream from a side car bicycle. Dad had a freezer on the front porch where he could keep his stock. Walter's route took him through town and up around the college every school day. In later years I used the side car bicycle to take Mom shopping, riding on the flat bed of the sidecar! She once caught her hand in the spokes. I'm sure it hurt. My brother was 8 years older. He was a real ladies man! Married to at least three and possibly five wives. The first right out of high school-- Elaine was the prettiest in his class! Hewas expelled from school for throwing a paper wad and hitting the rear of a girl leaning out the window! For twelth grade he attended Wheaton College Academy. He graduated, got married, and took drafting training. Then he worked at Boeing Aircraft Company six months before being drafted. He washed out of army pilots training in Texas before going into intelligence. He never saw his first baby who died while he was in the service. Walter fathered eight children, but lost the first to crib death. He lost three more through divorce. At least two were adopted by their step father. I swear - his oldest son, Jim, sounds just like him and has the same mannerisms as well! Walter had a friend who worked in the auto painting business. Back then the best car paints had a lot of lead which you breathed if you worked there and which killed him by age 35! Our Dad taught Walter photography. While in the army he earned extra money taking pictures for the troops. He spent the money he made on beer as seen in photos of the beer cartons in his tent and a motor boat which he managed to wreck twice on the coral reefs and had to swim back a mile through shark and coral snake infested waters. Once he just missed going on a mission, luckily because the plane was never heard from again! He returned home to go to college on the GI bill. Where upon he became a Bridge Master at cards-- but too much bridge playing ended his education and he took a job as a real estate buyer for a pipeline company. He lost his first wife and three kids through divorce. He came to Denver in 1952 to visit me. He had just bought a new Chrysler. It was the first one with an over-head cam shaft and valves, and had a lot of power. He let me drive it and we went east on US 24. Boy did it go! That country is mostly flat except for streams and draws. I began to feel the hump as the car went through each one. Looking down at the speedometer I was shocked! It registered over 120 miles per hour, and climbing! I took my foot off the gas. I was really impressed. Later, I begged our Dad to loan me money to buy Chrysler stock but he wouldn't do it! True enough, the stock doubled! We returned to Denver where Walter stayed a few days. He had a woman in the car when he picked me up the next day. He had met her in a restaurant. She was a waitress. He started to kiss and touch her breasts. I was embarrased and got out of the car. He got out and came around the car. Told me it was all right and that we could go make love with her. Returning to his motel room, the two of them laid on the bed and screwed. Then he got off, I got on and did the same! It was the first time I had ever had real sex. It was really great! We each did it several times over for her sake. She really seemed to like it too, but was quiet. She envited me to come back again. She said she had had her tubes tied off. She was older than my brother and had five kids to care for. But I didn't feel it was right. So I never went back. I didn't know what to say to her children some of which were almost as old as I. Later I was really sorry I didn't, but then I couldn't locate her. Walter become an oil company traveling auditor. May have had one or two more "wives." Settled down and married the next one and had four more wonderful children. Walter became a bulk oil distributer. Used goats to cut the grass. Developed his territory. But got squeezed out by greedy oil company executives. Came home to help our Dad manage a local machine shop. When Father died Walter could not make it pay. So he went to Kansas City and managed a Dunkin Donuts. And ended up divorced again. He married one final time and had a step daughter. This wife was always baking cakes and pies. He did truck deliveries and became a diabetic. Had a small Arabian horse ranch and showed them at shows. He got very sick from and died. By Donald Warren, © 2008


Corporate Cannibalism

These hotel go-carts remind me of the army jeeps from World War II The Willis Car Corporation made the jeep after the war. They were bought out by the Studebaker Car Company, I think which was bought by American Motors which was bought by Chrysler Corporation which was bought by that German Company that made the Mercedes Benz. That's Corporate Cannibalism! Benz is thinking of selling parts of the business now. Even corporate genius make mistakes. By Donald J. Warren, Copyright © July 2008


Later Years: Kingston and New York

Having worked on analog computers in the Air Force I was interested in working on digital computers at IBM. I took a train from Manhattan, Kansas to Kingston, NY for an interview. At Albany, I changed to the West Shore line. The rail cars had green fringe hanging from the baggage rack! They looked like a train in an old western movie! Arrived Kingston April 15th, 1956. 16 inches of snow on the ground! Hasn't happened more than once since then. Stayed at the yellow brick Stuyvesant Hotel. IBM said we will let you know. On the return stopped in Niagra Falls. Visited the Niagra Mohawk Power Plant. The next day read all about half of the plant fell into the river killed seven workers! A week later the Stuyvesant Hotel was gutted by fire. This was some trip to remember! Did not hear from IBM. Enrolled in college to finish my senior year. When they called, they said "OK, see us next year." Spring 1957, at K-State Engineering Open House I demonstrated a ten stage electronic counter I built IBM interviewers hired me on the spot. Taking the train again had to go by bus from Albany to Kingston because the West Shore train was discontinued! Just carries freight now. Kingston still had a rail line going up to Andes and beyond but it never carried passengers while I was there. It's been defunct for many years. Up the line there are train museums and short train rides in several places. In Kingston I rented a room from Mr. Gene Brossard. His dad had been in the diplomatic corp. Gene had grown up attending Catholic schools across Europe He spoke perfect French and told stories about the homosexual Jesuit Fathers who taught in his schools. His Mother lived in Paris. and dealt in antiques. When she died he brought her things back and sold them at Park Bernet in New York City And put himself into the business. He collected and sold antiques. Advertised in Hobbies Magazine. Did mostly mail order. About once a year would get a buyer from the Mid-West who would come in and buy all that was left except of course, the good stuff which was always put away. I loved to go antiqueing with him, it was so much fun. Every week we drove throughout New England looking for antiques like the time a college professor and his wife from Pennsylvania brought their "yard sale" stuff to New Hampshire and put it on the lawn. Gene bought a womans' chain-linked purse. Afterwards he exclaimed, "this is pure gold in three colors," yellow, red and green. Paid all of ten dollars for it. Sold it for a measly $750 today it probably would have brought seventy five hundred! Or the time we found a shop with a four foot wide, six foot high cabinet just full of real CUT glass, not molded. About 25 items he bought the entire contents for $100 and probably got at least nearly that much for each item! Those days are gone forever what with the PBS Antique Road Show frequently showing objects worth one hundred thousand dollars or more in every town across America! He went to all the tag sales in the area including one south - from under the Kingston-Rheincliff Bridge. Spotted something he recognized real quick It was a round table with marble inlay and gold ornamentation and a "pineapple" down below. It had been in the Livingston Estate on the Hudson River. There were two branches of the Livingston family. The ones on the east side of the river had been the home of the Secretary of State and of Steamships on the Hudson River. The one on the west side were lessor relatives. Most currently serving as Editor of a newspaper, I believe, in Middletown, Gene bought the table immediately for a pittance. It was labled underneath "Lannuier" (that's not the way it was miss-spelled) the name of a French cabinet maker supposedly for King Louis V. It has been dated to 1810. See the article by Mary Anne Hunting, on "charles-honoré lannuier: cabinetmaker from new york " which documents and pictures this table in Magazine, 2004.

Art Net Magazine Lannuier Furniture Maker
There is a fully illustrated catalogue, Honoré Lannuier: Cabinetmaker from Paris: The Life and Work of a French ébéniste in Federal New York, published by the Metropolitan Museum, with essays by Peter Kenny, associate curator, American decorative arts; (and others) which is available.. Lannuier came to America in 1803 to make furniture in New York. He was equivalent to Duncan Phyfe (1768-1854) though not as well known. He made 23 chairs for the Common Council Chambor of New York City. Only two of these chairs have remained. His first label was miss-spelled by the printer but he couldn't afford to replace them so his early work had the miss spelled label. He died in 1819 after only 16 years. We showed it to the curator at the Brooklyn Museum, and the museum in Albany, and to Henry Francis du Pont's museum staff, in Winterthur, Delaware, they said "It's inlaid with imported Italian marble, so was not real American," they all already had 6 examples of his work of their own. The White House actively collected Lannuier furniture. Finally, the Brooklyn curator came and said "The Curiator at the White House wants it" to do Mrs. Jacklin Kennedy's restoration and a doner was willing to put up the five thousand dollars. Today it probably would be worth millions! A half a dozen times I turned the table over to show someone the label forgetting that the "pineapple" was loose and Bang! The "pineapple" fell and indented the under side of the table impregnating the poor old label. Anyway, I made my mark - so if you doubt my word just look at the under side of that table! Ever since it has been a part of the furniture in the Red Room of the White House. I doubt if anyone other than the White House Curator have ever seen my indentations! Whenever they do a walk thru I watch to see if it's still there. When Gene died of bone cancer I inherited the house but every thing was gone. I just wish I had saved some of the junk I had when I was a kid, like old comic books, toys, antique telephones, and model airplanes. It's amazing how much more valuable they have become.

Work at IBM (1957 - 1992)

I went to work in diagnostic programming, automatic error detection and online data correction, marginal checking and systems diagnostics on SAGE, SAC, and STRETCH computer systems. We wrote our programming code punched it up on IBM cards read it in on a card reader. Compiled the program and tested it. My first program was designed to get control on a drum memory error interrupt, save the program environment and diagnose the error, and if it was a solid single bit failure throughout the data, correct the bad data, restore the computer environment and return control to the operational program as if nothing had happened other that a slowed down operation. System memory was a priority so all of our error messages were ecoded as numbers and had to be translated to English. I wrote that translator program as well. I also wrote a program which would take a snap-shot of a computer memory, save it and on a subsequent interrupt, compare the new snap-shot with the stored one to assist programmers in debugging. I helped design error detection and interrupt circuits for STRETCH, at that time a supercomputer. SAGE and SAC were designed to transform radar data from polor coordinates into rectangular coordinates on the fly and present aircraft positions on some 200 21 inch situation displays so operators could vector interceptor airplanes to intercept enemy bombers. These computers may have had 55,000 vacuum tubes. They were housed in a four story building the size of a city block. The top floor contained the situation displays. I never visited a site so I don't recall which floor contained the two computers, which one had the amplidynes, or where the backup motor generators and batteries were located. The arithmetic units had two 16 bit arithmetic units for angle and range or for X and Y translations - the only computer I know of with this feature. These double words were stored in one 32 bit word. They used tiny donut shaped magnetic cores for memory. Each magnetic core stored one bit of the 32 bit words. These all had to be wired by hand in a memory plane and there were a stack of planes with an X wire, a Y wire and a sense wire passing through each core-- And magnetic drums for greater and longer term storage. MIT developed a computer called Whirlwind with some 10,000 vacuum tubes. See Whirlwind Article
(There are numerous alticles about Whirlwind and SAGE on the Internet.) Their study suggested that once a vacuum tube computer aged tubes would burn out randomly like light bulbs and that such a computer would not be reliable. They devised a way to vary the voltages on individual computer units incrementally till the circuit failed to function. Doing this daily and plotting the results identified when the vacuum tubes should be replaced before the unit failed operationally. These circuits took a lot of current, some at high voltages. An amplidyne used to change alternating current into direct current to powered elevators in tall buildings was used to inject controlled voltages. This was called marginal checking. About this time the transistor came of age and replaced vacuum tubes. They were so reliable that marginal checking of computer circuits became a dead technology! In pulsed transistor circuits marginal checking only found twisted-pair wiring errors. Most circuits now are level shift, on circuit boards, eliminating wires. But self-checking computer circuits, interrupt-on-error, save the environment, and diagnose the problem-- and self-repair of on-line computer data lives on. That's why first generation transitor (1968) computers still support the FAA airplane control system! And computer controlled data networks began to handle airline reservations, stock market transactions, and communication systems. At that time I had a team of eleven people working for me. I worked for John Dent and Joe DiDomenico in Kingston. We produced programs which could perform diagnotic tests on an on-line disk storage system from the off-line backup system while the on-line system was performing an airline reservation operation. We wrote product testing programs to validate two major airline reservation systems programs. We wrote programs to test special Telecommunications products which handled messages in strings instead of words. I worked on Telecommunications computer software. I moved to White Plains, IBM Marketing Division Headquarters. and became part of Industry Requirements/Development, working for Bert Grad monitoring production of some 100 software projects and their User Group Responses. Customer organizations began to tell manufacturers how to build better products and make demands for same. I became a customer user-group relations person coordinating IBM's responses and our representation. I worked in the User Group Relations Department for Arnold P. Smith. My manager, Arnie, was married to a lady whose dad designed the ENIAC computer, J. Presper Eckert. It was the first big digital computer for the government, with 20,000 vacuum tubes! Attending a User Group Convention in Montreal a group of attendees went to a night club and saw a floor show where the entertainer was demonstrating how he could pick your wallet out of your pocket right on the stage without you knowing it! I was one of the people he pick pocketed. Returning to the Queen Elizabeth Hotel that night I could not find my wallet. I was sure he had returned to me. I called the night club just to check. Nobody knew a thing. I returned home minus the wallet. Try to do that today - without a picture ID drivers license or passport! I waited a couple weeks before reporting my credit cards were missing then the next day the wallet returned in the mail from Canada. It had been returned to the Hotel and they thought I would call for it before sending it to me. The money and cards were all there. I sent a check to the boy who found it. I had hopped over the highway divider crossing the street in front of our hotel and it must have bounced out of my hip pocket. Worked with some 3,000 customer people four times a year. Both GUIDE (for business) and SHARE (for Goverment and Education) each had about a 100 working project committies, project chairmen, and at least two IBM reps on each. Tom Watson Senior would have turned over in his grave if he knew IBM managed a $30,000 self-service liquor bar for attendees. Then the personal computer came of age! The GUIDE User Group and the SHARE User Group each met twice a year, and each had project and committee meetings at each others' conventions. We assisted our user groups in booking facilities and hotels for our conventions. This included getting special rates and contracts from the hotels. Sometimes the hotels tried to charge regular rates in violation of our contracts. Several times we had to announce at the general meeting to not pay these rates. When one thousand or more attendees refuse to pay, the hotels always relented! Executives and board members always got suittes without paying extra. Your company or organization had to be a member for you to attend. IBM product development and marketing departments had to provide representatives and pay for their attendance. User Group projects would review customer complaints and generate product requirements which had to be responded to. IBM's first scientific computer, the IBM 704 was delivered without a compiler program. A large government sponsored company wrote the first compiler for the IBM 704 before IBM. A lot of customer written programs were given to IBM to distribute free of charge. In addition to System Programs, and COBOL and FORTRAN compilers, IBM Marketing developed a large number of application programs which were distributed free of charge to customers. Our conventions were so large we could only hold them in the largest cities, New Your, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angles, San Diego, Los Vegas, Houston, and Miami. It always required more than one hotel. The last one I went to was at McCormick Place in Chicago near the water front - I don't remember the hotel, it was on the loop. We came in on Sunday. Projects and commitees met on Monday and Tuesday. The main tent and major presentations were on Wednesday - Friday. There were some 50 presentaion - plus adhoc ones in the evenings. We always had an open liquor bar on the Wednesday main tent opening night. It was a serve-your-self bar except in New York City where the local unions had contracts with the facility managers where a union person had to serve all drinks and connect any electrical device to the wall plug! These union actions justify putting restrictions on what unions can negotiate. We should not allow feather bedding - management should be responsible. While I believe unions are great for democracy they need some restrictions. When I was about to leave that job in January 1972 Arnie learned I was going to Mexico for my vacation he suggested that I do one last thing for the SHARE User Group by meeting the Mexico City Chamber of Commerce to see how SHARE could use their convention facilities and make a report to the SHARE Board in San Francisco. I booked the most prestigous hotel on Mexico Citie's grand boulevard. When I arrived there was a big bowl of fruit and a large bouquet of flowers in the room! Two representatives of the Chamber of Commerce came to see me. They were retired Sperry Rand sales representatives, former IBM competitors. They took me to see the largest hotels and the convention center. It looked like a great facility for 3,000 attendees which I reported when I got to San Francisco. However, President Reagan issued an executive order that government employees could not attend conventions outside the USA at government expense any more so SHARE could not hold a convention there. Before I left Mexico City, my Chamber of Commerce friends found out I wanted to go to Acapulco for my vacation they said they could get me into the best hotel there even though it was January - the peak tourist season. I had a wonderfull vacation in Acapulco. They had rental boats much like a sailfish or sunfish except these were made of very heavy wood looked like mahogany and must have weighed a ton! They had a trianglar lateen sail. I sailed across the bay all day and got real sunburned! Coming back years later with my wife these boats were all gone. I was so dissapointed. In Mexico City I had the pleasure to ride in their brand new subway system designed and built built by the same company which had built the one in Montreal Canada. Every thing was bright and clean the station names were in both Spanish and graphics and they played classical music while the noise-less trains came in on rubber tires! Only one sour note - whenever I bought a subway ticket-- it was city run - they gave me the incorrect change every time unless I gave them the exact fare! And the government started it's third anti-trust suit against IBM. The first anti-trust suit forced us to sell as well as lease. When a machine came off lease and was nolonger needed it went to the junk yard and was recycled. Selling them created a new used market. The last suit forced us to unbundle software and computers and stop giving away programs for free and support for user groups, and even though the suit was dropped-- I initiated the withdrawal of several thousand free programs from the IBM distribution center. I attended IBM's graduate level Systems School transferred to New York City Branch Offices-- Utilities and later, Insurance Customers, then to Eastern Region Information Center Marketing, and finally, Printer Marketing. At IBM I sold 32 inch per second printers, PC printers, and everything in between. Plus interactive system and application programs, and Information Center Systems. I wrote a program to convert FORTRAN II programs into FORTRAN IV syntax and published it as a free program. I also wrote an infromal program to help IBM PCs provide communication of typed documents which was released and was planned for installation in the White House, but was superseded by other products. In the Branch Office I wrote a program called BOATS for Branch Office Administrative Tracking System. It was used to measure, plot and report the performance of our Marketing and Support Teams. I worked with and marketed IBM's Document Composition Facility, a program which could format books and manuals for publication at both a micro level and the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) level. Using this program and EXEC routines I designed a package which would prompt users for standard input and print a marketing flyer for distribution across all the branch offices in the DP Eastern Region. However, PCs were becoming available and soon each secretary had one and could use a word processor to create their own version of a flyer so that when I retired they stopped using the package I had implemented.

Married Life

Then there was another war - in Vietnam. I was working in New York City and traveled there each week. Traveling back from the city on the bus-- I met a very attractive woman - Ruthe Lorraine Sherman. She was very pretty, had impressive fine jewelry, was wearing a great mink coat, and was well educated and Jewish. We talked. We made a date to get together. She broke the date but met again on the bus. This time she kept the date and we went to the Rainbow Room and dined and danced the night away atop Rockeffeler Center. That night we went home to her apartment and had good fucked all night long! After that we were never apart. She loved to screw. She used a diaphram and anti-sperm gell to keep from getting pregnant. I married Ruthe on October 8, 1972, a scant three months later. We both wanted children. I always dreamed, "Cheaper by a dozen!" For a while we lived at 201 East 30th Street. It was a old building managed by the super. She was a tall very attractive blond woman-- who was married to an illiterate house painter and they had several children. Ruthe's small cosy appartment was on the second floor with an elevator, entrance hall, bath room, kitchen and bedroom. That's all - it was rent controlled at $105 a month! It took three month after we were married to get her pregnant - we tried real hard! When Ruthe was about to have the baby she wanted a larger apartment. I told her if we stayed in her old apartment for a year or two we would save enough to make a down payment on a house. She wouldn't hear of it. We tipped the super at 350 East 30th Street and got signed up for apartment 1M. Our apartment building was across from Kips Bay Plaze, one of the most beautiful apartment complexes in New York City. Kips Bay Plaza covers the full block from 1st to 2nd avenue and from 30th street to 33rd streets, built by Prudential Insurance, I believe. It consists of two 21-story tall concrete slabs each containing 560 apartments (1,160 total units); each apartment having 27,350 square feet typical floor area (28 apartments per floor); 3-acre landscaped plaza with circular drive ways; retail shops and 300 car garage on 3-levels below ground! Our apartment had two bedrooms and a 30 foot dining-living room, with a kitchen and bathroom on the first floor. The rent was about $600 a month! Ruthe went out and bought metalic wallpaper elegant enough for the Queen of England! I wish I had a good picture of our apartment. I would have included it here. I did the wall papering. We returned the building's refrigerator and bought a big GE one, and a microwave convection oven and a small diswasher, and added another wall full of cabinets. We had a daughter, Lily Nell Warren, born September 26, 1973. That's another couple of stories. I took my wife on a business trip while I was learning storage technology at IBM to San Jose, San Francisco and Los Angeles California. Walking by the Fairmont in San Francisco she heard singing and exclaimed, "that's Tony Bennet, let's go in and see." Up a stairs to the balconey where we listened. Never paid to attend. And on the city streets we watched two mimes doing pantemime. She walked up and offered to be their agent! They sent us resumes and glossies. Ruthe didn't have much luck. A few years later they were divorced. On the return trip we stayed in Los Vegas at 29 dollars a night in a major hotel and saw at least five floor shows each cost about $30 for the two of us included two drinks apiece and the best entertainment-- Don Rickles, Wayne Newton, and I believe Rich Little and Folies Bergere, etc. Once I took my wife and daughter for a fishing boat ride while we were in Miami Beach at the 79th street causeway. They both got really sick from the diesel fumes, the smell of the bate and the pitching of the boat! Never did that again. We liked to go to the best restaurants and all the plays in New York City and meet the stars like Rex Harrison of "My Fair Lady" when they came out from the stage door. My wife was always looking at real estate she wanted me to buy even though my money was invested in stocks and hers were in certificates of deposit. I offered to pay her the lost interest if she used her money to buy real estate. On Sanibel Island off the coast from Fort Meyers she had a chance to buy a one bedroom condo for a mere 39,000 dollars early on. Over time it went up to almost 300,000. Then back down to half. The four story brown stone house next to our New York City apartment building was up for sale at 125,000 dollars. The buyer spent another 30,000 fixing it up. These now have since been selling for more than one million. Our New York rent stablized apartment was offered for 73,000 and these too have been going for about a million. I never bought anything on credit which I couldn't pay off immediately. I guess I should have borrowed the money. She invested my daughters earnings in CD's too and spent it on things my daughter wanted. A program solving math problems with real math symbols was developed. It was called "A Programing Language" (APL). IBM failed to make good on it's promise to help every school child become proficient in math by making this program available to school children. Students could not afford to buy it even on a PC. When a usable version should have been available for $29 they offered it for $250, the raised it to $650, and now $1,500! Shame on IBM! How Disgracefull! I'm almost ashamed to have worked there. I retired in 1992. No one asked me-- but I was so tied up in my work at IBM that I continued to go to my office helping people with marketing and publishing without pay for six months! Finally I took my stuff from IBM and went home to care for my ailing wife who died in 2006. Later I went back one time to help for pay. But PC's were replacing many main-frame applications and the automated marketing publications I had implimented could be done by secretaries on their personal computer. They wouldn't let you do that today! Now when you quit they take your badge immediately. Corporate security, you know. At one point IBM decided to open some retail personal computer stores. Soon they dicovered they were not making their usual markup and decided to get out of that business. New York Telephone stepped in and took over IBM's retail PC business. In a short time they too discovered it was not good for them. I do not know what they did with the business. But when Gateway Computers decided to open a batch of retail stories I should have known that they too would fail and sold their stock! But I didn't and it went way down. IBM's blunder became NY Telephone's blunder, and Gateway's blunder became my error. Recently, I believe IBM sold it's PC manufacturing business to a China concern. But it is doing quite well in services, IT management and it's other computer lines.


Retired Years - Willow and Woodstock

Kingston is 91 miles north of New York City via Thruway off exit 19. The village of Woodstock is 10 miles north-west from Kingston via State Routes 28 and 375 in the Town of Woodstock. Willow is a small hamlet in the Town of Woodstock 7 miles north-west of the village of Woodstock. There we have an old farm house dating to about 1875 which Ruthe's father had bought in four transactions in 1937. Had to buy them through third parties because the local Dutch wouldn't sell to Jews. He added a room to shoot billards, opened up the living room into the hallway-stairway to make it larger and added a dry bar under the stairway, put in pine walls and beamed ceilings and a big stone fireplace, ripped off the back entrance mud room and built a 20 by 12 foot kitchen and a 12 foot by 12 foot screened in stone patio back entrance, and added a two car garage to the cow and horse carriage house. When I came there there were five dog runs out the back of the carriage house. I eliminated the dog runs. The dirt floor basement used to flood four feet deep without a sump pump. In the basement he built a concrete enclosure to protect a large freezer chest for his beef, and added a concrete butcher table so he could cut up a side of beef into two inch thick steaks and take them outside to a stone fire place and grill and share them entertaining large numbers of his extended family. After I retired we kept the apartment in New York City for five or six years till they evicted us because it was no longer our primary residence-- it was a rent stablized apartment-- we had moved to our summer and weekend home in Willow, NY. It was a good thing we were evicted since we were rarely there more than once or twice a month. While Lily was attended the Ulster County Community College I drove her there in Stone Ridge and back each day and took a course in Music, free for senior citizens - but not for credit-- I got an A grade on all the tests except the final (A-). My mind does not work fast enough to determine the beat, you know, the count (2/2, 2/4, 4/4, 4/8, 8/8 etc.) Now I believe I could do it. I taught myself to play chords and notes on the piano but I'm not very good at it. Ruthe had learned to play classical piano and had a graduation resital at Carnegie Hall. But she never followed up on it. About this time Ruthe took music training in Kingston learning to write musical score from a private teacher. She decided to write a song about church bells in Woodstock. I helped her transcribe her music on to my computer with a program, Music Printer Plus, which could play and print it. The music director at the church on the Bearsville flats decided not to perform it as there were no bells there. The program, Music Printer Plus, was great but was never up-dated to run under Windows. We had a Sears Microwave Oven (2 of them) The newer one failed twice - the older one never. As a trained Radar Technition in the Air Force, I did not hesitate to diagnose and replace the Magnetron and later the high voltage condenser instead of taking it to be repaired. You have to remember, I am also an graduate electrical engineer. We had two GE refregerators with the hand wired motors-- before they started using ones from China and had to recall them. The one I am still using is going great 35 years later. The other one I put in my rental unit in Kingston and my tenants threw it out without my knowledge! We had a Wards washer and dryer. The washer I am still using. The dryer lasted 35 years and I could probably have fixed it. Except for childhood illnesses like mumps, measels and chickenpox I have been very lucky to have not had many illnesses. A few cavites, an occasional cold, a broken leg and near sightedness, high blood pressure, a hernia and cataracs. I took my daughter skiing at the Nevele Resort-- skied all day and never fell. The next day went ice skateing. Unlike the year-around rinks in New York City they did not clean the ice every two hours and it was too rough for me to get up to speed so Lily gave me a tug and got me started and I was determined not to fall. Some how I dug the heel of the skate into the ice and when I fell I twisted and broke my leg in three places Who ever heard of anyone breaking a leg on skates? They came with an ice chair and moved me to a seat off the ice. I never felt any pain or lost any blood! But when they went to move me to a station wagon I guess they didn't feel I needed an ambulance they made me hop on the other foot, about fifty feet with the broken foot dangling. They took me to the local hospital who x-rayed and said "Yes, you have a broken leg, in three places." They were not prepared to set it there so I was transported again to the Kingston Hospital. I was there a couple of weeks. They put coral calcium into the break and tied it all together with a plate which I still have - sometimes it triggers security alarms. One night in the hospital I had an "out of body experience." In my sleep, I disconnected the cathetor and climbed down over the foot of the bed. Crawled on hands and knees to a wheel chair 4 or 5 feet away. Got up in the wheel chair and wheeled myself down the darkened hall till I came upon the nursing station. There they stopped me, woke me up, and put me back to bed! And pulled the rest of the cathetor out of my penis! My leg healed first to solid bone then in a few more weeks, to a hollow bone. Isn't nature amazing. I was walking on crutches for nearly six months! The length was perfect, but the angle is off 15 degrees to the left. I was told I had arthritus in that ankle and I wouldn't be a long distance runner. I still have a floating tibula bone. Before the accident I had varicose veins developing in both legs they cut through some blood vessels and after recover I lost the varicose veins in the left leg - but is swells sometimes. I take a water pill to help control it. Sometimes a little pressure in a different direction and I feel that leg is under stress. I was always near sighted. At age 17 I couldn't tell who someone was on the other side of a dimly lit room. That's when I started wearing glasses. I guess if I had started wearing them sooner they wouldn't have had as much strain. Three times over a period of years I got a crinkley quarter moon shaped pattern in my vision. Eventially found out it was called optical migraine. One eye doctors said it was serious - go to the hospital, others said it was a common occurance and would go away shortly. So far the later have been correct. By age 70 I had cataracts, especially in the right eye. When they removed the one in the right eye I discovered I had been seeing mostly out of the left eye. It took quiet a while before I got used to the new 20/25 vision in the right one. Now both eyes are weaker and my night vision is very bad. Before I broke my leg I developed a hernia. Saw two doctors, but delayed the operation. First while recovering from the broken leg and then for the cataract operation. And then when I had to help my daughter with her art gallery and tend to my wife's estate. There is always the danger of the blood being cut off and gangreen developing. But September 8, 2008, I had a problem passing gas I was real bloated and it was painfull. Had to go to the Emergency Room to determine if it was serious. They tested for everything and found no bad news. Gave me some pain killer and said, "Go home, take stool softener and laxitive." I left just a bloated as when I went in. Retracting the intestine relieved the pressure. I must get that operaton soon! After complete the conversion of my pool house into an Art Gallery. My daughter asked me what day was my birthday. I said the 29th, thinking she knew it was in April. The day came and passed. No "happy birthday." A few days later I said "I don't care for cards or presents but it would be nice for someone to say happy birthday." She was stunned and said "I thought it was May 29th." On May 3rd some 50 people appeared at closing time and said "happy birthday." She had organized a party of friends I made at the Art Gallery. She said, "This was planned for several months." After seeing her published book of poetry, I began writing some of my own and going the the Colony Restaurant to read my poems on their Monday Poetry Nights. Bored with my own material, I asked two friends, Emily Soto and Pierina Salvati if I could read their poems. You can do so as well if you want at: Maybe I should become a literary agent!

Donald Warren, age 77, 5 days
We have a great neighborhood here in Willow. The James Cox Art Gallery and Auction House is just around the corner on Route 212. And Arthur Vogal's Willow Auto Garage is there too. He restores ventage cars! The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary is located here. And every year Edward Fesseden at the corner has a great apple cider pressing party for all the neighbors. Your just have to bring your own jugs! His cider mill and press date to 1875 and is driven by a two-cycle gasolene engine. He had another similar engine driving an ice cream maker. His had 12 to 15 bushels of apples when he started. There was plenty of regular picknick food available. The party lasted from 2 PM to at least 9 PM! His family dates back to the 1860s. His wife made a family tree in tiles out back. Other neighbors participate in our volunteer fire department rescue squad. After helping my daughter get her Art Gallery started, I tried to start making web pages for people for free-- to get a business started by word-of-mouth. It did not work. I published a web page about how to use web pages. And a page of samples people could select to see my work. Plus an on-line manual to show people how to do their own web pages. You can access all of this material at Just use the navigation links to browse all of the pages. By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2007


My Fall

In the 1960s I went to visit my Uncle in Kansas. The one I was named after Russell Donavan Peppiatt. He was a farmer near Ellsworth. Raised wheat and cattle. (With fertilizer $1,400 a ton, double from last year, they don't know what they are going to do next year.) They used to call Kansas the Wheat State. But really, they make more money from cattle. And it used to be the fifth largest producer of oil! With several large reservoirs they have a pretty good tourist trade! You know - fishing and boating. My uncle also raised chickens and pigs. And collected semi-precious gem stones and petrified wood. He kept horses to herd his cattle. Out of season they got sleek and fat. I took one for a ride, bareback (without saddle). Going out he was OK. A gentle trot. When we turned back he wanted to run. Gallop, that is! Immediately, I slid forward, over his haunches (shoulders)! Holding on to his mane I fell down in front of him on my but! He stopped immediately, legs apart, one either side of me! He never touched me! I walked back, leading the horse. I felt he was very good to me! He was a beautiful horse! By Donald J. Warren, Copyright © July 2008


My Wife: Ruthe Lorraine Warren nee Sherman

Ruthe was born January 9, 1931 of Lillian and Leon Sherman. Ruthe grew up in Manhattan. As a teenager, Ruthe collected pictures of movie stars. She had some 60 8x10 glossy photos. You can see some of her Idols here if you have a high speed internet connection (takes too long on dial-up). Her father was a partner in the Kay-Sherman Luggage business at 46th street and Fifth Avenue. The Shermans spent weekends and summers at their country house in Woodstock, New York. Ruthe earned life-saving medals in swimming attending summer camp for 9 years where she was active in sports and theater. She attended Russell Sage College (BA) in Troy, NY and Columbia University (MA). She was a vital member of the class of '52, where she organized the "Sagettes." Whenever a song was to be composed, a script written for a class play or the annual Rally Day performance, Ruthe was an important and tireless participant. Her creative talents were exceptional. She was a valued member of her class and is sincerely missed by caring friends. After graduation Ruthe cared for her sick father, and raised and exhibited standard poodles. A cousin of Ruthe's was Martin Erlichman who lived in Hollywood, CA and was the agent who discovered Barbara Streisand in 1951 and has been her agent ever since! When we were in Los Angeles and called him he never returned Ruthe's call. My daughter says he came to see her when she was small. When Ruthe died I wrote his agency to tell him and see if he could provide any family history. Some people may be famous but are lousy individuals! I don't know if he is still alive. I never got a reply. Robert Levinson is the only other known relative on this side of the family. I believe he is a cousin of Ruthe's. He and his wife Sandy lived on Long Island when we got married. They had a young son Crag Lewis when we went to visit them one day they both were employed by American Airlines. She was a airline hostess and he was a ticket agent. Shortly afterwards they were transferred to Phoenx, Arizona. When one of Ruthe's aunts passed away and the attorneys were looking for heirs, Ruthe gave them his address and he got some money. It was not a great deal but he never called to thank her. We never had an occasion to contact them. After Ruthe's passing I tried to call them but the phone though listed was disconnected. During Ruthe's lifetime she studied classical piano, and opera singing, attended the Woodstock Artists' School, and painted purple cows and colorful clowns. She went back occasionally to exhibit and to buy or exchange paintings. She was trained in speech therapy and was a free-lance newspaper reporter for the Ulster Townsman, Woodstock Times, and Kingston Freeman. She wrote the first articles about Clarence Schmidt and his "junk yard" museum on Ohayo Mountain, Woodstock. And Father Francis, a defrocked Cathlic Bishop who came to Woodstock from Chicago and built the Old English Church on Overlook Mountain. Her articles in the local papers were reprinted in the New York Times, the Post Magazine, and brought visitors from far away countries, including Russa! More on Clarence Schmidt as an architech in Queens, NY who twice created the "house of mirrors" around his home in Queens only to have it burned down. His Woodstock "House of Glass" museum also burned down. Do a search on the Internet with his NAME and be surprised at the number of references! Ruthe as 'Bloody Mary' sang in the Ward's Turno Opera Company at Woodstock's Birdcliffe Theater and through out New England and wintered in Florida at the Ringling Brothers Sarasota Asolo Theater. Later, she did social work in New York City and continued to study opera and singing. Traveling back from the city I met her on the bus. She was very pretty, had impressive jewelry, was educated and Jewish, and wore a great mink coat! We dated - I took her to the Rainbow room atop Rockefeller Center. We dined and danced the night away. Went home to her apartment and had good fucking all night long! Even though she didn't like IBM engineers, she married me three months later, October 8, 1972. The Wedding was her dowery from her mother. We bought a great tuxcedo, had it fitted tight. Ninety guests were at the wedding under a big long tent in the side yard. The bar was under another tent near by. The band was on the cabin porch out back and we danced across the tennis court. My brother came all the way from Kansas brought a set of solid silver fish forks to complete our silverware. Ruthe could always remember who gave us each wedding present. Here is a partial list of the Wedding Gifts:
John and Fran Shick Gorham Silver Carving Set
Delores and Barry Segal Royal Worcester
Solveig, Eliescue, BliesueWood/hand painted Compote with oak leaves and Flowers
The Geertsamas 6 piece set, Russian - Bowls for borsch, vodka
Meta & Bill Koester Silver Chip and Dip Tray
Susie & Marvirn Horwitz Silver meat serving tray
Adeli & Norman Morris Clock (from Omega Watch Company)
Nate & Leila Livian (opera singing coach)Large modern Crystal
Aunt Jane E Levinson $200
Aunt Betty Levinson $100
Uncle Walt & Aunt Vi WarrenExclusive Card
At her insistance (and funding), we honey-mooned across Europe. Spain, Italy, Greece, France and England! Mostly at her expense. We carried that tux all the way. Used it for the wedding and in London . In Spain it was damp and cold. We loved the bars with sea food hors d'oeuvres. I discovered I had no top or rain coat! She had two rain coats - one become mine for the rest of the trip. In Madrid we saw the museums and palaces, and changing of the guard. We went to Toledo to see them making gold encrusted iron. In Italy, we saw all the old relics, the fountains, the paladium, colosseum amplitheater and aquaducks. We went to Florence to see her David and visit the gold smiths on the bridge. We met a couple traveling the same as us. They became our daughter's God parents after she was conceived on New Year's day when we visited them in Burlington, Onterio that year. It had snowed and spring tulips were sticking their brightly colored flowers through the snow! In Greece, we went to a lot of shops, even though they didn't speak English we point to things and gave them the money I don't think we were ever cheated. Ruthe bought a dress from a Vasser graduate who shipped it to us six weeks later. There were more museums and amplitheaters and the Parthenon. Couldn't take the boat ride throught the islands, it was too rough. Instead, we rented an Avis Volkswagen - I had never driven one and drove around the sea route, coming back at night it got cold and I couldn't find the heater. And she didn't help even though she had owned one. On our return we went to the Met at Lincoln Center I wore that tux but only the orchestra was dressed the same! Every one else was wearing blue jeans! In no time at all I out-grew that tux. At 11 PM in Athans we went down to the water front where all the night clubs were and spent the evening listening to music. When ever the crowd liked something they threw plates toward the stage which landed pretty near us. We were ducking. We left early at 2 AM. The enteratinment goes on till sun up! We had a talented daughter, Lily Nell Warren, born September 26, 1973, who Ruthe managed and who did commercials and performed as Clara in the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center, and in Saturday Night Live, Law and Order, Love Sidney, Jeater Mason and The Magic Headset, As The World Turns, etc. One year, before agent fees, taxes, etc. my daughter earned as much as I did as a Senior Systems Engineer at IBM. Since Lily had the lead part for the children in the party scene her parents were expected to organize the New Year's Eve party for the children and their parents! This was some undertaking. There must have been about 25 children in the party scene. With their parents, this would be at least fifty adults, or 75 total. It was held down stairs in the large rehersal hall at the New York State Theater. We had to purchase champaign, food and treats for the evening. There were a lot of talented adults in the party but I can not remember the entertainment. Of course parents donated funds for the supplies. Parking in New York City was always a problem. Of course we had garage space, but on the streets was a different matter. I quickly found a private lot a block from Lincoln Center which was unattended at night and always found a space there. We entered the stage door with the children going down to the dressing room and up the back stairs to the balcony level to find standing room to watch her performance. The first year Lily performed at Lincoln Center a lot of parents brought cameras to photograph the rehersals. So the second year I bought a commercial grade Panasonic Video camera. I tried to photograph the rehersal but half way through they said "stop taking pictures, our union contract does not allow it." I believe when children perform in productions like the Nutcracker or theater or shows like Saturday Night Live, the New York State Legislature should pass a law requiring that producers provide a copyrighted copy of their performance at cost, to their parents, invalidating any restrictive union or other contracts! Lily did a commercial for a Milton Bradley board game. Had to fly down to Miami and go to Coral Gables. Stayed in a very nice hotel and loved going to Chart House for drinks and dinner. They served margaritas in goblets that were six inches wide at the brim and several inches deap. They were powerful drinks, with sea salt on the rim. You can't get this anywhere now! They did Mother - Daughter acts together, at the Lido Spa, and Dutchess County Fair, etc. Ruthe dabbled in antiques, interviewed entertainers, including Milton Berle for one, composed music, wrote a children's book, and produced a comedy which was performed off Broadway. Ruthe's comedy had a lead male actor who had been doing the Irish Spring commercials for about 10 years and was a great performer. The high point was when he had to "comb a water melon" to make it grow hair! But he asked too much money and lost his job with Irish Spring and went to California where he got bit parts. This killed Ruthe's show. With her sheriff's press pass, she reviewed the exhibit of the Egyption Mummies and King-Tut-- Came away with a press kit of beautiful glossy photos. One year nearly the middle of December, Ruthe had not been able to find a place to go for our year end vacation. She said everything was booked and it was hopeless. I said I would try. On my way home from the office I stopped to see Liberty Travel on 42nd street. They said, "I have just the thing for you." A big hotel in Acapulco had gone belly up and the Goverment was trying to increase the tourist trade. For only $1,200 dollars they had a one week package for us both and Lily it included air fare from NYC to and from Mexico, ground transportation, all food three times a day, and liquor all day long, except for minors. I'm sure she got some too. It was a wonderful vacation. So much so - I tried to extend our stay. No, they said, you can only buy this package in the USA! Down there, it would cost like $2,500. Arriving at the airport it was a cool 135 degrees! after a short bus ride into town it was more like 95 degrees and humid till you got indoors. We went on a sunset boat ride around the bay had to walk a narrow gangplank with no railing to get on board Ruthe was so scared we almost had to carry her on and worse getting off! We saw them diving from the cliffs from high up over the rocks into the sea. We went out to the big old hotel I had stayed at before I wanted to rent the heavy boats with the lateen rig The boats I loved were gone-- now the hotel only catered to Mexicans and there were no tourists there. When we travelled to Acapulco, all the food was spicy hot. I couldn't take it - it was too peppery for me! Ruthe loved it, but in later years didn't like ANY pepper. I have learned to like it - if it's not too hot. We met a man with a monkey Lily sat down beside him the monkey put his arm around her like a lover and kissed her on the cheek while his owner snapped her picture-- Her mother exclaiming "don't do this - you'll get bit!" Lily and I drank tap water. Ruthe always had bottled water. Guess who got the runs-- Ruthe was sick! There is more about this trip in Lily's story. Every year we visited the Ledo Spa in Miami Beach. The original home of the Miss America Contest. Here we got five meals a day, all low diet-- breakfast, lunch, grapefruit at 4 PM, dinner, and after the evening show at 10 PM, more fruit or desert! We got a massage everyday, went swimming and Ruthe, with Lily, performed on stage each night - and got paid for it. Lily also did an opening number at the Harbor Island Spa. The owner gave her a toy teddy bear. The next big hurricane wiped him out and the place became a condo island. In those days, you could have bought any small hotel in South Beach for a song! It didn't excite us despite all the art-deco. Now the tininest property is worth millions! Sometimes we stayed at the Sun Spa in Hollywood now turned into a parking lot for the Diplomat Hotel. The Fontaineblue Hotel now being gutted to make suites. At the Fontaineblue Hotel you could always tell the chef was from the America Culinary Institute by the ice sculptures in the dining hall. At the Fontaineblue, Ruthe was very bold. She took an open cabana near the pool with thousands outside and closed the door - no lock and we screwed like hell. She never worried that someone might open the door. When we stayed at the Nevele Resort I joined the bridge party and Ruthe watched tried to kibitiz till they told her she would have to leave! She decided to learn to play. I took her to see an instructor. We had a half dozen lessons. Then we went to a local duplicate bridge tournament where all the north-south players competed against each other and all the east-west teams did the same. At the end they announced the winners. Ruthe and I had first place against the other north-south players! The other players knew we had never played together and were a little too bold in their bidding. Knowing it would never happen again Ruthe never played bridge again. Ruthe was a beautiful woman. Her family commissioned a large oil portrait painting of her. This, her papers, and my memories are all I have left of her. They also bought her a convertable. Ruthe and her mother had five dog runs and raised some eleven standard puddles, some white, some black. Their claw marks remain at eye level on the kitchen door to this day. Ruthe took her dogs to dog shows across the country and successfully competed for prizes. We still have panels of ribbons they won. Watching dog shows in recent years she recognized many of the Judges who had been her handlers years ago! When Lily was about to be born, Ruthe demanded a new, bigger apartment. She decorated it very well. She bought scalamandre silks to refurbish her furniture. She bought mentalized wall paper fine enough for a palace! She always took good care of her looks and clothes. But like many of her time she smoked, ate well and was not overly athletic. She became very anemic at the time of her daughter's birth. She had a minor thyroid problem and in later years developed diabetis, sleep apnia and experienced the effects of mini-strokes (TIAs). In the end she had to have constant help, oxygen 24/7, insulin, and medicine for chronic heart failure. Ruthe died Monday evening, September 18, 2006 at the Kingston Hospital. The death certificate says 9/19/2006. She is buried in the Woodstock Artists Cemetery, Woodstock, NY. When I married Ruthe in 1972, her resume identified her as an actress, commedienne and singer. She listed her height: 5' 3"; Size: 14; Eyes: Brown; Hair: Blond. Summer Stock: Woodstock Playhouse, Rangely Lakes Playhouse, Belgrade Lakes Playhouse, Phoenica Playhouse, Chichester Playhouse. Representative Roles in Legitimate Theatre: The Rose Tatoo (Seraphine) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Mae) Mad Woman of Chaillot (Gabrielle) Hot'l Baltimore (April) Blythe Spirit (Ruth) Legend of Lovers (Mama) Picnic (Rosemary) Representative Roles in Lyrical Theatre: Oklahoma (Ado Annie) Mame (Agnes Gooch) The Mikado (Katisha) South Pacific (Bloody Mary) Wonderful Town (Ruth) The Sound of Music (Sister Berte) Opera: Turnau Opera Company, Byrdcliffe Theatre, Woodstock, NY Turnau Opera Company, Ogunquit Playhouse, Ogunquit, Maine Turnau Opera Company, Asolo Theatre, Sarasota, Florida Musical Direction: Warren Wilson and Judith Somoggi Representative Roles: La Traviata (Flora) Barber of Seville (Berthe) Lord Byron's Love Letters (The Duenna) Little Theatre: Poughkeepsie Promenades, Kingston Coachhouse Players, Performing Arts of Woodstock, Illium Players of Troy Variety: Nevele Hotel. Lido Spa (Florida), Harbor Island South (florida), Dutchess County Fair, Ulster County Fair Bavarian Festival, Woodstock Library Fair, Reno Sweeneys, Grand Finale, The Alternative, Good Times The Improvisation, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (Hechscher Oval) Radio: Family, WNBC N.Y., Woodstock Weekend, WKNY Kingston, Interview, WEOK Mary Margaret McBride, Poughkeepsie. Training: Drama - Columbia University, HB Studios Dance - Martha Graham, Lowe School, Phil Blac Voice - Leila Livian, Sue Seton Improvisation - Ruth Parsons Skills: Swim, Tennis, Bicycle, Shoot Pool, Dialects, Comedy, Voices, Writer-Director (The New York Comedy Ensemble)

Ruthe L. Warren, about the time we were married

By Donald J. Warren,  Copyright © August 2008


The Levinson side of the Family

Ruthe's Mother, Lillian Sherman

Lily's maternal grandmother was Lillian D. Sherman nee Levinson. She was born in mid-March, 1902 in London,England. Lillian told Lily she was born in Wales. She was never sure of the date, March 15 or 17. We sometimes celebrated twice. She came over from London, at the age of 15 in 1917. She contracted rheumatic fever on the trip which led to a history of chronic heart disease and finally her death at age 84 in 1986. Her family were tailors in the town of Troy, NY. They were Jewish. She had three sisters, Jane, Betty, and Lee Levinson Lee was married briefly and may have had a son Robert. The sisters lived out their lives in Albany, NY. They had cousins in Poland and Austria. Her daughter Ruthe went to visit one in Poland. Lillian Sherman married Leon Sherman at the age of 20 on July 11, 1923 in New York, New York. Lillian's first child was still-born. Ruthe Lorraine Sherman was born January 9, 1931. See more about Lillian's life in the Sherman poem, below. By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2007


The Sherman side of the family

Leon Sherman, Ruthe's Father was born June 9, 1901 of Dora Rieser and Samuel Sherman. Dora Rieser was born in Vienna, Austria, around 1880. Dora Rieser and her brother Max came to the US sometime later. She eloped with Samuel Sherman, who was from Odessa, Russia. She and Samuel had five children, in this order: Leon (Ruthe's father), Barnett (known as Ben or Benjamin--he hated the name Barnett), Frances (whose name on her 1906 birth certificate says Fanny--she never used that name), Hannah (born in 1908), and Milton, born around 1918 or so. The family was nominally Jewish, though not religious. They were also very wealthy, had chauffeurs, etc. My mother talked about a White Car Company vehicle, and being driven to and from school. Samuel made his fortune as a luggage manufacturer in Connecticut his offices were on Des Brosses Street on the Lower West Side in Manhattan. The family kept horses stabled at Prospect Park. They lived at 910 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, The house had a music room, an upstairs - downstairs kitchen and a dumbwaiter to the dining room. Dora, Lily Nell's great grandmother, would ring for servers by pressing a button under the dining room table. In order to avoid income taxes, Leon's Father, Samuel took on a partner who cheated him. He lost a lot of money. He left Dora and the kids shortly after Milton was born. He fall in love with his bookkeeper, Margaret. He and Dora were divorced. It was in the papers in Brooklyn as a big story. I know it traumatized my mother, who absolutely doted on Samuel. Samuel used to go to the fights a lot. He went to wherever the big fight was on between Jack Johnson and Jess Willard (the Great White Hope). Samuel wrote family letters in rather poor English (after all, he was a Russian who came here as an adult), mailed from California, pleading for them to write to him. When they were in their late teens or early twenties. He said he didn't have much money, so this must have been between the fortunes Ruthe mentioned. I do know that Dora had to go to court for non-payment of child support and alimony. He was supposed to pay something like $10,000. I have the papers on this somewhere a lot of money in those days. I also know that all the Sherman kids, except Leon, lived at home until they were married, and worked to help out with the finances. Leon helped out, too. He was in business with Samuel, then established Kay-Sherman Luggage. My father, Buddy, met my mother through Leon, who had a friend, Oscar Goldenberg, who brought my father along to a party at the Shermans' house. This was well after Leon was married. I think my father told off-color jokes which were enjoyed by Dora, but embarrassed my mother. Anyway, the Sherman family, without Samuel, became sort of "gypsies," according to my dad. They moved from one place to another, in order to make ends meet they took in boarders. They also had rental property, so I don't think they were hurting that much, but it was a comedown from their former life. Samuel married Margaret, and they had a daughter, Gloria. I know nothing about this. I think that Samuel died of a cerebral hemorrhage or stroke around 1940. I wasn't born until December of 1943, so I never knew him. A side note: Max Rieser, Dora's brother, was a convert to Christian Science! Max had a hat store on Nassau Street in NYC called Best Hats. He, too, lived in Brooklyn. He married a lovely woman named Esther, they had three daughters, one of whom committed suicide. The other two daughters were Florence and Helen. Florence was a teacher at Washington Irving High School; she married Irving Schultz, an attorney; they had no children. Helen married Bob Sheller, also an attorney, they had two children, Eleanor and Edgar. So Florence and Helen (both deceased), were first cousins to Dora and Samuel's children. By Etta-Claire Abrahams, Copyright © 2007


Leon Sherman

Leon, the oldest, was a kind of "Peck's bad boy." (See the Internet for Descriptions of "Peck's bad boy"). Leon was sent to military school in Pennsylvania to straighten him out. There is a picture of Dora and the five children. Leon is sitting and holding Milton a babe in arms, Dora is standing behind him. He refused to sit for this family portrait unless he could hold Milton! When Leon grew up he became a luggage dealer. As a child, Leon went to summer camp off Route 28 near Big Indian in the Catskill Park. He fell in love with upstate New York and in 1937 bought a farm house as a summer home in Willow. The Willow neighbors were so anti-jewish he had to have others buy it for him. Leon married Lillian July 11, 1923. I don't know how they met, but there was later acrimony between the Sherman siblings and Lillian, I heard he picked her up, in his car or someplace else. In any event they married Ruthe was born January 9, 1931. I do know my mother babysat for Ruthe, because Aunt Hannah kept a journal, and mentioned that. He made big money during WW II, selling briefcases and other items with secret compartments to the military. I was told. He and Lillian did not get along, and Lillian didn't get along with the Sherman brood (though I do remember her sister, Lee, whom I liked). I remember that Lillian took me and my cousin Brian (Milton's son) to see Howdy Doody, and bought me a very pretty hat with lavender flowers, so she couldn't be ALL that bad, right? I think I was about 6. Lillian didn't come to Willow when we were there. Once my father said he and my mother and a friend of theirs, Helen Frank, visited Leon and Lillian when they lived in Riverdale (not Riverside Drive, that was later). Helen Frank was single and very pretty. When they all left, Leon came downstairs with them and wanted to show Helen his car and also take her for a ride, in other words, he was on the make. Lillian started shouting out the window and then breaking dishes! All the Sherman men suffered from heart problems, all of them had heart attacks before 50! Leon was very overweight, he smoked cigars a lot. He also used a wonderful cologne, I loved the way he smelled! He did put his cigars out and light them again, which made a bad smell, but I didn't mind. He loved Willow. That's what we called the house as well as the town. He enjoyed having us all there. He had roses, I know, because I grabbed one and got thorns, and berries and cherry trees and even a vegetable garden. He was meticulous about the property, even put up ashtrays so people wouldn't leave their cigarette butts around. He would police the premises, picking up any items he found on the ground that didn't belong there. I think Leon went to Duke University before or after his first heart attack, to try their then-famous rice diet. I know that he and Lillian went to Florida, possibly with Ruthe, so he could recuperate. Ruthe had a little wirehaired terrier named Buttons, that she left with us for awhile. I loved that dog! But Leon sent letters to Ben from Florida, saying "Come quickly - Lillie is trying to kill me." I know there were several of these letters and cards because they were Photostated and in my mother's possessions. I do know that he had a stroke and was in a hospital bed in their eight-room apartment on Riverside Drive when he died. My mother was very upset, as were the rest of the family. She couldn't understand why Lillian called in a doctor from Yonkers instead of just calling an ambulance. This was preceded by Lillian's refusal to allow my Uncle Milton in the apartment to see Leon he had to get a policeman to get in. I don't really know what all this was about. As I said, my mother did keep track of Ruthe and knew about your marriage and the birth of Lily Nell, We even went to visit Lillian who was very bizarre and living at Willow around 1969. Lillian did raise Standard Poodles, and she even slept with them in the kennel sometimes. The house was a real mess. Sad. I remember the billiards room. Uncle Leon called it the Men's Room, because he didn't want Brian or me going into the room and perhaps damaging the table. So we would stand at the threshold and watch the grown-up men play pool. One time, my grandma, Dora, "reluctantly" agreed to play pool. The "boys" kidded her. She took the cue, cleaned the table, set the cue down and never shot a round of pool again. They were all amazed. Dora died of thyroid cancer in January, 1953. She couldn't be buried right away because there was a gravedigger's strike on. I didn't go to her funeral. I was given the choice of going to the funeral or to a Brownie meeting. I chose the Brownie meeting. When Leon died, I went to the funeral home with my parents, I went into the room where Lillian was sitting. I was very self-conscious and not sure how to act. I remember Lillian crying out, "Oh, here's little Etta-Claire, come to witness the whole shebang!" I have no idea about the tone of her comment, I certainly didn't think it was friendly, in any case, I was mortified. Leon was a member of my father's Masonic lodge Clermont, of which my father was a founder. Leon was "raised" by my father, as was Milton. By Etta-Claire Abrahams, Copyright © 2007


Uncle Ben, Barnett Sherman

The next in line was Ben. He was close in age to Leon and handsome. He had a temper that got him in a lot of trouble. He ended up a lieutenant in WW II and had some kind of breakdown after Normandy, where he pulled a lot of bodies out of the water. He married before the war to someone named Muriel. She had great plans for him to become an engineer. He didn't have the will to do that. They were divorced. He was in the hospital in Brooklyn for appendicitis and met Eleanor David, a nurse. They married and they had one child, Leonard. Leonard is six years younger than I. Very handsome. Eleanor insisted on training him to be a scholar. I think that in some way he was emotionally abused. He was very odd, the kind of kid who you thought might end up as a serial killer, and you'd say, "He seemed so quiet ..." Ben went into the luggage business, retail and wholesale, with Milton. Their business was Acorn Leather Goods. They were at 742 Broadway, down near the Village. I used to hang out there a lot, especially when I was in high school, because both Ben and Milton smoked and didn't mind if I did! My mother was the only one of the Sherman kids who didn't smoke and their place was near the Village, where I'd go after school. I always got purses and wallets from them. Ben didn't do well financially. He and Milton got out of the business I don't know what he did then. He had a fatal heart attack in 1963, while I was away at college. Shortly thereafter, like within the year, Eleanor remarried a man named Posner, a glazer. Then she and Leonard dropped out of sight. By Etta-Claire Abrahams, Copyright © 2007


Aunt Hannah Nascimento nee Sherman

Hannah's story is sad. She married late to John Nascimento, a Portuguese national, who was waiter and quite a bit older than she. There was a 15-year age difference. They were married during the war. She was very heavy and a heavy smoker, as was John. Their first child was stillborn. Their second child, Johnny, is profoundly retarded and autistic. He was institutionalized when he was 4 years old. He was four years younger than I. Once when he was a baby in Willow, I gave him a Niagara Mint, when Hannah saw that, she said to me, "Don't give him candy, it'll make him sick!" So when he was institutionalized and I was told he was sick, I thought it was my fault, a secret I kept for many years. Anyway, I'm the contact of record for Johnny who is in a home in Rome, NY. Hannah had a raucous sense of humor and was also very smart. Another person who should have been educated. John, her husband, died in 1981. she died in 1983 of a pulmonary thrombosis. When my mom, my Uncle Milton and Aunt Helen went to the apartment in Brooklyn to gather her belongings, It was the first time I had ever been in the apartment, in which she and John had lived their entire married life! It was the third time for my mom and Milton! The place was black with the remnants of cigarette smoke. The dishes in the cupboards were black except for the ones they used every day. Also there had been a leak in the apartment above while she was in the hospital, and the ceiling had collapsed in the bathroom; and there was D-Con scattered around. I'm pretty sure there were rats there. Ugh! We hardly took anything, but we did take some papers and other memorabilia, which is why I have her journal. By Etta-Claire Abrahams, Copyright © 2007


Frances Abrahams nee Sherman

Next is my mother, Frances. She was the longest lived of the Sherman clan. She died just before her 81st birthday, in September 1987 of a heart attack. She was a very elegant and well-read woman, and I guess had a real talent for the piano. She didn't go on to college after high school, but was a very fine executive secretary (I think you'd call her an administrative assistant now). She married Buddy Herman (Known as Herbert) Abrahams relatively later in her life. She was 35, my dad was 48. I was born two years later, on December 25, 1943. We used to have Christmas parties every year and they were great successes with anywhere from 20-60 people in attendance. This continued when my parents moved to Florida. I know that Leon, Lillian and Ruthe attended several of these parties. I got my BA, MA and PhD, all in English, from Michigan State University. Then I was offered a teaching position there and took it. I also was an administrator and was active outside the university as a crisis counselor and as a hospice volunteer and later into a lot of school activities because our son Jonas Benjamin Sherman Greenberg (whew! that's some name) was born on January 24, 1980. He'll be 27 in a few days. Like Lily Nell, he was in The Nutcracker; first as a child at the party and a Bon Bon; then as Fritz and finally for two years as the Nutcracker. This was the Lansing Children's Ballet Theater. He also took a lot of dance, but gave up on it in high school (the macho thing) but did do high school plays. He took a year off after high school and lived in San Francisco for a year (his half-sister Denise lives there). Then he returned and is slowly but surely (well, not so surely) making his way through college. He lives in Lansing with his girl friend, Abby, an actress, and four cats. By the way, Herb has two children from his first marriage: Denise, who lives in SF, and Jeff, who lives in Seattle. Jeff is married to Alison Krupnick, a writer and former State Department official, and they have two daughters, Melanie (8) and Maya (6). Buddy Abrahams, retired from Corn Products (now CPC International, maker of Mazola, Hellman's, et al.), he decided to help out Uncle Max who had cataracs and wouldn't go to a doctor --- nothing like a convert! There are some funny stories that my father told. For instance, one time Max complained that his feet hurt and he was sure it was because he'd changed milkmen and that there was something wrong with the milk. My dad finally said, "Max! You have your shoes on the wrong feet!" By the way, Max and Esther had a summer home in Ferndale, New York, which is near Monticello. We would visit them occasionally. By Etta-Claire Abrahams, Copyright © 2007


Milton Sherman

My Uncle Milton was the baby of the family about 15 years or so younger than Leon. He married Helen Beck, a nurse, before going off to war. They had one son, Brian Samuel, born January 15, 1943. Brian and I are just 11 months apart and have kept in touch over the years. Brian was just 64. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Atlanta. Brian earned his bachelor's degree at Cornell and his PhD from Harvard in sociology. He taught at Richmond, NY and at Oglethorpe in Atlanta, and for many years at Albany State, in Georgia. He retired about a year and a half ago. Milton left the luggage business and earned a bachelor's degree and went into civil service in NY. He loved to sail. He was a smoker (later, a pipe smoker), and had a heart attack while he was in his 40's, but his devoted and knowledgeable wife, Helen kept an eye on him. They traveled widely and had a wonderful relationship I always knew they were in love. After he retired they moved to Satellite Beach, Florida where they had a house with a pool. When we drove down to visit my parents, we would stop to visit with them. Unfortunately, Milton was diagnosed with lung cancer and died in 1989. Helen died of Alzheimer's in 2005. So, now all that's left of the Sherman side of the family, as far as I know, are Brian, me and Johnny and somewhere maybe, Leonard. At least as far as the offspring of Leon's brothers and sisters. By Etta-Claire Abrahams, Copyright © 2007


The Quimby Family

My grandmother, Ella M. Peppiatt nee Quimby was from a branch of the family which originally came through the Town of Marlboro, New York, before moving on to Coldwater, Michigan. Two members of the Quimby Family are believed to be buried in Marlboro. Also, there is a Quimby Theater at the Ulster County Community College. Grandmother Ella Quimby was born in Branch County, Michigan on April 3, 1856. She had met Joe Peppiatt in Michigan and when he wrote to her to come to Kansas she did but returned to Michigan where they were married in 1880 and had two children before moving to Ellsworth County, Kansas. They raised nine children before they stopped sleeping together. She died in 1949 of Parkinson's Disease and left a significant inheritance to living members of her family or their children. She was a fourth cousin of Harriet Quimby, who was born in Arcadia, Michigan, May 11, 1875. About 1900 Miss Quimby worked at Leslie's Illustrated Weekly as a photo-journalist. She traveled, took prize winning photographs, and wrote and edited articles on subjects ranging from political scandal to household tips. Never far from the stage, Harriet's theater reviews earned her an editing job at Leslie's. She never married or had children, but she drove her own car and supported herself and her parents. By the last two years of her life, Harriet Quimby had become New York's sweetheart, frequently in the public eye, and always among the movers and shakers. By far, 1911 was Harriet's busiest year. Fascinated by the challenge of flying an aeroplane, Harriet took flying lessons during 1911, and became the first woman to get a license in the United States by the Aero Club of America. As soon as Harriet got her license to fly, she went on exhibition in the U.S. and Mexico wearing an unconventional purple satin flying suit of her own design. On April 16, 1912, while continuing her journalism career at Leslie's, she took off from Dover, England, in her 50hp Bleriot monoplane and flew across the English Channel from Dover, England en route to Calais, France, (but did not reach Paris, her intended destination-- Kansas City Star, 4/16/1993) and made the flight in 59 minutes, landing about 25 miles (40 km) from Calais on a beach in Hardelot-Plage, Pas-de-Calais. She had become the first woman to fly the English Channel. Her accomplishment received little media attention, due to the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15. Miss Quimby's career ended on July 1, 1912. She was flying in the Third Annual Boston Aviation Meet at Squantum, Massachusetts. William Willard, the event's organizer, was a passenger in her brand-new two-seat Bleriot monoplane. The plane unexpectedly pitched forward for reasons that are still unknown. Both Willard and Quimby were ejected and fell to their deaths, while the plane "glided down and lodged itself in the mud." Obviously, seat belts were not used in her airplane! (The "Father of Crash Survivability", Hugh De Haven, was a plane pilot. His interest in crash survivability was sparked by him surviving a plane crash during the First World War.) Miss Quimby's plane was restored and is at the Rheinbeck Aero Museum. Harriet Quimby was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York. The following year her remains were moved to the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. See more on Miss Quimby by searching the internet with Harriet Quimby's name and at which supplied some of the above. It would be nice if more history was known about the migration of the Quimby family from England to Michigan. Unfortuately, I have not found notes of my Mother's stories detailing this. My Aunt Alice Gregory nee Peppiatt thought we could find an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower. She found that a member of my Grandmother's family was a Wright who fought in the Revolutionary War. She was able to verify this information and it helped her gain membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). However, the DAR seems to be more interested in obtaining original documents than members, since their current online application forms make no provision for proving a relationship to another family member!

Ella May Peppiatt

By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2006, 2007 and 2008


The Peppiatt Family

This information was largely gathered and written in the 1930's and 1940's by Martha Alban as planned by Elizabeth Peppiatt, daughter of Shadrack Peppiatt and granddaughter of John Peppiatt. Elizabeth was concerned that information about their life in England and dates of their grandfather and family would be forgotten by succeeding generations. Other members of her generation contributed material and a composite story was written. Note that Church records are not always ledgible or accurate and census data is often incomplete. Many members of the extended family have the same name. Grave stones are only a cold reminder. Aletha M. Collyer, formerly of 8260 Judd Road, Willis, Michigan 48191. compiled these stories in 1965 from work done by others and correspondence collected by family relatives who did not want this history to be lost, and distributed it to family members in 1968 and 1973. Her book contains literally hundreds of Peppiatt family relatives! She invites others to share and update this information. Miss Collyer moved to Florida and ceased updating it. She died February 12, 1999 according to Social Security records. Her last known address was 48108 Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, MI. According to her book, her maiden name was Aletha Beeden Thunder. She was born 8-13-1913 (Listed as 8-14-1913 in Social Security Records). She married Eugene Peppiatt Collyer on 11-15-1959. Her children are listed in her book as follows: Keturah Ann Thunder, 11-14-1937 Douglas Carl Thunder, 11-16-1938 Gary Albert Thunder, 12-10-1941 The location of Miss Collyer's heirs is unknown although the children are young enough to still be living. Anyone with further information should use the Peppiatt Family Feedback Form to send it to us. Also, you can E-mail it to me: Donald Warren, at WILLOWWNDS@AOL.COM Phone:845.679.2989 The name Peppiatt probably is French, and may have been recorded in church and census records as Peppit, Peppitt or Pepitt. The name originates in the North east of France near the German Border. Our early history begins in England in the 18th century. It starts in the area of Edlesborough with Francis Peppiatt (Recorded as Peppit) who appears to have been born between 1746 and1760 based on Baptizism Records and the customs of the time. He married Mary Symonds on 5-5-1787, and may have moved to Pitstone. Francis is believed to be the father of John Peppiatt. John Peppiatt was born on 3-25-1788 (or perhaps 4-6-1788) and baptized 4-27-1788 in Pitstone (Pightlestone), Buckinghamshire, England, which was not far from London. The ancestral home of the Peppiatt family is remembered as a pleasant country with a mild climate and even temperatures which made it ideal for raising fruit especially plums, and flowers-- violets and primroses bloom as early as February, but it is a very short season. England, though far to the north benefits from the Gulf Stream which flows from the Caribbean to the north Atlantic and then south along the coast of England. The long twilights in summer make evening gardening possible. Mrs. Collyer's book has many pages of descriptions of the town and of the activities of the Peppiatts at that time. I have not had time to select a composite of these for inclusion here. The Peppiatt family owned their own home and were considered quite well-to-do. John's mother died when he was quite young. His father made an unfortunate second marriage. The second wife was not very thrifty and it wasn't long before the money was used up and the house was gone. There were two children by this second marriage both were batchelors who died in the 1860's and 1880's. John worked as a shepard for a farmer named Hawkins. John married Charlotte Perkins from Wendover in 1818 and had six children. Little is known about her except she had red hair and was very strong. She could lift a five bushel sack of flour (possibly 300 pounds) and put it in the bin. Their children: Phillip 1815-1854 Shadrach 1818-1901 George 1825-1917 (my direct line of descent) David 1826-1897 Mary 1832-1892, married Jellis Jonathan 1833-1918 John joined the Baptist Church at Ivvinghoe at the age of eighteen and became a deacon. He served on the guard at Dover during the French and English war. After Charlotte died, her son, Shadrach's family moved in with John. After his sons left to go to America between 1866 and 1867 he went to live with his daughter May (Mary). He died at age 90 and a few days. George Peppiatt is in our direct line of decent. Church records show a George Peppiatt, son of John Peppiatt, baptized 1-2-1816, who married Elizabeth. This is probably not our family or is an error. Family letters provide a different birth date and wife: George Peppiatt, son of John Peppiatt, of Buckinghamshire, born 1825. He was a shepard in England like his father. The women used to do straw plaiting for the London straw-hat-making industry as a source of extra income. The Peppiatt brothers started talking about coming to America in 1865. George Day returned to England from America for a visit and told of favorable living conditions here. Shadrach's son Charles and nephew Jesse, playing with their dog, spied a rabbit and caught it only to be caught by the warden and given a summons. The brothers decided then to come here so their sons could have more freedom. It is suggested that the Pitstone Parish vestry may have given money from the Town Charity to help some of the later Peppiatts emigrate. George Peppiatt sailed from Liverpool 9-12-1866 and landed in New York 9-26-1866. He sailed with his older brother Shadrach and Shadrach's son Charles, and Jesse, the son of brother Phillip. Mrs. Collyer's book lists 44 Peppiatt Family members who came over during 1866, 1867, 1870 and 1871. Immigration headquarters at the time was Castle Gardens where they were fed and given a bible, checked for the necessary vaccination marks, and put into "pens" according to their destination. George reached Willis Michigan in October. He may have worked in a brick yard. He decided that conditions in this area were not favorable so he left for Coldwater where his boyhood friend Will Paradine had settled. Others took the train for Buffalo, reaching Detroit in November. George married Eliza Kempster (born 5-24-1834) on 2-28-1853 in Buckinghamshire, England. Four children were born in England, before coming to Ovid Township, Branch County, Michigan. They had eight children all together. Ruth Elizabeth Born 1853 (Baptised 12-25-1854) married Charles Wilson Joseph 10-12-1857 (my direct line of descent) Jane 1862 George Died at age 10 Elizabeth Died young Alice 1-15-1869 Frank 1871 Fred 1874 May Died at age 3 George died in 1917 at the age of 91 and is buried in the Sorter Cemetery. My Aunt Alice Gregory nee Peppiatt, born 8-13-1907, visited her Grandfather George Peppiatt while he was still alive! She would have been 10 years old if she had seen him just before he died! Her son, Phillip Courtney Gregory says in later life his mother visited England several times. She writes about her Grandfather and our ancestral home in a letter to Mrs. Collyer which is in her book. Joseph Peppiatt, son of George Peppiatt, born 10-12-1857, sailed from Liverpool, England and arrived in Coldwater, Michigan 11-1-1867. He went to Kansas and bought one half square mile of railroad land for seven hundred forty five dollars (about two dollars an acre)! Grandfather Joe Peppiatt wrote to Ella Mae Quimby and asked her to come to Kansas in 1880, after which she returned to Branch County Michigan where they were married and had two children before moving to Ellsworth County, Kansas. My Mother, Florence Nell Peppiatt, was the third in line and was born 10-3-1885 in Ellsworth County, Kansas, and married my Father, Rees Conway Warren, on 1-1-1922 in Manhattan, Kansas. If you believe you are decended from the Peppiatt family, please click on the Feedback Form at the end of this document and give us your information and we may be able to add it to this Peppiatt Family History. Prior to the 20th century family members communicated with each other by writing lots of letters. Often these letters were added to and forwarded by one recipient to the next in the form of a chain letter. Collections of these letters became a valuable source of family history. Unfortunately, writing letters has become a dying art with the availability of low cost long distance telephone service, E-mail communications and cell phone text messages! Because of rail roads, relatives also travelled back to visit family, especially to Michigan where they renewed friendships and met new members. My Mother told about hearing stories, enjoying fresh maple syrup and taking steamboat trips on the Great Lakes. In England, these were farming people, but the ladies in the family earned extra money by collecting slightly green straw from the fields and used a splitter to create the right size strand which were dried, woven into strands and shipped to London for the straw-hat-making trade, which were then sent to Paris and sold. Some letters suggest that French buyers bought directly from the family. The name is rather unique in that a US telephone search some years ago listed very few Peppiatt names, many of which were our extended family. It would be a shame if Miss Collyer's work were to be lost to history. I do not believe her two volume collection was ever submitted to the Library of Congress or formally copyrighted. I have only included such information as was common knowledge within our family, since under current law I believe her original work would still belong to her heirs for 100 years even if it was not formally copyrighted. However, some of the letters she used as source material are already more than 100 years old and even then were collected and exchanged freely by family members for the express purpose of being passing on to others. This is documented in Mrs. Collyer's book, so I do not believe these stories have copyright protection. We don't know if she kept a record of who paid $10 for a copy, and who might want an updated copy. The copying and mailing cost must have been at least that expensive.

Joseph Peppiatt, in Kansas

My Grandfather, Joseph Peppiatt was born of George Peppiatt and Elisa Kempster in Tring, England on October 12, 1857. Grandfather Joe is supposed to have visited Coldwater, Michigan as a 10 year old boy. He later returned where he met and married Ella Quimby on March 7, 1880. For some reason, he did not become a United States citizen until just before his death in 1931! Joe Peppiatt went on to Kansas where he purchased railroad land 14 miles north-west of Ellsworth, Kansas. I believe Congress passed legislation giving railroads alternating nine mile square blocks of farm land on each side of their right of way to help pay for the laying of track across America! The railroad would sell the farm land to immigrants who would go west and work the land. The railroad profited from the sale of the land, the cost of tickets for their travel, and the products they produced on the farm and shipped back east. I am sure the farmers profited from cheap land, reduced rail ticket prices, and from having a transportation facility for getting their products to market. Congress also set up a system to help fund colleges in the Mid-West by granting the states land grants. My grandparents' children benefitted from this since they all had the oppertunity to attend college. All of the daughters of Joe and Ella Peppiatt did attend and graduate from college about the turn of the century! Joe and Ella had nine children before they stopped sleeping together. There were five girls and four boys: Fathers' names are in bold if mother's married name is not Peppiatt
Claude George b.1-17-1881 d.4-5-1969
  m.10-4-1906 Minnie B. Raymond d.6-14-1955
Mildred b.8-11-1907 (2m 4 children)
Mable b.6-12-1911 d.1930
Joseph William b.4-24-1919 m.10-19-1942 2c
Bernice May b.2-15-1883 d.9-26-1958
  m.8-6-1906 George Tompkins
Donald Edward b.5-18-1907 d.6-23-1968 4c
Carroll b.8-3-1912 d.5-18-1934
Lloyd George b.3-3-1916 d.1916
John Ernest b.3-5-1926
Florence Nell b.10-3-1885 d.9-25-1985
  m.1-1-1922 Rees C. Warren
   b.6-4-1891 d.4-2-1965
Walter Peppiatt b.1-10-1923 d.1997
  m1 11-1943 Elaine Carr div. 2-1950
  m2 8-1956 Bonnie Lewis div.3-1968
Donald Joseph b.4-29-1931
  m.10-8-72 Ruthe L. Sherman
    b.1-9-1931 d.9-19-2006
Minnie Fern
b.7-20-1889 d.5-1979
(Methodist Church Deaconess)
Ethel Dell b.8-14-1892 (died 1994)
  m.6-8-1932 Bert Samuel Holmes
   b.11-28-1881 d.5-5-1960
(No Children)
Ivan Thomas b.7-20-1895 d.12-23-1965
  m.5-4-1923 Blanch Fanton
   b.2-23-1921 d.2-9-1951  
Marjory Eleanor b.6-18-1924 d.1930 (lightning)
Phyllis Jane b.12-1-1925 m. Albert Brown 3c
Richard Johnston b. 8-12-1927
  m. Patty Milbrant
Ruth Ann b. m. Burgenger 3c
Doris Fern b.10-12-1931
  m.7-2-1949 Robert Brown 3c
Janice Marie b.3-19-1936 (nursing home)
Alfred James b.10-6-1940
Alvin Claude b.10-6-1940
Francis Joseph b.12-18-1898
  m.8-13-1922 Clara Livingston
Francis McVay b.3-15-1923
  m.3-3-1947 Helen Zolanek
Betty Joe b.10-9-1924
  m1. William Choitz
  m2. Richard Rice 2c
Patty Ellen b.8-9-1927 d.1927
Ramona Ann b.11-24-1929
  m. Carm John Lerma 4c
Jean Laverne b.11-26-1931
  m. O. J. Leal 6c
Russell Donovan b.6-9-1901 d.6-23-1980
  m.8-19-25 Vera Allen b.12-1-1903 d.1-22-1999
Thyra Jane b.9-5-27
  m.6-23-1953 Norris Weinhold 6c
Fred Allen b.6-23-1933
  m.Vivian LaVern b.1-14-34 4c
Samuel Hibner b.7-15-1934
  m1 Janet Ann Lank
Alice Elizabeth b.8-13-1907 (died 1993)
  m.8-3-1932 Howard Gregory
Beth (stillborn)
Phillip Cortney b.9-9-1934
Only Joe Peppiatt's children, Grandchildren and spouses are listed above. Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren and their spouses who had children are listed separately in the following tables:

Claude George Peppiatt and Minnie B. Raymond

Fathers' names are in bold if mother's married name is not Peppiatt
Mildred b.8-11-1907
  m1 4-1924 Amos Blythe b.7-1-1904 div.
James Blythe b.5-19-1925
  m Eugenia Mallas b.5-22-1929
   Jeanne Theresa b.3-4-1949
    m. Carl Sitzeralock b.7-31-1943
     Carla Jean b.4-26-1968
     Christine Marie b.5-27-1971
   Rebecca Ann b.2-28-1951
    m Robert Lyle Waldron
     Cassandra Jean b.12-14-1969
     Robert Lyle,Jr. b.11-27-1971
   James Thomas b.3-3-1954
   Susan Lee b.10-26-1959
Betty Ann Blyth b.12-22-1926
  m.1-17-1953 William Steenman b.9-271922
   Roxanne b.10-19-1953 d.3-3-1955
   Melanie Kay b.5-22-1956
   Kathy Jo b.7-6-1965
  m2 Edward "Swede" Delberg
   b.5-13-1915 d.1-18-1965
Edward Jan Delberg b.1941
Claudia Jo Delberg b.1943
Joseph William b.4-24-1919
  m.10-19-1942 Ethel McClure Petty b.2-3-1922
Robert Peppiatt b.8-6-1946
  m 10-5-1965 Nancy Jean Gore b.12-23-1945
   Kelly Ann b.6-23-1966
   Molly Lynn b.3-13-71
William Peppiatt b.8-6-1946
  m 11-15-1968 Betty Jean Leslie b.10-2-1949
   Suzanne Marie b.12-1-1969

Bernice May Peppiatt and George Tompkins

Donald Edward b.5-18-1907 d.6-23-1968 4c
  m.1929 Leona Oldenburg Parker d.10-1939  
Donald Edward, Jr. b.5-2-1932
  m. Donna Bates
   Larry John b.4-28-1956
   Randy Donald b.4-9-1959
   Lisa b.8-23-1961
Jean Ellen b.6-21-1933
  m.9-12-64 Alan Richard Stevens b.1-4-1938
   Michael Alan b.11-27-1968
   Carolyn Jean b.4-9-1971
James b.8-20-1934
  m. Evelyn
   Debra Kay b.10-26-1957
   Karen Sue b.10-31-1958
David Dale b.12-27-1955
  m.9-3-1955 Ruth Jeannette Smith b.7-23-1937
   Linda Marie b.4-9-1956
   David Dale, Jr. b.5-25-1957
   Douglas Edward b.9-27-1958
   Terri Lynn b.8-15-1960
John Ernest b.3-5-1920
  m1 ?
  m2 8-11-1956 Wilma G. Sherman
   b.7-13-1924 d.7-17-2008
George H. b.10-12-1965

Florence Nell Peppiatt and Rees Conway Warren

Walter Peppiatt b.1-10-1923 d.9--1997            
  m1 11-1943 Elaine Carr div. 2-1950
Larry b.10-1944 d.11-1944
Rea Darlynn Durflinger b.4-1947
  m.1966 Jack Custard
     Jack Jr b.1968? & Lisa b1973?
Jim Durflinger
James Durflinger
  m2 8-1956 Bonnie Lewis div.3-1968
Pamela Kay b.8-3-1957
Virgina Nell b.10-4-1958
   Jessica & Ashley
Walter P., jr b.12-4-1959
Terry Rees b.10-17-1961 m. Renee
    Terry (TJ) Jr., Glen, Brandy
Donald Joseph b.4-29-1931
  m.10-8-72 Ruthe L. Sherman
   b.1-9-31 d.9-19-2006
    Lily Nell b.9-26-1973

Ivan Thomas Peppiatt and Blanch Fanton

Phyllis Jane b.12-1-1925
  m.8-4-1956 Albert L. Brown b.9-6-1910 3c
Laurie b.9-9-1957
Linda b.3-4-1960
Mark b.10-30-1964
Richard Johnston b. 8-12-1927
  m. Patty Milbrant
Sandra Jeanne b.2-24-1950
Daniel Joe b.3-25-1952
Timothy John b.4-5-1953
   m. Linda S. Hopkins b.4-3-1958
    Jericho D. b.
Ruth Ann b. m. Harold Burgenger 3c
Alice Marie b.1952
Wendy b.1954
Susan b.1955
Doris Fern b.10-12-1931
  m.7-2-1949 Robert Leroy Brown 3c
Cheryl Ann b.4-8-1950 m1 & div.
 . m2 Cheng div.
James Robert b.11-26-1951 m. div.
 .  Alena b.10-3-1978
    m. Emerson Santos
   Amanda Brown b.2-14-1983
Michelle Marie Brown (m 2x)
    Sonya b.9-15-1978
     m. Noah Bowman
    Sara b.3-10-1985      m. Hari Thapa
Alfred James b.10-6-1940
Alvin Claude b.10-6-1940

Francis Joseph Peppiatt and Clara Livingston

Francis McVay b.3-15-1923
  m.3-3-1947 Helen Zolanek
Betty Joe b.10-9-1924 2c
  m1. William Choitz
  m2. Richard Rice
Pamela Deanna b.6-22-1946
Paula Rena b.1-24-1948
Ramona Ann b.11-24-1929 d.
  m. Carmen John Lerma 4c
Lawerence Wayne b.12-16-1949
  m.7-15-1957 Sherry Hill div.
   Jamie Brett b.11-14-1967
 .  Chad b.1-28-1970
Anthony John b.10-30-1951
Michael Allen b.7-27-1955
Andrea Jean b.4-7-1957
Jean Laverne b.11-26-1931 d.6-28-2005 6c
  m. O. J. Leal b.3-22-1930  
Terry Michael b.6-17-1953
Jeanne Leandra b.11-4-1954
Danial Joseph b.7-15-1956
Douglas Andrew b.3-15-1959
Christopher Raymond b.9-22-1961
Carla Renee b.9-22-1961

Russell Donovan Peppiatt and Vera Allen

Thyra Jane b.9-5-1927 d.1-26-2000
  m.6-23-1953 Norris Weinhold
   b.9-10-1918 d.2-3-2003 6c
Barry Samuel b.11-7-1957
Cheryl Ann b.6-25-1959
Roger James b.8-28-1960
Alan David b.9-13-1961
Kevin Norris b.5-17-1963
Douglas Joel b.5-17-1963
Fred Allen b.6-23-1933
  m.Vivian LaVern b.1-14-34 4c
Valerie Lynn b.9-9-1955
Nancy Louise b.8-2-1957
John Russell b.8-11-1959
Andrew James b.10-5-1962
Samuel Hibner b.7-15-1934
  m1 Janet Ann Lank b.5-8-1939
Jennifer Ann b.7-11-1964
Ray Samuel b.9-27-1967

Alice Elizabeth Peppiatt and Howard Gregory

Phillip Cortney b.9-9-1934
  m.2-14-1954 Jimmie Sue Milton b.1-5-1935
Howard Kent b.8-31-54
Paul Melton b.4-23-1956
Susan Elizabeth b.8-11-1966
All of the children had to help with the farm work. Their oldest son did not like farm work and opted for the higher pay of working in the cement and steel mills back in Indiana. Except for Uncle Claude, each of the boys received a farm. The remaining boys each were given or inherited farm land from their father. Grandfather Joe died of cancer on November 19, 1931. The girls each received a good inheritance when their mother died in 1949. When Aunt Ethel died, her brothers and sisters families each received a significant inheritance split between their respective children.


Aunt Ethel Dell Holmes nee Peppiatt

Cousin Fred Peppiatt passed along a manuscript of notes by Aunt Ethel about her childhood written in the last 10 years of her life and typed by her brother-in-law Howard Gregory and copied by Cousin Fred's daughter Nancy.

Aunt Ethel writes in her own hand writing:

"Dear loved ones, 
 God is love. 
 Trust Him. 
 Learn to know Him.
 I know God. 
 He has helped me. 
 Goodby, Aunt Ethel."  

She was born 8-14-1892 on a farm 14 miles northwest of Ellsworth, the county seat of Ellsworth County, in central Kansas. These are her random recollections of events and comments and memories mostly during her rugged early life on the farm and as an early day school teacher in a one room school house. She died June 10, 1995, at age 102!

Aunt Ethel directed that her book was to be handed down to the lists of names of the Ella Quimby and Joe Peppiatt families. It should be saved for the youngest girl in the family since girls are generally more interested in genealogy than boys and will want to know more about the history of the Quimby and Peppiatt families. That is the reason I make this request. Original signed by Ethel D. Holmes, May 1994, Holyrood, Kansas.

My chief pleasure all my life seems to have been reading, especially articles. I like to read Readers' Digest and usually turn to the secton on Medicine first. Then I read the jokes; I read "Heroes for Today" and others.

Two pretty girls were walking down the street and met two young men. After they got on by one girl said to the other, "Did you see how that fellor in the blue suit smiled at you?" "Oh yes, but he isn't my frog," came the reply (meaning he's not my prince). That little joke made me think of the fairy stories I heard as a child. I would say that as parents if you want to instill a thirst for knowledge in your children, read stories to them beginning when they are young before they talk. It is surprising what they learn very young

To my surprise my dad didn't need pencil and paper to do arithmetic. He used short cuts it seemed. Unfortunately no one drilled me in spelling when I was young. Some words children spell wrong because they do not pronounce the words correctly. I think Joe had trouble hearing quite young because he called "free" for "three." When I wanted to make passing grades at age 15, I took home lists of dates, cities and such like to memorize on the long walk from school to home, 2½ miles.

One time a man traveling through the country stopped and wanted to take a family picture. I think it was when Joe was the baby. So he had us all line up in a row- the dog, Bob, came and the man said, "Yes--got any more pets?" Bernice ran and got Midget,the pony. Dad sat in a chair, mother held Joe, and Minnie and I stood near each other. I don't know who has that picture. Russell and Allice had not been born. Claude leaned against his bicycle. We learned later on the Richard Wagners had their picture taken at that time. We were in every day clothes.

When Russell was a little tyke he fell in love with a new born heifer calf from one of our milk cows. He asked Dad if he could have that calf. Dad said yes, and then forgot about it. It seemed Russ petted it and thought of it as his own. The there came a time to butcher a beef and Dad picked on that heifer, not a year old, to be butchered. Russell was horrified at the thought-butcher his pet! Neither Tom nor Joe had asked for a pet. Being mechanically minded, they likely would have asked for an engine rather than an animal. In later years Dad realized that Russ could see which of the cattle were the best in the herd. The other 2 boys liked machines better than horses or cows.

Each one of us was quite different than the others. One day I was handing out un-asked for advice and Minnie brought me up short. She said, "You ought to be running a big department store." I got the message and shut up. A letter from Joe asked me if I told about the pig. I don't recall if I did. Our Dad bought 4 or 5 shoats from Mr. Morton (neighbor). He and my 3 younger brothers were unloading them from the wagon to take to the pig pen when Dad and I think Tom fumbled and the pig dropped to the ground and took off south on a fast trot with Dad close behind. I was up by the new grainery so I ran south on a field track to the lower pasture, thinking I could head that pig off and help Dad catch it. I got to the sandrock bank first. The pig was coming directly toward me. I began to stamp my feet, yell and clap my hands. That pig stood still; it must have wondered what kind of animal it was facing. Dad was getting very tired. He caught up with the amazed pig, looking at me, and lunged and caught the pig by a hind leg. He asked me, "Can you hold him: I need to lie down." I said yes and grabbed the pig's hind leg and he just lay still while Dad went to a smooth place to lay down and fix his hernia belt. I offered to carry the pig to the pen but Dad said, "No, I can manage now." He looked grateful. At he supper table he said, "Ethel stopped it or I doubt if I could have cought it."

Today I was invited to the Ladies Cooking luncheon at 10:30. They made potatoe soup and pie. Served coffee, tea or water. Several ladies peeled potatoes. I did a big onion. It was very good soup and pie. Very rich. Tonight we had a heck of a supper.

A few years ago I went to one of those meals. I would get fat if I went every time. Some of the articles sold at Christmas time helped pay fo the food,otherwise the kitchen pays.

I think Barton and Ellsworth county have had the most snow we have ever had in 100 years (1993). Snow lay on the fields - it did not drift much. One year when I was teaching first and second grades at Holyrood the snow was up to the top of the windows in places and four inches on the level. It looked like there wasn't much on the wheat fields. Someone said the snow all came to town. We have had a cold winter in 1992-93. I have been comfortable riding the Senior bus to the dentist, the eye specialist, and foot specialist.

My father set an example of honesty. He was perfectly honest. My mother taught us to be honest. I don't exactly know how she did it; I suppose she began when we were young. It seems I was not tempted to lie. An important author wrote, "Don't trap your children into a corner, to tell a lie to save himself." Parents should be careful about that. You can develop a 'story teller.' A child with a good imagination improves it with practice and would make a good novelist in time.

Parents who keep their children in Sunday School and supplement that teaching with Bible reading and prayer have lucky children. Christian religion teaches morality. Children come to believe in a life hereafter, without doubt. I am thankful I had religious influence as I was growing, from childhood to adulthood.

Miss Sue Eaton, Miss Curry, Russell Helm, Alice Morton, were all a good influence. Bernice and Minne were very good examples of honesty. My first treachers at Hays Normal Tranining School--Mr. Schively, Miss Grass, Dr. Wooster, Miss Hickolas, and others; the Deaconess who got Minnie and I into a vacant office for morning prayers before class; all had a big influence on my 17 year old life. I have much to be thankful for.

I loved my parents very much and trusted them and wanted to please them. They went without so much so their children could have plenty to eat, health care, and clothes to wear. Dad was anxious for each child to get an education. He put money in the bank so we could use all we needed while away to school. He trusted us, so I was careful.

My parents expected all of us to be washed and at our places at table ready to eat promptly at 6 AM, 12 noon, and 6 PM for supper. Dad was good at co-operating and if he was working the mailbox field one mile south, he would say to our mother, "We will want to finish that field before we come home, it's too far to drag back for a half hour, so can we have supper a half hour later than usual?" Of couree Mother agreed, And of course we waited for him. Early in the spring Dad began getting up a 4 AM. He lighted the fire and filled the teakettle with water for our Mom to use to make oats and coffee. He went after the stock. In warm weather the cattle and horses were up on the big white hill. It must have been cooler up there. Once started home they usually hurried and went to the water tank for a drink. How they did crowd around it! Dad could have said, "You animals could have died of thirst if I hadn't brought you here!" All 8 of the horses got ground corn meal in their feed boxes. Also some alfalfa or prairie hay in the mangers. How they liked that corn! They all knew their own stalls. The cows had stanchions; the horses had halters long enough they could lie down. There were partitions between each two horses. When Midget had her colts she was loose in the north field; a board fence penned her.

One time when surprisingly it fell to me to milk all by myself, the bull tried to follow the milk cows into their stalls. I saw him walking our way and I grabbed a stick and as he got close I hit him a crack on the nose. I tucked the stick under my arm, clapped my hands, stomped my feet, and yelled, "You big devil, get out of here!" He took the hint and backed off. I was always afraid of the bulls. Most of them really seemed peaceful. Some place else I wrote about being chased by the head of our herd. It's a scary feeling. One of our stock cows chased me as Dad was putting her new born calf in the pen at the north end of the cow stall on a windy cold night in the spring. She was angry and ran toward me. I ran to the fence and as I crawled under she bunted me a whack. Dad laughed and it hurt my feelings. I felt her short horns punch my rear and I went to the house. I was too young to help. Just watching where the action was.

My mother said they had to picket the long horn milk cow out before they got the pasture fencebuilt. A big snow storm came up. She was aftaid of that cow but Dad was workinga long way away from home so she pulled the picket pen and let the cow run to the stable. Dad told her the cow got between the stable and a big straw stack he had made close to the stable. "That cow is smart," he said. He should have said, "Thank you, dear wife."

It seems our Dad could do most anything. As a young man he took a job planting trees for an Easterner who decided to have a 'tree claim.' Dad was furnished osage orange. The owner thought they were tough and would live. Men from the Eastern states wanted some of the 'free' land. Some families had the oldest sons build a shack or sod house or a dug out to prove up. I talked with Joe Dressler, an elderly man, who told me he had lived in a dug our and liked it. It was warm in winter and cool in hot weather. Mr. Riemann, north of Claflin, pointed to places in his big pasture where there were two dug outs. He said they had been lived in by black men. Some mean Wilson boys wrapped themselves in sheets and played ghosts and frightened the black men, who left the country.

I walked down to my brother's cave on his river farm. It was cool on a very hot day. They also lived north of the Smoky Hill river where they had a storm cave and my brother went down there when a tornado was reported. Vera stayed in the house. Rolene Rice visited us and her husband decided tostart home. I thought, they have gone on south and may have run into the tornado. They could have gone into Russell's storm cave. It was on the farm when he bought it. When Blanche and Tom were living on the old home place a bad storm took two old cottonwood trees down. One time we saw lightning the tall post in the pig corner pen, east of the house. Another time a tornado went across our pasture and toward the Tom Hart home. It blew down their windmill. Our wooden windmill was blown down when it was very new. The barn burned when Tom lived there. He was away.

One time when we were visiting the Jerry Wild family we had finished a big dinner, the men were in the next room, May was washing dishes and Sue was drying the silverware. Mother and Mrs. Wild were sitting visiting and I was listening when Mrs. Wild jumped up and ran outside. Mother and I couldn't hear what the men were saying but they were having a good time. My mother said, "It takes a lot of coaxing but pa has more fun after he gets somewhere than anyone else. He doesn't like to change his clothes." Mrs. Wild came in, nodded her head vigorously and said, "I feel like a maiden!" (Then I remembered they had a privy down the hill.) No more was said.

One time the whole family went to visit the Mortons. We went after lunch. One of the girls brought in a plate of yellow apples, I think they were Jonathons. Lottie brought in a few plates and paring knives and we had a feast on good apples. Minnie said, "These are delicious." Mr. Morton, whom I couldn't understand said, "There's not a delicious in the whole bunch!" Mollie laughed and interpreted his remark, then we all laughed.

The Morton's said we could have some seedling apricots so Dad went after them and set out about five trees. We carried water to them, one pail full at at time. They lived and produced 3 crops. Very good fruit.

When I went to Hays to the Normal Training School, I always tried to get a chair near the front of the room so I could see the blackboard. I have poor distant vision. My hearing was good. We sat in the same chairs each school day. Sometime in my first week Leo Bice, whom I had met at Youth Fellowship and Sunday School and Church, came to the class room. He asked me what I was doing. He pulled the end chair in front of me and we worked on our lesson. He came every schoolday and we worked hard to get our lessons. I think we were in 4 classes together. It helped me to study. There were 2 other couples in the back of the room usually. We never got soft or silly, really worked, drilling on the answers to questions The Bice family was large and faithful Christians. One sister, Miss Lula Bice, was the school librarian. One brother, Clyde, was the school coach for basketball. There was Aura, Eve, Clayton and Vernon. Leo was 15 and I was 17 years old. I promised not to date and didn't. It was Like a brother-sister relationship.

Somewhere else I have written my Dad was paying my fees, no questions asked, and I was trying to learn to be a good primary teacher of small children, an ambition proclaimed before I was ten. So I tried very hard to get my lessons. Spelling and arithmetic were the most difficult; later on Latin proved to be difficult. My great grandniece learned Chinese and Russian! She went to the islands called "the Chinese Republic," 2 years; then she went to Hong Kong for 3 or 4 years. She had a job working in a bank, translating. She was even taken into nearby China to do some work at times. It was an interesting experience.

When she asked for a raise her employer said, "You don't need to work, we can't give you a raise; you have a husband." She came home to the United States of America. She got a job collecting accounts. She has since got a degree in a course to be a lawyer. I think that women like to go to school! Do you Charlie Brown?

These were good times for Minnie and I - going to school. We bought season tickets to the lectures course; as Minnie said, "This is part of our education." I enjoyed all the sessions, some were musical. A doctor gave a fine talk on having good health, which helped me keep well and develop good study habits. Leo Bice helped also! Minnie and I joined a literary society, "The Liberti" and went to all the debates, miscellaneous and musical numbers, every meeting. I was greatly impressed by the personal physician to the President. He said, "On getting up, drink 3 glasses of water. It will flush your kidneys." I began that practice and try to drink 4 to 5 cups of water a day even though I'm 100½ now.

I was told I would move my play house often as a pre-schooler. I remember I had a little red wagon. One time the wheel came off and Bernice fixed it back on. She was motherly. She could do all kinds of work--she sewed dresses, and she worked outside. There was a flower garden with a high chicken wire fence around it, from the northwest corner to the southest corner. One day I saw a white leghorn hen eyeing the beautiful beds of flowers and she went back a ways then ran toward the fence and flew and scrambled up and down into the flowers. Of course I ran to the kitchen door and told what had happened. Our mother thought someone had left the gate open but I think she believed me when I reported excitedly. Mrs, Schrodde wanted Dad to put a chicken wire fence alongside of their field so the geese, turkeys and chickens wouldn't eat their growing wheat. She had her husband come see Dad and he said, "Joe, they no hurt the wheat." Cattle were usually pastured on the winter wheat until spring. It seemed to do just as well. But sheep and horses are hard on the growing wheat. Cattle often ate a lot of the straw after the wheat was trashed, especially in the cold weather. There was a wooden straw pen which Dad kept full of straw. If an old cow found a pocket of wheat seed she was crowded by the other cattle trying to get some of the golden grain. Bernice took our bed straw ticks out and emptied them and filled them with nice golden clean straw which lasted until the next autumn thrashing. Combines stopped that frugal housework. You had to buy a mattress.

When I was a little girl I slept with sister Bernice and Tom. One moonlit night I woke up screaming. I could see three bears at the foot of our bed, plain as day. Bernice cane to our room and said, "Bears can't get in this house!" Tom was crying. He was 3 years younger than I. So Bernice conforted us and we went back to sleep. I never forgot that frightening experience. It was the only time I ever had a nightmare in all my life.



My Daughter Lily Nell Warren

Her biography, education and professional experiences

Lily attended the United Nations Pre-school at age three.
Each day she came home singing the names of all the countries!

She started tap dancing at age five  
studied singing and personality. 
Her instructor died the following year at age 93!
His pianist transcribed dozens of vaudeville songs to Lily's key. 
She began performing and doing commercials.

She started learning ballet at age seven
and played "Clara" in New York City's "Nutcracker"  Ballet 
for over 40 performances in 1982 and 1983. 
See the opening night reviews by Jack Anderson
in the New York Times archival pages on the Internet.
The following article appeared in the Kingston Daily Freeman (December 2, 1982):
She earns plum of a role in 'Nutcracker' by Tobie Geertsema.

When 8-year-old Lily Nell Warren of Woodstock, joined hundreds of children for the New York City Ballet's annual auditions of The Nutcracker, she hoped only to be picked for a small part. "A little mouse, maybe," she said she thought. "Or a hoop or candy cane. Maybe a young party guest, so I'd at least be in the big ballet and maybe meet Jerome Robbins or George Balanchine." She felt she could expect no more, since she'd only begun her second year in the School of American Ballet.

Instead she won the leading children's role in the always sold out holiday production that has been running for five weeks yearly since 1964 during the Christmas season at New York's Lincoln Center. WHEN THIS year's version of The Nutcracker opens tonight, Lily will star in the mime-dance role of Princess Marie Clara. She was tapped for the princess part by David Richardson, the famed company's Children's Ballet Master, who often appears as Mother Gingerbread in The Nutcracker's Land of Sweets segment. He had come to the school she attends to put children through their paces in the large studio. "He said, 'Hmmm,' looking this way and that," Lily said, "and then motioned me to step out in front of the class." She thought she had probably made a mistake, but when a big cheer went up from the rest of the class and the other girls started congratulating her, she knew she had the lead.

BUT THE AUDITION was just the beginning. In recent weeks, she has had to rehearse every day, take ballet classes twice a week, learn her part, have costumes fitted, get new ballet slippers and maintain her regular school schedule. It has been hectic, too, for her mother, Ruthe Lorraine Warren. She must take Lily to and from rehearsals and costume fittings, pack extra food, keep her daughter warmly dressed and see that she gets to bed on time. In addition, the entire score of Tchaikovsky ballet must be learned both in the rehearsal studio with piano accompaniment and at home listening to the complete recording.

IN THE STUDIO, she has been rehearsed in the Balanchine choreography by Richardson. This week has been filled with stage rehearsals with the adult company. Still ahead are five weeks of performances, including many matinee and evening appearances. More than 100,000 people will see this year's annual production of 38 performances through January 2nd, but Lily has performed for larger audiences on national television, including Saturday Night Live and Love, Sidney.

Lily Nell's parents, Ruthe Lorraine and Donald J. Warren, split their residency between a Manhattan apartment and a house in Woodstock.

Ballet: 'The Nutcracker is Back'

--- Copied from the New York Times Archival page from a byline by JACK ANDERSON, published December 5, 1982.

" ... The New York City Ballet opened its month long run of ''The Nutcracker'' Thursday night in the New York State Theater ... Once again, the Stahlbaums held their Christmas Eve party, little Marie (Clara) received a magic nutcracker as a present, potbellied mice invaded the house, the Christmas tree just grew and grew, snowflakes turned into pretty dancers and, after many adventures, there was yet another party, this one with the Sugar Plum Fairy as the hostess ...

It was all so blessedly familiar. In fact, that very familiarity helps make ''Nutcracker'' endearing. The charm of George Balanchine's choreography and Tchaikovsky's music help a lot, too. It's comforting to live, if only for two hours or so in December, in a world of loving families and good friends in which magic lies everywhere and imagination can triumph. Thus the best that one can say about any revival of ''The Nutcracker'' is that it's just the same as it has always been.

Of course, in live theater no two performances are ever exactly the same. At this particular performance, Lily Nell Warren (Marie/Clara) gazed out upon the world with wonderment as Marie. Jonathan Pessolano, as her mischievous brother, looked like an angel and behaved like an imp. However, Max Blechman was gallantry itself as Drosselmeier's nephew, and he made his long mime scene in Act II exciting and touching ... "   --- Jack Anderson

City Ballet: 'Nutcracker'

--- Copied from the New York Times Archival page from a byline by JACK ANDERSON, published December 3, 1983

"Visions of fairy-tale enchantment returned to the New York State Theater on Thursday night when the New York City Ballet presented what was this season's first performance of ''The Nutcracker'' and the company's 994th performance of the Tchaikovsky classic since 1954.

Conducted by Robert Irving, it was a nicely shaped and occasionally even eloquent performance in which the friendly warmth of holiday parties gave way to magic spells and George Balanchine's choreography demonstrated that beautiful dancing is one of the greatest of all forms of magic ...

As he has done for many a season in the role, Shaun O'Brien managed to be kindly, yet mysterious, as Drosselmeier, and in the process he demonstrated that he knows how to time every gesture for maximum effect. In children's roles, Max Blechman had perfect manners as Drosselmeier's Nephew, the tiny Anthony Pollner was a mischievous mite as Fritz and Lily Nell Warren was all wide-eyed wonderment as Marie (Clara). She also behaved like a seasoned trouper, for when the handkerchief placed as a bandage around the broken Nutcracker came loose, she unobtrusively tightened it without making a fuss and the show went on ... "   --- Jack Anderson

Actually, Drosselmeier dropped the Nutcracker splitting it's head off! Lily Nell quickly picked them both up and tied them together with a handkerchief!

Lily's aim was not so good when she took off her slipper and threw it at the mouse king - she missed and hit the conductor several times! --- Donald J. Warren

Lily at about age 8 Lily at about age 10

Lily Nell Warren, at Kronick Kelly Ltd. Talent Agentcy
Hair: Strawberry
Eyes: Grey/Green

A Broadwar Baby, Director: Tommie Walsh, Goodspeed Opera House, CT
Ace Of Diamonds (Little Jamey), Producer: Melony
The Nutcracker Suite (Clara), Lincoln Center
Stravinsy Festival, Circus Polka, With Jerome Robbins
Kate and Allie (Girl at Audition), CBS
Love Sidney, with Tony Randell and Susanne Farrell, NBC
Saturday Night Live, with James Coburn, Chevy Chase and Beau Bridges
The Joe Franklin Show (live interview)
COMMERCIALS: Conflicts upon Request.
VOICE OVERS: Conflicts upon Request.
Cami Hall, Herchscher Oval
Lido Spa Hotel (Miami Beach, Florida)
Harbor Island South (Miami Beach, Florida)
Dutchesss County Fair
Ulster County Fair
Bell Telephone Company
Ceder Park Show Wagon
PRINT WORK: List Upon Request.
SPECIAL SKILLS: Strong song and dance, swimming, bicycling, skating, tennis.

Mom & Lily (about age 6) interviewed by TV/Radio Host Joe Franklin

Dad & Mom at a Party

Lily arrived late one night with a full head of red hair!

She played in seven Saturday Night Live 
prerecorded sketches each about five mintes long
but usually took a half day or more to film.

The first was a take off on the New York Telephone
"reach out and touch" commercial. 
She was supposed to have a speaking part
but it was cut - still it put her into the three biggest 
theatrical unions!

I was so dissapointed at the first sketch
I didn't tell anybody about the next one.
Then came the "Video Game Junkies" sketch
the one Sisco and Ebbert rated 
"the best of Saturday Night Live!"

In another she played the part of a mugger.
Her last SNL performance was live with Billy Crystal.

Lily grew up in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan 
but her family has kept a summer home 
in the Woodstock area  for over seventy years. 

About age 13 she worked in jewelry shops and boutiques.
Her room was near the front door.
We eventially found out that
she sometimes waited till the doorman was off duty at 2 AM
and we thought she slipped out to catch a bus to the village
where drinks were served without age checking.
Actually, she says she took a cab to visit her girl friend,
and never went down town.

About this time her mother responded to an advertisment
by Peg Leg Bates, a former long time performer on the Ed Sullivan Show.
He tap danced with a wooden leg!

He was looking for a young tap dancer 
to do a TV short with him to raise money for charity.
He was always raising money to help old people in nursing homes.
He has a local 4-lane highway named after him.

We took Lily to Kerhonson, NY to Peg Leg's Summer Resort to audition.
He ran this large camp for colored people.
When desegregation occured, he lost most of his customers.

We had to walk through hundreds of all black customers.
Something like the feeling I got in Swope Park one time in Kansas City.
His musician couldn't follow the old time vaudeville songs we had for Lily,
so Lily had to perform without music.
But she was very good and Peg Leg took her.
They performed together in Esopus, NY on Time Warner cable TV.
He asked for her again but she was already booked.

Later she worked briefly in Tele-marketing, 
then a photo copying shop.
Somewhere along the line as a waitress.
She is always complaining I don't leave enough tip.

Retired her Mother as her manager
and got her own agent
but didn't do as well.
If you do a Google search using her full name 
(enclosed in quotes), "Lily Nell Warren" 
you will see reviews of her performances.  

She had a duplex on 72nd street near Broadway
but found life in New York City too expensive.
She returned home and went back to College.

She completed her BA and Master's Degrees 
in Interdisciplinary Studies and Creative Writing 
and spent some time in commercial work. 
Much of the time she was on the Dean's list!
Her last year she directing three off-Broadway plays.

She has an extensive background in the arts. 
As a child, she performed at Carnegie Hall, 
Avery Fischer Hall, Catskill and Florida resorts.  

She studied at NYC's Turtle Bay music school, 
the Mannes School of Music 
and the School of American Ballet.  

She performed with the 
Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus 
and at Connecticut's Goodspeed Opera House 
in "A Broadway Baby." 

She stared in "Jeeter Mason and the Magic Headset" in 1985. 
Her favorite early credits would include 
her many appearances on Saturday Night Live. 

I took Lily skiing when she was about 10 years old.
We were on beginner slopes at High Mount.
I watched in shock when I saw her do a full cartwheel
arms and legs outstreighted in the form of an "X"
I am not sure where the skiis went.
She came out without a scratch!

Some time later when we went to Acapulco, Mexico
she fell in love with parasailing
and went back a couple of times.

They hooked her up to a parachute 
and with a real long rope to a motor boat out in the bay

When the boat takes off you run
and before you get to the water
the parachute has lifted you off the beach!
You can rise 700 feet or more above the bay
while they pull you across and back
and when they swing around near land and hotels
and slow down
you drift to the ground!

The previous year someone hit a hotel and was killed
so it isn't all that safe!

On this trip her mother discovered her secret diary
and learned some of the things she wrote about.
There was much anger and shouting 
and I took Lily to stay in another room.
The hotel management was very nice-- 
they gave us the room for free!

As an adult, Lily had a re-occurring day role 
on "As the World Turns" as "Miranda."

She's also appeared on "Law and Order" (#101, 2/8/95) as "Valerie". 
Lily's a member of Actors Equity Association, 
Screen Actors Guild 
and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. 

While studying for her Masters 
at the City University of New York, 
Queens College, 
she directed three off-Broadway plays. 

During this time, 
Lily began writing.
She is a published poet 
currently compiling her work for her second book.  

Other writing credits include "Lily's Leisure Line"
her weekly column for the Ulster County Townsman.

Opening Woodstock's Willow Art Gallery 
was a dream come true for Lily. 

After graduating from high school, 
Professional Children's School, in 1992, 
Lily studied sculpture at the Arts Students League. 

She later studied at The New School for Social Research 
and the State University of New York at Oneonta. 
Where she gaining her BA degree. 
Each semester she performed a lead role 
in a theatrical performance
except the last one 
where she was given the job of directinn.

Thinking that she might like to get her masters
in directing she went to Brooklyn CUNY for an interview.
The Dean said, "Sorry, we only had five slots 
and they were all given to foreign studients," 
"With scholarships!"

So she went to Queens CUNY and earned her masters in Creative Writing.
After graduation, she moved to Fishkill New York to look for a job.
At first she wanted to go into real estate for the money--
but decided she did not want to work for free!

So she became a head hunter for a large real estate firm
organizing job fairs and recruiting real estate agents.
From the first month she out-performed the other 13 recruiters
in getting leads.

She bought a car and a house and did very well in bonuses.
After she split with her live-in boy friend of five years--
He worked in NY City and was a base player in a band,
she had a change of career incident 
and elected to become an artist and poet.

I helped her do the paper work to set up an Art Gallery--
get a DBA (Doing Business As) Certificate, an EIN, a State Sales Tax Certificate,
a business bank account, and equipment to charge credit cards.
I suggested she should have a web page.
Instead of asking me to do it for her, 
knowing I had many years experience 
working with publishing products at IBM,
she hired someone to do it for $800.
It was named ""

I was pissed - I would have done it for free.
I got on the first server I came across on the Internet
and for $60 per year gained access, a free domain name, etc.
I set up a competing web page to display her art.
Named: ""

When one of her advertisers 
miss-spelled it as "" 
I immediately set up 
a duplicate web page 
under that name.

And when I discovered "" was available
I bought that domain name for her future use as a poet!
Initially, all three web pages had the same content.
Then I began trying to sell people free web pages
trying to gain some free advertising by word-of-mouth.
You would not believe how hard is to sell somethihg for free!

After we closed the Willow Art Gallery in Woodstock
and moved the art back to Willow, NY
and she said, "All that stuff about your and mon's family 
is unprofessional - take it out"
I recovered "" for my own use.
That is where I am publishing my family history 
and book of poetry - an auto-biography entitled,
"Memories of the Son of a Kansas Pioneer Woman."

The Willow Art Gallery has been 
not only a gallery for Lily's friends and family to exhibit their work, 
but a haven for local Woodstock artists and musicians.  
Now that she's moved the Gallery back to Willow 
we look forward to exhibiting her work 
by appointment only.

She is a member of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce, 
the Woodstock Artists Association and the Woodstock Guild. 

She's been exhibited in various locations around The Hudson Valley.
You can see more about the Willow Art Gallery at 

During the Fall of 2007 Lily started spending her days off going to Florida.
In December she said, "Dad, I want to go on a long vacation 
and I want to take you with me."

We found that the US Virgin Islands was only a three hour flight and took it.
We flew to St. Thomas and stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Resort for a week,
then at  the Westin St. John for another week.
We returned via Miami Beach, staying at the 4 Points Sheraton Hotel.

When we returned I took a "cozy cabin" in Woodstock for three months
where I was near the Art Gallery and could keep my dogs, and
I wouldn't have to de-winterize the house in Willow during the cold weather.
While Lily continued to spend time in Florida I managed the Willow Art Gallery.
To help cover some of the costs I began charging a $20 minimum hanging fee.
When Lily returned she said, "A hanging fee; No!" 
"And all art accepted in good tast?" "Never!"
The next day she said, "It's your art gallery!" 
And no more was said about the fees.
A year before my wife died, Lily bought her Mother a Cock-a-Pooh dog called "Gigi"
and 2 years later gave me another one called "Teddy Bear."
Her mother took one look at Gigi and said, "Don't call that dog a Cock-a-Pooh--
It's a poodle!" 

In the following poem 
I have tried to capture the story of my dogs 
and tell it to you in an interesting way.

By Donald Warren,  © 2006


Gigi and Teddy Bear

Two cock-a-pooh dogs (only fifteen inches tall) One a female, two years older Black as the ace of spaces, large dark brown eyes-- She's fixed. The other, black with black eyes, pepper and spice eye brows, chin, four beautiful paws and a white diamond on the but! He ought to be a girl he's too cute to be a boy! And what a difference their personalities! He's a feisty un neutered male! Very fast and aggressive, barks fiercely at any other! Lifts his leg and marks his territory! He charges any three or four much larger dogs drives them onto their owners porch only backs down if one charges him. he runs if he has too else lays down in a sign of submission! When should we end his maleness? get him fixed to keep him from traveling and off the road! This is serious business. A woman stopped her car just six feet in front of him on the road or he would have been a dead dead dog! I have to watch him all the time or keep him on a leash! They have very different personalities. Gigi, dignified, reserved but has a bit of a temper (growls and snaps) if you touch her when she's sleeping or if you pull on her collar or pick her up when she's not ready. Never leaves the property herself! Walks at the side of the road with you. Never goes but a couple hundred feet then turns back! She eats fastidiously. A little quarky - smells first. If she's going to eat it pushes her nose repeatedly toward the plate like she's burying her food-- before eating it. He dives in and gets the food. Lately he's become more polite. But anything is fair game! Except fish and fruit. Which he takes-- but leaves in a pile on the floor. She eats only Caesar's canned dog food, and bits of bananas and raw carrots. He eats Caesar's too, plus Puppy Chow and nuts. Usually she holds back and let's him have the food. Both love fresh roasted chicken and sometimes raw ground meat if it's hand feed in little round balls, or cut up strips of raw beef heart or hot dogs. She smells what you offer and won't take it if it she doesn't like it. He takes it in his mouth but drops it to the floor if he doesn't like it and will continue taking it from you just to be polite. Him, always on the prowl. Gone for hours! Herds the farmers goats into the barn (they kick the hell out of the farmer's dogs)! We're used to people stopping by dog in arms "Is this your dog?" "he is so adorable!" "we're afraid he'd get run over" He goes to the Post Office not to get the mail but to meet people! He can't get in, you know USPC regulations. Both love people especially their master! Standing on their heels mouthing and kissing they scratch one almost to death! Their claws so sharp-- just don't wear shorts. Their tails wagging fast surly to break off soon! They look at you intently-- "What are you going to do for me?" His face, so wide, so bushy with larger white teeth and longer body. She's so dainty and demure. He never growls or snaps unless you are brushing him and you pull really much too hard. His fur courser, longer. Her hair silkier, both very curly always growing, never shedding-- needs a cut each month. She grooms herself and never has matted fur. He does too but always has massive fur balls which must be cut out before brushing. His legs short and stocky Her's longer, thinner, like pencils, with tiny feet. I'm "scared they will break! " When he jumps he always makes it! She takes three or four running tries-- sometimes fails. They can really run like 40 miles an hour! Chasing each other round and round in a big circle. Cutting across to cut one off then reversing or together side by side in unison, touching, pausing to look at one another as if to say "where to?" "what's next?" Then they play fight. He used to start it. Pulling her floppy ears! She ignored him. Something they used to do with me. His baby teeth so sharp they hurt! Now she turns on him! She gets him down holds him down. Bites like hell he never cries! Just keeps on fighting. Pack animals pick a leader Which one is it? When he's in the mood he licks and kisses her about the neck and then he mounts her-- tries to hump her. She lets him for a while then growls and snaps and ends it all! He's very persistent! More than anything they love to go "car ride" when they see you getting dressed they're all over you in expectation. Each to a car window leash restrained so they won't fall out she with her head into the wind like a sphinx! In profile his head looks like a bear. Riding in the car she tries to hump my arm thinks she's a boy! Probably wants to show whose boss! Inaudible sounds in the night she hears. He barks! (loud just under my ear). At night she climbs on my ribs her paws a dozen sticks in my side. She's heavy! When she thinks I'm asleep she moves to the pillow at the foot of the bed. She snores! Him, he's always beside the bed when you pick him up hold him, kiss him, he wiggles to get free unless you turn him over paws up, folded down. Lets out his breath when he's had enough. This is a natural position when he wants to wiggle and scratch his back. So cute, those black and gray mottled paws! She murmurs he looks at her. She looks at him, he barks. There they sit - four eyes staring at me. They want something - I know not what. Could it be water? Hunger? Need to go out? Maybe another dog outside? Or a bear, A racoon? Or just the wind! Maybe their looking for a treat. Do you think they ask to go out just because they expect a treat when they come back in? If it's serious she puts her paws on my leg and scratches strongly! I say "show me" They are mute. I check water, dog pellets, is it time for feeding? She follows me. He goes ahead, looking back to see if I'm coming almost tripping me! I say "get behind" and push him back with my toe. He learns quickly but forgets. I let them go out with trepidation. I wait five minutes. My previous dog, killed by the neighbors rottweiler! At 2 AM. I hear more barking. I go to the door calling loudly "Gigi, Teddy Bear" "Gigi, Teddy Bear" With the police whistle I blow S-O-S and taps. Finally, two black forms appear out of the darkness. Alas, they are OK. Sometimes there is a lot of barking outside I go to the door and command "come here Gigi, Teddy Bear" "come here Gigi, Teddy Bear!" They come, expecting a treat. Not any treat but Beggin Strips with "real bacon". So here they are! When they go outside he takes a rawhide bone and leaves it there. Their first objective is to find the ground hogs in the backyard. The ground hogs run faster to holes under the deck or in the brush under the hedges. One thing stops them from running onto the road-- a little pile of brush laid in the opening in the hedges only six inches high and not very wide but they respect it all the same! Still he finds plenty of cockle burs and I have to remove his sand burs. I hear her scratching the rug I yell "Gigi - Stop It" She hides by wiggling, crawling under the sofa it's a tight squeeze then comes out in a little while kissing my hand asking for forgiveness! She looks for mice under the couch on the front porch it's a tight squeeze but when I hear her I know where she is! She has jumped out of the car twice, each time caught by the leash. Dogs have strong necks You know, they brought down live animals many times their weight for food, using only their teeth! Teddy Bear jumped out of the car twice, as well. They don't do it anymore. I'm teaching them to count! Four paws, 1, 2, 3, 4, two eyes, 1, 2, two ears, 1, 2, one nose, one tail, That's a dog. When you walk them it's a great pull like 40 pounds all the way and back! What ever you do they appreciate it always with a quick kiss. When they give me a passing kiss I say "Yes my dear" "Your a good dog" "I know you love me" "I love you too." She chewed the corners of the coffee table till I sprayed them with "Dog Away." Bit off three unplugged electric plugs (not plugged in thank heaven). And he demolishes lots of pens whenever he can and paper which falls on the floor. When she was younger we got her a "ducky" toy. We threw it she retrieved it. Now she has demolished it or hid it and won't play retrieve with us any more! At lease not when Teddy Bear is around. That's when you throw squeeky the frog - she retrieves it. We throw the fresby. He takes it and runs the other way! Just like "Trumpy" my other dog. Taking Pills - I dropped one! Gigi snapped it up. I was scared. I called our vet, after hours. Answering Service Recommended Animal ER They recommended National Hot Line! Cost $75 per call: "Give one teaspoon of Peroxide" She threw up! No pill. Found it on the floor! One day Gigi threw up it never happens but this time I discovered she never chews her food just swallows it whole if she can! First Aid: Skinned my knee washed it with soap and water rinsed it with hydrogen peroxide. Dogs smelled my knee licked it good their saliva is a great antibiotic! They also treat in-grown toe nails. Did you know dogs have vocal cords? They make slight noises like their talking. Or when they want attention and don't bark. Some people who can't stand barking have their dog's vocal cords removed! How horrible! When you have to give them pills, like for heart worm It's easy to pry his mouth open, For her - you really have to pull. When they haven't been together and Teddy Bear wants to know what Gigi has eaten he smells her mouth and then her but! When she stops to poop he's right there to smell it then he does the same himself. Get her to do something and he'll follow right behind! When their breathing hard mouth wide open tongue hanging out you can hear a clicking sound as if they were snapping their teeth but it's deeper, down in their throat. The other day both dogs vomited. It couldn't be the food I gave them. It's all fresh and cooked, canned, or dry dog food. So I took the water dishes and sanitized them. So far, no sign of vomiting. That's all for now, next time I will tell you more. Like it takes about 6 months to house break. And you still need to keep a pad around for when they can't hold it any longer. By Donald J. Warren, Copyright © August 2008


Strange Memory

One day I needed the product of 14 Squared - or fourteen times fourteen. Why, I don't know! But it intrigued me! I decided to memorize all of the squares from eleven to twenty. Eleven I knew (121) from the binomial theorem. Twelve I've known since grade school (144). Thirteen I know is 169, because 3 times 3 is 9, and it just comes back to me! Fourteen I remember, because 4 times 4 is 16, which ends in 6 and that's 196! Fifteen has to be 225, because 5 times 5 is 25, and that ends in 5 and I think 225! Sixteen, that's the eighth power of 2, or 256 a number dear to all computer professionals. Seventeen squared is 289, It just is! (because 7 times 7 is 49, 7 times 10 is 70, and 10 times 17 is 170; add it up.) Eighteen is 324. Do it, you'll see, Nineteen is 361. Sure! Twenty. That's easy! 400. So there you have it. If you don't use it you lose it! It fades into oblivion. By Donald J. Warren, Copyright © July, 2008


Dating Services

Never liked to date a fellow worker. Didn't want to meet them once we split. You always do you know - split that is. Joined a couple of dating services. Got hooked up with a former nun - she said. She liked to go to bed with you but still remained celebrant! I guess she thought she was still married to God! One just met and talked Nothing seems to match we went our separate ways. Another loved to kiss and hug, said she didn't like French kissing but was the best French kisser I ever knew. Really liked it if you sucked real hard. Another arrived at 4 AM in her pajamas came right to bed did everything but come! Next time she came she spent the night watching DVD and video taped movies. When you take them out to dinner they always ask, is it organic? what's it made with? Can't I just substitute ... It's too well done take it back and bring another! It's not fresh - I found a hair in the soup! Add a little fire to this - it's too rare for me. One took me to a place that didn't sell hard liquor. Said she wanted a drink and asked me if I wanted gin or vodka. She went next door and bought a bottle. Sneaked it in in her coat. Dumped half her water glass in the plant. Added a half glass of vodka! And we sipped. When the glass was just half full the waitress came by and filled her glass full of water! Another said her feet hurt crossed her legs on the bench and then took off her shoes. The waitress came by and said If you don't put your shoes back on I will have to ask you to leave!" "There's a law in New York State against entering an eating place barefoot." Next time she crossed her legs and hid her feet and shoes under her coat on her lap. The place was largely empty. Another couple came in and sat. That lady did the same exact thing! Crossed her legs and removed her shoes! I went to tell her about the waitress. My date started screeming at me! Because of her the manager came and told us to leave. Women are all too picayune! And I don't like waiting for a change. If I don't like the service I just want to finish quickly and never come back again! I dated a girl in Kingston once. Two couples out on a warm summer night. Went to Saugerties across the 9W bridge over the Esopus creek mill dam, went skinny-dipping in the pond at eleven PM. She wanted to become a teacher. I think she went to California. Never saw her again. That's the story of my life! By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2008



About age 15 a half dozen of us got together occasionally. Under Louis Peck's back porch to have a contest. We sat in a circle legs outstretched and masturbated. The object was to see who would come the quickest and shoot their wad the farthest when we had an orgasm. At that age the average distance was almost three feet! We had to wait a couple hours to do it again. The first day - five orgasms. The next day three. Then only one. It took a few days to recover. Funny, you get dark shadows under the eyes for a few days after having an organism. Almost like that was the source of it. With age you become less capable like half of your former self at 40 maybe once a week at 60 and one a month at 70! If ever - what a pity. Now with prostate and high blood pressure medicine you can't even get an erection! Viaga isn't much help. You have to have a hard-on to have an orgasm. Maybe you would be happier if you were castrated! The alternative might be suicide but that's not likely since I would like to be around for at least the next 1,000 years, not to do anything but just to see what happens! By Donald Warren Copyright © 2008


Women: The Love of my Life

I hear a woman can have an orgasm at any age! They don't even have to wait till their 13 and reach their peak of sexual pleasure at 36, not 16 like a boy. If they really like it why don't they do it more? Seems like nature intended for 36 year old women and 16 year old boys to get together! The law seems out of touch with nature. I know I could do it - for a woman. Oral sex, that is, hugging, kissing and petting around the ears, neck, shoulders, and the breasts. I love the female body-- soft, curvey and beautiful, with small fingers, pretty face hair you can bury your hands into running your fingers through and through! And feet you can kiss and suck on the toes-- first the big ones and then the others one by one - sliding them in and out of your lips, and legs you can feel and stroke and give her a massauge working up the thighs and feel like your getting an erection dreaming about more! And share the magic of her smile, the promise of her lips, her touch, her kisses, at her place or mine-- in a motel or just outdoors under the stars or by a water fall-- anywhere she want's to be! I love to feel her getting hard with my tongue. The ears, the nipples, and the clitoris! Opening with tender loving care the lips of the vigina, penetrating first with my finger and then my tongue, deaper and deaper - enjoying the taste of her body juices and the warmth and smells of her body! Some say sweat turns a woman on? Keeping her nipples hard with my fingers, while stimulating the clitoris with my tongue-- throbbing, sucking, thrusting, licking in and out! And keep it up till she comes and comes again, and again, and again! She doesn't have to be so loud about it. I always wonder if she's faking it! Now she's exhusted and falls asleep in my arms. This is pure heaven - delightful! I want to keep it up forever. Please don't stop coming! Or get tired of it all. When she wakes up she's crying and kissing hugging-- wants to do it all again. That's my kind of woman! When I wake up at 6 AM in the morning I have a hard-on without viagra for the first time in years! By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2008


Been There, Done That!

When I was just ten years old, I heard from the grapevine that a girl was letting fellows screw her in her garage. I went to see. She was a few years older. I asked if I could do it too. Reluctantly, she said yes. She stood against the wall and lifted up she skirt. She had nothing on underneath. I got real flusttered. I had a hard-on to be sure. We hugged and pressed together. I couldn't figure how to do it-- with my penis, that is and she didn't help me either. I was real sorry nothing happened. A girl my age across the street played doctor with me occasionally but when I got her in a private place My Mother came and broke it up! Mother always said to stay clear of girls. She didn't have much luck with my brother! "Wait till you can afford a wife," she said. A boy's parents should make sure that their sons have a chance to enjoy the pleasures of sex with an experienced woman. Yes, the law does not care about what we want, only wants to impose the beliefs of others. After complaining to my daughter that I can't find any sexy women in Woodstock, she mused "Go to the Blue Moon in New Paltz." I said "going to a local strip club is not the answer." After all, when I was 17 a group of us went to the Kansas State Fair in Topeka to see the greatest stripper of all time! Gypsy Rose Lee. What a come-down it would be now. No, I'll take my chances with the Woodstock girls and find my own! By Donald Warren, © 2008


Advertisment: Looking for love?

Your a nymphomaniac! You have an insatiable desire for sex! (I hope) Your as hot as any man! You would just like a chance to prove it! Your young, ambitious, energetic, intelligent and need some help. You're easy to get along with, not picayune. You like science and the universe. You can learn and you love the Internet. You don't have time to watch TV. Do you need to continue your education? Or start a business? You want a partner. Someone who will treat you nice! Yes, you have a New York driver's license, but no car! You do not drink or do drugs! No STDs please! You go to church to meet people. You'll try chess, bridge or Chinese checkers. You play Scrabble, tennis, swim, go hiking, camp out in the woods or the mountains. You like animals, but don't eat meat. But you love good food! Especially sea food. Your a single female with no children, looking for a warm, loving mate. You could be my kind of woman! Send me a message or E-mail. Pictures are not that important. Want to communicate? Crazy Eddy is my moniker. Try me at "" I will get back to you! About me: I have an eleven room house in the beautiful Catskill mountains, surrounded by 32 hundred to 42 hundred foot peaks, streams, hedges and tall evergreen trees. I have a regulation size tennis court, an indoor swimming pool and a guest cabin. I manage my daughter's art gallery, antiques and jewelry shop. I do webpage design as a hobby. You want to learn how? I do not have Television. It is a big waste of time. Instead, I look at for news and for E-mail and the stock market. I need someone who is good at organizing. We have great restaurants in the area and an active artist's colony, theatre and colleges. Don't you want to join me? My dogs love everybody and love to be petted. They don't bark too much. I am a good petter! I don't bite either! I just need someone to inspire and excite me. By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2008


Reply to a True Love Dating Service E-Mail

Your a knockout! Blond, blue eyes, and slender. I wish you didn't smoke. I just buried a wife who did. She had to use luxury air (oxygen) 24/7. I wish you rarely drank, just socially, not regularly! I don't like loud blasting music. I can enjoy being with a vegan if she enjoys a lot of sex! But it's hard to find a good veggie menu. Does that mean you don't eat fish or sea food? I'd love to work with someone as interesting as you. I'm older than I said in my profile. But I'm young at heart. I'm not looking for marriage or a long term relationship. And I promise not to get you pregnant. I like science and technology. I could help someone who needs help - a place to stay, companionship, good sex, or to start a business or finish her education. Crazy Eddy is my moniker. Look at my web page, RDYEDY.NET for more! By Donald J. Warren, Copyright © August 2008



I like pornography - if it's legal especially when I can't be with someone to get me excited sexually. My wife and I enjoyed the movie I am Curious Yellow. We didn't care for Deap Throat. I don't rent X-rated movies cause I don't want my name recorded. A cable channel advertised "Mr. Skin" It claimed to have nude images taken from released movies. I became a member at $4.95 a month. The next day and thereafter I was bombarded with dozens of lewd E-mails every day! The images on Mr Skin were all so dark I called up and terminated my membership immediately. For six months I had a daily chore of deleting lewd E-mails. Then one day I took a peak and decided to collect some pornographic images. After a couple hundred I got tired of it and only went after pictures of pretty faces. I thought I might use them as models to make some stylized paintings but I'm no better at that art than ever. These still pictures don't interest me any more. I just want the real thing! should get rid of them to reclaim the space. One day someone sent me an E-mail with family photos in an application called Picaso I installed it and it went searching my computer and came up with an organization of all my images including those I considered private! I quickly deleted the shortcut to Picaso so no one else would see them accidentally! Some application developers got a lot of nerve. And Microsoft as well. Every time I accidentally touch another key up pops a menu which has nothing to do with what I'm trying to do! Or the narrator comes on in that dead voice reading all the garbage that's on the screen! When your doing touch typing all the other functions should be turned off till you specifically hit a key high up on the keyboard which turns on these other features! And the Gateway and HP notebooks with that pad for moving the cursor is the worst thing for touch typing. You are always touching it and sending the cursor way away from where you are trying to do your work. HP will never get my business again. I bought an Ink Jet 1220 C printer. They included drivers and a tool kit. It supported two way commuication with the printer. Let you see how much ink was left. When Microsoft Windows XP came out HP did not updata the drivers Two way communication no longer works so you can not see how much ink is left. The IBM solution for moving the cursor is better but still needs other keys blocked when your in a typing application! And when your moving the cursor over text in a text editor it becomes a very thin vertical line, almost invisible to see-- Why don't they make it bright red or an option to make it thicker? Microsoft is a lousy company! Too bad the Justice Department didn't split it up and make the business more competitive! By Donald Warren, © 2008



About 18 years ago we visited the Windham Hotel in St.Thomas USVI the first time. It was a delightful place located about a city block south east of the original Coral World. We had a room facing the pool 50 feet away, to our left was the bay only 100 feet to the beach about a mile wide. There were no boats anchored in the bay to block free sailing and a half dozen sail fish type metal boats on the beach. We could take one and go sailing across the bay all day! There were also surf boards with a lateen rig sail. I don't know the correct name for them, but for me they were impossible to stand up and hold the sail and balance the whole thing. Others did, however! Some two years after our visit the Windham sold this property to a condominium company and rebuilt some five miles further out on a very high piece of land, far above Sugar Bay. I do not know how you were supposed to get down to the beach! The new Windham has a casino and disco music every evening so it's a favorite watering hole.

Coral World

We also loved to walk to Coral World and go into the water where schools of thousands of small fish would amaze you with their sudden reversals and fast movements. The original Israeli developers sold out to locals a few years later only to have the 1994 hurricane wipe out the facility. When it was rebuilt, they put down a tower so people could climb down and watch the fish and sea life live from inside. It's not as exciting now as it used to be. If you want to go into the water, you have to rent a diving hood. This time at Coral World I was watching the small sharks while eating french fries on the stone tank wall. People started to shrike! I turned to see. An attendant reached by me and grabbed a reptile An Iguana eating my french fries in front of me! After getting a firm hold she turned to me and said "now you can pet it if you want." I didn't care much for petting, but I did. Letting the beast go, she grabbed my french fries and tossed them into the trash! I would have eaten them if she hadn't trashed them. After all, he was picking them up one at a time! She did not offer to replace them either.

Back Then

We rented a car back then. It was a little trying. The US Navy purchased the Virgin Islands in 1917 for twenty five million dollars. About the same amount of money as the Alaska and Louisiana purchases. At the time there were probably very few or no cars there and it would have been very easy for the Navy to have changed the driving rules to the right side of the road. Horses would not have minded! Instead we still have to drive on the British wrong side of the road! Every time I tried to turned a corner I came out in the wrong lane! Today the traffic is much heavier and I would not think of renting one now! Last year we ate at several restaurants in St. Thomas, including some in the Red Hook village. This year we only got to one at Point Gallows and one at the Westin on St. John. Most of our time was spent swimming. Last year Lily wanted to rent a boat. Today, nobody has the older metal sun fish. They are all plastic and seat only one person! Also, Westin's Cruz Bay is filled with anchored boats there is only a narrow channel one must follow to sail out to open water without an auxiliary motor. Even then must keep 100 meters away from the shore to avoid the rocks under the water. We decided to rent a 30 foot, 200 horse power boat, with a captain. It was a good half-day ride. Lily got to drive it back going at full speed, bump, bump, bump, I must say! Then we went to rent a wave runner. They required that we take a check ride to insure that we could get back on if we fell off! Lily said she had just rented one at the Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach and would have no trouble. They insisted. I took the check ride and passed. She gained 40 pounds recently and did not have the strength to get back up on the seat! And failed! On this visit we settled for the dinner cruise on the Spirit, a 63 foot catamaran. Last year we went on both the Spirit and the Ritz-Carlton's Lazy Susan dinner cruises. Last year we met Wayne Clendinen playing Caribbean music - he's good. He plays for dinners, weddings and parties as a solo musician and act. Uses guitar and sings with a rhythm machine. He can be reached at 340-693-5941. On the boat ride we hired Captain Dan Conashevick, a Coast Guard Licensed Master. You can reach him at 340-642-1786 or by E-mail:, 6501 Red Hook Plaza, Suite 50, St.Thomas USVI 00802. While on this trip we met Ralph, a cab driver. He took us for a long drive to see all of the major hotels, beaches and some of the restaurants. A small hotel on Bongo Bay appealed to us. He came back on schedule to pick us up from Megans Bay. His home phone is 340-776-1332. You have to call the night before to schedule something. While having dinner at the Westin Cleos and Barnaby Restaurant, we were impressed with the piano playing and singing by Dennis Frett. His phone is 340-776-8938. He is an entertainer, keyboard player, a vocalist, composer, arranger and studio musician. While staying in Key West at Pier House, we had breakfast at the Harbor View Cafe. There I met an attractive young waitress. She was from the Czech Republic. Spoke five languages! He was from Hungry. Very efficient. A very international staff. Pier House is right on the water front. It is being renovated. Single rooms are being combined to make suites. We had a great deal. The rooms were great! The bathroom door locks didn't lock. But some hotels don't even have locks on the bathroom. In the second toilet, the paper holder poked a hole in my ribs. Joy Smatt, the general manager said they would move it. She said they used to take guests with dogs but no more. The pool was great. The warmest we have encountered. And the beach, though small, was close to our room. A block away is a Westin which does take dogs. If we drive down we will stay there! After all we are members of the Starwood Hotel Family. Fifteen years ago walking home in New York, I picked up a wallet on the sidewalk. It contained a lot of credit cards, some with pin numbers attached. It took some doing to locate the person they belonged to. When he came in to get them he found out my wife and I were about to go to Miami. He volunteered to give us a weekend at the hotel he managed in Key West. It was a great experience. In a suite with a full size spa, king size bed and massive drapes, mirrors over the bed, a kitchen, and parking under the building. In later years I didn't recall his name and forgot the name of the hotel except it was very near the docks! And had under-the-building parking. Nobody could identify the place! On this trip I took tours and went walking to find it and did not see it until returning to Pier House-- there it was - directly across the street. The under-the-building garage is not visible from Duval street. Only from the side street! I found out it used to be a condo and is being converted to hotel rooms! This is the opposite of most of the hotels there. Most are being converted to condos or time share units! Next time I won't forget. It's called Ocean Key. The best thing about writing this all down is that I am learning how to spell a lot of old words! And Google is better than a dictionary-- select the word, copy and paste it in the search line, and search-- If it's wrong, it will say "is this what you meant?" and list any use of the correct or incorrect spelling. Make the correction and see what comes up then. Just to be sure of the meaning. Many things, like drugs won't be in the dictionay anyway! And I am staying home and not going out to eat so often especially with the price of gas up to $4 a gallon and my old Chevy Caprice getting only 9 miles per gallon! Also, I'm getting more exercise converting our swimming pool-house into an Art Gallery. Since going on this trip I have lost more than 20 pounds and have been able to cut back on the amout of blood pressure pills I take in reverse order to when they were initially prescribed. First to go was 25 mg of COREG. Next was 40 mg of ACCUPRIL. I still take 10 mg of HYTRIN and a water pill, 20 mg of LIPITOR, 81 mg asperin and an ICAP vitamin. On the third day if my blood pressure is just a little bit high I take one-half an Accupril tablet and keep it under control. On the 8th of September, 2008, my hernia "acts like a water trap under a sink" and blocks the gas from passing. I had to go to the Emergency Room at Kingston Hospital. They injected a pain killer, determined there was no blood in the feces, the prostrate was not overly large, the white blood count normal (no infection), and there was no fever, glucose was normal, took a chest ex-ray and EKG in case they had to operate, and a Cat-Scan. Found some water around the left kidney. Did not locate any blockage. Discharged me and said, "Go home, take a laxitive and stool softner, and see you doctor." They did not relieve the pressure or give me an enima. Instead, I went home and retracted the hernia myself, massaged my abdomen, passed the gas and relieved the pressure! By Donald Warren, © 2008


What the Future Holds

Life is short. Time passes quickly.

It seems only yesterday when it all started. The years seem to get shorter. Communication, travel, knowledge, production, industrialization, and social organization are all developing at a fantastic rate. It is said that there are more engineers living today than in all prior history. In the scale of things, the earth is about 15 billion years old! Humanoid beings have only been around two or three million years. Yet civilization as we know it is young, only about 10,000 years: Starting to plant plant crops, trade or sell food, collect taxes, keep records-- Travel, fight wars, govern, own property, manufacture things. Most of it in the last 200 or 300 years. And now we face generations of protecting ourselves from terrorists who want to kill us and turn history back 1,500 years and convert us to their system of religion! No doubt we will still be fighting them for the next 50 or 100 years! This is a battle to the death. And the stupid left wing Democrats and peace-niques don't understand this! They would have us ignore the threat until someone blows up a major city-- Then watch out as the rest of us set about destroying what's left of the world! The Republicans arn't much better they have their own short-sighted agenda. They represent a greater threat to our democracy than all the terrorists! But then, If the earth continues to burn up it's internal atomic material and cool off, it will become a dead planet in perhaps another two billion years. Of course, many things could happen before that, like global warming, or a not so distant star dying and sending us a deadly radiation beam, or a large asteroid or meteorite hitting the earth, or volcanic action causing another ice age, any of which could kill us or our ozone layer, food supply or oxygen. Eventually, even the sun will die and destroy anything including the planets. Before that happens, maybe we will find a way to escape the solar system and move on to another star and planet! We, human kind, have great challenges ahead. And I doubt if there is a GOD around to help us! Who created HIM anyway! By Donald Warren, © 2008
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Manhattan, Kansas

The city streets were layed out real neat. The main street, poyntz, was really wide at least six lanes running east and west. Very unusal for horse and buggy days! Every block was eight lots long east to west, and two lots deep north to south with an alley in between. Each lot fifty feet wide and 150 feet deep. Each house had two street numbers east to west Starting with the even numbers on the right hand corner, 00 and 02 through 28-30 and the odd numbers on the left hand corner, 01 and 03 through 29-31. Between 1864 and 1865 the Blue River which had come as far west as the sunken garden in what became the city park moved some four or five miles further east of town! The park ran from 11th to 14th street, about a quarter mile, and north and south a good five blocks about a third of a mile, just two blocks shy of Aggyville at the nearest corner of Kansas State College. West of town past the cemetery was the zoo. A really great one for such a small town. In the zoo were eight big buffalo lots of exotic birds, deer, bears, cayotes, sheep, and wild cats. Back east the towns are laid out so crooked and irregular planners must have followed a horse trail or cow path. Manhattan had a modern sanitary sewer system just after the war. Unlike less civilized towns like Woodstock, New York.

Other Sources of Information

Wikipedia Facts about Manhattan Kansas Early History.
What's Wrong with American Politics
Peppiatt Family History Chat
Peppiatt Coat of Arms From the Internet
Peppiatt Genealogy From the Internet
Peppiatt Ancestry From the Internet
By Donald Warren, © 2008
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11:30 10/07/2008