Archive for May 2016

Trip Report

May 23, 2016

Whenever I travelled on business, I had to write a trip report. I’m sitting in the departure lounge for Delta Airlines. Had lunch at Legal Sea Food. We both had a cup of clam chowder. So good. Had Sam Adams Summer Ale. Also, good. 

We visited our old friend Candee up the street from where we used to live. Drove by our old house  to see what they had done. Added a fence. Lawn needs mowing and weeding. Dogwood and Japanese maple in full bloom. 

We filled the tank on the rental car and headed for Logan. Turned in the car and got to terminal. Through security. Now time to wait. I’ll get one last DD coffee. 



May 16, 2016

Time for another dive into the records and archives of the Stanley family. Paula discovered an envelope in one of the albums that several artifacts including newspaper clippings, photos and letters. This post is about one of Harold’s cousins, Orin Taylor.

Orin was a couple of years younger than Harold and both of them grew up in Lawrence Kansas. The first item that I have scanned was a high school graduation announcement in 1938. So our estimate, is that Orin was probably born around 1920. Here’s the graduation announcement and picture.

Oren Taylor Grad Invite 1938-page-001



So Harold received a letter from Orin in November 1942 while Orin was in the US Army. At the time he wrote the letter, Orin was stationed in South Carolina for training. We don’t actually know when Orin joined the army. Perhaps, he joined after Pearl Harbor. Perhaps he went to college for some of that time seeing as he was an officer. Here is the scan of the letter to Harold.

Letter to Harold 1942-page-001

Harold never served in the Army during WW2. He had hearing problems dating back to his childhood. He had many ear infections some of which grew into mastoiditis (infection of the mastoid bone behind the ear.)Lt Oren Taylor Death Notice-page-001 In those days, there were no antibiotics to knock out the infection. He did his part in the war effort working for Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach where of course we know that’s where he met Mary.

So the next point that this story picks up is the Battle of Anzio in Italy. Orin died in the Battle of Anzio in January 1944. Here’s the death notice and action report. Unfortunately, there weren’t any dates on the clippings.

We didn’t find any other clippings on Orin’s life and death in the US Army. From his letter, life in So Carolina was pretty good. Once they shipped out for Italy, my guess that things got serious fast.

Newpaper Article part 1 - 1942-page-001Newspaper Article part 2 - 1942-page-001

That’s all for now.   



More Pictures

May 8, 2016

I have scanned another batch of old pictures that came from the storage locker. These are mostly of Harold and his family. Harold was born in August of 1919. Harold could be described as a blizzard baby or blackout baby. A blizzard baby is a baby born 9 months after a blizzard or other natural event when the parents of said baby were predisposed to have sex.

When Paula was working in the pediatric practice, occasionally the nurses and doctors would see a sharp increase in the number of newborn patients. They would try to figure what happened nine months prior to affect the increase.

In Harold’s case, we think the event was Armistice Day in November 1918, the end of WWI. We don’t know if that actually happened, but it is amusing to consider the possibility.

So we have pictures of Paul Stanley, Harold’s father and namesake of Paula. Most of the pictures have notes on the back but not much in the line of dates. Best we can do is make a good guess. Paul was 20 or 21 when Harold was born. Paul didn’t serve in the military during WWI. He had a job driving a fuel truck for Union Oil.

(Note: Mouse over the pictures to see the captions.)

First are pictures where Harold was born and house built by Paul in Iowa.

Next are some baby pics of Paul (Harold’s father).

Here are pictures of Paul & Mabel, Paul’s mother & sisters (not clear from the notes on the back as to who’s who.) and Paul’s brother Albert.

Here is a scan of Paul’s Union card. Paul died in the summer of 1954 of a massive heart attack while visiting Yosemite National Park. Not much could be done in those days and the closest hospital about 50 miles away. Born in 1898. Paula called him Paw-Paw.


That’s enough for now. I will have lots more when I get around to doing the scanning.

Mother’s Day

May 8, 2016

In honor of Mother’s Day, I dug through my photo archives and pulled out a few pictures of my mother (Grace), Paula, Mary and others. Grace passed away in 1996.

First is a picture of Grace and nephew James’ christening. Christmas 1990.

scan0016 (2)

Mary C, Rich, James, Grace

Santa was done by one of Harold’s Lodge friends (Gus Olguin). He arrived in the middle of the boys nap. The boys were in a fog. Christmas was very confusing for them that year. How will Santa know that we are not in Billerica? Santa knows all, we said.


Harold, Mary and Santa 1989


Grace, Mike and James – 1990

Grace and Anne Wood (friend of Grace from West Roxbury). This was our new pop-up trailer. This trip was to Prince Edward Island summer of 1987. PEI had some beautiful camp grounds. When we told Grace and Anne that we were going to PEI, they said we’ll come too. We’ll stay in a hotel, thank you very much. It was a fun trip. We went on a hay ride and Mike got to drive the tractor.


If I recall, this was taken at my brother Rich’s house in Quincy, c 1987. I think it was Thanksgiving, but it could have been Christmas. Mary looks like she’s already on her third glass of champagne :<).


(l-r) Mike, Mary S, Neil, Grace, Mary C, Rich, Paula


Lassen Volcanic National Park

May 5, 2016



Harold (on right) joining the park service

Time for another dive into the box of old photos stored in Mary’s Storage Locker. We found this gem of Harold signing on to the Park Service.

Back in the early fifties, Paula’s Dad (Harold) started working as a park ranger at Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California. Starting in 1952, on the day that school ended in June, Harold and Mary loaded up the 52 Ford, hooked up the trailer and headed north to Lassen.

They did this every summer until about 1972. Harold lived for the day that they would head north for the summer. He always told us that was what kept him sane. He would work at the park until Labor Day when they would head back to civilization.

Harold worked for twenty years at Lassen. After he retired, he received a small Social Security benefit for his time working for the US Park Service. Mary allowed him to put that fund into a separate bank account that he would use to fund all of his trips with the Shriners.

So where exactly is Lassen? Lassen is in Northern California about 75 miles northwest of Reno. Here’s a map to give you an idea where it’s located.

Lassen Map

In 1986, Paula, the boys and I had the chance to visit Lassen with Harold and Mary. We had rented a motor-home for the trip. By the time we made this trip to California, our boys were old pros at air travel.

We took three days to get to Lassen with stops in Bishop and Lake Tahoe. On our trip we drove north on route US-395 which winds north to the east of the Sierras.

When Harold did the trip he usually did it in two days which is a long haul. He would stop in Bakersfield on Saturday night, then he would drive on to Redding on Sunday. Grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon and then up into the park. He would start work on Monday morning.

This trip was our boys introduction to camping. The following year we bought a pop up trailer and a couple years later a full size travel trailer.

So we spent a few days camped at Manzanita Lake. We met up with our friends the Coils and our friend Andrea. We did some hiking and touring. Then we headed west to Eureka, then south to San Francisco. We actually found a campground in San Francisco. We road the cable cars, then flew home from SFO while Harold and Mary drove south to LA.