Monday, November 30, 2015

Motivation Monday: Happy 6th Blogiversary to Me! (Tomorrow)

I started my blog six years ago tomorrow, on December 1, 2009!  This is my 944th post.

The photo is of a Gresham family birthday cake, from the late 1940s or 1950s.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: AstroWorld

From June 1, 1968, through October 30, 2005, my hometown of Houston, Texas, had an amusement theme park called AstroWorld. It was across the 610 Loop from Astroworld, the original home of the Houston Astros baseball team (and the "Eighth Wonder of the World").

 My family must have visited sometime in the first few months of the park's operation, because the next two photos are from slides processed in October 1968:

The photo above was shot on the Astroway, an aerial tramway over the park. This view is heading from the "Oriental Corner" section of the park (with one of my favorite rides, the "Bamboo Shoot" log flume water ride added in 1969, and the "Black Dragon" spider ride) to the "Alpine Valley" section.  In the background, you can see "Der Hofheinzberg," the man-made mountain named for park developer Roy Hofheinz.  This was the site of the Alpine Sleigh Ride, and a portion of the "Le Taxi" (later Antique Taxis) motor cars went through the mountain as well.

In the photo below, also from the summer of 1968, you can see another early attraction, the "Mill Pond" water bumper boats, at the base of what was originally called the Skyrama (later the Astroneedle, a double-decked gyro tower) in the Western Junction section of the park.  I'm pretty sure that's my dad, Fred Pape, in the bumper boat, probably with my youngest sister Mary.  Another favorite ride for me was the Astrowheel, a double Ferris wheel in the original Modville section (renamed International Plaza at the beginning of the 1977 season).

In the photo above, taken in the summer of 1970, you can see the Astroway and the  Astroneedle in the background. The next photo is from ten years later, and exactly 35 years ago today, when my friends (from left) Audrey, Annette, and Ardis (on the far right) and I went to AstroWorld during a get-together over the Thanksgiving break.  We're posed in front of the 1895 Dentzel carousel (called the Alpine Carousel) in the Alpine Valley section.

In 1975 the Mill Pond was removed and was replaced by the Gunslinger, so that's what we rode on November 29, 1980, above.  The Black Dragon had been moved and renamed the Razzmatazz, but was gone by 1978.  The Texas Cyclone, a wooden twister roller coaster modeled after the famous Coney Island Cyclone, had opened in June of 1976, so we rode that in 1980 (next two photos).

I moved to the Seattle area in 1984 and my dad was transferred to the Dallas area in 1985, so I'm not familiar with any rides or attractions added in the last 20 years of the park's life.  I do know the Astrowheel was closed in 1981, the Alpine Sleigh Ride in 1984, and the Astroneedle in 1999 (and removed the next year),  Corporate naming rights had an effect in 2001 when the Bamboo Shoot was renamed The Ozarka Splash.

AstroWorld closed in 2005.  Some of the rides, such as the Gunslinger, found new homes in other amusement parks, but others, such as the Texas Cyclone, were simply demolished.  Despite its prime location, the land still lies vacant today.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sibling Saturday: Peppermint Park and Wee Wild West in Houston, Texas, 1961-1969

 My step-grandfather, Wallace "Archie" Archibald (1896-1970), took a number of home movies of me and my siblings from 1958 through 1965.  One place shows up over and over - a small amusement park with rides for younger children.  I'm pretty sure it was called Peppermint Park.  Apparently there were a number of locations, but I think the one we went to was on the north side of Houston, off T. C. Jester, as that was close to where my grandparents lived at the time, and was a more pine-wooded area of Houston than some of the other locations (near Gulfgate Shopping Center on Interstate 45, and out in Sugar Land).  In the early years (1961 to 1964) my family lived in Spring Branch, which also makes the T.C. Jester location the more likely one.

I definitely remember the helicopter ride in the picture of me and my sister Karen from 1961, above.  A bar that you would push and pull raised your copter up and down.

The films also show kiddie boats that went round and round, a merry-go-round, a ride I think was called "The Whip" because it would jerk your car quite hard on a turn, and kiddie automobiles that ran on rails.  My youngest sister Mary is pictured on such a car below, sometime in 1969.  You'll note that the view is from inside a warehouse-like building.  Some of the rides were inside this building so that the park could still operate in bad weather.

As I got older, we also went to a park called Wee Wild West, which was on Westheimer Road at Yorktown.  It had some of the same rides as Peppermint Park, but also had fighter planes, a roller coaster, a train ride, and something called the Hook and Ladder ride (an old firetruck that drove around the park), which shows up clearly on one of the films.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday's Faces From the Past: Baby Shower for Regina Dietz Szpak, August 1990

In August 1990, I was en route from Madison, Wisconsin, back to my then-home in the Seattle area, and I spent a couple days with my Pape relatives in the Chicago area.  I had the opportunity to go to a baby shower for my first cousin Regina Dietz Szpak, pictured at right.  Her first child, daughter Courtney, was born at the end of September that year.

I stayed with my Uncle Bob and Aunt Lorrie Pape, and went to the shower with my first cousins, sisters Bobbie Pape Johnson and Judy Pape Schaller, pictured below.  Bobbie was expecting her second child, daughter Callie Marie who was born at the end of October that year.

Also at the shower was my cousin Shelly Dietz Sowinski, Regina's older sister:

Regina's other older sister, my first cousin Ruth Ann Dietz Zidek, was also there.  She's pictured below with her sister-in-law, her older brother Ron's wife, Cathy Sheehan Dietz, who'd just had her fourth child two months before:

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving, I am especially thankful for my family.  I'm thankful that my dad is recovering from a serious fall last Sunday, and that I could go be with him in the hospital Monday and Tuesday and stay with my mother overnight.  I'm thankful for my husband who traveled with me there and provided emotional support for me and company for my mom.  I'm thankful for my siblings pulling together in this crisis and for cousins and aunts and friends who supported us in calls and visits and Facebook comments.  I'm thankful for my coworkers who were supportive and covered for me while I was gone.  I'm thankful for my husband's daughter and her family, with whom we'll be sharing the holiday meal today.  I'm also thankful for extended family in the Chicago area opening their home to my son, newly-moved to Chicago and unable to be with his family of origin this holiday. And I'm thankful for the daughter who made the cute little turkey above.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

(Not-So-) Wordless Wednesday: Uncle Bob and Aunt Lorrie with Grandsons, 1990

Uncle Bob and Aunt Lorrie (Paul Robert Pape Jr., 1926-2008, and Dolores Frances Olker, 1929-2005), with grandsons Brad and Grant, August 1990.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: Memories from Uncle Bob and Aunt Lorrie for Mom & Dad, 1994

In 1994, in preparation for a celebration of my parents' 40th wedding anniversary in Fredericksburg, Texas, we asked friends and family to share some of their memories of my parents, Fred and Gerrie Pape.  Here is the response from Dad's older brother and his wife, my Uncle Bob and Aunt Lorrie.  A quote from it follows, referring to the 1955-1957 time period:

Lorrie remembers well the many times she and Gerrie took their walks down Morse Ave. with Terrie [Bob and Lorrie's oldest daughter] in her stroller. 

"After our walk we put her down for a nap and had our customary tea and windmill cookies.  One time while munching on the cookies Gerrie heard a thud in the next room.  We both went rushing in and found Terrie on the floor, having fallen from her crib.  Thankfully she was fine but talk about being concerned, grateful, and embarrassed all at the same time..."

She also remembers the darling blue dress Gerrie made for Terrie for her first birthday.  It was embroidered in red and white and she was so impressed it started her on her own sewing career.  What a savings that turned out to be as we had one daughter after another.

When Bob was away at meetings you were there in case anything happened and you wouldn't hesitate to keep Lorrie from feeling alone.  We also had some very LIVELY discussions at times and these too were fun.

It was great having you around for the two years that you lived in Chicago after you were married.  We only wish it could have been 20.
Undated photo of Paul Robert "Bob" Pape Jr. and Dolores Frances "Lorrie" Olker Pape.  The sign in the background indicates they are likely at a Bureau of Reclamation site, possibly in Texas.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday's Faces From the Past: My Godmother, Aunt Lorrie, and Me

My Uncle Bob (Paul Robert Pape Jr., 1926-2008) and Aunt Lorrie (Dolores Frances Olker, 1929-2005) came to visit my parents in Houston, Texas, in 1959, when we were living at 7913 Cedel.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

(Not-So-) Wordless Wednesday: My Godfather, Uncle Bob, and Me, 1959

My Uncle Bob (Paul Robert Pape Jr., 1926-2008) and Aunt Lorrie (Dolores Frances Olker, 1929-2005) came to visit my parents in Houston, Texas, in 1959, when we were living at 7913 Cedel.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: Six Flags Over Texas, 1966

Yesterday my husband and I were in Arlington, Texas, at the convention center there for a photography trade show. (We just bought a new digital single lens reflex camera last week).  I didn't realize the convention center was so close to Six Flags Over Texas, the amusement park.

Six Flags Over Texas opened in August, 1961.  The original park was divided into six separate themed areas for each of the six governments that have controlled Texas in its history:  Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the United States of America.

I've only been to Six Flags once, in July or August of 1966.  We lived in Houston, a good four to five hours away.  My maternal grandmother and step-grandfather, Nani and Popo, Sara Melzina Wolfe Guokas Archibald (1907-1997) and Wallace Franklin "Archie" Archibald (1896-1970), took my sister Karen and I on a trip there.

I'm guessing we spent two nights in the area, because I imagine we spent a whole day at the park.  I only have these two pictures from the trip.  This first one was among the slides Popo took that my brother recently scanned and sent to me.  I think this was a carriage set up as a photo op prop (notice the wheels don't touch the ground) in the Confederacy section - you can see something that looks like this carriage in a 1966 map of the park near Naler's Plantation House.  I'm pretty sure that is the recreated Fort St. Louis in the France section on the right in Popo's photo.  Today, these two park sections have been combined and are called "Old South & France," and apparently Fort St. Louis is still there as a backdrop for a display on the theme park's history.

I had just gotten my first camera (a Brownie) that year, probably on my birthday, and as film and developing were expensive, I didn't take many pictures.  This is one of the better ones, shot from the old Astrolift cable cars (removed in 1980).  This photo shows some of the then-seventh section of the park, Boomtown, added in 1963. At the bottom right, you can see one of my favorite rides, the Runaway Mine Train (just called Runaway Train on the 1966 map, and just Mine Train today), which had just opened that year.  See the slightly curved hole in the lake (Caddo Lake) near the middle of the photo?  That was where the train emerged after traveling underground, a first for a roller coaster.  On the far right edge of the photo, you can see where the roller coaster goes underground after exiting the Ace Hotel and Saloon (unnamed until 1974).  This ride still exists today.

You can also see the Caddo Canoes on the lake.  They had been moved from the Confederacy section (where they had been installed in 1962) to Boomtown in 1964.  I don't remember doing this attraction, which involved guests actually paddling large "Indian war" canoes around the man-made Caddo Lake.  This ride was removed in 1983.

My other favorite rides in the park were El Aserradero, ("the sawmill" in Spanish), the first-ever log flume ride, added to the Spain section in 1963 and still exiting today, and La Salle's River Adventure, which operated from 1961 to 1982, and featured animatronics and a colorful spiel.

Some great sources for information and photos about Six Flags Over Texas and its history are The Guide to Six Flags Over Texas, ParkTimes, and Ken Collier's postcards and 1966 Six Flags Cookbook sites.  A complete view of the 1966 map is here.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday's Faces From the Past: Visit with Nana and Grandpa Pape, ABT 1966

My brother recently scanned a number of slides from the mid-1960s - I'm not sure if they were taken by my parents, or (more likely, because my parents are in some of the photos but he is not in any of them) by my step-grandfather, Wallace Franklin "Archie" Archibald (1896-1970).

These three were taken some time before December 1966, the date stamped on the slides, when they were processed.  I think this is in our den in our home at 8015 Sharpview in Houston, Texas, but I can't remember a visit from my dad's parents, Paul Robert Pape Sr. (1896-1970) and Elizabeth Florence Massmann Pape (1902-2000), so I can only say the photo was likely taken sometime between the summer of 1964 (when we moved into that house) and December 1966.

From the left:  Mary, me, Brian, Mark, Paul, Elizabeth, and Karen Pape.  I have NO idea who the two little girls on the right are.

These two pictures (the one above and the one below) look like preliminaries to the first photo in this post.  Above, my sister Karen appears to be getting up so Nana (Elizabeth) can sit down.  And my baby sister Mary isn't in the picture yet.  Below, Dad (Fred Pape) seems to be encouraging Mary to stay in the picture.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

(Not-So-) Wordless Wednesday: Happy Veterans' Day, Dad!

This picture of my dad, USAF 1st Lieutenant Frederick H. Pape, is from December 7, 2008.

Below is a close-up of Dad's hat, which he obtained when he was part of the Ex-Military Flyers Club in Fredericksburg, Texas, an "organization of former and present armed service members with service in military aviation" that met the third Wednesday of every month for lunch and a program.

Dad pinned the last set of his navigator wings that he had from his uniform onto the hat.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Military Monday: "Royal Order of the Black Knights"

Dad received this certificate on February 10, 1953 - I'm guessing about the time he completed his 50th mission.

It reads:

17th Bombardment Group (L[ight]) Night Intruder
Royal Order of the Black Knights

Let it be known to all ye, herein present, that 2/LT Frederick H. Pape A0 [service number]
is a member in good standing, of The Royal Order Of The Black Knights.  He has completed enough hairy night missions, and told enough horrifying war stories to be eligible for a trip to USA-JIWA (Land of the white josans)  As a reward for his very great and glorious deeds he is now authorized to attack anything, anytime, anywhere, during the time of darkness.

The certificate is signed by the "High Exalted Grand Black Knight" (the Wing commanding officer, in this case Col. Clinton Curtis Wasem Sr.), by the "Exalted Grand Black Knight" (the Group commanding officer, then Col. William Cecil Lindley Jr., later a Major General), the "Grand Black Knight" (the Squadron commanding officer - unfortunately, I cannot read this name, it looks like Major Alfred A. B----), and by the "Black Knight (peon)" (the Squadron operations officer, in this case Capt. John S. Keller).

Dad said USA-JIMA referred to home, and josan is a Japanese word for girl.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Society Saturday: 2015 Texas State Genealogical Society Conference

Last weekend I attended the annual conference of the Texas State Genealogical Society, held in Austin, Texas.  Since my parents live there, I was able to combine it with a visit with them.

My justification for getting some time off from work to attend on a Friday were the sessions in the "Courthouse Records and Record Loss" track (which was actually on Sunday afternoon).  Two of these three sessions were by John Sellers, a courthouse records expert, and the other was by Teri Flack, who is chair of the society's Records Preservation and Access Committee.  John also did one of the six general sessions, also on courthouse research.  I feel I understand a lot of the legal terminology better now, as well as what some of these resources contain, and will better be able to assist patrons at my library wanting to use the old courthouse records we store.

Half of the general sessions were done by the incomparable Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems.  The topics were "Google Tools & Procedures for Solving Family History Mysteries," "Future Technology and Genealogy - 5 Strategies You Need," and "How to Reopen and Work a Genealogy Cold Case."  Great ideas and tips I can use right away!

Besides John's general session, Kelvin Meyers and Cari Taplin stepped in at the last minute to substitute for J. Mark Lowe, who was scheduled to do the other half of the general sessions before he got hurt.  Meyers' presentation was on church records, and Taplin shared an amusing case study about the family legend that she is related to Roy Rogers (she's not, at least not closely).

Otherwise - I decided this was the conference where I needed to learn more about DNA and genetic genealogy.  A few days before the conference, I was contacted by a match on my mother's autosomal DNA.  This one perked my interest because the match is along my mother's paternal, Lithuanian line - where I have a brick wall after my immigrant great-grandmother.

There was still room in one of  Debbie Parker Wayne's Friday workshops on "Incorporating Genetic Evidence into a Family Study," so I signed up!  I also attended the DNA track on Saturday afternoon, which had two more sessions by Wayne, one a more general overview and the other on using a free third-party tool called Genome Mate with autosomal DNA results.  Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, did the other presentation, on next steps after autosomal DNA testing.

So what was my take-away from all the DNA sessions?  I should probably go ahead and get a Y-DNA test for my dad (at least at 37 markers; I can always upgrade later), and a mitochondrial DNA test for my mom.  There's a brick wall along the direct maternal line (can't go further than my great-great-great-grandmother Leah Pickering there), and perhaps it would help.  I'm still trying to decide about mitochondrial DNA for my dad, as I'm not sure it would help with any brick walls there.

I also figured out who I need to test (mitochondrial DNA) to try to get some answers on my Lithuanian great-grandmother Elizabeth Benevičiūtė.  What I did *NOT* learn at the conference was how to ask my mother's first cousin (who lives in California and whom my mother has not seen in years) if she or her daughter have already tested, or if one would be willing to test!  Somebody needs to offer a session on how to do that. :)

I also hope I can convince my husband to do an autosomal test (as he is the oldest in his line) as well as a Y-DNA test.  His direct line great-grandfather John Gresham is a brick wall.

I also got some tips on how to use the autosomal test results I already have for my parents within AncestryDNA and FamilyTreeDNA.  I'm going to try those out, and maybe Genome Mate too.

The other great part of conferences is seeing people I know and meeting new ones.  At the general sessions (and at a number of the breakouts), I sat next to my mentor during library school (my practicum supervisor), Kathy Strauss, head of genealogy and special collections at the Emily Fowler branch of the Denton Public Library.  I also got to meet the Patient Genealogist, Devon Noel Lee.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Edward Garland, 1843-1912: Editor of the Granbury Vidette, 1872-1883

Grave of Edward Garland, Park Cemetery, Carthage, Missouri
FindAGrave photo by NJ Brewer - Nancy Brewer,
Carthage Find-a-grave Project coordinator for the Powers Museum, Carthage, Missouri
Ed Garland circa 1892,
Carthage Evening Press archive
 newspaper illustration, courtesy of the
Powers Museum, Carthage, Missouri
Last week I wrote about the family of Francis Edward "Ed" Garland (1843-1912) as a part of my quest to identify the parents of two young siblings buried in the mid-1870s in the Granbury Cemetery.  This week, I'm going to write about Ed's career as the publisher and editor of Granbury's first newspaper, The Granbury Vidette.

According to Merriam-Webster, vidette is a variant of the word vedette, which is "a mounted sentinel stationed in advance of pickets" of an army.  No copies of the Granbury Vidette survive.

The first reference I could find to Ed and the newspaper was in the November 28, 1872, issue of the Houston Telegraph, which referred to the paper as the Ganberry Gazette.  Two days later, on November 30, 1872, the Dallas Herald got the newspaper name correct but the town name (not surprisingly) wrong, referring to the Granberry Vidette begun that month by publishers W. L. Bond and F. Ed Garland.

On page 360 of the 1916 History of the Texas Press Association: From Its Organization in Houston in 1880 to Its Annual Convention in San Antonio in 1913, by Ferdinand B. Baillio (Southwestern Printing Company, 1916), in its section on "Early Papers Published in West Texas," it is noted that Garland and Lambdin were the publishers in 1873, "then Garland & Price":

By July 15, 1875, according to the Galveston Daily News of that date (page 2), Charles A. Price retired from the business, leaving Garland as "sole editor and propreter."


By November 5, 1879, according to the Denison [Texas] Daily News (page 2), Ashley Wilson Crockett (misspelled as Ansley in the article), grandson of Davy Crockett, was associated with the Granbury Vidette.

However, Crockett had been associated with the newspaper before that.  The Texas Business Directory for 1878-9, published in 1878apparently lists under Newspapers for Granbury, "'Vidette' weekly; Garland, Crockett & Perkins, proprietors."

In an article Crockett wrote for the Hood County Tablet published on June 16, 1938, he claims, "When the writer first came to Granbury in November 1872, he was fifteen years old.  He entered the office of the Granbury Vidette, a newspaper just started and then only one week old, owned and edited by W. L. Bond and F. Ed Garland."

On the 1880 Census, the family of "Ash W. Crocket" appears just below that of Ed Garland, and Crocket[t] is listed as a "newspaper man."

Also in May 1880, the Texas Press Association was founded, and Garland was named corresponding secretary for the third district.

On page 396 of the 1883 Rowell's American Newspaper Directory, Volume 15, edited by George Presbury Rowell (Printers' Ink Publishing Company, 1883), it indicates that F. E. Garland is the editor of the Vidette, and "Garland, Crockett & Perkins" are the publishers.

By August 1883, Crockett purchased Garland's interest and took over the paper (renaming it the Granbury Graphic later that month), apparently because Garland had been ill.  (Perkins apparently sold his interest to either Crockett or Garland before that).

Ed Garland and his family apparently moved to Indiana for a while, long enough for Ed to file for a Civil War invalid pension in September 1884.  According to his obituary, Garland's family moved to Lafayette, Indiana, about 1850 (but apparently after the census that year), and there were still Garlands on the Lafayette census in 1860 and 1870, and in the city directories of 1873 and 1885.

"United States General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 5 October 2015), Garch, Joseph - Garnier, John > image 3272 of 4540; citing NARA microfilm publication T288 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Ed Garland circa February 1912,
Carthage Evening Press archive
 newspaper illustration, courtesy of the
Powers Museum, Carthage, Missouri

Not too long after, Ed and his family moved to Carthage, Missouri, for his February 1912 obituary indicates he had been living there about 28 years (since about 1884).  Daughter Lena/Jeannette was born there in March 1889.  Ed is mentioned on page 80 of the Journal of the ... Annual Convention of the [Episcopal Church] Diocese of West Missouri, published after June 15, 1890, as treasurer of Grace Church in Carthage.  A History of Jasper County, Missouri, and Its People, published in 1912, says he was elected collector of the City of Carthage in 1892 (page 351), and as a city councilman in 1909 (page 534).

I also found a beautiful fundraising signature quilt made by the Ladies of Grace Episcopal Church Guild in 1894-95, with the names of Ed and his wife (in block 6A), and daughters Jennette [sic] and Nellie (in the left border).Thank goodness for the exchange programs newspapers had in the 1870s, so even a newspaper that did not survive in print to the present had some gems that were preserved, like this one:

The newspaper images in this article were found in the wonderful Portal to Texas History.  Here are some links to some other mentions of the Granbury Vidette during the period when Garland was editor:

By the way, the Texas Governor Joseph D. Sayers mentioned in some of the articles is the uncle of my great uncle Philip Sayers (the second husband of my maternal grandfather's sister, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Guokas).

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.