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This has been my lucky week of tripping on to events at the last minute, and making it in time!  Last night we visited Dayton’s Calvary Cemetery for the second annual “Angel Night” to glimpse all the beautifully sculpted angels illuminated.  Tonight, someone posted something on Facebook about the Kettering Tree Lighting at Lincoln Park, a block away from our home.  I discovered we had 15 minutes to get there – which was easy to do.

We ran into several student families, and Pati and Ema Rogers.

It was such a nice event!  Tons and tons of people strolling through the park to look at the lights strung on trees, poles, etc., by our Kettering Parks & Recreation workers!  Beautiful job!

Another fun evening for the Haasienda History Book!


DAUGHERY - Raymond & Betty, 1986At 48 years, I feel terribly blessed to have known my great-great uncle, Raymond Daugherty, 91, for this many years.  Many friends, my age, do not have uncles and aunts living.  As of this writing, I still have one great-great uncle, and two great-great aunts, surviving, and eight great uncles and aunts living.

This, indeed, is a blessing!

Uncle Raymond was a younger brother to my great-grandmother, Thelma Daugherty Barmes, who was the mother of my maternal grandfather, Leroy Barmes.  Uncle Raymond was born July 25, 1921, only a few months before my grandfather.

Betty & Donna

Betty & Donna

The uncle and nephew grew up together, and during the difficult times of The Great Depression, my great-grandmother would take her children back to her parents’ farm.  It was on the Daugherty farm near Frankton, Indiana, that my grandfather and his uncle grew up, and spent many summers together.  As they neared their late teens, the two young men met two best friends, Betty Church and Donna Clary, who lived in Boone Township, not too far from Summitville, Indiana.  Eventually, Raymond and Betty were engaged, as were Leroy and Donna.

Their families remained close through the years.  Uncle Raymond and Aunt Betty were two of the first visitors when my mother was born, and in 1964, along with their son, Steve, were the first to visit me.  When I adopted my first son, we drove to Houston, Texas, where Uncle Raymond and Aunt Betty were living with their son, Steve, so they would be the first to meet my new son.  Raymond and Betty were the first to greet three generations of our family.

My mother often babysat for Raymond and Betty’s only son, Steve.  Steve went on to Ball State University, majoring in telecommunications with David Letterman and Joyce DeWitt, with whom he was engaged for a short time.  Steve’s career was colorful, and exciting.

January, 2010, Steve passed away following a hideous battle with pancreatic cancer.  I’ve terribly missed his emails, his jokes, his telephone calls with the deeply, and dramatically announced, “Cousin Darin!”  I so miss hearing about all the colorful celebrities and events from Steve’s life.

December 2011, Aunt Betty passed away just before Christmas.  Uncle Raymond, lost in the shadows of dementia, was moved back to a facility in Alexandria, Indiana, where his younger brother and sister-in-law, Dick & Anita, could watch after him.

Today, one of the last folks from my grandparents’ youth has left us.  Though it is a sad morning to see this chapter in my family’s history close, I feel greatly blessed for having Uncle Raymond, Aunt Betty, and Steve in my life.  They were an incredible trio.

May choirs of angels sing thee to thy rest, Uncle Raymond… please give Aunt Betty, Steve, Grandma Donna, and Grandpa Leroy a hug from me…

Betty & Raymond 1940

Betty & Raymond 1940

Betty, Darin, Raymond 1983

Betty, Darin, Raymond 1983

Betty & Donna

Betty & Donna

Steve Daugherty

Steve Daugherty

Dayton History at Carillon Park hosted its second annual “Angel Night” at Calvary Cemetery of Dayton.  Calvary Cemetery is located directly South of Carillon Park on one of the most imposing hills in the Miami Valley.  At the top, you can see all around the Miami Valley, and tonight, it was even more beautiful with all the lights of the surrounding valley.

Quintin and I hurried to the cemetery, meeting up with family friends, and my Ball State music pals, Dave & Linda Samworth Lewis, and their teenage son, Chet.  It was a fun night, and a great tour of all the beautifully carved, and illuminated angels throughout the cemetery.  I learned just enough tonight to want to learn more about Calvary Cemetery that is steeped in rich history.

Lot’s of neat things happening in downtown Dayton this holiday season….

Dayton Holiday Festival - All December Long

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Our office is located at 10 W. Second Street, Suite 611, Dayton, Ohio 45402.


An evening of song and celebration!
Angel Night at Calvary & Carillon

Illuminated Angels | Holiday Music

Cookie Decorating | Carriage Rides
Local Artisans | Hot Chocolate & More!

Park and shop at Carillon Historical Park, take the shuttle

to Calvary Cemetery and enjoy holiday music,

illuminated angel statues, cookie decorating, & much more!

At Carillon Historical Park:
Museum Store Open House featuring local artisans

$1 carousel rides

Tour the Heritage Center of Dayton Manufacturing
and Entrepreneurship

At Calvary Cemetery:
Tour the illuminated angel statues

Horse and carriage rides

Cookie decorating

Food and beverages available

ADMISSION: FREE to the public!

PARKING: $5.00 per car at Carillon Park

(parking is not available at Calvary Cemetery)

Carillon Historical Park’s Museum Store

Open House featuring these local artisans:

Curt Dalton – Local author of many books on Dayton History

Esther Price – Sampling hot chocolate

Shelly Burden – Local pottery maker

Kathy Gross – Pen and ink artist

Nathan Musser – Local painter

Corrine Whitesell – Historical weaver

Rita Hughes – Painter with her series of note cards with angels

Lori Young – Fashion jewelry designer who uses recycled pop tops

Carolyn Wimer – Hand hooked rugs & wool purses

Teresa Wimer – Hand-stamped cards

Dottie Cummings – Oriental rug pillows

A Morning
with Santa

December 15, 2012
at Carillon Park

9:00am Seating
10:00am Seating


Members Only Event!

$12 per person
(Kids under 2 are FREE!)

One FREE Carousel Ride


Bring your Camera for Pictures with Santa

Listen to Holiday Music

Warm Breakfast Buffet
at Culp’s Café

To make reservations:

(937) 293-2841 ext. 106

Culp’s Café
Open for breakfast
& Lunch
New Hours

Open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday
breakfast & lunch
7:30am – 3:00pm

Open Tuesday – Friday
11:00am – 3:00pm

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Keep up to date with everything that is
happening at

Dayton History by
following us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Join Our Mailing List
Carillon Historical Park | 1000 Carillon Blvd. | Dayton, OH 45409 | 937-293-2841 |

Bright and early, Saturday morning, Quintin, Flyer and I were in the car heading toward Fowler, Indiana to celebrate Freddie’s, my nephew/godson, 5th birthday.  We arrived at 11:00am, and enjoyed some chat time with the family before the other guests began arriving.  Parker, 7, and Freddie had just moved their bedroom from downstairs to upstairs, and they were eager to show it off.  Carolyne is now in the boys’ old room, ready to make way for the new arrival this January.

We concluded our Indiana visit with a stop at Shapiro’s Deli for supper, and a stroll around downtown Indy.  Flyer was in heaven getting to walk with us.  It was like old times with her.

A long day, but a fun one!

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When you look through the slideshow, you will see the faces of adoption:

The Children…

The Parents…

and the Angels that make adoption happen.

Another wonderful party hosted by the angels of ACTION Adoption Services.

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Today, Quintin and I spent our Thanksgiving with Brian & Joanie Pollock, their two college sons, Tyler, a senior at Butler University, and Zach, my former student, now a freshman at Miami University.  Joanie’s parents, Dick & Susan, were with us from Springfield, Illinois.

Before dinner, I learned to play Rummy and Nertz.  I never play cards, but I have to admit – I was getting addicted to Nertz!  Such fun!

Brian prepared the best meal, and we all sat down to dinner with various hats.  Lots of great food, and tons of laughter.

Post-dinner was my first time to watch A CHRISTMAS STORY.  Hilarious!

While Joanie and Sue planned their Black Friday shopping strategy, the rest of us enjoyed pumpkin pie and the traditional pink stuff dessert (pineapple, cherry pie filling, Cool Whip, evaporated milk all mixed together).

Before leaving all the men took on the two women in a game called, Battle of the Sexes!  Even more fun!

This was just a great day, and we had the best time!

Thank you, so much, Brian, Joanie, Tyler, Zach, Sue & Dick!

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A Tribute To Our Wonderful Furry Family Members

Last night I was wide awake, energized by having seen Centerville High School’s production, AVENUE Q (see previous post).  By 2:00am, I was finally feeling sleep come over me, and at some point, I was out.  At 3:15am, Navi barked when she heard Quintin come downstairs to use the bathroom.  The last numbers I remember seeing on the clock were 403 (4:03am).

At 8:15am, I finally gave in to the siege of the three dogs surrounding me with their anxious stare-down.  Chief was on my pillow with his nose pressed against mine; Navi was laying on top of Chief smacking me with her tail; and Flyer remained on the floor, staring up at me, and sighing about 2-3 times each minute.

It was a lazy morning of watching the news programs, and enjoyed a wonderful documentary, NOVA: Pocahontas Revealed.  It had more to do with the Jamestown Rediscovery and the incredible archaeological work discovering new things about Jamestown life in 1607, and the nearby Indian capitol governed by Powhatan.  An excellent Netflix documentary.


Quintin and I gathered up all the pots that once held beautiful Impatiens throughout the summer, and early fall, and brought them to the back deck.  In a short while we will head out for groceries, returning in time for me to teach a few lessons for students prepping for jazz band auditions this week at Centerville High School.  I suspect we will settle in for a Netflix movie this evening after supper.

But for right now, I am eating lunch and half-watching THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW.

Quintin’s newest voice is not Asian, but rather, Trekkie Monster from AVENUE Q.  It is quite hilarious to hear him speaking in the Oscar The Grouch-esque voice, as heard in this video another production:  Trekkie Monster singing “Monster School” – AVENUE Q.

I am all prepared for a short week of teaching, and time spent with family and friends!

Photos of my brother and his family…


“Theatre demands different muscles and different aspects of one’s personality.” ― Victor Garber

After about ten minutes into each theatrical production at Centerville High School, I tend to forget I am watching high school students – not college or professional – performing, and running the technical aspects of the show.

They are always THAT GOOD.

I look forward to theatre at Centerville High School as much as I do productions at two other outstanding educational institutions, Wright State University and Sinclair Community College.  I never wonder, “how will Centerille pull off this show?”  That’s a waste of time to even consider that question; CHS does it better than any other high school in Western Ohio.  I am always confident I will leave the auditorium a lot more excited than when I entered – and I always enter CHS’s lobby with a good deal of excitement because I know I am set for a damned good production.

Tonight, my theatre directing friends, Suzanne Grote and Aaron Jacobs, along with Suzanne’s niece, Erin, and my son, Quintin, joined me for AVENUE Q.  This quartet is always at my side for Centerville productions, and we never fail to marvel at the tremendous efforts and talent engaged at this high school theatre program.

I like it when the curtain is open upon seating in the auditorium because I have more time to absorb (marvel, shake my head, chuckle at little touches, and appreciate) Mike Cordonnier’s set designs.  Mike, like several of his Miami Valley contemporaries – Terry Stump at Sinclair Community College, Bruce Brown at nearly every other venue in town and beyond, the Wright State University crew – never fails to impress and surprise me with his creativity.  Mike’s superbly trained brigade of blossoming technical talent  can run a show with ease.

Joe Beumer’s clean, creative, and concise stage direction is a perfect marriage to Mike Cordonnier’s set designs and technical leadership.  There is an incredible amount of magic when you have Joe and Mike  charting the course.  And since Ben Spalding’s arrival as CHS’s choral director, the vocal talent, often accompanied by the instrumental direction of either Brandon Barrometti or Joshua Baker, has soared to new heights.

Centerville High School’s theatre program is outstanding in every way!

I had never seen a stage production of AVENUE Q, originally conceived by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, who also co-wrote the lyrics and music with Jeff Whitty’s libretto.  The school edition is not watered down to the point of dull-dom, as other school musical editions tend to be.  My colleagues who accompanied me tonight assured me this version was just as great as the original.  And the students – on stage and beyond – lifted this production beyond my already high expectations!

If the creators had been able to see this production, I am certain they would have appreciated, and enthusiastically applauded the phenomenal talents of these high school students, and their exceptional mentors/directors.

This Winter, CHS is set to present, YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, and will conclude their 2012-2013 season with the Spring musical, SWEENEY TODD.

I am not joking when I say, “Centerville High School has one of the best, if not the best, high school theatre programs around.”

Go see their shows, and see for your self!


I felt like a kid, tonight.  In fact, it felt like I had the excitement of all my birthdays and Christmases all combined.

Quintin and I met Brian Pollock at The Greene to watch the movie I’ve waited several years to see.

The theatre, at 6:30pm, was packed for the 7:00pm showing, and we sat down in the lower tier, or as Brian aptly stated, “laying down in front of the TV on the floor.”  I was thrilled to see the theater packed.  At first, when I saw the immense lines of young teen girls, I was hopeful that LINCOLN-fever had reached their generation; however, I soon learned they were there to see the new TWILIGHT movie.

My bottom line reaction:  BRAVO!

I am sure the historians will find fault with this movie.  Naturally, there were items I knew, or believed to be historically inaccurate, but this is not a documentary.  LINCOLN is a fictional account based on the book by Doris Kearns Goodwin, TEAM OF RIVALS.  Tony Award winning playwright, Tony Kushner, delivered a tight, believable, and emotional script that highlighted some of our country’s greatest individuals set against the backdrop of the Civil War.

Before the movie even hit theaters, folks were complaining about Sally Field being too old, photos of the White House set not being accurate, or a myriad of other picky items.  Folks were concerned the script would not be accurate.  Again, it was a fictional account, based on actual events.  If we were to examine THE SOUND OF MUSIC, THE KING AND I, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, GYPSY, and others, we would be appalled at the truth versus the fictional accounts portrayed on stage.  LINCOLN is no different.

Following a robust applause, the credits scrolled upward.  It was an impressive line-up of names!  I asked Brian if there any actors left in Hollywood to film other movies while this was being filmed.  Incredible performances from some incredible actors.

Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field, as President Lincoln & Mary Todd Lincoln, were everything I hoped they would be.  I was not let down.  Hal Holbrook was brilliant, and I did love the fact that a former Lincoln-actor, LINCOLN (television 1974-1975), was included in this list of stars.  There was not one performance that disappointed me.

For me, the most delightful performance was delivered by Tommy Lee Jones, portraying Pennsylvania congressman, Thaddeus Stevens.  Outstanding!  I smell a supporting actor Oscar nomination!

Many have commented on Daniel Day Lewis’ voice in the movie.  I think everyone believes Abraham Lincoln had a booming baritone voice like James Earl Jones; however, Lincoln’s voice was described as “high pitched, thin and reedy.”  It served him well during speeches before thousands of spectators in an era without electronic sound amplification.  I believe Daniel Day Lewis captured Lincoln’s voice.

In the early stages, several colleagues were fearful of Sally Fields being 20 years older than Daniel Day Lewis, and not matching the 9 year age difference between Lincoln and Mary Todd.  I oft reminded the critics that Mrs. Lincoln, at age 44, looked much older, and with the blessings of Max Factor, Sally Field would be right in the ball park.

And, she was!

Sally Field has succeeded a long line of well-known actresses who have portrayed the first lady:

  • Jane Curtin
  • Donna Murphy
  • Sada Thompson (opposite Hal Holbrook)
  • Glenn Close
  • Ellen Burstyn
  • Mary Tyler Moore
  • Julie Harris (in the Broadway play, THE LAST OF MRS. LINCOLN, penned by fellow Ball State University graduate, James Prideaux)
  • Lillian Gish
  • Geraldine Fitzgerald
  • Ruth Gordon
  • and dozens more…

When Gore Vidal’s LINCOLN premiered on television, I was horrified by Mary Tyler Moore’s abrasive portrayal of Mrs. Lincoln.  With the combined script, direction and acting, I felt Tyler-Moore’s particular portrayal was just awful.  Sally Field, for me, personally, was Mary Todd Lincoln.  Ms. Field was terribly believable, capturing Mrs. Lincoln’s fire, intelligence, grace, doubts, feelings and frustrations of being left out of her husband’s White House work, charm, political savvy, tender and protective maternal nature, and a Mary that was very capable of holding her own in a world ruled by men!

Were there items I feel should have been included to better round out the character of Mrs. Lincoln?

Of course.  But this movie was not about Mary Todd Lincoln.  It focused on President Lincoln and those who fought to pass the Thirteenth Amendment.  The writing and directing of this particular character was far better than previous attempts, and Ms. Field’s professional, and personal choices pleased me very much.

There were a few scenes that were historically adjusted, but those moments seemed to strengthen Mary Lincoln’s heartbreak and devastation at the loss of her son, Willie, who died within their first year of residency in the White House, as well as the fire and capacity that Mrs. Lincoln exhibited, much to Abraham’s success.

So… go see LINCOLN.

If you are a historian, take off your historian cap, as I did, and simply rejoice in the truly great work, and the fact that the Lincolns are currently a fairly hot commodity in motion pictures!


Did you know?  Even Oscar Hammerstein II struggled with the creative process.

In 1946 he told The New York Times, “Writing comes darned hard to me. I do most of it on our farm in Doylestown. There I have a room with one of those tall old-fashioned desks you used to see in shipping offices. It takes me a long time to get started, and even then the words come slowly. I keep walking up and down the room and when I get what I want I go over to the desk and write in longhand with a soft pencil. I often wonder how many miles an act I walk.”

This looks great!

**Angel Night is Back at Calvary Cemetery, Even Bigger and Better!**

Last year’s Evening of Song and Celebration is back by popular demand, this time in partnership with Carillon Park, and bigger and better than ever!

Thursday, November 29 from 5:30 to 9:00 PM, you’ll have the opportunity to view 15 illuminated Victorian era angels on a tour by horse drawn carriages and Wright Flyer Trolleys.

Listen to holiday music from local groups including the CJ High School Choir and Glee Club, Dr. Ritter Werner and others in historic St Henry’s Memorial Chapel.

Frost Christmas cookies, enjoy hot chocolate and other goodies, and bask in the atmosphere of the beautifully decorated
cemetery and Carillon Park.

Definitely family friendly!

Carillon Park will feature local artists with plenty of hand crafted gifts to buy, as well as the Museum Shop full of Dayton History books, toys, games, tee shirts and more.

The event is free to the public, parking, which is exclusively at the Carillon this year, is $5 per car.

For more information, call Rick Meade at 293-1221.

Last night, Quintin and I had front row seats for Beavercreek High School’s CABARET, a delightful production featuring all the high school choirs, the two middle school show choirs, and the high school’s show choir, Friends.

Great performance, and I am so proud of all my students.  It was great to see so many former students and their parents, last night!

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This morning, Quintin and I headed Southeast of Dayton to Caesar’s Creek where we first stopped at Miami Cemetery.  Beautiful.

We traipsed on over to Caesar’s Creek State Park.  I had only been to the beach area, and discovered some other areas today that were gorgeous.  It was also my first time to Caesar’s Creek Pioneer Village – it was OK.

After grabbing some pulled pork sandwiches at this little mini-mart between the pioneer village and the dam, we headed into Waynesville to walk around and take more photos.

It was such a great day of laughter, time together, and beautiful weather in November!

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Today would have been the 91st birthday of my grandfather, Leroy ‘Red’ Barmes.

He was the third generation of our Bavarian family born in the United States, and the eldest child born to Virgil Brewer Barmes, and Thelma Estelle Daugherty Barmes, in Elwood, Indiana.  Leroy’s younger siblings: Evelyn, Norma and Danny.

In 1943, Leroy married Donna Mae Clary, and they had three children: Diana, Ron, and Tom.

Grandpa died June 3, 2004.

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Personally, speaking, I think this was one of the best fall band concerts at Fairmont High School – and they always give great concerts.  All the concert bands – AM Concert Band, PM Concert Band, Symphony Band and Wind Ensemble were outstanding with each of their two pieces presented.  The musical line-up was entertaining, and a nice mix.

The tradition that caps off the concert is the marching band’s entrance into Trent Arena (however, they did not march in this year) to perform some of pre-game, and then, the last run through of their fall competition show.  I always find this a bit sad because this moment truly is the end of the season, and one of the first marked beginnings of the end for the seniors.

After the concert, the Haas family hurried to Friendly’s for our traditional post-concert ice cream (which has become our post-concert supper).  Joining us this year: The Rogers Family – Pati, Mike, Nick, Ema; The Blunt Family – Steve, Dee, Casey, Dawson, Grandma Delores; and The Halls – Ron, Stephanie, Jillian, and Grandma Judy.  Lot’s of fun, and laughter.

Here’s to the end of a great marching band season!

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I have officially voted in my 8th general election.  My first election to vote was in 1984.

I am always excited to get my I VOTED sticker.  There is something powerful in that little badge of admission that reminds me of my responsibility as a citizen of the United States of America.  My little badge does not discriminate by defining me into a political party. It does, however, broadcast I participate in the life of my country.

I pulled into the parking garage at the Montgomery County Building on West Third at 12:55pm.  I was a bit daunted by the long line that wound around the main floor hall.  In fact, I compared it to lines at Kings Island – long, winding, and filled with a wild assortment of individuals and personalities.  Despite the line’s length, I only stood in it for less than 10 minutes.

Next to me in line, and throughout the process was a really neat couple, Don & Jane Russell, from Miami Township.  They are friends with several families I know and love, The DeVores and The Kopecs!  In fact, they attended my production of The Sound of Music in 1999!

From the first staging area of seating, we were moved downstairs in a group of approximately 150.  In the first basement, I received #371.  After a ten minute wait in the next area of seating, we were moved downstairs to the auditorium where we filled out our ballot envelope and form.

After a short wait, we were moved into a corral of folks to enter our information into the computer.  I was assisted by a lady who happened to be the manager, and she was a delight.  In fact, all of the board of election personnel were absolutely kind, and very helpful.  Their sense of humor added to the enjoyment of the process.

Within a minute, my ballot was ready and I was aimed to a series of rooms where folks were voting.  I finally found a place way in the back, and settled down at the table to fill in my ballot.

I proudly voted for neighbor, Ashley Webb, first.  Ashley is running for Montgomery County Commissioner.

I had never voted with pen and paper – always the little punch cards, or electronic voting machines.  This felt incredible to actually fill in my own ballot.

When I had completed my ballot, I walked it to the reception area to have it sealed.  It was handed back to me so I could place it in the ballot box.

That was so exciting!

As I returned to the one lower level, I saw a prospective voter holding a card with #974!  Upstairs, the lines were ever longer, and I followed the line clear out to the parking garage!  Incredible!  I suspect there were at least 1500 waiting in line on two of the three floors.

All in all, this was a positive experience, and one for which I am proud to have participated.  I got to meet some really nice folks (the Russells), and experience the voting process in a completely different manner. It felt good to see tons of people taking the time to vote. Simply impressive!


One hundred seventy years ago, Mary Todd married Abraham Lincoln, November 4, 1842.

Mary Todd weds Abraham Lincoln

Thus, Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd were married at the Edwards’ home on Friday evening, November 4, 1842. About 30 relatives and friends, all hastily invited, attended the ceremony which was conducted by Reverend Dresser who was wearing canonical robes. Mary wore a lovely white muslin dress. She wore neither a veil nor flowers in her hair.

Mary’s bridesmaids were Julia M. Jayne (in 1843 she married Lyman Trumbull who later became a U.S. Senator), Anna Caesaria Rodney, and Miss Elizabeth Todd. Abraham’s best man was James Harvey Matheny, 24, who was a close friend and worked at the circuit court office in Springfield. Matheny was asked by Lincoln to be best man on the day of the wedding!

Reverend Dresser used “The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony” from a book entitled The Book of Common Prayer According to the Use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States(Philadelphia, Carey & Hart, 1836). Standing behind Abraham during the ceremony was heavyset Judge Thomas C. Browne of the Illinois Supreme Court. Browne was a blunt man not accustomed to weddings. As Abraham was putting the wedding ring on Mary’s hand and repeating the words, “With this ring I thee endow with all my goods, chattels, lands, and tenements,” Browne impatiently blurted out, “God Almighty, Lincoln, the statute fixes all that.” After a brief delay following Browne’s interruption, the ceremony was completed as rain poured outside. Judge Browne was once impeached for feeblemindedness after a hearing in the Springfield courthouse.

A week after the marriage, on November 11, 1842, Abraham wrote a letter to a friend, Samuel D. Marshall. Most of the letter dealt with legal matters, but Abraham closed the letter with the following sentence: “Nothing new here, except my marrying, which to me, is a matter of profound wonder.”

The Day Miss Todd became Mrs. Lincoln

…Love Is Eternal…

The night of their marriage, Abraham Lincoln slipped on to Mary Todd’s finger an Etruscan gold wedding band.  Inside the ring, the words, Love is eternal, were engraved.

When historians refer to the wedding ring that Abraham Lincoln gave to Mary on November 4, 1842, they usually claim that the inscription read “Love is eternal.”  However, according to the Chicago Tribune edition of July 18, 1882, there were more than three words engraved.

Prior to her death, Mary removed her wedding ring from her finger.  On July 16, 1882, in her sister Elizabeth Edwards’ house, the same house where she had married Abraham Lincoln forty years before, she passed away.  The following day, some of Elizabeth’s friends found the ring and discovered that the inscription read, “A.L. to Mary, Nov. 4, 1842. Love is Eternal.”  The ring was subsequently placed on Mary’s finger, where it had been for forty years, and was buried with her remains in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois.

Happy GOTCHA Day to Flyer!

I went to a farm just South of Xenia, Ohio, and watched four adorable 10 week old puppies scamper about the back. I noticed the black and white runt was the leader for the larger three who were brown and white.

The daddy, Caesar, was a black and white Springer Spaniel, and the mommy, Portia, was a black lab and husky – looked exactly like a slender black lab but had bright blue eyes.

The mother tried to kill the runt by hiding her in the foot rest of a recliner in the woodshed, but the young girls at the farm would rescue her. The family kept the runt alive, and she took over the lead of her 8 siblings (one had died at birth).

Wilbur Wright with Flyer, 1908

I paid $25 – one of the most inexpensive, best $25 I’ve ever paid.

We got into the car, and the puppy sat down and looked around. As I drove away she looked bored, already. She was too small to look out the windows, so she walked over to me, laid down, and laid her head on my thigh.

I decided she would be named, Flyer, in honor of the Wright Brothers. En route to Centerville, we stopped at Woodland Cemetery. Flyer hopped out of the car and hopped among the tomb stones. She stopped at the Wright family estate, sniffed, walked over to Wilbur’s stone, and laid down.

It was not until three years later I learned Wilbur Wright, while demonstrating his flying machine in France, 1908, acquired a dog which he named, Flyer! Wilbur’s Flyer is commemorated on the nifty carousel at Dayton History at Carillon Park.

Flyer knows her commands in English, German, snapping fingers, and when she could see, sign language.

August 2010, Flyer suffered from acute pancreatitis, and nearly died.  She rallied, and resumed good health, but within a few months, she began losing her sight.  Flyer’s blindness does not prevent her from moving around with ease, nor having a great time with the family.

She’s been a great pal for eleven years.

At Wilbur Wright’s grave through the years…










Wilbur Wright’s Flyer & the Carillon Park carousel’s Flyer…

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Tonight, Fairmont’s Marching Firebirds took the performance field for the final time this season.  We placed fourth in a line-up of excellent bands.

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Watch the photos in the video:

The Marching Firebirds Final Competition, 2012


Watch the video:

Quintin’s 2nd year with The Marching Firebirds

My personal favorite photos of this marching season:


Quintin and I attended Dia de Los Muertos this evening, and spent a few minutes wandering down the street to take in some of the beautiful homes of St. Anne’s Hill, and the Dayton sky-line.

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This was my first time to participate in the Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) parade and festivities.  The parade began in the Oregon District, traveled East along 5th Street to the St. Anne Hill neighborhood.  It was a neat event, and Quintin and I both enjoyed ourselves.

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I only covered a few blocks, but what an incredible few blocks they are!

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November 2012
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