These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place.
The Beginning (51) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Assorted Memories
Dick – Lad did some wrestling for a while – he was extremely proficient – he could beat guys older and heavier than he was.
Lad and Gibby (Arnold Gibson) had an old Model T Ford. They would tie a rope to the differential, tie a tire on ten or fifteen feet back, and ride it like a surfboard or sled.
CED – We used to play the piano. We had a player piano, we got it from Aunt Anne, she had it in New Rochelle and they didn’t use it anymore so we got it.
DAVE – The big draw was the player piano. Each one of us, as we got to a certain age, would have people over and we would stand around the piano, play a few songs and sing to them, sing to the music.
Grandpa, Ced and Dick (not sure if Dave was there) visited the Chandlers after they moved to Maryland.
CED – The young people’s group in church was led by Doug and Emily Chandler. Long after Chandler left, we kept on with the Chandler Chorus. The only two people who ever directed the Chandler Chorus were Doug Chandler and Laura Brewster. He was good, very good with young people. There must have been seventeen or eighteen kids in the group. He played the piano beautifully and we would have these meetings once a week. He played really jazzy music for us, too. He was very fond of music, good music, and started the Chandler Chorus. We had everywhere from ten-year-olds to sixty-year-olds, maybe higher. Maybe not ten-year-olds, but we had young people. We sang quite frequently. We went all over the place, up to Shelton. We were good. In fact, that’s where Fannie and I met.
Anyway, then there was this young group, as I said, our house was the center of activity all over town. It drew practically everyone in the town of Trumbull. Mother said every Tuesday night we could have an Open House for all the young people. We would play the piano and we would sing. We just had a ball, and then we would have cookies and cocoa or something. That was so much fun.
DICK – Dad, Ced, Dave and I went on a trip to the Gaspé Peninsula in Québec. At Lewis we crossed over and went up the south side. Dad got violently sick from rancid bacon. At Cape Bon Homie there is a high, steep precipice – about two hundred feet high. At the top, we all lay down on our bellies and inched forward to the edge. Nearby, we had found some rotten logs – one of us would throw one over the edge and the rest of us would watch. It was fascinating watching it fall – almost in slow motion.
Art Mantle, Biss and Lad with the Model T
DAVE – Where did I learn to drive? I guess I never did. I don’t remember. I don’t think it was in the back lot. I remember a game the older boys used to play. Someone would stand on the running board (if you don’t know what a running board is, look it up) and stick their bottom out. There had to be a little bit of teamwork between the driver and the person on the running board, and they would try to see how close they could come to a tree without hitting their butt. That’s all I remember about it.
Tomorrow I will finish off the week with one more Childhood Memories of Trumbull.
On Saturday, Day Three for Lad on his Voyage to Venezuela.