Archive for the ‘cousins’ Category

Margaret Hartmann Memories

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Margret Hartmann Robarge. Circled. With her father, mother and 10 siblings. Our grandfather George is standing, second from the right next to his mother Clara.

(click here) Margaret Hartmann Memories

This is Margaret Hartmann Robage (circled in photo) memories of her childhood. Dictated to her daughter Leatrice in August and September 1966.

Our Aunt Pat

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

pat

Very few of you will remember Brother’s wife, Pat Gill (now Moon).

Maybe George and Barbara will but since Brother and Pat divorced in 1970, there are few memories.

Pat is the mother of three of our cousins, Debbie Denmark, Jim Gill and Mindy Smith all who live in the Akron, Ohio area.

Pat is brilliant, was the Controller at her father’s company, had a beautiful singing voice, and Brother and Pat on the dance floor were a sight to behold…Fred and Ginger would have been proud!

She was a single mom who raised three children and earned her Accounting degree by going to night school after a long day of work.

She enjoyed her bourbon…first Ancient Ancient Age and then Maker’s Mark.

After retiring early, she moved to Puerto Vallarta Mexico and spent about 10 years there before moving back to Ohio to be with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She loves her cats and would fly them to Houston for veterinary care when she lived in Puerto Vallarta…yes, she really did!

Pat celebrated her 77th birthday on May 13th and is extremely thankful to be able to celebrate that birthday.

After 77 years of excellent health (not counting the brain aneurysm when she was in her early 20’s…yes she survived a brain aneurysm!), she had a major stroke on September 10th, 2015.

Sure the years of smoking, the daily 5:00 adult beverage and age had something to do with it, but the stroke just came out of the blue.

Her son Jim recalls speaking to her on his daily 5:15 call on his way home from work…all was normal.

At 8:30 that night, he was called by his sister Debbie to get to the hospital quickly because mom just had a major stroke and the outlook was grim.

It was grim but after months of recovery, Pat is now walking, talking, etc.

No longer smoking and no longer enjoying her bourbon, she eats oatmeal every day.

There was no better Euchre partner…with Pat on your team, you were going to win.

Pat was also a Master Bridge player. If you have ever tried to learn bridge, you realize it’s a game for really, really smart people…she was really, really smart.

She loved her daily Jumble, her daily crossword puzzle and always had a stack of ‘puzzle’ books – very difficult puzzle books.

Pat wasn’t a huge sports fan but believe it or not, she loves Tiger Woods.

One of her greatest memories was being within feet of Tiger as he practiced on the third green at The Bridgestone at Firestone Country Club in Akron.

She was also a phenomenal cook…she made the best Caesar Salad with homemade croutons…no one comes close.

Another one of her greatest memories was meeting Michael Symon at his Lola restaurant in Cleveland.

Not just meeting him, but speaking with him as he knelt down beside her to speak with her and then autograph her menu.

Pat was rarely at a loss for words but that was one of those rare occasions.

She will never be the lady she was prior to September 10th, but she is alive, she celebrated her 77th birthday and there are three children who still call her mom.

-James Gill

Jaybird

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Robert "Jaybird" Jones with Beverly, Butch and Greg. circa 1963

Robert “Jaybird” Jones with Beverly, Butch and Greg. circa 1963


For most of us that don’t know, we have a cousin in Las Vegas Nevada. He is 61 years old today. When I was growing up we called him Jaybird. He called me Butch. We still use those nicknames and that is a beautiful thing. I know many of you don’t know him but he remembers you. Actually check out this other old blog post is a photo of him and our aunt Gerry. Gerry was our fathers sister and they actually have a brother that is in California. So this is just a simple request to keep Uncle Billy and our cousin Jaybird in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, February 12th, 2016

jerryandJaybird

One Summer Day a long time ago…

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

blackandwhiteblog

Photo’s That Make You Think
Yeah, brother Gary or Gunk as he may be known as, suddenly started randomly texting me photos. So cool and it made me realize (like I’ve always known anyway) just how many photos are out there that I don’t have access too. But one of these photos really set me back. It was during one of our Uncle Brother’s visits after Dad died. We were a gang alright! All thirteen of us on the picket fence. Beverly hiding in the back. Gary always the clown. Bonnie and Bern little babies.
|click for a better view|
So Mom or Brother were able to harness us all together for a photo. How did they do it? How did they manage us or even feed us for gods sake? These were good times. I wish we took more photos but this one (a photo of a photo-means there’s better quality out there—) makes up for all the photos that were never taken. Thanks for sharing it.

In regards to a very interesting comment delivered to this blog

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Located in Comments on the post; Pawn to King Four

“I HAVE INFO RE: OUR UNCLE WHO WAS LOST ON A SUB AND FRANK GILL WHO WAS KILLED IN THE PHILLIPINES WW11 says:
November 10, 2015 at 2:00 pm (Edit)

MY FATHER, ARTHUR ,WAS FRED GILL’S AND CAROL GILL’S BROTHER”

This was posted Tuesday Nov. 11. Oddly the information which is very Veteran associated was posted the day before Veterans day.
To the best of our knowledge we did not know. Brother, Fred Gill, Carol and Joan Gill had another brother?.

We are asking and hoping that the gentleman, our cousin, can come back and email me.
Assuming he found this blog by the strategic tags I have placed with every post. (this is how we found Jerry Jones and family.

So come back cousin please! We would love to hear from you!
My email is:
neondusk@hotmail.com

Uncle Billy and Dennis

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

billyanddennis
Uncle Billy is our fathers brother. Holy crap… we have an uncle hanging around?! Dennis is our cousin. Son of Geraldine Hartman Jones. Billy is struggling with his health in a rehab somewhere in Los Angeles. Dennis went to visit him. I wrote about Uncle Billy four years ago HERE. with some crazy strange blog title: “Put your arms around me for Gods sake” and at the time I was angry at my fathers brother because he just nonchalantly walked right out of our lives and never ever once looked back.
So ironically 40 years ago I rode on the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland in California with Billy and just recently last night got off the phone with him for the first time since.

Right after Gerry found this blog and the Hartman’s and Jones reconnected and right before her untimely death before I was going to visit her in Las Vegas, I spoke to her on the phone. I remember she told me how upset she was at that blog post “Put your arms around me for Gods sake” and she really defended her brother and also told me that my cursing and some the sexual things I had wrote on this ridiculous blog were totally uncalled for.

Talking with Uncle Billy I heard my father’s voice. I heard my Grandfather’s toughness but most of all I heard Uncle Billy. He is his own man that made his own choices and created his own life and really didn’t need to stay “connected” to Joan and her ten kids. He had that right. He owed us nothing and we certainly owed him nothing. I just thought it strange that not once did he just think to check in on his 10 nieces and nephews that tragically lost their father at such an early age? But that’s ok, even though we were little kids, we didn’t go out of our way to check in on him. Damn, I still sound bitter here, don’t I? Too bad.

It was only by pure luck and internet hocus pocus that Aunt Gerry searched her own name and found this blog because I hoped she would. My reverse finding tagging trick worked. Through Gerry I have rediscovered our long lost cousins, Robert, Diane and Dennis. All of us have lived our lives and roller coasted the ups and downs that it can bring. Billy in particular had a life threatening disease, polio, attack him at the age of five. This is one rough way to start your life. Dennis is quite a story himself and an outright damn miracle of recovery. I even posted a movie made about him on this blog HERE

It’s a small world after all INDEED when your fathers brother is still around even after 44 years four months and three days after his untimely death.

My cousin Dennis and me in the jaws of Disneyland 1975

My cousin Dennis and me in the jaws of Disneyland 1975

In the Summer of 1975 I was an awkward teen boy going through puberty from hell when our uncle Jay Jones died. I remember Dennis calling me up and crying about it to me. That Summer his mother Gerry, insisted that I come out there to be with them. Her greatest concern was that as she worked she would be leaving young Dennis alone. I really didn’t want to go. I was scared of everything at that age. I’m still scared of everything at my current age of 55.

The agreement was Gerry was going to pay for my plane fare to California there and mom was going to pay for it on the way back. The other agreement at my insistence was that I was only going to stay a couple of weeks. Well I ended up staying the entire Summer and almost ended up living there forever. Turns out when it was moms turn to pay for the fare back, she didn’t have the money. And thus began the non-relationship of mom and Gerry. You see, money destroys relationships quicker than a hurricane hitting a double-wide.

The day I left mom had to give me a ride to the airport and as the time grew closer and closer for the plane to leave, mom sat at the kitchen table getting drunker and drunker on white cans of Budweiser beer. I was sure I was going to miss the plane or that we would get into a horrific crash on the NJ Turnpike half way to Newark airport. Finally I just yelled “MOM we have TO LEAVE!” which was strange for a boy that didn’t want to go.

Needless to say I made the plane. Everything was pure magic after that. Pure absolute magic that I will NEVER forget. It was the first time I rode on a plane and it was crystal blue skys and puffy white clouds out my window seat. The stewardess treated me like a king because I was a 15 year old boy alone. I couldn’t believe how BIG and how BEAUTIFUL our country was from up there. When I arrived in LA and got off the plane there were hipsters and hippies and PALM TREES, California is not of this planet. It is it’s own beautiful world of color, neon lights, texture and gorgeous sunsets. Aunt Gerry was always a woman that loved to go out and do things! And that we did. She took me to Disneyland, we went to see Jaws in a huge theater in LA which just blew me away as a movie (now the special effects are laughable!) I was very fortunate to have Gerry take me that Summer. I left all my brothers and sisters in the groggy hot depths of Carteret as we went to Reno Nevada and played Kino for hours.

It was here I did see Uncle Billy for the last time. He was always so distant but that’s just him. Our uncle is struggling to walk now and he is full of memories. My phone call with him wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I was looking for the past again. I wanted to hear intricate stories of him and our dad running down back alleys of Westfield and getting into trouble. I wanted to hear Grandpa Hartman yell at them for not eating their peas. I wanted to see Grandma Hartman shopping at the A&P and squeezing oranges. I wanted to see them all riding to upstate NY in that station wagon they had.

Instead we talked about polio and prostates and how he was a salesman for AllState Insurance company his whole life. But that was ok. It was great to speak to him. And in this “small world afterall” he ended our conversation with … please call again.

lost clips II (always look up)

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

pawn to king four

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Early June. Welcoming the unofficial start of Summer. Here in the North/mid/east all the seasons don’t slowly blend into one like most of our southern friends .Our season are abrupt, extreme and sometimes frightening. Winter here was brutal and the snow piled higher than cars at times. It has yet to release us from her grip as here I am on June 7 seeking desperately a hoody to help me make it thru the morning.
It was an email from cousin Jim Gill “Paul McCartney and Wings (on the radio now) remind me of our visits to Jersey.” that triggered this post. Also a call from a very old friend Jim McSherry was filled with resurrected Summers.
This topic has been covered ad infinitum yet I feel a desire to write about it. I’ve waited 55 years to finally say, “You kids don’t know how good you got it.” or “Get off my lawn you no good sons of bitches!” Social media is swarmed with the “when I was young…” cliche. Social media will always be telling us about life before the internet. I remember the set of outdated encyclopedias in our rec room actually WERE my internet. And if it wasn’t in there, then I really did walk 20 miles in the snow (actually it was more like one mile and it was only in the snow once) to the little library on Carteret avenue. I filled many reports with cut out photos and charts from those encyclopedias……and I hate to admit I also used books from the library for my primative “cut and paste” knowledge.
Todays internet brats don’t know how good they got it. But the internet is just the first in-line glaring example of how things have changed. Summer has changed dramatically as I look around now at the empty streets and playgrounds. Most kids have resorted to cyber entertainment. When we played in the Summer, we had to use our imagination. First of all our Summers were at least three weeks longer! For whatever reason the school year has definitely lengthened for todays school kids.
It started on the carpet when Jim McSherry and I would play “little army” with plastic soldiers frozen in boring poses. We don’t know where he got them but Johnny Lambert had the coolest, meanest looking Japanese toy soldiers in unique poses of death and destruction. How we yearned for those politically incorrect yellow soldiers. They were never to be found in any toy store.
There was always our pool and Kenny Gitters pool which sometimes became strange when we decided to take off our suits and swim naked. Mrs. Gitter put an end to that real quick Most hot Summer days she could be found at the end of our kitchen table playing Scrabble with our mom. They had also discovered a fabulous new drink by reading “Hints from Heloise” in the Star Ledger. It was called Iced Coffee. It was this same Heloise daily article where mom found out that we could actually eat the skin on our baked potatoes and didn’t have to throw them away with the tinfoil that they were wrapped in.

Actually football is always compared to a chess match. Maybe because the knight wears a helmet?

Actually football is always compared to a chess match. Maybe because the knight wears a helmet?


As the Summers progressed we invented new things to do and keep us occupied. One time we spent an entire Summer in our backyard creating mazes with lego pieces and watching bugs walk around in circle. It would piss us off when some bugs would just say “fuck this” and climb the Lego wall to exit our “maze of doom.”
Unfortunately for these clever bugs escape usually meant being captured again and being subject to some cruel torturous death. Being burned to death with a laser from the sun via a magnifying glass was a popular choice.

In our neighborhood the 5th of July was much more popular than the actual holiday on the fourth. For it was the day after the nightly fireworks that we would walk the sidewalks and gutters looking for “duds” Unexploded fireworks. Anything. Fire crackers, bottle rockets, the remains of a roman candle. We bought hundreds of these used explosives home and carefully unraveled them into a box. It was long tedious hours with little payoff. I ate a few crabs last Summer and it kind of reminded me of that. A lot of work with little meat and never feeling close to having my appetite satisfied.
What we did with our gunpowder harvest hardly satisfied my appetite for destruction either. I was pretty keen on destroying plastic tank models that I spent weeks building but that was usually done with gasoline. Sometimes we got lucky and were able to purchase real fireworks from the local firework dealer on Tennyson street. We would knock on this teenage kids door and barter with him. A nickel, a dime, ANYTHING for one single firecracker or bottle rocket.
We played outside. Sidestreet baseball, touch football, man hunt. We built forts in trees and under bridges. We explored the endless miles of railroad tracks that led up the dirt hill from Daniele. We hung out on the trestle

Then there were the Summers of the Gills. I had already written about this in a previous posts but these were great times. Just a few years after the passing of our father, it was good to have a man in the house again. This was Summer at it’s very best. Carefree and happy. Lot’s of pool, barbecue and popcorn. Wherever we went, we all went together. Filled the station wagon and sang songs from the FM together. It never got any better than this.

We did surrender to TV though, although it was a different monster than it is now. A huge wooden box attached to an antenna on the roof. Seven channels and sometimes eight, if we could get channel 3 to come in. Monty Python was a Summer staple on Sunday nights along with all the other mindless sitcoms of the day. Greg got us into “Dark Shadows” Saturday Night Wrestling and eventually Mary Hartman Mary Hartman.

The Day I Beat Walter Lambert In Chess
In the Summer of 72 we sat in front of channel 13 and “watched” the championship of chess between Russia and USA. This was huge when we were young. There still was a cold war going on and anything Russia vs USA was must see. At this time Bobby Fischer was still in the progress of losing his mind and didn’t allow cameras in the room where they were playing. So, for the entire Summer we sat in front of the TV and watched some guy move paper chess pieces on an upright paper board. There were sometimes HOURS between moves. It was like watching grass grow yet this is how we spent an entire Summer. This championship match had ignited a national interest in the game that we caught.

In 1973, this was worth more than three bars of solid gold.

In 1973, this was worth more than three bars of solid gold.

So when chess wasn’t on TV, we were playing it everywhere. Nobody was better at the game than Walter Lambert. One of those wise ass kids a few years older than us that “knew everything” and actually owned the yellow plastic Japanese soldiers that we craved.
I had gotten rather good at the game and even got a book from the library. Next to Fran Tarkenton, the then quarterback of the New York Football Giants, Bobby Fischer was an absolute hero to me. I studied and envied his life and his mysterious quiet way was even more intreging.
So one day, it happened. In the Lamberts always open garage door, I challenged Walter Lambert to a game of chess. Nobody had ever beaten him or even come close. And he would smirk and let out a whinny laugh everytime he beat one of us and called us knuckleheads for even trying.
But as the game went on, it became interesting and a small crowd began to gather around. I knew I had him on the ropes and he was just waiting for one stupid move, like we always seemed to make, to beat us. Not only did I keep my head in the game but I actually check mated the older, the wiser, the much cooler Walter Lambert. There was a shock of silence first but then the place erupted. George beat Walter Lambert. Yes. George Hartman had beat Walter Lambert in a game of chess. In the Summer of 1972 in a small rural town off the New Jersey Turnpike where planes flew overhead to land in Newark… I had become a folk hero for a few days. I had indeed beaten Walter Lambert at chess.
For me,
I want every anticipated Summer to be good. I yearn for the sun in my face. I watch our tomatoes and flowers grow. I BBQ ribs and steak on weekends. I’ve seen a Summer moon rise from the deck. I love each abrupt season better than the next. I couldn’t stand ‘summer all the time” or rainy seasons but Summer is a great time to feel alive. There is no greater swim than body surfing on an Atlantic ocean wave. Much like George Costanza, today, I proclaim this THE SUMMER OF GEORGE!
the abrupt seasons

the abrupt seasons

Gill-go-round

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

headerForGillBlog
In this months PTMYT (April 2014) another old mysterious Gill photo taken on Austin street in Westfield NJ. (probably). This photo had the same kind of look and feel of another old Gill photo mentioned in a previous BLOG POST.

This was taken much earlier than the above photo based on the height of Joan alone.

This was taken much earlier than the above photo based on the height of Joan alone.

Definitely not from the same day at all. Maybe some of the same people but several years earlier. Our grandmother May Gill was born in 1915 to John Coleman Rosecrans and Maude L. Rosecrans. May died at a very young age of only 44. She died suddenly and shockingly of a heart attack at home. There have been rumors flung about about her death being suspicious based on several “things told to me”.
1. The fiery relationship she had with her husband Fredrick, a Westfield NJ cop.
2. The decision by husband to have NO autopsy and a quick burial.
3. A suddenly new relationship by husband with a new woman only a few weeks after funeral.
So yeah, ha ha, secret family scandal. May Gill was poisoned by her cop husband. None of this has ever been proven. Nor will it ever be. I’m not exhuming the grave of the grandmother I never saw and I certainly don’t want to see what she looks like now. Rest in peace everyone involved.

One thing I really ponder on now, was that May had THREE brothers and SIX sisters! So that big family thing isn’t just a Hartman trend? So there were NINE aunts and uncles that we also never really met or saw. I might have been too young to remember even if I did meet them. Her three children, Joan, Fred and Carol told me Grandma Gill was a nice woman. That’s all I remember. Another story was that when she pooped, her kids would all go in the bathroom with her and she would tell stories. She was known as a very kind woman in her job at Westfield High School where she was a cook for nine years. Her death at 44 was so early that she only had two grandchildren when she passed away, Barb and Beverly. She would have been surprised if she hung around.

Mrs. Fredrick Gill Obituary. CLICK to READ

Mrs. Fredrick Gill Obituary.
CLICK to READ

So my curiosity remains at who is who in the top photo. At this point I’m going out on a limb to assume that most or all of them are her siblings.
Starting from left, John Rosecrans Jr, May Gill, sister, another brother (maybe Fredrick Rosecrans with wife OR another sister. Fred Gill Sr is next and he is holding a little baby Caroline our aunt. At the end the only thing I can say here is “Get a freaking room.”
Of course in the first row is Joan Gill (our mother) and Fred Gill Jr our uncle. He is wearing an official cap of some sort. This stirred up even more curiosity in me. I do know that we have a great uncle that was lost in a submarine during WWII. I am assuming this photo was taken around 1940-2. So there was a war going on when this was taken. That man in the middle appears to be wearing dress military uniform. So I am assuming that the cap our uncle Fred is playing with is actually from that guy in the center of the photo. I did a google image search on Navy caps used during World War 2. Not surprisingly something very similar came up. It might be an officers cap from Navy.
So is this the guy that was never found on a sunken submarine in WWII??? Sure enough I found a web site that listed every submarine and their crew member LOST during WWII. I actually clicked on every submarine and checked for the sir name Gill. I did find one- on January 24, 1942 the submarine USS S-26 went down BUT three men survived. The mans name TMC Joseph Mathew Gill was goggled and as it turns out he is from Alabama and not New Jersey.

The only other things I think of is that great uncle from the Navy was actually a Rosecrans and not a Gill. This is not the way I remember it being told to me. This WWII hero was definitely named GILL. OR maybe that is a fireman or policemen uniform. It is a fact that Mays father was indeed the Cheif of the Westfield NJ police force which is exactly how our grandfather Fredrick Gill got the job.

Yet another Rosecrans search, I found in the Westfield Leader newspaper (bottom left middle article) that Mays brother, Windsor was promoted to a Lieut. in the National Guard. But this was July 1927. (yet still possible, that might be a captains cap after 13+ years!)

So this is how it goes with web research on the amazing and still growing world wide web. I was just trying to find out some names. People that have long passed on. People that were “somehow” related to our mothers and fathers. This spark of a connection in life that electrifies our existence. Like I said, if I had this interest even before Carol or Joan died, I would have had all the answers and names and probably a few cool stories too.

May sandwiched by brother and sister. Big family love.

May sandwiched by brother and sister. Big family love.


Dad and baby daughter. Caroline.

Dad and baby daughter. Caroline.


Sister and brother. Joan and Fred.

Sister and brother. Joan and Fred.


lovers