December 21, 2014

Was It Eleanor Jeane Or Jeane Eleanor Moline?

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Legal Names and Family Names

L-R: Donald, Helen, Joan, Jeane; on floor: Joyce Moline

It’s always been a puzzle to me just what my aunt Jeane’s first name was legally. Was it Eleanor Jeane Moline as it was noted in my Nordgren great grandfather’s bible page, or was it Jeane Eleanor Moline as her son Lee and the rest of the family always thought it to be?

I’m hoping that in a week or so that mystery will be put to rest. Today I ordered her birth certificate from the State of Washington and hopefully they will find the right record (nope, no refunds) and put this issue to rest.  In my opinion, it wasn’t inexpensive to order the birth record at $31.50 a pop, but having documentation that proves a name is vital.

I suppose I have a special affinity for my aunt Jeane since I was named after her (my middle name) because my mom was very close to her. She and my uncle Jim Davis named their first born after my dad’s middle name (Dad was William Gale Yates) and chose Leland Gale.  Jeane and Jim’s daughter was named after my mom and her name is Lynne Joanne Davis.


Next post: A review of a photo to canvas print of my grandma Helen Nordgren Moline by Easy Canvas Prints.

Preserving Past Family Home Locations With Google Street View

1105 Spring Street

Sentimental Sunday

If you read the title of this article, it might be a bit misleading in that I was able to get the photo below with just Google. I did use SnagIt (which I LOVE!) too to capture the image.  I am not real adept at using Google with SnagIt,  so that’s why you see that silly magnifying glass thing in the picture.  Google presents the opportunity by supplying the street view; SnagIt makes it easy to capture.  No doubt there are other ways.

My Grandpa Elvin “Al” and Grandma Lillian “Eppy” (Epstein)  Moline lived on the second floor in this building probably from the 1950’s to the late ’60’s.  The address is 1105 Spring Street, Seattle, WA.  I think it’s called the Decatur Condos now.  They had the apartment at the bottom of the photo, which included the small balcony.  Grandma was a sun worshiper, so no doubt she was delighted to have a way to get outside.  Their apartment was a corner one, so the three windows from left to right shows the size of their one bedroom abode.

The far left window was their bedroom whose window was really a cool patio door that opened to the balcony. In the middle was the living room, and I think one side of those windows might have opened to the balcony also.  The kitchen windows are last to the right of the three.  My brother has the drop leaf table that used to sit in front of  the kitchen window.

This apartment had an effect on me I can’t quite explain.  We lived in an old farmhouse in Tumwater.  This apartment was the opposite side of the coin and seemed very posh to me.  A couch on one wall in the living room, and two club chairs with a beautiful wooden secretary faced it from the opposite wall.  There were nice paintings on the walls and tasteful knick knacks scattered here and their, but not overdone.  Grandpa Molines’s father was a furniture maker, so I suppose an appreciation for fine furniture rubbed off on him.  Grandma (she was my mom’s step mother) was a bridge player and a registered nurse, so she was very social and was used to being with people all the time, from all walks of life.  Some of the jokes she told would make you blush.

Last, but not least, was one more attraction for Dave and I when we visited the grandparents in this building.  We were always pumped to get in the elevator and ride to…the second floor.  That was pretty anticlimatic, so we would beg Mom to let us go “exploring”.   We made a beeline right for the elevator and rode it up and down lots of times before we saw the same people more than once.  They gave us the “eye” and we knew we had to give up our fun before someone reported us to the office.  We never once did anything destructive or even thought to do that.  We were just kids out of our element. Good times! Good memories!

 

Dad’s WWII Love Letter To Mom

15-march-1944-letter-from-dad

Eighty-nine years ago today my dad was born in West Plains, Missouri to parents Will and Minnie Smith Yates.  Although Dad passed away in 1996, his life lives on through letter and photos from his past. This letter was written on the eve of his 24th birthday and he was feeling “pretty old”.

He and Mom had married in Seattle at her parent’s home on Queen Anne Hill, and way back in the 1980’s Mom and I took a trip down memory lane by going back to that house. It just so happened that the owner let us come in and look around on that sunny summer day. Mom was thrilled as she showed me her old room upstairs, and even more so to have me see the marble front fireplace which she and Dad were married in front of on February 5, 1944.

Dad’s love letter of March 15, 1944 was written from Quillayute NAS where he was working after coming back from a tour with the Navy in New Calendonia. As you read in the letter, housing was at a premium, but they did eventually find a little one room place in Forks so they could be together instead of Mom living with her parents. Mom said that place was so small they could stay in bed and reach out and light the woodstove!

I have to say, I don’t remember my dad ever calling Mom “Darling” when we were around…

Thinking of you on your special day Dad, and missing you lots.

15-march-1944-letter-from-dad

A Seattle Adventure With Mom

hottle

Adventures With Mom

To be honest, I can’t remember for sure what year it was, but sometime between 1983 and 1987 my mom and I embarked on a special trip to Seattle.

In my school years we had gone there many times on the Greyhound bus (you know, back when it was more safe and they were cleaner) to visit my grandparents that lived in an apartment on Spring Street.

In fact, one time Mom and I took a notion to ride over from Seattle to Bremerton on the ferry. While we were in the waiting area I decided to take a look at the various travel brochures in order to kill some time. I turned around just in time to see a man gently guiding my mom off to some other part of the ferry terminal! I didn’t even have time to think, I just took a few quick strides over to Mom’s other arm and said, “Where are you going?” She said the guy wanted to ‘show her something‘. I don’t even want to think about what that something was!  My mom was obviously very trusting. I knew from that moment on that our roles were reversing and I would be looking out for her just as much as she did for me.

At the Mayflower Park Hotel

Back to the original story though. In the 1980’s period I mentioned, I was probably in my mid-30’s so that would make Mom in her 50’s. I thought she was old at the time, but now that I’m going to turn 59 this year, she was just a spring chicken. :)

Mom and I had planned our visit to Seattle because she wanted to go back to see her parent’s old home on Queen Anne Hill just one more time.  I was reluctant, but she insisted, and so that was the main goal for one of our days.

mayflower-hotel

We were staying at the Mayflower Park Hotel on this visit, and we enjoyed our room with the old tile work and porcelain fixtures in the bathroom. It was like being transported back in time to my mom’s era when she was a young woman living in Seattle. We even treated ourselves to a morning ritual of tea and coffee with rolls brought by room service. I never knew what a hottel of tea was before that trip! Did you know they’re called a hottle?

hottle

If you look at the rooms for the hotel now, they seem bright and cheery, but I remember them as dark and cozy, with sounds of traffic and pedestrians hustling to and from work wafting up to our seventh floor room. My memory is always connected to aromas and smells too, and since this was before the hotel was completely remodeled, it had the air of old wood, a slight mustiness, and that mysterious sweet smell that conjures up visions in the mind of romantic liasons or secret rendezvous.

Another Two Ride The Bus

Mom convinced me that she knew the bus routes and which one to take, so after a nice breakfast in the hotel cafe, we hopped on the city bus and set out for 2466 4th North.  I thought we were just going to go look at the house and then come back on the bus, but as it turned out the owners were having a new bathtub installed that day and the workers were hauling it in through the upstairs window. Mom, bold woman that she was, went to the door and explained that the house had belonged to her parents at one time and that she had been married there in front of the marble fireplace in the living room. (This was all news to me!).

Astonishingly, they let us in and Mom and I made a quick dash up the stairs to her old room. She must have been in nostalgia heaven that day as she walked around the rooms and thought of happy times there. She related stories from the 1940’s that included Mrs. Silverstone, a lady that my grandma Eppie (Lillian Vera Epstein Moline) had worked for as a private nurse. Mrs. Silverstone had even attended the wedding of my parents on February 5, 1944.  At the time, I think it was all lost on me, the significance of being in the home where my mom and dad got married, her days of waiting for letters home from my dad when he was in New Caledonia, but I’m so glad I made that trip down memory lane with my mom. I know it made her very happy at the time. Thanks Mom! I miss you!

joan-moline-yates-1923-2001

Joan Moline Yates

1923-2001

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