Monday, April 20, 2015

Ancestral Hospitality in Southington- Plantesville CT - Mary and Dave Potter the hosts at Josiah Cowles Place!

I traveled from Cold Spring NY and the MKP NWTA weekend, to a quiet respite here in the hills of Connecticut last evening, April 19.    I had contacted Mary Potter some weeks ago by phone and email, as I had be doing family genealogy research on the Cowles lineage, and I had found a reference to the Captain Josiah Cowles Home that was available as a B& B on line.

http://www.hotelsone.com/plantsville-hotels-us/captain-josiah-cowles-place.html?as=b&aid=1285440738&dsti=337569&dstt=8&label=bing-bh337569&akw=8978083491&akwu=captain%20josiah%20cowles%20place&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=captain%20josiah%20cowles%20place&utm_content=us-ct_bh337569&utm_campaign=us-USA-Connecticut-Hotels-oe-en

  Dave Potter met me in the dusk when I parked my car  in one of the ample parking spaces. And after I got settled in the room in the upper right of this photo, he offered me a piece of chocolate cake, homemade with a welcome glass of milk, before I retired to a hot shower.
 Monday morning in the spring rain, my Minnesota Van parked in the driveway parking space, bike on the back.

 
Mary and Dave Potter, with their welcoming smiles and breakfast made to order with local maple syrup!   And plenty of good coffee too.

After breakfast, Mary took me in her car to the Quinnipiac Cemetery just down the road, about a block and direct me to the gravestones of my 7th and 6th generation ancestors. 

 
Here is the author, with the red stone grave maker of Gamaliel, B July 12, 1742 and died age 45, on the left, and Josiah's marker on the right.  It was Gamaliels son, Leonard Hamlet Cowles , who studied law at Yale, and moved to the new state of Ohio, to the area around Delaware, where his daughter Georgiana Cowles,  married Lewis Glessner . (Photo by Mary Potter)


 Josiah Cowles gravestone in the Quinnipiac Cemetery.
 
 Gamaliel  Cowles gravestone in the Quinnipiac Cemetery.  




 
Captain Josiah Cowles Place at 184 Marion, just a couple of minutes off of I 84, easy to find even in the dark!  

 
Contact information for Mary and Dave Potters hosts.  

Journey to Cold Spring NY, Surprise Lake Camp for GBTQA Rainbow Initiation Weekend.

On my way to staff my 4th Gateway as a volunteer for MKP International ,  I stayed in Middletown NY on Wednesday night after visiting with Jeff Thursday in Scranton PA where he shared great Sushi with me and then drove me on a tour of Scranton, the area of his birth and where he raised is family.   He is one of the owners of Master Supplements, the MN Company that created a line of high quality probiotics and enzymes that I worked with as an educator about all the friendly small allies humans have in our guts!  Thanks Jeff, and I forgot to take photos I was having so much fun.
From Middletown just into NY, I drove east toward Bear Mountain.  Here is the Bear Mountain Bridge on the Hudson, I crossed seen in the morning on the east side.
 

Driving north to the quaint town of Cold Spring where I had a Cafe Latte and a great chat with a woman who is finishing her Phd.
REI tent where I stayed close to Mother Earth with my trusty Dodge Caravan pony on the Camp Lake Surprise site, looking west with the morning sun on the hills.
Learning about the Hebrew Language at this 100 yr old Jewish family Camp.
Ceremonial time piece to keep us on schedule for the weekend.
Main lodge of the Camp Surprise Lake site where the weekend took place.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ohio Family History Site Visits to Wright State U Archives and Mansfield Reformatory Spring 2015

 After a refreshing visit to Deerfield IL at the Chestnut Lodge on Sunday,  I drove down to the Dayton area even driving through Pendelton IN, as the magnolia's, daffodils, and even a red bud, were seen with the opening of flower buds, ah more colors and the surging of the life force reaching to the warmth of the sun!    I had been working on Noah Elwood Weaver's extensive photographic albums, and met Geno Pasi, an archivist at the Paul Laurence Dunbar library at a Tuesday morning meeting to hand over five of NEW's albums ( or "scrapbooks") as Geno referred to them.  So here I am at the door with a container carrying a gift to support the research on the history of the Miami River Valley area that NEW documented so well, through the loving lens of his cameras for the first half of the 20th Century. 
 Here on the table in the archives, I have two flash trips, on top of the box, with the name Oerlikon, 4 gig hard drives that are a advertizing gift from Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum, one of the vacuum components and systems manufacturers, we represent at Torvac in the Twin Cities. Grateful I could provide Geno and the staff with digital back up copies, many in tiff format for stability to supplement that hard copy photos.  I was informed that likely a "processor" would be found by Sept of this year to work with me to develop the "finding aids" that a search engine like "Google" would lead people to find their family members.  One example I used was the Tom Roehm Family with Gladys Cotterman Roehm whose adopted son Laurence "Tim " Riechenderfer traveled together with Paul Henry, Edna and Noah Elwood Weaver in 1928, in two cars down through KY, and TN to the Great Smokies in NC, driving to the peak of Mt Mitchell, then into VA's Natural Bridge site and finally to U of Virginia and  Mt Vernon, then Camping in Washington DC, driving and walked up the the portico of the White House with no fences in view!  A drive back to Ohio on the National Hwy through MD, PA, into Ohio and back home, are documented in two black albums I left at the Library. 

Mansfield Ohio State Reformatory  - Hans Hansen who married a Brandt, began working here to teach men about furniture building in 1911.   Here are some of  the evocative 1914 - 17 images that inspired me to visit Mansfield, where Hans was a reformer of young men! 

 1914 Hans Hansen with Henry Eicher (my great grandfather) in front of the Mansfield Ohio State Reformatory.
 1917 at Hansen Home in Mansfield - 733 address, and looks like built into a hill.  Will research the city directory for Mansfield  :-)
 1917 Noah Elwood looking at Hansen family car. and washing it!
1917 Noah Elwood Weaver and Paul Henry, age 7 with Hansen car Mansfield. 



 
I met with Paul Smith, the current executive director of the site yesterday, April 14, and he related that this building was ready for the wrecking ball, at the time a crew came to film the Schawshenk Redemption. For more info.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_State_Reformatory

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_State_Reformatory
And here are my current wheels, my 2005 Dodge Caravan along with my bike outside of what remains of the building.  




Monday, March 30, 2015

Peg Glessner - Oberlin College 1928 - 1932 Music and Art influences.

 
 Born Margaret Mary Glessner, my mom preferred Peg.  Here she is during her college years with her father, Harry Chappelear Glessner, (Born Fredrick Glessner).  
From p 25 of Peg's Rememberings "I am very thankful that my parents wanted me to go to college. Possibly they may have regretted that decision because my mother said, in a sad tone, that before I went to college I had always agreed with her! However, for some one in my parents circumstances, sending me to college was the accepted thing to do. How did I happen to go to Oberlin? When the Oberlin College Men's Glee Club gave a concert in Findlay during my junior year in high school, I attended a reception for the members afterward, where I was favorably impressed with the group and with the director, Jack Wirkler. The following year, Harold Kuntz, an Oberlinite from Findlay, invited me for an Oberlin weekend, no doubt upon the urging of the Admissions Office. After being escorted around the college, staying in a dorm and receiving other super treatment, I was sold on Oberlin.
I was thrilled when I received word that I had been accepted at Oberlin and at Grey Gables, a privately owned college dormitory operated by Mother and Daddy Dudley. I don't remember if I had applied to other colleges. In the fall of 1928 I packed my wardrobe trunk, which was sent by train, and was off to college."

 Here is a photo from Pegs album of Grey Gables around 1929.

I recently discovered I had 3 of Peg's very large Hi-O-Hi Oberlin year books, and decided to take a look and even call the archivist to see if the college would like them.  Quite a quality printing here, with a color print of Jean Fredric Oberlin born Strasburg then in France, who was a pioneer in education.....Quite the cursive honoring the art of France.....and of interest for me, what was to be Peg's major.  From Hi O Hi, 1932.

Grey Gables - Peg Glessner, Jean Joiner, Jane Randle, Tasha Stone, Annie Laurie MacIntyre - P75 1932 Hi-O-HI
 From Peg's Rememberings Memoir p 25 from
"Oberlin, Ohio, the home of Oberlin College, was a small town with few stores. At the A & P grocery, after selecting some oranges, I asked their price from a middle-aged, bareheaded man, who appeared to be a clerk. He humbly informed me that he didn't work there; later I learned that I had made my inquiry of Professor Ward, head of the Art Department. Sundaes of chocolate ice-cream with marshmallow sauce were enjoyed at Tobin's Drug Store. My assigned roommate, Mary Jane Tyler from Ashtabula, Ohio, and I occupied one of the three freshmen rooms on the first floor of Grey Gables. Ty and I had many interests in common, including beaus (the term "boy friend" was not in usage) at Ohio Wesleyan College at Delaware, Ohio, John Mygatt from Ashtabula and Merlin Loach from Findlay, and identical wind-up, portable, orthophonic victorolas. Very inexpensive phonograph records, constructed of plastic grooves on a thin cardboard background, were available with current hits, such as "Mood Indigo", "Deep Purple" and Rudy Vallee's "Stein Song" and "Your Time is My Time".  "I continued to stay at Grey Gables, having a single room my junior and senior years. Jane Randle (Banks) had a very small single room, a converted closet. She and I, with some others, used the unoccupied third floor as a dormitory and our second-floor rooms for study. During one summer Jane and I took a correspondence course in Interior Decorating from the New York School of Design.
About twenty girls lived at Gables, including Betty Hughes (Giddings) as well as Jane Randle, two gals who have visited me at Pelican. The Gables' dining room was coed, with some of the men waiting table for board, Cy Giddings among them. The cook made such good, gooey butterscotch rolls for Sunday breakfasts. I was introduced to some other yummy foods, tuna fish and creamed salted codfish on biscuits. After the stock market crash in October 1929, when I was a sophomore, the Findlay bank was closed that housed my parent's funds. I had little or no cash, but tuition and board had been paid for the semester, so I could carry on.
My college major, History of Art, consisted of illustrated lectures and the study of ancient, medieval, renaissance and modem sculpture, painting and architecture of Europe and America. With other students I spent many enjoyable Sunday afternoons at the home of Professor Clarence Ward, the head of the Art Department (from whom I tried to buy oranges at the A & P store when I was a freshman), chatting and listening to him and his wife read some of the hilarious works of Robert Benchley. After graduation I had hoped to get a position in an art museum, but art museums weren't adding to their staffs when I graduated in 1932 at the height of the Great Depression.
I had a wonderful course in music appreciation, taught by Professor Jimmy Hall, learning about music from Bach to Stravinsky. A course entitled "International Irenics", Problems of Peace, was taught by Professor Jaszi, a most fascinating person of Slavic background.
Not being enrolled in the Conservatory of Music, I couldn't receive credit for my voice lessons, in my Freshman year with Professor Harroun and in my Senior year with Professor Benjamin. Conservatory students performed rather regularly at student recitals, so were not as nervous as I for my one performance in my senior year, when I sang two Schubert Lieder, Der Angling and der Tod and Freude der Kinderjahre. I hoped that I did not appear as strange as the bassoon soloist who performed the same night in a flowing gown. In my sophomore year I tried out for the Women's College Glee Club and made it. Every year the Glee Club, with about thirty-four members, presented a concert at the college, but its main activity was an annual spring vacation tour, traveling in a chartered bus to give concerts and spread the word about Oberlin College. (See picture #5, page 133.) Our director, Jack Wirkler, was a peppy individual of perhaps sixty years, whose wife chaperoned us on our tours. Each year we selected a long, formal dress.  Clubs celebrated with a formal dance of taffeta or satin for our appearances. At the end of the year the Women's and Men's Glee In addition to the choral numbers, we presented musical skits. One year I had fun being in a small group wearing Dr. Denton pajamas (those pajamas for infants with drop seats and feet sewed in) doing silly gymnastic movements; in another, with five other girls I danced in Dutch wooden shoes.
On the tours, we stayed over night with a roommate in selected homes, usually those of Oberlin alumni . During my three years in the Glee Club, we traveled: South, to Berea College and the blue grass country in Kentucky, Wheeling and Huntington in West Virginia; East, to Princeton, New Jersey (where we sang in the College Chapel), Pennsylvania Dutch country and New York City; West, to Toledo, Ohio, Polo, Auburn, Chicago and Oak Park in Illinois, and Waukesha, Wisconsin. In Polo, Jean Joiner, a classmate, took some of us to a basement speakeasy, a place where alcoholic drinks were illegally sold during Prohibition.
At Oberlin I tried a little drama, playing the role of Queen Elizabeth in a one-act play. One of my cornier appearances was with Jane Randle, when we blackened our faces to look like the Golddust Twins, performing a clog for something or other. The Golddust Twins were the symbol for a cleaning powder.
I started to smoke cigarettes, asserting my independence and not agreeing with my parents. Health threats due to smoking were not promulgated until much later. Being on the Board of the College YWCA, I thought that the YWCA might not appear to have only "goody- goodies" in its membership if there was a smoking member on the Board.
Oberlin had no sororities or fraternities, but each year dormitories sponsored dances and other social activities. Grey Gables featured a picnic on Lake Erie and a dance. Cars had to be found to take us to the lake, since students weren't allowed to have them. For one of the dances I remember using my imagination to paint exotic fish on brown wrapping paper with show-card paints. My favorite corsage was a gardenia with its lovely, penetrating scent. Getting to Delaware, Ohio, from Oberlin to attend a fraternity dance with Merlin Loach and spend a weekend at Ohio Wesleyan College, was a problem in logistics, transferring from train to train."
Women's Glee Club Tour
 From Peg Glessner's album "Just before take-off"- Note circular sign at the back of the bus. Likely on campus at Oberlin.
This photo is featured in Peg's memoir she self published in 1993 at age 83. From above she labels it is Jack Wirkler (director), Sarah Bradley (sic) Bradfield is a classmate, and Newt (bus driver)  (See picture #5, page 133.)
  
Peg labeled this in her album "Milwaukee - movies taken and everything" 

 
Here on p 173, of the 1932 Hi-O-Hi is Peg Glessner, top row, middle labeled as the"social chairman".

Among the Oberlin traditions at graduation time were a Daisy Chain, when junior girls picked field daisies and wove their stems to form a chain to be carried for the seniors, and Illumination Night, when candle-lighted Japanese lanterns were strung across various areas of the campus. Seniors were permitted to drive cars at Prom time. Going on a jaunt in the car of Jane Randle's parents with Roscoe Bloss and Eddie Pliske, we had an accident with no serious injuries, only sore bruises and distressed Randle parents. The Oberlin Senior Prom was an all night affair, ending with breakfast at Lake Erie after a change of clothes. Again, Eddie Pliske was my escort.
Although I was not close to belonging to Phi Beta Kappa, my grade average was good enough, B plus, that in my senior year I had unlimited cuts for classes and chapel. In June 1932 I graduated    with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. (See picture #6, p. 134f)

Peg Glessner, 1932, Oberlin College Graduation. 

FIRST YEARS AFTER GRADUATION In the fall of 1932, Sarah Hartman, Fran Gillespie (Sarah's best friend at Mt. Holyoke College)    and I drove East in the Hartman Buick coupe. Thinking back on it, I'm amazed that our parents let us do    this. Sarah and I picked up Fran in Pittsburgh, traveling on to New York City where we saw Ginger    Rogers in Girl Crazy. Then on to Annapolis, Maryland, where we were met by Mike Mumma, a cadet we had known in Findlay, who provided us with tickets to a football game and dates for an evening dance.  En route to Boston, Massachusetts, we drove all night through terrible, pea-soup, thick fog.    We were nuts. In Cambridge we stayed with the McNeil sisters, Sarah's and Fran's Mt. Holyoke friends,    in their apartment on the Charles River where I saw the lighted dome of the Massachusetts    Institute of Technology. (Now, in 1993, son Jim is teaching and doing research at MIT.) In Boston we visited the Gardner Museum where I was impressed by a painting of a Spanish dancer, "El Jaleo", by John Singer Sargent. In the wharf area we saw Faneuil Hall and ate lobster in an upstairs sea food restaurant. Our next stop was Springfield, Massachusetts, to visit Sarah's Aunt. The object of the trip to  Springfield (or maybe of the entire trip) was for Sarah to see Walter Jones, a graduate of the Case    Institute of Technology whom she later married. From there we drove to Ithaca, New York, where we attended Cornell University football game and enjoyed the school song with its beautiful harmonies, Shores of Lake Cayuga".

 "Religion, religion in Art" Talk
Later that year I busied myself preparing and giving illustrated lectures in my home on the topic,
City. "Religion, religion in Art", renting slides from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York Obviously my clientele was ladies from the Presbyterian Church, friends of my mother. Teeny, blackish insects (about one-eighth inch long) crept in under the glass of our Findlay picture frames. We called them "thrips". Our pictures were dotted with these wee bugs.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Pelican Lake Weaver family Sunset Beach - Art and Music Traditions 1950's, through the 1980's

Sunset Beach Pelican Lake, Crow Wing County MN
Images from the Weaver Family


About 1952, the view north and west from Lot 11, Sunset Beach, through the lens of Paul H Weaver.   The evening sky, Note the small white pines, and birch clump to the left.  Here is the place of the beginning of the Weaver family connections with this lake share.
 Dad loved to sit and look at sunsets and the birds.  I am so grateful for his modeling this connection to Nature during my youth.  

Here is what Peg Weaver wrote in her memoir, Rememberings, about Pelican Lake "
Pelican Lake was ideal for kids' wading since the gradient to the drop-off was gradual, shallow water extending outward for about thirty feet. The shore and lake bottom were of sugar sand and the water was clear. Rarely, large leaches would be washed up on the beach, but these did not attack like those little fellows at Elbow Lake. Bern Foster said that there were no leaches at Pelican before Pelican was connected to the Mississippi by the U. S. Corps of Engineers via a canal to Lake Ossawinnamakee.
On the beach, Jim, Jack and Tom waded, dug minnow traps, built sand castles and made roads for their small cars with "road blocks" made from pressed wood. Since we could see the water's edge with no trees to block our view, beach play could be supervised from our porch. However, when the boys went swimming, Pete and I would accompany them, often two or three times a day. When the temperature was over 95 degrees, we frequently sat in the lake to keep cool. I was amazed how HOT the sand could
be. One very hot day, after much coaxing, I took the boys swimming in the early evening, only to be driven back to the cottage by swarms of hungry mosquitoes. Inflated inner tubes provided fun in the water. With Pete's help the boys nailed together a small raft and enjoyed drifting and diving from it. When older, they used the Sunset Beach diving dock and went to a swampy area to dig for clams
In the evenings our boys were busy with scavenger hunts, wiener and marshmallow roasts on the beach with Mary, Nancy and Martha Owen, Chip Bowes, Mike Relyea and Peter Countryman. To go with their feather Indian headdresses, I made a heavy canvass teepee (testing my faithful, little portable sewing machine and occasionally breaking a needle) decorating it with painted Indian symbols. (I believe it is under the cottage porch where it is gradually disappearing from gnawing mice.) A slightly raised area under a clump of white birch we named "mushroom hill" for the conspicuous, purple-gilled mushrooms we often saw there. [Much later using my mushroom hobby, I identified them as sandy Laccaria (Laccaria trullisata).]    A "log-sawing business" occupied Jim and Peter Countryman but didn't make them rich.
An expedition to Itasca State Park from Pelican (1952) filled a day. The boys stepped over the Mississippi on rocks and saw penned bison. However, we didn't make many trips away from the cottage, not going to movies nor the County Fair in Brainerd. Though we did receive some pressure to venture from Pelican, we felt that the lake provided many challenging and fun things to do without commercial entertainment." p 57 Rememberings of a 83-year old grandma, 1994 self published
  
1951 Jack and Tom on the sandy beach through the lens of Noah Elwood Weaver, note the big inner tube, likely from a farm tractor, and the wooden boat from the Relyea cabin.....

1959  Diving dock Sunset Beach Pelican, Mary Foster, Johnny, David Foster.  Tom Weaver, John Foster, Jim and Jack Weaver
Jack 1951 with Blackie inside the cottage by the bookshelves.  By PHW

1952  Tom and Blackie, flash photo by Paul H Weaver 



 1957 Tom and Jack Weaver on Crestliner boat with Blackie by PHW

As we grew up during the 50's and 60's, each son, developed his own interests. 
About 1963, here is Tom, the author, with the 14' Crestliner boat.  Dad painted the Спу́тник, in Russian, sputnik, after the 1957 satellite, laucnhed by the USSR.  Dad took an interest in Russian and for a while subscribed to Pravda, to learn about the language.

1960 Weaver Music Jam Session Jack, guitar, Peg Ukelele, Tom, clarinet, and Jim, glass jug.  Likely strains of "it ain't gonna rain no more no more"...by PHW
 Jack on the front porch, note driving dock, with his acoustic guitar.
 Mid 60's   Tom with the 15 hp Evenrude with the 14' aluminum boat, with puffy clouds. By PHW
Dad, fishing on Markee Lake by TGW.

  
Path to Pelican Lake with Crestliner on beach. Note the deep blue drop off, some 200 ' out into the water.  White birch clump. 
1957 Mercury Station wagon parked at Pelican with autumn leaves -  
Typical 1960's view from the west toward cottage site, with large bending white pine in front.

Tom Weaver, the author here, in front of the Palmer Property ca 1972, as I was taking photos of the plants by the shore.  by PHW


Jack playing his guitar, while on leave Ft Ripley, in the National Guard in the late 1960's on the porch.  Note the butterfly net, and the can of Hamms beer.

In Aug 1981, the last family full gathering with dad alive, here are Harold Williams, Nellie's dad, Sue Weaver, John Weaver in front, Pete Weaver in back, Jim, Melanie, with Ken on Jim' back, Kris in front with Nellie and Jack with his Stor Dor T shirt, on the front porch of the Sunset Beach Cottage.

After dad's death in Jan, 1981, Mom wrote "After Pete's death Jim and Jack have come to Pelican every summer, usually for two weeks' vacation at the same time, since their daughters, Valerie and Kristin, had fun together. During much of Jack's vacation he was occupied with work, using his computer much of the time. When Jim was here, early in the mornings around seven o'clock, I drove to his cottage, then he and I walked next door, down a little hill to Winnie Leonard's for coffee. Sometimes others would show up, but usually they were not early risers. In the evenings, relishing some one to talk to while eating and some one else's cooking, I enjoyed an early supper at Jack's or a late one at Jim's. Frequently the two families ate together either in Jack's spacious living room with jalousie windows or on Jim's jalousied porch.  In different years Jim supervised bulldozing trees to make a road on his land to    Lake Lougee and on the 40-acres he and Tom own on Mud Lake along Rte. 18, west of here. When they came with Jim for two weeks in 1987, I enjoyed the Ulmschneiders from Heidelberg, Germany, Peter and his wife, Helgard, with their daughter, Katarina, and twin sons, Jakob and Martin. In 1990 when there was a tornado in close-by Ossipee, a beautiful, tall balsam fir behind Jim's cottage was toppled.
Living in St. Cloud, about seventy miles from his cottage, Tom spent weekends and longer times at his place, either coming alone, with one or two of his boys, with the whole family or with friends. Often I drive down for morning coffee, once being surprised by a blueberry- pancake-breakfast. "

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Random Images Reflecting on my 2011 Visit to Zhongguo - the Middle Kingdom that is China

Photo by Chaoyang "Tony" Zhu, at the Nanjing Presidential Palace, where Dr Sun Yat Sen lived during the time of the Republic.  
My guide Tony Zhu, eating a hot pot cooked at our place in Nanjing.  A very welcoming host, I will always remember and honor, introducing me to modern day China.  Xie xie ni, pengyou Chaoyang "Tony" 
Tony supported my using the bullet train from Nanjing to Beijing from the southern capital to the northern capital. 

 
Photo with another tall guy at the colorfully restored Tian Tian, Temple of Heaven in Beijing.  Featured on one of my favorite postage stamps I collected as a kid.

 Chinese Republic Stamps I collected in the 1950's and 60's, that still fascinate me, in historical perspective.
 
Part of the history exhibit at the Temple of Heaven. 
Leo Lum at the Polo event featuring Mongolian Horsemen, and four nations, China the UK, Argentina and New Zealand near Yanqing, north of Beijing. 
While staying with my friend Greg, who worked for the Chinese Medicine Publishing house in Beijing, he coached me on how to use the taxi's dadi, in the city. He wrote down the address of a restaurant in NE Beijing where I was to meet my Carleton College Class of 1969, Classmate Leo Lum, who had invited me to travel with him and his friends north of the great wall for the weekend. 
 For more photos and details please check out http://prairielakesjourneystwospirit.blogspot.com/2013/01/minnesota-to-yanqing-china-and-valley.html Here are some flowers, in the Valley of Flowers with the deep blue sky, that is not polluted where our group stopped. 
Catherine and Leo Lum, walking up a structure to look over the valley. They have a vision of creating a retirement village here. 
Here is where we stopped in a village of have a very satisfying traditional country meal. 
View of the Great Wall, where I joined in a celebration dinner after the polo match. 
While on the train back from Yanqing with Liu Jianqiang and his son, Legend, I asked them about places that would recommend as I did not have a complete itinerary.  Jianquiang graciously contacted his travel agent on his cell, and booked a flight from Beijing to Xi'an, where I stayed for 3 days, and then to Kunming and up to Shangri la in the foothills of the Himalaya Mts.
 Xinping is a man I met on line, who was working at a bank, and suggested places to visit.  I choose this restaurant that he fresh fish from Northern China....Here he his smiling at the meal.

While we ordered our food, a tour guide, Daphne from the Netherlands happened in and the staff invited them to talk with me, as I speak German and English, and she did as well.  Fun to be open and spontaneous here in this Xi'an Cafe near the south part of the Old Wall, inside. 
 The ticket I purchased to get onto the old city wall. I then rented a bike (not really for me size) and rode the 45 minute ride on the wall early in the morning before I took the bus to the airport down to Kunming.
 One of the views from the wall overlooking Xi'an City while I rode a rental bike early in the morning.
 And I sign that helped me duck as I walked to the Bell tower from the Drum tower. 
Market place near the old Mosque said to be the beginning place in China for the Silk Road. 



I took a taxi out to the site of the Excavation of the Terra Cotta Soldiers and then the bus back to town.  Xinping wrote down a list in Chinese, so each taxi driver would know my next stop!  


 This is the temple I noticed when walking the stone paths in this small town, once called Zhongdian, later the tourist name of Shangrila. :-)  (over 9000 ft elevation...
 Leaving Kunming for Hong Kong on Dragon Airways, my last flight in China.
My friend Greg in Beijing lined me up to meet Xiujuan, an engineer who was living near the airport in Kunming. She brought in some of her homemade dumplings (, jiǎo zi )
to share at the airport.  She later moved to the Twin Cities to marry a man named Woody. She came over to my apartment and taught me Mah Jong!