Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Glessner - Weaver tradition of Natural History, Art and Music across generations

This writing is triggered by a dream, a vision of how to pass on this blanket in a good way, to a relative now moving to the east. This Chamiyo Blanket was given to Peg Weaver at Oberlin College, sent by her parents likely purchased as they rode the Santa Fe Railroad to visit Glessner -Chappelear relatives in Los Angeles, and stopped in New Mexico where there were Train Stations along the way.
From Peg Weaver's memoir (1993) 
--> ‘On a trip to California my parents sent me a beautiful turquoise and orange Chimayo from Arizona." Peg attended Oberlin from 1928-1932.
  Later Inez Chase and Harry Chappelear Glessner would winter in Phoenix AR, in a building called the Westward HO. The hotel officially opened its doors on December 15, 1928. They took the trains during the era when trains were still "the way to travel"

New Beginnings, looking to the East, the direction of the rising sun, and of the state of Ohio, the birthplace of Peg Glessner in 1910... Also noticing the sound in Japanese of the word of Morning....I don't speak the language and recently my nephew, Thoska in the D-Lakota tradition, Aaron Charles "Charlie" Engler married Saki, a woman from Fukashima Prefecture in Japan.  I hope to travel to Hawai'i in June to celebrate and try a bit of my Nipponese that I learned prior to visiting Japan in 2011 for 9 days. おはよう Ohayō  - Ohayou gozaimasu (おはようございます)
I was inspired by Charlie's learning of the language, and that helped me navigate the Tokyo subways! 

Margaret Mary "Peg" Glessner, Obelin College Grad of 1932

Peg Glessner, upper left with her Grey Gables friends in the 1932 hi-O-HI, Jean Joiner, Jane Randle, Tasha Stone, Annie Laurie MacIntyre.    P75 - 1932Hi-O-HI 

"Religion in Art" talk in Findlay Ohio at the Presbyterian Church her parents attended announced in the local paper, Hancock Courier after her graduation, and before she married Paul Henry Weaver, from West Carrollton OH at the same church in Sept 1935. 

 Recently I passed on the 1932 Oberlin Year Book
 1929 Post Card from the Santa Fe RR trip from Harry C Glessner.(Albuquerque is a place where a large train station was for the Santa Fe, where many Native Arts were sold...I imagine one of the train stations is where Harry and Inez purchase the blue and orange blanket to send to their beloved only child, Miss Margaret Glessner, to honor her on her journey to become educated and self sufficient in a good way.
 Similar card on the way west on the Railroad. Card from MGW collection

Colored post card from the era sent to Peg Glessner 

 Art from 1932 Oberlin Yearbook, Honoring the guy Oberlin, for whom the college is named.
 One of the "beaus" that Peg Glessner met at Oberlin
 Glee Club Travels - Here are Peg's recollections written her memoir published in 1993 at age 83

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. In addition to the choral numbers, we presented musical skits. One year I
of taffeta or satin for our appearances. At the end of the year the Women's and Men's Glee Clubs celebrated with a formal dance. 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.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Sharing images from Central MN + the archives of all religions - Central Minnesota, and getting centered, connections with St John's Library and Muslim Writing in Timbuktu

It is Christmas time here in Minnesota. and I like to catch up on my reading in between snacks and writing my blog.

Reviewing some of the old images, when I was still in recovery, and the dress for success movement was "in"  Being playful in nature, the profession of medicine often required a uniform for acceptance. I wore a stethoscope around my neck, with a little koala, always having to deal with others projections AND want not to appear threatening as a tall man,  I worked mollify, soften the image impact.  Still the tie as a Noose Around my Neck-----and working to be acceptable.  One of the symptoms of co dependence, impression management.  Funny to look back now from the 21st Century..

In 1986-7- As I was in recovery, having a better acceptance of my self as a two spirited man, Tom N took this photo of me in a sun hat on the Minnesota Prairie - He was a librarian at St Johns University outside of St Cloud back in those days.
 Tom N, reading a book to Jesse born in April 1985, I sense this is in 1987 in the St Cloud home Susan and I raised our sons in.
Tom N during an intensive weekend near Palmer Lake Colorado facilitated by Anne Wilson Schaef and others in the Living in Process Community likely in 1986 . We went out with some of the dogs to climb hills. I think one of Anne's dogs was named something like Bubber...and not sure.

 I have always enjoyed plants and bird watching and i remember driving west to a Minnesota Prairie Preserve with 1987 here I am in a summer sun hat, expanding my sartorial selections as I was learning more about being two spirited in a Catholic dominated environment raising my kids in Stearns Co, St Cloud.  I lost track of Tom N who was still working  St John's St Ben's Libraries and his wife was a message therapist at St Cloud Hospital where I was in the family practice staff. Tom is also an alum of Carleton College and I met him and his partner there in the 1990's and recently I met him for a meal in NE Minneapolis where he lives and he updated me on his 2 sons, whom I met so many years ago.

Nate's 5 year birthday party with friends in the St Cloud Home.  Covering his ears to focus on blowing out the candles.... 

Raised in rural Minnesota to be an outdoors man, I hid my wanting to be attractive to other guys behind this large fuzzy beard.  

Making espresso, in the St Cloud Kitchen ca 1981-2 with the Pavoni that Sue and I purchased after our 1980 trip to Italy, being influenced by Italian coffee in places like Firenze, Florence.

Our two sons, Jesse and Nathan around 1986 St Cloud Home

And how I occurred at St Cloud Hospital in the late 1980's, during the time I was the director of the holistic Pain Management Program that included Carol N, Tom N's partner in having his two sons.  

And speaking of the St John's Libraries. 

Here is a timely article I read this week from the Economist p 63 of the Holiday Double Issue

Catholic monks in Minnesota are helping to save a trove of Islamic treasures in Mali

THE secret evacuations began at night. Ancient books were packed in small metal shoe-lockers and loaded three or four to a car to reduce the danger to the driver and minimise possible losses. The manuscript-traffickers passed through the checkpoints of their Islamist occupiers on the journey south across the desert from Timbuktu to Bamako. Later, when that road was blocked, they transported their cargo down the Niger river by canoe.
It formed part of a fabulous selection of Islamic literary treasures that had survived floods, heat and invasion over centuries in Timbuktu. But in April 2012 Tuareg rebels had occupied the city. They were soon displaced by the Islamists with whom they had foolishly allied, a group linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The militants issued edicts to control behaviour, dress and entertainment. Music and football were banned. They destroyed Sufi shrines that had stood for centuries. It was assumed books would be next.
Such fears were not overblown. Islamists had been ruthless with libraries and holy sites in Libya earlier in the year. So in October, the evacuation began. By the time French troops liberated Timbuktu in January 2013 and journalists saw a wing of the city’s grandest new library still smouldering, most of the precious manuscripts had already been spirited away.
The man behind the plan was Abdel Kader Haidara. Born in Timbuktu in 1965, he had grown up surrounded by the treasures: his father, an expert on ancient manuscripts, had inherited a 16th-century Islamic collection and spent his life expanding it. Dr Haidara’s ambitions were even broader. Since 1996 he had run an organisation called SAVAMA (Sauver et Valoriser les Manuscrits). In his office in Bamako, elegantly bound Korans line the bookshelves. Manuscripts lie in stacks, on tables, in corners. He has become their steward.
Dr Haidara, with priceless treasures
Dr Haidara describes Timbuktu as the Sahara’s capital of manuscript study. But the city was just one of several where north African Islamic learning flourished at the same time as the European Renaissance. Books were exchanged as caravans came through Timbuktu and, beginning in the late 16th century, they were copied there, too. Men who cared about learning bought or produced libraries full of books about the grammar, logic and rhetoric of the Koran and its teachings; the positions of stars; remedies and music. One 16th-century collector, Ahmed Baba, left behind such a wealth of notation and bibliography that historians call his period a scholarly zenith
Leo Africanus, a Moorish traveller who visited Timbuktu early in the 16th century, said books from abroad traded at higher prices than fabrics, animals or salt. As it fell again and again over the centuries, families held tight to their collections. The city gained a boost from generous donors after independence from France in 1960, when scholars around the world, supported by agencies such as UNESCO, saw its potential as a centre for pan-African historical research. But in 2012, as the Islamists’ grip tightened, Dr Haidara appealed for donations to help evacuate the treasures.
Turning the page
The evacuation was funded by, among others, the Dutch lottery, the German government and private donors, to the tune of a reported $1m. Some $70,000 more was raised through crowdfunding. The details remained opaque until well after the operation was complete.
The cars travelled through the night on the bumpy roads of central Mali, their drivers sworn to secrecy. As they arrived in Bamako after more than 12 hours of driving, they were greeted by Dr Haidara, who distributed the documents to loyal friends to be stored. The drivers then turned around to make the trip all over again. Each of the hundreds of volunteers took these risks willingly, and often. More than 370,000 manuscripts now sit in safe houses in Bamako—roughly 95% of the total previously held in Timbuktu, Dr Haidara estimates. They are stored in extra rooms in secret apartments, stacked from floor to ceiling in windowless closets. In one room in Bakodjikoroni, a neighbourhood of Bamako, sit 200 of the metre-long metal cases, glittering with hand-painted filigree, each containing tens or even hundreds of books.
As he looked at the saved manuscripts, Dr Haidara saw another opportunity that his father could never have imagined: to preserve their contents in perpetuity. In 2013 he put out a request for help to digitise them. He received an answer from a monastery on the other side of the world.
Somewhere in the frozen north
There can be few places more different from Timbuktu—geographically, culturally or spiritually—than Collegeville, Minnesota. Swept by winds as icy as the Saharan ones are baking, it is encrusted with snow for more than half the year. Towns called St Michael, St Augusta and St Joseph along the 80-mile road north from Minneapolis hint at the region’s deep Christian roots. St John’s Abbey is the last turn-off on the right before St Cloud. When Dr Haidara put out his call for help, it passed via several intermediaries to a member of the abbey’s board, who delivered it to Father Columba Stewart. It had reached the right monk.
In the basement of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) at St John’s, Father Columba flicks on the fluorescent lights. “It’s basically the manuscript culture of Europe in here,” he says, looking at four rows of long metal cabinets containing as many as 100,000 rolls of microfilm. He pulls out the first roll from the first drawer and snaps it into a reader. A white light projects a document on the screen. “This is a Codex,” he says as he rolls through the pages, “Benedictine sermons from the 13th to the 15th century, 880 pages.”

Monday, December 14, 2015

Trip to Americus Georgia Autumn 2011 to research the family and story of William Legget Glessner

Somehow since my adventure of the autumn of 2011, to drive to Georgia to visit the sites of my Glessner ancestors, I posted a page about Edward Glessner who died at the battle of Kinnesaw Mt, in the war of Southern Succession as the folks might still call it in the south.  I knew that two of Lewis Glessner's sons move to Georgia  and published newspapers in the 1800's, and I wanted to have first hand experience visiting the south. Below are photos I took in Nov 2011, when I was led to visit Americus where William Legget moved in 1881 as near as I can tell, from this article  published in Clinton IL:
The DeWittGenWeb Project Online TW   Jan 2007

June 27, 1890
Clinton Public
Clinton, Illinois

Some More Fortunate DeWitt County Men.

The article in THE PUBLIC two weeks ago which told of the good fortune of Merrick DAVIS down in Texas, has been the means of bringing to the surface the fortunate business transactions of two well-known Clintonians. About nine years ago Mr. W. L. GLESSNER, who was then the popular and able editor of the Clinton Register, left this city and went to Americus, Georgia, where he bought a weekly paper. Henry STOREY, who learned his trade under Mr. Glessner, and who also worked for a time in THE PUBLIC office, went to Americus to work for Mr. Glessner, and since then he has become his son-in-law and partner in the business. The Weekly Recorder was changed into a daily, and the firm has prospered. From a small beginning they have built up the business of the Recorder, and only a short time ago they refused $12,000 cash for it. They have now one of the finest printing offices in the State of Georgia, and occupy a building that was built expressly for their business. They have also been dabbling a little in real estate during the past couple of years. Their first venture was buying an acre of land on the edge of Americus, for which they paid $600. Within a month they sold half of it for $1200. Then they bought a block of sixteen lots for which they paid $1200, and have already sold eight of the lots for $2500. Lately they invested $7500 in a piece of land which will sell by September 1st for $30,000. So it will be seen that our old Clintonians have struck the tide of good fortune. From occasional notices that we see [of] Mr. Glessner in the Southern papers, it looks as though he cuts quite a figure in that country. He is the president of several big organizations, one of which is a combination of fifteen counties formed into an improvement company to advertise and develop the resources of Georgia. He also holds a prominent position with a railroad company that pays him a good salary as a "boomer." The many friends of Messrs. Glessner and Storey in this city and county will rejoice to hear of their prosperity.

Submitted by Judy Simpson"

In April of 2015, a distant cousin, Walter Jones, of Atlanta, see email below wrote me.  Had I not been clearing out my email this weekend, and found it, I may well have lost the opportunity to learn more.  Thanks Walter for writing, and chatting yesterday, and that you and your son, Walter Jr, might be heading to Americus on a family quest of sorts.  Fun, how things just "pop up" from the Great Mystery!  And that Walter is a descendent from Eleanor Glessner, whose brother Douglas Glessner, was a life long bachelor who purchased a newspaper in 1889 per the article here

 And that two daughters went south to Georgia as well, Florence and Eleanor Glessner to Griffin and William Legget Glessner, left Clinton IL, after 12 years there, and moved to Americus, likely in 1881, and thus the longest living Glessner to venture south to find his fortune......I found a historian, Alan Anderson, on the Sumter Co Historical Society website and he was a very congenial host, that I thought a had acknowledged by writing on my blog. And, voila' nothing here. So, now is the time for my winter count, the Lakota -Dakota way to share stories over a hot cup of coffee, around the warming fires of autumn and winter.
My destination after talking with Alan Anderson on the phone, was this stately well preserved hotel, the Windsor that I reserved for a couple of nights. Was built in 1892, 11 years after William Legget Glessner came to town and purchased the local newspaper The Recorder, around 1881.,_Georgia%29

The Best Western Plus Windsor Hotel at 125 West Lamar Street in Americus, Georgia was built in 1892 to attract winter visitors from the northeastern United States.

The atrium as viewed from a balcony on the upper floor where I was staying overnight.

My red pony, Dodge Caravan that I drove to Americus in after stopping in to visit the Othman's in Mecon, whom I met in Duluth MN during my internship back in 1974.  Here is the moon over the stately hotel where I hosted Alan Anderson for breakfast .

Sumter County Historian Alan Anderson, met me at the Windsor and guided me to the Glessner Hom at the corner of Glessner and Lee, out to Plains, where I was active in Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign back in the day, and showed me the home where Jimmy was a peanut farmer and his brother of Billy Beer Family had is gas station!  Great memories..
Some framed wall hangings here. The Carters from Plains.
Framed add for Whisky from Tennessee found in the Windsor Hotel.
A primary purpose of my trip was to learn more about William Legget, and found he had a great entrepreneurial spirit, expanding the local newspaper to a weekly in the 1880's and in reading another reference, went on trains to the north to advertise southern products.  Here is his home on the corner of Glessner and Lee in the south part of town. Queen Anne Style it appears. 

Allan Anderson in front of the Glessner House. 
Yours truly, Tom Weaver at the corner of Lee and Glessner by Alan Anderson.
Glessner, E and West, corner with Lee where the Glessner Home is located in Americus.    
The author, Thomas Glessner Weaver, in front of the Wm Legget Glessner home....By Alan Anderson 

 Ripe Pecans. on the large pecan tree in the front yard of the Glessner home, that is included in a local history tour.  No one was home when we knocked on the door .

Next destination out west of town, Plains Georgia of Jimmy Carter fame.   Peanut and cotton fields...

Here is Alan in Plains at the train station that was a campaign headquarters during the 1976 election cycle. Now preserved.
And Billy Carter's famed gas station in plains.  The locals agreed that Billy Beer did not taste very good and that is was a colorful time in rural plains when Billy ran this station. 


In 1972, Billy Carter purchased a gas and service station in Plains. He owned and operated it for most of the decade.[1]
Carter ran for mayor of Plains in 1976, but lost the election. It was his only attempt to win elective office. In 1977, he endorsed Billy Beer introduced by the Falls City Brewing Company, who wished to capitalize upon his colorful image as a beer-drinking Southern good ol' boy that developed in the press when his brother ran for President. Carter's name was occasionally used as a gag answer for a Washington, D.C., trouble-maker on 1970s episodes of Match Game. He was known for his outlandish public behavior; he once urinated on an airport runway in full view of the press and dignitaries.[2]

And in the local cemetery, The marker of Wm L Glessner, Born in Delaware OH Sept 1840, moved from Clinton IL in 1881 and lived here from age 41 to age 86.  45 years as a resident of this town in the deep south.  

While clearing out my iphouse, emails Dec 13, I discovered this

April 10, 2015 email from Atlanta from Walter Jones at
Morris News Service


Just a note to thank you for posting your research about Lewis Glessner that I came across tonight. My mother, Martha Lee Miller Jones, was the daughter of Georgiana White Miller, who was the daughter of Thomas Jackson White and Eleanor Glessner White, all of Griffin, Ga., where Eleanor’s brother Douglas published the Griffin Daily News. Florence Glessner also lived in Griffin.

As a newspaperman myself, I was interested to learn that Douglas wasn’t the only publisher in the family and that his brothers and fathers had been as well. It’s also interesting to know that Douglas and his brother William were publishers in Georgia when their brother Edward was killed there at Kennesaw Mountain during the Civil War. I wonder if they ever felt like Georgians or like missionaries?

Walter Jones
Morris News Service
18 Capitol Square
Atlanta, GA 30334

(404) 783-8509"

I just LOVE the connections I can find on line, and now, I have unearthed the research I did with Alan Anderson of Sumter Co, Americus, where I took some photos in the area of Plains Georgia I visited in November 2011.  I will send Walter the link after I add some more photos from my own genealogical archives.  l.