Thursday, December 25, 2014

Patti Page (1927-2013): A Tribute

by Tim Akers son of Richard "Dick" Leon And Sally Kay (Fowler) Akers. 
Used by permission.

There were 11 Fowler children born to Benjamin and Maggie between 1910 and Christmas Day, 1929. On album liner notes and print interviews -- the children were just a number; here, they are Hazel, Daniel Benjamin, Trudie Jane, Sarah Louise, Mack Bolin, Charles Edward (Ed), Rema Ruth, Ruby Nell, Virginia Bell, Clara Ann, and Margaret Ellen (Peggy). Why mention them? That’s simple: Christmas is about family!

Their father worked on the Midland Valley Railroad in Eastern Oklahoma and supported all 13 of them on less than $50 a month; their mother picked cotton to augment that income. Over the years, a highlight of every family get-together became a happy time of reminiscing as each Fowler sibling related knee-slapping, laugh-until-you-cry stories – and how they tried to hide everything from their strict mother, Maggie. The Fowler family was rich beyond words when it came to their memories. They all had beautiful singing voices but there was one musical storyteller in the group who could interpret a story in song, who set the world on fire with hit after hit from 1948 until her last charted single in 1980. Through her final interview in December 2012, that storyteller reiterated that she wanted to be a commercial artist; she never wanted to be a singer. But “It just worked out that way. I guess God had other plans for me,” exclaimed Clara Ann Fowler, a.k.a. Patti Page.

The world lost one of its greatest ladies of song when Patti Page passed away on January 1, 2013. She left us a storehouse of recordings to cherish.

From our extended Fowler family to yours, here’s a heartfelt wish --
in every Christmas season –
you love, cherish, and enjoy your family and friends.

More to Read:
1. This is My Song: A Memoir. By Patti Page. 
2. The Liner Notes from the tribute 2013 CD recording of “Christmas with Patti Page.”
3. Patti Page Relatives Preserve Her Life: Tim Akers and Dena Roeder
5. Baltimore Radio's Tribute to Patti Page
6. Wikipedia -- Patti Page
7. Travel Oklahoma's Tribute Page to Patti.
8. Oklahoma's Music Hall of Fame -- 1997 Inductee
9 Obituary 1
10. Obituary 2
11. Obituary 3
12. Obituary 4
13. Findagrave #103010674

In the News!
1. Oklahoma State Historical Society (insert "Patti Page" into their search engine for current exhibit info)
2. OKPOP Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (ditto for current exhibit info)
3.  Brandy McDonnell's Blog

Here's a sampling of some of Patti's songs:
(click on lower right hand corner of Youtube videos to enlarge screen)

Christmas Song

Happy Birthday, Jesus!


Sunday, October 19, 2014


Road map? Check. Cemetery map? Check. Good shoes for walking? Check. Bug spray? Check. Pair of scissors or hand trimmer? Check. Spray bottle full of water? Check. Small nylon bristle brush? Check. D/2 gravestone cleaner spray bottle? Check. Pair of scissors or hand trimmers. Check.  List of tombstones I want to take photos of? Check. Spiral notebook, clipboard, and several pens for additional notes? Check. Camera? Check.  Messenger bag to carry everything in to the cemetery? Check. Camp or lawn chair?  Check.
~~ <> @ <> ~~

This afternoon we decided to visit several small cemeteries within a five mile radius of the area of south Kansas City, MO. where I grew up.  

We took a photo of the front gate of each cemetery, so we would know which cemetery we were at on our camera roll. 

Blue Ridge Cemetery, Grandview, MO

Blue Ridge Cemetery, Grandview, MO.

New Santa Fe Cemetery, Kansas City, MO.

Mt. Pleasant--King Cemetery, Kansas City, MO.

Martin City -- Klapmeyer Cemetery, Kansas City, MO.
It was a beautiful day for walking and our dog, Lily, enjoyed it too! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Butterfield Overland Mail Company

Click on photos to enlarge.

To keep up with the pace of territorial expansion of the United States and to establish mail routes through it, in March 1857, an Act of Congress authorized the Postmaster General to hire a company to convey letter mail from a point on the Mississippi River to San Francisco, California for six years. So on the morning of September 16, 1858, the first overland mail from St. Louis, Missouri to San Francisco, California, under contract with John Butterfield's Overland Mail Company, began its first westward trip of approximately 2,651 miles. 

Mr. Butterfield (1801-69) persuaded the Postmaster General that the most practical route from St. Louis would be west to Jefferson City, then southward through Springfield to Arkansas where it would merge with a wagon coming from Memphis, Tennessee. On the first leg of the trip, Mr. Butterfield personally accompanied two leather mail pouches from the post office to the train, leaving St. Louis at 8 o'clock in the morning, traveling all the way to Tipton, Mo, arriving at 6:00 pm. Waiting for his father at Tipton, young John Butterfield rushed down the old Boonville Road, arriving at the station on the northeast corner of the square in Springfield four hours ahead of schedule around 3:15 pm on Friday, September 17, 1858. Beginning again at 4:00 pm, dashing along the Wire Road, the mail wagon arrived in San Francisco 24 days later.

Each relay station was ten to twenty miles apart along the route and teams were harnessed and waiting in advance of the wagon's arrival to save time. Jumping off, the driver's grabbed a bite to eat, transferred the mail bags and drove off down the line. Stations in Missouri were: near Tipton (1858), Syracuse (1859-1861), Florence, Cole Camp, Warsaw, Fairfield, Quincy, Elkton, Bolivar, Brighton, Springfield, Cassville, and Seligman.

This is the Butterfield Stage Road Sign near Olean, Missouri. 

More to Read:
1. Butterfield Overland Mail. by Waterman L. Ormsby, special correspondant for the New York Herald. Huntington Library Press, 1850; reprinted 2007.
2. The Butterfield Overland Mail markers along the route. 
3. "Butterfield Overland Mail Co.." By F. P. Rose. The Battle of Pea Ridge 1862. Pea Ridge National Military Park, P. 31-37. Repository:
Midwest Genealogy Center, Mid-Continent Library, Independence, MO
4. Wilson's Creek, Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove: A Battlefield Guide with a Section on Wire Road. By Earl J. Hess, Richard W. Hatcher III, William Garrett Piston, and William L. Shea. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, Neb., 2006. Pp. 229.
6. The Driver's Guide to the Butterfield Overland Mail Route: Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. By Kirby Sanders. Heritage Trail Partners, 2008. Vol. 1.
8. One of the drivers for the stagecoach line -- James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok
9. Historic American Roads: From Frontier Trails to Superhighways. By Albert C. Rose. Crown Pub, NY; 1976. pp. 55, 58, 61, 66 (includes a map of the route used)
10. #137. Gordon's Ferry on the Kern River. California.

Places to Visit:
1. Jefferson Landing Museum, Jefferson City, MO.
2. Markers along the route -- See Historical Marker Database
3. Morgan County Historical Society Museum, Versailles, MO.
4. Wire Road near the Battle of Wilson's Creek National Park, Republic, MO.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Weekend Ramblers

One habit that remains with us is the learning lifestyle from our former homeschooling days. Long extended vacations remain out of reach of our pocketbook, so we watch armchair travelogues on our three channels of the local PBS TV station KCPT of faraway places and take weekender holidays to explore our home states of Missouri and Kansas.
Kansas City's Passport to Adventure

Locally, there is a Passport program called "Kansas City’s Passport to Adventure" we have participated in several years in a row (fully completed one year), the Missouri state parks had a passport patches program we almost completed, and the Missouri Conservation Department had a Lewis and Clark Passport Pin Program we completed two years running. My husband would like to do a Orienteering geo-cache program next.
Missouri State Parks Passport Program

We pack in as much as we can in one weekend, visiting historical sites and cemeteries for family research as well as hitting thrift stores along the way. I take a journey bag with me which includes a travel diary (spiral notebook) and pen to record when and where, a camera, state and county maps, passport program booklets, scissors to trim the grass around flat gravestones and a large paintbrush to brush it off. Also included are mosquito and tick spray, bottles of water, our laptop, and change for photocopies if we happen to stop in a library or historical/genealogical society to do a little research. It is fortunate for us that most of my husband's family resided in central Missouri and some have only recently began to emigrate to the larger cities of Missouri.
2005 MO Conservation Louis & Clark Passport Program

If we are planning a weekend jaunt, we usually make a trip up to the Missouri Tourist Welcome Center off of I-70 highway (Exit 9, 4010 Blue Ridge Cut-off) above the Kansas City Ball Stadiums for FREE tourist brochures along our route and to pick up a new Missouri Vacation Guide. There are a couple of little free advert-papers like "Discover Mid-America" that cater to shopping locations that we also take. Recently while attending an Order No. 11 Memorial Marker Dedication at the Butler, Mo courthouse lawn (3-22-2014), we learned of a new tour guide by Diane Eickhoff and Aaron Barnhart called "The Big Divide." It features historic and Civil War sites in the Missouri-Kansas Border Region. We found a hard copy that we ordered through our local library, but there is an e-reader version if you wish to take it on the road with you available through their website.

2006 MO Conservation Louis & Clark Passport Program

And speaking of weekend jaunts, the annual Rush Reunion is coming up the second weekend of July. We still snail-mail out reminder sheets every year to the event. If you aren't on the list and would like to be, please leave a message in the comments below. I have comment moderation set up on this blog so unless I have your permission to do so, I will not publish your home or email address under this article.
[Postscript: I found this article on cleaning gravestones along with a list of supplies needed here. ]

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Presidential Greetings

Greetings from the President are available for a birthday if your loved one is 80 years or older or for a couple celebrating their 50th (or higher) anniversary. My aunt ordered one for my grandparent's 50th anniversary celebration, had it nicely framed and displayed with their photo album and other marriage memorabilia.

If you wish to do this for a birthday or an anniversary, you must send in your request at least one month in advance. Please type your request or print out the name and address legibly, so it gets to the right person (s), correctly spelled. Send your request by snail mail to: The White House Greetings Office, Room 39, Washington, D.C., 20502-0039.