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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

7:09 pm pst

6:41 pm pst

2:13 pm pst

Most of the genealogy information i have was GIVEN to me by others.

Genealogy is the most sharing kind of thing there is.

I had wonderful HUBLER cousins, now departed, who gave me so many memorabilia,and my great grandfather Simon and grandfather Harry Clark HUBLER who gave me even more.
My GIBSON grandmother, dear sweet lovely VENA ZELIA GIBSON,
gave me absolutely ZILCH, zero, nada, nothing when it came to genealogy, not even her own birth date!!! And SHE is the one who knew my HOCH, SWIGERT, SAXTON, BEECHER, GREENWOOD and GIBSON ancestors!

BUT my grandmother, in her wisdom, devoted her life to reading and underlining (in turquoise ink) passages in the King James version of the bible, her cocker spaniel on her lap, in the little south bedroom on the second floor --the one with the treadle sewing machine-- that overlooked the garden.

Constant study rendered Granny more than able to pronounce judgment on her daughters (my mother, and "aunt" Louise, who was actually her niece) and her mother in law, whose crime was loving (her son) too much.

My "aunt" Louise, near the end of her life, told me she could hear Vena's words ringing in her ears, "you wicked, wicked girl!!!"

So, there you have it. My granny did not help me with my genealogy, but BUT i got her love.

She was quite fond of me, and I of her.

She framed and displayed my watercolor of a collie, copied from the back of a playing card. (We were not allowed to have cards at my grandparents' home, but this was a "trading" card such as we girls had bunches of, secured with rubber bands, back at my grammar school.) If you look at the photo of her Christmas tree down below, you will see a watercolor of two dogs on top of the bookcase, another one of my childhood efforts at art that she and grandpa so proudly displayed.

Granny pinned butterflies on the lampshade next to the brown mohair sofa. She never killed them, but saved their little bodies after a natural expiration, pinning them to the shade. Of course, now I realize most were moths, and Mother found the source of the moths when she and my sister vacuumed Granny's living room and saw holes in the carpet under the furniture.

Granny was passionate by nature. Quick to judge, and quick to praise. My sister remembers her throwing a glass of iced tea when annoyed, but I remember how her smile warmed everyone in the room.

She took naps after every meal, and did not wash dishes until needed, (they waited patiently in the porcelain sink.) She showed me how toast tasted yummy with tomato jam. We knew the toast was done in the flap jack style toaster when black smoke came out the top, and she showed me how to scrape the black part off with a knife.

My other grandma Sandmeyer did so many things well -- she quilted, she sewed most of our clothes and cleaned house and cooked -- but it is Granny Hubler seems closest to my heart, because she was opinionated and because she lived life leisurely.

She smelled of cold cream and wore metal curlers, just a few, around the edges of her hair every night.

She had trim ankles and appreciated all things living-- dogs and moths and butterflies and vegetables from the garden. My patient wonderful grandpa Harry HUBLER was mad about her, despite the capricious disposition
that allowed her son to move her to California in her 80th year, leaving grandpa in a nursing home in New Jersey.

Here are 3 paintings I made in memory of Vena Z Gibson, whom I knew as Granny Hubler.

Here she is singing loudly in the Clarks Summit Presbyterian Church, which made me hide my head in the hymnal. She had majored in music at Irving Seminary in Mechanicsburg Pa, and on the way home she confided in me that if she had to do her life all over again she would have become a choir singer.

The next painting shows her waking from a nap on the living room sofa when I asked about the butterflies on the lampshade, not yet painted in.

Last, I painted Granny in the back yard at 407 Powell Ave., Clarks Summit Pa, about 1948. Only the cocker spaniel on her lap seems to have changed into a dachshund.
1:57 pm pst

Sunday, December 3, 2006

christmas memories
This is a painting in progress of my memory of Christmas when I was about 5 or 6 years old, in the early 1940's.

I am the little kid with the smile on my face, holding a doll. My mother would take my sister and me into NYC to shop where she had charge accounts, at Gimbels or Wanamakers or Altmans.

My father did not give her cash, but paid for charge accounts, so we charged meat and groceries at the local markets and had soap and toilet paper delivered from B. Altman and Company.

My mother and sister would leave me in the toy department where I was told to select my own gift, up to the value of $10. I selected a blonde doll named Christine one year, and the dark haired, dark eyed Gwendolyn the next. Each doll had a cloth stuffed body with composition head, lower arms and lower legs. Here eyes opened and closed.

The package would come wrapped in plain brown paper, and Mother left it on the dining room table, not to be opened until Christmas morning. I would tip the box back and forth to hear the sound of "Mama" inside. Once I poked a tiny hole in the box, but could see nothing because it was all dark inside. (Now I know i should have poked two holes; one for light to come in.)

My sister's favorite present was always something for sports, like a bike or roller skates. That's why she has a bike in this painting.

My father had a double life, or at least another home and loved ones in New York City, so he came to leonia only a few times a year, despite being a councilman. He came home late Christmas Eve, but told us he was waiting until the trees were FREE in Wood Park. That's when we would get ours, and trim it, with great excitement. Dad would leave in the morning, just after receiving his 5˘ handkerchief or 10˘ bottle of shaving lotion from me, and after giving my mother a modest present, such as the time he gave her a ball point pen. It was green with a small gold band and he explained that it was something very special, one of the first of that kind to be manufactured.
This painting shows mother looking all depressed when he left, despite having my gift of plastic clip on earrings on the side table next to her. Our white bull terrier Betsy has her head in mother's lap, but some things can't be comforted right away.

My dad was such a mystery to us. My mother blamed herself for his absence but after the Jim Mcgreevy thing i got to thinking maybe my dad was like that. He certainly had a double life and I know it involved other women, but it might have also involved men or something else.

Whatever it was, I sense that he carried a burden of covering up something that made him ashamed. Being the son of a minister and very proper parents count not have helped.

Appearance mattered above all things, to him. He constantly told us kids the importance of keeping secrets, which in my case, made me do quite the opposite.

Of course i loved him, but it was, I think, fortunate in the long run that my sister and I were raised by our mother, here in Leonia, with a father who was not much more than a paycheck and an infrequent visitor.

5:18 am pst

2007.02.01 | 2006.12.01 | 2006.11.01

1866 deed Hannah Lateer guardian for Nathan Sturdevant orphans Sells their Falls Pa 2 acres for $600

Page one, Minor Children of Nathan Sturdevant are Vanderburg J. and Juna E. Sturdevant ages 11 & 9

Hannah Lateer with husband Isaac Lateer sell Sturdevant's 2 acres in Falls Twp Wyoming Co Pa

Fuller Sickler (as highest bidder) buys the property for $600

Signatures of Isaac and Hannah Lateer are spelled LATTEER but text is different, as is census record

Sept 13 1865 Francis Hough, Justice of the Peace, finalizes the deed to Sickler


june 1958 I am standing at main gate of vassar college, clutching my diploma, looking "studious."

Here i am standing in front of a "fancy" car on graduation day. It doesn't belong to anybody I know.


I took this photo when I was 12 years old.

Granny in the Garden 24x36" oil on canvas ©MarciaSWilson2006

This painting evolved from abstract splotches of color but Granny must have been on my mind while I was painting. Her hair is brown, not white, and her cocker spaniel has turned into a dachshund, but the peaceful feeling is still there.


Vena's Grandmother, Katharine Swigert, is 61 years old in this photo and Granny is about 3. Granny named my mother after her. The girl standing behind the wall, Henrietta Baker, is listed as "servant girl" on the 1880 census for North Middleton Pa. She must have helped out at the tavern on Waggoners Gap Road, The Fairview Inn, which was owned by my gg grandfather, Jonathan Cashman Beecher.

Memory of Granny in Church, 16x20" oil on canvas ©MarciaSWilson2006

Granny sometimes attended the Presbyterian Church in Clarks Summit Pa; Grandpa went to the Methodist one. Granny sang "Rock of Ages" while I hid my face in the hymnal. On the way home Granny said that if she had to do it over again she would have become a choir singer. She had been a music major at Irving Seminary, Mechanicsburg Pa, class of 1899.

Afternoon Nap 16x20" oil on canvas ©MarciaSWilson2006

Granny and Grandpa took naps after meals, Granny in the living room, Grandpa in the dining room. The living room lampshade had butterflies pinned all over it (not shown in this painting) and Granny explained that she put them there because they looked so beautiful with the light shining thru their wings. Mother found out where they came from when she vacuumed and saw that moths had eaten away the carpet underneath the furniture.

Grandpa's last Christmas tree, photo by Marcia Sandmeyer 1951 Clarks Summit Pa.

Memory of Christmas Without Dad, oil on canvas 18x24" ©MarciaSWilson2006

Pen & Ink Drawing of Christmas Without Dad ©MarciaSWilson1991

Easter 1943 Mom had scolded us for not wearing our hats but Dad said never mind.

Portrait of an English Setter 9x12" oil on canvas just sketched in

Portrait of an English Setter 9x12" oil on canvas ©MarciaSWilson2006

Marcia Wilson booth, AVAM Marketplace November 25, 2006 Baltimore

Pit Bull as Princess, 11x14" oil on canvas ©MarciaSWilson2006

Self Portrait as my Inner Child 18x24" oil on canvas ©MarciaSWilson2006

Self Portrait in Tub With Dog 24x36" oil on canvas ©MarciaSWilson2006


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