Thursday, November 2, 2017

I am an orphan at 62

Linda 1946-2017
It's been awhile since I've written. Last December, right before Christmas, my last remaining sibling was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer that had metastasized. As she was unmarried and her daughters lived out-of-state, I gladly stepped up to take her to her doctor appointments, helped her discuss end-of-life decisions, etc. At the beginning of August, she had an adverse effect from her chemo treatment, ended up in the hospital and was sent to a care facility for "rehab." The pain was so severe at this time that she was unable to participate in her rehab treatment and we had to move her to a different care center. I was able to get her on hospice care, and she sadly passed away on September 14, 2017.

Dennis 1948 - 2004
Since her passing, I've missed the sisters celebrating our birthdays in September and October, a tradition we started when we lost our brother at the age of 56. So now I'm 63 and am an orphan, having lost my dad in 1992, brother in 2004, oldest sister in 2013, mother in 2014, and Linda in September 2017.

Sandra 1943-2013
Gladys 1927-2014
I hate it. There is no one to call to gossip with or share news stories with. There is no one to call to ask, do you remember? No one to answer family questions. There is no one to call to commiserate with when I feel like life is not fair. There is nothing crueler in life than having no birth family left. I almost feel like there is no need to have a telephone anymore as my sisters and my mother were the ones I called all the time.

And to think that other families let small things get in the way of their relationships and do not talk with one another or go out of their way to avoid being together. Do these people realize what they are missing? You can't take back the years you did not speak.

So if you have a parent or sibling you haven't spoken with, do me a favor and call them up. Tell them you love them and miss them terribly and you are sorry that you let anything get in the middle of your relationship. Will you do this?

As my brother ended all emails and correspondence,

Friends and family forever.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I would describe each of my brothers, sisters, or cousins when we were young this way:

How do I describe my brother and sisters "when we were young" when they were 11, 8, and 6 1/2 years older than me? We weren't young together. When I was five, my siblings were 12, 13, and 16 and were teenagers.

Although my brother and I shared a bedroom until I was about eight, all I can remember about this bedroom was bunk beds (I had the bottom) and a crib in the bedroom because we frequently had my cousin's son staying/living with us. I believe it was hard for my brother in a household of sisters and the only boy. He turned to his friends and scouting and never seemed to be at home. He was outgoing and friendly.

Sandy, my oldest sister, was a hard worker, working at candy stores, either downtown or out at Merle Hay Mall. People flocked to her (and my younger sister) and the evenings would be spent outside in the summer with several young men visiting them. When I was eight she gave birth to my nephew. Although married, the marriage was already on the rocks and she was living at our house with her son. After graduation from high school in 1962, she went to work for Higgins Ford and frequently came home with a new car she had bought. Saturdays would be spent shopping with Sandy, my mom, and her son, cruising around in whatever vehicle she may have owned at the time. If it was summer, the car most likely was a convertible.

Linda graduated early from high school in January of 1964 and went to work at a local insurance company and then married in July of 1964 and moved out. Her and Sandy hung out a lot, scooping the loop, etc.

My closest cousin, Candy, was just one year and one week older than me. We were very close, staying at each other's house. I loved staying at her house, with all the trees for climbing, and the explorations we did. Candy had a sister about 10 years older, a brother about five years older, and a sister about five years younger. We also had other older cousins, the ages of our older siblings. Out mothers (sisters) both sewed and on a couple of occasions, made us matching dresses for Christmas.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ralph Earl Loghry

Sometimes you need to pull up your big girl panties and realize that not all relatives are created equal. Thus, is the case of my great uncle, Ralph Earl Loghry. I've never met him, so can't personally attest to whether or not he possessed a very strong mind. All I know is he threw his young, pregnant wife off a bridge, the judge refused to grant the couple a divorce, and ordered that their daughter be raised by her grandmother and granted two hours of visitation per month. You be the judge. 

Ralph Earl Loghry, born 22 February 1888, was the son of Nancy Jane Rummans and George Eldredge Loghry. He married Anna Rebecca Smith on 19 July 1909 in Clarinda, Page County, Iowa. On 10 September 1909, shortly after the marriage, the Shenandoah Sentinel Post had the following story on page one:

Earl Loghry enticed his young wife to take a walk with him down the K & W railroad track last night, telling her that he had secured a place for him and her to work and that he wanted to go to it that night. When they got about to the center of a large trestle he threw her off into the stream thirty feel below and then made his way back to Clarinda. As luck would have it she was not hurt and after she had recovered from the shock she scrambled out of the mud and water and made her way back to Clarinda through the dark. This took place between nine and ten o’clock.

A warrant was instantly sworn out and the scoundrel was arrested forthwith by Constable Mosely and O.P. Rosencrans, city marshal, and was bound over to await the action of the October grand jury on the charge of attempting to murder his wife, Rebecca Loghry. They had been married about three weeks and each is about twenty-five years old. Since their marriage they have been living most of the time with his father at Hepburn. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Smith of near Hawleyville.

Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Loghry are possessed of very strong minds. It will probably go hard with this would-be-murderer as it should be. It is currently reported that he has been mean to his wife ever since they were married making her work out to earn her own living and to keep him.

Thirteen months later, on October 20, 1910, the Shenandoah Sentinel Post reports on the petition for divorce in the case of R.E. Loghry and Anna R. Loghry:

The cause of R. E. Loghry against Anna R. Loghry in which plaintiff was asking for a divorce and defendant entered a general denial and also a cross-petition alleging cruel and inhuman treatment and among other things that plaintiff threw her off a bridge and tried to drown her in the Nodaway river last fall, was set for trial for last Wednesday morning, but when Judge Wheeler learned that the parties were the same who appeared before him last fall in the case of the state against R. E. Loghry for the alleged attempted drowning, he refused to hear it, saying he would not grant a decree to the parties and preferred not to hear it. A little girl was born to Mrs. Loghry several months ago and has been in the home of Mr. Loghry’s parents near Helpburn for some time. The court made an order that the paternal grandmother should have the custody of the child for the present and that the parents might visit the child once each month for two hours.

This child, Margaret Nancy Loghry, appears in the grandparents’ home on the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. What became of her is unknown. It is apparent that this couple was not meant to be together, making me question why the judge refused to grant them a divorce. Ralph passed away on 9 December 1972 in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska. Anna passed away in 1968 in Clarinda, Page County, Iowa.

Ralph Earl Loghry and Anna Rebecca Smith had the following children:
         i.            i.  Margaret Nancy Loghry, born 22 April 1910 in Hepburn, Page County, Iowa.

Ralph Earl Loghry next married Luella Martha Bowen between 1910 and 1915 and they had the following children:
    i.    Edward Earl Loghry, born 4 March 1916.
       ii.            ii.   Wilma Mae Loghry, born 16 January 1919.
     iii.            iii.  Maxine Lucille Loghry, born 19 September 1922.
     iv.            iv.   Keneda Katherine Loghry, born 22 April 1924

Ralph Earl Loghry married Stella Mae Schmidt on 24 May 1934 in Papillion, Sarpy County, Nebraska.

[1] U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005. Iowa, Montgomery County, Roll 1643221.
[2] Iowa, Marriage Records, 1880-1937 [on-line images]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.
[3] The Clarinda Herald: Miscellaneous, Location: Clarinda, Iowa (July 22, 1909), The following marriage licenses have been granted since our last issue: … Ralph Loghry 21, Rebecca Anna Smith 18.
[4] Shenandoah Sentinel-Post: Mrs. Rebecca Loghry Thrown in River by Hubby, Location: Shenandoah, Iowa, Page 1 (September 10, 1909).
[5] Shenandoah Sentinel Post: At the Court House: Shenandoah, Iowa (October 20, 1910).
[6] 1920 U.S. census, Page County, Iowa, population schedule, Valley Township, enumeration district (ED) 118, sheet 7A, p. 1851, dwelling 143, family 143, George A. Loghry household; digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 18 Sep 2016).

Pets we had or access to while growing up

Dogs are not our whole life,

but they make our lives whole.
~Roger Caras

How many adults and pets do you think could live in a 620-square foot, two-bedroom house? In the case of my family that would be two parents, four siblings, and a multitude of family and pets. But this story is about the pets. The first pet I can truly remember was a cat named Pursy or Percy. I can remember this cat bringing a mouse in from outdoors and placing in one of my sisters’ purses. It was an orange tabby cat and unfortunately met her demise on a summer evening about 1959 when struck by a car crossing the street. There were other cats and kittens that followed, but none of them I can remember their names.
Pet Cat circa 1966
We probably also had dogs when I was younger, but the first dog I can remember was a beagle, named Little Joe after Michael Landon’s character on the hit TV show Bonanza. I was about eight but I don’t think we had him very long. My sister and her husband got Little Joe's brother at the same time and named him Hoss--also from Bonanza. Now having beagles, I kind of understand. I also had a collie named Honey (Honey-Bun) and a cocker named Buffy. I don’t remember in which order we had them. The collie was our only outdoor dog and I remember taking her on long walks when I was around 12. I believe my parents then thought it was best if she lived on a farm and then she was gone. At the same time, we had the collie, we apparently had a pug-mixture dog, which I didn't remember at all until I found the following pictures and on the back, it states, "July Honey-bun (Collie) Susie (ugly). 
July Honey-bun and Susie

There was also another dog named Pokie. Don't remember too much about him. Sadly, animals didn’t stay at our house very long. I don’t know why this was and there is no one to ask now, but I believe my mom got tired of them and wanted something new. I couldn’t imagine getting a pet and only keeping it a few years and then getting rid of it only to get another one.
July 1968--Buffy on my dad's back
Cousin Terri with Buffy (in chair on top of dog house)
Buffy the cocker spaniel was cream colored and could escape the fence and follow me around the neighborhood.
Debbie and her dog
There was also a mixed-breed dog that belonged to my nephew, but I can’t remember his name, only that he was black and white.
Jeff's Dog
My mom then got herself a white toy poodle after getting rid of Honey, which she named Chrissy. This was to go with an all-white cat we had. 
Parents sleeping with White Cat and Chrissy, white toy poodle

Myself with Chrissy on my lap while reading

She would later obtain a tiny male white poodle too. A short time later, shortly before my 14th birthday in 1968, my parents picked me up from an after-school activity and said we were going for a ride. We drove down to Indianola and went east on Highway 92 to a trailer and I was given a black toy poodle, which I named Bubbles. (Bubbles came about because my dad won a World Series pool and the money, or a portion of the money, went to buy me the dog. The 7th game of the 1968 World Series was on October 10 where the Detroit Tigers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 at Busch Memorial Stadium.)

She was my confidant and companion, sleeping with me, going for car rides when I got my license, long walks and helping me through my teen years. I don’t know how I would have made it through my teen years without Bubbles. She was the best listener and loved going for walks or drives to get away from the house. Unfortunately, Bubbles was possessive of me and if I ignored her or went out for the evening, I later would usually find some clothing item chewed up. She did not like guys I dated (or married). When I married in 1973, we couldn’t have pets in our apartment so I left her with my parents. I visited her at least once a week, if not more when I went over to do our laundry. Then one day I arrived to find that mom had given her away, without even talking with me.
(not my actual dog but this is what she looked like)

In addition to cats and dogs, we almost always had parakeets. There is a funny story attached to the parakeets and one of the reasons I dubbed my mother a “witch.” I was home sick from school one day and mom was cleaning the living room, where the bird cage sat. She was disgusted with how much mess the bird could make and said to it, “I wish you would die.” Then she moved the cage to the back bedroom (mine), shut the door, and proceeded to clean the living room. I later went into the bedroom to lie down, and there was the bird lying on the floor of his cage dead.