Runs in the family

The Internet Archive has all four of my dad’s college yearbooks digitized and available for viewing on line. The N.C. State Agromech of 1959, 1960, 1961, and 1962 may not make for the most engrossing reading, but they definitely have the best blackmail photos. And they carry a good reminder that I come by my […]

North Carolina oral history…from my uncle

My uncle got a pretty good distinction yesterday–he has his own page in the Special Collections Library website for UNC-Asheville. The page hosts oral history information from him about the family, and western North Carolina generally, along with photos. The first piece to go up is an interview with Uncle Forrest that my sister conducted […]

Remembering Angelo F. Lucadamo

My father-in-law died late on Wednesday night. He was 90 and lived every one of those years with passion. I remember meeting him for the first time 15 years ago, and being struck initially by his age but also by his energy and drive. The man could charm anyone: I remember him deep in conversation […]

Father’s Day 2010

I’m a relatively new father; my daughter is 3 and a half. So I can perhaps be forgiven my surprise at enjoying Father’s Day as much as I did this year. When I was growing up, I didn’t really understand what Father’s Day was all about. I always felt lame with the poor excuses for […]

The family church, in more ways than one

I should really just retitle this blog “Tim’s Adventures in Historical Documents.” I keep finding really interesting stuff when I dig. Today’s interesting find is probably only interesting to my Lancaster County family, but here goes: the Leacock Presbyterian Church in Paradise, PA, which was my mother’s family’s church since at least the early part […]

Brackbill Farm: no needle in the haystack yet

I was a little premature with my sketch of the history of the Brackbill Farm two weeks ago. As you’ll recall, the farmhouse says it was built by Abraham and Barbara Hershey in 1857 (or maybe 1867–the sign isn’t very clear in the photo I took from the ground). And I was very excited to […]

Family history: when was it the “Brackbill” farm?

I got email yesterday that there was a fair amount of storm damage at the Brackbill Farm in Lancaster County, PA earlier this week. The storm uprooted half a dozen old trees, and sent major chunks of other ash and locust trees flying, with the result that the old cabin and bunkhouse near the creek […]

Postcard from Madison County

Today’s post is a delayed peek at where I was the first week of August. We took a week’s vacation and spent it with my parents at their house in Buncombe County, as well as getting in a lot of good time with my aunt and uncle, cousins, and a rare visit with my Aunt […]

Persistence of memory: Lengacher’s Cheese House

I ran across a fabulous collection of old postcards from Lancaster County today–a bygone Lancaster County. Not the real Lancaster County that my distant Mennonite ancestors settled, fleeing persecution; nor the modern Lancaster County Route 30, home of strip malls, outlet malls, and the occasional Amish farm, but something in between. Yes, this is the […]

Scanning the sepia

I’ve started digitizing some old photo albums. Nothing earth-shattering: these were photos I took as a kid with my first camera, starting in 1981 or 1982 through about high school. But some of the photos are interesting to me because they frame the way I think about some physical realities now–like my uncle’s house in […]

Vacation, in the car

Ever have one of those vacations where it seems like you spent most of the time in the car? It took us forever to get to New Jersey and Lisa’s folks on Friday night, thanks in part to a two hour backup on the Tappan Zee Bridge. I think every now and then about that […]

Family vacation time

I’m heading south this afternoon. We’ll stay a day or two with Lisa’s parents, then head to Lancaster on Sunday for the family reunion. This will be the first Brackbill reunion since my grandfather and aunt passed away. It feels odd to be heading back to Lancaster, a little like one of my feet has […]

Friday: too busy working …

… to write anything halfway intelligent, so you get this instead. But Estaminet has been writing a fair bit; check out her travel journals from her Oregon trip. She’s back staying with us, and our parents come in late tonight, so it’ll be a fun full house. This is, of course, the other reason I’m […]

N. Marie Brackbill, 1943 – 2008

My aunt Marie passed away Monday afternoon. This one hurts. Unlike my grandfather, who had been in ill health for quite a few years before his death in January, we didn’t even know how sick she was until two months ago. My aunt was one of the strongest people I know. Stricken with juvenile arthritis […]

Piece of the past

While I was in Pennsylvania, I helped my uncle move some junk out of the storage unit where we put some of my grandfather’s things. A few items held memories for me (I never could get comfortable on that fold-up metal cot, and was glad to see it go), but others were remnants: the boxes […]