Liblady's Genealogy Blog

Week 10: Disasters
March 9, 2011, 1:28 pm
Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Week 10: Disasters. Did you experience any natural disasters in your lifetime? Tell us about them. If not, then discuss these events that happened to parents, grandparents or others in your family.

On June 8, 1974 I was attending summer school at Emporia Kansas State College (now Emporia State University). I was typing on my final project for my degree, and I looked out the window of my third floor dorm room.  To my amazement the top of tree outside the building was bent over touching the ground.  At that moment I decide the top floor of the dorm is not where I want to be. So I head down to a safe area, to learn that a tornado is on the ground less than ½ a mile away.  The tornado dropped down so quickly, the sirens did not go off until after it touched down.

It is strange what you think about in the midst of crisis.  I thought if it takes the building, there goes my research project, all my notes, all my papers, etc.  The tornado did not strike the college but severely damaged a shopping mall, and destroyed a mobile home park, six lives were lost in this storm.

The other scary time for me, was around 1984-85, in Pratt County, Kansas.  As I was working around the home, which was a mobile home, I looked out the picture wind on the west side of the house and I saw lots and lots of debris flying through the air.  As I watched it, my thoughts went back to the Wizard of Oz, as the tornado is taking everything including “the witch” past the wind.  I quickly decided it was time to get out of there.  I grabbed my two sons, and we fought the wind to get to Grandma’s.  I don’t remember if we did go to the basement, but at least we were not in a mobile home.  After the storm pasted, we went out to inspect for damage.  The front porch had been moved, lots of tree damage.  We had just finished putting a new roof on to connect two mobile homes into one. The new roof had been peeled off.  About 1 mile away the winds had derailed a train.  The area news reported that it was only, only straight line winds, not a tornado.  Those winds were also very scary and caused a lot of damage.

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog ( has yet another successful series on her hands: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History (http…://


Week 9: Sounds
March 2, 2011, 5:31 pm
Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Week 9: Sounds. Describe any sounds that take you back to your childhood. These could be familiar songs, jingles, children playing, or something entirely different.

Sounds are a challenge, but as I reflect on my childhood, I have to remember the sounds of the farm.  My father had a herd of milk cows, and going down to the barn to listen to the contented cows as they swished their tails, and chewed on their cuds as they were being milked.  The first squirts of milk hitting the metal bucket and how the sound would change as the bucket filled.

In the spring we would get 200-300 baby chicks.  The peeping sound as they were being unloaded in to the brooder house.  Cackling hens, pecking the food off the ground, and getting ready to lay an egg.  Newborn kittens mewing, and the purring of the cats when you could catch them to pet.  The squealing and grunting of the pigs when the food was brought to them.

In the spring,  my father would start up the Johnny Pop. This old John Deere tractor had a very distinct “POP” when it was started and running. This meant is was spring and the ground needed to be worked, to prepare for the next set of crops.

There is nothing like the “quietness” of the summer evening standing under the stars.  You might hear the crickets, and if the pond was full, some frogs singing their songs.  At times, and more often than we wanted, we could hear the baying of the coyotes.

Another special sound for me, was the chiming of the old clock, when visited the neighbors Minnie and Harry.  They and my parents would play Canasta, and I would get to watch TV, usually on a Saturday night.  When Minnie was ready to sell her household goods, my father bought that very clock.  When he died, it was passed on to me as it had little meaning for my brother and sister.  It is sitting on a high kitchen shelf awaiting the day when my living room remodel is completed, to return it to sit on the mantel.

I also have the cast iron clock that belonged to my mother-in-law, and at night I would listen to it chime out  the hour.  It too is awaiting the completion of the remodeling to sit on the mantel.

Both clocks are wound with a key.  The first has a date in the 1890’s on the back.



Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog ( has yet another successful series on her hands: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History (http://www.geneabl…

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