Liblady's Genealogy Blog

Week 36: Road Trips – Part III
November 9, 2011, 10:14 am
Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History, Grossman, Personal History

Alaska Trip

Part I: Drive up

Part II: Cruise

Part III : Inland Tour


We rose early, made sure our luggage was ready for pickup, then picked up a quick breakfast. From the Hilton we were only about  1½ blocks from the train station, but our driver took us for a quick tour of the city, before going down to the station.  He told us about some very cold weather, and the games his grandsons enjoyed playing in that very cold weather.  Then train was coming in, so we unloaded the bus, and boarded the train.  This was a double decker, with the dining area below, and the upper level domed, for us to be able to see the scenery as we headed  to Denali Park.  The train ride was eight hours, to just enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Alaskan Explorer

Ready for the ride.

We were able to get our first glimpse of Mt. Denali.  WHAT A SIGHT.  Hard to get a good picture from a moving train.

First Sighting of Mt. Denali

First Sighting of Mt. Denali

For lunch we went down to the dining area, I tried the reindeer chili served in a cornmeal bread bowl.  It was very good.

There were so many ooh’s and aah’s along the way.  The hostess told us, we were seeing new snow on the mountains, new snow is “termination” snow as the tourist season is quickly coming to an end.   Several of us purchased tickets for the Cabin Night dinner theater, at the McKinley Chalet Resort.  Arriving at the train station, buses took us to our night’s destination, the McKinley Chalet Resort.  The rest of the group was able to obtain tickets to show, so all 9 of us unloaded, found our rooms, and explored a little until time for dinner and the show.

They served us family style, we had salad, ribs, baked salmon, corn, and it was topped off with a berry pie.  We had already eaten so much on the cruise, we had a difficult time eating that much.  Our waiter said he could tell which way the group was going.  Those doing inland, then the cruise ate very well, and those having cruised could hardly eat.  I wanted to cry when I saw him put the ribs and salmon we didn’t eat in the trash.

Then the group put on an interactive play giving us history of the park, as well as the people who were instrumental in developing the park.  The cast interacted with people from the crowd. They had us sing the “Home in the Snow” song, and recognized birthdays and anniversaries.  Leading the group in “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”. (Thanks to Gloria for sharing her photos.)

Ken & Billie

Ken & Billie, almost 48 yrs.

Charles & Judy

Charles & Judy, 40 yrs








Mush, Mush

Mush, Mush



Charles, Judy, Gloria and I headed back to the main lodge to have our picture taken by the Old Sourdough Photographer.  We dressed up in the fur coats and gloves, then climbed in the sled, with Charles as our musher, to get our picture taken.

Back to our very rustic cabin for the night.


The next morning we put our luggage out, as we would be spending the night in Fairbanks.  Up to the main lodge for breakfast, and await our bus.  This would be a refurbished school bus.  This tour was taking us up to a look out point to see Mt. Denali.

As we drove through the park, I kept seeing all of these jigsaw puzzle pictures.  It isn’t easy to take pictures from a moving vehicle, but kept trying.

Alaskan Moose

Alaskan Moose

At the rest stop, we walked up to the Ranger’s Cabin.  He told us about living there with basically only his dogs for company, but the need to have a presence there.  The inside of the Cabin reminded me very much of the pioneer sod houses. We also saw a moose on our way up.  So many pictures it is hard to narrow them down.




Then it was off to the lookout point, and turnaround.  There we got another view of Mt. Denali.  The range and the peaks, along with the changing colors of the foliage made for a glorious sight.  We were able to see the peak.  So we became a part of the 30% club as only 30% of the people get to see through the clouds.

Mt Denali

Mt Denali

On the way back our driver said we were ahead of schedule so he stopped at the parks entrance to give us a photo op.  This is the one and only picture of all nine of our “Cruise Family”.

"Cruise Family'

"Cruise Family'

Back to the Lodge, we no longer have rooms, so some played cards, others did a computer catch up, and some just sat and relaxed until it was time to load the bus, back to the train, for our four hour ride to Fairbanks.  We arrived in Fairbanks and headed to our rooms.  At least we would be here 2 nights.


This morning we boarded the Holland Line bus to be taken to the Goldmine, a lunch of Miner’s Stew, then a Riverboat ride.

Stop along the Alaskan Pipeline

Stop along the Alaskan Pipeline

A bonus was a stop at the segment of the Alaskan Pipeline, where we learned that ½ is above and ½ is below ground and other interesting facts.  The frozen tundra makes it impossible for it underground the entire way.  It is an awesome project, we hadn’t thought of all the engineering problems that had to be solved to send that much oil to a location where it can be transported to where it can be processed for our use.

Then off to the El Dorado Gold Mine.  We took an open air train ride through the area, getting a flavor of what an individual would go through to find his fortune in gold.  (which very few did) We were shown through a mine, then saw some of the equipment used to bring the ore to the surface.

Panning for Gold

Panning for Gold

At the end of the ride, an demonstration area was set up. After the demonstration each traveler was given a poke and a pan to pan for our own gold.  All were guaranteed some gold.  It was exciting to find those flakes of gold in the bottom of the pan, but it also took a very skilled hand to dip and swirl the water in the pan to get the heavier dirt and rocks out of the pan.  My pan of gold yielded about $6.00 worth of gold.  I had the gold put into a bubble, and put it on a chain.   As far as I know no one found a nugget.  Some of the couples put their gold together to make a larger take.

They had drinks and cookies for everyone.  Then back to the train, which took us back to the bus.  Our next stop was Goldstream Creek Gold Mine, a larger operation, where we were served a lunch of Miner’s Stew with biscuits, and a drink.  We ate in a dining room like the miner’s would have been served.  After lunch, several took a tour of the workings of this mine.  Then it was off to our next destination.

Our final destination of the day was the  Riverboat Discovery.

Aboard the Riverboat

Aboard the Riverboat

We took a 3 ½  hour cruise down the Chena River. Arrived at the home of the late Susan Butcher, 4 time Iditarod Race winner.  Here her husband and children showed off the dogs training for a race.  David Monson, her husband, took a team of dogs on a practice run.  It was exciting to see these dogs ready to give their all.  Susan had started a book about one of her dog; David completed it after her death.  He would be at our next stop, available to sign copies of the book Granite.

Further down the river was a Chena Indian village, with guides from the Athabascan tribe to take us through the village.  Our guide was a young man from the tribe.  He described their home and hunting habits, then off to where we could see how they cared for their animals.  Our last stop on the tour was to see how they prepared their furs.  The young man’s sister, with his help, described the procedure for tanning and drying the hides.  When his sister asked him to demonstrate a moose call, he came out with a small megaphone, and called “Here moosey, moosey, moosey?”  Then his sister modeled some of the clothing, ending with a beautiful fur coat for a young maiden.

After our tour, it was time to get my books signs.  Until the riverboat whistle blew, we could explore at our leisure. Then it was back up the river.  The matriarch of the family was standing on her front lawn to share the journey with us.

Everyone loaded back on the bus, heading  back to our motel.  We again shared our evening meal together. Now it was time to pack and repack to make sure our luggage was ready for the flight we were going to be taking the next day.


Our last day and time to start our journey home.  Our luggage was packed, weighed, and ready for the flight.  We had most of the day to relax and enjoy the day at Fairbanks.  Charles, Judy, & Gloria and I decided to walk about 8 blocks to a restaurant for our lunch.  We had a delightful lunch at a little café called Gambardelli’s Pasta Bella.

Stopped her for lunch

Stopped her for lunch

On our walk we enjoyed the beautiful flowers, seen all along the way.   Back at our motel, we admired the huge cabbage, and rhubarb growing out side the front door.

Cabbage at the Hotel

Cabbage at the Hotel

Flowers downtown Fairbanks

Flowers downtown Fairbanks

Finally the bus arrived to transport us to the airport.  When we got to airport, there was a sea of luggage, for us to locate our pieces.  When the second bus arrived, our group headed in to get our tickets, trying to keep track of luggage, figuring out what that computer wanted us to do, waiting in line, was all a part of the process.

I got my ticket, and my luggage was taken, the agent then asked if I wanted one of my carry one pieces to go through at no cost.  I decided that was a good idea, then I went to help Melba, we also got one of her carry on pieces sent on.  Now I juggled both of our tickets, luggage, as well as passports, to get her through.  Then it was up to the line to wait to go through security.  Most of us got through without any problems.  Charles & Judy were not so fortunate.  Security went through their luggage and all of their bags, not a pleasant experience.  Nola, could not through the metal detectors due to knee surgery, so had to have individual search.  We all gave a sigh of relief when all were through security, now to wait for our plane.

It was during our break that we learned that the Sapphire Princess, a ship that followed us most of our cruise, sank a couple of fishing boats coming in to dock at the Ketchikan Harbor. The Statendam, our cruise ship, skipped the Ketchikan port of call.  The return cruise of the Statendam, would not have been a pleasant one.  Glad we sailed up and not back.

Our flight was called, we boarded heading for Seattle.  Landed at the Sea-Tec airport.  That was an experience.  It was about 11 at night.  We unloaded gathered our things, and started walking to our next connection.  First of all the moving sidewalk was under repair, then the escalator was not working, there were no carts, so we walked, and walked and walked.  We were very tired by the time we got to our plane.

It was a short hop from Seattle to Vancouver, BC.  Again loaded up our belongings, and headed for customs, needing our passports, and paperwork for anything to declare.  Remember I was keeping track of Melba’s things as well as mine. Now it was time to collect our baggage from the carousel. Once the luggage was collected I returned Melba’s passport to her.  Luggage for nine looks like someone is moving.  Everything was collected then out to catch a shuttle back to the hotel.  Everyone was ready to call it a day.  Unloaded and checked in.  Carl & Nola bid us farewell as their plane was leaving about 6 that morning.

The rest of us would be driving and trying to miss the tunnel bottle neck.

……………………. To be continued.


Week 45: High School
November 9, 2011, 8:59 am
Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History, Grossman, Personal History

Week #45 – High School

Week 45. High School. Describe your middle and/or high school. Was it a large or small student body? Is the school still in existence today? How has it changed since you went there?

I attended two High Schools.  My Freshman – Junior years I attended Burr Oak High School. I had been a member of the class since Second Grade.  The class of 22 was looking forward to graduation in 1966.  Burr Oak was a small IA school, with about 80-90 students grades 9-12.  Every one was involved in most of the activities.  Sports were an important extra-curricular activity.  I was a member of the High School Band, Kayettes, and Pep Club. It was a very busy 3 years.

The summer of 1965, my father took up a friends offer to get him a job for the grounds crew at KSU in Manhattan, Kansas.  In just a few weeks, he had job, we found a house, the farm was sold and we moved to Manhattan.  It is there that I attended my Senior of High School.  A very different experience.  This was the first year that they would be graduating a class of over 300.  Going from my small school, to this large school was quite an experience  There were more students in my class than in the whole school at Burr Oak.

As they were growing and had limited space,  they had a split schedule, classes were held from 7:30 – 2:30, or 8:30 – 3:30.  I chose to go with the early schedule.  The building provided classes for the 10th – 12th Graders.  Because of changing schools, graduation requirements differed, some of the requirements were at different grade levels, so I was taking those classes needed to full fill the graduation requirements, not necessarily Senior classes.

This was definitely a challenging year for me, I had to take the PE class, and Geometry for a second math requirement.  At Burr Oak I had always been at the top of my class, here I was working very hard to stay in the middle of the group.  By changing schools, I feel I was better prepared for my college career which I started that summer.

Burr Oak Schools have gone through many transitions since I attended, as I mentioned in my blog about elementary school.  The community has struggled economically, and today they are a county school consolidated with Mankato & Jewell, known as the Rock Hill District.   While Manhattan, is a part of a growing community, being a part of a college community, and next to Fort Riley.   Manhattan High has had some additions, but the building I attended continues to house the 10-12 graders, while the 9 graders attend the campus at the former Middle School.  As Manhattan is a college town it continuing to grow, in 1966 there were about 1200 students 9-12; with almost 2000 students 9-12 today.

Week 41: Teachers
October 30, 2011, 1:56 pm
Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History, Grossman

Week #41 – Teachers

Week 41. Teachers. Did you have a favorite teacher when you were growing up? What class(es) did this person teach and why did he/she make an impact on your life?



When we speak of teachers we most often talk about our school teachers.  I want to share about my first teacher, my Father.  My father was born shortly after the turn of the century.  He was the third son of German parents, his father coming over as a very young boy, and his mother the daughter of German immigrants.  Before my father was born, the family moved to Montana, where he was raised.  He attended one room schools, told about listening to the lesson of the older students.  He only attended through the eighth grade.  But through out his life he felt an education was the best thing we could have, and something that could not be taken from us.   He continued to learn through out his life.   It was through him,  the love of learning was instilled in his children.

I was the youngest child in the family, born after my father had recovered from a very serious illness, which meant he had to take life a little slower, difficult for a farmer.  He found time to read to me, and take me out with him.  He loved to work with numbers.  He was constantly figuring how much it would cost to do different things.  There was always a daily newspaper, news magazines to keep up with local, state, and national news.  He also listened to the news on the radio, and after we got a TV, news times was almost sacred, don’t disturb it.

I was allowed a library card at a very early age, because they knew the books would be read to me.  My father’s expectation for all 3 of his children was to complete a college degree.  I wasn’t very old when I knew that my schooling would not end in 12 years, but would include another 4 years of college.  There was never any question that I would be attending college.

His also made me understand the grade I received for a class was my responsibility.  When a low grade was noted on my grade card, he always asked: “Is this the grade you deserve?” These were my grades given by the teacher for the work and effort I had put forth.

All of his children did attend and graduate from college.  Upon graduation from college, I started teaching, to help another generation have a love of learning.  My brother and I then went on to complete Master’s Degrees.  I worked in the field of education for 38 years as teacher and librarian.

Even though I have recently retired I continue to learn.  From my first teacher, my father, I know my learning is never complete.  He frequently said: “If you can read, you can do anything.”


Week 22: Secrets Not

Week 22. Secrets. Describe something about yourself that won’t be found on any record 100 years from now.

 Secrets Not (Family Gathering)

For every prompt you can write about the prompt or chose a topic of your own.  This week I have chosen another topic : Family Gathering.


In June of 1971 I was finishing my first school year, it had had many ups and downs, professionally and personally. But it was coming to an end.  I would not be returning to that job for the coming year, so I was heading home.  My brother (Kenneth) and his family were back for a visit, and came along with my parents to help me pack up and move back to Kansas.

On our trip back through Iowa, one of the highlights was stopping to eat at an Amana Farm.  We had a wonderful family style dinner of fried chicken and all the fixings.

Once we got back to Kansas it was time to gather the family.  Many of our family gatherings were held at the Dipman place near Larned.  At this gathering were:

Inez & Rudolf

Kenneth & Billie

Rudolf & Inez my parents

Melba & Eugene their 7 children,

Kenneth & Billie and 2 children

And me

Aunt Vada (my mother’s sister),

her son, Wayne and 2 or 3 of his children.

John and Eldred (my mother’s sister) and their families,

Danny & Vicki, their 2 daughters,

Dedria & Bob (I think Bob was there, but no picture) and Dari


The Dipman Family


Danny's Family

Also invited was my boyfriend, Richard.  I had not seen or talked tohim since April, when he had decided to break everything off (Another story).  So I had no idea if he was coming or not.  To my surprise he did show up.

Here are some photos taken that day.  Of course I took them all so I am not in any pictures.  Need to see if anyone else there has any pictures of the family gathering.

Afternoon Entertainment

Younger Generation

The weather cooperated, so we spent a great deal of time outside.  We enjoyed sharing a meal, visiting and enjoying the family, and watching the kids.

This family gathering was also a turning point in my life.  I came back to Kansas, found a new job for the next school year, continuing for another 37 years and renewed a relationship which eventually led to marriage and a family.

Treasure those Family Moments

You never know what the future will bring.

Grandpa Voss Carl & Shannon

"Auntie" and Dari

Richard & John

Put the picture of all the kids on Facebook, and several of them had memories of that day.  What fun to have others add to the memories.


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



New Information – Grossman
January 19, 2011, 2:11 pm
Filed under: Grossman

At Christmas time, a cousin on my mother’s side shared they were spending Christmas with their son-in-law’s family in Holton, Ks.  I asked her to check to see if the family knew a relative on my husband’s side.  After Christmas she contacted me and gave me an address to contact this relative.  So I mailed a letter, and have just received word from this relative, with confirmation on one of the people from my husband’s line and possibly another generation back. She said she would be sending me some papers she has on the family.

She mentioned that Michael Grossman had a sister Catherine who married a Peter Tussing, they had emigrated together.  So I checked the ships log to see if the Micahel Grossman along with  Peter and Catherine Tussing were on the ship I had located, and YES they were.  Then I did a Google search, and found baptism records for a Michael Grossman, and the oldest daughter’s sponsor was Peter and Catherine Tussing.

I am looking forward to searching for more information on this line.

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