MY DAY: My Man Cave

It’s going on 9:00 PM and I have been secured inside my study, my version of a man cave, since 9:00 AM, researching and writing with only a few breaks, grabbing meals, retrieving the Rumpke Waste canisters, letting dogs out, and bringing in my Instacart order.

I love when other guys talk about their man caves. I’ve seen a couple and they seem more oriented around sports and watching movies or sports programs.

Mine is my study.

I am surrounded by one-quarter of the room that has my electric keyboard and all my music library that contains tons of music, music theory and teaching materials, and several oft used musical theatre scores.

On the south wall is a very large drop desk that once belonged to the Kress family. It’s huge and bulky but does it ever hold so many books on writing, all my necessary research books, and more.

Two bookcases catty-corner from the music wing are filled with theatre books on acting, directing, playwright, biographies, and again, more.

The northwest corner of my study, in the opposite corner of the music quarter, is my main hub for business and writing. A raised shelf contains three large monitors with each screen assigned to different needs.

I love my man cave study. It suits me and fits my needs. And, of course, the floor is most often an obstacle course of The Quartet. The Sisters, Bailey and Harrigan, spend much time in here with me, but they prefer my bed in the next room over. Chief and Erma are always nearby, sometimes directly behind me or beside me should I need to be reminded I am loved.

With twelve solid hours of time in this room, today, I am still feeling mentally energetic and will probably keep working until midnight, possibly later.

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O, FOR HISTORY: The Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument, Indianapolis

While checking up on some research on The Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument on Monument Circle in downtown, Indianapolis, Indiana, I came upon two interesting items.

James Whitcomb Riley read his poem, “The Soldier” which was specifically written for the dedication ceremonies. And, John Phillip Sousa presented his dedication piece, “The Messiah of the Nations” with lyrics by James Whitcomb Riley.

The Soldier
by James Whitcomb Riley
The dedication of the Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument; Indianapolis; 15 May 1902

THE Soldier! — meek the title, yet divine:
Therefore, with reverence, as with wild acclaim,
We fain would honor in exalted line
The glorious lineage of the glorious name:
The Soldier. — Lo, he ever was and is,
Our Country’s high custodian, by right
Of patriot blood that brims that heart of his
With fiercest love, yet honor infinite.

The Soldier — within whose inviolate care
The Nation takes repose, — her inmost fane
Of Freedom ever has its guardian there,
As have her forts and fleets on land and main:
The Heavenward Banner, as its ripples stream
In happy winds, or float in languid flow,
Through silken meshes ever sifts the gleam
Of sunshine on its Sentinel below.

The Soldier! — Why, the very utterance
Is music — as of rallying bugles, blent
With blur of drums and cymbals and the chants
Of battle-hymns that shake the continent! —
The thunder-chorus of a world is stirred
To awful, universal jubilee, —
Yet ever through it, pure and sweet, are heard
The prayers of Womanhood, and Infancy.

Even as a fateful tempest sudden loosed
Upon our senses, so our thoughts are blown
Back where The Soldier battled, nor refused
A grave all nameless in a clime unknown. —
The Soldier — though, perchance, worn, old and gray;
The Soldier — though, perchance, the merest lad, —
The Soldier — though he gave his life away,
Hearing the shout of ” Victory, ” was glad;

Ay, glad and grateful, that in such a cause
His veins were drained at Freedom’s holy shrine —
Rechristening the land — as first it was, —
His blood poured thus in sacramental sign
Of new baptism of the hallowed name
” My Country ” — now on every lip once more
And blest of God with still enduring fame. —
This thought even then The Soldier gloried o’er.

The dying eyes upraised in rapture there, —
As, haply, he remembered how a breeze
Once swept his boyish brow and tossed his hair,
Under the fresh bloom of the orchard-trees —
When his heart hurried, in some wistful haste
Of ecstasy, and his quick breath was wild
And balmy-sharp and chilly-sweet to taste, —
And he towered godlike, though a trembling child!

Again, through luminous mists, he saw the skies’
Far fields white-tented; and in gray and blue
And dazzling gold, he saw vast armies rise
And fuse in fire — from which, in swiftest view,
The Old Flag soared, and friend and foe as one
Blent in an instant’s vivid mirage. . . . Then
The eyes closed smiling on the smiling sun
That changed the seer to a child again. —

And, even so, The Soldier slept. — Our own! —
The Soldier of our plaudits, flowers and tears, —
O this memorial of bronze and stone —
His love shall outlast this a thousand years!
Yet, as the towering symbol bids us do, —
With soul saluting, as salutes the hand,
We answer as The Soldier answered to
The Captain’s high command.

“The Messiah of the Nations” Music by John Philip Sousa; Lyrics by James Whitcomb Riley.

Now, for me, this recording is just plain awful. The chorus is as thrilling as a crunched cornflake and they sing “AmerEEca.” What the hell? I thought, for a minute, it was a preview of WEST SIDE STORY. All this aside, you get the idea. It’s truly an uninspiring piece of music.

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MY DAY: Presidents Day and a 1.2 walk

The mid-60s by Noon in Southwest Ohio. Not surprising since it IS Southwest Ohio. The temperatures are all over the place, as usual, and will be bouncing between the 60s and 23-degrees until next Monday.

I have not been able to walk the dogs for quite some time. This morning, I felt physically capable of making it happen. I knew walking all four, as in days of old, was out of the question so I broke them into two groups: Chief and Erma, Bailey and Harrigan.

Chief and Erma were dream-walkers and we made it to the corner of Lincoln Park Boulevard and back to The Haasienda without issue.

Bailey and Harrigan?

Well, we made it to the edge of our property and I turned to head back inside. The Sisters went wild and nearly dragged me through the yard. They had absolutely no command of themselves, and entirely ignored my verbal commands. I was pretty pissed. I may try it again, only one of them at a time.

Last Wednesday through Sunday were incredible days of researching and writing. So much was accomplished. Wednesday through Saturday, I managed to research, nap, write, nap, go out to lunch and dinner on Friday with Carol Chatfield and Laura Parker. And then, more research and writing. My sleeping hours were a bit turned upside down, but it felt good to be motivated and feel fresh to the task.

Today is one of my long teaching days and I am betting I will work in a nap before I begin teaching so I will have some energy to write after teaching.

Happy Presidents Day!

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MY DAY: This made my day!

17 June 1994, I pulled into a hilltop driveway of a house on the southwest corner of Whipp Road and Seton Hill Street, responding to an ad for free kittens. As I looked over the kittens, the Centerville HS band mom said, “I think that little fellow likes you.”

So, I left the home with my first pet as an adult. I was to later learn the kitten was a girl, not a boy. But, oh, the stories that commenced from that introduction.

My friend, Susan Cook, a fellow music teacher and phenomenal clarinetist added some ribbons to the straw bonnet she’d purchased for Logan (formerly known as Mister Logan until I learned her true gender identity) to wear on walks. Okay… walks. I didn’t know that most folks don’t walk cats and it never occurred to me that I’d not seen others walking cats.

On 4 July1994, Logan spent the entire day with me, celebrating The Fourth of July, even riding with the community band on the parade float, sleeping in Susan’s lap. Susan captured some photos on my camera and one on her own camera that I had not seen until today!

Wednesday evening, 9 February, while celebrating Mama Kay’s birthday, I described Logan wearing her straw hat and pulled up two photos to show.

Now, Susan and I always thought it was cool that we both had Aunt Bettys – both had the last name, Green, and each Aunt Betty is an artist. We also had cousins named Kim and Jill.

Today, I received the best surprise in the mail.

Susan’s Aunt Betty sent me a watercolor of the photograph Susan took, twenty-eight years ago! It is so doggone great!

I really do have a kick-ass cool life!

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MY DAY: Laura Coy Spaulding

Damn… damn… damn…

One of my very dear and precious college, and beyond, friends, Laura Coy Spaulding, passed away Wednesday, 16 February 2022.

I first met Laura at Ball State University’s summer orientation program in July 1983, thirty-nine years ago this approaching summer. It was there that I also met her parents, Vernon and Peggy Croy, two of the kindest souls, who shared their adoption story of Laura. One year later, I would be sharing my own adoption story with them when I was adopted by my step-father. Laura sang with me at Mother and Dad’s wedding in December of our freshman year.

Laura, along with another dear friend, Janelle Mowrer Bracken, was an accompanist for my voice and saxophone lessons. She also lived in Botsford Hall, a sister dorm to my Swinford Hall in the honors college. We saw each other daily in classes and in our living spaces.

Together, with our other Chamber Choir colleagues, we enjoyed our stateside tours from Chicago down to Florida, and pretty much everywhere in between. The ultimate tour, however, was the BSU Chamber Choir tour of Austria and Switzerland which included northern Italy and a few minutes pass through Luxembourg.

In November 2007, we reconnected via Facebook, resuming our once common ritual of connectedness. Now, dear Laura has joined her parents and I have no doubts it has been a beautiful reunion.

Our plans to reunite in this life have now been placed on permanent hold and shall await until the next world permits.

Never dreaming I should ever write this to your memory… May many, many choirs of angels sing three to your rest, dear friend.

Know you are loved, Laura, and now, bitterly missed…

Laura Coy Spaulding 26 Oct 1965 – 16 Feb 2022

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While perusing information on my Ball family line, I stumbled across some fascinating information on my fifth great-grandfather, Robert McCrory, and it led to information on his father, Scottish-born, John McCrory.

JOHN MCCRORY: born 1778, Scotland; died 30 Jul 1868 (aged 89-90), Fayette County, Indiana; buried in Glenwood Union Cemetery, Glenwood, Rush County, Indiana.

BIOGRAPHY from great-great-grandson, Arthur Richard Saxon

“John McCrory Born about 1778 in Scotland where he grew to manhood. Emigrated to Country Antrim Ireland where he met and married Lillie Aken. Sailed from Belfast with wife and 4 children 1811, age about 33. Shipwrecked. On ocean 6 months. Arrived Philadelphia, Pa., 1812. Lived in Pa. 7 years. Came down Ohio River on a flatboat to Cinti [Cincinnati]. From there to Fayette County, Ind., by wagon arrived in 1819. Tailor by trade. Blind in one eye. Daughter Margaret married Alexander Gillispie Saxon. His wife died in 1843. Died in 1868. Buried in Glenwood.”

LETTER (copy of typed letter) from Arthur Richard Saxon Papers

“Connersville, Indiana. R. R. #1 November 21, 1962

My Dear Son Arthur:

Your letter and pictures arrived in the mail yesterday. The pictures were much better than I had expected them to be and I am proud of the job you did this is the STORY to the best of all information I have. JOHN MCCRORY born about 1778 in Scotland where he grew to manhood emigrated to County Antrim IRELAND where he met and married Lillie AKEN. He died July 30, 1868, in Fairview Township, Fayette County, Indiana at the home of his daughter Margaret, wife of Alexander Gillespie Saxon, and was buried at Glenwood, Rush County, Indiana. His wife died October 23, 1843, and was buried beside her daughter, Jane, who died at the age of three years, on the spot where the first cabin was built on land entered by John McCrory in 1820, NW 1/4 Section 30 Township 14 Range 12 E. The graves are marked with a large boulder to replace the marble markers which were destroyed… In the latter part of 1811 John McCrory with his wife and four children, Robert the oldest was 13 years old, Samuel the next, William born in 1804, and Margaret born in 1809, set sail from Belfast, Ireland for America and six months later landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after being shipwrecked once off the Portuguese Islands where they were obliged to burn butter for fuel and pray for help until a Portuguese ship came by picked up the crew brought them on to Pennsylvania after being searched three times by a British Man of War trying to put Robert 13 years old in the British Army on account of the war of 1812 brewing. The family lived in Pennsylvania for seven years then came down the Ohio river on a flatboat to Cincinnati and from there to Fayette County, Indiana by wagon in 1819. They entered land in 1820 and took possession in cold weather with ten inches of snow on the ground by a large walnut tree that had fallen to the ground. They scraped the snow away from the tree, built a lean-to of poles, brush, and bark for a roof with a fire in front for heat, cooking and dishwashing and any amount of other useful things to be used… John McCrory was a tailor by trade and could make as fine a suit of clothes or white shirt as any man could demand of him, also he learned boxing in IRELAND but said little about it in America until at a Log Rolling when some men got to picking on him for a fight. Being a peaceable man he refused and said he did not want to hurt anyone. Not satisfied they kept on until he made up his mind to accommodate them which he did so good and quick they never asked for another fight. When he died his taylor [tailor] iron was left in the closet under the stairway … until Father took the Taylor Iron to the blacksmith and had it shaped into an iron wedge. … I believe you will be able to find all you want from the above lines. Your Father A. G. SAXON” 


“Connersville Township … land sales… section 30 sold in 1814, 1820 and 1823 to …John McCrary …”; p. 166 “… John McCrory, an Irishman from Pennsylvania, settled where James Ochiltree now lives. He was a tailor by trade and a good citizen. He lived until a few years ago, and died leaving a number of descendants, most of whom live in this county.”; p. 292: “… John McCrory, a native of Ireland (sic-Scotland), where the latter married Lillie Aken, and in 1812 emigrated with his wife to the United States, remaining first in Pennsylvania, whence in 1819 they moved to Fayette County, Ind., where they resided until their death. The mother died October 23, 1843, the father July 30, 1868. They were parents of five children: Robert, Samuel, Margaret, Jane and William.” 

“LANDOWNERS OF FAYETTE COUNTY” – Fayette County Court House Recorder’s Office

‘Original Land Purchases of Fayette County’ p. 9 McCrary, John page 26 Nov. 2, 1820; ‘Early Landowners of Fayette County’ p. 37 McCroney John & Lilley D85; McCroney Samuel – son of John & Lilley D85; McCrory Robert E 254; McCrory Wm. E 77.

1875 ILLUSTRATED HISTORICAL ATLAS OF FAYETTE COUNTY, INDIANA; 1875; Connersville news article, p. 14

“Early History Of Fairview Township Given In Fayette Atlas — First Settlers Listed Following is the early history of Fairview township as recorded in the Fayette county atlas published in 1875: … In 1822 came John, William and Samuel McCrorey, natives of Ireland. John was the father of Robert McCrorey, who still resides on a fine farm in the southwest part of the township. …”


“Township 14 North, Range 12 East Section 30 sold in 1814, 1820 and 1823 to William Sparks, Jonathan Eddy, Ira Wilcox, John McCrary and John McMillan.”

CONNERSVILLE NEWS EXAMINER; 16 Sep 1940; p. 2; McCrory Family Reunion

Reunion of members of the John McCrory family was held at Memorial Park, New Castle, Sunday, with 60 in attendance. A basket dinner was served at noon after which a business session was conducted by Mrs. Lucy Simmonds of Tipton, vice president. Mrs. Herschell Rose conducted memorial services for Moses Poff, president, who died this year. For the program A. G. Saxon gave a short history of John McCrory who migrated from Ireland and settled on a farm west of Williams Creek in Connersville township, Fayette county. Officers were elected: A. G. Saxon, president; Miss Nannie McCrory, vice president; Mrs. Francis Link, secretary-treasurer. The program committee for the 1941 reunion is Mrs. Omer Warnake, Mrs. Lucy Simmonds and William Saxon. The reunion will be held the third Sunday in September at Memorial Park.”

Article submitted for ‘A Family and Community History of Connersville and Fayette County, Indiana In Commemoration of Connersville’s Bicentennial Celebration 2013‘ by great-grandson k.e.s. c/o great great granddaughter j.m.s.r.

“John and Lillie Aiken McCrory Scotsman John McCrory met and married Lillie Aiken in Ireland. The McCrory family, including children Robert, Samuel, William and Margaret, emigrated to America in 1811, surviving a shipwreck and three searches by sailors from a British Man of War. Thirteen-year-old Robert was of impressment age for the coming War of 1812. The family safely arrived in America in 1812 and lived in Pennsylvania for seven years. In 1819 the McCrorys traveled by flatboat down the Ohio River to Cincinnati, Ohio than by wagon to Fayette County, Indiana. Great-grandson Arthur Gillespie Saxon recalled a story about John noting that ‘…at log rollings, those pioneer events that combined business and pleasure, one of the pleasures was boxing. His neighbors didn’t know that the quiet McCrory, a tailor in his native land, had also been trained in the science of boxing. He resisted urgings to get in on the fun, knowing how easily he could handle any of them, but they finally made it so hot for him he had to wade in, and in nothing flat had taken care of all comers.’ Ninety-year-old John died in 1868 and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Rush County. Sixty-six-year-old Lillie died in 1843 after a fall into the fireplace where she had been cooking. She was buried beside youngest daughter Jane, who had died at age three, on the land where the McCrorys had built their first cabin. That land north of Indiana Highway 44 and west of Bunker Hill, purchased by John and Lillie in 1820, was owned for over one hundred years by family descendants through five generations. John and Lillie were neighbors to the Alexander and Mary Baldwin Saxon family; a son and daughter of the McCrory family married a daughter and son of the Saxon family. Robert and Salina Saxon McCrory’s children were John, Mary, Annie, William, Margaret, Samuel, Clayton, Jane, Kate, and Salina. The 1917 Barrows History documented that ‘Robert McCrory … a native of Ireland walked from Cincinnati to the land office at Indianapolis and there entered a quarter of a section of land two and one-half miles northeast of Glenwood in this country, where he established his home. He married Celina Saxon, who was born in Georgia and who was but a child when her parents came to Indiana, settling in Fayette county at a time when Indians still were numerous hereabout. The Indians at that time were continuing to give such cause for apprehension on the part of the settlers that the little Celina was not permitted to wander far from the house in her play, lest she should be stolen by the Indians.’ Robert and Salina Saxon McCrory descendant surnames include Ball, Murphy, Marks, Ochiltree, Alexander, Rea, and Crawford. Alexander Gillespie and Margaret McCrory Saxon’s children were Jane, Selina, McHenry, John, Annie, William, Savanna, Robert, Samuel, James, Mary and Elizabeth. In 1869 the Connersville Examiner reported ‘Our estimable lady friend, Mrs. A. G. Saxon, met with a severe accident some days since by being kicked by a cow while milking, dislocating the knee joint, which has been very painful ever since. She is about sixty years of age, which will prevent a speedy recovery, though she is improving as rapidly as possible.’ Alexander Gillespie and Margaret McCrory Saxon descendant surnames include Shortridge, Jeffrey, Hinchman, Lewis, Dawson, and Maze. Direct line descendants of Alexander Gillespie and Margaret McCrory Saxon’s son Robert, Fayette County farmer and livestock trader, include his son Arthur Gillespie, Fayette County farmer, ditcher, blacksmith and gun maker, grandson Herbert Leslie, Rush County farmer and painter, great-grandson k.e.s. … and great-great-granddaughter j.m.s.r … almost two years old when she first visited many ancestor sites in Fayette County as her paternal grandfather recalled the McCrory family history. … Other McCrory descendant surnames on the Herbert Saxon line include Coan, McDowell, Wondra, Phillips, Resler, Banta, Manochio, Nigh, Whitaker, Reynolds, Leising, and Bischoff. Ancestors John McCrory and Lillie Akin McCrory left quite a legacy!” 

Nomination and article submitted to the Pioneer Founders of Indiana project by great-grandson k.e.s.; 12 Sep 2013

“JOHN McCRORY As an early pioneer in Fayette County, Indiana, John McCrory’s actions exemplified the desire to live in the freedom offered in America and early Indiana. The pioneer spirit, fortitude, stamina and initiative of John McCrory and other members of his family helped lay the foundation for those of us who follow as proud and resourceful Hoosiers.”

“JOHN McCRORY – As an early pioneer in Fayette County, Indiana, John McCrory’s actions exemplified the desire to live in the freedom offered in America and early Indiana. The primary source for the following narrative concerning John McCrory was a letter written in 1962 by one of McCrory’s great-grandsons, Arthur Gillespie Saxon.

John McCrory was born about 1778 in Scotland and emigrated to County Antrim, Ireland where he met and married Lillie Aken. In 1811 John, his wife, and four children set sail from Belfast, Ireland for America. During their voyage, they were shipwrecked and rescued. In addition, the British boarded their ship three times searching for British subjects to impress into military service during the War of 1812. Since 13-year-old son Robert McCrory was with them this was particularly stressful to the McCrorys.

Some six months later the McCrorys reached America when they landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After seven years in Pennsylvania, they traveled down the Ohio River on a flatboat to Cincinnati, Ohio. From there they made their way by wagon to Fayette County, Indiana.

John McCrory and his family settled on land west of Connersville in 1820. They took possession in cold weather with heavy snow on the ground, scraping the snow from a large walnut tree that had fallen and making a lean-to of poles, brush, and bark for a home during the winter of 1820-1821.

That spring McCrory built a cabin for their home. Great-grandson Arthur Gillespie Saxon recalled a story about John noting that ‘… at log rollings, those pioneer events that combined business and pleasure, one of the pleasures was boxing. His neighbors didn’t know that the quiet McCrory, a tailor in his native land, had also been trained in the science of boxing. He resisted urgings to get in on the fun, knowing how easily he could handle any of them, but they finally made it so hot for him he had to wade in, and in nothing flat had taken care of all comers.’

John’s sixty-six-year-old wife Lillie died on October 23, 1843, after she fell into the fireplace where she was doing the family cooking. He buried her beside a daughter, who had died at the age of three years, on the spot where their first cabin was built on that land entered by John McCrory in 1820.

Ninety-year-old John died July 30, 1868, in Fairview Township, Fayette County, Indiana at the home of his daughter Margaret McCrory Saxon and was buried in Glenwood Union cemetery, Glenwood, Rush County, Indiana.

The pioneer spirit, fortitude, stamina, and initiative of John McCrory and other members of his family helped lay the foundation for those of us who follow as proud and resourceful Hoosiers.”


  • John McCrory & Lillie Akin McCrory of Scotland
  • Robert McCrory of Ireland
  • Mary McCrory Ball
  • Prudence Anna Ball Greenlee
  • Anna Prudence Greenlee Jones
  • Mary Belle Jones Clary
  • Donna Mae Clary Barmes
  • Diana Barmes Jolliff Haas
  • Darin Lee Jolliffe-Haas

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While researching for my project, I stumbled across more information regarding Robert McCrory who would have been my fifth great-grandfather on my Ball family side.

What an exciting life he led!

  • Born in Antrim, Ireland in 1801
  • While emigrating to the USA in 1812, their ship was overtaken by a British man-of-war
  • Robert’s mother interceded on his behalf, maintaing his youth should kee[ him from being impressed into British seamanship
  • After landing in a Baltimore shipyard young William witnessed a severe flogging og a slave for a trivial offense; this encouraged his vehement hatred for slavery in The United States
  • Robert migrated to Pennsylvania where he lived with his family until manhood
  • He moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and walked all the way to the land office in Indianapolis, Indiana where he entered a quarter of a section of land two and one half miles northeast of Glenwood in Fairview Township, Fayette County, Indiana (between Connersville and Rushville on IN-44
  • Robert McCrory built up his property to become a prosperous landowner and according to his obituary, “Accumulated by honesty and hard labor considerable property, which he died possessed of.”
  • The Connersville newspaper noted in McCrory’s obituatary that the services “were witness by the largest concourse of mourning relatives and friends ever assembled on like occasion in this vicinity.”

ROBERT McCRORY: born 15 Aug 1801 in Antrim, Ireland; died 20 Mar 1879 (aged 77) in Fayette County, Indiana; buried in Glenwood Union Cemetery, Glenwood, Rush County, Indiana.

Articles regarding his life and death:

THE CONNERSVILLE EXAMINER on Robert McCrory’s wife, Saline M. “Celina” Saxon McCrory

Parents: Alexander and Mary Baldwin Saxon.

Siblings: James Saxon, Mary Ann Saxon Henderson, William M. Saxon, Elizabeth Saxon Procter, Alexander Gillespie Saxon, Robert F. Saxon, John L. Saxon, and Phineas Clayton Saxon.

Husband: Robert McCrory in Fayette Co., IN on 1-28-1823. Children: John McCrory, Mary McCrory Ball, Anna McCrory Murphy, William S. McCrory, Margaret McCrory Marks, Samuel McCrory, Clayton McCrory, Jane McCrory Ochiltree, Catherine E. McCrory, and Salina McCrory Crawford.

Salina’s brother Alexander Gillespie Saxon married her husband Robert’s sister, Margaret McCrory. Salina’s and Robert’s daughter Catherine E. “Kate” married her first cousin Robert, son of William McCrory, Catherine’s uncle.

“Mrs. Robert McCrory, relict of Robert McCrory, Sr., of Glenwood, died last Saturday morning. Age and infirmities. Funeral services by Rev. J. F. Hutchison at the Presbyterian church, after which in the presence of a very large concourse of relatives and friends, her remains were deposited beside her husband.” [The Connersville Examiner August 28, 1879 #35 p. 3.]

1870 U.S. CENSUS

1870 Fairview Fayette IN Census: Robert McCrory, 70, born in 1800, Ireland; farmer,; Salina McCrory 64, born in 1806, Georgia; Catharine McCrory, 22, born in 1848, Indiana; Salina McCrory, 21, born in 1849 Indiana; Margaret McCrory, 11, born in 1859 Indiana; Robert McCrory, 27, born in 1843 Indiana; Jacob Kinder, 38, born in 1832 Indiana; carpenter.


Robert was a son of John McCrory and Lillie Akin McCrory; his siblings were Samuel, William, Margaret, and Jane. Robert married Salina M. “Celina” Saxon in Fayette Co., IN on January 28, 1823. Their ten children were John, Mary BALL, Annie, William S., Margaret, Samuel, Clayton, Jane, Catherine E., and Salina.

Robert’s sister Margaret married Alexander Gillespie Saxon who was Robert’s brother-in-law.

“Robert McCrory … a native of Ireland walked from Cincinnati to the land office at Indianapolis and there entered a quarter of a section of land two and one-half miles northeast of Glenwood in this country, where he established his home. He married Celina Saxon, who was born in Georgia and who was but a child when her parents came to Indiana, settling in Fayette county at a time when Indians still were numerous hereabout. The Indians at that time were continuing to give such cause for apprehension on the part of the settlers that the little Celina was not permitted to wander far from the house in her play, lest she should be stolen by the Indians.”


“…Robert McCrory was a native of Ireland who came to America with his parents when he was but a lad, the family located in Pennsylvania, where he grew to manhood. As a young man, he came out to Indiana and located in Fayette county, where he presently married and established his home, one of the pioneers of the Glenwood neighborhood, and on their farm where he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives. Of the eleven children born to them, all are now dead, but their descendants in the third and fourth generation are numerously represented hereabout. …”

J. M. O. GLENWOOD, March 24, 1879.” [Connersville Library Microfilm.]

“Obituary: All that is mortal of Robert McCrory, Sr., was laid away in the churchyard here last Saturday. The obsequies were witnessed by the largest concourse of mourning relatives and friends ever assembled on like occasion in this vicinity. The subject of this notice was born in County Antrim, Ireland, in the month of August 1800. Emigrating to America, he landed in Baltimore in 1812. Was taken from his ship while crossing the ocean by a British man-of-war to be impressed into their service as a soldier or seaman, but his youth and the earnest intercession of his mother, who was present at this trying moment, induced the British commander to give up the lad after detaining him about twenty-four hours. In a Baltimore shipyard, shortly after landing, he witnessed the severe flogging of a slave for some trivial offense, which sight had much to do with creating in his heart a deep feeling of horror for the institution of slavery, and which remained there, as it were, a part of his being until the last vestige of the great evil was wiped out by our late civil war. He came to Indiana in 1820 or 1821. Accumulated by honesty and hard labor considerable property, which he died possessed of. A goodly number of his years on earth were passed as a Christian, unwavering and true. This is especially so of the latter, half of his eventful life. His aged wife survives him, and with their 9 children, 3 sons and 6 daughters, constitute the chief mourners.”

(*The fourth son, John, preceded his father in death.)

GLENWOOD UNION CEMETERY, Glenwood, Indiana – Tombstone Inscription:

“MCCRORY: Father ROBERT MCCRORY died Mar. 20, 1879, Aged 78 yrs. 7 mo. & 5 ds. Mother Salina wife of Robert McCrory Died Aug. 23, 1879, Aged 72 yrs. 7 mo. & 23 Ds.”


  • John McCrory & Lillie Akin McCrory (Robert’s parents)
  • Robert McCrory
  • Mary McCrory Ball
  • Prudence Anna Ball Greenlee
  • Anna Prudence Greenlee Jones
  • Mary Belle Jones Clary
  • Donna Mae Clary Barmes
  • Diana Barmes Jolliff Haas
  • Darin Lee Jolliffe-Haas

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MY DAY: Mother & a Cardinal

Oh I very rarely have dreams, or even “visits“ from those who have recently passed away. A few, perhaps, but of folks I would’ve never thought of appearing in my dreams or “visiting.”

This morning, I fed the dogs, let them out to potty, and when they returned inside, I laid back down for what would turn into a two-hour nap, waking at 10:30 AM. Just before I woke, I had a brief dream that involved my mother. I don’t recall much except at the end of the dream, she grabbed her car keys and purse. I asked where she was going, and she said, “out to the cemetery.” Now, in our family we knew she always meant Forrestville Cemetery which is about seven miles northeast of Elwood, Indiana, and where most of her side of the family is buried.

And with that, the dream ended and I woke.

I opened the back door which leads out onto the deck to let the dogs out. I am mediately heard a familiar sound. I looked up into the tree above the deck and there was a female cardinal greeting me.

As the dogs scampered out into the snowy covered backyard, I stood listening to the cardinal. It was such a lovely greeting.

Not my photo.

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THE FAMILY ALBUM: Rekindling wonderful memories

We hear a song and are often reminded of folks who are no longer with us or memories that tend to fade with passing time. Certain aromas and food can also trip the cord to bring afresh a moment in time or special faces.

A student’s mom, and dear friend, Nicole Melin, for the past twelve years, has blessed me with her special soups, fresh garden vegetables, creative spices, and so many other delicious recipes. She has even shared items prepared by her mother, Carol Greening. I have suggested for many years that Nicole, a special needs therapist, needs to open her own bistro. I am a pretty basic guy when it comes to food and Nicole has enlightened my world and expanded my happy taste buds.

Monday afternoon, Nicole delivered some items, one of which was canned green beans. As I retrieved the jar of green beans from my bin on the front porch, my mind darted back to all the canning my great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother did when I was young. I even had a hand in picking the beans from the large family garden that ran alongside my grandparents’ country house, snapping the beans on the porch with everyone pitching in, washing the beans in my Grandma Donna’s large metal colander, and later, counting all the “pops” as the jars sealed.

A simpler time? Perhaps. But, not really. It was a wonderful time that now has many files stored away in my mind or even written down in blogs. I remember the white-painted canning cabinet Grandpa Leroy made for Mother to store the canned goods, as well as the numerous cabinets he made for their own enclosed back porch and laundry room. Out at the Jones-Clary farm, I can still barely see the screened-in side porch with the interior wall lined with upper and lower cabinets for canned goods and other storage.

One quart jar of green beans retrieved so many fond memories. All those folks are now gone. But, with friends (and student parents) like Nicole, I am still kept in the loop of my childhood in so many different ways.

The seasoned green beans were my lunch, today. They were delicious. My stomach is filled, but my mind and appreciation for so many in my life are even fuller. Much, much fuller.

Thank you, Nicole!

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THE FAMILY ALBUM: It’s all about the Eighties

This year, 2022, heralds in one birthday and two birthday anniversaries of those turning eighty.

Last May 2021, a very dear friend, John Moore, father of my bonus siblings Laura Moore Parker and Michael Moore, turned eighty.

John Moore

Today begins the triple set of birthdays begins.

My dad, David Haas, who passed away in November 2020, would have turned eighty years old, today.

David L. Haas

This coming Wednesday, my bonus mom, Kay Moore, the first WWII Baby born in Dayton, will turn eighty.

Kay Moore

March 22, my birth father, Danny Jolliff, would have turned eighty.

Danny L. Jolliff

Last November 2021, it was the 100th birthday cycle, beginning with my grandfather, Leroy Barmes, who would have turned 100 on November 8th.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Norman Rockwell

3 February was Norman Rockwell’s birthday, born in 1894.

I have always enjoyed Mr. Rockwell’s work and was fortunate to see a great exhibit of his work, featured at The Dayton Art Institute, several years ago. A new exhibit is currently at The Dayton Art Institute through February 13th.

My grandmother, Donna Clary Barmes, collected bells and she had the entire Rockwell collection.

Below are a few of my favorite Rockwell pieces.

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SPOTLIGHT: President Lincoln’s new elephants

When we were on vacation in 1968, a major storm thwarted our evening plans so my parents turned on the television and we watched the movie, THE KING & I, based on the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical. I was not interested until I heard Yul Brenner mention Abraham Lincoln’s name. I remained glued to the television set waiting for Lincoln to appear.


As the Civil War intensified, President Abraham Lincoln received a letter offering an unusual gift from the King of Siam.

In May of 1856, the United States had signed a new treaty with Siam (now Thailand). As a gesture of goodwill, King Mongkut the Great (also known as King Rama IV) sent a letter and gifts to President James Buchanan. By the time they arrived, though, Lincoln was president. The gifts consisted of a daguerreotype of the King with his daughter and a variegated steel sword.

While the gifts were amazing, the contents of the letter, dated February 14, 1861, were equally memorable. The King of Siam, recognizing that the United States did not have elephants, offered several pairs of elephants that could be, “turned loose in forests and increase till there be large herds.” The letter argued that “elephants being animals of great size and strength can bear burdens and travel through uncleared woods and matted jungles where no carriage and cart roads have yet been made.”

On February 3, 1862, Lincoln received both the gifts and the letter. While he accepted the gifts, he politely refused the elephants noting, “Our political jurisdiction, however, does not reach a latitude so low as to favour the multiplication of the elephant, and steam . . . has been our best and most efficient agent of transportation in internal commerce.”

Image: National Library of Scotland

King Mongkut the Great
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MY DAY: Checking in

I have always been blessed with folks checking in on me or performing thoughtful gestures both large and not-so-large.

Today, my friend and studio mom, Karen, was out running errands pre-snowmageden, and said she would be dropping off an N95 mask she’d gotten at Kroger. When I went out to retrieve the task mask, I was surprised with this lovely bouquet of flowers.

Thank you, Karen!

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THE FAMILY ALBUM: Uncle Tom Richardson – obituary

Uncle Tom Richardson was my paternal great-uncle, the younger brother of my grandmother. In fact, my father, Danny Jolliff, was a year older than his Uncle Tom, and my Uncle Garry Jolliff was a year younger.

Uncle Tom married Carolyn Etchison, who was a cousin on Mother’s side of the family. Carolyn’s mother, Bellevedine Clary Etchison was a first cousin to my maternal grandmother, Donna Clary Barmes. I always thought it was fun having Tom & Carolyn as both an uncle and aunt, and cousins.

Thomas E. Richardson – obituary.

Thomas E. Richardson
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: History + Musical Theatre = So blessed

In August 1970, one month before my sixth birthday, my family traveled to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and Delaware for our vacation, and we spent four days in New York City where I saw my first Broadway musical, 1776 starring William Daniels, Howard Da Silva, Betty Buckley, and Ken Howard as the opening cast in 1969.

By the time we saw the show some sixteen months after its opening, we were blessed with Broadway performers such as David Cryer as Jefferson, Arthur Anderson as Rev. John Witherspoon, Ellen Hanley as Abigail Adams, John Cunningham as John Adams, and George Hearn as Dickinson.

It would be many years before I was a true fan of musical theatre as it seemed so ridiculous for everyone to break into simultaneous song and dance. Even when I began working with famed director and producer, Joshua Logan, I was still somewhat apprehensive about fully delving into the world of musical theatre. I was very much a band guy. The story of 1776, however, and the names of historic figures with whom I was already acquainted, began tugging me into port.

Mother shared three things with me from the experience of my first Broadway show: (1) my father leaned over to my mother during John Adams’ initial tirade, “Piddle, Piddle” to whisper, “Why do I feel like we’re watching our son up on the stage?” (2) I literally sat on the edge of my seat, never once sitting back. (3) I was remarkably silent and absorbed in thought the remainder of the evening. Mother said she and my father asked, several times, the remainder of the evening if I was feeling well.

I watch 1776 on television or video every July 4th. It’s a religious tradition. I am historically, culturally, and patriotically inspired.

Yesterday, Thursday, 27 January 2022, I was that five-year-old boy, again. I saw HAMILTON on stage for the first time.

Life-changing? Not really. But, I was definitely moved into a marvelous expedition of extraordinary entertainment, utmost euphoria, modest blessedness, and surprising reverence.

I knew the music, thoroughly, and had watched the musical on Disney+ the moment it opened in the wee hours in July 2020, but getting to see the blocking, choreography, complete movement, and lighting all in one setting was unprecedented experience. Twenty-four hours later, I am still feeling beyond this world.

1776 in 1970, and HAMILTON, fifty-two years later…

Thank you, Diana (Jolliff) Haas and Danny Jolliff for always introducing me to that broader world, so many phenomenal experiences at a young age, and the encouragement, even insistence to investigate my interests.

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THE FAMILY ALBUM: William Driskill Noble

I was reading up on my Noble ancestry and learned a bit more about my third great-grandfather, William Driskill Noble.

BIRTH: 24 January 1827; Clermont County, Ohio, USA DEATH: 18 May 1908 (aged 81); Elwood, Madison County, Indiana, USA BURIAL: Elwood Cemetery; Elwood, Madison County, Indiana, USA

From William Noble’s obituary:

Aged Resident Held in High Regard, Ended Life This Morning.

William Noble, one of Elwood’s pioneer residents, died this morning at his home at 2113 North A street at 6 o’clock, after a brief illness. Pneumonia was given as the cause of death.

Mr. Noble was born in 1827, was married in 1849, and is survived by the widow and five children, four sons and one daughter. He has been a highly respected citizen of Elwood for a number of years and a more extended obituary will be furnished later.

He was a member of Company D, on the One Hundredth and Thirtieth regiment and was also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The latter order will have charge of the funeral, the Rev. Hammer Ellis conducting the services at the M.E. church Wednesday morning at 11 o’clock. The burial will be in the city cemetery. (Elwood Call Leader, May 18, 1908.)

William Noble was born in Ohio, and an Anderson, Indiana, farmer when he enlisted as a private on October 26, 1863, in Company B, 130th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He spent 26 months in the army and was discharged as a corporal on December 2, 1865.

William Driskill Noble
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NOTICE: Two area closures

I learned today, via two visits to local stores, that PACKAGES ANYTIME ANYPLACE at Town & Country is permanently closed and CVS, across the street in Eichelberger Plaza, next to Kroger, will be closing.

I frequented these business often and will miss the employees and the convenience.

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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Life Packaging

I did not write this. This is from DailyOM.

We’re spiritual beings living in a human body, even though our packaging seems different, we’re very much the same.

We have all had the experience of encountering someone whose life seems so completely different from ours that we can almost imagine we have nothing in common. However, if we go deeper into observing, we will see that we all have the same things going on in our lives. It is as if our different lives are in essence the same gift, wrapped in an infinite variety of containers, wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows. Everybody experiences loss, grief, happiness, excitement, anger, and fear. Everyone can have money issues of one kind or another, and everyone struggles with difficult choices. 

Our lives show up differently for each one of us because we each learn in different ways. One person may need to learn the value of money by having too little of it, while another may need to learn by having more than enough. We each learn about work and love, with experiences that are tailored to our particular perspective. Even as it appears that some people have it easy while others are in a continual state of struggle, the truth is that we are all learning, and it is very difficult to tell, when looking only at the exterior of a person, what’s going on inside. 

This is one of the many things that can be so valuable about cultivating relationships with people from all walks of life. As we get to know those who seem so different from us, we get to really see how much of life’s challenges and joys are universal. We begin to look beyond the packaging of skin color, clothing preferences, and socioeconomic differences, hairstyles, and the cars we drive to the heart of the human experience. It is important to honor and value the differences in our packaging, but it is just as important to honor the gift of life inside each one of us, and the fact that, no matter how different the packaging, the gift inside is the same. 

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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: The Feeling Underneath

I did not write this. This is from DailyOM.

Apologizing chronically can be a sign that you are not feeling that you have much self worth.

Many people suffer with the tendency to apologize all the time, chronically, for everything. On the one hand, apologizing is a social convention that keeps interactions between people polite, and in that way it can be very helpful. On the other hand, if we find ourselves apologizing for everything, it might be time to look at why we feel compelled to say “I’m sorry” so often. Ultimately, saying you’re sorry is saying that you are responsible for something that has gone wrong in the situation. Whether it’s negotiating a parking spot, moving through the aisles of the supermarket, or reaching for what you want, there are times when sorry is the right thing to say. But there are other times when “excuse me” is more accurate. 

Sometimes saying you’re sorry is like saying that the other person in the equation has more of a right to be here than you do. Of course, it’s true that using the word sorry can simply be an innocuous way of defusing tension. However, if you find that you say sorry all the time, you might want to look a little deeper and see where in your psyche that might be coming from. If it’s a pattern, breaking it may simply take some awareness and practice.

The first step is observing yourself each time you say it, without being hard on yourself about it. Throughout your day simply notice when you apologize. At first, you might be surprised to see that you do it even more than you first realized. After a day or two of simply observing, try to tune in to what it is you are feeling right before you say it. You might be feeling threatened, embarrassed, intensely anxious, or a variety of other feelings. Over time, try to stop yourself before the words come out and just be with the feeling that’s there. You may recognize it as one from your childhood, one that’s been with you for a long time. The more you are able to see it, the freer you will be not to be sorry all the time.

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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Life’s Natural Rhythm

I did not write this. This is from DailyOM.

Slowing down and listening to your own natural rhythm can quickly connect you to the Universe.

Nature’s natural rhythms orchestrate when day turns to night, when flowers must bloom, and provides the cue for when it is time for red and brown leaves to fall from trees. As human beings, our own inner rhythm is attuned to this universal sense of timing. Guided by the rising and setting of the sun, changes in temperature, and our own internal rhythm, we know when it is time to sleep, eat, or be active. While our minds and spirits are free to focus on other pursuits, our breath and our heartbeat are always there to remind us of life’s pulsing rhythm that moves within and around us. 

Moving to this rhythm, we know when it is time to stop working and when to rest. Pushing our bodies to work beyond their natural rhythm diminishes our ability to renew and recharge. A feeling much like jet lag lets us know when we’ve overridden our own natural rhythm. When we feel the frantic calls of all we want to accomplish impelling us to move faster than is natural for us, we may want to breathe deeply instead and look at nature moving to its own organic timing: birds flying south, leaves shedding, or snow falling. A walk in nature can also let us re-attune is to her organic rhythm, while allowing us to move back in time with our own. When we move to our natural rhythm, we can achieve all we need to do with less effort. 

We may even notice that our soul moves to its own internal, natural rhythm — especially when it comes to our personal evolution. Comparing ourselves to others is unnecessary. Our best guide is to move to our own internal timing, while keeping time with the rhythm of nature.

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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Parts That Don’t Want to Heal

I did not write this. This is from DailyOM.

When we choose that which is not best for us, there can be a deep seated part of us that does not want to heal.

In almost every case, we know what is best for us in our lives, from the relationships we create to the food we eat. Still, somewhat mysteriously, it is often difficult to make the right choices for ourselves. We find ourselves hanging out with someone who leaves us feeling drained or choosing to eat fast food over a salad. We go through phases where we stop doing yoga or taking vitamins, even though we feel so much better when we do. Often we have no idea why we continue to make the less enlightened choice, but it is important that we inquire into ourselves to find out.

When we choose that which is not best for us, the truth can be that there is a deep seated part of us that does not want to heal. We may say it’s because we don’t have the time or the energy or the resources, but the real truth is that when we don’t take care of ourselves we are falling prey to self-sabotage. Self-sabotage happens unconsciously, which is why it’s so difficult to see that we are doing it. The important thing to realize is that this very part of us that resists our healing is the part that most needs our attention and love. Even as it appears to be working against us, if we can simply bring it into the light of our consciousness, it can become our greatest ally. It carries the information we need to move to the next level in our healing process. 

When we recognize that we are not making healthy choices, we might even say out loud, “I am not taking care of myself.” Sometimes this is the jolt we need to wake up to what is actually happening. Next, we can sit ourselves down in meditation, with a journal, or with a trusted friend to explore the matter more thoroughly. Just shining the light of our awareness on the source of our resistance is sometimes enough to dispel its power. At other times, further effort is required. Either way, we need not fear these parts that do not want to heal. We only need to take them under our wing and bring them with us into the light. 

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THE FAMILY ALBUM: Andrew Taylor Greenlee

Andrew Taylor Greenlee was my third great-grandfather.

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THE FAMILY ALBUM: Remembering Joel Monroe Jones

My great-great-grandfather, Joel Monroe Jones, born and raised in Madison County, Indiana, looked austere until a person got to know him. The family and family friend stories painted him as a tremendous storyteller and genius prankster.

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THE FAMILY ALBUM: Remembering Thelma Daugherty Barmes

Thelma E. Daugherty Barmes ~ 24 July 1903 – 16 January 1957

Before the Noon hour on Tuesday, 15 January 1957, my great-grandmother, while en route to deliver milk, eggs, and homemade butter to her church’s shut-ins, skidded on the ice leading up the slight embankment to the railroad tracks and stalled.

While initial newspaper reports were hopeful, Thelma Barmes succumbed to internal injuries, nineteen hours following the accident, expiring at 5:05 PM the following day, Wednesday, 16 January 1957.

She was married to Virgil Barmes and they had four children, Leroy Barmes, Evelyn Barmes Smith, Norma Barmes Edwards Abbott, and Danny Barmes.

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MY DAY: Friday evening fun

After dinner at La Piñata, Laura and I went to Home Buys in Centerville. I have not been in-store shopping in quite some time so it was like an hour or so in Disney World for me.

I bought several throw rugs, a number of other things, and a new “baby” for Erma. since the other three dogs consider themselves to be human, Erma is always excited and appreciative of typical dog toys.

Upon returning home I unpacked things, laid out the three new rugs, and gave Erma her new “baby.” I turned around to find her moving the one new rug from the hall into my study whereupon Erma stretched out to meet the newest member in her “baby” collection.

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