Two Remembered on Veteran’s Day

On July 26, 1918, Private Loren O’Neil Hollister was killed in action at Sergy, near Rheims, France. Less than one month later, on August 13, 1918, Private Ralph Elliot Holcomb was badly wounded at Chateau Thierry. He would die a few months later en-route home. It is unclear if these two men knew each very well or ever even met. Their paths may have crossed as Loren’s sister, Stella Hollister would marry Ralph’s father, Reuben Holcomb, after Ralph’s mother had died (and when Ralph was only about eight years old).

Loren Hollister, U.S. Army

Loren grew up in far west Monona County, Iowa and Ralph came of age in south-central Monroe, Wisconsin. Though one was technically the uncle of the other (by marriage), they were only four years apart in age. Ralph was assigned to the 4th Division, 13th Field Artillery, Battery ‘C’. His unit would see plenty of action in July and August of 1918 at Noiroy, Hautevesnes and Chateau Thierry. Loren, on the other hand, served with the Headquarters Company of 168th Regiment, a unit of the Iowa National Guard. His Platoon’s job was keeping communications open. It would seem that his duties might keep him out of harm’s way but that was not the case. He was killed taking equipment to the advanced battalion when “a shell burst in the midst of the men of the telephone platoon.” Continue reading »

Little House Model Revisited

I recently wrote a post called “Longhouse Comes Home“. The longhouse was built a couple of years ago as a school project but only recently made its reappearance at our house. As I was reminiscing, it got me thinking about other “over-the-top” projects the kids and I have undertaken during the grade school years. How about building a whole town? Yes, we did that – Number 1 son and I completed this elaborate exercise when he was in the fourth grade. After reading Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (of Little House on the Prairie fame), the class was given a choice of “hands-on” projects to complete. My son, of course, chose the most elaborate of these – that being the construction of a model of (Lake) Pepin, Wisconsin.

Model of the Town of Pepin

Approaching the town

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History Page Added at My Other Blog

I recently added a page to My Other Blog to showcase some additional photographs and historical documents. My Other Blog is a family history and genealogy site I write at Blogger. Some of the family history information started out here at BRBlog but I eventually decided to start another blog just for this topic. In the post, Genealogy Grows, published last month, I talked about that process. One of the advantages of having a blog site dedicated to one subject, like genealogy, is that there is more flexibility in arranging documents and more opportunity to show information.


Screen Shot of the History Page at My Other Blog

The History Page at My Other Blog

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What’s Up at ProNet 6

ProNet 6 is my internet marketing blog. At lease that is what it is supposed to be. So what is happening over there? Let’s hope it is a renewal and refocus. In recent articles here at BRBlog, I have been giving updates on some other sites and platforms I write on. You can read about those here:

The post: Genealogy Grows, about the activities at my genealogy and family history site called: My Other Blog  . . . and  . . .

The post: Over at HubPages, about the Hubs I am writing at BRBlog – HubPages

So while I am at it, I might as well provide an update on the activities at ProNet 6. The site was started with a bang in summer of 2011. The purpose was to have a blog that focused on learning about internet marketing and making money online. At one time, that had been one of the areas of interest here at BRBlog but I found it to be too narrow of a topic for a newbie. I needed to find things I was interested in writing about and learn a lot more about blogging before I took the plunge into some form of e-commerce. Frankly, I found the whole thing just to hard and to confusion. So, over time, BRBlog changed into a sort of free-for-all; with topics on family life, genealogy, architecture and other things. That felt right so I continued to veer away from the internet marketing discussion.

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Over at Hub Pages

Last year I opened an account at HubPages and started writing articles. As usual, I don’t think I had a plan or strategy, just dived in. I did have a theme, though. I thought I would write humours story’s (or Hubs as they call them). I wrote one which I thought was pretty good and got some feedback and then followed-up with another but I soon realized that I was running out of ideas. Add to that the notion that maybe I don’t really want to write humorous stories all of the time. So, after a couple of months, I stopped writing and my HubPages fell dormant.

My first hub from June of 2011: Holy Crap My Blog Stinks was kind of funny but not a smash hit . . . but then what?

I am a smart guy, but a lot of times it takes a while for me to grasp the potential of a situation and act upon it. I think that was the problem with my HubPages – I needed to stop and let the thing simmer for a while. Now, just maybe, a lightbulb in my brain may have been turned on. It dawned on me that I should be using HubPages to reach their captive audience and point back to my other websites. Maybe I can get more of an audience there and drive traffic in both directions.

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Longhouse Comes Home

A couple years back, my, then third-grader and I built a model of an Algonquin Longhouse as a school project. This was certainly one of the most “over-the-top” school projects that I have undertaken (and there have been a few). See the post, A Year of Great Costumes for other school related projects. Still, despite the excessive effort and crazy amount of detail, the longhouse was a great project. In this particular case, and at the time, I thought I had good reasons to help out and go beyond sanity. First of all, I was not working so I had time on my hands and secondly, number two son had came to me and asked if we could build a really good longhouse. The longhouse, as it turns out, is a popular grade school project. Google it and you will find dozens of examples from all over. Our third grade teach had been assigning this project for years as well.


The Algonquin Longhouse Project

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Genealogy Blog Grows

This blog floundered around for a while trying to figure out what it wanted to be or if it really even wanted to exist (that process continues). Looking back, it seems only natural that at some point I would decide to write about my family history and genealogy quest. That endeavor, an interest in genealogy, pre-dated any blogging on my part by many years. I would soon discover, however, that maintaining a written history of my family would be something that would grow and multiply as more information became available and new connections were made. My “report” format had its limitations (it required constant updating and very few people ever saw it).

Genealogy Grows at My Other Blog

I wrote the first post about genealogy on this blog back in June of 2010 and in September of that same year, added a genealogy page. There was really no rhyme or reason behind my approach to this subject. At the time, I thought that the genealogy information would evolve as a separate part of this blog. The new page had links to the family report, some photos, a few resource links and a small amount of narrative. At the same time, the report still required continual updates as I was finding more and more information and expanding the depth of coverage of the family. I could showcase a small amount of family history on the Genealogy Page but it soon dawned-on-me that I might want to abandon the report (or updated it less frequently) and devote my time to creating an entirely separate genealogy website. I decided right away that it would be a blog format. I also took the opportunity to explore a different platform and created the new site in blogger with the added advantage that it is free. There were some limitations in going in this direction but overall, it has worked out just fine.

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The Lost Art of Architecture

In this computer age where most functions of the Architect are now almost completed electronic, including drafting, design and rendering, we seem to have lost the art of drawing. Architecture was (and maybe still is in some quarters) a profession that allowed for both the precision of mechanical drafting and the art of hand drawing. Architects might have been artists but they did not have to be or they might have been mechanical drafters but, once again, perhaps not. They could be one or both and many were skilled in both areas.

Garden of Contemplation – Colored Pencil on Board

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