Archive for August, 2011

The Turn-Of-The-Century Machine Shop

August 30, 2011

BigBroBob plays with some of his toys.

BigBroBob made this turn-of-the-century machine shop museum happen.  It’s at the Watervliet Arsenal in New York.

I had the pleasure of seeing it at a family reunion in May of 2009.  I enjoyed it so much, I made a youtube video for everyone in the world to see.  So far, only 43 of the world’s population has actually watched the video, which should make it just that much more exciting for you to be in on the early action.

Oh, and hey!  Today’s the bro’s birthday!

Dan Edward Yearout, 7/5/1928-9/11/2010

August 29, 2011

When I was much younger, I was in school with a girl whose last name was Yearout.  It was pronounced “YOUR-owl” and sometimes you couldn’t hear the “l”, and it sounded like “Your-ow”.  I promise.

I did not understand how this could be.  It was clearly “Year out”.  I like for things to be what they are on the surface, even though in literature I love symbolism and innuendo.  Like the meaning of the name of Sylvia the cat who loves to hang out in the woods, because she is sylvan and from the forest.  Although she’s not from the forest, she’s from the ditch besides the liquor store in Garnett.  I digress, but only a bit.

Sylvia: "My friends can call me Ditch".

So.  I started studying genealogy in 1999, and I met, via email, a man named Dan Yearout, who was also a studier of genealogy.  It seems that my ancestor, Lynch Webb, was in the Civil Wah at age 40 along with two of his sons and one of their cousins, Merah Yearout.  (It will pay us to note that Lynch’s FATHER was Merry Webb.)

Merry Webb, 1778-1864, at the Myers Cemetery in Townsend, Tennessee. (I promise this says Merry Webb.)

Merry Webb the elder was the progenitor of a large family.  He married several times.  When the time came for naming children and grandchildren, several of them, all males, were named Merry.  It appears that it was pronounced “Merah”, since that’s how Merah Yearout’s name is written on his Civil Wah pension file, and he was a descendant of Merry Webb.

So.  Merah Yearout and his wife are buried in the Lenoir City Cemetery when my parents and my mother’s parents and various other collateral relatives are buried.  Small world.  I’d never heard of Merah Yearout until I met, by email, his descendant Dan Yearout.  Who sent a picture of Merah that I cannot find now (insert future finding of picture of Merah Yourowl HERE!! Click here!!).

He also sent me a copy of a letter from one August Jahraus in Germany.  It seems that Dan did some sleuthing and traced the Yourowl name to Germany.  Now, I am not a German scholar, but my mother-in-law’s mother was from Sweden (Yumpin’ Yiminy!) and her maiden name was Jaderberg.  No, not JAY-der-berg, but YAH-da-bare.  So I can easily make the mental stretch from Jahraus to Yahrow to Yourowl.  Because when I am determined, facts do not necessarily get in the way.

Somehow Dan also found a translator.  Determination scores another win.


Translation of August’s Letter

26 of December 2000

Dear Mr. Dan Yearout

I’d like to excuse myself for not responding to your letters of 4th of July and from September 2000 and I hope that at least you received my response to your Christmas greetings with the attached photo of myself, my wife Katarzyna and our daughter Julia.  This photo was made on my 50th birthday on November 9th, 2000.

I married my wife Katarzyna at the age of 46.  She comes from Poland, close to Krakov, our daughter is 3 years old.

I run the vinery I took over from my parents and furthermore plant apples.  There are no other families by the name of Jahraus in Ilbesheim.  My father Karl Jahraus died in 1980 and my mother [no name mentioned] died in 1988.  As I am the only son, the name of Jahraus in Ilbesheim will not succeed. 

After my mother’s death I lived in our house by myself from 1988 to 1996.  Only during the times when there was lots of work in the vineyards, as in February-March (cutting the wine-plants back), June-July (working the leaves), and September-October (harvesting the grapes and apples), my today’s wife Katarzyna was here.

I make wine from the grapes, which I do not bottle and sell myself, but this wine is sold via commissioners to big vineries.  Under this marketing system we have not even been able to cover our costs in the last two years with the white wines.  Only with the red ones we can make decent money.  But the areas we use for growing red wine are very small and newly implanted vineyards do not carry enough harvest.  Thus all vineries with solemn or mostly production of barreled wine are in a sour economical situation.

Because of this I try to sell my apples directly to the customers.  Every Friday afternoon and Saturday I drive to a region where they do not have apple plantations, to sell them there.  This time is but amiss in my vinery.  During the time of grape harvest from the end of September until the middle of October there are many working hours necessary.  Furthermore there is lots of paperwork to be done until certain dates.  As my wife cannot do these, and even does not have a drivers license, which is valid in Germany, I managed to keep the fruit plantation in a good shape, but the paperwork keeps piling up, and I am only able to get the things done, that are absolutely running into their closing dates.  Especially the bygone year 2000 brought several problems onto the surface.

I can assure you, Mr. Yearout, that I am really interested in keeping in touch with you, but I never went into genealogy myself.  At this moment, I am not able to supply other information than the following ones:

I have a booklet, in which the emigration of people from Ilbesheim in the 18th and 19th century until WW I (1914-1918) is described.  There are three persons by the name of Jahraus mentioned, who have emigrated to the USA

1.  Jahraus, Jacob 1832

2.  Jahraus, Johannes 1832

3.  Jahraus, Katharina 1888

The author of this booklet mentions 33 persons, which have emigrated in the middle of the 18th century (1738-1754) from Ilbesheim.  But there are Jahrauses among these.  This might have its reason in the fact, that there were probably (guessed) more than 100 emigrants.

I wish you and your family health and luck in the New Year 2001.

Heartily greetings

August Jahraus


I was in the shed a few days ago in search of something and I uncovered a Rubbermaid tote that had the letter above.  I was curious to know if Dan Yearout was still out and about, so I did a google search and I found his obituary.

When I find Merah’s picture, I’ll post that, too.  I promise.

Rest well, Dan.

Spay! Neuter! Don’t Be A Polluter!

August 24, 2011

About 2 months ago, a couple brought their dog to the vet’s office where I work.  It seems, that, maybe, perhaps, the dog, might, it’s possible, have, ummmm, *mated* a few days before. 

Well, either she did or she didn’t.  If you’ve ever seen a dog mate, that’s a pretty clear visual.

A female dog’s gestation period is about 2 months, approximately 60-64 days.  It would seem that this particular female dog delivered a litter of 12 puppies eight days ago. 

I am of the opinion that yes, indeed, the dog did, ummmm, *mate* when they thought she did.

Eleven, count 'em, eleven pups. Yes, I know it looks like ten. Count them again to find the missing pup.

I vote that the mother had more than one boyfriend.

Bella: "Can someone please lend me a paw? I'm too tired to sit up."

Ticked Off, or Not for the Faint of Heart

August 19, 2011

Hundreds of ticks on the tile floor. The bloody-looking substance is, ummm, *blood*.

A fellow stopped by the vet’s office today so that his new hunting dog could get a rabies vaccination so that he could hunt her the next morning.  He had just gotten her that very morning, and apparently didn’t look closely at his purchase.  Also, the vet inoculated her without noticing that she was covered in ticks. 

I was doing paperwork at the desk, while the hunter and the vet chatted about hunting, and one of them commented on the small black specks of dirt on the floor.  The small, black, MOVING specks of dirt.  That popped when you stepped on them like peanut hulls on the floor. 

The vet grabbed a bottle of flea and tick spray, sprayed the floor, and the bloodfest began.  Ticks began to pop and die on the tile floor. 

The hunter made his apologies for bringing the dog into the building, and he began to ruminate about where the dog had been and what she had infested with her tickiness.  “She bin in my truck box, but she ain’t bin with my otha dawgs.  I keepum reel clean on concrete flores.  I’m shore sorry I brung her in.  You ownt me ta sweepum up for ye?” 

We said, no, no, that’s fine, we’ll sweepum up, which was code for “get the dog out of the building”.  I looked at the dog, uncertain as to how two grown men missed the tickfestation, and I saw clusters of seed ticks, like tiny clumps of grapes all over her body, in particular her face and ears. 

I started to scratch MY head, Pavlovian-like, in response to seeing all the ticks.

Thank goodness I had already eaten lunch.


A Tree Falls in the Forest

August 13, 2011

Last Tuesday, August 9, I was out setting a cat trap around 7PM when the wind started to blow like something out of the Wizard of Oz.  Fortunately for me a wild, hungry cat went into the trap almost immediately, and I loaded up the cat and headed over to the grooming salon & pet boarding business that Sugar just bought last month (that’s another story) where he lets me overnight trapped cats.  (It’s so handy because it’s next door to the spay/neuter clinic!) 

Before I got to the salon (which was closed, but *I* have a key), the rains unleashed in a deluge still accompanied by the high winds, which makes for awkward going in a car that is powered by a sewing machine engine, if a sewing machine ran on four horses.  (Wow, that was a long sentence, and will serve as a full paragraph.)

That’s went I saw a pile of rope on the road ahead of me.  In my old age, I have actually begun to question things that seem out of the ordinary, not like when I heard a loud BANG at work, said, “Wow, that sounded really bad”, continued to work, and discovered upon leaving for the day that my rear window on my car, you know that big important one on the back of the car, was. SHATTERED.

“Aha, rope,” says me, “are you really rope, and why are you in the road?”  The rope obliged me by moving about, showing me that the rope was actually a large, frightened snake unable to move off the road by either fear or injury. 

At this point I discovered that it is impossible to take a good picture of a mass of snake in a rainstorm  in high winds through the windshield (that’s the big important window on the front of the car). 


I had the brilliant idea that I would turn off the windshield wipers instead of trying to take the picture through the wiper blades swiping back and forth.  Yeah, that was no good, too.

The grooming building is on the right, oh so far away.


Suffice it to say, I DID cross the double yellow lines to get to the grooming salon.  I already had a substantially-sized sticky, branchy type thing stuck under my car from driving through the debris on the the street, and I wasn’t interested in picking up a hitch-hiker.


Three days after the sudden-storm-not-on-the-radar incident, I went into the woods to the feral cat feeding station, and saw a ginormous tree *DOWNED* in the woods.  It just went over, most probably from the heavy rains, storms, and high winds.

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The tree fell neatly over, missing my fence, the cat station, the cat dormitory, and the road.  And it never made a noise, because, after all, no one was there to hear it.

Bacon! It’s Bacon!

August 8, 2011

Last month when the SIL and I were at the Kitchens on the Square in Savannah, I spotted the perfect, thoughtful gift for my nephew who loves bacon.  Yup.  Bacon.  If you look at his facebook profile picture, it’s bacon.

Alice: "Yes, it's bacon, but really? Who can afford the calories?"

Alice: "Bacon, say hello to my foot."

We Interrupt This Blog

August 1, 2011


I drove 800 miles in 48 hours for…. lunch.  That’s right, lunch, or more properly, a luncheon with the ladies of the class of 1974.  I haven’t seen most of these folks since then, because right after graduation from high school, I headed off to college where life and priorities changed.  I didn’t go to college with any of these women, and honestly, I couldn’t remember some of them. 

It was a perfect day, and the traveling went off without a hitch.