Thursday, January 27, 2011

Adam & Bess, The Final Chapter

Oh how I've been putting off writing this post.... I just didn't want to give Adam up just yet. But all good things (actually all things) must come to an end and here it is!!!

What else I know about Adam.

Adam's Grandparents

When I first started my Adam research I kept getting confused because I kept getting an Adam Filsinger in Syracuse who was considerably older than my own Adam. With a little more digging, I found out that this Adam is actually Adam's grandfather. He's married to a woman named Christina and he's a blacksmith born in 1833! LOVE IT!!! Apparently he was also pretty popular in early Syracuse because I found his name on a Syracuse map. I also found a picture of him and his wife Christina in newspaper archives on, however, is really persnickety about copying and pasting out of their archived newspaper articles. Each time I would do it, the computer would completely freeze up. I do have a printout for myself but it's pretty grainy.

Adam Before Bess

As Adam and Bess were born in 1886, they do not appear in the 1880 census. Also, much to the dismay of almost everyone who does genealogy, the 1890 census was mostly destroyed in a fire.... The first time we find Adam is 1900 when he is 16 years old.

He lives with his family and does not go to school. He is a Grocery Clerk at this point. His father is a Policeman, Cora is a millinery cashier and the rest of the kids are at school. His father owns his home but has a mortgage on it.

***Adam's mother is listed as having birthed 5 children and having 5 children still living, which is fortunate for her. Think about that question for a minute. That question appears on the 1900 & 1910 census records but luckily is no longer asked in 1920. Think about that for a minute. It's chilling.. And what a horrible question for the census taker to have to ask someone. As much as I love the past, this is one part of the past that cannot be romanticized in any way.

Adam & Bess Present Day (Well 1910 Present Day)

Isn't it fortunate that the diary I found is the exact same year as the census?!? It really lends to the reality of it all for me. And helps with the names/dates/people involved.

As you know, Adam and Bess are in their first year of marriage. He is listed as a Typewriter In..... (it could say inspector but I'm not certain, I feel like his job is a little more physical than that) Adam and Bess own their own home but have a mortgage on it. They have only been married for 6 months at the time this census was taken. (April 16, 191-Adam does not mention the census taker on that date in the diary). He is listed as 0 weeks out of work in 1910 (thus far) so we can imagine that his work has been pretty steady. Both of Adam's parents were born in NY. Bess's mom was born in NY but her father (Arthur Witham) was born in England. All of Bess's grandparents were born in England.

They live right around the corner from Adam's parents house. Adam's parents own their home free and clear.

As for the siblings, Bess has a brother (Arthur jr who you never hear about) and Katherine. Adam has Cora who is married at this point. Clara who is a school teacher, and Ray and Oscar who both work in factories.

Everyone in 1920

By 1920 we're starting to see some changes!!!

Adam and Bess now live in Watertown NY. Adam is a Physical Director at the YMCA!!!! LOVE IT!!!


They have 3 daughters!!!! (I know you wanted to know this!!!)

Catherine L- 7-This means she was born in 1913, 3 years after our story takes place
Mary E- 4
Sara A-2

Now daughters pose a problem for genealogists because daughters get married, and unlike on Facebook, NOWHERE can you find their maiden names!!! I hit a big wall with this one. I just can't FIND any of these girls. What I need are some marriage records somewhere.... I'm lost on this... Completely lost. This is why I've had no luck in tracing these people forward... I am SURE that there is some Filsinger ancestor who would just LOVE this.... But hell if I can find them....

But yes, happily they have children. The two eldest go to school.

By then Clara is married to William Hoffman. They have no children.
Raymond is married to a woman named Alvine and they have 2 children.
Oscar is married to Clara Merle (whom you've all met) and they have 2 children, the first of which is born in 1915.


Adam and Bess live in Watertown for the rest of their lives.
The girls are still teenagers and living at home.

Bess's mom appears on the census living with her sister Katherine. Katherine is 49..... Some time in the last 10 years Bess's dad passed away.

Neither of Adam's parents are on the 1930 census. This does not mean they have passed away, it could just mean they were not counted. It could be they have passed away. I don't know at this point.

All of Adam's siblings are still living.


In the time that Adam is in Watertown I found him in a number of bits in the newspaper. He does a lot with the YMCA-from coaching and playing sports to taking groups of boys camping.
One of the most exciting things that I found in a newspaper (which is on my computer that is acting up) is a photo that ADAM TOOK on one of these trips. It's just scenery, but it was pretty wild to see.

I wonder what he would think if he knew that someone would read his diary and then see that pic sometime... I wonder that a lot actually-How surreal it would seem to that person. Today at work I saw some coverlets from mid 1800. Can you imagine the woman that made it and what she would think if she could see 150 years into the future and that I would be looking at her handy work in a museum?!?!? It's kind of mind boggling.


Adam dies young in 1945. He's 59. He's the director of the YMCA by then. He has a heart attack.

Bess lives 20 years without him and then passes in 1965 at 79.

They are buried in Watertown.

Hmm...I Don't Even Know What To Title This.

So I have a few jobs that I need to hire people for at work and yesterday I got an interesting resume via email. It was from:

The name on it isn't really Chet, it's worse.... Much worse. But I didn't want to actually tell you this person's email address. And the guy's name isn't even Chet (or the actual name in the email address) he has a normal name.

Is it just me or is this a totally inappriopriate email to use when applying for a job???

So I became one of those prospective employers that you hear about who look on Facebook before hiring someone.

I KNOW!  I always think "Really? they do that???.." But then I answered my own question, YES they do....I couldn't help myself. I had to see who this Mr. Hard Pex was....Who would advertise themselves like this??? His profile wasn't public anyway and I couldn't tell by his picture if his email address was true or not.

Mr Hard Pex isn't being interviewed. He doesn't actually qualify for the job he was interested in thank goodness, because I have to tell you, his way of introducing himself did not impress me much...

I supposed there is that off chance that he is a blog reader of mine and thought I might be impressed after reading my comments about the susage guy.....

Monday, January 17, 2011


No, I didn't run off with the susage guy.

Here are a few quick things I'm thinking about

1) Life without Cable Update
So it took my daughter over a week to discover that we don't have cable anymore. And then she cried big huge tears over Cat-In The-Hat (which is on PBS, which we still have) and when I told her that she cried about Team Umizoomie. Then we found it online and she watched it once. And I thought she was over it but then she told my mom on me and stated it was "all mommy's fault we don't have cable anymore." It's pretty much been a non-issue since then but I suspect she's still brooding about it and someday when she's older she'll have a 12ft TV with surround sound and a bizillion channels.

On other fronts Football and polotics seem to still be reachable via the internet but I fear a smiliar breakdown with big fat tears when Yankee Baseball starts back up. The reduction in polotical TV has been nice.

2) Shrek The Final Chapter-Cute.
So we went to the library to qwell the cable woes over here and got Shrek, The Final Chapter for this past weekend. We all liked it. Shrek is basically having a mid-life crisis with his wife and 3 kids and no one thinks he's scary anymore. This was a funny movie. And also, strangely poignent. The whole theme centered around " You don't know what you've got till it's gone." We all know that already of course and possibly it's an overdone theme. But it's a theme I personally like, from It's A Wonderful Life to Big Yellow Taxi.

 (We never saw Shrek 2 & 3 but that didn't seem to make a difference.

3) Cat Fight

Evey DAY. My in-laws are in Florida until May and we have inherited their cat once agin for the duration.  This is usually no big deal as she's a pretty low key kitty. Not so anymore.... Not with our Kitten Amelia in the picture. These cats HATE each other. They fight constantly. I'm sick of listening to it. Because she won't eat or use the litter box anywhere NEAR the othe cat, Gracie now has her own loft apartment up in our 3rd floor office complete with food and potty.... Any suggestions would be appreciated.... I completely understand the term Cat Fight now... (Rich & Julie, don't mention it to J & F on the phone, they'll just worry!)

4) New Job

I'm on my 3rd week of my new job (at the museum still) this week. I'm mentally tired peeps. I'm thinking about all kinds of new stuff, and while it's all good, it's tiring.   My husband and my daughter had off today while I went to work. Now that's a change! It's ok though. I love going there. And I'm excited about this job. I'm working 3 days in the office and 2 mornings from home now. It's been like 5 years since I worked this much.... I guess I'm also 5 years older than I was the last time I did this.

5) Adam

I do plan on a final Adam and Bess post. I'm just tired (see #4 above)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Bet You Say That To All The Girls

So yesterday after helping  accompany 12 daisy girl scouts to the Rochester Museum & Science Center  to earn a badge, I stopped at my favoirte Italian food store, Rubinos.

I've mentioned this place before. The smells in there just make your mouth water. And they make the best homemade susage ever. Parsley, wine & cheese, being my personal favoirte. I like it so much that even if I'm in there for something else, I make it a point to buy some as I don't get there all that often.

Such was the case yesterday.

So there is a relly cute guy (boy, really) who works behind the meat counter (the irony of this is not lost on me.....) And when I'm ordering susage he flirts with me. 

And rather than being flattered, I find myself questiong his motives. Or his eyesight...Don't get me wrong, it's not like I've never been flirted with, recently even, but this boy is probably no more than 23. And while I WAS showered, I had just been to the museum for 3.5 hours with 12 little girls.... I'm sure I didn't look my "best."

And I'm not a regular enough customer that this boy would remember me so I think he flirts with everyone. Probably to sell more susage. I found myself wondering if possibly he was the grandson of the owner with a share in the susage sales or something. Ok, maybe I didn't think that exact thought until just a minute ago, but I did think to myself "Who ARE you smiling at? Do you not see the small girl next to me???" I have nephews your age... 

When he grinned at me slyly and said "You have a GREAT day now, ok" I almost said, "Whatever." I probably looked confused.

My husband tried to boost my ego by saying something like "I'm sure he WAS flirting with you, not every guy wants a young girl with heavy eyeliner..." Eyeliner???? Where did THAT even come from (*note to self- put liquid eyeliner on the grocery list.....)  At least he didn't say vetrinerian barbie... .

But really, do most  any 23 year old men (boys) want to flirt with women who have daisy girls scouts in full uniform as accessories???

Nothing makes you feel your age more than questioning the motives of men (boys) flirting with you.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Life after Cable

So I wish I had something big to talk about after my dear friend's monumentous book launch but I just don't. How can you follow that anyway??? (and I'm too tired for my last Adam and Bess post!)

However, I did do something big for my family today!! I returned our Cable TV box. We have officially cut cable from our lives.

That's only partly true because to get the all in one package that includes the digital phone and roadrunner internet you need to have at least basic cable. $12. I think you get like 13 channels.

And they all stink.

However, the way the math works out, it's cheaper this way. Whatever.

I would have done this years ago, however, I'm not the only person who lives in this house. The only real reason we kept it so long was polotics and sports and everyone in this house is now convinced that you can get your fill of both on the internet these days.

Another deciding factor was that we don't love commercial TV for our daughter. For a while she would watch shows on PBS and Nick Jr because they don't have commercials. She's kind of outgrown the Nick Jr shows but we don't like what we see when she watches commercial TV-In her or on the TV.  As an unintended consequence, she's bored by the nick jr shows we still let her watch she hardly watched any tv at all over Christmas break. Perfect time to make the switch. And there is still PBS if she wants to watch something.

We also go to the library a lot and can rent almost any video you can think of.

We'll save $732 plus tax this year but it's less about the actual dollar amount than it is about the fact that we've been paying for something that adds little value to our lives. Why would we do this for so long?

As a small aside I will also admit that we watch TV on a 13 year old TV set. We don't have HD anything, where your viewing experience would be enhanced with digital cable. (Don't feel bad for us, we're not poor, just not that interested.)

And yet today, before I went to return the box, I called my husband to confirm once more that we wanted to do this. We actually made the decision in Nov but needed to go to the Time Warner store to take back the box. I don't even know why I had this pause.I don't even watch TV really. I like to save money. I've stated my reasons above. It still felt strange.

While I was there, I was one of 3 customers in the store. We were ALL returning our cable boxes and cancelling cable.

Is this a sign of the economy or is it just that people don't feel like they are getting much for their money?

So we've gone from 200 channels with nothing on to 13 channels with nothing on.

Same difference.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Lily Of The Nile, A Novel By My Dear Friend Stephanie Dray

Tomorrow is the official release of my dear friend Stephaie Dray's historical novel about the children of Cleopatra and Marc Anthony.

Lily of The Nile is the first in a trilogy of books about Cleopatra's daughter, Cleopatra Selene, the Queen of Mauretania. Stephanie uses the transformative power of magic realism to illuminate the stories of women in history and inspire the young women of today. She remains fascinated by all things Egyptian and has—to the consternation of her devoted husband—collected a house full of cats and ancient artifacts.

She's also brilliant. She's a Smith Graduate and  has a law degree from Northwestern. She's wise and funny and I've been reading her writing and relying on her counsel (not the legal kind) since I met her in the 11th grade!

She's also the sponsor of The Cleopatra Literary Contest for Young Women.

You can read an excert from Lily Of The Nile at her website and purchase it from Barnes & or  It will also be in bookstores tomorrow, Janurary 4th.

Local friends, Saturday February 12th Steph will be doing a presentation titled "Love In The Ancient World" at the Greece Barnes & Noble & then signing books. That evening, I'll be hosting a private wine and cheese party/book signing at my home and Steph will be giving her talk, entitled "Bad Girls of The Ancient World" everyone is welcome and it sure to be an awesome evening! Come and meet Stephanie and spend an evening with us!