Martha Loonan Nation's Memoirs

Today is April 10, 1995 and we are looking forward to the turn of the Century - going into the year 2000. The World is quite a different place than it was 100 years ago. The Cold War is over with the collapse of the U.S.S.R., the Berlin Wall is down and Germany reunited, the Republicans are in charge of both houses after forty years, the baseball strike is over at last, and we are looking forward to the Iowa Sesquicentennial in 1996.

But I am ahead of my story.

I, Martha Elizabeth Loonan, was born September 29, 1913 in Orange Township, three miles east of Hudson. My folks were Lloyd and Elizabeth Bedford Loonan. They were living with my grandparents, James and Elizabeth Vaughan Loonan in the "big house" which had been built two years before. The house was very modern for its time. It had its own gas plant which ran the lights and a gas stove in the kitchen. There was a dumb waiter in the kitchen, which lowered food into the basement to keep cool. Later they had an ice box with a door through to the porch to put ice in.

Martha Martha Jean and Ruth Loonan

When I was six months old the folks moved one mile west to the Thomas Loonan homestead. There, three brothers and two sisters were added to our family: James Bedford, Daniel Vaughan, Ruth Eleanor, Jean Catherine, and Lloyd James, Jr. (later changed to Lloyd Lyman). When Lloyd was born he didn't have a name for some months so we called him "Little Brother" , later changed to Bub. As each baby was born Grandma Loonan helped care for the rest of us. When Lloyd was born Jean stayed with Grandpa and Grandma, and lived with them off and on until she was married.

Martha, Daniel, and James Loonan

One of my early memories was during the flu epidemic in 1918. Everyone in the family, the folks, hired men, hired girl, kids all were very sick. I was the only one who didn't have it. My Aunt Clara and Aunt Jo came to take care of everyone. We slept out in the dining room on mattresses. I'm sure I wasn't much help at 5 years old. I kept begging to go in where the others were.

We always had pets around. I felt awful when I caught our pet squirrel in the screen door and killed it. We had a special cat who never came in the house except to catch mice in the fall. When she had her kittens she'd break through the screen door and we'd find new little kittens somewhere in the house. We had 3 ponies which we rode bareback. We became quite proficient at running from behind and jumping on their backs. Dad brought one pony home from the fair. It had been teased and could play tricks. You had to watch when you went in the barn door - she'd scrape your legs. She'd also turn around and bite your leg or else stop suddenly and you'd go over her head.

We had a succession of dogs which had to learn to put up with kids. They were supposed to be stock dogs but often turned into pets.

My first year at Hudson Consolidated School they didn't have buses, so I rode in a buggy with my Uncle George, who was in High School. When he had basketball practice or was busy I rode home with my three cousins. One night we were going pretty fast in a cutter and we upset. It didn't take long for them to pick me up, brush me off and we were on our way.

My second year they had a covered wagon with benches to sit on and a flap in the back. On the first day I took one look and refused to get in - I thought they were gypsies. I had been warned not to get in with gypsies when I walked over to Grandma's. The second day I went to school.

I always liked school. Dad was School Board President so we quite often entertained the teachers. When Iowa State Teachers College decided to have Hudson as one of its teacher training schools. I just missed having the student teachers. They started with first and second grades when I was in third. As a result Miss Sturdy, our teacher, moved up with us and we had her for six years. She was a good teacher and we had a fine basic training.

As a child I loved to go visiting. I walked or rode a pony to Grandma's house a mile away. While there we might bake a cake, or take a picnic to Goose Creek. We'd listen to the birds, pick wildflowers, or dig dandelions for greens. I also liked to visit my next-door neighbor, Blanche Strayer, or the hired man's wife in our tenant house.

Once a week we'd get the twelve dozen case of eggs, and the one pound molds of butter ready to trade at the store. Usually the grocer would include a sack of candy with the groceries

Grandpa and Dad raised Percheron horses. I can remember making many sandwiches and getting the tin cups ready when they had a sale. The neighbors would all help lead the horses to the Cedar Falls auction barn. It was fun watching them braid fancy ribbons in their manes and tails before starting.

Dad raised Polled Shorthorn Cattle which he entered in fairs. I was always fascinated watching them get all the prize ribbons sewn on a big banner. The cattle always had to be groomed. When I was ten, our big basement barn burned with 100 show cattle in it. I was so nervous I couldn't get dressed.

For entertainment we had movies outside, between two stores. We sat on planks. Once a week we attended the band concert and had an ice cream cone as a treat. Occasionally when a barn was completed they had barn dances. Our neighbors, the Denglers, played for dances once in awhile at Voorhies and we'd listen to them practice.

For fun we had a last day of school picnic in the park. The challenge was to make the big swing go clear around. I never had nerve enough. We didn't have a Library at school so we borrowed books from the Library in Des Moines. One year I read 40 books and reported on them. Jim, Dan and I went to the Saturday afternoon Westerns at the Paramount Theatre for 10 cents. They were always continued so we'd beg to go again. We went to the Cattle Congress and ate our lunch at the car.

When I was a freshman in H.S. the folks lost their farm and we had to move to Cedar Falls. I finished the year at Grandma's. Jean and I became very well acquainted during those three months and she decided to move to Cedar Falls with the rest of the family that summer. She and Ruth were inseparable. That summer I joined the Cedar Falls Do R-Best 4H club. That fall Jim and I went to the Campus School and the other kids attended a country school. In March we moved to the Faulkner farm 2 miles south of Hudson. We had a goat which ate clothes off the line. We had to get rid of it. There I joined the Lincoln 4H club and later they organized the Black Hawk Boosters 4H club.

I graduated from Hudson in 1931, attended I.S.T.C. that summer and then taught Eagle No 3 that fall. I had 6 students and received. $60 per month. Later I had 10 students and 5 couldn't read. Part of the time I rode a horse the 3 miles to school when the ruts were too deep. It was quite an experience. After Christmas vacation I went back and the whole front of the school was covered with thick ice. A student's brother helped chop the door open, and made the fire. One day when it rained hard I realized we didn't have any lights in the building. We had an old pump organ in the corner and I gave lessons on that.

In February Dad went out rabbit hunting and was shot while climbing a fence. Our lives really changed after this happened. We learned to do lots of things and we all missed him very much. For instance he had butchered a hog and it was hanging frozen in our back room. Jim, Dan and I decided we had to take care of it. Mother said many years later that there were some odd pieces of meat but we did it.

Mother had been a big influence in our lives. She had a beautiful soprano voice and also played the piano. We learned the ABC's early in German and also English. She always encouraged us in whatever we wanted to do. Later she started to paint by numbers and then mixed her own paints. Through her we always liked books, music, art, plays. She enjoyed club work. We always attended Sunday School and Church at the Baptist Church, where Mother sang in the choir. The six of us were seated in the front row pew. When I was sixteen the Baptist Church merged with the Brethren Church and later became the Community church.

During my Senior year in High School I had gone to Eagle Center to a celebration with a classmate. While there I met Harold Nation and a friend from Geneseo. Later Harold became our cream hauler. One day he told me he was going up to see this classmate. of mine and would I like to go along. I said yes but we never went to see the classmate. We started dating that night but it was seven years later when we were married.

While I taught at Eagle #3 Harold traveled about one mile on the same road I did. When I'd go in the morning I'd leave a note on a stick in the ditch and he'd pick it up when he came. Years later our neighbor, Mr. Dengler, said he thought there were bootleggers leaving signals in the ditch, according to which way the stick was pointed.

Martha Loonan, Lloyd Loonan and Harold Nation

I next attended I.S.T.C. and received a BA in English, minors in History, Math, Latin and speech. In the fall and spring we rode in the I.S.T.C. bus when they took student teachers back and forth. In the winter I stayed in the Dorm. I joined the Tau Sigma Delta sorority - which later became the Alpha Xi Delta. We met in the Dorm because they didn't have their own house at that time. I stayed in the dorm all of my senior year, 1936. It was so cold in the winter with lots of snow. Then it was so hot all summer. We slept out in the hall where it was breezy. We had tea parties.

While at I.S.T.C. I was a maid in the 1936 summer play. Also helped with scenery, makeup, etc. in others. While in my bib overalls taking down scenery after the play, the Mt. Auburn school board and my future Superintendent found me for an interview. I was hired at $90. a month. The second year I was Principal of the Jr. & Sr. High for $10 a month in addition and taught everything I had before. I had the girl's baseball, plays, and music. As principal I also took money at the games. We played basketball in a shed about a block from the school and the plays were in the Methodist Church.

My roommate and I stayed with a lady for $5 a month. We had an outside privy and a slop bucket. We also had a straw tick that was changed every fall. The landlady turned off our electric clock and radio every day to save electricity. We listened to "The Shadow Knows" on radio.

The first year the landlady left at Thanksgiving and didn't return so Lucille's Mother came to cook for the teachers. She also had her grandson with her who had been born in June. His mother was a teacher and you weren't supposed to be married at that time and certainly not have a baby so Grandma had the baby. It was my job to take care of the baby, who was very good and cute.

I was the Junior class sponsor the two years I was there so when they had intramural games the boys had me get in the huddle with them. We always won. The other teachers and I took it upon ourselves to teach the Jrs. & Srs. how to dance before the Prom. We had the Proms at Blacks in Waterloo.

Harold started working for Mother on the farm in March 1938. We had planned a June 10th wedding so we were busy buying furniture, dishes, and things to start housekeeping. Mother planned to move into Grandpa and Grandmas Loonan's home in Hudson and Bub was to stay with us. Mother and I took wool up to the Woolen Mill in Cedar Falls and had 3 bats for comforters and a green and lavender blanket made. Grandma L. had goose feathers and we made several pillows. I found a list of my purchases from my teaching money which included: living, dining and bedroom furniture from Davidson's for $484.01, Skelgas combination stove (4 burner gas and 2 burner wood stove) for $171.60, Set of 12 Holmes T Edwards Silver for $55.00, Everyday dishes, $15.50, sheets and pillowcases $8.90. waterless cooker, $2.25, Comforter bats (3) $2.25, Curtains $6.00.

Harold and I were married in my home on June 10, 1938 with Jim and Jean as our attendants. There were about 40 guests. My gown was floor length satin with a long train and a veil. Jim wasn't able to practice when we did so he kept asking me all the way down the stairs what he was supposed to do. Once he stepped on my train.

When they went to serve the guests Mother went out in the back porch to get the special groom's cake and tiny little grease ants had found it. Thank goodness the bride's cake was inside.

After the wedding we went to Waterloo to have our pictures taken and then on to the hotel. The next day we started on our 10 day honeymoon to the Ozarks in Missouri. On the way we stopped at the Locks in Keokuk. It was such a beautiful day we watched for hours and I was so sunburned for the rest of the trip. We drove all around the hills of the Ozarks. One day we looked down into one of the valleys and saw a tiny shack with smoke coming out of the chimney. We drove down a little path and saw a man out chopping wood. He took us in where his daughter was rendering lard. His granddaughter, a very small child, was swathed in bandages and they told us she had tipped a "kettle of hog grease on her."

When we returned after 10 days of looking around a group of kids from Mt. Auburn, and 2 groups from Hudson charivaried us. We were moving in and Mother was preparing to move. Harold's folks had given us a team of horses, $25, and lots of canned meat. Mother had left a bedroom set for Bub, a sewing machine and a Coolerator, some horse machinery, and some cattle, which we bought.

We had a big decision to make: whether to buy more horses and machinery or to invest a lot in a tractor and machinery. We opted for the tractor. We also had to decide whether to keep on registering the Polled Shorthorns. We kept it up for awhile and then gradually went into feeder cattle and lots of hogs. Harold was a very good farmer.

Bub stayed with us 4 years and then Dan decided he wanted to try farming. We moved to the Reuling farm, the same farm that Mother had lived on till she was 5.

The house had an interesting history since it was over 100 years old. It was built originally by George Ward after he returned from the Civil War in 1864.

Daniel Bedford, my grandfather, purchased the farm and planted the large straight trees that stand in the farmyard. Mother could remember when the stagecoach on the old Eldora line used to stop at the inn one quarter mile down the road. She often talked about going to parties in the inn. The big barn still stands there. Eldora Road has since been black topped.

When we moved to the farm, we had electricity but no running water in the house, just a cistern pump and a spring. The spring fed into the stock tanks and a cooling tank for the cream. Reulings soon drilled a deep well, and put in a bathroom.

Our first child, Jo Ann, was born while we lived at Loonan Stock Farm. She was born at St. Francis Hospital in Waterloo on October 25, 1940. She only lived 3 hours. We buried her in front of the Loonan Monument. We were so devastated.

Our next child, Robert Arthur, was born April 19, 1942 in Waterloo. He was also a full-term baby but was called a "blue baby." He stayed in the hospital for 6 weeks and then we brought him home. He was a cute baby with dark curly hair. He gained a pound but he passed away July 15, 1942 and is buried in the Hudson Cemetery beside Jo Ann.

During the summers the Waterloo Courier sponsored a Sunshine Kids program. The first summer we had 2 boys - 10 and 12. They came with just the clothes on their backs. We were paid $19 a child for a month's expenses. They loved the boiled potatoes and bread They almost ran our old pony to death. The parents came with a 12 year old twin sister and a baby and wondered it we'd like all of them. No Thanks!

The next one was a girl of 8. She was a jewel. Helped with dishes, liked food, etc. The next summer they sent two 8 year olds. One brought. a big bag of candy with her, then cried all night because her teeth hurt. Her dentist had just packed 2 teeth with cotton and sent her out. She went home the next day. The other girl worked out fine.

The last little girl was Mexican . Her folks had been dancers. She danced whenever anyone came and then asked for money we learned later. She was a beautiful black-haired girl.

Cathlene Ann Nation made her appearance April 17, 1945. I had very good attention while I was in the hospital. Brother Jim, a Major in the army, was sent home on R & R from World War II just before peace was declared. Our neighbor was in the Air Force and another friend was in the Merchant Marine. With all those uniforms around Cathy and I had lots of help from the nurses.

Cathy was always a good baby. She could entertain herself by the hour with a book or toy. When she was 4 years old she had a softened bone in her ankle and had to have a series of casts for 6 months. This didn't slow her down much. David put some corn down in the cast.

Cathy was always a good student. She started kindergarten in the Community Church. Her first teacher had quite a Southern accent which Cathy picked up.

David Arthur Nation was born August 23, 1947 in Waterloo. It was sweltering hot when we went in, 10 days later the typical Iowa weather had changed and we had to have heat. We thought we were being so careful and brought Dave home after Cathy was asleep. Well, she woke up and started crying, the dog barked, David howled and I almost gave up.

Dave was very active. Climbed up on everything, and into everything, He crawled on all fours and his favorite place to play was the outside cellar door which was slanting. He'd run his tractors up and down like a spider.

We had a succession of hired men. Usually they were still in school so they worked for board and room and some money. Dick Brown stayed with us three years and was a favorite of the kids. Ernie Bernard could play the piano by ear. One winter we borrowed a projector, an old silent film and he played Hearts & Flowers, William Tell and so on in the appropriate places. We set up our long living room into a theater and served pop & pop corn. People came for 3 nights and then Ernie quit playing.

Ernie was also the one who put on "bee" equipment, crawled up in our attic and retrieved a dishpan full of delicious honey. The Waterloo Courier had quite a story about the honey bees that occupied our house.

Another man, Red Burgett, came along the road and Harold hired him. Years later we still had cards from him and after his death his wife and I still exchange cards. Red loved the song Wabash Cannon Ball.

While Gordy Watters was with us a man from Chicago stayed with us too. He worked for the Farm Journal and had never been on a farm. Every night Harold and Gordy recalled all of his adventures, such as clipping little pigs teeth so they couldn't bite each other, castrating , being tipped over by a mother pig, chickens with the croup, I imagine he was glad to return to Chicago at the end of a month.

We always had a big garden. We had an 8 Cu. Ft. freezer and kept it full of corn, peas, meat, chicken, applesauce, bread, cookies and ice cream. I substituted quite often at Hudson, so Harold could cook for extra men if they helped.

The neighbors all had land along the Black Hawk Creek and also lived along Eldora Road so we became known as the Diagonal Gang. We always shared work at harvest, and other times. One time they all came when we butchered. They stuffed sausage, smoked it in the brooder house and we had pancakes & sausage for supper. We always were together at Halloween. The kids all came because they didn't want to miss the fun.

We had one of the first television sets in our area. Neighbors and friends came for many nights to see and hear the new machine. We could only get WOI in Ames for awhile and it was snowy at times but we watched Amos & Andy, Ed Sullivan, Milton Berle, and Lucy.

When Cathy and Dave were in High School and Jr. High, Ruth Strayer and I decided to go back to UNI and renew our certificates. We decided to take Elementary Ed. so at the end of a year of commuting I had my certificate and a job as Fourth Grade teacher at Hudson. Ruth had the room beside me as kindergarten teacher. After 3 years the Sixth grade teacher became Elem. Principle so I moved up. I spent 16 years at Hudson Community School and retired in 1975.

During the 16 years at Hudson my classes ranged from 19 to 37 pupils in a room. A far cry from the six students I had at Eagle #3. We did have extra teachers for Music, Art and Physical Education. Part of the time we also had Teachers' Aides. Some years we had two divisions in each grade and later three divisions.

The three years I spent in fourth grade were in a self-contained room. We taught all subjects and had recess duty. I soon found out that I needed some training in printing instructions on the chalkboard. It was quite different from teaching Junior High and High School. They were eager to learn and had good imaginations.

In sixth grade I taught English and Social Studies. I tried to have the parents or grandparents of the students talk to us (mostly answer questions) about the countries of the world we were studying. Sometimes the parent took us on a tour of their place of business - such as the Northern Pipeline, the Courier, a Transportation Company, the Strayer-Wood Theater, or the library.

The sixth graders patrolled the three crossings in town - the old 63, new 63 and 58 highway crossings. As a reward for doing this we took from 60 to 90 of them to Des Moines for a day each year. While there we toured the Capitol, the Historical Building across the street from the Capitol, the Art Institute, a potato chip factory, and ended the day with an hour's shopping at the Mall.

One year Mr. Castor and I took the sixth graders to Fayette for a Science project. He had warned them to take old tennis shoes because we'd be wading across a small creek. Of course they all got very wet and had to ride home on the bus. On Monday morning most of them had bad colds.

We did a lot of story and poetry writing and reading aloud. One long poem in their Readers was a History of the United States and could be added onto every year in Language Class. We worked on it and then presented it for other classes several years.

One exercise in English truned into a yearly project too. Instead of copying directions out of the book, the students brought materials and made things for the class, or demonstrated how to do things like; cleaning a saddle or bridle, starting a motorcycle, cleaning a gun, make peanut brittle, a cake, popcorn balls, Christmas ornaments, show a dog's training, wash and set hair, or make hats out of paper cups. One kid did try to demonstrate making paper airplanes.

We also sent "Thank You" notes to Grandma at Christmas, business letters to send for things out of their school paper, and friendly letters to Pen Pals. They didn't actually have to send the letters but many of them did.

Another project we worked on was a family tree. One mother was so interested that she started a Genealogy class in Waterloo. This and other projects involved the parents in what we were studying.

I still enjoy meeting former students and their parents and reading about them in the Hudson Herald. I'm especially proud of those students who have become teachers.

Those were busy years for all of us. Dave and Cathy were busy with Scouts, 4H, band and school work. Dave held the pole vault record for a number of years, and was on the mile relay team; he was in the Latin club, chorus, and played bass clarinet and tenor sax in the band. In 4H his pen of hogs won Grand Champion one summer. He also studied one summer at Grinnell College. He graduated from Hudson in 1965 with a class of 35.

Cathlene attended UNI for one year, and then transferred to Iowa State University from which she graduated with honors in 1967. While at Iowa State she joined the Delta Zeta sorority and lived in their house. She was Horticulture Queen.

Shortly after graduation Cathlene married Jan Adrian De Young from Ames. They moved to Oak Park, Ill. where Cathy taught Home Arts at Emerson and Hawthorne Elementary Schools for two years while Jan served in the Army in the U.S. and Vietnam.

Cathy and Jan moved back to Iowa in 1969. Cathy taught Home Economics at Holmes Junior High in Cedar Falls and Jan worked in retailing for the J.C. Penney Company in Waterloo while both completed Master's degrees at UNI. Later Jan became an instructor in the fashion design program at Hawkeye Tech in Waterloo. Laura Elizabeth De Young was born June 8, 1974, at Sartori Hospital in Cedar Falls.

Dave attended both UNI and Iowa State with a degree in Computer Science. He and Jean Bielefeldt of Colo were Married August 9, 1969. Dave joined the Air Force, and Jean taught 6th Grade at Ankeny. Justin David Nation was born while they were living in England stationed in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Dave and Jean enjoyed traveling in Europe during their 2 1/2 years there.

Harold and I visited them and we planned a trip around Europe. Cathy and Jan joined us in Amsterdam but Harold had a heart attack on the way to the Hotel. The kids drove up to visit Jan's relatives in Denmark. Harold had very good care but conditions in the hospital were were primitive. After 4 or 5 weeks we were able to fly home.

In 1975 Cathlene and Jan separated and Cathy and Laura moved to the East Coast where Cathy worked for an education consulting firm. She married Clyde Royden Williams, a systems analyst for the Navy, in 1977 in Arlington, Va. That year she began working for the National Assoc. of State Boards of Education. and Laura began preschool at the Blue Bird School in Arlington. Cathlene began a doctoral program in Public Policy at George Washington Univ. in 1979 (She is getting her PHD in May, 1995). In 1987 she began working as a communications Manager for the Nat. Society of Fund Raising Executives, then became director of library and research services and is now director of education and research programs, for NSFRE.

The Williams/De Young family moved to Falls Church, Va. in 1979 where they continue to reside.

Laura graduated from Jeb Stuart High School and is currently an accounting major at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Her interests include dancing, skiing and riding horses. Clyde is active in computer clubs and the local community association, and Cathlene enjoys reading, traveling, and volunteering in activities for church and professional associations.

David has studied at many colleges and universities including Grinnell College, Iowa State Univ., Univ. of N. Iowa, Johns Hopkins (M.S. degree), MIT and Boston Univ. Subjects studied included Behavioral Sciences, Architecture, Mathematics, Psychology, Art, Computer Science and Artificial Neural Networks.

After working a couple of years for the state of Iowa, David joined the Dept. of Defense in Maryland and has worked there since 1975. He received a Director's Productivity Award for the development of a map display computer software package that now has thousands of users throughout the govt. An artificial Neural Network software package he originated at MIT is also getting wide distribution. His current Internet Electronic Mail address is dnation@acm.org.

David has been married to his second wife, Becky, for the last 15 years. They live in a small development in the Washington/Baltimore Metropolitan area in Maryland. They enjoy 10 kilometer walks (Volksmarches) on weekends. They also work out with weights to keep fit and enjoy feeding the birds.

Justin is a student at the University of Maryland and is Majoring in Computer Science. He plays trumpet in the marching, pep and concert bands.

David is an amateur sculptor doing figurative work in clay, plaster, wax and bronze. He sings in the local United Methodist Church choir and participated in an International Church Music Festival in England in 1989 as a part of a county interfaith choir.

He refers to himself as David Arthur Bedford Nation. This reference relates to one of his ideas of giving people Maternal Surnames which would pass down a family name from the Mother's side of the family.

Harold and I stayed on the Reuling farm for 25 years. During those years Harold was having more and more trouble with arthritic knees. Also we were at a crossroads again - either buy big machinery and farm more acres, with full-time help or give up farming. We chose the latter and purchased a house in Hudson on Washington Street, just 3 blocks from school. Harold started working at the Women's Dorm, Lawther Hall, at UNI. He had more time to enjoy his hobbies, of wood-working, model trains and gardening.

Each summer we spent a week in Northern Wisconsin with Ruth and Gordon Strayer. We also took a 17 day bus trip with Strayers to the Northeast. We followed the St. Laurence River into Canada, went to Boston, Niagara Falls, and Chicago on the way back.

Earlier we had gone with Walt and Inez on two long trips - one to the west where we saw the Black Hills, Passion Play in Spearfish, Yellowstone Park, Tetons, Salt Lake City, the Devil's Tower, etc. The other trip was following the Mississippi River down to New Orleans and visiting all the Civil War Battlefields and Cemeteries. We also went to a doubleheader at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Mother passed away on November 13, 1972 and we decided to move again. We bought a house on South Park Road in Cedar Falls, across from Riverview Park. This was a very pleasant place to live. Harold joined the Men's Garden Club and started growing all kinds of fabulous vegetables and flowers. He retired from UNI and went to work 2 1/2 days a week at Simpson Furniture, repairing new and old furniture. He had both knees replaced during this time.

On July 2-3 in 1983 we had a Bedford-Loonan Reunion in Riverview Park. Sixty seven came from both coasts to celebrate with us, we had such a good time reminiscing. All six of our family were there with most of their kids. Dave made a tape with his new cam corder and we took pictures of each family separately. The small kids enjoyed playing with Harold's model train set-up in our basement. The older family members went swimming. Lloyd took some "city folks" to see the farm. Jean & Chris count stitched Loonan-Bedford Family Reunion 1983" for a souvenir, and Harold made frames to fit. Harold also made a little mosquito house for everyone. Jean ends her account! "It was a full delightful weekend, and occasion to be together. Family should be together, know one another, should laugh, cry, touch. Family should have collectibles of good memories like albums of smiling faces. This is what we hoped for - this is what happened in 1983."

Another thing that happened in 1983 was another heart attack for Harold. He was in the hospital for 3 weeks, returned home for one day and then had another attack. They put a pace maker in but it was too late. He passed away August 25, 1983. He's buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Cedar Falls, about a block from where we lived.

Harold and I had promised Cathy we'd take care of Laura while she and Clyde went to a conference in New Orleans in October. I decided to go out after all. Laura and I had a good time going to ballet lessons, church, and to school each day. She went to stay with a friend over the weekend so I flew down to New Orleans from Friday until Sunday. Clyde and I wandered around the French Quarter, I went on a streetcar ride, and rode on a paddlewheeler out into the Mississippi. When we got home Cathy showed me how to get around on the Metro. I went to a play at the Ford Theater and also did some Genealogy at the Library of Congress.

When Laura was 14, she and a friend and I went to Disneyland with Cathy to an NSFRE Conference. Two other 14 year old friends of Laura's were out there too and the 5 of us went to Disneyland and to the Universal Studios. They were so careful not to lose me. I spent quite a bit of time waiting for them to go on the rides. One night the conference took over all of Disneyland so Cathy went along.

When Dave's County Choir was asked to sing at Coventry Cathedral in England, Becky, Justin and I went along. After the 3-day conference was over we spent a week with the bus touring and singing, once in Wales and twice in England, staying in the homes of the people of the churches. We spent a weekend in London. We rode all over London in the Underground. We rented a car (a Mercedes-Benz) and drove to see where Dave was in the Service and where Justin was born. We went to Windsor Castle and to the Tower of London, and to Bath, where the Roman Baths were.

Another time Dave, Becky and I went to Hawaii. Dave went to classes every day but we went sight seeing on the weekends. We spent most of the week on the big island of Hawaii. On Sunday we drove around the Island to Hilo and beyond to the active volcano. Lava was flowing across the highway. It was very hot and smelled like sulfur as we walked up to it. After we left the volcano we drove about a mile to where there was a lava arch out into the ocean. Dave stopped and we went over to see the arch. The ground started to move under us. I couldn't stand up straight - hung on to Becky for dear life. We learned later there had been a 6.2 earthquake and they feared a big tidal wave.

We saw sugar cane harvest, Dole pineapple fields, had a luau and I got to ride in an outrigger canoe and paddle, rode in a glass bottom boat. Becky and I went to a posh Hyatt Hotel where they had a train and a boat to take people around, and dolphins in a pool. On our visit to Pearl Harbor, the boat trip out to where the S.S. Arizona was sunk was very impressive. We saw a lot of Japanese tourists.

Another memorable trip was a motor home trip Jean and Gene shared with me. We visited battlefields of the Civil War, mostly in Virginia. We watched them harvest tobacco. We visited Williamsburg, and in Norfolk we went on a freight helicopter that hauled tanks to the Persian Gulf War. Dave and Cathy took us to many places in Washington and Baltimore the Jeans hadn't seen.

We attended two Molyneaux reunions in Forksville, Pa. The first time I rode out with Jean and Gene in their motor home. John and Lori Bedford followed in their motor home. Dave, Becky and I stayed in the home that William Molyneaux had lived in. Cathy stayed nearby. We visited cemeteries, churches, and had programs at the fairground. There was a covered bridge nearby. Cousins Joe and Ethel Vander Veer were also there. I hadn't seen them for awhile.

The second Molyneaux Reunion marked the Bicentennial, 1794 - 1994, of the coming of William Molyneaux to America. We met at the same place for three days again. Dave, Becky, Cathy, Clyde, Laura and I stayed in a lovely bed and breakfast out in the woods about ten miles from the campground. Vender Veers were at the reunion again. Each reunion attracted about 250 relatives from all over the country but most of them were from Sullivan County, Pennsylvania.

I have so many wonderful memories. Celebrating Laura's 16th Birthday at the Kennedy Center, seeing Phantom of the Opera in Toronto, and Les Miserables in Washington. Hearing the 1812 Overture at Wolf Trap replete with Cannons, attending 4 Shakespeare plays while in England, one being Midsummer's Nights Dream outside in Hyde Park. Having such excellent care when I had unexpected 4 bypass heart surgery while in Virginia for Laura's graduation, and again when I had knee surgery. Thanks so much Dave and Cathy and families for being there for me when I needed you.

I stayed across from the Park for 6 years after Harold was gone. I did pretty well keeping things done until I hurt my back. When the Western Home decided to build a retirement home across from me I decided to move. That fell through but I was the first one to move into Willow Wood after it was built in 1989. The life here suits me fine. I have a 2 bedroom apartment with a living room, a shower, and kitchen. We are furnished one meal a day and usually I carry part of my dinner meal home for lunch the next day. They clean every two weeks and house clean twice a year. We are free to come and go as we please. It is also nice to have Ruth and Harold's sister, Eunice, across the street at the Western Home. We visit quite often.

I have kept up with volunteer activities. I have been active in Western Home Auxiliary. I served on the Western Home Board for 3 years during the building of Wind Grace, Windermere, Martin Center, and the renovation and purchase of Walnut Court in Waterloo. I have also served as Vice Chairman and now chairman of Willow Wood Council since we moved. I've been on the board at C.F. Woman's Club and a member of Business Woman's Dept.

Our church, Trinity United Methodist, closed in June of 1994. Last Sunday, April 9, 1995 I joined the First United Methodist Church in Cedar Falls. I joined Rebekah Circle, attend Boardman Boosters Sunday School class where Carol Dick is one of the teachers. Carol is Bub's daughter.

1998 was a year of sad times and glad times for our family. In March, LloydÕs wife, Margaret Loonan, died of cancer. Two weeks later Jean and I went to Denver to attend brother JimÕs funeral. He also died of cancer. Jean and Darrell Grinnell were married in a grand church wedding in June with a dance following in the Amvet Hall. Cathy and Clyde, Dave and Becky came for the wedding.

Cathy, Clyde and I took a wonderful cruise in August in Mediterranean waters. We saw St. PeterÕs Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel in Rome, Monaco, Malta, Barcelona, and while in Athens saw the ruins of the Parthenon and the site of the Olympic Games. While in Virginia we went to DaveÕs promotion ceremony at Fort Meade. Very impressive!

In November Mavis and I spent a week at Jean and DarrellÕs winter home in Florida. While there we visited the Kennedy Space Center and Cypress Gardens. I spent Christmas with Cathy and her family and then went to Ottawa, Canada with Dave and Becky.

In August 1999, Cathy, Clyde and I took a wonderful two-week cruise along the Danube River, into the Main River, then the Rhine River, into a canal to Amsterdam. Along the way we went through 78 locks. We flew first to Budapest, where Buda is on one side of the Danube and Pest is on the other. Then on to Vienna for a concert, saw the worldÕs tallest ferris wheel, the stables where the Lippizaner stallions are kept, where the Vienna BoysÕ Choir sings, and the beautiful St. StephenÕs Cathedral. We visited Passau and the worldÕs largest organ, an abbey along the Danube, and Nuremburg, where the Nazi war criminals were tried. We saw miles and miles of vineyards along the Rhine, a 130-room palace in Wurzburg, and many castles along the Rhine. While in Amsterdam we took a canal trip and a bus trip around the city. It brought back many memories of our stay there in 1972.

When we returned I spent a week with Dave and Becky, and we visited Justin and Tammy in Baltimore. In November I had successful eye surgery for cataracts.

In April 2000, Justin and Tammy added to our family with the birth of Alianna. In May, LauraÕs finance Jason received his Ph.D.

Cathy, Clyde and I took a wonderful trip to Ireland in June, mainly to look up relatives. We spent three days in Dublin, attended a play at the Abbey Theatre, and visited Trinity College where we saw the Book of Kells. While in Dublin I found some Loonans in the phone book and contacted Joe Loonan in Clara, Offaly County. Joe, wife and brother-in-law welcomed us for tea in their kitchen, where a peat fire felt very comforting. We drove on to Sligo where the Glennys originated. We found the Glenny stone in the Coolaney Country Church. We met Bertie Cole in Collooney and went to their house for lunch. We met Sarah, his wife, SarahÕs mother Lucy Glenny Davis, and their three children Richard, Alan, and Margaret, and AlanÕs fiancˇ Hillary. We spent the afternoon looking at pictures and then went to SarahÕs brother NoelÕs house for tea. He lives on the Glenny homestead with his wife Ruth and children Rachel and Colin.

On our way to a hotel near Limerick we stopped in Galway where we saw about 100 swans in the quay. We drove along the coast and saw the Cliffs of Moher. We went to the Crystal Factory in Waterford where we watched the glass blowers and engravers. We toured Bunratty Castle and, of course, Blarney Castle. We drove to Cobb, near Cork, where many Irish families emigrated to America during the potato famine. Also the museum told of prisoners sent to Australia. We left from Shannon Airport.

When I returned home Phyllis and Jim Bratt visited from California. They have extensive material on the Glenny relatives and had visited them in Ireland. In July Dave and Becky visited. While they were here we saw ŅFiddler on the RoofÓ and toured the brand new Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center at UNI.

Another highlight of the year was the beautiful wedding in October of Laura DeYoung and Dr. Jason DePasquale. They were married in the Episcopal Church in Alexandria with a dinner and dance at the Torpedo Factory. Both Jan and Clyde escorted the bride down the aisle. I was pleased to have Jean there.

During the year Eunice moved to the Martin Center and Ruth moved back to third floor at the Western Home. I was especially pleased to be able to read 85 books during the year since having cataract surgery.

In April 2001, Cathy, Clyde and I headed to Paris. While there we ate an elegant lunch on the first level of the Eiffel Tower with a good view of the city. We drove along the Champs-Elysees to the Arch de Triumph. On May Day everything was closed so we took a bus to Caen to see the museum dedicated to the D-Day landing in Normandy. We visited Omaha Beach where Lloyd landed on D-Day. We took a taxi to Notre Dame Cathedral where we saw the Pieta and the three large rose windows. Clyde took many pictures of the myriads of flowers in the Monet gardens in Giverny. In the Louvre Museum we found the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory. At the dÕOrsay Museum we saw WhistlerÕs Mother, Van GoghÕs self portrait, and several of MonetÕs paintings. A bus took us to the Versailles which had a very impressive Hall of Mirrors where the treaty was signed ending World War I. The Dom Church was built by Louis XIV and contained the huge brown marble crypt of Napoleon. The Rodin Museum contained his statues of the Thinker, the Burghers of Calais, and the Kiss. Another bus trip took us to Fontainbleau, which was originally a hunting lodge for the kings. We liked it better than Versailles because it was still ornately furnished.

In September, Dave, Becky and I went to Branson, Missouri. On the way down we visited Sandi and Dave RogersÕ home, where they have a wonderful view of the Lake of the Ozarks. In Branson, we saw the Japanese violinistsÕ show, the Legends, Jim StaffordÕs show, and the Yabov Smirnoff show. They were all very different and entertaining. We visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder home, the Butterfly Place, rode on the ŅducksÓ and the Historic Railroad. Cindi and Dwight Miller visited us one evening.

I returned home on the Sunday before the September 11th terrorist bombing of the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Attended the wedding of Braden Rogers and Nicole Soska on October 27 at the Community Church in Hudson with a reception and dance at the Cedar Falls Holiday Inn.

In November I flew to Providence, R.I. to join Cathy and Clyde in a time-share condo in Newport. On the way out I spent two days with Laura and Jason in Chicago.

On January 3, 2002, Cathy and Clyde celebrated their 25th anniversary. On June 17, Olivia Cathlene DePasquale joined our family. Grandma Cathy was there at the arrival. Laura and Jason are the proud parents.

In July Jean and I attended the three-day Molyneaux Reunion in Pennsylvania with Dave and Becky. Later at CathyÕs we viewed an Egyptian Exhibit and Jackie OnassisÕ wardrobe. We took a bus trip in August to Dyersville, Iowa where we visited the ŅField of Dreams,Ó a toy museum featuring John Deere tractors, and the very beautiful Basilica with its twin steeples.

In September I went with Dave and Becky to Lake Okiboji. On the way we saw the grotto at West Bend. We had brunch On January 2, Cathy and Clyde will celebrate their 25th anniversary. with Lee Ann, Norman, and Robby in their beautiful home in Indian Lake, Minnesota. We also visited Esther and Raphael Klein in Worthington, MN. We searched in vain for the graves of Jonas and Lydia Bedford. On our way to Rapid City, South Dakota to see the Badlands and the statues at Mount Rushmore, we stopped at Wall Drug and the Corn Palace.

In November Cathy, Clyde and I went on a 16-day cruise through the Panama Canal. We flew to Fort Lauderdale and boarded the Crown Odyssey ship with 1000 passengers. We took a taxi ride around San Andreas Island. On a very hot, humid day Cathy and Clyde went to San Blas Island and bought beautiful shirts, masks, and molas from the native Cuna Indians. It took us about eight hours to go through the Panama Canal. On Sunday we took a nine-hour tour bus ride up the mountains in Costa Rica. We saw many sugar cane fields and coffee plantations. Visited a workshop where they make painted ox carts. In Acapulco we watched the cliff divers. In Cabo San Lucas we visited San Jose a mission church built in 1721 by Jesuits. Docked at Los Angeles and flew non-stop back to Virginia and then home.

In December I flew to Dave and BeckyÕs for Christmas with the family and then to CathyÕs for OliviaÕs christening on December 29.

In May 2003, my niece Elaine and I went to see Cathy and DaveÕs families. While at Dave and BeckyÕs we visited Ft. McHenry and toured a frigate in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore. We drove to Philadelphia and saw Benjamin FranklinÕs grave, the Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall, Valley Forge, and Gettysburg. Security was really tight everywhere.

While in Virginia we stayed with Cathy who was nursing a sprained ankle and broken toe while Clyde, Dave, Becky and Elaine visited Mt. Vernon, Arlington Cemetery, the Air and Space Museum, and Lincoln Memorial. While we were there tens of thousands of bikers were enjoying the ŅRolling ThunderÓ celebration.

Eunice passed away June 11. The service was held in Western Home Chapel.

In August Cathy and Clyde came for CathyÕs class reunion. We also made plans for my birthday.

September 10-23, Dave, Becky and I went West. In Mason City we toured Frank Lloyd WrightÕs house, Meredith WilsonÕs Museum, and saw his house. We took pictures of the Corn Palace in Mitchell. Next stop was the DevilÕs Tower Š 1-1/3 miles around. Then on to Yellowstone Park Š many calcium deposits and just in time to see Old Faithful erupt. The Tetons are young mountains and are still growing. Stayed in Jackson Hole, toured the Dinosaur Park, Arches National Park, Valley of the Gods, and Monument Valley. This area was Navajo Country. Many sales places along the road. Indians live mostly in motor homes scattered in the desert.

On to the North rim of the Grand Canyon where I peeked over the edge. Ate lunch there. Stayed a week in Flagstaff in a very nice condo. While there Dave and Becky took a bus ride to the Grand Canyon. On the way home we visited the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. Beautiful rock formations for miles in many colors. Stayed along Route 66 in New Mexico. We drove 5000 miles in DavidÕs Toyota Hybrid car. Runs on gas and battery. He clocked 55 miles an hour at times in the mountains and averaged about 45.

On September 18 had my 90th birthday bash. A little more than 100 attended the open house held in Willowwood dining area. Family all here but Justin, Tammy and Alianna. Really enjoyed having Olivia around. Jason, Laura and Olivia moved from Chicago to Alexandria where he has a new job.

In 2004 Justin, Tammy and Alianna added a new daughter Cadence to their family.

I had a very challenging year. In late May I woke up with three fractured disks in my back. After having glue injected in two disks and much help from relatives and friends I was able to return to Willowwood. I get around with a walker and have returned to most of my activities.

In April 2005 my sister Ruth passed away. Justin and Tammy built a new home in Windsor, PA. Soon after they moved in Tammy fell and injured both ankles.

On November 15 Laura, Jason and Olivia added Sophia Rose to their family. My niece Elaine and I went East for Christmas with the family.

In 2006 I gave up my car and am taking advantage of the Western Home bus. They take us to plays, the Symphony, grocery shopping, doctor appointments and other activities. My good friend Esther Hayward also takes me shopping.

Jean and Darrell sold their home in Florida. We go to church in Hudson where we meet Lloyd and then go out to eat.

Dave and Becky attended a National Bearded Santa Claus Convention in Branson and stopped off to see me. Cathy and Clyde visited me in August. Jim and Judy Taylor stayed a few days with me at Thanksgiving. We all ate dinner with Jean and DarrellÕs families in LaPort City. Had Christmas dinner with niece Carol and her husband Jeff and family. Dave and Becky stopped in during the Holidays as well.

My recollections on coming to WillowWood in 1989.

I was one of the first to move into WillowWood. It was February 23 at 8:30 in the morning and very icy that day. I had moved into the Western Home annex for a month before moving here.

The Western Home used Wray's and usually moved three apartments a day.

For some time before I moved, Bill Appelgate asked me what I expected if I moved into the Western Home. I was there to visit three family members that lived in the annex. At the time I was having trouble seeing and I told him I wanted to get used to being in a place to be able to get around if my eyesight got worse.

When we first started I was the Vice President and Ted Tomplins was the President. I often finished the meetings.

I was on the Western Home board for three years when they built Windgrace, Windermere, Martin Center, and remodeled and bought Walnut Court. It was a very interesting experience to be on the board.

I volunteered a lot at the Western Home store before I came here. My sister-in-law Eunice Nation worked here for 25 years and lived in the annex. They built the annex for people who worked here but didn't have a place to live. My sister Ruth Thompson lived in the annex for many years and brother-in-law Milo Nation lived there for a short time.

I was one of the "Charter members" of WillowWood with a picture and short article in a 51 page booklet made by Martha Albee two years after WillowWood was built.

I always thought that I didn't know how other people felt but living here was just fine with me. It's been a good life. People complain but it still suits me fine.

WillowWood has always been a friendly place.

I have lived in a wonderful age of computers, microwave ovens, cordless phones, Cyberspace, Internet, World Wide Web, instant world news by satellite, Ipods, Blackberries, etc. I wonder what will come next!

Martha Nation