Monday, May 27, 2013

Eisenhower at Gettysburg

Eisenhower at Gettysburg
Ike and Field Marshal Montgomery touring Gettysburg battlefield.
Eisenhower and Field Marshal Montgomery touring the Gettysburg Battlefield.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s association with the town and battlefield of Gettysburg began in the spring of 1915 when, as a cadet at the US Military Academy at West Point, he visited with his class to study the battle. Three years later during the First World War, Capt. Eisenhower found himself back in Gettysburg with his wife Mamie and their first son. Despite his hope for duty overseas, he had been appointed commander of Camp Colt, the US Army Tank Corps Training Center located on the fields of Pickett’s Charge. Eisenhower’s orders were, “To take in volunteers, equip, organize, and instruct them and have them ready for overseas shipment when called upon.”
At war’s end Eisenhower left Gettysburg for a new assignment, one of many in a 31 year career in which he rose to the rank of five star general. After World War II, while president of Columbia University, the General and his wife returned to Gettysburg to search for a retirement home. In 1950, fondly recalling Camp Colt days, they bought a 189 acre farm adjoining the Gettysburg Battlefield. Their retirement was delayed, however, when Eisenhower left for Europe to assume command of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Eisenhower returned home to run for the Presidency in 1952. To kick off his Pennsylvania campaign, he welcomed state Republican leaders to a picnic at the farm.
During his first term as President, he and Mamie renovated their Gettysburg home. Much of the original house was not sound and had to be torn down. The construction was complete by March of 1955 and the Eisenhowers began to visit on weekends and holidays.
On weekends, the Eisenhowers entertained family and friends at the farm. The President enjoyed playing golf at the Gettysburg Country Club, shooting skeet at his skeet range, and inspecting his herd of Angus show cattle.
Though Eisenhower used his weekends at Gettysburg to escape the pressures of the Presidency, work was never far away. He began each morning with a briefing on world events. Meetings with staff were common especially during his heart attack recuperation in 1955 when the Gettysburg Farm became the “Temporary White House.”
Back in Washington, the President received a steady stream of dignitaries, many of whom he invited to Camp David for meetings, then on to his farm. After a tour of his Angus herd and cattle barns, Eisenhower brought these world leaders back to the house to sit on the porch. Eisenhower said the informal atmosphere of the porch allowed him, “to get the other man’s equation.”
In 1961, after 45 years service to their country, General and Mrs. Eisenhower retired to their Gettysburg Farm. For the next eight years the Eisenhowers led an active life. The General worked weekdays at his Gettysburg College office, meeting political and business associates and writing his memoirs. He continued to serve as elder statesman advising Presidents and meeting world leaders. But the Eisenhowers’ greatest joy was to simply spend time on their farm with family and friends.
General and Mrs. Eisenhower donated their home and farm to the National Park Service in 1967. Two years later, General Eisenhower died at the age of 78. Mrs. Eisenhower rejected the idea of moving to Washington to be closer to family and friends and continued to live on the farm until her death in 1979. The National Park Service opened the site in 1980.

Highly Recommend

These suites to stay if you are visiting Hershey Park.

The suites at Bluegreen resorts have two bedrooms (one with two double beds & another with one king size bed), each bedroom is complete with its own bath. The master bedroom has a whirlpool bath and detached glassed walk-in shower. The double beds room has a shower/bath enclosure. The suite has a large kitchen, breakfast table, living room with working fireplace, washer/dryer and if you want to visit the park, buy your tickets at Giant because they are discounted with a voucher for free parking. The suite has an indoor and outdoor pool, playground and train tower. It is close to Tanger outlets and many fine places to eat. I highly recommend this place especially if you are traveling with children because it gives you ample room.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dirty Cops "It can happen to you"

Philadelphia spent nearly $25-million settling civil rights complaints against police between 2007 and mid-2010, alone.
Chicago spent an average of $39.1-million per year settling similar claims against police between 2004 and 2006.
New York City spent an average of $96.4-million between 1999 and 2008.
Police culture, particularly its no-snitching insularity, is “in part responsible for the prevalence of police misconduct and impedes meaningful police reform,” stated a 2010 article in The Catholic University Law Review.
The out-sized political power of police unions like the FOP compounds difficulties of policing police.
Philly's finest can punch a woman during a parade while filmed on camera and keep his job.
Philly's finest can cheat the city taxpayers out of 90,000 for false documentation of recorded overtime hours and keep his job.
Philly's finest can plant narcotics on a suspected drug dealer or worse, an innocent bystander and still keep his job.
Philly's finest can brutally beat a civilian and keep his job.
Philly's finest can co-hearse confessions, lie and steal and still keep his job.
All of the above statements are facts not fiction and all kept their jobs because their union made it happen. The Police Commissioner has less say than the FOP.
I grew up in a world where the police were the "good guys". I believed that truth most of my life. Then, it hit home. Then, I began to research. What I discovered was frightening. Nearly every week, a dirty cop is caught and every week that same dirty cop receives a hand slap and put back out on the streets.
When is it going to stop?
When are the law-abiding cops going to shout, "enough"?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

John D and Mary Drexel Lankenau

Lankenau Hospital was founded in 1860 as the "German Hospital of Philadelphia" located on Morris Street in North Philadelphia. In 1917, many German institutions took new names with the entry of the United States intoWorld War I. The hospital renamed itself "Lankenau Hospital" after John D. Lankenau, a successful German-born Philadelphia businessman who was one of the first supporters and leaders of the Hospital.

After relocating to larger facilities at Girard and Corinthian Avenues in North Philadelphia, Lankenau moved to Wynnewood in the "Main Line" region of the suburbs in December 1953. Its new location was the former site of the Overbrook Country Club and golf course. Since then, the Hospital has continued to grow, along with its community. Today, Lankenau Medical Center serves southeastern Pennsylvania by offering a wide variety of primary and specialty clinical services, residency and fellowship programs, and research programs emphasizing cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Earlier I posted a picture of the Mary Drexel House. The founding of the Mary Drexel House was in honor of Mary Drexel, John Lankenau's wife. In its earlier days, it was known as the Home for Aged German Men and Women which is interesting since I located a mass burial plot in Westminster Cemetery a few years ago and wondered where that particular home was located.

Genealogy is putting the pieces together of a world/life that has gone before us and when one finds another piece of the puzzle, it makes so much sense. My grandmother Marie Schroeder Weleski gave birth to her last child, John on February 17th, 1945 at Lankenau Hospital. I always thought it was at the present location on the Main Line. However, according to the history, Lankenau was located at Girard & Corinthian Avenues until 1953. That makes sense to me. I often wondered why my grandmother traveled from her East Falls home to the Main Line to give birth. At the time, it made sense that she would chose a German hospital as she was born German Lutheran. I often wondered why she did not give birth at Roxborough Memorial. The Weleski family were from the Manayunk/Roxborough area. Of course the story has a sad ending. My grandmother suffered a stroke immediately after John's birth and went into a coma. She died February 19th, 1945 and is interred at Laurel Hill Cemetery where her father, John Schroeder was a "grave digger". I wonder if my grandmother had preeclamysia, a condition where a woman has increased blood pressure in the later stages of pregnancy. My grandmother was 38 years old at the time of her death. Again, preeclamysia is common in women who are older. Left untreated. the mother most certainly dies from a stroke and/or seizures.

Back to the Mary Drexel Home......The home still stands today. I do not know if the residents are still interred in that mass grave in Westminster Cemetery, but I believe they are not. Lankenau Hospital still stands today on the Main Line and has recently began a kidney transplant program. In its day, it was run by German speaking physicians and nurses and provided treatment to the poor.

As a post note, Katherine Drexel (saint) was Mary Drexel's cousin.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mary Drexel House 1895

238 Belmont Ave, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

6th & Callowhill in 1915

Sunday, May 12, 2013


It is yet another Mother's Day where flower and card sales hit an all time high, brunches, dinners, lots of smiles on mothers and children alike. Exactly what is a mother? Look at the social networks and you will see pages and pages of "my mom is the greatest. bless my mom in heaven. smiles. smiles. more smiles."

Grant it. If you raised a child or two, three or ten, you know first hand the responsibility. It is a responsibility that supersedes every other responsibility in life and though responsibility lessens as the child becomes older, the small worries are replaced with large worries and though we are suppose to love our children unconditionally and with all our hearts, there are times when one does not like their children. However, do not expect any mother to ever admit that statement. "I love you but man, sometimes I really do not like you."

Then there is the guilt.

Probably do not want to go there.

I was told that a Catholic mother's duty was to keep the family together in times of adversity. I guess that extends to grandchildren and in-laws. Let me just say, that last statement has been one I have reminded myself at least ten times a day in the past oh, I cannot even tell you. I do believe it is my job as a mother and a grandmother to go above and beyond to keep my family together. I follow my conscious and it never let's me down. I do not follow the advice of others, though I know they give it out of love. I can only follow my conscious. I also have learned in the last month or so to keep my mouth shut. My thoughts are my thoughts. My feelings are my feelings. My pain is my pain. My joy is my joy. People pretend to care/understand and/or they really do care, however, they have no clue and though I thought it was a good idea to share my thoughts and feelings, I realized unless my shoes have been walked in there really is no understanding.

Mother's Day? My grandmother did not celebrate the day. She did not believe "mothers" needed a special day to be honored, because carrying a child, giving birth to a child, walking the hall with baby in arms on many sleepless nights, kissing boo boos on sore knees, crying with or for, loving, adoring, being frustrated and angry with, and sometimes just not liking them, but loving them was a gift from God and not a commericalized day to be honored because everyday it is a honor to be a mom.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Courting Candle

"Tis time to come in from the porch, Sarah."

Sarah White was a proper young colonial woman who believed in all the good rules for virtuous behavior that her mother taught her. But sarah, also being a bit headstrong would often defy her training by dallying a bit too long when her suitor came to call. "Come in from the porch, Sarah," her mother would call. "Tis not yet time," Sarah would respond and continue doing whatever it is that young lovers do when spared the watchful eye of their elders.

Now Sarah's father, being a strict man, could not long tolerate her boldness, and so devised an ingenious solution. Taking the family candle holder, he placed it on the porch next to Sarah. He then adjusted it to measure a precise amount of time.

"Come in from the porch Sarah," her mother would call. "Tis not yet time," Sarah would respond. "The candle has burned down to the first ring. So tis time," said her father. Legend has it that from the incident the "courting candle received its name.

Legend also has it that if a father liked the gentleman who came calling for his daughter, he set the candle to burn longer and if he did not like the gentleman who came calling, he set the candle to burn faster.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Enmeshed Family Systems

The Problem of "Enmeshed" Family Relationships

In enmeshed families there is no sense of boundary. Everything is controlled by the rules of “the
family.” The individual has no rights or feelings other than those which fit in to what is proper
for the entire group. The son/daughter dutifully follows in the footsteps of the father and the
daughter/son might seem to be a "clone" of the mother. 
When the son or daughter misbehaves the parent will say, “How could you do that to me?” Or,
when the child succeeds, it is seen as the parents succeeding. There is no differentiating between
that one person is and does and what other family members are and do. All are enmeshed into
an “undifferentiated family ego mass.”

Enmeshed Boundaries

  • Are you unsure if what you're feeling stems from you or others?

  • Do you often allow others to cross over your boundaries even when it makes you uncomfortable?

  • Do you fail to recognize your uncomfortable feelings, or do you feel like you can't do anything to protect yourself even when you do recognize those feelings?

  • Do you tend to blame others for the way you feel?

  • Are your beliefs and values unclear to you?
How can I know if I am in an enmeshed relationship?
Those in enmeshed relationships are often the last to see it. But with awareness you can start to recognize some of the signs:

1. If you cannot not tell the difference between your own emotions and those of a person with whom you have a relationship.

2. If you feel like you need to rescue someone from their emotions.

3. If you feel like you need someone else to rescue you from your own emotions.

4. If you and another person do not have any personal emotional time and space.

Part II
How to disengage from an enmeshed family system. You can detach with love.