Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Other Side

Holliday Ellwood Hartman married Ida Zeigler. The youngest of their six children is my grandmother Eleanor Ida Hartman. She married John Harold Wise, my grandfather The Family Historian who filled in our family tree and who stored all these books for 50 years.

The majority of the books belonged to his father-in-law Holliday Ellwood Hartman, but I found a box of Wise books mixed in. The books cover three generations of Wises (four if you count Levi) (five if you count me).

My great-grandfather John Loyal Wise (1892-1983)
I have your book "Peloubet’s Select Notes on the International Lessons for 1917" - Bible lessons for Christian living. You received the book for Christmas 1916 from your uncle Levi M. Wise. (Levi must have been your father Israel M. Wise's brother.) You went to Cornell and then worked as a farmer in Harmony, PA.

My great-grandmother Estella Mickley Wise (1890-1977)
I've heard a lot about you - 'Stella' stories always told with great love and admiration. (I love your name. And the stories about you.) I found a book you got from your friend Cora E. Flinner for Christmas 1904 (signed in incredibly neat handwriting). It's an illustrated version of Harriett Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

My grandfather John Harold Wise
I found two books that belonged to you and your brother Dave when you were young. The first is a beautiful 1926 edition of "A Child's Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Stevenson. It was a gift from your Aunt Jo in 1929, when you were four-and-a-half and Dave was just two-and-a-half.

The second is "In His Steps" by Charles M. Sheldon, a gift from Aunt Clare in 1946. I also found four "Tuck-me-in Tales": Old Mr. Crow, Jolly Robin, Rusty Wren, and Solomon Owl.

My grandfather's brother David Wise
I found a collection of cute little books that belonged to you - Big Little Books and Better Little Books, to be precise. They were published in the 1930s and 40s by Whitman Publishing Company and feature stories about popular comic strip characters and Disney characters.

My mother Nancy Kay Wise Hala
I was disappointed to find bold orange Crayola scribblings that said "Nan" in your father's gorgeous "Child's Book of Verses." I can't imagine that your mother would have allowed that. (She does say you were a bad child.) Ironically, I also found your "Aid to the Heidelberg Catechism" from 1964 to 65, when you would have been about 12 years old. You took lots of notes and it looks like you memorized the whole catechism.


Ryan said...

I remember the Child's Garden of verses book from when I was little. Grandpa read to me from it a few times. I also read through some of those BLBs that were in the basement when we would stay over at their house.

kahala said...

I guess that means not all the books had been boxed up since 1960. The Child's Garden of Verses is a really beautiful book. Unfortunately, it's in very fragile condition now. There are some BLBs that look good, though. Would you like any of them?