Bursting out of my remembrances, this tale of old stories and amusing anecdotes became an idea and grew, one memory leading way for more to emerge as "OUR PROMISED LAND". How amazing it is for me to compare early walks or rides on a wagon with flying to Machu Picchu.
My recollections--at Grandfather's sawmill in Atlantic, Pennsylvania who lived to be 93 - Grandmother's Swiss farm near Helvetia, West Virginia where twelve sturdy children toiled the thin ground and made delightful Swiss cheeses - in Oil City, Pennsylvania where Dad made paraffin at the Quaker State Refinery, some I chewed and more for a candle -- and finally to grow up on a farm along pristine Hubbard Lake near Alpena, Michigan.
The depression hardly fazed us as truck farming at the lake carried the load in a changing world. I was on my way to teach country grade school, graduate at Michigan State University, be a professional engineer, a metallurgist for Carnegie Steel Co. in Pittsburgh and thirty years with Libbey Owens Ford Co. at Rossford, Ohio, twenty years as a plant engineer.
Hardships were with us, but the challenges and interest were always there. We boated to the Georgian Bay-North Channel areas, rode the San Francisco Zepher to a Rose Parade and Game, flew to Hawaii, sailed the Sun Viking along the Caribbean Islands, flew to South America for five weeks, and motor trips to the Rockies, Florida and Canada.
Following the 27,000 word biography is an epilogue of 4,200 words of my genealogy from my Paternal Grandfather starting in 1640 and my Maternal Grandfather and Grandmother's lineage from Switzerland in 1842-5 and their migration in 1870 to Ohio and on to West Virginia in 1875.
The title of this biography evolved slowly. Certainly I was writing of things from the horse and buggy days into the jet age but that was a wordy name. As the narrative developed it was suggested it be, "A Work of Art" which is imaginative. Yet it did not seem right and two things were staring at me now that the manuscript was being edited. One, before Dad, Mom and I left Oil City for our trip to Hubbard Lake, Dad said, "Would the land be in a marsh,or rocky hills, indeed was it a pig in a poke or on the promised land." And two, once we moved to the lake and Dad had the lake frontage plotted, Mom named it "Berachah" which didn't mean anything to me at the time.
Selling the lots provided money for the barn and house and, as truck farmers, we sold our produce even in the depression. Now, writing this story and investigating the name of Berachcah, it is a Hebrew word meaning, "a blessing" or, "Our Promised Land", and Mom Dad, Mary, Ruth and I prospered.
3. Oil City
4. Boat Trip
5. Chris's Home
6. Hubbard Lake
7. Hunting and Fishing
8. Our Farm
10. The Depression and the 30's
11. Michigan State University
13. Our Home
16. The Tropics
17. With The Kids
18. It Is Written