Saturday, February 25, 2006

memories of mamie i

Tissy wrote this and sent it to me a few years back -- it never made it to the old website but here it be now.

Memories of Mamie I. and Horseneck Beach, circa 1948-1954

Mamie I. was our dear summer nanny -- Mary Isabelle Leonard -- a wonderful, round Auntie with blue and white seersucker dresses (probably made by Aunt Stevie), little canvas hats and white sneakers with her nylons knotted at the knees! To hell with the varicosities!

These are memories from numerous summers when she would take Tissy, Roozie, Susie, and Johnny down to the duplex for hours and days of excitement -- but never sisters and brothers together. Too much bickering!!! And of course she liked the boys best! I can remember at age 10 being made to strip on the side porch, cleaning our feet in the basin, and Mamie would pour water over us before we entered the house...humiliating at 10 for this little girl! She also made me wear just boy's pants down on the beach and water -- no halter! "Oh for heavens sakes, Tissy, you have nothing to show anyway!" But those were just the silly embarrassing memories; the most important part of our summer was going to Horsneck and being with family and friends, the Coopers -- teachers from Attleboro -- who rented the cottages. The kids were all about our ages -- Tykie, Ginny and Paul were my age. Tykie and I were great friends, and played paper dolls with old Sears catalogs. Each of us would choose a whole family of people and then cut out all kinds of clothes, shoes, etc. for each of them; then we would furnish their houses with the pages from the furniture and household section -- hours and hours of fun! Then, of course, we grew up and combed the beach for boys!

No one has had a shampoo until Mamie I. gives it to you! Water in your eyes, ears, lemon juice and pulp as a rinse, to make your hair shine. Then the drying was the best experience. She practically rubbed your hair off your head and then took the towel and cleaned your ears!

Packing up Mamie I. in May from Halcyon Farm, Lakeville, was wonderful fun for all of us kids. My Papa, Uncle Lukie, was the man in charge of packing -- he was a master at that. I have a picture of the truck backed right up to the front door, and trunk after trunk, basket after basket, being loaded and secured on the flat bed. Everything secured with clothesline! Wah-Wah and Raymond were there to help, too. Uncle Lukie was also the one who would rush down and pack Mamie up in a hurricane and bring her home.

No matter how old you were .... you must REST AFTER LUNCH! How I remember the heat in those front bedrooms...resting for one hour and sweating like a pig. We needed a swim after that, but not until 2:00 PM, and only when Mamie was sitting down on the beach in her canvas deck chair. "Only go out to you knees, or you will have to come in." Rules, of course, were most important so we would all be safe -- how in the world could Mamie have saved us?

Remember the Cushman truck? It backed up in the little driveway at the back of the cottage -- it was loaded with breads, and those wonderful filled cookies that were made with oatmeal and dates. I am sure the Cushman driver loved Mamie I.

What would we have done without her? It was such a special summer to go to Horseneck and we owned the place, we thought. The trip down was so picturesque, the excitement of driving by Lincoln Park, smelling the honeysuckle on the roadside all the way down. Delightful and delicious, and Mamie's food was beyond compare.

ostrander - loomis

The following information was posted on a genealogy site by Edith Stanton -- from this post I would guess she is a distant cousin. As you may remember from the Loomis genealogy, Welton Ostrander was the son of Lucy Elizabeth Hicks from her first marriage. Welton named his daughter after his mother.

Ostrander, Loomis & Co., 28 and 30 James St. Syracuse New York ...Welton Benz (Bens) Ostrander was my great-grandfather. His daughter was Lucy Loomis Ostrander. I had many stories but only knew that the company dealt with tea, coffee and spices. Welton's father died at age 30 and his mother remarried, Chauncy Chester Loomis. I heard that there was some insurance money which allowed them to start a country store on the Erie Canal. Welton was only about 5 years old at the time, but learned the business as he grew up and eventually became a partner. They began the coffee, tea and spice business when he was old enough to help run the business. They built it up to include horses and wagons for deliveries, teasels for the carding of wool, peach and apple orchards, willow trees to use for making baskets for the fruit, as well as a large warehouse for their products. He also had an interest in the Quaker Yeast Co. They had a coffee roasting plant as well. They did very well and were considered moderately rich. However, in the 1880's when Welton Bens Ostrander was in his 40's, he thought he had either tuberculosis or tea poisoning from his business, so he changed his plans. He sold the business to Col. O. V. Tracy and began a project for a ranch in Texas.... One time, an order was received from Syracuse, NY for 20 horses. Somehow the order was read as twenty carloads of horses. About 200 horses arrived in Syracuse and had to be herded through the streets to a corral. Apparently they were not trained horses and went quite wild after riding the train and arriving in a strange and noisy city....

Second: M. J. Myers, Cashier, State Bank of Syracuse, No.3 basement, Onondaga County Savings Bank building. My grandmother, Lucy Loomis Ostrander [Welton's daughter], married Matthew Jervis Myers, the son of this M.J. Myers. This M.J. Myers was Matthew Joseph Myers. (One story is that he and his wife took the train to the South early in the Civil War. The Bank had a branch down there and they withdrew their capital of GOLD and brought it back to Syracuse in little pockets attached to her hoop skirt. If this is true it must have been a great adventure.) This Matthew Joseph Myers was also connected to the first telephone company in Syracuse. His son, Matthew Jervis Myers, invented a patented "Break Finder" for the telephone lines. Welton Benz Ostrander hired him to come to Texas to his huge ranch project in order to find the breaks in their wire fences. Lucy Loomis Ostrander met him there (the story goes) and they were later married in Syracuse.

new home

This is the new home of the former homesickcure website. I'll be adding some of the contents of the site to this blog, and eventually the old site will fade off into the distance.

I'm sorting through papers and photographs at last, and will be sharing all kinds of fun stuff with you. I'll include goodies you've sent along, along with new research findings and a few moldy bits found at the bottom of boxes.

I thought you might enjoy seeing three view of the dunes of Nantucket, spanning over 120 years. The first picture shows Grandpa -- Charles Dana Loomis -- looking out to sea in 1887. The second image is the painting "Nantucket Dunes," by his father, Chester Loomis, presumably done on the same trip. The third shows the dunes as they look today. If you come and visit us, we'll take the ferry over to the island and experience the dunes firsthand.