MV Obsession

My obsession with Martha's Vineyard.. phototography..genealogy and life in general and this and that…


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My Great-Uncle, Louis A Young … The Incredible Man With No Hands…

 

Louis A Young 1887 – 1952

When he was 14 years old in 1902 Louis lost both his hands in a chemical explosion in Newark, NJ where he lived.  One arm gone above the elbow, the other several inches above the wrist.  A devastating accident but did it stop Louis from living a full and productive life… absolutely not.

He dressed himself, played baseball, boxed, he shoveled snow and coal for exercise. He  was an avid fisherman who could rig his own line and reel in his fish without any help.  He also supported a wife and family and his father.  He could use artificial appliances but did not advocate them which he believed to be too heavy and rendered muscles insensitive. Instead he used a simple leather strap, between the strap and his arm he placed the object he intended to use, such as a knife or fork and by tensing his muscles he could hold it firmly.

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By vocation he was a news dealer in New York City.

His newsstand at Union Square.

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He was a volunteer instructor at The Institute for Crippled Men in NY and for the U.S. government in its rehabilitation work among soldiers.

He was an amazing man and although he was my great-uncle I never knew about him until recently.  He was one of my paternal grandmother Josephine’s brothers, but she never talked about her family… that generation seems to have been very closed mouthed about a lot of things unfortunately.

But… along comes Ancestry and all kinds of  information becomes available.  I want to take a moment here to thank Ancestry and our new found cousins for the opportunity to not only know about this particular uncle but in gifting us with new family members 🙂

Back to our story.    My daughter Deb got notification from Ancestry about a possible match. The match is Louis’s grandson, Bob Jr whose father, Bob Sr is Louis’s son. Bob Sr was turning 89 in July and would we be interested in meeting the family and celebrating Bob Sr’s birthday with them???????? Um… yes, very much so.

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in July off we went to Long Island to meet the family and what a wonderful day it was.

 

So not only have we found out about our incredible relative, Louis Young, but we have also met the nicest people you could imagine…and… they’re family… how terrific is that.

It is great to connect with new found relatives and to find out about ancestors, but also, in my opinion, is finding out the stories about them.   With Louis Young it’s an awesome story about fortitude, bravery, perseverance and optimism and I’m glad and proud to know his story and pass it on.  🙂

 

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Stitching The Vineyard…

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This is my wall of Vineyard counted cross stitch projects. The Vineyard map in the upper left hand corner was the first one in 1993. Tisbury in the bottom middle was the last one in 2011. There were other non-MV projects done in between the Vineyard ones and I also did eight more of the Vineyard maps during that time too.

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These are not the only Vineyard counted cross stitches I’ve done though. The one closest to my heart is the Tabernacle designed especially for me by my daughter Deb. (please excuse the glare).

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The Tabernacle is my favorite place on the Vineyard for many reasons and so this picture means more to me than I can ever put into words.

This is my counted cross stitch masterpiece. My daughter Deb took a photograph of the Tabernacle… blew it up to an 8×10 and charted it by hand on graph paper. There might have been computer programs for that but this was the early 1990’s and she didn’t have one and I’m not sure we even had a computer!. She also bought the material and my daughter Patty bought the threads and that was my Christmas gift that year. All I had to do was sew it. People always ask how long it takes to do projects so I kept track. Over the course of 3 months I sewed a total of 138 hours… every inch of the picture is counted cross stitches… even all the blue sky… and there seemed like endless amounts of that. After it was finished we took it, along with the original 5×7 photograph and had it framed. For a couple of years I just wasn’t happy with the frame though so when I had my other MV counted cross stitches framed I gave this picture a new one. I also added a little plaque at the bottom that says The Tabernacle, Oak Bluffs – Martha’s Vineyard.

But I had said I couldn’t do it… ever… I would never be able to do counted cross stitch. Too hard. Too boring. I had too many excuses. Then my daughter Deb saw the counted cross stitch of the map of Martha’s Vineyard and the rest is history. We figured if I was ever to do counted cross stitching surely something Vineyard related would get me started. She even said that if I hated doing it she’d finish the map for me. Sounded like a good deal and so I began. One X after another… counting, counting every single stitch… but then it started looking like MV and I was pretty impressed and proud of myself.

We even got written up in the Vineyard Gazette… June 21, 1996

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The Vineyard Gazette Parody Issue…

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Long ago and far away in the year of 1984 a staff of very clever, creative and whimsical people put out a parody issue of the Vineyard Gazette ingeniously titled ~ “Not The Vineyard Gazette”.  I, collector of all things Vineyard actually have a copy of this one time parody edition.

3191230935_5c9f57b791_m  One of the articles on the front page is about the discovery of a baby Vineyard named Arthur’s Vineyard after the helicopter pilot who accidentally found it. There were  several theories of how the baby Vineyard came to be, one of which was that it was the baby of MV and Nantucket and that a recent rain storm had been the baby shower.  So funny.

Another article is,  “Oak Bluffs Changes Name to Oaks Bluffs.”  Apparently the name change was due in part to the fact that too much time was being taken correcting people who were getting Oak Bluffs name wrong and it was decided to just not fight it anymore.  Of course that would never ever ever happen.

3192078522_6ecb29dfc5_m Amusing article on Edgartown hiring fashion police.  Apparently a glitch in getting the fashion police out on the streets is the inability to agree on a color scheme for their uniforms.  Tawny brown and mocha versus cranberry and puce.  I would think they’d have trouble recruiting anyone if they had to wear those combinations of colors.

3191231429_a540b4269c_m   Take your pick of a Vineyard themed movie.

3191231071_1d22cd4706_m  Vine was an actual drink on the Vineyard.  It was grape flavored water and it was delicious.  I wonder whatever happened to it… I wonder why I didn’t keep a bottle of it, or the label at least.  Here’s to the memory of Vine.

Clever real estate ads…or are they un-real estate !

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Sadly the one and only edition of ‘Not The Vineyard Gazette’.


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Gazette Parody …

Long ago and far away in the year 1984, a staff of very clever, creative and whimsical people put out a parody issue of the Vineyard Gazette ingeniously titled ~ “Not The Vineyard Gazette”. I, collector of all things Vineyard actually have a copy of this one-time parody edition.

One of the articles on the front page is about the discovery of a baby Vineyard named Arthur’s Vineyard, which was named after the helicopter pilot who accidentally found it. There were several theories of how the baby Vineyard came to be, one of which was that it was the baby of MV and Nantucket and that a recent rain storm had been the baby shower. So funny.

Another article on the front page is “Oak Bluffs Changes Name to Oaks Bluffs.” Apparently the name change was due in part to the fact that too much time was being taken correcting people who were getting Oak Bluffs wrong and it was decided to just not fight it anymore. Of course that would never ever ever happen.

An amusing article about Edgartown hiring fashion police. Apparently a glitch in getting the fashion police out on the streets is the inability to agree on a color scheme for their uniforms. Tawny brown and mocha versus cranberry and puce. I would think they’d have trouble recruiting anyone if they had to wear those combinations of colors.

Take your pick of a Vineyard themed movie.

This was an actual drink on the Vineyard. It was grape flavored water and it was delicious. I wonder whatever happened to it… I wonder why I didn’t keep a bottle of it, or the label at least. Here’s to the memory of Vine… sigh.

Clever real estate ads…or are they un-real estate !

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It’s been 30 years, wonder if they’ll ever be another parody edition 🙂