Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sunset at Duck

Photo by Patrick Jones. Duck, NC. 30 Aug 2016.
After a couple days of tropical storm watch for the arrival of Tropical Depression 8, it looks like we've gotten lucky and the storm is going to take a turn to the northeast. Now we are watching another tropical system in the Gulf, Tropical Depression 9 may soon become Hermine and may impact our weather by Thursday or Friday.

Allison's Mom and Memaw are here, and we will be joined by her uncle, brother and sister-in-law over the next few days. We are looking forward to the family time and making great memories at the beach.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fun with maps

A colleague used the cool free map tools from Amcharts to create a visited countries map. My own visited countries map as of August 2016 is below:
Map created using Amcharts Visited Countries Map tool.
I still have some gaps around the world, particularly in Africa, the Pacific Islands, Southern Europe and Nordic Europe.

Map created using Amcharts Visited States Map.
The Visited States Map shows I have some gaps on the Pacific Coast, Northeast, and North Dakota. We're hoping for a Hawaii trip next Spring.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Martiau and Read Memorials

As noted in my last post, on Friday we made our way down the coast, stopping at historic Yorktown, Virginia. We were able to find the memorials for my 10th-great-grandfather Nicolas Martiau, his daughter and my 9th-great-grandmother Elizabeth Martiau Read, and 9th-great-grandfather George Read at Grace Episcopal Church in Yorktown. Nicolas' land later became Yorktown.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Nicolas Martiau memorial. 
Photo by Patrick Jones. George Read headstone.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Elizabeth Martiau Read headstone.
For more information and better photos, see

Friday, August 26, 2016


NYPL Digital Collections. Yorktown, VA. 1902.
Yorktown, Virginia is on our list for an end-of-summer visit. As a reminder, Yorktown was founded by my 10th-great-grandfather Nicolas Martiau. This was also the site of the Battle of Yorktown, the last major land battle of the American Revolution. My 6th-great-grandfather Joseph Thornhill Sr died at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781.

I am interested to see the historic waterfront town which was once part of the Martiau plantation, a 1300 acre land patent issued in 1630.

This part of Virginia also features prominently for other lines in the family. It will be interesting to see Yorktown in person, and of course, I will post pictures here.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Art in Reykjavik

Photo by Patrick Jones. Reykjavik, 18 Aug 2016.
The stained glass above is from the National Museum of Iceland, which I visited last Thursday. It was a nice museum, we spent most of our time in exhibition on the history of Iceland from settlement to the present day. This really helped inform our Golden Circle tour on Friday when we went to Thingvellir National Park. Thingvellir is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and where the world's first assembly was established in 930.

On our Thursday walk I found three more murals that I missed on my July stopover. I have also included one other mural found after we returned from our tour on Friday. For additional street art photos from Reykjavik, see my Wall Poetry post from 16 Jul 2016.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural in Reykjavik.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Stamp mural in Reykjavik. 18 Aug 2016.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural in Reykjavik.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural on alley off Laugavigur. 19 Aug 2016.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Culture Night 2016

Photo by Patrick Jones. Reykjavik Culture Night, 20 Aug 2016.
After the marathon, Reykjavik put on a party, celebrating 230 years as a city. Culture Night (also called Menningarnott in Icelandic) had live music and fireworks. We had a fantastic evening.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Race Recap

Photo by Patrick Jones. Reykjavik, 19 Aug 2016.
It feels great to write "I finished!" after successfully completing my first marathon. On Saturday I ran the Reykjavik Marathon. After months of training, I did it. The achievement would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of a great friend who joined me on my crazy journey to Iceland. I'll have a bit more photos to follow over the next few days. The legs are sore, but otherwise I feel pretty good. Relaxing in the Blue Lagoon on Sunday certainly helped with the recovery.
Photo from Twitter, I'm in the orange shirt on the left.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Reykjavik Marathon start line. 20 Aug 2016.
The organizers did a wonderful job with the race. It was so helpful to have all the locals cheering, rock bands playing on the route, and well-stocked refreshment stops along the way. The "Afram Island" cheers really lift the spirits. I would recommend this race to anyone.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Goal is in sight

NYPL, Mott Haven, Bronx: Nov 4, 2001. NYC Marathon, mile 20.
It feels like I have been training for the Reykjavik Marathon for a year. On Wednesday I fly to Iceland, where I'll be running my first marathon on Saturday 20 August. Over the course of my training I've completed my longest ever run to date of 20 miles, and I've run in various cities and places around the world.

In December 2015 I wrote about my experiences with running going back to my high school cross country and track days over 25 years ago. Since focusing on the Reykjavik Marathon, I've run with Blacklist LA around Los Angeles, in Marrakech, Morocco, Mexico, completed my 2nd half marathon in Charlottesville, run in Amsterdam, Moscow and Minsk, many miles along the GW Parkway Trail next to the Potomac, run in Helsinki and Reykjavik, Montevideo, and various loops around Alexandria and DC. I am ready and not ready at the same time for this trip.

Watching the Olympics over the past two weeks has been inspiring too. I take with me some inspiring words from Michael Phelps during yesterday's interviews. He said "my success is nothing out of the ordinary. It's goal setting, believing in myself and not giving up until I get there." I am sure in his case it is a lot more than that, but for my purposes those are good enough words to follow. I set a goal to run a marathon in 2016. It is a fantastic opportunity in a wonderful place. I am looking forward to what this week will bring.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Street art in Barracks Row

Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Aniekan Udofia. 21 Jul 2016.
Washington DC may not be as much of a street art center as Miami, London, or other places far and wide, but if you look close enough you can find some cool murals around DC (see photos from PowWowDC and Union Market). The mural above is by Aniekan Udofia, who has several commissioned murals around DC. The one above is just south of Barracks Row.

Photo by Patrick Jones. Painting under 395, Barracks Row.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Painting under 395, Barracks Row.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Painting under 395, Barracks Row. 21 Jul 2016.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Gaia at Nooshi, Barracks Row.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Gaia at Nooshi, Barracks Row.
The mural above was painted by Baltimore artist Gaia in 2013.

Tom "Toad" Hendrickson

Through much of my Gumpy's childhood, his partner-in-crime was his cousin Tom "Toad" Hendrickson. Tom was the son of Gumpy's Aunt Edna Florence Jones Hendrickson. I previously published a transcription of Chapter 13 of my Gumpy's book "That's Live...and then some" describing his August 1937 cross-country drive on Route 66 from Indiana to California with Toad, his brother Bob and cousin Guy Hankins. After returning from this West Coast visit, Tom finished his senior year at Thorntown High School.
1938 Thorntown yearbook.

Tom was a forward on the Thorntown High School basketball team and would have played in the gym built after the school's 1915 state championship.
1938 Thorntown basketball team. Tom is #67 in the front row.
My Gumpy dedicated Chapter 4 of his book to Tom and his sister Coral Lee, called "A Weekend at Toad's House."

"I always liked to go to Toad's house. Toad is my cousin, and he lived in Thorntown. He had a tree house out by the alley and he also had a tent that we sometimes slept in. Coral Lee was his sister. When there was nothing else to do we could always tease her and her girlfriends. Another thing I liked about going to Toad's house was they got their milk delivered in quart bottles. You know the kind. They had a big bulge in the neck of the bottle for the cream to form in. Toad's family had another neat thing called an electric toaster. Uncle Lee always operated that, because he said I could burn the toast, if not the house down."

"Well it was one of those days. Toad and I had played in the tree house most of the day and were just about to run out of things to do. We were listening to Jack Armstrong, the all American Boy, on the radio, when Coral Lee and Peggy Maple decided to make chocolate fudge. We pretended to listen to the radio, and when the girls left the kitchen for a moment, we thought it would be fun to add a little soap powder to the fudge while it cooked. When the girls returned to the kitchen they could not believe how nice and creamy their fudge was.

"By that time Toad and I were about to split our sides laughing. The secret was out and Coral and her friend did not think it was funny. About that time my Aunt Edna returned from town and she failed to see anything funny in our little prank.

'Just for that little bit of foolishness boys, you will have to go to bed early.'

"We went to bed and were glad that the punishment was not worse and Aunt Edna helped the girls make a fresh batch of fudge. After a while we started talking and laughing and then Uncle Lee came home from the store and came upstairs to our bedroom to settle us down. By now we were real quiet and were expecting the worse. He asked us what we had done? He just smiled and said, 'Better go to sleep now.' We covered our heads and laughed ourselves to sleep.

"When you went to Toad's house you never knew what kind of fun you might have. Uncle Lee and Aunt Edna were great people and I can remember one time we all took off for the Lyric Theater in Indianapolis to see Ted Lewis and his band. I don't think I had ever been in a place so alive and pretty. We sat in the balcony where we could see all the action on the stage. The next day I decided I wanted to be a band leader.

"On another occasion I recall Uncle Lee loading us all into his Essex and took us to Purdue University field house in Lafayette to see and hear the Purdue Band put on a concert of John Phillip Sousa march music. Now if for some reason you have taken to rocknroll or country western music, then I would suggest you bury your head in a rousing Sousa march. If the beat of the drums, clang of the cymbals, and deep blast of the tubas don't arouse you, then you are musically dead.

"I am sure Uncle Lee liked good music and I appreciate my early introduction to it. I only wish there was some way I could thank him for it now. At Christmas time, he always gave Bob and me things from the store like gloves, sweaters, and one time gave me an all leather aviator helmet with ear flaps that had fleece lining and snapped under my chin. Sure did keep your ears warm, it even had a pair of goggles just like Col. Lindbergh. Yes, spending a weekend at Toad's house has left me with life long memories."

After graduation, Tom worked as a lab technician for Eli Lilly in Indianapolis. In 1942 he enlisted in the Army. After World War II, he returned and enrolled in Indiana University in Bloomington. Tom died in September 1968.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Contributors to the New Gym

By winning the 1915 Indiana State High School Basketball Championship, Thorntown secured enough funds to build a new gym next to the school. The gym was opened in time for the 1916 season. Many in the town contributed to the building fund, including my 3rd-great-grandmother Easter Vail Armstrong (mispelled in the 1916 Thorntown yearbook as Esther), my 2nd-great-grandfather Thomas Robert Jones, his oldest son Roy Jones and my great-grandfather Edgar Jones.
Source: Ancestry. 1916 Thorntown High School yearbook.
Another descendant in the extended Jones line later played basketball in this gym, Edna Florence Jones' son Thomas Hendrickson played basketball for Thorntown High School between 1935-1938. Tom, also known as "Toad" to my Gumpy, appears in several of his stories in my Gumpy's self-published book.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Emily Oyler

Back in September 2015 I published Chapter 1 from my Gumpy's self-published book of stories called "That's Life...and then some" (2000). This chapter, titled School Days at Sugar Plains, 1925-1928, described my Gumpy's elementary school experience at Sugar Plains School in Boone County, Indiana. Gumpy dedicated this chapter to his Aunt Emily Oyler Couger, who was his teacher at Sugar Plains school. Emily was Alma Oyler's sister, and she appears in the Thorntown High School yearbook in the Class of 1914.
Source: Ancestry. 1914 Thorntown High School yearbook.
Emily provided the sketches that appear throughout the 1914 yearbook. My Gumpy must have picked up some of her style, as her sketches look a lot like my Gumpy's sketches in his book.

Sketch by Emily Oyler. Page 15, 1914 yearbook.
Sketch by Emily Oyler. Page 25, 1914 yearbook.
Sketch by Emily Oyler. Page 29, 1914 yearbook.
Sketch by Emily Oyler, Page 49. 1914 yearbook.
Sketch by Emily Oyler, Page 90. 1914 Thorntown yearbook.
Source: Ancestry. Page 71, 1914 Thorntown yearbook.

She was born Mary Emily Oyler, on 30 October 1895 in Boone County, Indiana. After graduating from Thorntown, Emily went to Winona Teachers College and later returned to Boone County to teach at Sugar Plains School. She married Walter Hamilton Couger on 24 May 1917.

Emily died on 17 February 1972 in Frankfort, Clinton County, Indiana.

Class of 1916

Source: Ancestry. 1913 Thorntown High School yearbook, Class of 1916.
1913 was the first year Thorntown High School produced a yearbook. I've already covered the finds for Edna and Edgar Lawrence Jones, but the Thorntown yearbooks also included my great-grandmother Alma Oyler. Alma was a year younger than Edgar and part of the Class of 1916, but she and Edgar sang together in the 1915 Glee Club. It also looks like Alma and Edna were friends. In the picture above, Alma is 2nd in the 2nd row. I've made a larger photo below:
Alma Oyler, 1913.
In the 1914 yearbook, Alma was included with the Class of 1917. I am not sure why. She was treasurer of the class that year. By the 1915 yearbook, Alma was back with the Class of 1916.
Source: Ancestry. 1915 Thorntown High School yearbook.
Alma's senior picture from 1916 is below:
Source: Ancestry. 1916 Thorntown High School yearbook.
Edgar and Alma were married on 3 September 1916 in Boone County, Indiana, a few months after Alma graduated from Thorntown High School.

Alma's older sister Emily Oyler also appears in the Thorntown yearbooks, and I'll have some information on her in the next post.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

1915 Thorntown Glee Club

In Tuesday's post on Edna Florence Jones, I included a photo of the 1915 Thorntown High School Girls Glee Club, along with the text from the yearbook recapping the year for both the girls and boys groups. The yearbook also had a photo of the Boys Glee Club. My great-grandfather Edgar Lawrence Jones appears in the photo fourth from the left, above the "T" in Thorntown.
Source: Ancestry. 1915 Thorntown yearbook. Edgar is 4th from left.
It is nice to see the athletic talent pared with the musical talent from this side of the family. Again this is a wonderful heritage to share with the kids.

There are a few more finds from the Thorntown yearbooks to share, and with the next post I'll turn to my great-grandmother Alma Oyler, who was in the girls glee club in 1915.

It takes a team to win

Following yesterday's discovery that my great-grandfather was part of Indiana high school basketball history in 1915, I ran a search of newspaper articles to learn a bit more about their championship season. Thorntown finished the season with a 25-4 record.
Indianapolis News. 23 Jan 1915.

In the clipping above, Thorntown relied on its bench to beat Lafayette 42-16. It is likely Edgar Jones played in this game, although I do not have a box score available to confirm this.

On 9 March 1915, the IHSAA conducted a draw to seed the teams for the State Championship tournament. Indiana University hosted the games in Bloomington.
Alexandria Times-Tribune, 9 Mar 1915.
Thorntown's championship made the front page of the Indianapolis News on 15 March 1915:
Indianapolis News, 15 Mar 1915.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

State Champion

I am a huge basketball fan, so I guess this is in my blood. When I was growing up in Indiana, the single class basketball tournament was legendary. I still remember watching the 1990 IHSAA Championship game when Damon Bailey's Bedford North Lawrence team beat undefeated Concord in front of 41,000 people at the Hoosier Dome. I saw a lot of basketball growing up and of course we had a basketball goal in our driveway. But I am surprised to learn about a family connection to Indiana high school basketball history.
Evansville Press, 15 Mar 1915.
Stumbling on the Thorntown High School yearbooks from 1913-1916 uncovered some new finds on my great-grandfather Edgar Lawrence Jones. In my last post I included pictures and information on Edna Florence Jones, my great-grandfather's twin sister. These were great finds, I had never seen a photo of Edna before. At the time, I had no idea the yearbooks would connect the family to a bit of Indiana sports history. Edgar was a member of the 1915 Indiana high school state champion basketball team from Thorntown High School. Thorntown celebrated the 100th anniversary of the state championship last year.

In a story much like the classic Hoosiers movie about the 1954 Indiana State Champions from little Milan High School, the 1915 Thorntown team were a scrappy bunch who played in a room that wasn't even a full time gym. Local businesses pledged to build the school a real gym (which cost $3000 to build at the time) if the team won the sectional and beat neighboring rival Lebanon, which they did.
Indianapolis News. 8 March 1915.
Edgar does not appear in the 1915 team photo, but he was definitely part of the team. The 1915 Thorntown High School yearbook confirms Edgar's role with the team, and even lists his point total.
Source: Indianapolis Star, 5 May 2015.
Source: Ancestry. 1915 Thorntown High School yearbook.
While Edgar was not a star, he did earn his place as the captain of the White team in a preseason series of games Coach Chester Hill used to identify potential players for the 1915 squad.

In the May 2015 news article appearing in the Indianapolis Star recalling the 1914-1915 team, local historian David White noted "Thorntown played most of its home games...on the third floor of the grade school, in a large room that was also used as a science lab." In the article, 1943 Thorntown graduate Marvin White said "The ceiling was low, if you shot it too high, the ball might hit the rafters. We had an old hardwood floor and in the wintertime when it was freezing it would get a little uneven. The Thorntown players knew you had to pass the ball in the gym instead of dribble. I remember a team from Sheridan came over to play us and the coach swore after the game that he'd never come back to play us in that gym." And this was the gym that was built after the team won the championship in 1915.

I'd like to think Edgar played a key role in the sectional game between Thorntown and Plainfield (won by Thorntown 43-14). The 1915 yearbook notes "this game was played by the subs", with Thorntown's main stars Smith and Hall sitting out.
Source: Ancestry. 1915 Thorntown High School yearbook.
Bringing the State Championship to Thorntown led to the construction of a new gym, which was described in great detail in the yearbook.

As many athletes know, championships aren't made overnight, and in the case of the 1914-1915 Thorntown squad, the seeds for success were planted in the 1913-1914 season. Edgar was mentioned again in the 1914 yearbook as part of the starting five for the junior squad, which finished second in the inter-class games. The juniors would form the core of the 1915 state champions the next season.
Source: Ancestry. 1914 Thorntown High School yearbook.
The 1914 team lost in the third round of the State Tournament, losing 16-21 to Rossville.

I am proud of this connection to Indiana basketball history and look forward to sharing this with the kids as they get older. Before I leave this story for more finds from the Thorntown yearbooks, I will have another post with statewide news articles on the 1915 Thorntown basketball team.