CLOSE YOUR EYES. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. OPEN YOUR HEART.

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR
High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight
HELLO STRANGER ... IT SEEMS LIKE A MIGHTY LONG TIME!

Friday, November 29, 2013

In-Dell-ible Memories Chapter 8 - Curious (about) George


I am delighted to welcome back my friend and guest blogger Kathleen Mae Schneider who is here with the latest chapter of
In-Dell-ible Memories, a chronicle of her mother Margaret's childhood at the Shady Dell in the early years of the 20th century.


Chapter 8  

Curious 

(about) 

George

by 
Kathleen Mae 
Schneider



    The man who built the original Shady Dell is sometimes difficult to find. I should know because I've been searching for him these last three years. He was long gone by the time I was born, so all
I have to help me are my mother Margaret's and
my cousins' stories, archived documents and old tattered letters and photographs. Even if he
wasn't my grandfather, these remnants of his
life would still make me wonder what this man
was like and why he fell from such amazing wealth into abject poverty. The best way to know him is through these relics from Mother’s belongings.


A youthful George Andrew Brown

   Tantalizing clues paint at least a partial portrait of George Brown. From what I can tell
he was a handsome but rough-hewn man with large appetites, culinary and otherwise. He dreamed big and apparently felt there was nothing he couldn't do if he put his mind to it.


   Possessing legendary stubbornness, George was nonetheless quite capable of deep tenderness and loyalty to his friends and family. He was a pro-
tective and caring father to his 10 surviving children. One of Mother’s stories proves this.
Once I asked her why we never ate seafood at our house. Her face filled with consternation as she described her father bringing fresh fish from the Baltimore, Maryland harbor and her family eating
it frequently at the Dell house. As a young child, she once complained of getting a fish’s bone in
her mouth during a meal. George took her plate
and put the pieces of fish into his mouth to
remove the sharp bones, then took them out and
put them back on her plate, sans bones, for her
to eat. Now this might have been a loving act,
but Mother could never eat fish for the rest of
her life, mainly because she remembered the taste
of the tobacco that her father regularly chewed
added to that of the fish!


I sometimes imagine smiling Mary Grace, the baby of the Brown family, being lifted up into this
old carriage by her
father and him pla-
cing his hat on her
to take her picture.
Of course it’s all
speculation on my
part, but it seems
like something my
grandfather might
have done.  The
building next to
the carriage in 
which little Mary Grace posed was the
shipping house for George’s animal business.

   George loved his children and bought them many toys, at least in the early days at the Shady Dell house. I grew up with this wooden child's desk that originally belonged to the Brown children and was kept in their Dell house attic playroom.


   Having seen much use from Mother's 3 children,
7 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren, it is now retired and in my proud possession! It holds many happy memories of my childhood spent preten-
ding that I was writing a book and illustrating it with my crayons while sitting at that little desk.


   Like his father before him, George was a butcher and a prodigious hunter. He lived intimately with death and took pride in his skills as both a pro-
creator and a terminator of life.


George Brown (2nd from right), newly returned from a deer hunting
trip with his sons and friends, posing in front of the Dell garage.  Note the automobiles and an enclosed truck - the latest models at the time.

   In spite of being vegetarian, I treasure another old artifact that belonged to my grandfather.



It's George's heavy steel butchering saw that he used for cutting sinew and bone, one of the
tools of his trade that helped to
build his fortune.  

I imagine him wielding it with great confidence
and strength.






   The saw isn’t rusted after 100 years because its surface was protected by all the fat from the meat that it processed.

   George was equally at ease whether he helped one of his purebred dogs deliver a litter of puppies or when he assisted his wife in labor with most of his twelve children. When my grandmother was asked why she had so many children to George she replied,
“I never refused him.” What a glimpse back to the early 20th century!


The birth record in the Brown family Bible showing George's and his
wives’ birth dates and those of his progeny.  His first wife Annie died
young and five of his children did not survive infancy and childhood.

   My grandfather loved beautiful things and was passionate about acquiring them, whether it was a beautiful woman who came into his butcher shop to buy dinner or a sweetly-scented rose garden he later planted for her when they married.

George Andrew and Almedia Jane (Allie) Brown
about two years after their marriage

   Having envisioned an empire on a hill with
an expensive and comfortable new house boasting fashionable details, a large barn and additional outbuildings, he made it happen in a short time. He, along with his wife, older sons and daughters and their mates, established a profitable kennel,
a thriving automobile dealership and a homemade ailment-remedy business. For a while, it looked like he succeeded.


The Dell property as it looked when the Spangler family moved in
after the Browns left.  Note the frame to the far left above the smaller
dark building. This is where game animals would be hung for butchering.

   Known for his medicines to heal everything
from pneumonia to removing lice from poultry, George mixed and bottled the strange preparations in the Dell house’s kitchen and basement.



   Mother remembers the odd smells, as well as her father's bitter-tasting cough syrup that probably saved her life from influenza when she was 6.

Copy of a page from George’s recipe book with indications and
suggestions for use to the left.  I wonder how many doctors today
would recommend medicine with turpentine as an ingredient!

   Butchering was George's default profession,
but of course his favorite career was that of breeder and trainer of hunting dogs. He expanded that business by raising and selling other kinds
of dogs for use as pets and for other kinds of
work in addition to raising and selling other
types of animals.


An illustration from Brown's 1916-17 catalog
showing the kinds of dogs offered for sale

(below) One of scores of testimonials in the same catalog
                                               
 Brown’s Kennnels.                             
         St. Mary’s City, Md., Oct. 26, 1913   
                                               
 Gentlemen— The beagle which I bought from you 
 arrived in good condition and I am very much  
 pleased with it, and think it will make a     
 very fine hunter. I am very anxious to have   
 a coon hound, and what have you in that line. 
 Please let me know by return mail if possible,
 as this is the coon hunting season.           
                               John W.Kennedy. 
                                               

    From all of the above and much more that
I've discovered in my search for him, I’ve found that George was a complex and fascinating man who wore many hats and dealt with multiple triumphs
and tragedies in his 53 years. I wonder if, as
a doting father, he reached out with his scarred
and calloused hands for one-year-old Margaret's tiny ones as she took her first wobbly steps
toward him. Certainly I'll never know that
and so many other details of his life.


The father-daughter connection

  However, when I recently handed Mother her father's old butchering saw and she laid it gently across her lap, I was moved by the sight of her very old but beautiful hand resting on the saw’s wooden handle, summoning tender thoughts of my grandfather and of Mother’s life with him more
than a century ago at the Shady Dell.


   You've met George Brown, the devoted father
and respected businessman, but was the man mother remembers the real George Brown? As it turns out George had a darker side and it contributed to
his financial ruin and the family's loss of their beloved Dell home.

 Join me next time for the story of
 how George Brown's house of cards
came tumbling down. 

Don't miss:

In-Dell-ible Memories
Chapter 9

The Dell is Lost!


With love to Mother and to All,
Kathleen

PREVIOUS CHAPTERS: 
Chapter 7: The Demise of the Dell, Pt. 2 Fighting City Hall
Chapter 7: The Demise of the Dell, Pt. 1 Harvest of Tears
Chapter 6: The Dream Becomes a Nightmare
Winter Count: Margaret's 2013 Birthday
Happy Birthday, Margaret! Oldest Living Dell Rat Turns 101
Chapter 5: Home Sweet Dell
Chapter 4: Allie's Rats, Pt 2: Margaret's Pig Tale
Chapter 4: Allie's Rats, Pt 1: Hill and Dell
Chapter 3: The House on the Hill 
Chapter 2: Margaret is Born...and So Is the Dell 
Chapter 1: The Beauty and the Butcher
Introduction: My Shady Dell "Roots"
Margaret's Birthday

29 comments:

  1. What a versatile guy, was your grandfather. I always think it's crazy that they advertised "good for man or beast". As someone who has studied some of the history of medicine, back in those days doctors really didn't know much more than your grandfather about actual medicines. But even today in the face of our modern pharmacology people are still buying folk remedies and so-called "snake oils" off the internet. I'm sure your grandfather could be making some money by mixing and selling a "weight loss tonic". on Dr. Phil. HA!

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  2. Kathleen Mae SchneiderNovember 29, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    Good morning, Kathryn! It's good to get your unique perspective on my grandfather's shameless promotion of his remedies, especially since you are trained in the field of medicine. Before the advent of FDA approval, I guess this was the best they had. I'm told he got those recipes from an old Native American woman, so George no doubt thought they were tested by time. No double-blind studies needed!

    I can just see him now, as you mentioned on Dr. Phil or even extolling the virtues of his mixtures on an hour-long infomercial. Good comparison! I'm sure George would have relished the opportunity to reach so many potential customers through television. It might have even saved the Shady Dell from bankruptcy.

    The videos by pleased customers would have been interesting too, i.e. "Both my horse and I have felt years younger after taking George Brown's Special Tonic!"

    Thanks for reading this chapter of the series and writing such a thoughtful and original comment. I hope you'll return for the next installment!

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  3. Hearing these stories as a child, my great grandfather, George Brown, attained a larger-than-life almost mythical status that I found interesting but felt very little connection to. It wasn't until we visited the Dell last fall that he started to seem real. Experiencing where he lived and loved and created, and ultimately lost, as well as having the perspective of adulthood,these stories now have taken on a more humanizing dimension. I'm so glad your doing this (really :) ) these stories and links to the past shouldn't be lost.

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    1. Kathleen Mae ScheiderNovember 29, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      Well, what a surprise this is!! You hold the distinction of being the first of George's descendants to write a comment here about the series! It's also your first time to comment at SDM&M, so thanks for stopping by and relaying your impressions, Lis.

      Not only are you and I mother and daughter, we also both carry the Brown family genes and have been raised with these stories for much of our lives. You, like I, colored with your crayons at your Grammy's little wooden desk, and walked with her in the footsteps of her family at the Shady Dell. We gave you her middle name as well.

      I will always treasure the memories of those magical visits to her old home, seeing the room where she slept, the kitchen where she was healed, and the attic where she played as a girl. You imagined with me your great-grandfather living and moving in his garage, barn and grounds. With your sharp eyes and detective skills, you uncovered some relics in the barn's loft that would be gone otherwise.

      Thank you for encouraging me to research the family history in the first place. You show an interest in my writing it down and getting me to go beyond technology difficulties to get it published here with Tom's help on his blog. This assures that you will have these stories preserved for the future in a form that others can also appreciate. You are wonderful, and Dad and I are more than blessed to have you with us!

      Oh, and one other thing, my dear Elisabeth. You are now officially and without a doubt a Dell Rat for all time!!

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    2. I second that emotion, dear Lis. Seeing a comment from you today was a pleasant surprise and I welcome you to Shady Dell Music & Memories!

      By now I feel like I know you. Your face is a familiar one here on the blog and you figured into some of the most poignant and momentous images ever presented in these pages.

      Your mother is correct, Lis. You are now officially a member of the rat pack and we hope to see you here again soon. Your comments are greatly appreciated, dear friend!

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  4. Hallo again Katherine. So lovely to see you here again. I agree totally with Lis above, that these stories and links to the past shouldn't be lost. You are writing about your very own history in such a wonderful way, that we are all involved and enjoying it so much! Oh, by the way, I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving with your mum and family. George certainly does sound like a multi-faceted man. I love that he could be tender as well. There's something very special about a tender man I feel. I love that photo of your mum's hands holding your grandfather's saw. Isn't it amazing that it hasn't rusted after all these years. I'm wondering if I am still going to like George when I read the next fascinating chapter! I did smile, reading about why your mum has never liked fish! Hope you and mum are keeping well. I can't believe how close we are to Christmas once again.

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    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderNovember 29, 2013 at 6:56 PM

      Hi there, Diane!

      It's good to hear from you again, and that you found some things of interest in this chapter.

      Yesterday was our day to celebrate Thanksgiving with Mother, and we had a very good, but quiet time. Today I prepared a holiday meal here at my home. Both were very busy days, but ones that filled our hearts with gratitude for these special people who mean so much to us.

      The more I find out about my grandfather, the more he seems like most of us - a combination of favorable characteristics, like the tenderness you mention, and challenges that turned his life into an adventure (or sometimes misadventure). As Mother says, "We have to overlook others' flaws", so I am prepared to respect George, even if he didn't always use the best judgement.

      Because Mother wasn't told a lot about the less-than-positive events leading up to leaving the Dell house, her memories cannot help me fill in the blanks of the story. In many cases, I am in the position of knowing more than she, and I see no reason to change that at this point in her life. She learned over her long life to be content with not knowing about details of the past.

      Thank you for your generous comment, Diane, and warm wishes to you and your family from Mother and me for a holiday season filled with blessings.




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  5. Hello guest host, Kathleen!

    It's always a pleasure to read your family's history. In this chapter, I find the pics quite fascinating. George, looking so proud, while Allie looked a bit unsure. It's amazing what great shape the desk and the butchering saw were in. The picture of Margaret's hand holding her dad's saw is priceless. The Spanglers' full side view of the Dell estate was a lucky find for SDM&M and an awesome treasure, a small but important piece of the Shady puzzle.

    I do have to wonder just where and how George got his info for his remedies and medicines. When it says "recommended by George Brown", it reminded me of the saying, "If it's on the internet, it MUST be true!!!" I think giving the potion to sick Margaret and even chewing the fish (like a mother bird) for her were his way of showing his love.

    Well, we've seen the good side of George. Now bring on the bad and the ugly. They are always an interesting read as well.

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    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderNovember 29, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      Hello, Toni! You've spent so much time at the Shady Dell house while she was being restored that I'm quite sure reading stories about what went on there are uniquely interesting. I am fortunate to have keepsakes from the Dell years like the desk and saw. Sometimes I employ these things to help Mother remember her past. Such was the case with the saw, when she told me a story that will come up in the next chapter.

      The Spangler photo is a wonderful find, isn't it? It is the only one that shows what the entire side of the Dell property must have looked like in Mother's time. If the Browns took any pictures such as this, they were either destroyed or remain hidden, so we're fortunate to have this one.

      When I began writing this series, I thought my ancestors' narrative of their Dell years could fit into a few posts. I'm finding that not to be true. Each memento, photograph, letter and document provides a bit more that I'd like to tell. When it comes to George, it would help to be a detective as well as a writer!

      Thanks so much for your comment and continued interest in the series. See you next time for chapter 9!

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  6. Oh, how I love this post, just as I do all the others in this terrific series. And honestly, the father daughter connection picture brought tears to my eyes that are still falling as I type this. Please, please, pursue publication for this!

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    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderNovember 29, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      Thank you for your generous compliment, Shelly! I keep my camera handy during my shift taking care of Mother because I never know when the opportunity arises for a photo such as the last one in this post.

      The morning sun was shining on her hand as if it was warming up the hard cold steel of the saw. When I asked her what she remembered about the saw, she silently took it from me and laid it on her lap. For a few minutes she said nothing and I didn't press her to speak. But then she ran her fingers over the handle so tenderly and the story poured forth.

      The last chapters of In-Dell-ible Memories are hard for me to write. As more questions arise and new truths appear in the story that aren't always pleasant, it isn't easy to wrangle them into submission. There sure would be a lot of work before it could be published in book form!

      I really value your visit tonight and your encouragement, Shelly! It's been a long week and it is good to be appreciated. I hope to read your impressions of Chapter 9 the next time. Have a wonderful holiday season.

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  7. Again you've left us with a wonderful cliff hanger! I really love these posts and enjoy the stories of your family. The mysterious George was indeed a handsome man and his wife was just beautiful! I think the look on her face and in her eyes has a story of it's own..or I just have a good imagination! I live in Amish country and work in our community hospital. Believe me, I know that folks still use many homemade potions...the Amish use turpentine for everything. After surgery they have to be admonished not to use turpentine to clean the wound! (they do it anyway!) However I love "Unkers ointment" that I buy at the Amish store on one of the farms near us. Smells strong, but works wonders! The photo of your Mother's hand on that saw is very poignant. I'm glad you have her still to relate the stories and keep the legacy of the Dell alive. I'm looking forward to future chapters! Have a wonderful weekend and I hope your Thanksgiving was enjoyable.

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    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderNovember 29, 2013 at 10:12 PM

      I'm so glad to hear from you, Yaya! Someday I hope to visit your blog and those of the other readers and write comments, because you all have been so kind to Mother and me and continue to support this series. My time is limited right now, but please know that I appreciate your stopping by in the middle of your busy life.

      We have Amish neighbors too. "Daniel's Store" is close and carries many things one can't find in "English" establishments that are considered staples of first aid for their community. Like my grandfather, they know from experience what heals their ailments and those of the animals that are such important parts of their culture and livelihood. An aunt on my father's side once had a dangerous skin cancer cured by a country healer's top-of-the-stove salve. Many such legitimate cures probably exist, but are unfortunately discredited along with the snake oil variety.

      My grandparents' portrait speaks to me too, Yaya. Allie looks a bit timid and shy, but when you see the birth record in the Bible, you realize she was pregnant most of her youth and middle age. She had to be pretty tough to live through not only 15 pregnancies, but also a number of miscarriages and the tragic deaths of several of her children, not to mention being George's wife and business partner. I think the only reason she didn't have more babies is that George died! LOL!

      The suspense of the previous posts should be resolved for you in Chapter 9. I sure hope you come back and comment on that one too. I am indeed fortunate and blessed to have my mother with me, and to have such loyal blog friends to care about us!


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  8. Thank you for another superb IDM chapter, Kathleen! Your mother’s fish story (working title: “Boneless Fish Fillet: Easy As ABC!") is a whale of a tale and I admit that it made me gag a little. I agree with Toni Deroche’s comment that a parent chewing food before giving it to a child to eat is a practice most often associated with the animal kingdom. I never chewed tobacco but I can imagine how terrible the combination of fish and tobacco juice tasted to young Margaret. No wonder she avoided fish the rest of her life. I think I read somewhere that the smell of fish is the biggest turn-off for women and that the typical female is not fond of eating fish either. An unpleasant childhood experience like your mother’s sealed the deal.

    I was fascinated by the picture of baby Mary Grace posing in a carriage next to the shipping house, a structure that’s partially or completely hidden from view in that picture of the Dell property provided by the Spangler family. I wonder when and why the shipping house disappeared. May I assume that the shipping house is not the building you pointed out - the one with the large frame in front used for hanging game animals?

    Your post is filled with signs of the time from Allie’s candid disclosure “I never refused him” to the bizarre concoctions George prepared in the Dell basement and kitchen for consumption by man or beast. The latter brings to mind Grandpa Munster mixing potions and dabbling with magic spells in his laboratory.

    The part of this chapter I found most compelling was the birth record found in the Brown family bible. The list of names is long and it is highly affecting to consider that some of the family members on it died as babies or children while one and only one survived more than a century, outliving all the others by many years. Was it luck? Fate? Knowing Margaret Elizabeth Brown as we do thanks to this series of yours, we realize there was more to it. In a very real sense, Margaret controlled her own destiny. To a great extent, your mother's longevity can be attributed to inner strength, durability, adaptability and resilience. She has lived more than 101 years because she is willing to "let go of it" - to forgive those who trespass against her and move beyond life's setbacks, disappointments and tragedies instead of dwelling on them.

    Thank you very much, dear friend Kathleen, for the wealth of interesting material found in this your latest chapter. I echo the opinions of others and can’t wait to read your next one!

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    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderNovember 30, 2013 at 8:14 AM

      Good morning S. D. Knight!

      Thanks for checking in to read about George's admirable qualities, and to reflect on Mother's stories.

      I never thought about it before in this context, but perhaps because of my grandfather's constant work with animals, he did employ parenting instincts from their world. His response to Mother's choking on fish bones was pragmatic though. That story alone reveals a man who reacted first and thought later.

      I've tried several times to find the exact location of the shipping house, both from Mother pointing to where it stood the last time she visited the Dell, and from photos. This one of Mary in the old carriage is the most telling, because in the upper left corner of the picture you can see a shadow-like shape. Mother she said with certainty that it was the edge of the garage's roof. So it's a way to tell the proximity of the shipping house, where literally hundreds of animals were prepared for the train ride to their destinations.

      When Mother lived there, she said a "road" led from Starcross down past the hedge and grape arbor to the garage. There it split into a second that went to the shipping house and a third that went below the house past what would later become the dance hall of your memories. She can't tell me about the large milk cans on the porch of the shipping house, other than to say they had a cow that produced milk for drinking and possibly some of it was used to add to puppy and dog food. I'm guessing they contained quantities of water for the animals as well. One of her stories in a previous chapter describes her climbing on them as a girl and falling down and cutting her head.

      To the best of my knowledge, the dark building where the butchering rack was located farther down the hill to the left on the Spangler picture is not the shipping house, but a building used perhaps as a small slaughter house or meat preparation facility where sausage, scrapple and the like was produced. It also could have been a smoke house used to preserve such meats. Remember George was a butcher and an expert in that field, so it stands to reason that he would include such structures on his property.

      The Mary Grace photo proves that the shipping house's roof does appear on the Spangler photo, as a dark triangle rising above the garage extension to the barn that juts forward. (H-m-m... I think I feel another two-part chapter coming on: "Mapping the Shady Dell". Whatdya think? ;) )

      As for Grandpa Munster, perhaps the locals might have suspected George was dabbling in the occult with his large boiling pots of strange liquids - just another of the many possibilities for the story.

      You're spot on about Mother's longevity. However, while she chose to move beyond her father's actions and the indignities and shame of her past, much of her life was informed by those things. Think no seafood!

      We'll see if we can't shorten the wait time for what's to come in this story. Many thanks go out to to you and everyone else reading this for your patience. Digging up the past isn't easy, especially when it's been deliberately obscured!

      Thanks so much for setting aside your "vacation", Shady, to leave this long and perceptive comment. I appreciate your friend Tom too. Please say hello to him for me.






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  9. Thank you so much Kathleen for bringing us further into the life of George Brown and of your grandfather. It's times like these that I would love to have a time machine, wouldn't you? To be able to go back in time to observe our loved ones to learn more about their lives. It does sound like George was very business minded and having so many kids it's no wonder! I can't wait for the next chapter.

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    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderNovember 30, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      You are most welcome! It's great to see you here, Barb, and read your comment.

      There have been many times in the course of researching my family history that I wished a time machine would magically appear! If I had been searching for stories when my aunts and uncles were still alive it would have been the next best thing.

      Unfortunately I was preoccupied with teaching and parenting during those years and rarely even got to see them, let alone question them about their past at the Dell. Even had I done that, they probably would not have been forthcoming with information.

      George certainly needed successful businesses to support his large family, but I think he also was happiest when he was involved in new ventures and "modern" technologies for their own sake. He loved challenges, whether it meant being involved with the new popularity of the automobile or reinventing old healing techniques.

      Thanks for stopping by and writing your comment. Please come back to read the next chapter and learn more about the real George A. Brown.

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  10. Hello Kathleen, I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I'm still winding down from it-such a busy time of year, although it is joyful!

    I love old desks, I have two old desks in my home, and I use both of them. I really like your old desk, and am glad you are getting to enjoy it still in your life. Such simple pieces can be so warm and inviting to me!

    It's obvious that George was into so many activities and projects, I wouldn't be able to keep up with it all. But, it looks as though he was successful with all of his endeavors. Oooh...turpentine! For man and beast! Well,George's remedy must have helped or he would have been run out of town! The news articles are so impressive and professional, and, I see he even made hair tonic!

    His talents and the challenges he accepted, really kept him on top as his own man, and, even though there are many skeptics, I believe he was envied, yet, respected by the towns people at the same time. He maintained his home with many children, and, ran his businesses with his self-taught skills, and a lot of pride.

    Thank you for this great chapter Kathleen...I'm anxious for the next one to arrive, as are all of your readers. I know this is the story of your mother's life, but, you must know, it is infectious and spellbinding! Your writing leaves me gasping for more!

    Have a great week, hugs to you and your mother!

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    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderDecember 1, 2013 at 8:15 PM

      Hello, Suzanne!

      I'm glad that the photo of the child's desk on this post resonates with you. I also am fond of surrounding myself with such family mementoes that embody so many stories and emotions.

      My grandfather's success was short-lived, and I am trying to search all available avenues for the causes. It certainly seems that the locals had mixed feelings about him. However the puzzle of his downfall has many other missing pieces. If this were fiction, I could think of a number of scenarios to explain the situation. Finding the truth is considerably harder!

      George employed two stenographers in the office of the Dell house (a daughter and a daughter-in-law who met in business school) to take care of all the paperwork and correspondence for his enterprises. So the ads shown in this chapter are his ideas, but their hard work to make them appealing.

      When I think of the Shady Dell in its heyday as my ancestors' home, I imagine a place teeming with activity - that of cars, animals and children. It must have been a noisy and exciting place to live and work! No doubt my grandfather didn't realize that perhaps he'd bitten off more than he could chew, and got engulfed in legal wranglings as a result. George's pride preceded his fall.

      Thank you for such generous compliments! Your endorsement means a lot to me as I come down the homestretch of the series. Mother and I look forward to again drawing you and the other readers into her story with the next chapter.

      We send warm wishes for a beautiful holiday season for you and your family.

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  11. Kathleen I am becoming to like George more as we Learn more about him. He was the kind of man that you would want to be on your side. Just looking at all he accomplished in his life makes me want to know more about the man who built the Dell house. It's hard to think of how a man could run so many things and have time to plan and build a house like the Dell. We must remember that in his day every thing in business was being done with much back stabbing . I be live that George would do what ever he had to do to get his way and serve his family. But then again he did have that softer side that you wrote of. What we don't know is what went wrong and why things went wrong. All we know so far is something did happen and the wheels came off the wagon. But what? I have a feeling you will soon have the answer. So until next time I just want to say I sure would like to have know this man. Please take care of you and mother. Your friend and A Dell Rat All Ways Greg

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    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderDecember 2, 2013 at 6:14 PM

      Welcome back, Greg!

      I bet George would have liked to have known you too, Greg. Your statement about the business practices of his time is important, although we don't have any details so far of how he ran his kennel, automobile and remedy enterprises. He was a man of many contradictions, and it's highly likely he did some things that angered people.

      He loved his family and was proud of them as well as his many accomplishments, so it must have been demoralizing to see everything fall apart and have them lose their home because of whatever went wrong. George's letters show no signs of depression however!

      Thank you for your comment, Greg. The next chapter will explain parts of the bankruptcy story that I know, but much remains a mystery. I hope you will still like George after you read it!

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  12. great post shady, and kathleen!

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    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderDecember 4, 2013 at 5:02 AM

      Hi, Alabee. We're glad you stopped by and that you enjoyed this segment of the story. Thanks for your comment, and do consider a return visit for the next installment. We'll look for you then!

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    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderDecember 5, 2013 at 6:04 AM

      Thanks for visiting us and reading our chapter. You are welcome here any time, so check back again soon!

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  14. Another wonderful story about your family! I love the photos and it is great to still having that marvelous children's desk in your home.

    I can understand why your mom hated fish! I hated meat when I was a kid and would pretend to eat it and hide the pieces under my plate. I'm so looking forward to your next installment.

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    1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderDecember 5, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      Hi Belle! I'm so glad you read Chapter 8 and found it to your liking.

      I regret that I don't have as many photographs of the Dell years as I would like, but having these old items that were actually a part of my mother's and grandparents' life are perhaps even better because they sure have tremendous power to ignite the imagination.

      My roommate in college used to hate peas as a child and was made to eat them in order to get dessert. She said one day she discovered that underneath the kitchen table there was an opening in the top of the hollow metal legs. That took care of her problem!

      Thank you so much for coming by and commenting. See you next time!

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  15. This is a ton of wonderful. I probably haven't mentioned this, but I'm a genealogist, too, and many times I find the pull of the past much stronger than the present.

    More of the story, please!

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