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Posted by Tex on 2012/12/11 8:11:35 (228 reads)|
A few have responded since I first posted this over a year ago. God has pinged my heart to keep looking. Have you ever had a part of your soul that feels like something is missing?
My name is Scott James Dowdell. I graduated from Olean High School in ’79, went to college and graduated from Cornell in ’83. I was born on April 12, 1961. My biological father is James Allen Foster and my mother is Joyce Marion Clifford. I have a brother whose birth name is Gregory Allen Foster. He was born January 3, 1958 at Olean General Hospital. I’ve never met him. When mom was pregnant with me our parents engaged in a bitter divorce. Mom went to Texas where I was born. Gregory was given up for adoption, possibly by a family in Portville.
About 10 years ago, after my two daughters were born, I tried to call Jim Foster (my dad) but was told he was deceased. It wasn’t true; he actually died several years later (2003). I was curious about my geneology and medical history that I was passing onto my girls. I am 49 now, and Gregory is 53.
I have a brother Jeff and two sisters Laurie and Sharon, whom I love very much; there is no doubt about that. I love my life with the family I have here in Red Lion, PA.
There is just a piece of my heart that asks that daunting question: brother, where art thou?
Posted by arrijan on 2011/10/18 2:50:38 (292 reads)|
I returned to the Olean area last October after a 56 year hiatus ranging from Southeast Asia to South America. And on my return, what to my wondering eyes should appear? Well—perhaps the major thing is: I now know why Tom Wolfe said “You Can’t Go Home Again.” Mainly, because when you leave “home,” by the time you turn around “home” ain’t there no more.
Where’s Clark Brothers factory? What have you done with the Double Diamond Grainery? Were have you hidden the “Olean House?” Where did that four lane highway come from?
My sister Mary has driven me around town, and I get all confused. I look out the car window and I try to find places I remember. I know what is there now is not what used to be there, but do you think I can recall just what was where it’s not there now? I can’t find where the Hydrox Dairy used to be, nor the Texas Hot, nor many other icons of my youth. Heck! We drove down 21st street and I can’t even recognize our house. I was appalled to find just darn SMALL 21st street has become.
The field where us neighborhood kids used to play is now buried under a parking lot and a school. The politically incorrectly named “Guinea Hill” gravel pit where we used to go sledding is now a shopping area with no sign of what it used to be at all. Washington Street is now paved for crying out loud. No more oil soaked sneakers in the summer after the city spread oil on the dirt street to keep the dust down.
The river, which used to be a stinking Love Canal long before any one heard of the Love Canal, is now a clean flowing stream. Living out here where we do, we have deer coming into the back yard to have their pictures taken. “Reggie” our resident red fox entertained us during the spring teaching her kits to catch mice here in the field next to the house. “Simon,” the ‘possum comes down on the back at night to see if our dogs have left any goodies for him, and “Wilber” our woodchuck waits for us to bring the dogs in so he can check out the yard for delectable green morsels. (That might be “Wilma” Woodchuck.)
I never met any Amish before in my life, but now have quite a few Amish friends. Their ways are “different,” than mine, but their ways work jut fine for them and I’ve learned to not only like them, but admire them.
As I’ve set outside at Wal-Mart in my wheelchair waiting for my sister to bring the car around I’ve had people exchange pleasantries with me, and even stop to chat. Napoli Pizza is what they talk about when they say “The Food of the Gods.” But I must, before I leave, enjoy a Beef on Weck! I cannot go to the Old Library Restaurant, I fear it would be a bit too painful. There are memories I want left strictly alone.
I’ll be leaving again soon. I dread the thought of your Western New York winter. Yes, I’ve discovered a great number of things since I arrived last year. Chief amongst these lessons is the Max Ehrmann was spot on correct with what he wrote in the “Desiderata.” For example:
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
And he also reminds us that;
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Y’r Ob’t S’vnt TomK
Posted by oghpr on 2010/10/26 17:55:23 (371 reads)
| Looking Back : Olean General Hospital Unveils Commemorative Plaques in St. Francis Heritage Gar
On October 26, 2010, Olean General Hospital (OGH) held a special dedication ceremony in the newly renovated St. Francis Heritage Garden located on the hospital’s campus to recognize the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany for their past sponsorship of St. Francis Hospital and their many contributions over the years to the region’s health care.
Father Gregory J. Dobson from St. Mary’s of the Angels Roman Catholic Church in Olean led the event with an invocation. A welcome message was provided by Timothy J. Finan, president and CEO of Upper Allegheny Health System and member hospitals Olean General Hospital and Bradford Regional Medical Center, followed by a prayer from Sister Dana Hollis, OSF, manager of the Pastoral Care Department at OGH. Additionally, special guest Sister Mary Croghan, former President and CEO of St. Francis Hospital was honored in appreciation for her leadership at St. Francis Hospital.
Over 50 members of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, past St. Francis Hospital employees and Olean General Hospital representatives observed Sister Roberta Brunner, OSF, Upper Allegheny Health System board member, and David Prince, Upper Allegheny Health System chairman of the board, unveil a memorial rock displaying a plaque commemorating the Franciscan Sisters for their many years of service to the healthcare needs of the community. Additionally, a new plaque near the statue of St. Francis was observed during the event.
“The dedication of the St. Francis Heritage Garden at Olean General Hospital provides a special opportunity to recognize the commitment to area healthcare of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, especially their sponsorship of St. Francis Hospital here in Olean from 1938-1991, said Timothy Finan. “In the garden we have a special plaque that expresses our gratitude to the Allegany Franciscan for their health care ministry here in Olean.”
In his remarks, Mr. Finan commented on the significance of the statue of St. Francis which is the focus of the garden and noted that the statue stood in front of St. Francis Hospital at 2221 West State Street in Olean for most of the hospital’s history. He also explained that despite the closure of St. Francis Hospital many years ago, the Franciscan charism continues to live on at Olean General Hospital through the participation of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany on the Olean General Hospital Board of Directors.
Mr. Finan added, “I am very happy that we have come together to celebrate the Sisters’ many contributions to the health and well being of the Olean area. St. Francis Hospital was a critically important community resource for many years and is an important part of our community’s history. It is important and appropriate that the work of the Sisters and the special place that St. Francis Hospital occupied in the lives of so many area residents is understood and remembered.”
Olean General Hospital and Bradford Regional Medical Center are members of Upper Allegheny Health System.
Posted by arrijan on 2009/2/1 11:34:10 (697 reads)|
Does anyone here remember the old District 4, one-room school that used to be on the Five Mile Road outside the town of Allegany?
Does anyone here happen to have (in the bottom of the Cambell's soup box in the attic where the old photos are kept) a, or more photograph of the building? Should anyone have such a treasure, would you please share it with me? I was in the First Grade in 1947, so was an alumni of the last class to attend that school.
I'm pretty sure the "memories" I have of the school are products of things my mother told me later, or overhearing conversations about "when we lived on the farm." (McClure Hollow.) I not only remember but I am certain-sure that the year in that one-room-school was my happiest educational experience until I got to college MANY years later.
The only picture I have is the one they ran in the newspaper when the building was being disassembled for transport to Long Island. I remember NO names from back then, not kids, not teachers, not nothing. But I do remember (vaguely) that us kids would find pieces of tombstones, I have no idea what kind of stone it was, but it was white and had sparkles and us kids prospected for them like gold nuggets.
I also do remember, in winter, at recess we'd go "skating" on the frozen creek (crik?) No skates of course, just sliding on the ice wearing our boots (can you imagine the law-suits today?) I do hope someone can/will help me reclaim those memories with a photo(s?)
Thanks, Tom Kinnaird, Florence, South Carolina (where it is 54 degrees on February First.)
Posted by arrijan on 2007/5/11 12:50:43 (988 reads)|
You Inna Heap a Trouble Boy
Jes'a good ol' boy
Never meanin' no harm.
Beats all you never saw
Been in trouble with the law
Since the day I waz born
Yeah! That would be me!
Well, okay, so I’ve only tangled with the Forces of Law and Order twice in my whole life, but that’s quite sufficient, thankyoueversomuchhaveaniceday!
The second time I ran afoul of the law was far, far from Olean, it happened in a city in Southern California. I was a young Marine, and a loud-mouthed Swab-Jockey (A “Swab-Jockey” is an obsolete term of disrespect, referring to a lower-ranking enlisted slob in the United States Navy.) This loud, obstreperous, foul-mouthed, clod, with his bell-bottom trousers, and buttons of shiny brass made very loud and demeaning, insulting remarks about the young lady I was with.
I remember the charges were: “Drunk, disorderly, assault and battery.” Which is nothing but a foul LIE, I was NOT drunk! (But it still earned me a night as a guest of the taxpaying citizens—if there are such—of Long Beach California, AND cost me a stripe.) Crime not only does not pay, it’s down-right EXPENSIVE!
But the FIRST time I found myself in a revolting development with The Law, it most certainly did involve the LEOs (Law Enforcement Officers) of Olean, New York!
Read on for the rest of the story....
Posted by mikeb on 2007/5/14 10:48:56 (524 reads)|
From Rick Jenks (of Pickup's fame) via the Olean email grapevine...
Hi, everybody, I've just put a bunch of Olean memorabilia on a website: old matchbook covers, postcards, 1954 Olean Sesquicentennial items, etc. Take a trip down memory lane!
Posted by arrijan on 2007/5/4 3:13:50 (546 reads)|
Makin' my way,
The only way I know how,
But that's just a little bit more than the law will allow.
“I never done it officer, ‘n if’n ya let me go this time, I swear I’ll never do it again!”
Yeah—I’m breaking laws, smashing icons, and p**ing on The American Idle—I mean “Idol!” (BULL Doo-Doo! The REAL American Idol is sitting in a hole in the Iraqi desert eating an MRE!)
But anyway---I have decided to laugh in the face of danger, disregard what the “experts” say, and even (GASP!) DEFY THE FDA!
I have found a source, and from them I have ordered a full pound of SASSAFRAS ROOT!
I intend for to make me some SASSAFRAS TEA!
When I was a lad, sassafras tea was administered as a Spring Tonic, and, along with the cod-liver oil....(read on)
Posted by tapfaulk on 2007/4/18 17:17:43 (865 reads)|
First signs of Spring.
For many, it is the Robin redbreast for others it may be the first Crocus, Jonquil or Daffodil. For my family, and me it was the first trip to collect the bounty of edible plants that grew in the area– Marsh marigold, Cattail, Dandelions, and Fiddlehead ferns.
I remember as if it was yesterday, Marie calling on my mother and discussing when it was the right time to go. Marie had to set her schedule up a couple weeks ahead, she was a nurse who worked for St. Francis Hospital – nights. She was a good friend of my mother. Always walking her collie during the afternoons, she had kind gentle words for me.
Once the day of the trip would arrive, we would pack up intending on spending the entire day. I was always puzzled of where we would go, it was swampy and the creek was nearby several feet below the wetlands. It took me a several years to discover that the area we would hunt in was along “Tuna” creek between Limestone and the Junction. We come home, wet and muddy, but happy with the bags of produce we had. If I was lucky, I would bring home a newt or two. Once in awhile, I even caught a trout.
I was reading the postings by another fellow, he wrote of walking North of 21st Street. I use to walk west and South of 20th Street carrying my Marlin bolt-action .22 cal rifle. That was over 40years ago. I didn’t come to understand my dad’s insistance on the bolt-action till later in life. I was able to use .22 shorts for the hunts. There were times when I would simply use a throwing stick or a slingshot for the hunts. Any game that I could bring home was always used. These days, I would be arrested for trespass or hunting without license. Times do change, but the memories remain.
Posted by arrijan on 2007/3/25 2:21:00 (927 reads)|
The way I’m “finding my way” around an Olean that’s been gone for fifty years, is to use that Google “Earth” program. In Olean I can come so close that I can read the label on a discarded beer-can in a vacant lot.
So, I use Google, combined with memory, aided by a bit of imagination.
The problem with the Google satellite-view of The Ol’ Home Town is, there are HUGE buildings with larger parking lots where there should be a vacant lot. Or there will be vacant lots where there should be houses. There are roads and streets where no road or street has ever gone before. There are ponds where there should be hills.
Tom Wolfe became rich and famous when he wrote: “You can’t go home again!” Well! The REASON you can’t go home again, is because IT AIN’T THERE NO MORE!
That’s where memory and imagination come in. I have to use my memory so I know what “should” be there, and then my imagination to picture it as it was “when.”
My big fear with “Looking Back” like this, is that I’ll fall into the trap described by Mark Twain, who said: "When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it."
I find all I need do is remember that I’m writing about Olean, to people who live in Olean, and that helps me keep one foot firmly on another Mark Twain quote. "Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish."
I could write with pure, free, wild imagination, being pretty sure you don’t know ME, but I daren’t take the chance that you might be very familiar with the fish!
I believe, when learning to write the essay, this is called the “WHOA! BACK!” factor. (If not, it should be.)
Earlier this evening I was thinking I wanted to tell you of the West Washington Street Flotilla. But the tale kind of hinges around a building supply and lumber company that used to be on West Washington.
For more read on....
Posted by arrijan on 2007/3/24 0:13:46 (1979 reads)|
As a child my family's menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it. ~Buddy Hackett
One of the blessings of Cattaraugus County in New York State is that it has an abundance of skunk cabbage.
Now, I know that skunk cabbage is considered a noxious-smelling weed. To the best of my knowledge it’s inedible. It certainly isn’t what you’d call “decorative,” but skunk cabbage has a unique place in the hierarchy of Western New York herbology.
Skunk cabbage is a sign! A signifier! A herald!
Cutting across the cow-yard, with the last of the winter snow melting and turning dingy brown, we would see the green tips of skunk cabbage peeking through the muddy white mess.
When the skunk cabbage appeared, that meant the delicious wild cowslips (marsh marigold) were close behind.
Cowslip salads! Fresh-picked cowslips blanched by pouring hot, home-cured bacon grease over them and served with fresh-baked corn bread! Cowslips simmered all morning with ham-hocks or bacon (Donated by Pansy the Pig).
At about the same time as the cowslips appeared, in the marshy areas, the delicious, nutritious, delicacy we called “leeks” suddenly abounded. Volunteer Fire Departments, VFW Posts, Societies, Organizations, Clubs, all began the annual ritual of the “Ham & Leek Dinner!”