June 10, 2004

I recently came across an interesting incident arising out of the devastating 1907 earthquake in Kingston, Jamaica on the Jamaican Family Search web site (http://jamaicanfamilysearch.com/). A pair of letters exchanged between the Governor of Jamaica and Admiral C. H. Davis, USN was reported in the Daily Telegraph (http://jamaicanfamilysearch.com/Samples/earthqu4.htm).

As I read the letters over the phone to mother, she remembered that her father and mother were "seeing" each other at that time. Her father, A. Noel Crosswell, was living in Kingston, and her mother, Una Soutar, was living in Half Way Tree. Because there was no power and the telephone lines were down, Noel walked all the way from Kingston to Half Way Tree to see for himself that she was ok. As she recalls, it was about 15 minutes by car, but would have taken 3-4 hours to walk there. Such is love!

January 26, 2004

Visiting with Mike and Gay this month brought back memories of my childhood at Maluniu Avenue in Kailua. Gay was talking about a broom made of the midribs of coconut leaves, and that brought back vivid memories of the family that used to live behind us.

Grandma Gumpher had a broom like that, with the ends of the midribs braided together into a handle. She used to sweep the backporch, steps and sidewalk every day with that broom, and would also use it to sting the legs of her grandchildren when they were naughty. One day when I was visiting, I watched her making a new broom, knotting the midribs together, then winding rag strips around the end for the handle. How we feared that broom, when Grandma's temper was up! And how much worse anticipation made the punishment when a naughty child was ordered to bring her the broom from behind the door!

In our house, the preferred implement of punishment was ... the slippah! Always to hand, and very effective!