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Rusty Reuben Radio Gang

I did a pretty decent job last year scheduling out blog posts for once a week, and while I missed a few weeks at the end of the year, here’s to a new start this year!

First up is this photo card for the Rusty Reuben Radio Gang, including a group photo at center of Ted, Ickey, Freddie, and Tex, and individual photos around it of Betty Lou, Rusty, Barbara, Jean, and Uncle Jim.  Rusty Reuben was the stage name for Harry Edward Brest (1907-1994).  His obituary is posted online here, and has a load of information about his life and family.

As far as the other people in the group, a magazine posted here mentions that the, “cast comprises Ozzie Gile, Elmer Peabody, Tex Richards, Tex Hart, Ickey Pepin, and Freddie Stone.”  It seems like the lineup of other performers switched up fairly often though from other newspaper articles.  In the photo, the girl at top center, Barbara, appears from census records to be the daughter of Rusty and, I’m assuming, Jean, since Edward’s wife’s name was Genevieve.

The majority of the newspaper results come from about 1932-1939, and if grandma saw them, I’d imagine it would be when they were doing larger tours later in their career, which may have been when she picked up this card.  She would’ve been in her early 20s in the late 1930s, so that fits pretty well.  Just a neat piece of ephemera that grandma loved enough to tuck into a scrapbook!

Rivery Slaney at Killurin – 1912

Another edition in the Maher Postcard set (click the tag above to see all the Maher Postcard posts).  This one is a postcard featuring an image of the River Slaney at Killurin, Co. Wexford in Ireland.  I did a quick image search and while I found views of this bridge from the same time period that are similar, I didn’t find this exact same card.

The back says, “Best Wishes from Mary McDonald,” and is addressed to Mrs. Bernard Maher.  The postmark is from Lackawanna, NY, dated April 24, 1912, with a one cent Ben Franklin stamp.  There’s a mark next to the stamp that says, “Printed in Germany” and printing on the other side of the card that says, “Lawrence, Publisher, Dublin.”  I’m not sure who Mary McDonald was since I don’t see her in the family tree and the majority of Bernard and his wife’s family were in Pennsylvania.  I’d guess Mary McDonald was a local friend who traveled and then sent the postcard locally instead of from abroad.

Windber High School Postcard

The front of this postcard shows the Windber High School in Windber, Pennsylvania. I wasn’t able to find a similar postcard online, so this is definitely worth posting here!  I couldn’t find out much about this building, and it probably doesn’t exist anymore.  A new high school was apparently built in 1924 and that has since been demolished as well, so, it’s probably safe to assume this isn’t standing.


The back has an errant “1909” from a possibly misplaced postmark, the stamp is missing, and it’s pretty hard to read.  Identifying marks are that it’s published by Chas. George & Co., in Windber, PA, printed in Germany by “SL & CO,” and has “E 10664” as an identifying number.  It’s addressed to Mr. Bernard Maher at an unreadable address in West Seneca, New York.  Even after running some Photoshop filters, I still find the message VERY hard to read.  Best guess on the message:
“Hello Bernard, How is all the family.  I am in Windber two weeks today and will not get home before next Saturday. [illegible section] From Mother.”
When I say that was hard to read, it wasn’t the handwriting, but the thoroughly degraded pencil on paper.  I mean, for over 100 years old, stuffed in a box in unknown conditions, it’s pretty impressive it’s even here.  At least we know it’s from his mother, Catherine Garrity and I can tell from the 1905 NY census that they were living in West Seneca New York, and it looks like it’s 613 Second St per the census which is why the street line in the address might be crossed out.

Fjord Socks

Fjord Socks
Started: 16 February 2023
Finished: 5 March 2023
Pattern: Plain Old Socks (my pattern)
Yarn: Madeline Tosh, Tosh Sock in “Fjord”
Needle: US 1.5 / 2.5 mm
Notes: According to Ravelry, I picked this yarn up on a visit to Loop in Philadelphia in 2011.  Probably some of the newer yarn in my stash, but you see yet again, blues and greens/browns.  Yes, I have a type.  I started these while on vacation in the UK, visiting the husband, and finished them just after returning home.  It’s remarkable how different the two socks are even though knit from the same skein – one definitely has much more blue than the other, but since I like fraternal twin socks, this is actually a bonus for me!  Really comfortable, soft yarn, and these are undoubtedly going to get tons of wear.

SP-354 – USS Wandena

Based on the numbering on the boat, this was the SP-354, commissioned as the USS Wandena during WWI.  This photo was part of a set saved by Great Grandma Olga, presumably sent to her by her brother Earl who was in the Navy during WWI.  I found evidence that this particular boat served as a patrol boat in the NY Harbor from 1917-1919, and given that there are a batch of photos that all appear to be taken around the same place/time, there must have been some kind of exercise or training during which he took these photos.  I tried doing a quick google search to see if there were any other photos of this vessel to match it up by its features, but none appear to exist (at least on the internet), so I’m glad to be able to post this one, even if it’s a bit grainy and not terribly clear.

Lagoon Socks

Lagoon Socks
Started: 9 Feb 2023
Finished: 15 Feb 2023
Pattern: Plain Old Socks (my pattern)
Yarn: Twisted Fiber Art Kabam! in colorway “Lagoon” with striping pattern “Soulmates”
Needle: US 1.5 / 2.5 mm
Notes: I started these on the flight to the UK to visit my husband while he was stationed there, and finished them while visiting.  Gosh this yarn dyer was always one of my favorites and while it looks like they’re out of business now, their website is still up, and I still miss them!  I apparently acquired this yarn in 2008, shortly after I began knitting and I still have a bunch sitting around in the yarn stash.  The bamboo content gives the yarn base a smoothness and durability that I really like for socks, and the colors are just fantastic.  I knit the heels from the opposite end of the yarn cake to preserve the striping pattern, and I’m glad I chose this yarn to bring along on vacation.

A Merry Christmas – 1913

Another Maher Postcard to share!  This one has “A Merry Christmas” greeting printed in gold.  The scene shows a snowy house with a mill building and water wheel.  The scene is surrounded by green holly and red berries and some decorative gold accents.


How about that back though?!  Nearly unreadable without some Photoshop magic/filters.  The postmark appears to be December 20 and it’s either 1913 or 1918, though given the span of most of these postcards, I’m going to say it’s probably 1913.  This is again addressed to Lee Maher though at a new address in Pennsylvania instead of in Buffalo, New York which appears to be 170 Promenade ave, Crafton, Pennsylvania.  There are no real identifying marks on the back to indicate a publisher or printer, but I really like the font used for “Post Card” on the right side.  There’s also a George Washington one cent stamp still affixed.  The message:
“Hello Lee, How are you all.  What do you want Santa to bring you.  Hope you get lots of tinker.  From Aunt Nell.”
That last part, “lots of tinker” was really hard to read and I may be completely wrong on that.  It appears Tinker Toys came out in 1913-1914 which may put this postcard at the later date of 1918 instead, but it could’ve also been a slang term for toys?  I’m not really sure.  Aunt Nell is likely his father’s sister, Ellen.  Still not 100% sure about the message, but it’s still a great postcard.

Marie Greinader

Presumably given to the family of my great grandmother, Olga, this photo postcard was from Marie Greinader, marked with a check and standing on the front right in the photo.  The year on the back would indicate this was from 1912-1913 for the school year at the Williams School.  I couldn’t quite figure out which school that might mean, but I know there is a Marie Greinader who lived in/around Coalport and Beccaria, PA in Clearfield County which is how she probably knew the family who also lived in Beccaria (they’re also only 3 pages apart on the 1910 census).  Marie was 6 years older than great grandma Olga, so in 1913, Marie would’ve been 19 which was definitely old enough to be a teacher back then.  The kids in the photo are holding a baseball bat, and are the 8th grade class that year.  The class consists of 7 kids – 4 girls and 3 boys.  I was able to find someone else who researched Marie on Ancestry.com which filled in more information about her life.  It’s neat to be able to find the connection to people who aren’t related by blood in the photos great grandma saved.  Neighbors and friends become part of a “found family,” especially as immigrants separated from their biological family by an ocean.