Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jan - March 2009

Several months have passed since the last entry, as I am doing a lot of traveling and missed Jan and Feb. However I'll review the last three meetings.

The January meeting Jan 10, 2009 was the Annual meeting and election of new board members. Bob Stevens was elected the new President and Tom Bopp the new Vice President; Martha Reamy is the new Secretary. Suzanne Case is new to the Board and Louise Chung is chair of Hospitality Committee. Lenore Hansen presented the Biography Challenge.

At the meeting of Feb 14th Fran McFarland spoke about a Veteran's Memorial as described in a 11 Nov issue of the Honolulu Advertiser article on forgotten World War I veterans' graves at Puukamalii (formerly known as Kalaepohaku) Cemetery in Alewa Heights. Fran McFarland, has been invited to serve on Senator Daniel Akaka's Memorial Advisory Committee to commemorate these veterans. See the Advertiser Photo, above, of a few of the remaining headstones of veterans at the cemetery. Tom Bopp presented the "Biography Challenge" this month. A new Epson Digital Projector has been purchased by the society.

The March 14th meeting was a presentation by Bob Stevens (photo at left) on "Transitioning to New Genealogical Software: Pitfalls and Preparation." He specifically discussed his findings with the new Family Tree Maker edition and with Legacy software. Donna Wendt gave the Biography Challenge on her mother, Nadine Pearce Hague. See summary below. After the meeting about 13 of the members went over to the Waioli Tea Room for a delicious brunch.

The April 11th meeting will be about "Helping Others" a time to share books, CDs or other genealogical information from home. Everyone should bring their laptop computers and there will be a hot spot created to the internet, thanks to Lenore. Bring books and CDs to share.

Continued thanks to Jan Everly Williams for creation and dispersion of our newsletter, "Ke Ku'auhau" (The Genealogist). Besides the ongoing series of WWI Draftees born in Hawaii, she includes timely articles such as Probate findings and How to Contribute to the Online Encyclopedia of Genealogy. There will be another "Hawai'i's Plantation Village Plantation Days" at their wonderful location in Waipahu on Sat May 2nd 10-2. Fran McFarland and others will represent HCGS. See Fran in photo at right with a letter to the society.

Kathy DeFoster mentioned the Scottish Festival on April 4th and 5th at Kapiolani Park, and anyone wanting to sit at the genealogy table should contact her.

Biography Challenge for March

Donna Wendt (photo at left):

NADINE PEARCE HAGUE, by Donna Hague Wendt
The photo on the right shows Nadine Pearce (b.1 Jan 1914) with her parents, Leonard Elias Pearce and Hazel Grace Blanding Pearce in Los Angeles. Her father, Leonard Pearce was the son of Welsh immigrants (John Pearce & Jane Rees of Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, Wales), who left the coal mines of Colorado Springs to find a better life in sunny California. Grace Blanding, Nadine's mother, was from Minnesota, a descendant of the earliest English Puritans (Blanding, Ells, Akins, Squier) and dissenters to arrive in New England. Grace grew up in the boarding house her parents built and ran on 21st Street in downtown Los Angeles and in turn, Nadine spent much of her early life at the boarding house.
Nadine's favorite story: Before kindergarten age Nadine was sent alone by train to Flagstaff, Arizona to stay with Aunt Fern & Uncle Carl Farrell for six months. They had a farm of sorts, raising hay and potatoes. One of Nadine’s earliest memories was being “kidnapped” by a man who was a guide for famed western author, Zane Gray. Her story goes that some cows kept getting into their home garden until Aunt Fern was so exasperated she took a beebee gun and shot at the cows to run them off. Later that day Nadine went down the road to play with the little girl who had a pony. While there the cows wandered back home to their barn and the girl’s mother exclaimed that the cows had bloody marks. That’s when little Nadine piped up saying “Oh, my Aunt Fern did that!” Seeking revenge, the neighbors told Nadine and their daughter to go play in the basement when they saw Aunt Fern and Uncle Carl coming down the road in their big car, to pick up Nadine. An argument ensued over the bee bee shot cattle, and when the man made a move as if to slap Aunt Fern, big lumberman Uncle Carl pulled out his gun and demanded Nadine’s release. Nadine lamented that she never got to ride the girl’s pony again.

Nadine met a student, Vincent Hague, transferring in from Des Moines during their last year at Jefferson High School in L.A. One date was all it took to bond a lifetime of friendship and love. They managed to attend the 1932 Olympics in L.A. and at some point managed a trip to Yosemite. But because of the Depression and a lack of jobs they postponed marriage for five and a half years. But as soon as Vincent got a mail room job with Pacific Bell Telephone Co. they set their wedding date for June 1936. As it was all the rage in those days, they married at a cemetery – not just any cemetery, but Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. The trend for beautifully landscaped havens had begun and many movie stars had married there. Since Vincent couldn’t make a movie of his own wedding, he had my mom gather up all the bridesmaids and reenact the wedding in the back yard of the boarding house (see photo).

Nadine worked as a teletype operator with Postal Telegraph and after four years they had saved enough to venture into home owning. With a gift of $500 from Nadine’s father for the down-payment and $500 saved for furniture, they scoured Los Angeles for the ideal home site. As Nadine would say, wouldn’t you know it, they chose a housing development that had been a little airport. In fact LAX is a few miles east of the house. Nadine and Vincent went daily to their home site to oversee construction and dream their dreams. Every penny spent was duly noted in a book by Nadine. At last, in late 1940 they moved into a two-bedroom house on Cimarron St. But the war began and prosperity was still in the future.

Son, Richard, was born in 1941 and daughter, Donna was born at the close of WWII in 1945. They had a classic happy middle class family in Los Angeles, with Nadine always the loving mother and wife. The years passed and the children went off to college. Vincent retired from the telephone company and they moved out to Hemet, California, in the high desert. As usual, the expense details were kept by Nadine.

She returned to her old hobby of china painting and got into ceramics and genealogy. As always, she was ever supportive of Vincent’s interests, now including ham radio and an emergency relay network. Every year for several years they were able to travel with several other couples, their long-time school friends, to countries around the world. These friendships were always strong and had been forged through the Depression and war years. Nadine died May 13th 1980 in Hemet, California.

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