George and Lucy Judy were visiting Moone Athy with the Judds shortly before we lost Blossom, and as a result we have several superb snapshots of Blossom that I feel compelled to share. They capture the special place she had in the clan. Many thanks to Lucy and George for sending these in.
Who’s the Handsomest of them All?
Another George with Blossom
Magnolia and Blossom
Madeleine Judd and Blossom Compare Profiles
Good News! There is the possibility of another donkey in the offing, again, believe it or not, thanks to the Mahaffey clan. Laura Balding may have a candidate to add to our ‘Equine Center’ (heh). Of course it would be impossible to replace Blossom. But wouldn’t that be wonderful? Fingers crossed….
With heavy hearts we announce the sad news that Blossom has died. She was the first “rodeo” for many of the grandchildren. We are indebted to Michael and Anna Mullins who so generously gave her to us many years ago, shortly after we lost Eeyore. Recently we noticed that she was hanging around the barn more than usual. She had very graciously acted as nurse and kept Kildare company during his quarantined convalescence following his Thanksgiving near-death trauma – he had impaled himself on a T-post during a wind storm. Then a couple of days ago Neal found her down in the barnyard, unable to get up. Our wonderful vet, Jeff Nibb, came out immediately and gave us the unwelcome news that there was nothing to be done. Neal very kindly arranged for her burial so now she is with Tumbleweed, Lady Bug, Ti Femme, Thistle Down, Sweet Rocket, Dusty, Dusty Miller and the others. We will miss her!
A few visual reminiscences follow…
Bedraggled Post Rescue (see Rescue below)
Marianne at work
Howland jumps aboard
Blossom Earning her Keep
On many occasions Blossom was a featured guest and attraction. One such especially memorable event was the Polk Mahaffey Picnic in May of 2008. For a re-run click here…
We had hoped after her miraculous rescue last January that we would have her for many more years, but it wasn’t to be. That adventure is recounted here in case you hadn’t seen it.
A lovely but appropriately sad performance will finish this posting. Here you have Blossom Dearie doing a classic Tea for Two.
Over the many months since our last posting there have been several wonderful developments, things to be exceedingly thankful for. Here are a few…
We are thrilled that James Forster is now doing beautifully as clearly evidenced in the following snapshots. This cameo appearance follows his introduction to the family back in 2015 when ourrumpus postings were regular events….
Deo Gratias I
Also we’re happy to relate that Ed Fehlig Sr is in the ‘on the mend’ category. Ed continues to improve following a bout of kidney disease last year.
Deo Gratias II
Another bright spot is the newest addition (as of 29 Aug 2019) to the Skinner Clan, John (Jack) Peter Chambers Skinner. Congratulations to Christina and Will. The Skinner line is now firmly established for the foreseeable future.
Sister Emma and Jack Skinner
Still another bright spot since our last posting is the marriage of Sarah Law to Nelson Goodell, July 2019. Best wishes from the clan to Sarah and congratulations to Nelson.
A Beautiful Bride
The Kalish kinder were featured in this group photo from Eleanor Withers’ annual July 4th Kalish Christmas (!) newsletter. Here they are in what I hope is correct name order:
The Kalish squad: Dylan, Helen, John, Parker and Ralph
The name ‘Manning’ seems invariably to confer stature doesn’t it? Here’s Kate and Duncan Manning’s contribution to the family lineage:
The progeny who have benefited the most from Sarah Fehlig’s docent expertise at the St Louis Art Museum this spring sponsored a family-wide GoFundMe project to acknowledge their appreciation, love and affection for Sarah. The result, a gorgeous Washington Skeleton Chair crafted by British-Ghanian David Adjaye. The co-chairs of this drive, generously supported by the entire family, were Claire McClelland and Sarah Smith. Congratulations Sarah, and thank you Claire and Sarah.
Docent Sarah with Claire McClelland and Sarah Smith.
Cousin Nick Salter’s brilliant renovation in Putney was the site of a marvelous dinner party last May. Thank you Nick for hosting us, and please note the abundance of wonderful art on display. Sadly we don’t have photos of Molly Wynn Owen, Toby and Guy Salter but it was fun to see them there too.
The Dunns and German cousin Thekla Raestrup at Nick’s new digs
Darren O’Toole demonstrating some casting techniques to grandfather Dr Bill Cromie. We anticipate he’ll be demonstrating some wind surfing techniques next summer.
Here’s letting you know that Joe Pentland has a spectacular new art studio/machine shop/apartment under construction at Hunt and Tower Grove on the near south side St Louis. Here are a couple of snap shots from June. We’ll revisit when things are completed. It’s super to have Joe back in St Louis.
Joe supervises construction
Exterior view as of June 2019
Congratulations to David Pentland who has formed a new rugby team, The Mercenaries, which he also coaches. Keep an eye out for the schedule of matches this fall, some of which are in Forest Park.
Coach David Pentland and his Mercenaries squad
We turn next to some sorely needed improvements at Moone Athy. First, good riddance to the treacherous old stairway!
In lieu of a treacherous outdoor winter descent down a steel ladder into a snake pit in order to shut off water to farmhouse, Neal Fuhr installed this elegant electric switch solution. FYI the on/off switch sits below the breaker box in the utility cabinet in the farmhouse kitchen.
No more frozen and burst pipes!
Worth reporting again, Sarah Fehlig has provided a new, high end keyboard for the Quick Room, a wonderful addition. Finally the family appreciates that George and Lucy Judy provided some major staging improvements in several of the rooms at the farm house when they last visited last spring. Thank you!
George and Lucy’s Spruce Up
We conclude our blog’s re-emergence with a couple of video highlights
Delphine de La Fuente Performs!
Soon to be performing alongside Delphine will be her new sister Ophelia
In case you missed this adventure, we finish with a daring rescue.
Blossom says Hats off to Conrado and Neal
That’s all for now. Perhaps more to follow…
Memorial Day weekend was the occasion of a momentous gathering of the Chambers’ tribe. We will try to capture the flavor and scope of this hugely successful event. Such a Herculean labor of love on the part of so many precludes giving appropriate thanks to all that deserve it, but in this posting we will try. We will inevitably miss important contributors, for that we apologize. A big ‘Thank You’ is owed to everyone that attended and worked to make it such a memorable celebration of the Chambers Clan.
Before we begin we must provide some important background information. Given that Bepaw’s company was the Harris Polk Hat Company, we felt it was fitting to commission a souvenir that tied into that history and also into a theme of Making Chambers Great Again. But a confession is appropriate up front. Sad. Our family classicist (belatedly) pointed out a grammatical error in our hat logo. The logo should have read “Deus Fortitudo Mea”. Instead we have the word “Meo” (as in “Hold the Meo”), which does not agree in gender with the female noun fortitudo. Horribile dictu! I’m certain that everyone noticed the error but charity precluded any critical comments for which I am very grateful. Anyhow here is the offending item:
Anticipating the inevitable weaseling from Iowa, the answer is: “No, despite this minor error, there will be no discounts nor refunds.” Indeed in the philatelic realm, errors such as this increase the value of the item. Hence management is contemplating raising the price of the hats accordingly. We will let you know the final decision about this shortly.
Thanks to Katherine Law and Bill Cromie we have lots of reunion photos to share. The Salters, Quicks and Dunns kicked off activities on Thursday May 25th with a visit to the family grave site at Calvary Cemetery followed by a visit to the chapel of the Pink Sisters for a prayer for our clan, especially those recently departed family members including Claiborne Pentland, Ray Salter, Bill Hollo and Ralph Kalish. They were sorely missed throughout the weekend. A luncheon at the City Garden featuring its many whimsical sculptures followed. On Saturday evening, May 27th, Bobby and Mary Dunn hosted a spare rib cook ‘in’ (owing to inclement weather) at the newly renovated Moone Athy farm house (hat tip – kitchen update thanks to the planning efforts of Jennie Quick, Susan Cromie, Eleanor Withers, Katherine Law and Helene Tatum). Danny Cromie once again stepped up to the plate to provide delightful vocal and instrumental entertainment for the clan’s enjoyment that evening. Flying Chinese Sky Lanterns were a special treat after dark. On Sunday sleep in was made possible thanks to Fr Gerard Garrigan of the St Louis Abbey who very kindly agreed to travel to the farm to say Mass midday. Captain Charlie Skinner noted how extraordinarily beautiful the ceremony was in our outdoor setting. Many thanks to Fr Gerard! Sarah Fehlig provided the Cantor’s duties with vocal and guitar accompaniment. Following lunch, many participated in a nature walk through the Jack Cromie trail. A late afternoon sing-along in the Quick room capped Sunday’s events featuring Sarah and Ed Fehlig’s recently donated Yamaha digital piano – thanks Sarah and Ed! We must note that numerous meals throughout the weekend were provided and prepared by Cynthia and Bill Cromie – many thanks to them both for these! Memorial Day itself centered on the clan’s Florissant roots. The day started with a trip to Cold Water Cemetery, considered to be the oldest Protestant Cemetery west of the Mississippi still in use, for a Memorial Day ceremony. We regrouped next at Taille de Noyer where we were hosted for a private tour of the historical family homestead by family relative Jean Hilmer. Here Alicia Salter and those of her generation shared their recollections of their time there as children. Finally we moved on to St Ferdinand’s Church where again we were given a wonderful tour of the shrine where St Rose Philippine Duchesne lived and taught as she founded the first convents of the Society of the Sacred Heart in the United States. Bill and Karen Skinner then treated the family to a delicious picnic lunch on the grounds of the shrine. Thus it was appropriate that we culminated the wonderful weekend on the stomping grounds where the family took its St Louis origins.
Weekend photographs starting with the visit to Calvary Cemetery:
A Visit to our Family Gravesite
Salters at City Garden 25 May 2017
A few snapshots from the Saturday night cook in:
Sunday May 28th. Mass at Moone Athy followed by baseball at Kalish Field and the Jack Cromie trail walk:
Memorial Day at Taille de Noyer and St Ferdinand’s shrine:
This last photo from Katherine Law pretty well sums up the Memorial Day Reunion – doesn’t get much better!
Let’s hope there’s another Making Chambers Great Again event in our future!
Thanksgiving at Moone Athy was a great success thanks to Jennie Quick and her many helpers, most notably Eleanor Kalish and Sarah Fehlig. We all enjoyed a delicious meal in the lovely new surroundings at the renovated farmhouse. Special thanks are owed to Sarah Fehlig who has purchased a beautiful new digital piano for the family. Family musicians provided background music for the dinner. Here are a few photos which feature the debut of new clan members attending their first Thanksgiving at Moone Athy. It was great to have Claiborne Skinner down from Chicago. We missed, among others, the Laws – Hugh is recovering from knee surgery in warmer climes.
Dellie and Miranda
Sammy,Fon and Weh Weh
Sarah and Ralph <-> John
Clay and Liza
Sarah F directing Bobby D
Sarah Fehlig’s Piano
Danielle and Dylan
Graham, Miranda and Dylan
Adrianna and Helene
Trey and Kate
Ralph <-> John
Mel + John<-> Ralph
Joe and Eddie
Kim and Shirley
Lory, Marianne and Scary David
Che Eduardo Tee
The Che Tee pictured above is available from the Chamberlain, attractively priced at $65 ea, deliverable in time for Christmas (only within the continental US).
Our next task is to disperse the numerous prints collected by William Julius Polk Sr and Jr. Below you will find two views of the collection, a slide show of slightly larger images followed by a thumbnail gallery of these same images. The images in the slide show are not as crisp as the actual prints themselves since I enlarged the images. After you have had time to review these we will undertake another family drawing for their dispersal. The prints are, of course, of different sizes, and I have been unable to include that kind of information here. Also, as you will see, some belong in groups that might best be kept together. They are quite beautiful and interesting. Thanks to Zel McClelland for photographing the prints for us.
We will try to organize a drawing in the next several weeks, once you have had a chance to review the images.
Merry Christmas to all the clan!
PS – some photos of the final family gathering at 4969 with friends and neighbors will be forthcoming…