Filed under: Family Updates,Farm,Obituary — rcdunnii @ 1:37 pm
No. 227

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

Santa Blossom

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.

Bright Spots

Filed under: Family Updates,Kudos,Uncategorized — Chamberlain @ 6:49 pm

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

Scary James

Scary James

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.

Uncle Ed
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.

Jack Skinner
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.

Sarah Wedding
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:

Kalish Kids
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:

Howland Manning

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.

Gold Chair
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.

Nick's Digs
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.

Gone Fishin
Book Ends

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's Shop
Joe supervises construction
Joe's Shop
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.

David's Team
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!

New Steps

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.

Water Shut Off
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!


Sarah’s Yamaha


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…
Lord Chamberlain

A tardy posting

Filed under: Family Events,Family Updates,New Clan Member,St Louis History — Chamberlain @ 7:29 pm

There have been several newsworthy events since our last (alas, way back in January!) publication. At the very top of this list we are delighted to welcome our newest clansman James Stephen Forster, born one month ago, May 16, 2015, at 8:00 in the evening, apparently prosperous (7 lbs, 14 oz, or, for Lincoln Chafee supporters, 3.57204 kilos). Clan accolades are owed to Suzanne and Stephen, and also to grandparents Donna and Peter Forster, and Karen and Bill Skinner!


James Stephen Forster

James Stephen Forster

Next, we are happy to share some images from the recent wedding of Emily Gatch and Alex de la Fuente. This spectacular event took place in Coral Gables FL on March 26, 2015. Here is some context for the happy occasion, kindly provided by Barbara Gatch:

“Emily Gatch and Alex de la Fuente, who met at Harvard, were married on March 26, 2015 at the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, Florida , where Alex’s paternal grandparents live.

It was a joyous celebration of close friends from around the country, the de la Fuente and Gatch contingents and great Cuban food and music.

Alex and Emily continue to enjoy Seattle where Alex is an emergency room physician. Emily completed her doctorate in plant pathology from Washington State University and is teaching at Edmunds Community college.”


The ‘joyous’ aspect of this celebration is clearly on display in the following photos:


Doctors Emily and Alex

Emily and Alex

Emily and Attendants

Emily and Attendants

Emily and Proud Papa

Emily and Proud Papa


Bridesmaids Adrianna and Abigail with Emily

Gatch Contingent Laws, and Tatums (sans Patriarch Edward)

Gatch Contingent
Fehligs, Laws, and Tatums
(sans Patriarch Edward)

Calboy, Becky and Daisy Gatch

Calboy, Becky and Daisy Gatch

The Lord Chamberlain is hopeful that the new family Fuente connection includes access to the famed Fuente cigar factory in Cuba! Is Alex related to Arturo?

None Finer!

None Finer!

The clan wishes all the best to the newlywed Fuentes!

Next we have two news items from Betsy Barbieri. We send a belated congratulations to Betsy and Al on the marriage last fall (Oct 2014) of their daughter Cecelia Barbieri to Thomas Constantiello. Tom is the founder and owner of Consus Wealth Management LLC in Columbus OH. The wedding took place at the Old Cathedral in St Louis. Many thanks to Betsy for sending in this photo of the newlyweds:

Cecelia and Tom Constantiello Oct 2014

Cecelia and Tom Constantiello
Oct 2014


Betsy adds another heads up for the family:

SaveTheDate- 170 Mass


“I need your help to get the word out on your “Chambers web-site”. All family members are invited. It is good the Mullanphy descendants come because some people still think there are no Mullanphys left.

September 13th, 2015 is a celebration of the 170th anniversary of the founding of St. Vincent de Paul Society in the United States. Of course, Bryan Mullanphy and Dr. Moses Linton are the founders along with 11 other men.

Would you please post this information on the site. I will send the actual invitation in July.”

We look forward to getting more details about this celebration and will post them for the family.

We’ll end this posting with a request from Betsy for a missing Mullanphy photograph:

“One more item to put in your Ourrumpus Information.

We have pictures of each of our fore-bearers: Jane, Octavia, Catherine, Ann, Elizabeth, Mary and Bryan.

We do not have a photograph of ELLEN. She was the oldest daughter of John and Elizabeth Mullanphy. She died in 1827 in Paris.

I have asked different relatives to look in your old picture albums and see if you have it. There was a photograph or painting of her and it is said, the Chambers had it (that’s us).

I would like to make a copy of it for the Missouri Historical Society to complete the family portrait.


Once we have all of these images it would be nice to have them available for viewing in our Gallery.

Thanks to those who have contributed to today’s posting. Hope all will have a nice summer holiday!


A Note from Eleanor

Filed under: Family Updates — Chamberlain @ 8:19 pm

In keeping with Eleanor’s Independence Day newsletter tradition I am posting at her request her 2014 submission. As most of you know her news is of great sadness but has the promise of much happiness as well.



It is with a deep and wide sorrow that this letter comes to you from our family.

On May 4, while Ralph was returning from a bike ride, he collapsed on a bike trail and died from sudden cardiac arrest. Naturally our lives have been turned upside down and transformed in ways that are still unfathomable.

In much happier news:
Manning married his beloved Mary Elliott “Mel” McKetta on January 19th in Red Rock Canyon, NV. They have bought a house in Washington, DC and will be moving there from Austin, TX. Manning begins a Masters program as a McCourt Fellow at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy. Their dogs, Oogie and Harley, are about to become bona fide city dogs.

Powell bought a house last August and moved into it after living in a downtown loft for four years. He will marry Danielle Reust on August 30th in St. Louis. Yadi, their now six month old yellow lab puppy, joined the family last March. To the delight of all, he provides comedic relief to everyone around him.” Powell is working with his Crushed Red partner to expand in St. Louis and franchise the restaurant.

Graham left Build-a-Bear Workshop in January and began work with Momentum Worldwide in February. His title is: Senior Account Executive, Growth and Development – North America. After living with roommates for almost two years, he has just moved into a one-bedroom apartment, within biking distance of his new workspace.

All three boys and their ladies are traveling to Tuscany in July, gratis Ralph’s sister, Karen. Their Kalish first cousins will join them there for a week.

Ralph and Eleanor would have celebrated their 35th anniversary in September and had already purchased plane tickets for a two-week trip to Paris and the Normandy beaches of World War II and the Impressionists. Eleanor continues to enjoy volunteering with the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission (CVC). On occasion, Yadi comes for the day, weekend and later this month, he will come for a week+. He will be receiving intensive swimming lessons.

We hope that this finds you happy, healthy and enjoying your summer. Please don’t be a stranger if you happen to find yourselves close to/or in St. Louis.


C’ead Mile Failte

Filed under: Family Events,Family Updates,Travel — Chamberlain @ 9:09 am

The O’Tooles from Shillelagh Ireland (see above) visited their St Louis cousins earlier this month providing a welcome excuse for the clan to gather and reconnect with Laurence, Clare, Darren and Maeve. It was a thoroughly enjoyable respite from our winter doldrums and a warm up for St Patrick’s Day. Gatherings were held both at the farm and in town, with the Laws hosting a trip to the Museum of Transport, the Quicks a dinner in town, and the Dunns a luncheon in the country. Here is a brief video clip from the latter gathering:

If you have difficulties playing this video, try the YouTube variant here although this might be blocked because of music content 🙁

The background music CD for the video clip was provided by Clare – thank you! While we are at it, here is a terrific rendition of Danny Boy from Clare’s CD. This recording is by the Chieftains and Diana Krall:

It was great having the Irish cousins stateside. Here’s hoping you had a pleasant St Patrick’s Day!


Belated Photo Recap 2013 – Part 2

Filed under: Family Events,Family Updates — Chamberlain @ 1:45 pm

Eddie ties the knot! The Big News this summer was the Eddie Fehlig and Lory Ellebracht wedding on July 6th at the Missouri Botanical Garden. This was an especially fun and happy occasion at the Spink Pavillion. It isn’t fair that the Fehligs, who already boast such musical prowess, now have added the violin talents of Lory. Photos of the wedding are at Shutterfly. Here are a few snapshots which give a sense of the event:

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Lory and Ed

Entourage: Daisy, Abigail, Sarah Lin and Sam

Eddie with Cal and Becky Gatch III, plus Abigail and Cal IV

Revelers – One Being Shy

Ed Sr and Lory Tune Up

Mother of Groom Sarah Leads Ensemble

Katherine and Hugh Law

Ella and Trey Tatum

Jennie and Richard Quick

Dellie, Qun and Sam Sha

Jack and Zel McClelland

Clay Pentland and Friend

Those Held Responsible

Time Proven Escape Vehicle

Clearly a terrific evening and a very happy occasion. We all wish the newlyweds the very best and look forward to much music in our shared future.

Day’s Lesson
Ever wondered where the funny word “bridegroom” came from? Of course not, but anyhow…

From Online Dictionary:

bridegroom (n.)
Old English brydguma “suitor,” from bryd “bride” (see bride) + guma “man” (cf. Old Norse gumi, Old High German gomo, cognate with Latin homo “man;” see homunculus). Ending altered 16c. by folk etymology after groom (n.) “groom, boy, lad” (q.v.).


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