A Few More Blossom Memories

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chamberlain @ 9:56 am
No. 228

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….


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

New Year’s News…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chamberlain @ 4:31 pm

This New Year brings both happy and sad tidings. It seems that often our musings devolve into a yin yang reporting of births and obituaries, which of course is simply in the nature of things, and this first posting for 2012 proves no exception. To save the happy news for last, we first report the passing on January 3rd of Amie Taney, born Amie Robertson Hollingsworth, in Darien CT. Her brother, Rodger Hollingsworth, was a cousin and close friend of Grizelda Skinner. Amie married J. Charles Taney II, a descendant of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B.Taney, the author of the majority ruling in the Dred Scott vs Sanford case of 1857. Here is a photo of Amie giving her toast at the Taille de Noyer wedding of Grizelda Polk and Lemoine Skinner in July 1941. Cal Gatch, 2nd person to right of Amie, is attending more closely than the unidentified reveler next to Amie.

A NYT obituary for Amie can be found here.

Now let’s turn to the bright (i.e. yang) side. Here is the recent, official announcement card, complete with specs, for Henry Polk Easthope – a home run photograph of the new clansman, another reveler deep in thought, clearly a first rate product.

Job well done Anne and David! I for one would like to know what wine David selected to celebrate Henry’s arrival….


Here She Is!

Filed under: New Clan Member,Photography,Uncategorized — Chamberlain @ 4:31 pm

This 57 sec clip is Alicia Rose’s first stroll down the runway…Quite the beauty. A brief musical intro by Fats Waller precedes her entry

The Bull Rent Goes Up

Filed under: Agriculture,Family Updates,Uncategorized — Chamberlain @ 5:03 pm

Editor’s Recommendation: Click on this brief audio file to capture the ambiance of what follows…

Each year a favorite event for the Wisconsin Gatch family is the Bloomington Wisconsin Livestock Exchange. Here they enter their calves for sale at auction, and this year, as the following video attests, they did themselves proud…



And here is how Grandpa Gatch described the day:

“..[the video] doesn’t do justice to the event itself, which is our annual ritual at this time of year.

It’s always accompanied by great excitement. The auctioneer was complimentary in his comments on the calves, and the bidders responded. Calvin either topped or came close to topping the market for the weight class of his calves — which at 657 pounds for the steers and 617 pounds for the heifers — is the best he’s ever done. We are pleased cuz our cows are a rather motley bunch, and we rent our bulls from Perry Leibfried, who owns Leibfried Feed in Platteville. We called Perry to tell him the good news — on the proviso that he doesn’t raise the bull rent next year.

At the end of the video, Calvin scans to the top of the sale barn bleachers where Cal IV is hiding out. He was not as riveted as Calvin and I were by the event.


I’m certain that most of us have no idea how much work is involved in getting these calves to 657 pounds. So a congratulations is owed to Cal III on this achievement.

Addendum: Cal III has just re-enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve. Semper Fi Cal Boy!



The Shashoo

Filed under: Family Places,Travel,Uncategorized — Chamberlain @ 10:35 pm

Jack Cromie has always wanted to build a wooden boat. This August, after completing a course in Classics (Greek) and before resuming his mechanical engineering courses, Jack grabbed his chance. He and his brother Bill discovered a two week, hands-on course in wooden boat building at the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville Michigan. This happens to be five miles down highway 134 from Hessel MI, the old summer stomping grounds of the Skinner/Adams tribe in the Les Cheneaux Islands. These protected waters on the north shore of Lake Huron are a perfect place for wooden boats – indeed, early in the 20th century, the very first mohogany-hulled Chris-Crafts were sold in Hessel at the Mertaugh Boat Works. So it is understandable why one of the premiere wooden boat building schools in the country would locate here. The stars seemed aligned for Jack to fulfill his boat building ambition. The goal? – to make a wooden canoe for the lakes of upstate New York.

Here are a few photos showing Jack and Bill at work, and the end result: The Shashoo – an elegant hand-crafted wooden canoe.


Cromie Boys at GLBBS 2009

Cedar strips used to fashion hull

Bulkhead compartment epoxied…

Japanese saw used to cut decking…

Hull gets sanded smooth…

Decking nears completion…

Bow Closeup before brass plating

She’s coaxed to water’s edge…

And Baptised

Test Pilot Bill

Then Jack…No leaks!

Professor Nichols with his Students

Off to New York with Shashoo


BTW, Lest you think the two weeks were all work, a couple of shots of the Cromies at play:

Jack prepares for Half Moon Bay

Malibu Bill…

Lookout O’Toole, kitesurfing is next for the Cromie boys!

What did you do this summer?


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