My First Family Photo

I was being passed around and around the room, from person to person. The room was a mosh pit of friendly hands reaching out to hold me. From the oldest to the youngest, I was there for some sort of celebration. Every now and then a flash of light would blind my eyes. A very…
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Sledding! Cocoa!

Sledding! That was a major winter occupation of kids when I was growing up in Jefferson Center. We lived on a big hill and the road in front of the house was paved – not dirt like the one by the Kradel home – but even so, it didn’t have much traffic. Great Belt Road…
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Holiday Visiting

The week between Christmas and the New Year was a time for visiting when I was a child. I’m not sure how the planning was done, or if there was planning, but we went to visit friends and relatives and they came to visit us. During the day we went to see their trees and…
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Christmas Eve At The Kecks

Christmas Eve was the very best time of the year for Grandma and Grandpa Keck.  Grandma began weeks ahead to prepare.  She made tons of cookies, nut breads, cooked cheese and candy.  Grandpa did his part by purchasing a five pound box of chocolates from the Sugar Bowl.  The final offering for the evening buffet…
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Christmas Eve With The Bachmans

For our family, Christmas Eve always started with the rush to get ready for church. Daddy got home a bit early that day. On this day he usually had a gift from Freehling Lumber Company with him. The Freehlings held an annual open house for the men who bought building materials from them. I remember…
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Donald Arthur Kradel On Christmas Eve

[singlepic id=7 w=340 float=center] My Dad having a singular contemplative moment on Christmas Eve at his Grandma and Grandpa Keck’s. I think he was 18 years old in this photo. In this photo: Donald Arthur Kradel

Decorating The Bachman House

We lived on a farm of about fifty acres when I was growing up. The farm was in Jefferson Center in western Pennsylvania and situated so that no other house could be seen from our house, even though the farm where our grandparents lived – and later aunts and uncles – as well as a…
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