Comments are welcome but please have the courtesy to sign your name. Unsigned comments will be deleted.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New Arrival

This morning I picked up my copy of my newest book, The History of the John F. Martin Company. This is the second book published this year and number eleven in the lineup. 
I counted it a privilege to be asked to write this book for the company. John Martin was my uncle, married to my father's sister, Edna. We spent a lot of time with their family and I knew them well. I remember the butcher shop on the farm before the company was incorporated. 
John and Edna were married during the Depression and struggled to find solid financial footing while their family continued to grow. John's butchering business began with dressing chickens which he took to market in Philadelphia. Many years later he began doing custom butchering in the shop where he once dressed chickens. Then he got into the retail business and incorporated in 1961 as John F. Martin & Sons. Eventually the family built their own grocery store.
The business grew by leaps and bounds with products being shipped across the country. The company outgrew the plant on the farm, opened a second plant, and moved all the bacon production into it. Both plants include a warehouse department which handles products not made by the company. 
John would be amazed if he saw his company today. He was just trying to make a living to provide for his family and had no intentions of establishing a business of this size. But I'm sure he would be pleased to see his grandsons are now managing the company and this year two of the fourth generation became partners in the business.
If you would like to read the whole story, look for this book in local bookstores.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Changing of the Guard

So far this fall has been warm and dry. We have not turned the heat on yet which will help to stretch the heating oil supply. On the down side, I'm afraid we won't have a very colorful leaf display this year as that requires sunny days and cool nights. 
This week it began to change as we had some rain and days that didn't get out of the sixties. As I was cleaning today I brought out some fall things to replace summer ones and took some screens out of a few windows. I put the candle lights in the windows again. I think it looks so welcoming to have lights in the windows but take them out over summer when the daylight lasts so long and the windows are open. I also divided a Boston fern and brought it inside. The patio where my plants live in the summer is not heated and the jungle moves indoors for the winter. It's not too cool out there for them yet but it won't be long until the rest come in.
I finished housecleaning the kitchen yesterday and am ready to shift into my fall and winter projects. I have the usual scrapbooking and crocheting to do and also plan to put a quilt in this winter. At this point the winter doesn't look as hectic as the last one. I'm looking forward to a more relaxed pace. 
I'm glad I live in a place with four distinct seasons. Each one is beautiful in its turn and has its own work to do. Variety is the spice of life.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Burkholder Tour

On Saturday I did something I never did before. I was the main narrator on a bus tour sponsored by the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society. The tour was based on my newest book, Loyalty Test. The bus was filled by the middle of June, more than three months in advance. I did not know who had signed up so it was interesting to see who came. 
We left the historical society at 8 a.m. Our first stop was the Groffdale Mennonite cemetery where Christian Burkholder and some of his family members are buried. Lloyd Weiler was the speaker there. He gave us some Groffdale history and showed us the gravesites of Christian and his wife's grandfather, immigrant Hans Groff, who was the first to settle there in 1717.

 This picture was taken several years ago. There was no snow on the ground on Saturday!

After that, we drove by the first farm Christian Burkholder owned on the south side of the Fairmount hill. The land stretches north to Farmersville Road at the foot of the hill. This stone house was built in 1770, the year Christian paid his father-in-law for the place.

In the 1780s. Christian bought three farms on the north side of the hill for himself and two of his sons. These farms stretched from the Conestoga creek and up over the Fairmount hill and down to Farmersville road on the south side of the hill. He owned the whole Fairmount hill and the land on three sides of it. What would he say if he could see it today?

This is the view from the hill of the land Christian and his sons farmed. Christian's farm is the set of buildings in the center left. His son Abraham's farm is on the left edge and Christian Jr.'s farm is just right of center, marked by the red roof building.

Before going down to the farms, we went into the Muddy Creek Library on the Fairmount hill to see Christian's Martyrs Mirror and Froschauer Bible as well as other artifacts on display.

We got off the bus at Christian's farm. The current owner is the tenth generation of Christian's descendants to own the farm. In the attic is a date stone that once said the house was built in 1775 but a jolt during a severe thunderstorm shook off the plaster on which it was written.

Our next stop was at the Ephrata Cloister where Ken Sensenig told us the story of John and Anna Bear's voluntary service there during the Revolutionary War. While nursing the ill and wounded soldiers, they caught the typhoid of their patients and also died.

Christian's sister Elizabeth married Jacob Sensenig. We drove to his farm south of Hinkletown and showed the people how to find the Sensenig cemetery on their farm where they are buried. Unfortunately, the bus could not drive the long bumpy field lane to reach it and it was too far to walk. All we could do was tell them how to find it and give them a photo of it. They will have to go back sometime on their own to see it.

Lunch was served at the Village Chapel in Voganville. Then we headed for Bowmansville where Christian's oldest brother lived and preached. We pointed out a few highlights along the way such as the mill and the place where the first Mennonite church was built in 1794. It stood on a spot that is now in town. We pulled off at the Pine Grove cemetery where we believe Ulrich is buried but he has no legible gravestone. It is probably one of the old field stones that no longer has any markings.

Then we went to Ulrich Burkholder's farm. He first lived in a log house and then constructed a stone addition. The current owners have done a wonderful job of restoring the house. The log end is on the left. They have added a new log addition on the back. The owners invited us to tour the inside of the house and served cider on the porch. For some, this was the highlight of the tour.

Our last stop was a bathroom break at the Bowmansville Mennonite Church. Then we headed back to Lancaster and arrived a half hour ahead of schedule at 4:30 p.m. It was a long but interesting day. From the feedback I got, our guests enjoyed the tour and felt they got their money's worth. I enjoyed it too but am glad it's behind me. Now I'm done with all my speaking engagements for this year. Well, except for teaching Sunday school, but that doesn't count.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Nostalgic Journey

Yesterday I tackled a project that has been on my bucket list for several years. My sister gave me a big bag of the letters I wrote to her over the years and I thought someday I will read them. They stayed safely tucked away "until I have time." Yesterday I decided the time had come and dug them out of hiding.
The first thing I needed to do was sort and organize them. It took me most of the day to do that. Now each year is in a separate folder with the letters flattened and in order by date. They are ready to be read and enjoyed. I read a few snatches here and there and look forward to reading them in entirety. I'm sure I have forgotten many of the little incidents they will reveal.
I made some interesting observations as I organized the letters. Most of the envelopes were missing but I amazed myself that I had faithfully written the date on all but a small handful of letters. That greatly helped in organizing them. The first letter was from 1965 after my sister was newly married and the last was in 2004. I kept the few envelopes that were included because they show the rising cost of postage. In 1965 a stamp was five cents and by 1996 it had risen to thirty-two cents. 
The letters also revealed other progressions. In the 60s and 70s most of my letters were written on whatever scrap or advertising tablets I could get free. In 1980 I had enough money to actually purchase a tablet of plain writing paper. 
All of the letters were handwritten until 1991. Then I purchased my first computer and the first typed letter appeared. By 1992, the majority of the letters were typed. The first computer paper had those strips on each side with holes to feed the paper through the printer.
I got a Juno email account in 1996 and after that most of the letters were sent by email. They would have disappeared into cyberspace but my sister printed them out and saved them. I'm sorry to say I did not return the favor and save all the letters and emails she sent to me.Old letters are fast becoming antiques as this generation communicates by disposable messages via email, text, twitter, and whatnot. 
I will read these letters to see if the words I wrote are worth saving for my posterity. If I wrote words better left unsaid, those will disappear. "By thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Gift Wrap

The Gift Wrap and The Jewel

I looked in the mirror and what did I see
But a little old lady peering back at me,
With bags and sags and wrinkles, and wispy white hair
and I asked my reflection, how did you get there?

You once were straight and vigorous,
And now you're stooped and weak,
When I tried so hard to keep you
From becoming an antique.

My reflection's eyes twinkled,
And she solemnly replied,
You're looking at the gift wrap
And not the jewel inside.

A living gem and precious,
Of unimagined worth,
Unique and true, the real you,
The only one on earth.

The years that spoil your gift wrap
With other things more cruel,
Should purify and strengthen
And polish up that jewel.

So focus your attention
On the inside, not the out,
By being kinder, wiser,
More content, and more devout.

Then, when your gift wrap's stripped away,
Your jewel will be set free,
To radiate God's glory
Throughout eternity.

By Wanda B. Goines (age 92)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Switzerland Film

This video was produced for the 300th anniversary of the Hersheys in America and celebrated this past weekend.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

More Changes

About this time last year, Leroy's mom decided she is tired of maintaining a house and wants to go to an assisted living home where she would not be so lonely. At 93, I could understand and appreciate that decision. Her diminishing vision and hearing increasingly limited her activities. She put her name on the waiting list at her first choice of a Home and set about disbursing her possessions. 
We had several family meetings to discuss how to proceed and contracted with an auctioneer for a public sale of her property and contents at the end of April this year. Then we sorted through things that she thought should stay in the family or that someone in the family might want for sentimental reasons. A family sale was held at the end of January for those things. It was a blessing to have her with us to tell us what things were and where they came from.
Then the huge task of emptying the house and preparing for public sale began. Two auctioneers were selling most of the day on April 29. By the end of the day her possessions had been reduced to personal things that would fit in one room. 
A room was still not available at the Home so she lived with her single daughter until there would be an opening for her. We were pleasantly surprised when the wait turned out to be only four months. On Mom's 94th birthday, she was informed that a room was available. A few days later, on Labor Day, she moved to the Home. 
Some old people are uncooperative and cause major problem for their children. We have been blessed with a mom who always accepted life as it came and made the best of it whether it was pleasant or not. She decided on her own that she no longer wants to drive a car and when she was ready to go to a Home. She is a great example of aging with grace. I hope I can be the same if I live that long and not create a problem for my children.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


Life is a series of changes. Most of them are so gradual they are barely noticeable unless you look back over a period of years. Other times, the changes come swiftly or even unexpectedly and life is never the same again. We had a couple changes this week that we knew were coming but they happened the same day.
In October it will be 49 years since we moved into the house we built the first year we were married. We had a list of things we wanted to do "someday" and began the next spring by seeding grass on the lawn. As the family grew, we added bedrooms and bath upstairs, built a separate garage (and enlarged it when the boys were teenagers), fixed up the basement, put shutters on, and added an enclosed patio. The last thing on the list was to blacktop the driveway. It finally happened. They came on Tuesday to get it ready and the asphalt was applied on Wednesday. We will never have to rake stones out of the grass again when the snow drifts melt. 

While most of this was being done, I was off on a play day with Grayson. I started keeping him one day each week when he was about two months old. He was just a little bump in my cradle.

But he grew fast 

and we had a lot of good times together.

He liked to help bake and work in the garden.

Next week he will start kindergarten and go to school every day so the visits will have to stop. Yesterday was his last weekly visit so I decided to do something special to mark the occasion. He's all into trains right now so a trip to Strasburg Railroad was just the ticket. He jumped up and down when I told him we're going for a ride on a real train.

We both enjoyed the ride and topped off the day with lunch at McDonalds on the way home. Then we came home to watch the machines working on the driveway.
When I look at the time ahead of me I feel at loose ends. I have finished all the writing projects I had started, Grayson won't be coming anymore, and my best history collaborator passed into history himself on August 8. What am I going to do? I need a new project. 
Jab! That was my conscience telling me I need to get off the computer and begin with housecleaning the patio. It's time for that end-of-summer job. Okay, okay. I'm going.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Heavens Declare

Today was the big day of the 2017 total eclipse. People drove hours from their homes all across the nation to see it and eclipse glasses were the hottest item on the market. It was only about 75% here but enough to darken the house around 2:40 p.m. 
I did not have anything that made it safe to look at the sun so I watched it on a news report on the computer. The crowds in Idaho Falls went wild when the moon totally blocked out the sun in the middle of the day. 

It got dark enough that the street lights came on and stars appeared. The air turned cooler and it was possible to look at the sun without protective glasses for a little over a minute. I could hear people exclaiming and screaming at the sight. 
It was indeed a sight to behold, but the response of the crowd made me think of the verse that says "they worshiped the creature more than the Creator." The only mention I heard of God in the whole time was a repeated "Oh my God!" and it was not said in a worshipful way. 
We heard an excellent sermon Sunday morning on the subject. Our minister said the only reason man can accurately predict the timing and path of the eclipse is because of the orderliness and power of God and the fact that He continues to control all things. 
While a total eclipse is a rare and amazing event, it is more than a phenomena or freak nature show. It is a display of the power of God. 
"The heavens declare the glory of God the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech and night unto night shows knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard." Psalm 19:1-3

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Family Pictures

Here are the family pictures I promised would follow. It took us 50 years to get this tribe together. (Click to enlarge)

Family groups left to right--Gerald & Kelly Stauffer, Dale & Tawnya Stauffer with 9 children, us, Daryl & Velma, Cheryl & Richard Miller with 3 children and one daughter-in-law, Gene & Amy Stauffer with 1 son, Jay & Marilyn Martin with 5 children

Our five children, left to right: Gerald, Dale, Gene, Daryl, Cheryl
In order by age: Daryl, Dale, Cheryl, Gene, Gerald

Our five children and a borrowed one, Jay Martin, on left

The grandchildren: Left side, Dale's 9 children; Center, Cheryl's 3 children and Gene's one son in center front; Right side, Jay's 5 children

For this occasion I wanted a full dress formal picture and asked everyone to come dressed like they were at a wedding. Aren't they beautiful!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Golden Anniversary

We were married on July 15, 1967. Our Golden Wedding Anniversary was too far away to even think about at that time. I couldn't imagine all that might happen and how we would look in fifty years. Well, guess what! Fifty years turned out to be a lot shorter than I thought and in 2017, here we are! 
Our children set up a family meeting in January to pick a date to take family pictures and have a party. We went all through June and July until we finally agreed on August 5. With all that everyone had going on, it's good we set the date that far in advance.
We said they had thrown a big party for our fortieth anniversary and we didn't think it was necessary to do that again. We preferred to keep it to family and invite only our children, grandchildren, siblings, and of course, Leroy's mother. How many people still have their mothers when they celebrate their fiftieth anniversary?! So our friends would not be left out, they decided to have a card shower. The cards started coming in July and continued all month. It was like Christmas in July! We got 78 cards in the end. Some had gift cards or money in them. We decided to save the money for the trip we're planning to take to see The Ark this fall.
I wanted to take a full-dress formal family picture for this occasion and made a lot of noise that everyone MUST be there, no exceptions, and appropriately dressed. With a group that size, we were not going to fit in a studio and it would have to be outdoors. The party was also going to be a picnic outdoors. The weather was beyond our control but I watched the forecast daily. The closer we got to the day the better it looked. 
We met at 8 a.m. to take family pictures. It was overcast when we started but by the time we finished the sky was blue. It was perfect! And everyone showed up dressed for a wedding. Because my bridal party wore pink, several thought we should have pink in the color scheme. The colors were any combination of black, white, pink, and gray. Everyone looked so nice all dressed up! I had made a new white dress and carried a half dozen pink roses. I don't have the photographer pictures yet but here's a couple of getting ready to take pictures.

When we finished, the families scattered to get things ready for the party in the evening. Gerald went to the picnic grounds first to set up and start grilling the chicken.

One by one the families arrived bringing their portion of things for the meal. 

By 4 p.m. the guests started to arrive. We were greatly honored that my brother and his wife flew in from northwestern Ontario just to be here for this occasion. They miss a lot of family events and it was really special to have them here. The Lord blessed us with perfect weather. It was a wonderful evening and the food was delicious. It felt strange to sit there and watch them do all the work but they proved they were fully capable of doing it without my help. I can retire!

You can't see it, but our first great-grandchild was here at the left end of the table. (due in January)
I think the celebrating is finished now and we are plowing on, starting our second fifty years.  We have had some rough spots in the first fifty but God is good and we have had a very good life together. I couldn't have wished for anything better.
"O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endures for ever."

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Loyalty Test Has Arrived

It's been a long time coming, but my tenth book hit the market on Monday. There is always a sense of satisfaction in seeing the product of an idea become reality.
This book is a sequel to my first book, Hidden Riches, which told about my Burkholder ancestors immigrating to Pennsylvania in 1754. That one ended with Christian Burkholder purchasing a copy of the Martyrs Mirror in 1761. The first chapter of this one intentionally overlaps with that one and goes on to tell about the challenges and trials Mennonites and members of other peace churches faced during the Revolutionary War. Christian Burkholder was serving as a bishop in the Mennonite church at that time. 

The book is now being placed in bookstores nationwide and can also be purchased online from Christian Light Publications.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I Owe the Lord a Morning Song

The forty-five minutes I spend walking each morning is my prayer and praise time. This morning I was singing "I Owe the Lord a Morning Song." This hymn was written by a Mennonite minister in Lancaster County, Amos Herr (13 February 1816-19 June 1897).
One Sunday morning in 1890 when the snowdrifts would not permit even horseback riding to church, Amos worshiped at home by writing this hymn. It has lasted longer and blessed more people than any sermon he might have preached had he been able to be in church. Although it is often sung at the beginning of a Sunday morning service, it is a good song for any morning of the week.

  1. I owe the Lord a morning song
    Of gratitude and praise,
    For the kind mercy He has shown
    In length’ning out my days.
  2. He kept me safe another night;
    I see another day;
    Now may His Spirit, as the light,
    Direct me in His way.
  3. Keep me from danger and from sin;
    Help me Thy will to do,
    So that my heart be pure within,
    And I Thy goodness know.
  4. Keep me till Thou wilt call me hence,
    Where never night can be;
    And save me, Lord, for Jesus’ sake—
    He shed His blood for me.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Hot Air Balloon

Leroy was saying for quite a few years that he'd like to go for a hot air balloon ride. It seemed like a luxury like that should be for a special occasion. We decided to save it for our 50th wedding anniversary. Our oldest son had some birthday money he was saving for a balloon ride so we agreed to go together. To fit all our schedules we agreed on July 14 which is the day before our anniversary and three days after their 19th anniversary. The weather was the unknown factor but we booked our tickets and hoped for the best.
Yesterday the weather forecast didn't sound good at all for our 6 p.m. ride. The pilot suggested we switch to the 6 a.m. ride so that's what we did. It rained early in the morning but had stopped by 4 a.m. so he let us know the ride is on. 
We had an hour's drive to the launching site and when we got there the balloon was inflated and ready to go.

The hardest part was getting in the basket. I didn't expect it to be so deep. I needed a step stool and a boost from Daryl to get in and out. And then my chin just cleared the rim of the basket. I stood on my tiptoes to take this picture before we left. The basket held ten passengers and it was fully loaded.

The Lancaster County farm land is lush and green with the regular rains we've had this year. It looks like a patchwork quilt from above.

We were up in the air about an hour and then the pilot said his radar showed rain coming again and we have to bring it down. We landed in a hay field that had recently been mowed. The ground crew deflated the balloon and stuffed the 675 pounds of fabric in a big bag.

After the bag and basket were in the back of a trailer, they brought out some champagne to toast our successful flight. We said, "just the orange juice, thank you." The goblets were ours to keep. 
After that, we and Daryls went into the Bird-in-Hand restaurant for breakfast. Before we had our food it was pouring again. We didn't get a crystal clear day but the Lord held back the rain until we were through.
One more thing checked off our bucket list!

Monday, July 10, 2017

300th Anniversary

No, not mine. We're married a mere 50 years. I mean the 300th anniversary of Groffdale.
Hans Groff emigrated from Germany to Pennsylvania in the late 1600s or early 1700s. The first written document for him in Pennsylvania is a deed dated 1704 which shows he purchased 84 acres of land north of Germantown. By the time he sold it in 1715, he was living at Strasburg in what is now Lancaster County. He warranted (claimed) 300 acres in 1714 which he sold in 1718 after he warranted 1150 acres in West Earl Township.
According to the often-repeated story, while Hans was living in the Strasburg area, his horses wandered away. In his search for them, he found a spring in a fertile valley north of his home. He determined to live there and in 1717 moved his family to what became known as Groffdale. A few years later the Weaver brothers followed him north and began another settlement a few miles east of Groffdale that is known as Weaverland. These two settlements were the nucleus of the Mennonite community north of the city of Lancaster.
Hans Groff built a log house near this spring which is still strong today and the stream that flows from it is stocked with trout.

The Groffdale Mennonite Church was established with the arrival of Hans and his family. More settlers soon followed. Worship services were held in the homes of the members on a rotating basis until 1755 when the first log meetinghouse was built on some of Hans Groff's land. 
Church divisions in 1893 and 1927 resulted in three Groffdale Mennonite congregations. The first Groffdale congregation remained on the same spot and is part of the Lancaster Conference. The first division in 1893 formed the Weaverland Conference and the group that left Lancaster Conference erected a new Groffdale Mennonite meetinghouse a mile or two away from the first one. The second division in 1927 formed the Groffdale Conference. Rather than build a third meetinghouse, the Weaverland and Groffdale Conference congregations use the same building but on alternating Sundays. So one Sunday the parking lot is filled with black cars and the next Sunday with horses and buggies.
The three Groffdale Mennonite congregations joined hands on July 7-8 to commemorate their shared 300-year history at Groffdale. A meeting was held on Friday evening, July 7, in which all three congregations led in singing from their respective hymnals. Then historian John Ruth spoke on the history of the area. After his presentation, the minister of the Lancaster Conference church presented a great gift to the Muddy Creek Library which is operated by the Weaverland Conference. 
In preparation for this anniversary, the Lancaster Conference church opened their safe and found in it a 1748 Martyrs Mirror and a 1763 Saur Bible. They decided these books are no good to anyone while locked in a safe and should be somewhere that they will be preserved and accessible to others. So they gave Muddy Creek Library the choice between the two books. After some deliberation, Muddy Creek decided to take the Bible. This is the large German Bible that would have been kept on the preacher's table for the minister to use while preaching. 
My ancestor, Christian Burkholder, was ordained as bishop at Groffdale in 1778 and would have used this Bible. It is in very good condition and I was thrilled to be able to see and touch something my ancestor used in the 1700s. I'll get a picture of it someday.
There was an all-day bus tour of Groffdale on July 8. We started at the Lancaster Conference church and then went to the Weaverland/Groffdale Conference church. From there, the two tour buses drove in opposite circles in a five-mile radius around Groffdale to see some of the notable spots in Groffdale's history. Here are a few highlights.

Hans Groff's Ausbund
1742 Ausbund hymnbook owned by Hans Groff which contains his signature and was passed on to his son Samuel Groff. The handwriting at the top of the page says "This book belongs to me Hans Groff. It cost six shillings."

 Peter Summy's house. 
Hans Peter Summy arrived in Philadelphia in 1733. He was a minister at Groffdale. It is believed this house at 207 Wissler Road on Jacob Summey's property was his home. It is probably the most unchanged dwelling in the Groffdale area. 

Christian Wenger's barn. 
Christian Wenger worked for Hans Groff and then bought 289 acres to the west. At 317 Brethren Church Road, the original house still stands, but addidions were built to every side. The stone part of the barn is still original. This is a very unusual construction with three stone arches on the ground floor. Two of the arches on the end have been closed up with cement blocks. One of them now has a door and the other a window, but they were originally like the one that is still open on the back side of the barn.

Samuel Groff's house
In 1738, Hans Groff sold 219 acres to his son Samuel Groff. There are two old houses with arch cellars and steep roofs on this tract, but both have been reconstructed. This farm at 357 Hershey Avenue was sold to Samuel's daughter Mary married to Joseph Horst. The date stone on this house says "Rebuilt 1854 by Jacob and Magdalena Hoover." The date stone on the second house says "Rebuilt 1847 by Jacob and Magdalena Hoover." 

Samuel Groff patent
A patent is a deed granting land from the Penn family to the first European owner. This is an original 1743 sheepskin patent for 64 acres from the Penn family to Samuel Groff. The Penn seal was attached to the blue ribbon at the bottom of the patent. These big round clay seals are often damaged, broken or missing. This one is damaged.

Christian Burkholder's land as seen from the Fairmount hill. My ancestor, Bishop Christian Burkholder, owned the entire Fairmount hill as well as the land on three sides of it. He married Hans Groff's granddaughter, Anna, which makes me a descendant of Hans Groff.
Lloyd Weiler wrote, "When Hans Groff purchased a large tract of land, he was investing in and directing the future of his children and their descendants. By believing in the virtues of family life, bearing responsibilities and vigorous labors, and staying close to the soil, he and his friends transmitted a legacy that has been maintained to this day." May we, his descendants, never forget and cease to appreciate our heritage.