September 30, 2021

An Artist in the Family

My last blog was about a somewhat recent time, that of my parents' generation, and included some of my memories when I was young.  I think I will stay with that time period for this blog post as well.

I was blessed with a diverse and loving extended family, however since we were a military family we never really lived near family members.  We mostly saw aunts, uncles & cousins on vacations and special visits.  My Aunt Jeanne, one of my father’s two older sisters, was quite talented and I would have loved living near her just to soak up some of her vitality and interest in art.  It seemed to me when I was young that she could do anything.

Jean Marie Scribner was born in Brooklyn in 1921.  She began spelling her name as Jeanne, however, as a young adult.  She grew up mostly in Huntington, Long Island and attended the New Jersey College for Women (later to become the Douglass Residential College - Rutgers University).  After college she worked for Good Housekeeping and later became an editor for the Ladies’ Home Journal of New York.  In 1949, Jeanne married Thomas Harrell Cashin and the family grew with the addition of their three boys.

With boys in the family to keep up with, it is no surprise that Jeanne was athletic.  I remember her as tall and very statuesque.  Family holidays were often spent swimming in the summer and skiing in the winter.  And Jeanne could usually be found on the tennis court year round.

I don’t know when Jeanne developed her interest in art, but she was always busy with crafts and projects.  In addition to her passion for watercolor painting, Jeanne also worked some with oil paint, and she also designed and created lovely silver jewelry.  I have found several stories in newspaper archives about art shows noting that Jeanne showed her watercolor paintings in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Below, I will share some of the artwork that Jeanne Cashin created that presently belong to various members of the Cashin and Scribner families.  Included are paintings, a couple of her Christmas cards, and several of her silverwork pieces. 



 





Aunt Jeanne died in 1981 after a lengthy illness.  I wish I had had more time with her.

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Key individuals:

        Jeanne Marie Scribner Cashin  (1921 – 1981)

        Thomas Harrell Cashin  (1922 – 2008)          

 

Notes: 

One of my memories of Aunt Jeanne was that during one of her visits to our home in New Mexico, she would occasionally pull out her knitting as a pastime.  And during that visit she took the time to teach me the basics of knitting.  Then after she went back to New York, I got a package from her with a lot of puffy pale yellow yarn and the knitting instructions to make a sweater.  And yes, I did make that sweater and was quite proud of myself, though I seldom wore it because I thought it made me look heavy at a time when Twiggy was the ideal! 

It seems that artistic talent might run hit-or-miss in our family.  Jeanne’s oldest son is quite talented with his ability to carve and sculpture in stone.  And one of my brothers also has an artistic talent and love for making silver jewelry. 

In recent years, I have begun to experiment with watercolor painting, and while not as talented as my Aunt Jeanne, I often wish that I could turn to her for help with that.  Inspired by her, I have borrowed Aunt Jeanne’s idea of incorporating her watercolor work each year in her Christmas cards.  And, I have enjoyed using my own watercolor art on our family Christmas cards for several years now.

 – Jane Scribner McCrary

September 15, 2021

Delivery of a Polio Vaccine

I'm going to bring us back into more modern times with this blog post.  During all of the news and commentary about vaccines and public health this summer, I read a social media post written by one of my brothers about our family connection to the polio vaccine drive in the early sixties, and I decided to share the story in this blog post.

While I don’t spend much time with social media, I do periodically check and read family posts where I enjoy seeing the photos and family activities found there.   One morning, I read a post written by one of my brothers of his memory about the polio vaccine.  He wrote:

"My father was a fighter pilot in Yuma, Arizona in 1960 and one of his jobs was to fly in the polio vaccine that was designed to be on sugar cubes.  He flew in the vaccine for not only the base there in Yuma but for the entire town of Yuma and the surrounding areas.  He was honored by the town of Yuma and my family were the first to receive it in the town.  I was very proud as I had a very good friend when we lived in Pensacola who has Polio and I would wish it on no one ... "

While I personally remember the excitement and novelty when our family received the polio vaccine, I either was not aware of or forgot that there was a connection with my father transporting the vaccine to our community.

I do remember my brother’s friend in Pensacola, Florida who had polio.  We all often played neighborhood kickball in the street on our block.  It was sort of like baseball where you kicked a soccer-sized ball that was “pitched” to you and then ran the bases hoping to score a run without getting put out.  While our friend had suffered from polio in his younger years, it left his legs impaired and he used crutches.  But he could sure wallop that ball with one of those crutches, and then make it around the bases in no time!

My sister also read our brother’s post about the connection to the distribution of the polio vaccine, and she took it one step further and decided to try and find out more.  Her research resulted in finding a newspaper article on the front page of the Yuma Sun Newspaper that was printed on Sunday, April 29, 1962. 

 

*  *  *  *  *

Key individual: 

       Robert Gordon Scribner  (1923 – 2006)

  

Notes:

Finding a good copy of this news article that I could use for the blog story was a challenge, one that frequently confronts all genealogists.  I found that the newspaper article existed with an email from my sister that included the name of the newspaper and the publication date.  Her email included the link to https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/47097621/  where we could read the headline and see that there was a photo of Dad in front of his military plane delivering the vaccine.  Neither she nor I had a subscription to that newspaper database, however, so we couldn’t get a good image that allowed us to read the text of the entire story.

Next I found that one of my sisters-in-law had a subscription to that database, and she was most gracious about sending me the image.  But as with many newspaper archive images, it was poor quality and quite grainy.   

So my last effort to obtain a clear copy of the article was to contact the Yuma Public Library and ask for help.  I sent an email explaining what I was looking for and what I intended to do with it, and that very same day a kind and thoughtful librarian had sent me an excellent copy of the article!  As genealogists, we are forever grateful for the generous help of many wonderful librarians.

A big thank you to all of the members of my family, and a thoughtful librarian, that helped me flush out the story for this blog post.

– Jane Scribner McCrary

John Howland overboard on the Mayflower

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