Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Nobody Messes with Helen Allen

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In the chapter titled "Getting Through My Freshman Year" we learn that children have been the same down through the ages, sometimes making sport of others that may be different than themselves.

Such was the case with Phin. He hadn't yet had his first shave and the peach fuzz on his face was a cause for ridicule (or "hazing" as he called it) from some of the upper classmen during the first week of school. He says:

All day I heard "Where did 'this' come from? I bet 'this' came from Buffalo."
"Where is Buffalo?" I asked.
"About four or five miles above Portage," they replied.
"I'm sorry boys," I answered, "I have never been up to Buffalo. My home is in Castle Hill."
They retorted, "Well probably Castle Hill doesn't have a barber either."

After being teased all week long, he was feeling that he might have made a mistake in coming to school. But an unlikely ally surfaced at recess on Friday...

At recess time on Friday, I was being used rather rough when a big stocky girl came along and asked, "Why do you put up with that? Wade right into them and fight back, kick hell right out of some of those boys." My reply was, "Oh, I do not believe in quarreling. I suppose they call this fun." Just then one of the boys reached out and pulled the fuzz on my face. The stout girl said, "Mother told me at noontime today that she and your father are cousins and she said if I was that boy I'd fight back." She went on to say, "My name is Helen Allen and I'm ready to take sides with you any time you want to pile up some of these fellows." About that time someone stepped back and thumbed his nose at Miss Allen. Quick as a flash, she grabbed him by the shirt collar and the seat of his pants and gave him an awful mauling. After she let him go, I said, "Boy, it is too bad to be so rough." She replied, "Too bad nothing. No one in this school is going to thumb their nose at me and get away with it."

This story has always given me a chuckle and I set about trying to find out about our cousin, Helen Allen.

She was born in 1895 just one year before Phin but died relatively young in 1935. She is buried in the Ashland Municipal Cemetery and has one child buried there with her. She married Albert Edward Spencer on June 6, 1923. Her parents were George Henry Allen and Josephine Walker Butler. Helen's mother Josephine was indeed a 1st cousin to Phin's father, Jasper Ellis. Their mothers, Abigail and Mary Jane Walker were sisters.

Cousin Helen seems like she had some spunk. I sure would have liked to have known her!!

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Chapter Titles in Call Me Phin

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  1. The Beginning of My Life's Journey
  2. "Uncle Bill" Coffin Comes to My Rescue
  3. Off to School
  4. Preparing for High School
  5. Getting Through My Freshman Year
  6. Life with Dr. Hagerthy
    1. The Golden Calf
    2. The Woodpile
    3. The End of a Perfect Day
    4. A Trip to Presque Isle
    5. The Boat Ride at Portage Lake
    6. A Very Serious Burn
    7. Mitchell Bernard Accidentally Shot
    8. Helping with a Bad Fracture
    9. Machias Lake
    10. Dr. Hagerthy Makes a Deal
    11. Sarah
    12. A Day That Everything Seemed to Operate in Reverse
    13. Getting Poisoned
    14. More Memories while at Hagerthy's
    15. Doctor Hagerthy's Last Call
  7. Ashland
  8. Teaching at the Hill School
  9. Summer School
  10. The Mail Line
  11. Serving in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army
  12. Back Home and The Collins Lumber Company
  13. The Mapleton Local
  14. The Vacation
  15. A Decision of Once in a Lifetime
  16. My Experiences with the Maine Potato Growers Exchange
  17. Back to Castle Hill
  18. Family and Farm
  19. My Political Career
  20. Hospital Memories
  21. Moving to the New Hospital
  22. P. S.
  23. Premonitions? Perhaps
    1. A Bright Light in the Darkness
    2. The Case of Estella Wells
    3. The Passing of My Dad, Jasper O. Ellis
    4. A Happy Day for Nora Joe
    5. The Strange Case of Henry Archer
    6. Perhaps a Miracle
    7. Fred Gates
  24. The Lynching of Jim Cullen
  25. Acquiring Information of the Jim Cullen Lynching
  26. Weather Observations & Forecasts

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