Friday, January 27, 2006

Vacation Photo Album #2 - The Island of Maui

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Vacation Photo Album #1 - The Island of Oahu

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Genealogy Findings: "Gerber Kidnapped, Robbed"

[Note: I can't spell. I just realized I'd originally spelled "genealogy" wrong. It's corrected now.]

For those of you that don't know, I've been interested in genealogy for quite some time now. I'm primarily researching into the McAnall line on my dad's side of the family and the Gerber line on my mom's side of the family. Here's an interesting story that I came across about my great uncle Carl Gerber from Tuesday, September 11, 1934, when he was kidnapped and robbed of $509.19, which I calculated to be equivalent to around $5,500 nowadays. Also, this article in particular comes from the Septer 12, 1934 edition of the Akron Beacon Journal, 26 pages long and costing a whopping 3 cents...

Above Text: "Familiarity with Akron News Agency office routine enabled an ex-employe, who quit only a week ago, to know that Carl W. Gerber, its proprietor, would take the day's receipts from his safe and start for First-Central Trust Co. at 1:30 p. m. Tuesday. Gerber was kidnapped by the former worker and a confederate outside the office, robbed of $509.19, driven in his own auto toward Kent, then put out of the car."

[Now, on to the rest of this page 2 story which had headlined the front pages of the afternoon/evening editions for papers the day before. Yes, in case you didn't know, there were morning and afternoon/evening editions of newspapers back then. One front page headline read "2 GUNMEN KIDNAP, ROB CARL GERBER."]

Former Employe, Companion, Kidnap News Dealer, Steal $509

Back at his Akron News Agency office after being kidnapped in Akron's downtown business district, robbed of $509.19, and put out of his own car just outside of Kent, Carl W. Gerber, Wednesday, recounted the half-hour's earnest but futile pleading with a former trusted employe to realize "what a fool you are making of yourself."

Police short-wave radio stations over Ohio and neighboring states Wednesday at regular intervals were broadcasting toneless, staccato descriptions of the ex-employe, of a companion, and the tan Chevrolet coupe in which the highwayman executed the holdup late Tuesday afternoon.

Gerber, proprietor of the news agency at 282 E. Exchange st., was pinioned between the two bandits at 1:30 p. m. Tuesday as he entered the auto to make the daily trip to First-Central Trust Co. with deposits.

Step on Car

One man stepped on each running board, he told police. The former employe, who quit only a week ago on his own accord with the explanation he was going to Florida, did the talking then.

There was only a brief: "Shove over to the middle," Gerber told police. The other man took the wheel and started the car.

The auto immediately was headed out through Bettes Corners, to Tallmadge, then down route 261 toward Kent. Within a mile and one-half of that city, one of the highwaymen, Gerber did not recall which, said: "Here is a good place to let him out."

They stopped, let him step from the car, then speeded on. With the gasoline tank half-filled, Gerber believed they were able to travel a hundred miles before stopping for more fuel.

Pleads With Bandit

Gerber said he pleaded with the former news agency worker throughout the entire trip to realize his folly, telling him constantly that "you can't get away with it. You are sure to go to the penitentiary." The man only looked ahead, watching the road, saying nothing. He kept the gun prodded in Gerber's ribs all the time, however.

Employes of the news agency noticed the pair enter Gerber's auto, commented that it was peculiar, but knowing the one former associate let the topic drop. Later, when he failed to return, they called the bank and found Gerber had not been there.

About the same time, around 3 p. m., Gerber called Kent police and detailed the holup. He had been picked up, finally, by Harry Herman, special policeman at the Akron waterworks, as he neared Kent on foot.

That's it for now. I'm pretty sure the guys were caught and Carl got his car back, but I can't find any newspaper clipping or notes from relatives on that right now (perhaps I was simply told by word of mouth and forgot to write it down).

Pretty exciting stuff though, eh?

Friday, January 06, 2006

Used Book Sale Time!

Well I came across a used book sale today and what deals did I discover! If you didn't know already, I honestly think I have an addiction to these sorts of circumstances. You see, I just can't help getting excited anytime I think I've found a good price on a good book (whether it be at a library book sale, garage sale,,, or anywhere else).

I'm sure everyone is wondering what I purchased at this point (sarcasm intended), so here's the list:

- Homer, The Iliad
- Aeshylus, The Oresteia
- Denis Diderot, Jacques the Fatalist
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden and "Civil Disobedience"
- Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
- Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
- Frank Norris, McTeague
- Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage
- Theodore Dreisner, An American Tragedy
- Ernest Hemmingway, The Old Man and the Sea
- Rober Bolt, A Man for All Seasons
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
- The Vatican II Sunday Missal (Hardcover)

That's 13 books, all in fairly good condition (though mostly paperback), and all for a mere $7.50! The question now is when I'll get around to reading any of them. The missal will come in handy on a weekly basis, of course, while the books that I hope to soon break into are Wuthering Heights, Moby-Dick, The Red Badge of Courage, and The Old Man and the Sea.

What a morning!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Interesting concept for our rushed modern noise-diven world...


Actually, Into Great Silence is the title of this German film about silent Carthusian monks living the monastic contemplative life high up in the French Alps. It's currently packing theaters full in Germany.

I don't see myself becoming a monk, but is there anybody else out there who enjoys a little silence -- or "peace and quiet" as my parents might put it -- each day. Don't get me wrong. I love sounds. It's just that I can only take so much of them. Eventually, I begin to feel a sort of disconnect with myself when I miss that silence for too long.

Does anyone else have this problem? Is our rushed world of action and noise really a stopper on silence? Furthermore, is silence really that important? And if so, then what type of silence? One totally void of sound, or simply a general quietness in a more natural way, in contrast to the "artificial" or "mechanical" sounds of the city and technology, as they might be called?


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year

Me standing in the rain near the top of Telegraph Hill in San Francisco on the morning of New Year'sEve.

Well folks, I'm home from Hawaii and California. The trip was great, to say the least! In both places, I don't think I've ever wanted to stay on vacation more than I did this time around. Hawaii was simply amazing and well, family is family -- this was honestly the first time my sisters and I were able to really hang out with our only cousins. I miss them (and the rest of the clan from Napa valley) a great deal already!

By the way, in case you were wondering, yes, we did arrive in San Francisco the morning of New Year's Eve, right smack dab in the middle of the onslought of rain and flooding that received some national media attention. In my aunt and uncle's hometown of Napa, I believe it was the worst known flooding in the city's history. Fortunately (for my family at least) their house is high enough on a hill to avoid any real trouble. We didn't even see the damage in the area until New Year's Day though, since we spent New Year's Eve celebrating in San Francisco.

And let me tell you, New Year's Eve was quite an experience -- one that really makes me want to go to Times Square in NYC for New Years eventually. First of all, the rain surprisingly cleared up around midday, with partially sunny and clear skies for the rest of the day as we continued to tour the city and do a bit of shopping. After seeing Cirque du Soleil's Corteo (probably my favorite overall show of theirs yet) and eating at the ACME Chophouse (connected to the Giant's SPC Park), we took a trolley up to Fisherman's Warf and walked down to Pier 1 to watch the fireworks celebration at midnight. There were 300,000+ people in San Francisco and that alone was a spectacle, not to mention the good firewoks display! Here are a few pictures from the San Francisco trip (I'll try to post Hawaii pictures in the next week or so):

My youngest sister, myself, and my dad, riding on the side of a trolley down Powell Street on New Year's Eve.

A picture of Lombard Street, the "world's crookedest street."

A shot of the Golden Gate from Vista Point on New Years Day Morning.