Tag Archives: Barbara Duncan

Duncan Descendants Family Reunion

Chicago | May 27–30, 2016

Dear Duncan Family:

We are excited about the upcoming reunion—less than 1 month away!

We have approximately 34 scheduled to attend. By email, you should have received a file with attendees, their contact information, as well as who has cars (for carpooling).

  • Staying in a Duncan home? Please check the file to see who you will be staying with.
  • Still need a room? Please let Bonnie know asap by clicking here.
  • Prefer a hotel? We recommend the Holiday Inn O’Hare, which is very close. Click here.

We are looking forward to seeing you!  Please let me know if you have any questions or comments or if there is anything I can help you with ahead of your trip!

See you Friday night at 7pm (at Joy’s)!

Bonnie

(ALWAYS UPDATED) WEBSITE:  http://www.duncan2016.myevent.com/ 

Duncan Descendants Family Reunion

Dates:  Friday, May 27 – Monday, May 30, 2016

Nearest Airport:  O’Hare (ORD) is 10 minutes from Duncan HQ.

Other Airport: Midway (MDW) is 40 minutes away.

Duncan Contacts:  Click here for Barb Duncan. Click here for Bonnie Tinder.

Facebook Reunion Site: Click here to post pictures, watch the weekend, comment and connect.

Weekend Lineup

Friday

7:00 pm — Italian Dinner & Welcome Kickoff at Joy Duncan Farina’s Home

Saturday

9:00 am— Breakfast at Taylor Duncan’s Home

11:00 am— Depart for Downtown Chicago Duncan Scavenger Hunt and Chicago Tour (weather permitting)

6:00 pm— Duncan Family Luau at Bonnie Duncan Tinder’s Home

Sunday

10:30 am— Worship Service Together at South Park Church

following— Lunch Together at South Park Church

afternoon— Group Activities around Chicago

5:00 pm— Dinner Together at Portillo’s in Niles

Monday

9:00 am— Park Ridge Memorial Day Parade and Activities

following— Visit to Wally Duncan’s Gravesite, Town of Maine Cemetery

afternoon— Departures

 

 

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Family Reunion 2016

Dear Family,
We are thrilled to be hosting the 2016 Duncan Descendants Family Reunion in Chicago! We’re looking forward to a time of connection and the opportunity to show you around our beautiful city. To gather RSVPs, disseminate logistical information and schedule updates, we have created a website. Please RSVP by January 15, 2016 to Duncan2016.myevent.com.

Duncan Descendants Family ReunionChicago

Memorial Day Weekend

Friday, May 27 – Monday, May 30, 2016

RSVP by January 15

Duncan2016.myevent.com

Duncan HQ: Barb Duncan’s home. You can find the address at Duncan2016.myevent.com .

Airports: O’Hare (ORD) is 10 minutes from Duncan HQ. Midway (MDW) is 40 minutes away.

Recommended Hotel: O’Hare Marriott, 8535 West Higgins Road, Chicago (773-693-4444).  A block of ten rooms has been reserved at a nightly rate of $124 under “Barb Padar/Padar-Duncan.”

Approximate Cost: $50–100/person for food and entertainment, not including transportation

Details: Duncan2016.myevent.com

Contact: Barb Duncan (phone numbers and email address at: Duncan2016.myevent.com)

Proposed Weekend Lineup
Friday
7:00 pm                Gathering and Dinner at Barb Duncan’s Home, Party Room

Saturday
9:00 am                Breakfast at Taylor and Sandra Duncan’s Home
11:00 am              Depart for Downtown Chicago (Joy Duncan Farina hosting; options may include Museum of Science and Industry, Botanical Garden, Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo)
6:00 pm                Family Dinner and Event Together (location TBD)

Sunday
9:00 am                Breakfast at Craig and Bonnie (Duncan) Tinder’s Home
10:45 am              South Park Church Service Together or Free Time
1:00 pm                Lunch Together at Dennis and Joy Duncan Farina’s Home
3:00 pm                Free Time or Downtown Chicago, Part 2 (Barbie Padar hosting)
5:00 pm                Gathering and Buffet Dinner at Barb Duncan’s Home, Party Room

Monday
9:00 am               Park Ridge Memorial Day Parade and Activities
Afternoon           Departures

RSVP by January 15, 2016 to Duncan2016.myevent.com.
And after you’ve done that, forward this link to others in the family who may not have heard!

 

Wally, a Bird, and Some Glue

Glass CasterWith so many men away [at war in 1942], 13-year-old Wally was offered the job as janitor in the little Baptist Church in Drexel Hill, where his dad was a deacon.

One Saturday, when Wally came in to clean, he heard a small bird fluttering above in the rafters. Wally took a castor from under the leg of a chair and used it as a shot-put to hit the bird. Each time he threw it, the bird fluttered to the other end of the ceiling. Then it happened. The glass castor hit the beautiful chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

He rode his bike to his friend’s house and asked him to come and help. He went home and got some airplane glue and rode back to the church. The two boys got banquet tables, which were stored, screwed in the legs made of pipe, and stacked them on top of each other to make a scaffold. With his friend holding on, Wally climbed up and glued the two pieces of the chandelier back together again.

Many years later, when we were in Philadelphia, Wally took me back to the church and we found it open. Sure enough, we could see the line of repair. I don’t know if anyone at the church ever found out.

written memories of Wally, contributed by Barbara (Wally’s wife), December 12, 2012

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Do you remember this story? What other details can you add?
  • What was the name of the small Baptist church in Drexel Hill? Or was this Wayland Baptist Church in Meadville that the family attended briefly before moving (see Virginia Accepts the Lord)?

A Car Crashes into Taylor and Virginia

Taylor and Virginia, 1963, courtesy of Colin DuncanJimmy [Wally’s son] came to our house and said that he was going to go to a camp to just visit. So he came to the house. Now Daddy [Taylor] was still living. He said, “Tell me how to get the . . . .”—see those days, people used trolley cars a lot, you know. Where did he get the trolley car to take him up to Lexington, that’s where it was.

And so Daddy told him where to get the trolley car. But he says, “Better than that, you get in the car and your grandmother and I’ll take you up to Lexington. That isn’t so far and it’s round about to go by trolley.” He got in the car and we took him up to someone’s house. I guess it was the counselor’s house. He was well-received.

We got in our car to come back home again. When we got to the next corner—this was in Lexington, I tell you. We—I take an awful lot of blame for this. He said, “I wonder whether we were to go up this street or whether we’re to go up further on this avenue?”

I said, “I don’t know but I think we were to go up the avenue.” Then we got to the corner, I said, “Oh no, I guess we it was the street.” See I didn’t know anything about that location. So we started around to go up that street.

As we did—it was sort of on a hill—along comes a car and runs right into us. Ran right into the side where Daddy was sitting. He was pinned to the car and I was right alongside of him, you know. It was just awful because the car ran into his left-hand side and broke this left leg, right here, you know, and also the right leg down farther. Both legs were broken.

[Barb]: Oh.

We attracted enough attention. One man called out. He said, “I saw the whole thing. You didn’t know which way you were going. You were uncertain.” I said, I said to myself, it really was my fault because I wasn’t too sure which street to go up. And anyway we had that awful accident.

So we stayed there for a little while, and first thing you know the police and the fire department came along. They were afraid the car was going to get on fire. Daddy was pinned in the seat there. I couldn’t, we couldn’t get him out anyway. So when the fire department came along, they had to cut the car all around to get him out of it.

When the car ran into it, I didn’t know what to do. I jumped out of the car and jumped it back in it again because I didn’t want to leave him. I could see I couldn’t get him out. Then when the fire department came, they cut all around and got him out of it. And the ambulance took he and myself to the hospital.

‘Course, I was hurt a little bit. My back, I thought it was broken because that’s the first thing that you feel is the impact in your back, you know. I was so confused I didn’t know what to do. Whether to get out or sit there. You know, I was in and out of that car two or three times.

The windshield was so badly broken that it sifted in my mouth. I said to a lady, “Could you get me a piece of bread, please? My mouth is full of glass. I’m afraid of swallowing it for fear it’ll cause damage in my system with all this broken glass.” She went in and got me a slice of bread, soft bread, so as to see if I could see if I could get that glass out of my mouth. And I know it was in Daddy’s, too, you know. It was awful.

When they took me to the hospital, the first thing I kept saying was, “Take care of him, but oh how my back hurts. Oh, how my back hurts.” I was sure that they had broken my back, too, you know, except that I could get out, get out and in. I guess I went in and out three or four times.

Then they took Daddy to the hospital. He was there for a month, I guess, and then it was so terribly expensive and he, being a veteran, I said, “Why shouldn’t I take him over to the veterans’ hospital?” They took us both in the ambulance over to the veteran’s hospital, which was not too terribly far away.

When I got to the veteran’s hospital, they examined me well and told me that there was nothing broken. ‘Course they gave me all kinds of X-rays, as well as Daddy, of course. He was badly injured. Both of his legs broken and one arm. Three things. He really was in a bad way.

They took us both into the hospital, but I didn’t have to stay. They didn’t think I was seriously hurt at all. But I know for a long time my back ached. However, he never got up on his feet again. That was in, I would say, that was September and he died in December. He never really got up on his feet again.

Every time I’d go to the hospital, he would say, “Take me home.”

I’d say, “What would I do with you at home with all these broken?” You know, his arm broken.

[Barb]: Did they put a pin in it? Did they operate?

They operated! No, it was absolutely severed! It wasn’t something that was just cracked. It was absolutely broken off! I said, “I could not take care of you.” I don’t know how I could, I’d have to have a . . . .

[Barb]: No I mean did they operate on the broken bones?

Oh, they tried to, but it was so badly broken they had an awful time. They had all kinds of doctors come up and look at this one leg, thinking if they could take care of the one leg, maybe, you know, he could get by with one limb.

He kept saying, “No, don’t take my leg away. I’m sure that it will go back together.” But his arm or his leg never did heal. Never did heal.

I’d go down there every single day. It was an awful long trip. As Wally told you last night, that’s when I started to think I ought to be able to drive, you know. And so I took lessons. I used to go up and down Commonwealth Avenue. I don’t know whether you know anything about it. I tried awful hard to learn, but I was in such an upset condition myself, knowing my husband was in the hospital, you know, and I had to go down there. I was really afraid, myself, to get in my car and go beyond 69th Street.

Oh, I never became a good driver because I had too much fear in my heart, you know. I remember paying them $48 for the lessons, which killed me because there was no other income but my own.

partial transcription of Virginia’s life story as told to Barbara Duncan (Wally’s wife) in the summer of 1987, courtesy of Barbara Duncan

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Do you recall the names of the hospitals to which they were taken, either first or the veteran’s hospital?
  • Which children were called when this happened? Can Lee, Betty or Steve tell us the story from their perspective?
  • What do the grandchildren remember about this: Jimmy or anyone else? Did you visit Grandpa in the hospital?
  • Grandpa died in 1969. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) Grandma remembers the car crash in September followed directly by his death in December. Are these the dates you recall?
  • What else should we know about this story?

Hot Waters of Baptism

With so many men away [at war in 1942], 13-year-old Wally was offered the job as janitor in the little Baptist Church in Drexel Hill, where his dad was a deacon. 

coal fire water heaterBaptism in the Baptist Church was by immersion, in a big tub in the floor in front of the podium. It was usually covered by a removable section of flooring and covered with an oriental rug. On a Sunday when there was to be baptisms, Wally was told to go to the basement and get the coal fire started to heat up the water the day before. That he did.

The Sunday service was started. The pastor got up to preach. As he spoke from the podium, the corners of the oriental rug started to flutter with poof sounds that Wally would mimic and make us laugh at the telling.

One of the elder men in the church came up to Wally. “When did you turn off the heat, Wally?” he asked realizing that it was the steam from the baptismal underneath that was causing the rug to dance.

“No one told me to turn it off,” Wally replied. He ran down to the basement and turned off the furnace, but obviously there was not enough time for all that water to cool down.

The pastor had his fishing boots on, oblivious to the temperature of the water. As he prepared to do the baptisms, he read from his Bible. Starting to sweat beads of perspiration from the heat, he reached for one towel from the pile reserved for those getting baptized. Then he reached for another.

As the first lady entered, she gingerly dipped her toe into the too warm water.

I can only write from my imagination and from what Wally told me about that day, but those baptized came out a little pink and had more than a baptism of water.

written memories of Wally, contributed by Barbara (Wally’s wife), December 12, 2012

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Do you remember this story? What other details can you add?
  • What was the name of the small Baptist church in Drexel Hill? Or was this Wayland Baptist Church in Meadville that the family attended briefly before moving (see Virginia Accepts the Lord)?

 

“And I Walked to the Mine”

[Wally] had a room on the third floor. It was like this room here. It was a good size room. But what did he do—it wasn’t big enough—he broke through the wall into the attic itself, so he’d have a larger one. So he decided that he would put his bed in that extra room, so he’d have a bigger room out here.

Because he was always experimenting with something, always making up sketches and making something on his own, see? He was very clever about having new inventions of his own making. That was what happened there.

Entrance to an Anthracite Coal Mine Showing Elevators 1943I would sometimes think that he was working, and instead of that I’d come home and find him in bed where he wouldn’t go to work today.

He decided to get a special job. They were opening up a new tract of land in which they were going to have some kind of industry or something. Wally got a job with them, unknown to me. I thought he was at school all this time, but here he was working on this job. When I found out, I felt pretty bad because I was anxious for him to graduate.

He really didn’t have time to wait to graduate. He had to do his own thing. So anyway he started to work for this organization. He was getting along fine. It was like a mine because they had like mine cars underneath. He was on these. All at once, another car somewhere else had a wreck and the fellow was killed that was driving it. Whenever anybody got hurt, everybody was laid off for that day.

Wally came home, unknown to me, and I went up to his room for something and there he was lying down on the bed. Of course, he used to get up real, real early if he had that shift and fix his own breakfast that he wanted. I never knew when he was going to get a change of shift. And anyway, I went up there and he was in bed. I was scared to death because I thought he was hurt. Instead of that, this other man who was known to him was killed. That meant they didn’t have any more work that day. He was quite upset about it. It was doing the same kind of work that he was doing.

[Barbara]: I think that he told me later on he took that man’s place and he was promoted to his job.

I don’t remember that part, but I do remember that he was very upset about this fellow. He knew him.

[Barbara]: Maybe I should ask Wally to make a tape about all his stories.

Ask him about that because he could tell you more about it. He never explained very much to me about what happened, except I knew that he was running these little cars in the mine. See, they called it a mine. That particular operation is still in existence as far as I know.

partial transcription of Virginia’s life story as told to Barbara Duncan (Wally’s wife) in the summer of 1987, courtesy of Barbara Duncan

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Do you recall the name of the mine in which Wally was working?
  • Do you remember any other stories from the mine?
  • Can you share any memories of Wally inventing up in his third-floor bedroom?
  • Did he re-finish the attic portion or just shove the bed over there?
  • I would guess this even happened while his father was away at war. The dates that his father was around during the war and that he was gone are unclear. If this happened after the Merchant Marines incident, it would be about 1943. What do you think?
  • Lee, Betty, Steve, what do you recall about your own lives in 1943?
  • Neither is it clear whether they were living in Newton or in Drexel Hill at this point? What do you guess?

The Cannons of War

During World War II, most of the men were away in the service leaving mothers at home to raise the children. Certain resources were at a premium and were being used in the war effort. Scrap metal would be melted down and used in military products, so there was a collection point where people would donate their items.

Wally, mistakenly thought that if he were to donate an item, he could take another off the pile that weighed the same. There were two Civil War cannons that he thought were pretty neat. He got an old heavy water heater and exchanged it for the cannons.

325 Riverview Ave, Drexel Hill, PA, n.d. courtesy of Colin DuncanWally’s bedroom at 325 Riverview Cove [Avenue] in Drexel Hill, a suburb of Philadelphia, was way up on the third floor. He mounted the cannons pointed from his window in the front to the sidewalk below.

It wasn’t long afterwards, when there was a knock on the door. A policeman confronted Virginia as to why she had the cannons.

“Wally!” yelled Mother.

Needless to say, Wally had to surrender the two cannons.

written memories of Wally, contributed by Barbara (Wally’s wife), December 12, 2012

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Do you remember this story? What other details can you add?
  • Was Wally punished in any way by Grandma or the police?
  • What year of the war (1939–1942) do you think this was?
  • Did any of the rest of the kids know he had those cannons? Lee, Betty? Steve was extremely young or possibly in utero.