O for either Ontario or Ohio

neither Cleveland or Cincinnati is the largest city in Ohio

OntarioO. was not uncommon in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for either Ontario or Ohio. An assumption of intranational context was often the only disambiguating factor in that era.”

OH Ohio, a state in the Midwest US, often not abbreviated at all. Capital and largest city: Columbus. The dominance of Columbus is relatively recent, which is why there are major league baseball and football teams in Cleveland and Cincinnati. Ohio has the only state flag that is not rectangular.

I’ve been to Cleveland twice, in 1998 and 2016, both times visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

During the 2016 trip, we also went to the Football Hall of Fame in Canton and the Olin International Family Reunion in Ashtabula. On our way back from Indiana in the summer of 2019, we stopped to eat in Ashtabula County.

The previous reunion

ON Ontario, a province in Canada, sometimes abbreviated Ont. Capital and largest city: Toronto, which is the largest city in the country. The capital of Canada, Ottawa, is also in Ontario.

I have been to Niagara Falls several times. The family made a loop around Lake Ontario in 2011 and visited Toronto for a few days. Our ultimate destination was the Olin International Family Reunion in Petersborough.

in 1998, my friend Sarah and I got gasoline in Windsor, right across from Detroit, MI, because it was cheaper in Canada at the time.

OK Oklahoma, a state in South Central US, historically abbreviated Okla. Capital and largest city: Oklahoma City. I wrote about the state in 2013. as I noted, I’ve only been to Oklahoma once and it was brief.

I had been to a Texas Small Business Development Center conference in Galveston in 1996. Then I took a short trip by plane from Houston, TX to Norman, OK and had a meeting with statewide representatives. It was in a non-descript hotel, which could have been ANYWHERE.

Of course, Oklahoma was the home of the late, great blogger Dustbury.

OR Oregon, a state in the Pacific Northwest of the US, traditionally abbreviated Ore. or Oreg. Capital: Salem. Largest city: Portland. I have a vague recollection of the Oregon Treaty of 1846.

O is for ABC Wednesday

Vacation 2016

yes, we get milk delivered

map.nyOne of several posts.

The great thing about going on vacation is having plenty of things to blog about. The tough thing about being on the road is that there’s no time to write about it. Part of the problem is that the three of us are in one room, and I’m trying not to wake them up.

This first post will be about traveling, in broad strokes, from July 10-19. Vacation 2016 may be the first time I took off more than a week from work since 1998, save for my parents’ deaths. Later, I’ll be describing some of our various stops.

One of the rules of the road for our household is that we try to minimize announcing that we’ll be away, in this case, for over a week. Obviously, I had to take off from work. And one of my work folks engaged me to do a week’s worth of tunes on Facebook; I got ONE post done.

And we had our cat sitter. Given the quirkiness of our felines, it is a miracle we’ve found someone they would accept coming into our house without us. Maxine is also watering the plants, and bringing in the newspapers.

We canceled the milk delivery – yes, we get milk delivered – and the mail held, but keeping some semblance of the house appearing to be lived in is a big deal. I make no mention on social media, no “Hey, I’m in Cleveland!” I suppose this means that I’m old, but my (younger) wife insists on it, and I totally agree with her.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been involved with over 100 moves, including about 30 of my own, but I’m really good at packing the trunk of the car. This was a particularly tricky maneuver. Not only did we have clothing for five days, with the intention of washing them en route before we ran out of clean apparel, but we had the large bin with the accouterments for the Olin Family Reunion near Binghamton, NY.

For the last several years, the Olins, my mother-in-law’s people, who trace their roots to the 17th century or earlier had been meeting at Grippen Park in Endicott. But because of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, a PGA-sanctioned golf tournament which USED to be in August.

So, as the outgoing President of the NY-PA Olin reunion, I had to move the event to Roundtop Park. It’s a mere mile away as the crow flies, from Grippen, but you can’t get there by any direct route. Moreover, it’s hilly, and the demographics of reunion participants tend to be… grayer, let’s say. And the LAST time we had an event there, c. 2011, someone passed out from the heat and we had to call an ambulance. But it turned out fine, with me relinquishing my title as president.

After that we were on the road, W to Painted Post, NY near Corning (1 night), W to Salamanca, NY, on the way to Jamestown (1 night), W then south to Richfield, OH, between Canton and Cleveland (3 nights), NE to Austinburg, OH, near Ashtabula, OH (2 nights), NE to Geneseo, NY, near Letchworth State Park (1 night), E to Waterloo, NY, near Seneca Falls and Auburn (1 night) and WNW back to Albany. And except for 1300 miles over 10 days, 9 nights.

The Wife saw on some TV show that having breakfast included in the hotel package would be both a time and money-saving exercise, and all but the last place we stayed fit that model. The Salamanca Holiday Inn Express, which is near the casino, was the best breakfast. You can tell when the hostess, or whatever her title was, takes pride in her work. Some others were OK; one had a beleaguered woman one step behind the crowd, or maybe she was just overworked.

We came across some charming places to eat, such as The Jellybean: The Restaurant, in Painted Post, though the ice cream place around the corner was disappointing because of a peanut allergy warning for the whole menu.

On the other hand, avoid Burger King in Salamanca. It’s attached to a gas station but also a cigar shop, which the adjoining BK smells like.

THE most disappointing venue had to be the Ramada near Ashtabula. It is a very long two-story building with no elevator. The continental breakfast was sparse on day 1, and they hadn’t even replaced the butter for toast and bagels on day 2. The mold in the ice bucket was sufficiently icky.

I’m sure other details will creep in as I describe the various places we visited.

The royal connection

My wife and daughter, if you go back far enough, have common ancestors with the guys who are second and third in line to the British throne.

As I have alluded to before, my wife and my daughter are related to William and Harry and George, those UK royals.

It seems that:
Henry Spencer (b. 1353) married Isabel Lincoln (b. 1357)
They had at least two sons:
William Spencer (b. 1376) is a direct ancestor of Diana Spencer (b. July 1, 1961)
Thomas Spencer (b. 1378) is a direct ancestor of Susannah Spencer (b. 1680). Susannah married John Olin (b.1664) on October 4, 1708.

You may recall that John Olin, who was once a 14-year old cabin boy as an indentured servant, forced into service on the British ship Man-O-War, jumped off the boat heading for Boston harbor. He swam ashore, stealthily traveled inland for about a week, and ended up in the care of the Narragansett Indians for eight years. He became an indentured servant to a Samuel Gorton until 1700, when he became a free man.

John and Susannah had four known children, Joseph, John, Henry and Eleanor. Joseph was the ancestor, eight generations back, of my mother-in-law. Thus my wife and daughter, if you go back far enough, have common ancestors with the guys who are second, third, and fourth in line to the British throne.

This means, of course, that, as President of the Olin family reunion, New York/Pennsylvania branch, I ought to send the William and George (and Harry) an invitation to the annual event.

How Did I Become in Charge?

If you would like to contribute to ABC Wednesday, please feel free.

I have mentioned before the Olin family, my mother-in-law’s people, who can trace their roots back to the late 17th century. Every year, there are several Olin family reunions, in eastern Washington state; Ashtabula, Ohio; Southern California; Ontario, generally near Peterborough; and the New York/Pennsylvania group, held near Binghamton, NY most years since 1936. I’ve been the vice-president of the NY-PA reunion the last couple of years, making me only the second Olin in-law in about 40 years to become an officer.

Well, guess who was elected president this month? I’ll give you a hint: he blogs a lot. My mission will be to try to reach out to some folks who haven’t attended lately, extending invitations to other reunion groups.

Around the same time, Denise Nesbitt, who had started something called ABC Wednesday, in which I’ve been participating for nearly three years, was feeling a bit burnt out. Though she has had a trusted assistant (moi), and a number of other contributors, she was feeling a bit tired of coordinating the contributors, putting on the link so that everyone’s links are shared, and making sure the participants follow the simple rules of engagement. So guess who’s now in charge of ABC Wednesday, Round 11? That guy I saw in the mirror this morning. Not incidentally, we will be starting again this week with the letter A, so if you would like to contribute, please feel free; you are most welcome. Make sure your post has something to do with the letter A, link to ABC Wednesday, and, I hope, go visit a few of the sites of fellow abecedarian folks.

Why do I feel like Alexander Haig in March 1981?

Fortunately, in each case, I have a group of folks who have promised to help me through the processes, which I will most definitely need.

The Olin International Family Reunion

After a delicious lunch, the kids got to do face painting, hair coloring and horseback riding.

For over 75 years, various branches of my mother-in-law’s family have gotten together for family reunions. But at some point, the Olin Family Society, founded in 1992, decided to have an international reunion every five years. In 1996, it was in Fargo, ND; in 2001, in Binghamton, NY, which we attended; and in 2006, in Pasco, WA, which we did not attend, because we thought taking a two-year-old who didn’t travel well on a transcontinental flight as her first airline experience was a lousy idea for all concerned.

The Olins trace their lineage back to the late 17th century, when John Olin, a 14-year old cabin boy who was an indentured servant, forced into service on the British ship Man-O-War, jumped off the boat heading for Boston harbor. He swam ashore, stealthily traveled inland for about a week, and ended up in the care of the Narragansett Indians for eight years. He became an indentured servant to Samuel Gorton until 1700 when he became a free man. John married Susannah Spencer on October 4, 1708. She was believed to be an ancestor of Diana Spencer, who married Prince Charles of England, and had a couple of sons. John and Susannah had four known children, Joseph, John, Henry, and Eleanor.

The drive from Toronto to Peterborough, once we got out of Toronto traffic, was uneventful. Stayed at a functional but unremarkable Best Western; 2nd floor again, no elevator. We attended the ice cream social Friday night at the church where the event was held, just past the Quaker Oats plant; a decent number of folks turned out, but Saturday was the main event.

Someone at the reunion made nametags for everyone who had preregistered that listed, not only the Olin family member but also their spouse, all the generations back to John and Susannah. My wife, and therefore my daughter, are in the John-Joseph-Joseph-Reuben-John-Earl-Orva Lee-George Omar line. George married Leona G. Ruland, and they had 8 children (all of whom were still alive six years ago, though a few have passed since), the sixth of whom was my mother-in-law. So my wife’s name tag and mine showed 10 generations, and my daughter’s, 11.

A meeting was held in the morning, during which the daughter and I played Uno, with info of genealogical finds. After a delicious lunch, the kids got to do face painting, hair coloring, and horseback riding. I too got my hair sprayed, and I’m sure there’s photographic proof somewhere, but not here.

There was an auction in the afternoon, during which I purchased the 1893 tome cited above, then a great dinner, with lots of homemade pies for dessert. Then Sunday morning, a great brunch before people took off on the road, in our case, back to the USA.

Lots of great people at this event.

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