Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Capt Poe’s 50th Wedding Anniversary

Monday, January 30th, 2017


Capt Jacob Poe’s 50th wedding Anniversary (Collection of Ann L and John F Nash)


A fun bit of Georgetown, PA history.  Capt Jacob Poe and his wife, Mary Ann Ebert, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on 27 Dec 1888.  Capt Jake was presented a gold headed cane by the citizens of Georgetown.  Capt Thomas S Calhoon made the presentation.












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Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

One-hundred-sixty years ago the first ever Republican National Convention was held in Pittsburgh at Lafayette Hall (on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Wood Street).


Washington, D.C., January 17, 1856
“To the Republicans of the United States:
In accordance with what appears to be the general desire of the Republican Party, and at the suggestion of a large portion of the Republican Press, the undersigned, chairmen of the State Republican Committees of Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania,… Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, & Wisconsin, hereby invite the Republicans of the Union to meet in informal convention at Pittsburgh, on the 22nd February, 1856, for the purpose of perfecting the National Organization, and providing for a National Delegate Convention of the Republican Party, at some subsequent day, to nominate candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency, to be supported at the election in November, 1856.”




Copyright © 2016 Francis W Nash
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Forbes Field Memory

Friday, July 8th, 2016



For those of you with long memories, look at the Pittsburgh Baseball Club ticket stub closely.  It is dated 5 Sep 1958.  George (Red) Witt enjoying a career year with the Pirates was the starting pitcher that Friday night.  As best I recall, he pitched a shutout.  I cannot recall the opposing team.  It was either Cincinnati or San Francisco.


Pittsburgh Pirates Ticket Stub – Roof Box dated 5 Sep 1958 (F Nash Collection)







What I do recall is the is the magnificent view from the third deck – Box 318.  It was the only time I ever sat in a roof box in Forbes Field.



Addendum.  Mr Pat Dunsey corrected my faulty memory saying: 


Bill Virdon Topps 1959 (F Nash Collection)


FYI, Baseball Almanac sez game was 1-0 win over the Milwaukee Braves, with Bill Virdon aka “The Quail” hitting a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th.  Would think that was memorable!

Witt did go 10 for the win, scattering 5 hits and holding Aaron and Matthews hitless.

$55 for a ticket?,  That’s like a $3520 in 2016 funny money!  La ti freakin’ da!








Addendum II.


Forbes Field Roof Box (Cover of the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph (Collection of F Nash))

The cover of the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph Sunday magazine section called Pictorial Living showed the roof box seats at Forbes Field.  This magazine dated 5 Jul 1959, was a souvenir edition for the All-Star game played at Forbes field on 7 Jul 1959.  The National League won 5—4.  Elroy Face, Smoky Burgess, Bill Mazeroski, and Dick Groat represented the home town.  None were starters.








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Reflections 66

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

In my youth I thought tht there was no way I would die without having lived fully, but now I’m not so sure.  Sometime, maybe in my forties, time kicked into turbo-drive.  Now on the horizon is the end of the road.  I have many things I want to complete before my time runs out.






Copyright © 2016 Francis W Nash
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Spain in our Hearts

Monday, April 11th, 2016

For anyone stirred by the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the recently published book by Adam Hochschild is a must read.  Spain in our Hearts.  It is a painful, tragic, true history of the war.  What I liked most about the book were the final chapters where Hochschild documented the lives of the survivors of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.  


My good friend, Sue Hanna, introduced me to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade story.  Together we attended many of the annual reunions of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (ALBA) in New York City on May Day weekend.  Those trips were memorable days.  Keynote speakers included Pete Seeger, Harry Bellefonte, Amy Goodman, …  One reunion was held at the Cooper Union building using the actual podium where Abraham Lincoln gave his campaign speech in 1860.  To be sure that was “fitting and proper”.  At the reunions, the living veterans would address the crowded auditorium with endless enthusiasm and spunk.  The last ALB veteran, Delmer Berg, died on 28 Feb 2016.  He was 100.  For me it was a sad day.  I lost a hero.  The world lost a good man. 



Sue Hanna with Jack Penrod in 2006 (F Nash Collection)

Ms Hanna and I followed, and honored, Jack Penrod (1913-2008).  Born in Birmingham, Al and raised in Johnstown, PA,  Mr John Arthur Penrod was a graduate of Pitt in 1936.  Working as an activist organizing steel workers at the Jones & Laughlin plant in Aliquippa, PA, he was fired for his efforts.  Always idealistic, he went to Spain in 1937 to fight Franco fascism.  He led a sniper squad in the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion of the 15th International Brigade in Teruel and was wounded before the famed retreat across the Ebro River and the departure parade for the International Brigades along the Diagonal Ave in Barcelona.  That departure parade was witnessed by 300,000 people of Barcelona on 28 Oct 1938.  (Two weeks after the farewell to the International Brigades, Nazi storm troopers attacked 1,000 synagogues and 7,000 Jewish businesses in what became known as Kristallnacht.)  When Franco “liberated”  Barcelona two months later the Diagonal was empty.  After serving in the Philippines during WW II, Mr Penrod became a professor and later Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Florida.  According to Hochschild, Mr Penrod destroyed his memoir of the Spanish Civil War because “at one time I didn’t know whether they (FBI) might actually get a search warrant to search our house”.  Mr Penrod was in his nineties and hatpin sharp when I last spoke with him.


Sherron Biddle toasting Ernest Hemmingway with her Cava in the Hotel Majestic 2014 (F Nash Collection)

My wife and fellow world traveler and I have visited together the Barcelona and Ebro River area of Spain.  Today its Montsant and Priorat wines (DOQ) are celebrated worldwide.  While in Barcelona, we toasted Ernest Hemmingway and the other  Spanish Civil War journalists with a glass of Cava at the Majestic Hotel where he lodged during the war.  We also walked the Diagonal on a wet and dreary day in solidarity with the ideals of the ALB.


Have a look at the The Volunteer.   It’s a quarterly magazine featuring current news about the Spanish Civil War and the history of the volunteers of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.  The 2016 ALBA award ceremony is Sat, 7 May, honoring Lydia Cacho and Jeremy Scahill. 


For supplying the oil, trucks, and tires to Franco, damn Texaco, Firestone, Ford, GM, …  It did not occur to me that I could be so moved by a history book.

This post has nothing to do with steamboats.


Copyright © 2016 Francis W Nash    All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

More Sad News

Sunday, March 6th, 2016

Delmer Berg, the last known living US veteran of the Spanish Civil War, died on 28 Feb 2016.  He was 100. 


I have had a long interest in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, the 2,800 American volunteers who fought for the elected Spanish government against the fascist insurrection led by General Franco backed by Nazi Germany and fascist Italy.  In fact, a friend and I used to attend the annual reunion of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in New York City for many years.  A fun day.


Our last trip to Barcelona was partly planned around a theme of the Spanish Civil War.  Sherron and I followed in the footsteps of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as they marched down the Diagonal in a departure parade witnessed by 300K citizens of Barcelona.  When Franco’s troops “liberated” Barcelona about 30 days later, the same streets were empty.  Delmer Berg, according to his obituary, served in the Battle of Ebro River.  The Ebro ran red as Republican soldiers attempted to swim across it to safety.  On our vacation we drove along the Ebro for miles and may have passed the ground that Berg was defending.  We also tipped a glass of Cava to Ernest Hemmingway in the Hotel Majestique (still standing in Barcelona ) where he lived during the latter stages of the civil war.


Volunteers like Delmer Berg fought alongside Spanish Republicans.  Their cause was reported by Hemingway, Robert Capa, Martha Gellhorn, Eric Blair (George Orwell), and others.  The book, Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War, is a well written story about the devastation of the Spanish Civil War.  The Hotel Florida which was in Madrid was demolished. 


I feel sad because I lost a friend.  The world has lost a good man – Delmer Berg.



Copyright © 2016 Francis W Nash    All Rights Reserved

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Change in Site Rules

Thursday, December 10th, 2015


The function of subscribing to this site has come to an end.  Many subscribers, using throw-away email addresses from strange IP addresses, have been submitting commercial advertisements which I have not approved.  Rather than waste my time continually deleting these users and their proposed comments, I have decided to disable the subscriber function. 


Early subscribers and those subscribers who have provided their names and thoughtful contributions are still active.  RSS feeds are  available to them.

New subscribers should email me and I will establish a user who can receive RSS feeds and submit comments.


If you want to comment on my posts, feel free to drop me a line at the following email address: .  I will add your contributions to the discussion.  Site Rules still apply.



Copyright © 2015 Francis W Nash  All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.


Vive la Climate Summit

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

It is a parody of hell around here.  Heavy fog.  Air quality alert.  The backyard looks unusually grey.  Not a single bright autumn leaf remains on our huge sweet gum tree.  In fact, the whole of Carlisle seems to have been drained of all color. 


The six fish I live with are active and swimming.  By this time in past years I have removed the pond filter system and pump and the fish are dormant.  Not this year.  And the weather forecast is much warmer for the next few days.  White Christmas?  I do not think so!


I hope that the Paris Climate Conference ends with meaningful good news.



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Reflection 65

Monday, June 29th, 2015


Age is a curse that falls on us unawares.  It’s true!   It feels like twenty minutes ago that I was eighteen years old and playing baseball with my friends in Beaver Co.  Now I am an old man with white hair and a Medicare card.  My knees hurt.  How did this happen?










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National Archives Trip 7

Friday, April 3rd, 2015


Thursday (2 Apr 2015), I spent another afternoon at the National Archives in DC.  My seventh trip and eighth day to the research room.  My researchers access card had expired which means time lost – even for a renewal card the researcher must review the training slide presentation.  That is actually a good thing.  Some procedures change within a years time; stuff moves; The National Archives research lobby has been refurbished and reorganized.  The archives assistance is always professional.


I reviewed the Certificates of Enrollment for the Port of Pitsburgh records (Record Group 41) from 14 Feb 1870 through 30 Jun 1875 (Volumes 6657-6659). One new thing I learned. Capt Benjamin M Laughlin built a keelboat in 1871.  Keelboats had gone the way of Lewis and Clark I had thought.  Before this I had been surprised to find a new keelboats registered in the 1850’s.  If there was money to be made during low water, these Georgetown men were at the ready.


Cherry Blossoms in front of The National Archives 2 Apr 2015 (F Nash Collection)


It was a beautiful day.  Cherry blossoms were full.  Mild temperature after such a brutal winter.  Late lunch at Jaleos in the Penn Quarter with my world traveling partner.  What could make a better day? 








Copyright © 2015 Francis W Nash
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No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.