Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Tax Report 1876

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

The 1876 List of Taxables in Georgetown Borough and Glasgow Borough lists many old family names and occupations.   The article is from the Midland News  dated 12 Aug 1976.  A bicentennial review of a centennial report.

List of Tax Register for Georgetown dated 1876 (Anna L and John F Nash Collection)














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Thursday, December 21st, 2017

I am infuriated with the Republican tax bill.  Hasty passage of a tax reform bill that allows the 1%’ers to hoard more wealth is unconscionable.  This bill will give me a tax cut while killing the health care insurance for some 13M Americans.  Although I was raised amid white privilege and good fortune, income and wealth inequality never sat well with me.

Divisive/derisive and obstruction politics, elevated to an art mostly by the Republican Party, will hopefully end.  Stealing a Supreme Court seat, refusal to fill judicial vacancies during the Obama administration, numerous Obamacare repeals, climate change denial, inaction on gun control, support of white supremacists and birthers, Russian election collusion, blatant Oval Office Trump lies, etc will have a cost.  The Republican Party will pay the Trump cost in the not too distant future.  

My disagreements are not merely political, but fundamental.  Like many Americans, I have Trump fatigue.  What kind of man talks, and tweets, like that?  What kind of person supports him?

I have not run out of salient talking points.  Gerrymandering is a prime one.  Others include CHIP support, DACA solution, gun control, health care access, immigration reform, wealth inequality, and others.  But there is one stumbling block I keep running into.  What does it mean to live in our democratic society?  

Personally, I am happy to pay an additional 4.3 % for my fast food if it means the person making it can afford to feed their family.  If you are not willing to fork out 17 cents more for a Big Mac, you are a fundamentally different person than I am.

I am perfectly content to pay taxes that go to public schools.  Because all children deserve quality education.  Someone once said one good measure of a town is its school building.  That building should be the most beautiful building in the town.  It is the way the present generation invests in the next.  If adequate public-school funding seems unfair or unreasonable to you, we are never going to see eye to eye.

If I must pay a little more for my health care to ensure my neighbors have health care access.  Sign me up.  If you are OK with thousands of people dying of treatable diseases just so the wealthiest among us can hoard more wealth, then there is a divide between our world views that can never be bridged.

I do not know how to convince you how to experience the human emotion of empathy.  My disagreements with the Republican Party are not merely political, but a divide on how to be a good person, and why that matters.


Copyright © 2017 Francis W Nash

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Reflection 67

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Today is another personal holiday.  In the midst of a dislocation of time, I realize that something in me has gotten terribly old.  One after another we stitch the days, months, years together.  One after another.

I have had the good fortune of living a varied life.  Throughout three themes have motivated me:

(1)   A respect for our environment and living planet.

(2)  A wonder of art and artists and sports and athletes.

(3)  An admiration for the revelations of numbers.

I believe in numbers.   Facts.  Truths.


Copyright © 2017 Francis W Nash
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No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.


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.












Copyright © 2017 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

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


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.  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, Judge Baltasar Garzon …  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.  It was intimidating and encouraging at the same time to be in such a crowd of liberal people.

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)

Fellow world traveler, Sherron Biddle, 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.

Although this post has nothing to do with steamboats, it is near to my heart.


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.