Monday, July 02, 2012

Kenneth McLintock

My father, Kenneth McLintock, was born on May 21, 1920, in Mamaroneck, New York, where his family lived through 1925. He was the younger son of Fredrick Seybel McLintock and Edith Cavannaugh. His brother, Thomas McLintock (1912-1996?), worked in the Forest Service. Kenneth graduated from Greenwich (Connecticut) High School in June 1939.

Edith was born in Savannah, Georgia, on November 30, 1880; her parents were Augusta Young and John Henry Cavannaugh. Dad admired his maternal grandfather greatly, and mentioned him often in his memoirs.

Fredrick Seybel McLintock was the son of Sophia Louise Seybel and Archibald (Jr.) McLintock.

There were several Archibalds in the McLintock line; Archibald Sr., my father's great-grandfather, immigrated from Scotland with his wife Hannah Boag McLintock around 1849-1850. Archibald Jr. (Dad's grandfather) also had a son named Archibald, who married Nan Benedict.

Sophia Louise Seybel (b. February 9, 1853) was the daughter of Fredrick Seybel and Sophia Voeltgel. Her two brothers were Frederick William Seybel and Daniel Edward Seybel.

Frederick S. McLintock of New York and Edith E. Cavanaugh of Savannah, Georgia were married on November 6, 1907, according to a marriage license issued by the State of Georgia.

Frederick McLintock died on December 11, 1951; Edith died on November 10, 1953.

Frederick must have been employed at the Stamford (Connecticut) Advocate at the time of his death; a note to his widow from the publisher, dated December 14, 1951, says that "Mr. McLintock was respected and beloved by everyone in this office and will bs sorely missed."

During World War II, my father served in the 146th Field Artillery Battalion, 37th Infantry Division. His memoir from that period may be found at Pacific Memories.

He received his Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University on June 12, 1960. Towards the completion of this degree, he wrote an essay on Edwin Arlington Robinson titled "Man over Mannerism: Robinson's Challenge to the Genteel Tradition", which he submitted on May 15, 1960 to one Professor Creeger.

He married my mother, Stella Leonard Block, on August 24, 1958. They moved to South Windsor, Connecticut, around 1964, and raised their two children (Leonard, b. 1963, and Stephanie, 1964-1992) there.

Ken McLintock passed away on October 2, 2000.

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Tales My Mother Told Me

TALES MY MOTHER TOLD ME
Ken McLintock
a memoir of his mother, Edith Cavannaugh

Savannah-born and Georgia-educated (Wesleyan Female Seminary, Macon), my mother came north to complete her musical education. Some of her musical instruction -- both piano and voice, I think -- was under a Miss Coburn, who was related to the actor Charles Coburn. The Coburns and the Cavanaughs (my mother's family) were good friends, and my mother always referred to Charles as Charlie. (She also had a way of slighting the r in his family's name, so that what I always heard were references to "Miss Cobin" and "Charlie Cobin.") Although he was always "Charlie", she was always "Miss Cobin," so I think she must have been his aunt rather than an elder sister. That he did have a sister I am sure because both of them were in the theater and even appeared on the stage together. As I said, the Coburn and Cavanaugh families were friends, and more than once Mother told me of the time Charlie saved her from drowning when she was caught in an undertow off Tybee Island.

For years, so far as I knew, Charles Coburn -- if he was still living -- was retired and still living in Savannah. But one day (I was probably in high school by then), I was reading aloud some movie advertisements in the newspaper to help my parents and me decide which movie to see. Among the cast listed for one movie was Charles Coburn, which I pronounced carefully "Charles Co-burn", not having the faintest idea who he was. "Oh! Charlie Cobin!" my mother exclaimed, surprised and delighted that her former "beau" was in Hollywood, having taken up a movie career. However, I thought I'd better tell her she was mistaken. "No, Mother, not Cobin -- Coburn." I don't recall what her reply was, but I think she was puzzled. After all, she had been pronouncing Coburn "Cobin" all her life.
P.S. We saw that movie, and nearly every subsequent movie in which Charlie appeared.

P.P.S. Coburn had evidently kept in touch with some of the Savannah people over the years. Mother's sister, Aunt Blanche, who had moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, showed me a Christmas card she had received from him. It showed what had evidently become, over the years, his trademark: a tamoshanter and a monocle -- no face: just the tam and monocle.

Once she was in New York City, Mother studied with Mrs. Eames, mother of the Metropolitan Opera soprano Emma Eames. The Eameses were from Bath, Maine, and Emma was among the first American-born singers to sing at the Met. Needless to say, Mother attended many of Emma Eames's performances, and for years pictures of the singer in her various roles -- Elsa in Lohengrin, Marguerite in Faust, Desdemona in Otello, among others -- hung on the walls of our home.
Mother received excellent training; after all, her teacher had also been the opera singer's teacher. One result of the training was a fine sense of pitch. If she heard a singer on the radio singing flat, she would utter a cry of pretended pain and make upward motions with her hands as if to push the singer back up on key. Thanks to her training also, her pronunciation of German, French, and Italian was excellent. It was, if anything, too good. She once told me that after a recital, a woman who had been in the audience came up to her and began speaking to her in French -- an embarrassing moment. She had learned to sing French words flawlessly but had never learned to converse in French.

Mother's training, though, was not for the opera stage. Instead she sang with New York's Oratorio Society for years, and was soloist in a number of churches in the New York area. She also was a member of at least one church choir and even one synagogue choir (that of the famed Temple Emanu-El). Among the members of one of the choirs was Harry T. Burleigh, composer and arranger of Negro spirituals (as they were then called), including "Deep River". Burleigh was already well on in years when Mother knew him, and as the years went by, he would announce solemnly each year that this would be the last year he would sing "The Palms" at the Palm Sunday service.

Mother knew, directly or indirectly, a number of interesting and prominent (at least in their day) people in the music world. There was Frank Damrosch, brother of Walter. I don't recall what musical group he presided over, but my mother would say that he must have had something against tenors because he would tell the tenors exasperatedly to "sing with your brains as well as your voices." There was Victor Harris, director of the Oratorio Society, whom she admired. There was Kurt Schindler, who not only was choir director somewhere but also was compiler and arranger of a collection of songs by Russian composers (Glinka, Tschaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, et al.). One director (I don't recall who) had a stammer, and to break the stammer he would sweep his hand across his face. And there was Keith McLeod, who directed a male chorus on one of the New York radio stations, WEAF, now WNBC. It was he who got Mother a spot on WEAF for a short time. I recall seeing a note from him to Mother and noticing he had signed it with his initials, K. McL. -- my initials, too!

Most people, I suppose, who are fond of "classical" music rate the celebrated Beethoven Ninth Symphony highly. My mother did not. I think that was mainly because when the Oratorio Society performed that symphony with the New York Symphony Orchestra, the altos were always placed close to the kettledrums, and Beethoven could be unstinting with the use of that percussion instrument, especially in the Ninth, where the kettledrums attack the listener repeatedly with fortissimos. And, according to my mother, you never got enough used to them not to jump.

Besides her concert and church work, my mother did other singing: recitals. Early in this century, musicians were invited to the homes of well-to-do people -- either their New York mansions or their country estates. One such family, the Sooeysmiths (an odd name) had a place in Greens Farms, Connecticut, and my mother had happy memories of that family and that place. (I think they were the people who owned a St. Bernard dog named Clumsy.)

Finally, there were the army hospitals. World War I ended almost two years before I was born, but even as late as the mid-1920s, when I first heard about her singing to the wounded, the sight and voices of the men -- especially the faces of the "shell-shocked" casualties -- still haunted her. What did the men of the men of the hospitals enjoy hearing? I don't know, but I suppose the songs included "There's a Long, Long Trail", "Roses of Picardy", "Over There", and "It's a Long Way to Tipperary". These, particularly the first two, were probably the very first songs I heard (that must have been when I was three or four) and the first I learned to sing. (I was particularly fond of "There's a Long, Long Trail".)

I must not neglect to mention what we in our family called the phonograph, but which others called, perversely, the grammophone, and which still others, yielding to vulgar commercialism, called the Victrola. The one we had usually sat on the floor and usually in the way, though now and then it sat on a large round wicker table, which itself was even more in the way. (A more expensive model featured the standard record player at a convenient height, with record storage space below.) Our phonograph, made by the Victor Recording Company, was, in size, about a two-foot cube. It had a deep lid, with the familiar picture of the fox terrier listening to "his master's voice" inside. The front had two doors that opened out, revealing a slatted sound chamber from which came the music or speaking voices. The steel turntable, 12 inches in diameter and covered with green felt, was nominally one-speed (78 RPM), but the machine was equipped with a speed control that pivoted: "Fast" at one end of the arc, "slow" at the other end. Being a boy, I could not resist the temptation to find out what the music sounded like at either extreme -- an experiment that annoyed my mother exceedingly. Sound was picked up from the record by the old acoustical device, which simply amplified the vibrations produced as the rotating record grooves passed under the "needle" held by the pick-up. (Needles were either steel or "wooden" -- i.e., bamboo. Both wore out after only a few plays, so the phonograph was provided with built-in cups to hold new or discarded needles.) The turntable was powered by a spring-driven motor, and a removable crank was used to wind up the spring when necessary.

Like most of the things in our home during my early years, the phonograph had already been there before I became aware of it, but the reason for its presence was obvious: the many records made by some of the singers of opera's "golden age". Caruso was certainly among them, Alma Gluck was another. I'm not sure of any of the others, though we (that is, Mother) might have had a recording or two of one of the DeReszke brothers, Jean or Eduard.

Mother got memorable glimpses of musical people, which she shared with me. One was the sight of Australian composer Percy Grainger walking up a New York City street one winter day in a snowstorm, coatless, hatless and wild-haired, and carrying a harp. She would have agreed, one guesses, that Harpo Marx could not have looked more bizarre.

An Exclusive Resort

There was never any concrete evidence for it, but my mother used to relate that her father - Henry D. Block - aroused curiosity with his prominent nose, swarthy complexion, and sharp business acumen; there had, she said, even been a running joke among his friends: "Hey, Block, you sure you're not a Jew?"

Had he answered in the affirmative, he would have found himself unwelcome at the hunting lodge in Maine where he met my grandmother. The spirit of the New York State Civil Rights Act of 1913 had not reached the state of Maine in the 1922 season, and a brochure from The Firs in Rockwood advises:
Buy your ticket to Kineo Station. Check your baggage to THE FIRS, Kineo Station. Remember - don't take the steamboat to Mt. Kineo if coming to THE FIRS. Auto from Camp will meet you at Kineo Station; name on cars, "THE FIRS". References in booklet; and references required. Bring light and heavy clothing. No dress suits or evening gowns needed, but wear what you want to. Secure your accommodations early. Hebrew patronage is not solicited.


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Leonard Family Scrapbook

JAMES LEONARD
born 3-25-1834
died 12-3-1911
Father of Abner Leonard and grandfather of Guy P. Leonard, Grace Leonard Block, Frank V. Leonard, Stella Leonard Libby and Florence Leonard Turner.

STELLA BOYNTON LEONARD
born 9-3-1872
died 2-27-1907
Born in Deer Island, N.B. Eldest daughter of Guy P. Boynton and Joanna Holmes Boynton. Mother of Guy P. Leonard, Grace Leonard Block, Frank Leonard, Stella Leonard Libby and Florence Leonard Turner.

ABNER F. LEONARD
born 6-24-1866
died 3-15-1926
Son of James Leonard and Emma Bizanson Leonard. Father of Guy P. Leonard, Grace Leonard Block, Frank V. Leonard, Stella Leonard Libby and Florence Leonard Turner.

GUY P. LEONARD
Eldest son of Abner and Stella (Boynton) Leonard was born in Eastport, Maine on April 8, 1884. His early childhood was spent in Eastport and Jacksonville, Florida where his father was in the retail fish business. After the death of his mother in 1907 he (with his sisters and brother) went to live with his maternal grandparents on their farm in West Lubec, Maine. After completing grade school he went to live with his aunt Ethel (Leonard) Menard in Boston, Mass. Here he worked for the next few years attending night school to secure a high school education. He was stationed in France during World War I returning at the close of his service to New York State. In 1919 he and Martha Marshall were married. Twin sons were born to this union.
The GI Educational Bill enabled him to complete two years at Syracuse University. After one year of teaching his dream of finishing college and a teaching career was shattered by illness as he had unknowingly contracted tuberculosis while in the service. After his recovery he went into merchandixing. Some years before his retirement he worked during the winter months for the Internal Revenue Service.
After the death of his wife he sold his New York home and returned to Maine the state of his birth to make his home with his sisters Grace Block of Bath, Maine and Stella of LaGrange.
He dide at age 80 on Nov. 25, 1974 at the Veterans Hospital in Togus, Maine.

GUY P. LEONARD [obituary]
BATH - Guy P. Leonard died Nov. 25 at the Veterans Hospital in Togus. Born in Eastport, April 8, 1894, the son of Abner F. and Stella (Boynton) Leonard, he was a veteran of World War I. He is survived by two sons, Guy Jr. of Georgia and Boynton of New York; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; three sisters, Mrs. Grace Block of Bath, Mrs. Stella Libby of LaGrange, and Mrs. Florence Turner of Long Beach, Calif.

GRACE BLOCK
Grace Boynton (Leonard) Block daughter of Abner and Stella (Boynton) Leonard was born in Eastport, Maine July 18, [1896]. In the spring of 1907 she left her parents Jacksonville, Flovida home to live with her grandparents in West Lubec, Maine. The reason for this move was the death of her mother.
She graduated from grade school and taught for a time in a country school before entering Washington State Normal School from which she was graduated in 1921. She taught in Bath, Maine until her marriage.
On April 26, 1925 she married Henry D. Block a pharmacist from New Jersey. She and Henry made their home in Jersey City, New Jersey where their two children were born. After the death of her husband, she and her two small children (Fred and Stella) returned to Bath, Maine where the children grew up.
Because of an eye problem she did not return to teaching but did food catering for special events from her home and acted as companion to elderly women. She was an active member of her church and club where her artistic talent made many events outstanding.
She lived in her home until crippling arthritis made it impossible for her to live alone. In 1979 she was forced to give up her home and and enter the Plant Retirement Home in Bath, Maine.

FRANK VERNON LEONARD
Frank Vernon Leonard third son of Abner and Stella Boynton Leonard was born September 28, 1899 in Eastport, Maine. At age seven he went to live with his grandparents Guy and Joanna (Holmes) Boynton on their farm in West Lubec, Maine. A few years after completing a grade school education he left the farm to be on his own.
On Oct. 21, 1920 he married Martha Bailey. He and Martha had two children, a daughter Clara born in 1923 and a son Charles born in 1926. They lived for some time in Princeton and East Cornith, Maine before moving to Bangor, Maine where he had a shop in which he sharpened saws and like tools.
He lived and worked in Bangor until 1947 when he was tragically struck down and killed while waiting at a bus stop. The intoxicated driver lost control of his car and ran into Frank. Frank died at the scene of the accident.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Emily M. Cavannaugh

EMILY M. CAVANNAUGH (c.1842-1918)
d. 1918 November 26; Savannah, Georgia
The obituary notes that she was the stepsister of James and John McGowan and the sister of John and Jeremiah Francis (Jr.) Cavannaugh. This John Cavanaugh must have been Edith’s father, because among Emily’s nieces are listed “Mrs. Frederick [Edith] McLintock of Mamaroneck” and “Mrs. Frederick [Blanche] Saussy”.

MISS EMILY M. CAVANNAUGH died yesterday morning after a long illness. Her funeral will take place this morning from her home, 215 Congress Street East, Savannah, followed by a requiem mass at 10 o'clock at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, of which church she was a communicant.

Miss Cavannaugh was in her 76th year. She was the (step)sister of the late James J. and John C. McGowan and sister of the late John H. and Jeremiah Francis Cavannaugh. She is survived by her sisters, Mrs. J.H. Cavannaugh and Mrs. Margaret Ellen Cavannaugh; her nieces, Miss F.R. Rosis, Sister M. John Evangelist, Mrs. Frederick McLintock of Mamaroneck, NY; Mrs. Frederick T. Saussy, Mrs. Harry E. Barker of Cherokee, IA, Mrs. J.R. Rossignol, Mrs. F. J. Skeffington and her nephews, Lieut. Jeremiah Francis Cavannaugh, Thomas Bertram Cavannaugh, Edwin Cornell Cavannaugh and James B. Copps.


According to Shannon S., a Cavannaugh descendent who lives in central Florida:

Emily M. Cavannaugh ... was the daughter of Jeremiah Francis Cavannaugh, Sr. and his first wife, Mary Elizabeth Fall. Mary Elizabeth Fall died during Emily's birth in January of 1843 and is buried in Colonial Cemetery in Savannah. Maybe that is why Emily never married.

Jeremiah Francis Cavannaugh, Sr. (1810 - 1868) was a tailor in Savannah. He came over from Ireland to Savannah on the Brig Blackboy in 1836. His first wife died in childbirth. His second wife, Bridget Egan (1815 - 1851) bore him two children (John Henry 1846-1898 and Jeremiah Francis, Jr. 1848-1896 ) and died with her third child (William Henry) in 1851. His third wife - Ellenor "Ann" Nowlet McGowan brought two sons to the marriage - James J. McGowan (1837-1901) and John C. McGowan (1838 - 1890) when she married Jeremiah in 1853.

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Stephanie


Stephanie McLintock, 1964-1992.

Please visit Stephanie Online for more about her life and work.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Block Family Headstone


John C. Block
1836-1903

Mina Block
1841-1894

Henry D. Block
1885-1934

Mina A. Block
1877-1969

Caroline Bare
1882-1974

Linden Hill Methodist Cemetery
Queens County, New York

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Henry D. Block marries Grace Boynton Leonard, April 1925.

The text of the marriage certificate, dated April 26, 1925. Grace Leonard and Henry Block were my maternal grandparents.

CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE

This Certifies That

Henry D. Block
of Jersey City, N.J.

and

Grace Boynton Leonard
of Bath, Maine

were united by me in
Holy Matrimony
on the Twenty-Six day of April in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Twenty-Five
at First Baptist Church Bath Maine

Rev. John A. Swetnam
Baptist Minister

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Tales My Mother Told Me

TALES MY MOTHER TOLD ME
Ken McLintock
a memoir of his mother, Edith Cavannaugh

Savannah-born and Georgia-educated (Wesleyan Female Seminary, Macon), my mother came north to complete her musical education. Some of her musical instruction -- both piano and voice, I think -- was under a Miss Coburn, who was related to the actor Charles Coburn. The Coburns and the Cavanaughs (my mother's family) were good friends, and my mother always referred to Charles as Charlie. (She also had a way of slighting the r in his family's name, so that what I always heard were references to "Miss Cobin" and "Charlie Cobin.") Although he was always "Charlie", she was always "Miss Cobin," so I think she must have been his aunt rather than an elder sister. That he did have a sister I am sure because both of them were in the theater and even appeared on the stage together. As I said, the Coburn and Cavanaugh families were friends, and more than once Mother told me of the time Charlie saved her from drowning when she was caught in an undertow off Tybee Island.

For years, so far as I knew, Charles Coburn -- if he was still living -- was retired and still living in Savannah. But one day (I was probably in high school by then), I was reading aloud some movie advertisements in the newspaper to help my parents and me decide which movie to see. Among the cast listed for one movie was Charles Coburn, which I pronounced carefully "Charles Co-burn", not having the faintest idea who he was. "Oh! Charlie Cobin!" my mother exclaimed, surprised and delighted that her former "beau" was in Hollywood, having taken up a movie career. However, I thought I'd better tell her she was mistaken. "No, Mother, not Cobin -- Coburn." I don't recall what her reply was, but I think she was puzzled. After all, she had been pronouncing Coburn "Cobin" all her life.
P.S. We saw that movie, and nearly every subsequent movie in which Charlie appeared.

P.P.S. Coburn had evidently kept in touch with some of the Savannah people over the years. Mother's sister, Aunt Blanche, who had moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, showed me a Christmas card she had received from him. It showed what had evidently become, over the years, his trademark: a tamoshanter and a monocle -- no face: just the tam and monocle.

Once she was in New York City, Mother studied with Mrs. Eames, mother of the Metropolitan Opera soprano Emma Eames. The Eameses were from Bath, Maine, and Emma was among the first American-born singers to sing at the Met. Needless to say, Mother attended many of Emma Eames's performances, and for years pictures of the singer in her various roles -- Elsa in Lohengrin, Marguerite in Faust, Desdemona in Otello, among others -- hung on the walls of our home.
Mother received excellent training; after all, her teacher had also been the opera singer's teacher. One result of the training was a fine sense of pitch. If she heard a singer on the radio singing flat, she would utter a cry of pretended pain and make upward motions with her hands as if to push the singer back up on key. Thanks to her training also, her pronunciation of German, French, and Italian was excellent. It was, if anything, too good. She once told me that after a recital, a woman who had been in the audience came up to her and began speaking to her in French -- an embarrassing moment. She had learned to sing French words flawlessly but had never learned to converse in French.

Mother's training, though, was not for the opera stage. Instead she sang with New York's Oratorio Society for years, and was soloist in a number of churches in the New York area. She also was a member of at least one church choir and even one synagogue choir (that of the famed Temple Emanu-El). Among the members of one of the choirs was Harry T. Burleigh, composer and arranger of Negro spirituals (as they were then called), including "Deep River". Burleigh was already well on in years when Mother knew him, and as the years went by, he would announce solemnly each year that this would be the last year he would sing "The Palms" at the Palm Sunday service.

Mother knew, directly or indirectly, a number of interesting and prominent (at least in their day) people in the music world. There was Frank Damrosch, brother of Walter. I don't recall what musical group he presided over, but my mother would say that he must have had something against tenors because he would tell the tenors exasperatedly to "sing with your brains as well as your voices." There was Victor Harris, director of the Oratorio Society, whom she admired. There was Kurt Schindler, who not only was choir director somewhere but also was compiler and arranger of a collection of songs by Russian composers (Glinka, Tschaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, et al.). One director (I don't recall who) had a stammer, and to break the stammer he would sweep his hand across his face. And there was Keith McLeod, who directed a male chorus on one of the New York radio stations, WEAF, now WNBC. It was he who got Mother a spot on WEAF for a short time. I recall seeing a note from him to Mother and noticing he had signed it with his initials, K. McL. -- my initials, too!

Most people, I suppose, who are fond of "classical" music rate the celebrated Beethoven Ninth Symphony highly. My mother did not. I think that was mainly because when the Oratorio Society performed that symphony with the New York Symphony Orchestra, the altos were always placed close to the kettledrums, and Beethoven could be unstinting with the use of that percussion instrument, especially in the Ninth, where the kettledrums attack the listener repeatedly with fortissimos. And, according to my mother, you never got enough used to them not to jump.

Besides her concert and church work, my mother did other singing: recitals. Early in this century, musicians were invited to the homes of well-to-do people -- either their New York mansions or their country estates. One such family, the Sooeysmiths (an odd name) had a place in Greens Farms, Connecticut, and my mother had happy memories of that family and that place. (I think they were the people who owned a St. Bernard dog named Clumsy.)

Finally, there were the army hospitals. World War I ended almost two years before I was born, but even as late as the mid-1920s, when I first heard about her singing to the wounded, the sight and voices of the men -- especially the faces of the "shell-shocked" casualties -- still haunted her. What did the men of the men of the hospitals enjoy hearing? I don't know, but I suppose the songs included "There's a Long, Long Trail", "Roses of Picardy", "Over There", and "It's a Long Way to Tipperary". These, particularly the first two, were probably the very first songs I heard (that must have been when I was three or four) and the first I learned to sing. (I was particularly fond of "There's a Long, Long Trail".)

I must not neglect to mention what we in our family called the phonograph, but which others called, perversely, the grammophone, and which still others, yielding to vulgar commercialism, called the Victrola. The one we had usually sat on the floor and usually in the way, though now and then it sat on a large round wicker table, which itself was even more in the way. (A more expensive model featured the standard record player at a convenient height, with record storage space below.) Our phonograph, made by the Victor Recording Company, was, in size, about a two-foot cube. It had a deep lid, with the familiar picture of the fox terrier listening to "his master's voice" inside. The front had two doors that opened out, revealing a slatted sound chamber from which came the music or speaking voices. The steel turntable, 12 inches in diameter and covered with green felt, was nominally one-speed (78 RPM), but the machine was equipped with a speed control that pivoted: "Fast" at one end of the arc, "slow" at the other end. Being a boy, I could not resist the temptation to find out what the music sounded like at either extreme -- an experiment that annoyed my mother exceedingly. Sound was picked up from the record by the old acoustical device, which simply amplified the vibrations produced as the rotating record grooves passed under the "needle" held by the pick-up. (Needles were either steel or "wooden" -- i.e., bamboo. Both wore out after only a few plays, so the phonograph was provided with built-in cups to hold new or discarded needles.) The turntable was powered by a spring-driven motor, and a removable crank was used to wind up the spring when necessary.

Like most of the things in our home during my early years, the phonograph had already been there before I became aware of it, but the reason for its presence was obvious: the many records made by some of the singers of opera's "golden age". Caruso was certainly among them, Alma Gluck was another. I'm not sure of any of the others, though we (that is, Mother) might have had a recording or two of one of the DeReszke brothers, Jean or Eduard.

Mother got memorable glimpses of musical people, which she shared with me. One was the sight of Australian composer Percy Grainger walking up a New York City street one winter day in a snowstorm, coatless, hatless and wild-haired, and carrying a harp. She would have agreed, one guesses, that Harpo Marx could not have looked more bizarre.

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Kenneth McLintock

My father, Kenneth McLintock, was born on May 21, 1920, in Mamaroneck, New York, where his family lived through 1925. He was the younger son of Fredrick Seybel McLintock and Edith Cavannaugh. His brother, Thomas McLintock (1912-1996?), worked in the Forest Service. Kenneth graduated from Greenwich (Connecticut) High School in June 1939.

Edith was born in Savannah, Georgia, on November 30, 1880; her parents were Augusta Young and John Henry Cavannaugh. Dad admired his maternal grandfather greatly, and mentioned him often in his memoirs.

Fredrick Seybel McLintock was the son of Sophia Louise Seybel and Archibald (Jr.) McLintock.

There were several Archibalds in the McLintock line; Archibald Sr., my father's great-grandfather, immigrated from Scotland with his wife Hannah Boag McLintock around 1849-1850. Archibald Jr. (Dad's grandfather) also had a son named Archibald, who married Nan Benedict.

Sophia Louise Seybel (b. February 9, 1853) was the daughter of Fredrick Seybel and Sophia Voeltgel. Her two brothers were Frederick William Seybel and Daniel Edward Seybel.

Frederick S. McLintock of New York and Edith E. Cavanaugh of Savannah, Georgia were married on November 6, 1907, according to a marriage license issued by the State of Georgia.

Frederick McLintock died on December 11, 1951; Edith died on November 10, 1953.

Frederick must have been employed at the Stamford (Connecticut) Advocate at the time of his death; a note to his widow from the publisher, dated December 14, 1951, says that "Mr. McLintock was respected and beloved by everyone in this office and will bs sorely missed."

During World War II, my father served in the 146th Field Artillery Battalion, 37th Infantry Division. His memoir from that period may be found at Pacific Memories.

He received his Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University on June 12, 1960. Towards the completion of this degree, he wrote an essay on Edwin Arlington Robinson titled "Man over Mannerism: Robinson's Challenge to the Genteel Tradition", which he submitted on May 15, 1960 to one Professor Creeger.

He married my mother, Stella Leonard Block, on August 24, 1958. They moved to South Windsor, Connecticut, around 1964, and raised their two children (Leonard, b. 1963, and Stephanie, 1964-1992) there.

Ken McLintock passed away on October 2, 2000.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Stella Leonard Block

My mother was born on October 26, 1929, in Jersey City, New Jersey. She was the younger child of Henry Dietrich Block (1885-1934) and Grace Boynton Leonard (1896-1985).

Henry Block was a pharmacist. A clipping indicates that Henry's brother, John G. Block, also had a business in Jersey City. Their sister, Mina A. Block (1877-1969) was my mother's "Aunt Mina" and her favorite "real" aunt. Mina, who divorced after a brief marriage and a baby, gave the baby son to others to raise so that she could become a nurse. A caption written by my mother next to an "awful" picture of Aunt Mina reads:
She referred to us thrugh future yrs. as her "little family in Maine". She provided us all "the extras" we wouldn't have had.

Their parents were John C. Block (1836-1903) and the elder Mina Block (1841-1894).

Grace Boynton Leonard (Grace Block), my maternal grandmother, was my only grandparent alive during my lifetime. She was born July 18, 1896, and died in August 1985 in Bath, Maine.

My mother and her brother, Frederick W. Block (1927-2005), grew up in Bath, Maine. Their mother had been a schoolteacher prior to her marriage to Henry Block. I believe the family must have moved back to Maine from New Jersey after Henry's death.

The children were raised Baptist. Stella's liflong interest in religion and scripture was passionate and complex, and this must have been apparent even in her childhood. A certificate from the Corliss Street Sunday School, dated May 1939, records that she memorized the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, the 23rd Psalm, and the Books of the Bible.

My mother's first marriage (to James J. Cousins, Jr.) lasted from November 1948 through September 1956.

At some time in 1957 she must have joined the Unitarian Church in Hartford, Connecticut, where she met my father. They are pictured together in a color photograph dated December 1957. An undated roster of that church's Young Adult Fellowship (probably from 1956 or '57) gives religious curricula vitae for its members ("belonged to the Baptist church originally"; "attended Baptist, Lutheran, and Christian Science churches"; "started as a Unitarian, got a taste of the Lutheran, Congregational & Episcopal churches and returned to Unitarianism", etc.). Among the names are the following:
Kenneth McLintock, 21 Goffe Street, Meriden, Conn.
"Ken" has been in the Hartford area for about 6 years. He was previously affiliated with Christian Science and became Unitarian last year. His interests include music and reading.

Stella Cousins, YWCA - Hartford.
Stella is originally from Bath, Maine, and has been in Hartford for 5 years. She has had a Baptist background. Her interests include music, books and chocolate ice cream.

They were married on August 24, 1958.

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Stella's First Marriage

Before she met my father, my mother was married for almost eight years to one James J. Cousins, Jr. Their Thanksgiving, 1948 marriage in Bath, Maine is the subject of a clipping in the family scrapbook; and my mother's name appears as "Stella Cousins" in a number of books from her collection. (As far as I know, she kept her name as Stella Cousins, rather than going back to her maiden name Stella Block, until her marriage in 1958 to Ken McLintock.) James Cousins appears to have been from Norway, Maine. A notation in my mother's hand records that they resided in Norway, Maine; Brockton and Havehill, Massachusetts; Hartford, Connecticut; Boston; and Hartford again, between 1948 and 1951. Another clipping states that their divorce (on the grounds of "desertion") was granted on the week ending September 29, 1956, in Hartford. I don't know what became of James J. Cousins after that.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Stephanie McLintock: A Life

CHRONOLOGY

June 2, 1964: Stephanie Lee McLintock is born at Manchester Hospital in Connecticut.

1970 - 1982: Attends public school in South Windsor, Connecticut.

1977 - 1981: Numerous awards for writing.
1977: "The Blind Owl" and other poems - Scholastic first prize in Connecticut.
1978: "A Testing of Wings" entered in Scholastic contest.
1978: "The Outsider" and other poems - national honorable mention, state Gold Key award in Scholastic contest. Subject of "The Outsider" is her brother.
1980: "George and Rum" entered in Scholastic fiction contest.
1980: "Train-Time" and other poems - Scholastic Gold Key award.
1980: "The Magic Flute Player" (fiction) - Scholastic honorable mention.
1981: "Raising Demons" (fiction) - Scholastic Gold Key; also entered in Interlochen contest.
1981: "To Hold the World" (short-short fiction) - Scholastic honorable mention in state.
1981: "The Sacrifice" (short-short) - Scholastic Gold Key.
1981: "A Cheer for Mankind" (essay) - entered in Scholastic contest. Subject of "A Cheer for Mankind" is the Voyager space probe. Essay was originally written for astronomy class.
1981: "Arrival" and other poems entered in Scholastic contest.


October 1981: Attends the last Danbury Fair, Danbury, Connecticut.

December 1981: Graduates high shcool early.

January - February 1982: Road trip to California with Larry D.

June 1982: Graduation ceremony, South Windsor High School. The Vaseline incident.

January - July 1982: Lives on Flower Street, Manchester, Connecticut.

July 1982: Attends 1982 World's Fair, Knoxville, Tennessee (May 1982 - October 1982).

July 23 - August 1, 1982: Attends Jack Kerouac conference in Boulder, Colorado.

1983: Moves back to Connecticut. Attends concerts in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Virginia.

1983: "The Voice of Conscience" (fiction).

July 15, 1983: Attends David Bowie concert at Hartford Civic Center, Connecticut.

August 1983: Moves to Boulder, Colorado. Works as an assistant to pastry chefs.

August 26, 1983: Attends Talking Heads concert at Red Rocks, Denver, Colorado.

Fall 1983: Moves in with Georgianne F. in Scotts Valley, California. Georgianne moves out to attend school at SFSU in 1983, and new roommates Tauria and Donna M. move in. Writes Iridescence. Experiences a renewal of spirit and creativity.

Summer 1984: Travels to Connecticut with Donna M. to visit her parents.

August 15 - September 3, 1984: Travels with Donna from Connecticut to San Francisco, California by train.

September 1984 - December 1984: Lives at The Anarchist House, 719 Ashbury Street, across from the Grateful Dead House (710 Ashbury). Shares household with Georgianne, Brian B., Jim C., Mark L., Felicia T., Anne Rosencrantz, and others.

January 1985: Moves with Georgianne to apartment at Fell Street on the Park Panhandle at the corner of Ashbury. This will be her home for the rest of her life.

January 1987: Enrolls at San Francisco State University.

1987: Attends numerous concerts in the Bay Area.

May 24, 1987: Participates in 50th anniversary celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Summer 1988: Georgianne moves out and Ken S. moves in.

Fall 1988: Her brother stays with Stephanie and her roommate for a couple of months.

June 15, 1989: State of Connecticut issues a wallet-size copy of birth certificate.

June 22 - 23, 1992: "Poetry in Motion" (dir. Ron Mann, 1983) screens in San Francisco. It is unclear whether Stephanie attended the event. This is the last clipping in her scrapbook.

June 27, 1992: Dies in San Francisco.

Stephanie continued to produce high-quality work until near the end of her life, when her drug and alcohol problems took an increasingly heavy toll. Despite a heroic recovery from narcotic addiction, she succumbed to the effects of heavy alcohol abuse. She was found by her roommate in her Haight-Ashbury apartment.

Stephanie's poetry can be read at the the website Wilderness Vision. Her fiction and other writing is collected at Iridescence.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ken McLintock On Teaching

From a letter applying for a teaching position, 1961.
As a teacher I believe that at least as important as developing an individual's potentialities is the passing on of certain constant and residual values of our society. A child must learn what he can make of himself, but he must also learn something of the world of adult values in which he will in time find himself. A child-centered school may be all right, providing it does not turn out a child-centered child. ...

As an English teacher I am aware that, traditionally, "English" is a catch-all which includes anything and everything to do with the spoken or written word. An English teacher is expected to "teach" such diverse subjects as poetry, punctuation, and paragraph writing; to "train" students in such diverse skills as reading, penmanship, and debating; to "guide attitudes" in reading, listening, and observing. I attempted all these in my early years of teaching, either at the behest of the school administration or at the prompting of my teachers-college-trained conscience. I now believe an English teacher should not try to cover everything, especially if he is involved in other school activities. ...

The concept basic to all others in the English classroom, it seems to me, is the effective communication of meaningful thought. If a student can not read with adequate understanding, he has not effected communication between the printed page and his mind. If he can not write or speak coherently, he has not effected communication between his mind and the eye or ear of someone else. All this is obvious. The prevalence of mediocrity in expression among high school students and graduates, however, convinces me that training in communication has not been intensive enough.

Ken McLintock: Chronology

His life and career to about 1960; from résumés and curricula vitae.

EDUCATION
Greenwich High School, Greenwich, Connecticut, 1939.
Columbia University (School of General Studies), New York, N.Y.
New Haven State Teachers College, New Haven, Connecticut.
Central Connecticut State College, New Britain, Connecticut: B.S., 1952.
University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire.
Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut: M.A.L.S., 1960.

MILITARY SERVICE
January 19, 1942 - October 10, 1945: Battery A, 136 F.A. Battalion, 37th Infantry Division.
Solomon Islands; Luzon, Philippine Islands.
Instrument operator (gun surveying); forward observer; fire control computer; machine gunner; battery recorder.
(Memoir of World War II service can be read at Pacific Memories.)
His discharge certificate records the service number 31-040-621 and date of discharge 15 October 1945. Place of discharge is Fort Devons, Massachusetts.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
Sanborn Seminary, Kingston, New Hampshire, 1951-1953.
Litchfield High School, Litchfield, Connecticut, 1953-1956.
Horace C. Wilcox Technical School, Meriden, Connecticut, 1956-1962.
Bulkeley High School, Hartford, Connecticut, 1962-?

EDITORIAL CAREER
Choice Magazine, Middletown, Connecticut, 1966-1998 (retired).

OTHER EMPLOYMENT
Northam Warren Corporation, Stamford, Connecticut, 1946-1947. Lab assistant and color matcher. Also wrote a column for the company newsletter.

REFERENCES
Wilcox Technical School: George Weaver, Director.
State Technical School: Carmelo Greco, Director.
Litchfield High School: Robert McNeil, Principal; Lilyan Nelson, English Department.
Wesleyan University: Professor Paul Reynolds.
Teachers College of Connecticut: Dr. Etzel Willhoit; Dr. Mary E. Fowler
Sanborn Seminary: Arnold W. Bartlett, Headmaster.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

The Clock

Right now, on top of the bookshelf in front of me, there sits a clock. It has an elegantly curved wooden case, about eight inches high and eighteen inches long. The brand name "Sessions" appears in the lower part of the stained, burnished face. The hours are marked on the face in classic, Arabic numerals and the crystal is on a hinged door that allows you to open it to wind the clock. You wind the clock with a key (the key sits atop the bookshelf next to the clock) which fits into two separate holes, one to wind the clock itself and another to wind the striker mechanism. The clock chimes on the hour with the appropriate number of strokes, and once on the half-hour as well.

The clock is ticking. It says the correct time and it keeps time reliably, as it has done as long as I can remember. This is the clock my parents kept in the living room of our house the whole time I was growing up. I'm told that my father bought it when my parents bought the house.

Once when I was a kid - I was twelve years old - I hid something in the clock. It was a secret. It was a piece of notebook paper with some magic writing on it. My parents were out of the house, perhaps shopping, and I was home alone. I must have stood on a chair to reach the clock (it sat on top of a bookcase then, too). I tucked the paper back in the corner of the clock case, where no one would be likely to find it. I don't believe anyone ever did. As far as I know, it has been my secret alone until this moment.

Last night I was chatting with a friend who's a Jung geek. Our conversation brought to mind my mother's old psychology books. (Mom was a brilliant, deeply troubled, self-educated intellectual.) Among her books was Carl Jung's "Memories, Dreams, Reflections", which is now on the bookcase below the clock. Re-reading an early chapter ("First Years") last night, I came across young Carl's fascination with a mannikin that he carved from a ruler at about ten years of age and then hid in a pencil box.
Secretly I took the case to the forbidden attic at the top of the house (forbidden because the floorboards were worm-eaten and rotten) and hid it with great satisfaction on one of the beams under the roof - for no one must ever see it! I knew that not a soul would find it there. No one could discover my secret and destroy it.

The figure is linked in the boy's mind with the memory of a rock on which he would sit and meditate, losing his sense of self. The passage is worth reading in its entirety. For me, there was a flash of recognition with the magic talisman in the clock.

I retrieved the paper from the clock after my mother passed away. (In fact, it was one of the first things I remembered to do.) Why do I save all this stuff? Does it give my life meaning that it otherwise might not have? Does it help me to convince myself that all of us, even my parents, perhaps even I myself, are worthy of such minute attention? Do I hope to understand myself better, perhaps the better to unravel the troubling riddles of my own life, by delving deep into the relics of my origins?

I don't know what I was hoping to accomplish by putting the magic paper in the family clock. Maybe it was a promise made to my future self: come back, remember, do not forget me.

The clock is still ticking, and I am still alive. I have not forgotten.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ken McLintock, Writer

My living recollection of my father consists almost entirely of his years with Choice Magazine, which reviews books for academic libraries. He was also something of a writer. Some of his poetry can be found at Urban Renewal. He also left a 126-page typewritten memoir of his experiences in the Pacific in World War II. I am currently in the process of posting that document at Pacific Memories.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The McLintock Line

Ken McLintock was the younger of two brothers. The elder brother, Thomas Fredrick McLintock, was born September 28, 1912. But the two brothers were preceded - and predeceased - by a sister who died in infancy. Three sepia photographs in the family scrapbook show a laughing baby girl in a bonnet. She is Baby Jean (1909-1910).

My father left a written remembrance of his mother. Edith Cavannaugh (1880-1953) was a singer from Savannah, Georgia, who moved to New York to continue her musical education. Edith was the daughter of Augusta Young and John Henry Cavannaugh.

Frederick Seybel McLintock, the father of Kenneth and Thomas, was the son of Archibald (Jr.) McLintock and Sophia Louise Seybel. Arch's father, Archibald Sr., immigrated from Scotland around 1850, after marrying Hannah Boag in Dumbartonshire, Scotland, January 1, 1847. This first generation of American McLintocks settled in New York. A relative in the New York area writes:
Archibald Sr. and Hannah had three sons: Archibald Jr., Robert, and David. Archibald Sr. was quite successful, owning a major partnership in a general merchandise store (and likely other businesses as well) in Manhattan, and son David owning one in Brooklyn, NY.

Robert D. McLintock's wife's name was Elizabeth; David Boag (b. January 22, 1850; d. September 24, 1901) was married twice, first to Mary Montgomery and then to Helen Amy Bligh.

Sophia Louise Seybel was born February 9, 1853 and lived at 107 Eighth Avenue, New York. She was a public school teacher until she married Archibald McLintock on February 1, 1877. She and her two brothers (Fredrick William and Daniel Edward) were raised in a three-story brick house. Their parents died in 1875 from pneumonia.

The parents of Sophia, Daniel, and Frederick Seybel were Frederick Seybel (Sr.) and Sophia Voeltgel. The senior Frederick Seybel and Sophia Voeltgel were married on May 9, 1852. Frederick Sr. was the fifth child of Jacob Seybel, Jr., born April 1, 1808. He immigrated in 1863.

Jacob Seybel Sr. was born April 11, 1779 at Bischweiler, Alsace-Lorraine. He married Anna Marie Joerger in 1806. Their children were Jacob Jr., William, Daniel, Anna Marie, Elizabeth, Magdalina, and Louise.

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Monday, August 08, 2005

My Mother's Theology

Stella's first ambition - which lasted until age 12 - was to become a missionary. She had been taught that there were millions of poor souls in Africa and India and China who knew nothing of Christianity and who were in peril of Hell if they were not saved. Clearly someone needed to save them.

But the apparent injustice of condemning all these people troubled Stella, and she found it hard to believe that a compassionate God would send people to Hell for no fault of their own. Eventually some teacher of pastor confided that the infidels who had never heard the teachings of Christianity were in no danger; it was only those who had been offered salvation, and knowingly rejected it, who would face damnation.

Well, if that was the case, she reasoned, then the missionaries ought to leave well enough alone! Clearly they were doing more harm than good. And so, on the page in the family album dating from 1940-1941 ("Grade 7, Age 12, Mrs. Severin"), my mother notes:
This was the year I learned heathens who had not heard of Christ weren't necessarily going to hell. End of missionary.

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Church Memory Book

Among my mother's effects is an autograph book, a small blue volume carrying the title "My Church Memory Book". The first inscription (on the page headed "My Pastor") is from the Rev. Frederick P. Moffatt of Bath, Maine, with the Scriptural citation Galatians 2:20: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

Most of the signatures are dated around March 18 - 21, 1942. Stella would have been about 12 1/2 years old. Some of the entries carry humorous or pithy messages:
Once you had a parrot but you killed it in a rage.
For every time your boyfriend came the darn thing told your age.
- Beverly Rogers, Corliss Street

Brunswick girls are pretty
Portland girls are smart
But it takes a girl from Bath
to break a fellow's heart.
- Gloria Rogers, Corliss Street

I had a little cat
I fed him on tin cans
And when the little kittens came
They came in Ford Sedans.
- Jean MacDonald

Remember me when far far off
where the woodchucks die
with the whooping cough.
- Betty Hopkins, Corliss Street

The very best of luck to a future teacher from a teacher.
- Mary A. Morris, Portland, Maine

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When Henry Met Grace

My maternal grandparents met in the early 1920s and were married on April 26, 1925.

A family scrapbook preserves a pamphlet from a campground called The Firs in Rockwood, Maine. In the margins, the following notes are written in Grace Block's hand:

I first met my husband at this place while I was teaching at Rockford and he was on a vacation.

[Under a photograph of a cabin] I shared one of these little houses with a woman from Mass., but we [ate] all meals at the Main Camp.

The pamphlet and an accompanying valentine card are dated 1922.

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Popular Bath Teacher Married on Sunday

[Undated newspaper clipping on the marriage of Grace Boynton Leonard. The wedding occurred on April 26, 1925.]

Sunday afternoon, about 50 friends witnessed a very pretty wedding, solemnized at Elm Street church by Rev. J. E. Swetnam, when Grace B. Leonard became the wife of Henry M. Block.

At 1.30, Osgood McBean accompanied Mr. Block to the altar, when he awaited his bride who becomingly gowned in a white crepe-de-chine dress, and carrying a bouquet of white pinks, swinsona, and maidenhair fern, and a dainty white Prayer Book, entered on the arm of W. D. Coombs, as Miss Martha Bates, supervisor of public school music, of Bath, played Wagner's Wedding March from Lohengrin.

After a very impressive ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Block marched out as Miss Bates played Mendelssohn's wedding march.

After the wedding, Mr. and Mrs. Block were taken to the home of Mr. McBean, where they were guests of Mrs. William Dow and Mrs. Osgood McBean at a wedding supper with a few friends. Those present were Mr. and Mrs. John Tyler, Mr. and Mrs. William Dow, Mr. and Mrs. McBean and Miss Sadie Coombs.

Mrs. Block is a graduate of Machias State Normal school and for the last three years has been a much beloved and efficient teacher in the Mitchell school, and she will be a loss to the teaching profession in Bath.

She has the good wishes of a host of friends in Bath as she and her husband go to their house in Jersey City, where Mr. Block is well known as a pharmacist.

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The Family of Ken McLintock and Stella Block

"The Town Down the River" has been created to record genealogical information on the families of my parents, Stella Leonard (Block) McLintock and Kenneth McLintock.

This blog will include trivia, memorabilia, documentation, and other information pertaining to my family of origin. Relatives and other interested persons wishing to exchange information are encouraged to contact me.

In the context of discussing family history, I often refer to family members (including parents) by their personal names; this is done for clarity and is not meant to be disrespectful.

The title "The Town Down the River" is from a poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson, who was a favorite of both my parents.
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