Friday, December 31, 2010

The Amazing Melzini!!

Almost a half century ago, my older brother Phil
taught me a magic card trick.
I have loved teaching it to my grandchildren
as they get older-- so fun!
Here is Melanie practicing her magician skills.
We have had such a wonderful holiday in Texas with
many of our grandchildren.
Happy New Year to everyone!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Completely by accident,
I learned that BYU has a scrapbook
my g-great-grandfather kept.
I spent an hour today taking 300 photos of
the articles and information he saved.
You can double-click on any photo
to get a closer look.William Driver emigrated to the US from England
in 1866. He opened
a successful drug store in Ogden.
The scrapbook had some ads for the store. He served all the people of Ogden...
He ran for various offices over the years,
and the scrapbook has many articles about
elections and meetings.
He did have enemies.
I loved this caricature and found it
fun that he put this article in his scrapbook.
William helped his brother Jesse
emigrate in 1875.
William returned to England as a missionary in 1879.
In addition to losing this son, he and his wife Charlotte
lost 10 other children. Seven survived to adulthood.
William used this ticket on his return across the US in 1880.
There is no question my father is
a descendant of this man!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Deep Fat Fried Turkey and Sweet Potatoes

We had a fun day on Friday,
which was our Thanksgiving.
More company invaded us.
Sometimes the cousins tended each other.
Jeff and Steve doctored the turkey with
a delicious mesquite sauce.
Then Ben dropped it in a vat of boiling oil.
We have to sacrifice gravy
in exchange for the best meat ever.
This year we added fried sweet potatoes.
Chris joined us. He brought PIE.
Justin found a new admirer.
Two little ones had the first bites.
Then the bigger cousins feasted.
The kids played while the adults ate.
But they helped clean up.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Grandkids came to play with me!
We went for a walk.
I feel like we've been invaded,
but in a good way.
An especially good way.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Photos of a MGR Installation

Ben and his associates installed two merry-go-rounds this week.
I received these pictures in the night and decided to share.
The merry-go-rounds generate electricity.
The kids love them.
Ben has worked for 5 years to develop the technology
so these are fun -- not work.
If you can imagine, the students have never seen a MGR before.
I never saw playground equipment at all while we were there,
although I was told a few well-off schools had some.
Ben has teamed up with an American playground company,
Playworld Systems,
who built these latest merry-go-rounds.
Their motto is: The world needs play.
Isn't that great?
The villagers have a huge celebration
when a merry-go-round is installed.
Lots of poetry, speeches and dancing.
While I was in Ghana during our mission,
little kids would often rub my skin.
It was clear they were trying to rub the white off.
I couldn't believe it at first, but it happened so often that
I became sure that's what was happening.
When my nephew Chris Owen first went to Ghana last spring,
he brought home pictures of dancers with this white paint.
And then I suddenly understood a little better.The electricity from the merry-go-rounds
charges these lanterns designed for Ben by Energizer.
They will hold a charge for a month.
It's dark at 6 every night in Ghana,
but now the students have light for homework.
Test scores are rising.
Kids are reading.
All I can say is, what a retirement for Ben!
(Thanks, Chris -- for these photos!)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ben in the Jungle, Again

Ben is in Ghana this month.
His retirement consists of building merry-go-rounds
that generate electricity.
The villagers in Akyrematang were particularly excited to
be chosen for a MGR. They live a half mile from the nearest road.
Ben, who has been to the village several times,
told the headmaster he would arrive this morning at 9.
The waiting villagers quickly emptied the truck
and carried thousands of pounds of equipment
through the jungle.
I happen to know the West Africans think
we are handicapped because
we can't carry stuff on our heads.
Ben hustled to keep up with all of them.
He thought getting the parts to the village
would take most of the day.
They had cleared the trails, put planks over the streams,
and in no time at all the equipment was at the school.
The installation will be a big event next week.
Ben is having a good trip.
I am so proud of him!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bradley Makes A Visit!

Brad brought his mom for a visit.
He didn't want much to do with me,
but he did want my camera.
He likes to walk around furniture.
He didn't care this was my grandmother's chair,
but he liked the caning.
I was a little hurt that he went straight
to Ben when he got home from church.
But lickety-split -- Brad took his glasses.We had dinner -- Bradley ate leftover blueberry
pancakes from breakfast.
Bradley thought Ben's merry-go-round
was a terrific idea!
It was such a pretty evening that we went for a walk.
We stopped by the pond to say hello
to Papa's koi.The koi said hello back.
When we got home, Bradley decided he'd
like to do a little swimming himself.
His daddy used to play with those toys, btw.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Collins Telle Cannon Photos 1910-1915

Shortly before my father died,
he gave me a very old photo album and said,
"I don't know many of the people in this album."
The album was so old and fragile that I didn't even open it.
I remembered it this morning as I started to scan in photos
and decided to take a look.
What a treasure!
My grandfather Collins Telle Cannon was called to
serve in the French Mission in 1910.
The album, which crumbled every time I touched it,
included these photos.
Collins T. Cannon is on the left.
How many of us Cannons have posed
in front of a cannon?
Elder Cannon on the far right.
I was not surprised to see a resemblance to his father,George,
but I was surprised to see how much
his great-grand-son Mark resembles him.
What a serious pose!
This appears to be his room in Paris.
Elder Cannon is on the left.
Like any missionary, he took photos of famous sites.
Do you recognize Maxims?
A quaint sight -- cobblestones, oxen and a wagon of wood.
The Eiffel Tower was only 20 years old in this photo.
Take your eyes off the statue and look at the pant cuffs.
I believe Elder Cannon is on the left.
Notice their footwear and the cane.
Elder Cannon is standing in the back left.
This looks like a fun group.
The woman in the front right showed up in many photos.
I'm hoping she was an investigator.
How many photos of meals are there so far?
Is there any doubt that Collins Burton is this man's son?
Look closely at Elder Cannon's face, far left.
[No matter how hard I tried, I could not read the writing.
Double click if you want to try.]
Who else can see the resemblance to Erik?
I like the white shirt, white tie.
I had a few days like this on my mission, too.There weren't many labels on these photos,
but I think Elder Cannon is on the far right.
I especially like their hats.Dad put some labels in the album.
I left this one -- that's his handwriting, not Elder Cannon's.Is this the Paris we think of today?
A thoughtful pose.
I cropped a lot out of this photo,
but Dad thought it was taken on Christmas Day 1910.
I rarely saw my grandfather without a beret.
This is where it started, of course.
He did not keep the mustache.
I'm sure the elders had a fun day in the French Alps.
I believe Elder Cannon is 2nd from the right.Maybe they had too much fun!
Elder Cannon, second from left, with companions
on the ship home, March 1913.
I have to assume this photo is after his mission.
He's second from the left.
Please notice his shoes.
Dad identified the friend as Harry.
I cannot guess anything about the photo,
except I know I love the boots.
Perhaps there was some civil engineering involved.
I can't explain this picture at all, either.
Grandfather is on the right.
Did he have a past as a miner that I don't know about?
The faint caption identifies Ida May Burton on the left.
Grandmother Cannon told me Collins impressed her.
In this photo, he is driving, she is in the front.
I did not scan this photo in backwards.
I don't know why the steering wheel on the right.
I suspect Ida May is barely 20 in this photo.
Collins was about 26.
The friend on the left is Anne, according to Dad's caption.
Collins is in the center and sweet Ida May is on the right.
I recognize Harry on the left.
Collins and Ida May are on the right.
Notice they are in the mountains all dressed up for a picnic.
That was how things were done in those days.
Nana seems to be having such a wonderful time.
I love her shoes, but I'm not sure I would have
liked all the buttons.
I believe a phonograph is on the left.
Collins and Ida May are in the back.
That other man isn't Harry,
so this is a different picnic in the mountains.
Collins in the center.
I am pretty sure Ida May is on the right.
I love those buttons!
I don't know the leg of beef story.
I'll ask Aunt Maydae.
Collins T. and Ida May married in 1915.
[Update: I spoke with Aunt Maydae.
She has never seen missionary photos of her father
and did not know this album existed.
I'll show it to her very soon.]

Thank you, Julie. You're Welcome, Louie.

Did I really want to start this last post of Steve's visit with another picture of my groupies watching Star Trek?  I sure did.  We'...