Thursday, October 4, 2018

David Balser

Rest in Peace, David Balser.

News of his death reached me this evening.  He was 75, and we were in classmates at Danvers High. I thank classmate Marsha Coogan for informing us, sending a link to this notice in the Salem News yesterday:

"David K. Balser, a resident of Newburyport, died peacefully at his home on September 30, 2018 with his wife, Susan, and his dog, Brady, by his side.

David was born in Salem, MA on January 19, 1943 to the late Arthur and Wilma (Wentworth) Balser. David grew up in Danvers, MA and attended Danvers High School and graduated from Brewster Academy. During his school years David particularly excelled in basketball at Danvers High School. He coached Little League Baseball and Youth Soccer in Danvers."
  For more information, see

Friday, August 10, 2018

Betty Clay

Today I am remembering my cousin Betty Clay, who lived in Danvers 93 years. I visited her last October, and enjoyed hearing her stories of earlier days.

News of Betty's death reached me today in CA, where I happen to be visiting Stuart Brewster, her cousin and mine.

You can read about her life here:   Salem News notice re Betty Clay

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

July 4th memories

I have memories of large family gatherings at Pine Knoll for the Fourth of July. We sat outdoors in the shade of the large pines beside that old house, and visited with the great aunts May and Margaret Nichols, who still lived in that house where they had grown up. A beautifully carved watermelon looked like a basket with a large handle; inside the rind/basket was a delicious assortment of cut fruit. There were of course many other foods served this picnic, and many cousins and other relatives in attendance. As a small girl I barely knew who was who, except that they were all somehow related to us, part of this extended family with connections to this old-fashioned house on the pine knoll in the Hathorne section of Danvers.

I've written before about my memories of Pine Knoll, including tales of July 4th.  (Use the Search Box, upper left, with keywords "july fourth" or Pine Knoll, to find my previous posts.)

Today, instead of repeating those tales, I'm reflecting about how much more I now know, and appreciate, about the family history. For many months this year I have been immersed in "The Pine Knoll Story" – a long book-draft compiled and written by my cousin Janet Nichols Derouin. With her permission, I've been making some edits and preparing the files for sharing. Yesterday I was puzzling out possible designs for a new website on which to post illustrations and charts (e.g., genealogy) to accompany the written story. Stay tuned. I'll announce the site if/when I get it created.

Many family descendants who recall those Fourth of July picnics at Pine Knoll may be interested in the back story, of how and when and why that homestead was built, and the love-story leading to the 1861 marriage of Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Nichols, who had 8 children at Pine Knoll.