Monthly Archives: August 2014

Friday August 31, 1934

Left Van Horn at 3:45 A.M after a hectic day of packing.  Saw Copenhavers and lost my money but Junior lent me enough to get to Roswell – Very nice trip over.  Did not deliver Mrs. Ballard’s polvera*  in the scramble . Mrs. Burdette me- 

*spanish dictionary

What else was happening 80-years-ago-today.

The college All-star football game between the best college players and the Chicago Bears was played at Soldier Field in Chicago.


The German press office announced that 65,000 Jews had emigrated from Germany since Hitler became chancellor on January 30, 1933. 21,000 of them had gone to France, 10,000 to Palestine, 8,000 to Poland and 4,000 to Czecheslovakia.

The Nightmare of 1934 painting was vandalized by an illegal immigrant who set it on fire because he found it offensive to the Roosevelt family.
Chicago Daily Tribune Aug 31, 1934
Chicago Daily Tribune Aug 31, 1934


Thursday August 30, 1934

(no entry) We know she is spending time with family in El Paso and preparing for the move to Roswell for her second teaching job.  Her next entry is tomorrow!

A look ahead: She is getting ready to leave for Roswell.   I’m surprised how often this teacher stays out late on a work night. And we find out what movie inspires the latest dance craze!  

Here’s a look at what was making headlines 80 years-ago today.

President Roosevelt signed the Guffey Coal Act and the Revenue Act of 1935 into law.

The Reichsmusikkammer banned non-Aryans from playing in German orchestras.

Nazi Germany ordered workers under 25 years of age to surrender their jobs to older unemployed men, especially fathers of large families. All employers would be required to submit reports to the labour office divulging the number of workers they employ under the age of 25 and what measures they would be taking to replace them

El Paso Herald-Post August 30, 1934
El Paso Herold-Post August 30, 1934



Wednesday August 29, 1934

(no entry) We know she is spending time with family in El Paso and preparing for the move to Roswell for her second teaching job.

What’s ahead for this working gal in the Wild West – stay tuned to find out why Ty-Ty scolds her after  receiving flowers from Elizabeth following an operation.

But here’s a look at what was happening in the news 80-years-ago-today.

The engagement of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott was announced.

Andrés Ignacio Menéndez became President of El Salvador.

The adventure film The Count of Monte Cristo starring Robert Donat and Elissa Landi was released.


romney paper
Interesting headline from the El Paso Herald-Post August 29, 1934




Arnold and Elizabeth 1953

While Elizabeth is on hiatus, I have invited guest writers.  This poem is one from her daughter-in-law Dixie Carsey.  Who has published her own book of poetry.  It describes the first time she met her future in-laws. 

She was buoyant!

He was tall.

She was sprite

A gentleman was he, and enjoyed friends, all!


Meeting these two

would change the way

I look at family

even to this day

They were both teachers

but who would guess

that I’d be their number one pupil

and I hope I passed the test.

Their years of love and giving

would be gifts that I’d unwrap

and allow me to grow with my own children

with nothing expected back

I met these two individuals

for the first time you see

and it changed the way I saw the world

and even a part of me.

I wanted more of these genuine folks

but amiss I had to head back.

Lucky me I soon married their son

 and knew a family I’d never lack. 

Dixie Carsey 2014

Tuesday August 28, 1934

(no entry) We know she is spending time with family in El Paso and preparing for the move to Roswell for her second teaching job.

A little bit to look forward to in the coming months – she hopes to get her own apartment in Roswell – it’s harder than you think.  And you’ve heard of school overcrowding – wait until you find out how many students are in her homeroom class!

Here’s what else was happening 80-years-ago today:

Upton Beall Sinclair Jr.jpgMuckraking author Upton Sinclair won the Democratic Party nomination for Governor of California.

The Challenge International de Tourisme aviation contest opened in Warsaw, Poland

In an address to 2,000 Catholic nurses, Pope Pius XI commented on the Abyssinia Crisis by saying, “A war of sheer conquest and nothing else would certainly be an unjust war. It ought, therefore, to be unimaginable – a thing sad and horrible beyond expression. An unjust war is unthinkable. We cannot admit its possibility, and we deliberately reject it … if it be true that the need for expansion and the need for frontier defence do exist, then we cannot forbid ourselves from hoping that the need will be met by means other than war.”

A crowd protests the courts closing  The Caravan Club, a gay friendly club in London.

Some more about the W.A. Carsey Family.


Carsey family 1953: From left: Alan, Norman, Elizabeth, Tommy, Arnold, Frank
Carsey family 1953: From left: Alan, Norman Elizabeth, Tommy,
Arnold, Frank

Elizabeth and Arnold married in 1938.  They celebrated 47 wedding anniversaries before Arnold died of a stroke.  They have four children – all boys.  Weldon Alan was born in 1939 and earned a BA in Electrical Engineering from the University of NM.  Norman was born a year later and attended the University of NM before going into business with his father and Alan in Flagstaff, AZ.  Alan went on to purchase a campground in Maine and Norman retired from the Westinghouse Nuclear Facility in New Mexico.   Frank came along in 1943.  He and younger brother Tommy, born in 1946, went on to earn PHD’s.    Frank earned his Doctorate in Physics from UCLA.  He worked on experiments in Antarctica.   Before retiring, he was published in several scientific journals and even appeared in two scientific documentary’s.  Tom has been published in many journals as well for his research for NOAA in the Coastal Ecosystem Group and Ocean Chemistry.   Grandma was so proud of her son’s.  She said she was only waiting for one to receive a Nobel Prize!nobel


Obviously intelligence was not on short order in the Carsey household, with two teachers at the helm, it was probably expected.   Please remember, Grandma taught Spanish and English – they were probably the only scientists and engineers with proper grammar!

Throughout their childhood, the Lancaster siblings were also a strong influence for the Carsey boys.   They grew up knowing their aunts, uncles and cousins.   Many keep in touch to this day.   In fact, since I grew up in the same town as my grandparents, I was also privy to the Lancaster’s special connection.   We would often attend celebrations where the group would open up singing “Hallelujah”  at the top of their lungs – often with wine glasses raised in the air for a toast!  Such love and fun!


Monday August 27, 1934

(No Entry) She is still in El Paso spending time with her family.   She will head to Roswell, NM to begin a new teaching job soon.

A note on what you can expect in the months to come.  She is looking for love and seeking advice – what a fortune teller has to say about it all!

Here’s what else was happening 80-years-ago today:

At the stroke of midnight the 74th United States Congress adjourned for the year, five and a half hours into a filibuster by Huey Long of a $103 million social securities bill.

The Soviet Union rejected the U.S. government’s protest note, replying that it had “no facts which could be regarded as a violation on the part of the Soviet Government of its obligations.”

Copies of the latest issue of the American magazine Time appeared on British newsstands with one page torn out, referring to alleged intrigues by Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark to place her husband Prince George, Duke of Kent on the throne of Greece

Grandma is on hiatus for a few days.  She was not only a big part of my life, but of my siblings as well. Below is what my  sister had to say at her funeral.

Hello everyone, my name is Alena Carsey Gfeller, I am Elizabeth’s granddaughter. I have been asked to eulogize my grandmother today, and I am honored to do so.

Alena and Grandma 2007
Alena and Grandma 2007

As many of you know, this is not the first funeral I have had to attend recently. Last August, my nephew Matt (on my husband’s side) died at the young age of 15. As you can imagine, Mattie’s death has given me a new perspective on a lot of things. But, having gone through such a tragic event has actually made my job today easier. The simple fact is that I think we all would consider ourselves lucky to live to age 99 and to be able to say we have lived such a joyous and fulfilled life as my grandmother.

Elizabeth 6 months
Elizabeth 6 months

Elizabeth Lancaster Carsey did, in fact, live a very long and full life. She was born in 1909 at the turn of the century in Camagüey, Cuba. Grandma died just 3 months short of 100 years old. We can only imagine what she saw and experienced in her 99 years and 9 months of life. There are events that you and I have read about in history books, but my Grandma actually lived them. Think, since 1909, grandma witnessed changes such as in the:

1910’s – sinking of Titanic and the first world war

1920’s – color television, Lindburgh’s famous flight

1930s – the FIRST great depression

1940’s – Attack on Pearl Harbor and WWII

1950’s – construction began on the interstate highway system

1960’s saw the civil rights movement

And, all of this happened before I was born. I was born in 1969 – when Grandma was 60. But… we are not here for a history lesson. We are here to celebrate the life of an extraordinary woman. A woman who played an integral part of my life.

What I want to remember today and always, and what I want to share with you, is the legacy that Grandma created, the memories that she inspire including her children and her grandchildren.

As we sit here today, a day to celebrate a life – Elizabeth’s life, we should remember what an amazing woman we had as a mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, neighbor or friend.

I have such vivid memories of this wonderful woman. I was lucky enough to be born and raised here in Flagstaff. I was lucky enough to have grandparents who lived just down the street. Grandma and Grandpa Carsey were always in our lives – beginning with my earliest memories as a child.

When thinking about what to say here today, my mind filled with colorful memories of this vivacious, proud, special (and sometimes stubborn) woman. My memories of Grandma can be triggered by simple words – words that associate my childhood, my teenage years and then my adulthood with my grandparents. I am sure that many of you have special ways to remember loved ones – but I think we may share many of these memories of Elizabeth via certain what I call “trigger” words..


Let’s start with the word Arnold, in my mind AKA Grandpa – in more formal terms, Willaim Arnold Carsey.

Carsey family: From left William Alan, Norman, Elizabeth, Tommy Arnold and Frank
Carsey family 1953: From left
Alan, Norman, Elizabeth, Tommy, Arnold and Frank

Grandpa was the love of grandma’s life, the father of her children and most importantly for me, my grandfather. Grandma and Grandpa met as young teachers, they married and had 4 children – all boys, Alan, Frank, Norman and Tommy. Grandma and Grandpa were inseparable – doing everything together – working, living, teaching, raising a family, going into business with their son, traveling after retirement, taking care of perfect grandchildren. One particular memory of Grandma and Grandpa was that when taking care of those perfect grandchildren, they would talk in Spanish when they did


not want us to know what they were saying. Grandpa suffered a debilitating stroke in 1975 and Grandma never left his side. Grandpa died 10 years later having experienced a wonderful quality of life that was completely attributable to grandmother. Grandma catered to Grandpas every need during this time without complaint. Now, my Grandma and Grandpa can be together, as they always have been and should be as eternity dictates.

Another word to describe Grandma – Music! Grandma loved music. She studied music while attending DePauw University and we all know that her piano was a part of her. Grandma shared her gift of music with her countless piano students from the neighborhood, her family, friends and pretty much anyone who wanted to listen. I know I will always remember the music that filled her home.

Mexico. Grandma spent many of her young years living in Mexico with her missionary parents and siblings. Anyone who ever stepped foot into Grandma’s house – knew of her love for Mexico. Yes, that little red house with the lime green carpet and lime green walls was filled to the brim with Mexican art, rugs, and knickknacks. Also, her enchiladas were fabulous!

Red. Grandma loved the color red. She had a red house, red cars, loved red everything. green thhumbPretty much the only thing about this woman that was not red was her thumb (which was undeniably green).

Christmas – Grandma loved Christmas. As many of you may remember, as I do, Grandma played bells right here at Trinity Methodist. I can vividly remember sitting in these pews year after year watching and listening to the Christmas concerts of bells and being so very proud that MY grandma was part of such a beautiful concert. In addition, the word Christmas for all of the neighbors from Smokerise will be reminiscent of the Christmas pageants at the Carsey house year after year. The camaraderie, the festivities and the music that filled that little red house. You may also remember that my brother (Warren), sister (Shanna) and I were the nativity scene  (Mary, Joseph and the Angel) year, after year, after year…

These are but a few of the memories that I have of my grandmother. I am sure that each one of you sitting here today has a loving and lasting memory of this very special woman..

I can only hope that I can inspire my children and grandchildren as Grandma has inspired me. I find comfort that Grandma is in a better place. I find comfort in knowing that I was a part of her life.

Look around. Who has come here to celebrate Elizabeth’s life. I see family from as close as Flagstaff, to as far away as Seattle and Miami. I see friends including neighbors and church goers. I see what an impact my grandmother had on others. This is a tribute to her, to her life and her lasting legacy.

I thank you for letting me share my thoughts and memories. My memories run very deep for my very special grandma. I love you Grandma – rest in peace and say hello to Grandpa for me.



Sunday August 26, 1934

(no entry)  We know she is spending time with family in El Paso and preparing for the move to Roswell for her second teaching job.

Here’s what else was happening 80-years-ago today:

The biggest boxing event ever staged in Germany was held in Hamburg, as 90,000 fans watched former champion Max Schmeling begin his bid for a comeback by knocking out Walter Neusel in the ninth round


A little note about things to look forward to. You will never believe who Carsey pal’s around with and she finds a doppelganger!


Music was a big part of her life. Being a minister’s child the Lancaster’s were always surrounded by music. Elizabeth was fabulous on both the piano and the organ. She grew up playing during service while her father preached. After she retired, she offered piano lessons out of her home and left a lasting memory on her students. It was this July, on facebook, that I found these comments from a post reminiscing about the neighborhood you grew up in…



E.S.V Piano lessons with Mrs. Carsey.

July 19 at 11:19pm · Unlike · 4

J.Z.D Yes, Mrs Carsey. We used to go over for her homemade Popsicles after riding our bikes all day.

July 19 at 11:22pm · Unlike · 1

I thanked them for remembering her….and got this!

E.S.V.  Mrs. Carsey was one of a kind, and I could never forget her. I’m glad I had the privilege of being one of her piano students!

July 20 at 8:18pm · Unlike · 5

G.G. Man me too!

July 20 at 9:17pm · Unlike · 1

B.L.  I remember Mrs. Carsey, she was always a nice lady.

July 20 at 9:19pm · Unlike · 2

W.B.P.  I remember that Mrs Carsey would make me chocolate milk and cinnamon toast after my piano lessons…such a thoughtful and extraordinary lady. Sure miss her.

July 20 at 9:22pm · Unlike · 2

And each December those students became stars!    At Arnold’s request her annual recital would happen during the holidays.   Each student would take turns playing their music, each spectator would be handed have a book of Carol’s and would be expected to sing.    How fun that was – I looked forward to it each year. I’d love to hear from some of those students – ‘er stars – on the experience.

Many of the neighborhood students knew she played the organ, piano and hand bells at her church, but she also volunteered, for years, at the Spanish Methodist Church across town; a place I’m sure she fit in quite well.

Saturday August 25, 1934

(no entry) We know she is spending time with family in El Paso and preparing for the move to Roswell,  NM for her second teaching job.

A note about what to expect before the end of the year. A WEDDING!  Yes there will be a wedding before 1935!  Can’t wait to share it with you.
Here’s what else was happening 80-years-ago today:
Coat of arms of Jordan.png
The Coat of arms of Jordan was made the official emblem of the country.
Hack Wilson of the Philadelphia Phillies played in his final major league game, getting a 2-RBI base hit as a pinch hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates

In the meantime, here is a little bit about where Elizabeth came from.  Her middle name Whipple is the maiden name of her mother. – Elsie Whipple.

elsie portrait
Elsie Whipple

That was often the tradition in those days – to pass along a maiden name to the first born female.    This was one area she would make a face – she was not fond of Whipple for a middle name.   In fact, after she was married she kept Lancaster rather than Whipple.  Interestingly enough, there is an entire genealogy site dedicated to the Whipple’s.   I just discovered it as I researched the family for this site.   I had heard through the years, that many of the relatives were college educated.   In fact, somewhere there is a photograph of a great-great relation, receiving a diploma  from Brown University in Boston.   That relative was one of only two woman to receive a degree that year- the photo was taken some time in the late 1800′s.   In fact, it was expected that Elizabeth go to college and as the oldest she was also expected to send money to help pay for the younger siblings higher education.    All five earned at least a bachelor degree.   If you venture onto the Whipple website – you will see big names: Susan B. Anthony,   Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt – believe it or not, there have been three US war ships named Whipple.

USS Whipple
USS Whipple

Notorious things and people connected to such a simple woman.  She would never drop names or boast about those she did not know.  But if you ever attended a “Lunch Bunch” meeting after church on Sunday – you would hear her brag.!   No gossip ever crossed her lips – but detailed explanation of the latest accomplishment of one of her son’s  -and/or     grandchildren was always allowed – and told with that familiar sparkle.    Much like the details she wrote daily in her journal.   I was surprised that she could make a pair of broken glasses or a pillow on a train ride so engaging.   My father tells me she was passionate about writing.   Yep, I think she was!  Thanks grandma for allowing us to go back in time!

Friday August 24, 1934

(no entry)   We know she is spending time with family in El Paso and preparing for the move to Roswell, NM for her second teaching job.

A little note about things to look forward to.  Stay tuned to find out when will she hear from Carsey again and who she dates while she waits?

Here’s what else was happening 80-years-ago today:

Haile Selassie (1969).jpgEthiopian Emperor Haile Selassie ordered civilians to leave Addis Ababa and disperse across the country in order to reduce casualties from the anticipated aerial bombardment by Italian planes.


The Agricultural Adjustment Act Amendment was enacted in the United States.

The funeral of Brigadier General W.O. Dodds takes place in Montreal.


grandmaIn the meantime, I thought I’d tell you a little about the grandmother I knew. You can tell by her journal she was very articulate and intelligent. She was also the most positive person I’ve ever met. She is someone you would always want to be around simple because she was happy.   ( That’s probably why Carsey waited a half hour for her that last night in Mexico – she was as contagious as her writing!)   Even when she lost the use of both her legs and was confined to a wheel chair – her eyes sparkled as she spoke and she never complained.  I think being around her was like being around a baby.  It was just a happy, pleasant and positive experience – you always wanted more.  She loved flowers, colors and most of all music. If you came into her little red house with the green living room and found her crying…you would also find some sort of music playing on the record player.

She even liked to watch Tom and Jerry cartoons with us grandchildren – go back and check – they play classical music during the chase!  My goal has always been to strive to be as happy as my grandmother.  She did not seem to care about the material things in life – just people – and that made everyone she met care about her.

The discovery of the journal is very exciting and eye-opening. I hope you continue to tag along with me on her journey!

Thursday August 23, 1934

Decided to get a Pullman at Chihuahua – easier to ride and if the family does not meet me in Juarez, easier to get across. Dad met me in Juarez – and was I glad to see him.

Rev. JP Lanaster

He looks quite thin! Changed what money I had and met him in El Paso.  Checked bags and went out to see Lockmood”s. Stayed for supper.

El Paso
El Paso

Went to town and got weighed – 118 ½! Lost again – Quite a hot trip.   Left El Paso at 9:00 – got home at 1:25.   Everybody there to meet me!