As I write these stories of my early life, I find myself relying, for affirmation or supplementation, on my father's diaries.

This brings mixed emotions. First of all, I feel a deep gratitude for his accurate, honest, faithful, day-by-day account of his life and work. Second, in spite of myself, I feel guilty whenever I open one of his volumes. From my earliest memory I was taught that I must "not touch Papa's diary". It was kept in a certain pigeon hole in his desk, and only he touched it. This rule was never questioned, just accepted as fact.

Now, as I look back, from this great distance of years, I wonder. Why did he keep these meticulous records? During his fifteen years of invalidism, which brought his life to a close, why did he not order these forty or more volumes to be destroyed, if he really didn't want them read? Or did he hold an unexpressed hope that they might prove a blessing to us after he was gone? I have a strong leaning toward this last view, for so they are proving, to me.

Verna Richards Shinebarger Seidel
1898 - the present

Verna's grandson, Frank Patterson, will be showing her each of these pages as they go on line. Tomorrow is a big day for her. It's long been her wish that somehow her writing could be enjoyed by people who came from or whose relatives lived in Wolcott. If you'd like to send Verna a greeting, thank you, or belated 101st birthday, please do and send to Frank at his email address, with "Hi Verna" as the subject line. He'll be printing them off for her so that she can read them. If your family lived in Wolcott in the **early days of the 20th century** please tell her. Maybe she knew them or knew of them. It means a lot to her that her work of many years has now reached an appreciative audience.

Verna's sharing of her memories is the most exciting feature that we've yet seen on a GenWeb county site and we're deeply appreciative to Verna, Frank and all the rest of Verna's extended family. Think of it. Her memories are about to span into a 3rd century! Verna is currently putting more of her memories down on paper and tape recorder with Frank's assistance. We look forward to it all.

Family Trees: Introducing Verna

The Diary of Joseph Hampton Richards

Sibila Brink Snyder and Her 3 Daughters

Malinda Dingman Snyder and John Francis Snyder

Christmas Lane Memories

The Courtin' of Brom Kimpling & Lib Thacker

Field's Cornet Band, North Wolcott, NY, 1896

More Stories to Come!

Back to Town of Wolcott Page

Created: 7/25/99
Copyright © 1999 Verna Richards Shinebarger Seidel/ Frank Patterson
Copyright © 1999 Wayne County NYGenWeb All Rights Reserved.