No Post This Week

 I have been in the hospital with a dangerous blood infection. The doctors removed my defibrillator and installed a penicillin infusion pump.  It will be in for 6 weeks.  Then I graduate to an antibiotic in pill form the rest of my life. In addition, when I went to the emergency room, my diabetes glucose reading was 23. That nearly always means coma or death. Needless to say, they injected me with a lot of sugar water.

I have run out of material for the blog.  If you have a story, please send it.  I will post stories as they come to me.   Please. Won’t you send a story.  The blog is now yours.  Please write soon.

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Mary D. Fuller

June 23, 1943 — July 27, 2020 CORINTH — Mary D. Fuller, 77, of Oak St., passed away Monday, July 27, 2020 at Wesley Health Care Center in Saratoga Springs following a long illness. Born on June 23, 1943 in Corinth, she was the daughter of the late Paul and Ruth (Carter) Dayton.

Mary attended Corinth Central School and graduated from Houghton Academy in 1961. She married William H. Fuller on February 28, 1963 in Plattsburgh and the couple resided for many years in Corinth.

Mary was employed at Adirondack Regional Hospital in Corinth for several years and at Saratoga Hospital for a few years. She then worked for several years doing page layout and design at the Pennysaver News in Corinth until her retirement.

She first attended the Corinth Wesleyan Church for many years, before becoming a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Corinth where she served as Deacon, Elder, and bible study leader. Mary enjoyed music, road trips, books on various topics, animals, and God and family above all.

Besides her parents, she was also predeceased by one brother, John Dayton and one brother-in-law, Keith Tyler.

Survivors besides her husband of 57 years include one son, Andrew Fuller (Ania) of Porter Corners; one grandson and the light of her life, Lochlan of Porter Corners; three siblings: James Dayton (Judy) of Michigan, Priscilla Tyler of Pennsylvania and Stephen Dayton (Dr. Nancy) of Indiana; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Arrangements are private and at the convenience of the family. A celebration of Mary’s life will be held at a later date.

The family wishes to thank Community Hospice of Saratoga, and the nurses and staff at Wesley Health Care Center, for their kindness and compassionate care given to Mary during her illness.

The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, memorials take the form of donations to First Presbyterian Church, 203 Palmer Ave., Corinth, NY 12822 or Community Hospice of Saratoga, 179 Lawrence St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Arrangements are under the direction of the Densmore Funeral Home, Inc., 7 Sherman Ave., Corinth.

Paul Dayton—the Sportsman I never knew

This post is the first of a multipart series of posts on Dayton family sports interests. 

When you think of the activities the Dayton family are involved in, sports hardly ever comes to mind. The words Dayton and sports used in the same sentence is an oxymoron. We Daytons are more into books, learning, religion, the fine arts and nature.  Seemingly, the Dayton family is not known for sports at all. We seem to have a distaste for them.  Other than hunting, the Dayton boys seemed quite devoid of sports.  At least that’s what I thought until I started doing research for this story.  Now I’m finding sports stories popping up all over the place.  Hail Dayton Sports!   Viva Dayton sports!

I have several ideas which will turn this topic into a multi-post series.  I’ll cover Paul Dayton first.  By doing so, you will get an idea of types of sports information I’d like to report.  You can help by sending me sports stories or information or leave comments on posts which you’ve read.  Any person affiliated with the Dayton clan is fair game… your patriarchs, father, mother, son, daughter, etc. This post about Paul may give you ideas for subsequent posts.

Paul Dayton–The Sportsman I Never Knew

His Toy

I love sports of all types, especially baseball, and college basketball, but I got that from my Carter side of my family.  The Dayton boys loved hunting.  I’m not sure where they developed their skills because Grandpa (Wilber Dayton Sr) never hunted.  Perhaps their interest came from the White family.  Hunting was certainly in Chop’s DNA, and I think the other boys just followed in their big brother’s footsteps.  I’ve written about deer hunting and probably will again in the future. But can you think of any other sport they liked?

Softball

Softball—As I was recently searching though old newspapers, much to my delight, I ran across the article at the left.  Paul Dayton had hit a home run in an organized, town  softball league.  I didn’t even know he played.  The EMBA was a very respectable town league made up of former high school and college ball players.  I don’t know anything more about his softball endeavors than this article.  I do know that he had another baseball glove dating from the 50’s.  It was also in the garage, buried under more imporyant stuff like firewood. I imagine that glove was the one he used in the EMBA league games. I kept that one, had it framed, side by side with my first glove, and gifted them to my grandson Luke.

Baseball

Baseball—Each year, dad took our family to New York City to see either a Yankees or Mets baseball double header. They did it for me.  Dad was frugal, and two games for the price of one was a deal he couldn’t pass up.  In those days, you could take a picnic basket of goodies into the stadium, so mom packed enough to feed setion 207. The year Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s home run record we sat in the outfield stands so close to Maris that we could have hit him with a baseball or a bottle when he went to the fence to catch a ball.

In 1964, dad thought it would be a good father-son bonding experience to take me to a Mets-Phillies game at Shea Stadium in New York.  It was a twi-night doubleheader, game time 6:00 p.m.  We travelled by Greyhound bus, leaving about noon and returning about 5 a.m. the next morning.  It was a long day and one I will never forget.  Thanks, dad.

Stock Car Racing

Pete Corey Fonda Speedway 1950’s

Stock Car Racing—Paul was a fan of auto racing.  Most Thursdays we went to the track in Menands, NY, then on Fridays we often went to Saratoga Speedway.  His favorite track was Fonda Speedway where we enjoyed a Saturday evening filled with entertainment.

Corinth Wesleyan Methodist Church held a weekly Prayer Meeting service on Thursday evening until the mid-1950’s.  That conflicted with the Stockcar races, so Paul petitioned the church to change Prayer Meeting to Wednesday evening.  I don’t know the circumstances or motivation for the other board members’ votes, but dad’s reason was clear to everyone.  And they did change to Wednesday evenings.

Swimming

Swimming—Paul always enjoyed swimming.  He was a good swimmer, and he had to be.  He was in the Navy.  Not one of his five kids nor his wife knew how to swim a single stroke.  One summer he was determined to change that.  He thought it best if we were at the beach at 7 A.M. every Saturday morning.  Probably it had something to do with both modesty and timidity.  We returned home around 9 to the greatest breakfast a mom could make (bacon, ham and eggs with all the trimmings).  However, dad’s mission was a failure.  We never learned to swim, and we kids protested so much he ended the experiment after a month.

Logging Competition

Logging Competition—Although dad never competed, we went to a logging competition in Tupper Lake, NY every summer.  The logging show was an outdoor extravaganza with all the latest in logging and sawmill gear.  Kids loved it.  They received vendor samples, watched a big parade of logging machinery, and viewed competitions of chain saw log cutting, axe log cutting, tree climbing and log rolling.  Dad was positively sure that he and Red Allen would be undefeated in the log rolling race, but they never tried.  Any combination of Chip, Paul and Roger would probably have won too.  Dad and I would have come in last.  I was pathetic.

Other Sports

Other sports—A few years before he died, I asked dad if he was interested in any particular sport besides hunting and he said, “oh, I don’t care as long as it isn’t football,” and he reached over and teasingly and lovingly slapped my arm.  I had been the MVP running back on our high school football team.  My mom and dad attended every game, and much later in life they told me they went to the games to make sure I didn’t get hurt.  I’m not sure of the logic of that statement, but I appreciated it.  He went on to mention that he ran cross country for Corinth High school.  The coach begged him to play soccer, but it conflicted with his paper route.  In the winter he liked to play hockey with neighborhood kids.

Although he didn’t like sports all that much, he knew I did so he always read the sports page and was prepared to talk about what happened the day before.  I can remember discussions about Cassius Clay (AKA Mohamad Ali) knocking out Sonny Liston, Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 points in a basketball game, and Warren Spahn pitching his 300th baseball game win. He knew they were my favorite players.

My mom was involved with sports too…she was constantly yelling at me to stop bouncing the basketball in the house.

Jim Dayton’s Recollection’s of Growing Up

One of the Dayton-Family-History readers wrote to me, “Here’s a question for you… what was your recollection of growing up in a family of 5 kids?  What memories stick out to you?  Was the age gap a big deal? We’re you close as kids?”

I don’t remember any complicated or unpleasant consequences. Our living, eating, clothing and transportation resources seemed routine.  I guess when you don’t know differently, then what exists is normal.  I suppose our ancient Daytons felt normal living in a two room home back in the 1600’s on long Island. Anyway, our Paul Dayton family of seven lived in a small three bedroom, one bathroom home. I don’t remember it being more inconvenient than other homes I lived in later in life.  I’ll admit it was an inconvenience needing to use the toilet when someone else was using it.  There were no disasters…you accepted all circumstances. 

Meals were at a table built for four (with one leaf) in a very small kitchen, but we ate as much as we wanted and never went away hungry.  We had a larger dining room table with seating for 8, but that was saved only for company. Later on, Judy and I had 2 girls living in a home with 2 ½ baths, 3 bedrooms, large living room, den, kitchen with large breakfast nook and dining room, but we were no more or less crowded than in my growing up house.

Growing up,  our car was a 2 door Ford Fairlane coupe.  It didn’t seem crowded even though there were 3 persons in front and 4 in the rear.  I have a video of everyone getting out of the car.  It looks like a circus clown comedy drill, but we tolerated the accommodations well.  However, once having upgraded, that becomes the new norm and you can’t go back without great inconvenience. 

My life was sports.  The role of a mother as a taxi driver didn’t exist.  I made my own arrangements to get home after practice.  Most of the time it involved walking home.  After football practice, I walked home with a friend who still had about 6 miles to go.  He hitchhiked or walked, after he had walked with me for ¾ miles. It was normal for him.

The age gap for the children in our family was 13-years from oldest to youngest sibling.  We were never a close, touchy-feely family.  The older you get, the smaller the age gap and the bigger in closeness and adoration.  I’m 72 years old and closer to my siblings than ever before… especially my brother who is 9 years my younger.  I didn’t know him growing up.

I was closest to my older sister mostly because of parental intervention.  My parents expected me, as a 10 to 13 year old, to be a protective escort for Mary.  My dad insisted on it. My sister enjoyed taking evening walks after sundown and going to the local diner to hang out with friends from town and out of town. They hung out at a table, drinking coffee and listening to the jukebox for a couple hours at a time. Mary always was telling me to stand erect so I would look taller.  The point is, we got to know each other a little.  My playmates were always neighborhood friends my age. 

I can only vividly remember two instances of direct interaction with my brothers.  I suspect there was daily happy interaction, but it was normal, not memorable. 

I haven’t done these questions justice in this brief account.  I wrote an autobiography for my family a few years ago, and it took about 15 chapters to answer the growing up questions.  I would highly recommend that each of you write or “video” an autobiography so your descendants can carry on your legacy to future generations.

Deer In The Notch

The Dayton brothers loved to hunt deer.  Chip and Paul played “hooky” from work a couple times each fall to hunt, and they hunted most Saturdays and Thanksgiving day.  They never hunted on a Sunday, but their minds may have drifted there during Sunday dinner.  They were at home in the woods. They loved the outdoors…it didn’t matter if they were working at the sawmill, or going hunting.

Nowadays, most hunters hunt from behind blinds.  They set up for the day in a likely speciific location and wait for the deer to come to them.  Not Chip and Paul.  They walked all day long…over mountains, around swamps, though the forest.  They were constantly on the go, tracking them, looking for runways, looking for their beds, driving them…anything to gain the upper hand and spot them.

I asked Chip to tell me a hunting story, and what a treat it was to hear him excitedly recall the event.  It had been many years ago, but he told it like it happened yesterday.  Listen in while he invites us to the hunt one fall day.

Jim Dayton interviews Chester Dayton circa 1990

Dr. Donald Dayton Rememberances

If you would like to Send a rememberence for me to publish, please forward it to jim.dayton@att.net

Paul Dayton, Almost a Big Shot

I never knew about my dad’s [Paul Dayton] military rank until I found it in a news clipping as I was researching him. Paul was the Navy’s equivalent of an Army Sergeant.  He was a 1st Class Petty Officer.  There are four grades of Petty officer, 3rd class being the lowest and Chief Petty Officer being the highest.  The Army equivalent would be a Corporal or Sergeant depending upon which grade of Petty Officer you were. 

Paul worked on technological improvements to the recently invented RADAR and had told me that the Navy regarded the men in his unit [aviation bomber training unit] to be more elite than the naval pilots.  Apparently, the military top brass viewed their pilots as expendable; it was a high casualty assignment, but Paul had so much electronics training and skill that he was too difficult and costly to replace.  The naval officers treated the men in his unit in high esteem.  They rewarded the men, including dad, by allowing them to promote themselves. For example, dad’s head of his unit let the men promote themselves to the rank each man felt he deserved.   Most became Chief Petty Officers, but you know dad.  He promoted himself to 1st class, instead of chief.  Chief would have meant more money, but dad was realistic about the matter. 

Here’s a story which demonstrates the knowledge and creativity of dad’s unit.  They solved an electronics problem which Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] scientists declared impossible to solve.  MIT was so impressed that they send a contingent of scientists to dad’s unit to review the problem’s solution and how they went about solving it.  I don’t know what dad individually accomplished on that project, but his colleagues were the best in the world at what they did.  I imagine that dad was right in the middle of it all.  He never talked about it because he didn’t want to brag.  He was too humble.

After the war, dad was offered a lucrative contract in the Philippines by Philco Corp, but dad chose to return to the Adirondacks.  Shame on me, but I cannot find that Philco offer letter anywhere. I used to have it and I’ve lost it.

Faith of Our Fathers

Doreen McCutcheon, my cousin Doris Lamos’ daughter asked me, a couple months ago, what I knew about the faith of our Dayton fathers.  I believe we Daytons have a rich heritage of the Christian faith.  I’ll tell you what I know of it, and you can decide.  Christian faith is difficult to judge because no one can know the heart of others.  I will have to base my opinion mainly on outward appearance, about which the Bible cautions us.  I believe that most of the time this definition works.  I would also add that Dayton females often live their Christian service vicariously through their spouses and their actual teamwork.  Christian women are often active as nurses, teachers, supporters of missions and missionaries, Sunday School and VBS directors and teachers, organists, pianists, choir leaders, Bible Study leaders, etc.  I KNOW, I know….I’m stereotyping.  We have several Dayton female pastors and church lay leaders.

Generosity (births and deaths spanning the years from 1905 to 2009)

The number one Christian trait in the Dayton family is the generosity in both service and finances. There is evidence of this everywhere we look. For example, among Wilber and Jessie’s offspring:

Flossie, the oldest child, was a schoolteacher and faithful member of the Free Methodist Church in Corinth where she was a part-time Adult Sunday School teacher.  In her later years, she read her Bible daily in foreign languages: English, Spanish, French and probably German.  Her favorite was Spanish. She had daily devotions with the children. She would play hymns on the pump organ while the family sang.  Then she and George would pray.  What she lacked in formal church activities she more than made up for in a sweet, loving and gentle spirit that oozed her love of Christ from every pore of her being.  She was a fine example of the woman of Proverbs 31:10-31 (The wife of noble character).

Charles was a Wesleyan Methodist pastor and church administrator, including terms as President of the Champlain Conference and later District Superintendent of the Champlain District of the Wesleyan Methodist Church.  He was the epitome of aid of all sorts to the underprivileged.  From his own personal resources, he assisted with shelter, food, personal visitation, transportation, friend and counseling of all types.  He often met their needs for sustenance by any means possible, including solicitating help from the likeminded.  He also had a vision and passion for planting new churches.  He wanted to spread the word as far as he could within the bounds of wise financing.   Chop’s generosity was frequently rewarded by the gifts of possession that were repeatedly left to him because the deceased knew he would do good with them.

He was pastor of churches in upstate New York, Vermont and Massachusetts. Following retirement, he assisted wherever an opportunity arose at the Wesleyan Retirement Village in Brooksville FL.   

Chester was a lay preacher, held numerous church offices and was much more than a nominal tither at the suggested 10% level. I know, for a fact, that one year he tithed and gifted 32%.  Other years could have been even more, but he shunned the public eye in such matters.  Chip stood tall in various pulpits as an active Gideon as he shared the importance of distributing Bibles.  He was a Sunday School teacher and lay leader of his local Wesleyan Church in Corinth, New York.  After his second wife, Elizabeth died, he married Marjean Chapman, who was an ordained evangelist in the Wesleyan Church.

Wilber Jr. was a pastor, a seminary professor, Christian college President and prolific Christian author.  He travelled extensively and internationally to lecture, teach and preach.  He was renowned on a worldwide scale. He was an active participant on the team of scholars who translated the New International Version of the Bible (NIV) from the original Greek into English.  He was affiliated with the Wesleyan Methodist Church, was a benchmark for scholarly endeavors and was highly respected and admired by his peers.  His wife Donna held post graduate degrees and was employed in various University capacities including Librarian, and assistant Professor at several Colleges and Universities.

Paul probably held more church offices and performed more gifts of service than anyone in the entire Wesleyan denomination.  Besides official church offices, many building projects leadership, fund raising responsibilities, Sunday School teaching and administration, and youth leadership, he did more behind the scenes physical work than even I, his son, can remember.  For example, he was electrician, plumber, carpenter, snow plower, infrastructure planner and repairer, vehicle mechanic, bus driver, transportation director, orchestra founder, and conductor, etc. Beyond all that, he was a passionate financial backer to the extent that church donations trumped his own needs. Paul annually contributed much more than the nominal 10% tithe.  I believe it was more than double, as, I believe, his brothers might have done also.

So how could poorly educated and poorly financially endowed parents like Wilber and Jessie Dayton raise children who were such stellar members of the Christian faith.  It was because of their example and their consistency in rearing their children.  Click here to hear what Chip had to say on this subject.  Younger generations, please heed Chip’s advice!

My conclusion is that this characteristic of generosity is still at the forefront of Wilber’s grandchildren’s Christian experience, as well as their own descendants.  Generosity “rocks” in the Dayton family.

Wilber and Jessie’s Faith (Wilber 1870-1957)  (Jessie Belle (1880-1958)

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Jessie Belle [White] Dayton, wife of Wilber, wore the spiritual leadership pants in Wilber and Jessie’s marriage.  Wilber loved the Lord and was born again, but his shy disposition and backward social skills left the family training largely to Jessie. I am in possession of Wilber and Jessie’s tithe can (see photo).  We know they tithed. Despite their poverty, they still gave at least 10% to the church and did it before anything else was paid for. Jessie read to her children from the Hulbert Bible story book, an 800-page illustrated book with beautiful black and white etchings, now in the possession of Stephen Dayton.  Family altar was the first priority every day.  Family altar was a time when the family got together for a time of Bible reading and prayer.  It lasted 30 minutes or more.  In Paul’s family, the tradition continued.  After a Bible passage or story, each family member knelt and prayed, from the eldest to youngest, and the session was completed with the Lord’s prayer.  I imagine family altar was practiced in all the Dayton families.   On Sunday, Jessie, Wilber and their children attended the Corinth Sunday School, morning service, “class meeting”, a time of testimony and witnessing, evening prayer service and evening worship.  In the afternoon, they attended Hadley Wesleyan Methodist church, where Jessie was Sunday School Superintendent.  I doubt they had time to eat until after Corinth’s evening service.  They didn’t set aside Sunday as a day of physical rest.  They practiced spiritual rest.

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Jessie’s mother, Anna [Flansburg] [White] [Ramsey] Dingman (1855-1935)

We know nothing of Jessie’s father’s faith (Alexander White Sr), but her mother, Anna Maria [Flansburg] White, was a Wesleyan Methodist preacher’s kid.  Her faith was strong, and she was a devout saint. I personally know little about her specific spiritual attributes, although Wilber and Jessie’s children all knew her since she lived until 1935. She was a member of the Hadley Wesleyan Methodist Church.  This could have been the reason Jessie’s family attended there in addition to Corinth.  Hadley certainly would have been the church both Wilber and Jessie called their own.

Rev. William Flansburg, Jessie’s grandfather (1809-1897)

Anna’s, father, Rev. William Flansburg (Jessie’s grandfather) became a “born-again” Christian farmer in the mid-1840’s,  when he was in his early 30’s.  He started his first pastorate just a couple of years later in the Free Will Baptist Church in Johnsburg, New York.  In the mid ‘50s, he joined the Wesleyan Methodist church, and thereafter was a pastor in Vermont, and in Hamilton, Warren and Saratoga counties in New York state.  O.D. Putnam, his friend and colleague, wrote a wonderful tribute which will appear in next month’s newsletter.

Charles and Nancy Dayton (1832 – 1882)

Charles and Nancy were the parents of Wilber Sr.  They died when Wilber was only thirteen, and he never talked about his parents, so we know nothing about them.  Charles was a sheep rancher.  All that we know of Charles’ faith was inferred in a comical folklore story that Chip tells.  Click here to hear that story.  That’s all we know about Charles.

Henry Dayton, grandfather of Wilber Sr (1792-1849)

Henry Dayton was the father of Charles.  The primary spiritual declaration and affirmation of Henry’s faith is engraved on his gravestone.  It reads, “Why stand you weeping round my tomb Wilst I with Jesus rest in peace.  When God has called and took me home prepare my friend to follow soon”   Obviously, he was a Christ lover and follower.  He claimed, with confidence, the presumption that he would be taken to heaven.  He challenged all who read his stone to get their own lives “right with God” so that they too could inherit eternal life.  Regarding church denomination, we know that he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal denomination.  Today, the denomination is known as United Methodist.

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David Dayton Jr, father of Henry  (1766-1807)

We know very little of David Jr.’s spiritual situation.  He raised several Christian believer children who were all Methodist Episcopal, so it stands to reason that he too was a Methodist Episcopal believer. I base this opinion on the truth of the adage, “Like father, like son”.  The closest church was across the Hudson River on the road from Luzerne to Buttermilk Falls.  We suspect that David may have used his buckboard to ford the river at a shallow point just upriver from the church.

David Dayton Sr, father of David Jr (Between 1737 and 1739 – 1782)

We also know very little of David Sr.’s spiritual testimony.  In writing our book, Our Long Island Ancestors, The first six generations of Daytons in America 1639-1807, Steve and I have reason to believe that when David and Anne moved to Setauket [Brookhaven] from Egg Harbor, NJ, they attended the Setauket Presbyterian church for a short period of time.  However, the pastor, Rev Elam Potter, was an abolitionist;  David owned a slave, so we suspect David was not welcome in that church.

Henry Dayton, father of David Sr (1706-1759)

He was a member of the Setauket Presbyterian Church in Brookhaven, Suffolk County, New York.  I have a family transcript of the members (including Henry) of that church about 1750.  Curiously, his wife, Abigail, is not listed as a member.  For many of the male members, the roll reads “and wife,” so it isn’t clear why she wasn’t listed.

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Abraham Dayton, father of Henry (about 1654 – after 1726)

Records were found of Abraham being a Setauket NY Presbyterian financial pledger both for the salary of a pastor, and the building of a new “meeting house” for the new pastor.  These were all within the Town of Brookhaven (Long Island).  Being a big donor (there’s that Dayton generosity again), it stands to reason that he was a regular attender and probably at some point was a lay elder.

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Samuel Dayton, father of Abraham (1624 – 1690)

Steve and I believe, without direct confirmation and primary sources, that Samuel was a Puritan.  We know more about Samuel’s life than any other early ancestor, but there is no mention of a religious choice.  He was a Puritan by baptism (in England) rather than through practice.

Ralph Dayton, father of Samuel (about 1588 – 1658)

Ralph was a Puritan.  Steve and I have a record of his assignment of seating at the meeting house in East Hampton, NY.  (Yes, even way back then, people sat in the same pew every Sunday). Prior to coming to America, he worshiped at St Mary’s the Virgin in Ashford, Kent County, England.  He was a dissident Puritan, meaning that he openly opposed the Church of England and the King.  These dissidents experienced much persecution, but it is unclear whether Ralph experienced it.  It may have been the reason he, and most of his family, sailed to the New World.

Hey Doreen, below is the real answer

Letter to the Editor

DFH Volume 1 Issue 25

From time to time I receive a comment to an article which must be shared with you.  This month’s is a doozer.  My proofer, Izzie, is on the verge of insubordination and being fired for her telling it like it is.  She didn’t suck up to the boss like so many employees do, and what the bosses expect.  However, I thought maybe her courage might also get your juices flowing, and you may want to join in the insanity and controversary.  Come on people!  Let me hear from you on this and future articles.  What follows is the letter which started all this baloney.

IZZIE HAYES WRITES:

Dearest Editor,

I would never say you’re “doing it all wrong,” but this sweet old lady-of-93-Christmases  cherishes this glorious holiday, with all its rituals and traditions, more than most and has perfected a sequence for taking the work out of decorating the tree!!!

  1. Starting with “The Nutcracker suite” to get the creative Christmas juices flowing is a fine choice. (I personally favor Handel’s “Messiah”—at full volume—including “The Hallelujah chorus.”)  Anything but the perennial “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”   In any case, it just isn’t Christmas until someone yells,  “Can you crank that thing down?!?”
  1. You wrote,  “First came the ornaments. . . next came the lights.”  No, no, no, Mr. Editor!  Decorating your tree that way is a make work project and a sure-fire disaster There’s a much easier choice. If you eschew the cut-your-own tree farm or consider the pricey-but-puny offerings at the lot by your gas station beyond your consideration, you might go to Lowes or Home Depot or even Wal-Mart.  There you will find stunning artificial trees with built-in light systems, either all white or all colored or alternating between the two.  None of the annual struggle with tangled strands of half functional lights!!

If traditional is your thing, step #2 still comes after “The Nutcracker!”  Get the strings of lights out of storage (preferably some new ones). Wrap them throughout the tree—high and low—some close to the trunk of the tree and some out on the branches.  Then sit back and admire the gloriously festive tree before you.

  1. O.K.—Now! Bring out your precious ornaments for the final step.  No more getting them messed up by the removal of strings of lights!

Christmas season is my time for excesses, but putting strings of lights on my tree after the tree has my choice ornaments in place is not one of them.  Two choruses

of “Deck the Halls”… “ and a very Merry Christmas to all of you.

I am not Scrooge!!!!

I love you.  Izzie 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Reply To my favorite employee:

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I’m not so sure you’re a sweet old lady yet…you’ve still got a lot of fabulous and mischievous kid, and spunk, left in you. Please accept that as a compliment!  Don’t ever lose your youthful spirit.

Alas, we’ve (Jim Dayton household) had an artificial tree for as long as I can remember.  Even the Paul Dayton family had an artificial tree after about 1975.  Anyway, my family has had an artificial from about 1980 to present.   The description of decorating the tree dates from about 1976 till they left home.  Viva la tinsel! Viva la “bubbly” candles!  It’s a less glitzy celebration when the kids are gone.

I bet we did the sequence of decorating it your way on points 2 and 3.  It was so long ago I can no longer remember.  One thing I do remember.  It was a very joyous occasion for each member of our family.  We looked forward to it year after year.  One of my kids has carried on the tradition (partially).  She has an artificial 10’ tree and prefers that each family member participates in decorating it.  She’s partial to good taste now, and the tree is beautiful. 

Now the Jim and Judy family has a new tradition. Judy buys a Hallmark ornament for each of the grandchildren each year, something very personalized to symbolize an important event in their life that year.  For example, my granddaughter, who won on the National Cheerleading Championship team, gets a cheerleader figurine this year.  Judy has another tradition we as a family love.  She writes a poem for each family member for their main gift, which the recipient reads when they open their present.  Each poem is personalized to fit the gift and/or the person. I have a book of her poems.  And don’t forget to add the mistletoe and holly.   And most importantly… we never forget why we have this season. God fulfilled his promise to send a Messiah to be the ultimate sin sacrifice for all humankind.  “Happy holidays” is not in my vocabulary;  “Merry Christmas” is!

Merry Christmas, Your boss.

Bad News-Good News. Keep Your Chin Up, Mary!

DFH Volume 1 Issue 25

By Jim Dayton

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FIRST THE BAD NEWS—My sister, Mary Fuller, daughter of Paul and Ruth Dayton, has been homebound for many years, suffering several painful conditions. Nearly 35 years ago she was in an automobile accident which left her with excruciating back pain. Then about 30 years ago, she was stricken with fibromyalgia, a debilitating disease which amplifies pain to nerve endings.  A simple, light touch to the body can cause major pain.  It has left her in a wheelchair most of the time. Despite this, she tried to get to church each Sunday, and she usually did.  She got out to go to the doctor, and sometimes to dinner.  Then in November 2018, she was diagnosed with bone cancer in her shoulder and upper arm.  They successfully replaced bone with metal, and that completely removed that pain.  In the spring of 2019, they discovered a small cancerous spot on her back.  During the surgery to remove it, they damaged a nerve which extended down her leg all the way to her toes.  As a result, that damage incapacitated her leg.  She now uses either a walker or wheelchair for every mobile moment.

NOW THE GOOD NEWS—Fortunately, some outdoor mobility has returned.  She still uses a wheelchair or walker for every moving moment, but, her wonderful, caregiving husband, Bill Fuller, recently added a lift chair to their porch stairs.  She is still in a wheelchair and the pain hasn’t subsided, but now she is able to get to a car and regain some freedom.  She’s been to her hairdresser. It’s no longer an ordeal to go to a doctor’s appointment.  She’s been to restaurants.  And most importantly, she can go to church again.  Bill is thrilled to see Mary “on the go,” if only a very small go-at-a-time.  All is still not rosy, but it’s a major improvement in her quality of life.  I’m sure she would love to hear from her Dayton relatives.  You can reach her at 28 Oak St., Corinth, NY, 12822.  She may be too ill to answer, but she wants you to know that she loves her Dayton extended family.