009-Frank Knox & Joann KnoxLiving to be 95 years old is an amazing accomplishment, and one that few people are blessed enough to achieve. Today, that is the place where my husband, Bob’s great uncle, Frank Knox is. I think Frank was always my mother-in-law, Joann Schulenberg’s favorite uncle…doesn’t every girl have one or even two. When I found my mother-in-law’s childhood scrapbook among the photo albums and old pictures she had in a box in her closet, as we were preparing to sell their home to help pay for her care, after my father-in-law passed away, I noticed several pictures with her and her Uncle Frank, as well as pictures of him alone.

Frank was stationed in England during World War II, as was my dad. I’m not sure where in England, but it would have been interesting to see if they ever crossed paths. It’s possible that worry and the unknown were things that made my mother-in-law love 002-Frank Knoxseeing her uncle, because even when kids are young, they are well able to understand the dangers that their loved ones are being placed in, and they worry that they will not make it home. There really is no definite skill that keeps a soldier alive in a war. Some just come home, and others don’t. That is probably the thing that makes the homecoming so very sweet.

The first time I met Frank was the end of June, 1976, when they brought Frank’s parents, my mother-in-law’s grandparents for a visit. It was partly, I’m sure so that they could meet their two great great granddaughters, my girls, Corrie and Amy, but also to see the rest of the family. Living so far away, in Yakima, Washington, they didn’t get to see this part of the family very much, and Great Grandma and Grandpa were getting older. We did not know it then, but it would be the last time we saw Great Grandpa, since he would pass away the following August…just two months later. I think we all felt very grateful to Frank, his wife, Helen, and their youngest son, Richard Knox Familyfor bringing Great Grandma and Grandpa Knox to Casper for such a lovely visit.

Frank is a very intelligent man, and while his mind may not be quite as sharp as it was in his youth, he still remembers all of us and his little niece, my mother-in-law, Joann Schulenberg. He always calls her on her birthday, and while she won’t have a phone this year, we will make sure that we get them on the phone for that very important call. And perhaps we can surprise him today with a phone call from her, because I think she probably did that too, before Alzheimer’s Disease stole the memory of the date from her. Today is Frank’s 95th birthday. Happy birthday Frank!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

DrewRichard_sellotape_inventorThere are so many things that we have now that make life easier. Washing machines, dish washers, clothes dryers, telephones and cell phones, computers, refrigerators, and television…just to name a few, are inventions that have simplified our lives, and made things more fun. But, there are also things that we often give no thought to at all, and yet without them, things would be a lot more difficult. Just think for a moment. Try to name the little inventions that make life easier…the potato peeler, glue, ink pens, and the one, I’m specifically talking about today…Scotch Tape.

In years gone by, people had to tie their wrapping paper in place with a ribbon or cord to wrap presents. And what about torn papers…especially important papers that can’t be replaced. You always hope you never tear these things, but sometimes it can’t be helped, and rather than throw it away, the best solution is to tape it. Scotch tape has improved greatly since it was first manufactured, and these days, the things taped will often stay together a lifetime, without yellowing. If you’ve ever looked at imagean old scrapbook, you might find some of that old tape, and see that everything around it is now yellow and ugly. The glue used just wasn’t as good as it is now. Nevertheless, tape then was far better than having none at all, because before that, if something was torn, it stayed torn, or had to be reproduced by hand.

When it comes to Scotch Tape, you can thank one Richard G Drew, who was an engineer working for 3M Company, also known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing. Drew, who was born in 1899 and died in 1980, and not a relative that I know of, first invented masking tape made for painters in 1923 which was designed to help painters paint a straight border between two colors. You will find that this product is still is use today, although it too has gone through some improvements. This early masking tape was a wide paper tape with adhesive on only the edges of the tape and not in the middle…which would seem odd to us now. Then in 1930, he made an improved, all purpose tape called Scotch (TM) Brand Cellulose Tape. This tape was clear, and worked so well, that it was soon adopted worldwide. Of course, with the invention of the tape, came the need for a dispenser, which Drew’s co-worker, John A Borden obligingly made, with a built-imagein cutting edge, in 1932. Production of this new and clear all-purpose tape began on this day, January 31, 1930.

It was a little invention that in many ways changed the world. These days, we really don’t know what we would do without it, and when we run out, we find ourselves highly annoyed. We may not use Scotch Tape on a daily basis, but when we need some, we need some, and a trip to the store to get it is bothersome. It’s an item we just don’t want to run out of. So the next time you grab a piece of Scotch Tape from the dispenser, take a moment to thank Richard Drew for the tape, and John Borden for the dispenser with that nice cutting edge. They have made your life a whole lot easier.

Eva Landis Noyes and daughter, Nettie Landis Noyes KnoxFor some time now, I have been quite curious about my husband, Bob’s maternal great grandmother, Eva Landis Noyes. I have been searching for her on, and have found a little bit of information, but it has been minimal, and there were no pictures out there. That made me sad, because I have wanted to have as many pictures of our family’s ancestors as possible. Those people who have eluded me have been left to have just a picture of their grave, if that is even available, which sometimes isn’t the case either. I have come to learn…throughout my life, really…that perseverance usually brings success at some point…and sometimes when you least expect it.

I have been trying to scan all the pictures from my mother-in-law, Joann Knox Schulenberg’s childhood scrapbook, and because of it, I have found out a lot of information about my mother-in-law, and her personality when she was a girl. Her scrapbook has been a treasure box of little gems of information both in picture and words. She not only put the pictures in, but she told who and what they were…something so many people don’t do, and when they don’t, their descendants are left to guess about the people and events that are held within the covers of the scrapbook. It is a sad turn of events indeed, because we all want to know who those people are, and what was going on in the picture.

Today, as I was looking at the pictures there, I stumbled on two pictures that I apparently hadn’t really looked at before. I find that to be the case a lot. We look at the pictures, but assume that we won’t know those people, so we don’t necessarily read what is written there very carefully. Today, however, I noticed that was written there, and the light bulb came on. All this time I had been wondering what Eva Landis Noyes looked like, and she has been in Anniversarythat book, which I have had for almost a year now, and I just simply didn’t know it.

Today that all changed. As I read what was written there, the realization came to me that this woman was indeed none other than Eva Landis Noyes. One picture was of Eva, and her daughter, Bob’s grandmother, Nettie Landis Noyes Knox, and is captioned, “Mother and Daughter”. The other one is of Eva and her husband, Grandpa Orin Eugene Noyes, who went by Eugene; and Grandma and Grandpa Knox, Nettie and Bob. That picture is simply captioned “Anniversary”. Yes, they are just pictures, and it isn’t like I have had the chance to meet these great grandparents, but to me, these simple pictures are truly pure gold. Being able to see the faces of the people who, through their lineage brought my husband to me, is amazing. While this find has only served to spark the fire of my curiosity, rather than to put the fire out, I still feel like it is an amazing find, and about that, I am very excited.

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