Friday, December 23, 2016

Tonawanda Stories a Hit in 2016

It was a huge surprise to find that my  stories of growing up in Tonawanda, NY were such a hit, drawing hundreds, and sometimes a thousand, readers to my blog. It all started when a post I created to celebrate my Aunt Alice Ennis's birthday 'went viral' weeks after it was posted. I snooped around and found a photo from that post had been shared on a Facebook group "Growing Up in the Town of Tonawanda."

I joined the group and shared some older blog posts I had written about Tonawanda history, which also had a wonderful reception.

My dad wrote a memoir of his childhood and I decided to share it with the Facebook group, and soon new friends were encouraging me with "more, please" comments. In the past few months I have added my own memories.

I have enjoyed reading about other's lives since a child, and still enjoy reading diaries and memoirs and autobiographies. But it amazes and humbles me to hear that people have relived and recalled their own experience through my sharing family stories and photos.

In January I will continue the family saga as our family moved to Detroit in 1963, sharing about my homesickness and Dad's new life. It won't be a Tonawanda Tale but the story of Tonawanda folk adjusting to a new community.

I have been amazed how many Tonawanda folk I have meet over my lifetime. In Philadelphia or Michigan I have discovered so many folk with Tonawanda roots, and my brother has as well. The Tonawanda settlers crossed New York State by land or the Erie Canal, and many continued west across Lake Erie into Canada or Ohio or Michigan. And of course work and career take many of us to places we never dreamt we'd go to.

Some, like my cousin David, have returned to Tonawanda from careers elsewhere. After all, there is no place like home, and home is where our family is.

Have a wonderful holiday season and may your hometown memories be warm and bright.

Stories by Me
The John Kuhn Family:
The Sheridan Park Volunteer Firemen:
The Becker Family:
Happy Birthday, Aunt Alice:
Halloween Costumes:
Christmas Past (late 1950s):
Building and running a 1940s gas station:
Tom's Brook Massacre:

Emma and Al Gochenour
with Mary and Gene
Al and Emma Gochenour with
daughters Alice and Mary

Dad's Memoirs
Part I:
Part II:
Part III:
Partk IV:
Alger Gochenour:
Grease and Cars:
Boating Tales:
Floods and Subs:
Lives Cut Short:
New York State Theme Parks:
Runnning a Coffee Truck:
Pets, Fishing, and Hunting:
Gene Gets a Girlfriend:
Aunt Alice and me

My memories
My Old House:
Birth and preschool:
Stories my Mother Told Me:
Trash Picking:
Lois Gibbs on my Green Heros Quilt:
Songs My Mother Sang Me:

Related Books Reviews
Love Canal:
1901 Pan American Exposition book:
The Sky Unwashed:

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