Best Friends

Grace Hill and Grace Orrok must have been good friends growing. It’s clear the two teens kept in touch via letters, although the letters no longer exist. The evidence is in the photos that Grace Orrok sent to her friend, with handwritten notes on the back, such as “both [photos] are ‘not so hot’!”.

Grace Orrok also referred to one photo as “high hat” and another as “rotten”, because she had just spent Decoration Day hiking to the Glens with E.G. (10 miles both ways). I can’t imagine walking a single mile in those shoes!


A 17 year old in 1938


I came across this little gem, folded and tucked in to a family photo album. John Hill (1921-1979) was my grandmother’s brother. He penned (er, pencilled) this on December 3, 1938. Guess teenage angst has been alive and well for a long, long time!

Family Recipes

Hyde Park Cake - The Hess Special

Hyde Park Cake – The Hess Special

My mother shared this worn recipe card with me because it’s labeled as “The Hess Special” and came from my great-grandmother Olive Edna (Hess) Hill. I haven’t baked this simple looking cake yet, although I did ask mom what temperature a “moderate oven” should be.

The thing that thrills me about something as simple as a beat up old recipe card is that this cake was something special to my great-grandmother and that it’s (most likely) in her handwriting. It could be my grandmother’s writing, but comparing it to other items I know are hers this is a bit different.

I am amazed—when comparing handwritten items—how similar both male and female ancestors writing style is to my own, or that of my siblings and mother.