Many were close to our home

These were some of our relatives

I don’t remember much about grandfather Archer except seeing him in bed at his home on Highland Avenue.He was fatally ill at the time though I did not know that. I do recall that he used the phrase “Stick in the Mud”. Why I remember that I can’t say but it has stuck with me. He was a gardener and I vaguely recall being in his garden thought not whether he was there. Mother had 2 sisters and a brother, Thelma, Lelia and Harvey Archer. They lived along with my maternal grandmother in Yardville Heights down the street from where we lived. Crosswicks, NJ was the home of one set of relatives, the Kinters. Tom Kinter's mother (Esther) was a sister to my father's mother. When dad's mother died (he was about 14) Aunt Esther took care of dad and his siblings. Tom Kinter had a number of children including Leonore who was my classmate in school. She had brothers, Tom, Bruce Teddy, and Sister Betty. We liked to visit there because they had a big house with a third floor and also a lawn with a fish pond. Closer to home were Uncle Earl (shown left below), Aunt Lelia (shown right) and cousin Calvin Cubberley. Cal was between Harold and I in age. I went fishing and "gunning" with he and his dad quite a bit. Aunt Lelia was a good cook and I remember her "7 minute icing" on cake was a real treat. My grandmother Archer moved into an apartment in what had been the attic of Earl's house. I spent a lot of time visiting Grandma. Aunt Thelma, mother's sister lived there with Grandma. Thelma taught school in Trenton and when our school ended a week earlier than hers, she would sometimes take me with her to her school. Thelma eventually married Russell Mount. Mother's brother Harvey was not around when I was growing up. He had "run away" from college to join the Army in the mid 30's, presumably because of a broken romance. We heard from him via letters. I recall vividly the night he came home for the first time after being away for several years. I woke up one night, probably about midnight, and heard these howling noises from down stairs. I guess I called for mother or dad but go response. I assumed that a robber or someone was making the noises. I sneaked down the stairs as carefully as I could. I kept looking for something evil. At the foot of the stairs, I could hear that the noise came from the far end of the living room near the radio. We had a big cathedral shaped radio sitting on a table back against the wall. Sneaking around I approached the area and then it dawned on me. The noises were made by the radio by interference when the stations had gone off the air. It seems that when Grandma had called mother and dad to tell them Harvey was home they were so excited that they ran out of the house to go see Harvey without even turning off the radio.

Dad had a brother, Edward (Bub). Bub and wife Hazel had no children perhaps that is why they visited us quite often. (See photo right) They lived in White Horse. Bub worked at Roebling Steel and Wire company, I think. According to stories, he was quite wild as a youngster but by the time I knew him he was very soft spoken and reserved. Dad had 2 sisters. Esther was married to Charlie Burkhart. His daughter Doris was in high school with me but not in my class. She had a brother Allen. One thing I recall clearly was a Christmas present that Uncle Charlie gave me. It was a large scale balsa model of the ship Queen Mary. I never finished making it but I was immensely impressed with the number of parts and the complexity of the model. We visited the Burkhart occasionally. Dad's other sister Kate married Matthew Mandl. They had no children and lived in Trenton about 3 or 4 miles from us. At one time Matt and Charlie played in a small dance band. I think Charlie play the marimba and Matt played violin. Later on, during my high school and college years I spent a lot of time with Matt - more of that later.

Many of Dad's family lived in the Lambertville - New Hope area. Several of Granddad Whiteley's brothers lived there. (See photo left) Uncle (great uncle) Jimmy was a clock maker. Harold's son has a beautiful clock he made. Uncle Sam is recalled as a jolly man - I don't know whether he was but I seem to remember that. He was a banker. Someone owned or ran an ice making plant in Lambertville. I visited it one time and was amazed to learn how those 300 pound blocks of ice were made. Dad also had a cousin, Lynam Todd whom we got to know better in later years. There was also an uncle (?) who had lost his legs in a railroad accident. He maneuvered around using a little wheeled platform which he moved by pushing with his hands on the floor. These were part of the Mannheim (PA) relatives and were a branch from my father's mother's side (Sties). In Morrisville were Aunt Annie Phillips who had a son Bob(?). In Bordentown were the Archer relatives (my mother's side). Aunt May, Connie and Peggy Mewborn. They were all then (or later) school teachers. The Bechtel's included Marilyn and Adele,. Marilyn had some kind of physical disability I believe. Uncle Archie had a reputation of not believing in long good-byes. When his family started to leave which usually meant prolonged good byes, he would go out and sit in the car for an hour if necessary. In Woodbury New Jersey we visited the Pritchards especially on Easter. Every year they held a family get together on their property which was more or less in the country. They hid colored eggs in the field alongside the house and the kids all hunted for them. We looked forward to that trip even though it took an hour or two to get there.