Tag Archives: Scottsdale

A Slice of My Life: Birthdays are Like Escalators

In 1963 my husband and I packed up our 18-month-old and moved from Columbus, Ohio to Scottsdale, Arizona.  Both sets of our parents stayed behind in Ohio.  Grandparents missed their first grandchildren and  particularly hated to miss birthdays. By September 1966, our oldest, called Butch back then, was turning five, our middle boy, Mike, had turned three in July and the youngest, Brent, was about to turn two. (This picture was about 5 months earlier.)

Badertscher sons 1966

Brent, Kenny (Butch),  and Mike Badertscher, Easter 1966

On our budget, land line long distance cost too  much to use frequently, so we would exchange calls on Friday night, and write letters almost every day. (Today we call by cell phone across the country for no extra cost, and across the world for nominal charges. It is easy to forget how special long distance calls were before cell phones.)

I kept most of the letters I received and my mother kept all the letters I wrote her.

Lost and Found

The bad news is that a rainstorm flooded the storeroom with the letters I wrote and for decades, mother assumed the letters had been ruined. The good news is that one day my sister opened a long-stored box and discovered a cache of letters from Arizona to Ohio.  So we now have a record of all those cute things our boys said and our own activities through the very busy 60s.

The letters from our parents and other relatives likewise seemed to disappear. Then we moved, and had stacks of boxes to deal with.  I opened a box that turned out to include treasures like this letter from my father, Paul Kaser, to our oldest son, on the occasion of his fifth birthday.

*In the letter he refers to F & R Lazarus Department Store, a fixture in our lives in Ohio as long as I could remember. The main store, in downtown Columbus, carried everything from refrigerators to gloves in eight stories of delights (Six above ground and two basements).

Lazarus Department Store

F & R Lazarus, Columbus Ohio, in an earlier day.

Birthdays are Like Escalators

Paul Kaser, 325 Conklin Drive, Hilliard, Ohio 43026

Monday Sept. 12, 1966

Dear Butch,

Congratulations on your birthday. You have not had enough birthdays to know very much about them, so let me tell you. I’ve had plenty.

Birthdays are like an escalator. Remember when you were here and we went to Lazarus Department store. We went up and down in the store on those stairs that move. You step on and the stairs move up. Pretty soon your head gets high enough so that you can see out onto a new floor. Here there are different things than you saw on the floor you just left. It is like a whole new world with new things to see. And then you look around and see all these things and do all the things you are supposed to do on that floor and then back onto the stairs and up to another new floor and new things to see and do.

Now you can look back and see for yourself that this is true. A while back you became old enough to go to nursery school. Since then you have gone up on the escalator (stairs) of time and now you are on the Kindergarten floor. Another year and up another stair and you will be in regular school.

Then will come high school and college and each year when your head comes up so you can see around on the new floor you have reached you will see things and do things you never thought of before.

One thing is different about the birthday stairs than the escalator stairs. Every time you go up another birthday the stairs move faster instead of all being the same speed as they were in Lazarus. And you will find that you don’t have much time before the birthday stairs move you up another year.

Above all things when you have reached a new floor (birthday) with all the new experiences and things to do, you must get busy and do everything that is to be done in that department. Because you will never be back there again, so don’t miss anything. Your mother was very good at this and can tell you what I mean.

Well be good and say hi to mother, dad, Mike and Brent for me,

Love

Grandpa

Pets Are Family Part Two

Read about earlier Family pets here. I resume the story after Ken and I had married and moved into an apartment on King Avenue in Columbus Ohio while he finished school.

Liz the Cocker Spaniel

Liz, the Cocker Spaniel

Liz, the Badertscher Cocker Spaniel , Columbus 1962

In my first post on Pets Are Family, I  mentioned Liz, the Cocker Spaniel Ken and I adopted  at the Humane Society in Columbus Ohio (no AKA papers for us). We were newly weds and she was a loving and obedient dog, who knew she was not supposed to cross the line onto the living room rug, but would lie on the wood floor in our 1920s era apartment and stick her nose into forbidden territory.  When our first child was about one year old, Liz had a litter of pups.  Kenny’s first words were “Puh-puh”.  We found homes for the puppies, but Liz decided she liked freedom and took off one day, not to return.

Bitsy the Terrier Mix

After we moved to Arizona, now with a suburban house and fenced lawn and three little boys, we thought it was time again to have a dog.  This time it was a cuddly little terrier puppy who stayed with us through becoming mother to a litter of puppies, lots of adventures, and a move to a new house.

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”
Charles M. Schulz

Every boy should have two things: a dog, and a mother willing to let him have one.

Anonymous

Budweiser the Rabbit

At that new house in Scottsdale, after  Bitsy and before the German Shepherds Mack and Suki, I had a rabbit.  My father named it Budweiser because it was full of hops. (Feel free to groan).  Rabbits are great pets, except that they like to chew on electric cords which is a habit that could burn the house down.  Bud liked to nestle up beside me when I laid out on the small grass patch where I sunbathed. I think he thought he was a cat.

Our boys also had a succession of mice (OOOO the smell!), gerbils and hamsters.

The Friendly Siamese, Chat

Later,after  another move to our fourth Arizona home, a Tucson house with no yard for a dog, we got a cat, named, obviously (if you speak French) “Chat.” (pronounced more like shot than chat.) She was a Siamese, and unlike the general reputation of Siamese cats, she was loving and affectionate. Like other pets, Chat endured a move to another house before she disappeared.

Chat the cat

Chat the Cat in the middle of a family Christmas gathering.

Eric Price and Chat Xmas 1981, Paseo Cimarron, Tucson

Chat making friends with nephew Eric Price at our home in Tucson.

The World’s  Best Dog, Pumpkin

[Apologies, Bogie, but Pumpkin was a smart an loving dog that it will take a lot to beat!] Our third Tucson house, way out in the desert, called for a tough dog and offered in exchange lots of space.  Before we had a chance to go looking, our son Mike spotted a puppy at the Swap Meet that someone was going to give away or dump in the desert if no one took her by the end of the day. She was a pitbull mix, and Mike could not stand the thought of the beautiful little pup being abandoned, so he took it home. She was too much for apartment living, so he asked us to take her “temporarily.” Pumpkin, because she was acquired near Halloween, came to live with us in our desert home and stayed with us for fourteen wonderful years, through a move to our present townhouse.

Pumpkin the dog

Grand daughter Baby Rachael and grown up Pumpkin

She charmed everyone she came in contact with, from the babies and little ones she loved to the elderly grandparents.

Itsy

While we lived out in the desert, we also acquired our first AKC certified dog, a Golden Lab puppy we called Itsy. (That comes from a Greek saying, itsy-kitsy, which is like saying “whatever.”  Itsy grew into a large and rambunctious and when we moved to our townhouse, we realized that two active dogs would be on too many. Fortuitously, we found a couple who had another Lab and wanted to adopt Itsy.

And Back to Bogie, the Poodle Yorkshire mix

When Pumpkin died at fourteen years old, we had an interlude when our son lived with us with his dog, but when he moved out, we went back to the Humane Society to look for our newest family member, Bogie.

Bogie the dog

Bogie as Humphry Bogart

He was named for the irony of his big brown eyes and tiny stature making us think of tough guy Humphrey Bogart, who wowed all the ladies–just as Bogie does.

Bogie greets Aunt Paula

Bogie greets Aunt Paula

I may revisit this topic and this post because there are other pictures that I know exist somewhere, and I want to add them as I find them.

“There are three faithful friends: an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.”
Benjamin Franklin

A fellow genealogy blogger decided to join me in this effort with her SECOND post on pets in her family. You can see her furry family members on her blog, Cow Hampshire

——-
Read more quotes at http://dogtime.com/dog-health/general/16344-25-famous-quotes-about-dogs#vuLpjS2xMDAL3b7t.99

and at http://goodreads.com/works/quo

Thanksgiving Recipe: Hilton Corn Pie, aka Killer Cornbread

cornbread at First Thanksgiving

“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe
Date 1914. This painting is in the public domain.

Corn in one form or several seems a natural at the Thanksgiving table. After all, it is one of the foods the Natives taught the Pilgrims to use, and they could make a rudimentary cornbread.  In fact, a Smithsonian article quotes  Willliam Bradford, Pilgrim leader, writing of that first Thanksgiving feast:

“And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion.”

For more information from a knowledgeable source, go to the Plimoth Plantation.

Having researched the matter, I’m convinced that my foremothers–from Pilgrims to mother and grandmother– when they donned their aprons at Thanksgiving, worked some corn into the menu. But those early Pilgrims could not have made this recipe–poor things. They had no dairy (no butter or cheese), no chiles, and probably did not have hen eggs. Forget baking powder, let alone a pyrex dish!

Although this is a modern recipe that I added to our Thanksgiving traditions, I still have the presence of other generations in my kitchen.  Thinking about what kind of corn recipes they made. Heeding my mother’s hint about greasing the pans. Save the butter wrapper when you dump the butter in the mixing bowl, and wipe the buttery residue over the inside of the pan.

I’ve been making this particular cornbread recipe ever since the late 60s when I found it on the recipe pages of the Scottsdale Progress. Yes, there WERE newspaper pages totally devoted to food stories and recipes back then. During the 60s, somebody came to the conclusion that women were also interested in sports, the stock market and breaking news, and little by little the “Women’s pages” disappeared from the newspaper. (And now the newspaper itself has disappeared from Scottsdale.)

First to go was the Society Page, where all women were either Miss Smith or Mrs. Thomas Jones–as though they had no identity of their own. And the coverage ran to bridal stories that detailed what everyone in the wedding party wore–including the mother of the bride; reports on who was inviting whom to tea; and Hints from Heloise. I appreciated the new attitude toward women readers, but I would also have appreciated having my cake (recipes) and eating it too.

Corn bread from Scottsdale Hilton

Scottsdale Hilton

Feminist rant aside, I am grateful for the interview in the Progress with the chef of the then-new Hilton on Scottsdale Road at Lincoln Road.  I have used the recipe he shared for what was called Corn Pie, Scottsdale Hilton, at many a potluck and family dinner since.  It is one of those dishes whose absence is noted if I ever dare to neglect it at Thanksgiving time.

At that time, chefs in upper scale restaurants were just beginning to realize the benefits of incorporating Mexican ingredients, if not whole recipes, into their fancy menus, and stressing the Southwest. Corn pie sounded like tamale pie, hence the recipe name for what is really cornbread.  I’m inclined to call it Killer Cornbread, with the subtitle–“The dish you never want your cardiologist to know you are eating.”

Hilton Corn Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs (room temperature)
  • 4oz green chiles (diced, mild)
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1/2 cup cheese (Cheddar, shredded)
  • 1/2 cup cheese (Monterey Jack,shredded)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Cream together buter and sugar
2. Beat 4 eggs and add to the butter/sugar mixture
3. Mix in chiles, creamed corn, cheese.
4. Sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
5. Killer Corn Bread batter
Stir flour mix into other ingredients. Note: Mixture will look lumpy.
6. Killer Corn Bread in dish
Pour into greased and floured 8 x 12 or 9 x 13 pyrex baking dish.
7. Bake at 300 degrees one hour, until slightly browned on edges and pulls away from sides of dish.
8. Serves 12 or more.