Pearl Sklapsky-Holben – Linda’s Retelling

I have posted Linda Ducharme’s retelling of her Mother’s story, Linda’s own words describing the settling of the prairies, and the tribulations it brought. This tale tells of the life of Frank and Ettie Sklapsky and their children, and their life during that time. You can find the story under the “Family Info” menu item, and read this final section, termed appropriately “Linda’s Retelling”. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed preparing it for you.

———

As indicated before, each of these sections, and a great deal of additional family history, can also be read by acquiring Linda’s book “The Sklapsky Saga – The History of a Family”. If you would like a copy of the book please contact Linda, she has copies available. You can reach her at smoochsmom(at)outlook.com, just replace the (at) in the address with @. Please put “Sklapsky Saga” in the subject line.

You can also contact me and I can send you additional contact information.

——–

If anyone has any photos they would share with me please let me know.

Pearl Sklapsky-Holben

I’ve been fortunate to regain contact with Linda Ducharme, the author of “The Sklapsky Saga”. Linda had some computer problems and was out of touch for a while, but she’s back now and has graciously approved the posting of her Mom Pearl’s memoir on the public part of this site.

Along with that there is also a short writing that Pearl prepared for a book on the history of Eston, Saskatchewan. Not all was included in the book however, but it is included in it’s entirety on this site in a post called History Of Eston submission – by Pearl Sklapsky-Holben.

Last, and certainly not least, I will be posting Linda’s retelling of the story, her own words describing the settling of the prairies, and the tribulations it brought. This tale also tells of the life of Frank Sklapsky and his children, and their life during this time.

Each of these sections, and a great deal of additional family history, can also be read by acquiring Linda’s book “The Sklapsky Saga – The History of a Family”. If you would like a copy of the book please contact Linda, she has copies available. You can reach her at smoochsmom(at)outlook.com, just replace the (at) in the address with @. Please put “Sklapsky Saga” in the subject line. You can also contact me and I can send you additional contact information.

Pearl Sklapsky-Holben Memoir

In April of 1989 Pearl Sklapsky-Holben began to write her memoir, a story of her life and the immigration of her family from Michigan to Brock, Saskatchewan. Pearl is the youngest of 10 children who moved with Frank and Ettie Sklapsky to Canada around 1900. It’s a captivating story, one not unlike the story of Charles Reeves, where both face the tribulations of a move to a new country. They leave both friends and family behind, never sure whether they will ever see them again, at least in this life.

Pearl writes:

I wonder as I write this, just how interesting it will be for anyone to read. I am seventy-one years old and will be seventy-two on the 24th of August this year. Time has flown by so swiftly, and yet it seems eons since I was a child. I wonder if my having lived will have made an impression on anyone, and I think not. I’ve done nothing to be remembered for. My life is like a pebble. Dropped in the lake it makes a few ripples that fade as they stretch out and eventually, nothing remains. And I guess that is how it’s supposed to be since we are, none of us, indispensable. I wonder if my having lived here on this earth will have made any difference at all. I bore five children which to me are wonderful, but to how many others? Will the Lord bless me through them? Will they make the mark I didn’t?

I think she did make a mark. I believe her life did make a profound difference, both through her family and just by her writing this memoir, the story of her life with her family.

The memoir is currently found under the menu item “Family Info”, only seen and accessed by those who have registered and signed onto this site. You will also find Charles Reeves memoir there. If you wish access you can let me know, or register yourselves to gain access. You can go to the post “Done for Now” to see what you need to do, or like I said just drop me a note. I’ve asked her daughter Linda Ducharme if she would allow me to post it on the public site but as of yet I’ve had no reply.

The memoir in it’s entirety, and a great deal of additional family history, can also be read by acquiring Linda’s book “The Sklapsky Saga – The History of a Family”. If you would like a copy of the book please contact Linda, she has copies available. You can reach her at smoochsmom(at)outlook.com, just replace the (at) in the address with @. Please put “Sklapsky Saga” in the subject line. You can also contact me and I can send you additional contact information.

Enjoy the story!

Did I Say “Change”?

Well it’s been a busy time, and one not without some good and bad. Maybe disappointing is better – not bad.

I went to Kelowna a week or so ago with a purpose in mind. Yes, I know my purpose was to see my daughter and family but a secondary purpose was to see my Great-Aunt Aurla and other relatives. She, Aurla, is Charles Reeves youngest daughter. For those of you who just dropped in Charles is my paternal grandmother’s father. If you log-in to the family tree (soon to be online) you will be able to see the lineage.

20130918-153307.jpg

Unfortunately, for reasons I don’t completely understand, we were unable to connect. In fact I wasn’t able to see any of the family who were present in Kelowna that week. I was, and am, disappointed of course. But c’est la vie, hopefully there will be other such opportunities.

On a positive note though I did hear from Aurla on her return home. She has graciously allowed me to repost the Charles Walter Reeves memoir. This is under the proviso that the memoir be accessible only to family, not the general public as it was before. This is more than fair, and one I had considered prior to it’s removal from the sklapsky.ca site.

So, where is this ‘family’ portion of the site you may ask? Well, it should be up shortly, maybe as soon as tonight (Sept.18), and I’ll post a notification to that effect once it goes live. Hopefully there won’t be too many glitches along the way. In addition to the memoir there will be access to a family tree with some, shall we say, more personal information regarding those on the tree. I look forward to any feedback.

Once I get the ‘family’ side of the site available you will only be able to get in by using a log-in name and password. I can assign such (likely) or perhaps allow those interested to choose their own. Let’s see how it shakes out……..

Some Changes Afoot

Well there have been some interesting things transpire here, for those of you that follow.

First off I was contacted by a descendant (I assume) of one of the founders of the Sauntry-Cain sawmill, a saw-milling and logging endeavour where my Great-Grandfather Charles Reeves worked back in the late 1800’s. Mary, the family member, wanted to use some portions of Charles memoir in a book she was preparing on history of the Sauntry-Cain logging operation. I contacted family members to ensure my sharing of the information didn’t overstep any boundaries.

Fortunately I will be able to share portions of the memoir with Mary, in order that they be used as part of her documentation on the history of the company. Unfortunately I was also requested to remove the memoir from this site.

I fully support that decision. It was never my intent to share personal information or minimize the special nature of that document. Perhaps in the future we can find some compromise so the effort Charles put in can be shared by a wider audience.

I’m Baaaack

Like the prodigal son I’ve returned home. I brought Mom back from Edmonton yesterday and because my sister Brenda is doing so much better we felt now was the time.

Brenda woke up on Friday and while she is still a long way from ‘good’ she is doing much better, and actually improved over what the doctors had expected by this time. She was off all machines and could communicate a little through hoarse whispers and raised eyebrows. Funny, attitude can be found at all times and in all places.

While she is recuperating to the next stage of wellness we thought a reprieve would be in order for us. Mom certainly needed a break from the daily visits to Brenda’s bedside and I’ll admit I was yearning for one myself.

Mom, Me, Auntie Muriel, Linda, Lloyd
Mom, Me, Auntie Muriel, Linda, Lloyd

We came home in two days, leaving Edmonton on Saturday morning and stopping for a short time in Carstairs to visit my Auntie Muriel. At the same time we also had a brief visit with my cousin Linda and her husband Lloyd. I was really glad to be able to see them. Sometimes I feel like we don’t do that enough.

After our visit we got back on the road and headed south again to Okotoks, where we stayed overnight with my niece and family. It was one of their many busy weekends, with many sports events for their kids and my great-nephew Dryden’s First Communion on Sunday. We weren’t able to take part in any of the events but were with them in spirit.

Sophia, Me, and Bretlyn
Sophia, Me, and Bretlyn

The morning we left I was able to get my photo with a couple of my great-nieces though. Unfortunately I missed a photo with my great-niece Sawyer as she was already out in the morning, off to one of her ball games, but I did snag a couple pix with Sophia and Bretlyn. The boys were not really interested and were playing hockey downstairs.

Something about being with the younger ones makes me yearn to see my own family (I’ll admit it, I’m really thinking Madden), and I suspect a road trip is in order very shortly. It’s a strange power they have over us, it’s almost like I’m going through withdrawal. That being said I made my request known to the powers that be that I’d like frequent photos sent to me while I was in Edmonton.

Madden and Ayron
Madden and Ayron

The almost daily pictures and videos helped boost my spirits and recharged me somewhat. They also reminded me of the good things in our lives, something we too often forget. It inspired me and once I get my feet back on the ground at home I’ll be planning my next road trip to Kelowna. You can never go too long without a hug from your grandchildren, or that’s my experience anyway.

First I have a few things to put to bed. I’m waaay behind in posting the pages from the Reeves memoir, and I haven’t really even begun to scan all the photos Noreen F. was kind enough to lend me. It’s another mystery to me why I find it all so interesting, the history of our families. I’m not even talking just the Sklapsky side, there’s all facets of ‘family’, my parent’s families, their parents, my wife’s family, their parents, the list goes on. Ultimately I’d like to have a bit of it all here, on sklapsky.ca. Kinda like one stop shopping.

Reeves-Sklapsky family
Reeves-Sklapsky family

On that note I’ll post one more photo. I know many of the folks in this picture, some I’m not sure of. Eventually this picture will be in the gallery and I’ll have most/all identified. If not I’d sure appreciate any help. As always an email or comment would be greatly appreciated.

Reeves updates

The Reeves memoir project is not dead.  Just seems like it.

spending time here,updates
spending time here

I’ve been spending a bit of time lately getting the last of the scanned pages (of the Reeves memoir) into editable text, using an optical character recognition (OCR) program. I’m just using an OCR program that comes as part of Windows Office and it works pretty well.

It’s still somewhat tedious but is getting the job done. There are still a number of transcription errors and some missing words etc. so the document will continue to need work to make it fully ‘postable’.  I hope to have another section or two ready for posting today.

I’ve also made contact with a couple other fellow genealogists, if I can call myself that.  One, Loren D. from Rochester MN, has done a bunch of stuff of the Hoberg/Hogberg side, which is Charles Reeves wife’s maiden name. The other is Fay H. who lives in the Abbotsford BC area. She is also connected through Charles wife’s sister.  Boy does it get convoluted sometimes.

So I will putter away at this, fitting it in around the many other things I want to do.

Family History

As I said somewhere, either in this blog or on the Sklapsky.ca site, my intent is to research and display some of our family history. I have a vague sense of how I want this data to display, how I would like the information to be shown so it can be enjoyed by all. Saying that I guess it should also go without saying that I have to be cognizant of personal and family privacy and in no way do I want to overstep that boundary.

All that said I have received a copy of our Great Grandfather Charles Walter Reeves memoir, prepared (handwritten) originally by him in 1955. Subsequent to that (I’m told) it was typed, on a typewriter, by his daughter Eleanor while he was living with her and her husband Pearl.

I will post sections of that memoir as I proof and edit them, as during the conversion from typed to electronic there were a number of errors in character recognition and punctuation etc.. The sections will be all be in a new Category called Genealogy, reached from the menu bar at the top.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.