Note: The following Hayes Family Genealogy Treasure was found by Jerry Hayes, grandson of Harry and Isabelle Lewis.  His write up about it first appeared in his personal blog, “Finding A Voice For My Thoughts” on March 26, 2011.

Grandpa's Anniversary Letter

In one or two other posts here I have mentioned this box of stuff I found in the basement that was full of treasures from my youth. I was down in the basement again today and took a look through that box again and found the letter my Grandpa & Grandma wrote to me and my brothers on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. It was written on a typewriter (so very typically Grandpa) and I scanned it but I’ve also transcribed it here:


October 4


Dear Jerry Peter & Philip

In view of our approaching 50th wedding anniversary and since you are a member of our family, we are asking you to bear with us for a few minutes while we hold forth on the well-worn subject of “Time”. It intrigues us just now because we are especially aware that we have used up quite a bit of it, possibly not in all respects in the best way, but perhaps in just about the way our limited talents permitted us.

We wish that our past fifty years had been full of noble or notable accomplishment. But only a few people seem to have been that able or fortunate. We have tried with considerable success to enjoy our lives together and to do well in establishing a family. We are happy about the results.

The passing of Time has been celebrated, regretted, recorded, and otherwise treated with great and enduring interest since Time began. In fact, we would not have Time if it did not pass. It never stood still despite fairy tales to the contrary. Without Time, we do not exist. Imagine anything existing before Time began-or after it ended!

Man has always been concerned with Time, for example, the time taken by the Earth to rotate on its axis and its orbit, the time taken by the Earth to evolve from its probable beginning, the time taken by man to become what he is, and the time between events in history.

Time engages man continuously from his birth to his death, from the rising to the setting of the sun and the beginning to the end of his undertakings, Time has been a favorite of poets who have mentioned its wing and its habit of fleeting, its capacity for being wasted, it ravages, its corridors, it footprints, its value, it healing, and humorously, what the Walrus said about it in “Alice”.

Our concern with Time is all of this and more but our special concern just now is the fact that fifty years of it have been enjoyed in our happy marriage. We are celebrating this happiness by giving a token like the enclosed to each member of our family. Please use it and enjoy it.

We hope that none of you will send us any gift in return since we have more possessions that we can manage.

Thank you for scores of happy incidents in our lives!

And remember us with the same love we send you!

Grandma & Grandpa

I just have to smile at how Grandpa is talking about Physics and Time. Gee I guess the nut, this nut, didn’t fall from from that tree. Did it?

For as long as I can remember Grandma & Grandpa came up from their home in St. Petersburg, Florida every summer to spend the summer months with us at our home in Chappaqua starting from the summer of 1958 when Mom, Dad, and I moved from Baltimore to New York.

I can still fondly recall watching the second rocket in NASA’s Mercury Program, Liberty Bell 7, launch on TV with Grandma. I remembe it because as it took off I went running out the back door to see the rocket going up into the sky and she then had to explain to me why I couldn’t see it. I still smile when I think of that.

They would come right after the school year ended and then leave, drive back home shortly before it began again.

The summer of 1972 was different though. Grandma & Grandpa would stay until their anniversary in October so that they could celebrate it with thier daughter, her husband, and the Hayes grandchildren. Grandpa took us all to (the original) Emily Shaw’s Inn in Pound Ridge for the celebration. I even remember my dad asking the waiter or waitress if they had hearts of lettuce and I remember having steak.

Sometime either the next day, or maybe a few days later, Grandma & Grandpa would pack up the old Olds Delta 98 and head south for home.

October 11th they arrived in Naples Florida south of their home in St. Pete just to visit and see it. They went for a walk on the boardwalk or quayside that evening and met a young newlywed couple on their honeymoon and chatted with them telling them how they had just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary only a few days ago.

That night my Grandpa, my dear loving Grandpa went to bed for the very last time. He would die in his sleep that night.

Grandpa’s “Time” with us had run its course.