Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Letter D---Family History Through The Alphabet Challenge

The Letter D
D is for dog, wasn't that what we first learned as we attempted to grasp the concept of the alphabet when we were little kids?

I have a great dog, his name is Heathciff and he's the best dog any one could ever have - even though he is quite naughty at times. 

Heathciff is a beautiful black lab that still will from time to time, misappropriate socks, hangers, tissue and shoes. As you can see from the the pictures below I am a proud labby moma


The last picture on the right hand side is of my husband and my pup at a park very near where my grandfather used to live in New York.

Moving on to The Letter D. The Letter D is for Dewey Henry Witt. Dewey H. Witt was my grandfather on my mother's side of the family, born 20 April 1923 at Buffalo, Erie County, New York, and died 16 May 1985 Newfane, Niagara, New York. 

He served in the United States Navy for just less then a year; Enlisted 23 Aug 1945, he was released 19 Jul 1946, due to the end of the war---he did one of the jobs that my husband (served for 20+ yrs) did in the Navy, shop keeper on the ship. From what my gram said he was in dry dock in Florida during his time in the Navy.

He went to Kinsington High School in Buffalo, New York, which I didn't know until after we moved from Buffalo. Funny thing is that I lived only a couple of blocks away from that school while living in Buffalo. For a short stint my mom  (Dewey's daughter) actually worked as a school nurse in the elementary school her father attended. I used to drive bythe school every Sunday on the way to church.

When we would visit him he would play his accordion for us; in finding his Year Book at, I also discovered he played the piano. Musical Instruments - AccordionI remember him being very interested in family history in his later years. 

When it came to his German heritage he went all out hahaha - he even got a pair of lederhosen and would wear them as he would play German Polkas and dance around a bit.

He lived in Burt New York for a long time and always said he hated to visit the city, so we rarely saw him in Buffalo where we lived, but we visited him. 

Every year we woud bring our Halloween pumpkins to grandpa to carve. Before carving them he would take us outside for a small hike to look for different things to use in the decorating/carving of the pumpkin. 

These pumpkins were like no other. Grampa would use pine cones as eye brows or mustaches, leaves for a hat, quarter apples as ears, seeds as teeth...etc. When we took the walks he used to tell us about the nature around us, he loved nature and the outdoors.

Grampa was very artistic, every pumpkin carving was a masterpiece, he also painted with oils and water colors, he took photo's, drew, and sculpted with clay too.

I think I got my love of nature and photography from him. He was also inventive, before anyone was selling water-proof camera's he had invented an apparatus for taking pictures under the water.

Every Christmas he would have presents for my cousin and I, but when my cousin wouldn't come he told me that I should have her's too---so I guess I lucked out on a couple of things when that happened, the extra present and 1 on 1 time with my grandfather.

The other thing I remember about my grampa was that he smoked a pipe, I still can remember the smell of cherry, apple and/or vanilla tobacco and I still love the smell, even though I don't smoke nor like cigarette smoke, probably  because it reminds me of my grandfather who loved me and showed me kindness.

When Grampa Witt died I grieved because he was the only father figure in my life for a very long time and he was gone. I still miss him, but I know I will see him again and that will be a grand reunion

 Kelly Hamon



Gould Genealogy said...

I love your pics of Heathciff, he looks like a beautiful dog. I am very much a pet person, have had them all of my life, sadly one of our cats died this year ( He was very much a part of the family.

And the anecdotes you have remembered about your grandpa are gold. It's stuff like that, that really 'makes' a person. And I'm sure your family are pleased that you're recording these memories.

Unknown said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. We know how much a pet becomes a beloved member of the family. When I (Kelly) was growing up we had two cats Tiger and Snowball and when they passed on, there was an empty place in our hearts for some time.

We're glad you're enjoying our blog--thanks for the comments.