Category Archive: Childhood Memories

Jun 27

Remembering WHS, Class of ’59

We were so very lucky to have been raised in a small village, Walpole, New Hampshire. Walpole (like many places in the state) was a friendly place, where everyone knew each other, doors were never locked, and the neighbors were all special and caring.

The village of Walpole had a large Town Hall. The second floor boosted a stage with a dance floor (of course the room was frequently set up with for plays, large meetings and all). On Saturday nights, the Allen Kendall orchestra played wonderfully dancing music, including both ballroom and square dancing—something for everyone. It was the place to be on Saturday nights when I was in hight school.

Our high school class (WHS, class of 1959) was small—there were 27 of us from three communities, Walpole, Drewsville, and Westmoreland. Though a very small community during our sophomore year some of our parents called in a professional dance couple to teach us the basics of ballroom dancing and etiquette. I remember that year fondly. At the end of our sessions, my parents hosted a small dinner party for my twin and I and our dates and another couple before we headed out to show off our skills in a dance competition.


© Linda Woodward Geiger. All rights Reserved.

Permanent link to this article:

May 30

Family Scrapbook Pages

This is the fifth challenge of “Your Story. Brilliant!” offered as a class by Linda Sattgast of For this challenge I used paper & elements from Ever After kit by Krystal Hartley (Copyright 2010) and Scrappers Guide. The photographs are from my family collection.

The focus theme was “Early Childhood through Grade School.” Again the pages are not just about me, but about my twin (we were tighter than two peas in a pod). As usually, as the the month neared its end, I completed the task.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.

Permanent link to this article:

Apr 20

Family Scrapbook Pages

This is the fourth challenge of “Your Story. Brilliant!” offered as a class by Linda Sattgast of

This month the focus is on “Birth and Early Years.” As I have a twin brother it would be impossible to isolate my story since we were rarely apart during our youth. Peter is 5 minutes older than I and I remind him every year of how pleased I am that I’m not the oldest of four siblings—he is! Our younger brother is about 6 years young and the baby of the family is about 10 years younger than we are.


© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved

Permanent link to this article:

Feb 15

Wordless Wednesday: Walpole, NH

Congregational Church, Walpole, NH

Permanent link to this article:

Nov 20

Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgivings during my childhood were generally spent with relatives on my Mom’s side of the family. “Over the River and through the Woods” was commonly sung as we made our way from Walpole to Chichester.  We generally dined at the large farm house of Ben and Eleanor Shaw on Bear Hill in Chichester. Ellen (Rowell) Shaw was  the niece of Nana Perkins (Alice M Brown Perkins). I always thought that there was such a crowd of people around the large dinning room table: Ben & Eleanor and their two children Carl and Pat (much older than Peter and I), Aunt Bell (Eleanor’s mother and sister-in-law of Nana Perkins), Nana Perkins, Mom & Dad, Peter, Richard, and I and later our younger sister, Gale). On rare occasion, Aunt Helen (Mom’s sister) and her son Jerome would join us.

The fare was nearly always the same: a huge turkey, giblet dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, squash, and boiled onions. Once or twice lobster was added to the table, particularly for Nana Perkins. Dessert was always the traditional apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies. Eleanor made the best pies!

As young adults the tradition of place and people changed (not fare). There were not new family members consisting of the spouses the four Woodward siblings. We seemed to alternate years with the families of our spouses and it was more difficult, particularly after we started having children. It was not uncommon in those days for as many as twenty four family members around my table (tables that is). It was always a special time.

But then my second husband and I moved to Georgia and it was not easy getting back to New England for Thanksgiving with my family. So many Thanksgivings here in Georgia were spent with some of Charles friends and co-workers until his health began to decline. Even when we did dine with others, I just had to cook a Thanksgiving meal at home.

Recently I was invited to join other “orphans,” as we called ourselves – some of the staff of the National Archives  who had no family or none near enough to be able to share the day. I’m looking forward to another delightful Thanksgiving dinner with wonderful friends!  This year my brother Richard will be with us.

I’m thankful everyday for my many blessings, but always feel extra gratitude this time of year for my family and friends. I love Thanksgiving Day!

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All rights reserved.

Permanent link to this article:

May 01

Pets – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Marcus and Saxon

On the 1st of March I wrote a short reminiscence of my child hood pets Eric, the Norwegian Elkhound, and Tip-Tip Toes our cat. For this challenge I’ll share a couple of photos of my son, Marcus, and his first two canine pets: Saxon, a beagle, and Sir Lancelot, a Collie.

Marcus and Lance



Permanent link to this article:

Apr 20

Restaurants – week 16: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Our challenge this week is to discuss restaurants of our childhood. You know, that’s hard to do when your family very rarely went to a restaurant. When we lived in Loudon (until I was about 6 & 1/2) there were no restaurants around and excursions into the thriving city of Concord were few and far between. We moved west to Walpole about 1947. Again, the village did not have much to offer in the way of restaurants, even if my folks had been able to find the money to splurge. In a way we frequently ate when the weather was pleasant. Mom packed a terrific picnic! I remember items were packed in bowls or pyrex baking dishes and pitchers and then wrapped in layers and layers of newspapers to keep the food warm or cold depending on the need.

Excursions to the a dairy for ice-cream was a grand treat. When we were in Loudon, we drove to Laconia to Week’s Dairy Bar. Delightful home-made ice cream in many varieties. When we were in Walpole, the family would drive into Keene to McKenzie’s Dairy Bar. That was a unique experience because the dairy bar was attached to a special barn that had plate glass windows. In the early evening, we could have our ice cream and watch the cows being milked with special high tech equipment. What fun!

As an adult I always enjoy the Red Mill in Westminster and the Old Mill in Sudbury, Massachusetts. I’ve never found a wonderful spot in the Atlanta area—well, Baby Does, but that place closed over ten years ago.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.

Permanent link to this article:

Apr 10

Sports – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

I’m very happy to have championed the New York Yankees of the 1950s. I first began to cheer for the team because the rest of the family (including Nana Perkins)  were die hard Red Sox fans and were positively against the Yankees. What a boring thing it would be for everyone to agree! Of course I was always out-voted when it came to what game would be heard on the radio. But I was not daunted, I was probably the only female in our little village to subscribe to Sports Illustrated which frequently featured my Yankees—Mickey Mantel, Yogi Berra, Gil McDougald, and Phil Rizzuto, to name a few.

Around 1957 or so I clipped this article from the newspaper and carried it around with me until it nearly fell to pieces. At that time I transcribed it. Alas, it was before I learned how important it was to document my sources so I cannot provide a proper citation. I’m inclined to say that I cut it out of theConcord Daily Monitor when I was visiting my Grandmother in Loudon, New Hampshire. Anyone interested in reading the transcript can go to Musings by Linda: Anamnesis

As a high school graduation present, my Grandfather Woodward (a Boston Braves fan) awarded Peter and I with a trip to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox dual the Yankees. Dad went with us. Our seats were directly behind 3rd base (enemy territory for everyone but me) about three rows up from the Yankee dugout—I could almost reach out and touch Clete Boyer who played third base for the Yankees. What a day!

My next thrilling baseball experience was when my college beau took me into Yankee Stadium to see a game. Thank you, Dick, for that wonderful experience!

I continued to cheer  for “My” Yankees until my late husband’s company moved us to Georgia. The local newspapers rarely mentioned the northern teams of the American League, after all this was now the home of the Braves. Since I loved baseball, the natural thing to do in this circumstance was to “root, root, root for the home team,” but it was never the same.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved

Permanent link to this article:

Apr 07

Spring – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Stinking Benjamin (Wake Robin)

Spring makes me think of Stinking Benjamin, skunk cabbage, and tadpoles.


Isn’t it strange that things we rebelled against as children, we often treasure as adults.

With the first sign of spring Mom would insist that we all set out to explore the meadows and woodlands for signs of wildflowers. As children, we’d moan and groan and were shamefully ungrateful for the wonderful lessons Mom taught us.

When I became an adult I treasured the stollen moments when I could wander out into nearby meadows, woodlands, and creek beds to look for the wonderful wildflowers poking their dainty leaves above the earth and later showing off their brilliant colors and delicate blossoms. I remember forcing my son to take some of those excursions with me when he was young – he hated every minute of it and every mountain trail I made him climb with me! Today (and for some time now, I’m pleased to say) some of our happiest moments together are exploring natures wonders as we hike in Oregon and Georgia.

Copyright. Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.


Permanent link to this article:

Mar 27


During week #13 of 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History, the topic is “Sweets.” What, you ask, does a Steeple clock have to do with sweets?

When my twin brother and I were toddlers, we lived in an apartment across from Craigen’s Store in Loudon Village, New Hampshire. At the time Dad was away most of the time serving as a Marine during World War II. I know now that money was very tight for the family and as I look back, I can understand it better. I remember Mom washing clothes using a galvenized tub and a scrub board, but I digress.

Our parents tried their best to make Dad’s furloughs memorable. One of their favorite activities was to stage bubble contests using bubble gum (a nice sweet flavor). To our delight every one in the family participated. There was much laughter … that is until it was time to clean up and the kerosene was called into action. Mom would tie my hair away from my face in hopes that I wouldn’t get gum in my hair, but I generally managed to do so anyway.

Any left over gum was stored in the back of the steeple clock that was kept on a shelf behind the living room couch. I recall wanting a piece so very badly (even though I was not supposed to have it) that I set out to invade the storeage place. The clock came crashing down on my head and several parts broke off. Needless to say my Mom was most unhappy and I received the punishment I certainly diserved.

Copyright. Linda Woodward Geiget. All rights reserved.

Permanent link to this article:

Older posts «