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About Aunt Clara

Aunt Clara was born in the town of Grafton in the state of Massachusetts. Clara quickly became a champion of equal rights for women. Upon her arrival in kindergarten Clara became a polarizing figure by tearing down the girl’s playhouse and leading the girls in a rousing defeat of the boy’s team in a brutal game of duck, duck goose. Clara then petitioned the principle of the school to allow her to speak to the Board of Education. At the hearing the 6-year-old Clara got a rousing applause when she spoke these words. “The day will come when boys will recognize girls as peers, not only at the games of children, but in the councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between boys and girls that shall result in the highest development of the race.”

At the age of nine Aunt Clara raised a champion hog that she named ‘Eyeball’. Eyeball won three awards; two for size and one for beauty. Clara continued to excel in high school winning three spelling bees and first place prizes in two separate science fairs. She cured her younger brother of nail biting by standing by his bed while he slept and repeating the words “my nails taste really bitter.”

Aunt Clara received a full scholarship to the prestigious Wellesley College in Massachusetts when she was just 16 years old. It is said that during her time in college Aunt Clara coined the term ‘hairspray’. During World War II, aerosol cans were developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to better distribute insect spray among soldiers and protect them from malaria. After the war, the beauty industry caught on to the potential of aerosol cans. The first to package a sticky, hard, resin-based spray was Chase Products. Aunt Clara took one look at the spray goo as it was applied to a friend’s hair and said “I want some of that hairspray.” The name stuck and has been used ever since.

Aunt Clara was a woman of extreme beauty and intelligence and was not shy about speaking her mind. Most men were both intimidated and intrigued by her and she received many proposals of matrimony. It was said that Prince Rainier of Monaco was enraptured by Clara and sent her love notes and flowers daily. It was only after being spurned numerous times and for many years by Aunt Clara that he finally settled on his second choice, Grace Kelley.

Aunt Clara dated all three of the Kennedy boys during their formative years and she found each one wanting in their own way. Ted took it hardest and also took to the bottle, but it was said that he could never drink Aunt Clara off his mind. Howard Hughes also fell in love with a young Clara and had paintings of her drawn by several different renowned artists. He filled up rooms in his home with her likeness and it was said that staring at them all day, every day finally drove him insane. It was also said that Aunt Clara’s face launched a thousand ships and her fiery personality destroyed a thousand men. Aunt Clara finally surprised everyone when she married the mild mannered Burt, who had written thousands of poems about her and followed her around like a puppy dog.

Aunt Clara has many accomplishments on her resume including climbing Mount Everest twice, flying solo around the world, being chosen as the first woman to land on the moon, teaching both biochemistry and math at Harvard University and riding a unicycle across the United States of America. Wherever she has been, Clara has always dispensed advice and assisted people with their problems. Aunt Clara began writing an advice column in the late 1970’s and has achieved worldwide fame for many of her writings.


Cindy’s 10 Facebook Tips

Facebook is great for reconnecting and staying connected to family and friends. But it can also be a nasty place.  If your Facebook experience is doing more harm than good, maybe some of my tips can help. If these tips don’t work for you, before you leave Facebook completely, deactivate your account and take a break. Here are my 10 tips to enjoying Facebook (in no particular order):

  1. If you want to just enjoy Facebook and not get your blood pressure up, “Unfollow” (don’t unfriend) people who post things that annoy or upset you.
  2. Don’t post anything political or religious.
  3. Don’t comment on someone else’s post, unless it’s a positive comment and NOT political or religious. If you must respond, just “like” with an emoji, no text.
  4. Be positive, try to entertain, teach or inspire.
  5. Don’t reply to posts from people or groups you don’t know. By answering stupid questions like “what do you call the end of a loaf of bread” you will get more stupid stuff in your news feed.
  6. Post awesome photos past and present. People like photos.
  7. Use private messages for private things.
  8. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know, unless you have friends or interests in common.
  9. Treat people as you would face to face. The golden rule applies here. But some people are just plain nasty; block them.
  10. The real jewel of Facebook is private groups. If you don’t belong to any groups, you are missing out. Find something that you are interested in and join a private group. You don’t get the same nasty comments in private groups. People tend to be kinder and often very supportive.

I know a lot of people who complain about Facebook and it’s usually because they don’t understand Facebook’s algorithm, therefore they get stuff in their newsfeed that only feeds into their dislike for the site. By following these tips, you can customize Facebook so that it’s enjoyable. But it does take some time to weed out the crap, especially if you have lots of ‘friends.’


Pearl Harbor Day

A little piece of family history on this Pearl Harbor Day 2021. Today marks the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack on the US fleet at Pearl Harbor. This is a page from my great grandfather Joseph Winterkorn’s ‘Ledger’ as he called it. This is where he documented his finances and important events in his life. I received a copy of this ledger several years ago from my Uncle Arthur who lived in Hawaii and worked for the Pearl Harbor port authority.

Greatest news that ever came after days of worry about the fate of our dear son Arthur in the far away Hawaiian Islands, where on the morning of Dec 7th 1941 the treacherous forces of Japan swept over Pearl Harbor causing destruction of life and property to the unsuspecting inhabitants, was a telegram received here on the night of Dec 13, 1941 at 11:15 saying:
“Alls well. love Arthur Winterkorn”
Indescribable are the feelings which those few words carried to us all.
He left the home for those far away lands on the 6th of August 1941 with so much hope and ambition to prepare himself for a better future in life.
Fate grant him life and success.
Written Dec 14th 1941.

Joseph Winterkorn, 1941


Too Much Money

Book Review

Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man
By Mary L. Trump

I already knew Donald Trump was a sociopath and a narcissistic liar, but it was interesting to read his life history. Like all of us, some of Trump’s behavior is genetic. But being born into the Trump family with all of Fred Trump’s money along with the way he was raised created a perfect storm. Really no surprises as far as Donald Trump goes. There is also a lot about Fred Jr. in the book, since it was written by his daughter.

What I found most interesting is the family dynamics and what it’s like to grow up in a very wealthy family. It’s a totally different world; housing paid for, college paid for, health insurance covered, as well as allowances and trust funds. Some of the ‘hardships’ in the family, included having a leaky air conditioner in a rent free apartment or having to sell your yacht or airplane.

It’s a good read and Mary Trump is a good writer with some interesting insights into the Trump family and specifically Donald Trump. I hope she makes a lot of money on this book to make up for some of the millions of dollars stolen from her by her uncles and aunts.

Sadly, I doubt many in Trump’s base will read this book, but I do hope it helps to get Joe Biden elected in November. This country – and arguably the world – is in deep trouble if Trump gets another four years in the White House.


Boston Children’s Hospital

TBT – 1997, Boston Children’s Hospital. I’ve been going through my old journals and came across this email that I sent to friends and family back in June 1997, over 20 years ago. Aaron was in the hospital having a major surgery, laryngotracheoplasty (tracheal reconstructive surgery to remove his tracheostomy tube). This was sent out via AOL when pretty much everyone who was on-line was on AOL.

Aaron at Boston Children’s Hospital, June 1997

Update #14 – June 19, 1997

Children’s hospital is quite a place. These doctors and nurses see it all. The most serious cases and cases that can’t be handled in the community hospitals come here to Children’s. There are families here from all over the world. We are so lucky to have this hospital so close by. You don’t need to spend much time here to realize how fragile life is and to be thankful if your kids are healthy. Just walking through the lobby you see kids in wheelchairs, kids with deformities, kids so pasty white and sickly; bandages, IV’s, hearing aids, casts and crutches are plentiful.

They had a busy day in the O.R. the day of Aaron’s extubation / bronchoscopy, so his surgery was delayed. We were told they had 18 O.R.s running all day long and did over 80 surgeries in one day! Eighty children having surgery and more than eighty worried family members pacing the floors of this hospital.

In the past week, we have seen lots of kids come and go from our small little corner of this one-of-many intensive care units. Some with chronic illnesses and experienced parents who know the routine and are coping with more of the same. Then there are families who were worried about their kid’s grades in school one day; and the next, worrying about their kid’s life. The teenage girl who was hit by a dump truck. The 11-year-old boy who lost his hand and his vision when a fire cracker exploded in his hand. The 14-year-old boy who barely escaped death from bacterial meningitis. The baby who has multiple fractures and brain damage after a beating from her mother.

Life certainly is a matter of perspective. And this place certainly does make you think about life and death and what is truly important…