Monday, June 29, 2009

A World of Good, Inc.

This is the other part of my life. When I am absent from blog ville, I am usually selling jewelry and beads at trade shows. This is how I earn a living, it is part of my creative outlet, and how I help to support people in Nepal. These pieces are traditional Himalayan designs or abstractions of traditional designs. I do modify some of the designs to fit American tastes. Usually, I just have them shrink the designs for us. When I come up with my own designs, it takes a Nepalese crafts person to interpret my idea and make it beautiful. You can see much more including some very modern designs at

I'm busy placing orders this week, but I will get back to story writing soon. Peace.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Spooky Tale of Treasure

I had no photo so I made a picture for you.

After the death of Clark H. Van Dervoort, a paper which recorded the following incident written in his own handwriting was found in his lock box.

I was born in Clarksville, Ohio July 10, 1829, where my father Jonathan Van Dervoort, was a successful Merchant. During the panic of 1838 he lost his business and we moved on to a farm nearby. Soon after this my mother became helpless with inflammatory rheumatism and remained bed ridden for fourteen years before her death. My father and my brother, Jefferson, worked in the field and I did the housework. In the fall of 1842 we decided to move to Tippecanoe Co. Indiana where my Grandmother Ruland, my mother’s mother, lived. We had but little money, one team of horses, a small amount of household goods and one wagon. My brother Jefferson and I walked and drove sheep all the way. My Grandmother Ruland let us occupy one half of her double two story log and frame house, the old homestead. My Grandfather Ruland had been dead for many years. My brother Wilson and I slept in a trundle bed which was pushed under my fathers and mothers bed during the day time. About midnight on December 23 my brother Wilson woke me up crying. He whispered to me that grandfather Ruland had been talking to him about some money. I told him he must be dreaming and to go back to sleep. About five o’clock he woke me up again and said grandfather had returned and that I must get up and do as he said. So we slipped out of bed and went into the kitchen and dressed by the fireplace. Wilson said that Grandfather told him there was some money in a box under the last step of the stairway over the closet back of father’s bed and he wanted us to get it and give it to my mother. Wilson commenced to cry and said he was scared but I told him he must see me through. I lighted a candle and we crept into the closet without waking father or mother. After turning things upside down and moving some boxes stored there, we found a wooden box, it was quite heavy. Wilson was holding the candle and he commenced to cry. I thought he was going to faint. I took him in my arms and comforted him. He wanted to give it up, but after quieting him I told him we must do just as Grandfather told us to do. I took the box and we slipped into the kitchen. I soon had a good fire in the fireplace and started breakfast. I called father and he said it was too early for breakfast. I told him I had a special reason and wanted mother to have her breakfast with us as soon as possible. She said she did not think she was able to sit up but I took some hot water in to father and he gave her a warm bathe, and we carried her out to the table. We put her in a rocking chair with pillows around her and brought out the box and placed it beside her plate. We told her about grandfather appearing to Wilson and telling him where to find it. W opened the box and inside found two buckskin bags filled with silver money. Mother burst out crying and the rest of us were soon all weeping with her. We all wept for some time as there seemed to be such a strange presence in the room. After we quieted down father and I counted the money. There was $265.00 mostly in French and British coinage in the two bags. It was certainly a God send to us as we had less than $5.00 in the house, and a hard winter ahead.

Now I have told my story and every word is true. The last time I talked with my brother Wilson not long before he died in 1892 he said he still had the buckskin bags and the wooden box.

Signed, Clark N. Vandervoort
I found this treasure of a tale in my own grandfather's belongings after his death. Clark H. Vandervoort was my great, great grandfather. I did not alter the story except to correct the spelling.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Atlas Quest

These are our treasures!

Greetings everyone! I'm so sorry that I have been out of touch. In the past two weeks I have driven, with my boys, to Cape Cod, MA, and to Boston, then back home for one night. I dropped off one boy so that he could go to camp and took the other to Durham, NC, to do a show with me. In Durham, a friend introduced us to It is the perfect hobby for a globe trotting family. Much to our surprise, there are secret treasures hidden in parks and alleys under rocks and in tree stumps all over the US and in several other countries as well. They must be found by following clues, some of which are incredibly cryptic. We discovered 6 treasures in Durham. On the way home we found another in the Outer Banks, NC, and looked for one in Kitty Hawk, NC, but never found it. Then we drove straight up the coast to Rehoboth Beach, DE, and found one in a pedestrian through way. We found another near our home back in Lebanon, PA. And we accidentally found a, geocache, which is treasure that you find via GPS, in our local park. Treasure hunting is thrilling. The treasures that we find and leave are hand-carved stamps. You should check it out and see if there are any hidden near you.

I have been thinking of lots of stories during my journeys and promise a true spooky story of real hidden treasure when I return. I'll be working at a bead show in Newark, DE, this weekend and I have to leave in the next half hour. Peace.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Student pants with split toe construction workers shoes.

Here you can see the weird curve from thigh to ankle.

While I lived in Japan, the students wore uniforms which were very strictly monitored and which severely limited their self expression. The girls had certain hair styles that they could choose from according to their age or grade level. They were not allowed to wear jewelry or make-up. At certain times throughout the year, teachers would measure the length of their skirts to see if they were either too high or too low. The boys also had restrictions on waist height, cuff length, and so on. But it was the girls clothing that most annoyed me. As a teacher in Japan, I was disturbed that male teachers would have their hands on these girls legs measuring the length of their skirts. Why should girls be forced to wear skirts in the first place? Skirts are so limiting. I could go out and play hacky sac with the boys at lunch but not with the girls because they wore skirts.

There were no restrictions on the teacher's clothing, so I went to the student uniform store and ordered myself a pair of boy's student pants that pushed all of the boundaries of the school restrictions. It had the longest thinnest waist, the widest possible thighs, and the most narrow cuffs allowed by school rules. In this way I demonstrated my solidarity with the students.
None of the teachers ever mentioned my pants, but several of the students made sure to let me know they admired my outfit.

Wagamama is a Japanese word meaning something like, independent minded or strong willed. I did not get the impression that it is a positive thing to be called, but it seemed to fit me. I can not tell you how many times people in Japan told me the Japanese expression, "The nail that sticks up, gets hammered down." I guess it is just my nature to stick up.
This post was prompted by The One Minute Writer.
On the road again next week y'all. Go make some trouble while I'm gone!