Ten Years After

Ten years after Ten years ago today I made a surprising discovery.  While making my first foray into the new world of online genealogy, I found that my great-great-grandfather’s long-lost brother, Lou Blonger, had reigned for 30 years as the criminal kingpin of Denver, Colorado.  I also determined that no one else in my extended family knew anything about our… (more…)

Desperately Seeking Sam

Do you have an eye for detail? Then you might like this puzzler. We recently discovered Sam Blonger’s gravesite online, thanks to these photos from Scotti McCarthy. From her Find-a-Grave post, we know that Sam is buried in Section 20 of Riverside Cemetery. I think it will be easy enough to find Sam’s grave when we visit it in person… (more…)

Slumber Party at the Bee Hive Ranch

On Saturday, April 17, 1920, the Colorado foothills were hit by a spring blizzard that covered the tracks of the interurban line that ran through Lou Blonger’s cherry orchard, the Bee Hive Ranch, in suburban Lakewood.  After the three-car train stalled, it was quickly covered with snow.  Luckily the passengers were evacuated to Lou’s place, where they were greeted and… (more…)

Hello, Sam — We’ve Been Looking for You

We’d been looking for Sam for nine years — he was the only Blonger whose final resting place had not been determined.  But apparently we weren’t looking nearly hard enough.  Turns out this photo has been on the Find-a-Grave web site for the last three years, thanks to researcher Scotti McCarthy. For some reason (that I needn’t bother to figure… (more…)

Amy Reading on Focus 580

Amy Reading, whose new book “The Mark Inside” has been the subject of several posts here, will be interviewed on Illinois Public Radio tomorrow (Wednesday, April 25).  If you happen to live in central Illinois like we do, you can listen live on WILL, AM 580.  Elsewhere, you can listen in almost real time to the stream (click the “LISTEN”… (more…)

Happy Blonger Day!

Nine years ago today, April 22, 2003, I walked into my office at work with an idea. The previous night I had discovered that my great-great-grandfather’s long-lost brothers had apparently used the surname “Blonger” instead of the family spelling “Belonger”. Using that clue, I’d also been able to find them in census records in several western states, where they appeared… (more…)