A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Happy Mothers' Day, All You Mothers.

In honor of Mothers' Day, TOF will present a parade of Mothers, starting with:

1. The Incomparable Marge, who is the mother of the TOFsprings, shown here in their cute-and-innocent versions:
Sara, a/k/a Dear in the Headlights

Dennis: Wait, What's Going On Here...

 However, the I/M is herself the daughter of a mother, and while we have no digitized picture of the two in Madonna-and-child pose, we do have them individualized, as it were:

2. Elsie Vera Hammontree (1924-1951) of Oklahoma 
Elsie Vera Hammontree, mother of the I/M

The Marge, imitating a bean bag

Elsie was the daughter of....

3. Ora Vanora Harris (1901-1967) of whom TOF has no digitized photograph. The Marge was largely mothered by this grandmother (and by multiple aunts) after Elsie died. Ora was a Holy Roller and spoke in tongues, a religious exercise which scared the bejabbers out of little Margie.The Harrises had come out of Hardin Co., KY.  They moved to Spencer Co. IN, thence to Cold Springs, MO and on to Indian Territory.  Ora's mother was...

4. Sadie Frances Holland (1884-1918), who had been born in Louisiana and moved with her parents to Chickasaw Nation in 1898, where the met the Harrises. Sadie was the daughter of...

5. Annie Eliza Helms (1861-1939), who had been born in Lee Co., Georgia of North Carolinian parents, married Henry Thomas Holland in Claibourne, LA, then moved to Chickasaw Nation.. She was the daughter of...

6. Gatsey [Helms] (c. 1826 - after 1880), maiden name not yet known, was born somewhere in North Carolina.

TOF, meanwhile, is also the son of a mother; to wit:

1. Rita Marie Singley (1924-1993) a/k/a "The Mut"
Mut, displaying her bona fides as a mother
Her mother was...

2. Helen Myrtle Schwar (1896-1952) a/k/a "Big Mom"
Big Mom, with her smaller brood: Mut in arms, twins Ralph and Paul below

She was born in Revere, Bucks Co., moved to Fountain Hill, then to Easton. She was the daughter of....
3. Frances Hungrege (1870-1926)
Frances: I'll see your five and raise you ten
Big Mom on far right
Born and married in Bucks Co., she moved to Easton in 1900, She was the daughter of....

4. Magdalena Rieß (1836-1901), who emigrated to America, where she married Conrad Hungege in Bucks Co.
Magdalena Riess,
No family shots
She was the daughter of....

5. Franziska Stefan (1799-1856) who lived her whole life in Oberhausen/Niederhausen, Baden

who was the daughter of...

6. Maria Anna Pflüger (c.1772-1845)

Her mother appears to have been

7. M. A. Schwörer (1729-???)

who was the daughter of
8 Franciska Lang (1710-1771)

At this point, even German record-keeping falters and it may be that some records were lost during the Napoleonic wars.

Other Mothers
A potpourri of other mothers plucked from the TOFian tree.

Cynthia Ann Marlow, great grandmother of the Marge, likely source of Choctaw ancestry. She was born in Missouri, the granddaughter, it was said, of Moontubbee, moved to Texas, where she married George Washington White.

Android Photo

Cordelia Adeline Jones, grandmother of Elsie Vera Hammontree, pioneer woman. She was born in Sugarloaf, Ark., where she married Harrison Burton Hammontree, and moved thence to Quinton, OK.
Cordelia Adeline Jones

 Blanche Jean Cantrel, the other grandmother of TOF.
Nana in back yard

 Mary McGovern, Co Cavan, mother of TOF's grandmother, Blanche Cantrel
Mary McGovern Cantrel

 Matilda Loretta Ochenfuss, mother of TOF's grandfather, Francis Thomas Flynn
 Tillie Ochenfuss (2)

Ann Elizabeth Lynch, mother-in-law of Matilda, born in Burlington, VT, "six days after her parents arrived in the US.
Anna Elizabeth Lynch Flynn

 Sarah Jane Metzger, mother of Helen Myrtle Singley. Born and raised in Bucks Co, where she married Anthony Singley, and later moved to Fountain Hill.
Sarah Metzger Singley

 Theresa Kresh, grandmother of Helen Myrtle Schwar. Born in Niederhausen, emigrated to Bucks Co,, met and married her first cousin, Joseph S. Schwar
Joseph and Theresa Schwar

 Theresa Phillip, mother of Joseph Schwar, born in the Elsaß, married in Niederhausen across the river to Sebastian Schwar, and emigrated in the 1850s.

Happy Mothers' Day, All.


  1. Mr. Flynn, I have a question to ask. What is your position on the criticisms of Mother Teresa by authors such as Christopher Hitchens and Aroup Chatterjee? Namely, that she supposedly enjoyed people in her homes suffering, that she had connections to evil figures, and that she abused the funds that she recieved via charitable donations? How do you respond to such accusations?

    1. Easy. I pay them no credence. How would the late Mr. Mitchens know what Mother Theresa enjoyed?

    2. Yeah, I've always found it funny that atheists like Hitchens railed against all things they consider superstitious, and then attempt mind reading upon their opponents.

  2. On a side note, you once told me a while back that there were probably influences on your writing style that you were not consciously aware of, besides Heinlein, Anderson, and deCamp. Well, after much reading of many sci-fi novels, I think I've found a few of them.

    1. If you don't mind telling me, do the authors Bob Shaw, Henry Kuttner, and Clifford Simak ring a bell? Because I have noted similarities between your writing style and theirs.

    2. I recognize all three. Shaw did not write many stories that I recall, but "Light of Other Days" and its sequel and THE TWO TIMERS ring a bell. Of Clifford Simak, I recall: CITY and WAY STATION and the short story "Grotto of the Dancing Deer." Kuttner I read in many collections and anthologies, and though I may remember some of his stories, darned if any actual titles spring to mind.

    3. The thing that always led me to see similarities between your work and theirs is that all four of you possess the ability to balance golden age notions of intense technical detail and new wave notion of deep character analysis.

    4. One story in particular that I see similarities with your own work is Kuttner's "Two-Handed Engine". To me this story is similar to your own "Places Where the Roads Don't Go" in that both stories use technological inventions as catalysts to meditate on heavy philosophical issues.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Whoa, What's This?

adam amateur theology anthropology aphorisms Aquinas argument from motion Aristotelianism art atheism autumn of the modern ages books brains breaking news captive dreams cartoon charts chieftain clannafhloinn comix commentary counterattack crusades culcha dogheads easton stuff economics eifelheim evolution factoids on parade fake news fallen angels Feeders fir trees in lungs firestar flicks floods flynncestry flynnstuff forecasts forest of time fun facts gandersauce gimlet eye global warming glvwg headlines henchmen high frontier history home front how to lie with statistics humor Hunters Moon hush-hush hypatia in the house of submission irish Iron Shirts irrationalism january dancer jihad journeyman kabuki kool letter lion's mouth lunacon maps mayerling medieval metrology miscellany modern mythology moose zombies music new years nexus odds odds and ends paleofuture passing of the modern age philosophy philosophy math poetry politics potpourri psyched out! public service quality quiet sun quote of the day razor's edge redefinition of marriage religio reviews river of stars scandal science science marches on scientism scrivening shipwrecks of time shroud skiffy skiffy in the news skools slipping masks some people will believe anything stats stories stranger things the auld curmudgeon the madness continues the new fascism the russians are coming the spiral arm the writing life thomism thought for the day thread o' years tofspot topology untergang des abendlandes untergang des morgenlandes up jim river video clips vignettes war on science we get letters we're all gonna die whimsy words at play wuv xmas you can't make this stuff up