True Stuff that I Made Up

PLEASE NOTE: The entries which are published at this site are solely my personal and sometimes whimsical musings. For information regarding my political positions and proposals, please visit

Further, this website is devoutly dedicated to all of my friends and associates, both early and late, who have mentored and influenced me. However, being who they are, the majority of them have been late most of the time.

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Friday, December 24, 2004

More About Great Grand "Maw" Seylar

In a previous entry ("...The Meaning Of P{ie}..."), and thanks to my cousin Norma J. Horst, Maw Seylar's recipe for mince meat pie was shared.
Norma also tells me that Maw sometimes put on a Halloween mask and warned her children that the boogeyman would get them if they didn't behave properly.
Today, my Dad, Willis "Woody" Kump, reminded me of another story about Maw from his childhood. (Maw is his maternal Grandmother)
He remembers that she used to keep a lard can full of hard, clear candy, shaped like animals, as treats for the children.
At Christmastime, she would somehow get the children distracted and looking elsewhere, while she threw a handful of candy into the air.
When the candy fell to the ground, she told them that it was Christmas candy, magically sent from Santa to them.
Dad confessed that he believed her, until one day he caught her throwing the candy.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

My Great Great Grandfather's Beard (Further Updated -Twice)

Early this morning, during a 6:00 AM endowment session at the Washington, D.C. Temple, a powerful prompting persuaded me to go home immediately afterwards and record this following bit of family history:
My Great Great Grandfather, *John F. Kump (6 July 1849 - 30 October 1937), son of **David S. "Cooney" Kump (25 September 1815 - 25 April 1895), always wore a beard, with one brief exception.
Once, thinking that perhaps his beloved wife, Ruanna Koontz, would be pleased with him if he was clean-shaven, he shaved off his beard and then slipped up behind her, to surprise her with a loving embrace.
Frightened, Great Great Grandmother Ruanna didn't even recognize him at first, thinking he was an intruder.
She then made him promise to never again shave his beard, and he thereafter kept his word to her for the rest of his life.
Following Ruanna's death in 1929, John was hospitalized (I don't remember why) and the head nurse decided that his beard, now matted and stained with years of accumulated tobacco juice drippings, would have to be removed.
Tearfully, he told the nurse of his pledge to his now deceased sweetheart, and begged her not to shave his beard.
Touched, she relented, and took the time to arduously clean and comb his long beard, until it glistened in white purity.
Since then, John and Ruanna were reunited forever, as they were "sealed" together in God's Holy Temple, as husband and wife for all eternity.
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PostScript: Gertrude "Trudy" Zeger, Granddaughter of John, tells me that she was fifteen when he died, and that he used to come to her parents' home on Sundays for dinner, walking the approximately six mile round trip. According to Trudy, he loved to sing, and their favorite was "When the Roll is Called Up Yonder", and that she can still "see" him singing for them. He was hit by a car walking home from a friend's one day, and was in the hospital for a week before he died. Now that Trudy mentions it, I also remember being told by my Dad that Great Great GrandDaddy refused to believe in cars, and would ignore them when he was out walking, thus leading to his fatal accident. Trudy tells me that she was only seven when Great Great GrandMother Ruanna died, about a month after she had visited Trudy's family and told them that it would be the last she would see them.

Another Postcript: Trudy also tells me that another of his favorite hymns was "The Old Rugged Cross", which must have been passed down through the generations, because my Dad used to sing parts of it when I was a kid. Trudy goes on to tell me that his son, J. Frank Kump (same name but different twist on it) made the communion table for the United Brethren Church in Fayetteville, PA., with "In Remembrance of Me" carved on the front. He also made the hymn boards for the church, all on or about 1935.

*During the Civil War, when John F. Kump still was barely into his teens, Confederate troops captured Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, burning the town to the ground for refusing to pay ransom.
Captured by the Rebels, John was pressed to gather firewood for their camp.
Each day he ranged farther and farther away from camp to gather firewood, until he finally got far enough away to keep on going and escape.

**Returning home late one night and falling down drunk, David S. "Cooney" Kump came to a creek, which only could be crossed over via a fallen log.
Later, when asked how he was able to walk across the log in his stupor, he grinned and confessed that he "cooned" it.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

More Surgery (Just for the Joy of It)

Yep, more carving, but this time it's elective (more or less) surgery on January 21st at Sacred Heart Hospital near Cumberland, MD.
Now that I'm well (still goofy, but nonetheless well), I decided to go ahead with reconstructive surgery on a congenital airway defect that partially blocks my breathing (at the base of my tongue).
The surgery only will take 60-90 minutes, but I'll have to stay overnight at the hospital (for postoperative observation) and then be home from work about 10 days.
The surgeon, Dr. Steven Coutras, recommended this operation way back in 2000, but other issues have taken precedence until now.
Maybe this will make me less of a gasbag? (Wouldn't that be a blessing?)
My friend Dave A. reminded me that, in a previous and recent Priesthood blessing, I was promised that my "tongue would be loosened".
At the time of the blessing, this surgery was not in my thoughts, but now I wonder if the world is ready for more of me.
Inquiring minds want to know.

Addendum: 7 January 2005 - After the diagnosis (two separate medical opinions by ENT surgeons) for the need for reconstructive surgery on my airway, I asked for and received another Priesthood blessing in preparation for the forthcoming surgery on January 21st. Then, in my presurgical examination this morning, a thoroughly bemused and befuddled Dr. Coutras was pleased to tell me that my condition has been healed, and that it no longer is necessary for me to have surgery.

Monday, December 06, 2004

The meaning of Pi(e)...

Thanks to my Seylar kinfolk and the culinary talents and Christ-like charity of another gracious lady, my Dad,Willis "Woody" Kump (Falling Waters, WV), recently received a wonderful surprise.
When he was a young lad, his maternal grandmother, Mary "Maw" Seylar baked her own style of mincemeat pies, which he dearly loved.
Since then, the mincemeat pies of others weren't the same for him. He just didn't like them.
Hearing him recently reminisce about those pies inspired me to track down the recipe from one of our Seylar cousins, Norma J. Horst (Chambersburg, PA), and Sandy Wheeler (Hagerstown, MD) graciously offered to make those pies, from scratch, for him.
At Church last Sunday, Sandy, refusing any compensation from me whatsoever, delivered two huge deep-dish mincemeat pies to me, which I then gladly presented to my Dad.
It had been over fifty years since Dad has enjoyed one of Maw's pies, but he remembered and reveled in their taste, as well as the memories from his childhood.
Thank you Norma and Sandy, more than words can express.

Addendum: In response to those of you who have asked for the recipe, here's the recipe-
2.5 pounds of ground beef, browned
2 pounds of raisins (I prefer the pie without raisins)
4 quarts of finely chopped apples
3 finely chopped organges
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of nutmeg
a "little bit" of allspice (that's what she wrote down)
2 cups of apple cider
1 pound of brown sugar
1 cup of honey
Toss all ingredients.
Bake in a pie crust at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Makes 6 (count 'em) pies.

Friday, December 03, 2004

The Convict & the Church Lady

This week, a caring and sincere Christmas card came to me from a former inmate on my prison case management case load.
In his card, he wrote:
"...I'll NEVER forget you! Thank you ...for treating me like a human being..".
That same day, a lady from a local Christian church took it upon herself to telephone me at home.
She invited me to her church and give up the "Mormon Cult", who she wrongly believed worships Joseph Smith and doesn't even accept the Bible or Jesus Christ. (Huh?)
Albeit sincere, she was and is so sadly deluded by prejudice and misinformation about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In the Old Testament of the Bible, the prophet Daniel prophesied that God would "set up a kingdom' that would "never be destroyed" and would "stand for ever" (Daniel 2:44).
In making this prophecy, he spoke of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the kingdom of God on earth today.
From the day the Church was organized with six members, it has grown and flourished, and will continue to progress until it has "filled the whole earth" (Daniel 2:35).
With Jesus Christ at the head of the Church, living prophets will continue to guide the Church's progress until the earth is prepared for the Saviour's Second Coming.
For the wonderful truth about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a free copy of a beautiful video or DVD about the birth and life of Christ, call 1-877-300-8000 (toll-free).