Sunday, August 31, 2014


Herewith a small collection of photographs featuring my father, James F. Tidd.

1935, modeling a fashionable white onesie with broad collar, and tsunami curl.

Jackie Cooper pose while visiting the beach at Asbury Park, New Jersey in 1937. He looks unhappy, probably because he is getting goosed. :) That, or he wants to be out on the water.

Possibly a slightly older Jimmy in stylish blue. At this point he was still James Brook Tidd.

Probably around four years old in this picture.

Here we have a second grade picture. Dad rather dapper in his suit.

He continues his fine fashion sense in third grade. Second from left.

Here we have eighth grade, probably at Trenton High School.

And finally, probably from junior or senior year in high school.


Herewith a 1984 picture of my sisters Barbara Morley Tidd (top, age 21) and Elizabeth Ann Tidd Peterson (age 24), and my niece Falon (who is two).


In December 1959 my grandmother, Lillian Morley Sigley Tidd was invited to join a business group visiting Picatenny Arsenal, Doover, New Jersey on 8/9 December 1949. She is the woman standing in the front row in the fur cape to the right of the colonel.


In 1951 Eagle Scout James Francis Tidd (in the second row fourth from the left, wearing dark green shirt and white neckerchief)served as a counselor at Camp Pahaquarra, part of the George Washington Council, located in the Delaware Water Gap, northwestern New Jersey.


Herewith an official U.S. Navy photograph (9 August 1957) of Midshipmen of the Naval Academy in formation and spelling out "US59NA" while on a summer cruise aboard the aircraft carrier USS Valley Forge (CVS-45), probably somewhere out in the Atlantic.


I think one of the first boats Dad was assigned to after earning his dolphins was aboard the USS Amberjack. Herewith an official U.S. Navy photograph of the Amberjack cruising near Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, June of 1966.


The first ship dad was assigned to after graduating from the Naval Academy was the USS Blue (DD-744) based out of southern California (I think Los Angeles, but possibly San Diego). These are official U. S. Navy Photographs.

Here the Blue sails at the top position in the Echelon Formation with fellow destroyers Alfred A. Cunningham (DD-752), McKean (DDR-784), and Frank E. Evans (DD-754).

Here is an official close-up photograph of the Blue.

Friday, August 29, 2014


On 29 September 1970 my father was relieved as commanding officer of the Naval Reserve Training Center in Charleston, South Carolina; we were soon headed to Tampa, Florida. He would continue his reserve activities there and obtain the rank of Captain. Here is the bio from his official program.


I have no idea when or where this picture was taken, or who any of the individuals are in it, except for the obviously pregnant woman in the middle front row. She is my mother Lydia, and if it is my best guess it is most likely taken in Charleston, South Carolina, and she would be carrying my little sister Bobbie (although it could also be from Hawaii, but there is nothing here to indicate that), which would place this shot around 1963. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a picture of officers' wives.


Herewith a photograph of Dad as a Boy Scout Executive (in charge of the Explorer programs in west central Florida, based in Tampa, this shot taken probably around 1972 or 1973.


This shot was taken in 1983 for officers being promoted in 1984, in his case to Captain. What is really interesting about this picture is that I can see some of my son Chimo in him. At the time he was the Chief Staff Officer with the Naval Reserve Headquarters U.S> Readiness Command 108, stationed at MacDill AFB in Tampa, Florida.


After a short stint with the Boy Scouts, my Dad was hired to work for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department; he was awarded the top shot award.


Dad also served aboard the USS Trigger, stationed in Charleston, during the middle 1960s, mostly as an engineering officer and perhaps navigator, I think. Most or all of the pictures come from the US Navy.

The following picture was taken as the ship passed beneath the Cooper River Bridge near Charleston, South Carolina, in the summer of 1963.

A promotional picture celebrating the arrival of the TRIGGER to Genoa, Italy, June 1962.


My Uncle John (John Armitage Tidd) at about age one, photographed at the farm in Princeton, New Jersey about 1937 or so.

At the opposite end of his life, this is how he looked on a visit to our Lake Keystone home, not long before he deteriorated quickly and was placed in a facility. The pup is Brocho.


The ship I most associate my Dad with while he served in the Navy during his regular tour was the submarine USS SENNETT (SS 408), which he was about in the late 1960s. Perhaps 1966-1970. During that time I think he served an navigation, engineering, and executive officer. Herewith a few pictures at the end of her operational life, most likely shots off South America and the Antarctic. These are all likely official U. S. Navy photographs (though not marked), so I will give them credit.


Here is a picture of my Dad with his class studying naval aviation ordinance, before he decided to take a shot at attending the Naval Academy. He is the tallest guy in the back row middle (sixth from the right), with his neckerchief apart. Standing to his right is Bob See. (Like in Bobbsey Twins? har har). The only others identified are Calvin Walton (4th from left standing) and Frank (Shorty) Thomann (2nd from right squatting). The picture was taken June 1954.


A picture of my mother while she was hiking with my dad in Colorado, but I don't know where here, probably in the mid 1980s.


Here are my Tidd grandparents as babies:

Lillian Morley Sigley Tidd (1914)

and Francis Lasher Tidd (1915)


Taken about 1950. My father's Uncle John, the man who raised his mother.


Although my grandmother Lillian was the daughter of Elizabeth Laura Longmore Sigley, at some point in her young life she was sent to live and be raised by Hannah Lydia Longmore Hartpence, after she had married the successful lawyer John Armitage Hartpence, who my father just called Uncle John. Dad talked with great fondness for his uncle, but seldom mentioned his aunt, though I might just be misremembering. I know there was some displeasure among the Sigleys that Lillian was raised a Protestant while they were Catholic. Hannah was born 22 February 1884 in Trenton and died 2 November 1957, little more than two years before my birth. By 1919 Hannah had lost her two brothers in the service during World War II.

She attended the Charles Skelton School, Trenton High School, and then attended teaching programs at the State Normal School and Vineland Training School. She took graduate courses in psychology and sociology at Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania. She taught at the Carroll Robbins Training School, and for at least three years taught summer classes in the handling of "mental defectives" [what we would call special education] at New York University. She was a founding member, and in 1917 was elected permanent secretary, of the Trenton Welfare Association (1916-1922), an early precursor to what we know now as the United Way. She was a modern feminist and a progressive in the field of social welfare; she was appointed to and served as the only woman on the Trenton Board of Education. Her future husband served as the legal representative on the school board and as city attorney until entering into private practice.

Probably taken around 1904.

Around 1950.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Blizzard of waving
white towels spinning to greet
the Gamecock players.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


On 4 February 1919, little more than a month after hostilities in World War I ceased, my great uncle Harry Francis Longmore, son of Cecelia Longmore, while serving in the American Expeditionary Force, United States Army, 348th Infantry Regiment, 87th Division, Company M, contracted a disease (most likely influenza) and died in Bordeaux, being laid to eternal rest in Plot A Row 16 Grave 8 of the Suresnes American Cemetery, in Suresnes, France (although he may have initially been buried in a cemetery in southwestern France). He enlisted for service 28 May 1918 at Camp Dix, Wrightstown, N. J. and served as the company bugler. His unit never saw action, having arrived in France late in the conflict. I am not sure exactly when the family was notified of his passing, but on 17 February 1919 his mother posted a letter that obviously he never read (and its existence may be the result of it being returned by the War Department to Fort Dix on 22 March 1919 and to Trenton on 25 March 1919). Sadly, his elder brother James Brook (after whom apparently my father was initially named), who enlisted 3 September 1918 and served in 10th Battalion, Company 37, 153 Depot Brigade, died of pneumonia at the age of twenty-eight at Fort Dix on 8 October 1918, so Harry's death was a double blow to Cecelia and the whole family. Herewith the unread letter, a missive to her son, hopefully read by a ghost on his way to heaven. [I tried to transcribe it exactly as on the pages.]

My Dear Harry

I hav got the letter of Jan 6 and am looking for a letter again every time I see the Carier I am looking for the letter I mean the Great one - of things that - are wonderfull. Oh Harry I have something to tell you when I see you. Dad was up to the 2nd Pres Church with me Sunday. all the children are well Laura & Joe sends love to you, a great many of the Boys are geting Discharged from Dix & other camps as well Gorge Gildea says he will run all the way home from Camp Dix if they only give him chance and his Discharge Uncle Joe's James gets one to Day so uncle Joe told us yesterday young Joe is in som land near Spane. Harry I do hope you will only keep well and get home soon for we do want to see you so badly Harry send me a postal card picture Just bust so that your Face is large and your Hat of [off] do write to me soon for it is so long since we got a letter from you Dad sends love to you and he as got Ducks & Chickens so you will have a good time when you get Home I send Love to you I do not want a large picture for Maby I would not get it in the mail so Just Postal kind so it will not cost much

I close with love to you

You asked of Jack Flager he is fine look as if he was never sick Mrs Emdy is fine Dad see her evry day or to she is not geting letters eather only 2 from Burnard since he left home 2 months since one from Frank or Conard she is looking for them home Henry Mullan in Brooklyn is like Police so fat and John is fine & in France

The War Department (although it may too have been a private concern), made postcard pictures of each US grave in France and sent it to the family. This may have been a temporary grave in Bourdeaux.

Monday, August 25, 2014


In one file I found a beautiful little card, delicate and intricate, addressed to Emily Longmore. Since she died in 1887 at the age of seven, it is possible that this note dates from around 1886-1887. It seems like a valentine, but also might have some other goal. I'd like to think some little boy gave it to her and she cherished it for a while, which may be why someone kept it and passed it along. It could have some other significance, I don't know, but I'll let myself be sadly romantic.


On 25 March 1878 L. M. Emsley of Philadelphia wrote to my great, great grandmother Cecelia Longmore:

I neglected to answer your letter, because we were talking about moving, and I waited to know where it should be; but, at present, there seems no prospect of such an event happening.
You are to come down in April, or as soon as you can before that time. I am dying of curiosity to know what you have to tell me so come right away.
Martha had a very baby boy born Jan. 26th, it lived for nearly two weeks, and then died of inward spasms.
We school-teachers are nearly wild for we will have to wait until the 1st of May instead of the 1st of April, and most probably until October, so no new clothes for us.
It is a most horrible windy, dusty day and dust an inch thick on everything.

With love to all, I remain your friend,

I wonder from this short note if Cecelia too was a school teacher. Was Martha family or classmate or former friend? Ms. Emsley's writing is beautiful and light, and pretty easy to read, much better than most writing of this era that I have struggled with. Why keep this note? So many questions, but it is part of what made me love history.


Tucked away in a soiled and worn, undated, un-notated brown envelope there was a small photograph of a child, appearing to be between the age of one month to six months perhaps, his/her feet bundled in knitted socks and wearing a white sleeping gown. The hair appears blonde, which would match a clipping also enclosed within the envelope. An accompanying card feature "Past Present and Future", a drawing or lithograph of three maidens in different stages of life. Who was this child? The photograph was take at John Bainbridge Art Studio, and establishment that existed (according to local historians) from 1878-1884, a rather manageable six years. The best candidate for me is it might be Emily Longmore (the first child of Cecelia and Charles Longmore), who was born in 1880 and died in 1887. She therefore would have been my great-great aunt. It is possible she could also be Elizabeth Laura Longmore (Sigley), who was born in 1882, or Hannah Lydia Longmore Hartpence, who was born in (1884). Somehow, though, because of the poignancy of the card, which seemed to hold a wish that there had been a longer life, I like to think it might be little Emily.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


After World War II, my grandparents Fran and Lee Tidd adopted a Ukrainian boy, Alexander Rybalkin. He has been a shadow person in my life. I think I met him a few times as a child, but even my Dad lost track of him several times. He apparently traveled back and forth from the United States and Ukraine. I know he lived in Baltimore in the 1990s, as well as in his birth town of Donetsk. Exactly why he left Ukraine while his mother was alive, I am not sure.

Here (I think) we have Alex (on the left) with his mother in 1970. The two other people are apparently his nephew and his wife. This picture was taken in Donetsk.

Not sure at all about this picture, but it may very well be of Alex with his nephew and his wife. It was undated, but clearly Alex is older, so I am guessing 1990s.

Alex apparently was in Moscow during protests against Yeltsin and the war in Chechnya. He apparently supported Lebed. He seems to have been poisoned during his stay there, though how bad it is not certain. Here is an undated pic of Alex "hanging" Yeltsin, although I do not know where it was taken.

Undated, but taken in Donetsk, this photo was trimmed off the original, and it makes me wonder who he was standing beside. A former wife? girlfriend? Who knows?