Tag Archives: Knowles

Horse Sense

Horse Sense

Grandpa Knowles called it “horse sense”.  If anyone knew horses, he did.  He spent a portion of his young adulthood catching and breaking wild horses, and then donating them to the Rough Riders.  (His mom forbad him to go off with Teddy to fight in the Spanish American War, so this was his service to his country.)  To do that, you come to know what horse sense means.

Horse Sense

Grandpa Knowles as I Remember Him

I spent my first 10 years close to my grandfather’s side.  We’d go on walks together.  He’d tell me stories and sing me songs while bouncing me on his knee.  And, when I would do something unwise he’d say, “Brent, use your horse sense.”  Over time I came to know that expression as another way to follow your conscience and listen to those warning voices.

He was a wise man, and not someone to be trifled with.  He was well versed in politics (a stanch Republican), the scriptures (many of which were memorized), gardening and butchering (not to forget his career with the railroad too.)

Skipping Ahead 50 Years

If Grandpa were alive today he’d be disgusted with politics in general.  Uncategorically, I think I am safe to say, he’d be disgusted with the politics of every president since Ike (with the exception of Reagan, perhaps)… until now.  The same can be said about many of the presidential candidates over the past 50 years.  Grandpa, undoubtedly, would not support them.

I wasn’t for Donald Trump.  I didn’t vote for him, and in fact, tried to persuade friends to vote for someone else.  While I am impressed with Trump’s business prowess, too many people I trusted and believed led me down a path where I began to distrust Donald Trump.


I accept the election results.  Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect.  I am glad we didn’t end up with Bernie Sanders, Gary Johnson, John Kasich, or heaven forbid, Hillary Clinton.  Like with Barack Obama, I said, ‘Let’s see what he does.’

Tweets vs Speeches

Donald Trump’s Tweets have brought much controversy.  I told my dad it is as though President Trump has a mild case of Turrett’s Syndrom when it comes to his Tweets.  It is also difficult to tell the tone of a Tweet.  Face to face, one can read someone’s expressions.  You cannot do that with a Tweet.  For that reason, I take Tweets with a large grain of salt.

Making it a habit to listen to presidential speeches, I see the Donald Trump I studied years ago.  The man is brilliant.  Anyone who says he isn’t, is either being ignorant or malicious.  His speeches I’ve listened to have proven his brilliance, as well as his courage.

Example of Courage and Brilliance

Today our president is in Utah.  He gave a speech announcing the return of Federal land to the State of Utah.  His justification – Federal Overreach.  Horse sense.  Absolute horse sense.

He then has the courage to declare that we will recognize Jerusalem the capital of Jerusalem.   “This is nothing less than a recognition of reality,” he said.  Horse sense.  Absolute horse sense.

I don’t recall hearing any of his presidential speeches where he hasn’t been talking horse sense.

The Trolls

Bring out the trolls.  I’m watching the Internet as he’s giving his speech.  Inflammatory remarks like, “Thanks for starting World War III,” were being posted.  But, the one I got the biggest chuckle out of was, “What gives him the right to move Israel’s capital?”

If he said the sky was blue, there would be trolls to counteract his statement.


For myself, Trump has impressed me every step of his presidency.  Putting aside the subjectiveness of the Tweets, he obviously loves God, our country and family.


Because my wife is having surgery on my birthday, we celebrated today by going to Longhorn.  Our favorite waitress was there.  As she saw us she said, “HI!  I was just thinking the other day it is about time I see you.”

That made us feel very welcomed.  She treated us very well and it was a wonderful birthday dinner.

Family History vs Genealogy

We had a nice 5th Sunday presentation about Family History.  I like the quote that was mentioned.  It was to the effect that family history is the dash between the dates.  (i.e. birthdate and death date)

I’m glad I’ve been so faithful about updating my blog.  Sometimes, I should probably write more meaningful stuff.  In two days, I will be doing my last blog entry for 2013.  After that, this blog will be printed in a book form and added to the collection of books on the coffee table.

I wish some of my ancestors would have been better about keeping a written record.  As far as I know, my parents and grandparents didn’t keep journals (with the exception of Grandpa Knowles’ mission journal).  I do have the journal of my great-grandfather’s 2nd wife.  Although not related in lineage, she sheds great insight as to the type of man my great-grandfather was.

Genealogy is the lineage and descendants of your ancestors.  Family history are the stories about their lives.

newspaper story about Joseph Knowles

Grandpa Knowles Newspaper Story

Now, had I not known Grandpa Knowles personally, I wouldn’t know a whole lot about the man.  But, I was fortunate to spend the 1st 10 years of my life with him on a regular basis – almost daily.

copyright 2013 Jeniifer Nelson

Joseph and Rebecca Knowles (by Jennifer Nelson)

And, so it is with my grandmother.  Fortunately, I got to know her better because she outlived my grandfather by 10+ years.

The family history work falls upon those of us who knew these people.  If we don’t record it, that history will be lost, and what a tragedy that will be.

So, moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, write it down, type it up, video it, record it, do something to preserve those stories.  Generations to come will thank you for having done so.

Joseph and George Knowles

Joseph and George Knowles in their Butcher Shop

marraige license

Joseph Knowles and Rebecca Allen Marriage License

dinner at grandmas

Dinner at Grandma’s (Yes, that’s me in the high chair)

The Allen Girls

The Allen Girls


Networking, Working and Cousins

Thursday mornings start off with the Tri-County Networkers meeting (http://www.tricountynetworkers.com/). One of our presenters couldn’t make it this morning, so I give a short presentation about how to update the web page for the group.

Elizabethe has been feeling under the weather, and has been coughing all day. I’ve been trying to be real careful so I don’t get it. Respiratory ailments and I do not get along.

Work consisted of working on the Route 31 book’s text, and trying to drum up more participation in the book. I find it funny that people’s first reaction is, “Route 31? Why?” Then it changes to, “Route 31? COOL!” You don’t know what’s in your backyard until you look, and Route 31 has a lot to offer.

My cousin, Todd Knowles, stopped in with his wife, Lisa, and 3 of their children. His son Trevor graduated from West Point and they came this way to see the church sites (and sights), and are heading to Kirtland, Ohio, next. I had a fun time showing them the house and talking about its history.

Morning Fog

Tule Fog

Tule Fog on the Erie Canal

There are two types of fog.  One comes from a low hanging cloud and typically occurs near the ocean, and the other comes from steam rising off the warm ground or body of water (tule fog).  Palmyra doesn’t get much of the first type, but this time of year, early in the morning you can see the tule fog.

I met Clay again this morning for a 7am ride and we headed west on the Erie Canal Trail.  As we got near the Village of Macedon, the tule fog was sitting on the water and the sun was just cresting the horizon.


Sunrise and Tule Fog

Sunrise and Tule Fog on the Canal




AT&T and Aunt Vicki

Elizabethe and I went and saw a lot of people at AT&T whom I hadn’t seen for quite a while.  Karen, Kathleen and Sam had lunch with us, and then we headed down to San Jose (Campbell area) to see Aunt Vicki.

The last time we saw Aunt Vicki was when Elizabethe and I had been married one year.  So, that was 14 years ago.  She’s now nearly 87 years old and is as sharp as ever.

Aunt Vicki and Me

Aunt Vicki was the youngest of the two girls my Grandma Knowles had from her first marriage.  Her sister, Lorna, died in the mid-1980s.  My grandpa had a daughter, Gwen, from his first marriage, and she died around 1955, before I was born.  Grandma and Grandpa had 3 children together:  Shirley (living in Pullman, Washington), Joyce (my mom, died 9 years ago) and Allen (living in Boise, Idaho).

Vicki and I talked about how wonderful it was that my Grandpa Knowles was born in 1879, and the legacy he provided for us.  Because grandpa was 21 years older than grandma, it made for a unique family dynamic, but he was a wonderful man who linked us to a the era before cars and modernization.

On the way back to Pleasanton, we were at a dead stop on I-680 when someone rear-ended me.  He wouldn’t let me see his driver’s license, and he showed me a proof of insurance.  I didn’t let me see it long, but I got as much information as I could from it.  I took a picture of his truck before he took off.  When the C.H.P. arrived, the questions they asked made me believe the guy has a history of D.U.I.  Nobody was hurt, and the damage to the rental car is unnoticeable.  But, I took photos, and made all the reports to be on the safe side.

A Visit From My Cousin Todd

Todd, his daughter Eliza and her friend Aunika came by the house today.  We gave them a tour, and then had lunch together.  It was really nice to sit and talk to Todd.

I had just made a batch of chili sauce with veggies from the garden.  The whole house smelled like the spices from the chili sauce.  Our Grandma Knowles used to make chili sauce and we’d have it with Sunday’s roast beef dinner.  So, it was kind of neat to see Todd and having the house smell like Grandma & Grandpa’s house.

Chili Sauce before cooking it down

When it came time for them to leave, I walked with them down to Candy Corner Fudge Square where Todd purchased some of Les’ great fudge to take home.

Aunika, Eliza and Todd in the Tavern Room

After they left, Elizabethe and I headed to TGI Friday for dinner.  We decided to start ordering a single meal and splitting it.  It was more than enough food.