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Family History Research – Hucks, Ammons, Epps

October 19th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Sunday morning is the best time for me to focus on family history research. Unfortunately, it’s also the best time to do a lot of things and I haven’t been very diligent about researching. So this morning I was determined to do something family history related.

Above my desk hangs my Ancestors Mobile, one of my best product ideas and a reminder of (a) how good I am at ideas and bad at bringing them to fruition; and (b) how surprised I am that no one else has brought this product to market. Gertrude Ammons is one of the folks floating in the air and that’s where I started this morning.

Records that I received from my Grandma Hucks (Mary Lucile Bethune Hucks) after she died show that Gertrude was married to Jefferson Dozier Hucks (my mother’s paternal grandfather) and had 5 children, the oldest of which was Howard Haskell Hucks, my maternal grandfather. (Joseph Emery, David Aubrey, Dozier Prentice, and Dorothy Alice were the other children.)  Grandma Hucks must have gotten a certified copy of Gertrude’s death certificate and it shows that she was in the Florence Infirmary from March 22, 1924 until her death on April 8, 1924 at what looks like 9:30 am. Cause of death is shown as Pelvic Peritonitis and Secondary Anemia.

Gertrude’s age at death is listed at 31 years, 4 months, which is significant because there is some confusion about her age. The 1900 census shows her born in December 1892 and 8 at the time of the census. However, there is a 7 written over the eight and it appears to be a correction as the census was performed earlier in the year and that would mean she was only 7 at the time.  The 1920 (done in January) census shows Gertrude’s age at 28 (which supports the 1891 birthdate). Her headstone in the Magnolia Cemetery in Hartville (where it appears they were living around then and where she was buried the day after she died) shows 1891 – 1924. The question remains which is right? Was she born in 1891 or 1892? Is it possible that the existing headstone was created years later and someone just made a mistake? (See the entry at for both a picture of the headstone and an image of the death certificate.)(Note: The 1920 census shows Jefferson as being 55 years old, when in fact he was only 35. Mistakes are common in the censuses.)

The 1900 census shows her father as David F Ammons, and the death certificate lists him as D.F. Ammons. Gertrude’s mother is listed as Sallie in both documents, no maiden name shown or known at this time, although she is listed as being born in South Carolina, same as David Ammons. Gertrude is actually listed on the census as Corine G or Corene G depending on who is reading it.

I found it interesting that Jefferson (rise up  Southerners!) Dozier signed the death certificate as J.D. Hucks, same as my cousin Joseph Daniel Hucks goes by. Makes me wonder if it was for convenience when signing or did he go by that nickname too? My mother says he was called “Pop” by the family.

After Gertrude’s death the four younger children were put in an orphanage until they reached 16 (?) and were old enough to work. Jefferson was a carpenter by trade. He was also an alcoholic and might not have been able to handle working, raising a family, and his alcoholism.

At some point–I haven’t been able to find any dates or documentation–Jefferson remarries. His second wife is listed as Mary Elmyra Epps but known to the family as Mamie. Her entry also provides a copy of her obituary from which we learn she was the daughter of David L. and Rebecca A. Epps. There isn’t any additional information in the family files about the Epps family at this point. Jefferson and Mamie did not have any children.

My next adventure down this road will be continuing the effort to identify Sallie Ammons lineage. I’ve given it a bit of a go so far without any luck and will try again next time.

Note about John Dockery Hucks: Lena Temperance Hucks, bless her soul, did a massive amount of Hucks family genealogy and is shown as the submitter for some family group sheets that have Jefferson Dozier Hucks listed as John Dockery Hucks. The dates are the same, the places are the same, the children are the same. She notes that she obtained the information from a family bible, and then “Lafayette, N.C. and Charlette (?) N.C.” are listed.  It is my guess that whomever wrote in the family bible got it wrong. I bring it up here because it’s possible that the kind reader might run across John Dockery and wonder who it was.


Hans Andersen and the University Place CDA

October 11th, 2014 | 1 Comment | Posted in Musings, News Commentary

Neighbor and Orem City Council Member came by the house last night with a petition in hand and a Provo Daily Herald photographer in tow. I saw him coming from the kitchen window and met him at the door with “Can I borrow a pen?”

I’ve known Hans for almost 20 years now and greatly admire his courage in standing up for the principles of government which he believes are correct.  I knew what the petition was about courtesy of Woodbury Corp.’s mailer that had arrived via USPS about 30 minutes earlier and contained several large pleas “Please Don’t Sign The Petition.”  Well, that alone might have been enough to get me to sign a petition right there. Yet I have somewhat been following the University Place CDA issue and knew that if Hans was showing up at my door it was because there were principles of correct government that he felt I, as well as all Orem residents, should be concerned about.

At first I assumed that the photo was someone aligned with Hans’ cause as he snapped some pics at my front door. Only then did he mention his name was Ian and he worked for the Herald and these photos might accompany an article about the CDA being written by Genelle Pugmire. And sure enough, a picture of me and another of my immediate neighbor to the east, Cheri White, are included in the online version.

Hans and I have talked occasionally over the past couple of years since his election to the city council and while I’m not nearly as fervent in my views on the proper role of government as Hans is, I appreciate that he is questioning decisions that otherwise would be rubber-stamped “Approved.” The Orem City Council has made some big blunders in the past decade or so that should concern all Oremites and to continue to let them do business as usual–whether or not that “usual” is descriptive of every other municipality in the state–is abdicating our role as citizens and residents.

Candidly, I don’t think Hans and his group will get enough signatures on this petition to force a referendum where Orem City residents have chance to vote on the CDA.  And while I am not very politically-minded, nor one to attend city council meetings, caucus meetings, neighborhood parties, etc., I am willing to put forth my name along with Hans and say “Let the people vote.” If the petition is successful and a referendum is scheduled and that causes Woodbury  Corp. to delay or end its development plans, then so be it.

Personally, I believe that Woodbury Corp. is merely looking for a deal sweetener and are committed to expanding University Mall regardless of the CDA.  With the massive construction of new office buildings slated for neighboring Vineyard, and with Lehi and American Fork better situated for drawing employees from both Utah and Salt Lake Valleys, I’m not convinced that there will be “2500 new, high-paying jobs” as a result of the development of University Place.

Hey, I worked for the Chamber of Commerce and it bothers me when the Orem City Council acts like a Chamber of Commerce instead of stewards over our city.  There might have been a time when Orem had to struggle to attract businesses and gave out RDA money like Halloween Candy, but we are a built-out, established city with a major university and a strong economic base. Let others cities hand out the candy as they build out their open space.

Don’t consider this at the jobs and city revenue level, because that’s not where the real disagreement is. Like most issues, the disagreement is much deeper at the assumptions level.  Just because there is $$$$ available from the feds, or a private entity is promising more tax revenue, doesn’t mean accepting it with all the attached strings and implications is the right thing to do.

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Batter Up!

October 9th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Motivation, Network Marketing, Strategy

Even though I was a Little League All-Star pitcher so good that no batter ever hit any of the curve balls that I threw (all one of them), I haven’t followed our former national pastime much since Fernando Valenzuela was on the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Yet, most of us are familiar with taking our “swings at the plate” regardless of how much organized baseball or softball we had the opportunity of playing.

It occurred to me recently that just as in baseball, even the best players in Network Marketing don’t get on base with every company they join, much less hit a home run.  It’s been my experience that the vast majority of folks who join network marketing companies end up as spectators, with some who actually dress for the game but never really get up to the plate.  Only a small percentage make it to the plate and of those most make an out, some getting some good cuts at the ball, others never lifting the bat off their shoulders and being called out on strikes.  Also, some have circumstances that give them a free walk to first base and might even end up scoring without having to do much at all except show up. Then there are those that get a hit–maybe with their eyes closed and clueless–and get on base. Others are naturals and have the right skills and training and get on base more frequently and with more apparent ease. Lastly, we have the All-Stars, those capable of hitting for power with consistency.  It is normal to want to be able to hit like them, to dream that their success could be our success.

So we give it a try, usually at the urging of a “scout” who encourages us and tells us all about the perks of being an All-Star.

Then we show up at the ballpark.  Wow! Now what?

If we’ve been on a team before we might have an idea as to what we are supposed to do.  Although, if we had little success before at the plate–assuming we even got that far–we likely blame the organization or some other factors for not achieving the success we desired. Maybe all we did was pay our entrance fee and sit in the stands, not sure where the locker room is or how to take the next steps. Even if someone explained to us what they did to make it to the plate we might have something holding us back from putting on the uniform and warming up on the field. Maybe we didn’t realize that we had to learn the rules of the game or that real effort might be required on our part.

Those that put on the uniform–whether it be ordering business cards, reading product brochures, attending meetings, listening to webinars, etc–still have to learn how to get a swing the bat, balance oneself in the box, read the pitch, and time the ball.  If they skip batting practice (training sessions with their sponsor or upline executive) they will be at a huge disadvantage. And despite all the batting practice and training in the world it doesn’t change how difficult it is to perform under pressure.

Ergo…most of us strike out. Is that discouraging? Why bother, you say?

Go ahead and talk to those players who routinely get on base and are making a business out of it and it’s likely that they will admit that this is not the first team they played for. They might also admit that the player they are now has little resemblance to the player they were when they first started. They struggled and learned from those struggles. They struck out plenty of times and still do! They probably “retired” from the game for awhile and only at the urging of a friend decided to put the spikes back on and give it another go.

Ask yourself what has your experience been? Have you been to the ballpark before and paid your $$$ and sat in the stands? Did you put on the uniform? Did you make it to the plate? Did you get some good swings? Did you get on base? Did you score and score often? Was it worth it?

Certainly there are differences in the opportunities presented by different companies/teams. Today’s All-Star might have never gotten on base with another team, and not due to their lack of talent. Sometimes circumstances beyond our control–like the ability of the opposing pitcher–can make it more difficult or nigh unto impossible to get on base–at least for us. Maybe we just weren’t ready, hungry enough, tenacious enough, or willing to do what it takes to be a success. Maybe we’d rather not admit that and it’s easier to come up with excuses. Maybe we really should just stay home and watch the game on TV.

Gotta go…I’m on deck and the ump just yelled “Batter up!


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BYU Loses, Ordain Women Attends, Gay Marriage Wins

October 6th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Musings, News Commentary, Religion

Life is full of ups and downs, advances and setbacks. Over the last few days there have been some setbacks for many Utah County residents that could darken one’s mood or ruin one’s day.  Rather than be a Gloomy Gus, let’s find some silver linings in these clouds.

) BYU Football gets thrashed by Utah State  - One of the most difficult games to watch in recent history as we’re reminded that the reason that they actually play the game despite one team being heavily favored to win is that they still have to show up, play hard, and win. BYU didn’t, Utah State did. And with Taysom Hill out and the unbeaten season spoiled, I see no reason for me to watch the rest of the games. Thanks for the fun while it lasted.

The silver lining: More time for other adventures, a renewed perspective on the importance of college sports.

2) Women are allowed into Priesthood Session…only not where it really mattered. Much like watching a train wreck I am fascinated by the Ordain Women movement in what to me is a misguided cause.  And while the OW group is declaring a “victory” this weekend one can’t help but feel badly for them as they march down Apostasy Avenue. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and there is no better example than the OW movement.

The silver lining: Multiple talks by prophets and apostles clarifying the role of women, the organization and function of the priesthood, the importance of revelation and order in the church, and a renewed call to follow the prophet.

3) Gay Marriage Wins – SCOTUS refuses to hear the appeals of  Utah and other states regarding the overturning of their gay marriage bans.

The silver lining: An end to fighting against the legalization of gay marriage as an institution and a shift to learning to love our neighbors regardless of their sexual orientation or marriage situation, at the same time holding firm in our belief that homosexual intimacy is a sin and that wickedness never was happiness.

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Today’s Weight Workout 10-1-2014

October 1st, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Exercise

I’d be surprised that anyone cares about my workouts and it’s tempting to make these types of posts private. Yet having an occasional snapshot of what I’m doing in the gym makes for a good record over time. Maybe reading this will motivate someone to get to the gym or at least write about what they are doing.

I’m back at the Orem Fitness Center and am very familiar with these weight machines. This time around I am only doing 1 set of 10 (or whatever I can get to if I don’t make it to 10.) I try and lift 3x a week, but don’t regret only lifting twice a week. It’s not like I am trying to make a sports team or enter a body beautiful contest. For me it’s mostly about strength and making sure that ward off the normal muscle loss that occurs in old guys like me.

I typically do offsetting exercises like chest press and seated rowing, bicep curls and tricep pushdowns,  both directions on the butterfly, shoulder press and lat pulldown.  I try and use complete range of motion and good form…which actually isn’t all that common based on what I see other folks doing. The routine takes about 30 minutes and as I have my heart monitor for cardio I wait until my heart rate drops below 100 to start the next exercise.  I take a few cleansing breaths and exhale with each exertion, inhale on the return. My overall goal is to max the machine…partly to see if I can do it, and partly to be one of a few people in the gym who can.  Oh, and yeah I like to blow the minds of the young studs with the bigger arms who try and figure out how an old guy can lift so much more than they can. :-)

Dumbbell Curls and Lift to Shoulder Press – I’m working with 35 lb dumbbells and am alternating arms.  I’ll probably jump up to 40 lbs next week.  I also do this exercise at the end of the weights session, only with 45 lbs for 5 reps.  My goal is to get to where I can do 50 lbs.

Butterfly and Reverse Butterfly. This type of machine has little calibration between brands and on some machines I can do 300 lbs and others only 130 lbs on the butterfly/chest fly. The one at the OFC is of the latter type and I can recall a  couple of years ago maxing out at 100 lbs, although I think I was doing 3 sets of 10 instead of just one.  I also do the reverse fly at 80 lbs. Some experts hate this machine and while I understand their point, I’m comfortable it because I also do the reverse fly that should reduce some of the risk they are talking about.  It’s going to take a while–if I ever get there–to max out this machine at 200.

Lat Pull Down – I just bumped up 180 lbs this week after cruising at 150 for awhile. This is a challenging machine because I distinctly remember being able to pull the whole stack of 200 lbs a couple of years ago. I figure I just need to work my way back up to it.

Seated Rowing – Unlike the Lat Pull Down on the same machine, nowadays I can pull 170+ on the Seated Rowing exercise, whereas a couple of years ago I was maxing out at 150.  I anticipate maxing this machine too.

Tricep Push Down – Currently at 180 and headed to the max of 200 that I used to do. I use a straight bar to grip in front of me, whereas many other people use the rope and a slightly different motion.

Seated Tricep Dips – This is a rare machine and I had a hard time even finding an image online of anything similar. On this machine one’s weight dictates how much one can max at as there is no counterbalancing bar of any kind, so anyone who weighs less than the 200 max is not going to be able to stay seated. At 250 I don’t have a problem with lifting off the seat and am able to push it comfortably at 200. I say comfortably, but actually, due to my summer shoulder injury I feel just a bit of a twinge doing this exercise.

Chest Press – This is another exercise that brings my shoulder injury into play a bit. This week I moved from 165 to 180, although today I only got 7 reps.  This machine maxes at 300 and I’m not too focused on being able to max it.

One day maybe I will move to dead lifts, squats, and bench presses like the big boys do. For now I am comfortable with my routine and my progress and that to me is the most important part because it keeps me going back to the gym.


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News Commentary 9-30-2014

September 30th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in News Commentary

Women in the Economy CommitteeDeseret News

A newly formed female-only panel is taking aim at issues facing women in Utah’s economic landscape.” 

“We have an entire human infrastructure and skill set, and we’re not utilizing about half of it,”

“Women are not aware that their (male) contemporaries are paying themselves a little bit more,”

Talk about a “feel good” committee! And another case of reverse discrimination against men. No way in today’s world would there be a by design male-only committee on anything that wouldn’t get blasted in the media for not having a female on it. Yet we are supposed to believe that there are no men who would be qualified to help this committee? Sheesh. And these women are not likely representative of women at large in Utah due to the very fact that they have chosen to serve in the legislature or work in business, all with the implication that if a women doesn’t do the same somehow their are being underutilized (read unfilled) in life.

For the record: I see no reason that gender should be a factor in determining salary or opportunities.  I have worked for both men and women throughout the years and have found that gender didn’t play into how good an owner or manager they were.

2014 Ryder Cup – USA Loses…Again

September 28th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in News Commentary

Despite thinking I might otherwise, I ended up watching some of the 2014 Ryder Cup. Generally these days I don’t watch golf unless Tiger Woods is playing and as he wasn’t involved in this Ryder Cup I wasn’t too interested in the outcome.  The Euros have now won 3 in a row and 8 of the last 10 and I for one am getting tired of this “entertainment.”  There are plenty of explanations about why the US keeps losing and truly it looked like they got outplayed this time, unlike 2 years ago at Medinah when they allowed themselves to be beaten.

The last couple of Euro wins on European soil before this one had me somewhat irked, what with the smugness of Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter among others. Sergio has been playing better of late, but these two don’t have careers that come close to Tiger and Phil and I wonder if winning the Ryder Cup is something like redemption for getting beaten in major tournaments by the top US players.

I’ve heard about how many of the Euro pros had to claw their way onto the tour and haven’t experienced the same success as their American counterparts and as such find it easier to gel as a team. Lots has been made about Phil or Tiger taking their private jets to the Ryder Cup and how the Americans aren’t hungry enough to win this team competition. Yet I’m floating another idea as to why the Euros seem to rise to the occasion:

Europeans hate America.

We’re so arrogant. Not just the golfers…our entire country. Imagine Spain or France or Ireland in comparison to the United States and generally they come up lacking and they ain’t happy about it. From an American perspective, what do we care about England or another other Euro country? Sure, they are our allies, but it’s not like they are at our level as an economy or world power. That makes it hard to hate Europe, whereas there are plenty of folks around the globe that HATE the USA.  So deep down inside I think the Euro team can pull together in a way that the Americans can’t. Occasionally sheer talent or good play from the American millionaire golfers results in a win at the Ryder Cup.  Cheerio! But for the Euros it is about pride, beating those darn Americans who dare to act as if they are the top dog.

So I will give the Euros their bi-annual victory and relegate them to where they belong: superstars in their own little countries who occasionally get to pull on the tiger’s tail and get away with it.

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Persuasion, and His Evil Twin, Manipulation

September 22nd, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Recruiting

We have all been persuaded to do something that we weren’t initially sure we wanted to do. I find it interesting that some synonyms for Persuasion are:








Yes, we have all been persuaded to do something and I’ll bet that we’ve all experienced mixed results; sometimes it’s turned out ok or even great, and sometimes it’s not been ok or even disastrous.  In the latter cases we might regret allowing ourselves to be persuaded, even if we recognize that ultimately we made the decision, severe arm-twisting aside.

Enter Manipulation.  Again, we’ve all likely been manipulated into doing something with mixed results, and with mixed feelings about our choice. However, it’s not likely that we realized that we were dealing with Persuasion’s evil twin Manipulation.

Oh, both Persuasion and Manipulation can look the same, sound the same, and have the same effect. The difference is in their intent and how we end up making our decision. Persuasion generally tells the truth and gives us reasons why we should do something. Manipulation holds back key details that might cause us to not make the decision he wants us to.  Manipulation has even been known to lie to get what he wants. Bad boy. Few people like being/feeling manipulated, even if the results are favorable.

There aren’t many people that didn’t require some Motivation (the twins’ older brother) or Persuasion to decide to give network marketing a go.  Someone (most likely their Sponsor) coaxed, urged, sweet-talked and convinced (hopefully there was no arm-twisting) the “prospect” to make the decision to give it a try.  And some people are really skilled at the art of Persuasion. (Mom, I’m looking at you.)

Unfortunately, I suspect that more than a few people have encountered Manipulation instead of Persuasion when introduced to a network marketing opportunity. And their horror stories have scared many away from a legitimate home-based business that can be done part- or full-time.

So, how does one tell them apart, Persuasion and Manipulation? It can be difficult, but one method is to ask detailed questions about the products, the compensation plan, the costs, etc. Ask to read the Policies and Procedures, check with their Customer Service Department, and run it by someone whose opinion you trust.

Finally, remember that the main reason that the overwhelming majority of people who join network marketing companies do not reach the level of success they had hoped is….they failed to do–as in work–hard enough to do so.  NetWORK marketing isn’t a get-rich-quick industry even though some people can make lots of money in a short timeframe.  Network marketing rewards hard-working people who have or can develop a certain skill set…not the least of which is the art of Persuasion.




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9-4-2014 News Commentary

September 4th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in News Commentary

Today’s news stories include:

Mormon sisters target Carl’s Jr. for racy ads – First off, I applaud these doctorated (didn’t make it up)  twins for their stand against something they believe to be wrong. Kudos. Blessings in heaven. Yet I end up SMH (Shaking My Head) about some of the arguments about “racy” ads and their impact in general.  (Which is not to be construed that I support any of Carl’s Jr. ads specifically.) We have eroticized (not this one either) the human body to where its mere display must be wrong and sinful, even when the important bits are covered up!  I was raised in coastal Southern California and spent plenty of time at the beach as a teenage boy.  Bikinis, thongs, one-piece swimsuits, halter tops and cutoffs–after a while it just doesn’t register anymore because that’s how all the women are dressed at the beach! So as far as I am concerned, it’s a bogus argument that boys and men are going gaga (that’s for you Tom) over female belly buttons, thighs and shoulders in TV ads.  Come on! Click click click and there’s some pretty obscene material available on the internet that should be of more concern than a woman in a bikini eating a burger in a lasciviousness manner. In fact, I’d agree more with those who think the burger is the culprit and not the bikini. I’ll save the female “body image” topic for another day, other than to say “stop eating comfort food and get off your butt and get some exercise.”

Unusual resemblance: You look just like your car, which also looks like your dog – Uh…not sure where to start with this one other than “Seriously?” I guess some Swiss researchers are having a good laugh about how they spent their time and someone else’s money.  Or maybe it’s a statement about dog owners–of which I am not one–and their intelligence level.


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Sound Dampening Visor-Like Phone Baffle

September 2nd, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in creativity, Uncategorized

This is a product that we should be able to buy for less than $10!

Having purchased my first bluetooth headset a few months ago I think there’s been a couple of times when I fell into the trap of speaking loudly in public while on the phone, just like the woman in Wal-Mart I heard and saw the other day.  Wouldn’t it be great to have something to flip down in front of one’s mouth that cuts down amount of sound that others hear while we are talking on the phone? Plus think about the added privacy! Not quite the Cone of Silence, but even knocking down 50% of the sound would be a great improvement.

So then I started thinking about its potential in call centers and other office environments while people were on the phone. Wouldn’t it be more productive to knock down the volume of the conversations in a crowded office space?

Here’s a very basic conceptual drawing for use with a bluetooth device:
bluetooth Visor







In the “Up” or “Off” position the baffle would sit on one’s head much like sunglasses do at times.  In the “Down” or “On” the baffle would be positioned in front of one’s mouth.

It could be made of clear plastic to allow for less visual intrusion.

It could be made of foam material for weight and dampening qualities.

It might have to hook around one or both ears or possibly have a nose or chin rest.

It could also include a mic.

The handset model would attach to the phone.

What am I missing? Why isn’t this product in the marketplace and in use all over the place?

I’m baffled. :-)

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