Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Didja Know?" by Cornelius A. Hubner

I wish I had met Cornelius [Cornie] A. Hubner.

He is responsible for a series of articles documenting the history and stories associated with Smoke Rise, the days of Francis S. Kinney and the early days of Kinnelon. The series was titled "Didja Know?" and appeared starting on June 15, 1985 in the Smoke Rise Club News.

The stories are magical.

Cornie lived at 218 Hemlock Lane. He started writing these stories at around age 85, producing close to 100. Nowadays, the newsletter comes out twice per month. I suspect it came out once a month back then. Assuming he wrote one story per issue, Cornie would have written this series for over 8 years... Wow.

Cornie writes: "Beginning with the one paragraph contribution "Eagles," June 15, 1985, and encouraged by the Editors' reception of "Prices," two months later, the column became a full page story. Historical dates are included with otherwise unrecorded facts?, hearsay and folklore embellished my sometimes vague recollections of almost 90 years."

My biggest regret is that these stories aren't digitally available so they can come alive again for a new generation of Kinnelon and Smoke Rise residents.... So, when appropriate, I intend to quote from Cornie's writings whenever possible to add context, perspective, and texture to the stories I share with you here.

I strongly recommend that you get yourself a copy of the articles from the Smoke Rise Club Office. By the way, you may already have a copy from the packet you received when you moved into Smoke Rise. A second copy costs $6 and is well worth the money. It is sponsored by the Women of Smoke Rise and dedicated to Cornie's wife of 67 years, Peg.

According to Lynn in the Smoke Rise Office, Cornie was a wonderful man who loved the community -- an old school gentleman who always drove around with a cap on his head. He was brought up in Butler, and was probably one of the early residents of Smoke Rise.

He died in 1992.

I think Cornie would have been a natural at blogging.

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