Wolfe Pack Story – Chp 4

Written by Larry E. Wolfe (edited and compiled by his brother Brian)

Wolfe AJ & Kate
Kate & A.J.Wolfe

Grandpa at the store was the first of our ancestors to live during our lifetime. My older brother Warren and I spent many a summer at the store ‘helping’ Grandpa and Grandma take care of business…yeah…right! It was a real treat to spend time at the store. Grandma had a beautiful flower garden across the street and the barn, summer house and house were kept impeccable. The white with dark green trim buildings were immaculate.

It was not unusual for Grandma to pick off a couple of pigeons from the barn roof with her .22 rifle when she needed meat for her Pigeon Pot-Pie. She would send us out to get them. Oh, yeah, she was no slouch with the gun, most, if not all, were head shots so that the good meat was not disturbed! The memories abound from those summers when Grandpa was in his late seventies/early eighties. He always seemed somewhat gruff in his manner when dealing with us kids, but, let’s be honest, most of our life was about doing fun things and his life was about getting the job done at his business!

However, I remember the last summer before he died he seemed to mellow somewhat when he and I took inventory of the shoes. Then he talked to me like a father and was very kind, gentle and personal in his manner. He surely understood more than he let on.

That was when our family was going through some very tough times, for 1955 was the first time Mom went to the hospital for a nervous breakdown and we had moved in with  Grandma Harriet about a mile from the store. So, we spent a lot more time at the store which was the year before Grandpa died in 1956. Grandpa obviously knew the details and decided to take a more tender approach.

In the 1930 census Grandpa and Grandma Kate were living alone as their only son Clarence had married Harriet Zimmerman. Between them on the same road was our Great-Great Grandpa Samuel still living at the homestead with two of his sons, his wife Ellomanda had died in 1928 from complications suffered after breaking her leg . All three of these properties were occupied by the Wolfe family…three generations in a row…the only census in which this occurred!

Dad Young
A Young Handsome Warren A. Wolfe (Barney)

Our father, Warren Alfred Wolfe (better known as Barney) was born the second day of May in 1922 to Clarence and Harriet Wolfe of Greenpoint, PA, he was their first child. Clarence (Uncle Junior) Wolfe, and Aunt Kathleen [Thompson] Wolfe would follow completing this family in 1930. Dad’s father Clarence was employed at A.J.’s store as a ‘truck driver’ for over a decade according to the 1930 census record.

Barney himself also worked there and listed his occupation as ‘truck driver’ when he was discharged from the United States Army. So, that makes me, his second son, a third generation ‘truck driver’ by inheritance! But, getting back to my Dad’s story, his childhood was marked by music, playing hooky and spending time in the outdoors trapping wild animals.

Just about forgot to tell of his ‘playing hooky’. For you younger folks, that is what we now call skipping school. He only finished eight grades at the school across the street from his home, and he was known for hiding under the big pine tree instead of going to school. Uncle Junior once told me: “I don’t know how he stayed under that tree all day long” and we all laughed.

Not exactly sure what he did under there, but he must have had a great imagination, huh? This could be the reason he only went to the eighth grade for Uncle Junior and Aunt Kathleen went on to graduate from High School. Maybe Dad was still under the tree when the bus came…this was one of the tricks us guys also pulled…another inherited practice…hah!

Dad got his nickname ‘Barney’ after he injured his eye during a sledding accident. The downhill sledding trail across the street from his home was still in use during the days when we lived with Grandma’ Harriet (1954). Dad had to get glasses and the kids called him ‘Barney Google’ which was taken from the lyrics of a popular song during that day.

Dad Google Glasses
Barney Google!

Aunt Kathleen told me that Dad was the only child in their family to be taught ‘Pennsylvania Dutch’.  I can remember Mom and Dad speaking Dutch when they didn’t want us kids to know the details. So, in a sense he was bilingual, for he was able to speak this local German dialect which should have aided him when he traveled within Germany during his service to our country in World War II.

Dad Army3

On the musical side, Dad played the saxophone with skill. He bought his first sax in 1935 with money he earned trapping. He told me of the time when he found a mink in one of his muskrat traps and was paid ‘fifty bucks’ for it which was like receiving five hundred dollars in today’s economy. He was a mighty proud thirteen year old having the good fortune of bagging a mink.

This same sax was played by my brother Fred, my son Nathan, and I played it for a number of years in my brother Brian’s Rock n’ Roll band, “The Entertainers”, in the late sixties. It still plays well even though it is now over seventy years old! Dad’s musical influence permeated our family as did Mom’s for she could play the piano and guitar without reading a single note of music!

Entertainers
“The Entertainers” Larry front row with his Sax and Brian with his microphone behind him in the middle

Dad told me about a skeleton he found hanging in the mountains during his trapping days. A local man had been missing for quite some time and Dad happened upon the remains of his body hanging by a rope tied to a tree limb. He didn’t mention how old he was when this traumatic incident occurred.

But, back to the musical side. When we were young-uns’ Uncle Sammy [Wolfe] the youngest of A. J.’s brothers would take our family to outdoor band-shell concerts. Uncle Sammy played the trombone, and Dad played the saxophone when we went to these concerts in the 1950’s.

Uncle Sammy would always give us a quarter for candy so we looked forward to jumping in his butterscotch colored 1939 four door Dodge until one day Dad was driving and going faster than Uncle Sammy normally drove…and the engine blew up on New 22 as we headed for the band-shell in Bethel!! Not good, to say the least, Uncle Sammy was not a happy camper!

Dad had five saxophones, a bass, a baritone, a tenor, an alto, and a soprano. The soprano was really ‘cool’ because it was shaped just like the bigger ones but it was only about 12-15 inches tall!! He would usually take a number of his saxophones along and had stands for each of them so that he could switch around depending on the music/march the band played.

He also could sing well and Mom was a great singer too so they would harmonize as we drove along in the car singing:  ‘Side by Side’, ‘With someone like you’, and “In the Garden” (his favorite hymn) and many, many others. He also would sing tenor with his future father-in-law Clarence Anspach while he was dating Mom.

Green Point2 Here’s an aerial photo of where Dad grew up. You can see the church of God on the right, the one room school across the street and the home of Clarence and Harriet Wolfe in the lower left. By the way, Henry Wise of the “Blue Eyed Six” is buried in the Church of God’s cemetery.

As a young teenager Barney had a peculiar practice of attending the revival meetings at the Church of God which was also across the road from his home. He told of the time when he and his buddy Earl Fake sat in the back row poking fun at the goings on during the service but when the preaching was over he went up to the altar.

He also regularly attended the Chapel which was founded by his Great-Grandfather, Samuel Wolfe, in 1907.  Dad’s Grandfather A .J. Wolfe also figured heavily in the initial construction of the building and was a pillar in the Church until he died in 1956.

Wolfe Sammy at Store
A Young Uncle Sammy standing by his Roadster in front of A.J.’s Country Store

Uncle Sammy, organized and led the Chapel’s music/orchestra which included Grandpa Clarence who played the cornet and French horn. Dad and Uncle Clarence a.k.a. Uncle ‘Junior’ who, like his Dad, also played the cornet  at church, with the entire band sitting in the front rows of the Chapel in those days.

Annville Band
Annville Band in 1940 with Four Wolfe’s Included

All four of them played in the Annville Cornet Band during the thirties and forties. Uncle Sammy and Dad continued to play with this band during the late forties and early fifties which is when we attended the band-shell concerts mentioned above. The family’s musical influence must have come from A.J. for he was proficient on the piano having his occupation listed as ‘piano teacher’ in the 1910 census. He would walk or ride horseback as far as Tower City and Manada Gap teaching piano to the few who could afford this luxury.

With the great depression and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, Grandpa at the store would play a life-saving role in the days to come when the families in the valley ran out of money, property and hope. He stood in the gap and supplied them with what they needed to live. He was a very, very generous man…God blessed him…He in turn blessed others!

When he died in 1956 over $50,000 dollars was owed by store debtors. Very little of this money was ever paid back. He received a lot of land deeds in those years of the depression only to restore much of this property to the former owners after the tough times subsided. He was a wise, very kind and loving man…reminds me of the Bible story of Joseph… famine in the land…Joseph comes to the rescue!

Anspachs
Anspach Family in 1951, Standing L to R Irene, Wayne, Minnie, John, Dorothy, Seated Margaret, Betty, Clarence

One of the families that benefited from his generosity was the Anspach family who lived over the mountain near Indiantown Gap. Clarence Anspach, the father, would regularly come over to Grandpa’s store with no money to get food and merchandise for his wife and children…his oldest child was named Irene Violet…our mother.

So, Grandpa Wolfe played a key role in the survival of the Anspach family! This story was told to me by my Uncle, Wayne Anspach, born in 1930, who was one of the Anspach children. This man of God, A.J Wolfe, could have easily said “No” to those who were destitute…but instead he, like the God he worshipped, decided to display the primary character trait of God Himself… Goodness …which A.J. demonstrated in his giving, exactly like the Lord God of Heaven!

 

Mom n Dad

Mom
Irene Violet Wolfe 1922-1991

The connection between the Wolfe’s and the Anspach’s would pay dividends as years later when their children were grown A. J.’s grandson Warren Alfred Wolfe, my father, would marry my mother, Irene Violet Anspach, still a poor, but strikingly beautiful, country girl, from ‘in front of the mountain’ near Indiantown Gap, on February 28th of 1942 when they were both just nineteen years old.  The infamous Pearl Harbor attack had been announced a few months earlier as the two of them exited a favorite movie house on Cumberland Street in Lebanon, Pa.

But, even though Dad got married, he was drafted into the Army in November 1942.  Warren, my older brother was born April 13th 1943 and while Mom was pregnant with me she traveled by train with her first son, Warren, a.k.a. ‘Butchie’ to Brownwood, Texas where Dad was stationed.  I was eventually born there December 31, 1944.

Dad Army
Mom, Dad and baby Warren

Sixteen days later Dad left for Germany to take part in the aftermath of ‘The Battle of the Bulge’. The Bulge represented the great mass of German forces that were assembled in the snowy forests of the Rhineland. This pivotal struggle began on December 16, 1944 and when the need for additional infantry became obvious to General Eisenhower, Dad was sent into the fray. He was in the infantry and was a mail clerk/carrier which was his primary job while he was a common foot soldier.

Wolfe Clarence Sr

The 1940’s brought tragedy to the Wolfe family as Grandpa Clarence died from sclerosis of the liver October 27, 1945 just a few months before his 46th birthday. Dad came home from the war in Germany just before his Father died. Uncle Clarence tells the story of how he also made it home just in time from serving in the Navy to be with his Father right before he died.

He was addicted to alcohol…the moonshine brewed in the valley was lethal. He was survived by his wife, Grandma Harriet, and three children: Warren our Dad, Uncle Clarence and Aunt Kathleen… and his parents…he was the only living child that Grandpa and Grandma at the store had. It must have been devastating to the whole family.

Mom & Boys3
From Left: Bruce, Fred, Brian, Larry, Irene, Warren

Warren and Irene went on to have five boys: Warren Jr. (1943), Larry (1944), Bruce and Brian (1951) (twins) and Frederick (1957).  Mom and Dad are gone now as Dad passed away in June of 1985 and Mom in October of 1991. For the most part us five boys stuck around the place of our roots, the majority of us living a nominal distance from the old homestead where Samuel and Ellomanda raised their family.

Wolfe Twins
Twins Bruce and Brian

However, in 1980 after living the life of a drunken drug abuser for more years than I care to mention, God in His mercy forgave my sin and saved me giving me eternal life all because of His precious Son Jesus’ dying on the Cross to pay for my sin. A year later, my wife Betsy and I, my daughter Wendy, my son Nathan, and my daughter Andrea moved to South Carolina where I attended Bible school ‘cramming’ a four-year Bachelor’s degree program into five.  After graduating we returned to our home in Pa. where I pastored and preached in evangelism for a few years. Since then the Lord has turned me to writing which continues to keep me busy. I also minister to Truck Drivers at a McPilot Truck Stop in South Carolina.

larry chaplain

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Wolfe Brothers from Left, Brian, Fred, Bruce, Larry, Warren – At Warren’s home in Greenpoint in 2006

Although scores of years have passed since we spent those memorable days as carefree young-uns’ in Greenpoint with our Grandpa A. J. and Grandmas Kate and Harriet, our hearts still yearn, at times, for that small, tucked away valley in the mountains of northern Lebanon county, and all the grand memories it holds, not to mention those good thoughts of that great company of Wolfs/Wolfe’s who went before.

For more inspirational stories go here: New Blog Index

For Brian’s life story go here: Brian’s Beginning

For the Blue Eyed Six go here: Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp.1 (Israel Brandt)

For a Reservation to Heaven: Guaranteed Reservation in Heaven!

 

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Wolfe Pack Story – Chp 3

Written by Larry E. Wolfe (blog compiled by Brian A. Wolfe)

Chapel Original
The Greenpoint Chapel in it’s Original Structure

Just a few years after the Samuel Wolfe family picture was taken the Wolfe’s built a church, there in Greenpoint, called ‘the Chapel’.  Samuel and his oldest son, my Great-Grandpa’ A. J., lead this effort in constructing the independent church where all could worship God freely apart from any denominational ties. This was their stated purpose for building ‘the Chapel’ being established in 1907.  The sturdy building still continues to be used to this day.

However, this interesting story of the circumstances that surrounded the building of  the Chapel was told by Molly Meck Long, a long-standing member of the Chapel, who lived to be 101 dying in 1995. She gave the following account to my oldest brother Warren.

Sattazahn Church
Sattazahn Church Today

At that time, about the turn of the century, the Wolfs were meeting for church services in Sattazahn’s Lutheran Church on alternating Sundays when they were ‘locked out’ of the building much to their surprise one Sunday morning.  Having been barred from using the Lutheran church building, they then began meeting in the one-room schoolhouse just up the road.  But allegedly, one of the men from Sattazahn’s Lutheran Church ‘spit tobacco juice’ in some of the school books causing much consternation.

While investigating the source of the tobacco juice, the guilty party was determined by the brand of tobacco used somewhat exclusively by a certain man from Sattazahn’s.  So, the Wolfs, after losing the use of the schoolhouse for something they did not do, decided to build the Chapel just across the road from the one-room schoolhouse.

Another expanded version told by local historian Francis Ditzler whose family also attended Sattazahn’s at the time goes like this. The historian said that Sattazahns called a new Pastor and the Wolfs and Ditzlers wanted a Calvinist teaching Pastor or Reformed because the church is Lutheran and Reformed but they instead called another Lutheran Pastor.

He said the Wolfs and Ditzlers met downstairs during Sunday School teaching the Reformed doctrine or Calvinist. Then they started meeting in the Ditzler home where they ran a butcher business just up the road. When the numbers grew they moved to the schoolhouse and henceforth the two stories become one because Molly Meck told Warren why they got kicked out of the school.

However it happened the result was an independent church was established which taught the Word of God every Sunday and the Wolfe’s who remained in the valley supported it faithfully.

Wolfe Samuel
Great Great Grandpa Samuel Wolfe with my father Warren, Uncle Clarence and Aunt Kathleen being held by Grandma Harriet after church at the Chapel!
Wolfe Edwin Martin Luther
Edwin Martin Luther Wolf

Not all Wolfs stayed in the valley as Edwin Martin Luther Wolf  left the Greenpoint area before all these events  took place moving sometime around the turn of the century to Derry Church which would later be named “Hershey” after the ‘chocolate man’ Milton S. Hershey.  My wife Betsy and I visited Wolf Bus Lines in York Springs as we were pretty sure the founder was in our line of Wolfs. We struck it rich as we discovered that Edwin’s grandsons Bradley and Edwin were still at the helm of the business. They provided the below Wolf family picture and directed us to their ‘Uncle’ Walter Wolf who lived in Lebanon PA. Walter gave us the following account concerning things he recalled about his immediate family.

‘My oldest sister Elizabeth was born in 1902 in Derry Church which was later named Hershey. My father Edwin made ice cream for Milton S. Hershey.  One of the flavors he specifically made for him was onion.  Now, Hershey didn’t just want the onion juice to flavor the ice cream, he wanted the onion in it too, all chopped up, the whole onion! My Dad later moved to York Springs when Milton S. Hershey established a creamery there. He worked for him for a while and started an automobile dealership, garage and bus service.

We began in 1926 with a seven passenger Pierce Arrow and a Flint sedan. We took school kids from the country to York Springs. In the 30’s we went to Johnstown and bought two used school buses. Then we started charter work to ball games in Philadelphia and Baltimore.  Then my sister Elizabeth took over the business. I drove bus for thirty years.’  He went on to tell us various stories of ‘Uncle Al’ (my Great-Grandfather) and ‘his boy Clarence’ (my Grandfather), as Walter still had an extremely sharp mind at 88 years of age!

wolfesamelamandakids

It was through ‘Uncle’ Walter’s first-hand knowledge of his aunt and uncle’s on this family photograph that we were able to identify some but not all of the Seven Sons of Samuel.  It wasn’t until my wife and I visited the cemeteries of the Chapel and Sattazahn’s Lutheran Church, that we were able to narrow down the names.

Wolfe Family Green Point
Wolf Family Picnic in Green Point Across from the Store

We do have this later photograph taken right around 1939-40. This general time frame was chosen due the late 30’s look of the cars shown on the photograph, also, they would not have been picnicking during the war which started in late 1941, and Edwin, one of the five brothers shown on the photograph, died in May of 1942.

The five brothers are standing by the roadside in the grove across the street from Grandpa’s store with their sister Annie.  In order from left to right you see Samuel Jr. (or Sammy as we called him), Charles, Annie, Edwin (E.M.), Alfred Jacob (A. J.) and Walter Loy (a half-brother), with David (nicknamed Wooly), the only other living son, being absent.

Wolfe Store Today
A.J. Wolfe’s Store Today!

David ‘Wooly’ Wolfe who remained in the Greenpoint area, also had seven sons, Albert, Harry, Francis, Charles, Paul, David Jr. and Lester.  He was father to five daughters making an even dozen children, which was quite a large family even in those days. Albert died in 1939 at the early age of thirty-three, leaving his only child Albert Jr at age nine to grow up fatherless, but with Grandpa David and six uncles nearby, he must have had plenty of good instruction.

David’s Grandson, ‘Popeye’ (Albert Jr.), so nicknamed because of his once ever-present pipe, lived on the old homestead of Samuel and Ellomanda where Samuel Jr. lived, which ‘Popeye’ purchased in 1961 when Samuel Jr. died.

Wolfe Homestead2
Samuel & Ellomanda Wolf Homestead today where ‘Popeye’ Wolfe lived and sold Christmas Trees!

‘Popeye’ had five children, Dennis, Scott, Judy, Connie and Cindy. He was the only descendant in David’s line that we knew personally, having bought many a Christmas tree from him over the years.  But, I’m sure with all of ‘Wooly’s’ children there must be many more of our relatives scattered throughout the central Pennsylvania area!

Wolfe Pic 2015

So whats with the Wolf Vs Wolfe spelling you might ask???

The Wolfe’s that stayed in the Greenpoint area added the ‘e’ to the end of their name for some unknown reason. However, my ‘educated’ opinion (through cemetery study and other various and sundry info) points to the likely probability that the ‘e’ was added by certain Wolfs to distinguish themselves from another family of Wolfs that might have been members of Sattazahn’s Lutheran Chuch.

Knowing that there was somewhat of a division or conflict between the Wolfe’s and some of the people at Sattazahns, A. J., David (‘Wooly’), and Samuel Jr., who are those Wolfs who remained in the Greenpoint area, might have decided to set themselves apart distinguishing themselves from this other group of Greenpoint Wolfs by simply adding the ‘e’.

We do know that they added it before February of 1902 because A. J. and Kate’s infant daughter Grace has the ‘e’ on her tombstone.  In addition, all of the other Wolf families, with the exclusion of one family which is buried at the Chapel, are buried at Sattazahns.  Samuel and Ellomanda did not take the ‘e’ as far as we know, but the only proof we have of that is the engraving on their monument at their gravesite.  Edwin, who moved out of the area before the above mentioned division/conflict occurred, never added the ‘e’ while the choice of the other two brothers, Henry and Charles, is not known.

See the final  Wolfe Pack Story – Chp 4

Where we will get into more detail about the Warren A. Wolfe (our father’s) family history.

For more life-changing stories go here: New Blog Index

 

Wolfe Pack Story – Chp 2

By Larry E. Wolfe (Great Grandson of A. J. Wolfe pictured lower right)

Wolfe AJ & Family
A.J. & Kate Wolfe Family (Writer Larry Wolfe lower left) 1952

During the 1950’s, in the early years of my life, it was my great joy to spend time in the summers at the store with Grandpa’ and Grandma’ living in somewhat of a dreamland with all the candy and goodies my stomach could hold, not to mention the story-book beauty of the large, outdoor goldfish pond, the towering multi-story Martin birdhouses, the acres of gorgeous flowers Grandma’ would plant, the huge pines, shrubs and lush green grass as thick as a carpet, the farm animals including a big beagle named Jackie and an overgrown Easter rabbit (which I unknowingly ate!) and the meticulously kept buildings, painted dazzling white with dark green trim and a summer-house which housed a grand old pump organ.

Wolfe Twins GP
Twins Brian & Bruce with Cousin Donna Jean Thompson playing in AJ’s yard (Larry is off to the right)

The lovely two-story house was complete with working shutters, an artesian spring in the cellar, the dumb-waiter full of pies that sprang up out of the cold cellar into the kitchen at the touch of your foot, the beautiful open stairway with turned wooden spindles painted white, which led to ‘my’ bedroom on the west side of the house, where I would awake and just gaze out the window at the wonderful panorama of all of my marvelous, childhood wonderland!

Wolfe Clarence & Harriet
Clarence & Harriet Wolfe 1920

A. J. and Kate’s first-born was a son they named Clarence, who was born on December 21st, 1899 just ten days before the turn of the century, making Samuel and Amanda proud grandparents. On the twelfth day of September 1901, A. J. and Kate’s daughter Grace was born only to pass away just months later on the second day of February 1902.  She is buried in Sattazahn’s cemetery beside her aunt and uncle, Samuel and Amanda’s unnamed infant son and their young five-year old daughter Victoria May.  Grace was A. J. and Kate’s last child, so their son Clarence, my Grandfather, grew up as an only child.

Harriet
Grandma Harriet as a Young Girl

Clarence married Harriet Zimmerman who was a classmate of his and without a doubt the best looking of the young ladies in their class.  Grandma Harriet, as her then aged eyes sparkled, gave me a vivid account of her wedding day’s memorable events.

Being married in the winter of 1920, in Lebanon, they returned by train through Jonestown to Lickdale, and then boarded a horse and sleigh, riding on through the cold evening and heavy snow along the Swatara Creek, turning left onto the winding snow covered road into Greenpoint, and then turning right just past Grandpa’s store, onto the ‘back road’ to Pappy and Mammy Zimmerman’s (Harriet’s grandparents) home, where they lived during the early days of their marriage.

This must have been quite a memorable and romantic ride for these two newlyweds. They were certainly a handsome young couple, as their wedding photograph reveals. They later had three children, Warren (my father), my Uncle, Clarence Jr. (we always called him ‘Uncle Junior’) and my Aunt Kathleen.

Wolfe Clarence
Harriet & Clarence Late in His Life

Although I never got to know my Grandfather Clarence, as he died in October of 1945 ten months after I was born, my Dad, Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Junior told me he was a good and gentle man, having a butcher shop at his home, and later working for Bethlehem Steel in Lebanon, Pa.

Wolfe Clarence & Mom
Standing from Left: Harriet, Clarence, my Mom Irene, Melvin Sterner (neighbor) and Aunt Kathleen and Tugsy in foreground
Wolfe Clarence Sr
Grandpa Clarence enyoying a smoke on his front porch!

At one time Grandpa’ Clarence considered the possibility of learning the ‘funeral business’ because the Bavers, his Grandma’ Amanda’s family,  had a prosperous funeral home in Hamburg, Pa. which Grandpa’ Clarence could have ‘worked into’. But, he just was not interested, as my Dad recounted the story to me, only a few years before Dad died.

Wolfe House GP
The Clarence & Harriet Wolfe Home with Aunt Kathleen on the porch by the window that displayed a star which indicated my Dad was serving in WWII

The beautiful home where Grandpa’ Clarence and Grandma’ Harriet lived, is gone now, but the memories of the beautiful Victorian furnished parlor where ‘all humans’ (especially kids) were forbidden to trod, the huge floor model radio in the living room with the big round dial and ‘countless’ buttons, levers and knobs that could ‘pull in China’ on short wave, (would you believe the Chinese district in New York City?), the full length, front porch with the retractable striped awning and the hedge we kids jumped through (though we were told not to).

Harriet & LuLu
Grandma Harriet & Sister Lulu

There was a long, narrow stairway off of the kitchen which led to Uncle Fred and Aunt Lulu’s second floor apartment where us kids could find refuge among the familiar cigar smoke smell of Uncle Fred’s stogies. He always had his pencil engraved tablet containing box scores with all the specific details of the Phillies baseball games next to the radio and the overstuffed bristle chair where he routinely planted himself when he wasn’t at the Greenpoint ‘Hosehouse’ (getting a drink). The coal stove had small orange-colored mica see-through windows in the door which fascinated us kids as we watched the coals burning within.

There was a bubbling creek behind the house where we spent summer days catching crawfish and whatever else we could get our hands on and a gigantic pine in the right corner of the front yard (where Dad hid when he played ‘hooky’) by the meandering country road that we walked, during the mid-fifties, a  few miles to the one room schoolhouse, unless  ‘Butchie’ (my older brother Warren Jr.) and I were playing ‘hooky’! It was the same one-room schoolhouse across from the Chapel where the ‘Wolf clan’ met some fifty years earlier for church services!

See Wolfe Pack Story – Chp 3

Where Larry tells the story of how a group of believers left Sattazahn’s church and founded the Greenpoint Chapel!

More encouraging stories here: New Blog Index

Get your reservation here: Guaranteed Reservation in Heaven!

Wolfe Pack Story – Chp 1

By Larry E. Wolfe (Great, Great Grandson of Samuel Wolfe)

wolfesamelamandakids
Samuel Wolfe Family

While visiting ‘Wolf Bus Lines’ for the first time to talk about our mutual family tree, I was given this 8-1/2 x 11 family photograph which revealed some new and  significant things about my Great-Grandfather, Alfred Jacob Wolfe (seated last on right), and his immediate family.

We always thought he only had four brothers and one sister due to another photograph we have, but as you can see there was a total of seven brothers and one sister.  Although only seven sons are shown in this family photograph of Samuel (1850-1931) and Ellomanda (1851-1928) Wolfe’s family, taken about five years after the turn of the 20th century, they also had an unnamed son who was born on January 10, 1882 and only lived to January 15th.

In addition they had two daughters, Annie, seated at her father’s right hand, and Victoria May who died at a very young age, almost fifteen years before this picture was taken, when she was only five years old, on the twenty-eighth day of January, 1891. This was quite an eventful year for Samuel and Ellomanda who would eventually give birth to a total of twelve children, for their youngest son, Irwin, was born just eight weeks later on the nineteenth day of March, eight days after Samuel’s forty-first birthday and just four days before Amanda’s fortieth birthday.

However, this last son, the ‘baby’ of the family also died at a somewhat young age, when he was only nineteen, in 1910, and was buried where his father, mother and older brother Samuel Jr. would later be buried, for they all appear on the same monument in ‘the Chapel’ cemetery located in Greenpoint, Pa..

This was a hearty, God-fearing family as Walter Wolfe inferred.  Walter, born in 1910, is the Uncle to the ‘Wolf Bus Line’ boys, Bradley and Edwin, who sent me to see him, in order to get some good first hand Wolf family information. Walter, who is one of the two sons of Edwin (standing first on left), told me that all the boys (Samuel’s sons) worked in the coal mines.

But, we do know that some of them also went in other directions, because the oldest of the seven, Alfred Jacob, my Great-Grandfather, also known as A. J. or ‘Allen’, seated next to his mother, first, made a living teaching music lessons on horseback, riding north from his parent’s homestead in Greenpoint, Pa. into the populace coal mining towns of Tower City, Lykens, Wiconisco and then east to Pine Grove and Suedburg.

allen & kate
A.J. & Wife Kate

It was in Suedburg that he met his wife to be, Kate Klinger.  Her father was co-owner in a mining operation with the father of a man, that I knew and spoke to first hand, named Eddie Rehrer, whose first wife A. J. had taught piano lessons.  A. J. was a hard-working entrepreneur, later building a profitable business, A. J. Wolfe’s General Merchandise in Greenpoint, Pa. just down the road from his parents place.  His father, Samuel, was a stone mason and handily cut building stones for A. J.’s barn foundation from one huge boulder found in the nearby mountainside.

This weather-worn barn still stands there in Greenpoint just west of the recently renovated house, store and warehouse, although the upper barn floor has since been removed and the roof replaced due to fire damage. The foundation is still as sound as the day it was built, revealing the craftsmanship and fine masonry skills of our patriarch Samuel, to be sure, a hard-working man.  A. J. continued to travel in the same areas he had taught music lessons, only now he was bartering with the farmers for their fresh produce, eggs, chickens and livestock in exchange for his ‘store-bought’ goods.

aj store
Customers Standing in Front of AJ’s Store

His route included the people who lived ‘in front of the mountain’ all the way up through Manada Gap where Eddie Rehrer’s sawmill and tavern were located.  A. J.’s store and ‘huckster’ business was a vital necessity for the families of Greenpoint and the surrounding area, including the coal miners who depended on him for carbide, carbide lamps, overalls or ‘uniforms’ as ‘Uncle’ Walter called them, work shoes, you name it and Grandpa’ had it!  His store continued to deliver groceries up until he died in 1956, utilizing, during the last years, a new dark green and black  ’53 Dodge pickup, that Hurly Donmoyer, Aunt Kathleen and I would ride in ‘when they kept it on the road’.

aj on porch
Great Grandpa AJ Relaxing on His Porch

During the 1950’s, in the early years of my life, it was my great joy to spend time in the summers at the store with Grandpa’ and Grandma’ living in somewhat of a dreamland with all the candy and goodies my stomach could hold, not to mention the story-book beauty of the large, outdoor goldfish pond, the towering multi-story Martin birdhouses, the acres of gorgeous flowers Grandma’ would plant, the huge pines, shrubs and lush green grass as thick as a carpet, the farm animals including a big beagle named Jackie and an overgrown Easter rabbit (which I unknowingly ate!) and the meticulously kept buildings, painted dazzling white with dark green trim, a summer-house which housed a grand old pump organ, the lovely two-story house complete with working shutters, an artesian spring in the cellar, the dumb-waiter full of pies that sprang up out of the cold cellar into the kitchen at the touch of your foot, the beautiful open stairway with turned wooden spindles painted white, which led to ‘my’ bedroom on the west side of the house, where I would awake and just gaze out the window at the wonderful panorama of all of my marvelous, childhood wonderland!  Walter told me of the memorable summer vacation days he too spent there in the 1920’s, staying at the store with ‘Uncle Al’ as he lovingly referred to my Great-Grandpa’.

wolfe store
Aerial View of the Store Complex

More on the Wolfe Pack Story in Chapter Two here: Wolfe Pack Story – Chp 2

For more encouraging stories click here: New Blog Index

For a Reservation to Heaven click here: Guaranteed Reservation in Heaven!

 

Out of the Pit!

My brother, Evangelist Larry Wolfe is a Chaplain in a truck stop in South Carolina. His “MO” every morning is to set up in a booth in the attached McDonald’s, open his Bible and laptop computer and seek the Lord’s direction on what the Lord would desire him to write about that day in his daily devotional. He also preaches to truckers that come to his mobile chapel and He sends out his devotional 7 days a week to a long list of Truck Drivers he has assembled over a number of years. Copied below in its entirety is his devotional from yesterday.

larry chaplain

OUT OF THE PIT

by Evangelist Larry Wolfe

The saying bandied about by many, including Drivers, “Isn’t that the pits” is a good way to begin today’s message, for there are a lot of things “That are the pits” including what is happening to our nation as the mainstream media, politicians and many people are being hustled into believing that its OK to let our borders wide open and allow criminals to promote human trafficking, drug trafficking, illegal voting etc your know the rest.

Politics is not my bag so to speak, but in the position The Lord has put me here at The McPilot dealing with Drivers, that topic comes up repeatedly and so it was this morning when two Drivers came in almost simultaneously. So, we engaged in small talk, but The Tube was blaring a bunch of lies about the shutdown and our conversation went south, descending into politics which is not the reason The Lord put me here, but a man has to defend what he believes, no? Well, it was informative, but it was definitely “The Pits”!! Speaking of the pits, The Lord has delivered us out of a number of pits starting with the first one below:

–Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it, from the pit of corruption. Isaiah 38:17

–God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be The Propitiation for Our Sins. I John 4:9,10

–Who is a God like Thee, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retains not His anger for ever, because He delights in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:18,19

–O LORD my God, I cried to Thee, and Thou hast healed me. O LORD, Thou hast brought up my soul from
the grave: Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Psalm 30:2,3

–When my soul fainted within me I remembered The LORD: and my prayer came to Thee, into Thy Holy Temple.
Jonah 2:7

–I waited patiently for The LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up . . . out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon A Rock. Psalm 40:1,2

–Blessed is the man whom Thou chasten O LORD, and teaches him out of Thy Law, that Thou may give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. Psalm 94:12,13

–And the fifth angel sounded…and to him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. Revelation 9:1,2

But, the final pit is one that God will use as part of His Day of The Lord judgment of the planet and those people who have rejected His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ! Even after The First Plagues are well on their way, the Bible tells us: “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” (Revelation 9:21)

Which tells me that they did have the opportunity to turn to God, for His mercy endures forever, but they refused, continuing in their “Rebellion which is as the sin of witchcraft” (I Samuel 15:23), and witchcraft will be rampant in that Day, a Day of Chaos on Planet Earth!

Check it out, Drivers, Its in The Book, written in Black and White, God is right now digging “The pit for the wicked” including anyone who rebels and refuses what His Only Begotten Son has accomplished on The Cross, paying for the sin of the world! (Read: I John 2:2)

Chaplain LEWolfe http://www.prewrath.com I-85 Exit 35 SC ‘McPilot’ Stop in, and please pray for Revival!

More life changing stories here New Blog Index

Trees and Me

tree path

When I was very young I had an affinity for trees. They lined my paths, they were mysterious, something to climb to see far off views in the distance. They were living jungle gyms where secret treasures could be found among their leaves and needles.

tree (picture by Artist Aaron Pocock)

They were hideouts where a boy could sneak beneath their branches away from weather or wind or to climb up and up into make-believe places far away from the human struggles in which I lived.

sunset tree

God made trees and every year within their bark they show a ring of life. Rings which record history over decades, waiting over scores of time patiently standing in the same place, never moving to the right or left but reaching ever higher, wider and bearing fruit which is of course their ultimate purpose. As God said…

tree flowers

“See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. (Gen. 1:29)

christmas tree 1

We love trees. We adorn them with lights and from time to time God provides his own decorations!

 

xmas tree 2012

We bring trees into our homes as we celebrate the birth of the Savior of the World.

 

We adore and even worship the kaleidoscope of colors which trees provide streaming across mountain ranges and lining our yards, lakes and streets!

The birds and other creatures of the forest find sustenance and shelter in the branches and trunks of trees….. so is it any wonder that the God of the universe who created all trees would take a lonely tree, and show his maximum display of love for his highest creation, you and me, by displaying his One and Only Son there? Yes, on a tree, on a hill called Calvary, through a Savior named Jesus, I found salvation. Yes, I’m proud to admit I love Jesus…. and trees!

tree cross

For other life changing and encouraging stories go here: New Blog Index

For a  Guaranteed Reservation in Heaven!  go here!

Do You Know Jesus?

Do You know Jesus? I mean really know him, because He changed your life kind of Knowing Him! Do you remember when the light came in and the darkness went out? When the burden of your sins, the weight of it all washed away like a cleansing rain… that kind of Knowing Him.

I know you may be religious, go to church, try to live a good life, give to the poor, volunteer for good causes, watch your mouth around the preacher, celebrate Easter and of course Christmas!

But do you know that Christmas… was eventually followed by a battered, beaten, thorn wearing, agony stricken, Savior hanging on a cruel Cross? And for what?? FOR YOU!!! Here’s my story of how Jesus found me!

Tract

Can you believe it? God hunted me down until He cornered me in a little cabin in the mountains! Here’s how it all started. I was born into a family poisoned by alcohol and my parents and five brothers were all caught in a downward spiral of destruction. I was often separated from my brothers since our mother was repeatedly hospitalized with nervous breakdowns. It was during one of these times in my grade school years living with my Aunt and Uncle that they took me to a hymn sing and God made his first move. I distinctly recall hearing of Jesus for the first time and it was simply that He loved me. It was the thread of hope that kept my life from unraveling. The Bible says when your father and mother forsake you the Lord will take you up, so the hunt was on!

As a teenager, I was at a friend’s house and his cousin who played the guitar was visiting. I joined in with the singing and he asked me to be the lead singer in his rock and roll band. I agreed and for the next three years the hunt continued, as God was by my side protecting me as we performed before many drunken crowds in bar rooms, night clubs and college fraternity parties. One day our lead guitarist announced that he was “saved” and had become a “born again Christian” as God continued reminding me of His power and presence all around me.

After the band broke up I married my teenage sweetheart but unfortunately God was not a part of our marriage. Four years later with two young sons we struggled to make ends meet. God still cared for us and sent another messenger to me, my oldest brother, who was a Christian. He told me sincerely about his faith in Jesus when I was working part time at a gas station. He told me of the wonderful changes in his life since becoming a Christian and asked me to receive Christ as my Savior. I said I would think about it and shrugged him off, but the hunt was intensifying!

My wife and I decided it was time to take our boys to church so we went to a Bible church near our home. Unknown to us God was again at work because they were having evangelistic services and we heard the Gospel message more powerful than ever! At the end of the service it was as if God was calling our names to respond to the preacher’s invitation to receive Christ, but instead we grabbed our boys and left thinking we would never return, but God was obviously tracking us down!

You would think He’d give up on me by that time, but He didn’t! Then my best friend’s marriage fell apart and I saw the tragedy hit him full force. My brother invited us to his hunting camp and we thought it would be a good idea to get away from it all for a weekend. What I didn’t know was that God was waiting for me there and He was moving in to close the deal!

We spent the day enjoying God’s creation and then sat around the fireplace that evening. My brother began to point my friend to Jesus as the answer for his broken marriage and the Holy Spirit used his words to finally corner me! I saw again how my sin was the problem and how it had separated me from God. I realized His care for me over so many years and that His Son Jesus died to pay for my sins. I remembered all of the times He tried to reach me but I ran from Him. He had patiently sent people and situations into my life to get my attention all along the way.

We went up to the cabin bunk room and continued to talk of the Lord. I told my brother that I felt the Lord working in my heart, tracking me down as He had in the past. He said that I didn’t have to be in church to receive Christ and that I could do it right there in the cabin. I finally stopped running. I remember lying on my bunk in the darkness thinking of the times I turned away from Jesus and in a simple prayer I told him so. I said, “Lord Jesus, there are so many times I have said no to you but right now I ask you to come into my heart and life, forgive my sins and make me your child”. I invited Christ into my life in the best way I knew how and He came in! He forgave my sins and gave me eternal life! He transformed my life into a new creation. I couldn’t believe I had waited so long! Praise the Lord, the hunt was over!

Is God hunting for you? If you are reading this message He certainly is! The Bible says Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Do you remember times when God got your attention and pointed you to His Son Jesus? Did you say yes to Him or are you still running? The Bible says “For all have sinned and have come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Do you realize you are a sinner who needs a Savior? It also says “…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”(Romans 6:23) The good news is “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and He was buried and rose again on the third day.”(I Cor.15:3, 4) Are you willing to turn from your sins and receive the eternal life Jesus is offering? Receive Him today, He is hunting for you! If you have received Jesus as your Savior as a result of reading this story please let me know.

Find more detail to my family and story here: Brian’s Beginning