Updated: Aug 4
Maida Blue 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Jim Irwin 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2
This is my 3rd blog for this new Bluefamily.org internet publication and I am amazed at how many Blue stories keep coming to my mind that ties my hometown of Walla Walla to New Amsterdam and New Jersey.
Here is another "what are the odds" story that took place in our Dutch Blue Family. From "The Island at the center of the world" to the "City at the center of the Pacific Northwest". Two 7th great grandchildren of Frederick and Grietje Janss who lived in New Amsterdam in 1651. Both of our Blue numbers begin with their son, John Blaw 1. of Blawenburg NJ, the first of our Dutch Blues to be born on this continent.
Maida Blue and I were both born and raised in Walla Walla and grew up in difficult times. The depression leading up to World War two, rations, the polio scare, the commie scare,the nuclear scare and shelters, hiding under school desks. Walla Walla Air Base with B-17s and B-24s flying over town.
Then there was the good times; we had four movie theaters, The Roxy, the Liberty, The Capital, and the Sky-Vue drive-in. Lots of Western movies and movies such as Blackboard Jungle, Rebel Without a Cause, etc. Music; Everly Brothers, Rock & Roll and Elvis Presley. Hamburgers & fries at the Ice Burg, El-Rancho, and XXX Drive-ins and draggin the gut thru town in our old cars, dancing at the shuffle shop, frolics after the games, celebrating our champion Wa-Hi Blue Devil teams in their Royal Blue & White.
Maida Blue and I first met in the 7th grade at the brand new Jr. High School built in 1949. Our first year started in 1950. Our class was known as the '49ers and being the first class to graduate, we choose the school colors, crimson and grey, school fight song and alma mater.
In 1952 we entered freshmen year at the old Walla Walla High school pictured below, and graduated in 1956. The old school has since been torn down and a new one story multi-building campus was built out on the south edge of town.
Thomas Harlan Page Maida and Tom Page on their 80 acre family farm
showing off their New Holland baling machine.
Thomas Page and Maida Blue, high school sweethearts, married and raised four sons on their family farm just southwest of the city of Walla Walla and have been married for 64 years. Jim Irwin and Shirley Wasemiller, also high school sweethearts, were married for 56 years and raised two children in the city of Walla Walla.
Over the years both families have attended many class of '56 reunions and class birth-year parties as well as a couple Western Blue Genes reunions held in Walla Walla.
Tom & Maida Page, born in Walla Walla 1938 Jim & Shirley Irwin, born in Walla Walla 1938
The following chart shows a comparison of our Blue family lineage starting from number one.
Family Tree Maker and Ancestry.com shows us as - Half 6th cousins 1x removed
And now, the rest of the story; two more Dutch Blues Graduate from Walla Walla High School in the year 1983. Lisa Blue Smyth 18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.4.2 granddaughter of Albert Blue of "Blue in the saddle" and daughter of Mel and Cecelia Blue, and Bejamin Page 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.4, son of Tom and Maida Blue Page. Also, my adopted son, Jerry Irwin graduated with them. He was not of the Dutch Blue family but he has a great adoption story. In short, when he was 37 years old, his biological mother and three of his siblings found him. Before his biological father died he had told the siblings that they had an older brother somewhere. It only took about a month for an attorney to find him. We tried to give him back, but we still have him. This is how I will end this blog, but I am sure it's not the end of the story.
Thank you, Ted Blew for starting this new website at this time. The Pages and I are in our 80's now and as you can see in the chart above my wife, Shirley, passed away in 2013 at the age of 75. I also want to thank Maida and Tom Page for their help in putting this blog together and tell them how much I appreciate their help and their friendship.
The world has entered another time of great difficulties brought on by a pandemic called COVID-19 that began in China about 8 months ago and spread rapidly around the world. The large cities across this country seem to all be having protests and riots and the police are having trouble maintaining order. We are all concerned about how this will end and when we will see calm times again. It may be some time before we will see family gatherings and reunions again.
I think this website might be the perfect tool for this time in our lives to help keep our families in touch and connected until we can safely gather together again. I pray that our leaders make the correct decisions to lead us through this COVID-19 pandemic and all the problems that have come with it.
Jim Irwin, still in Walla Walla!