May all dads enjoy a happy Father’s Day! I hope you can get some R&R, and fun with family and/or friends.
May all of you who are fathers enjoy a happy Father’s Day. Hopefully, you will get a chance to enjoy some R&R, and do something that you like. A special hat’s off to those of you who spend quality time with your children. They are the next generation of leaders, and need you to be good and positive role models for them. Be safe and enjoy this Father’s Day!
Things have changed alot for Halloween since I was a kid, and I think that’s for the better. There are communities that have trick-or-treating, bobbing for apples, costume contests, and other fun events at their fire stations, churches, apartment buildings, or other locations. I also think that these events have a tendency for increased safety, rather than kids going door-to-door in their area, or even in surrounding neighborhoods. One never knows the type of person who will be standing on the other side of the door, and/or what state or mood he or she might be in.
It was different when I was a kid. Kids always walked around the neighborhood, dressed in their Halloween costumes. We went door-to-door in my neighborhood in Collins, New York, a small, rural town outside of Buffalo. I always remember that one of my parents took my brother and I around the neighborhood, or a parent of our neighborhood friends did so. By about age 12, we were really considered too old for neighborhood trick-or-treating, however there were always many teenage boys in the neighborhood who continued to go out into their late teen years.
I remember, growing up, that there were at least three consecutive years in which my family’s house was egged by the older teenage boys. After this occurred for two years straight, my brother and I vowed that we would try to catch some of them in the act, as we anticipated that it would happen again. And, we were correct. What happened that third year that our house was egged was really shocking, incredible, and discouraging to me about these many teenage boys in our neighborhood, whom I henceforth considered to be bullies.
So, on that Halloween night when I was about 12 years old, we had just turned out the outside lights for the night. Only a few minutes passed before we heard banging sounds. Mom, my brother, and I were watching TV and looking over our candy from the Halloween haul. We all sprang into action. We all ran to the front door, and found that our house was being egged. My brother, who is younger than me, was the first one out of the house, running into the front yard, yelling and trying to scare the older boys off.
Following my brother out of the house, I lit out like I was on fire, racing after one of the slower boys after they all took off running. About 15-20 boys had lined the street, surrounding our house, which was situated on a street corner. So, all of these boys had a larger distance between us, and a better chance of getting away without being caught. I continued to chase after this one boy in my stocking feet, gaining on him. His heavy candy bag weighed him down as we ran through the back yards of three neighbors in the pitch darkness. Having played in those yards, I knew them well, running without benefit of any light, listening to the boy ahead of me without being able to see him well at all.
By the time we reached the third neighbor’s yard, I tackled the boy, and we fell to the ground. He was shocked that I not only caught up to him, but took him down. He was filled with so much fear and embarrassment that he left his candy bag behind – my prize. I took it home as evidence that I caught him, and was very proud of myself. The next day, my dad went to the home of that particular boy – because I knew who he was – and he talked to his dad about what had happened.
Never again after that was our house egged. It really shed a different light on all of those bullyish boys in the neighborhood who picked on my brother and I so much because we were good kids who always tried to turn the other cheek. Unfortunately, adhering to a “Christian” way of behaving in those regards often sends an inaccurate message to others that we weak rather than strong, as we actually were.
So, my message this evening is to be a friend, be a buddy. Don’t be a bully. Halloween can be a scary and upsetting time for many people, especially children. People’s nerves and emotions tend to run highly on Halloween, and it is no time for hurtful pranks and games that can turn ugly very fast. It is better to be safe than sorry, and be kind to others on this one day of the year that can become unpleasant rather than fun. Be a buddy, not a bully on Halloween!
I married John Nice, Jr. in July 2002, and our son was born the following year in 2003. John is a member of the Nice Family of Jacksonville, Florida. John is a high school physics teacher; most of my career experience (15 years, to date) has also been in teaching. John’s mother, Carol (Martin) Greene Nice Bennett is from the Martin Family of Florida. Carol’s parents were Elizabeth “Bessie” (Robinson) Martin and Elmer Martin of Florida. This article will provide information and photos of some members of those families, as well as the Hintermister’s, who were cousins to the Nice’s due to Betty Jane (Hintermister) Nice marrying Clarence Carter Nice, Jr.
This photo is of my family with John’s parents, Carol (Martin) Greene Nice Bennett and J. Bob Nice. Carol and Bob have been divorced twice and married three times. Both of them are now married to their third spouse. Carol is currently married to Arnold (“Art”) Bennett and Bob is married to Marilyn Nice. Carol has two brothers, Louis and Charles (“Buddy”) Martin. They are both married and have families. Carol also has two sisters. Her older sister experienced late stage breast cancer and died before I knew her. I don’t know alot about her older sister. Her younger sister is Rachel (Martin) Hunter, who is married to Charles Hunter, and they have two daugthers, Kelli and Brandi. Carol and her family were raised in rural Live Oak, Florida during their childhood.
This is a photo of my family with John’s parents, Carol (Martin) Greene Nice Bennett and Arnold “Art” Bennett. Our son was about 1.5 years old at that time. Carol is Art’s second wife; he had four children with his first wife, two sons and two daugthers. Art is a Vietnam War military veteran.
Bob and Marilyn Nice came to visit us with Janet’s son in 2004. This picture shows three generations of Nice’s, including Baby Nice.
This photo shows John Nice, Jr. dancing with Rachel (Martin) Hunter, the younger sister of his mom, Carol, in 2002.
This image is of my son as a newborn with his grandparents, Bob and Marilyn Nice when they came to visit and welcome the baby. Marilyn has two daughters, including one who is adopted. This is Marilyn’s second marriage and Bob’s third.
In this photo are members of John’s family. They include Janet (Greene) (Nice) Hebson Adams, Natalie (Nice) __ __ Tuttle, Jason Nice, Janet’s son, Carter Nice, and Krissy Nice, an adopted sister of John. Janet is a half-sister of John; she is divorced from her first husband, and is married to her second husband. Natalie has been divorced twice, and is currently married to her third husband. Jason and Carter Nice are John’s half-brothers.* One is married and has a family.* The other has never been married, has a son, and is separated from his son’s mother.* John also has another adopted sister, Jenni (Nice) Robison, who is married and has two daughters. Krissy has been married and divorced, and currently does not have any children. John’s sister, Natalie, pictured in this photo, is his only full biological sibling to him. Natalie’s children are her adopted children through her marriage to her third husband, Ben; her third husband has three children from his first marriage, of which he is divorced from his first wife. Natalie is an attorney.
This photo reflects Janet (Greene) (Nice) Hebson Adams with Mike Adams and Janet’s son from her first marriage. Both Janet and Mike are divorced from their first spouses; this is their second marriage. Mike also has a daughter from his first marriage.
Both this photo and the following one are those that I took at the Nice Family Christmas Party in 2001.
This photo shows the Nice boys performing at a church service or concert in Florida around 1948.
This is a photo of the Nice Family around 1945, showing John Nice, Jr.’s father as a toddler (the younger boy) with his brother, Clarence Carter Nice, III, and their parents, Betty (Hintermister) Nice and Clarence Carter Nice, Jr. The boys’ youngest brother, Jimmy, had not yet been born. Betty attended college from 1931-1935, graduating in May 1935 with a B.S. in Commerce, I believe from the University of Florida. She took many business, math, and economics classes, as well as Spanish and psychology.
The Nice’s were well-known in Jacksonville, Florida because Dr. Clarence Carter Nice and his son, Clarence Carter Nice, Jr. were symphony conductors there. Dr. Nice was also known as “Pops.” Clarence Carter Nice, Jr. also owned a music store in Jacksonville, which, following his death, has been continued by his sons, Bob and Jimmy (now deceased).
The Nice’s were big in the Jacksonville, Florida music scene from about 1930-1980. Clarence Carter Nice, III has been a prominent and successful symphony conductor in California, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather in being successful symphony conductors.
This photo shows the Hintermister’s (on the left) and the Nice’s (on the right) from about 1950 in Florida. The Nice’s and Hintermister’s are cousins. From left to right in the photo are Sam Hintermister, John Hintermister, Cril Hintermister, Clarence Carter “Carter” Nice, III, Jimmy Nice, and J. Bob Nice. Sadly, Jimmy struggled with and was lost to cancer a number of years ago. All of the others are still living. Sam is married and has adopted children; John is a widower (Candy) and has an adopted son, Josh; and Cril is a bachelor. Carter is married to his second wife, Jennifer, and has one daughter with her, Olivia; they live in California. Carter is divorced from his first wife, and has two children with her, a son and daughter, Christian and Danielle. Jimmy’s wife is Penny, and they have a son and daughter, Jamie and Meghan. Jamie is married.* And, I have described about Bob throughout this article.
Divorce in the Nice Family began with Clarence Carter Nice, Jr., when he divorced from Betty. He married his second wife, Jean, and he adopted her children, a son and two daughters. The cycle of divorce was broken with Jimmy Nice, who remained married to his only wife, Penny. The cycle of divorce, however, was continued in both Carter and J. Bob Nice’s families when they became divorced. J. Bob Nice is divorced from his second wife, Karen (McLane/McLain) Kirton Nice. Divorce has further continued with John Nice, Jr. due to his divorce from me in 2009. Most adults in the Nice Family, and half of the adults in the Nice’s extended family, therefore, have been married and divorced at least once. Three generations of single and/or multiple divorces presently exist in the Nice Family.
This photo is of John Hintermister, father of Sam, John, and Cril Hintermister. He is a decorated military veteran, and is at rest in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.
This image is of Marguerite Hintermister, wife of John Hintermister. I believe these photos of them were taken at or prior to their attending a military ball. I’m not sure of the year in which the photos were taken. Marguerite was the sister of Betty Jane (Hintermister) Nice, who married Clarence Carter Nice, Jr.
Mrs. Hintermister lived to be a centenarian. This photo of her was taken on her 100th birthday while she was a resident of the North Florida Special Care Center. She was born in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania in 1989, and moved to Gainesville, Florida in 1940.
So, all of this information and images lead back to my family, including my son, who is descended from the Babcock’s and Nice’s.
My son has been a Cub Scout for five years, and will transfer to Boy Scouts in May 2014. He has been an honor student in school for many years. I love and am very proud of my “Nice” son!
As I locate additional relevant photos from the Martin side of the family, I will include them.
*Author’s Note: Please note that I have edited this article to reflect some of the information provided by Meghan Nice in her above comment. I did review the article, and believe that no inaccuracies were made. Information that was not known was merely excluded or written in a vague manner. In a prior version of the article, information about Jamie Nice being married was not included because that information was not known. Additionally, the information about John Nice, Jr.’s half brothers is correct because I did not specify which status (either married or separated) was attributed to which man. I simply stated that one was separated and the other was married without naming them. Therefore, I will maintain that information as is since it is correct. For any further detail, please refer to the first comment above in which I have quoted and edited that of Meghan Nice.
References and Sources:
Clower, E. (2002). Wedding Photos of Michele Babcock-Nice and John Nice, Jr. Snellville, Georgia.
Guttman, J. (1989). Photo of Marguerite Hintermister. Jacksonville, Florida-area newspaper.
J.C. Penney Portrait Studios (2004). Babcock-Nice Family Photos. Buford, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida.
Pemberton, J. (1995). Photo of Clarence Carter Nice, Jr. in accompanying newspaper article about him. Jacksonville, Florida: Jacksonville Times-Union.
Photos and information of Michele Babcock-Nice from 2002-2013 (2014). Snellville, Georgia.
Photos and information of Natalie (Nice) Tuttle from 1900-1960, Jacksonville, Florida. Those included herein currently the property of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014). Snellville, Georgia.
Other photographers/photo sources of professionally-taken photos, unknown.
My mother, Anna Maria (Krakowiak) Babcock (born 1944) is from the Krakowiak Family; she was the middle child. Her parents are Wladislawa “Lottie” (Bulera) Krakowiak (November 12, 1914-December 13, 2007) and Janek “John” Krakowiak (October 24, 1907-December 1, 1967). Lottie’s and John’s other children include Peter Krakowiak, Maria Anna (Krakowiak) Spires Walker, and Larry Krakowiak.
Lottie’s parents were Wawryniec and Katarzyna (Mordka) Bulera, and John’s parents were Walenty and Jozefa (Stepnion) Krakowiak. Lottie had two sisters, Staca, and Marianna (Krakowiak) Drewin. Staca did not stay in touch with Lottie after her family immigrated to the United States in 1950, so I do not know what became of her. Marianna had three marriages, and had a son with each of her husbands. I only know the last name of her third husband, and not the names of the previous two.
Marianna’s sons have several children between them, and they likely have grandchildren and perhaps great grandchildren by now. Marianna and her family lived in Kielce, Poland, and I was able to visit and meet most of them (15 of them) when I studied abroad at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow Poland in 1992. Once Marianna died, no one remained in touch with each other, as only Marianna and Lottie communicated with each other at that time.
John is one of about 10 children from his family. As an adult, he had one glass eye. I don’t know what experience or situation caused him to get the glass eye. I do remember my grandmother telling about how John’s mother had told him that no one would ever want to marry him because of his glass eye. Once John married Lottie, and the family later moved to Germany, and then on to the United States, there were no further contacts or communications maintained between John or any of his family members.
From what I understand, both Lottie’s and John’s parents were farmers. When Lottie was a young girl, she herded geese on the farm – that was her job. In bare feet and on frosty mornings, she herded geese. My grandmother had about a third grade education, and was fluent in Polish and German. She took some classes in English upon coming to the United States, though never learned to write more in English than her name. She also did not drive and never had a driver’s license. She walked to her places of work (or was driven by others), and she walked to stores and businesses in the Village of Gowanda. She worked at the garden nurseries of Knowles and Fisher, and she also worked additional jobs, such as being a waitress at the local diner in Gowanda (now Olympia).
The Krakowiak Family came to the United States through Ellis Island, and to the Buffalo and Western New York State area, in 1950. Cousins to the Krakowiak’s were John and Josephine Tomaszewski of Gowanda, New York. John Tomaszewski secured a guarantee of employment for John Krakowiak at the Moench Tannery in Gowanda. Thus, the Krakowiak Family was guaranteed a sponsorship by the Tomaszewski’s, a condition that was required of immigrants for entry into the United States at that time. The Krakowiak Family (all but John) moved to Germany from Poland in about 1948. The reasons for the family’s move were to escape the effects of World War II, and to seek a better life in the United States. They did not want to experience another war in Europe.
As a result of their citizenship in Poland, Germany was the best route out of Europe for them. So, Lottie and her young family traveled on foot and by train to Germany where she worked at two or three large corporate farms, particularly in the kitchen. (In her later years, Lottie was able to secure a number of financial security payments from the German government due to proof of her work at the farms.)
For about two years, Lottie worked on the farms until the Polish government allowed John to leave Poland. Lottie and the children were forced to wait those two years because the Polish government had desired John to remain in Poland. It was a tense situation during the wait because the family worried that John might not be allowed to leave Poland. Once he died and reunited with his family, they sailed to the United States from Germany.
Once in Gowanda, the Krakowiak’s lived with the Tomaszewski’s until John was able to purchase a house. The Krakowiak Family then remained on Union Street in Gowanda, often experiencing flooding in the basements of the two different homes in which they had lived due to rising waters and/or flooding by the Cattaraugus Creek that runs through the center of town.
For about the last one to two years of his life, John developed and suffered from cancer. My family believes that the cancer was caused by John’s handling of the many chemicals at the Tannery without any protections. John died from the cancer in 1964 when he was 60 years old. My grandmother, “Babcia,” as we called her and is the word for “grandmother” in Polish, was healthy and well, living independently until she was 86 years old, at which time she was placed in the Gowanda Nursing Home. She died as a resident of the Nursing Home when she was 93, about seven years after moving there.
My father, Bruce Babcock, married my mother, Anna (Krakowiak) Babock in 1963. In 1971, I was born, and the following year, my brother was born.
My aunt, Maria (Krakowiak) Spires (and later, Walker) was already married to Eugene Spires (May 7, 1919-November 7, 1993) when I was born. Maria and Gene had two children, Desiree “Desa” (Spires) O’Malley and Phillip Spires. Desiree is married to Joseph O’Malley. They have one son, Joey, and live in Connecticut. I met Joey when he was a baby. Phil married Dawn (Clark) Spires on October 17, 1992. They have one son, Benjamin – named after his great grandfather, Ben Spires. Phil is a Corrections Officer.
After my uncle, Gene, died after struggling with cancer for two years, Maria met Roger Walker. Gene was 25 years older than Maria, and had been previously married. Gene’s first wife died from cancer. Maria then married Roger; they live in Florida.
My uncle, Gene, was also a veteran of World War II, having served in the US Army, fighting in France during the war. Gene worked for the State of New York at the Gowanda Psychiatric Center in the maintenance department, and as a painter. Gene and Maria also operated a farm; and Gene owned a gun shop for many years, being a licensed firearms dealer. My aunt also worked for the State of New York at the Gowanda Psychiatric Center, as well as when mental health patients were transitioned to community housing, then still being employed by the State through J.N. Adam Developmental Center. She retired from there after about 27 years of State service.
To my knowledge, Peter Krakowiak never married, nor had any children. Once he graduated from high school, he went into the Navy. Once he completed his service in the Navy, he moved to and lived in Chicago for the remainder of his life. My family has not heard from him in many years; he had kept in touch with my aunt, but she stopped hearing from him many years ago.
Larry also moved to and lived in Chicago for several years, where he was married to and divorced from a woman named, Pam. Sometime following the divorce, he moved back to Gowanda, where he has lived and worked since then. He does not have any children.
Much of the Tomaszewski Family still lives in or near Gowanda, though I am aware of John’s and Josephine’s oldest son and his family living in Chicago. John and Josephine had three children, including two boys and a girl. When the boys became adults, they married and had children. The daughter, Gloria, is single and does not have any children. The eldest son of John and Josephine is an airline pilot, likely long retired by now. He may have also served in the Vietnam War, as I recall. The Tomaszewski’s, therefore, are cousins, far-removed, from me; they would be considered my third cousins.
Other family related to the Krakowiak side of my family include the Covelli’s from Buffalo, New York, and the Turdly’s from Brooklyn, New York City.
John and Lottie Krakowiak, and John and Josephine Tomaszewski, are bured in Holy Cross Cemetery of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Gowanda, New York. Eugene Spires is also buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Gowanda.
To follow is a collage of photos that I have of the Krakowiak’s, Drewin’s, Babcock’s, Spires’, O’Malley’s. and Clark’s.
Author’s Note: Information and images identifying my brother have been removed from this post as of April 27, 2016 as a courtesy per his request.
In this photo, my grandfather, John, is at the far left. The fourth person inside from the left is my aunt, Maria. At the far right are my newly-wedded parents, Bruce and Anna. And, standing next to my mom is my grandmother, Lottie. I do not know any names of the other people in the picture.
This is a photo of my parents on their wedding day in July 1963. From left to right are Emmett Sprague, Bernice Gale (Briggs) Babcock Sprague, Bruce Babcock, Anna (Krakowiak) Babcock, Wladislawa “Lottie” (Bulera) Krakowiak, and John Krakowiak.
This is a photo of me when I was about two weeks old, just after I was baptized at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Gowanda, New York. In the photo are: front, left to right: Phil Spires; Desiree Spires, Me (the baby), Maria (Krakowiak) Spires, and Eugene Spires; rear, left to right: Anna (Krakowiak) Babcock, Emmett Sprague, Bernice Gale (Briggs) Babcock Sprague, Wladislawa “Lottie” (Bulera) Krakowiak, and Fr. Rog. My dad took the picture.
All photos of my cousin’s wedding reception were taken by family friend, Alice Tschopp.
I hope that you have enjoyed my information and photo record of the Krakowiak side of my family!
Eighty-five: Valley Bugle (1985). Gowanda Central High School Yearbook. Gowanda, NY: Jostens.
Photos and information of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014), 1974-1992. Snellville, Georgia.
Photos and information of Wladislawa “Lottie” (Bulera) Krakowiak, 1950-2007. Gowanda, New York. Now the Property of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014). Snellville, Georgia.
Tschopp (1992). Photos of wedding reception of Phil Spires and Dawn (Clark) Spires. Property of Michele Babcock-Nice (1992). Gowanda, New York.
Other photographers of other professional photos, unknown.