Jon Crispin's Notebook

My Father / Colorado

Posted in Family, Graveyards, Jon Crispin by joncrispin on 27/09/2014

My father died in August of 2007 and my brother, sister, and I have been trying to figure out when we could all meet in Colorado to spread his ashes.

Robert LeRoy Crispin (he hated the LeRoy part) was born in Central City, Colorado on 19 August 1917.  He was a man completely formed by his difficult early life.  At the age of 6 his father died (probably from black lung due to his working in the mines), and as his mother was often poorly, he was largely raised by grandparents.

My family; Bob, Karen, I at Richard Crispin’s grave in the Knights of Pythias cemetery.

Dad’s other side of the family were buried nearby in the IOOF (Odd Fellows) Cemetery.  Both sides of the family were Cornish, whose men worked in the lead mines there and came to Colorado to work the silver mines.

We spread some of dad’s ashes near his Wilkinson grandparents.  This watch belonged to his grandfather.  I usually keep it on my desk at home, but really wanted to bring it along for the trip.

The house he was born in on The Casey (now Casey Street) has been torn down, but this is the entry to his grandparent’s house next door.  Dad would have walked through this door countless times.

And seen this view across the valley every day.

And often would have walked up this path at the end of the street.

I have been meaning to do a long post about my father for a very long time, and I know I will get to it some day.  We had a somewhat complicated relationship, but he was an amazing guy whose life was remarkably full and interesting.

Guest check

Posted in Family, Friends by joncrispin on 17/12/2010

My dad was a very interesting guy.  He died in August of 2007, and my mom died in March of 2009.  Cleaning out their apartment in Meadville was difficult in the obvious ways.  It wasn’t until July of ’09 that we finally had everything out and divided up.  It was very cool the way my sister, brother and I settled on who got what.  No hassles at all.  Since I was the last to leave Meadville, I had lots of odds and ends to bring home.  The boxes ended up in my family room and have sat there since.  My plan was to go through them and divide the remaining items between the three of us.  It has been hanging over my head since that July, but I finally started opening boxes on Tuesday.  Dad had saved some intersesting little items.  /  After he retired from Allegheny College, he read to school children at my old elementary school and volunteered to teach English as a second language through the Meadville Public Library.  A family named Lee moved to town from China to work at the Chinese restaurant run by Mr Lee’s brother.  They came speaking no English, and my dad became their teacher and mentor.  He poured all his heart into that family, and they really loved him in return.  The boys were Jamie and Danny, and Jan was their mom.


Our son Peter was born 5 weeks early in January of 1989.  He weighed just over 3 pounds and had a very rough start, staying in the NICU at Floating Hospital in Boston for what seemed like forever.  When I was going through the boxes from Meadville, I came across this envelope.

I realized right away that it was from the Lee’s.  This note was inside.

Oh, man.

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