have a wonderful life in
are Mike & Cathy.
This was taken on a cruise ship while visiting some wonderful
This was taken the night Jonathan was inducted into the National Honor
He attended the U of A and graduated from NAU. Go Wildcats and Lumberjacks!
Wilbur, the U of A Mascot!
Here's Matthew after his honors awards ceremony. He graduated
in his class!
He Graduated From ASU! Go Sun Devils!
the ASU Mascot!
From Our Home
Yours, Thanks for Stopping By!
We are the Webers!
for visiting our
website. Whether you are a
relative, friend, or other visitor, we are pleased you stopped
by. This site is intended
to be a place to update everyone on all our
and news. It is also turning out to be a suitable haven for
my ramblings in a sort of blog format. Check out the other pages using
the menu section, above.
(September 3, 2019)
This update is long
overdue. The focus of this webpage has changed over time to be
more of repository of my ongoing research on my dad's time in WWII and
on family genealogy. Still, a lot has been going on with the Webers and
at least some small update is in order.
In July Cathy and I
spent about two weeks in Alaska on a cruise and land tour. Our
ship was Princess' Royal Princess. Ship stops included Ketchican,
Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, College Fjord, and
Anchorage. After the cruise we spent time at lodges in Denali
National Park and in Fairbanks. Overall our journey was by
airplane, ship, train, and bus. It was a great time full of
wilderness, glaciers, beauty, and wonderful food.
saw many, many humpback whales, otters, dolphins, scores of
bald eagles, moose, caribou, seals, sea lions, sled dogs, ptarmigan,
and other small game. Glaciers were ever present on the cruise
and we saw a 40 story tall glacier shed ice to make small icebergs.
We saw a bald eagle hitching a ride on a small iceberg in a
remote bay. Salmon were beginning to run and it was remarkable to see
the upstream swim in person. Streams ran everywhere and some were
the color of gray steel as a result of the rock flour in the glacial
melt, others were crystal clear. We panned for and found gold. At that time of the year it was
still light enough to read outside at 3:00 AM.
National Park is a treasure and one you should see at some point.
Everywhere people were friendly and helpful. We have been on
several cruises to the carribean, Central and South America, and the
Mexican Riviera, but I must say that there is nowhere like Alaska.
(June 24, 2018)
We had a great time
in June spending some time aboard the historic Queen Mary at Long
Beach, CA. This venerable old ship was commissioned in 1936
was one of the most luxurious ships to make the trans-Atlantic
crossing, shuttling its many passengers, dignitaries, and celebreties
from New York to England in record time. She was refitted as
troop transport during World War II and returned to service afterwards.
She is now enjoying a well-earned retirement in sunny
where many visitors from around the globe stop or stay to get
glimpse of the past, learn her history, and perhaps even get the chance
for a sighting of one of her many ghosts who reportedly walk the halls
or linger in several of the rooms.
(May 26, 2018)
Earlier this month
an old pal and I hiked a trail on Mt. Humphreys in
Arizona to see if we could find the crash site of a B-24 bomber.
The bomber crashed in September 1944 during a training
from California to New Mexico. All eight aboard died.
found the site which spans a wide area on the mountain slope around
11,000 feet. Here are a few pictures of some of the remaining debris.
The first is of a portion of the debris field showing various
frame and aluminum skin parts scattered among the volcanic boulders.
The other two pictures are of engine parts found lower down
slope and a large control surface piece found just below the main
(August 22, 2017)
More updates from
the Webers. Jonathan has returned to school after
off to finish his last semester. After that, he plans on
attending Pharmacy school for his PharmD degree, a Doctorate in
Pharmacy. Matthew is coming to visit us this evening for a
days. He recently saw the total solar eclipse in Paducah, KY
lucky guy! Our nephew Justin is spending a few months with us
while he interns at an Architectural firm for the summer while working
on his Masters degree. On the webpage front, I've added
significant content to my page about dad's time in the war and have
included an entirely new appendix listing known 46oth Bomb
aircraft names (typically meaning those that had nose art and names
given by ground or air crews). That project which began as a
memorial to my dad and a sort of hobby for me has grown to over 200
pages, single-space, 12-point font, and one inch margins. I
to it more and more as a book. I was also asked to provide
comment on a draft novel based on a crew of the 460th Bomb Group and
hope to see it in print before long. Another author recently
his book about B-24s published and included a picture of dad in dress
uniform along with some descriptive text I provided from a waist
(July 21, 2017)
A lot of time has
gone by since I posted any sort of update on this main page.
Rest assured that there have been ongoing updates to the WWII
Genealogy pages which have become the focus of my research efforts.
My WWII page has grown into a very detailed sort of memoir
dad's time in the war and now includes historical and political
information from that time period, as well as three separate appendices
about the 460th Bombardment Group missions, Missing Air Crew Reports,
and the most comprehensive personnel roster that I believe exists, and
one appendix compiling technical information about the B-24 Liberator
itself. I maintain the document in a few formats
and it has
grown in breadth and depth to about 200 pages. I had
with author Kenny Kemp several months ago regarding the role of the
waist gunner on a B-24 and was pleased when he included some of that
information along with a wartime picture of my father in his book
entitled Witchcraft: B-24 Liberator.
My genealogy page
provides a vast amount of information on the Weber & Landerfelt
heritage, but also includes a wealth of information on distant families
that relate via complicated and meandering pathways to our family.
My database now contains about 85,000 names that all relate
some manner. Since the data is online, I receive
frequent inquiries about indiviuals listed in my
from someone asking for assistance on some family research matter.
It is always exciting when one of those requests pertains to
direct ancestor or to some other more closely related individual.
As part of the Weber & Landerfelt Family Tree Project
branding I created the crest you see at the top right of this page in
the header section. It reads Weber, Aus ("from", in English)
Gevenich, Cochem-Zell, Rheinland-Pfalz, Deutschland, Seit ("since", in
English) June 17, 1853. June 17, 1853 is the date our Webers
arrived in American after leaving Gevenich, Germany. I am
thinking about having tee shirts made for family members.
sad to report the loss of Ted (a.k.a. Theodora, Teddy Bear, Teddy the
Bearcat) our great cat for the past almost 17 years. She was
good friend to us and gave more than she took. An early
of her is still on this page toward the bottom right. If
are cats in heaven, as there should be, I hope the Lord has a nice box
for her to snuggle in as she watches everything that goes on around her.
(August 6, 2013)
A huge find this
evening in my research of my dad's time in WWII. I found the
proceedings of the war crimes trial of the man who killed Lt. Morris
Caust. Morris, or Maury as he was known, was a crewmember on
last mission and was shot and killed on the ground after bailing out
and landing safely. Josef Mangobl was tried and originally sentenced to
life with hard labor. His sentence was reduced to 10 years
hard labor. I am also corresponding with a nice fellow in Austria who
is speaking with Josef's son and may provide additional background
(August 2, 2013)
Since the front
driveway project has been done for quite a while, I figured I should
post a couple of pics of the finished semi-circular drive. It turned
out very nicely.
(June 15, 2013)
Be sure to check
out the brand new "Minerals" page I've added to highlight some
specimens from my natural history collection of minerals, fossils,
meteorites, and othe natural history items.
(June 14, 2013)
finally got around to having paver stones installed on the front
semi-circular drive that ties into the main driveway. The old concrete
curbs have been removed and 15 pallets of paver blocks have been
delivered. In addition to the pavers, I am having a concrete
or ramp installed at the entrance from the street onto the drive.
a picture of the Weber family home as seen on Bing Birdseye.
can actually see me in the yard behind the workshop! I was
trimming trees that day.
and below is the lovely backyard at dusk. You can see the pool in the
background and, in the foreground, the sunken conversation area with a
three-tiered cantera stone fountain I found in Imuris, Mexico.
Here are a few pictures from the
Weber workshop where good things happen.
one of the 50 cal. waist gunner's position on my B-24 Liberator flight
last Friday and wearing my dad's gunner's wings in his memory (over my
left shirt pocket in the picture), I had the great pleasure and honor
to fly in the type of aircraft my dad served on and was shot down on
during his last bomb run to Munich. The Collings
owns and operates several vintage WWII aircraft and had stopped at the
Glendale Municipal Airport on its 2013 "Wings of Freedom" tour
I made sure to book a flight since I had regretted missing the
opportunity when the foundation had a few of its
aircraft here a couple of years ago.
learned quite a bit I will be incorporating into my webpage about dad's
time in WWII. For example, in all my research I never had any idea that
it took significant effort just to face the barrel of that big gun into
the slipstream. The sight on the end of the gun actually whistled in
the wind. You don't get that from books. The roar from those four
powerful 1,200 HP engines was so loud during acceleration down the
runway I could almost not hear myself shout as loud as I could (yep, I
had to test that).
I've said before we live in a world of
coincidences and here's another. A camping buddy (Dennis) had signed on
for the flight, unknown to me. We only learned a couple of years ago
while planning a hike in the Grand Canyon that his dad and my dad were
in the same prison camp, Stalag IV, in Poland at the same time. His dad
and uncle both survived the 86-day destinationless winter and spring
Death March across Poland and Germany from that camp. My dad was moved
days earlier to Stalag I as the Russians advanced. Dennis arrived with
another good friend, Ray Jones, so we three along with my old high
school buddy, Eric Hals, had a flight we will always remember.
The Weber surname is, of course,
origin (see my genealogy link at the top), and is a very common German
name. Weber ranks sixth in the top 50 rankings of most common German
the most common German last names are all original trade names, or
names originating from the trade the individual practiced. Weber, which means "weaver" comes
Mueller ("miller"), Schmidt ("smith", as in blacksmith, silversmith,
etc.), Schneider ("tailor"), Fischer ("fisher"), and Meyer
("dairyman"). So, my oldest known direct Weber
ancestor, Servatius Weber, my 5X great grandfather who was born about
1744 and died 12/11/1796 and who worked at a mill in Gevenich, Germany,
almost certainly had ancestors of his own who were weavers or textile
about that! Sehr gut? Ja wohl!
(February 21, 2012)
news for the
Webers! Matthew has been pledged to a fraternity at the
State University, my alma mater. He is looking forward to learning
about and becoming
one of the brothers of Delta Upsilon. Founded in 1834 at
College in Williamstown, MA, Delta Upsilon is the sixth oldest
international fraternity and the oldest non-secret fraternity in North
America. Way to go,
(October 30, 2011)
sister Linda found our niece, Gracie Warinner, on
Here is a great picture of Virgil, Dianna, John Richard, and Gracie!
(September 10, 2011)
Big news from University of Arizona. Jonathan has been asked
be a "Founding Father" of Alpha Sigma Phi, one of the
oldest and most prestigious fraternities, founded at Yale in
establishing a new branch at the
Arizona and Jonathan will be amongst the first new members. The
Founding Father's portrait will hang in the fraternity house for all
time. Way to go Jonathan!
"The Cause is Hidden, The
really an update,
just a few observations. Even though it it still so hot here in the
southwest, there is a sense of promise of change in the air. Subtle
shifts foretell the coming of cooler temperatures and what constitutes
the change of season in this desert environment. Things like
timed yard lights coming on increasingly later after dusk,
of landscape maintenance crews starting their equipment in the
neighborhood later in the early hours, and the gradual drift towards a
more reasonable time for the morning wake up call by the cat.
(September 2, 2011)
Everything Moves, All of It ...
On a much grander scale, celestial indicators tell a similar tale. The
shadows of our north-facing patio grow longer every morning now that
the sun descends ever so slowly towards the south in its daily risings,
scribing out its great arc in the clear blue desert sky.
This slow descent actually started on June 21st, the first day of
summer, or the Summer solstice. However, one would be hard-pressed to
say that June 21st was the longest day when considering that the
hottest times of the year had not arrived, but that is another matter,
one more based in thermodynamics. September 21st or 22nd marks
day when the
duration of daylight has decreased to equal the duration of dark, a
special date called the Fall or Autumnal equinox. The shadows will
continue to stetch
northward until about December 21st when the sun, from our vantage
will be at its lowest point in the southern sky marking the Winter
solstice when the earth's axis
points away from the sun. After that it's the long climb back
northward for the sun in earth's sky and the days will slowly begin to
get longer again,
through about March 21st, the Spring or Vernal equinox, the
at which the duration of daylight has
increased to equal the duration of dark. After that, the days will
lengthen, just as they have done since time began, only to climax again
on the longest day of the year, about June 21st when the sun is near
farthest distance from earth, but with its axis pointed toward the sun.
Two other points in the earth's orbit are worth mentioning. Perihelion
is the point at which the earth is closest to the sun, and
interestingly it occurs in the dead of the northern hemisphere's winter
3rd. Conversely, aphelion is the point at which the earth is
furthest from the sun, on July 4, right in the midst of our summers.
These various key dates in the earth's position relative to the sun use
to have tremendous significance to those ancient races who figured
the whole thing out. Agricultural cycles, religious
ceremonies. and perhaps even human and animal migrations were tied to
for most of us those events are marginal notes on a wall calendar.
moves, all of matter,
large and small.
The sun itself is moving along on its own ordained path, just
our galaxy, the Milky Way, scribes out its own trek. The universe itself
continues to expand.
Nothing remains still. I remember being awed as a young boy learning
that the sun moved, shepherding its many planets along with it in its
meanderings. Even so, the slow tracking of the earth in its orbit
around the sun
is dependable and predictable. It's a cycle and one that has
repeated itself for
longer than man has been around to decipher it. It is routine in its
celestial mechanical regularity; what differs are our hopes and
expectations the subtle changes inspire. It's about the promise of a
better day ahead, heartened further by the knowledge of the plannable
23, 2011 & August 24, 2011 Update
Well, this update is long overdue! A lot has happened in the
nearly two years since I created this web page and last updated this
main page. First and foremost is that our youngest son,
graduated from high school sixth in his huge class.
proud of him! He was also part of the first graduating class
his school for the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, a very
rigorous and prestigious academic program. He is a very
student. The next stop for him is the University of Arizona
Tucson where he was admitted into the Honors College and where he will
be majoring in Physiology. His long-term
plans are to go to medical school.
Matthew has started his junior year at my old alma mater,
Arizona State University, and is still majoring in Mechanical
taking a break, I recently got back to my
have found a first-cousin-once-removed (the daughter of my
grandfather's James's sister Thelma) I had been looking for off
and on for
a few years. I found Patricia Kavanaugh and her daughter, my
Kavanaugh Moore living in Kansas. My search started with a
them in my grandfather's sister's obituary. I first found a
reference to Deb
in a Kansas school reunion bulletin, and then on Facebook and sent her
mother's address and sent a letter of introduction.
who is now 79 years old) sent me a wonderful letter in response and let
she remembers both my grandmother Helen and grandfather James Leo
she knew as "Uncle Jimmy". She shared a couple of anecdotes
about my grandfather such as how he was so kind to her mother Thelma M.
Higgins, how he painted Thelma's kitchen, planted a Victory
for her, and how he could fix anything.
She said that all his relatives called him "Brother".
has some family pictures she is getting back from her son, Sean, and
send some to me. I
had been hoping
some of those
would include pictures of her grandparents, my great grandparents,
Anna Marie (Manning) Weber as I do not have a single picture of them. One
of my goals on this genealogical journey
has been to find pictures of them and any earlier direct-line Webers. Even
without the pictures, I feel blessed to
what I have in my search and am thankful for all the wonderful people
relatives I have discovered.
Well, in Patty's second letter
to me she included this 1940 newspaper clipping that touched my heart.
At long last, my Weber great grandparents, and on their 50th
wedding anniversary no less!
also found a second cousin, Adair "Kippy" Schaffer,
Florida and have sent her a letter as well, but have not had a
reply. She descends from Sylvia A. (Weber) Schaffer, the
child of my great grandparents, Matthew and Anna Weber.
married Kilbreath Doughty
Schaffer, a son of which union was Robert Weber Schaffer, the father
now live in the
greater Phoenix area. Many years ago, a few days after we
married, we moved here from Ohio - Cathy in her hot little red Mustang
with a 17-foot aluminum canoe on top and me in a little Toyota pick-up
truck hauling everything we owned in an overloaded 14 foot Jartran
what a trip that was! I remember crossing the wide open great
plains at night and how close and brilliant the stars were and the
great sense of the Milky Way I got. I've never felt the way
did that night. The huge expanse of the sky was balanced
by the vast openness of the earth I stood on; balanced in fact on the
very spot of earth I occupied at that moment. I felt my place
that night, and it was insignificant. I've seen nighttime,
underwater film sequences where the divers and film crew are using high
intensity lights. The light makes all the small, meandering
particles show up in the beam like snowflakes in the headlights on a
dark country road. Sometimes, strange things zip out of the darkness
into the light and then flash away in an instant.
felt then, out there that quiet, lonely night where we stopped, turned
off our engines, and got out of our cars. Like
one of those little floaty particles. Neutrally buoyant, drifting.
So very strange. Sort of
beyond belief but an empty shell all at once. Taking it in,
unable to hold it, like grasping fine, bone dry sand. The
you try to
hold onto it, the more it slips away. Like cupping water in
hands. It was almost as
were to spread my arms wide, the last bit of me would leave, just slip
away into the starry backdrop or the endless waving grassland or just
somewhere in between. The air smelled different too, sort of
wild, dry, thin and sharp, full of wonder and potential. I got
of the movement of the stars, like the slow workings of a great
and silent machine. Parts gliding along in well greased tracks.
read all of the works of Carlos Castaneda and my experience
night crossed over, just a little, into his world. Those of
who know will know. Well, needless to say the vast emptiness
not swallow me, I did keep my particles together, Cathy and I did make
it to Arizona, and we survived all the changes of those early years.
I'll write more of those early days sometime.
Central Arizona is a great place to be.
desert is a beautiful place! We lived in southern Arizona for
several years too and enjoyed the higher elevation, slightly cooler
temperature, high desert vegetation, and the powerful monsoons that
begin in early to mid-July.
On to current events. One young Weber has left the nest, at
for a while. Our oldest son, Matthew, who graduated 2nd in his
high school class (yes, I will continue to boast that for a while as a
proud parent), has started his new life at my old alma mater, the
Arizona State University. We moved him into the brand
dorm in mid-August and got him situated. What a nice place
it is too! He has one roommate in his room which is separated
from a mirror image of his room by a common bathroom. All
the fellows are getting along splendidly and, before long, will have no
end of compromising stories with which to hold each other hostage.
has declared his major
as mechanical engineering, although I still have hopes he will
come back into the light and be a civil engineer!
As a follow-up for the maybe three
two people who
this webpage, Matthew did stick with his summer job as a sign spinner
until it was time to move into the dorm. Now, that may not
much to some of you not living in Arizona, but it really is an
accomplishment since the temperatures climbed into the 115 degree range
during his tenure in that role. Back in Ohio, we could always
hold over our kids heads our three mile hike to/from school in the
snow, uphill both ways of course; now
Matthew has his own good ammo to use on his kids in the future!
Jonathan, our youngest
finished his high school freshman and sophomore years with straight As
and is on track for great things too! He has been admitted to the
International Baccalaureate program this school year, so he will be
working very hard. We have been working on calculus homework
every night. Man, am I rusty! He became a member of
National Honor Society and is active in Future Business Leaders of
America. Jonathan recently returned from a stay in Blue, AZ
he got to visit his girlfriend, Cassie, and work on her family's
property. See some of those pictures on the "Pictures" tab
located at the top. Jonathan is just shy of 6 foot 4 inches
age 16! He has his diver's permit and is gaining driving
time towards the 30 hours required here in Arizona before he
take the test to be licensed. Soon, one more Weber will be on
road! He is headed up to Flagstaff for another visit to see
Cassie soon in her family's new location.
and I are
experiencing a new sort of homelife since Matthew left. We
about taking a leaf out of the dining room table. Little
like that remind us that life is ever changing. Now that the
are both older, Cathy has started to re-enter the working world.
She enjoys sharpening her old skills and being in the mix
After taking a bit of a break from my genealogical research, I've
started the hunt again. My database now has approximately
names (see my "Genealogy" page). I am currently working
the McGrew lineage. My aunt Garnet married into this line and
had done a good bit of research some time ago, but recently was
contacted by another researcher in Atlanta, GA about a missing McGrew.
I found him on a 1924 death certificate in Lexington, Fayette
Co., KY and solved that mystery for her and some of her
Now, she and I are working on a very old McGrew family
to find out who all the people are. In a related (no pun
intended) matter, I sought out a half sister I had not talked to since
about 1991 or so. We had a wonderful conversation over the phone and
caught up on each other's lives. It is so nice to be in touch
again. She provided me some information on her mother's side
I was able to find some existing information to tie into my database.
So now she has a wonderful family tree too!
visitors, especially friends and
Ohio. My old friend Eric Hals comes out every year for fun at the
Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. Ed Hara has also visited a
of times and it is always great to see my old pal!
like to keep in
touch with friends and relatives by email, and also
by Facebook and Myspace.
So, drop us a line sometime and
out those sites too! You can even use the links contained in
"Contact Me" tab at the top of every page.
is the Weber Family. That's Cathy and Mike upstairs, and
Matthew and Jonathan downstairs.
friend Eric helps me
with the final
leaving Ohio. Sorry for putting the canoe on your Mustang,
takes time out
for a cute, trademark pose before we leave!
and Mike pose for a final picture.
This is one of my
favorite pictures of Cathy! I took this in front
of our house in 2006 as we left for a night on the town. Er,
that means a work social function, the Annual Diamond Ball.
Oh, and what's a Weber family home page without Ted the Cat!
is a female,
but somehow the name fits her.
She might have looked ferocious, but in reality she yawned just as the picture
was snapped. I guess
humans bore her? Rest in peace, Teddy The Bear Cat. Know you are
missed. A metal cross marks your grave in the backyard in rememberence
of you as a member of the family.