Ella Hough, full of promise

My great-aunt, Ella Hough, was an amazing artist. I know because I have her sketchbook. She was born in 1868 to Thomas Hough and his wife Jane. Thomas was a successful entrepreneur who immigrated in his early twenties from Yorkshire, England, in about 1865. He’d left his job operating an elevator in a textile mill […]

My mother, mom and opera singer

Jane Ruth Elder, my mother, grew up in Tacoma, Washington, during the Depression in the family of a teacher. In those days, teachers were paid little. It became apparent that her parents could not afford music lessons for her, even though that is what she wanted more than anything. How could she become a musician […]

My father, engineer

This slide rule belonged to my dad, the engineer. Eldred W. Hough, although he was the oldest son, wasn’t named for his father, Thomas C. Hough. Instead, his younger brother got the name Thomas Hough. So, why did the younger one get the father’s name? That’s kind of odd. Dad’s names came from his mother’s […]