What Goes Around Comes Around

by Linda Okazaki

Almost exactly four years ago, Samantha clicked “yes” and chose to attend Syracuse University. At just about the same time, I learned that my second great grandparents lived for a time in Syracuse, and they both died there. It took only a little bit of digging to find out their story. My great-grandmother, Louise Bacon, was raised in Oneida County, New York. She and her sister, Christine, were the daughters of John J. Bacon and his wife Sarah Cornelia Moffat Hubbard. A third daughter, Ella, died as an infant in 1890.  Louise and Christine both attended Utica Conservatory of Music. Christine became a violinist and Louise a concert pianist. In 1906, Louise married Dr. Hambley Samuel Orchard, a dentist who was educated at the University of Pennsylvania. Their lives as newlyweds had such a promising beginning. Unfortunately, Louise suffered much sadness over the next ten years. Her first son, Leroy was born with a birth defect impacting his left arm. A few months later, her beloved grandmother and namesake, Louisa Moffat Hubbard, died in Utica. Louise and Hambley went on to have four more children. My grandfather Neil was born in 1910, followed by Gilbert, Harold and Edith. Neil suffered from Typhus as an infant, but lived to the age of 52. Harold died from a congenital birth defect in 1914 at just two weeks of age.  Gilbert, three years, and Edith, three months, as well as Louise’s 56-year-old mother, died in March 1915. If that weren’t enough, Hambley succumbed to the ravages of tuberculosis the following year. He died on  August 25, 1916. Louise sold his dental practice and after a brief legal entanglement in which her mother in law sued her for $1,000, Louise purchased a brand new home for her and her parents on Lancaster Avenue in Syracuse. She and her boys only lived there briefly before starting a new life in California. But imagine my surprise when I discovered that the home which Louise purchased in a period of great sadness, was literally around the corner from Samantha’s residence during her last year and a half at Syracuse University, a joyful time for her.