04/08/2018 10:32 PM

American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies

First house, New Milford, NJ.
First house, New Milford, NJ, six years, 1948 to 1954. Brother, Bill, born, September 30, 1950 and Kyle born, January 19, 1952.


May 4, _48 ;Toffey; Wedding
Lincoln, in Gettysburg, P.A., New RV trailer in summer, 1979.


May 4, _48 ;Toffey; Wedding
Disney World, me, six times. Mom, Dad and me, Kissimmee, FL, 20 minute to Disney World!


Natural Bridge, GA, Oct_79
October 14, '79, Natural Bridge, VA.


May 4, _48 ;Toffey; Wedding
Mom, Dorothy, dad, Bill, and me, backyards, Kissimmee, FL, 1992.
Alone, two time, brother Bill's son's, John, 10* years, and next years, baby, 9 years old,


Yosemite Valley, Sunday, 6-26-83
Sunday, 6/26/'83: "Hi - this certainly a spectacular canyon. We're going to the redwood forest tomorrow.. Love from us both, Mom & Dad." Post Card.


Devil's Tower KOA, July 23, '83
Friday, 7/23/'82: Devil's Tower KOA, Wyo - "Hi - arrived here early, unhitched and went up to the Tower. Stopped at the visitor's center then took the mile-long trail around the base.. Love Us." Post Card.



May 4, _48 ;Toffey; Wedding

Wedding, May 1, 1948,Dorothy Edith and William V. Toffey, Sain Paul Episopal Church, Rawhway, NJ.


Wedding cakes

Receptionn in back, Mom and Dad, Rahway Art Center, Rahway, NJ.


After wedding, May 1, 1948, Bill and Dorothy’s spare guess room for Eldridge home for four month, but opening in a tenant at 425 West 45th St., “Hall’s Kitchen!”

After wedding, May 1, 1948, Bill and Dorothy’s spare guess room for Eldridge home for four month, but opening in a tenant at 425 West 45th St., “Hall’s Kitchen!”


In 1949, Mom and Dad, Rahway Art Center, Rahway, NJ.

In 1949, Mom and Dad, Rahway Art Center, Rahway, NJ


Caption: A MERRY CHRISTMAS – From Dorothy and Bill Toffey.”

Caption: A MERRY CHRISTMAS – From Dorothy and Bill Toffey

First time, my father for Christmas Cards for family and friends in 1948, New Milford, NJ Father, Christmas Cars, 17 years, 1948-1965.


Kissimmee, Florida, Dad and Mom, from 1983 to 1992, nine years they visited forty-six states in the summertime.

Kissimmee, Florida, Dad and Mom, from 1983 to 1992, nine years they visited forty-six states in the summertime. Only missing, south Alabama and north, North Dakota!


Seconds home, 1983 to 1992, Ford Truck and

Seconds home, 1983 to 1992, Ford Truck and RV trailer. Kitchen, dining room, living room and back, top, Bedroom.


Ford White Truck, front bedroom and kitchen.

Ford White Truck, front bedroom and kitchen.


Natural_Bridge_VA, Oct, 14, 79

November, '79, campsite, Island, GA, some tree!


Beautiful Lake Louise

Thurs, 9/4/'82: "Hi, Were in Butte, Mont., now but I wanted you to see this picture of beautiful Lake Louise. We'll be sightseeing here for another couple of day.. Love from us both." Post Card.



Mom and Dad!

"Two - Journalism's; Drug Trade News!

Mom's Story: "...Her Eye on this fellow, Bill Toffey"

Dorothy had secured her best imaginable job during World War II when hired as an assistant editor for a trade publication serving the pharmaceutical industry. After the war, the publication hired an experienced veteran who had before the war been a reporter in his home town of Jersey City. After a short while, this fellow was promoted past Dorothy, but she was peaceful around this apparent slight, because she had her eye on this fellow, Bill Toffey, as a prospective marriage partner. They kept their engagement a secret from colleagues until after Dorothy had secured a promotion, and, when the secret was finally divulged, it was in the form of a news squib drafted by Dorothy for inclusion in the paper, to the great surprise of the friends and colleagues. Dorothy left her position after the marriage and before the arrival of their first son, as was common in this era.

History Dorothy and William...
History Family Life!
History "Supermarket If It Were To Run Out of Bags!
History Englewood Hospital, Three Baby's
History My mother Interview "John Travolta," Englewood Cliffs, '77!
History First trailer, summer, 1978.
History Traveling the Country Site!
History Summer of 1984 to 1992, camper...
History Six time: Mom, Dad and I, 20 minute to Disney World
History September 23, 1999, Bill, Kyle and I, Kissimmee, Florida


seminarDorothy and William lived a full and creative life. My parents were married on May 1, 1948 at St. Paul Episcopal Church in Rahway, NJ They were fortunate that both sets of parents, Chester and Edith Eldridge and William Vermilye and Clarice Toffey II, were in attendance. They held a reception for 100 guests at the Rahway Art Center and then honeymooned in New York City for seven days. They were married for more than 45 years.

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Dad's Story: "Bill and Dorothy Start Family Life"

We seemed to have picked the wrong time to get married. We were in the midst of a postwar housing shortage, and apartments, particularly in our price range, were almost impossible to find. A friend of my father had promised us an apartment, but had to renege when the tenants decided not to move, this just weeks before the wedding. Fortunately, the Eldridge's had a spare guest room and it was there we lodged for the first four months of our married life.

Opening in a tenement at 425 West 45th St.,

Then we got word in the office that there was an opening in a tenement at 425 West 45th St., in what was called Hell's Kitchen. A friend who had recently left Topics Publishing to work for his uncle, a television game show producer, was already living there, so we decided it couldn't be too bad.

We rushed to 45th St. and were interviewed by Miss Pitschke, the owner and resident of the building. Miss Pitschke condescended to rent the apartment to us. The rent was $35 a month.  We finally had a home of our own, even if it was a fifth floor walk-up.

Learn more.."Bill and Dorothy Start Family Life"

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Dad's Story: "Grocery Shipping - The Way It Was"

Try if you will to picture what would happen in a supermarket if it were to run out of bags. Obviously everything would come to a complete and futile halt.

Yet when I was a youngster there were no such things as grocery bags. Nor, for that matter, was there any such thing as self-service. You stood at the counter and called out what you wanted while the clerk scurried about plucking the items from the shelves and piling them on the counter.

When the order was filled the clerk would tear off a sheet of brown Kraft paper from the roll at the end of the counter, spread it out and then carefully fit the items into a compact stack. He would then wrap it up, tie it up with thin but very strong dark brown cord and break the cord with his fingers. This latter operation fascinated me and I finally asked the clerk how he did it. He explained that he simply snapped the cord against itself and it broke. I went home and tried it. I ended up with sore fingers and cord that was still intact.

Down West Side Avenue from our house was an A&P grocery store and, across the street, a Sheffield Farms dairy store where people came with metal cans to be filled with milk and where butter was cut from big tubs and package in paper trays.

Being somewhat more affluent, we had our milk and cream home delivered. They were placed on our back doorstep sometime before dawn, a practice dating back to the time when refrigeration was poor and milk soured quickly.

Learn more.."Grocery Shipping - The Way It Was"

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Mom And 3 Boys - "Natural Births"

My Mom had a prediction that she would have three sons. That prediction came true as we were all born at Englewood Hospital. We were natural births!

After that, we did a good job of giving Mom and Dad a lot of work raising three actives boys. Bill was born in 1950, Kyle arrived in 1952 and I followed in 1954.

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Dorothy, Return of Journalism, 1972 to 1978

Eventually, Mom returned to her journalism roots and found a job with a weekly newspaper in Englewood, NJ, where she worked from 1972 to 1978, and six year.

While writing for the paper, my mother had the opportunity to interview young Englewood Cliff native John Travolta, when his first movie Saturday Night Fever  (1977) was released. John Travolta and Garret, same years, born February 18, 1954.

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Mom & RV trailer!

My parents house in 82 Norman Place in 1977.  Brother Bill's family and I south to West Philadelphia. And Kyle's family to California. Dad retired in spring, 1978, 65 years! Dad in living room chair, reading newspaper, The New York Time and basement, dad "stuff!"

But, mom, reading magazines to RV trailer. But dad, NO-RV trailer! But almost one-haft year, yes, my dad and mom to magazines, reading your perfect RV trailers!

First RV trailer, summer, 1978, Northeast

Summer, "First RV trailer" in 1978, northeast. Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Canada. But two cats, Pepie and Jingle, to neightdoor, clean cat foot, water and dry food.

Next summer, second RV trail 

But, 82 Norman Place, For Sale, two month, summer! And September, 1979, dad and mom, driving south, renter to 47 Street and Pine Avenue, West, Philadelphia, end of week. Last time, evening, restaurant in Singfield, P.A. Mom, dad, brother Bill, daughter Laurel and I.

Next day, dad and mom, second RV trailer and 2 door Ford truckin S.E. P.A. Firth time, mon and dad, west Pennsylvania to Gettysburg, P.A... Lincoln's letter. And fall, south, RV trailer, south, Virginia, North Carolinian, South Carolinian, George, and last, Florida, Kissimmee! Next store, 20 minute to Disney World!

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Forty-six of forty- Eight States!

Summertime on the road! My parents loved traveling the country in an RV, fifth wheel trailer. They loved the open road, the different lifestyles across the country and seeing the history of America first hand. From 1983 to 1992, nine years they visited forty-six states in the summertime.

Only missing, south Alabama and north, North Dakota!

See, my parents, left, and right pictures and captions!

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Summer, my parents in Souderton, P.A.

In the summer of 1984 my parents's took the camper to Souderton, P.A. eight times. One afternoon Bill, his family and I joined Mom and Dad at the camper. Another time we vacationed with 21 members of my extended family, including three of my cousins. We had a blast!

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Mom, Dad and I, Six Times to Disney World!

After my parents's relocated in retirement to Kissimmee, Florida, in 1986, I got to visit them six times. It was a great spot for them and, fortunately, for me Disney World - maps; Epcot were just 20 minutes away.

I visited once for four days with a woman who I was dating. I went one time each with my nephew, John and next fall, Dave and myself to my parends in Kissimmee.

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Mom Died: Bill, Kyle, me & Owl

The day my mother passed away it gave us a bittersweet sunset on my parent's storied and adventurous marriage. Mom died in the morning of September 23, 1999 at her home in Kissimmee, Florida.  It was an early active adult community. It took three days in total for my brothers Bill and Kyle and me to organize ourselves from different locations around the country and get to Florida.

Mom and Dad wanted to be cremated and interned together at our family's burial plot at Christ Church on Quaker Hill in Pawling, New York. It took us awhile to sort through their household possessions and decide what to do with all the letters, chairs, sofas, old gifts and miscellaneous kitchen gear.

That process is always tough, because you are reliving big parts of your childhood, decades of memories, and learning to let go at the same time. You may take boxes of things home with you, but what you really want to hold on to are the good times.

On our last night in Florida, Bill, Kyle and I decided to take a walk around the inside fence gates, 65*, one last time. All of a sudden we stopped and this large owl - I' am not sure what species of owl, but it was colored with light to dark brown feathers – landed on the tree, backyard and started to hoot at us. It wanted to make its presence known. After five minutes of keeping us company it flew away into the night.

How symbolic that moment was for us to have a vision of strength and wisdom appear as we are closing a big chapter of our lives.

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Life, History & Future!