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Joan Wheeler’s book Forbidden Family is not only libelous, it’s poorly researched. September 15, 2012

Posted by Ruth in Contradictions of Joan Wheeler, Joan Wheeler Speak - how Joan views the world, Joan Wheeler's abuse and harassment of her birth family.
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In my post  “Why must Joan Wheeler continue to tell lies about her birth family?”, I wrote the following:

Joan Wheeler is constantly saying that our family was “poor” and we lived in a run-down neighborhood. Not so. We did live in a back apartment. So? Some houses are constructed up and down. Front and back. Actually, our apartment was the back AND the whole second floor! Our landlord, Mr. Johnson and his wife had the small one bedroom apartment downstairs in the front.

In the 1950′s and 1960′s, the nieghborhood that we lived in, Smith St. near William St. was vibrant. All along William St. was a bustling shopping district. With a large city playground nearby. There were 2 gas stations, a post office, 3 drug stores, several mom + pop delis, a couple of small variety stores, a liquor store, a butcher store, a large supermarket, a Deco restaurant, and we lived about a mile from Central Terminal, the main hub of railroad passenger and freight service.

I also recently quoted my facebook buddy, Star Trek Troubles with Tribbles author, David Gerrold when he said that “as a writer, 90% of what I do is RESEARCH.”

This is where Joan makes a crucial mistake. She doesn’t do her RESEARCH!

Joan was born in January 1956 and by April 1956, was relinquished to adoption. The final papers were signed in January 1957.  During that time, the Wheelers lived on Coit St., near Broadway. Only one block and two and a half blocks up from where we lived on Smith St.  After adopting Joan, the Wheelers moved to a newly purchased house in Kenmore, a northern suburb of Buffalo.

We moved to Smith St. in the middle of the block, between Howard St. and William St., somewhere between January 1947 and May 1948. Gert’s birth certificate says the address where mom and dad lived was 650 Genesee St. and Kathy’s gives the address as 824 Smith. St. We lived in a apartment that consisted of a small back yard, with wild elderberry trees and a wild cherry tree. My paternal grandmother made home made elderberry wine. We had a back shed.

Our home consisted of a kitchen with a separate pantry, a small dining room, living room and a small bedroom where mom and dad slept. (And later, dad and our stepmom). We shared a bathroom with our landlord and landlady, the Johnson’s. Then we had the entire upstairs which consisted of a large bedroom in the front of the house, where we 3 girls slept, a large “playroom” that had a small built in closet with shelves, where house linens were stored. (sheets, pillowcases, tablecloths, towels, etc). A smaller section was used as a closet – our bedroom didn’t have one, so Dad made us one – he put together, using plumbing pipes and plumbing joints, a free standing rack for us to hang our dresses on. We had dressers for our other clothing.

On the other side of the playroom, was the entrance to the attic that we shared with the Johnson’s and a small room that used to be a bathroom, but after the ceiling caved in, and the plumbing fixtures removed, it was converted to a bedroom for my brother and stepbrother.  They had bunkbeds and I’m not really remembering how their clothes were stored. But I do remember the old medicine cabinet on the wall was used to store the boy’s army figures.

Around 1961, we moved next door to 822 Smith St, because it was a bigger apartment and we had a separate bathroom. In 1965, Dad bought a house and moved to the Delevan/Grider section, right around the corner from the old E.J. Meyer Memorial Hospital (now Erie County Medical Center – ECMC).

As to the Smith St. neighborhood – Joan makes a big deal about it in her book, when in the 1970’s after being reunited with us, she goes to see where we used to live and was dismayed at the run-down neighborhood. But she fails to realize that what she saw in the 1970’s was NOT the way it was in the 1950’s when we lived there. She failed to do her RESEARCH. – So I went and did it for her.

Today, September 15, 2012, my husband John and I were in the main downtown branch of the Buffalo and Erie County Library, where many historical books and maps and documents are kept. It is a treasure trove for anyone interested in the history of Western New York and the birth of Buffalo, which began with the name of New Amsterdam.  Years ago, (1996)  in researching my present neighborhood, I learned that prior to my house being built in 1910, the whole section was farmland, belonging to the Erb Family Farm.

John and I today went to see the library’s exhibit on the War of 1812. There was a major battle during the War of 1812, when the British crossed over from Canada into the Village of Black Rock and burned almost all of New Amsterdam to the ground.

Many other key battles were fought on Lakes Erie and Ontario. During one overnight battle, our national anthem was written. – remember the lyrics “… gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there.”

During the rebuilding, the name of New Amsterdam was changed to Buffalo. Eventually growing outwards until it encircled the village of Black Rock. Now Black Rock is known as just a neighborhood in Buffalo. – and the exhibit for the War of 1812 in the downtown library has maps and documents, and the corner of where I used to live in the 1970’s with my first husband – Amherst St. and Military Rd., is prominently mentioned. As is the old Pratt and Letchworth steel mill (built in the early 1800’s) where my first husband worked.

Anyway, getting back to my childhood neighborhood, across town on the East Side of Buffalo. Remember where I earlier mentioned a bunch of businesses that I remember as being around where I lived? As long as I was in the library,  I went and looked at the 1959 Polk’s City Directory and came away with the following businesses on William St., from Emslie St. down to Fillmore Ave. Our playground was on William St. starting from Fillmore Ave, to almost Coit St. and is not listed in the directory. There were residences on William St, some were separate houses, some were back or upstairs apartments to many of the smaller businesses, and these residences are not listed. I only want to show that when we lived there, it was a thriving busy shopping district.

Emslie St. had our church and school, Sacred Heart, a couple of blocks south from William St. Our paternal grandmother lived on Howard St. near Krettner St, which is only one block from Emslie. So our grandparents lived within walking distance from our house, and we passed it when we went to church or school.

Starting from Emslie St., the businesses that were on William St. in 1959 were:

Loblaws (a large supermarket)

Uni-Tri Furniture + Appliance of Buffalo

M.H. Fishman – 5 and $1.00

Fosser’s Flowers

Family Store

National Wholesale Dry Goods

Haber Furniture

Lombardo Santo Shoes

Krettner St. intersects

E-Z Shopping Center

Floyd Miller Grocery

George Hoffmann Ice Cream

American Washer Service

Murther’s Home Bakery

Buffalo Picture Framing and Mirror Corp.

Community Liquor Store

Aron Goldberg Furniture

Sherman St. intersects

Marine Trust Co. – bank

Alfred Wallpaper and Paint

Citizen’s Fur Service (a furrier? a FURRIER? In a neighborhood that Joan portrays as poor?)

Cadet Cleaners (dry cleaner)

Ray Lippens Restaurant

Smithey’s Barber Shop

Rudolph Frey – butcher

Frey Sausages

Choice Cut Meat

Stanton St. intersects

E.J. Meyer Hospital Dispensary #2

US Post Office

Fran’s Grill and Restaurant

Lovejoy Loan Association

Ritter Plumbing

William St. Market

Used Furniture

Ben’s Wholesale Furniture

Furniture Manufacturer Wholesale Outlet

Shumway intersects

Bison Sausage

Potts Furniture

Rothschild Inc – wholesale candy

Matty’s Doughnuts (oh I remember this one!)

Sloan’s Second Hand Store

Wolff’s Furniture Store

Quality Wholesale Tobacco

Smith St. intersects

Bory’s Wallpaper and Paint

Fran + Rocky’s Mobil gas station – (I remember the Mobil Pegasus sign – you could see it from our bedroom window)

Tripi’s shoe repair

Mrs. Lottie Radzikowski Beauty Shop

Thelma’s Drapery Shop

Soby’s  Pharmacy

Chandu’s Restaurant (I didn’t know until years later – it was a high class burlesque place!)

Kokouska deli

Coit St. intersects

Club Polka Restaurant

Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Sanitary Barber Shop

Detroit St. intersects

Select Cleaners

Paul Bochynski Barber

Alice’s Restaurant (oh be quiet)

Video Radio Shop

Krysauf  Restaurant

Industrial Steel Products Machinery

Bazaar Ukrainian Art Store

Bazaar Ukrainian Club

Niagara Mohawk Power sub station

Canopy Grill

Fillmore Ave. intersects

Now it took me all of 10 minutes to write this down at the library and another few minutes to type it all out. So what is Joan’s excuse? Joan with her two college degrees and she can’t even do the basic research for her book.

These pictures show the intersection of William and Emslie in 1910 and 2003. I can’t find any pictures from 1940’s or 50’s. The building that housed the Savoy theatre is still standing, but is vacant. The brown and white structure on the left in the 2003 photo is the YMCA – where our supermarket Loblaws used  be. The vacant lot across the street was where Hammond’s Drug Store was. A lot of changes in a hundred years. Some for the bad, some for the good.

1. gertmcqueenSeptember 16, 2012

Ruth this post is excellent! It proves your great abilities as a researcher and your memory.

>She doesn’t do her RESEARCH! Correct; all of Joan’s research comes from her bigoted adoptive parents and ‘hearsay’ from many birth-relatives, siblings included, where memories are faded and not ‘documented’ while talking to a ‘family’ member. No one KNEW that when they were speaking with Joan from the time we reunited that she was keeping NOTES and writing a book. So the memories of birth family members were then MADE INTO a narrative that fit into Joan’s version of HER STORY. Problem with that way of working is that it is NOT RESEARCH and can not be sold as truth.

>Joan Wheeler is constantly saying that our family was “poor” and we lived in a run-down neighborhood. Not so. Correct; that comes from being raised by snubs that looked down on the birth family, she was raised that way and it comes out of her everywhere

>Wheelers lived on Coit St., near Broadway. Only one block and two and a half blocks up from where we lived on Smith St. After adopting Joan, the Wheelers moved to a newly purchased house in Kenmore, a northern suburb of Buffalo Correct; the Wheeler’s came from the same background and neighborhoods that we all came from but when they moved to the suburbs…well it happens all the time, they are called snobs.

>Gert’s birth certificate says the address where mom and dad lived was 650 Genesee St. and Kathy’s gives the address as 824 Smith. St. Correct.

>and a small room that used to be a bathroom, but after the ceiling caved in, and the plumbing fixtures removed Correct; one of the most exciting memories, we were watching Howdy Doody when the ceiling came down on us and we fled into the kitchen where Mom and Dad were.

>In 1965, Dad bought a house Correct…I married in 65 and never lived in that house.

>when in the 1970’s after being reunited with us, she goes to see where we used to live and was dismayed at the run-down neighborhood Correct; I had the same reaction when I went back to the old neighborhood, but I UNDERSTOOD about urban decay. Joan never sees things in their proper place…only how it will fit into her version and if it doesn’t she makes it fit…that’s called lying.

>Emslie St. had our church and school, Sacred Heart, a couple of blocks south from William St. Our paternal grandmother lived on Howard St. near Krettner St, which is only one block from Emslie. So our grandparents lived within walking distance from our house, and we passed it when we went to church or school Correct; also before we went to Sacred Heart we went to School #40, within walking distance on Pink St off of Smith. And our maternal grandparents lives a few blocks up towards Broadway and Fox St (?) where St Ann’s Church is…I believe our parents were married there and where Kathy and I had received ‘confirmation’.  Ruth’s note: I never went to School 40, by the time I got to school age, we started going to Sacred Heart. School 40 is on Clare St., but to get there from our house, you did walk up Pink St. – It was a short distance from our house. In 1981-85, I lived on Townsend St., about a half mile from our old house on Smith. From 1985, 1987, I lived on the corner of Clinton and Clare Sts, only two blocks from School 40. – St. Ann’s is on Broadway near Emslie – Fox St. is in another neighborhood Gert – close to where the old Twin Fair store on E. Ferry was – Fox St. is where Uncle Rich and Aunt Ann lived. — Ruth’s additonal comment and correction of herself:

speaking of NOT RELYING ON PEOPLE’S HEARSAY – Boy did I just do a big oopsey. Gert is talking about FOX St. I was thinking of BOX St.- with a B. I just had a flash when I was just proof-reading all of this – and said to self – “wait a minute – it was BOX St. off of Kehr St, near French near E. Ferry where my stepmother’s good friend Millie lived. – So like a GOOD RESEARCHER DOES – I checked Google Maps – yep, I was wrong – Fox St., with an F – does indeed run by Broadway.

I remember many a Sunday dinner at Grandpa and Grandma’s Herr’s house and how Grandpa Herr had the wooden spoon ready incase any child did not behave right at the dinner table.

Thanks so much for this Ruth, marvelous work! This is why we are writing to restore our lives, our parents backgrounds, our family honor! Joan Wheeler had no business writing any kind of book about our lives and our parents. She still has no right in talking about us and we will continue to speak out against her until she removes all those hate blogs against us.

2. RuthSeptember 16, 2012

excellent comment Gert – and you are so right that Joan relied on people’s narratives – which can be faulty. – See how I corrected you about the location of School 40 and where Fox St. is? (readers – you have to remember Gert is older than me, and has not lived in Buffalo since 1982. As I said in my note in the body of the post, I lived a half mile from our old house from 1981. Our house was only demolished in early summer 2011. My house on Townsend was demolished in 2009. Grandma Sippel’s house at 177 Howard was demolished many years ago – and another house with the same address is there now. But I know exactly where the original house was – on the corner of Howard and Bond St. – Krettner ended at Howard only a few houses away. In a house on Bond St., just two doors from the corner lived my brother’s best friend George Fischer – and we used to look out our windows at each and make faces at each other – you know, all the stupid things kids do. School 40 is still there, and is still open. St. Ann’s and Sacred Heart are closed. Sacred Heart school was demolished in 2010. I know where Uncle Rich lived on Fox St., because his daughter, my cousin Nancy lives only a mile and a half from me, and certainly remembers where she grew up. I currently live in the Bailey/Genesee section, just a half mile from Holy Name of Jesus church where my parents were married. Right around the corner on Bailey, used to be School 9 where my mother went to grammer school. Uncle Rich went there too, and tells me how he used to leave school, walk down the street one block over my present house, and walk along the railroad tracks that lead right to his house on Scheu Park – which is only less than a mile from my present house. Because I know the neighborhoods of Buffalo’s East Side, I know what stories are correct. Joan never lived on the East Side – except as an adult, when she lived for a few years in the Broadway/Bailey section. BUT and this is a big but – NOBODY TOLD JOAN THAT WE WERE POOR GROWING UP – nobody that is but her adoptive parents. And stupid Joan, BELIEVED them. Like I said, she didn’t do her own RESEARCH. She relied on older people’s gossip – she listened to their “point of view” and tried to pass it off as truth. She relied on people’s recollection of years past – go back and look at MY own recollection – what did I write? – TWO gas stations? But when I did the RESEARCH – only gas station showed up in the City Directory. Then again, the other gas station is at the corner of William and Fillmore – and the Deco restaurant was next to it -on the southeast corner of William and Fillmore. There has always been a gas starion there – and still is. — When I lived on Townsend St. in the early 80′s – I would buy gas there. Townsend is a one-way street, 2 blocks from Fillmore and ends at William St. Where I lived on Clinton St. – 85-87 – Clare St., where School 40 is – is only one block from Fillmore Ave. – and only two blocks from the funeral home where my mother was laid out. So basically, in the 80′s – I moved back to my childhood neighborhood, and now I live in my mother’s childhood neighborhood. And like I said – I did MY research. When I bought my housein 1996 from our landlord, I went to the library, and saw the old maps from the Holland Land Company – I saw where the old Erb farm ended at Bailey. I had already learned the early history of Buffalo/New Amsterdam and the tribe of Native Americans called the Erie who lived in this section – a long time ago. Joan doesn’t learn these things – to broaden her mind – because despite her having  two college degrees, she is ignorant in many things. She has only ONE interest and she bores the hell out of everyone – ADOPTION ADOPTION ADOPTION ADOPTION ADOPTION ADOPTION ADOPTION ADOPTION.

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Comments

1. gertmcqueen - September 16, 2012

Ruth this post is excellent! It proves your great abilities as a researcher and your memory.

>She doesn’t do her RESEARCH!
Correct; all of Joan’s research comes from her bigoted adoptive parents and ‘hearsay’ from many birth-relatives, siblings included, where memories are faded and not ‘documented’ while talking to a ‘family’ member. No one KNEW that when they were speaking with Joan from the time we reunited that she was keeping NOTES and writing a book. So the memories of birth family members were then MADE INTO a narrative that fit into Joan’s version of HER STORY. Problem with that way of working is that it is NOT RESEARCH and can not be sold as truth.

>Joan Wheeler is constantly saying that our family was “poor” and we lived in a run-down neighborhood. Not so.
Correct; that comes from being raised by snubs that looked down on the birth family, she was raised that way and it comes out of her everywhere

>Wheelers lived on Coit St., near Broadway. Only one block and two and a half blocks up from where we lived on Smith St. After adopting Joan, the Wheelers moved to a newly purchased house in Kenmore, a northern suburb of Buffalo
Correct; the Wheeler’s came from the same background and neighborhoods that we all came from but when they moved to the suburbs…well it happens all the time, they are called snobs.

>Gert’s birth certificate says the address where mom and dad lived was 650 Genesee St. and Kathy’s gives the address as 824 Smith. St.
Correct.

>and a small room that used to be a bathroom, but after the ceiling caved in, and the plumbing fixtures removed
Correct; one of the most exciting memories, we were watching Howdy Doody when the ceiling came down on us and we fled into the kitchen where Mom and Dad were.

>In 1965, Dad bought a house
Correct…I married in 65 and never lived in that house.

>when in the 1970’s after being reunited with us, she goes to see where we used to live and was dismayed at the run-down neighborhood
Correct; I had the same reaction when I went back to the old neighborhood, but I UNDERSTOOD about urban decay. Joan never sees things in their proper place…only how it will fit into her version and if it doesn’t she makes it fit…that’s called lying.

>Emslie St. had our church and school, Sacred Heart, a couple of blocks south from William St. Our paternal grandmother lived on Howard St. near Krettner St, which is only one block from Emslie. So our grandparents lived within walking distance from our house, and we passed it when we went to church or school
Correct; also before we went to Sacred Heart we went to School #40, within walking distance on Pink St off of Smith. And our maternal grandparents lives a few blocks up towards Broadway and Fox St (?) where St Ann’s Church is…I believe our parents were married there and where Kathy and I had received ‘confirmation’.

I remember many a Sunday dinner at Grandpa and Grandma’s Herr’s house and how Grandpa Herr had the wooden spoon ready incase any child did not behave right at the dinner table.

Thanks so much for this Ruth, marvelous work!
This is why we are writing to restore our lives, our parents backgrounds, our family honor! Joan Wheeler had no business writing any kind of book about our lives and our parents. She still has no right in talking about us and we will continue to speak out against her until she removes all those hate blogs against us.

2. Ruth - September 16, 2012

excellant comment Gert – and you are so right that Joan relied on people’s narratives – which can be faulty. – See how I corrected you about the location of School 40 and where Fox St. is?
(readers – you have to remember Gert is older than me, and has not lived in Buffalo since 1982. As I said in my note in the body of the post, I lived a half mile from our old house from 1981. Our house was only demolished in early summer 2011. My house on Townsend was demolished in 2009. Grandma Sippel’s house at 177 Howard was demolished many years ago – and another house with the same address is there now. But I know exactly where the original house was – on the corner of Howard and Bond St. – Krettner ended at Howard only a few houses away. In a house on Bond St., just two doors from the corner lived my brother’s best friend George Fischer – and we used to look out our windows at each and make faces at each other – you know, all the stupid things kids do.
School 40 is still there, and is still open.
St. Ann’s and Sacred Heart are closed. Sacred Heart school was demolished in 2010.
I know where Uncle Rich lived on Fox St., because his daughter, my cousin Nancy lives only a mile and a half from me, and certainly remembers where she grew up.
I currently live in the Bailey/Genesee section, just a half mile from Holy Name of Jesus church where my parents were married. Right around the corner on Bailey, used to be School 9 where my mother went to grammer school. Uncle Rich went there too, and tells me how he used to leave school, walk down the street one block over my present house, and walk along the railroad tracks that lead right to his house on Scheu Park – which is only less than a mile from my present house.
Because I know the neighborhoods of Buffalo’s East Side, I know what stories are correct. Joan never lived on the East Side – except as an adult, when she lived for a few years in the Broadway/Bailey section.
BUT and this is a big but – NOBODY TOLD JOAN THAT WE WERE POOR GROWING UP – nobody that is but her adoptive parents.
And stupid Joan, BELIEVED them.
Like I said, she didn’t do her own RESEARCH. She relied on older people’s gossip – she listened to their “point of view” and tried to pass it off as truth. She relied on people’s recollection of years past – go back and look at MY own recollection – what did I write? – TWO gas stations? But when I did the RESEARCH – only gas station showed up in the City Directory. Then again, the other gas station is at the corner of William and Fillmore – and the Deco restaurant was next to it -on the southeast corner of William and Fillmore. There has always been a gas starion there – and still is. — When I lived on Townsend St. in the early 80’s – I would buy gas there. Townsend is a one-way street, 2 blocks from Fillmore and ends at William St. Where I lived on Clinton St. – 85-87 – Clare St., where School 40 is – is only one block from Fillmore Ave. – and only two blocks from the funeral home where my mother was laid out. So basically, in the 80’s – I moved back to my childhood neighborhood, and now I live in my mother’s childhood neighborhood.
And like I said – I did MY research. When I bought my housein 1996 from our landlord, I went to the library, and saw the old maps from the Holland Land Company – I saw where the old Erb farm ended at Bailey.
I had already learned the early history of Buffalo/New Amsterdam and the tribe of Native Americans called the Erie who lived in this section – a long time ago.
Joan doesn’t learn these things – to broaden her mind – because despite her having two college degrees, she is ignorant in many things. She has only ONE interest and she bores the hell out of everyone – ADOPTION ADOPTION ADOPTION ADOPTION ADOPTION ADOPTION ADOPTION ADOPTION.

3. Ruth - September 16, 2012

speaking of NOT RELYING ON PEOPLE’S HEARSAY – Boy did I just do a big oopsey. Gert is talking about FOX St. I was thinking of BOX St.- with a B.
I just had a flash when I was just proof-reading all of this – and said to self – “wait a minute – it was BOX St. off of Kehr St, near French near E. Ferry where my stepmother’s good friend Millie lived. – So like a GOOD RESEARCHER DOES – I checked Google Maps – yep, I was wrong – Fox St., with an F – does indeed run by Broadway.


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