James LANE Video – Amanuensis by Don Taylor.
[In the 1970’s the Howells (Clarence, Shirley, Mary, Peter,
Martha, Jerome, Libby, Elizabeth) & the Darlings (James & +Jane Darling) met
with James Lane at the Pittsburgh airport. That meeting was video taped by an
unknown person. The video tape has been
converted to DVD. Copies are with Don
Taylor and Jane Darling. The first part of the video includes background music
and family videos of Jane, James, and their father Robert Harry and their
mother Florence (Drexl) Darling. This
part of the video has no voices. The
second part of the video is the Howells and Darlings meeting James Lane. The
quality of the audio is extremely poor at the recording was done with the built
in mike while at a busy airport.
Initially the meeting and everyone
meets. Virtually none of those meetings are discernable. Then Gray Beard
(Clarence Howell) talks with James about a bit of his family history. He speaks of Roanoke Island and of Frank
Armstrong. Then James Lane talks with
Jane & James Darling about his past
with their father Robert Harry Darling . Everyone leaves but the video
continues on with James Land talking about important places in Pittsburgh where
the family lived. He speaks while at each of the locations. 2800 Burg, 2700 Pleasant,
and Arlington Ave. Transcript of the
video is below. My comments are identified by brackets in the below text.]
At the Airport
Gray Beard Speaking.
[His Father was] First pastor on the eastern coast at a
place called Roanoke island.
One Sunday morning there were six of his congregation that
were normally at the service but were missing one Sunday Morning. Later that that day he ran into Allen Bigit [?] and asked where they were. They said they went across the sound over to
Nag’s Head and helped those crazy kids from Dayton launch that contraption
they’ve got over there.
I remember as a child going back, my parents were born in
other parts of the state, were Springport,
Telegraph agent that sent the telegraph. – That happened before I was born. They were
the stories my father told. … They were.
I also have another family connection with [???] My first
cousin was Frank Armstrong. My middle son is named after him. He was in the Army Air Corps… and the Army Air Corp took over and flew the
airmail. My cousin Frank had Denver and flew to the coast.
He went on and made a career in the Army Air Corps which became the Air Force. I don’t know if
you remember during the movie Twelve O’clock high. That movie character was
based upon him. He flew the first B17
raid. The last the [B}24 raid over Tokyo. He survived the war and after the war he was
in commander general of the 4th.
of northwest and Alaska. He &
Byrd Balkin [?] did the first flight over the North Pole. [Note: Frank Armstrong flew in the first
daylight bombings over Germany and the last conventional bombing over Japan.]
[James Darling asked:]
My dad said something about learning how to fly or flying –
did you teach him.
[James Lane:] No- I missed him on
Open cockpit – two seater or something
Yeah. He was around
How old were you when you started.
It all started
with a moter boat with
[There is an exchange between Jerome & Libby with James
Lane wherein he mentions something about machining candlesticks that they have.
I’ve been in Pittsburgh all my life, except when I was in
school in Cleveland for five years in Cleveland. Most of my family was here though. Many years we lived in the same place.
[James Lane] – I’m the last yet. Even some of the next generation is gone
now. Born in 1910 –
[Jane Darling – Dad
(Robert Harry Darling) died in 1969.
[James Lane} – I remember that.
[Jane Darling – He died of leukemia. It a lot of years ago.
[James Lane] I remember it like it was yesterday.
[Jane Darling]- He didn’t live in Pittsburgh very long did
[James Lane] – In his early life all of it. Was he was
married in Pittsburgh. Yea. He was just a year or two older than me. We used to
hang out – ice skate. Together. All kinds of things.
[Jane & James
Darling leave to catch a plane. Video shifts to outdoors]
On the Street
James Lane Speaking.
2800 Burg Ave. The
place where Peter McAllister brought his family from Catasauqua, PA. Catasauqua on the Lehigh Canal. Lehigh University
is right handy to Catasauqua. He built
this place a date I don’t know for sure but it can easily be figured out. Somewhere in the 90’s I imagine. This place just over the knoll leads down to
the river to the Jones and Laughlin Steel mill.
This place at one time had a stable in the back. In the late 90s or
Location was up over the hill and then down the other side
to the Mill.
[The mill is] absolutely dead. But not town down yet.
2700 Pleasant Street [??] . McAllister & Family move
there 1900 . James born in that house in 1910. Plenty of rooms. Double house
exploded in the middle there.
From there Grandmother went to East Liberty. East end part of Pittsburg. She had a store there.
In the meantime, Hanna or Anna died. While grandmother still had the store and was
buried there Shortly after Anna died,
grandmother McAllister took Anna’s two children Elizabeth and Harry [to
Arlington Ave. Grandma’s last store. Elizabeth and Harry went to school from this
Mount Oliver school Elizabeth went to business school and Harry
went to business school from here. Grandma came here after her wartime trip to
England. Across the water and back during the war.
The store has been abandoned for 20 or 30 years,
That apron in the front was the last place I saw Peter
McAllister, my Grandfather. Last time I saw Peter was hat this location. In the
20’s or yep or early 30’s at the latest. [Note: Peter returned to England in 1921.]