Bally’s Convictions

Written by A. Cooper “Bally” Ballentine


My birth in 1893 is recorded in Mt. Vernon, New York as the third child of Carrie Lee Davis Ballentine, age 23 and of Dr. Allen DeBow Ballentine , age 30.

My first recollection of my life was a visit to Germantown, Pennsylvania, where endless rows of identical houses seemed unreal and outside of my immature comprehension.  Although I felt more secure inside one of them with my mother, maybe this early view of redundancy has caused me to wish musicians would make up their minds where to stop with a bolero.

Our family’s winter residence was in Newark and summer cottage in Ocean Grove, New  Jersey.  Three Ballentine children were Joseph, the elder son who acted the part; Sarah and I who were the more compatible. Our family, like most assume had ups and downs emotionally and financially.  Thus it was years upon years which seem longer when you are young or in school; the outside world changed only at the pace of a trot like ye olde gray mare trying to keep ahead of a Merry Oldsmobile for supremacy on the road.

In my life span, horse and buggy guided by reins have gone to space shuttle guided by porcelain chips.  We children would run out of the house to see the latest invention of the horseless carriage.  When I was fifteen years old in 1908, Henry Ford produced his first Model T.  During the ensuing twenty years, he created the assembly line and produced 15,0 00,000 Model T’s before spawning the earth further with his Model A, any color you wanted as long as it was black.

When I was ten years old, Orville Wright got off the ground for 12 seconds in controlled motor driven flight. On that same day, his brother, Wilbur, flew 59 seconds for a distance less than the inside length of a modern jumbo jet.

The Nickelodeon of that era honored the 5 cent piece by accepting it as admission to an hour of morally safe entertainment.  The radio started in 1920; TV twenty five years later.  Not both are challenged for survial by home entertainment brightened by cassettes and computers.

Predictions jar me mightily.  Acceleration of technology in vital categories of production and service is affecting a long-traditional life style.  Soothsayers claim individuals will switch loyalties for personal convenience; families will shrink or disintegrate; and children will accept casually the concept of multiple “parents”.

Our faith at Kehonka holds firm to the convictions that fidelity in all human relations is a supreme virtue, and that the Kehonka type, true blue-goose-loyal, steadfast family is the most desirable basic unit of a free society.  The Kehonka Promise aims to support those convictions.


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