WILLIS OLIVER PENNEY
1898 - 1974
Mr. W. O. Penney
What better way to start off the new and 5th year of "The Knapps Lived Here" than with a confirmed photo of one of the central characters in the story? A few years ago, I found an unidentified photo that I thought was Willis circa 1939 holding a Scotty dog in a scrapbook that had his brother in law J. F. Knapp's name on the cover. Several opinions I received from those who should know ranged from "Yes thats him" ...to "I'm not sure" ...It looks like my hunch was right ......
With the 107th anniversary of his birth approaching January 11th.....what better time to show up for the party. He certainly looks dressed for it and seems to really the fit the character sketches I have received over the years about him. This is a guy I could definitely see leaping off the balcony of his bride to be Claire Knapp's, mansion in '20's to escape the scrutiny of her brother her J.F. "Dode" Knapp who did not approve of the courtship of his sister and the chauffeur.... Willis would of been in his twenties then and must of looked like a silent movie star.......
So 2005 is off with a bang...the websight may not get as many updates this year, as it is the year for me to seriously concentrate on writing the books ..... but it would be great to have a closeup photo of my main mystery man, and Willis' brother in law, the very elusive Joseph F. "Dodi" Knapp to celebrate his 113th birthday this coming February 3rd ...that or someone coming forward and positively IDing the close-ups I do have posted online that I believe are him...OR .... how about some interior shots of the Knapp's Mastic Beach mansion in it's original unwrecked condition ? ... or some of the Knapps playing golf on their 9 hole course with the mansion in the background..... but Rome wasn't built in a day , nor was Knapp's Mastic Beach Mansion...it only was destroyed in one afternoon ...That I know for sure as I was an eyewitness .....Sunday , Feb 15, 1959.
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