This is Chuck here (Nancy Teasley’s dad). I’d love to tell you about why we named the farm “Ella Rose” after my mother, Ella Corella Hinshaw-Benninghoff, who grew up in Pueblo, Colorado.
Ella’s love of roses knew no boundaries. She grew them, she farmed them, she even painted roses in her beloved watercolor styles – paintings which to this day hang on the walls of our lovely home that sits just above Ella Rose Farm’s main field, overlooking the beautiful Fallbrook, CA valley.
My father was Charles Franklyn Benninghoff Jr., and he and my mom had five children: Kathryn, Barbara, Charles III (me), Virginia, and Diana. Virtually their entire lives were spent caring for each other and us, their children. I was trained well, as I have no other dedication than my own family.
My mom was very active in her children’s lives; she was PTA president, Guardian for Job’s Daughters, scout leader, music teacher to some of her children and a very talented artist.
She could watercolor, paint with oils, china paint, and her finished pieces were pieces of art – worthy of any wall or table.
She could sit down without a pattern and make the most beautiful dresses, just like the ones in the stores, only better because they would fit. She did all this without the help of a nanny, cook, or housekeeper.
Besides my dad, and taking care of my sisters and me, growing roses was her passion – and then painting her bounty from the garden. She had some of the most beautiful bushes. She took great joy in her roses. She would spend one morning a week clipping and shaping her the bushes till they were just perfect.
A great story about my parents in the early 30s is when my dad was dating her at the same time as another gentleman, named Shorty Smith. Well my dad was not a man to put up with competition. He challenged the other man to a coin toss and whoever won would date Ella.
When dad told this story, our only question to him was,”What if you lost?” He looked us in the eyes and said, “I wasn’t going to lose!” Well of course he didn’t lose, and that was the last my Mom saw of the other man. Then, one of my sisters turned out to be measurably shorter than me and our three sisters. My father told me, after a few glasses of wine, that he thought of her sometimes as “Shorty’s Revenge”.
A recollection from my sister Barbara is, “One year when I was in High School I wanted to have a party. So Mom and I planned a Hawaiian Luau. Mom really out did herself with the Hawaiian food and all the flower decorations. She even persuaded Dad to dig a hole in the back yard for a pond to float Hawaiian flowers. I couldn’t believe it when he dug that pond. What wonderful parents I had.”
As a family we were lucky enough to spend a month at the beach in the summer in Oceanside, CA. My parents would rent this cottage right on the beach and it was a wonderful time for everyone. Except, as could be expected, my mom still had to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for everyone, plus do the wash and keep the cottage clean. Ella would never complain about all that work, my dad says. She found her real happiness with us, outside in the ocean and playing in the sand, or as we got older following the Marines since my sisters wouldn’t stop talking to them.
Driving from our home in Upland, CA to Oceanside for our annual family vacation is how I originally fell in love with Fallbrook and made it a life-long goal to move here, which I finally did in 2013 at the age of 69.
Looking back at those times, my sisters and I surely wish we could have had more time to spend with my mother, Ella. Imagine the help she would be with the rose farm. But now I get the chance to put to use all that she taught me, and keep her love of roses alive through my family.