Monday, May 17, 2021

We'll Get To The What-Not Shelf, But First.......

                           Anyone who does genealogical research knows that you sometimes "bump" into your ancestors,(and sometimes a friend's),while reading something totally unrelated. It happened to me on 2 May 2021. 

                           I was flipping through the online pages of The Austin American-Statesman (Austin, Texas), when my eyes caught the article to the left of the article I was reading. I saw my Granny's name, along with her sister Thelma's name staring back at me!

                            My "Granny" and my "Aunt Thelma" are Mozell DANIELS and her sister Thelma MITCHELL. They, along with Ethel DIXON, are named as sisters of Richard LEWIS, whose Funeral Notice in the 21 July 1967, Friday newspaper was my gift from above. Thank You,! 


                            Upon finding Richard Lewis' Death Certificate in Texas, Death Certificates, 1903-1982 on, I found that his death date as 16 July 1967.

                           First of all, I had NO CLUE that Granny and Aunt Thelma had other siblings. They both told me that they shared the same mother, but had different fathers. Granny always claimed that “a white man named McArthur was my fatha”....and it’s her surname on her Marriage License. 


                            The "Informant" on Granny’s Death Certificate was her only living grand daughter, who I concluded knew something more than I did.  The “(Unknown)LEWIS" was definitely not “McARTHUR” who Granny repeatedly said was her father. 

                             Some ghosts you have to give up, and I think this one’s mine. I DO believe that folks only know what they were told, and that's the ghost who got handed down to curious kids like me.This is Mozell circa 1977-1978.

                              My dear maternal Great Grandmother's sister was Thelma, whose MITCHELL surname was from her 2nd husband, Herman Mitchell. I've not yet found a Marriage License for her first marriage. I have nothing tangible of Aunt Thelma's but this Funeral Program.

                              Back to my newfound Great Uncle Richard Lewis, something gnawed at me after reading his Funeral Notice.  I realized that I'd seen his name before, among a couple of my DNA Matches’ family trees on!

                                I have spoken with two of Richard Lewis Sr.’s grandchildren by telephone, and have solved the mystery of the “Eskimos” in the photographs on my Granny’s What-Not shelf. After telling this particular grandchild about grilling Granny about the photos, I had the chilling realization that it HAD to be her family in the photos, because her ethnicity is 50% Northern Japan. This 5 year old called all Asian people Eskimos, until I learned differently.

                               My Granny’s photos, and all her personal affects have been long gone. They rotted in a garage, in Houston, Texas' dreadful climate. Even the elements couldn't warp my belief that SOMEONE may have the SAME photo that YOU have, or in my case, REMEMBERS. As fate would have it, my “Eskimo” cousin sent me copies of the SAME photos Granny had! I cried when I saw them.... I cried. I REMEMBERED those faces after so many years of dusting around them, and staring at them. 
                                I don’t have permission to post them, but you can believe they‘ll be framed and sitting on a shelf /hanging on a wall in my house. It just won’t be one of these What-Not shelves! Any child who's ever dusted one of these things, loaded with framed photos and fragile figurines knows my struggle. It was REAL!

                               I no longer shudder at the sight of these shelves. I smile with fond remembrance, and deep gratitude for what it represents. It gifted me with my LEWIS branch.
⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰The "Dig" continues...⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰⇰

  #LEWIS  #Hutchins  #Clark  #Wilson   #DIXON #Manor, Texas  #Austin,Texas  #Seattle, Washington  #San Antonio, Texas 


Friday, March 21, 2014

O' Saliva, Tell Me About Grandmother Hazel Lee Roberts!

                  Gave my saliva up....twice. Waited forever it seemed, for my DNA Ethnicity Results. My Birth Certificate states I'm "Negro".....and my skin has been Black my whole life. "Colored", "Afro American" and "African American" are all boxes I've checked over the years
                                             No matter how often my designated label changed, one fact remained: the ink/pencil mark I left in the box was always Black, and THAT is what I call myself.
                                               It was time for my saliva to talk to me.

           I wanted to have a Profile Photo (above) showing my Black face to my DNA "Matches"  

                                                                     Another reason?

            MAYBE it would trigger some newly confirmed White, Red, or Olive skinned cousins  to notice a family resemblance among their known family members, dead or alive!

                                                                    Another reason?

             I hoped my paternal grandmother Hazel Lee ROBERTS' father's descendants would see themselves in these photos. John ROBERTS was his name, and he was a White man of Irish extraction, according to my grandmother. Hazel knew her father and his parents to be White. I have no documentation about her father. I know he was married, lived in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, impregnated a young Black girl in Alexandria or Cheneyville, and had parents by the name of Susan & John ROBERTS. I have this 1920 Census for Alexandria, Rapides, Louisiana, which places Hazel in her father's mother's home.

                         You can see that the Enumerator changed grandmother Susan Roberts' race from "W" to a very heavily scripted "B" over the "W". Hmmmm. A story there, and theories swirl in my brain. I do not know Susan's maiden name. All I know is that my grandmother Hazel lived with her from a VERY young age, until Martha, (Mrs. James De JEAN by then), came for daughter Hazel. Martha, husband James and 6 years old Hazel went to live in Beaumont, Jefferson, Texas.

                        Hazel was born 1913 in Alexandria, Rapides Parish, Louisiana. Her Black mother was Martha Ann CRITTLE (b.1897 Cheneyville, Rapides, Louisiana, d. 1937 Beaumont, Jefferson, Texas). The Crittle family was also enumerated on various U.S. Censuses as CRIDDLE, CRIDDELL, and CUTTLE. Martha's paternal grandfather "Moses" was listed on the 1870 U.S. Census for Cheneyville, Rapides Parish, Louisiana as Moses CRIDDLETON. Many spellings, but same people.

Fashionable Hazel in the 1940's

  My grandmother Hazel Lee Roberts COOK before her passing in 1998 Houston, Harris, Texas
(I see ME in later years. Insert eerie music, here)

                            A photo of myself. One that definitely shows the resemblance to my grandmother. My nose....chin...facial structure....hers.

                            We don't make ourselves. We're just weary travelers stopping for rest at points along the way. Who knows? Just like in a good ol' Horror movie, a photo or portrait may be hanging above the Coat Hook where you hung your umbrella.....and it looks like YOU. The person who opened the door for you? Looks like YOU.
                             We see people whose features look alike, but their skin tones don't match. We see people who  look nothing alike physically, but are as related as they can be. That's throwing a bunch of people ALL the way off. They don't grasp the concept that "Spit has spoken." Being thrown doesn't feel good, and I keep that in mind when dealing with others on this DNA-Genealogical Journey.

                            There's a "Generational Jump" thing at work in genetics. Grandchildren look like their grandparents, and someone with 5 siblings looks like NONE of them.....but, rather a dead ancestor's oil portrait from 1720 A.D.

                             I threw my saliva into the pool of other unknown close cousins. I've been swimming with a few who sincerely don't mind my being in the same pool as them. I have a few DNA cousins that feel our saliva has been thrown into a Ring, and they have their "Dukes Up."
Maybe, one day their understanding of some facts will help them to drop.

                              I have to say that I CHOOSE to SWIM, and I'll keep on singing:

                                               "O' Saliva, tell me some thaaaaaaannnnnng......"               


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Major Questions About 3rd Great Grandpa Major Perry

                 A few years ago, it started with finding this on

                           New Orleans, Louisiana, Slave Manifest

Name:Major Perry
Estimated Birth Year:abt 1829
Ship Name:Phoenix
Port of Departure:Richmond, Virginia
Port of Arrival:New Orleans, Louisiana
Date of Arrival:17 Nov 1847
First Shipper/Owner:David Cume
First Shipper/Owner Residence:Richmond
Second Shipper/Owner:Nathaniel Matthews
Second Shipper/Owner Residence:New Orleans
Record Type:Arrivals (Inward Manifests)

My maternal 3rd great Grandmother Amanda Perry's father was named...Major Perry. 

                                             Her Death Certificate reflects this

                        Months later I received an email from an associate of Nancy Jordan, 

                            a volunteer affiliated with Olivewood Cemetery in Houston, Texas


                                                  Sent: Friday, October 7, 2011 11:04 AM

Subject: Interesting find...

Hi Cecelia,
I was searching for Major Perry and all I found were business listings from 1882-1895 in Houston for a barber named Major Perry.  He worked for Ed Banks who was born in 1853 and coincidentally is buried at Olivewood.  Since no age is given on the business listings, this could be someone who was a contemporary of Ed Banks - rather, someone born about 1850, perhaps a brother of your Amanda Perry, or it could be her father born about 1830 (based on Amanda Perry Chappel's birth in 1848).   It could be either one.  BUT DARN, I can't find a single census entry for ANY Major Perry.  
The only census record I have for Amanda is 1900 in Columbus with both her boys and her 2nd? husband Charles Mcuen.  It states she was born in Texas in 1848 (on Wm Massey's death certificate it says Houston, Texas).    Interestingly, it says she had 10 children, 7 of whom are still alive in 1900.  We need to find the other children!  
But, in the meantime, I ran across a very interesting ship manifest...
Major Perry, age 18, black male, 
Ship Name: Phoenix
Departure: Richmond, Virginia
Arrival: New Orleans, Louisiana
17 Nov 1847 
First Shipper/Owner: David Cume,
Residence: Richmond
Second Shipper/Owner: Nathaniel Matthews
New Orleans


                            This is my maternal Great Grandfather William Massey Chappel and wife Cora Harvey. William's parents were Amanda Perry and Louis Chapple, although "Father" isn't noted on his Death Certificate. Much thanks to Marlive Taylor-Harris for supplying me with Louis Chapple's information! She and I are the great grandchildren of brothers William and Lewis Chapple/Chappel. Yes, the surname has a few spellings.

William Massey Chappel Death Certificate

Note "Columbus,Texas" as his birthplace. Columbus, Colorado County, Texas

Now, the fun starts. I researched "Nathaniel Matthews" from the Slave Manifest. An advertisement, "Negroes For Sale" was placed December 1, 1847 in The New Orleans Times Picayune a Nathaniel Matthews. 
I found an article after Google searching Nathaniel Matthews, about a town named "Matthews" in Colorado County, Texas.


MATTHEWS, TEXAS. Matthews is on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway at the junction of Farm roads 950 and 102, on the southeastern boundary of Colorado County. The community is named for John Matthewsqv, who came to the area in 1827 and bought the land from James Nelson, one of Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists. Tax records indicate that John Matthews prospered during the years before the Civil War, and the community that grew around his holdings served not only his plantation but also others in the area. In 1860 he was listed as owning 140 slaves. Following the Civil War many of the freed slaves settled in the area and increased the demand for goods and services. By 1880 the community had a store, a blacksmith shop, and a cotton gin. The post office was established in 1895 with Mary McRee as postmistress, and it continued in service until 1905, when mail began to be delivered regularly from Eagle Lake, six miles north. By 1900 Matthews had four businesses, a school, and a population of 100. The population remained the same until after the 1960s, when labor-intensive cotton production was replaced by mechanized grain production, primarily of rice and corn, and cattle grazing. In the mid-1980s only one business remained to serve the large family-operated farms.
Colorado County Sesquicentennial Commemorative Book (La Grange, Texas: Hengst Printing, 1986).
Jeff Carrol

John Matthews?? Colorado County, Texas?? Slaves?? Is THIS man

connected to Nathaniel Matthews named on Major Perry's Slave

Manifest???? Oh, I was about to find out!

                                                    I found this:

MATTHEWS, JOHN (1796–1861). John Matthews was born in Campbell County, Virginia, in 1796, moved to Texas around the time of the Texas Revolution, and settled in Jackson County. In 1837 he moved to the east side of the Colorado River in southern Colorado County, where he bought lands granted to James Nelson in 1824. His first home was built in the riverbottom, but frequent flooding drove him to a higher site that became known as Matthews Prairie. His new home was built by slave labor with cypress lumber brought by ship from Florida to Columbia on the Brazos River and then hauled overland by ox-drawn wagons. The 1840 tax records credit Matthews with 2,222 acres and seventeen slaves. The 1850 census valued his property at $10,000 and showed ownership of fifteen slaves. As his holdings increased, a community named Matthews developed in the area around the plantation, and by 1860 his total property, including 140 slaves, was valued at $225,000. That year he produced 10,000 bushels of corn and 589 bales of cotton on 800 acres of improved land. Matthews never married. In January 1861, when he became ill, his brother Nathaniel took him back to Virginia for care. Before leaving Texas John deeded the entire plantation to his brother who, in turn, passed it to his children. John Matthews died in Virginia in 1861.

Colorado County Sesquicentennial Commemorative Book (La Grange, Texas: Hengst Printing, 1986).
Jeff Carroll

                           NATHANIEL!! ....."his brother Nathaniel took him back to

 Virginia for care." Hmmmmm.

                   Another point of interest is one James Nelson named in the

above article.                                             

NELSON, JAMES (ca. 1786–?). James Nelson, tradesman and farmer, was born about 1786 and traveled to Texas in November 1821 on the schooner Lively, having reached an agreement with Stephen F. Austin to work in the Austin colony building cabins and stockades and cultivating at least five acres of corn. By 1823 he was serving as tanner and currier in the community at Beeson's Ferry on the Colorado River, near the site of the present town of Columbus. He took the oath of allegiance to the Mexican government on April 20, 1824, and, as one of the Old Three Hundred colonists, received title to a sitio of land in present Colorado County on August 7, 1824. Later in the year, however, unable to pay his debts through inability to collect fees owed to him, Nelson journeyed to Louisiana to obtain employment as an engineer aboard the steamboat Natchitoches. By 1826 he had returned to the Austin colony to engage in farming and stock raising. County censuses for 1823 and 1826 describe him as a widower and father of four children.
Nelson served as a private in the Texas army from March 4 to June 4, 1836, in Capt. William J. E. Heard's Company F, First Regiment, Texas Volunteers. Nelson was among the wounded at the battle of San Jacinto. In recompense for his services he was granted a headright certificate in 1838 for one-third league of land in Colorado County. In 1837 and 1838 he served as coroner of Colorado County. He married Mary Slaughter in Colorado County on January 12, 1840. That year he reportedly held title to 300 acres of land and owned ten slaves.
Colorado County Historical Commission, Colorado County Chronicles from the Beginning to 1923 (2 vols., Austin: Nortex, 1986). Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932).
Charles Christopher Jackson

                  What is the significance of the surname "NELSON" ?

 Amanda Perry, my 2nd Great Grandmother had a firstborn son named Chet

CHAPPLE born about 1875 in Eagle Lake, Colorado County, Texas. The

puzzling thing is, according to an Affidavit of Family History of Manda Chappel

aka Manda Chapple AND W.H. Chappel aka W.H. Chapple aka W. Henry

 Chappel..(whew!) he was also known as : John NELSON !!!! 

Now, small towns have ALL kinds of mingling going on. STUFF happens, but

I'm wondering why Great Grand Uncle Chet chose an alias so far removed from

his name! Was it an homage to a dear family friend? Was the NELSON name a

clue to a connection between the PERRY, MATTHEWS, and CHAPPLE families??

Maybe he was just fond of his mother Manda/Amanda and

younger brother W.H./Henry??? I really can't talk about them, as it is a trend

that has trickled down to me.

So, if I had a couple of Tin cups with something in them, I'd hand one to 3rd

Great Grandpa. The other, I'd press it to my lips....but not before asking

Grandpa Major some major questions. My first one being,

"Sir, WHO'S your Daddy?"....followed by

"Who's your Mama?"

"Were the other PERRY folks on your Slave Ship blood kin to you?"

"Was PERRY the name of the dude that owned and sold you to Nathaniel

MATTHEWS??" I'd have a few more choice questions, the last one being

"Grandpa, WHO named you "Major" and


The Dig continues.......


Monday, January 13, 2014

The Gumption of Harmon and Jake Marshall


                                        Summer of 1977 was when I first heard about brothers Harmon and Jake Marshall, from their niece Vera Cook Steptoe, my paternal grandfather Vernon V. Cook's baby sister. She was called "Aunt Baby Sister" by the family, but not by me. I LOVED her name, "Vera"....and "Aunt Vera" was how I addressed her.  Over the years, I'd hear about them again from my dad's siblings.

Harmon and Jake's parents, Cassius and Isabella Marshall

                                         Harmon Marshall was born 1879, Overton, Rusk County, Texas. Jake was born to their parents Cassius and Isabella Mayfield Marshall in 1890, Houston, Harris, Texas. They had other siblings which I'll feature in another blog.

                                          What blows my mind about these two is their GUMPTION to hobble..yes, HOBBLE on down to the WWI Registration Office, and sign up to fight....with THREE LEGS between them!  See, big brother Harmon and baby bro Jake were playing along the Railroad tracks. Maybe they were just walking, "chunking" rocks or something. The exact circumstances aren't known to me. The only thing I know is, Harmon went back to get Jake out of the path of an oncoming train.....a TRAIN!!!  


                                        Harmon lost part of his left leg above the knee

 .........And brother Jake lost part of his left leg, 6 inches below his left knee


                                            Jake ambled on down to sign up for soldiering in June 1917. Harmon followed in September 1918. Fighting was over as of November 11, 1918, so, whatever Harmon signed up for is between him and the U.S. of A.

                                            My theory is that both my great grand uncles adapted quite well with living without the parts of them left on the tracks. They HAD to be strollin', and struttin' like "It ain't nothin' but a thang, baby". I wish I had photos of them to share, but I was told that they were some "Good Lookin' Cats".
It's finding out facts like this that make me grin with amazement, and the utmost pride. I mean, Harmon and Jake HAD to know they'd be denied for service....but they strutted on up in the place ANY how.

                                            This is the stuff that movies are made of. I can hear them now.....
                                            Jake: "Hey man, I'm going down to register for the service"
                                            Harmon: "Alright baby brother. If anybody gives you any flap, call me on their payphone. I'll be down there faster than a man running with two feet, to come whup their asses with my GOOD foot. Love you baby brother"
                                              Jake: "Awww, man! Hahaaaa, I'll be alright. They don't want me to "Knee" 'em nowhere! Love you too, big brother"

Monday, December 16, 2013

Uncle Odell Bradshaw's "Hex"




                        Last night, I posted an entry about my Santa Claus, Odell Bradshaw. A great, fun-loving, joyful man, who was really my 1st cousin 2x removed. Due to "Technical Difficulties, Maybe", I removed it. Here's the Low Down. But first, a smile from Uncle Odell........


                         After a few hours of sleep, I opened my blog to check who read it, and also to read it with fresh eyes. Well, I pressed a button to move a line of type.....and I messed up my whole blog entry. I attempted to fix it, but ended up deleting the original post. I don't think it was a "mistake", for too much weird stuff was happening. The thought suddenly hit me.... "Uncle Odell's hexing me!! He doesn't want his business in the Universe". My first mind is usually my right mind, and I had to laugh OUT LOUD....with my cup of coffee sloshing back and forth. 

                          Those of you who read my original entry may remember my family's penchant for: around-the-house "Salt Spreading", women's clothing "Creek Dropping", and burning shed hair after cleaning it from their hairbrushes. Rituals.....For keeping evil spirits, and "No Good" folks offa me" said my grandmother Ernestine DANIELS, Uncle Odell's 1st cousin.

                           So, to honor my first mind, and Uncle Odell's Hex, (insert canned laughter), I'll be good, LISTEN to my misstep, and start over. 


                           Odell Bradshaw was probably born laughing, with big round cheeks, 4 April 1910 in Round Rock, Texas. His mother was Hallie DANIELS(1894-1935), sister of my maternal Great Grandfather Will Daniels,(1890-1947)....both from Round Rock, Texas. 


                               Hallie and Will had other siblings: Lizzie, Henry, Dock, Beatrice, Delia Mae, Alma and Iola. Their parents were Monroe DANIELS(1862-1926), and Amanda WASHINGTON(1867-1963), both of Round Rock, Texas. They are buried there also. Uncle's father was D. BRADSHAW. I have no information on him yet. 

                            Mother Hallie's husband was Cooper ALLEN, at her time of death. I heard the name "Terrell" spoken more often than I remember his presence. I believe he was uncle Odell's brother, by Mr. Allen. Gathering definitive documentation on Terrell is a work in progress.



                          In the mid to late 1960's Uncle Odell snatched us off to Annual Boat Shows in San Antonio, and New Braunfels, Texas. My love for the water began with him....and watching Taffy Machines stretch Taffy! Below is his club's insignia, and they're still active today.


                                Uncle Odell kept his Christmas Tree up year round, with presents, candy and fruit sprinkled under it.

                              He usually visited us with an armload of gifts. It could have been Christmas, Just Because, or Birthdays. He really enjoyed bringing us dolls dressed in Period clothing similar to this, encased in a plastic cylinder. 


                            Mom thought her girls were too young to appreciate these dolls. She said they were for older girls, but he brought them anyway. I don't recall him having children, and maybe that's why he showered his nieces /cousins with love, laughter, and affection                            


                          Uncle Odell made the best Home Made Garlic Pickles. I spent my last day with him in 1985. He was declining in health, and physically wasn't the "Roly Poly" man who reminded me of.....

...... but, dipped in Chocolate!

His memory lives on 

He and I share Birthdays
         four days apart, love of water, boats, 
                           humor, and the reality that both our mothers       passed away in their early 40's.

I Loved My Santa

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Our Ghost Only Came Out At Night

                               My Bigmama's baby brother was a faceless, nameless entity. I never knew his given name until I gained access to the U.S. Census Collection, back in 1998. When he died in 1977, my sisters and I knew him only as "Uncle Gray Ghost"..... the man who knocked on our grandmother's front door in the dead of night. It was the ONLY time he visited.

                                I once asked my grandmother why she called her brother "Gray Ghost". She said it was because he only came out at night. I remember the way he knocked verrrrry softly, so as not to wake up the house. He'd loudly whisper "Ernest...Ernest, it's ME!", between his knocks. Bigmama would call back to him, "Aw, Brotha! You only come around when you WANT something! Now, go on before you wake these kids."  I was awake by then, listening to her open her door to him, and listening to their "grown folks" conversation. Bigmama would ask him, "How much you need? You need to stop drinking." I heard him profess his love for his big sister, promising to pay her back, and the sound of him kissing her on her cheek.....which she acted as if she DIDN'T like, saying "Gone, now...go on, Brother."

                                The image posted was from a TV show by the same name. It was supposedly based on Major John Singleton Mosby, an Officer in the Confederate Army. According to Wikepedia's description, accounts of his "cunning" and "stealth" earned him the nickname "The Gray Ghost". Well, in hindsight, I can easily see how those characteristics could also be attributed to my grand uncle!
                               Ernestine Daniels, my Bigmama, was four years older than her brother born in 1917. Their mother Mozell McArthur was married to Will Daniels when their daughter Ernestine was born in Manor, Travis Co.Texas,1913. Mozell divorced Will Daniels, met Willie Robinson Sr., and gave birth to his namesake son. Mozell was not married to Willie Robinson, Sr.

                               I just recently found this Birth Certificate, which noted my great grandmother Mozell's  birthplace as Manor, Texas.....the same as both of her children's. Neither a physician nor midwife were present for my uncle's birth. The Birth Certificate basically reflects that Granny Mozell toughed it out. I've been wondering if my uncle left any children on this earth. With all my DNA Cousins falling in 4th, and 3rd-5th range, I'm seriously wondering if one, if not some, are my Uncle Gray Ghost's descendants

                                I have no photos of him. All I know is that he was a soft spoken, dark skinned, thin rail of a man, with a dark rumpled suit hanging on him...under a brimmed hat. I couldn't point him out at a liquor store, criminal line up, or a soup line. It's really sad for me to admit. It's even sadder to admit that I couldn't point out my Bigmama's OTHER sibling in a Library. She was a teacher who I only met once in 1975, and she was from the Austin, Texas Metro area. They shared a father, William(Will) Daniels b. 1890 Round Rock, Travis, Texas. He died in 1947, and is buried in Round Rock, Texas a few feet from his parents Monroe and Amanda (Washington) Daniels.

                                       Me and Bigmama in 1975, and the only photo I have of us together. She looked like her father's people, she said. If we weren't chatting while sitting on this piece of furniture, we'd be lying across her bed, talking about everything. She wasn't easily intimidated, or frightened. Speaking of ghosts, she shared a couple of experiences with me. I witnessed her acknowledging a swinging screen door with a "Hello", or "Come on in." My sisters and I looked at each other with questioning expressions when she'd do that, but I can still hear her saying,"Just because you can't see 'em don't mean they aren't there."

                                       I'm having a warm revelation about a big sister, her acknowledgement of entities unseen.....and why it would be only natural for her to call her brother "Gray Ghost"

Sunday, October 6, 2013

COOK-ing with Cousins

                                                 I met up with COOK family who were descendants of Louis Cook, born abt. 1830 in Missouri, (we think), and Mary Bryant, born abt. 1835 in Mississippi. Louis and Mary had a few children. Their son Henry Cook and wife Martha Abercrombie Johnson spawned a few children, and it was from those children that my cousin Karen's backyard filled.
                                                 Walking into her back yard, I shook hands with the first men who greeted me. I went back to my car and grabbed my contribution to the festivities. When I ambled back into the yard, I had a folding chair in my left hand, my purse AND computer bag hanging from my right shoulder, and a 24 Pack box of Big Red Cola balanced atop my right shoulder. A couple of men scrambled towards me to help, but I was already in full stride..HANDLING it. I yelled out, "I got it! Thanks! I'm a COOK!!"...and they yelled back, "Aha ha! Yeah, you ARE, alright, and got a good grip, too!"
                                                  After I sat down to get my breath and bearings, I pinned on a makeshift name tag over my heart. I then rose from my chair to begin mingling. The first group I joined were the men whose hands I first shook. I pointed to my father's picture on my makeshift name tag, and said "This is my father Willie B. Cook, and he's the source of the strength you felt in my handshake." One of them said, "He taught you how to shake, that's good." I popped back, "No, that would be my mother's mother, Ernestine!" We laughed after that, and I explained the photo of my father pinned over my heart.

                                                Willie Bernard Cook, 1932-1973 Houston, Texas

                                               When my cousins saw this photo hanging from my chest, they had much to say about my sister and I looking like him. My father was called "Billy", and my sisters and I sang the song "Wooly Bully" back in 1965, alternating "Willie Billy" (pretending the song was about our dad),as we sang. One of my sisters was named after him. Daddy also named his son after him when he remarried. I have the distinction of having siblings who share our father's
name. I DIG that!
                                                 I had a great time talking with my 4th cousins, and THEIR grandchildren
were running around, playing card and checkers. I guess that means I was with my 6th cousins also. Whew! Well, I didn't cook anything to bring. A couple Frenchy's Chicken Family Boxes was my ace in the hole. Not ALL COOK folk cook, but I was COOK-ing with cousins yesterday....and I DUG that.