Left Midland [Texas] about 10:00 this morning - ate lunch in Colorado [city not state] - stopped in Abilene and in Brownwood for a while. Got home [Mullin, TX] about 5:00 o'clock. Howard fixed the radio, and it is working real good.
I could come up with no interesting tombstone pics, no genealogy travel stories, and no cool tips for this Tuesday's blogging theme. So, rather bored, I thought, why not see what Holly (see grandma in previous post) was up to? Here's what she was doing on Tuesday (Yes it was a Tuesday!) January 29, 1935:
Dang! The girl was busy. Now, everyone knows Texas is a big place - and while this trip wasn't incredibly long (245 miles in today's standards), it's a heck of a lot further than I'll drive today. And they drove all over ALL the time; with cars that didn't go nearly as fast and roads that even today (I've been on many) aren't great. Here's your visual below, thanks to Google Maps.
Fingertip Friday: Holly's (slightly not-so-interesting) diary and the importance of writing anything down
My 1980 diary and Holly's 1935 diary. She really could have used a scratch-n-sniff sticker!
I've continued to transcribe my grandmother's (Holly's) 1935 diary and am loving it! It's a glimpse at a sweet, tender newly wed who would become a sassy, fun-loving grandma. But it's not terribly interesting, nothing of any great note happens. Many entries are almost exact duplicates of the day before - who she saw, what she ate, what time she went to bed. Obviously I love it because I knew her and it's special to me. It gives me insight into who she was and how she lived at a time before even my mother knew her. Hollywood, however, will not be contacting me to make a movie version of this diary.
That started me thinking about my own writing. I started keeping a diary, as many young girls do, about age 9. A few years ago, in an attempt to find something interesting to write about for a children's magazine, I re-read the diary and nearly died of boredom. Seriously, it was so blah! Here's a sample of the 10 year old female mind (be very afraid):
"Wed. Nov. 18, 1980
As I told you about Jason there's something else I want to tell you, well once when I was walking to my reading class Jason was getting a drink at the water fountain, and when I looked at him he looked like he was looking at me.
Riveting stuff I know. But you know what, my grandchildren won't care. They will likely read about my petty jealousies, who I got to have sleep overs with, what my mom did to make me mad, and LOVE it. If one of my children can manage to produce a family history lover that is!
I had started journalling again (that's what adults call it apparently) a few years ago and quit because I felt that I just wasn't that profound, I wasn't solving any problems - what was the point? Well, Holly's mundane, everyday diary has inspired me to take up the pen again and write whatever comes to mind. I think my grandkids might even find my grocery list interesting.
Page 1, Mrs. J. H. Dunaway's diary.
This is a line from the first entry in my grandmother's diary she kept for roughly the first year of her marriage. Jan 1, 1935 was the initial entry; they were married in May of 1934. In honor of Amanuensis Monday I will transcribe the first entry. My goal will be to transcribe the whole diary at some point. It's an amazing snapshot into their early life together, and might be a clue as to why I like highballs so much too!
January 1, 1935 (Tuesday) -
Saw Clark Gabel, Joan Crawford, and Robert Montgomery in "Forsaking All Others." Howard went to see Dr. Aves, and he is sending him to Baytown to the hospital tomorrow. We sat up and drank some highballs tonite. They were real good.
I've been focusing a lot on family "heirlooms" I received from my mother. Because she passed away relatively recently (end of 2011), her items are very top of mind for me. They also remind me that anything can have a special meaning. It doesn't have to be the family bible or your great-grandmother's wedding ring (although those are pretty awesome) - it just has to remind you of your loved one.
This crossword puzzle dictionary does just that. I don't do the crossword puzzle, and likely I never will. But, as a kid, I remember my mother with pen and newspaper in hand (and this book at her side) working the puzzle every Sunday morning. It was her religion. I kept this book because of the memories it reflects, and the stories it reminds me to tell. We preservers of family history can sometimes get caught up in the torrid, the fascinating, the unexplained and forget the mundane, everyday episodes that made up the other 99% of our ancestors lives.
I see this book and I close my eyes to recreate the scene. I can almost smell her cup of black coffee, the cigarette she was no doubt smoking; see her long hair falling in her face, and the doodle marks all over the newspaper as she worked out word after word. It's comforting to know that that memory is a glance at a crossword puzzle dictionary away!
My mom's cousin, Emma, and I have been in touch recently. Her father and my grandmother were siblings - he was just 18 months younger than she - in a family of 13 siblings!
I have a lot of wonderful family photos that passed down to me from my grandparents. Many of those photos were used in a book written by Ruth Rickaway, Benjamin Frost, A Texan from Tennessee*. Our family line, the Guthrie's, is a short one in the impressive volume of information. But Ruth contacted my grandmother to use her photos. (I only know this because Ruth inscribed the book to my grandmother, thanking her for the pictures.)
Unfortunately, I don't own this picture; I wish I knew who did. It's the only one that includes many of the Guthrie kids, including Emma's father and my grandmother, as very young children. I absolutely love it.
Emma I hope we can find who owns the original. But in the meantime, enjoy the photo of your dad!
*Rickaway, Ruth Hollar. Benjamin Frost, A Texan from Tennessee. Houston: D. Armstrong Co. Inc. Printers & Publishers, 1981. Print. p. 197.
Ok, Divorces Granted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, December 1785-1801* is not a crazy book in an of itself. We genealogist love lists of any kind; marriages and divorces are no exception. This 11 page long list of divorces granted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is quite dry really. Every single doomed marriage on the list reads: Mr. so-and-so from county X married so-and-so lady from county Y on that date and they divorced on this date. All very boring stuff. With one very notable exception.
William and Catherine Kenley were married September of 1795 and divorced a few short years later in March of 1797. But Catherine had a bit of a history that William was unaware of. Apparently in 1777 she married her first William. William #1 moved to South Carolina at which point Catherine, without bothering to divorce, married Casper - who incidentally was also married at the time. And without divorcing Casper, Catherine then married the unsuspecting William Kenley.
My oh my, a tangled web indeed. I bet Catherine had a few more husbands that had yet to be discovered. That one record certainly makes the whole 11 pages worth it!
*Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania. Divorces Granted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, December 1785-1801. Adams Apple Press, 1992. Page 3. Print.
My grandfather's 1931 diploma from the University of Texas.
Diploma's have always been special family treasures to me. This wrinkled piece of paper was given to my grandfather, James Howard Dunaway, when he graduated from college in 1931. Given the US was in the midst of a major depression, he didn't have the opportunity to use it for a while.
Education was highly valued by my grandfather. He had watched his own father, who struggled to support his family as a railway mail clerk. My great-grandfather got a law degree by correspondence and finally achieved a level of financial comfort after years of hardship. Going to college was not a given when my grandfather graduated from Ranger high school as the valedictorian. He had scholarship money from the University of Texas, but had to work while attending school to make ends meet as his parents couldn't afford to give him anything.
So, in 1931, Howard had a diploma, a serious girlfriend (insert future grandmother here), and no prospect for a job. In his own words, "the world had gone flat." He picked cotton for a summer, hitchhiked with a college buddy to Chicago to see the World's Fair (that's a fun story), went back to school for a time. Then, more than 2 years after he had graduated, in 1933 he got a job. His first and his last. He worked his entire life for Humble Oil Co. (now Exxon).
His story - working through college, unable to find a job - wasn't unique then or now. But these things strengthen us. As I think about my oldest, who's about 4 years away from college (read TOP OF MIND), I have images of his intellectual and financial success. But I know to be careful what I wish for. He needs his own share of hiccups and hardships. He needs those challenges that will shape his character and mold him into the grandfather that someone will absolutely adore someday!
What we found was that Grandfather Harburger was not only a record breaking swimmer, he wrote about it too. Official Rules for Swimming, Fancy Diving, Water Polo listed Philip Harburger as one of the primary authors, as well as a list of his records. He wrote for the National Collegiate Athletic Swimming Guide, and was quoted often by papers written on swimming. There was a wealth of information that we had no idea existed. We purchased the "Official Rules" book for my mother-in-law (Phil's daughter) as a Christmas present one year. Priceless does not begin to describe her reaction.
Go google your family, you may be surprised at what you find!
I'm Jodi. Lover of genealogy, graveyards, and stuff that's old.