Monday, June 24, 2013

A Little Edwardian Fashion

Lately I've had this fascination with vintage fashion and have been researching some of the trends from the early to mid 1900s when my grandparents were posing for pictures. All four of my grandparents were born within an eight year window, 1901-1909. Many pictures in my collection have no dates, names, or places recorded on them, but, those that do have been helpful in figuring out time periods for the ones that do not, sometimes based on clues taken from the style of dress, a hat the subject is wearing, or a location.  I know that this is definitely not an exact science since I, and I am sure you too, have favorite outfits that are so yesterday but I have to say that generally I don't wear them when I know that I am going to have my picture taken, so I am going to surmise here that I can date (approximately) some pictures based on fashion when weighted against the other clues in a photograph. I've got a grandmother (pictured as a child below) that was always the picture of fashion, you will see more of her and her awesome outfits to come this summer!

I've got a date on the picture of the brothers below, you've seen this one before in The Story of the Peach. The next picture had to have been taken around the same time or just a little earlier based on the birthdate of the subject. So, here are a couple of kids in Edwardian style of dress that was popular in the early 1900s. 

Youngest standing in the front of the picture (my maternal grandfather):
Daniel Claude Thomas
Born October 10, 1905
A note on the back of the picture says Daniel was two years old.
Lena May Stockton (Abbott)
(my paternal grandmother)
Born June 2, 1901

A couple of questions beg answers here:

1. Seriously? My grandfather, in a dress?

First of all, the little boys in dresses question. It was not at all unusual to see the little dudes running around wearing "gowns" until they were potty trained. Yep, it is as easy as that. Families were big, mothers were busy and it was just easier than dealing with all of the clasps and buttons in the pre-snap age of clothing. The bow? Sailor inspired outfits were popular for children during this time period as well. Maybe the bow is a southern Georgia mom's nod to the sailor style? The little guy behind my grandfather is definitely sporting the sailor look as well! A boy's first pair of trousers indicated that he had come of an age where he was considered a man and ready for work, and, that was MUCH younger than today!

2. Black stockings and black shoes with a white/light colored dress?

Yep, as much as we would cringe these days at that combination, it was quite popular to clothe little girls in dresses like these that mimicked adult fashion and to pair them with black woolen stocking and black shoes. Dresses with long sleeves, high necks and lace were the most popular for little girls. This style is definitely not the most comfortable for playing and cavorting about but just perfect for tea parties and the quiet, passive, entertainment expected for young ladies in the early 1900s. The dress, the shoes, and the stockings are all "give aways" for giving this picture a date around 1905 give or take a couple of years.

3. So what exactly is "Edwardian" style and why is it called that?

For those fans of Downton Abbey think back to early episodes, pre-WWI and you've got it, Edwardian style. Named for England's King Edward VII, Edwardian reflects the opulence and optimism of the early 20th century (1901-1910).  The formality of the Victorian era gave way to a more relaxed and carefree time during the reign of King Edward. Styles were just a little more relaxed, especially for women and children. America had turned the corner from the difficult years of reconstruction after the Civil War and there was unbounded hope and a more carefree lifestyle. European country homes were popular for the upper class and in Amercia we see the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and others building huge empires. Europe was the leader in fashion trends. Even though independence for America from England was one hundred and twenty five years before, the fashion world was still (then and now!) largely influenced by our former homeland from the east.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer in Utah-land!

So, its summer here in Utah-land and that means you won't find me here as often for right now! Hopefully you will bear with me and check in from time to time!

Here's how this summer thing works for me now that I live "out west." The second year we lived in Utah it snowed in June. I have trust issues with the weatherman that still have not diminished! While summer has been upon us for a few weeks I have, really, just in the last week, garnered enough courage to truly believe that it is here.  No more socks and sweats, no more quilts, and no more cringing from the cold when opening a door to walk outside.  Basically, we spend 7 to 8 months in "winter mode." We have not had a good conversation with a neighbor in months, only waving between plumes of snow being ejected from our snow blowers or as we pass in our climate controlled automobiles on the roads in the neighborhood. We have not walked barefoot in the grass or smelled the sweet aroma of fresh cut alfalfa. We've not enjoyed morning coffee on the deck or a steak on the grill since last summer. We've been ready to sleep at 8 pm because it had been dark for hours already.

A good friend told me that when I moved away from the eternal summer of the tropics that I would learn to appreciate the rhythm of the seasons. She was right! It is summer. The snow, that turns to rain as the temperatures warm to spring, is gone. We probably won't see precipitation that actually makes it to the ground again until the first snow in the fall. There is something fun to do every weekend, yards to tend, gardens to harvest, bikes to ride, Zeppes Italian Water Ice to enjoy, and mountains to climb. It is time to dismantle the "Pinterest Fail" Christmas decorations that were hastily tossed into the garage as soon as the ground yielded enough to pry them from their frozen anchor because, well, I need those tomato cages now that the garden is beginning to grow. It is light by 5:30 am and the sun shines until almost 10 pm. The days are long and filled with activity. It is wonderful for now and the last thing I want to do is spend evenings on the computer!

By September we will be exhausted from the long days and oh so ready for fall.  Beautiful fall....the first step towards a slow down, preparing for winter, grateful not to have to concern ourselves with feeling guilty for not making the most of every moment of warmth. Yep, we will be ready for winter again, we'll actually welcome it but for's summer in Utah! The temperatures are sizzling, the mountains are green, the grill is heated and I'm gonna go out and walk barefoot in the grass to check out the garden that has awakened from winter under two feet of snow. I'll be here, just not as often!

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens..." Ecclesiastes 3:1a

That was then...

This is now...

That was then ...
This is now...

That was then...
 This is now...

That was then...

This is now...

"Pinterest Fail" Christmas decorations along with the
 NOEL decoration that spent most of winter  almost completely covered with snow.

A slow start but if the past is any indication, the garden will yield a most abundant harvest later this summer.

THIS IS NOW!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Lena May!

Thanks to my awesome Aunt Ginny I have this beautiful picture of my grandmother. Today is her birthday!

Lena May Stockton (Abbate/Abbott) was born on June 2, 1901, in Green Township, Ohio. She was raised by a single mother in the early 1900's. That could not have been easy but I do believe that Lena May and her mom made the best of a tough situation. Oletha Williams, Lena May's mom, was ever optimistic and from stories I have heard it sounds like their life together was always an adventure for better or for worse!

I can still hear my own mom say, "You are just like May!" She said that often when I was dressed in my "power, professional" woman suits in the 1990's, complete with matching scarf or brooch and more recently when I whined that I was running late for work AGAIN because I was having a hard time finding the right coat or a specific pair of shoes/snow boots to match my outfit. Yep, this Floridian still struggles with the fashion nuances of living in the west and with remembering that is it more about function than style especially when the temperature is low and the snow is blowing.

Oh yeah, one more thing, my mother always said I reminded her of Lena May when I was displaying my fiercely independent side. I am pretty sure that my mom secretly admired that independent streak even though it sometimes "drove her to her bed" as she would say! May was an independent lady and self-sufficient when necessary, both qualities that I admire.

I remember Grandma Abbott mostly later in her life when she and my grandfather lived in Austin, Texas, after their retirement. They were happily retired and enjoying their leisure time after years of working. Visiting Texas last summer I talked to an old neighbor of hers. The neighbor was a young girl when Lena May lived on her block. She remembered Lena May giving the children in the neighborhood homemade cookies and Kool-Aid and she remembered the day that Lena passed away. "She was such a nice lady, we were all so sad."

Happy Birthday Grandma Abbott, how I would love to sit down and have a cup of coffee and chat!
Lena May Stockton (Abbate/Abbott) and Angie Abbate (Mood)
Santa Monica, California
Summer, 1965
And, yes, Lena May put together my perfectly matching cowgirl outfit!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Military Monday: Remembering Nathan Braddy

And so, after a week of looking at ancestors who served in the Civil War, today, Memorial Day, we'll look at the one ancestor which I have uncovered who died during the war. Nathan Braddy was one of the first generation of soldiers to be honored on Decoration Day or, as we know it, Memorial Day.


REGIMENT: 48th Georgia
RANK: Corporal

ENLISTMENT DATE: March 4, 1862

Nathan is my 3rd great grandfather....long way back and not much is known other than small tidbits gathered from US Census records and his Civil War record. Here's what is pretty sure however, Nathan died of Typhoid Fever in Richmond, Virginia, after serving with the Confederacy for only five months.

In the five months that Nathan served, the 48th Georgia saw heavy action in the Battle of Seven Pines, the Seven Days Battles, and Battle of Cold Harbor all of which took place in northern Virginia. 

BORN: about 1831
DIED: July 24, 1862

PARENTS: Believed to be Cullen Braddy and Mariah Thigpen Braddy

SPOUSE: Nancy______

CHILDREN: Mary (abt. 1833-
                       Hillary (abt. 1835-
                       Martilla (abt. 1842-
                       Madelon (abt. 1853-

RELATIONSHIP: Angie Abbate (Mood)
                                  Eucebia Jane Thomas (Abbate)
                                   Mildred Arlene Silas (Thomas)
                                     John Franklin Silas, Jr.
                                       Madelon Braddy (Silas)
                                          Nathan Braddy

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Theodore Stockton, 160th Ohio Infantry

This week, looking towards Memorial Day, I'll give some background on the men in our family tree who served in the United States Civil War. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was established to honor those who died while serving in either the Union or Confederate armies.


REGIMENT: 160th Ohio Infantry


Theodore was mustered in to a brand new regiment of Ohio volunteers in Zanesville, Ohio on May 2, 1864. The regiment was sent immediately to the Harper's Ferry area and enlisted to guard supply trains at Martinsburg, West Virginia. Harper's Ferry was a strategic location on the railroad in the northern Shenandoah Valley which changed hands eight times over the course of the War. With the capture of 12,419 Union troops by the Confederacy, Harper's Ferry represented the largest capture of United States troops until the Battle of Baatan in World War II. One hundred and fifty four years ago this week, the 160th Ohio was encamped in Newtown, still guarding the Union supply trains. They continued to support operations in and around the Harper's Ferry area during the summer of 1864, living in and working out of the Harper's Ferry trenches. By the summer of 1864, Harper's Ferry was firmly back in the Union grasp where it remained for the duration of the War. The entire regiment was mustered out September 17, 1864 and sent home. *

BORN: January 14, 1846
DIED: April 29, 1899

PARENTS: Delos Sharp Stockton and Rua Malott

SPOUSE: Sarah Jane Winner

CHILDREN: Stella J. Stockton (1869-
                Myrtle Stockton (1874-
                Owen Delos Stockton (1879-1940)
                Carrie Stockton (1883-
                Rosy Stockton (1887-

RELATIONSHIP: Angie Abbate Mood
                               Victor James Abbate, Sr.
                                  Lena May Stockton (Abbate)
                                    Owen Delos Stockton
                                      Theodore Stockton

*Regimental history from the National Park Service

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Those Places Thursday: "Just a Boy" at Andersonville

This week, looking towards Memorial Day, I'll give some background on the men in our family tree who served in the United States Civil War. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was established to honor those who died while serving in either the Union or Confederate armies.

Thomas Hansel Sheperd

REGIMENT: 3rd Georgia Reserves
RANK: Corporal

ENLISTMENT DATE: April 23, 1864

Family oral history says that Thomas (T.H.) served as a guard at the Camp Sumter Military Prison at Andersonville, Georgia. Prison and regimental histories confirm that the 3rd Georgia, Company A, were indeed at Andersonville, among other locations. Records show that by August 1864 (3 months after Thomas enlisted) the prison held over 32.000 Union prisoners and the death rate was over 100 soldiers a day. Andersonville was a horrific place for any man to have experienced and Thomas was "just a boy" as his widow recounted in an interview in the 1920s long after T.H. had passed away.

According to Thomas' Indigent Solider's Pension Application, he was released from the 3rd Georgia and sent to Augusta, Georgia to "tend the sick" around April 1, 1865. (This date coincides with the closing of Andersonville Prison.)  The 3rd Georgia was captured in Columbus, Georgia, on April 15, 1865 and surrendered to the Union troops. Thomas was still in Augusta at the surrender and family members believe that he walked home, 100 miles, from Augusta...he was 19 years old.

Thomas married Mary Anna Ruth Harvey on December 21, 1865 after arriving home from the War. Thomas became a well respected citizen of the Laurens County area. He was a farmer, a land owner, and he served for many years on the Dexter City Council. He was considered a "pioneer" of the town of Dexter. 

Thomas applied for an Indigent Civil War Veteran's Pension in 1907 and was denied because he was a landowner. He applied again in 1911 and was granted a pension of $60 annually. This pension application shows a substantial reduction in his land holdings and a deterioration in his health.

Add caption
Thomas and Mary had celebrated 49 years of marriage at the time of his death in 1913. Thomas is buried in the Sheperd Family Cemetery in Dexter, Georgia which is now located on private property.

Oath of Office: Justice of the Peace, Laurens County, Georgia

BORN: September 15, 1846 in Hawkinsville, Pulaski County, Georgia
DIED: June 16, 1913 in Dexter, Laurens County, Georgia

PARENTS: James Monroe Sheperd and Mary Ann Higdon

SPOUSE: Mary Anna Ruth Harvey

CHILDREN: Ida Pearl Sheperd (died in a fire as an infant)
                       James Thomas Sheperd (1865-
                       Mary Jane Sheperd (1868-1947)
                       Childs Raymond Sheperd (1870-1954)
                       Julian Wesley Sheperd 1873-
                       George Fulton Sheperd (1876-1953)
                       Ovey Sheperd (1879-
                       Nancy Lou Sheperd (1881-1970)
                       Walter Jackson Sheperd (1884-

RELATIONSHIP: Angie Abbate (Mood)
                                 Eucebia Jane Thomas (Abbate)
                                   Daniel Claude Thomas
                                     Mary Jane Sheperd (Thomas)
                                       Thomas Hansel Sheperd

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: PVT Israel Augustus Alligood

This week, looking toward Memorial Day, I'll give some background on the men in our family tree who fought in the United States Civil War. By virtue of location you will find men who fought for the Union Army and the Confederate States of America. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was established to honor those who died while in either the Union or Confederate Armies during the Civil War.

Israel Augustus Alligood
REGIMENT: 49th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry

RANK: Private

ENLISTMENT DATE: March 4, 1862

The 49th took an active part in the campaigns of the army from Seven Pines to Cold Harbor, fought in the Petersburg trenches south of the James River, and was involved in the Appomattox operations. It reported 78 casualties in the Second Manassas and 61 at Fredericksburg. The unit lost 13% at Chancellorsville and more than 25% of the remaining 329 at Gettysburg. It surrendered with 8 officers and 103 men*, barely 10% of the original troops.

Company Muster Roll and Hospital records give a pretty comprehensive picture of Israel's time in the War.

March to April 1862
Present, sick in camp
May to June 1862
July to August 1862
Absent, sick in hospital in Richmond
October 16, 1862
General Hospital Camp Windsor
Richmond, Virginia
Disease: Dibilitas
Returned to duty: November 5, 1862
December 1862
General Hospital No. 8
(St. Charles Hospital)
Richmond, Virginia
Disease: flesh wound left jaw (gunshot)
Transferred to State Hospital January 12, 1863
January to February 1863
March-April 1863
Absent, sick in hospital
May 2, 1863
Chimborazo Hospital, No. 2
Richmond, Virginia
Disease: chills and fever
Transferred to Lynchburg May 9, 1863
July to December 1863
May-June 1864
September-December 1864
January - February 1865

If you calculate based on the number of years that Israel and his wife Mary Ellen Knight reported that they had been married in the 1900 US Census, it would appear that they were married in 1864. Well, that's in the middle of the Civil War, maybe he had leave? You can see in the chart above that there is a gap in records from January 1864 through April 1864, hmmmm? Israel signed the Reconstruction Oath Book on August 8, 1867, swearing his allegiance to the United States of America and renewing his right to vote after the Reconstruction Acts of 1867 were complete in the state of Georgia.

Israel owned 202 acres of land that he farmed in Laurens County, Georgia.  He died at the age of 74 in 1909 and is buried in the Alligood Cemetery near Dexter, Georgia.

BORN: June 15, 1835 in Laurens County, Georgia
DIED: 1909 in Laurens County, Georgia

PARENTS: Hillery Alligood and Matilda Foy

SPOUSE: Mary Lou Ellen Knight

CHILDREN: Francis Hamilton Alligood
                       Lupiney Ellen Alligood
                       Ann Eliza Alligood
                       Israel Augustus Alligood, Jr.
                       Andrew F. Alligood
                       Minnie Eucebia Alligood

RELATIONSHIP: Angela Abbate (Mood)
                                 Eucebia Jane Thomas (Abbate)
                                   Mildred Arlene Silas (Thomas)
                                     Minnie Eucebia Alligood (Silas)
                                       Israel Augustus Alligood

*National Park Service The Civil War website.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Military Monday: John Franklin Silas, Sr.

This week, looking toward Memorial Day, I'll give some background on the men in our family tree who fought in the United States Civil War. By virtue of location you will find men who fought for the Union Army and the Confederate States of America. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was established to honor those who died while in either the Union or Confederate Armies during the Civil War.

John Franklin Silas, Sr.
REGIMENT: 22nd Regiment, Georgia Infantry
RANK: Private

ENLISTMENT DATE: January 5, 1862


GA GENWEB BIO: SILAS, JOHN F.-CO H 22nd GA Infantry Born ca. 1835-6. Died prior to 1912. Married Della _________. She died on September 23, 1919. Enlisted on January 5, 1862 Gardner Volunteers (Warren County). No further record. 1910, 1911, 1915 Tax List, Widow's PensionBook 2,3, RCS2-933, 1902 Voter's List Reedy Springs District.

The 22nd Georgia supported the Confederacy in Virginia participating in action in and around Petersburg, Appomattox, and Manassas and in Pennsylvania at Gettysburg. The 22nd Georgia surrendered on April 9, 1865 with 9 officers and 197 men. Less than 20% of the Regiment survived the War. I'll do no surmising as to how he must have felt or what he must have endured during the years of the war because I am sure there are just not words. The National Park Service has a great website commemorating the Civil War along with tons of articles and pictures. Check out National Park Service The Civil War.

According to John's records he was present for all Muster Rolls except for one in May 1862 when he had been admitted to General Hospital, Petersburg, Virginia on May 26, 1862, He was released on June 2, 1862 having recovered from dibilitas.

If you look closely at the picture above, you can see his Southern Cross of Honor Medal just under his left lapel. The Southern Cross of Honor Medal was awarded both during the Civil War for valor and after the Civil War by the Daughters of the Confederacy to honor veterans. This is one family heirloom I would love to track down!

After the War John lived in Glascock County, Georgia and was recorded as having reaffirmed his allegiance to the United States of America by signing the Reconstruction Oath Book and Returns of Qualified Voters on July 31, 1867.

John married Madelon Braddy after the War on May 21, 1868 and spent his life raising his children and farming on the outskirts of Rentz, Georgia. After over 40 years of marriage, Madelon applied for a Civil War Widow's Pension, indicating that John had died on August 16, 1911. According the records at the Court of Ordinary in Laurens County, Georgia, Madelon applied for guardianship of her daughter Velma on December 10, 1911, another indication that John had recently died. Get that ladies? She had to apply for guardianship of her own daughter because she was a widow. Be glad times have changed!

A portion of John's
 Indigent Civil War Veteran's Pension application.

BORN: 1834 in Washington, Wilkes County, Georgia

DIED: August 16, 1911 in Rentz, Laurens County, Georgia

PARENTS: Etheldred Silas and Jane Adams

SPOUSE: Madelon Braddy

CHILDREN:  William Silas (1870-1923)

John Franklin Silas, Jr. (1872-1937)
Nannie Olivia Silas (1877-1920)

Albert Nathan Silas (1883-1928)

Edgar Silas (1887-

RELATIONSHIP: Angie Abbate Mood
Eucebia Jane Thomas (Abbate)
Mildred Arlene Silas (Thomas)
John Franklin Silas, Jr.
John Franklin Silas, Sr.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: Papa's Fountain Pen

I love it when I pick up a family heirloom, Google a vague description of it, and BAM! there it is, along with some other person's really great research and pictures, a manufacturer's website with history, or a somewhat reliable Wikipedia entry. That happened this week when I dug out this fountain pen that was a treasure from my Mom's family.

The pen is in remarkable condition considering that it was manufactured sometime between 1923-1927. It is a Shaeffer, evident from the markings on the nib and the barrel. Shaeffer, a jeweler turned pen manufacturer, produced the celluloid (early plastic) fountain pen and sold it for about $8.($120 in today's economy.) Fountain pens in those days were notorious for leaking ink, Shaeffer's newly invented lever system (that's the gold lever you see at the bottom of the barrel) helped to reduce ink leakage.

This pen was originally marbled green and highly polished, however, it is believed that many of them turned brownish, as this one did, around the barrel due to a reaction from the sulfur in the rubber that was used for the storage of the ink within the barrel. One more characteristic and a big helper in dating is a white dot on the top of the pen.

My grandmother bought the fountain pen for her father when she was a young lady. I am particularly fond of the small piece of paper with the yellowed tape that was wrapped around the fountain pen. The paper reads: "Papa's pen, I gave it to him." There's no doubt it is my grandmothers handwriting!

John Franklin Silas, Jr., my great grandfather was born in Glascock County, Georgia on February 8, 1872, to Civil War Veteran John Franklin Silas, Sr. and Madelon Braddy. He married Minnie Eucebia Alligood in 1897 and they were the parents of 10 children including Mildred Arlene Silas, my maternal grandmother. John earned his living farming in Rentz, Georgia, and was also a Rural Letter Carrier for the U. S. Postal Service.

John Franklin Silas, Jr.

Mildred Arlene Silas Thomas

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: Moms and Journeys

I ran across this blog post by Amy Young of The Messy Middle earlier this week (You can read the entire blog post here. ) and it really got me thinking about the women in my family tree. As I read through the post I realized that each woman listed there probably resides somewhere, in some generation, on some branch of my family tree. I know some of their stories, but not all. I know stories of women on our family who were strong towers and stories of those who struggled. I've watched them celebrate new life and mourn the passing of life. Research tells me that some were married with children, some were married without children, and some remained single throughout their lives. There are stories of great loss and stories of grand celebrations. No two are alike. I love that working through genealogy has given me the chance to get to know each of them. 

Mother's Day evokes many different emotions for all of us. In our family, this Mother's Day, we  are celebrating new life as we get ready to welcome our first grandchild to the family and at the same time we grieve the loss of my mom this past year. 

Here's the part of Amy's post that stirred my heart this week:

To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who have aborted children – we remember them and you on this day
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.

Our journeys are different, our families might get messy, but, indeed, there are real warriors in our midst!

Remembering Mom today!
Eucebia Jane Thomas Abbate

Celebrating new life today!
Precious grandchild due September 2013.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Travel Tuesday: Boy Scout Camp 1947

Here are a couple of postcards that my Dad sent home to his family when he was at Boy Scout Camp in June, 1947. He was twelve years old.

Dear Family,
I received your letter and was very glad. I am having a grand time; I am sleeping right under Terry Shaw and when he squeaks the bed I punch him. We have been having wet weather today but I believe it will clear up. We have a big boy sleeping with us. He is 19 years old. Love, Jimmy A.

Hi Cuties,
I am going to be seeing you  in a few days. I am doing fine. I might break out whith poision ive or poision oak but Terry doesn't thing so. Goodbye for now. love, Jimmy A.

Loving the postmark on the first card: "Build your future wisely, safely. U.S. Savings Bonds" and the 1 cent stamps!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Sarah J. Stockton

Sarah Jane Winner Stockton was my great-great grandmother and is buried in Bloomrose Cemetery in Sterling Township, Brown County, Ohio.

The visible side of the headstone is engraved:

Sarah J. Stockton
Aug. 24. 1849
Feb. 20, 1915

A pretty impressive headstone if you ask me! More about Sarah another day but for now, enjoy this picture taken by my aunt and uncle when they visited long lost relatives in Ohio. Oh yeah, and, that is another story you'll just have to keep reading to learn!

Here's her connection to our family. Sarah was the mother of Owen Delos Stockton, who was the father of Lena May Stockton (Abbate) my grandmother. And we thought that Lena May was an only child.....

Friday, April 26, 2013

An Anniversary Today!

Chuck and Angie Mood
April 26, 1980
So, today is our 33rd wedding anniversary.  It is not one of those, "Wow, where did the time go?" days because it feels like we have been doing this dance always, not in a bad way but in the way that says, "I don't remember life without you and its good!"

Our anniversary week always begins with remembering the day, April 23, 1980, that my husband graduated from Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. That day started our "wedding week" and it was a whirlwind.
Isabelle Hume Mood, 2LT Charles Mood,
 Angie Abbate Mood
Lackland Air Force Base
April 23, 1980

Chuck's parents and I flew to San Antonio for his graduation on a Tuesday.  After arriving in San Antonio we quickly took in a River Parade the night before attending his graduation on Wednesday of that week. We flew home to Florida on Thursday afternoon. Friday was the rehearsal and dinner, Saturday the wedding and on Sunday we said goodbye to family and friends before heading toward California on Monday. Destination?  Mather Air Force Base.

Our wedding? A typical 1980s affair with a plethora of qiana dresses, lace and sheer capes, Farah Faucett hair, wide lapels and ruffled tuxedo shirts, bridesmaids in a "rainbow" of blues and purples, ribbon bedecked flowers, a unity candle, traditional vows, and a friend who crooned Dan Fogleberg's new hit "Longer" and a 1940s hit by Irving Berlin (chosen by our mothers) "Always."  Our reception was held at Chuck's sister's home complete with her awesome neighbors who directed traffic and aunts who added the perfect touch to all the details. It was magical for us, the newly commissioned Second Lieutenant in his Mess Dress and his bride ready to take on the world.

Angie's Hiking Outfit!
Within one week of Chuck's graduation and just days after our wedding we had made our way half way across the country driving my beautiful, red, 1974 Camaro (8 miles to the gallon all the way to Cali baby!) carefree and well, not exactly. We, of course, didn't have much money so we had decided that we should camp on our way. After all, I figured, Chuck is an Eagle Scout, he is great at this and it will be an adventure for me. After several nights in a pup tent and not having brought anything remotely "camping like" in my suitcase I was pretty much done. Seriously, like, he even had these little plastic holders for his soap and his toothbrush and stuff like a raincoat for heavens sake! I had some really cute shoes, a blow dryer and curling iron and a bunch of sun dresses. It was the night in El Paso, Texas that finished me in. After driving all day, getting stopped for speeding in the middle. of. nowhere. Texas. (Yep, that was me driving while Chuck snoozed!), hiking up some mountain to see a fort, in heels, no place to plug in a blow dryer at the KOA Campground and freezing in the desert evening, I was near the edge. What pushed me over was the hail storm as we literally held the tent down with our bodies that night. We didn't camp again for another year!
Yep, there she is,
 the beautiful, red, 1974 Camaro!

The last day of our trip the battery went dead in the beautiful, red, 1974 Camaro. (Did I mention how much I loved my beautiful, red, 1974 Camaro?) We got a jump start in southern California and drove the rest of the way to Sacramento without turning the car off.  We arrived at Mather, parked the beautiful, red 1974 Camaro and there it sat until the next day when we could get help. Yep, we walked to the TLF (Temporary Living Facility, in Air Force speak.) that would be our home for the first few weeks of marriage.

Charles Gordon Mood, Angie Abbate Mood, COL Charles Wayne Mood,
 Sarah Mood Lyons, James Alexander Lyons
Chuck's retirement, April 2012

Here are some take aways after 33 years. Chuck retired from the Air Force last year on April 23, the 32nd anniversary of his commissioning, a job more than well done. We still visit forts on most every road trip and I am still rarely dressed appropriately for the occasion. I sometimes, actually, enjoy the journey more all these years later. Us= me, always in a hurry...Chuck, never too busy to notice the details along the way. We see people with campers now and
we wonder, "What if......" (Campers mind you, not pup tents!). Two amazing children and one equally amazing son-in-law and a grand baby on the way, God has blessed us beyond measure. Chuck is a man of integrity, one of the many great qualities I love about my husband. Thirty three years and counting, "I'll be loving you always"*..."even when the binding cracks and the pages turn to yellow!"*

*Irving Berlin's "Always"
*Dan Fogleberg's "Longer"