Monday, February 28, 2011

Mappy Monday: Department of Transportation Maps

Recently I discovered Department of Transportation (DOT) maps.  How I lived 43 years without knowing the usefulness of them for the average genealogist, I do not know!

These county maps show roads, whether they are paved or unpaved, and most importantly to me, they show cemetery locations.  Even those cemeteries out in the woods, on a dirt road, that you only have vague directions to, from some family history book you read. They also show the locations of courthouses, city halls, libraries, schools, national parks, etc., depending on the county.

For those of who do volunteer photographs for FindAGrave, these maps can be very helpful in finding a small, country cemetery that has no address listed on the site.  

The Georgia DOT offers the first map for free, and they even include a recent highway map with your order.  Their site from which to order is here.  You can also download county maps here, but I prefer the LARGE version that I can take with me when I cemetery hop.

Here is the downloaded map of Johnson County, Georgia in .pdf format:  Of course, you can enlarge the map to see all the details.

I have ordered from the South Carolina and Florida DOTs, and they only charged a nominal fee to cover postage.  Just do a search for your state's DOT Maps and order away!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday's Obituary: Lovick Drake

DRAKE -- Lovick W. Drake, son of Rev. W. J. Drake, of Adrian, Ga., was born September 2, 1892.  He joined the Methodist Church at about eight years of age, and continued a member of the same until his death, December 17, 1912.  The first of the year he was from home in business.  His oldest sister, Mrs. Wise, was taken with typhoid fever in the spring, and died July 25.  Lovick came home a few days before her death.  The mother was soon taken with the fever, and this dread disease went through the family, but all recovered except Lovick, who was the last taken.  The family thought he would recover, too, until a few days before his death.  He was conscious to the last, and told his father just before death came, he would soon be at rest.  The writer prayed with him a few hours before he passed away.  He gave hearty response during the prayer, and said he was trusting Jesus.  For about seven months, Bro. Drake and family were sorely afflicted.  Lovick was the oldest son, and was depended upon for help during this family affliction.  The family feel greatly bereaved in the loss of this affectionate son and brother, but their sorrow is not hopeless, as they believe he lived a good life, and was prepared for the change when it came.
                                     H. C. Brewton

Lovick Drake was my paternal grandmother's brother (Nealie Drake Tapley).  

This obituary was found among her belongings passed along to me.

This family was no stranger to tragedy.  As mentioned in the obituary, the oldest daughter, Hattie Lay Drake Wise, died in July 1912 of typhoid fever.  Then Lovick, the oldest son, died of the fever in December of the same year.  Fifteen years later, brother William Robert was murdered in June 1927, and their father was accidentally shot and killed two months later.  Another daughter, Nancy Mary Ann, passed away in 1931; cause unknown. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Grandma's Diary, Part 7

(You can read prior entries from my grandmother's 1933 diary here:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5, and Part 6.)

Key:   The writer is Ethel Ranney Tapley.
          Alice is her sister.
          Kenneth is her brother.
          H = her boyfriend, Hazel Avery Plumlee
          Delma = Hazel's little sister
          Dorothy Lee = Hazel's niece (his brother, Earl's, child)
          Otho is Otho Hesser, her father's cousin.
          Viella is Otho's wife.
          Uncle Jont is Jonathan Hesser, Otho's father and her father's uncle.
          Aunt Kate is Sarah Katherine Hall Hesser, Jonathan's wife and Otho's mother
          Herman is Alice's boyfriend.

Sun.,  February 19:  "Alice, Herman, dad, H. & I went to S.S.  We all ate dinner down at Livengoods.  Bernices came over a little while.  Mrs. Holt brot our sewing machine back."

Mon., February 20:  "We put in one of my quilts over at Viella's.  H. came over & stayed with us while mama & dad went to an OFC party."

Tues., February 21:  "Mama & I went over to Viella's & quilted awhile in the morning.  In the afternoon we went to town & Luciles.  H. came over & we put a jig-saw puzle together."

Wed., February 22:  "Kenneth came about 3 am.  He left about 7 am.  Mama & I went to Hesser's to quilt.  Pence's {??}, Mrs. Miller & Clara & Aunt Kate came too.  H. came over in the evening & we went to Yucaipa."

Thurs., February 23:  "Mama & I went over to Hesser's & finished my quilt.  We stayed to dinner.  Then we took the quilting frames back to Lees.  H. came over in the evening.  Mrs. Ball called."

Fri., February 24:  "The wind is blowing quiet hard.  H. came over in the afternoon & I went to Yucaipa with him."

Sat., February 25:  "I went with H. to town to visit Delma.  Dorothy Lee came home with us in the evening then we went back & went to the show."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Technology

Week 8: Technology. What are some of the technological advances that happened during your childhood? What types of technology to you enjoy using today, and which do you avoid?

My childhood was from about 1973 (age 6 - when strong memories first begin) to 1985 when I graduated high school.  I really don't remember very many "techie" things around my house growing up.  Daddy believed in spending money on cars, not gadgets.  I was an adult before I ever saw a computer.  However, there are two technological inventions that stick out in my mind. 

First was the cassette tape.  I vaguely remember my parents still using 8-track tapes when I was really young, but I made full use of cassette tapes.  I had a tape recorder, and I would hold it up to the stereo speaker to record my favorite songs off the radio and onto my cassette tapes. 

The other items is the microwave oven.  For whatever reason, the day Daddy went out and bought one (at Sears, of course!) for my mom is etched into my mind.  It was August 4, 1984, and that microwave was HUGE and cost $400!!  The microwave was probably the one thing that changed our household the most.  I mean, every kitchen now is not complete without one.  My father used one almost every day until the day Mom retired.  I use ours probably every day. 

Now today is a different story.  I love technology and I love gadgets.  I have a GPS, a DVR, two desktop computers, a laptop, an iPhone, a Kindle, digital camera, an all-in-one wide format printer/scanner/fax, a scanner for my negatives, a stand-alone fax machine, a portable hard drive, an external hard drive, five cordless phones, DVD Player/Recorder, a TV/DVD player combo, a MP3 player, a speaker for my MP3 player, and probably several other items I can't think of right now.  I use and love them all. 

I really can't think of anything I avoid... except I have balked at spending the money on gaming systems or HiDef TV.  Just don't need them... I have plenty to keep me busy!

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog ( has yet another successful series on her hands: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History (

A funny for my fellow bloggers

Image courtesy of and used with permission of:  I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER: I HAS A HOTDOG

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Keland Lawton Drake

Keland Lawton Drake, Sr.
DOB July 12, 1903
DOD Jan. 2, 1972
laid to rest at Edgewood Cemetery, Jacksonville, Florida
Son of Reverend William John Drake and Emma Vermell Harrell Drake
Brother of Nealie Drake Tapley, my grandmother
thus, my grand uncle

Monday, February 21, 2011

Military Monday: John Russell (Russ) Tapley, Part 3

(I have written before about my saga of finding my uncle's military separation papers in order to find out what unit he served in during World War II.  The first post from November 2010 is here.  I posted again about this in January here.)

Well, I have wonderful news this time.  I found Uncle Russ's separation papers!!!  They were on file at the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida, which is where he lived.  I almost cried when we found them.  It was an unbelievable feeling.  After all the questioning and the searching (A big thank you goes out to those of you who helped me search - you know who you are!), those papers were right there in the courthouse the entire time!

The most important information I wanted and got from these papers is that Uncle Russ served in Company C, 7th Infantry Regiment.  I have only done a little research on that unit thus far, but I have already found out that they are the oldest unit in the Army, having been formed in 1812.  The unit has fought in every war since then, and it has the most combat time and commendations in the Army.  I hope to find a timeline of their World War II service so that I can track where Uncle Russ was during the war.

I also see several "Decorations, service medals, citations" listed, including a Bronze Star!  Once I get the code deciphered, I will definitely try to get his medals replaced.



Honorable Discharge

This is to certify that

Army of the United States

is hereby Honorably Discharged from the military service of the United States of America.

This certificate is awarded as a testimonial of Honest and Faithful Service to his country.


Date       31 OCTOBER 1944  
                                                                           WALTER W. von SCHLICHTEN
                                                                           Major, A.G.D.

THIS IS TO CERTIFY that the foregoing instrument has been duly
recored in Soldiers & Sailors Discharge Record Book 5
Page 217, of the Public Records of Duval County, Florida
WITNESS my hand and Seal of office at Jacksonville, Florida
this 16th day of November, A.D. 1944.


(Last name) Tapley             (First name)  John        (Middle Initial) R.        
(Army serial number)  34 530 413, (Grade) Pfc.

Born in Johnson Co., in the State of  Ga.
Inducted 14 Nov, 1942, at  Cp Blanding, Fla.
When enlisted or inducted he was 24 4/12 years of age and by occupation
a Carpenter.
He had Blue eyes, Red hair, Ruddy complexion
and was 5 feet 11 1/4 inches in height.
Completed 1 years, 11 months, 18 days service for longevity pay.
Prior service:  None.
 Certification made for mustering out payment in amount
of $300.00, Paid 31 OCT 1944 One
Hundred Dollars (100.00)
Noncommissioned officer Never.
Military qualificationsMM, M-1 Rifle. MM, Carbine.   2nd Cl Gnr, 81 MM Mortar. *
Army specialty Automatic Rifleman, MOS 746.
Attendance at  (Name of noncommissioned officers' or special service school)   None.                                         
                                                                       SOLDIER ISSUED DISCHARGE
                                                                       LAPEL BUTTON AT FT. McPHERSON, GA

Battles, engagements, skirmishes, expeditions  Italian Campaign, 6 June 4?/ON 31 OCT 1944

Decorations, service medals, citations EAMET Med, WDC 1, 43, GCM, Par 3, SO 103 Hq 7th Inf, 16 Jul 44.  **
Wounds received in service  None.
Date and result of smallpox vaccination5 Apr 44.
Date and result of diphtheria immunity test (Schik)Not Given.
Date of other vaccinations (specify vaccine used)Tet:  10 Jan 44.  Typhus:  8 May 44.
Physical condition when discharged  Good.                     Married or single  Single.
Honorably discharged by reason of:  Sec. X. AR 615-360. Convn of Govt. (WDC 370, 44).
Character  Excellent.          Period of active duty:  21 Nov 42 to 31 Oct 44.
Remarks:    No time lost under AW 107.  Entitled to Mustering-Out-Pay.
           *   Combat Inf Badge, P 1 SO 105 Hq 7th Inf, 25 July 44.
         **   One (1) Bronze Star, (Ital Cmpgn), GO 83, WD 1943.
                Foreign Services:  Left US 25 Apr 44 Arr AMET 4 May 44:  Left AMET 20 Aug 44
                Arr US 1 Sept 44.
 Print of Right Thumb                                                                        Signature of soldier
                                     Finance Officer, Separation Center
                                     Ft. McPherson, Ga.
                                     31 OCT 1944
                                     Paid in full $141.63
                             BY JACK GOLDSMITH, 1st Lt. F. D.
                                                                                    GEORGE C GREGOR
                                                                                    1st Lieut. AUS
                                                                                    Asst. Personnel Officer"
Now if anyone out there can decipher the medals, etc. or the reason for discharge, I would be grateful.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday's Obituary: Carolyn Tapley

Back in December, I did a Wednesday's Child post about my little first cousin, Carolyn Lorraine Tapley, who passed at only five months old (or to be precise, one week shy of being five months old).  (You can read that post here.)

I found her obituary the other day... it is as tiny as she was.

"TAPLEY. -- Funeral services for Carolyn Lorraine Tapley, 4-mouths-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh D. Tapley of Third Avenue, Riverhills, who died Wednesday morning, will be held in the Giddens Funeral Home Chapel, 116 Riverside Avenue, at 4 o'clock this afternoon, the Rev. T. J. Giddens officiating.  Besides the parents, the child is survived by her grandparents, Mrs. M. E. Norman, Orlando, and Mrs. L. K. Tapley, Jacksonville.  Interment will be in Restlawn Cemetery."

This little snippet is all I found in my grandmother's belongings; there was no date or newspaper indicated.  I feel sure it was the Jacksonville, Florida newspaper, probably printed either February 15 or 16, 1945.

In my previous post, I noted that my father always said the family moved Carolyn's final resting place after World War II.  However, this obituary indicates she was buried at Restlawn Cemetery from the start.  Hmmmm... no one is left to ask.  Another family mystery.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Go For A Better Google Search

From Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings:  It's Saturday Night -- time for more Genealogy Fun!! 

Your mission - should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Go to genea-blogger Randy Majors website (

2)  Add his blog to your RSS reader, if you don't have it already.

3) Read his blog post AncestorSearch using Google Custom Search - BETASee the link at the top of the page that says "AncestorSearch using Google Custom Search - BETA?"  Click on it.

4)  Test out his Custom Google Search form to help you find online information about your ancestors, especially for their marriages. 

5)  Tell us about your results - was this useful? Did you find something new?  How can Randy improve it?
                       I searched on three different ancestors (couples) searching for marriage records, along with anything else out there.  I didn't have stellar results, but I did find some sites I had never seen before.  I did not find any actual marriage records, but I did find family websites that included the people I was searching for and listed their marriage dates.  Not concrete proof, but a start. 

 I do like Randy's custom search; it really cuts through all the excess site results and gives me focused results.  It is so much better than having to wade through thousands of results!

  The only improvement I could suggest would be saved search criteria if you use your browser's back button to go back to the search page.  Sometimes, I wish to change one item of search criteria, but I have to re-type everything.  
  Oh, and I agree with Randy about the middle initial wild card, but I would take it one step further.  It would be helpful to have a middle name/initial search box.  Especially here in the south, people used their middle name mostly (and still do!) and would even sign legal/official documents that way. 

6)  If you like Randy's Custom Search, add it to your Bookmarks or Favorites.

(And as far as last week's Saturday Night Fun, Randy:  Those questions were HARD.  I was traveling with my mom, and she didn't know the answers, either!)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Grandma's Diary, Part 6

(You can read prior entries from my grandmother's 1933 diary here:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 )

Key:   The writer is Ethel Ranney Tapley.
          Alice is her sister.
          H = her boyfriend, Hazel Avery Plumlee
          Otho is Otho Hesser, her father's cousin.
          Viella is Otho's wife.
          Uncle Jont is Jonathan Hesser, Otho's father and her father's uncle.
          Herman is Alice's boyfriend.

Sun., February 12:  "Alice, Dad & Mrs. Cooper & I went to S. S.  H. came over in the afternoon.  I made some candy & H. & I went to the show.  We saw Stuarat Hamblin."

Mon., February 13:  "Dad worked.  H. & I went up to Beaumont & took Verda to town to look for a house.  Stopped on our way back to Maries & they took us in their car."

Tues., February 14:  "Dad worked.  Mama & I went to town.  We took Viella with us.  H. came ove rin the evening & we went to Yucaipa."

Wed., February 15:  "Mama & I washed.  Hazel & I went to town & we took Clint with us.  We got stopped by a policeman for not making a boulevard stop & not having a tail light or 1 rear light.  (We didn't get a ticket.)"

Thurs., February 16:  "Mama & I took Mrs. Cooper & Viella with us to an all day meeting at the church.  Clara waved my hair in the afternoon, Lucile came up & I went home with her.  We visited the Catholic Church."

Fri., February 17:  "Lucile & I went to San Berdo to see Freada.  She brought me home about 4:30.  H. came over & was mad, but we made up.  We went to Trowbridges.  Herman came up."

Sat., February 18:  "I have a bad cold.  Alice & Herman went to the Orange Show in the afternoon & Mama, dad, H. & I went in the evening.  H. won 1/2 lb. of bacon."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Week 7: Toys. What was your favorite childhood toy? Is it still being made in some form today?

There are several toys that come to mind when I think about my childhood, but I don't know that I have a favorite.  I will list my top three:

(1)  Fisher Price Classic Pull Toy: Chatter Telephone
This toy is still around today.  Fisher Price has a more updated version, but it is still easy to find the "classic" pull telephone toy.

(2)  Barbie and my Barbie case (or in my mind, her apartment)

(My case didn't look exactly like this one... this was the closest I could find!)

Of course, Barbie is still around today in a BIG way.  There are oodles of Barbie available, along with friends of Barbie.  I don't know if that case is still around, but there are still Barbie cases being made.  A girl has to have a bag to carry her Barbie and friends with her, doesn't she?  :)

(3)  My play kitchen 

There are play kitchens still available; however, I am sure there are none quite like this one.  It was made of *GASP* metal.  Yea, we didn't worry about things like that then.  Plastic may not have even been invented yet.  LOL 

Mary Elizabeth (Liz) playing with her refrigerator circa 1972.

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog ( has yet another successful series on her hands: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History (

Toy pictures courtesy of Google images.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Do you know this person?

(The first part of this post is NOT going to be wordless - I am sorry I haven't posted for several days.  I was traveling over the weekend and really ran out of time or was so tired, I couldn't write a post.  Then on top of my cell phone being stolen on Sunday, my wireless router went kaput on Monday!  Thank goodness AT&T sent a new one that arrived today - that was the longest 36 hours of my life without the Internet!)

Now on to the wordless part:

If you can identify this cute red-headed baby, please let me know!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Grandma's Diary, Part 5

(You can read prior entries from my grandmother's 1933 diary here:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4)

Key:   The writer is Ethel Ranney Tapley.
          Alice is her sister.
          H = her boyfriend, Hazel Avery Plumlee
          Otho is Otho Hesser, her father's cousin.
          Viella is Otho's wife.
          Uncle Jont is Jonathan Hesser, Otho's father and her father's uncle.

Sun., February 5:  "Alice, Dad & I went to Sunday School.  H. came over.  We went up to Plumlees.  Bernice's came over for little while.  H. & I went to the show."

Mon.., February 6:  "Mama & I worked & ironed.  I drew off quilt blocks.  Cooper was over for a few minutes.  H. was over for a little while."

Tues., February 7:  "Mama & I went to Pences & quilted.  Mrs. Miller & Clara were there.  We saw Babe & Norma Vogt.  H. came over & we went over to Trowbridges & invited them over for Thursday."

Wed., February 8:  "Mama finished a dress for me (made by hand).  Mama & I worked hard to clean up the hourse.  We went to Hessers a few min.  H. came over."

Thurs., February 9:  "Mama's birthday.  Mama & I went over to Hessers for the day.  In the evening we had Cathearts, Hessers, Trowbridges & Hazel over."

Fri., February 10:  "Mama & I washed & pieced blocks.  Mrs. Balls eggs were stolen.  H. came over & Alice & I went with him to Beaumont to see Delma."

Sat., February 11:  "We ironed today & pieced quilt blocks.  We got 10 eggs up at Mrs. Balls.  H. came over, he didn't work as he is sick.  I believe it's the flu."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Radio & Television

Week 6: Radio and Television. What was your favorite radio or television show from your childhood? What was the program about and who was in it?

 #1 - All time favorite show:  M*A*S*H!!  I remember watching the final episode in 1983 and crying like a baby!  I still watch it.  I have a couple of seasons on DVD.  Did I mention it's my favorite?!!

Is there ANYONE out there who does not know what this show was about and who was in it?!!  Well, just in case I'm senile one day and can't remember, here's a short synopsis:

"The staff of an army hospital in the Korean war find that laughter is the best way to deal with their situation." (
The TV series ran from 1972-1983 and was based on the 1970 film.  The TV series starred Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr, Harry Morgan, Larry Linville, and Gary Burghoff.  It was a comedy, and it was a drama.  It was hilarious and it could bring you to tears.  It is my opinion that it was the best show EVER.

Of course, I had several other favorites that I can't resist sharing:

- The Dukes of Hazzard
- Taxi
- Happy Days
- The Facts of Life
- Three's Company
- WKRP in Cincinnati
- Little House on the Prairie
- Alice
- Charlie's Angels
- The Waltons
- One Day at a Time
- The Love Boat
- Barney Miller
- Laverne & Shirley
- Eight is Enough
- Donny and Marie

In looking at this list, I see that most of my favorites were sitcoms... the 70's were obviously the decade for great sitcoms.

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog ( has yet another successful series on her hands: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History (

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Do you know these people?

Second in a series...
Possibility:  Anna Lois Gladden Tapley could be the adult woman with her children, Mary Ann and Lamar Jr. (Buddy), along with Betty Jean Weaver, daughter of Irene Tapley Weaver. 

UPDATE on last week's Wordless Wednesday photo:  The girl in the picture has been identified!  It is Betty Jean Weaver, daughter of my father's sister, Irene.   You can view the photo here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Elizabeth Marie Schwalls Lee

Walford B. Lee and
Elizabeth Marie Schwalls Lee
They are buried at Westover Memorial Park in Augusta, Georgia.
(An interesting side note:  The nice gentlemen who looked up the grave's location 
for me said that Walford paid $395 for this plot in 1960.  
I asked if it costs 10 times that much today.  
He said "Almost!":  $1,700 each = $3,400!!)

She was my 2nd cousin, 1x removed.
She was the child of George Payton Schwalls and Gladys Marie Johnson.
George was the child of Charlie Milton Schwalls and Elizabeth Jane Wheeler.
Charlie Milton was the brother of my maternal great-grandmother, Mattie Schwalls Tapley.
Charlie Milton and Mattie were the children of my ever elusive George W. Schwalls.

I went to Augusta to see my mother today and we managed to visit three cemeteries to locate graves of relatives.  Elizabeth and Walford's was one of them.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Listing of children

My cousin had this list of our great-grandparents' children and allowed me to scan it.  We do not know who wrote the list; it appears to have been written by two different people - the top part in ink and the latter section in pencil.  Did our great-grandmother, Rebecca Page Tapley start the list?  Did she finish it much later?  Did someone else finish it?  We will never know the answers; all we do know is it lists Rebeeca's and James (Jim) Madison Tapley's children.

The original is in terrible shape after probably 75-100 years:

    F.M. Tapley was born in the year 1867 
on the 7th day of April
    J. L. Tapley was born in the year 1868
on the 18th day of July
    L.K. Tapley was born in the year 1870
on the 31st day of March
    E.L. Tapley was born in the year 1873
on the 12th day of February 
    M.G.T. Tapley was born in the year 1875
on the 10th day of March
    G.W. Sentell Tapley was born in the year 1876
on the 5th day of July
    Bennett Olin Tapley was born in the year 1878
on the 10th day of April
    Solomon Tapley was born in the year 1881
on the 5th day of March
    Mary Magdalene Tapley was born in the year 
                                                              1885-1886 on the 12th day of February
    Mary Magdalean Tapley was born in the 
year one thousand 
eight hundred and eighty-five on the 12th 
and died on the 23nd of February 1885 age 
eleven days
    Vianna Bell Tapley was born in the 
year 1886 on Oct the 4th
    Bascomb Tapley was born in
the year 1888 August the 3rd day

There are a few differences in this list and what I had in my records, i.e., the year of birth for Mary Magdalene and the spelling of Bascom's name.  So many questions I will never have the precise answers to.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday's Obituary: Luther Boardman Ranney

Luther Boardman Ranney
Born March 11, 1870
Died October 9, 1943
My maternal great grandfather
His daughter, Ethel (Ranney) Tapley, was my grandmother.
I do not know in what newspaper this obituary was published; I found
the clipping in some paperwork and it was undated with no citation.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Grandma's Diary, Part 4

(You can read prior entries from my grandmother's 1933 diary here:  Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.)

Key:   The writer is Ethel Ranney Tapley.
          Alice is her sister.
          H = her boyfriend, Hazel Avery Plumlee
          Otho is Otho Hesser, her father's cousin.
          Viella is Otho's wife.
          Uncle Jont is Jonathan Hesser, Otho's father and her father's uncle.

Sun., January 29, 1933:  "We stayed up all night.  Lucile & I towed Clints car home it had a broken piston.  We slept awhile & came to Yucaipa & went for a ride.  I stayed all night with Lucile."

Mon., January 30, 1933:  "Lucile & I got up about 10:30 am.  We got Dorothy Pence & went to town.  Mrs. Pences sister Ruth came yesterday to stay awhile.  I came home with Alice on the bus."

Tues., January 31, 1933:  "Laura, Ester & Mrs. Basinger came up.  I went to (Yucaipa) Redlands & got Viella.  The car leaked a stream of oil.  H. came over & fixed it."

Wed., February 1, 1933:  "H. came over in the morning.  He took me to church about 12:30.  I worked with Mrs. Houston & Mrs. Bowman.  Lucile & Ruth came to see me for a little while."

Thurs., February 2, 1933:  "Mr. Kemp came in the morning.  We went over to Hessers & took their scales back.  H. came over & we went to Plumlees & Trowbridges."

Fri., February 3, 1933:  "I made a 3 layer cocoanut cake.  H. came over & I went to Yucaipa with him.  Mama is starting a crazy quilt."

Sat., February 4, 1933:  "We went to Mentone & got some peanuts.  Took Spottie along & he got sick.  H. came over, stayed for supper & we visited McDonalds."

Such a simpler time!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy, Week 5: Favorite Food

What was your favorite food from childhood? If it was homemade, who made it? What was in this dish, and why was it your favorite? What is your favorite dish now?

When I was growing up, the only time we ate out was when we were on vacation.  My mother worked full-time and came home EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and cooked dinner.  So naturally, she had to use some shortcuts in her cooking, but since that is what I grew up with, that is what I know and love.  For instance, Mom didn't make spaghetti sauce from scratch... she used Ragu spaghetti sauce in a jar probably from the time it was invented!  I still use it to this day, and homemade spaghetti sauce is just not as good to me.  My mother is a good cook.  She doesn't cook much anymore, but when she does, "she's still got it!"  Some of my favorites from childhood?

* Chicken and dumplings.  The ultimate comfort food to me.  Mom didn't roll out her own dumplings; she used Mueller's pre-packaged dumplings, which were very similar to regular egg noodles - just wider.  To this day, I do not care for homemade dumplings... too "dough-y" to me.  I love Mom's chicken and dumplings.  I can remember being an adult and having my wisdom teeth out and my mom coming over and cooking a pot of chicken & dumplings for me.  I was in my 30's before I ever attempted to cook them myself.  They still are not as good as Mom's, but they will do when I need some comfort food.

* Fried chicken.  Yum.  Nothing I need to say about this - you know what I'm talking about!

* Sausage balls.  Mom started making these for Christmas sometime when I was a teenager, I think.  They are still a favorite, and she just made me some this past Christmas!

* Banana pudding.  Still my favorite dessert. 

There is no discussion about food in my family without mentioning our lifelong friend, Colene.  I have eaten some of the best meals of my life at her table in South Carolina.  She makes some of the best cornbread in the world.

We can thank my father for my love of McDonald's.  Sometimes, while Mom was at work, he'd take to lunch there.  I think I cut some teeth there!  He loved to tell the story of how, when I was little, I would sidle up to him in the cab of the pickup truck and say "My froat (throat) is thirsty" meaning I wanted to get something to drink at McDonald's.  I can remember it being a rite of passage when I graduated from eating a little hamburger to a Quarter Pounder!  

What are my favorites now?  Well, I still love all of the above, of course.  I still have not attempted fried chicken or sausage balls, and I just made my first banana pudding (under Mom's watchful eye) this past Thanksgiving.  I know, I know.  My only excuse is that I do not want to be disappointed when they are not as good as hers, because I know they won't be. 

And anyone who knows my mother is screaming at their computer screen right now while reading this because I have not mentioned her CORNBREAD.  My mother's cornbread is every bit as good as Colene's - it's just different.  My mother makes magic out of corn meal, self-rising flour, and water.  That's it.  Oh, and a cast iron skillet.  People ask her for the recipe... there isn't one.  It's so simple and yet so complicated at the same time.  I don't think I appreciated her cornbread when I was growing up, but it is definitely a favorite now.  I have cooked it... and as expected, mine is not as good.  Alas, I don't have a cast iron skillet and can't use one on my smooth top stove.  

I have also loved fried turkey since it was "invented."  It is now our only way to prepare a turkey for the holidays.  My husband is the best turkey fryer I know.  He has to slap my hand away as he's carving!   Mmmm, just look at that golden bird!

I don't cook much at all.  I don't enjoy it.  So my favorites tend to be from restaurants, like Mexican food, hot wings, or McDonald's french fries. I would run over small children and old ladies to get to a bag of potato chips.  For that matter, I have never met a potato I didn't like. 

Disclaimers:  (1) I actually can cook and am a pretty good cook, but don't tell anyone cause then people would expect me to do it! and
(2) All those wonderful foods I mentioned are now casualties of getting older and must be taken in moderation.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Do you know this person?

Several years ago, my father found among his belongings a suitcase that belonged to his mother, Nealie Drake Tapley.  In that suitcase were many wonderful finds, however, there were also 21 pictures that neither my parents nor I know who they are.  So I scanned them at ScanFest on Sunday and thought I would share one a week here on Wordless Wednesday to see if someone who reads this blog might recognize anyone in the photos.

The first picture I am going to share appears to be a young woman dressed like the 1950's-1960's.  

UPDATE:  My mother called when she saw this post and told me exactly who this is.  It is a (living) cousin. The picture was more than likely taken in Macon, Georgia.  One picture down, 20 to go!  Thanks, Mom!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Irene Tapley Thomas

Irene Tapley Thomas
(interesting note - She did not have a middle name.)
DOB July 25, 1925
DOD April 15, 2004
buried at
Rowland Cemetery
near Chester in Dodge County, Georgia

It was a beautiful day here in Georgia on Saturday, so we took a road trip down to Dodge County to find my Aunt Irene's grave.  She was my father's sister.  We went right to it even though it a long way out in the country - almost an hour south of Macon.  I can't image driving in a funeral possession that far!  It's a beautiful little cemetery, with many unmarked graves.  

To demonstrate just how far out in the country it is, here is a picture of the street signs for the nearest crossroads.

East Chicken Rd - LOL.  You've got to love it!