Friday, April 29, 2011

May 1968

In May of 1968, my high school class were lucky enough to travel from our little town in Michigan to Washington D.C. for our class trip.  We didn't ride luxury buses with air conditioning or even a greyhound bus.  We were loaded unto two school buses for the 12 hour ride.  We drove though the night and arrived in time to be hustled off and out to breakfast with a full day of touring  to follow. 

During that night ride, when we stopped for gas, we would hear whispers that buses of poor people were heading for D.C. as well.  Little did I know and less did I understand, that we were in the middle of something historic. In early 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had called for a spring campaign in D.C. to ask President Johnson for jobs, homes and health care.  (Sound familiar?)  After he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, his organizers decided to go ahead with it and chose Sunday,  May 12th.

Our group of about 60 arrived in the beginning of that week.  Women (that would be us ) were not allowed to wear slacks touring.  We all wore dresses and dress shoes.  Guys wore dress pants and dress shirts.  We were able to tour in small groups, chaperoned by teachers of course. All the while we were seeing bus after bus parking to let off dozens of people, some carrying homemade signs.  I wish I could say I paid attention to all that but I didn't.  We were staying in a single story Marriott Hotel.  That I remember because it was surrounded by a brick wall with roses growing on them. 

It took a hitting a wall for me to see what was happening.  Not until we arrived at the Washington Monument and looked  down the Reflecting Pool toward the Lincoln Memorial  and saw hundreds of makeshift, cardboard housing structures, did I fully understand "this is something big".   I climbed every one of those 897 steps of the Washington Monument, up to the tiny windows in the point, to take pictures of  "Resurrection City".   And..... I don't know where they are.  I've seen them through the years, tucked away in a "safe" spot. Of course...But if you saw Forest Gump and his search for Jenny at the Memorial, that's how it looked.  Mobs of people and structures.  That was out last "tour" day.

Our trip was not affected at all, by the arriving people.  We left toward the end of that week.  Our small neighboring town arrived on Friday, at the same hotel and were immediately put on lock down and could not go out at all.  The "Poor People's March" was in full force and I think the thousands of  participants unnerved the school officials in charge. The rumor was that the students tore the Marriott apart.  Tore the roses off the walls and destroyed the rooms.  I don't know what really took place, but I do know that was the last year of Senior Trips for that school.  One of my LARC friends was a Freshman in that H.S. then and confirms it.   I hope it wasn't as bad as all that.  I hope we heard exaggerated tales of teenagers

I had already experienced the assassination of John F. Kennedy and then the same thing with of Martin Luther King Jr.  I witnessed  the Poor People's Campaign and Resurrection City.  I was 17.  Boys I had dated were getting drafted and going to Vietnam.  But summer was coming and the Rolling Stones were singing  Jumpin Jack Flash and Steppenwolf was telling us we were Born to be Wild.   I was going to college in the fall and I had a boyfriend and a summer job.  Priorities.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Aunt Minnie Sanders Lester

This beautiful young mother is my grandmother's (Flossie Mae Sanders Pope) oldest sibling, Minnie ( Martha) with her husband Lindsey Lester and 2 of her 9 living (11 births) children.  Aunt Minnie was 18 years old when my grandmother was born, in 1907.  Bessie, sitting on Uncle Lindsey's lap was born the same year.

Hamilton Jackson SANDERS-1 (1850-1900)  Tennessee
      sp-Docia C. STRICKLIN-2 (1856-1913)  Alabama
         2-- John "Jack" Robert Hamilton, SR. SANDERS-3 (1870-1918)  Madison County,Tennessee
          sp-Julia Ann DICKERSON-10 (1869-1918)  Tennessee
             3-- Martha Ann " Minnie" SANDERS-11 (1889-1983)  Tennessee
              sp-William Lindsey LESTER-17 (1878-1960)  Kentucky
                 4-- Bessie LESTER-18 (1907-    )  Cardwell,Dunklin County,Missouri
                 4-- Chester William LESTER-19 (1910-    )  Cardwell,Dunklin County,Missouri
                 4-- Dessie LESTER-20 (1913-    )  Cardwell,Dunklin County,Missouri
                  sp-Earl M. VAUGHN-29 (    -    )
                 4-- Vinna LESTER-21 (1916-    )  Cardwell,Dunklin County,Missouri
                  sp-Henderson RANSOM-30 (    -    )
                 4-- Clayton Sylvester LESTER-22 (1917-1998)  Dunklin County,Missouri
                  sp-Ellene VAUGHN-31 (    -    )
                    5-- Janet LESTER-32 (    -    )
                     5-- Jerold LESTER-33 (    -    )
                 4-- J. R. LESTER-23 (1921-1997)  Dunklin County,Missouri
                 4-- Bertin LESTER-24 (1923-1924)  Buffalo,Dunklin County,Missouri
                 4-- Eula Captola LESTER-25 (1925-2003)  Paragould,Greene County,Arkansas
                  sp-Billy W. LAMBERT,-34 (1924-1990)  Dunklin County,Missouri
                     5-- Billy W., JR. LAMBERT,-35 (1954-2006)  Dunklin County,Missouri
                 4-- Jerold Leon LESTER-26 (1927-2002)  Cardwell,Dunklin County,Missouri
                  sp-Beulah "Boots" G. SISSOM-36 (1930-1994)
                     5-- Alice Jane LESTER-37 (    -    )
                     5-- Joy Kay LESTER-38 (    -    )
                 4-- William D. LESTER-27 (1929-1930)  Dunklin County,Missouri
                 4-- Elizabeth Louise LESTER-28 (1930-1931)

My Grandmother gave me this photo when I was a teenager.  It has been sitting in a frame on an antique secretary since I was 20 years old.... or 40 years.  The frame I found as a teenager, as well.  They just go together don't they?

As a young teen and adult, I remember my grandmother living in a home owned by Aunt Minnie on their cotton farm in Cardwell, Missouri.  Aunt Minnie lived down the dirt road,  in the "big house".  My grandmother was 5 foot nothing and Aunt Minnie, aptly named,  was much smaller.  Partly, I'm sure, from age. 

I would like to give this photo to someone directly descended from her.  So many have passed on that I have no idea how to begin finding that certain person who would love it as much as I have. 

My email is available. In the meantime,  I'll continue to take care of them.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Tiara for Fun

My invitation to the wedding
Must have been lost in the mail.
I’ve check the mailbox to no avail.

Friday morning I’ll be watching at 4am
...Just like I watched Diana wed Chuck
Way back then.

It’s very proper I should wear a hat,
Be it big or be it small,
But none match my jammies
None at all.

I could don my old prom tiara
on this special day.
That can't be done you say
No jewels, no hat, no best wishes to convey?

Will I be slurping my coffee all alone
Or is anyone joining me to see Kate
move closer to the throne?

I couldn't resist having a little fun and thank you Dr. Seuss for the inspiration.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sad Day for a Memory

I get the email version of the "Big City" newspaper, that everyone in my small hometown had delivered.    I was so sad today, to see that the football coach from my high school days had  passed away in Florida.  His wife was an English teacher during my Freshman year and she also was the drama coach my Senior year.  With his leadership, we has a good football team all four years I was in high school.  She was my favorite teacher.  Needless to say, I am feeling a little melancholy about this. 

I have posted about spritzing on the Ambush cologne and  wearing my currant date's  red and black, leather and wool, varsity jacket to those football games.  A bunch of us girls would wait in the parking lot, after the games, for our certain guy to come out of the showers , dressed in chinos/slacks and a sweater, smelling like Jade East or Canoe.  Mostly, they won, thanks to Coach Samec's tough couching, because that ride afterwards was no fun if they lost.  And, if they lost, they wouldn't want to stay for the dances which was pretty high on our social life calendar.

One of my most vivid memories of him was how mad he got that some dumb girl had made a poster for a dance featuring the football players during a game,  with a thought bubble over one of them saying, " I can't wait until this game is over so I can go to the dance.".... He was livid. That is not what his players should be thinking.   He kept the team at practice longer because of it.  That poster had been made by the Captain of the football team's girlfriend...ME.  oops......

I'm in the middle with the long hair.  The Queen was the blond, second from the right.  All of the rest of us were close friends and hoped she would get it and she did.  

It rained buckets that night so all the work on the floats was for nothing. They stayed in the barns.   There was no Homecoming parade. No "Beauty Queen" waves from the back of a convertible.  We did walk out onto the field and became drowned rats for the dance following the game.

There I am in the back, left, holding the "Spirit Wand" that the Seniors had won at the Pep Rally for having the most spirit.  Such innocent times.  My whole high school only had and still does have about 500 students. Total.  My class graduated the smallest number from that school, which was built to replace the two story 1920's version, and opened the year before my Freshman year.   We had a very spirited 76 students in that class.  

This time brings to mind,  "going steady" with your boyfriend's class ring held on with a mound of adhesive tape under it or rubber bands twisted around the top.  Of dress codes, study halls and being asked out on dates at least by Wednesday for a Friday or Saturday night.

About 4 years ago, I was working in one of my retail jobs and Jayne saw me, came over and told me she knew who I was.  I had not a clue it was her.  Believe me, I do not look like this 17 year old, long haired teenager anymore.  She still knew me.  She said "I was one of your teachers."  Then, I knew.   Then it clicked.  I was so glad she approached me.

So Coach and Mrs. S., thanks for the memories. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Totally Unrelated

Who knows why these things flicker through our heads, but I'm sure this kind of thing happens to you too.  I can be watching Dancing with the Stars and I'll have something totally unrelated pop into my head.   Things like:

1.  Rod McKuen's  Listen to the Warm from the late 60's

2.  Black leather Comeback Elvis, Hawaii Elvis or Young Elvis?

3.  Athletic Boosters selling huge Mum corsages for Homecoming.

4.  The domed portable hairdryer you could sit under.

5.  Sweet Baby James

6.  Toilet tissue in colors

7.  Using orange juice cans as rollers, that were too big to fit under that hairdryer.

8.  Chocolate Soldier drinks in bottles

9.  Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue in "A Summer Place".

10.  Dallas, Knot's Landing, or Falcon Crest?

11.  Dancing on the dance floor of blinking colored lights in bars.

12.  The heavy glass 8 Ball my grandmother had that disappeared.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Very Brave Man

I have written about my 2 younger daughters living together in an apartment in Michigan and how lucky they are to have jobs, and each other in this economy.  They have shared Daughter #2's one bedroom apartment since last August. 

Daughter # 3 has been living in a "nook" of the living area. She tried the inflatable beds but, with 2 cats and other various reasons, they kept deflating.  Then she bought a Sack Daddy.  No, I had not heard of one either.  Have you seen a one bedroom apartment? There is no room to move in there. This thing has filled her little corner of the room. (I borrowed   :)  this picture so that is not her.)

Just before last Thanksgiving, my 28 year old Middle child told me about "this guy I've been seeing".  Then later, she would again, mention "You know, this guy I'm seeing.  You will love him.  He's just like me."   She gave me a long list of the things they have in common.  Their same dry sense of humor. They both enjoy books, history,etc.  The first date I had heard about was him taking her to see Bob Dylan.  I loved him right then.  Plus, he has wonderful manners.  Like walking on the traffic side of a sidewalk and switching sides when crossing a street so he is between her and on-coming traffic. Who does that anymore.?  We credit his mother.  She must be a remarkable woman.

I am 5 years older than Terry so the usual men are older thing wasn't there.   Later in this mother/daughter conversation she said,  "and he's younger than me and he's black."  She knows race has never been an issue either.  I've always said I only have one requirement, OK, maybe two. He should have a job (and he does) and that is anyone in my daughter's lives should love them as much as I do.  Sounds reasonable to us Moms Right?

So here is the Brave Man part.  He and the Middle Child decided to move into together...... and they are taking Daughter # 3 with them.   They have picked out a 3 bedroom townhouse with a fully finished basement.  Daughter #2 works from home so she needs desk space instead of just rolling her desk over to the side of her bed,while still  in her pajamas,  which she has been doing for the past year.  (And yes, she did remind me that I married her father 6 months after our first date.)

Brave Man, right?  He's a 26 year old man that has never lived with a woman, now living with a girlfriend and not just another woman as a housemate, but a sister.  That relationship in it's self has conflicts. They have always been each others best friend, but we do know, sisters can squabble. I keep thinking, "He doesn't have a clue."  Last I knew, he hadn't told his Mom either.  I wonder what she'd think.  We know they do talk often and she leaves him "sweet posts on Facebook", but otherwise, I don't think he shares much.  I have girls, maybe that's a boy thing.

We are meeting both girls and The Boyfriend in Washington D.C. in May.  He has a sister in Alexandria that he will be visiting at night and then meeting all of us for sight seeing during the day.  We did meet him at Christmas when we went up for the holidays, and he did go to Daughter # 1's house for Thanksgiving,  but as of yet, The Middle Child has not met any of his relatives.  My sister is having everyone, accept us, for Easter, so he will meet more of our family then.  He has been told our family can be a little overwhelming, but he said he's ready. 

Like I said, Brave Man.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Think I Fixed It.

Hallelujah!  I changed a setting for comments to have the pop up window.  That seems to have worked.  Such an easy thing for most people took me 4 days to figure out.  I never did like story problems and this seemed to take on that life.  If you start with X and end with 0, then what's the answer? Anything with more than 2 steps, I'm lost.  No, no, no....That gives me a headache.  Hopefully it's good and I can get all the comments.  We all know it's nice to get a little feedback once in awhile. 

I'm making these "hope it works" posts short so I thought I would share one of my favorite photos of my middle child with one of my LARC  friend's daughter. We were pregnant at the same time at the same office.

Mine is the short one and now she is taller than the blond.  Aren't they just precious when we can dress them?
I still try but I am not as successful as in the past.  All of my girls learned from my mother, that the more you try on, the more we buy.  We won't talk about the hair styles I thought looked good on them.  ( The perms were cute.  I don't understand the objections.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Let's Try This

Because of the problems I've had with Google Chrome users not being able to leave comments, I did switch from Explorer to Chrome to do my posting.  I'll try this for a while and see if this cures my woes.

I was looking on Youtube for one thing and came across this.  I loved this movie and this actor, whoever he is, which says a lot about how his career went afterward.  For a few months, in 1970, I think every teenage and 20 something girl did too.  Whenever I have watched now,  something that I thought was far out, radical, cool or totally awesome, to name a few adjectives, it isn't.  So I won't hunt this down to wreck a young girl's memory.

Billy Jack, you were the man.

UPDATE:   After I posted this, I went back in to check the comments.  I see how it jumped the video and made a comment impossible.  It's a Google Chrome problem and now it's mine it looks like.  This happened even though I used Chrome through the entire process.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Comments Issues - update

About all we can find out is that there are on-going problems through Google with comments in general.  There isn't anything I can do on my end.  I am so disappointed not to be able to get the Chrome users comments, but this is bigger than me.

I'll keep checking on it and hope for the best.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I Don't Read All the Time

I thought I would reveal a little bit more about myself and post some samples of my hobby.  I have talked about how much I read and much I love all kinds of music.  This is one other thing I do.   I have no God Given talent.  I learned to paint with oils by technique.  There are some things I can do and a lot that I can't, but I put some some music that fits what I am painting, maybe Bob Marley or Kenny Chesney for the Caribbean and Enya or Gladys Knight for a soothing background mood and I get in the zone and can sit there for hours.

   My grandsons in Cancun.

St. Kitts

From our cabin at Signal Mountain Resort , Grand Teton National Park, Moran, Wy.   This is the view that Daughter #3 had from her office the four years she worked there.

It's one of those things, that I know enough to be dangerous. It is a good stress reliever, when I don't get frustrated. I have to remind myself I am doing it for me and my poor daughters that have to find somewhere to put these.

Comment Problems

I was informed ( and thank you so much for that) that recently some web browsers have had issues with my blog and some bloggers cannot leave comments.  I know these same people have left comments in the past so something is greatly screwed up about this. 

My husband and computer guru said he will research it for me, but until he finds something, or even if he finds it, if the issue can be fixed... I will have to wait and see.   I know Explorer and Mozilla work.   Google Chrome does not, but it has in the past.  Until it is remedied, please stick with me.

I appreciate the comments that are left and I certainly appreciate knowing there are problems. 

I will keep posting and will give updates when necessary on my "bug" problem.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Some Things I've Learned

I am sometimes surprised at how my mind works.  Not necessarily in a good or bad way, but jumping from one thing to another.   Daughter #1 was telling me about an on-line friend of hers that has written 3 books.  Her name is Ellen Meister and the latest book  that Daughter #1 was reading is called, "The Other Life", about the direction a woman's life would have taken had she made a different decision when that fork in the road presented it's self.   Who hasn't thought that.  What if...???  I think we all would keep things the way they turned out because of children, or husbands, or any other circumstance that would have been affected.  I know I would have saved myself a lot of pain had I done things differently, but, I have a wonderful family now that I would still want, in spite of all the bad stuff.  It is like the Garth Brooks song, "The Dance". 

But, along the way there are a few things I've learned.

1.  You can never hold a baby too much.  You can never get enough of the sweet smell of that little neck and enough kisses on those little toes.  You only have months to get enough to last you a lifetime.  Then it's gone.

2.  Play dirt is the best dirt.  I loved seeing my daughters dirty from head to foot in the summer.  It was fun dirt.  Clothes and sticky fingers wash.

3.  The next time you have a family holiday "get together", take a minute to just stop and watch.  Give yourself the gift of that memory.  When our family lost my  Mother, 4  1/2 years ago, those big family gatherings stopped.  Adult children moved out of state or had commitments with their families and in-laws.  I didn't realize how precious those gatherings were.  I was too busy serving and being the hostess. I wish I had savored the moments.

4.  Remember your last first kiss.   That one I do remember.  It was nearly 30 years ago and I knew it was special then.

5.  Tell the woman in the mirror that she is beautiful.   She will never be younger, have less wrinkles, or need your love less.  I've been very critical of that woman in the mirror and I should have been much kinder.  I wish I had realized this years ago. I am still working on it.

6. Children do not come with instructions.  There is not a handbook on  husbands or wives.  Parents don't have all the answers.  We are all a work in progress.

7.  There are not enough hugs.....

8.  Bleacher butt is worth it.

If you've ever read this blog, you know I love music. This is one song that touches my heart, partly because my daughters have a similiar age differnce as well.

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