Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Growing up with music

I am a child of the 1950's and 1960's. My taste in music was formed during those years. I think I got out of listening to music that was currently popular after 1985. I don't know whether it was because I was in my 30's or the kind of music being presented, but after that time period, my interest in listening to music wanned.

Digging down in the recesses of my memory, I think the first song that I remember as being 'popular' was a song called "The Green Door" (lyrics). This came out when I was all of 9 years old, and I probably heard it because my mother may have had a record of it.

I remember when Elvis Presley first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show (late 1956) and was really embarrassed by his gyrations. For once this was my opinion and not a reaction to the adults around me. That made such an impression on me, to this day there is probably only one song that I like that Elvis sung. Couldn't tell you the name of it though.

When trying to come up with topics to blog about for Thursday Thirteen I listed 13 favorite songs. But sitting here thinking about all the songs I've heard and enjoyed the list would be quite a bit longer than 13. Thinking about "The Green Door" and Elvis made me realize just how many artists there have been since 1956, and how many songs I've grown to really and truly like. I now don't know whether to make my list of favorite artists along with songs I enjoyed them singing, or just how to do this Thursday Thirteen. So if you care to read further, I believe it will probably be a very unorganized list, and probably full of surprises. Down memory lane anyone?

  1. Some absolutely mind boggling silly songs: "Purple People Eater," "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah," most anything by Ray Stevens (including "The Streak", "Ahab the Arab," "Gitarzan," and "Along Came Jones."), "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa,"Alley Oop." I could go on but you can view one person's list of 100 Greatest Novelty Songs, I must agree with him.

  2. A singer who passed on too early for his time on earth was Jim Croce. I don't know anyone who didn't just fall in love with his "Time In a Bottle" record. Another favorite of his was "Photographs & Memories." ::sigh:: such a loss.

  3. The first pop artist I really and truly drooled over going into my teenage years was Jimmy Clanton. Bet most don't remember him. He recorded such songs as "Go, Jimmy Go" and "Venus in Blue Jeans." This is what the Museum of the Gulf Coast has to say about him.

  4. Those of my generation will remember the music of the Mamas and Papas, The Lovin' Spoonful, Doobie Bros. and Creedence Clearwater Revival to name a few.

  5. I remember the song "Country Roads" by John Denver as it has a special meaning for me. The same year it was popular was the year one of my grandmothers had passed on. I traveled by bus from Richmond, Virginia to Greene County, TN for her funeral. Yes I know the lyrics say West Virginia, but my country roads were located in TN and I was going home.

  6. I have been a fan of Neil Diamond since the late 1960's. One thing I have found out over the past 40 years about Neil Diamond is that there is no middle ground with him. Either you like him or you don't. In 1980 he recorded a song called "America" (aka "Coming to America" or "They're Coming to America"). I had a cassette tape with that song on it and each time my husband was coming home from a cruise, I would play that over and over on the way to the pier. This song had nothing to do with sailors coming home from the sea, but had a lot to do with coming home.

  7. Oh heck, this little ditty just crossed my mind. "Running Bear" by Johnny Preston. Another. . ."Big John" by Jimmy Dean (used to drive our preacher crazy when we played it at teen dances in the church hall).

  8. Air Supply, a group from down under, had a song called "Making Love Out of Nothing at All." I had an album with this number on it. My (at the time) 15 year old daughter and I had a hobby of trying to get words to songs through playing it over and over again. My baby was 3 at the time and usually a very well behaved little one. One afternoon, eldest daughter and I decided one more time to see if we could get this one little phrase on that song. When I picked up the album (still in its jacket) to do so, my little 3 year old grabbed it, and ran as fast as her little legs could carry her hollering "no mo" "no mo" down the hallway, and tossed it under the bed. The memory of this still brings a chuckle.

  9. Then there was the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, the Safaris with the drum pounding song called "Wipe Out."

  10. Some people tell me I am strange, you should see eyes roll when I admit I liked disco and loved the BeeGees.

  11. There are not too many songs Cher has recorded that I don't like. Maybe one or two. But sure wish I had her looks and energy, she makes me feel old, we are the same age.

  12. With the holidays coming up I always think about Brenda Lee's "Rockin' 'round the Christmas Tree." What about oldies but goodies "I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus" or "All I want for Christmas is my 2 front Teeth" or best of all "White Christmas".

  13. I know there are so many more songs and artists I can write about. However, my memory is not the greatest and I know the second I hit "publish" on this post I'll think of them. To make this a legal #13 on my list, I guess I should list one more song. How about "God Bless America." ?

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Veterans Day

Veterans Day means a lot to me. As a kid, I always thought of it as a special day for my Dad, not because of him, just for him. He was in the Navy after all. It also means that my heart goes out to all who are currently defending our country who are on active duty. I may not agree with the politics of invading Iraq nor staying there, but that doesn't mean I don't support our troups who are fighting it.

As it turns out, I seem to come from quite a few men who have served in the military. I should say women also, because if you are married to a military man, you are married to the military as well.

The first 'documented' ancestor who served our country did it through furnishing a cow to the men who were fighting in the American Revolution. I am eligible to join the Daughters of the American Revolution through this cow. This ancestor was the immigrant, Hans Adam Biebel (Bible), and he lived in Rockingham County, Virginia at the time.

I have an ancestor who fought during the "Indian Wars." To clarify there were a lot of "Indian Wars" in this country, but this particular one led up to the removal of the Cherokees to what is now Oklahoma on the infamous "Trail of Tears." Riley spent a whole 2 months in the local militia, waiting around to be deployed. Don't know the whole story, but for some reason that is all they did was wait around. However, this little stint was enough for him to apply for Veteran's Benefits around 1890. If he had not, I would still be looking for him today. His military package of papers I received from NARA was at least 1/2 inch thick and contained a wealth of information. However, I still don't know who his parents and siblings are, one of my brickwalls.

Whatever you call the era between 1861 and 1865 (The Civil War, The American Civil War, The War Between the States, War of the Rebellion, War for Southern Independence, War of Northern Aggression, et al), everyone seems to agree that this is one of the most horrific wars on our own shores. This war pitted brother against brother and split families in two.

Five of my direct ancestors (and many more uncles and cousins) fought in this war. Direct ancestors didn't pass on, but uncles and cousins did. One of my ancestors caught measles and had complications from that malady for the rest of his life. Another had toes shot off, and was captured by the enemy at Fort Fisher, NC. He spent some time in the infamous Port Lookout, MD, POW camp. Another signed up in the CSA at almost 40 years of age, just to have income to feed his family. Another was a Captain in the CSA.

The picture to the right, however, I do cherish as it is taken during that time period. It is a painted tin-type and I have it under lock and key and out of bright lights. His name is Elisha Albert Frank and he was a bugler with Co. B 8th TN Cavalry (USA) and a PVT.

I also have a photo copy of a letter he wrote to his wife while he was away from home fighting the rebs. Check out the transcription.

Apparently these folks hold no grudges. The Captain mentioned above had a daughter. This daughter married the soldier who caught the measles while at war. He was a union soldier. Always wondered how family dinners might have turned out.

Although my great grandfathers filled in WWI draft cards, they were either too young or too old to see any action. Again, I do have uncles and cousins who joined up, fought and died in the "War to end all Wars."

World War II flared up, only to find the timing not really right for my grandfathers. One passed away a month before Pearl Harbor, my Dad was all of 15. The rest were over the age limit. My dad's brother did join the Navy and he saw time in the Pacific. No one could ever get him to talk about his experiences. From what we do know is that he was a boatswain mate and he was with the landing ships that put soldiers and marines on shore (but don't know which island). He always had a love of life and enjoyed it to the fullest. He must have seen some horrible things in the Pacific. When my father was old enough, he also joined the Navy. However, by the time he got through boot camp and some schools, the war was over. He never saw any action.

Now this you may find strange tho. When someone mentions Veteran's Day, my first thought is that I need to get an anniversary card off to a long time friend and his wife. We've known each other for over 40+ years. We lost track of each other for over 20 years, and through what I learned on how to trace people with genealogy I was finally able to locate him again. They were so surprised to receive an anniversary card the year we reunited. They couldn't believe I remembered their wedding day . . . .hey, a service man (he was in the Navy) who marries on Veteran's Day will always have an anniversary I will remember.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Genealogy can be addictive

For this Thursday I'll try to keep my list down to 13 reasons for having Genealogy as a hobby. Especially since I have been addicted to it for around 12 years.

  1. Genealogy is defined as a record or table showing the descent of an individual or family from a certain ancestor or ancestors. What they fail to mention in that definition is the fact that once starting the search for your descent, your life seems to change. At least for the majority of us.

  2. The changes are subtle at first. You first realize you are addicted when you find yourself spending more and more time in search of that elusive ancestor(s).

  3. You do strange things like walking in fields of stone and marble; staring at undecipherable writing that occurred during a century or two before you were born; and, if lucky enough to live close to a county courthouse with your ancestor's records, mulling through the dust covered, well worn records of time past.

  4. Besides learning whence you came, you also find yourself in the midst of some very fine people. Genealogists are some of the most caring and sharing folks I have come across in my lifetime.

  5. You also become, in some instances, members of a quite large extended family. For someone who was an only child this meant as much to me as finding out that an ancestor I was looking for was not a male, but a female ending two years of chasing that wild goose.

  6. As a child I never lived close to grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins. The only surnames I knew were Edwards, Baxter and Jones. I had blond hair and blue eyes, and assumed that I was mainly of English descent. Little did I know I have more German blood running in my veins than any other nationality. However, since I can trace all my direct descendants back to the very early 1800's, some further back, I truthfully can say . . . I claim no nationality now, hey its been 200 years or more.

  7. Want your children to learn geography and history in a round about way? Get them interested in genealogy. I have learned more about people, places and events that happened long ago, I never learned in school. History became interesting, because the ancestors before you lived during those times, and how they dealt with events of their times more than likely shaped who you are today as well. Did you know that there was once a state called Franklin?

  8. With some people, the addiction gets really severe. They suddenly realize that the dust bunnies have taken over, the lawn is over grown, and the floor around your desk is prime real estate for your research papers.

  9. Getting an e-mail from a stranger that wants to know all about your own grandmother. Especially when you know all your grandmother's siblings, and this writer of the e-mail isn't living in the state where everyone else lives. This happened to me, boy was I cautious in my reply. However, remember that ancestor who had a sex change above? I had just found out about the sex change, had not started researching that line yet, but the female involved was my great-great-grandmother. The correspondent was the great grandchild of this same woman. WOW! A whole new branch to my tree, just landed in my lap!

  10. Being able to tell others very truthfully, that you can trace your descent to Adam and Eve with documentation. You can read all about this in my Feb. 24, 2006 post. It's a whole lot of fun to see people's faces when you tell them that.

  11. Proving a theory (at least to yourself) that if one is passionate enough about something, you can overcome anything. I am about as shy as they come, I do not do well in crowds, sometimes I don't even do well around people I know. When I speak, I don't speak very loudly, and most people ask me to speak up. So when I was asked to speak at a genealogy society's meeting about Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness my first thought was to turn them down. After talking this over with my hubby, he told me I could do this as I was passionate about this site and genealogy. I thought he was nuts, but when he said he would be with me to back me up if my voice goes non-existent, I accepted. I was to talk for one hour, ONE HOUR?, yeah, right. It turned out one hour wasn't enough, and I completely forgot about my stage fright once I got going. Would I do it again? It's debatable.

  12. Being able to put "life" behind some of the older pictures that I inherited when my mother died.

  13. Meeting the love of my life. If it wasn't for genealogy, and being active in the online genealogy community, then being asked to be an employee of a great genealogy website,, I would have never met him. All things happen for a reason.

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