Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween - Sentimental Sunday No. 58

Halloween 2007

We've always enjoyed Halloween. John really loved it, and enjoyed going trick or treating when he was younger. Now, he still likes to decorate for the holiday - and we usually make a pretty cool display in our front yard. But, this year we're not quite sure where October went... so there's not much going on out there.

Anyway, here are some photo's from Halloween's past. Wishing everyone a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Twenty-six years ago today - we met.
Exactly three years later we were married in front of our family and friends on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.
Each year we celebrate our love.
Each year we celebrate our joy and happiness.
Happy Anniversary to us.

... And they lived happily ever after.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Davis Washington Austin - Sentimental Sunday No. 57

Davis Washington Austin ~ 1827 - 1903

Davis Washington Austin was my 2nd Great Grandfather.  He was the father of my Great Grandmother, Anna Elberta Austin - who I wrote about last week.
Original Certificate of Marriage

D.W. Austin married Amanda Seals in 1847.  They lived in Butler Alabama until they moved to Pensacola, Florida - where he worked at the Naval Yard.  At the outbreak of the Civil War he worked there building ships.

When the war began he organized a company of soldiers to join the fight, with himself as captain. Unfortunately for him (or perhaps very fortunately), the people making the decisions decided he was too valuable to the Southern cause as a ship builder and he was detailed to the Naval Yard building ships for the South. After the war he returned to Butler County.
Reverse side of Marriage Certificate - listing family births

Davis moved to Birmingham in 1871 and remained there until his death in 1903, at the age of 76. He was a contractor and builder, the Jefferson County Corner, a deputy sheriff, the jailer and in his later years engaged in real estate.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Anna Elberta Austin - Sentimental Sunday No. 56

Anna Elberta Austin was my Mom's maternal grandmother; my great grandmother. She died when I was almost four, on August 12th, 1963. She was born on October 30th sometime between 1868 and 1871. She lied about her age her entire life, and even erased her year of birth, and those of the two children before her, in her parents records.

Graduation Photo, circa 1888
Anna Elberta Austin, seated first on left.

I don't personally have a lot of memories of her, because I was so young when she died. But, I do have little glimmers here and there. I do remember she was always very nice to me. And I remember her little black coin purse that she would take out and open up to give me a quarter when she saw me, always saying "Let's see what Danny Bert has in her purse for little Cindy".  (We all called her "Danny Bert". My Mom was the first grandchild and she couldn't say Grandma Elberta; it came out "Danny Bert" and that's what she was called from then on.)

I can tell you is that she was a formidable woman.

** She worked in Washington D.C. for General Pershing.
** She marched with Susan B Anthony for the right to vote.
** She was with the Woman's Temperance League to bring about Prohibition. Although I was recently told by my cousin Nona that she had an ulterior motive for doing so. Her husband was notorious for going on "benders" and leaving her and the kids alone. So, she wanted to bring about a stop to those escapades - and wanted a chance to go around to the bars to try and find him.

I recently visited her grave in Santa Monica, CA. I wanted to pay my respects to her, and document where she is buried.

She was a strong woman, perhaps a little crazy - based on some of the stories I've heard, and a woman that wasn't afraid to speak her mind.  I admire her fortitude of spirit and her willingness to speak up for what she thought was right.  And, as a woman who has the right to vote - I'm thankful for the work that she and so many others did in those days.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fun Trip To So Cal

Last weekend I went to Southern California to visit family and friends. It was a quick trip that was filled to the brim with love laughter and happiness.

My specific reason for going was to spend time with my cousins and to interview my cousin Nona. She is the matriarch of our family and I wanted to interview her on camera about our family history and her recollections of the Depression and World War II. It was amazing; she was amazing. I'm working on putting the movie together. Should be about 30 minutes long. She was fantastic.

Here are some photos of my adventure -

My good friend, Lamarr and me.  We've been friends for 28 years.  Obviously we met while still in diapers!

Had an opportunity to have dinner with my friend Mario and his girlfriend Becky.  Mario and I went to grade school together.  Haven't seen each other in 17 years.  It was a blast!

Here are some of my cousins - Left to Right -
Jasmine, Blakely, Nona, Kim, Mikki, Molly and Me

My cousins Ron, Mikki and Kim
Mikki is holding one of two of her new granddaughters - Pandora

Four Generations Photo -
On the right are Molly and Dicky - They are Mikki's kids  They both made her "Grandma" this summer.  On the left is Ali - she is Dicky's wife.  She's holding their baby Pandora.
Mikki is holding Molly's baby, Lila.  And Nona is in the middle.

Baby cousins meeting each other and saying HI !

Mikki, holding Lila, Nona and Molly.

My good friend Carol and me.  Carol and I have known each other since second grade... you know... just a couple of years ago!
I couldn't have asked for a more perfect trip.  Everything went so smoothly.  It was so fun to see Lamarr and Carol - it's been too long.  And my day with my cousins - well I couldn't have imagined that day to be MORE perfect. 

Thanks for memories everyone!  Love you all!

Kathy Griffin

Had a total blast night at the Arlene Schnitzer Auditorium. We had tickets to see Kathy Griffin. She was fantastic. So hysterically funny - and sometimes just "wrong" - but we loved her. Would definitely buy tickets to go see her again!
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