Friday, June 25, 2010

A Scholar/Athlete and his GGGGgram, June 25, 2010

To enjoy good health,
to bring true happiness to one's family,
to bring peace to all,
one must first discipline and control 
one's own mind. 
Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you on this first Friday of summer. Cindy and I are on our way to San Francisco where we will spend the weekend with Nathan and Chenda, and of course, little Preslea.

Scholar/Athlete: Tomorrow is the birthday of Kyle Sauvage of Weatherford, Texas. Kyle is the younger son of James and Kelly (Shepard) Sauvage, and one of Will and Bura Shepard's GGgrandchildren. The first picture shows the athlete Kyle with his dad James, and then the scholar Kyle with his cousin Mandi. (He graduated from Kindergarten earlier this month.)

Mom Kelly wrote me to say that "Kyle has been very busy lately. He made the All Star team for t-ball. Kyle is the star first baseman, which is funny because Adrian Gonzalez on the Padres is his favorite player. It’s hard to believe he’s only 5 and is this good already. He is consistently hitting line drive doubles to the outfield. He is also enjoying his time at summer camp. They go swimming twice a week and have a field trip every week. Last week they went to the Fort Worth Zoo. He’s such a fun and happy child to be around. He has been begging me to go to a Texas Ranger's game. His favorite team is the Padres, but I have explained to him it’s a little too far to drive!

Margaret Williams Spear. I am a real lover of old family pictures. I like new family pictures too, but there is something special about old ones. They give us insights into family of long ago that cannot be had any other way. One of the most remarkable old family pictures I have obtained in recent months I gratefully received from cousin Becky Davis of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. It is a picture of Becky's Ggrandmother Margaret (Maggie) Williams Spear (1845-1904). 

Maggie was born 165 years ago this month in Spencer, Indiana and lived her entire life within a few miles of that small town southwest of Indianapolis. This was during the period when most of our Davis/Williams relatives lived in Owen County, where Spencer is located. Soon after Maggie's death in 1904 many of her family, including daughter Callie and son-in-law James Brooks Davis, moved to Oklahoma, and some of their family even farther west after that.

Maggie is Kyle Sauvage's grandfather's grandmother's grandmother, which is to say, 6 generations removed from Kyle. Here is a 160 year lineage from Kyle to Maggie:
  • Kyle Sauvage (b. 2004)
  • Kelly Shepard Sauvage (b. 1973)
  • Gary Shepard (b. 1946)
  • Eugene Shepard (1921-2003)
  • Bura Davis Shepard (1896-1986)
  • Callie Spear Davis (1865-1951)
  • Maggie Williams Spear (1845-1904)
I have more to say about Maggie and her picture, but I will save that for next time.  For now, Happy 6th Birthday to Kyle! And thanks to Becky for sending me Maggie's picture.
- - -

Monday, June 21, 2010

1 and 22: Family Celebrations

We are all nobly born;
fortunate those who know it;
blessed those who remember.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings on this day of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the first day of summer.

Happy First Anni- versary! Today is the first anni- versary of Nathan and Chenda Sou Shepard, who were married June 21, 2009 in San Diego. They and their baby Preslea now live in San Francisco, California. The first picture I am including today was taken last month and shows Nathan and Chenda, ice skating in San Diego, one of Nathan's favorite things, but a first for Chenda. 

These days Chenda is a full time wife and mother, while Nathan stays busy with work at Wells Fargo Bank. And Preslea stays busy bringing great joy to her parents and grandparents. (The creative ways proud grandfathers can tout their precious little ones know no bounds!)

Chenda tells me that she feels like she is getting adjusted well to life in the U.S., after being here just a year. This is now her home and we are her family, and she sometimes feels like it is a dream just to be here. She still stays in touch with relatives in Cambodia by cell phone, and remains concerned about her father, who is doing better after suffering what seems to have been a debilitating stroke several months ago.

Happy Birthday tomorrow to Vicki Boyd of Lakeside, California. She is the wife of Darren Boyd and has been in our family ever since she and Darren were married back in 1988. The second picture I am including shows Vicki and Darren. The third picture shows their three children, Kori, Brandyn and Courtney, grandchildren of Terry and Thelma (Shepard) Boyd.

Vicki said in an email to me: "I am still working at Grossmont Union High School District as a bus driver. That takes up a lot of my time, then I am with my kids for any spare time I get. My birthday is June 22 when I will be 40. Our anniversary is June 25th and that will be 22 years for us."

Happy birthday to Vicki on this special milestone, and congratulations to her and Darren on 22 years of marriage!
- - -

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Celebrating Fathers Past and Present

When I was 14,
my father was so ignorant
I could hardly stand it.
But when I got to be 21,
I was astonished
at how much he had learned 
in seven years.
~Mark Twain
Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings on this weekend of Father's Day, 2010! May this be a time to remember your father or, if you are able, to celebrate with him in person.

Congratulations to Elmer Shepard, who, among all the descendants of Will and Bura Shepard, is the father among us with the oldest child, his son Dane Shepard of Newcastle, Oklahoma. The first picture shows Dane with his father Elmer, and Dane's children Kaylan and Nathan. The others who call Elmer father and grandfather are his daughter Joan Shepard of Dixon, California and Havilah Wardle of Salt Lake City.

And congratulations to Nathan Shepard, who, among all the descendants of Will and Bura Shepard, is the father with the youngest child, his daughter Preslea. 

The second Father's Day picture I am including shows Nathan with Preslea in a picture taken a few weeks ago in San Diego.

>>Select this link<< to see a photo presentation honoring the fathers and grand fathers among us, including the men mentioned above, as well as others with the last names of Davis, Russell, Boyd, Ortiz, Clark, Gower, Aquiningoc, Sauvage, Harris, Colgain, Wilk and Shepard. Thanks to all of you who sent me pictures for this presentation.

The first background song on the Father's Day photo presentation includes lyrics from the poem "Twistable Turnable Man" written by the late Shel Silverstein. If you enjoy his humorous and insightful children's poetry as much as I do, select this link to read the complete version of this poem as well as his other works. If you want a copy of any of the Father's Day photos in the presentation, select the "view and download photos" link on the upper right of the page where the presentation is seen.

Best wishes to all the fathers and grandfathers among us!
- - -

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Family Coming and Growing: June 13, 2010

In all of us there is a hunger,
marrow deep,
to know our heritage -
to know who we are
and where we came from.
~Alex Haley

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

I mentioned last month that Mandi Aquiningoc would be graduating from Weatherford (Texas) High School, which she did on June 1. But at the time I had no pictures to prove it. Since then, however, the evidence has arrived, thanks to her mom Kerri. The first picture I am including shows Mandi with her mom and sister Lyndsey. (select the picture for a larger view.) Mandi and Lyndsey are the first two GGgrandchildren of Will and Bura (Davis) Shepard.

Kerri: I really am proud of Mandi. Being able to watch her walk across that stage and get her diploma was an awesome feeling! So I am proud to say "I batted 1000": both my kids graduated from High School.

There were lots of wonderful memories and LOTS of tough times, and I NEVER could have done it without my mom and my sister. They really worked hard, getting both girls graduated. We all 3 felt like we got diplomas when Lyndsey graduated and now Mandi. LOL. It seems like just yesterday I was walking her to her first day of Kindergarten. Man where does the time go?

We really enjoyed having family come for her graduation. I was so happy my Dad [Gary] was able to make it. It really meant a lot to Mandi having her Papa there (and she missed Grandma Cindy).

Happy Birthday Scott Ortiz! Today is the birthday of Scott Ortiz, one of the Ggrandchildren of Will and Bura Shepard, and Kim Clark's younger son. Scott now lives in El Cajon, California and works for an Electric Company in Poway. 

The second picture I am including shows Scott with his family in a picture from 1994 when they were in Yosemite on vacation.  In the back is Kim on the left, Jeremy in the middle, and Gabe Ortiz on the right. In front is 9 year old Scott with his sister Amanda. Gabe passed away in 2002.

Arrival Day 2009. It was a year ago today that Nathan Shepard's fiance Sou Chenda arrived in Southern California after a very memorable and difficult flight from Cambodia to LAX, and began her new life here in the U.S. 

It has been a very eventful year for Nathan and Chenda, with her getting adjusted to life in a new country, meeting her new extended family, getting married, having a baby, getting her green card, and improving her English. She has been a blessing to us and a wonderful addition to our family. 

The third picture I am including was taken by Nathan and shows Chenda in April, 2009 in her homeland of Cambodia, not long before she came to the U.S.
- - 

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Special Days In Kansas and Georgia!

Why waste your time and money
looking up your family tree?
Just go into politics 
and your opponents will do it for you!
~Mark Twain

Dear Shepard Family and Friends,

Today is the Birthday of Emma Wilk, daughter of Shannon Wilk. Emma is one of the GGgrandchildren of Will and Bura Shepard. Her mother and her live in Atchison, Kansas. The first picture I am including today shows young Emma Wilk with her cousin Amanda Ortiz, in a picture that was taken in 2008.

6 weeks ago I wrote in this blog that Shannon requested family members who had memories of her mother Beverly Russell Wilk, to send them to her. (Bev died in 1974 when Shannon was just a baby.) It is gratifying to know that some of you did share some family memories with her.

Shannon: "Thank you for sharing your memories with me. It means so very much. And yes, papa Frank is a huge help. Emma has him wrapped around her finger. I am very happy to share her with him. They are like two peas-in-a-pod.

"I try my best to be a mom and dad for her. Frank helps with that as well. Plus I have a select few male friends that hang out with us and they help, like taking her fishing, kite-flying, and getting dirty. She loves tools and digging in the dirt. It's too cute. She will come in all dirty from playing with the boys and then wants to play dress up. She is well rounded! But she is most definitely a mama's girl! She is my world and the best gift God could give me.

"Enjoy your new grand baby! Isn't it just the most awesome thing to see your child's child! I saw the look in my dad's eye the day Emma was born. I don't think I ever saw such happiness in his eyes, ever!"

Best wishes to Shannon and especially to Emma on the occasion of her 5th birthday. The second picture I am including, taken in 1984, shows Shannon on the right at about 10 years old. Next to her is her dad Phil and her brother Karl. On the left are her grandparents Bill and Pauline (Shepard) Russell.

This Just In: She's A Girl! Gary and Cindy Shepard of Oak Harbor, Washington are celebrating the birth of Cindy's first Ggrandchild, born to her granddaughter Breauna and her boyfriend Curtis of Cartersville, Georgia. Cindy: "I want you to meet my Ggranddaughter Janaeya Eve born June 2nd (on our anniversary) at around 6pm Georgia time, weighing in at 8 lbs. 1 oz." The third picture I am including shows little infant Janaeya in what may be her very first picture. Congratulations!

Thanks to those of you who have recently sent me some old and new family pictures, especially those for the Father's Day photo presentation that I will be putting together in the next couple of weeks. It will be a great tribute to the Fathers and Grandfathers among us.
- - -

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Two Anniversaries and a 140th Birthday, June 2, 2010

I smile because 
you are my brother. 
I laugh because 
there's nothing you can do about it!

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Happy Anniversary TODAY to my brother Gary and his wife Cindy Shepard of Oak Harbor, Washington. 31 years ago they were married in a small garden wedding at our home in Los Alamitos, California.

They are spending their anniver- sary today communi- cating their love and affection by phone across 2200 miles and about 7 states of separation. Cindy is at home in Washington state, working today and awaiting word of the birth of her first Ggrandchild in Georgia. Gary is in Weatherford, Texas with his kids and grandkids, celebrating the High School graduation of his granddaughter Mandi Aquiningoc yesterday, June 1 (not today, as "my sources" mistakenly reported last week).

Best wishes to Gary and Cindy! The first picture I am including today was taken on the occasion of their wedding ceremony so many years ago, and shows a young P.K. with security blanket in hand, admonishing the young couple regarding the seriousness of their wedding vows. (Where do these kids learn these things?)

The second picture I am including shows Gary and Cindy after their wedding ceremony, the handsome young couple showing no ill effects of the aforementioned admonishment. These days Gary enjoys the retired life on Whidbey Island in Western Washington, while Cindy works for a meat packing plant in nearby Mount Vernon.

Remembering the Birthday of JBD. Today is also the 140th anniversary of the birthday of James Brooks Davis, Gary's Ggrandfather. JBD was born in 1870 in Spencer, Indiana, where in 1896 he married Caroline Spear, and where their 7 children were born. 

In the early years of the 20th century he moved his young family to Oklahoma and settled in Beaver County in the panhandle, where some of their family live to this day. That move was just the beginning of the westward migration of some of their descendants. Their oldest daughter Bura Davis and her husband Will Shepard eventually settled in San Diego, California in 1940, where they lived virtually the rest of their lives. (See the picture of Will and Bura Shepard in San Diego in the 1950s.)

Will and Bura's 95th. Speaking of Bura Davis, it was on this day 95 years ago -- on her father JBD's 45th birthday -- that she chose to marry William Shepard in Beaver County, Oklahoma. They both were from farming families and belonged to the South Flat Church of Christ, where they met. You can see their wedding picture on the front page of this blog, the right hand column.

In 1975, the year before he died, Will Shepard said this in a recording in which he talked about Bura and about their wedding day:
She was quite a Sunday School girl. I had just come into the church myself in December [1914]. My dad had come in a little earlier than that. He was on his death bed with cancer and wanted to see me become a Christian before he died. So I did. I was running around with her [Bura] at that time.

I had my first model T car. [To get married] we had to go to another sod house where the preacher lived. It was a real wet spring and water was standing everywhere. We didn't have highways. Just old roads. I didn't think we could make it by taking the regular road so we went around on the higher country and ran into a lake and got stuck. And there we sat, on what became her brother-in-law's Father's property.

We sat there in that car in the mud hole nearly all day. Finally an old gentleman who lived there came and took off nearly everything he had on except his pants and waded in. He pulled us with his team of horses trying to get us out. Finally we got out. I imagine it was about 3 or 4 o'clock.

The preacher then tied the knot and we went home the way we should have when we went out to see him. He must have done a good job tying the knot because it is still tight.
Got a Father's Day Pic? I will be compiling an online photo presentation for Father's Day in a couple of weeks and invite you to send me your favorite picture of your father and you. I would like to have pictures of as many of our family's fathers and their children as possible.
- - -