Thursday, August 25, 2016

Aaah Summer, August 25, 2016

Aaah, summer - 
that long anticipated stretch
of lazy, lingering days,
free of responsibility
and rife with possibility.
It's a time to hunt for insects and master handstands,
practice swimming strokes,
conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies,
and make new friends. 
~Darell Hammond

Greetings to all of you today from Anacortes, Washington. For most of us, summer is winding down and the events and responsibilities of fall are fast approaching. 

I am in Western Washington this week visiting for a few days with my mom Maida Shepard and family. The Anacortes family continues to adjust to the increasing needs that mom has now that she is approaching her 92nd birthday. Mom is still living in her home on Wildwood Lane just south of town and is doing very well, thanks to her kids and grandkids. Special thanks to her son Gary, her daughter Barbara and her grandson Steve, the latter two of whom live with her and care for her on a daily basis.

The first picture was taken just last night on Mom's front deck as the bright sun of late summer was setting over Puget Sound. It shows Maida Shepard in the middle with daughter Barbara Shepard on the left and me on the right.

Happy Birthday Amanda! Today, Aug 25, is the 33rd birthday of Amanda Ortiz Davis, daughter of Kim Boyd Clark and granddaughter of Thelma Shepard Boyd of Blue Springs, Missouri. Amanda and husband Justin Davis live in Wathena, Kansas. Best wishes to Amanda!

The second picture shows (Raiders fan!?) Amanda with smiling husband Justin in an image from earlier this year.

Happy Birthday Lyndsey Aquiningoc. This coming Monday, August 29 is the 26th birthday of Lyndsey Aquiningoc of Weatherford, Texas. Lyndsey was born in San Diego but has lived the last 18 years in Weatherford, Texas and thereabouts. 

Lyndsey is the older daughter of Kerri Aquiningoc and is the oldest grandchild of my brother Gary Shepard and Jackie Perry. Lyndsey is also the proud mother of 2 year old Karver Bearden. Best birthday wishes to Lyndsey!

This second picture shows Lyndsey with a couple of her friends, David and Harley, in a photo that was taken earlier this year in Granbury, Texas.

A Sign of the Times. I just noticed that all three pictures included in today's post are selfies. (Yes, even the first one.) I don't think that has ever happened in all the hundreds of posts of The Shepard's Crook. I suppose we can just chalk it up to the nature of picture taking these days. Part of me rues the fact that it often means photos are of lesser quality, though that is not always true. I should, however, be grateful (and I am) that it means there are more family pictures being taken, and being made available. Especially in summer with more daylight hours and happy times that long to be captured.
- - -
Steve Shepard

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Dog Days of Summer, August 16, 2016

The reverence for the deeds of our ancestors
is a treacherous sentiment.
Their merit was not to reverence the old,
but to honor the present moment.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

During these dog days of summer, two events seem appropriate to bring to your attention.

Happy Birthday Linda Shepard. One is the birthday today of my niece Linda Shepard of Anacortes, Washington. Born and raised in Anacortes, Linda is the daughter of my brother Russ Shepard and his wife Pam, and the youngest granddaughter of Maida Shepard, also of Anacortes. Linda has lived almost her entire life in their home on 32nd St just down the street from the Church of Christ in town.

Last month Linda and her long time boyfriend Jamie Stockmoe announced their plans to be married. This first picture shows the two of them on South Jetty Beach in Oregon where Jamie proposed to Linda. Here's a first for The Shepard's Crook in this digital age: you can select this link to see a romantic video of the entire surprise proposal that took place July 22.

Congratulations to Linda and Jamie and best wishes! And happy 23rd birthday today to Linda.

Reconnecting With Family. Another recent event was a visit of my cousin Kim Boyd Clark and her mother Thelma Shepard Boyd with some relatives in Bolivar, Missouri. 

Kim and Thelma met with some Davis relatives who represent an important part of our extended family and its history. They were three cousins of my Aunt Thelma, daughters of Bura Davis Shepard's sister Winona Davis Kilpatrick.

This second picture shows those who were a part of this mini family reunion in Bolivar, Missouri. From left to right are Carolyn Kilpatrick Roberts, Shirley Kilpatrick Borgstadt, Thelma, Kim, and Norma Lou Kilpatrick Allen.

Here is Kim's report on the events of this past weekend:

We had such a great time today. We have the sweetest family. It was such a pleasure spending the day here in Bolivar. Carolyn made us a wonderful lunch. I can't wait to meet more of them and we found out that there is more family in Liberty, Missouri about 30 minutes from us.

This picture was taken at Carolyn's house. This is where we met and spent the afternoon. If it wasn't for you, Steve, this never would have happened. I can never thank you enough for the family you have searched and found and reconnected. I am so happy that my mom was able to see her cousins that she hasn't seen since she was a teenager. I loved every minute of our visit.

We are having some changes here. By the end of the month Jeff and I and my mom will be moving to another one of our properties in Grain Valley, Missouri which is only about 4 miles from Blue Springs. My mom has sold her house and will be moving in with us so we will all be moving in at the same time.

Thanks to Kim for sharing these details of a happy time with her mom's cousins and this opportunity to celebrate this kinship with family.
- - -
Steve Shepard

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Tangled Web We Weave, Aug 10, 2016

Oh, what a tangled web we weave...
~Walter Scott

Happy Birthday Heather Robson Cotten. Today, August 10, is the birthday of Heather Robson Cotten, daughter of Paula Tuzzolino and granddaughter of Vicki Gower Johnston. Heather is also one of the 14 Great Grandchildren of Leroy and Nola Shannon Gower.

Heather and husband Sean Cotten and their two daughters live in Austin, Texas. This first picture shows Heather with her family as they celebrated a family birthday last month. 

Heather said this on Facebook yesterday: My last day in my 30's and although it seems unfathomable that I'm turning 40, it has been a great decade! I was blessed with two beautiful children, graduated from college, started my career and flourished with an amazing company, celebrated many anniversaries with my amazing husband, took several vacations with my life long friends, grown closer to God, I'm in the best shape of my life and so much more! Bring it on 40's! I can't wait to see what milestones, adventures and blessings the next decade will bring!

Happy Birthday and best wishes to Heather and her family.

Happy Birthday Jeremy Ortiz. Friday, August 12, is the birthday of Jeremy Ortiz, son of Kim Boyd Clark and grandson of Thelma Shepard Boyd. He is one of the 21 Great Grandchildren of William and Bura Davis Shepard. 

Jeremy, his wife Desiree and their 5 children live in El Cajon, California just east of San Diego. This second picture, taken earlier this summer, shows Jeremy with his oldest son Damian.

Birthday greetings to Jeremy and best wishes to him and his family!

A Tangled Web. Why do the the two birthday people this week find themselves in this post of The Shepard's Crook? They probably don't know each other, they live several states apart, and were even born in different parts of the country. 

It's all about the Grandmothers.

Heather and Jeremy are Grandchildren of two of the senior members of our family: Vicki Gower Johnston of Chandler, Arizona and Thelma Shepard Boyd of Blue Springs, Missouri. 

Here's the untangling of the web: 71 years ago Melva Gower (now Vicki Johnston) and Thelma Shepard (last name now Boyd) were grade-school children who lived not far from each other in San Diego. 8 year old Thelma lived with her family on Albatross Street in the Hillcrest section of the city and was in 3rd grade. 11 year old Melva (Vicki) lived not far away on Arizona Street in North Park and was in 5th grade at Garfield Elementary. 

The two girls did not know each other until the spring of 1945 when Vicki's big sister, 20 year old Maida Gower, married Thelma's big brother, Navy-man Eugene Shepard. It was on a Thursday afternoon in late May, in a small intimate house wedding behind the El Cajon Blvd Church of Christ, that the Shepards and Gowers were forever united when Maida Gower and Eugene Shepard said their vows.

The girls Vicki and Thelma were probably in school when the wedding occurred, or they would have gladly attended. In the months and years following the wedding they must have had opportunities to meet during family gatherings or other events. Over the past 71 years both women have grown their own families and flourished in their own ways. Indeed four generations of descendants have been born, among whom are Heather and Jeremy. 

The third composite image shows Thelma on the left in 1953 with her nephew Dane Shepard, and Vicki on the right in 1955 with her son Michael.

I am pleased to claim Vicki and Thelma as aunts of mine, women who today are among the oldest members of the Gowers and the Shepards. They are both proud progenitors of large families, who are each represented well by Heather and by Jeremy, the two whose birthdays we celebrate.

Eugene Shepard (1921-2003). I am also thinking this week about my father Eugene Shepard, the late brother of the the aforementioned Thelma Shepard Boyd. My dad passed away 13 years ago this past Monday in Anacortes, Washington at 82 years old.
- - -
Steve Shepard

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Memories Tragic and Joyful, August 4, 2016

The song is ended but the meoldy lingers on...
~Irving Berlin

This week holds several special memories for members of our family. From the tragic to the joyful and other places in between.

Linda Shepard, 1968
Linda Shepard (1950-1971). It was 45 years ago this month that my 20 year old sister Linda Shepard died in Lubbock, Texas. She and husband Jerry Clark were students at Lubbock Christian University at the time. Her death on August 1, 1971 occurred the day after an auto accident that injured her, her husband Jerry and her sister Barbara. 

Jerry and Barbara both recovered in the months after the accident, but the scars remain for them and for all of us who knew Linda, as does the emptiness and the sense of loss. Linda's headstone in Greenwood Cemetery in San Diego is the oldest among the 15 or so Shepard and Gower family graves in that cemetery. The first picture is Linda's High School graduation picture from 1968.
Chris, Easton and Amanda Farrell

If there is anything that unites us with family members recent and long ago, it is the pain of the loss of loved ones. Whether it is the death of a young husband in 1862 or 1992, or a wife in 1971 or a dear one in the 21st century, the untimely loss of family members is a common experience that deepens our lives as humans and can, over time, bring out the best within us.

Chris and Amanda Clark Farrell. Speaking of Jerry Clark, this Saturday is a special day for one of his three daughters. August 6 is the 10th wedding anniversary of Amanda Clark Farrell and her husband Chris Farrell. They and their young son Easton live in Frisco, Texas. Happy 10th Anniversary to Chris and Amanda!

Tammy and Lloyd Gower
Happy Birthday Lloyd Gower. Monday of this week was the birthday of Lloyd Gower, the son of my cousin Hershell Gower of Bullhead City, Arizona, and one of the Great Grandchildren of Leroy and Nola Shannon Gower. Lloyd was born and raised in San Diego and lives today in San Marcos, California, a suburb of San Diego. On August 1 Lloyd celebrated his 46th birthday. Lloyd and his wife Tammy Turman Gower celebrated their 3rd anniversary earlier this year on May 7. Lloyd and his brother Sean Gower are two of only a few remaining descendants of Leroy and Nola Gower still living in the San Diego area.

Kelly, James (and Kyle) Sauvage
Happy Anniversary James and Kelly. Tomorrow is the 16th wedding anniversary of Kelly Shepard Sauvage and her husband James Sauvage. Kelly is the second daughter of my brother Gary Shepard and Jackie Enderle Perry. Born and raised in San Diego, she and James had a beautiful Church wedding here in San Diego in the summer of Y2K. (Do you remember Y2K?) They and their sons Nate and Kyle live today in Weatherford, Texas. Best wishes and Happy Anniversary to James and Kelly.
- - -
Steve Shepard