Monday, October 31, 2016

Things That Go Bump In The Night! October 31, 2016

From ghosties and ghoulies
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Deliver us, O Lord!
~traditional Scottish prayer

Happy Halloween! Greetings to all of you from Anacortes, Washington where I am enjoying a fall visit with family here. Happy Halloween to everyone on this last day of October, 2016! Best wishes to all of you as we honor this great American holiday celebrating horror and all things terrifying.

This first picture was taken earlier this evening and shows our 3 grandkids sharing a Halloween moment with their San Diego Great Grandmother Paula Harris, Cindy's mom. From left to right are "Fireman" Logan Shepard, Preslea Shepard as "Draculora", and on the right, "Pirate" William Shepard, each with their buckets of Halloween candy. Thanks to my wife Cindy for this picture.

Happy Birthday Maida! Tomorrow is the 92nd birthday of my mom Maida Shepard, the Washington Great Grandmother of our grandkids. Maida has lived in Anacortes, Washington on Wildwood Lane for over 38 years now, ever since she and her late husband Eugene Shepard moved to the Northwest from San Diego back in 1978. Living with Maida and helping her as she carefully moves into her 90's is her daughter Barbara and her grandson Steven, and other family in the area. Many of Maida's family live in Western Washington, while others live in San Diego and in the Weatherford, Texas area.

Yesterday Barb and I celebrated mom's birthday with her at Anthony's, a popular local restaurant. This second picture was taken on that occasion and shows me planting a kiss on birthday girl Maida.

Maida and Paula are among the senior members of our extended family. We wish them both well and offer special birthday greetings to Maida! 
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Steve Shepard

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Our Roots Remain as One, October 26, 2016

Family is like branches on a tree.
We all grow in different directions
yet our roots remain as one.

The Shepard-Davis-Pruett Clan. In my last post I mentioned that I had recently connected online with a second cousin of mine, Lisa Allred Parks who lives in Haltom City, Texas. She emailed me a picture of my Shepard grandparents (and a host of other kinfolk), one than I had never seen before and am very grateful to have. Here's the picture (you can enlarge it by clicking on it):
Shepard-Davis-Pruett Clan, 1945, Oklahoma

I have a similar picture that has been in my archives for many years, that was taken at the same location, probably at the same time, but includes only a few of the people pictured here (you can see that picture below). 

On the back of Lisa's copy of this first picture it says it was taken in the summer of 1945 in Beaver County, Oklahoma, at the home of Perry Jenkins (the husband of Esther Davis Jenkins, sister of my grandmother Bura Davis Shepard).

This particular image illustrates better than any other picture I have ever seen, the relationship that existed between the extended family of my Grandfather William Shepard (pictured here on the far left in the back, only his head is visible), and the family of my Grandmother Bura Davis Shepard (pictured on the far left side in the white dress). 

William Shepard's family was fairly small in number. His immediate family consisted of his wife and 4 children, a son-in-law and 2 grandchildren, all of whom were living in San Diego in 1945. He had just one sibling Sadie Shepard Pruett (possibly the one pictured next to William in the back, with only her head visible). Sadie, with husband Levy Pruett (pictured far right in the back), had 3 daughters. All 3 daughters - Alberta, Gayle and Twila - are pictured here with the husbands of Alberta and Gayle. Twila is the mother of Lisa Allred Parks, who graciously sent me this picture.

My Grandmother Bura Davis Shepard had 6 siblings, all of whom were married with kids at this time, which meant a much larger extended family. Among Bura's siblings in the first picture are Marjorie Davis Millikan (in the very center, white dress with brooch) and Esther Davis Jenkins to the left of Marjorie. William and Bura's daughter Thelma is in front, the third in the line of 4 young girls. The elderly lady on the right is Thelma's grandmother, Callie Spear Davis, mother of the Davis children in the first picture.

I am not able to identify all the folks in the first picture above (if you can, please let me know), yet they are all happy participants in this Shepard-Davis-Pruett clan gathering 71 years ago, on the dusty plains of the Oklahoma panhandle. It's a reminder of a different era when our families were expanding, some moving westward to the coast, all developing their own identity and growing their own family circles. Despite the many years that have passed, we are still united by that bond of connection to common ancestors, most of whom are gone now, but all of whom are respectfully remembered.

Happy Birthday Mandi! Today is the 24th birthday of Mandi Aquiningoc of Granbury, Texas. Mandi is the Granddaughter of my brother Gary Shepard and Jackie Perry, and is the daughter of Kerri Aquiningoc. Mandi was born and lived in San Diego but has been in Texas now for over 15 years.

This third picture shows Mandi on the right with her daughter, 3 year old Kambree. Also pictured is Mandi's cousin Kyle Sauvage.

Mandi: Hi uncle Steve! It's always good to hear from you. Kambree and I are doing great. She has definitely grown a lot since the last time we saw you and Great Grammie a few years ago. She turned 3 back in June and is growing way too fast. She is also learning so much in school already. Right now we're learning how to write her name and I have been working my tail off. At one point I was working 2 jobs. I became a bartender at a place called Fuzzys Taco, also working at UPS. But I did manage to save a lot of money working 2 jobs. My sister and I still live together, but my goal is to eventually find a place for myself and Kambree. I believe I'm almost to that point. I love hearing from you guys and I sure wish we can all see y'all again sometime soon. We love and miss y'all!

Birthday Wishes to Pam! This coming Sunday, October 30 is the birthday of Pam Engan Shepard, wife of my brother Russ Shepard and part of our family who lives in Anacortes, Washington. Pam is the mother of Linda and Steven Shepard. Happy birthday and best wishes to Pam as she celebrates yet another birthday!

This last picture was taken last month and shows Pam slicing apples in the kitchen of her mother-in-law Maida Shepard of Anacortes, Washington. Partially pictured with Pam is their son Steven Shepard.
- - -
Steve Shepard

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Celebrating Family Connections, October 18, 2016

Sticking with your family is what makes it a family.
~Mitch Albom

Happy Birthday to Aunt Vicki! Birthday wishes go out today to my aunt Vicki Gower Johnston of Chandler, Arizona, who turns 83 years old today. Vicki lives just a few minutes away from her daughter Paula Harrell Tuzzolino of Sun Lakes, Arizona. Her other children are David Harrell of Oak Harbor, Washington and Michael Harrell of Zionsville, Indiana (soon to be living in Tokyo, Japan).

I talked with Vicki's daughter Paula recently, and she told me that her mom is doing pretty well, aside from the aches and pains that normally go along with being an octogenarian. Vicki still misses life in Oak Harbor, Washington where she lived for some 40 years in a beautiful home, high on a bluff overlooking the Puget Sound. Last fall she moved to the desert of Arizona to be near Paula.

Speaking of Washington, this first picture was taken in Anacortes, Washington in 1994 at a family reunion at the home of my parents Maida and Gene Shepard. Sitting pretty in the green outfit is my aunt Vicki Gower Johnston. Directly behind her is her daughter Paula. In the front on the right is my uncle Bill Russell (1908-1997), whose birthday is also today and who was featured in my blog post last week.

Happy Birthday Kori. Congratulations and best wishes to Korilyn Boyd, daughter of my cousin Darren Boyd. Kori who turns 19 today, lives in the North Park community of San Diego with her dad Darren Boyd. She graduated back in the spring of this year from Coronado High School and is attending Mesa College here in San Diego. Kori is the youngest child of my youngest cousin Darren Boyd, who is the youngest child of my youngest aunt Thelma Shepard Boyd of Blue Springs, Missouri.

This second picture shows Korilyn Boyd in a picture that was taken this past spring when Kori graduated from Coronado High School.

Connecting With Cousins. It is always fun to connect with people online who I have never met, but who are related to people who are ancestors of ours. In recent months I have connected with a second cousin named Lisa Allred Parks of Ft. Worth, Texas. She is a granddaughter of Sadie Shepard Pruett, the sister of my grandfather William Shepard. Lisa is the daughter of the late Twila Pruett Allred, who was a first cousin of my father Eugene Shepard. For several years I have been interested in connecting with this part of our extended family, but without success. So it was a real joy to get an email from Lisa who stumbled upon The Shepard's Crook not long ago and is now among our regular readers.

Earlier this year I also heard from another second cousin named Alice Shannon Traynor of Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Alice is a daughter of Marvin Shannon (1916-2004) who was a first cousin of my mom Maida Gower Shepard. Alice: "I was very excited to run across your blog. I stumbled across it when I googled Samuel Pickens Shannon." Samuel Pickens Shannon, of Mountain View, Arkansas, is the Great Grandfather of both Alice and me. It is gratifying to be in touch with both these extended family members and to learn more about their particular families and share with them about the ancestors we have in common.
- - -
Steve Shepard

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

"A Quotation From All His Ancestors", October 11, 2016

Every house is a quotation out of all forests;
and every person is a quotation from all his ancestors.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Remembering Bill Russell. My uncle, Willie Davis Russell, is a man worth remembering. Married to my aunt Pauline Shepard, he was a remarkable person with a wonderful, positive influence on our Shepard family for most of his life. Bill was born in this month of October, 108 years ago, in Ellis County, Oklahoma, just east of Beaver County where my Shepard grandparents settled in the early 20th century. Their oldest child was Pauline Shepard whom Bill married in January, 1935 when the Shepards were living in the little town of Two Buttes, Colorado.

In September of that same year, 1935, Bill's father John Russell died in Kansas. Bill's widowed mother Cora Hamilton Russell went to live in Tennessee with family, and Bill's attachment to the Shepard family became even more significant. Bill and Pauline lived in Southeast Colorado for 5 years after getting married, and bore their 2 children there, Rex and Beverly.

They and their children then migrated to San Diego in 1940 with Pauline's parents William and Bura Davis Shepard and their other 3 children. It was a time of tremendous migration into California after the bleak dust-bowl years in Oklahoma and Colorado, as people sought improved economic opportunities. Even though their move to the West Coast separated them from their extended family and their historical roots, it was a positive move for the Shepard family. We flourished in the post war years in San Diego, and experienced several decades of growth and happiness throughout the second half of the 20th century.

The 1940 US Census shows that when they lived in Colorado, Bill worked as a "Tractor Man" in "Road Construction." Bill developed a serious bone disease as a young man, requiring the amputation of one of his legs. So when they settled in San Diego, his vocational pursuits had to change. He worked as an accountant and a notary public and made an excellent living for himself and his family. He and Pauline were very positive people, always helpful to the rest of the family, and even took Bill's prosthetic leg with an appropriate amount of good humor.

The first picture (above) was taken in San Diego about 1945, probably in Balboa Park. It shows Bill Russell on the far right with his daughter Beverly in front of him. Next to Bill is his mother Cora Hamilton Russell who was visiting in San Diego at the time. On the far left are my grandparents William and Bura Davis Shepard. The other people are unidentified family friends.

The Russells' first home in San Diego (the first home owned by any of the Shepard clan in California) was purchased in the early 1940s in North Park on Ohio Street. In the 1960s they bought their second home in the eastern part of the city off El Cajon Blvd. on Mandalay Place, a new modern home where many memorable family gatherings took place.

This second picture shows Bill and Pauline Russell (on the left) in the summer of 1991. With them are my parents Maida and Gene Shepard, and my wife Cindy. This picture was taken in Lake Wallowa, Oregon at a family reunion.

Bill and Pauline lived out their days in San Diego. Bill died in the summer of 1997 at 88 years old. He and Pauline are laid to rest in a section of Greenwood Cemetery in San Diego where more than a dozen other family members have their final resting place.

Bill and Pauline have three descendants living today. Their grandson Eric Russell of Reno, Nevada, son of their first born, Rex Russell. And Shannon Wilk and her daughter Emma Wilk of Atchison, Kansas. Shannon is the daughter of Bill and Pauline's daughter Beverly Russell Wilk.

Both Bill and Pauline will always have a special place in the history of our family, and are remembered fondly by all of us who knew them.

Happy Birthday Finley! The foregoing is a look back at the oldest family member of my parents' generation. The following celebrates the life of the youngest member of my grandchildren's generation.

Today is the first birthday of Finley Grace Shepard, the daughter of Jessica Bell and my nephew Christopher Shepard of Seattle, Washington. Chris is the son of Mary Medina Shepard and my brother Darrell Shepard of Bothell, Washington. Finley is also the youngest of the 11 Great Grandchildren of my mom Maida Gower Shepard.

This final picture shows little Finley with her parents Jessica and Chris. This picture was taken last month when they were visiting Finley's Great Grandmother Maida in Anacortes, Washington.
- - -
Steve Shepard