Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26: Safeguarding Motherhood

God gave us memories 
that we might have roses 
in December.  
~J.M. Barrie

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you on this week of remembering some special loved ones. Tomorrow would have been the 71st birthday of Beverly Russell, had she not suffered a fatal brain aneurysm in 1974.

Bev's daughter Shannon Wilk lives in Atchison, Kansas with her young daughter Emma. The first picture shows Shannon in the arms of her mother Beverly in late 1973. Next to Bev is Shannon's grandmother Pauline (Shepard) Russell and her Ggrandmother Bura (Davis) Shepard. 

Shannon wrote me recently: Emma is doing great. Growing like a weed. She will be starting kindergarten this year. She is getting to be a computer nerd. Plays on it at school and at (papa) Frank's. Can't get her off the thing! 

I remember my mother's birthday every year, though I usually remember it quietly to myself. I try to tell Emma everything I can about grandma, but having no memory of her is hard. Uncle Rex and Aunt Margie kept the picture of mom for me - the one above grandad's TV. It has now been above Emma's bed since the day she came home. Emma and I get a kick out of how much we both look like her.

Does anyone have any memories of my mother they would like to share with me and Emma? I would be most grateful. Did she like to dance? Emma and I dance all the time. We love music and Emma gets her little booty just-a-shaking! What was her favorite color? Favorite food? Did she like sports, etc.?

Sometimes it's hard to feel whole when half of me I do not know. But what I do have of my mom and what I do know, I keep a part of our lives. My father as well. Emma was only two when my dad passed in 2007. But she knows grandpa Phil, and points him out in all the pictures. We were out at the lake one day and a butterfly was following us - seriously - and Emma said that it was grandpa Phil, that he wanted to walk with us. The things children say...

I encourage those who have memories of Bev to share them with Shannon and Emma. Please email me if you need her email address.

Other April Memories. This Wednesday would have been the 89th birthday of my father Eugene Shepard, who passed away in the summer of 2003. Wednesday also happens to be the birthday of my maternal grandmother Nola Gower who died in 2004 at 102. They are both gone but are still remembered fondly.

The picture above was taken at the home of Gary and Cindy Shepard in Ramona, California in 1997 and shows Nola Gower on the left, next to Eugene and Maida (Gower) Shepard.

Birthday wishes to Susan Clark Cox and Amanda Clark Farrell, twin daughters of Jerry Clark and Jane Clark Brock. Susan and Amanda both turned 30 yesterday! Happy birthday to both of them!

The third picture, taken back in 1991, shows Susan and Amanda. These days Susan is in cahoots with dad Jerry in their business in Lubbock, Texas, and Amanda lives with husband Chris Farrell in Frisco -- not the one in Northern California, but the one in north Texas.

Safeguarding Motherhood. On Easter Sunday I posted a picture of Kelly and James Sauvage and their two boys (see the picture). I said that the boys were wearing Pittsburgh Steeler jerseys. Kelly insisted that I set the record straight: "The two boys and I are wearing Charger jerseys. James is the only one in a Steelers jersey. I mean come on... what kind of mother do you think I am?!"

Later this week I'll give the answer to last week's trivia question. (How many GGGGGGGG grandparents do each of us have?) It's not too late to make your guess.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 21: Our Brooks Connection

The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant.
Every table had an argument going.
~George Carlin

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

I never met my Ggrandfather James Brooks Davis - he died 20 years before I was born. But I do remember my grandmother Bura (Davis) Shepard talking about her father. She always referred to him by all 3 names, as if his middle name Brooks had special significance, but I never heard her say what that significance was. Perhaps she never knew. 

The Brooks Connection. From Ronald Davis' family history I learned years ago that James Brooks Davis had a Ggrandparent named Vashti Wright. (Vashti is the name of the queen of Persia in the Bible book of Esther) Recently I discovered that her maiden name was Brooks. Was she the one James Brooks Davis' parents were thinking of when they named him?

Vashti Brooks Wright was born in Bush River, South Carolina in the all-American year of 1776. After a remarkably long life for someone born in the 18th century, she died in Owen County, Indiana at 91. She had moved there from South Carolina with her family sometime in the early 1800s. Here's the interesting thing: it was also in Owen County, just 3 years after her death, that James "Brooks" Davis was born.

On the other hand, it might have been another member of Vashti's family that Charles and Melinda (Wright) Davis were thinking of when they named their first child James Brooks Davis. The name of Vashti's father, as well as one of her brothers, was -- get this -- James Brooks. The parents of the elder James Brooks were Matthew and Elizabeth (Warren) Brooks, who, according to historical records, had immigrated to the U.S. in 1731 via the Potomac River near Washington, D.C.

Here, then, are the names and dates of those in a 300 year lineage from my granddaughter Preslea Maida Shepard to Matthew Brooks, with James Brooks Davis smack dab in the middle:

Preslea Maida Shepard (b. 2010)...
Nathan William Shepard (b. 1977)...
Steven Dale Shepard (b. 1948)...
Eugene William Shepard (1921-2003)...
Bura (Davis) Shepard (1896-1986)...
James Brooks Davis (1870-1928)...
Melinda (Wright) Davis (1846-1920)...
John Lynn Wright (1819-1909)...
Vashti (Brooks) Wright (1776-1867)...
James Brooks (1747-1790)...
Matthew Brooks (1711-1755)...

The picture above on the left, taken recently, shows Preslea Shepard of San Francisco, California, the youngest in the lineage listed above, with her grandmother Cindy Shepard of San Diego, California.

20th Century Brookses. At least two 20th century members of our family were given the name Brooks, both grandsons of James Brooks Davis. One was James Brooks Millikan (1948-1958), John and Marjorie (Davis) Millikan's youngest son, whose life was cut short by bone cancer. The other is George Brooks (Bud) Davis, who lives in Washington State, and who I referred to in this blog a couple of weeks ago. The picture on the right, taken earlier this month, shows George Brooks (Bud) Davis with grandchild Moira. Bud: "Moira, six months old, is the daughter of my wife Janet's son David and wife Jenny Kaye who live in Edmond, OK."

Trivia Question for Today. The lineage listed above shows that immigrant Matthew Brooks is Preslea Shepard's GGGGGGGG grandfather. (With just a change or two, most of you can create a lineage similar to the one above that shows your connection to Matthew Brooks.)  Here is today's trivia question: how many GGGGGGGG grandparents does each person have in their family tree? (You have two parents, 4 grandparents, etc...) The first one to email me with the correct answer will get a special commendation in an upcoming post. (woo-hoo!)

In the meantime celebrate, protect and honor our beautiful world on Earth Day tomorrow.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14, 2010: Yet Another Spring Birthday

Spring has returned.
The earth is like a child
that knows poems.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings from San Diego, California where beautiful spring flowers seems to be multiplying overnight. We are presently in the midst of the big 3 day celebration of Khmer New Year - at least it is big for the thousands of Cambodians who live in the San Diego area. It is a first for Cindy and me, but a regular occurrence for our daughter-in-law Chenda. Learn more about Khmer New Year.

The first picture I am including shows baby Preslea Maida Shepard with her daddy Nathan, mom Chenda and Grandmother Cindy. This picture was taken just yesterday at a Khmer New Year celebration here in San Diego. (click the pic for a larger view)

Today is the birthday of Rachel Jane Shepard of Bothell, Washington. She is the middle child of Darrell and Mary Shepard of Kirkland, Washington, a Granddaughter of Maida and Eugene Shepard, and the 13th Ggrandchild of Will and Bura (Davis) Shepard. The second picture I am including, taken last fall, shows Rachel with her mother Mary on the left and her boyfriend Bryan Miller, standing. The third picture today shows Rachel at 3 years old at a family wedding in Anacortes, Washington.

Rachel: "I can't believe I'll be 23 this Wednesday, time sure flies! :) All is going well with me. Bryan and I are still living in our apartment in Bothell. I stay busy these days with work and taking care of our 5 month old puppy Maddi. :) I continue to work in the senior housing industry (going on 7 years!) and actually got a new job as an Assistant Administrator for an Assisted Living Memory Care community. It's a lot of work and responsibility but I am enjoying it. Work is pretty tiring and we've been having some crazy weather lately so I've been relaxing and of course spending time with my family. As you know we all still stay within about a 15 minute radius of each other.  

My mom is doing pretty good. For the most part she's recovering very well from her recent surgery. Patrick just got a promotion with his job and Chris continues to work and go to school full time. We are all looking forward to the following months for some nice sunny weather. :)

What a beautiful baby Nathan and Chenda have. I love the name. I'm very happy for them. Your first grand baby! That's exciting for you guys too. I enjoy the family emails and getting to see the pictures that come with them."

Historical Note: There is another Rachel Jane in our family tree besides today's birthday girl Rachel Jane Shepard. Bura (Davis) Shepard's maternal grandmother was Margaret (Maggie) Williams Spear (1845-1904) who had a sister born with the name Rachel Jane Williams (b. 1832). Often in our family children will be named purposefully after a relative. Then there are times when a child is unintentionally named after one of their ancestors. My guess is that the latter is the case here, but it is worth celebrating nonetheless. Happy Birthday, Rachel!

Select this for a photo presentation done for Rachel. 
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Thursday, April 08, 2010

April 8, 2010: Happy Anniversary Jerry and Cathrina

The value of the family
is not that adults produce children,
but that children produce adults. 
-Peter de Vries

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from the unusually warm city of San Francisco, where the weather turned from drizzly, cold, west coast winter to sunny springtime overnight. Our sojourn in the City by the Bay with the new parents of our beautiful grandchild Preslea Maida will end later today when we return home to San Diego.

Happy anniversary to Jerry and Cathrina (Helms) Clark of Lubbock, Texas who were married 4 years ago today. Jerry emailed me recently with the following.

"We are very busy (at work) with the end of the school year. 4 years has gone quick -- of course at my advanced age all the years do!

We are heading back to NYC with Cat's parents in June and then to Myrtle Beach with Sue, Drew, Amanda and Chris in late July celebrating my 60th and Sue and Amanda's 30th

Cathrina is busy with selling cotton and driving her fancy, used, red race car (as my grandson Drew calls it)
. All 7 of our grandkids are great. Becky is expecting another and that will make 8 total."

The first picture (above) shows the happy couple Cathrina and Jerry in a recent picture. The second picture I am including shows Jerry and two other women in his life: Maida Shepard on the left, and Amanda, one of his 3 daughters, on the right.  Maida lives in Anacortes, Washington where this picture was taken in the fall of 2005, and Amanda lives in Frisco, Texas with husband Chris Farrell.

If you have been paying even a little attention to this blog for the last 2+ years, you know that Friday has been my day of choice to post messages. But that has changed recently, as you may have noticed. I will continue to post at least once a week, but the particular day of the week will probably vary. I hope this does not upset anyone's routine too much. ;-) 
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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

Celestial spirit that doth roll
The heart's sepulchral stone away,
Be this our resurrection day,
The singing Easter of the soul -
O gentle Master of the Wise,
Teach us to say: "I will arise."

~Richard Le Gallienne

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings on Easter Sunday, a beautiful time amid bright colors, family gatherings, joyful worship, new clothes and Easter baskets!

Easter Birthdays. Happy Birthday today to James Sauvage of Weatherford, Texas. James has been a member of our family ever since he and Kelly Shepard were married 10 years ago. They are the parents of Nathaniel and Kyle. (See the picture of the four of them, Kelly in the pink Charger jersey, the other 3 in Steeler jerseys.)

Kelly tells me that James "is a lifelong Steelers fan. Even after spending all those years in San Diego, he is still devoted to his team. That’s okay, we share the same disliking for the Cowboys!

"James has been working for Direct TV since July of last year. He seems to really like it and it keeps him busy. He recently received a promotion that he had been working hard for. 

"Nathaniel and Kyle have started to play baseball this Spring. James is coaching Kyle’s team…most of the time. For James, this is good because he gets to be at Kyle’s practices and games. For me on the other hand, it means I am running back and forth trying to watch both boys. James continues to referee football as much as his job will allow. Football season is over right now, but there is a semi pro team in the area that he referees for. I think he likes this best because he gets to hang out with the guys."  

Happy 8th Birthday to Ciara Ortiz!  Easter Sunday is also the birthday of Ciara Ortiz, the daughter of Jeremy and Desiree Ortiz of El Cajon, California. Ciara is the Ggranddaughter of Thelma and Terry Boyd, and a GGgrandchild of Will and Bura Shepard, and one of their youngest descendants.

The second picture I am including shows Ciara flanked by two of her favorite 3rd cousins Kyle and Nate. This picture was taken at the Shepard-Davis Family Reunion last summer in Oklahoma.

Mom Desiree says that, "Ciara is an active and silly girl. She is very out going and smart (some times too smart for her own good, lol)! Right now Ciara is playing girls SoftBall, her team is 6 and 2 right now. They will be getting ready for All Stars after spring break. Once SoftBall is over Ciara will begin playing Soccer, a game which she enjoys and is great at!

"Ciara will be 8 this Easter Sunday and is excited that her Grammy (Kim Clark) will be coming to San Diego to celebrate with her. We will all be going to spend two days at DisneyLand!"

Best wishes for wonderful birthdays to Ciara and James. To all of you... May the joy and blessing of Easter be yours!
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Friday, April 02, 2010

Greetings on Good Friday!

All I really need [at Easter] is love,
but a little chocolate 
now and then 
doesn't hurt!
~Lucy Van Pelt 

(Charles Schultz)

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you on this Good Friday, which begins Easter weekend, 2010. We are still in San Francisco celebrating the new daughter of our son Nathan and his wife Chenda.

Since Chenda is Khmer (the major ethnicity of Cambo- dia), we are calling little Preslea Maida our "Khmer- ican" baby (rhymes with "Amer- ican"). We are pretty sure she is the first Khmerican child among all the descendants of Will and Bura Shepard. That is only one of the reasons that Cindy and I are convinced that she is the most beautiful baby in the world. Do we sound like grandparents, or what? ;-)

We are also celebrating Nathan's birthday which is tomorrow, April 3. The first picture I am including was taken this past week and shows Nathan with his new daughter Preslea. If you did not see it after the last post, here is a photo presentation celebrating Nathan's birthday and the last two years.

I received word yesterday from cousin Bud Davis, one of Bura (Davis) Shepard's nephews, who lives in western Washington. He said that he had been thinking about his father Jesse Davis (one of Bura's brothers) who had passed away 41 years ago this past Wednesday, March 31. (See the second picture of Jess Davis on his horse, taken about 80 years ago.)

"Though it has been 41 years, he still lives on with us in so many ways.  The memories, the values he taught us, the interesting things he said and did and the faith in God he instilled in us."

Bud also mentioned that he would be in Bartlesville, Oklahoma on Easter Sunday and all next week for an early celebration of his mom Mildred Beck Davis' 99th birthday (which is May 1). Best wishes to Bud and Mildred and their whole family. 

There is so much happening in our family these days that I am posting to this blog more often than usual this week. Watch for more family news this weekend!
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