Saturday, October 25, 2014

Life's No Fun Without a Good Scare, Oct 25, 2014

Halloween! Halloween!
Tender lumplings everywhere
Life's no fun without a good scare.
That's our job, but we're not mean
In our town of Halloween.
~Danny Elfman

Hello to all of you on this week leading up to the great American holiday Halloween!

Happy Birthday Mandi! Tomorrow, October 26, is the 22nd birthday of my grand niece Mandi Aquiningoc of Millsap, Texas. Mandi is the daughter of Kerri Aquiningoc and the sister of Lyndsey Aquiningoc of Weatherford, Texas. Mandi is the proud mother of Kambree Kay Bowman, who was born just last year. Here is Kambree and Mandi's lineage for the last 6 generations:

-Kambree Kay Bowman
-Mandi Aquiningoc and Steven Bowman
-Kerri Shepard Aquiningoc and Manuel Aquiningoc
-Gary Shepard and Jackie Enderle Perry
-Eugene and Maida Gower Shepard
-Leroy and Nola Shannon Gower

Mandi is the 2nd of the 17 Great Great Grandchildren of William and Bura Davis Shepard, and the 4th of the 15 Great Great Grandchildren of Leroy and Nola Shannon Gower. Kambree has the distinction of being the first Great Great Grandchild of Maida Shepard of Anacortes, Washington.

The foregoing is quite an impressive pedigree, all of which is simply to say... Happy Birthday, Mandi!

In related news... Mandi's sister Lyndsey Aquiningoc recently announced that she and Colton Bearden are now engaged to be married. Congratulations to Lyndsey and Colton!

Pam's Birthday. This coming Thursday is a milestone birthday for Pamela Engan Shepard, the mother of Linda Shepard and Steven Paul Shepard, all of Anacortes, Washington, where Pam was born and has lived her entire life. The second picture was taken earlier this year and shows a smiling Pam. Happy Birthday this week to Pam!

In Celebration of Halloween! The following is a family photo presentation in celebration of Halloween, the most secular and gory of all our cherished holidays. It includes family members from all corners of our extended family with an emphasis on children, and those adults among us who think of ourselves as children sometimes!

I have discovered that most mobile devices are not equipped to view and hear Photoshows, the format in which this presentation is made. So if you are not able to hear it and view it, try it on your favorite MAC or PC.


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Steve Shepard

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Our Most Basic Instinct, October 18, 2014

Our most basic instinct
is not for survival
but for family.
~Paul Pearshall

Cindy and I have returned from our South American adventure and are now back at home in San Diego. But not for long. In just a couple of weeks we will be traveling to Washington State to celebrate the 90th birthday of my mom Maida Shepard in Anacortes. I know that many of you are also making your plans to be there.

If others of you are interested in this celebration, please contact the Shepards in Anacortes, or anyone else who may have details of the event. Maida has had some serious health issues in the last week or so, but at this point it appears that the party is still on as planned. My brother Gary and his wife Cindy are taking the lead in making the plans.

The first picture was taken on our recent trip to Peru and shows Cindy and me with our traveling companions Linda and Barbara. It was taken high above the ancient Incan capital city of Cusco, Peru, in the Plaza San Cristobal. Behind us is the Church of San Cristobal and on the left is part of the spectacular view of the city that we had from this vantage point.  

Happy Birthday to Vicki Gower Johnston! Today is the 81st birthday of my aunt Vicki Gower Johnston, who lives in Oak Harbor, Washington with her husband Duke Johnston.

Vicki is the youngest child of the late Leroy and Nola Shannon Gower. She was born in Oklahoma, but lived in San Diego for many years before moving to Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound of Washington State, almost 40 years ago. Vicki has four children: Paula Tuzzolino, Gloria Watson, Michael Harrell and David Harrell.

This past August, a number of her family met in Oak Harbor for a special gathering. The second picture was taken in Vicki and Duke's living room during that family gathering. It shows Vicki in the middle with her daughter Paula of Sun Lakes, Arizona over her right shoulder, and her granddaughter Heather Cotten of San Antonio, Texas over her left shoulder. Also in the picture are Vicki's great granddaughters Tori Cotten on the left, and Lexi Cotten on the right.

Happy Birthday to Korilyn Boyd! Korilyn, who turns 17 today, is one of the Great Grandchildren of William and Bura Davis Shepard. She lives in Coronado, California and attends Coronado High School.

The third picture was taken this past summer in June when Korilyn was spending some time with her extended family back in the mid-west. This particular picture shows Korilyn with her Grandmother Thelma Shepard Boyd of Blue Springs, Missouri, who is the youngest child of the late William and Bura Davis Shepard.

The fourth picture was also taken this past summer and shows many of the family who were together, including Kori and her Grandmother. 

This particular picture shows Korilyn (3rd from right) with her grandmother Thelma next to her. Just to the left of Kori is her cousin Jeremy Ortiz with his wife Desiree and their 5 children (Ciara, Ashlyn, Damian, Dominic and Isaac). In the middle, holding one of her grandsons, is Jeremy's mother Kim Boyd Clark with her husband Jeff Clark behind her. On the far left is Dane Shepard behind his niece Tamara, his son Nathan and daughter Kaylan. On the far right is Dane's wife Cindy Shepard.
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Steve Shepard

Friday, October 10, 2014

Each Family's Story, October 10, 2014

In each family a story is playing itself out,
and each family's story
embodies its hope and despair.
~Auguste Napier

Greetings to all of you once again from the beautiful South American country of Peru! Today we are in the ancient Inca town of Ollantaytambo in southern Peru, as we draw ever nearer to Machu Picchu, one of the great wonders of the world.
The first picture shows Cindy and me a few days ago when we visited the sacred Saqsaywaman ("sexy woman" is a close pronunciation) Incan Ruins and "The Temple of the Sun", above the city of Cusco, Peru.

Our Hoosier Roots. 145 years ago two of the most important people in our Davis heritage were married. On October 10, 1869 Charles Edward Davis and Malinda Wright tied the knot in Owen County, Indiana. Charles and Malinda were the grandparents of my paternal grandmother Bura Davis Shepard. 

Charles was one of the last of our Davis ancestors to be born in Ohio. Born in 1849, his parents Alexander and Jane Buskirk Davis, when they were about 30 years old, moved their small family from Adams in Monroe County, Ohio to Spencer, Indiana in the early 1850s. Before the Davises got there, the family of Malinda Wright had already settled in Indiana, which is where Malinda was born. Charles and Malinda met in the 1860s and were married in the fall of 1869.

Much of what we know about Charles and Malinda Davis in the 19th Century is because of the records of their church, the New Union Church of Christ near Spencer, Indiana. They and many of their relatives were active participants and founders of that congregation out on Rattlesnake Creek. Among the most important records is the baptism record of their granddaughter (my grandmother) Bura Emerald Davis in 1906.

Unfortunately I do not have a picture of Great Great Grandmother Malinda Wright Davis. The only picture I have of Charles Edward Davis is this second picture. It was probably taken sometime in the 1920s, after Malinda had died. It shows the widower Charles Edward Davis late in his life with a cane and a white beard. On the left is Charles and Malinda's firstborn James Brooks Davis, and on the right is another one of their 7 children, John Emery Davis.

Charles and his family were trailblazers in many ways. Simply getting from Eastern Ohio to Southern Indiana in the 1850s (with a couple of children!) took great stamina and fortitude. Indiana was still frontier to a great extent in these pre-Civil War years, and establishing a place to live took hard work. By the end of the 19th Century many of our Davis ancestors began to move westward to Oklahoma. The 1910 US Census shows Charles and Malinda living in Logan, in Beaver County, Oklahoma. They are both laid to rest in Beaver County.

Because of Charles and Malinda, we have deep roots in Ohio, Indiana and Okla- homa that will always be reminders of the kind of people we have come from. 21st Century America is, of course, far removed from life in the 19th Century mid-west, but we will always be connected to these pioneers and have a strong bond with them.

Scary Days Ahead. Halloween is just a few weeks away, and again this year I plan to put together a slide show of family halloween pictures. If you have a recent or old halloween picture, of a youngster or an oldster, that you would like for me to include, please send it my way.
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Steve Shepard

Friday, October 03, 2014

In The Eyes of a Child, October 3, 2014

In the eyes of a child
there is joy, there is laughter,
there is hope, there is trust,
a chance to shape the future.
~from a song by Air Supply

Greetings to all of you from the shores of Lake Titicaca in Southern Peru. We are in the city of Puno, at over 12,000', which is not too conducive for Cindy and me who are used to living at sea level. Two days ago, on our way here, we stopped at the highest point accessible by road in South America, 16,110', near Chivay, Peru. That roadside stop was over 1,500' higher than the top of Mt Whitney, which is the highest point in the contiguous 48 states. 

While we were there a few spring snow flurries gave some charm to the thin air and cold conditions. The first picture shows me and Cindy and Linda Tanner trying to keep warm during our brief stop there. Even though it is early spring here in Peru, our modest coats were no match for the high elevation and cold temperatures. Thanks to traveling partner Barbara Schwindt for taking this picture.

In recent days we have celebrated the arrival of two new baby boys in our family. The first arrival took place on September 23 in Weatherford, Texas, when Lyndsey Aquiningoc gave birth to Karver Ryan. Congratulations to Lyndsey and father Colton! The second picture shows Karver at just a week old.

Then just two days ago, on October 1, Rachel Shepard gave birth to Kellan Christopher Shepard in Seattle, Washington. She and father Bryan Miller are doing fine. Kellan is the grandchild of my brother Darrell and his wife Mary Shepard. Grandmother Mary says that Kellan, at "8 lbs, 15 oz, was born Oct 1 at 8:13 pm and all of us are thrilled and tired. Congratulations Rachel Shepard and Bryan Miller!"

It would be too cumbersome to mention all the proud relatives of these two boys, so just let me say that Kellan and Karver are Great Grandson and Great Great Grandson of my mother Maida Gower Shepard. They are the two newest descendants of Leroy and Nola Gower, and William and Bura Davis.

Do you notice anything unique about these boys? Perhaps it is the nature of newborns, but these two look surprisingly alike in these two pictures. They could pass for twins. We offer our best wishes to Karver and Kellan, as well as their parents and other proud family members. We welcome them with great joy to our family!
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Steve Shepard