Saturday, August 29, 2015

Being A Grown-up Is So Much Fun! Saturday, August 29, 2015

In some old photographs,
if you take anything out,
even a chicken or a little bird,
the magic will disappear.
~Mehmet Murat Ildan

Greetings today from Anacortes, Washington where Cindy and I and our grandson Logan are still visiting and enjoying family here after our family reunion last weekend.

Lyndsey Aquiningoc. Happy 25th Birthday today, August 29, to Lyndsey Aquiningoc of Weatherford, Texas. Lyndsey was born in San Diego in 1990, one of the four birthdays in our family that year. Since the turn of the century Lyndsey has lived in the Weatherford, Texas area along with several other members of her family.

Lyndsey's mother is Kerri Shepard Aquiningoc, and her grandparents are Jackie Perry and my brother Gary Shepard. She is one of the great grandchildren of Maida Shepard. Almost a year ago Lyndsey gave birth to her first child, Karver Bearden who is the second Great Great Grandchild of Maida Shepard. The picture on the left shows Lyndsey with son Karver.

Lyndsey: My birthday is coming up pretty quick. I hope it will definitely be a special one! I can't believe I'm going to be 25!! It's craaaazzzy! I really don't feel that old, lol! I don't have any plans as of right now. Kind of low on funds. My sister Mandi and I just got our first house together, in Granbury, Texas! So all our money goes to that. Being a grown up is so much fun! Hahaha. We love our new place! It's just sissy, me and the kids. Everything is going pretty good. I hope everything is well with you and the family! I wish we could have been there at the family reunion. It has been waaaaaaay to long! Tell everyone we said hi and we love and miss them dearly!

Another Never-Before-Seen Picture. This next picture is one more in the category of Never-Before-Seen Photos (at least in this blog). I have been aware of this picture for many years. And I have wanted to share it in this blog because it captures a unique moment in our family 45 years ago as we gathered around the dinner table. 

This picture has on it the date of January, 1970, but that must have been when the roll of film was developed. It was probably taken in December, 1969, at the Shepard home on Armstrong Street in San Diego. 

You've heard of "the elephant in the living room"? In this picture it's the mangled turkey in foreground. What were we thinking? How hard would it have been to move the ugly, picked-over carcass out of camera range? 

Having shared a happy turkey dinner, we wanted to capture the warm moment by taking a picture. Unfortunately the unappealing remnants of the main dish gets center stage. 

From left to right around the table are all 10 members of this part of the Shepard family: Maida, Barbara, Linda, me, Cindy, Gene (at the head of the table), Darrell, Russ, Kerri and Jackie.

This old photograph gets marred by the mangled turkey, but there is no mistaking the fact that this reflected a great period in the life of the Gene and Maida Shepard family. Cindy and I had only been married a year and were home for Christmas break from Abilene Christian College. My brother Gary and his wife Jackie had been married 3 years and had just one child, Kerri, the only grandchild of the family at the time. 

Many changes took place in the lives of the people in this picture in the ensuing months and years. And there were very few, if any, pictures taken of this entire family after this one. In spite of the bird, it is a memorable photo.
- - -
Steve Shepard

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Respect and Joy In Each Other’s Life, August 23, 2015

The bond that links
your true family
is not one of blood,
but of respect and joy
in each other’s life.
-Richard Bach

Greetings to all of you from Anacortes, Washington where Cindy and I and our grandson Logan from San Diego are visiting family here.

Yesterday was our bi-annual family reunion, this year in Bothell, Washington. Many thanks to Patrick and Nicole Shepard for opening their home to this family event. 20 of us gathered in the sunshine of the Great Northwest to renew the ties that bind us and enjoy one another's company. This first picture shows the whole group, from left to right Pam, Logan A, Barbara, Steve, Pat, Logan J, Mason, Nicole, Darrell, Mary, Maida, Gary, me, Cindy1, Rachel, Kellan and Brian. At the bottom left are Russ, Linda and Cindy2.

The food was great, the fellowship was wonderful, the family updates were many, and the memories we shared all helped to make it a special event. The ages of those who were there ranged from 90 years old (Maida Shepard of Anacortes, Wa.) to 8 months old (Mason Shepard of Bothell, Wa.). This second picture shows the two youngest members of the group, Kellan (11 month old son of Rachel and Brian) and Mason (8 month old son of Pat and Nicole).

We had family from Anacortes, Oak Harbor, Seattle, and elsewhere in Washington, as well as from San Diego. This third picture shows the senior member of our family, Maida Shepard, with her 5 children.

Happy Birthday Amanda! This coming Tuesday, Aug 25, is the 32nd birthday of Amanda Ortiz Davis of El Cajon, California. Amanda is the daughter of Kim Boyd Clark and the granddaughter of Thelma Shepard Boyd, of Blue Springs, Mo. Amanda was born in Gallup, New Mexico and lived much of her life in San Diego before moving to Missouri just a couple of years ago. She and husband Justin Davis moved back home to El Cajon recently.

Amanda: Yes, the big 3-2 birthday is rapidly approaching! Justin and I moved back to El Cajon last month and we are loving it! He says that's my birthday present lol we are just living and loving life while soaking up the California sun. The picture was taken 2 weeks ago when we took Justin on his first trip to Disneyland

The Disneyland selfie shows Justin and Amanda (upper right) with brother Jeremy Ortiz, "Goofy" nephew Damian, and sister Desiree Ortiz.
- - -
Steve Shepard

Sunday, August 16, 2015

We Develop From the Negatives, August 16, 2015

Family life is like photography,
we develop from the negatives.
~author unknown

Make your plans for our upcoming Family Reunion, this Saturday, August 22 at the home of Pat and Nicole Shepard in Bothell, Washington, 2 pm. See you there!

Happy Birthday today to my niece Linda Shepard of Anacortes, Washington. 22 years ago today she was born in the city where she and her family still live today. Linda and boyfriend Jamie Stockmoe live next door to her parents Russ Shepard and Pam Engan Shepard, also of Anacortes. Linda is the youngest grandchild of Maida Shepard. She is also one of the great grandchildren of both Leroy and Nola Gower, and William and Bura Shepard.

This first image shows Linda and Jamie from a picture that was taken this past winter. Linda says: "I put my notice in at my current job and will be moving to a different company while focusing more on nursing school. My eyes will be open to places to move as Jamie and I are ready to get out and see the world other than Anacortes. I am doing well otherwise and hope this year will bring a new and exciting chapter."

Best wishes to Linda for a wonderful birthday!

More Never-Before-Seen Family Pictures. Throughout this summer I have been sharing with you several family pictures that I have never shown before in this venue, for a variety of reasons. But now, it seems to me, the time is right to include some family photos in this blog that I have been unwilling to share until now. 

This second picture was taken in Idyllwild, California at Thanksgiving, 1975. It shows Cindy and me sitting on the couch in the living room of the mountain home of my Uncle Bill Russell and Aunt Pauline Shepard Russell. Next to us is my youngest brother Russ, a 13 year old Junior Higher at the time. 

I have passed over this particular picture a number of times and have never included it in a blog post. Not because of my frizzy hair do, which many of us guys were going with back in the crazy '70s, a phenomenon that today seems amusing -- to say the least. Actually that would have been reason enough to push this picture to the bottom of the stack. But no, there is another reason this particular picture has remained unused in The Shepard's Crook. 

Back in the "the day" young teenagers considered it cool to surreptitiously "give the finger" to the camera when school pictures or family pictures were taken. That is what Russ is doing here. He is trying not to be too conspicuous about it, but his intent is clear nonetheless. He was, of course, not the first to do this. He undoubtedly learned it from siblings or friends. 

The third picture I am sharing with you is another example of this same thing, although it is not nearly as obvious. You have to look closely at Russ in the bottom left to see him cleverly "flipping the bird" to the camera. With both hands.

This is actually quite a remarkable family picture, showing a unique collection of family members. I have a note indicating that this picture was taken in 1975 at the home of my Grandparents William and Bura Shepard, in Lakeside, California. This would have been when they lived next door to their son and daughter in law, Elmer and Beryl Shepard. Unfortunately half of Granddad William is accidentally cut out of the picture on the left. Next to the part of him that you can see, is Grandmother Bura in the blue dress. Behind her, peeking over her shoulder, is my other Grandmother Nola Shannon Gower. I think this is the only picture I have of my two grandmothers together at the same family gathering.

Also in this picture, across the back, from left to right, are Jane and Jerry Clark, Gary Shepard, Darrell Shepard (placing rabbit ears on his unsuspecting brother Gary!), Kim Boyd (almost hidden) and Jackie Enderle Shepard on the far right. In front of Jackie, from right to left, are Dane Shepard, Joan Shepard, Jason, me, Cindy and Kelly Shepard, then Kerri Shepard (the shy young one with the bare midriff), and finally my mom Maida Shepard with two-fingered Russ in front of her. 

Disclaimer: If you choose to share this post with your teenage children or grandchildren, do so at your own risk.
- - -
Steve Shepard

Monday, August 10, 2015

No One's Family Is Normal, August 10, 2015

No one’s family is normal.
Normalcy is a lie
invented by advertising agencies
to make the rest of us feel inferior.
~Claire LaZebnik

Family Reunion. Our family reunion, on Saturday August 22, is fast approaching. You are welcome to join us at the home of Pat and Nicole Shepard in Bothell, Washington, starting at 2 pm.

Happy Birthday Heather. Today, August 10, is the birthday of Heather Robson Cotten, daughter of Paula Tuzzolino and granddaughter of Vicki Gower Johnston. 

Heather, one of the 14 great grandchildren of Leroy and Nola Shannon Gower, lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband Sean and daughters Tori and Lexi. The picture on the right, taken last month in Oak Harbor, Washington, shows Heather with her Grandmother Vicki Gower Johnston.

Happy Birthday Jeremy. This coming Tuesday, August 12, is the birthday of Jeremy Ortiz, one of the 21 great grandchildren of William and Bura Davis Shepard. 

Jeremy lives in El Cajon, California with his wife Desiree and their 5 children. Jeremy's mom is Kim Boyd Clark and his grandmother is Thelma Shepard Boyd. Best wishes to Jeremy for a great birthday! This second picture shows Jeremy with one of the young twins of his and Desiree's, either Isaac or Dominic.

Getting It Right. In my last post I included a picture of Jerry Clark which was taken 45 years ago, just weeks before he and my sister Linda Shepard were married in the summer of 1970. I was mistaken about where the picture was taken. Jerry let me know that it was actually taken in the home that he and Linda would soon be moving into in Lubbock, Texas. 

Yet Another Never-Before-Seen Photo. Continuing with a series of photos that I have been sharing, I am including here one more on my list of never-before-seen family pictures, at least never before seen in this blog. 

This photo shows three very lovely women in our family: my sister Barbara Shepard, my niece Kerri Shepard, and my mom Maida Shepard. 

Numerous times in the last several years I have been tempted to share this photo with you, but I just couldn't do it. My mom on the right -- Kerri's grandmother! -- is just too sexy. It doesn't seem right for me to put this photo out there for the world to see. Dad was obviously a lucky man to have such a attractive wife, even into Grandparenthood. Yet for me even to say that fills me with a certain awkwardness I cannot define. Even so, for the sake of full disclosure I feel compelled to share this beautiful but difficult photo with you. 

Judging from the age of Kerri in this picture, who looks to be about 2 years old, it was probably taken in 1970. My sister Barbara tells me that it was taken in front of the home of my brother Gary and his wife Jackie on Eagle Rock Drive, a home they had recently purchased in Mira Mesa, which at the time was a new community of San Diego.

Summer Activity Pictures Wanted. I am planning to put together a collection of photos in a few weeks, of "the summer of '15" family activities. If you have some pictures of family activities this summer you'd like me to include please send them my way.
- - -
Steve Shepard

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Never Before Seen Photos, August 5, 2015

There are no rules
for good photographs,
there are only good photographs.
~Ansel Adams

Celebrating 9 Years of Marriage! Happy Anniversary today to Chris and Amanda Farrell. Amanda is one of the daughters of Jerry Clark and Jane Clark Brock of Lubbock, Texas. 

Chris and Amanda, who live today in the Dallas, Texas area, were married 9 years ago in Texas. The first picture shows Chris and Amanda with Amanda's Dad Jerry Clark, in a picture taken earlier this year.

Never Before Seen Photos. In this post I would like to continue a theme that I began a few weeks ago. And that is sharing photos that you have never seen before, at least not in this venue. You may never have seen the picture above, but that is simply because it was taken recently. I am talking about family pictures that may be a few years old -- or many years old --  that have never appeared in The Shepard's Crook, which has been including pictures in nearly 500 posts, over the last 8 years now.

I have chosen not to share some pictures simply because of the poor quality. Here is one such example, an image probably from the early 1940s, possibly earlier. It is a photo of my Dad Eugene Shepard taking a "selfie", with him holding the camera. It was taken some 75 years ago! The term "selfie" has only been around a few years.

These days pictures of oneself are common, with countless numbers of them appearing in social media daily. But in the first half of the 20th century? I dare you to find a family selfie older than this one. No, really. If you can find one older than this, I will gladly post it for all to see.

This selfie that Dad took is actually not that bad, considering how long ago it was taken, and the limitations of most popular cameras back in the 1940s. The plants behind Dad in this picture are in focus, even if Dad is not. 

Speaking of selfies, click here to see an attempt at a selfie that went terribly wrong! It happened just last week when my granddaughter and I were learning to use a "selfie stick".

Here is one more image that I have never shared before in this blog. Since Jerry Clark appears in the first picture above with his daughter Amanda, it only makes sense to include another picture of him, this one of a very handsome young Jerry, taken 45 years ago. 

It was taken in the San Diego home on Lynne St., of my Grandparents Leroy and Nola Shannon Gower. The picture is dated July, 1970, the month before his marriage to my sister Linda Shepard. The reason I have never shown this picture before should be obvious: one should use the utmost discretion when making public the picture of a family member sitting on the toilet.
- - -
Steve Shepard