Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Some January Celebrations, January 18, 2017

Wake up! Wake up to the gift 
that life presents us, 
now and in every moment.  
Any day above ground is a glorious day, 
and we have that gift now. 
~Rabbi Bradley Artson

Happy Anniversary! Today, January 18, is the wedding anniversary of my cousin Kim Boyd Clark and her husband Jeff Clark who were married 10 years ago in La Jolla, California but who have lived in Missouri ever since. They live outside Blue Springs in the town of Grain Valley, Missouri with Kim's mom Thelma Boyd.

Jeff: 10 years ago, overlooking the ocean at La Jolla, she said "I do." We have faced many challenges over those years. I don't know where I would be now if you had said no. Each day is a blessing to have you as my wife and best friend. I can hardly wait to see what is in store for the rest of my life because of you. I love you more each day!

A few days ago Kim wrote me to say: We are in Branson, Missouri at our time-share this cold winter weather weekend, but we're having fun. We have a nice fireplace. It is hard to believe 10 years has passed so fast.

Best wishes to Kim and Jeff for a very happy anniversary!

Happy Birthday Dane and Nathan. This Saturday, January 21, is the birthday of another cousin of mine, Dane Shepard, who lives in Blanchard, Oklahoma with wife Cindy and daughter Kaylan Shepard. Saturday is also the birthday of their son Nathan Ross Shepard who is a student at Florida College.

Nathan: Hello cousin Steve! I would like to wish all the Shepard family a happy year! I hope to graduate with my BS in Business Administration this April. I will also be traveling to Austria this summer for a choral festival with my school. Many exciting opportunities are coming and I'm thankful for all the blessings I have and have to look forward too! Hope you are doing well! It's been quite a while since I've been to a family reunion. It would be nice to see everyone again.

This second picture shows Dane and Nathan (on the left) with Cindy and Kaylan. Best wishes to our Oklahoma Shepards as they celebrate Dane and Nathan's birthdays!

The Death of a Gentle Giant. This final picture shows one of the Giant Sequoias of Calaveras Big Trees State Park in Northern California, with three of our family members in front of it: Maida Shepard, Jane Clark Brock and Barbara Shepard. It was taken in 2004 when a group of women among us (The "Yayas") spent a week together at our home in the mountains of Northern California, located just a few miles from where this picture was taken.

Named the "Pioneer Cabin Tree", it was estimated to be over 1,200 years old when it toppled over early last week during a winter storm. It came down partially because it had been weakened in the 1880s when they thoughtlessly carved out a passage way through the middle of this gentle giant. At over a thousand years old, its demise is a tragic loss of historical proportions. But it puts in perspective our family's history which we do well to trace back maybe 200 years.
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Steve Shepard

Saturday, January 07, 2017

A Picture Is Worth, January 7, 2017

Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains
as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge
hidden in every cell of our bodies.
~Shirley Abbott

A Fascinating Picture. A few months ago I mentioned that I had recently begun an online conversation with a second cousin on the Shepard side of our family, Lisa Allred Parks. She lives in the Fort Worth area and is the Granddaughter of Sadie Shepard Pruett (1892-1980), the sister of my Grandfather William Shepard (1888-1976).

A few days ago Lisa was thoughtful enough to email me a copy of a picture that she found among her mother's photos. It is obviously an old picture, only 1 1/2 inch square, and shows two children, who Lisa thinks are her grandmother Sadie Shepard Pruett and Sadie's brother William Shepard.

The first picture I am including is a composite image which shows, in the middle, the picture of the children Lisa sent to me. On either side I have added an adult picture of Sadie (at 23 years old) and William (at about 30 years old). Comparing these images might help us decide whether the children shown here could indeed be the adults pictured on either side. What do you think?

As you might imagine I was fascinated by this picture, and excited about the possibility of it being a childhood picture of my Grandfather and his sister. As far as I know the oldest existing picture of my Grandfather is the wedding picture of him alongside his wife Bura Davis Shepard, taken in Oklahoma in June, 1915 when he was 26 years old. If this new image does indeed show Sadie and William as children, it would be something extraordinary.

Here's what we do know, or can deduce, about this small picture: It was found among the photos of Sadie Shepard Pruett, who was born in January, 1892 (125 years ago this month). William was born 3 years and 1 month earlier, in December, 1888. In this picture, the young girl looks to be just a few months old, while the little boy looks to be a few years older, so their ages would be about right. If it is Sadie and William, it would have been taken in 1892 in Madison County, Illinois, where both of them were born.

I'd like to ask the readers of this blog: Do you have thoughts on whether or not this might be a picture of Sadie and William? Especially those of you who knew William and/or Sadie when they were alive. Do you have any thoughts or ideas about whether this might be them? I would appreciate hearing from you.

Happy Birthday Cindy! Today is the birthday of my wife Cindy Harris Shepard. Born in the San Joaquin Valley, as a baby she and her family moved to San Diego where she grew up, and where she and I met while in High School. Cindy is the mother of our son Nathan, and grandmother of his three children, Preslea, Logan and William Shepard. 

The second picture shows Cindy with our youngest grandchild William Shepard (the Great Great Grandchild of the William Shepard mentioned above).

Happy Birthday, Mary! This coming Tuesday, January 10 is the birthday of Mary Shepard, wife of my brother Darrell Shepard, of Bothell, Washington. Originally from Chicago, Mary and husband Darrell live today in the Seattle, Washington area. The biggest joy of their lives right now is their 4 young grandchildren, Logan, Mason, Kellan and Finley, the children of their kids Patrick, Rachel and Christopher. 

This third picture, taken last month, shows Mary with husband Darrell and their youngest grandchild Finley Shepard, daughter of Chris and Jessica.

Best wishes to Cindy and Mary for very happy birthdays! And thanks to cousin Lisa for that amazing picture of those children!
- - -
Steve Shepard