Monday, December 25, 2017

The Road Goes Ever On And On, December 25th, 2017

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
~J.R.R Tolkien

Merry Christmas to all of you from sunny San Diego! It is happy Christmas Day around our house with presents, food and the holiday spirit in abundance. As this year draws near to a close there are a number of worthy family celebrations that I am thinking about and pausing to remember. 
Granddad William Shepard (1888-1976). Today is the 129th anniversary of the birth of my Grandfather William Shepard. Born in 1888 in Alton, Illinois, he was the oldest person that I knew well. He was always generous in sharing stories of his life from his childhood along the Mississippi River and then his working and family years with wife Bura Davis Shepard in Oklahoma and Colorado. The last 36 years of his life were spent in San Diego where, 41 years ago this month, he died at 88 years old. He lived long enough to enjoy all 12 of his and Bura's grandchildren, and then the first 6 of their Great Grandchildren. In the midst of all the holiday celebrations I remember and celebrate Granddad's life.

This first picture shows my grandparents William and Bura Davis Shepard. This picture was taken in San Diego back in the 1970s, not long before Granddad passed away.

A 49th Anniversary. On Wednesday this week, Cindy and I will celebrate 49 years of marriage. We tied the knot just down the street from where we live now, at the La Mesa Church of Christ on Jackson Drive on a Friday night, two days after Christmas in 1968. We splurged and honeymooned in beautiful Orange County, California at the world famous Knotts Berry Farm (entry fee 25 cents). Cindy's father Joe Harris generously made the elaborate and expensive travel arrangements: he let me drive his almost new black Ford Fairlane Deluxe. We probably drove a total of 250 miles, with stops at The Torrey Pines Inn (oops, no room at the Inn) and the Laguna Beach Surf and Sand Hotel. After just a few days of honeymooning we returned to San Diego, packed up and went back to school at Abilene Christian University in Texas.

This second picture shows Cindy and me in a picture taken last month when visiting the San Diego Zoo.

Happy Anniversary Darrell and Mary! Speaking of Abilene Christian, 14 years later my brother Darrell was a student at that same school. He had met a student there who was from Chicago named Mary Medina. They were married in Abilene, also a few days after Christmas, but in 1982. On the last day of this year Darrell and Mary will celebrate 35 years of marriage. Congratulations and best wishes to both of them!

10 Years of "The Shepard's Crook." It was 10 years ago this week that I began writing The Shepard's Crook as a family blog. It has been a interesting and exciting venture for me, and one that I plan to continue. The story of our family is one that has no end. The discovery of details about our ancestors continue to be made with the promise of more revelations to come. Just this past year I have been able to add to our family tree family members who I never knew existed, and whose stories add immeasurably to our understanding of our family's history, and therefore to our understanding of ourselves.

I want to thank all of you who are readers of The Shepard's Crook, whether your last name is Shepard or Gower, or Davis or Shannon, of a host of other last names that make up this wonderful tapestry we call our family. Your support of this endeavor and your interest in this blog is greatly appreciated!

May the coming year, what Tolkien calls "the Road" that "goes ever on and on" be healthy, prosperous and full of wonderful surprises for all of you!
- - -
Steve Shepard

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