Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Old Drawer Discoveries, October 8, 2019

One of the advantages of being disorganized
is that one is always having surprising discoveries.
~ A.A. Milne

Newest family member, Fiona Ruth Shepard
with mom Jessica Bell
I was in Washington to visit my mom recently. As most of you know she is living with her daughter Barbara on Wildwood Lane in Anacortes where she has made her home for 41 years. Maida spent two months this past summer at the home of her oldest son Gary Shepard and his wife Cindy in Oak Harbor just a few miles away. It was a good change of scenery for her as she continues to deal with concerns of aging, especially memory issues. We are planning a special celebration for Maida's 95th birthday which will occur in just a few weeks on the weekend of her birthday November 1.  

Our Family is Growing. Congratulations to Maida's grandson Christopher Shepard and Jessica Bell of Seattle, Washington who recently gave birth to their second daughter, Fiona Ruth Shepard, on September 15. Best wishes to Fiona, her older sister Finley, and parents Chris and Jessica! Fiona is the newest grandchild of my brother Darrell and his wife Mary Shepard, and is the 15th Great Grandchild of my mother Maida Shepard. Visit Christopher or Jessica on Facebook to see more beautiful pictures of our newest family member.
Vicki Gower Johnston with me on the left 
and Frank and Paula Tuzzolino on the right.

My mother Maida and her sister Vicki Gower Johnson are the two senior members of our family. Between them they represent 181 years of family history from Arkansas to Oklahoma to San Diego to Washington state and now to Phoenix. We are honored to be able to celebrate these two whose lives have positively influenced so many of us. Today Vicki lives in Chandler, Arizona very near her daughter Paula Tuzzolino and Paula's husband Frank. Cindy and I had the pleasure of visiting with Vicki and her family last week when we were in Arizona. Vicki is doing quite well at 86 years old, continues to have a good sense of humor, and enjoyed herself as we went out to lunch. Four years ago this month, Vicki moved from Oak Harbor, Washington to Arizona where she continues to life in a very comfortable and roomy care facility in a beautiful neighborhood of the Phoenix suburb of Chandler.

1945 picture of my aunt
Thelma Shepard Boyd of El Cajon, Ca.
Old Drawer Discoveries. Our family on Wildwood Lane in Anacortes was cleaning out some old drawers recently and found a couple of historical gems that are worth mentioning in this blog. The first is an old picture of my only remaining aunt on the Shepard side of my family, Thelma Shepard Boyd. It is a picture I do not ever remember seeing before. Thelma appears to be elementary school aged, which would mean the picture was taken in San Diego, not long after the Shepards moved from Southeast Colorado to California. With bows in her hair and an innocent smile, she looks for all the world as if she is dressed for the part of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Thelma's daughter Kim Boyd Clark confirmed with her mom that this was indeed taken in San Diego in 1945 when Thelma was just 9 years old. Thelma lives today in an apartment in El Cajon, California near several members of her family.

The second recent "old drawer discovery" was a postcard written and mailed 61 years ago. The 2-cent postcard was mailed by my sister Linda Shepard (1950-1971) on July 11, 1958, just a month before she turned 8 years old. Our family was living in San Diego, but young Linda was visiting in the home of some Gower family members, Ollen and Imogene Self and their three daughters, of Fresno, California. Imogene Hutson Self (1921-2008) was a first cousin of my mother Maida Gower Shepard, and was originally from Mountain View, Arkansas, just like mom. Our California family made several memorable visits in the 1950s to the San Joaquin home of mom's cousin Imogene and her family. The postcard that 7 year old Linda wrote that summer of '58 said, "Dear Mother and all. I hope you will call me soon. I want to hear your voice again. When you send me the next letter, I hope you will give me some more money, because the other didn't last very long. Love Linda!" 

"Give me some more money... the other didn't last very long." It was the plaintiff cry of a young girl learning a difficult lesson about how easily money slips away. It's a lesson we all have had to learn. Some of us are still trying to learn it.

What discoveries await you in your old drawers?
- - -
Steve Shepard
(he, his, him)

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