Tuesday, June 27, 2017
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I asked my mother what was in her mother’s cedar chest when she gave it to me. Doroteo Arango Arámbula (June 5, 1878 – July 23, 1923), better known as Francisco or “Pancho” Villa, a Mexican Revolutionary general. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) “I don’t know.” “You don’t know?” “I’ve never opened it.” This is as close as my mother ever came to admitting she had emotions. Over the years, I’ve taken a few things out. My grandmother’s wedding dress was packed away carefully. I took it out to wear to my mother’s 80th birthday and it now hangs in a closet. A poster... (Read More ...)

Do You Have Anything of Your Grandfather’s? I told my family at a recent family reunion, where I’d brought family trees, genealogical records, family stories and photo albums from both my mother’s mother and my father’s father, that I was looking for two things buried among all the records. I was looking for the story about how my great-grandfather, Abraham Lincoln Frederick, had come to be named. And, I was looking for a poster from my mother’s father, a customs agent in Nogales, Arizona, where my mother was born. “Pancho” Villa, a Mexican Revolutionary general. (Photo credit:... (Read More ...)

Toddlers. Vietnam. Ben Franklin. Did Your Family Have an Encyclopedia? World Book Encyclopedia, in Braille The young woman at the door was a pretty, warm and enthusiastic encyclopedia saleswoman. I gave her 15 minutes to give her pitch. But, my husband was a new 2nd lieutenant in the Army. I had dropped out of college when he got drafted. We had a toddler. Just supporting a family of three on one income was difficult enough. Knowing that he would be in Vietnam within the year meant it was even more important to save our pennies. I told her no. She started to cry. “I’ve never had anyone say... (Read More ...)