Tuesday, September 26, 2017

THE ESSENCE OF "S"


 
  

Strong: Mary Shadd;  Lawyer and Publisher















Who among us women exhibit strength
Without first knowing weakness
Who among us women are strong
Without being humble

Striking: Valaida Snow; Musician Extraordinaire











Words, not really
We grow through life's beauty
We learn throughout the length of time
We utilize our strength
While increasing knowledge fills our mind

Stalwarth:  Bessie Smith; Actress












We suffer, we laugh, we cry
We dry our eyes when necessary
Straight and tall we stand
Why, because we can?
No, because it's in the plan

Serene: Ellen Sirleaf; President of Liberia













When daylight brings the morning dew 
Winds whispering breezes flow
Lifting up the windows of our souls
Bringing forth our spiritual renew

Spiritual: Sojourner; The Truth For Women's Rights





           







We softly sing praises
Sometimes under our breath
Long ago songs of fellowship
Are those our memory raises
Old Time Religion 


Substance: Sloane Stevens; Professional Tennis Player












Songs of youth, hymns in church
Jesus loves me this I know
The tap tap of  feet
Waving hands
Up and down to and fro

Sublime: Roshara Sanders; Exec. Sous Chief, Combat Veteran 
     
           











Strong women raised us
The best they knew how
Not by happenstance 
Sometimes a blessing in disguise


Steadfast: Symone Sanders; Political Activist
                                     
 
                                         












And then we grew

Sixteen







By sixteen






Saturday, September 16, 2017

Hey Lady In The Red Polka Dot Dress!


Who Are You Lady In The Red Polka Dot Dress?

Here we go again, as I try to make sense of my dreams.

Lady in the red polka dot dress why were you standing there talking to me with your back turned?


Since I woke up, I am trying to figure out who in the world you are.

I know that if any of my family were talking to me, I would surely know who they were. That includes my cousins in Texas, my sister in laws and anyone else I know, so who are you?

Lady in the red polka dot dress why did you point your finger to the back of you without turning around, then telling me to go to your house and look in the drawer.

What house, what drawer??? I don't even know you.....Maybe if you turn around and let me see your face.

Was it this type of  drawer?

Or did it look like this?

Lady in the red polka dot dress your hair is rather light brown with shades of blond or sandy red combed under  in a large roll.  The style was  really neat not a hair out of place.

Hey Lady in the red polka dot dress was your hair in the front combed into a bang?

You know, like my mama's hair with her bangs looking all cute.


Of Course I would not ever know because Lady, YOU DID NOT TURN AROUND!!!!

And by the way lady in the red polka dot dress, from the back it looks like that dress you have on is none like I have seen before. The ones ladies wear these days are rather sexy looking.

Of  course I am assuming that the dress is "not" sexy looking in the front because again Lady in the red polka dot dress, YOU DID NOT TURN AROUND !!!

Lady in the red polka dot dress you did not give me your address so that I could look in the drawer.

How did I get  there, and how did I know what drawer to look in?.... Because I DID mysteriously get there and I DID go in a drawer....Sheesh!!

Now I am really perplexed.......

Inside the drawer wrapped up in a baggy are numerous cd's that have Microsoft Word and  Excel plus it looked like Photoshop and few more I did not see.

Thats when I woke up!

In my thinking cap mode I tried to gather all the clues that may lead me to the gist of this dream.

Now I am not sure I can blame my elusive maternal 3rd great-grandmother on this one who just happened to be born in 1854 and they had not invented Cd's let alone Microsoft in that day and age.

So who is she and what is she to me?

I will eliminate my paternal great grandmother on this side because I just know she would not even think to wear a red polka dot dress and her hair is not that sandy reddish color.

I know that I owe Shelley Murphy a " somewhat completed" timeline that I should have submitted when I went to MAAGI (Midwest African American Genealogy Institute) in July of this year.

I wanted to do it in Powerpoint....sigh!

By the way, I did not see the Powerpoint cd  so I need to eliminate Shelley as the lady in the polka dot dress.  Besides  Shelley would not wear that kind of dress and is so much younger than that dress even portrayed.

I can't eliminate any houses because I never saw one inkling of a house I have ever been in or near in this dream.
Heck I can't even tell what the dresser looked like but I know it was a dresser because I pulled open the drawer.

Lady in the red polka dot dress I don't know whether I like you or not.

I know I need to purchase a powerpoint program so I can get Shelley off my back and get her a timeline  but you did not have to remind me.

Oh well, I wonder if tonight you will revisit me with a new chapter in this saga.

Lady in the red polka dot dress, I will be waiting and you better turn around so I can see your face or I promise you I will wake up before you even start playing your game.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial

Draped in red white and blue
  




Salute!!!


I salute all those whose life was lost 
On this shore Continental called
States Of  America
After or before battle 

































Revolution was not airy 
Musket balls, Caissons carried 
Marching troops over hills, through prairies
The sounds of blackened feet
Drums beat
No retreat

We were there weren't we Crispus?
If you could speak today

Page by page, lines one by one
History Books could tell
The farmers son, the widows
The wife, no more berries
 Left to bare the weight of the juice

Your choice I reckon would be
The Truth
We were everywhere 
Standing tall until the fall

Sliding on their belly 
On some hill
Sandy beach numbers 354
Blood shed, Massachusetts red









                                                                                                                                          
They say Dorie did not play
Oh no, no way, not that ill fitted day 
On that harbour, Pearls no where in sight
Just fight, 
Trained at home in Texas
Shooting squirrel and rabbits at night

It wasn't a row your boat kind of day 
Dedicated USS out West Virginia way








Not to be mistaken for weak ass men
Just ask
South Carolina, Tennessee Regiments
Companies A & B fighting
US Colored Troops 
Mustered in not out
Hankering to be free from tyranny
Thousands died










W.W.1 and W.W.11, Vietnam and Storm
Oh hell yes there was faithful Semper Fi
Buffalo Soldiers First Division Cav.
Bring us home was the cry
Tuskegee Reds

Ride on and Fly
Through the Airplanes of life
Adversities all the while
Marked we shall overcome 













Sketched and Etched 











Who answered the call
The Soldiers did
Solidly imprinted and fixed
Caught in the Vietnam Jungle 
In Nineteen Hundred Sixty Six
A California neighbor to all of of us
Brother Bruce's friends Jerry Thomas 



Henry Kuykendahl too



Rest in Peace  










Poem by me VDM......

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Charles, Ted And A Pocket Full Of Dimes



I remember one year that I went to Marshall to visit. I was not in high school at the time and loved going to Marshall.
Charles came by my aunt's house, picked me up and walked back to his house on Wilson Street.

Aunt Sedalia was there making hats and I of course was fascinated with that because she had several beautiful ones that she had finished.

All Charles  talked about was wanting me to stay in Marshall and go to school. I actually was fascinated by the thought of staying and going to H.B. Pemberton.

Charles took me to a football game that week-end where I fell in love with their marching band.

I was amazed with the way they danced and  marched to the tune of "Hit The Road Jack" a song that Ray Charles had sung.

We did not have that high speed marching band in Phoenix where I lived.

Speaking of songs:

 Charles took me to a cafe where we got a Dr Pepper and sat down at one of the booths . He reached in his pocket and pulled out a huge handful of dimes.



I don't remember if anyone else was in the cafe but I do remember that he put a whole lot of dimes in the Jukebox and played the same song over and over.

The song sung by Ted Taylor was called Be Ever Wonderful.



 I think cousin Charles thought he was Ted Taylor because he sang right along with it.  Not to mention they shared the same last name.😀



I was in awe of my cousin who was one of the most caring people persons in the world that I knew and one of the funniest who kept you laughing.

Over the years whenever I heard that song, I thought about Charles and  laughed about him having all those dimes just to play that song.

Be ever Wonderful, Stay as you are
Be ever Heavens, gift my guiding star
You are the only one who can break my heart
You are the only one who can tear us apart

I now believe that Charles was singing that song to an unknown love who came into his life years later in the form of Vivian Brown the love of his life.  I can say with certainty that he loved him some Vivian.
He stayed with me in Phoenix for a couple weeks and told me he was going to marry the girl of his dreams from Daingerfield.

Stay sweet and true
Be ever loving me as I love you
Darling please take my heart
Til the end of time

Well Cousin you are Heavens gift, and God's shining star. Those dimes, they are the twinkling stars that light up the night.  Rest well Cousin, rest well.







Wednesday, February 1, 2017

They Rose So We Could Rise



February is Black History Month.

It started out as Negro Week by Dr. Carter G Woodson and others in 1926 who wanted to highlight those African Americans who had given of themselves for the betterment of their race and give others encouragement to do the same.

Decades later Negro Week evolved into Black History Month, and celebrated nationally.

I do recognize those who fit in this category and have been blessed to know that many of them have made an impact on my life’s thinking.

My highlighted pick  just happens to be a group of men and women, and boys and girls.                             
They are found on numerous slave manifests by the thousands. 

They rose as the were identified on a one name basis and the color of their skin.

   source Information: Ancestry.com New Orleans, Louisiana, Slave Manifests 1807-1860

This group of people knew the agony of defeat all too well but they rose.

They rose to the occasion to carry on despite the rushing of the cold waters of the ocean pounding in their ears.

They rose despite the call of the greedy yelling “Sold to the man over there” who was a lot more greedy.

They rose to the treacherous hot sun in the noon day to the howl of the animals at night as they bent to please the greedy.
Row by row by back breaking row and still they rose.

They rose to the sound of the galloping horses hooves, mounted by United States Colored Troops and some marching along in the back and some on the side. 

They rose as some gave nods of approval as if to bid them well in silence .

They rose even though they  had no choice but to be used as a suckling machine.
They toiled over hot biscuits and pork taking time to weave and spin before the nights end to get their rest.

They rose as they sent their children to one room shacks miles away from home early in the morning to pick up a shared and tattered reader.
They learned to read and count one plus one equals two, two by two equals four.

They rose against the battering of night sticks as John Lewis and others walked across the William Pettis Bridge.

They rose over hills in many a foreign land and took flight as giant wings escorted many a man to be able to make it homeward bound.

They rose to hear Shirley St. Hill Chisolm announce her run for President.

They rose for Mississippi’s Fannie  Lou Townsend Hamer words “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired” as she fought for racial justice.

They rose to bring forth the seeds sprinkled across this land to make many of us. 

They Rose So We Could Rise!


Friday, October 21, 2016

Maxwell House: The Choice Is Yours


I went to my mentor Valencia King Nelson’s house before the AAHGS Conference in Atlanta Georgia started on October 12, 2016.



AAHGS is a genealogy based organization and hosts genealogy conferences in different states.

I had a wonderful time with MS V, Angela Walton RaJi, and B.J. Smothers.


            MS V, Angela Walton RaJi,  David Patterson 


But let me tell you when I was there,  I made an epic fail.

 I love my coffee and when at home in Phoenix I can pour a cup, put in a spoon of creamer and drink until my heart’s content.

Now there was coffee all right, but for the first time in my life I saw coffee in a small package. 

 I tore off the top and poured the coffee in the cup of hot steaming water. Put in the creamer and stirred and stirred and stirred.

After about ten mins I said, “what the heck is wrong with this coffee?” 

Good Grief, "I have been stirring this for a good ten minutes and the crystals will not melt . Look at All these little black coffee grinds swirling around"

Mentor: Did you use hot water
Me:         Yes
Mentor: Where’s the little bag
Me:         What bag?
Mentor: The bag that you use to put in the cup to steep the coffee
BJ, David, Angela and Mentor:  giggling!
Mentor:   Here, let me show you
   
Who ever heard of coffee disguised as a tea bag?




Maxwell House did and I have to admit it was good. In fact it was  good to the last drop.

That is without the coffee crystals ….LOL

When the conference was over and I arrived back in Phoenix I went straight to the kitchen to make a cup. 

What awaited me was coffee that looked like it was in an Acorn bag!


Where oh where is my Percolater?

What happened to my can of ground coffee?

LATISHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

Not to be confused with another Maxwell the R&B singer who brews out the soulful song Pretty Wings.


Speaking of House, let me introduce you to Wannel House, an awesome lady who gives of herself  with  loads and loads of information she posts on Find A Grave with Harrison County Texas roots.


 I have never met her in person but contacted her about  twenty years or more when I saw something that she had put online. We have been in contact ever since. 

Wanell has an ancestor by the name of Peter Choyce who was prominent in Harrison County.

Mr Choyce was born around 1823 in Jasper County Georgia, married  Ms Sarah Gilstrap and had several children.

Here is an 1880 census where the family is found in Harrison County


Source Citation

Year: 1880; Census Place: Precinct 2, Harrison, Texas; Roll: 1310; Family History Film: 1255310; Page: 467B; Enumeration District: 048



We are in the season now of voting for a President. We have to make a choice.

Peter Choyce has a voter story all his own in 1880 Harrison County Texas. 


Source Information
Ancestry.com. Texas, Voter Registration Lists, 1867-1869 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data:
1867 Voter Registration Lists. Microfilm, 12 rolls. Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, Texas.
  

Mr. Choyce on his way to deliver the boxes that held the names of the voters in 1880 was accosted by two men who wanted the ballot boxes.

Fortunately for him his horse took off thus saving his life.




Here is a snippet of the case mentioned in the Congressional Record  that can be found as a free e book 


Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the ... Congress, Volume 12
on page 360 online at link listed below

http://tinyurl.com/zsm8s3g

Peter Choyce passed away in Jonesville Texas. 

Rest in Perfect Peace Mr. Choyce. Your footsteps told a wonderful story in Harrison County Texas.

 Then along came DNA…Who did I see matching my children?... Wanell

And then her mother tested...Who did I see?... My grandkids!



We have no idea how they match but they  sure as heck do. If the link is Peter Choice I would be delighted.

To  further this good news, a cousin of Wanell on her mother’s Hubbard line is in my genealogy group.



Now to get  Khameelah Shabazz  to test !