Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - WHERE I'M FROM

Thanks again to Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings for providing us with a fun, engaging activity.  This week's assignment, was to use write a poem entitled, "Where I'm From", using the template provided here.   To visit Randy's site and read the entire challenge, please visit http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/07/saturday-night-genealogy-fun-write-poem.html

I enjoyed working on this poem, but found it challenging in some ways, as I had to grope for ideas for a few of the items. However, most came easily, and I found myself smiling, and even laughing as I reflected on memories of days gone by.  I encourage everyone to give this a try, and to share it with your family members, too. :) 
Here's my poem:

Where I’m From
By Renate Sanders

I am from bell-bottom pants, stacks and afros. I’m from Hostess Twinkies and Now & Laters.

I am from the historic neighborhood of Aberdeen, paved streets, big yards, filled with children playing while mammas watched from every window, and where you’d better get home before those street-lights come on.  I'm from playing on the "Big Hills", waiting for the Ice-Cream Man or "The Truck", and from where switches came off trees faster that you could get the last disrespectful word out of your mouth.

I am from azalea bushes and crepe myrtle trees, and from my grandma’s prized roses.

I am from holding hands during mealtime prayers, and perservering above the odds; From Anna Beatrice GREEN and Mary DAVIS and YARBOROUGHS, DUNSTONS, HILLS, and BROWNS. And, like it or not, I’m also from HAWKINS.

I am from the head-strong and faithful. I’m from, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” And, “Pretty is, as Pretty does.”

I am from Baptists, and Presbyterians, and from the foot-stomping, dancing-in-the-aisle United Holy Church. I’m from folks who love the Lord with all our hearts, souls, and all that is within us!

I'm from Cleveland, Ohio, by way of Louisburg, Halifax, and Warren Co., NC, Norfolk, VA, and somewhere in Africa where people spoke the Bantu languages and watched their families torn apart, chained, and loaded onto ships like somebody’s cargo. I’m from Nigeria, where my ancestors walked proudly, heads up – backs straight, until that fateful day when they were forced to bend by men whose descendants would one day be kinfolk.

I’m from blue-crabs steamed in vinegar and seasoned with Old-Bay; I’m from collard greens and macaroni-and-cheese, with hot, buttered corn bread on the side.

From Anna Green, a runaway transplant who loved and was loved by Nathaniel Hawkins (a negro trader), and bore six kids by him; from Arthur P. Yarborough, who worked his way up to the rank of Major in the United States Army, only to be cheated out of his next promotion by the stronghold of racism.

I am from the house my grandfather built in Louisburg, the property my grandmother and mother fought to keep in Norfolk, from the last house on the left on the corner lot in Granger Court. I’m from the metal safe box which always sat on the top shelf of my parents’ closet, but now rests in mine. I’m from photo albums filled with pictures of the known and unknown, from manila folders labeled with surnames and CD-roms that hold pictures and documents that provide proof of my history.

I’m from all of this, and so much more. I’m from America.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mystery Monday - Workin' on the Railroad

This picture was amongst the belongings of my maternal grandmother, Mary Davis Walker Hill Thomas. I don't know who any of the gentlemen in the picture are, but I can be pretty sure that they likely worked at the railyard in Norfolk, Virginia, since that is where my grandmother lived, and sinceher father, Walter Davis, and at least on of her husbands worked for the railroad. I would love to be able to identify these men, especially since one of them may possibly be my great-grandfather!

Note: It's possible that the gentleman who is kneeling in front with the brake bar(?) in his hand might be James Allen Walker, my grandmother's first husband. He has the same light complexion and sharp features, however, the man in this picture looks older than 27 (to me), the age Allen was at the time of his sad and tragic death. However, I can't rule him out because Allen did work as a brakeman at the Virginia Railway coal pier, so this very well may be him.

Note 2: It's also possible that one of these gentlemen could have been my grandmother's father, Walter Davis. I've never seen a picture of him, but he, too, worked at the pier, and was mortally injured in a train accident in 1935.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

(Amost) Wordless Wednesday - My Mom the Military Wife

My mom, Maryanne Hill Yarborough, standing, center.

This photo would have been taken sometime between 1956 and 1964, most likely in the late fifties, though.  The back has our last name, "Yarborough", faintly written in pencil (probably because this was the copy set aside for my parents), and then, in my mother's handwriting, "A coffee for Army Officers' Wives".  The location is unknown, but was most likely either Bremerhaven, Germany, or Cleveland, Ohio.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Second Blogiversary!

Happy blogiversay to me! 
Happy blogiversary to me!
Happy second blogiversary,
Happy blogiversary to me!!!!

Today, on the second anniversary of Into the LIGHT, I've decided to give myself, and the genealogy blogging community a gift! :)  Just moments ago, I wrote the inaugural post for my new blog, Genea-Related!  I hope that all of my readers will visit my new blog, which, as its name implies, is  forum and a platform for all things related to genealogy!  Please click here to learn more!

Thanks to all of my readers for sticking with Into the LIGHT for whatever portion of the two years you've been reading.  I know that my posts have been sparse over the past year, especially recently, but I hope to do better. Without going into it, I want to share that I've been deeply affected by a negative experience I had here, over a year ago, and it has made me a little less than enthusiatic about posting, even though I often really, really want to.  However, as I continue to heal from this experience, I feel myself coming back, and I'm sure that the work I'll put into Genea-Related, will help to speed the process along.

In the end, what's most important is that I continue my research, and I have done that.  However, some of the discoveries I've made have also contibuted to my lack of posts, as I've had to deal with feelings that were completely unexpected as I've learned more and more about parts of my ancestry which, just a couple of years ago, I knew nothing about, as well as with the frustration of not finding anything out about those of my ancestors whom I was aware of, and who are the main subjects of my research.  Still, I won't give up, and I'm constantly inspired by all of you whose blogs I read daily, and who I follow on Twitter each day.

Again, I thank you for reading, and wish you blessings, always.


*Cake photo courtesy of clker.com