Sunday, December 7, 2014

Do You Remember Christmas Parades?

Do You Remember......Christmas Parades? 

Back in the "olden days," before stores began displaying their Christmas decorations in August and September, we took holidays one at a time.  Only after we had enjoyed Halloween and eaten the last bite of Thanksgiving dinner did we turn our focus to the Christmas season.  Because Christmas didn't really begin until we were well into November, we didn't have time to tire of all of the commercials or Christmas music and the excitement and anticipation had plenty of time to build.

Christmas parade, Coalinga California, Brownie troop

When we were living in Coalinga, California, I was in a Brownie Troop and was so excited to participate in our small town's Christmas Parade. In case you can't tell, we were a herd of red nose reindeer.  Did even you know there was such a thing?   

Costumes, like life in general, were simple and our cone-shaped-construction-paper reindeer heads are evidence of that.   

Not to be outdone and with the aid of our mother, one of my little brothers dressed up that year as Santa, decorated his bike and he too participated in the Christmas parade.  

The Christmas parade helped to officially kick off the Christmas season and we then looked forward to several weeks of family and church activities, music, parties, special treats and Christmas movies.

Pumped full of sugary goodies and wired on a steady stream of activities, we then faced the challenge of trying to ensure our place on Santa's list of good girls and boys.

Do you remember those days?  

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014,  All rights reserved

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

On The Lookout For Perrys - Part 1

Was this my Perry connection?    The name Perry has been used as a first name in my own immediate family and I was told that it was because of the importance of a family named Perry, but no one knew exactly who that family was.  

But as a result, I have long kept my eye out for a Perry connection somewhere.  As I worked on my Rainwater family, I was intrigued as I came upon a Perry family and couldn't help but wonder if this was the family.  
Photo generously shared by David, a descendant

Mary Ann Ayers,  or Mollie as many called her, was the only daughter of Reuben Ayers and Frances Rainwater.  Frances was a sister to my second great grandmother Olivia Rainwater.  

In 1877, when Mary Ann was 20 years old, she married James Crain Perry in Haralson County, Georgia.  So the question in my mind is, were the two families ever close enough that my Grandfather would have known and named his only son after this Perry family? The question led me on an adventure to get to know Mary Ann.

Mary Ann was born in October of 1857 in Carroll County, Georgia, but by the 1860 census, she moved with her parents Reuben and Frances Ayers to the hills of Calhoun County, Alabama. John and wife Olivia (nee Rainwater) Ganus and their children had also moved from Georgia to Calhoun County and were living just a few households away.  By 1870 Reuben, Frances and Mary Ann were back in Georgia and once again were living in close proximity to the John and Olivia Ganus family.  John and Olivia had three children by the time Mary Ann was born.  Mary Ann and William Franklin Ganus, my great grandfather were about three years apart. There is no doubt that the two families enjoyed each other’s company, as shared in this post. But both families would move multiple times to multiple states in the years that followed and I wondered, did the children several generations later have opportunity to know each other?  It will take some digging to see if they did and if indeed this family was responsible for the Perry name in my own family. 

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014,  All rights reserved

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Do You Remember ....."Put on a Coat!"

Do you remember ..... "Put on a Coat!"

What is it about kids and coats?  Currently we are experiencing temperatures hovering right around freezing and so, as I leave the house, I bundle up.  Yet as I head out in my car with my nice warm coat on,  gloves on to keep my hands warm,  and the heater blasting, I see kids walking nonchalant, in shorts and no coat as if it was the middle of summer.

My brother and me
Bakersfield, California
I do remember being a kid and trying to get out the door without a coat on and hoping mom wouldn't see us.  Because moms have eyes in the back of their heads, she always knew what we were up to and reminded us to put on a coat. I also remember resisting. How could we play and do all we wanted to do when we were restricted by an extra layer of clothing?

This picture always makes me smile.  I look at it and wonder about the story behind it. Over the years the story and reasoning has been lost, so no one can explain to me why I am in shorts and a light sweater while my little brother is bundled up from head to toe in a nice toasty snowsuit.  The thing is, I don't look like I am miserable or cold.  So I wonder, did I fight Mom on the coat and she finally said fine, find out for yourself?  Was I just warm blooded?  Or was I just oblivious to it all because I was having fun with my little brother?

Whatever the reason, of this I am confident, at some point, my mom told me to put a on a coat.  It's a given.

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014,  All rights reserved