Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Number please. Thank you very much!

Photo of the French provincial phone
I've had since the 1970s.
We received our Yellow Pages books today. Yes, we got two of them. One was the same larger size in diameter that many of us remember – only it was less than half the thickness of the ones we used in years gone by.
 
The other one was a “companion” book. Just what does that mean? Why in the world do the Yellow Pages need a companion? Perhaps it’s just a more convenient size that we can use to carry around with us. Really?
If I need a number today, I usually just look it up on the whitepages.com or the yellow pages.com websites. Googling works, too. It’s so much easier in today’s world of technology. Besides, many people no longer have land lines and aren’t listed anywhere anyway.
But I’ll have to say that in this instance, I honestly miss the “good ol’ days.” I can remember the excitement of getting our new phone book each year. When I was a small girl, the White Pages and Yellow Pages were all together in one book, even for a city as large as Memphis. As soon as it would come, I (always the avid reader) would take it to my room to start reading it. Yes, I read the phone book. That might sound geeky…okay it probably is…but I loved it!
There was so much to learn from those books in those days. There was always a history of the city, plus information about the government to read, and then there was the fun of looking up all of the families of my friends. Naturally, the first listing I invariably went to was ours. Just checking to make sure everything was written correctly, I assured myself each year. It always was, thank goodness.
When I was sixteen, I got my own phone for my birthday. It was a beautiful little blue Princess phone and was a separate line from the family’s line. It was actually in my own name, which meant that my name would be in the phone book, too! So now I was looking up my own name, as well as the names of my friends who also had their own phones. Oh, how I wish I had a photo of that little phone, but I can’t find one. Nevertheless, since blue is my favorite color, the mental picture that I have of it in my head is still very vivid.
For this blog post, I had to settle on a photo of the faux French provincial phone that I bought for myself back in the 1970s. It was always hooked up to our phone system, and I used it often over the years.
Probably my favorite story about that phone involves my youngest (and late-in-life) child who was born in 1985. By that time I had moved the phone to our upstairs bedroom and rarely used it. Punching buttons was so much easier. One day when I had him in that room with me, I sat on the bed to make a quick phone call. At the tender age of three, my exceptionally smart son exclaimed, “What is that?” I’ll admit to being shocked and then started laughing. Of course, he had never seen a rotary phone being used and didn’t realize that the “pretty thing” in our bedroom was a phone!
I’ll also admit that even in that time frame, I was still reading that phone book when it came every year. By then, there were two separate books: the White Pages and the Yellow Pages. Naturally, I had to read through both to get all of the information that was provided about the history of the city, county, and state, and all of the other tidbits of information that was in those books. I had, however, stopped looking up my friends. (One does eventually grow up.) As a teacher, I often used the information I gleaned from those books in my history classroom. I can remember the surprise that most of my students had that so much information could be found in the phone book!
I guess I was still reading the phone books until just a few years ago. We dropped our land line, and any information provided by those books was easily accessible by then through my computer - and even from my cell phone. But the genealogical treasures those phone books hold are still valuable and, thankfully, copies are held in repositories at our local genealogical libraries and also at our county archives.
I have to admit to experiencing a twinge of nostalgia today when I saw those two little Yellow Pages books. I guess I’ll sneak a peek in a day or two to see what’s actually provided by them these days.
More importantly, I have to find out what a “companion” is!
 
@2015 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland
 
 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: The Oldest Home in Memphis, Tennessee

(Home of Eugene Magevney. Photo taken by me on 7 Mar 2014.)


(Historic Marker outside of Magevney's home.)

@2015 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Eleven


It’s an odd little number: eleven. It’s odd in the way it looks and even when one attempts to say it: eleven. Mathematically, it’s an odd number as well: eleven. It’s never particularly been one of my favorite numbers.

Yet its three-fold significance today is known and felt around the world: “On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour.”

Anyone who knows their history understands this phrase. The year was 1918, and that month, date, and hour was when the “War to End All Wars” officially ended.¹

That war, known as “the Great War” at the time, would eventually become known as World War I. The war, unfortunately, didn’t end all wars even though it was one of the most costly wars in history. Over nine million troops were killed, 21 million more were wounded, and some ten million civilians also died as a result of the war.¹

But why does the number eleven appear in all of this? It seems that by the month of November in 1918, the Germans had finally “had enough” and signed a cease-fire a little after 5:00 a.m. on the morning of November 11th that year. It was decided that the official treaty would go into effect six hours later, when it would be 11:00 a.m. in France, where the cease-fire was signed.² From that point forward, that date, time, and hour emerged as an historic phrase.

To celebrate the end of the Great War, the United States observed it as Armistice Day beginning in 1919, but ultimately changed it to Veterans Day in 1954 in order to honor all veterans.³ This important day is also observed in many countries around the world in some form or another.

I’m very proud to have had a grandfather and two grand uncles who served in WWI and am extremely thankful that they survived this ordeal. My grand uncle, Emile Frances Sanford (1898 – 1972), served in Company I of the 28th Infantry and was slightly wounded on July 31, 1918. (See photo.) According to my grandmother, his wife and his children, he was cited for bravery for carrying messages continually over ‘no-man’s land’ during the battle of Cantigny in May of 1918.



Another grand uncle, James Alonzo “Lonnie” Sanford (1902 – 1957), followed his older brother into the military, lying about his age in order to serve. I remember my Grandmother telling me that story and how he was reported as missing in action and presumed dead. He miraculously came home at the end of the war without any notification to the family whatsoever!

My grandfather, Baxter H. Wallace (1895 - 1958) served in Company H of the 101st in the United States Army. One of my uncles told me that he was gassed at Verdun and sent home. Since my Mother was born in January of 1919, I’m extremely happy that he made it home before the number eleven played its part in the end of that war.



The number eleven was lucky for all three of them. They survived. So many others didn’t, and we remember them and so many others who lost their lives during warfare on Memorial Day each year.

Veterans Day is meant to honor all who served, and my heartfelt thanks go out to each of you.

I think I’m beginning to like that little number: eleven. It rolls easily off my tongue now: eleven. Mathematically, it’s still an odd number: eleven.



¹ HISTORY.com. This Day in History. “Nov. 11, 1918: World War I Ends.”  http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/world-war-i-comes-to-an-end

² Gaylord, Chris. The Christian Science Monitor. “Veterans Day: Why America chose November 11.” Nov. 11, 2011. 

³ The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - The Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs: “History of Veterans Day.” http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp


@2014 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland 


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Lottie Love



Lottie Love (1889 - 1909)

She was so young - only 19 when she died. She was my grand aunt on my Father's side, and I've always wanted to know more about her and her very short, precious life.

Lottie Love was born on 4 Oct 1889 in Tennessee. Her older sister, Florence Elizabeth Love, was born a few years before her on 8 Sept 1882.¹  The two sisters were the eldest sisters of my Grandfather, Richard Enloe Love, who was born on 28 Apr 1891 in Tiptonville, Lake Co., TN.² 

Lottie was not quite two years old when her little brother was born. Were they close? How did he feel being the only male in a house full of females? His father evidently died when he was very young, as his mother was listed as a widow in the 1900 census.¹

I wonder what Lottie’s life was like. Was Lottie her real name, or was it short for Charlotte? Did she have a middle name? I’ve not found any records to date to indicate any name other than Lottie, but that certainly doesn’t mean that one might not exist.

My cousin, Nancy, told me that Lottie’s mother (our great grandmother) moved her family to Jackson, Madison Co., TN to raise her three children. She worked as a seamstress in a local department store there.

I can’t even imagine how devastated that little family must have been when Lottie died at such a young age. Family stories have been told that Lottie had not been well for most of her life, but that still cannot have lessened the pain. Although Florence had already married before Lottie’s death, I know from some of her descendants how close those three children were.

The photo of Lottie’s tombstone at the top of the page is a tribute to how much-loved she was. The family was not wealthy, so purchasing a monument of this size as a tribute to her must have been very important to them. I took this photo of her tombstone in July of 2009 while on a visit to Brown’s Church Cemetery in Jackson, TN.

Rest in peace, dear Aunt Lottie.
 

¹Year: 1900; Census Place: Jackson Ward 1, Madison, Tennessee; Roll: 1586; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0104; FHL microfilm: 1241586. (Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.)

²Registration State: Texas; Registration County: Jefferson; Roll: 1953881; Draft Board: 2. (Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.)


@2014 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Military Monday: A Letter from Iwo

One of the greatest treasures I own is the short letter I have that was sent to my Mother and my brother from my Father (Richard Enloe “Dick” Love, Jr.) in March of 1945. My Father had not yet seen his son, who had been born several months before - in September of 1944.

Even though I have included a photo of the letter and its envelope, I’m going to translate the writing because it’s not easily readable from the photo.  I have no comments to make on this piece of history because I think the words of a Marine engaged in one of the most horrific battles of WWII speak for themselves. 

Dearest Eve & Rick:                                            Iwo Jima                      16 March
          Wondering if you have received any of the letters I’ve written from here.  Sure hope you have had some assurance that I am OK
You probably know that this island has been secured officially two or three days past.  There is still a good-sized war going on here however.
No dope on when we will get away from here.  Makes very little difference where or when we go, since there is no chance that it will be home.
Give my love to everyone there; sorry have had no time to write them. Will do so later.
You and Rick be careful and be happy.
All my love,                                  Dick




@2014 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland 

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Very Nice Surprise – “One Lovely Blog” Award!

Today I received some very exciting news and a very nice surprise. I was chosen by my friend Valerie Hughes as one of the 15 bloggers she admired - and that she had nominated for the “One Lovely Blog” award! Thank you so much, Valerie. What an honor!

Here are the rules for this award: (There are always rules!)
  1.     Thank the person who nominated you and link to that blog.
  2.     Share Seven things about yourself.
  3.     Nominate 15 bloggers you admire - or as many as you can!
  4.     Contact your bloggers to let them know that you’ve tagged them for the “One Lovely Blog” Award.

So first of all: Thank you once again, Valerie, for nominating me for this lovely award. I truly appreciate it.

Here is the link to her blog: http://genealogywithvalerie.wordpress.com/

Seven Things About Me: (Only seven?)
1. I spent over 40 years serving in the field of education: as a history teacher for over 25 years, as a French teacher for two of those years, and as a Middle School Coordinator for over 15 years. (I also had to teach geography every now and then, which was always lots of fun for a person who is never sure where she is!)
2. I generally began the year in my history classes with a unit on family history so that the students would be able to understand their own place in the great scheme of history. (Sometimes that actually worked!)
3. When I was a much younger teacher, I was a soccer coach for two years. (Don’t fall out laughing, please!)
4. I play the piano; was 1st chair clarinet soloist in my junior high school band; switched to the choir in high school; and majored in vocal music for two years in college. (I changed my major when I realized that everyone else spent hours in the practice rooms, and I was always running out to some sorority meeting or other social event…oops!)
5. I was told all my life that I was a direct descendant of General Thomas Gage, and that I was a cousin of General Robert E. Lee. (I never believed the one about Lee even though Lee is my middle name.)
6.  My 4th great grandmother was Hannah Gage, who is not the daughter of Thomas Gage, but I am the 4th cousin, 5 times removed of General Lee himself! (Who knew?)
7.   I am the lucky wife of a wonderful and loving husband, the mother of three fantastic sons, the grandmother of two beautiful granddaughters and one handsome grandson, and the great-grandmother of the most beautiful little boy in the world! (I’m sure that bit about being a ‘great-grandmother’ is some kind of typo!)

Fifteen Bloggers I Admire: (Oh, mercy, this was a hard one, and it doesn’t include Valerie’s, which would definitely be included!)
1. The Legal Genealogist by Judy G. Russell
3. Ancestral Journeys by Jen Baldwin
4. Are My Roots Showing? by Jenny Lanctot
5. 4YourFamilyStory by Caroline Pointer
6. The Sanford Family Misfit by Cassie Clark
7. Your Genetic Genealogist by CeCe Moore
8. Appalachian History by Dave Tabler
9. Genealogy Gems by Lisa Louise Cooke
10. The Enthusiastic Genealogist by Dana Stewart Leeds
11. Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Loretta Gillespie
12. Finding Our Ancestors by Terri O’Connell
13. Mississippi Memories by Janice Tracy
14. Always Anxiously Engaged by Peggy Lauritzen
15. West in New England by Bill West


(Of course, I had to leave out everyone’s favorites: Dear Myrtle, Dick Eastman, Randy Seaver, Thomas MacEntee, GeneaBloggers – and many, many others whose blogs I love! This list needs to be longer. I know I’ve left out some friends - not good!)

Contact Bloggers:
This may take a while, but I’ll begin shortly and keep on until I’ve finished!

Thanks so much once again, Valerie, for nominating me for this “One Lovely Blog” award! J


@2014 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland