Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I Needed That... and a Little Bit of History

Until just a few days ago, this is how I kept my pens and pencils on my desk:

Clever, yes... I love that vintage flower frog, and love the idea of using it in this way. But it was not very practical. My pens and pencils were always toppling over, and some were too fat to even fit properly without bending the wires.

Then, on a recent trip to "Oldwill" (as Jack calls it), I found this:


Now, for the history... the people in the photograph are my Great-Grandparents, August Ray and Eunice Pearl (she went by Pearl most of her life, and is the reason we chose Pearl for our Katie's middle name). August and Pearl grew up on neighboring pieces of property in Oklahoma. Their fathers "won" the rights to those pieces of property in the Oklahoma Run. Growing up as neighbors, and classmates in their small country school, and both being part of large families, not only did August and Pearl eventually marry, but one of his brothers married one of her sisters (or maybe it was the other way around, I can't remember).

They later sold their farm and property because of financial difficulties related to drought and the railroad cutting their land in half, and moved out West during the Dust Bowl years, looking for a financially stable place to raise the last of their 9 children. My Grandma has memories of that long, hard trip, with all of their belongings strapped to the car, and the following years being made fun of by other kids because she was an "Okie".

The other branches of my family line immigrated around the turn of the century, so I am a true representation of the Melting Pot that is our Great Country.

In the future, I am planning to design a completely indulgent line of samplers representing the four countries of my Great-Grandmothers (England, Denmark, Norway, and the USA). I'm very excited about the idea, but a bit daunted by the research I'll have to do as well!


Johnson Family said...

The stories of personal history fascinate me, thanks for sharing and I can't wait to see the new designs.

pammyjo said...

What a wonderful idea. That would be so neat, as I'm sure the samplers will be. You are super talented and do such a wonderful job of designing. How exciting.

Dora said...

What a great find! Looks like that pen/pencil holder blends in so well with your decor.

joann renee said...

"Oldwill"! Yes. I love it. Thanks, Jack. I am officially adopting that term into my vocabulary.

Julie's Keepsakes said...

What an awesome story! Just wait until you can tell Katie and Jack that story. I think your idea of a "family" sampler would be great. Good luck with your research. :D

Augie Ray said...

Hello. I just wanted to say that the person in that picture is definitely not me! My name is August Ray! :)

It sounds like your Great-Grandparents were very interesting, industrious, and persevering people.

Natasha said...

Great knowing the history of your family..I have old pictures that were left to me when my mom died, pictures of her mother my grandma who I never knew, passed away almost 30 years before I was born. But I have her sisters address the last living sibling. She is almost 92 WOW!

I think a smapler of the 4 countries would be a wonderful tribute to your familys history.

Can you even imagine running through the land staking your claim. What were they feeling as that happened. Amazing is all I can think of.

Marie said...

Grandma's brother married Grandpa's sister, I believe. And I think that Grandpa actually went by Ray most of the time (not sure about that. We'll have to ask your Grandma)
I love the way you wrote about the picture and the history of Grandma and Grandpa.

And I also love "Oldwill"!! It's a very good name for that store!

Marie said...

I checked with your grandma, and she said that it was her mom's brother "Uncle Ben" that married Grandpa's sister, "Aunt Minnie".

Also, Grandpa did go by Ray. so they both used their middle names.