Monday, June 27, 2016

Childhood Collections

Uncle Gene had a great way of telling stories.  He often provided first hand illustrations to help communicate the often broad scope of his adventures.  Serving during the Koren War, he told many of his "army stories" giving first hand accounts of driving tanks and the like, which of course filled my attention span.  He had a collection of patches which he would present with a story, describing its origin and activity, often leaving my questions yet to be answered.  His military patch collection become one of my childhood favorites.  The following patch [shoulder sleeve insignia] caught my attention having recently rediscovered this childhood collection :

No stories arose from the many memories pertaining to this collection, so I had to check a few of my "adult" references.

The 3rd Armored Cavalry it turned out to be.  A regular Army unit on active duty with Headquarters at Fort Bliss, Texas.  My reference read "The green color and trumpet commemorate the original green facing of the uniform and its gold trumpet insignia (1846)".   The motto is recorded as coming from General Winfield Scott after seeing the Regimental colors raised over a captured stronghold... "Brave Rifles! Veterans! You have been baptized in fire and blood and have come out steel."

I can't imagine how Uncle Gene could have missed such a story, but this childhood collection is still telling them.

My reference : Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of The U.S. Army 1946 - 1989, by Richard W. Smith, first published 1978. (p. 12)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

By Any Other Name

The first day of May and all those "May Flowers" can officially arrive.  Here's some...

"May" by any other name would still be "May"...or was it the flowers shown above. [Old Wil sure had a way with words some 400 years ago.]  At any rate, the rose family (Rosaceae) consist of about 3000 species.  This species of flowers ranks high among those whose members contribute to the welfare and pleasure of mankind.  Various size, shapes, and colors all thrown about to stimulate our senses of sight, smell, and touch. 

Now my college Botany text states:

"The flower is a part of a method of sexual reproduction that give rise to seeds, from which new plants eventually arise."

"Seed formation is essential to the survival of most kinds of plants, and also for many species of animals that depend upon seeds for food."

Hum...not the usual way to think about May flowers.  But hey, it is the first day of May and seed production begins.  Our survival continues.

From: Botany, Fourth Edition, by Wilson and Loomis.  Published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, NY,  1967. (p. 259)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Last Drop

April showers bring May flowers...or at least the saying goes.  This being the last day of April, 2016, I thought it might be of interest to show a last drop.

This poor fellow is about to reach the end of his blade of grass.  Enough gravity, enough weight...just the right angle...and there you other places.  Just think of all the drops of rain that fell this month.  From high places to earth...then to trees or plants...then to ground...then to other places.  Getting all those flowers ready for May I guess.  Ah...the last of April...a last drop of rain...and on to other places.

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Headstone

A memorial stone placed at the head of a grave is a headstone.  To remember those who had come before; name, date of birth, and date of death...a life span in between.  Such is shown below.

Now seeing a picture of those folks as buried there...especially if more than a century not that common.  Here is the picture of Edward T. and Ellen Henderson in the same position as they are buried above.  I am sure that when the picture was taken they had no idea that they would end up in the grave as shown.  The span of their life past down their combination of genes to my grandfather, then father, and then me.

As in in death...a headstone it is.

Friday, February 26, 2016

God's Finger

The sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up our existence can vary widely from individual to individual.  Some have a large number of years to conduct or pass one's time, and some have very few.  For Charley B. Jones, it was not all that many.

Buried in a long forgotten, isolated family cemetery some 139 years ago, Charley Butler Jones had roughly ten of these years.  He was the older brother to my great grandfather Edward Turner Jones who would have been around six when Charley died.  What were his ten years like?  A childhood at "Old Cane-Springs" just where the ferry crossed the Kentucky River at the mouth of Red River.  The Red River road brought folks to the ferry, and it must have been an active place day in and day out.  Much to provide physical and mental stimulus to this life.  Ten years and your gone.  Maybe he filled his days with excitement...knowing what it is to be one of those Jones boys growing in my own world.  He had a bunch of older brother and sisters [nine to be exact] that would have helped keep him out of trouble...or helped lead him into trouble.  Brothers and sisters are like that you know.  On his headstone it reads: "God's finger touched him - and he slept".  What would your brothers and sisters write on yours?

Saturday, February 13, 2016


A visible mass of particles of water or ice in the form of fog, mist, or haze suspended usually at a considerable height in the air is a cloud.  They often appear as a light filmy, puffy, or billowy mass seeming to float in the air such as the following:

There happens to be all sorts of clouds.  The names vary from such words as cirrus, stratus, cirrostratus, and altostratus.   I believe the ones shown above are called cumulus.

Now cloud may also mean to become troubled, apprehensive, or distressed in appearance.  Let's cloud the issue so as to make it unclear or confused.  These kinds of clouds can make one confused or anxious.  To cast gloom over is often the result.  All sorts of names also tag these cloud as they past through our sky.  For each of us, these names will vary.

Well, the clouds above have blocked the sun.  They certainly appear dark and gloomy on one side.  Such may be many of the days that pass before us.  Yet, one can imagine where the saying "the clouds silver lining" originates.  Given enough time, the cloud will pass away.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Brother and Sister A Century Ago

Brothers and sisters often have a special relationship.  Older bothers especially like to order around their little sisters, and vise visa.  The following picture shows my grandfather [ Joseph Wheeler Jones] and his younger sister [Eliza Mildred Jones] taken around 1903.  He would have been roughly six years old, born July 5, 1898; and Mildred would have been two years old or so, born April 14, 1901.  An older sister [Nona Lee Jones, b. April 27, 1895] was not in this picture, and it is a mystery as to why not.  She had the same birthday month [April] as Mildred, and maybe she was to have her separate photo...being the oldest and nearing the age of ten.  Maybe it was because these two looked almost like twins, having the same round head, eyes, nose, and that horizontal facial smile that seemed to follow "Pap paw" [What I called Joseph Wheeler Jones] in most of his pictures yet to come.  See what you think...

 Now, this does not look like the best way to take a photo?  Pap paw is standing, squeezed into the back side of the chair with his legs pushed against the arm.  It appears that he did not have enough room to place his hands comfortably alongside his body.  There is a large draped, most likely stool, wedged into the fancy wicker chair where Mildred is sitting.  Her body is twisted with almost a 45 degree angle to her feet which reveal a pair of shoes pointing almost 180 degrees.  The cushion shows signs of the weight with the chair tilting slightly toward Pap paw. His laced shirt, high collar, and fluffy sleeves show through.  No wonder Pap paw's face has that "you've got to be kidding me" look about it.  [Now I know why Nona is not in the more room in this chair!]  Just room for two...a brother and sister a century ago.