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“Have A Green Christmas” by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Have

A

Green Christmas”

GREEN CHRISTMAS LEAD PHOTO_Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

Have Yourself A Green Christmas !

If Christmas Day this year is “too close” to put the”green” in your stockings and brighten up the gifts under your Christmas Tree,then, a simple act of “saving” should be the shine on your Christmas tree and keep more bills in your wallet for next Christmas. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

I always got my “Letter to Santa Claus” request.

 

Regardless of the economic conditions at the North Pole and in “The Lone Star State”, Mom and Dad always made sure I had a “Merry Christmas.

As a child, I simply came to expect that I would have a wonderful Christmas. After all, both of my parents were workaholics.

 

My mother left “public work” to stay at home and “raise me.” I appreciate her decision. Throughout my childhood, my dad ALWAYS worked a second job. In 1960, momma and I moved to the farm in Missouri.

 

My mother was one of the few “Women Hog Farmers In The United States Of America”, especially in 1960. Momma raised hogs and used the money to provide for my every need from grade school through college.

 

Daddy stayed on the job in Houston, Texas to “maintain his seniority” and continue working toward a retirement plan.

 

Like most kids, I knew, the vast majority of my toys on Christmas morning came from the money in daddy’s wallet and the cash in momma’s purse.

 

The Big Picture

 

What I never saw was “The Big Picture” of earning a living on a daily basis.

 

The reason the wrapped, brightly colored boxes, sporting bright bows, under the Christmas Tree made my home look like Santa Claus’ North Pole Showroom and a Toys R Us store is because my mom and dad were “bound and determined” that I would have a better childhood than they had.

 

I did.

 

Dirt Poor Childhoods

 

Opal M. DeLong Warren, my mother, was born in a small house in Peach Tree Holler, near Reeds Springs, Missouri. Opal’s mother, Martha, and father, Charley, loaded their personal belongings and their son, Richard, into the covered wagon and moved from Versailles, Missouri to a place, near Reeds Spring in Stone County in 1907.

 

All the rest of the DeLong children were born in Stone County. Richard began farming as soon as he was big enough to do the farm chores. The other boys: Willie, Hobert and Joe didn’t go to school very long.

 

Opal DeLong liked school and graduated from the 8th Grade. Every year, Martha, her mother ordered three dresses a year for Opal out of the Sears and Roebuck catalog to wear to school. She rode a pinto-mix horse, named,”Shorty” to the Wilson’s Creek School in Bear Den Holler.

 

Samuel E. Warren, my father, went to school in Perryville in east Texas. Joseph Samuel Warren, his father, was a tenant farmer, which meant J. Frank Couch, owned the land that “Papa” Warren farmed.

 

Dirt Poor” is an accurate financial description of my parent’s childhood years.

 

To add insult to injury, Fate unleashed The Great Depression around the time of their teenager years.

 

Daddy’s Short Range Financial Plan

 

Daddy adopted the policy of “Live For Today ;Tomorrow Will Take Care Of Itself.” The major flaw in his long-range financial plan is “In Order To Spend Money – You Have To Earn Money. The More Money You Spend, The More Money You Need To Earn To Keep Your Comfortable Lifestyle Going.”

 

Green Christmas Photo 2 by Samuel E. Warren Jr.At the end of the day, Daddy’s financial plan meant, “He had to be a ‘workaholic’, in order to keep earning money to spend. The irony is you spend so much time working,you never have “any fun” spending your money.

 

I remember, Monday through Friday, he would arrive home from work at about 4:30 p.m. He would sit down for supper and talk about his day. He could only relax a few moments and then, he would have to start getting ready for his “night job” as a bartender or bouncer.

 

His gray pressed Cameron uniforms would hang in the wardrobe beside his double breasted suits and neckties. By about 6:30 or 7 p,m,, the pickup would ease down the narrow driveway to take him to his “part-time job.”

 

Sometimes momma would wake me up about 2:30 or 3 am, so I would be waiting for daddy to come home from work. The headlight beams would dance down the narrow driveway and in a few minutes I would smell the aroma from a box of a dozen Dunkin’ Donuts, which daddy usually would stop and pickup on the way home.

 

Daddy did make a lot of money. But, he met himself coming and going.

 

Daddy always had “a wad of bills” rolled tightly that looked like a short, fat, pill bottle, with a rubber band around them that he carried in his front jeans pocket. In addition, to the roll of bills in his front pocket, he always had several bills in his wallet.

 

The roll of bills was one of those “Games Of Life” that when you take it out to pay a bill, people notice and they just naturally assume you are some kind of financial genius.

 

The stated “Big Picture” was daddy and momma were working to build their “Dream Home” on land momma bought in 1938, near her mother and father.

 

The Coffee Service

 

Daddy told me he offered the coffee service in his shop “at the plant.”

 

From 1960 until his death in 1978, daddy always made two trips a year to Missouri. One vacation trip always came for the Fourth of July. The second vacation trip depended on the vacation schedule at Cameron’s, which meant his two weeks began either at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

 

Whenever he came to Missouri, he would stock up on three-pound cans of Folgers coffee. He said it was cheaper to buy the coffee in Missouri. About once a year, he would buy a huge coffee pot that could make about 50 cups of coffee. Daddy wasn’t a shopper. He went into a store, picked up what he needed and paid the cashier at the checkout register.

 

However, if Sammy walked past Craftsman tools, he would stop and browse slowly at all the tools. Daddy loved Craftsman tools and bought all kinds of Craftsman wrenches, vise grips and other tools.

 

One trip each year, daddy would “shop” for a new coffee pot to take “to the plant.” He would shop around at the different stores and compare the features of the coffee pots.

 

I have, no doubt, there are people who bought bass boats with less research than daddy put into buying the right coffee pot. Despite his dedicated “shopping around for the right coffee pot”, he always ended up with the same type. And, he would buy a huge cardboard box full of Styrofoam cups to take back to Texas.

 

I remember the huge coffee pots because their shiny silver cylindrical design made them look like huge vacuum tubes that went into the back of a radio.

 

I get to the plant in the morning and I make the coffee for the shop. I have a coffee can with a slit in the lid. The guys know that coffee is 25 cents a cup. They put a quarter in the can. If they don’t have a quarter, then, they put in some change. I don’t really worry about it because the guys are honest. At the end of the week, I take the coffee can of coins home. Monday morning I always bring in a new empty coffee can for that week’s coins,” said Daddy,

 

In 1978, daddy was suppose to leave at the end of June for his Fourth of July trip to Missouri. He never arrived. The Houston Police Department notified momma of daddy’s death at home.

 

A few days after daddy’s funeral, momma and I made the trip to Houston. We found Folgers coffee cans stored in rooms around the house. Each can was filled to the plastic lid with mixed change from pennies to half dollars and a few silver dollars. The cans all had coins and none of the coins had been wrapped.

 

Momma asked Wanda Brinkley, a next door neighbor for help in wrapping the coins. Wanda had momma take the coins next door to her mom and dad’s house, Mr. and Mrs. Pete Pippins. Momma ordered the pizzas.

 

All day until after midnight, Momma, Wanda, Mr and Mrs Pete and I wrapped coins. Wanda’s two daughters, Donna and Debbie also joined the coin wrapping adventure. At this point in US history, American banks did not accept coins unless they were wrapped in bank wrappers.

 

Using the bank coin wrappers that daddy had on hand and some of the wrappers that Wanda had, we all wrapped coins all day and until well past midnight, It was after 2 am, when we finished.

 

Bank Robbery ?

 

The next day, Wanda, Momma and I went to the drive thru lane of the local Reagan State Bank. Wanda would put about 10 rolls of coins at a time up to the drive thru teller’s window.

 

You have a lot of coins,” remarked the teller.

 

My husband, Sammy had the coffee concession where he worked. He died recently. We just discovered, he never wrapped any of the coins from the coffee fund,” explained Momma.

 

The teller nodded. A bank guard showed up with a dolly. The teller seemed to slow,at one point, in tallying the amount of coins. We sat in the car at the drive thru for a couple of hours.

 

After about an hour, the bank guard emerged from a side door with the rolls of coins in the familiar purple bank sacks stacked neatly on the dolly. He pushed the dolly slowly across the several lanes of the drive thru into the rear entrance of the main bank.

 

The bank guard made about four more trips with his dolly from the drive thru to the bank.

 

A couple of days later Wanda spoke to a friend, who worked at the bank. The friend had heard about all those sacks of coins that came through the drive thru. The friend laughed and told Wanda it was not uncommon for people to drop of rolls of coins at the drive thru and she told Wanda the rest of the story.

 

Then, Wanda Brinkley, telephoned momma.

 

When we dropped those coins off at the bank. The bank got worried and called the local office of the FBI. They told the FBI why they were calling and asked the bureau to check for recent bank robberies because they could not believe that anyone would save that amount of coins.  

 

      FBI LOGO_resizedWhile we were waiting in the drive thru lane and the teller seemed to be taking the time tallying up the coins, they were waiting for a call back from the FBI to tell them if there were any reports of bank robberies where a large amount of coins had been taken,” Wanda explained and laughed.

 

We wrapped about 20 three-pound coffee cans of coins to take to the bank. Momma also brought about 10 cans of unwrapped coins with her back to Missouri. It was two or three years before I ever wanted to wrap rolls of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters,half dollars and silver dollars.

 

My father died at age 52. The Harris County, Texas Corner’s Report listed the cause of death as a “possible ‘double heart attack.’” Daddy had literally “worked himself to death” through the years.

 

Momma’s Big Picture Financial Reality

 

 

Momma would never be a “Victim Of A Global Financial Crisis.” She had a poor childhood and realized ”Money Has To Be Managed.”

 

Momma always put aside a few dollars to have when she needed it. “Save” wasn’t a word, it was a philosophy and a way of life.

 

People would tease my mother that she probably had the “First Dollar” she ever earned. Momma would smile and shrug off the comment.

 

Opal M. DeLong Warren was “never broke.” Maybe, she didn’t have a lot of money in her wallet or handbag, but, Momma was “never broke” financially.       

 

Momma loved to remind me “I bought the first car, your daddy and I ever owned. And, I paid cash for it. I bought the first home, your daddy and I ever owned. I bought the land in Missouri, under my own name with my own money, before I ever met your daddy.”     

 

All the claims were true statements. Momma’s message was not that she was a Green Christmas Photo 3 by Samuel E. Warren Jr.suffragette or a women’s libber, but that she knew “How To Spend And Save Her Money.”

 

Opal M. DeLong Warren is the woman, who went to the Reagan State Bank in Houston and arranged for the money to “buy the home in Houston at 313 East 26th Street.”

 

Stubborn Sammy

 

During World War II, US Army doctors had told daddy that he had contracted “malaria in the Philippines.” In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Veterans’ Administration wasn’t always able to convince Congress to provide medical care and decent pensions to veterans.

 

In the early 1950s, momma found out that daddy was eligible for VA medical care payments thanks to the hard-nosed efforts of Texas Congressman and Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Sam Rayburn.

 

Daddy told Momma, Uncle Sam had sent him into World War II and, “I don’t want nothing else to do with the ‘Damn Government.’”

 

Momma reminded Daddy that some days it seemed difficult for him to get out of bed to go to work. Grudgingly, Daddy did the paperwork and accepted “Uncle Sam’s Official Help”, which didn’t last that long. By then, daddy’s health had improved and he did go to work everyday.

 

Momma The Family Banker

 

Martha Lou Marcum DeLong, my grandmother, kept her coins in a coin purse and her dollar bills in a sugar bowl in a plain white dish cabinet in the living room.

 

Everyone knew Grandma DeLong had worked hard all her life, but, Missouri’s “old age pension” provided her the money to live out her senior citizen years.

 

Opal M. DeLong Warren had the reputation in the DeLong Family, Stone County, Missouri, Upshur County, Texas and among neighbors in Harris County – Houston, Texas of “Saving For A Rainy Day.”

 

The Burial And The Banker

 

When daddy died in Texas, I asked momma if we could bring his body back to Missouri for burial. I went to the bank with momma. She told the banker, “I need money to bring my husband’s body back to Missouri for burial. I don’t know, when or how I will pay you. But, you will get your money back.” I watched momma tell the banker those words.

 

In the 21st Century, most bankers would find a polite way to show the widow to the door out of their office.

 

In 1978, the banker nodded, “Okay, Opal. When you know how much you need for sure, let me know. You’ll get the money,” I heard the banker tell momma.

 

I was already a college student, so I was impressed that a banker would listen to a widow without demanding various forms of collateral.

 

The banker was not going out on a limb. He knew momma owned her “80 acres” of land and owned the other “10 acres” of land that she lived on. He knew she still “owned her home in Houston, Texas.”

 

The banker wasn’t gambling; he was investing.

 

The worst case scenario would be the bank would end up with Missouri real estate and maybe Texas real estate. Real estate in a city is usually more valuable than farm real estate,

 

In the late 1970s and early 1980s there was an active real estate market in Missouri and Texas.

 

But, everyone from Stone County, Missouri throughout southwest Missouri knew “Opal Warren always pays her bills.”

 

Samuel E. Warren was laid to rest in Yocum Pond Cemetery, near Reeds Spring Missouri. The financial cost of moving daddy’s body from Texas to Missouri was $7,000. The bank let momma borrow the money. Momma paid the bank off ahead of time.

 

Momma used money she already had saved for the associated funeral expenses and the double headstone. Uncle Sam provided the “foot marker” that was placed at daddy’s grave.

 

Save And Manage Your Money

 

Through the years, relatives would have financial issues come up in their lives. When they had no one to turn to, they would turn to “Opal.”

 

If a relative was out to buy a big screen TV, then, they were on their own.

 

But, if it was a valid emergency like a mortgage, insurance, food for their kids or medical bills then momma would “loan” the money. A few of my relatives paid Momma back. The majority did not.

 

Momma had a better financial plan than daddy. Momma never invested in the stock market. I had the debate with her several times and she always told me, “Son, I hang on to my money.”

 

Momma quit farming around 1982. The only “risky investment,” momma ever made, other than her son, was in Land.

 

Land That Pays For Itself

 

But, she always said, “Invest in Land, that will pay for itself.” Her Land did pay for itself because she “rented the pasture to other farmers for their cattle to graze on” and “loggers would cut some trees off the Land every three or four years for lumber.”

 

The Other Land

Through the years, momma would tell me that people had called her and tried to sell her land in Galena or elsewhere in southwest Missouri. I asked momma why she passed on the offers.

 

I have the land I want. The land I have been offered isn’t land I would want to buy at any price,” Momma would answer. Momma lived on one parcel of land. She could open her front door and look across the road to see the land that she had bought back in the 1930s.

 

Momma is one of the few people in the world, I know of, where bankers would call her and try to persuade her to move her money to their bank. She would smile, “The Bank Of Crane has always done right by me. Until something changes, I will stay with my bank.”

 

At age 84, momma left “The Real World” in 2004. She had a double wide home that had central heating and air conditioning. She never went hungry and there was always food in the ice box and the pantry. She always had her coffee and cigarettes. When she went to the doctor or the hospital, she could always pay her medical bills.

 

Momma’s Financial Secret, “She Learned To Save Money And Manage Her Money.”

 

Momma and daddy made sure I always had a wonderful Christmas. I got enough toys to outfit a museum.

 

I was an “Only Child”, which meant I had to play by myself most of the time, but, I had a huge wooden toy box in the garage full of toys to choose from each day.

 

In Missouri, every other weekend or so, my Cousin Donna would be at Grandma DeLong’s and Uncle Richard’s. I would of brought toys with me or we would go off in the woods to play. In Missouri, the toys were in a big cardboard box in the garage.

 

Samuel E. Warren Jr., the senior citizen, realizes now, Momma’s ability to always put “The Green In My Christmas” came from her daily financial sense of saving and managing her money. Thanks to my mother, “My Merry Christmas” was always “A Green Christmas.”

 

Merry Christmas, Momma .”

GREEN CHRISTMAS LEAD PHOTO_Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Written by samwarren55

December 20, 2012 at 1:53 AM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Business, Current Events, Ecology, Family, Holidays, Money, Observances, Stone County History

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After Action Report – Father’s Day

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After Action Report

Father’s Day

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Sunday, June 19, 2011 – Father’s Day

spend the day at a rock show.

A city park in Ozark, Missouri, in Christian County, hosted the rock show.

My cousin, Donna is a “rock hound.

My wife, Christy is a “rock hound.”

Me, I’m just an old country boy from Stone County, Missouri, who likes rocks, but, isn’t worthy of the “rock hound” label . . . yet.

The white banner announced in big red letters to motorists and passerby : Gem Fair. There were several vendors from throughout Missouri who came to display their minerals, stones and gems. KCGemDude from Kansas City had some display cases of Ruby, Sapphire and even lesser publicized gems like: Apatite, among the numerous gems.

I was in my “ Father’s Day – holiday “ mode, rather than my usual Joe Reporter mode – I took my trusty camera, but, my wife, Christy, shot most of the photographs of the day. I spent most of the day looking at the gems and minerals.

I’ve always been a people watcher, so I watched people looking at the minerals.

Donna and Ken had their tables set up with displays of Amazonite, Adamite, and Hematite, – to mention just a few of the minerals that come quickly to my mind. Plus, amid the packets of Apache Tears and the small samples of Galena, naturally there was the State of Missouri’s Official Stone – Mozarkite.

Ah, but do you know, the State of Missouri’s Official Fossil ? Suffice to say, Donna and Ken had Missouri’s official fossils on display.

A shopper at the Gem Fair in Ozark Missouri browses the selections. Photo by Christy Warren

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a retired United States Air Force photographer, who shared some of his photography stories from his active duty days and told me how he became interested in rocks and minerals as a child.

Once you retire, it seems that you find yourself surfing the Internet and watching the TV news only to learn that “retirement” is an idea that seems to belong to previous generations as the global economy seems to remain in a nose dive toward oblivion.

Real estate is usually considered a sound investment, but when you see the For Sale signs sprouting up like weeds in the countryside – you wonder if the Real Estate market will recover at some time in the future.

What about jewelry and gems ?

Platinum, gold and silver prices seem to rise faster than temperatures on a July day. People say that gems and jewelry are investments – then, again, people once swore that real estate was a wise investment. Curious fellow that I am, I have been listening and trying to make sense of information that is being released on gemstones and jewelry.

Burmese rubies and jade seem to be extinct on the world market thanks to embargoes and bans. Gems like Tsavorite, Kunzite, Morganite, Alexandrite, and Tourmaline are being talked about as investments, which means I have to research these gemstones because I am from the 1950s and 1960s generations that thinks the word, gemstones, relates to Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, Opals and Topaz.

At the Gem Fair in Ozark, I was surprised to see Kunzite and Labadorite – two minerals that I have been hearing a lot about lately. I saw some small Kunzite stones that could be used for pendants or rings.

One artistic vendor had a display tray of Labadorite that he had cut in many different shapes that could be used to wire wrap the stones to make pendants. One of his unique offering is what he smiled and referred to as, “Detroit Agate.” More commonly known as “Fordite.”

Fordite is a unique . . . stone. Apparently, layers of automobile paint from a body shop is allowed to runoff and collect in a designated area. Then, someone who knows how to work with the hardened paint material apparently cuts it into stone shapes. It does produce some beautiful designs that reminded me of picture jasper. I forgot to ask if there is a mineral known as “Chevyite.”

I enjoyed watching people shop at the various vendors. One serious woman shopper walked into the show with her softcover book on rocks and she would look at the specimens and refer to her book. It is interesting to watch boys and girls look at the minerals.

The youth study the minerals like a customer, who takes his or her time to closely examine gems in a jewelry store. The youth study the minerals and go back and forth looking at other minerals. More often, than not, a youth will return to the first mineral and either ask questions or buy the specimen that has caught his or her eye.

The intent that a boy or girl looks at the minerals is remarkable because they seem to block out everything around them as they study the specimen. I wondered how many of these young boys and girls would go on to become future geologists, miners, mining engineers, jewelers, or just continue through the years to enjoy their lifelong hobby of “ rock collecting” ?

The show was a wonderful way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon. Several dads spent some of their Father’s Day by shopping with their sons and daughters who browsed intently at the various stones on display on the vendor’s tables.

My wife, Christy loves to look at the stones and minerals – and given enough time, Christy will be browsing through cabachons for natural stones to wire wrap for pendants and earrings.

Christy Warren picks through the cabachons of a Joplin, Missouri vendor at the Gem Fair on Sunday afternoon and by Monday morning she has completed a wire wrap of the free form stone to create a pendant. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Naturally, on Father’s Day, you think of your dad. Several times during the day, I thought about my dad.

Near the end of the show, a smiling young man picks out his specimens of Galena and thrusts a bill in my face. I smile and wrap the Galena for him. As the young man walked away smiling at his Galena specimen, I remembered my grandfather in east Texas.

Joseph Samuel Warren and Elizabeth Warren, of Simpsonville, in Upshur County, Texas, in 1960, made the trip to visit their grandson, Samuel E. Warren Jr., in Stone County, Missouri. When “Mr. Sam” and “Miss Ellie” returned to the flat lands of east Texas, he enjoyed telling neighbors about his trip – and with a smile, “Papa” Warren would add, “The whole time I was in Missouri visiting my grandson I never set foot on solid ground. I kept stepping on the stones of Stone County.”

Sam

Jewelry by Christy   http://www.etsy.com/shop/JewelrybyChristy/

Gold

Gold Price Org http://www.goldprice.org/

Wikipedia – Gold http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold

Austin Gold Prices http://goldprices.com/

Platinum

Run To Gold. Com http://www.runtogold.com/metal-prices/platinum-price-and-platinum-prices/

Wikipedia – Platinum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platinum

Silver

Wikipedia – Silver http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver

Silver Price http://silverprice.org/

Gemstones

Gemological Institute of America http://www.gia.edu/

Gems. Com http://www.gems.com/

Wikipedia – Gemstone http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemstone

Burmese Ruby Ban http://www.jckonline.com/2008/10/27/burmese-ruby-ban-begins

Jade Ban http://www.eyeonjewels.com/cgi-bin/StoreSearch/StoreNews.cgi?storeid=4461&ArticleId=59

Blog – The Daily Jewel http://dailyjewel.blogspot.com/2010/05/burma-ruby-embargo-who-really-suffers.html

Wikipedia = Tsavorite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsavorite

Wikipedia – Spodumene – Kunzite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunzite

Wikipedia – Beryl – Morganite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beryl

Wikipedia – Chrysoberyl – Alexandrite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beryl

Wikipedia – Tourmaline http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourmaline

Salute To The Ancestors

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SALUTE TO THE ANCESTORS

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Memorial Day, without a doubt, proved to be Uncle Richard’s favorite holiday. He had been a gravedigger at Yocum Pond Cemetery, in Stone County, Missouri, in the days before backhoes were used.

The approach of Memorial Day always brings Uncle Richard to mind. He taught me the protocol of how to act in a cemetery.

Like one of the 12 Disciples, he always stressed the importance of remembering the family members, who had lived before you. The bottomline is – without them – you wouldn’t be here.

Like a U.S. Marine Corps drill sergeant, Uncle Richard reminded me time and again about having “Respect For The Dead.”

Memorial Day evolved from Decoration Day. The original celebration honored the Union War Dead of the Civil War.

Memorial Day Wreath made by Christy Warren

The approach of each Memorial Day brings to life Uncle Richard’s memory and teachings. I find myself trying to remember family stories and get them into some form of print that will last after I am dust.

I find myself trying to see how far back I can go to find my ancestors. I can go back to my Great Grandmother C.J. Bellamy on my mother’s DeLong side. I can go back to my paternal Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother Joseph S Warren and Georgia Warren on my father’s side. I can also go back to my maternal Great Grandfather John H Warren and Great Grandmother Mollie Warren on my father’s side.

My branch of Warren’s are big on J and S names like John and Joseph. There also seems to be a passion for the S as in Samuel that keep rockin’ and rollin’ through the ages.

While I should probably be able to sit down and trace my heritage back to the first man and woman, alas, on the DeLong side, I can go back to Grandma Bellamy, December 17, 1853 and on the Warren side to both Grandpa Warrens with birthdays of March 14, 1851 and October 17, 1859. Basically, I can trace my DeLong and Warren ancestors to lives within the era of the American Civil War.

The challenge of tracing my wife’s ancestors is a work in progress. Saldana is the family name in the Republic of the Philippines. The devastation of World War II in the Pacific had an impact on trying to keep family histories in one piece.

How far should you be able to trace your ancestors ?

I believe the correct answer is how far back do you want to trace your ancestors.

We all have interesting lives. Not all of us wind up being the President of the United States or a four-star general, but our presence on the world stage, allows the human race to survive.

There are things in our life that we may not be proud of, but, it makes us who we are. No doubt, the same can be said for our ancestors.

Not everyone is going to be related to George Washington, the King of England or a Chinese emperor. Probably, many of our ancestors were just normal people doing the best they could to live their lives.

Along the way, some of those ancestors might be Texas Rangers and U.S. Marshalls or they might be horse theives and cattle rustlers. Regardless of their successes or failures, they contributed to the groundwork that would one day be you.

Without them, you would not be.

Memorial Day is the day that should remind us whether we know the names, birthdays, death dates, or stories, about these ancestors; the important thing is to be grateful that they faced the challenges of their day to give us the opportunity to face the challenges of our lives.

Granted, Americans will fire up the barbeque or hit the road to being summer vacations this weekend. We are Americans, this is what we do with time off from the gerbil wheel insanity of earning a living.

In the hulabalu that is the activities associated with Memorial Day Weekend; will time be found to visit the family cemetery and place flowers on the headstones?

Is it too much to ask that we take a moment to honor and remember our ancestors ?


Sam

Ancestor links


United States US GEN WEB http://www.usgenweb.org/

Texas TX GEN WEB http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txgenweb/

Warren

Upshur County, Texas http://www.txgenes.com/txupshur/

Wood County, Texas http://www.txgenweb2.org/txwood/index.htm

Missouri MO GEN WEB http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mogenweb/mo.htm

DeLong

Stone County, Missouri http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mostone/stone.htm

Written by samwarren55

May 30, 2010 at 2:06 PM

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