Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween - 10/31/2011

Don’t be scared, she’s not as tough as she looks!

Meet maternal grandmother Ida Mae (Jordan) Morgan, dressed for the annual Halloween party at the American Legion.  I'm not sure if she's meant to be a gangster, or a 1920s Hollywood mogul.  Regardless, this 1960 photo gave me an insight into Grandma that I'd not seen previously... 

My grandmother and her husband Earle (my step-grandfather) were members of their local American Legion Post (Dundalk, MD; Post 38).  And they were active, in a big way.  Over the years, both held several offices, including president—he of the Post and she of the Women’s Auxiliary.

Like so many of their generation, times were tough growing up.  And both were single parents, divorced from their first spouses, something not usually done in the 30s.  By the time they found one another, life was easing up, and they were free to enjoy their time together.  So they did, by joining friends for activities at the Legion and other social organizations where they were members. 

As a child, grandparents seem ancient people whose lives revolve only around their family, with no social life to speak of.  In looking through family albums, I am finding photos from many dances, dinners, Halloween parties, Christmas parties, and nights on the town.  It’s giving me a bigger window into their social lives, and I love it!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shopping Saturday – Grandma's Spree

This motley crew is basking in the glory of their new souvenir t-shirts, hats and beach balls.  That’s right, Grandma Morgan went to Ocean City (MD) and we all got new kit!

Photo is undated, but judging by the size of the thumb-sucker on the left (me), I say it’s Summer of 1959.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Kinling

Grand-aunt Anna Elizabeth (Jordan) Kinling, holding the first of her three sons, Bill.
Aunt Annie was born February 20, 1903, died December 1978.
Daughter, sister, wife and mother, grandmother, altogether awesome person.

William Jordan Kinling
Born March 29, 1921
Died July 27, 1999
Son, grandson, brother, WWII fighter pilot, husband, father and much more.

Photo ~1922, somewhere in Baltimore City or Baltimore County.

Love the shoes!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Brother!

You may recognize this adorable threesome from the photo at upper right “My Immediate Family…”  Let me introduce you to my sisters Diane and Sharon, and my brother Eddie.  (My brother, Mike, younger than Ed, is not in the photo.  He was probably in the crib at the time!)  Today is Eddie's birthday.

I’m not quite sure when this photo was taken, but Mom tells me Eddie received the Indian suit as a birthday gift from his godparents, my father’s Uncle Frank (his mom’s brother) and Frank’s wife, Aunt Charlotte.  Mom commented that Eddie “loved that Indian suit.  He put it on and wore it until it fell apart!”   Judging by the state of this little Indian’s clothing, I think the suit was nearing the end of its life, so I am estimating 1956 or 1957 as the year of this photo.

There’s something special about my brother Eddie, as there is about all of my siblings.  But while my other siblings and I all live relatively close to one another (no pun intended there, honestly!) Eddie lives half-way across the country from us, deep in the heart of Dallas.  This causes sadness for all of us. 

But the really special thing about Ed is that talking with him on the phone, which I don’t get to do as much as I’d like, is just like having him in the room—his personality is so big and full of life that when his voice comes over the wire, it is just as full humor, wisdom, love, opinions, sensitivity, curiosity and joy as if he were sitting right next to me.  The only thing missing is the hug.  

Brother of mine, Happy Birthday.  I send you love, and I send you hugs.  I only wish we were together so I could deliver them in person. XXXXX 

Photo dated January 1979.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Military Monday

On a sunny afternoon in August 1942, an unknown family member or friend took this photo of my grand-uncle Benny.  Benny was my mother’s uncle, my maternal grandmother’s younger brother.  In the doorway stands his older brother Jim (James Edgar).

The family bible tells me that Benny was born on January 30, 1915.  According to Baltimore Sun newspaper archives, military records, and the Maryland State Archives, he died on September 13, 1964. 

Family lore tells me that Benjamin McGown Jordan:
fought in United States Army during World War II,
parachuted to the ground on D-Day,
broke both ankles during the landing,
and was awarded the Purple Heart for his injuries received in battle.* reveals that he enlisted on February 12, 1941.  At the time, his “civil occupation” was a plumber’s apprentice.  He completed a “grammar school” education.

Uncle Benny was laid to rest in Baltimore National Cemetery.  His grave marker transcribes thus: 
Benjamin M. Jordan

I have recently learned that a TEC5 (also known as a Technician Fifth Grade) was one of many technicians who held positions like driver, machinist, cook, and similar positions.  In other words, these were the people who were necessary to keep the military corps running, but not the guys who fired the big guns.  So why was he parachuting in on D-Day? 

I’m not sure about that one…even a new genealogist like me knows to take “family lore” with a boulder-sized grain of salt.  Nevertheless, serve he did, break both ankles he did, and receive the Purple Heart he did.  My nephew holds it to this day.  So it looks like another visit to the National Archives is in order for me.

Hmmm, should this be Military Monday or Mystery Monday?

*National Archives and Records Administration. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946 [Archival Database]; World War II Army Enlistment Records; Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday Surprise - I Join the Blogging Community

Today the surprise is for me, for today I have joined the worldwide blogging community! 

Image Courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.

Why?  Is it the crisp autumn air?  Is it the fact that my birthday (not offering details, thank you), looms mid-week?  Or is some special ancestor sitting on my shoulder and and possibly weighing on my conscience, pushing me to STOP PROCRASTINATING and START DOING some of the many things on my ever-present and ever-growing to-do list?

I prefer to think it’s the third one…that it's a nudge from my dear grandmas, or possibly the great-great grandfather whom I've just “met” since beginning my genealogy journey earlier this year. 

Yes, I’m a genea-newbie, so I’m climbing this family tree the only way I know how…one branch at a time.