31 Aug 2015 – Love Can Conquer All!

We celebrated my Mom’s birthday on 29 Aug 2015.  It was one of the most emotional, precious and memorable experiences I have ever had in my entire life!  Our family is truly blessed!  We all met in Tampa, FL 27-30 Aug 2015, stayed at a hotel in Ybor, the historic district of Tampa, and celebrated my Mom’s birthday on Saturday night.

Our plans for the weekend were to enjoy our family, reconnect, reminisce and celebrate Alice’s birthday.  We had five generations represented in person, and with our stories, we had up to eight generations!  It was truly amazing!  We had a nice turnout, from our newest member that is 11 weeks old (Andrea Jenea or AJ) to our oldest member, Inell who is 82 years old!  We used to have family reunions every other year, but with all the competing priorities in our lives, we stopped having them years ago.  In the past, when we got together, we were the kids in my generation, and now most of us are the grandparents!

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7 Aug 2015 – The Island Of Cannibals…And Doughnuts!

You’re probably thinking, “what do cannibals and doughnuts have in common?”  Hmmm…well, read on to find out!

At the age of 28 years old, Melzar (my grandfather) and his best friend, Julius Jackson, joined the Merchant Marines as cooks.  Melzar and Julius did not know how to cook, but they could read so that’s exactly what they did!  Who can’t follow a recipe?

This job provided much-needed income and gave them a different perspective of the world. They traveled on the Agwi Prince and the Booneborough vessels during World War II, and were able to go beyond Mobile to places like London, New York, California, and New Guinea.  Can you believe the manifest identified Melzar as 33 years old, 6 feet 2 inches tall, and 178 pounds.  I’m sure he had a striking appearance! Continue reading