I was born in Montgomery, Alabama on Maxwell AFB. It was in 1963 I entered the world. Visiting family annually is a usual tradition for me and I make it a point to take in a few of the sites when back to my hometown. The city had begun a restorative process a few years back showcasing its rich history. These are a proud people in a new generation wanting to bring truth to light. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice does that and is quite sobering.
Recently I shared a heartwarming story about my WWII VET step-dad Roy and his celebration of his 90th birthday ( http://wp.me/p2rYD1-o8 ). Roy grew up very poor and his parents divorced while he was a boy. Roy never knew when his real dad had passed away. One day he asked me if I could find this information out because of the release of the 1940 census. I was able to give Roy his father’s death date and burial location, but the biggest surprise was that we found out he had a half-brother, and a half-sister he did not know about. When you think you have heard it all life throws you a few new curve balls! We were fortunate to contact them both. In fact a reunion is planned for them to meet. I hope they hurry. No one is getting any younger!
I had recently flown home from Montgomery, Alabama 3000 miles to Seattle after witnessing a tender-hearted visit between my step-dad Roy and his cousin Melda. She was also researching her family tree that included Roy. She decided to drive to Montgomery, Alabama for a delightful visit while I was in town. Melda and I found each other through our mutual research.
Melda reminded me in an email of how special this experience was for her. Upon returning home Melda spoke with her elderly mother about meeting Roy: ” I couldn’t help but stare at Roy’s striking ice blue eyes. When I mentioned it to my mother, she said my grandfather had eyes like that.”
While Melda and Roy are second cousins, Melda’s father who has passed away as well as Roy led interesting work lives in the history of Alabama. Melda’s father was a Superintendent of Education during the changing times in Alabama Public Schools serving the children in Alabama. During that same time period, Roy was working as the Director of Veteran Affairs serving our Veterans. Today I give tribute to both men in their work and their lives.
I was born on Maxwell Air Force Base in 1963 in Montgomery, Alabama. I guess you could say I was born in the middle of the Civil Rights Era timewise and location wise. My father was in the military. We only lived there a short while and moved again. However, by the time I was 13 years old, my parents decided to retire there. I ended up living in a town I was born in, but I never wanted to live there again. Go figure. I was a teenager and my parents moved me from Hawaii. How would you feel?
Alabama grew on me and I still call it my hometown even though my home is now in Seattle, Washington. Here are a few shots taken by myself and a great friend I went to school with in Alabama. Donna Noble Burnett is an amazing photographer and gave me permission to share of her work alongside mine. My BLOG is grateful. Enjoy:
Until my next installment. Thank you for stopping by. Ya’ll come back now.