Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Japanese Tradition - Chopsticks

The Captain has done it again. He found this instructional, yet HILARIOUS, video on the use of chopsticks. ENJOY!!!

Greenwood and Oakland Cemeteries

If you haven't had your fill of Elizabeth's Ancestors......

I thought I'd show you the matriarch and patriarch of the Hutchinson clan in Louisiana.

We are now at Greenwood Cemetery, which was one of the first cemeteries in the parish. Oh, right...for explanation for some of you, Louisiana doesn't have counties like the other 49 states, it has parishes because it was settled by the French, and so the territory/state was organized around the parishes of the Roman Catholic Church. Additionally, the laws of the the State of Louisiana are organized around the French Code Napoleon, unlike the other 49 that are primarily based from English Common Law. Oops, sorry---the history lesson will now end and I'll get back to the graveyard.

Specifically, William Joseph Hutchinson and Adeline McDonald Strother. They came to Louisiana before the War Between the States to set up farming. Their plantation, Caspiana, is still on the map today.

They had nine--NINE??--- NINE children. I'm glad they had that many--because my great-grandfather was number EIGHT!

Greenwood Cemetery is a beautiful old cemetery, but I have one last stop to of the oldest cemeteries, if not THE oldest in the area.

Oakland Cemetery is intriguing, interesting, and sad.

Why, I wonder, is this monument at an angle?

There must be a story here.

What a lovely thing to put on a mother's grave.

I wonder what she was like?

Part of Oakland is reserved for Jewish graves, the oldest in North Louisiana.

Sadly, parts of Oakland have been neglected.

And, even though it is on the National Register of Historic Places, has been vandalized in recent years.


But still beautiful.

Some Horne- Some Hutchinson

There's a small plot in Forest Park Cemetery in Shreveport for my father's family.

Forest Park is a much newer cemetery, and there are not so many old-style ornate family plots. For the most part, simple family headstones are accompanied by individual footmarkers. Such is the case with the Horne plot.

Here's my grandfather--whom we called, appropriately enough, "Granddaddy Horne".

My brother Ed, who seems to be the family repository for all memories, remembers more about him than I do. I remember a stern older gentleman. And I vaguely remember Ed helping him blow out some candles on a cake and ending up IN the icing.

My Grandmother Horne (she was never Grandmamma, or a nickname of any kind. Always "Grandmother Horne" ) I remember a little more.

Sometimes I would go to her house-or more appropriately, her apartment after Grandaddy died, and sit with her watching the Laurence Welk Show on Saturday night. I also have a memory of her crocheting bandages for leprosy victims. One of those Catholic ladies' sewing circle things. And, for some CRAZY reason, I remember a chicken spaghetti casserole. I remember that darned casserole. I have no idea why.

And here's my Daddy.

He died when I was 27, but had been in ill health ever since he suffered a massive stroke a month or so after his mother died. Or was it a month before? Ed, help me out here.

Anyway, my father's brother, Charles III- or Uncle Charlie, as I knew him, is also buried here, and his wife, Aunt Jean. I remember them both, but her especially.

Now, if this isn't too crazy or morbid for you, I'll drive you up the hill to a familiar place to me...the Hutchinson plot.

Why familiar? It's a Southern girl thing, I guess....I remember many times coming out to the cemetery with my mother's mother- my Mimi- to take care of the plot, plant pansies, bring cut flowers, and generally tend things.

Walking the path, it seemed so much shorter to me now than when I was ten.

Gone is the small boxwood hedge that went around the headstone, with the spaces left bare for annual plantings.

Here's my grandfather-my "Gingy" --

Ok, ok--I know--weird name...but I am the oldest grandchild. If a grandmother was "Mimi", then my grandfather had to rhyme, right? I don't know how I came up with the name, I just did. Oh, he was wonderful. He would take me out with him when he checked on the cattle- and let me sit in his lap and "drive" the truck while he pushed the pedals! I was all of- what?-- 4 years old? Five??? And he and I would eat ALL the black olives at holiday dinners.

My Grandmother- my "Mimi".

She was amazing. She was a Steel Magnolia. We would listen to the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday afternoons in the living room, and I would sleep in bed with her- the same bed I sleep in now- and stay up listening to Chicago talk radio when the AM-waves bounced right. She kept the radio on because she had insomnia. She probably had insomnia because she kept the radio on.

My great-grandfather --"Daddy Charlie"--

I never knew him, but I did know my "Granny" - my great-grandmother.

The Martha for whom I am named (have you forgotten my birth name is Martha Elizabeth Hutchinson Horne?) - although she was called "Mattie" or more appropriately "Miss Mattie". Family called her "Pigeon". Yes, pigeon, like the bird. I kid you not. Oh, I remember Granny--she lived next door to my grandparents on Cecile and we would walk over and she would give us orange juice out of cut crystal tumblers and serve us butter mints. (Yes, I know that's a run-on sentence but that's how I remember it...just like a child would say it). You might notice she did NOT want the date of her birth on her foot marker for all to be able to calculate her age....but the secret's out, Granny. She was born May 26, 1880.

She was not only the mother of my grandfather, she was also the mother of THIS lady...

The one, the only...Arne. Pronounced Ah-Nee. Auntie Mame. The lady who let me stay with her in her suite facing Bourbon Street in New Orleans when I was eight. Who took me to my first Mozart opera, Don Giovanni (still a favorite). Who took me on my first Crystal Cruise. Yes, technically, she's not buried here--it's only a marker. We scattered her ashes off the stern of Crystal Symphony in the Sea of the Hebrides. And, yes, that's how I want to go, too!

And because my cousins read this blog, I am delighted to show Arne's consort, my "Uncle Robert"-

His family was from Shreveport, too, but I don't remember much of him.

Also "out there" with the Hutchinsons are my mom's brother, who was called "Bubbie"--

--but who was known to my brothers and me as "Unkee". He farmed with my grandfather and died from cancer much too soon.
You've seen photos of my beautiful cousin Ashley--it's her father. Ashley's mom, Jo Ann is next to him.

I remember their wedding. She gave me my own flowers. She was beautiful-in that delicate, dark-haired, porcelain skin, Snow-White way. I don't think she ever got over Unkee dying.

So that's the lot of 'em--my recent relatives. But just one more thing. Sort of cracked me up when I saw it, and I had to take a photo.

My grandmother, so diligently weeded and labored to have a pristine plot.....

........would she be horrified to find a weed blooming so near her marker????

Friday, January 27, 2012

Looking for Ancestors-St. Joseph's Cemetery

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know I love cemeteries. Far from being spooked by them, I find them quite peaceful places, full of beauty.

For a while now, I have been wanting to go through "the old Catholic cemetery"--or more properly, St. Joseph's Cemetery. I knew I had some relatives from my father's side buried there, so off I went in search of any Horne headstones.

I was intrigued by so many markers that listed birthplaces of "Cefalu, Italy". Here is one written entirely in Italian.

Many victims of the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1873 are buried here, including the five Catholic priests who died ministering to fever victims.

I spent almost an hour walking and reading names, wondering about lives long ago and taking the occasional photo. No luck finding any Hornes, though.

I hopped in the car, and, on a whim, drove through the center of the cemetery one last time. I noticed this beautiful statue.

And the name caught my eye. De Filiquier.


My great-grandmother's last name was de Filiquier before she married my great-grandfather Horne.

And so I found my paternal great-grandmother's family plot.

Lucien Blank de Filiquier and his wife, Mina Beyais de Filiquier came from France and owned a market. He died in 1895.

The next to join him was his little grandson, William, who died in 1901 aged 9 months.

I never knew about him!

My great-grandmother Emilie died when she was 45.

And then her mother followed 2 years later.

Here's my great-grandfather's marker.

Not nearly as elaborate as his wife's. He outlived my great-grandmother by 15 years.

The last to be buried in the deFiliquier plot is my great-aunt Lucille.

I remember Aunt Ciel- a tiny spinster, with white-grey hair and those '60 style eyeglasses who lived in the house next to my grandparents. Her house smelled like mothballs and was crammed to the rafters with the stuff of a lifetime. She was a ceramic artist- I remember her kiln and her molds and remember her greenware works-in-progress and how the glaze colors were never the same before the final firing as they were afterward. I still have one of her china Easter eggs.

Charles' and Emilie's eldest child, my grandfather Charles jr., is not buried with his parents and brother and sister. I'll take you there next.

A Week in Louisiana

It was a big week for my family in Louisiana. My brother Ed had a "big bad birthday" as did CruiseGran. There was lots of celebrating.

I gave my high-school friends a "heads up" (thank you Facebook!) and we got together on Tuesday night at Genghis Grill.

We are a good lookin' bunch, if I do say so myself.
But lest you think that getting us all smiling in sync with our eyes open is easy, take a quick look at all the "takes" we had to take!!

Yes, that was my friend Nancy in town from Charlotte, NC. We finally managed to be in Hooterville at the same time. We had lunch at Cush's and then went to visit with her mom, Helen. Was a lovely, LOVELY afternoon.

I also had a awesome catch-up lunch with my friend David Hennington (why the heck didn't I take a photo of us, David??????? I'll get one next time!!!!)

Wednesday night, we fixed brother Ed's 50th birthday dinner at my mom's house. Ever the low-key guy, he wanted to keep it simple- steaks, salad and birthday cake.

Julie Ann's Italian Creme Cake, thankyouverymuch.

Ella loved the cake!

He got some cool prezzies.......

Brother Will delivered the cake with much ceremony.

And the birthday boy got a little annoyed (as he always does) with my photo-taking.

(I SWEAR he's not in the Witness Protection Program! He just doesn't like having his photo "out there" for the world to see.)

And Emerson helped her old dad cut it.

But my EP366 for the day shows the little brother in the pastel portrait all grown up!

Friday was the Cotillion Ball announcement party, and I am tickled to say that AJ was asked to be a Gentleman in this year's court.

I was so happy to see so many Shreveport friends, including my friend Mary, whom I have not seen in 25 years. Her daughter is also in the court, so we are looking forward to BIG times in April. Alix and nephew Austin have been asked to be ushers at the ball, and little cousin Julia is a it will be a big family affair!

Saturday, I had lunch with "the family girls".

Mary Cecile was able to join us, having just gotten back from a morning of duck hunting with her daddy, Buzz.

And then Saturday night, we celebrated Mama's birthday (I won't say how many). We had wanted to have a party for her, but the Shreveport Symphony was otherwise engaged on Saturday, so we just let them do their thing and we went to The Anvil.

The gang was all there...including the funniest woman in the world Kris Hiers and Austin's girlfriend Kelly.

Mama and cousin Ashley looked radiant, as always.

Ok, so we got her a mushy card.

And a bracelet from us had to suffice for the lack-of-big-party.

Mary Cecile was out of cammo by now.

And JuJu and Woo were not to be upstaged.

Busy busy busy week in Hooterville-on-the-Red!!!!!!