Thursday, January 31, 2008

In Nashville...cold, wet, DON'T STAY AT THE DAYS INN ON WEST END!!

Raf is exhausted. We drove from Brinkley, Arkansas, to Nashville, Tennessee, today. It poured all day, but evidently it had iced badly in Jackson , Tennessee, and they were out of school today. By the time we got to Hickman County we could see snow on the side of the road, but right now it's just wet.

We checked in the Days Inn on West End, and the room NEVER warmed up, so after we ate at Tayst (see photos below), we checked in to the Comfort Inn on Music Row, and when we check out of the Days Inn they didn't even argue...they are going to tear it down soon.

We will eat lunch with Madeleine tomorrow, and the memorial service will be Saturday at 1 pm at Harpeth Hills.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On the way to Tennessee

Raf in Gene's Barbecue in Brinkley AR (Ivory-Bill in background)
Ivory-Bill on the wall

We left this morning heading for Nashville, Tennessee, to attend the memorial service for my brother-in-law, John Seibert. We are in Brinkley, Arkansas, tonight, at the Days Inn. This is the home of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. Just got through having a good meal of fried catfish and barbecue at Gene's Barbecue Cafe. Good food with a homemade apricot fried pie for dessert! Almost as good as Aunt Marguerite and I used to make for the farm hands! YUM!

It's about ten degrees cooler (39˚F right now) here than in Mineral Wells, and about ten degrees higher than in Nashville...with snow expected on Friday. Our daughter, Carolyn, reminded us to watch out for the Bunny Bread truck. That sort of truck almost caused us a winter accident in Nashville when the girls were kids.

Tomorrow night we will eat at one of our favorite Nashville home-owned restaurants and try to find some music. Also, we plan to go by Cotton Music to see Darcy and Kim, and we'll eat some more good food and hear some more good music. Saturday is the memorial service, and Sunday we'll head home.

I'm going to endeavor to read some blogs on the trip, and we're working on the novel as we travel.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

RIP - John Clifford Seibert

John Clifford Seibert passed away January 18, 2008, in Nashville, Tennessee. He was born on November 17, 1945, in Cranford, New Jersey, to Ralph Spurgeon Seibert Jr. and Anna Margaret Clifford. He is survived by his brother, Ralph Spurgeon Seibert III and wife Sue of Mineral Wells, Texas; his sister, Mary Lynn Seibert of Findlay, Ohio; loving friend and companion, Madeleine Parlatore of Nashville; three aunts, Polly Kohl of Medford, Oregon; Eleanor Wandelt of Hardy, Virginia; and Virginia Truslow of Universal City, Texas; and many cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents. A memorial service will be 1 p.m. Saturday, February 2, 2008, at Harpeth Hills Funeral Home, Nashville, Tennessee, with Reverend Mike Shelton officiating.

Friday, January 11, 2008

2 Babies for Show and Tell Friday

In looking through old albums, I came across these photos which have always been least for the last 65 years. What do you think...same baby...different baby?John McBee Ficke (Daddy) born in 1913 in Wheeler, Texas.
Johnette Sue Ficke (me) born in 1942 in Stephenville, Texas

Thought you might enjoy seeing them. My daddy died in 1961, but I feel close to him to this day, and I love how much we looked alike as babies.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Chasing Our Tales to Fort Worth Nature Center

photo by Raf
Here's my monthly column. Don't always post it here, but here it is today:

Yesterday Raf and I took a short trip to the Fort Worth Nature Center, The wind was brisk, but it was still a nice outing. We were disappointed to discover, however, that the Nature Center has not been as well maintained as was so in the past.

What, you may ask, does this have to do with the history and genealogy of our area. Well, on the way up and back we looked for remnants of the past, cemeteries, old homes, and other buildings of interest. And what was interesting, and perhaps a little sad, is that there just wasn't much, save three churches, sans their churchyards.

The church closest to the Nature Center, and in Tarrant County, was the Elm Grove Baptist Church which, the sign stated, was founded in 1886, making it one hundred twenty-two years in 2008.

Elm Grove Baptist is close to the community of Silver Creek. The land for the church was donated by the O'Donald family, the grandparents of Charles Homer McBride who was born in Tarrant County in 1897 near or in the area that is now Lake Worth. Charles' father, Henry Boyd McBride, was a tenant farmer south of Azle.

Charles married Eleanor Beal Karr in 1921. He lived many places in Texas, but was living in Boyd when he died in 1967.

The next church we saw coming back south was the Bluff Springs Church of Christ in Parker County. This church is presumably in what was once the community of Bluff Springs, where C. H. McBride attended school.

And the third church, closest to Lake Weatherford, was the Clear Fork Baptist Church, also in Parker County, in the community of Dicey. It was founded in 1858 by Noah T. Byars, and if we had but turned right, somewhere near the church, we would also have discovered the cemetery, although it was not marked from the road.

Noah Turner Byars was born in South Carolina in 1808 and died in Brownwood, Texas, in 1886. He became a gunsmith and blacksmith, and when the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed, it was done so in Byars' blacksmith shop, now known as Texas Independence Hall.

When Noah T. was 27 he came to Texas and opened a blacksmith-gunsmith shop at Washington-on-the Brazos. General Sam Houston liked his work and appointed him armorer and blacksmith of the whole Texas army.

Byars was a celebrated leader of the early Baptist Church in Texas. He was one of the originators of the Texas Baptist Education Society started in 1848, and he also helped charter Baylor University in the Republic of Texas. Byars was a fervent Christian missionary in the new land of Texas.

In his old age Byars served as the pastor of First Baptist, Brownwood from 1881-82. His last full charge was at Clear Creek Baptist in Brown County in 1884. He officiated at the wedding of Katherine Anne Porter's parents. He was survived by his second wife, whom he had married in 1877, and the children from his first marriage. He is buried in Greenleaf Cemetery in Brownwood. In 1936 a special Byars Memorial Thanksgiving Service was held in honor of the Texas Centennial on the campus of Howard Payne College. A blue marble spire was erected there and later moved to Byars's grave.

The Clear Fork Cemetery was donated to the Clear Fork Baptist church by the William Baker Family in 1869.

William Baker was a farmer who was born in South Carolina about 1824, as was Byars. Perhaps they were friends before coming to Texas. His wife, S. A., was five years his junior and was also born in South Carolina. Their children were Meary, Harriet, Calvin, Elizabeth, L.R., B., and Bettie.

Also, along the way, we noticed that the highway from the Nature Center to Texas 730 was called the Confederate Parkway, and we stopped in the town of Lakeside to ask if there was a Confederate Park in the area. We were told there had been one on the east side of the road right after Silver Creek but that it no longer existed.

We also noted that the road was being kept clean by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Looking online I found that both Weatherford and Fort Worth have camps of the Sons. The Weatherford camp, Governor Samuel W. T. Lanham Camp #586, meets on the third Tuesday evenings at 7 pm at Grace First Presbyterian Church, 606 Mockingbird Lane. It's governor is Calvin Allen, and his contact number is 817-598-0141.

The Sons' website states that "The SCV is the direct heir of the United Confederate Veterans, and the oldest hereditary organization for male descendents of Confederate soldiers. Organized at Richmond, Virginia in 1896, the SCV continues to serve as a historical, patriotic, and non-political organization dedicated to insuring that a true history of the 1861-1865 period is preserved."

Still looking for historical evidence in an area now populated by city folks, realtors, developers, and folks that "aren't from around here", I tried to seize on any place names that might further my cause, but amid names such as Covered Bridge Canyon (complete with an up-to-date, no so historical covered bridge), Silver Creek and Turkey Mountain, I was left bereft of any history save that which is being made now, probably known better as Pop Culture!

Looking back on my previous column about Paducah and Cottle County, and on a subsequent column telling a little about Ella Elgar Bird Dumont, I have spoken to several local folks who grew up there, my friend Louise Dillard, my neighbor Jack Powell, and Raf's Gun Club friend Ed Yowell. Jack came by the other day and brought me a copy of Mrs. Dumont's book. He told me that he remembered Mrs. Dumont and that he walked past her house each day on his way to and from school.

Having read the book, I have found some interesting tidbits of information about the area and its history," J. J. McAdams' original ranch headquarters were near the center of Cottle County. According to Tom Long, McAdams never held title to this land. He obtained the land for a horse and a saddle from a man named Breckenridge. Long and Long, interview, March 20, 1987. In Our Roots Grow Deep, Bennett says that McAdams held "Winchester claim" to his land. It was McAdams who offered the site for the county seat (Paducah) in 1892. Webb, the Handbook of Texas 2:324. Bettie B. McAdams Gafford, granddaughter of J. J. McAdams, reports that McAdams later moved fifteen miles east to the Cottle and Foard county line, establishing the McAdams Hat Ranch in 1898. Following McAdams' death in 1921, Tom Burnett bought the ranch. Today the land is part of the Triangle Ranch, owned by burnett's granddaughter, Anne Windfohr of Fort Worth. Bennet, Our Roots. The year of the author's narrative is early 1890, two years before Paducah was organized." Ella Elgar Bird Dumont, edited by Tommy J. Boley, University of Texas Press, 1998.

Interestingly, Winchester claim means they were fixin' to shoot anybody who came on the land or tried to take it away from them.

So, do you have information about the history of the land between Weatherford and Lake Worth, or more information about Paducah and Cottle County? Or do you have an ancestor you'd like to tell us about or a question about a family line? Let's hear from you either at P O Box 61, Mineral Wells TX 76068-0061 or

And until next time, you all stay warm, you hear?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Christmas Blessings and Happy Epiphany!

Our Christmas blessings are our family. Here are photos of all but the sons-in-law. Hope you enjoy seeing them.
This is Christi our youngest, her daughter Jennifer, Kathi our oldest, Beth Carolyn's daughter, and Carolyn our middle.
This is Dani Kathi's daughter.

This is our oldest grandson John, Carolyn's son, on the right and my first cousin Ron.

This is our second oldest grandson Joey, Carolyn's son.

This is Christi's son Travis.

This is Kathi's son Tim.

This is the way we feel when it's over: Raf, Gus, and Turtle! And to all a good night.
and a Happy Epiphany!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Illustration Friday---100%

When you put 100% of your eggs in one basket..look what happens! I guess we need to diversify...many baskets...few eggs....or what?? Guess the stock market's on my mind again!

Many little eggs
Into one big basket go
Some fall out, poor me!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Now Back to ART...visual and written

Don't know if these are my best of 2007, but they are my last of 2007. The quilt was for my youngest daughter, Christi. The purses...I made 4 with Juliet caps, felted coin purses, and scarves were for granddaughters and oldest grandson's girlfriend. And at the top a shawl made for our Marine's girlfriend. The quilt is from Pattie Stevens' Many Moons...I call it the Many Moons of Christmas. I'm also back to finishing the novel!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 Suggestions/Resolutions

Here are my suggestions/resolutions that I hope to fulfill in 2008:

1. Be the best wife, mother, grandmother, friend I can be.

2. Better devotional life...always, listening for God's direction and endeavoring to do what He would have me do.

3. Quilt 2 quilts for granddaughters who will be 13 this keep up the tradition.

4. Make many of 2008 Christmas gifts (can't tell what...nosy relatives and friends)

5. Do several art swaps in 2008.

6. Participate more with my Glitter Sisters.

7. Once again, clean the studio!!!!!!!

8. Read at least 65 books in 2008.

9. Work on my drawing as time permits...especially pen/ink/watercolor botanicals

10. Visit online/offline friends and communicate more often.

11. Complete my novel.

12. Support the arts...hold house concerts


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