Thursday, August 17, 2017

I Wish I'd Asked That . . . Family Questionnaire Part I

by Debra DuPree Williams @ DDuPreeWilliams

DuPree Siblings with Spouses and Two Nieces 1980s
I’m of the generation that is likely next for Glory. My parents went home to be with the Lord in 1996 and 2012. While my sister and I did encourage them to tell us many of their life stories, there are still things we wish we had asked. Before it was too late.

The Past has Passed
There are things about our grandparents we wish we knew. We were too young to care when they were still alive. My Granddaddy DuPree, my last grandparent, died when I was only thirteen. I can tell you that at that age, I didn’t care about much besides getting to spend at least a couple of weeks with my cousins in the summer time. How I wish we had gathered around family members and asked all the things we would love to know now.

If you haven’t begun a memoir or if you don’t care about writing such, how about just answering some questions with a sentence or two? I think most people could and would do that. Perhaps you could get one of your children or even a grandchild to write down your answers.

Let's Get Started
Below are just a few questions to get you started. I will use multiple posts to make this easier and more manageable. These questions can be used not just for you, but for your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and any other family member you wish to question. Some may seem obvious, but believe me, you may be surprised at what you thought you knew. For example, we always thought our mother was born in the same county in which we were born. She wasn’t. She was born in a totally different county, at her grandmother’s home. And she wasn’t the first of the twins to be born, she was last, making her her father’s seventeenth and final child.

If you don’t like my questions, make up your own. This is just a basic guideline. Have fun with this, and be very glad that you didn’t wait too long.

The Questions:

Your Childhood, Schooldays, and College:
  • When and where were you born?
  • Where did you get your name?
  • Where did you fall in birth order?
  • What is your earliest memory?
  • Where did you live when you were a child?
  • Tell us about your home(s) and how long you lived in each one.
  • Who were your closest friends?
  • Where did you go to school?
  • How did you spend your free time?
  • Did you play outdoors or mostly indoors?
  • What games did you play?
  • What were your favorite television shows?
  • What was your favorite music?
  • Did you play an instrument or did you sing or dance?
  • Were you in any groups such as FFA or Scouts?
  • Were you in any clubs or groups in high school?
  • Who were your favorite teachers?
  • What were your favorite subjects.
  • How old were you when you began dating?
  • Were you allowed to go steady?
  • Did you learn to drive in high school? Did you take driver education?
  • Did you ever own your own car or did you drive the family car?
  • Did you take college entrance exams? How did you do on those?
  • Did you attend college? Where, and what was your major?
  • What degree or degrees did you earn?
  • Did you use that degree in your professional life?
  • Were you in a fraternity or a sorority? Which one?
  • Were you in any groups, such as academic societies?
  • Were you in sports in college? Which one(s)?
  • Were you active in musical groups or theatre?
This is a good start. Next time we’ll enter your adult years.

Can you think of any other questions you’d like to ask about your relatives’ formative years? Leave those in the space below. 


Thursday, August 10, 2017

An Old Country Church

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

If you grew up in the south as I did, you likely attended worship services in an old country church. The one I frequented was Taylor Methodist Church, now called Taylor United Methodist.

This was the church my mother’s family attended when she was a child. It is rich with history, and is still an active, though small, congregation. My cousin, Florence, is a member, making this the place of continual worship within my family for over a hundred years.

 Precious Memories

I have fond memories of visiting this precious place for worship services and revivals. My family and I were members of the big Methodist church downtown.

When my sister and my cousin, mentioned above, were teens, a young preacher by the name of Johnny Couey came to preach one night. I remember, even as a child, thinking how handsome he was. My sister and my cousin just about flipped over him. I’ve just learned from Florence that Johnny is still alive and still preaching. How wonderful.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Barking Up the Wrong Tree

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

Y’all already know that I am an amateur genealogist. I’ve been doing family searches for quite a few years and I’ve learned a great many things in that time, but I am, by no means, an expert. I still have to call on my sister Bobbie, or a cousin or two for help from time to time.
Genealogy is a lot of fun. I enjoy learning about my ancestors, where they came from and how they lived their lives. But the research can be grueling when you can’t find that one piece of the puzzle that will open a door. We call these situations, brick walls. I’ve run into more than one in my research. It’s disheartening when you know you know and yet you cannot find the piece of paper to prove what you know to be true. No lineage society will allow you to enter on your word alone. You must have that paper trail.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Procrastinators - Don't Wait Until Tomorrow To Read This

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

I admit it. I am a procrastinator of the highest order. I don’t mean to be. I just am.

A prime example of my skill at procrastinating is this blog post. Here is it Tuesday, just prior to noon, and I am just now writing this. It is due Thursday. Normally, I would have about four weeks of blogs written and ready to go, but life got in the way─a writers conference in May, a trip to North Carolina in June.

Those are only excuses. My way of explaining to myself why I didn’t do this earlier. Why things got so bogged down that I am now playing catch-up.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I Have All I Need

by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

Papa, Bob DuPree, Surrounded by His Family On his 90th Birthday
This past week was my Papa’s birthday. He would have been ninety-seven years old. It’s hard to believe that the man I loved so much is no longer on this earth. I know, without a doubt, he is in Heaven with his Lord and Savior and I am sure he is walking around telling everyone, “God loves you, and so do I.”

That was one of Papa’s favorite sayings. It didn’t matter who you were or where you may have run into him. He didn’t care if he knew you or not. To him, everyone he met was his brother or sister in Christ. When he left, the last words he would say to you would be, “God loves you, and so do I”.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mothers of Boys - You've Got This

by Debra DuPree Williams  @DDuPreeWilliams

December 2012, Indian Rocks Beach, FL
If you’ve read my bio, you know that I am the mother of four boys. Well, they’re all grown men now, thanks be to God. And I don’t say that lightly.

My nephew and his wife have five sons and two daughters. I have a lot of friends who are the mothers of boys. It seems as if we gravitate to one another like one of those earth magnets that has super-strong pull. Maybe there’s something within us that silently calls to one another, “You can do this!”  Or maybe just a simple, “Help!” seems to be written across our foreheads. I’m here to tell you, you will survive and, God willing, so will they.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Food For Thought - Get Those Family Recipes

Family Reunion about 1921, Burdeshaw Side of Dad's Family
by Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

So here it is, summer once again, that time of year when families can finally carve out some time to be together. If you are fortunate, you have scheduled the get-together when all or most of your family can be there, and that is a blessing.