Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

I borrowed this from my Memorial Day post of 2010. What the heck--it was a good idea then, and it's just as good in 2015:

I think we should take a few minutes today to honor our brave service men and women who throughout the years have died defending our freedoms. What awesome sacrifice! While we're at it we should also appreciate the millions more who fought for us but were lucky enough not to die. Mike found this video of the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus performing their famous "Armed Forces Salute" at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand several years ago. In it they play and sing the official songs of each service branch: "Anchors Aweigh" for the Navy, "Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder" for the Air Force, "The Marines' Hymn" for the Marine Corps, "Semper Paratus" for the Coast Guard, and "The Army Goes Rolling Along" for the Army. During each song, audience members with a personal connection to that branch stand up and receive a salute from the band's commander. It's a pretty moving piece. I hope you enjoy it and that it brings to mind loved ones of yours who have served in the United States armed forces--and especially those who laid down their lives. (For the full-format version at YouTube, go here.)

PS - Mike says that video has special significance for him because he grew up being a "Field Band groupie," attending many of their concerts over the years. M's dad--my Grandpa George--fought in World War II with the 3rd Infantry Division and in the late 1940s was a member of the Army Field Band (then known as the Army Ground Forces Band) at Ft. Meade, MD. He played clarinet and was also the band's first drum major. Here is a poster advertising one of the band's 1947 concerts. The picture in it was made from a photograph of Grandpa George.


Makes a pup proud!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Miscellaneous confessions . . .

I keep my cat in a box for you.

M says if I had an Indian name, it would be Sleeps With Cats.

Honestly, what is it with me and cats?

May a lizard never poop on your stone frog.

Seen around the neighborhood:

Just follow the concrete road.

May all your lions be dandy.

Bodaceous Oak!

Mmmm . . . 'shrooms!

And suddenly, back home . . .

M trained this dragonfly to sit on his hand.

And on this pretty flower.

And even on the handle of a watering can!

How do you suppose he did that? He can't even get me to sit on the ground unless I was gonna do it anyway.

Oh, well, that's all I've got today.

Laters . . .

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Everybody into the TARDIS, quick!

It's Throwback Thursday again, and we have another appointment on Memory Lane.

First we're going back to 1900(-ish). Mike's unclear about the exact year, but the baby in this picture, seated on her mama's lap, is Gladys Neeld, who was Grandma Grace's mother (M's grandmother). Gladys was born August 24, 1899, and in the picture she looks about two years old. So maybe we're talking around 1901. The lady holding Gladys is Mary Emma Neeld, who went by Emma. Seated to her left is Gladys's youngest older brother, Paul Sawrie Neeld. (Mike's "Granny" was the youngest of the seven Neeld siblings. Originally there was an eighth child, Robert Jackson Neeld, who was born in 1890, but who died in 1892.) And to Paul's left is the family's daddy, William Pingree Neeld.

Standing behind them are Hattie Neeld Wilson (the eldest), Ben Edward Neeld, Ernest Downey Neeld, Botsford Chandler Neeld, and Katie Neeld Miller. Many years after this photograph was taken, Mike would have the pleasure of knowing all of these Neeld children except Ernest, who died in 1928. M doesn't know where this picture was taken, but judging from the backdrop it seems to be a studio portrait.

Now--here's where it's nice when families stick together for a while. Take a look at this next picture:

These are the very same people that were in the first photo, and arranged in the very same order. (Plus that ghosty apparition holding what looks like a push-broom, growing out of Uncle Ben's head!) This one was almost certainly taken May 24, 1924, and definitely at 802 West Henry Avenue, in Tampa. If there's something familiar looking about it, let's have another peek at a bigger family portrait we featured last Throwback Thursday:

Notice that the people in the (now) middle photo are wearing the exact same clothes as in this mega-portrait by Burgert Brothers (except that William P. Neeld has found his old straw "boater" hat to re-create the first picture.)

Since our post of April 23rd, M has discovered some interesting things about the "big" picture: First, it was, in fact, taken on May 24, 1924. Second, that date was a Saturday, which may help account for all 38 of those people being able to meet at that address at the same time. And third, five days before that--on Monday, May 19, 1924--William and Emma Neeld celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. We're thinking that most of the celebration was postponed until the following weekend.

Another thing we were pleased to learn (and this helped us know the actual date of the big portrait) is that while the one we posted came from our family archives, the original, complete with description, can be found in the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection held by the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library.

Finally, to see what the house at 802 West Henry Avenue looks like today, just hop back in the TARDIS and follow this link.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ever feel like you live in a comic strip?

Sometimes this one hits close to home:

Fortunately Puh-PAH never forgets to feed me.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Neelds Galore in '24

Now this is a family portrait! It was taken in Tampa in 1924. That little baby in the middle grew up to be  Mike's mom, who was my Grandma Grace, and the others are her mother's very large family. Grandma's mom is the lady holding her, and to their immediate right is her daddy, holding her sister, Evelyn.

Grandma turned out to be a very smart lady. One smart thing she eventually did was make up a sketch with the names of all the people in the photo. Notice that most of them are Something-or-other Neeld, but there are some inlaws and outlaws sprinkled in there, too.

M says more people should think to do stuff like that, as it makes looking at old family pictures much easier for their descendants.