Friday, November 4, 2016

I try to avoid politics . . .

. . . but every now and then, when I least expect it, someone comes along with an idea that makes sense.

Here's a good example:

FAMILY CIRCUS, POLITICAL PARTY, THIRD PARTY

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Well, starch my collar! It's Auntie Julia's birthday . . .

. . . and just in time for a couple of Throwback Thursday family pictures!

When Mike and his sister--my Auntie Julia--were little kids, they liked to spend summer vacations in the mountains of North Carolina. Here's a nice picture of them with Grandma Grace. M says he thinks it dates to the early 1950s and that Grandpa George was probably the one taking the picture:


A few years later--1956 to be more precise--they found themselves again in North Carolina, this time at Chimney Rock Park, named for this strange outcropping:


That is one big rock. As you can see, it has a set of stairs you can use to climb up on top of it, assuming you're crazy. But one of the spookier features they saw in the park is a rock formation called the Devil's Head. In this photo, Auntie Julia doesn't seem too fazed by it, but I think it looks downright Halloween-y:


Speaking of things Halloween-y, since that holiday is just around the corner, I'm going to close by putting on my traditional costume to deliver . . .


Be safe on your trick-or-treat rounds, everybody. And to Auntie Julia, I hope this birthday is the happiest one ever!

                                                        Love,
                                                        Buddy

Monday, October 3, 2016

Saying Goodbye to Aunt/Cousin Hazel

One of Mike's favorite relatives died on the 2nd of September. Also the family's longest-living member, she would have turned 94 today. Mike says there were many things he loved about her, including her sense of humor and her pecan pie.

One of the most special and unique things about this relative was the "double" relationship she had with his immediate family. They called her their "Aunt/Cousin Hazel," since that's exactly what she was. She and Grandma Grace were first cousins, because the two of them shared a set of grandparents on the Neeld side. Aunt/Cousin Hazel's father and Grandma Grace's mother were brother and sister. (Are you keeping this straight? There might be a pop quiz!)

Here is a picture of Grandma Grace (left) with Aunt/Cousin Hazel, taken at the 2008 Boyd reunion:

GRACE MCELVY WHITECAR, HAZEL NEELD BOYD

They used to go to Neeld reunions, too. Every year. Their shared grandparents were William Pingree Neeld and Mary Emma Leonardy Neeld, who are shown in this 1924 photograph:

WILLIAM PINGREE NEELD, MARY EMMA LEONARDY NEELD

The Neeld connection between Grandma and Hazel means that Mike and Hazel were first cousins once removed. Which suggests, by extension and with a little imagination, that Hazel and I were adoptive first cousins twice removed.

Now keep stirring the plot while it thickens:

Mike's dad, Grandpa George, was the oldest of five siblings. The second-born, Robert, grew up to marry Grandma's Cousin Hazel, thus setting himself and his bride up to become M's "Uncle Bob and Aunt Hazel." Here's a picture of Bob and Hazel Boyd from back in the day:

HAZEL NEELD BOYD, ROBERT FERNAND BOYD

I didn't know Aunt/Cousin Hazel very well, having met her only once, at a Boyd reunion four years ago. I wish we'd had more chances to see each other, because I can tell she was the type of person I'd enjoy hanging out with. But in recent years she lived way up in the top part of Georgia, and I just don't travel long distances very well.

Here are a couple of pictures Mike took of Aunt/Cousin Hazel at that 2012 reunion:

HAZEL NEELD BOYD 2012

HAZEL NEELD BOYD 2012

The "Happy Birthday" tiara in her hair is in celebration of her 90th birthday, which had been a few weeks earlier.

And here's one of M's favorite pics of her--from her 89th birthday party, which we were unable to attend:

HAZEL NEELD BOYD 2011

Doesn't she just exude cool?

Now that you've seen Aunt/Cousin Hazel as a mature lady, we thought it would be nice to show her at a much younger age--just over a year-and-a-half. Here she is, Dorothy Hazel Neeld--the tow-headed toddler on the right--in the arms of her mother, Clyde Margaret Powell Neeld. And to their right is Hazel's daddy, Paul Sawrie Neeld, holding her older sister, Mary Margaret Neeld.

PAUL SAWRIE NEELD & FAMILY 1924

This is the earliest "family picture" we have of Aunt/Cousin Hazel. It was taken on Saturday, May 24, 1924. For that matter, so was the black-and-white picture, above, of Hazel and Grandma Grace's grandparents, William and Emma Neeld.

Now you may have noticed that in the pic of William and Emma, there are other "people parts" showing, and you might well wonder if all of these Neelds are pieces of a bigger picture. And you would be right--they're borrowed from the humongous Neeld family portrait (38 people in all!) I featured in three separate blog posts during April and May of 2015. If that seems excessive, well, I apologize. But not too much, because that picture is the most amazingly good family portrait I think I've ever seen. I mean, how in the world do you get 38 people, especially relatives, to hold still and shut up long enough to take a decent picture?

For your convenience, I'm going to re-post the entire Neeld family portrait--and I promise this is the last time I intend to blog it. Because I want to point out one important thing about it: Now that Aunt/Cousin Hazel has left us, nobody in that picture is still alive. The next-to-last departure was Hazel's Cousin Grace, on May 27, 2011.

WILLIAM P. NEELD FAMILY PORTRAIT 1924
WILLIAM P. NEELD FAMILY PORTRAIT 1924 IDENTITIES

And now we'll wish our Aunt/Cousin Hazel bon voyage and say, "Happy 94th birthday, dear one, wherever you are!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Dog's Tale

Keeping a blog is getting old. I told Mike that I might try my paw at something different--writing a novel, perhaps. He said that before I start, I should do a little research on the whole process. He recommended that I check out the story of a well-known dog who set out down the fictional path to fame and riches: Snoopy.

With gratitude to Mr. Charles M. Schultz, here's what I learned (click to enlarge):

SNOOPY, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL
SNOOPY, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL
SNOOPY, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL
SNOOPY, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL
SNOOPY, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL
SNOOPY, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL
SNOOPY, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL
SNOOPY, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL
SNOOPY, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL
SNOOPY, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL
SNOOPY, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL
SNOOPY, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL
SNOOPY, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL

On further review, maybe I'll stick to blogging.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Fiddler on the Roof Redux

The following is a paid political announcement. Mike paid me to post it here by giving me an extra Milk Bone this morning.

It seems that Donald Trump went to someplace called Detroit today to pander for votes. While it's not known whether the people there promised to vote for him in the coming presidential election, they did give him a snazzy prayer shawl.


Donald felt so moved by the gift, he broke into song.


And here's what he sang:

If I were a rich man,
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb
All day long I'd biddy-biddy-bum
If I were a wealthy man.

I wouldn't have to work hard,
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb
If I were a biddy-biddy rich,
Daidle deedle daidle daidle man.  I'd build a

. . . big tall house with rooms by the dozen
Right in the middle of the town,
With my name in golden letters plastered on the side.
There would be one long escalator going up
And one even longer coming down,
And I'd ride 'em all day with my hot little trophy bride . . .


The boy seriously needs to learn to stick with the script!