Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Lou Nora Robbins

The source of this clipping is unknown, but the same wording appeared in the May 1949 issue of the Gospel Advocate.  They layout just looked a little different.  Since Daddy's name is at the end, I wonder if he wrote and submitted it.
Name of newspaper unknown
San Saba News 5 May 1949
I imagine notices of her death could have been in Kerrville, Crosbyton, Ballinger, Brownwood, San Angelo, and Llano papers as well as numerous church bulletins.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sympathy Saturday - Lou Nora Robbins

Many cards, letters, and telegrams expressing sympathy were saved in a packet in Mother's cedar chest.  The one that always touched me the most is the one below from Lou Nora's third grade class in Eden, Texas.  It was on a piece of white card stock folded like a card with the butterfly and iris cut out and glued on.
The front and inside have been cropped to display here.

I found information about Ralph E. "Peppy" Blount on Wikipedia, and obituaries for him on the Longview News-Journal website, and the Big Spring High School Alumni website.  I doubt he knew my parents, but it was nice that this letter of sympathy was sent.

 
I do not know who these friend were, but included them because telegrams are not that common these days.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday's Child - Lou Nora Robbins

When I decided to do a series of entries this month about Lou Nora, I knew this would probably be the most difficult for me to write.  On this day, April 25, 1949, Lou Nora suddenly collapsed and died.  As I've mentioned, her death was rarely discussed because it was so painful for the family and my brother still has difficulty with the memories of it.  Some of this is too personal to put in print here, but will be added to notes in my Legacy Family Tree genealogy program.  I will record what I remember that I have pieced together from what was told to me by various family members including my mother, daddy, brother, two aunts, and a cousin.

Lou Nora had been ill and had been to a doctor.  The doctor stated he had been treating her since March, but no indication of contributing causes to her death were listed.  I don't know what her symptoms were or how long she was out of school, but remember Mother stating when Lou Nora went back to school she was to sit out of "tumbling" (gymnastics).  One account I heard said my brother and a friend and Lou Nora and a friend were outside playing.  Lou Nora ran in the house and collapsed.  Mother and Daddy were down the street and never forgave themselves for not being there.

Whether it was imagined or based on something I was told, I have pictured them outside playing - the boys maybe chasing the girls, and the girls running inside the house.  Two fragments that I remember, but am not sure of their accuracy are the girls latching the screen door and Lou Nora collapsing on the sofa.  I've often tried to imagine what it must have been like for the friends and our brother.  I don't know if my brother went with them when she was rushed to the doctor or who contacted my parents are any of those details, but can imagine the trauma of all involved.

The time of death on the death certificate is 5:15 PM at her residence for the past 2 years.  The cause of death  is listed as "spontaneous pneumothorax" which I learned is collapsed lungs that occurs without any apparent cause.  Mother commented once that had it been a few years later, there might have been doctors who were better equipped to diagnose her illness and it could have been prevented.

I know a little about the grief my family suffered with her passing, but can only imagine the pain of losing a child or a sister. 










A ribbon with gold letters saying "Our Darling" was draped across her casket.  The ribbon was saved with other mementos in Mother's cedar chest with only the word Darling remaining.  She is buried in our family plot in the Cherokee Hanna Cemetery in Cherokee, Texas.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - Lou Nora's Billfold

One of the things I found in Mother's cedar chest was Lou Nora's billfold.  There are only two sleeves for pictures, but several pictures are tucked in them. 
The pictures are of our first cousin, Duane Franklin Conley, and his father, Wilber Franklin Conley.  The picture of our Uncle Wilber seems to have been taken while he was overseas during World War II.


The girl's photo isn't labeled, but the boy's photo from Eden in the 1948- '49 school year has "Bob Spiser" printed on the back.  Since his is the only complete name I have, I decided to "Google" it to see if anything came up, and something did!  There is a website listing the 1956-1957 Track and Field State Champions.  There was Robert Spiser, from Eden, who won the boys' high jump with 6' 1.5" that year.  I can't help but wonder what, if anything, her friends remember about her after sixty plus years.
The name "Sue" is all that is printed in pencil on the back of this friend's picture.  
It is visible in the last plastic sleeve.
One of the pictures tucked in a plastic sleeve between the other pictures is of a group.  Nothing was written on the back to indicate anyone's names or the occasion.  Our brother, Curtis, is behind the back row, by himself, and taller than the other boys.  Lou Nora is second from the left on the back row.











This picture has our brother on the left and Lou Nora on the right.  The girl between them and the boy who is seated are unidentified.  The school picture on the right is labeled "Ruth" on the back.

 There are also some pictures tucked in where the money would go, but I don't know if she placed them there or not.

 The pictures above are of Zona and Peggy Nell.

 These are pictures of Curtis in the snow, but it does not have anything written on the back.  If you look closely, there's a little dog at his feet.  The photo on the right is a friend named Mary.
She had this picture of Curtis holding the balloons and one like it with her holding the balloons that was included in an earlier blog entry about her birthdays.  There were school photos of her at J. R. Looney in the 1946- '47 school year and one from Eden in the 1948 - '49 school year that will be posted in later blog entries.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Matrilineal Monday - Lou Nora Robbins - All Dressed Up


Curtis and Lou Nora with unidentified girl in the middle

Curtis and Lou Nora
Robbins Family on the porch of the minister's home in Ballinger, Texas

Curtis and Lou Nora

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sentinmental Sunday - Earth Day Birthday

 
It's Earth Day!  It's my birthday!  And some friends and family have teased me about being older than Earth... Day.  Since my name is Betty and I have dark hair, I've received lots of Betty Boop things over the years.  I'm now writing this blog in what I call my Betty Boop room, decorated in red and black with a few Betty Boop items and some other keepsakes on a shelf.

I also remember a few times my birthday landed on Easter Sunday and Mother made a cake for me that looked like an Easter basket.  I'm fortunate to have many happy memories of birthday parties, cakes, and presents.  Perhaps I'll post some of those photos next year.

In the cedar chest I remember finding baby books for each of my three older siblings, and although the books weren't completely filled in, I was jealous that I didn't have one.  While going through Mother's cedar chest lately I've rediscovered a few things.  It's funny to me that I remembered so many things in there, but not this humorous article about my birth.

 
Mother wanted to have me at home, but given her age, she was persuaded to have me at the hospital in San Angelo, Texas where my Aunt Lou was a nurse.  I broke out with something at 3 days of age and had to stay in the hospital about a week because of that.  Mother told the doctor it looked like Chicken Pox to her and she said he was very brusk when he told her there was no way a 3-day old could have that.  Guess what?  It left a few scars that look like Chicken Pox scars, one on my elbow, knee, and face and I've never had Chicken Pox unless it was such a light case it went totally unnoticed.

My Aunt Lou told me I was born with a veil or caul over my face and some believe that signals special powers or qualities because it is very rare.  I recently found a couple of websites devoted to the topic, but have to admit, I have not felt I've possessed (or been possessed by) any of those special attributes.  

However, on three occasions in my life, I have felt I had a bit of psychic power.  The first time was when we went to a grocers' banquet for store owners in Abilene.  They gave away door prizes and the top prize one year was for a 13" black & white TV.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I was going to win it and had a hard time sitting through the meal, the speeches,  and the drawings for all the other prizes.  As it turned out, my dad's name was the one drawn, but I was the winner because I got to put it in my room.  I was about 12 or 13 and used that TV for years.  

The second time was when I was teaching at Big Spring High.  We got notices in our mailboxes that a cookware salesman would be in the cafeteria after school that day if we wanted to attend the presentation and there would be a door prize.  I hadn't gone the year before, but knew a set of steak knives was given away.  As soon as I saw the flyer, the thought that popped in my head was that I would go because I could use a set of steak knives.  It shook me a little as soon as I thought it because it was like I knew I was going to win.  When I went to the meeting, the door prize that year was a griddle, so I chuckled to myself and thought "so much for my psychic powers!"  But I won the griddle.

The third time was the night Mother died.  We got the call she had a stroke and hurried as fast as we could to Abilene.  We had to stop for gas along the way and while my husband was out filling the car, a calm and peaceful feeling washed over me, and I somehow knew she had passed.  I looked at the clock and noted the time.  When my husband got back in the car, he gave me a quizzical look, and I told him there was no need to hurry any more.  I later learned the time of her death, 11:15 PM, matched the time I had that feeling.  It gives me chills just remembering it.  I can't explain it and don't understand it, but I believe it only because I experienced it.

I've scheduled this blog to be posted on my birthday because I plan to be enjoying the day doing other things to create more happy memories on this special Earth Day/Birth Day.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Remembering San Jacinto Day

When I was in 4th grade and studied Texas History for the first time, I learned about San Jacinto Day.  The date stayed in my memory, not because of the historic battle, but because April 19th was my parents' anniversary; April 20th was my cousin's birthday; and April 22nd was my birthday.  I don't know why, but I thought surely there was another family related event on the 21st to keep the string going.  Since no one could tell me one, when I learned about San Jacinto Day, I decided that would be a date to remember.  How little I understood the significance of that date then.

Over 25 years ago, I became a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas since I was able to prove I had ancestors living in Texas before it became a state in 1846.  Long ago our DRT members encouraged the Texas legislature to build a monument at the site of the Battle of San Jacinto.  Ground breaking ceremonies took place in March 1936 as part of our Texas Centennial Celebration. 

The Texas Parks and Wildlife has information posted about the 1200-acre  San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site  consisting of the Battleground, Monument and Battleship TEXAS.

This is only a part of the inscriptions on the sides of the monument at San Jacinto telling the importance of this day.  "On this field on April 21, 1836 the Army of Texas commanded by General Sam Houston, and accompanied by the Secretary of War, Thomas J. Rusk, attacked the larger invading army of Mexicans under General Santa Anna. The battle line from left to right was formed by Sidney Sherman's regiment, Edward Burleson's regiment, the artillery commanded by George W. Hockley, Henry Millard's infantry and the cavalry under Mirabeau B. Lamar. Sam Houston led the infantry charge.
With the battle cry, "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!" the Texans charged. The enemy taken by surprise, rallied for a few minutes then fled in disorder. The Texans had asked no quarter and gave none. The slaughter was appalling, victory complete, and Texas free! On the following day General Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna, self-styled "Napoleon of the West," received from a generous foe the mercy he had denied Travis at the Alamo and Fannin at Goliad.
Citizens of Texas and immigrant soldiers in the Army of Texas at San Jacinto were natives of Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Austria, Canada, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Scotland.
Measured by its results, San Jacinto was one of the decisive battles of the world. The freedom of Texas from Mexico won here led to annexation and to the Mexican-American War, resulting in the acquisition by the United States of the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma. Almost one-third of the present area of the American Nation, nearly a million square miles of territory, changed sovereignty."

The San Jacinto Museum's website states: The Battle of San Jacinto marked the stunning conclusion to the Texas Revolution, as Texian forces—outnumbered and under-trained—launched a successful attack. The battle lasted approximately 18 minutes. Discipline was hard to maintain as Texian soldiers rallied to cries of “Remember the Alamo!” and “Remember Goliad!”

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Time To Be Born and A Time to Die...To Everything, There Is A Season

Happy Birthday to my cousin, Duane, who is my senior by four years.  I remember we were both going to be at our Great Aunt Violet's for (or near) our birthdays one year.  She made us a cake and let me decorate it.  I thought it would be funny to put a fence across the middle.  I used toothpicks for the posts and thread for the barbed wire, tying knots in the thread.  From the time we were young, I've thought of Duane as my intellectual superior.  He must have thought so as well because he didn't think I could learn how to play chess with him, and told me so when I asked. 

Duane was a freshman at Abilene Christian College while I was a freshman in high school struggling with Algebra.  Mother invited him to come to our house for dinner as often as he'd like, but especially on Sunday nights when the Bean (campus cafeteria) was closed.  Most Sunday nights he would patiently try to help me with my Algebra homework, sometimes using the salt and pepper shakers to illustrate a point.  I did make good grades in Algebra, but only by following a pattern to solve the equations; it still never really made sense to me.  Other than a free home-cooked meal, his only reward was pralines or something else Mother made for him to take back to campus with him.

Another memory of that time is, knowing he liked listening to classical music, I was surprised to learn he had heard and LIKED Simon & Garfunkel, so I often think of him when I hear certain songs of theirs.



Sadly, this is also the day my Daddy passed from this life in 2005.  I'm not writing this to be morbid or as something intentionally depressing, but simply to record Daddy's passing.

At 95 he was experiencing congestive heart failure, but was in amazingly good health otherwise for someone his age.  It got to the point that his doctors in Lubbock told him his options were to let nature take its course or try heart surgery.  My brother and I told him we were behind him whatever he decided.  After thinking about it over night, he told us he knew he was between a rock and a hard place; he wanted to try the surgery and if it didn't work out, it would be OK.  His decision to try to extend his life was so he could take care of his wife, Mable, whose health was failing.

He came through the surgery even better than the doctors thought he would.  They kept coming by his room and marveling at his recovery.  However, when he was released, he just couldn't get his strength back and had no appetite.  My brother and I took turns staying with him at home a week at a time.  After another trip to the hospital in Lamesa, the cardiologist decided to keep him in the hospital for a week for rehab to help regain his strength, so we both went back to work.  A friend stayed with him at the hospital at night to help out.  Daddy told me he actually started to feel like he was going to recover his strength and was getting better. 

On Saturday, I was to pick him up to take him home.  However, at about 4:00 AM, I received a call that he had had a stroke.  When I arrived at the hospital, he knew who I was and was trying to get up out of bed because he was ready to go home.  He did not realize he'd had a stroke and one side was paralyzed.  The decision was made to take him to the hospital in Midland because Lamesa was not equipped to give him the care he needed.  The stroke took its toll in a matter of days and he succumbed Wednesday evening.
Rest in peace, Daddy.  I was so blessed to be your daughter.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

50th Anniversary of Richard and Iva Robbins

Remembering a wonderful day...
To honor the 50th Wedding Anniversary on Saturday, April 19, 1980, the family decided to surprise them with cards and letters from their friends.  They knew we were having a small family get together, but they were so surprised to see all of the cards and letters we received.  We enjoyed watching them open and read each one.  Listening to them laugh and reminisce was heart-warming.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Iva Conley and Richard Robbins

My parents were married on April 19, 1930.  I've known their marriage license was obtained in Kerrville, Texas, that Daddy was working there at the time, and that's the first place they lived when they married.  I have found four articles relating to my parents' marriage using my subscription to World Vital Records.

The newspaper clipping on the left was found on page 3 of the April 17, 1930 issue of the Kerrville Daily Times. The notice about the marriage license was in the Kerrville Mountain Sun newspaper on page 6 of the April 24, 1930 issue.
Wedding announcements were published in the April 24 editions of two Kerrville papers.  The one on the left was on page 2 of the Kerrville Mountain Sun .  From it I learned the marriage ceremony was performed by Hugh B. Warner, pastor of the First Christian Church, in his home on Lytle Street and that Daddy was employed by Charles Schreiner Company at the time.


The second article was on page 1 of the Kerrville Times.  From it I learned the wedding was at 8 PM.  It states, "After the wedding they motored to the home of their parents for a short visit at Cherokee..." and adds, "Our best wishes go with this fine young couple for a long, happy and useful life."  They had been married over 53 years at the time of Mother's death.  They shared much happiness and much sorrow over the years.  Their lives as preacher and preacher's wife were ones of service and love for God, family, and others.

            
While going through Mother's cedar chest looking for the items I wanted to write about in this blog, I found these articles about their wedding folded up about an inch wide and tucked in a box of things.  I've not yet tried using worldvitalrecords.com to determine in what newspapers they were printed.  Since this first one must be from a Kerrville paper since it states, "They are establishing a home here."


These next two clippings were probably from San Saba and Llano newspapers.  This one states they "were married in Llano Saturday night."  It adds that "Mr. Robbins...attended a business school in Fort Worth [What? I don't remember hearing that!] and now holds a responsible position in Kerrville.  The bride is the beautiful daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Conley, is a graduate of the high school and attended school in Abilene and has been bookkeeper for a large granite company in Llano."  I knew Mother went to Draughon's Business College and that she worked in the office of a granite company in Llano, but didn't remember for certain the school was in Abilene or that she was a bookkeeper.


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This article states, "Richard Robbins and Miss Iva Conley were quietly married in Llano Saturday night. Mr. Robbins is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Robbins of this place. He graduated from the high school here an dtook [sic] a business course in Fort Worth and for the present holds a good position in Kerrville.
Mrs. Robbins is the accomplished daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Conley.  Mrs. Robbins also graduated from our high school and completed a business course in Abilene and for the past year has held a position in the granite works as bookkeeper in Llano. They left immediately for Kerrville where they had apartments awaiting them."

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Matrilineal Monday - Lou Nora Robbins - Fun Times

 Curtis and Lou Nora on a tricycle built for two.  
The back of the photo was in our Aunt Lou's handwriting.

 
I remember Curtis telling me our Granny Conley taught him to swim and how much he trusted her.  He knew she wouldn't let go unless he was ready.  This picture was probably taken in Cherokee, Texas.

 
 It looks as though Curtis is enjoying this more than Lou Nora.  Perhaps it's because he's getting to hold the jack-o-lantern.  I see a little sprig of his hair sticking up and one pant leg is rolled up.  Interesting! 
 
By the look on her face, I'm not sure Lou Nora thought this pony ride was a fun time...

She's smiling in this one.  Love what Mother and Daddy are wearing at the beach!  A tie?  Really?  I remember looking at the picture and asking Daddy why we never took trips like that.  He said he'd done all the traveling he cared to do.  I wonder if they were there because he was preaching at a gospel meeting.
Bubble blowing contest!  Curtis is standing on the left and Lou Nora is on the right.  I don't know who the other girl are boy are.  Because the license plate has 47 on it, that must have been the year the photo was taken.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - Things in Mother's Cedar Chest


As I mentioned previously, I have my mother's cedar chest.  Occasionally she allowed me to look in it and go through things.  Since I'm focusing on my sister's life this month, I want to tell about a few of her things that are in the cedar chest.
This is a picture of Lou Nora wearing a crocheted cap, top, and mittens.  They are an off-white.  That may be partly because of age, but I remember they were a cream color, not white.  They are loosely crocheted and very soft.  The top has three pale blue buttons on each shoulder and blue flowers with green leaves and stems are embroidered on the front.  The cap has a blue satin ribbon running through it to tie it on.  If I was told who crocheted the pieces, I don't remember, but there are no tags on any of the pieces and I would guess Mother made them.  What I do remember is admiring the top and being allowed to wear it once.  I may have tried on the cap and mittens, but I didn't want to wear them.

•.¸¸.••.•..•.••.¸¸.•       
 Although I don't remember it from my childhood, this purse is also in the cedar chest.  It seems rather unique to me.  It is a light blue plastic with a shoulder strap.  The front has a red ruler with a pencil sharpener on the end, a red pencil, and a red address book.  The ruler seemed stuck to the plastic, so I didn't try to pull it loose to take a closer look.  I'm surprised I don't remember it and or wanting to use it.

•.•..•.• 
The address book has a 1948 calendar on the inside front cover and a 1949 calendar on the inside back cover.  The names she wrote in are Sue Carol W. and Gail P. who lived in Eden, Texas.  Her red wallet was in the cedar chest, but not in the purse.  There were pictures in it that I'll scan for another blog entry this month.  One picture is of Sue but I did not find one with the name Gail on the back of it.

•.•..•.• 

Inside the purse I found two hankies and a small, yellow plastic coin holder for dimes.  There is one very tarnished 1948 dime in it.  By pressing in the right place, the dime can be removed.  Since many of the things I've found are blue, I wonder if that was her favorite color.
  
•.•..•.•
Other than the crocheted top, the thing I remember vividly is the string with plastic charms on it.  I think I was told they were from a gum ball machine.  I loved looking at the charms and counting them.  The locomotive, bugle, and skull seem to be metal.  There are animals, patriotic symbols, teapots, and assorted shapes.  After taking this picture I picked it up to look at it once more and the string broke, so I've placed it inside the purse before returning it to the cedar chest.