September 20, 2008

Mini Family Reunion – End of Day 3

Posted in family at 11:44 pm by jimazing

Quick Highlights from the day

Especially because it has been a long day and we’ve seen, told and heard an awful lot today.  Todays new Characters are:

  • Everett Stidger – My first cousin, once removed – Son of Eldon Stidger who was my mother’s mother’s brother
  • Sue Stidger -Everett’s wife
  • Kari Stidger -My second cousin – Daughter of Everett and Sue
  • Laurie Lorance – My first cousin -Daughter of my mother’s brother, Jack (sister of Debbie and Linda)
  • Tre Lorance – My first cousin once removed… in the other direction – He’s Laurie’s son

Today, we invested a couple of hours at Everett and Sue’s house.  They had a huge box of family photos for us to go through. The funny thing about genealogy is that no one other than your siblings has the exact same interests as you, but there are many intersections.  When you start trading information; stories, photos etc.  you find out that they have a lot of stuff you just don’t care about.  Such was the case today.  They had some real good photo finds for us, but we had to wade through hundreds that just didn’t matter… to us.

After Everett’s, we drove out in the country hoping to be able to find some places that my mom and her family lived when she was a youngster.  We found two places that brought back floods of memories for her and my Aunt Judy.  Lots of questions and stories along the way too.  It’s going to take years to assimilate all that I experienced today.

First search was for their home in Sommerville, AL.  We drove all the way into town, through town and back out of town with no sign of the courthouse, which was our big landmark.  Turned around and drove back into town, more slowly this time.  Going on mom’s instincts, we turned on a certain road and there was the courthouse where she and her siblings went to school. Right across the highway was the area where her house was.  She started telling stories one after another.  I was so glad to get them all recorded.

We left there to go off in the country to find the place they lived when my Aunt Judy was born.  Once again, her memory proved to be exceptional.  We saw the place where there house was and the cotton fields, the creek where they played as children.  It was magical for me.  I know it must have been over the top for mom.

After that, we headed down the road looking for a church that they had attended some time after that when they had moved a few miles away.  We found the church and mom determined that her house had to have been just up the road.  We drove slowly looking for a chimney because this house had burned down while they were living there.  We turned into a driveway and slowly made our way.  Looking off in a field, I saw what looked like some old masonary, so we decided that this must have been that house.

Leaving that area, we headed back to my Aunt Jan’s to meet Laurie and Tre.  It was great to spend some time getting to know them.  Tre took Harry and me on a tour of the house and the yard.  We looked at everything there was to see.  While we were there, I was remembering my Uncle Jack and some of the tricks he would play with me when I was a youngster.  I thought of the little trick that included a story about two little blackbirds named Jack and Jim.  As I played it with Tre, he was just as bewildered at how the trick worked as I had been at his age.  Everything comes full circle, doesn’t it?

My favorite parts of this trip has been reconnecting with my living family.  It was great to spend so much time with Mom, Judy, Debbie and Harry.  It was wonderful to get together with all the others too.  The stories that we shared with one another was worth everything and more.  I heard some of the funniest and most tragic stories imaginable.  These are not only the stories of my ancestors. They are the stories of my life too.  I look forward to reflecting on these stories over the days, weeks, months and years ahead.  First though, I have to drive back to Charlotte… and that’s tomorrow!  Gotta get some sleep now.


  1. Sounds like a great trip down memory lane. If we are not careful, life passes us by,and the treasures we could have had are lost in the hurry of our day.

  2. Debbie cousin said,

    This past weekend is a memory I will never forget…especially seeing my 2 cousins I havent seen in 23 years…I am so proud of you both. They sure dont raise them like you two any more…GENTLEMEN!!! Also, seeing my 2 Aunts telling the stories…I just couldnt get enough stories…Jimmy…you did awesome on this blog…I didnt realize just about everything was taped…hmmm…I should be scared…LOL… I love you very much and I thank my family for coming to visit us…

  3. jenny (judy's daughter, jim's cousin) said,

    Transcribing all those stories could take forever. Maybe you could just upload the digital files to they will be on the web for all of us to hear that didn’t get to go! Was it a digital recorder? Thanks so much for the diary, Jim, I wish I could have been there with y’all.

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