Scrapbook Sunday: Betty Peters Communicants Class Part #2

This is a continuance of My mother’s Scrapbook #1.

My mother Betty Peters (1926-2004) had a really nice red scrapbook that she put together in her Communicants Class;  that included church programs, little booklets of various gospel books of the Bible, news article clippings and things that interested her or were her favorite things.

Every Sunday I will post pages from my mother’s scrapbook & as the pages are falling apart and disintegrating.  The red scrapbook is over 70 years old and she put it together when she was attending St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem.  It was 1940 and my mother was 14 years old.

Young People’s Day 1940
Presbyterian Church in the United States of America
Front Page
Page 2 & 3 of Program

Young People’s Day
Presbyterian Church in the United States of America
Front Page

Page 2 & 3 of Program

Marian Anderson
My Grandmother Agnes was her Designer for 20 years.

Articles featuring:
Gertrude Elise Ayer &
Justice Jane M. Bolin

Raymond Pace Alexander

Raymond Pace Alexander heads one of the most skillful, best-trained, and successful law firms in America housed in its own office building in the nation’s third city.

 [Transcribed]

ETHEL WATERS IN “MAMBA’S DAUGHTERS” creates, with passion and great artistry, a character that is almost Greek in its capacity for tragedy.  As Hagar, the daughter of Mamba,pursued by the twin Furies of bad luck and wild temper, Miss Waters portrays a woman whose greatest crime is stupidity, whose love for her child runs like a crimson thread through the dark fabric of her life.  Mis Waters’ voice has long delighted Broadway, but in this, her first “straight” part, the wide scope of her acting ability is revealed.  “Mamba’s Daughters,” written by DuBose Heyward and published as a novel in 1929, is dramatized by Mr. Heyward and his wife, Dorothy.  Here, as in all their writing, they explore the gaiety and the despair of the American Negro.  In the dusty country of the Deep South, this pitiful drama of a violent, uncomprehending creature, caught between her instincts and the law, marches to a classic end.

My mother attended this featured program featuring Katherine Dunham.  I remember my mother telling me that she took dance lessons at the Katherine Dunham School of Dance when she was in college.

Katherine was born June 22, 1909 and died May 21, 2006.  She was an innovator in African American Modern Dance.  She was a choreographer, educator, activist, song writer, author and she was an anthropologist.  She combined her love of dance and anthropology throughout her life.

To learn more about Katherine Dunham click on her name.

Back of Flyer

 My mother always took pride in her own people.  When I saw this page of her scrapbook, I had to smile because she always instilled in my brother and I to be proud of who we are, and to know something about the people that paved the way for us.

Black History month in our household growing up was very important.  It really was important all year round.  My parents had us children enrolled in classes to learn about our culture on Saturdays.  We also went through a Rights of Passage with other
African American youth, and we had a ceremony with African dances, poetry, Swahili lessons, and we also learned about various Blacks that made an impact in the lives of our people and to the country.

I also remember my parents holding a Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in our home every year and we would sit around the living room with neighbors, community members, and family listening to the recording of the March on Washington.  This was always a powerful and uplifting event.

My mother Betty loved Winter Sports.  She loved to Ice Skate and she liked any sport that had anything to do with snow.  When I was growing up, my mother signed my brother Marshall and me up for ice-skating lessons.  It was so much fun and we took lessons for a couple of years, and then it was on to something else.

Whenever the Olympics Winter Sports came on TV or any other time during the year, she would turn to the station and we would watch for hours.

Living in San Diego, I still have had the opportunity as a child to go to the mountains and ski.  So even in our Sunny side of the country, my mother ensured that my brother and I enjoyed and experienced what she did.

MY FAVORITE WINTER


FRICK AND FRACK FROM SWITZERLAND



Frick and Frack were two Swiss skaters who came to the United States in 1937 and joined the original Ice Follies show as comedy ice skaters.

Copyright
The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

Family Friends Friday: Dolores D. Wharton “Duncan”

     Family Friends Friday is a prompt that highlights friends who have contributed to the history of our family, ancestors and their decedents.  Our families are not on an island of their own, and I believe that understanding the lives of their friends, gives opportunity to understanding and appreciating our own families.  As we have seen, sometimes our friends are closer than family, and many times this is where we get our stories.

Clifton & Dolores Wharton, Betty & Walter Porter
Visit to the White House



     I wrote one of my mother’s dearest childhood friends, Dolores “Duncan” Wharton, requesting to have the opportunity to interview her during my family research trip in New York.  My request was graciously accepted. I had the opportunity to meet with Dolores along with my daughter Vanessa at her NY apartment.  Our meeting was an unforgettable occasion.


     When we arrived, we were greeted at the entrance by a doorman, and led to the front desk.  Once the receptionist cleared us we were directed to the Wharton’s apartment.  As we rang the bell, Dolores a stunning woman whose years have been good to her opened the door and greeted us with hugs and welcomed us inside.  Dolores handed me an envelope which revealed a 3 page letter, then escorted us to her elegant living room which showed off wall to wall white carpeting, and furniture to match.  Dolores directed us, “You sit here and read the letter I prepared for you while Vanessa and I talk about her future plans.  Clifton and I are leaving for our other home this afternoon, as we do every year staying until the winter.  I think this letter will be more helpful to you and then we can spend some time visiting and not worrying about interviewing as we are short on time.”  With that, I agreed and read my letter.

Dolores & Betty visit in New York

Dolores writes….
(pg #1)

June 10, 2010

I am pleased to respond to your inquiry regarding my impressions of your Mother, Betty Peters Porter, during our lovely old friendship, the basis of which goes back some 65 years!  Given my now 80-plus years my details have long been forgotten.  But herewith lies the essence of our friendship as I remember it today.

We were introduced in Marian Anderson’s home, Mariana Farms in Danbury Connecticut.  Betty had accompanied her Mother, Agnes Peters, a most prominent New York City seamstress, who was there for several days to remodel some of Miss Anderson’s concert gowns.  My family was neighbors of Miss Anderson and her husband, Orpheus “Razzle” Fisher.  My mother knew both quite well–Miss Anderson in high school and Mr. Fisher socially as teens back in the old Philadelphia days with its community of prominent Black families.

Betty and I clicked instantly!  My invitation to Betty to visit me at our home on Lake Kenosia some five miles away was the beginning of one long, extended conversation that continued for decades.  During subsequent trips when Betty’s mother, “Auntie Peters,” returned to Danbury to sew for Miss Anderson, Betty would come along to spend over nights in my home where we two young teens discussed how we might tackle the pursuit of happiness in a complex world.

A couple of years followed with Betty studying at NYU as I was preparing to begin my freshman year at the college.  She was rich with advice for my arrival at the Washington Square campus.  We met occasionally on and off campus for lunch where we compared notes on our respective classes, classmates, and university life in general.  With our residences located in different parts of the City, our travels to and from NYU rarely overlapped.  Betty lived in Manhattan’s “Sugar Hill” and I on the Grand Concourse, a major boulevard in the upper Bronx. I boarded with a Jewish couple whose son was a treasured friend of my family and author of children’s books.  But when my Mom was in New York from Danbury to have Auntie Peters make some costumes for her, I popped in to see her at the Peter’s studio/apartment where, thereafter, I was always fondly welcomed. That visit was the beginning of another episode for Betty and me to continue our extensive conversation.

(Pg #2)

Agnes Peters was in many ways a magician in accommodating her small apartment as an embracing home for her adored daughter, Betty, as well as a working studio where she grew a vibrant business.  She was in huge demand among her clients.  “The ladies” were everyone, women of considerable wealth and achievement–teachers, lawyers, performers, wives of millionaire husbands.  Agnes Peters had been gifted with the genius to design and fashion wonderful clothes.  Without any patterns to guide, her scissors would fly swiftly through handsome fabrics to create amazing suits, coats, and dresses for her famous clients.  I once asked Auntie Peters how she cut so perfectly without any pattern.  In her always softly toned voice, she said, “I don’t know’ I suppose I just do it instinctively.”  the apartment hummed with sounds of sewing machines and Betty’s and her friends’ chatter and laughter to “swing” music in the background.

Now, within this lively environment Betty grew and stretched into a tall (at least 5′ 7″), slender, winsome young lady.  Were I to combine several celebrity personalities to capture Betty’s multi-faceted self, it would be:

1. The movie star Rosalind Russell for her sophisticated, stylish, and delightfully quick tongue.

2. Bea Arthur of “The Golden Girls” fame who always portrayed a mature, comically frank, and a woman genuinely dedicated to friends and colleagues.

3. Whoopi Goldberg–minus her vulgarity–in expressing anger over the hurdles confronting racial intolerance in America with the ability to “tell it like it is!”

Given the characteristics of these colorful analogous types our conversations flourished!  We considered the trials and tribulations of politics, the advantages of the GI Bill for veterans returning from World War II, modern dance-we both attended evening classes in a school in midtown Manhattan called the New Dance Group, modern art, health care, foods, and certainly the best and worse of the young men in our respective lives.

Page #3

Then, not unexpected, time and events changed the dialogue.  Given my totally engaging marriage with my valiant prince and life-time hero coupled with our travels to different worlds in and out of the United States, our conversation shifted accordingly.

Over the years we were consistent in making the effort to stay in touch.  On one return trip from our home in Singapore our travel plans were arranged to have us change planes in Los Angeles allowing for a quick visit with the recently wedded Porters.  Clif and Walter took six year old Clifton 3rd to Disney Land. Betty and I chatted quietly while eighteen month old Bruce napped before our ongoing flight to Boston.  During a second trip to southern California, I took a break from a Phillips Petroleum Board meeting in San Diego to drive to the Porter residence where we met you, Yvette.  You were almost–if not–a teenager by that time.  Your Mom called you out of your garden pool to meet Cif and me.  You were off to an engagement so our time with you was brief.  These were all charmed moments within your home.

Me in front
(from L to R) Dolores and Clifton Wharton
Betty and Walter Porter



Then for Clif’s and my fiftieth wedding anniversary, Betty and Walter paid us a huge compliment by flying to New York specifically for the occasion.  Separate from the anniversary festivities Betty, Walter, Clif and I enjoyed several delightful outings in the City.  These were the last celebrations we had together.  Walter died, and Betty not long after having suffered from terminal cancer.  I am left with memories of a steadfast and unique friendship shared with a dear old buddy.  It is a pleasure to think back on these times.  Your mother was a highly intelligent, highly principled individual who spoke easily to her concerns about society.  Our times together were filled with fun and substance.  It is splendid of you to research a study in Betty’s name.  Surely she would be very proud to have you do so.


I hope this letter is helpful.


Affectionately,


Dolores

Who are the Wharton’s?  Click on link to left (National Visionary Leadership Project)

Copyright
The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

not so Wordless Wednesday: Dorothy Donegan

I came across an old Photo postcard of Dorothy Donegan in my Uncle Henry’s garage.  I asked him about it, and he stated that Dorothy was the finest woman he ever met and she was a talented pianist. Henry met Dorothy in 1946 when he was 16 years old. She was a part of the Y-Service (YMCA) and performed in St. Louis Missouri at the Kiel Auditorium.


Dorothy Donegan was born on April 6, 1922 and died May 19, 1998.  She was an American classically trained Jazz pianist, who played with Cab Calloway.  She is an unsung musician that has hardly been recognized.

Bio of Dorothy Donegan

Check out this Recording:  Dorothy was HOT on that Piano!

Copyright
The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

Scrapbook Sunday: Betty Peters Communicants Class Part #1

My mother Betty Peters (1926-2004) had a really nice red scrapbook that she put together in her Communicants Class;  that included church programs, little booklets of various gospel books of the Bible, news article clippings and things that interested her or were her favorite things.

I want to take the time every Sunday to go through my mother’s scrapbook & post each page, as the pages are falling apart and disintegrating.  The red scrapbook is over 70 years old and she put it together when she was attending St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem.  It was 1940 and my mother was 14 years old.

Religion and Spirituality was very important to my mother’s life.  The way she practiced evolved over time.  On various occasions she would discuss the different types of churches she attended and impressed upon me that one’s spirituality is more important than what type of church one was attending.

St. James Presbyterian Church
Mother attended catechism in 1940

Photo Taken by Vanessa Moore June 2010

This Scrapbook is the size of a regular sheet of paper.
I was always intrigued by the cover of this book, and wanted
to know what was inside of it.

[Transcribed]

My Prayer

Thank you dear father,
For our parents so grand,
For our friends true, and loyal,
For our free, happy land,
And may the world soon realize,
With joy, and with mirth,
That nothing is sweeter
Than peace on the earth….Amen

{Original by Betty Peters}

Back inside cover of Scrapbook

[Transcribed]
Betty Peters
460 West 147th Street (mom’s residence)
St. James Presbeteryan Church
Communicant Class
Scrap book

Some of the gospel books in the scrapbook..(The book of John was missing, as I remember losing it years ago…must find.)

St. Mark
St. Matthew
The Shorter Catechism

What is inside the envelope???

Well, let’s see below…

Medical Aid for China (stamps)
I was trying to find information online regarding these stamps, and really didn’t find anything.  In 1940, it was a time of war and upheaval in other countries. Two website’s I found that require further investigation through the archives are: United Service to China Records: 1934-1967 and World Events during the 1940’s .  I will do further inquiry, and if anyone else knows, please contact me.

Our Church

By

Theodore F. Savage

Evangelism

Board of National Missions
of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.
156 Fifth Avenue  New York, N.Y.

9 Reasons Why a Christian
Should be a Church Member

1. Is is an obvious means of confessing Christ.
2. It serves as a wholesome restraint under temptation.
3. It furnishes a stimulus to well-doing.
4. It provides a delightful spiritual fellowship.
5. It makes my example an influence for good.
6. It is a step in the path of obedience which strengthens faith and enriches experience.
7. It is the only way to perpetuate the visible Church.
8. It affords the best facilities for service, giving the advantage of organized effort in Christian activities.
9. As a member of the Father’s family I ought to be in His house, at His table, and openly identified with His work and worship.

Street name changed to:
 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd

 ALL REQUEST PROGRAM

PARKER WATKINS
TENOR

THURSDAY EVENING
MARCH 7th, 1940
AT 8:30 O’CLOCK

AT
SALEM METHODIST CHURCH
129th STREET, 7th AVENUE
NEW YORK CITY

MINISTERS:
REV F.A. CULLEN
REV. J.C. HILL

(Rev. F.A. Cullen was Poet Countee Cullen’s unofficial adopted father.)

(To see details of the program, click on the picture)

Info on Salem Methodist Church  and More info on Salem Methodist

Part #2 of Scrapbook August 28, 2011

Copyright
The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

Cully Family Surname: (My Matrilineal Line) Part #2

This post is a continuance of Part #1 of the Cully Family Post. You can read by clicking on “Part #1”.  


Last post I traced my mother Betty Peters and my grandmother Agnes M [Cully] Peters to Ambrose E. Cully.  I was able to find Ambrose’s parents names on the marriage Registrar listed on Family Search in the 1889 Worcester, MA registrar book.  The names listed were William Cully and Nancy Hartley. 


Since I knew that William & Nancy were the parents of Ambrose, I began  looking at the North Carolina Marriage Collection online and found that they married July 21, 1851 in Craven County, NC.

Marriage of William Cully & Nancy Hartley on 21 July 1851



I knew that William and Nancy resided in the Craven County of North Carolina, so I began looking in the Federal Census Records to see if I could find the family composition while Ambrose was residing in the home and any other Census Records that were relevant & might not include Ambrose.

1860 US Census



In the 1860 US Census, William and Nancy Cully were listed as residing in Reevs, Craven, North Carolina.  Their household composition was: William(29) Nancy(25) Sidney A(5) Julia A. Godette(12) Jeremiah Godette(3) I am not positive as to the connection of Julia & Jeremiah Godette, but I do know that it is one of the Cully Tree branches. I did not find a death record for Sidney A, as I do not see him listed in any other Census records.


In the 1870 US Census, The Cully family was listed as living in Township 5, Craven, North Carolina.The Cully Family Composition: William(35) Nancy(33) Sarah(9) Ambrose(7) Melvina(4) Mary(2) George W. (5/12)

Add caption


















In the 1880  Census the Cully family was listed as still living in Township 5, Craven, North Carolina.

The family composition in 1880 was William(47) Nancy(43) Ambers(18) 
Melviney (14) George W.(10) Matildie Carter(22) was listed as housekeeper and Mary J. Candey(3)


The Carter and Canadey/Canady & Canada Surnames are a part of my family branches, but I am still investigating the links.

In the 1900 U.S. Census the Cully family was listed as living in Township 6, Craven, North Carolina.


The Family composition was William H(66) Nancy(60) Melvina(34) Isabella (16)
and Robert Johnson(18) as a servant.

So according to the 1860 US Census to the 1900 Census, the children that Nancy and William H Cully had were Sidney A., Sarah, Ambrose, Melvina, George W, and Isabella. (Total of 6 children).


The next post will continue the lineage of William H. Cully through his father, mother and their children. 


(Then further down the line, I will take each individual from each household and show their descendants linking each person to the various surnames).


My Direct Maternal Line as of date is:


1. Yvette Marie Porter


2. Betty Mae Peters
3. Walter James Porter


4. Agnes M Cully
5. Charles Irving Peters


6. Ambrose Elander Cully
7. Nora Ann Gilliam


8. William H. Cully
9. Nancy Hartley (Harkley)



Copyright
The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011