Raymond and Jeanette Cully: Recollections from Betty Peters

Raymond & Jeanette Cully
Photo from Gail Cully Middleton Collection
All Rights Reserved

     My mother used to tell me stories about her Uncle’s and Aunts (The Cully’s).  She always talked about Uncle Raymond, as she would say Ray was her favorite Uncle.  I am unsure if I met him or not as we lived in California and Ray and his family lived on the East Coast.  My mother was always positive about Uncle Ray.  She shared with me that he was a drummer, and often played alongside his other siblings growing up, as they were all very musically talented.  As adults, he often play with his brother Wendell Culley.

     I  had the opportunity to meet Uncle Ray & Aunt Jeanette’s daughters in New York, (Gail & Karen) and still need to meet their son Raymond, but I know the opportunity will arise.  My goal in my genealogy was to find all the descendants of the ten surviving Great Aunts and Uncle’s and meet them and reuniting our families which have not been together in over 50 to 60 years, even though many of us are not even that age.  I have had much success in locating my cousins, and look forward to meeting them all.  I just wish my mother had lived long enough to meet them also.

     The story below is what was told to my mother by Ray.  My Uncle Ray and Aunt Jeanette married and remained married until Raymond’s death in the 70’s. He definitely loved Jeanette and they have three adult children to show for it.

[Story insert]

     The doorbell rang.  I answered the door.  There stood a small Negro man and a white woman.  The Negro man looked as though he might be Cuban.  He wore a black coat and grey hat. The white woman had on a very cheap, fluffy, white fur coat.  Her much-bleached reddish hair was in a screwy frizz, hanging down from a medium sized hat and touching her shoulders.  Her eyes were very strange.  They were very heavily made up.  The woman grinned.  The man sat down the two suitcases he was holding.

“Are you Betty?”, he asked.

“Yes, I am.”
“well,” he smiled, “I’m your Uncle Raymond, and this is your Aunt Joan!”


     Uncle Raymond explained his marriage thusly: He was “gigging” in Albany, (which he described as being a worse place racially than Atlanta, Georgia.)  Jenny (Aunt Joan) was a waitress in the night club where he played.  He and she “got something going”, and she claimed she was madly in love, although for him it was just another temporary romance in the life of a busy traveling musician.
     Since he had not car, he and Jenny used to do a lot of walking around Albany.  Sometimes they would “take a walk.”  Other times they would be coming from or going to some definite place.  Jenny would hold his arm, cast affectionate glances his way and give him occasional little love pats and pinches.  This bothered the townspeople, who complained to the police.
     Uncle Raymond was called down to the police station and told to date his “own kind” and to leave the town’s white women alone.  Uncle Raymond laughed at times and walked Jenny around town more than ever.  He told Jenny what happened and she increased her affection in public, giggling loudly when people stared in apparent disgust.
     Still Uncle Raymond said he was not in love with Jenny.  He was in love with a girl back home who had set him up in the upholstery business in an effort to get him to give up show-business.  To him defying the town with Jenny was fun…nothing more!
     Finally the chief of police had Uncle Raymond picked-up.  Uncle Raymond was taken to the Chief’s private office.  He called Uncle Raymond a nigger, said he obviously didn’t know the “ways” of Albany, and told him if he kept on walking around town with this white woman hanging on his arm they would run him out of town.
     Uncle Raymond was furious!  He screamed at the chief of police..  He left the police station hollering, “I’ll show you!”
     He went straight to a store and bought a wedding ring.  That night at the club he proposed to Jenny.  She was thrilled!
     A short while later, married, arm in arm, they walked right past the police station.  Jenny waved her fingers for all looking out from the building to see her wedding ring.  They stepped into the cab they had waiting, went straight to the train station and left Albany.  Since they had no money, no jobs and could not return to Albany, they came to our apartment in New York.

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

Amanuensis Monday: Betty Peters 1942 Journal, Day #13

This is a continued effort to transcribe my mother’s 1942 Journal when she was 15 years old.  To see other postings Click on following links: Day #1Day #2Day #3Day #4Day #5Day #6 & #7Day #8Day #9Day #10 Day #11 Day #12

Betty Peters

Page 62-Bottom

Monday March 22, 1943

Well doggone!
Things certainly can happen: Maude Turner told Alveretta that she ought to improve herself culturally.  Now Alveretta hides every time she comes.  Maude has washed her hand of the whole affair, and who can blame her.  She was really trying to be a sincere helpful friend and Alveretta took offense.

“Mastermind” has laryngitis (almost).

Page 63

March 22, 1943 Cont’d

I was in bed all last friday with a cold &  was absent from school.
     Speaking of school, I am really working hard this term for two objects. 1. Arista 2. General Principles.  Mother has at last realized that writing is the only thing for me & now she is all for it.  I have an outline for a story. “A.L.F.H.”  I can hardly wait for some extra time in which I can develop it.
     Colored girls are going to be hired as clerks at Bloomingdales next Summer & I am going to go down and see if they will hire me.  I hope they will.
     Well Ray & Joan (Jake & Jenny) have come & gone again.

Page 64

March 22, 1945 Cont’d

For one roaring week they stayed.  They came last Monday & they just left at about 5:00 P.M.  It is now 5:20 P.M. (in other words 20 minutes ago).  At last they in style. Jake is working in a band, Jenny in a restaurant.  They are both in Albany.  She keeps watch over him like a “vigil in the night,” the poor sap can’t move without having Jenny tailing behind like a body-guard.  She is terribly jealous & swears all women are out to get her “Daddy.”  Just a few evenings ago, Aunt Leronia was here, Uncle Ray talked to her at the table, Jenny got so mad she almost smoked a pack of cigarettes.  She ordered him to eat his dinner & be quiet (if you please).  Later, he was playing the piano for Aunt “L” & Joan couldn’t stand their being…

March 22, 1943 Cont’d

Page 65

…alone in the living room.  So, in went Jenny & she sat & she sat & she sat.

This afternoon, (the day of their dreaded departure), I cam home from school & immediately knew something was wrong.  I inquired only to find out that (as usual) Ray had skipped and left Joan; he had even taken the key to their room with him.  Joan had some money, her ticket back home, the new coffee pot she had just bought. (aluminum & red to be exact), and herself, but her clothes were in the room & “sweet papa” had the key.  No papa, no clothes, sorry?   Are you asking me if she was mad?


Page 66

March 22, 1943  Cont’d.

Besides the flames that literally leaping out of Joan’s ears, there was Mother (worried), (Unkie I’m told was worried too) & I was hungry.  Well, I ate, and at 4:30 (after Joan had left to go across the street and see if she could get into the room “pans” a key) who should appear but Jake.  He had been to a business meeting.  It seems he had to go to a fraternity house. (where “femmes” are not admitted).  Joan is such a clinging vine that the only way he could go was by back alley & underhand methods.  This : Chop Suey.  (In other words everything was mixed up).  But definitely!  Now the two lambs (drippy & droopy) have left our humble domain & are going back to Albany (Pity Albany!)  Well, at least they are different, and Earl says “Variety is the spice of life.”

Page 67

March 22, 1943 Cont’d

     Speaking of Earl, he is definitely “in there” (again) with me.  My dear friend (?) R.S. (and that doesn’t stand for Rain Storm) is definitely out.  Reason for the first:  How can a gal help herself? Reason for the second: The party of this first part is Jealous of the party of the second part, and is trying to take action.  Tut Tut!  Pitiful aren’t we?
     Hilda Proctor is a darling and a good friend of mine.  Lester likes her.  She talks of her soldier boy “Bucky” but I think Mr. H. has 1/3 of M(?) Proctor anyway.  I am going to invite her down for Easter.  I hope she can come.
     There is something pee-kue-lee-ar going on between Barbara & Iva, and I, your reporter means to…

Page 68 Top

March 22, 1943 Cont’d

..find out just what the “something” is.  Meanwhile don’t forget to by more stamps & the next time you go shopping don’t forget that package of “Cuddely Duddely Safety pins.”
Take it Easy!!! Grrreasy!

P.S. Irving is reported to be a droole. Gwennie is grooving herself with Henry Hines from Brooklyn.

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