Holiday Foods, Advent Calendar 2011, Christmas Memories

     Memories of ingredients being stirred in large bowls to make Fruitcake, dance in the recesses of my mind.   Baking fruitcake was an all day affair during the Christmas Holiday.  My first memory was at five years old watching my mother in the kitchen as she measured, poured, stirred, and baked the mystery cake that I knew nothing of.  What intrigued me the most about the ingredients were the colored cherries and fruits and nuts that she would mix into the rich, dark batter. Mom would pour rum in some bowls that were especially set aside for the adults.
     
      My favorite part after baking the individual cakes, was to wrap them and deliver them to our neighbors.  Through the years, I would hear people say how much fruitcake was not their favorite because it was hard and they did not prefer the taste.  My memory of my mother’s cake was moist and tasty and most favorable in my mind.      
     Every Christmas my mother would prepare  2 large pots of Seafood Gumbo and a large pot of rice. My mother was a natural hostess and entertainer and she would don me the “little” hostess.  I would take out the best china and silver; wash and dry preparing them for 10 to 20 guests that were invited for such a wonderful meal.

     I had the task of setting the table in its proper order.  I then would set out the h’orderves on trays and small pretzels and nuts in their appropriate bowls to be set out on the living room coffee and end tables.  Candles were lit, and center pieces in place.  Jazz music would be swaying in the background with an occasional Christmas tune.
    Guests would arrive…drinks and cocktails would be offered.  And being the “little” hostess would have the pleasure of serving and making sure,  each guest had their full.  Appetizer trays stayed replenished as lot’s of grown-up talk and laughter filled the room.  My father with his smoking jacket on, (even though he didn’t smoke) would ensure each guest had something to talk about, as his humor lit up the room.

     What wonderful memories of Christmas twirl in my mind knowing we shared good food for the soul.

Family Churches Part #1: Mt. Hermon Baptist Church (UPDATED)

     When I began researching my family history, I was very much interested in the churches that my family attended throughout the generations, as this was the place where families gathered to worship, socialize, to be baptized, held communion, were married, eulogized, and many times buried in the church cemetery.  The Family Church series will be a post that I talk about, discuss and share a family church, and possibly its history if available, and the family members that attended this place of worship.

     A few weeks ago, I posted a funeral card of my father’s (Walter Porter) half-brother, Leroy Porter.  To read, click (here).
     The funeral card mentioned that Rev. Leroy Porter accepted Christ as his Savior and United with Mt. Hermon Baptist Church at a young age.  Well, I was curious as to what the church looked like and its history.  After locating the number of the church in Mt. Hermon, Louisiana, I called. A lady answered the phone, stating she was the secretary (Diane).  I inquired as to the church’s website, but there was none. After telling Diane who my family was and that they had been members of Mt. Hermon, she stated that there had been many Porters that attended the church for years but there were no remaining family members.
     I let Diane know that I was interested in receiving history and a picture of the church if there was anything available.  I gave Diane my address and a few weeks later, I received a picture of Mt. Hermon Baptist Church (below) but have not received the information of the church history.  I hope that I will somehow get the info at a later date.
Mt. Hermon Baptist Church
Porter Family attended for many years
      Facts about the location of the Church:  According to Wikipedia, Mt. Hermon is an unincorporated community of the Washington Parish of Louisiana.

     Mt. Hermon, LA is is bordered by Mississippi and about 6 miles away.

     I also followed up since this post with a Thank You card because whenever anyone gives you information it is very important to say Thank you, and show some gratitude.

UPDATE

After all of this effort, I discovered that I had the right name of the church but the incorrect location.  I went online to see if I could find more information, and discovered the church that I had pinpointed as the family church was predominately Caucasian and I was looking for an African American Church.

Diane, the secretary had a conversation with the church clerk, who happened to be the church historian and was a Porter, stated that they never had a Leroy in their family.

My search is still on, and even though this post is incorrect, I want to keep it up, so that other’s will know that all research done is not always accurate, and sometimes must be re-checked.  There are so many churches with the same name, locale must always be checked too.

     

Sympathy Saturday: Jimmy Smith (The Jazz Organist)

When both of my parents passed, I had access to their address book.  I came across Jimmy & Lola Smith’s phone number and decided to call.  I spoke with Lola, as Jimmy was performing at a Jazz festival.  Lola had expressed that she was recovering from a stroke.  Through the years I would hear stories about Lola & Jimmy as my parents kept up with them and one of their children, Michael.
Apparently Michael had lived in San Diego for awhile and had attended the school where my father was Dean.

Jimmy Smith was born on December 8, 1928 and died February 8, 2005.  We lost the Jazz Organist Pioneer.

Signed picture of Jimmy Smith
to Yvette  (me)
Jimmy Smith Obituary
(l to r) The Grants, Betty & Walter Porter, Me & Jimmy Smith
I must have really liked Jimmy.
Lola & Jimmy Smith and Betty Porter at ECC
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

A Lasting Memorial: Sentimental Sunday

Photos by ImageSeed Photography & Mike Norris…All Rights reserved

Speaking to Staff and some Parents @ Porter Elementary
re: Naming of School and who Dr. Walter Porter was.

Today is the 10th Year Anniversary of my Father’s Passing.  It is very difficult for me to do justice in honoring my father in a short and sweet post.  It is not like my father was extra-ordinary because he was just a regular guy who sometimes did things in an extra-ordinary way.

During my father’s Celebration of Life Services, there was mention as to naming a building, street, maybe one of the Salvation Army Centers, just name something after him.  I thought, “Wow! That would be nice!”  Well, in 2003, as I was reading a local newspaper, The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint, I came across an ad requesting names for the naming of two schools to be built under Proposition MM.  (The light-bulb went off!)


“The Campaign for the Naming of a San Diego City School was ON!”

Now why on earth would we name a school after my father?  We have other great men (Black men) in San Diego, so why Walter?  I think it is because of the Essence of who Walter Porter was, and it was in the heart of the people who knew him and his life, that they chose to have this school named after him.

For those of you that did not know who Walter James Porter was, (known as “Wally” to others) here is a letter my mother wrote for the school naming campaign I organized:

 [Transcribed]

Janet D. Delaney
Director of Community Relations
San Diego City Schools
4100 Normal Street
San Diego, CA 92103

May 28, 2003

Dear Ms. Delaney:
When my beloved, now deceased husband retried from his administrative position with the San Diego Community College District in June 1994, his retirement party was attended by hundreds of people.  The Admiral Kidd Club’s large dining room was packed.  He received so many plaques and proclamations that the two huge bulletin boards I had constructed in a large room in our house were inadequate to contain them.  He received letters of commendation from the (then Republican Governor of California and from the Democratic President of the United States of America.
When, as a long-established nursing home resident, in 2000-2001, for many months, it was noted that Dr. Walter J. (“Wally”) Porter received more guests than had ever been recorded in the history of that institution (and some visited after sign-in hours.)
Hundreds more people packed the Neighborhood House Association at Wally’s Celebration of Life Memorial Service on August 18, 2001.  They came from near and far.
Why?
Wally belonged to the community.  He was devoted to helping as many people as possible.  As Mrs. Freddye Jackson, retired principal, once remarked: “He really cared,” and to Wally, the “Community” stretched from the Mexican border to the North County border and far beyond whether he was selling raffle tickets in San Diego or soliciting funds (and getting them) from the Pentagon, he energetically and tirelessly worked on behalf of his community.  Whether he was helping an individual solve a problem on a “one-on-one” basis or leading an extremely large group toward a successful altruistic goal, his magnetic personality, genuine warmth, incredible sense of humor and leadership skills accompanied by his rich baritone voice enabled him to “move mountains.”
In addition to working tirelessly as a community college administrator, Wally participated enthusiastically in innumerable organizations.  He was a man who didn’t know how to say “No!”  Some organizations he worked with for a while.  Others appeared to be permanent.  In fact, he was dressing to attend a Salvation Army Breakfast Meeting when he suffered his first stroke. (I was at home and called 9-1-1.)  A partial list of his organizations follows.  (I’m bound to leave some out, since he was active in Los Angeles before we moved here in 1968-1969 with our family).
(My daughter has sent you Wally’s resume, so I won’t repeat all that).

Partial List -San Diego Community College Administrator’s Association
-Charter member, San Diego Southeast Rotary Club
-President, San Diego Chapter, N.A.A.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
-Martin Luther King, Jr., Educator’s Breakfast and Parade Committee
-Starlight Musical Theater Board of Directors
-Salvation Army Advisory Board
-La Jolla Playhouse Advisory Board
-Alpha Pi Chapter, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity
-Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
-Tema, Ghana (Africa) Sister City Society
-100 Black Men (National Coalition) San Diego Chapter
-San Diego Museum of Art, African Arts Committee
-San Diego Catfish Club
-Mentor for San Diego Links-“An affair of Honor.” (Yearly event)
In spite of (the above) and many other endeavors, Wally found time to be a loving husband and father.  He always had time for us, individually and together.
Dr. Walter J. (Wally) Porter is as fine a role model as has ever been born.  The Community of San Diego deserves to have a school named in his honor.
Respectfully submitted,
(Mrs.) Betty M.P. Porter

Even though my father has been physically gone from this earth, I feel his Spirit daily.  I found myself trying to walk in my father’s shoes and did not give my self a chance to breathe. Now I have found my own calling, and am free to be who I am.

My father had his ashes buried at sea..So the School is a wonderful testament and memorial to his life.

The School Naming Committee unanimously voted to name a school after Dr. Walter Porter, and then the San Diego Unified School Board District voted unanimously to name a school after Walter Porter.  So….

We had a School Naming Ceremony….
 
Formerly Kennedy Elementary School




We Had a Groundbreaking Ceremony…..

 

 

We Had a School Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony:



We Formed a Foundation, Raised some monies for some projects & Had 1st Annual Gala Honoring Community Leaders



Had A Second Gala & Honored Community Leaders

 

We have participated in Book Reading to the children, and many other activities……
 
Willie G, Yvette Porter Moore, Donnell Johnson
Community Member
Yvette Porter Moore
Yvette Porter Moore
We as a community are going to continue to keep the name & Spirit of Wally Porter alive as we Re-establish the Porter Foundation, and help our children to continue pursuing their education.
The Two New Schools in Dr. Walter J. Porter’s Honor (North & South Campus):
 
Painting donated by Porter Family Estate
© Yvette Porter Moore-All Rights Reserved
 

 

Jack Porter: My Father’s Favorite Brother

Jack Porter was born on May 16, 1908 and died in September of 1984. I vaguely remember meeting my Uncle Jack. He was my father’s oldest half Brother born to Harrison and Pearl Porter in East Carroll, Lake Providence, Louisiana. My Father talked very well of Jack. Going through papers, I found this newspaper clipping of Jack…Not sure what paper it was in but was from the Los Angeles, Carson area. My search will be to find out what local newspaper it was in like the Sentinel Black Newspaper.

I remember my grandmother Helen Bunn mentioning Jack fishing and bringing them fish back whenever he went. I just think this is a great shot of him with the fish he caught and I am sure my grandmother cleaned it and prepared it for him, as she did on many occasions.

I recently connected with family on the Porter side that knew Jack and spoke with his wife recently.  I am planning on taking a trip to Las Vegas to collect and record stories of my Uncle’s life from his son that he adopted from a family member….(soon to be revealed to me.)

© Yvette Porter Moore-All Rights Reserved