Funeral Card Friday: Robert Wesley Bunn Jr.

Robert Wesley Bunn Jr.

May 23, 1918- June 10, 2012

Robert Wesley Bunn Jr.

An ending of a generation in the Bunn family has given me the sense that my generation is on deck.  We are the grandparents now and there is no cushion in front of us.

My heart was saddened to know that my Grandmother‘s brother passed away in June of 2012.  I haven’t spoken about his passing too much, as I think and ponder why I didn’t pursue the urgency of speaking with him a little more often.  I did however speak with him a few months before his illness got the best of him.  At this point, his memory was not as strong, but my Great Grand Uncle Robert did speak with me about his days on the plantation in Lake Providence, Louisiana and Arkansas.

I was not able to attend the Celebration of Life for Robert W. Bunn, Jr., but was pleased however to have received the program card from my cousin Wes, Robert’s son.

Family Stories Handed Down Through the Oral Tradition

If the Story-Teller leaves no oral or written family history, it dies with them.  I think my mother knew this.  44 years ago in 1973, I was 5 years old.  My mother was an elementary school teacher and I distinctly remember during  Summer vacation, my mother sitting in her home office and firmly letting me know that she was writing a family story.  She would tell me that I needed to find something to do as she spoke into an old-fashioned tape recorder with a hand-held microphone, clearly pronouncing every syllable of every word.

[When I reflect on this, I realize that she had perfect diction and elocution, as did her Aunt Zara Cully Brown, who taught her how to speak]

I have always been curious about my family history, and I would hear the stories of my parent’s lives spoken around the table, or in the living room when my mother was entertaining guests.  I always had my ears perked up, but with child understanding, many of the stories were not remembered or understood clearly.

My Paternal Grandmother would give me bits and pieces of her life and those of her family members from the country, but she would shut-down if my questions presented hit a nerve. That would be it, and nothing more.

My mother passed away in 2004, and as I was packing and storing the contents of her home, I came across boxes of tapes.  Many of the tapes were recordings of community events, and recordings of guest speakers.  When I found the time, I took each tape and listened to see what was on them.  One after one, I stumbled across the old tapes my mother had been recording in the Summer of 1973.  I was ecstatic.  Not only did she record the stories, but most of them she had already transcribed.  This was the beginning of my genealogical family research on the history of her ancestry.

These tapes sparked the story-teller in me, and as I listened to each tape, I realized the stories she was telling were passed down from her mother and her mother’s mother.  It was five generations of stories.  I knew my mother wanted to write her life story in Sugar-hill, New York which also encompassed Worcester, MA and North Carolina.  As a matter of fact, I had promised my mother when she was living that I would help her find records to support the stories she was telling.

My mother, The story-teller, who is no longer with us, is alive and well when I replay the old tapes, and the new CD’s I had made of the tapes.  It is like my mother is in the room.  I feel her spirit, and it is in my hearts desire to continue to tell the stories of my ancestors as I hand them down to my children and their children.  Whenever I get the chance, I incorporate the stories into the daily lives of my children according to how they relate to the happenings in their lives.

“Our lives are like a million books, of which many stories can be told.”

Clifton R. Wharton III – Wordless Wednesday

This is a photo of Clifton R. Wharton III, My mother’s Godson.  Clifton’s Grandfather Clifton Reginald Wharton, Sr. was confirmed as the First U.S. black foreign minister of Romania on February 5, 1958.

Clifton R. Wharton III

 

I had never met Clifton, but my mother was devastated by the news of his passing.  I happened to be with her when she received the call.

Root Digger Daily Journal: Friday, October 5, 2012

Today was one of those days where everything was in slow motion.  Had a lot on my plate and still do.

This morning after my friend and I dropped my daughter off to school, we went to a little cafe in Lemon Grove, CA.  I can’t even remember the name.  They gave big servings for the breakfast meals, and I was so hungry and ate all except the pancakes.  Then I purchased some items at the medical supply place that would help me take care of my uncle when he comes home.  Now you know that I could not leave Lemon Grove without visiting the antique store.  I bought a few more photos that had names on the back as they were a part of the collection I already had at home, and I gather that they will give some meaning to the research at hand.

Today I presented the artwork portrait of my father to the elementary school librarian and met with some of the students in a 4th grade class.They were so happy to meet me and I was happy to meet them.

I didn’t do much with genealogy today, but I did participate on an online chat with Joseph McGill of the Slave Dwelling Project.  This project is so intriguing…I would like to participate maybe next year.

I  started to go through College Board to order SAT reports for the twelve schools my daughter is interested in.  I am really starting to get pumped up for the College process with her.

Well it is late, my grandson is here and still awake at 10:30pm…It is time to wind down and maybe play a game of Words with Friends.

See you all tomorrow.

Good Night!

 

Not so Wordless Wednesday: Outdoor Places in Worcester, Massachusetts

I love old postcards.  I wanted to share some of the postcards I bought through e-bay.  My Great Grandfather Ambrose E. Cully migrated to Worcester, MA in the late 1880’s.  His in-laws, (My Great Great Grandmother and Great Great Aunt) migrated in the 1870’s and were members of the Old African American Community during Reconstruction.  They were active participants in building their community in hopes of opening opportunities for their children and their children’s children.

Lake Quinsegamond
Worcester, Mass
My Aunts & Uncles would row a boat in this Lake
Green Hill Park, General View
Worcester, MA
1940
Hello, After the fair & a day in NY, we drove along the coast of Conn & R.I.
and are now going thru Mass to N.H.-Guess we won’t get to
Springfield but I’m thinking of you.  Alice
A Shady Path
Green Hill Park
Worcester, Mass
March 6, 1911