Wordless Wednesday: Searching for Wendell Phillip Culley on e-bay

A couple of times a month I get on e-bay and search for anything that is related to the Culley/Cully Family.  I have had some successes.  I did not know what my Great Uncle Wendell looked like, and I could not find a relative that had a photo of Wendell in their collection (as he hated to take pictures).

Through my searches, I have been able to secure at least 4 photo’s of Wendell.  Below is a magazine ad that was being sold on e-bay and I bid on it and won.  I had it made into posters for a few of my cousins.
Wendell Culley, Count Basie & Reunald Jones
Here is a flyer that I was able to find and purchase on e-bay.
Wendell Culley, (bottom-far left)
More about Wendell Culley go here and here, or google Wendell P. Culley for information on his career as a musician.

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

Tombstone Tuesday: Halloween Decorations Forever

Christine Gilliard Culley
January 3, 1930-September 1, 2009
 
 
Forest Green Park Cemeteries & Mausoleums
Morganville, New Jersey
Grave 34D: Row E, Grave 10
(Volunteer post on Find-A-Grave)
 
 
     In June of 2010, I went to New York for a family research trip to find out more about my mother, Betty Mae Peters life growing up in Sugar Hill.  I also went with the  purpose of finding and visiting my mother’s first cousin, Christine G. Culley, who is the only child of Violet Jones & Wendell P. Culley, a trumpet player who played in Count Basie’s band. 

     I was saddened by the fact, that when I arrived at her apartment (she had lived there since her birth), that she had passed 9 months prior to my arrival.  I realized that it was going to take me some time to find out who handled her affairs, and get more information on who Christine Culley was.  
 
     Within a few months, I was able to make a connection with the executor (Karen) of her estate, thanks to the owner of the apartment.  Since that time, Karen and I have kept in touch, as she has become most helpful to me and the history of Christine & her family.
 
     I have found Christine to have been an interesting soul, and pray that she is resting in peace.
 
 

 
(Portion of an email sent to me by Karen) 
August 31, 2010

She loved all holidays — but Halloween was an esp. fav of hers, and I’m sure much of that was connected with its spiritual associations.  She frequently joked about still having the decorations up all over apt. — it became a running joke with us, and why I felt (unconventional Bohemian that she is) it would please her to have the headstone read “Halloween decorations forever” (although I didn’t discuss the headstone with her since the brief discussion I precipitated on the subject upset her…but I had to get some idea of her wishes).

 Chris had vaguely indicated she would like a priest (the local parish ended up graciously giving her a FULL high mass, even bringing in an organist and singer who performed one of her favs and mine, Schubert’s Ave Maria— 3 of the nuns closest to her and I were her pall bearers; I also half-teased if she’d also like a wicha service and she’d brightened:  “THAT would be nice, too!” but we feared her befriended nuns would be scandalized, LOL) — and that she wanted to be buried “somewhere with a lot of nature and green” (not much to go on, LOL) — but it was indeed comforting to see all the trees and wild geese strutting around the grounds out there when the day came.

A few of the 200 photos sent to me of Christine’s apartment
 

 


Wendell Culley’s trumpet in the background
 
More about Christine (Past Post)


Yes, Christine may have been different than the “norm” but isn’t that what makes our family stories so rich with flavor?

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

 

Those Places Thursday: Downtown Worcester, MA

I went to Worcester, Mass for a Family Research trip in April 2011.  Before I went, I purchased postcards on e-bay to get an idea of what Worcester looked like many years ago.  I took many photos when I arrived in Worcester with my Blackberry, but my phone was damaged, and I lost all of the photos I had taken.  I did my best to find photo’s of what these actual buildings look like today, and had some luck.


My Cully, Gilliam, and Collins Family arrived in Worcester, MA beginning in 1880 and remained there until  1930, Uncle Wendell Cully being the last one to leave moving to New York.

Worcester, MA-Central
http://wikitravel.org/upload/shared/9/96/Map_of_Massachusetts_Regions.png

City Hall
Worchester, MA City Hall
455 Main Street
The Metropolitan News Co, Boston, Mass
Current day City Hall
http://www.worcesterma.gov/city-clerk/elections
Public Library
Public Library-Worcester, Mass-1906
3 Salem Square
[The Metropolitan News Co, Boston, Mass]
Current Picture of Worcester Public Library
http://www.worcesterma.gov/ocm/public-library

U.S. Post Office
U.S. Post Office Worcester, Mass
(Illustrated Postal Card Co., New York Leipzig)
I was not able to find an updated photo of the Worcester, Mass post office.



When I first drove into Worcester, I noticed that the neighborhoods, buildings, and former factories were very old.  I was staying in Boston, so everyday for a week, I would drive into Worcester, and try to see more of the city.  I finally did find the section that was built up and it had a small town city feel to it.  I hope to get back to Worcester so I can take pictures of the places my Ancestors resided.




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

Treasure Chest Thursday:The Unexpected

Yesterdays post was a post about Wordless Wednesday where I posted about High School of Commerce, Worcester, MA and posted a picture of my Great Uncle, Wendell Culley.  Check out the post….(Wordless Wednesday 8/10/2011).

I ordered the 1925 School Year Book of High School of Commerce so that I could get a good scan of the pictures that my Great Uncle was in, and so that I could have an original copy of the Annual..(What Value!).  Well when I opened the book it had a very strong odor to it, as if it had been kept in a dark, damp room.  So as I went page by page reading and looking at each picture, I noticed that there were no African Americans that attended the school, or at least not from Wendell’s 1925 graduating class.  Almost at the center of the book a photo fell out.  It was a picture of a young girl that most likely attended the school, and probably had been the prior owner of the school annual.  (I thought, “I will keep this.”  Why not?”)

Photo Found in 1925 Commerce Annual

Then as I went through the annual, I decided to scan the one’s that had Wendell in them.  He did not take a  solo picture as I have been told, he did not like taking pictures…but he did with his School Band and Cross Country Team.

Wendell P Culley
Only Black in Band
Wendell P Culley
Back row & Center
Wendell P Culley
Back Row, Far Left

Then as I was going through the pages of the annual and a portion of the Commerce High School newspaper that had been folded up fell out.    I had pages 7-18.  So as I started reading “The Mercury” Newspaper, I came across two items that interested me.  One was a “Funnies by Funny Commerce Artists,” and an article that listed Wendell Cully as the leader of the Commerce High School Band, a fact that I had no way of knowing.

Black Face Character in “The Mercury” Newspaper at Commerce HS 1925

This cartoon I didn’t get at first until I read it to my daughter, and then I was like, “Oh, I get it now!”  This was 1925, and the ideas and the stereotypes of who and what Black People (Negroes, Coloreds) were are evident in this clipping by a student.  Now it makes me wonder why my Great Uncle did not have his Graduating Class Picture taken for the year book.  I also wondered how he felt being the only Black in his school, and if he had to deal with racism while he was there.

I knew Wendell Culley was a leader and before his time and here is insight by the clipping below, which I find to be a treasure.

Wendell Cully listed as Leader, Solo Cornet in Commerce H.S. Band, 1925

I knew Wendell played the Cornet, but he is known for his trumpet.  Wow!  I tell you, if you listen to your impulses while researching your family history, your Ancestors will guide you and speak to you.

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

Wordless Wednesday: High School of Commerce, Worcester Mass

This is an old postcard that I purchased on e-bay, showing High School of Commerce in Worcester, Massachusetts.  My Great Uncle Wendell Phillip Culley attended this school between 1922-1925.  He was one of the few African Americans that attended the High School and most of the time he was the only one in his class.  

Postmarked Dec. 27, 1918 w/2 cent stamp

Wendell Phillip Culley played the Cornet.
Wendell Phillip Culley (Only African American)
[1925 School Year Book]
(2nd row from bottom and 4th from left)

There are very few pictures of Wendell Culley [Jan 8, 1906-May 8, 1983]…I went to Worcester April 2011 to make copies of his school annual.  Family members have told me that he rarely was seen in photo’s but since I have been digging and researching, I have been very lucky to find a few more that I will share at a later date.

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