Talented Tuesday: Christine Gilliard Culley

Christine G. Culley
Photo by DeLaigle, (Harlem)
I am highlighting Christine G. Culley, who is the daughter of the trumpet player, Wendell Phillip Culley.  Christine was born January 3, 1930 in Manhattan, New York and died September 1, 2009.  
I went to New York June 8, 2010, and had not realized she died.  She had become a recluse, and frankly had no contact with any surviving family members of her generation or after.  I thought I would go to Harlem and get the stories about her father, who happened to play for Count Basie in the 50’s, Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton, and appeared in over 200 recordings of some of the great artists and musicians.
Christine was born, grew up, took care of her mother Violet, and grew old in the same apartment her parents got married in.  She remained in that home for 79 years.  My trip to her apartment in Harlem was not necessarily successful as she had passed but I was able to get in touch with the owner, who in turn connected me with Christine’s friend, that handled her final affairs.  
The connection to Christine’s friend (Karen) gave me some answers as to who Christine was.  Christine was my mother’s first cousin, and they grew up together, and were probably pretty close until my mother and grandmother moved to Los Angeles, CA.  
Karen was most helpful in giving me what she had regarding Christine.  All of Christine’s things were donated to thrift stores, and organizations that Christine was interested in.  What Karen did have that was somewhat of a consolation, was photo’s of paintings that Christine did.  Christine was a Teacher at New York University (NYU) for many years and had many of her art pieces.  I have been on a hunt for them, and was able to recover four paintings, that I hope one day, will find their place in the homes of our relatives.
I am only posting a few of her paintings below:
Abstract Painting by Christine G. Culley
(Recovered & in my home) 1970
Painting sold in an Auction
by Christine G. Culley

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© 2010-2011

Tombstone Tuesday (Wendell Culley and Zara Cully Brown)

My Daughter Tori and I placing flowers on Wendell Culley’s unmarked Grave

Summer of 2010, My daughter and I went to locate my Great Uncle Wendell Phillip Culley’s grave and headstone.  Wendell was born January 8, 1906-May 8, 1983. Wendell was a jazz musician from Worcester, MA and played trumpet for Sissle Noble, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and played on over 200 recordings for many other singers and musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughn. Wendell was one of Zara Cully Brown’s from the “Jefferson’s” younger brothers.  Much to my surprise there was no headstone.  There will be some family efforts to get Wendell a marker on his Grave. Our loved one’s should never be forgotten.

Location of Grave:
Rose Hills Memorial Park
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Garden of Affection, Sec 9, Lot 3149 Grave 4

Zara Cully Brown, listed are her husband and two of her children.

Photo by Scott Michaels

Location of Gravesite:  Photos from Findagrave.com
Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Freedom Mausoleum, Columbarium of Victory

Photo by A.J. Marik: Zara Cully Brown’s wall nitch

© Yvette Porter Moore-All Rights Reserved