Thursday, December 30, 2021

Happy New Year, 2022!


I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever. 


 Neil Gaiman


Monday, December 27, 2021

Closed on Christmas

 My father, Delbert Keith Brown,
 ran a Shell gas station in Hudson, Columbia County, New York.
It was called Del's Shell by the Park.

Each Christmas Eve he cleared out the bays where auto repairs were normally done and he gave a party for customers with lots of food and beverages. On Christmas Day he closed the gas station. This 1964 clipping lists his reasons for closing as our mother and us children.

Above: 1964 Hudson Register Star Newspaper clipping

Above: Photo of my father working under the hood of a car at his gas station

Above: blank receipt from the gas station.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Germantown Fire Auxiliary Makes Plans for Santa

This newspaper clipping includes my mother, 

Alberta Joy Gardner Brown.

She was a member of the Germantown Fire Auxiliary.

The clipping from my archives, is dated December 1959, probably from the Hudson Register Star.


Firemen’s Ladies Plan a Christmas Tree


A Santa loaded with gifts for firemen and their wives and children is the focal point of planning by these women of the Germantown Fire Auxiliary. Santa will open Dec. 21 at 6:30 P. M. At the firehouse.


Seated from left:

Mrs. Herman Thoman, president of the Auxiliary,

Mrs. Raymond Moore and

Mrs. Raymond Funk.


Standing left to right:

Mrs. Richard Millington,

Mrs. Delbert Brown [my mother, Alberta Joy Gardner Brown],

Mrs. Robert Altman, and

Mrs. Douglas Dodge

This photograph of the Fire Ladies' Auxiliary from 1963 includes my mother. She is fourth from the right.

In this photograph from 1965 my mother is in the center, fifth from either side.

All of these photographs were taken by Howard Gibson who was a photographer in Columbia County, NY when I was growing up. His photos were often in the newspaper. He took his camera to schools, firehouses, churches, parades, parties, weddings and more.

Go to the website Photos by Gibson to see many more photos.
If you grew up in the area you might see yourself or your family.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Christmas Tree/Family Tree

This is a fun Family Tree
made at Word Art.
It is filled with surnames on my father's family tree.

Dear Santa, Please send me more information on these names.


Friday, December 17, 2021

Family Memories: the Best Santa


1989 Christmas photo
Alberta Joy (Gardner) Brown
with her grandchildren in Germantown, NY

My mother was the best Santa ever. She did not dress in red or jingle any bells. She did not call any attention to herself. Quietly, secretly, she made sure my brothers and I found our most wanted Christmas gifts beneath our tree on Christmas morning. Our mom put away money all year for this shopping. It was time before internet shopping and there was never a computer in our house. Our Mom ordered from catalogues or drove from one store to another to find the toy or clothes or radio or watch we wanted. She hid her finds in her bedroom, tossing a blanket over things till she had time to wrap them.

As a girl, her parents put up their Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and we always did the same. It was always a busy day with my brothers putting up the tree and all of us following a list of things  to do. We all decorated the tree, helped in the kitchen and wrapped a few final gifts. With a Christmas show on the television, sweet smells from he kitchen an a sparkling tree, Christmas unfolded. Our mother moved from one thing to the next until the stage was set for Christmas morning.


One year I wanted a gold cameo ring more than anything else. I had seen it in a catalogue and thought it was beautiful. On Christmas Eve my mother & I took a quick trip to Hudson, NY [the ‘big’ city near us] for a couple last minute errands. On the way home in the car my mother told me that I would not be getting the ring. She had sent away for it but it had not arrived and now that it was Christmas Eve deliveries were finished till after the holiday. She had been watching for it every day but now it looked like it was not going to arrive in time to go under the tree. I was deeply disappointed but said it did not matter. I just thanked her for the ring and all her efforts to get it on time. I knew she felt terrible that she could not do this for me. We arrived at home and carried our packages up to our door. There, sitting on our front porch, was the box with the ring! I still have that ring and remember my mom whenever I wear it.


I have followed my mother’s example and done my best to make Christmas special for our children and now our children do the same.


Family traditions are made with love.



Be Santa. Pass on the love.


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Golden Anniversary of Brumfield – Rollins, 16 December 1885

This newspaper article was written in 1935 when Clifton & Ada celebrated their 50thAnniversary. A big crowd of family were present to celebrate. This couple went on to be married for 56 years. They died in 1941, just a few days apart.


Clifton Barksdale Brumfield

10 Dec 1862 LA - 24 Aug 1941 MS

Son of Barksdale Wade Brumfield & Mary Lucy Brown


Ada Salena Rollins

14 Feb 1868 - 29 Aug 1941 MS


Married 16 Dec 1885

Parents of 11 children

Mr. and Mrs. Brumfield Celebrate Golden Anniversary


The golden wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Clifton B. Brumfield was celebrated at their Auburn, Lincoln county, home on Sunday, marked with those joyous functions and attended by those that distinguished such rare events. A throng of friends gathered to offer felicitations and make merry over the achievement.

In the experiences of this half-century of wedded fellowship the pleasures must have had the preponderance over incidental sorrows, for the honorees reach this advanced matrimonial anniversary hale and hearty, in the possession of their natural faculties, and a perennial zest in life.  

As hostess Mrs. Brumfield entertained the large company of guests with characteristic social graces as in those youthful days when love was young. In the chivalrous affections of the husband, that maiden loveliness is unmarred. 

With Mr. Brumfield, the vigor of youth is yet in evidence, and his interesting stories are reminiscent of those gallant days of spirited young manhood. In the realm of sport his prowess in winning is well known. On the turf his ponies left the track wearing the blue; in the chase of his hounds were heard pressing the quarry. But his boasted red letter day was when he won the affections and promise of the girl who became his wife against all contenders.  

This union brought together two of the aristocratic pioneer connections populous over south-west Mississippi, and contiguous Louisiana. Mrs. Brumfield – formerly Miss Ada Rollins – being of Felder extraction. The marriage ceremony was performed by Mr. Willis H. Germany, the popular “marrying person” of that era.


Members of the immediate family participating in the celebration were 

·     Mrs. Quilla May and four children, [Lucy E. Brumfield May]

·     Mrs. Moore Felder and four children, [Mary Elizabeth Brumfield Felder]

·     Mr. and Mrs. Harrison H. Brumfield and six children, [Henry Harrison Brumfield]

·     Mr. and Mrs. Clifton G. Brumfield and three children, [Clifton Grady Brumfield]

·     Mr. and Mrs. Smith F. Brumfield and one child, [Smith Felder Brumfield]

·     Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Wallace and five children, [Mattie Velma Brumfield Wallace]

·     Mrs. Maxine Lofton and two children. [Audrey Lucille Brumfield Lofton]

Mr. Brumfield’s brothers and sisters attending were 

·     Marcus Brumfield, McComb; 

·     Oscar Brumfield, Franklin, La.;

·     Robert Brumfield;

·     Mr. and Mrs. John D. Wood, Franklin, La.; [Lucy Brumfield Wood]

·     And a large number of nieces and nephews from various points.

Near kindred of Mrs. Brumfield were

·     Mr. and Mrs. J. W. D. Mercier and nieces, McComb.

Bearing the distinction of being the sole great grandchild was Margaret Claire Terrell Jackson.

Other celebrants from distant points came from Memphis, Wesson, Brookhaven, Norfield, Johnston Station, Summit, McComb, Kokomo, Natchez, Amite City and Baton Rouge, with many rural sections represented. 


Source: Mr. and Mrs. Brumfield Celebrate Golden Anniversary. (McComb, MS: Semi-Weekly Journal, 17 Dec. 1935) 3; digital image, accessed March 2021.

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Thursday, December 9, 2021

December Anniversaries

 December is filled with reasons to celebrate. My brother & his wife were married in early December & it was beautiful, with a Christmas tree at the reception and engraved ornaments as favors for the guests. Their wedding added joy to our holidays. 
Here are some other family wedding anniversaries. 

6 December 1868 OH

Augustus Ceaser Gruissy [son of Christian Gruissy & Mary Grorisclauss] & Esther Barbara Wolf [daughter of John Franklin Wolf & Elisabeth Burkholder]. hey were married in Stark Co., OH. Esther was the second of three wives for Augustus. They had five children. Augustus was a laborer, a peddler and made & sold medicines.

16 December 1798 SC

Jeremiah George Smith [Son of Jeremiah Smith, Sr. & Jemimah Hollis] & Joanna Dillon [Daughter of Richard Dillon & Anne Lawrence]. Jeremiah served in the War of 1812. He and Joanna lived in MS and were members of the Silver Creek Baptist Church. They were the parents of 16 children. 

17 December 1908 MS

Tate Edward Fortenberry [son of Webster Fortenberry & Nannie Ellzey] & Lucy Viola Brown [daughter of Jasper Pascal Brown & Rose Ella Brumfield]. They were married in Pike Co., MS. They had three sons. Tate was a farmer and a log cutter in a logging company.

20 December 1818 MS

Edwin Barksdale Alford [Son of Jacob Alford & Elizabeth Bryant] & Martha P. Smith [Daughter of Jeremiah George Smith & Joanna Dillon]. They were married in Pike Co., MS. They had 13 children. They were married for 43 years. Edwin was a part of the LA militia during the Battle of New Orleans.

20 December 1897 LA

Benjamin E Blades [son of William Ephraim Blades & Morgana Josephine McDaniel]  & Ollie Izellie Schilling. They were married in LA. They had a son and a daughter. 

22 December 1926 OH

Glenn Raymond Jolliff [son of Samuel Martin Jolliff & Margaret Maude Mark] & Elma Grace Pletcher. They were married in Wayne Co., OH. Glenn was married twice.


24 December 1921 LA

James Alton Ball [son of James J Ball & Mattie Dennison] & Mildred Olga Brown [daughter of Jasper Pascal Brown & Rose Ella Brumfield]. They were married in LA. They had ten children. James was a farmer.


25 December 1825 LA

Thomas Coulter Warner & Jane Smith [daughter of Jeremiah Smith & Joanna Dillon]. They had 12 children. 


25 December 1918 OH

Elmer Maurer & Pauline Morrison [daughter of Seth Benner Morrison & Margaret Jane Gruissy]. They were married in Wooster, Wayne, OH. Elmer was the manager of a gas station.


26 December 1849 

Henry William Leander Lewis & Salina Theresa Morris [daughter of Benjamin Morris, Jr. & Hollander Smith]. They were married for 39 years.


26 December 1937 NY

Milton Sydney Weissberg [son of Frank Samuel Weissberg & Florence Gartner] & Anne Bloom. Milton was an attorney. They were married in Buffalo, Erie, NY. They had two sons. Milton & Anne were married almost 50 years.


26 December 1941 

Jerry Sidney Comeaux & Nathalee Smith [daughter of Denny Herbert Smith & Mavis Marie Brown]. They were married for 48 years.


27 December 1866 

Joel H Good [son of Isaac Good & Sarah Larue] & Margaret Chidister Brown. They had one son.


29 December 1933 NY

Wilfred Stewart Marshall & Marguerite Christina Coyle [daughter of Michael Coyle & Mary Josephine Mullane]. They were married in the Bronx, NY. Wilfred was born in England. Marguerite was born in New York City.


30 December 1843 

Ira Payne Alford [son of Edwin Barksdale Alford & Martha P Smith] & Elizabeth Hope. They had five children. Ira was married twice.


30 December 1902 OH

Alfred C Pfeifer & Emma Jane Mark [daughter of William Mark & Elidia Rebecca Ritter]. They were married in Lorain, OH. Alfred was a farmer and he drilled gas wells. They were married for 58 years.


31 December 1878 

Samuel Wolf [son of Frederick Wolf & Louisa C Goetz] & Elizabeth Reynolds. Samuel was married twice. He also married Susanne Metzger.


31 December 1924 OH

James Everett Mark [son of William Mark & Elidia Rebecca Ritter] & Effie Margaret Carter [daughter of Frank Carter & Sadie Mapes]. They had 11 children. James was a laborer. They were married for 42 years.


Saturday, December 4, 2021

December 7 Birthdays, 3 Sailor Brothers

Ferman Esco Fortenberry & Nellie Mae Simmons had six sons; five of them had December birthdays and three of them were born on December 7. Four of those sons were also in the US Navy.

I saw this newspaper clipping on Facebook but I do not have the original source. I believe it was printed during World War II when the brothers were actively serving. I have a grandnephew, born December 7th, who may be interested in this blog post.

Where and when was this printed? If you know, please share.


Ferman Esco Fortenberry & 

Nellie Mae Simmons


Victor Everett Fortenberry b 11 Feb 1915

Ferman Elmo Fortenberry b 5 Dec 1916

Adrian Woodrow Fortenberry b 7 Dec 1918

William Jackson Fortenberry b 7 Dec 1920

Donald Curtis Fortenberry b 7 Dec 1924

Homer Clyde Fortenberry b 16 Dec 1926


Believe It or Not – These sailor sons of Mr. and Mrs. F. E. Fortinberry, of Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, all have the same birthday, and to top it all, it is December 7, the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, that none of them will ever forget. It was at Pearl Harbor that Adrian, a fire controlman on the ill-fated Helena, received the painful burns about the face and body when the Japs first attacked. He is completing six years in the Navy; is married to the former Miss Wanda Werbickl, of Brooklyn, N. Y. His younger brother, Jack (center), is a carpenter’s mate, second class, in the Navy’s construction Battalion, Alaska. These two brothers received their education in Progress, Miss., schools. Donald, right, attended Clarkston High, and entered the Navy last March, and is now a seaman first class. His boot training was at Bainbridge, Md., and at Norton Heights, Conn., he attended signalman’s school, and now is a signalman in the Armed Guard on the Atlantic. Their father was a gunner’s mate in the Navy from 1909 – 1913, and an uncle had 30 years in the Navy. So it’s no wonder a fourth brother, also born in December, and although married and having two children, is preparing to enter the Navy soon. 

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