The carpenter in the top photo was my great-grandfather, Ernest Ray Smith (1873-1951), and the beautiful lady he married was Minnie Lee West (1883-1962). My grandmother, Audrey (1900-1987), was the only child born of their marriage.
These photos are all new to me, given to me in the past few months by an aunt and a cousin whose names I won't mention (unless they read this and give me permission to edit and add their names). They, along with another aunt, another cousin, and an uncle, have been filling me in on my father's family history, bit by bit, and I am cherishing every photo they send and every story they tell.
One aunt, in particular, has worked hard to accumulate stories and essays written by her mother, my grandmother, and to put them in readable form. I'm hoping like the dickens she'll set up a blog and publish some of the photos and stories she's collected. She writes well herself, and I think she'd be a natural for a project like this. Right now she and her daughter are busy playing nuns in a little theater production of The Sound of Music. When she has more time, she said, she'll think about doing a blog.
I've assured her that setting up her own blog is a lot easier than she might think. If you feel like offering her some encouragement or letting her know about your own experiences with blogging, please leave a message for her in the comments section of this entry. Maybe we can persuade her to give it a try.
*If I Were a Carpenter
Lyrics and Music by Tim Hardin
Sung by Bobby Darin, Johnny Cash,
Harry Belafonte and Waylon Jennings,