Saturday, July 08, 2006

If I Were a Carpenter *

If I were a carpenter

and you were a lady,

Would you marry me anyway,

Would you have my baby?

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,
among others.


  1. Hi Velvet, I've been trying to encourage friends and family to blog. I've told them how easy it is. They just won't do it. But maybe your family won't be as reluctant. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    I think SS3 & Patsy's family might serve as a model for yours and mine - they sure know how to do it right!

  2. Oh, I would love to read the essays and stories...please, please, least try. If the Sisters can blog, anyone can
    do it. If you run into snags, velvet can unstitch you in a jiffy.
    I am anxious to hear what you have to say!!

  3. I so wish I had written down a lot of the things my Mama Carr told me before she left. Boy, she could tell some awesome stuff!

    I'd LOVE to read about your family's life, Velvet. It just does a soul good to hear about those things.

    Man, to have parents and grandparents to tell those things to me. Some take it for granted; I take it to heart.


  4. It's wonderful how you're getting more of your family history! I wish we had more photographs of my ancestors but apparently they couldn't afford photos or the photos they had were lost or something.

  5. what a nice thing to get pictures that you didn't have, we have pictures of our great, great,greatgrand father because we found long distance cousin out there that had a picture to pictures of wedding and you get to see ME.

  6. What a beautiful woman your great grandmother was! Wow...she must have turned heads all over the county. Thanks for the visit and compliments on my photos. They are all on my computer but I would need to invest in a newer camera to produce print quality. This one was top of the line in 2000 but they have gotten a lot better since then! Carmon

  7. OH! I love the photos and the writing too! I'd love it if you'd share some of the stories of your family history.

    Funny thing - my grandmother on my father's side was a "West." And she married my grandfather, who was a "Smith." Maybe we are very, very, very distantly related - you think? *grin* Anyway, "hey" from another "Smith Sister." Got you bookmarked!

  8. Annie, I haven't had any luck making new bloggers out of my family members either, but this particular aunt has a boatload of ready-made material to post.

    Sweet-Sister, Annie was right; you and Patsy have set the bar high in terms of converting family members to bloggers.

    Priss, I know exactly what you mean about wishing you'd written stuff down. Since it dawned on me that these family members wouldn't be around forever, I've been soaking up their stories like a sponge. My own blogging efforts are motivated by the fact that my grandkids and great-grandkids may be interested someday in knowiong what their Grammy thought about things. That and comments. Comments are BIG motivators.

    Janet, there's usually one child or grandchild (me) who latches on to the photo collection when someone in the family dies. Check out aunts, cousins, etc. It's so much easier to share those photos in the digital age than it used to be.

    Patsy, I've been amazed at the photos you and your sisters have posted. Wonderful old photos. The new wedding pictures are pretty good, too.

    Carmon, my great-grandmother's two husbands were good-looking, too. I wonder if looks have always been as big a deal as they are now.

    Sassy-Sistah, thanks for stopping by. Your blog is hilarious.

  9. Just came back here to say - I'm enchanted by your writing. I've spent the last hour or so reading your previous entries - and am leaving your page up so I can continue to read later. You're a wonderful writer.

  10. I gave all the old photos I had to my daughter who was doing our geneology and now I have to borrow them again so I can scan what I want to use on my blog. The blog is the most fun thing I've done recently, remembering my children's early years, remembering what my Mom told me and the stories I heard when I was young. It's taken me a little while to learn how to do things (am still learning) but it gives me pleasure to see it all written down and on my monitor. I enjoy the comments, it helps to know someone else is looking and maybe appreciating?

  11. Sassy, I've read some more of your new blog and you're pretty darned enchanting your ownself. Not to mention very kind. Thank you.

    Noel, I'm so glad you're having a good time with your blog. It IS satisfying, isn't it? (By the way, I saw what you sent Kim for Debi's auction. WOW! Beautiful work.)

    Thanks everybody. I sure hope my aunt will read this.

  12. What treasures old photographs are and to combine them with family stories would make such an interesting blog. Like stepping back in time. Wonderful idea, please give it a yry. There's always someone willing to give a helping hand. :)


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