Friday, April 24, 2015

A to Z April Challenge: U is for Upton


“We need to get together more often and not at a funeral.” How many times have you and a cousin said that? Funerals are much like a family reunion. You can learn a lot about a family just by looking at who showed up. Using my grandparents’ guest books and sympathy cards, I’ll be exploring “Who came to the funeral?

is for Mary Lee Farrar Upton. She was my mother’s second cousin, daughter of Lewis and Eltar Farrar, first cousin of my mother’s father Orvin Davis.

When my grandfather died in 1963, Mary Lee and her husband Chris went in with her sister Phyllis and husband Donald Carruthers on flowers, a spray of white carnations.

 


The Uptons sent a card when my grandmother Lucille Rucker Davis passed away in November 1990.





Mary Lee was the second child born to Lewis and Elta Farrar. Like my mother, Mary Lee attended Cradock High School.

from 1947 Admiral
Cradock High School Yearbook











Unlike my mother, Mary Lee was in the Glee Club and Drama Club. In the class prophecy, Mary Lee was predicted to be the manager of Woolworth’s. I’m not sure what that said about Mary Lee, but I don’t think that it ever happened.

According to one city directory from 1954, Mary Lee was a clerk for the Commissioner of Revenue.

We often ran into Mary Lee and her sister Phyllis at the mall or at the nursing home visiting their mother and our grandmother. 

With unabashed admiration for my utterly unequal colleagues, I issue this ultimatum for you to unite with umpteen users at the A to Z April Challenge to uncover some uncanny and unconventional blogs that will be unveiled to you.


© 2015, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

24 comments:

  1. You are so fortunate to be able to access all this information on your family.

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    1. I can whine about what I haven't found, but really I am lucky to have learned what I have.
      Thanks for visiting.

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  2. Yes Denise is right Wendy, you are fortunate. The only information I have is what's in my head. I don't even have the family photo albums - long story.

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    1. It's important to record what's in our head too.
      Thanks for the visit.

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  3. One thing I love about blogging is the record it leaves. I tell a lot of family stories on my blog, and I bind mine into hardcover books. I like the idea of future great-greats reading them. Love that Richmond accent..my "Diddy" as our good friend calls his Dad :) We lived in Richmond for a few years. I love Virginia, especially the Shenandoah Valley which I think is one of the prettiest places on earth. Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

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    1. Thanks Joyce. I love the Richmond accent too -- it has a refined lilt to it, rather pleasant to hear. Most of the ancestors that I write about are from the Shenandoah Valley. Thanks for visiting.

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  4. I wonder if Mary Lee spent a lot of time in Woolworth and that's why they thought she would be a manager of one :)

    betty

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    1. Maybe so - maybe there was a good soda fountain with cute boys hanging around.

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  5. What an original take! I haven't researched family history beyond the documents / photos that my mother (now 88) has in her possession - or in her memory - but I do find it interesting. I'm now working with Mum on a blog with her memoirs. As you say above, it's important to recors what's in our heads.
    Anabel's Travel Blog
    Adventures of a retired librarian

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    1. You are so fortunate to have your mom still. Recording her memoirs is such a great idea for a blog. Simple, everyday experiences make wonderful stories. Thanks for visiting.

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  6. Glee Club and Drama Club, wow she had a full schedule, and enjoyable one too!

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    1. Really! Those two activities required a lot of rehearsal time and performance time, I'm sure.

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  7. Family history is always fascinating. I enjoyed exploring yours with you.

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    1. It is fascinating! Thanks for visiting.

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  8. Maybe that is why I liked the name Mary Lee so much!

    Glad you posted her high school picture!

    This has been such a good A to Z!

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    1. She looks like Leota, don't you think? (Go back to "R is for Racey" and look at young Leota.)

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  9. Well, I was wondering how you were going to pull it off for letters like "U."

    Who knows what it meant, back then, to have one's destiny prophesied to be the manager of Woolworth's. If only we could read between the lines--now, as well as then!

    I wait, with bated breath, for the likes of "X" and "Z."

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    1. Oh, then please come back to witness my true genius.

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  10. There is never a doubt that you will pull off the last Letters of the Alphabet with your line of Family Names. It has all been true genius. I liked Mary Lee. I bet she would have been a great Woolsworth employee.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
    AtoZ 2015 Challenge
    Minion for AJ's wHooligans

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    1. Oh what a nice thing to say although I don't think it's true. Desperation maybe. But I do agree that Mary Lee would probably have been a good employee almost anywhere.

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  11. I wonder if Woolsworth is still around. She must have had a good business sense about her!
    Inventions by Women A-Z
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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    1. No, Woolworth's is out of business although some exist in Europe. The Woolworth Supermarkets in Australia are not related to the five and dime store that I knew growing up.

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  12. Replies
    1. Me too -- one of my favorite places to shop when I was a teenager.

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