Saturday, January 31, 2009
The back of this photo is labeled Rutha and Westbrook. Rutha Wait Finlayson Dyal passed away in June of 1996. She was the older sibling of Burruss & Jennie Wait Finlayson. Rutha had married Ernest Cooke Dyle of McRae, GA. Earnest was murdered back in 1927. Rutha never remarried after the tragedy. It's another story I'll share in a future post. Aunt Rutha Dyal, like most of her siblings (whose mother was a music/piano teacher) was a singer too. I have some more information about aunt Rutha that I'll share later down the road. I've got to dig it up first.
Both of these photos show Westbrook in braces. The only time Dad wasn't in braces was when he was in bed. Can you imagine going through your entire life with cold steel strapped on was when he was bathing or in bed. I remember the first time I realized Dad's braces as being a handicap was when our vacationing family were swerving high in the curvy roads of the Smoky Mountains. I don't know how old I was (I was little - mid sixties?), but I remember looking out the window and peering down into infinity - then looking over the seat to watch dad have to manually adjust his braces every time he switched foot from accelerator to brake. I remember looking out the window and looking back as he would adjust for the curves - and I screamed like a little girl.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Dad, Henry Westbrook Finlayson, I believe never took a bad picture. Me on the other hand, I get lucky every now and then and get a semi-okay picture. Here Westbrook is with his younger brother Pat. All of Westbrook's kids grew up calling him Uncle Pat, but all the Carolina folk called him Ainsworth. His full name is Patillo Ainsworth Finlayson. During a recent conversation with Pat - he said that only Westbrook's kids called him Pat - he was Ainsworth to the rest of the world. It's as if he has a double life. I don't think I could ever get used to calling him Ainsworth - he's Uncle Pat.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The Finlayson's New Store card is another trunk find. This too is the same size of the thin wood coupon - only this is printed on a heavy card stock. Below is a picture of Burruss Finlayson's new store on Second Street that was located in the old downtown Cheraw, S.C..
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Mother told me that Guytie and Jennie Llew came to Gadsden and stayed with mom and dad for a week. Guytie liked the house on 117 Arcade Street (East Gadsden) so much that he modeled their future home based on the floor plan. Mom and dad moved from Camelot during the time I was born. The little house on Camelot just wasn't big enough for Westbrook and Esther's growing family.
Monday, January 26, 2009
This is another photo of Aunt Lucy with Westbrook. There is a story about Aunt Lucy and Westbrook that my siblings and I heard many times growing up. Mrs. Jennie Wait Finlayson came home one day to find her infant son Westbrook chewing on something. She asked Lucy what Westbrook had in his mouth. Aunt Lucy said, "Westbrook is eating peanuts." Mrs. Finlayson exclaimed, " Westbrook is just a baby - he can't eat peanuts!" Aunt Lucy smiled and said, "Lawd Mrs. Finlayson, I be chewin'em 'fores I feeds it to him." Now my Dad loved peanuts - but I don't think they ever were as good as the ones he ate on the front porch with sweet Aunt Lucy Cain.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I woke up this morning and started cleaning house. Our home has been a category five disaster. Aside from my health issues, being at the office, and still cleaning up after Christmas, our house was a total mess. I had invited Jose and Denise over for some homemade chili today and needed to do some cleaning prior to their arrival. Gina, being a woman, wasn't about to just have me tidy up a bit. WE CLEANED HOUSE! It was non-stop from the time we woke up but I am very happy to have evicted that dastardly dust bunny family.
Jose' came over earlier in the morning and helped me pick up my Volkswagen. I appreciated Jose' helping me. We talked politics on the way out and I got to introduce him to Eddie Floyd (Floyd's VW Glencoe, AL). We hung around and talked a little bit and then Jose' and I parted ways until later. Eddie complimented my bug and said that he was glad to see it go (with a smile). He said nobody wants to buy his old VW's while my VW was parked on his lot. He says he's gotten a lot of people stopping by to try to buy it. It's a no-sale folks!
Eddie did a great job on my bug. I know the Volkswagen is going to need more work around the corner - I'm doing a little bit to improve the bug as I can afford it. Eddie hooked me up with an original German muffler (not an after market muffler). He did oodles of stuff to my bug:
- Cleaned and reconditioned my intake manifold
- Fixed the heater in my car
- Replaced my horn
- Replaced the dome light fixture
- A new tail light lens
- New points - set timing and adjusted the carburetor
- He also checked my fuel line to make sure everything was okay - replace a length of hose.
I've got other tasks I'd like to have worked on my bug - but they'll have to wait. Sooner or later I will have to put a heliocol in that car and that means pulling the engine to do it. That will cost a pretty penny - but Eddie says "drive it till the plug shoots out and then bring it in".
After I got back home - I cleaned the kitchen and started the chili. I made a HUGE pot of it and then let it simmer while I helped the rest of the family clean house. Jose' and Denise got in about 2:00pm. We had chili and a great conversation. We all went downstairs and pulled out the guitars for a short while. Denise wanted to go through my worship songs and I hope she found all that she was looking for. She's learning to play guitar and trying to step out a little. God bless her!
I started a fire while they were visiting. We sat around and had a nice conversation. After they left, we all stayed downstairs in the dimly lit room by the fireplace. Gina put her feet up and faced the fire while Katie, Kelsey and I watched the new Journey To The Center Of The Earth. You're right Jose', it is a pretty darn good movie.
Katie is now by the fireplace reading. Gina and Kelsey are asleep in their beds. Katie will be going to bed soon and I'll take my place by the fireplace. It was a busy but very pleasant day. I haven't checked the weather for tomorrow yet - but I'd like to take my bug out for a spin.
Friday, January 23, 2009
We have family Bible information from Columbia. The strange thing is that it tells us so little. We can reach back to my great grand father's day - but it's all a cloud beyond that. Pretty much all I had was that my great great grandfather was named Daniel Finlayson (b. 1796) and his wife was Charity Westbrook. It was believed for a time that Daniel was the first of us to sail over from Scotland - but there is no manifest proving it. Dad did secure information that there was a John Finlayson that arrived in Philadelphia, 3rd qtr aboard the ship GEORGE in 1774. His estate was settled in Cumberland Co., NC on November 7, 1807.
Our ancestors starting point in the U.S. was Cumberland County and census records Finlaysons in that area. County lines seemed to shift often in those days and researches have to keep an eye on multiple county census records. I've had to go through records of Cumberland, Robeson, Wayne, and Sampson counties. Ancestors can be a moving target even if they aren't necessarily moving.
Another challenge is distinguishing a Finalyson from a Finlayson. You wouldn't believe how many Johns and Angus' there were. There's actually two Daniels that lived within the same time. It's like trying to find a particular Waldo among a crowd of Waldos. So how does one reach back through the ages and find my John and my Daniel?
Well, yesterday, after all these years I've found a little hope. I caught Glimpse of my great-great-great-great-grandfather stepping off the boat. I believe is John Finlayson that my father saw. Yesterday I ran across and old Genforum post (2002 by Nancy Grogan) that I don't recall ever seeing. Sometimes I overlook material because I get lost amid all the pieces. Sometimes I quit for a long period of time so that I can perhaps look at the past a little clearer. Well, there it was - John Finlayson came over in 1774. Departure from Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. He was 23 years of age and his occupation was listed as a Wright (this makes sense because Finlayson's always think they are wright).
Through this post I think the connection was made. JOHN Finlayson had only one child, Angus who was born about 1780. ANGUS had four sons - John (b. abt. 1809), Angus (b.1810), DANIEL and Alexander. The poster had no birth year for this Daniel - but my great-great-grandfather, my Daniel was born in 1796. I am sure these Daniels are one and the same. I know that there is a fourteen year difference between birth years, but the template fits. This is a precious find for me - and it had been waiting for me to find it since Nancy Grogan's post back in 2002. This question that started me on my quest years ago was the connection between John and Daniel. We felt sure that they were related, but never could connect the dots.
I'd like for all my siblings to have this information: That John Finlayson is more than likely their great-great-great-great grandfather. Dad's records stated that our clan came from the Inverness (Scotland) area. I found mention that John's family came from the Isle of Skye which is 124 miles from Inverness.
Gina and I have had a long time dream of going to Scotland one day. It would be nice to go there and pick up some more puzzle pieces.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
In this photo, the men are standing in front of the store holding yard sticks. Years ago I had asked my aunt Jennie Llew Finlayson Guyton is she could identify any of them. She remembered every one of them and sent back a labeled copy. They are as follows, from left to right:
1) Dan Pate, 2) J.B. Elixon, 3) T.S. Wells, 4) Burruss Finlayson, 5) Edwin Wells, 6) E.S. Wells, 7) James C. Whitley, 8) *Mr. Ruffiace, 9) Rev. W.M. Duncan, 10) Elias Vance Finlayson
*I am not sure about #8 - the last two letters of his name, it might be Ruffiace, Ruffiall, or Ruffiae. The rest of the names are legible.
A while back while doing genealogy research online, I ran across descendants (von Rosen) of Elias Vance Finlayson. A very rewarding part of this kind of work is that you run across cousins. We've sent emails back every now and then. They never knew what happened to Vance, nor did they know what he even looked like. I was happy to scan and email photos of him to them.
I am told that Elias Vance was a traveling salesman. When he took ill, he stayed at the Burruss home in the care of my grandmother until his death. It is the Elias Vance Finlayson, who married a Suzanne (Suzie Gumm). It's from that branch of the tree that Judy Gumm (aka: Judy Garland, aka: Dorothy from Kansas) is distantly akin to our family.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Yesterday I brought a small tin cigar box inside to clean up. I figured I could keep things in it. The cigar box isn't in great shape and the original printed tin was painted over by a relative a long time ago. It also has some rust The image below was found online and not the cigar tin next to me. The box I have did have some hard to read text on the inside - but I was able to do a little Googling to discover what the box looked like in it's former day. The text on the inside reads PERFECTO and a slogan "It's Ripe Tobacco.!" The bottom of the tin isn't rusted and I can clearly read BAYUK PHILLIES.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
To be frank - the perfect ticket would be Palin / Keyes in 2012. Seeing how I am no longer a (insert preferred expletive here) Republican anymore (since Republicans have left conservatism ideals & values behind), I know they won't go that route. They're going to give us another milk-toast McCain and announce him as another Reagan (insert preferred expletives here). Simply put, Democrats mean business - and Republicans don't. Sarah Palin didn't drag McCain down - it was quite the contrary. During the presidential run, Palin had to fall in line with the McCain talking points and not contradict or cross over the lack-luster John McCain. John McCain should be a real maverick and be a conservative for once.
I think Sarah ought to run next time around as SARAH PALIN - and pick a running mate that's equally as strong of a conservative. This is a war of ideas and the good guys better open fire at some point.
Damn the torpedos - full speed ahead!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Gina hasn't been with us much this weekend. She left the house yesterday around 9:00 AM and returned home about 11:00PM. She said that she got terribly behind in work since I started going to school. She has to tend to the kid's needs which was something I was doing until I entered the program. Gina said that she got a lot of work done Saturday - got all Java'd up caffeine and went at it. She went down today but not getting as much work done. After church, me and the little ones hooked up with Gina at Subway and then took a stroll downtown together. I know that she could have been working but we needed the family time and the much needed exercise.
Gina isn't going to be caught up this weekend but glad that she got to catch up a little. I am only taking some online courses this time around so I can get my vitals down. I am not right physically and can't handle campus classes and clinics right now. While on the road to wellness I'll be able to be at the office and help her a little more. That's a good thing.
Pray for Gina - she's in great spirits but she's buried in work - work that must be completed before we can get paid. Paperwork-paperwork-paperwork.
One good thing about not having to take campus courses is that I will have the time (make the time) to work out at the campus gym. Being a student I have access to their weight training equipment. I am looking forward to it. I remember feeling so much better when I was working out at Fitness Plus. Pray for me as I try to get my levels back to a normal range.
Friday, January 16, 2009
But that's not why I'm blogging. I wanted a silly photograph of me to illustrate a silly thing I did - a sadly - typically me thing. I had some ceiling lights out downstairs. As some of you know, I've been dealing with some health stuff. My numbers are all crazy - mainly because of my type 2 diabetes. I haven't been minding it like I should while I was at school and during the holidays. Anyway, my triglycerides, cholesterol, blood pressure, you name it have been spiking. I went and got some meds and have put myself on a strict diet to put the brakes on my racing innards. Last week I felt like crap. This week I don't feel as bad, but have been light headed and kind of faint. My vision is worse and I don't have much in the energy category. I've got to turn things around.
Anyway- today I went out in the garage to bring in the ladder. I dug out the 60 watt light-bulbs and commenced to climb up the ladder to change out the light-bulbs. I carefully unscrewed the globe, took care to not drop the nut and washer while changing out the bulbs. Each fixture takes two bulbs. After screwing in the light-bulbs, I carefully replaced the globe and washer and nut. Keep in mind that I am light headed and dizzy while doing so. I slowly climbed down the ladder and flicked the ON switch...nothing. I went over and replaced the other globe on the ceiling across the room feeling annoyed that one of the fixtures was apparently burned out. The fixture is only a few years old. It's one of those fancy ones that I wasn't sure Lowes would still have in stock. After replacing the other light-bulbs I looked at the dead fixture. I then started trying to remember if and where I had thrown away the burn out bulbs.
Like an idiot - I had replaced the burn out light bulbs with the same burned out light bulbs. One last slow light-headed trip up the ladder and it's working fine now.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I encourage family members to double-click on the desired photos (to get the largest size)through out this blog and then save them to your computer. It's a great way to take advantage of my scans to increase your family photo collection. I recommend that you eventually burn them to disk because computers have a tendency to eventually die.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I can't help it. I look at Liz today - married - building their new house - very talented and sharp - and still clearly see that little girl. If you take another look at the photo above - Liz has always been Liz.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Up front from left to right, Robby is holding Carrie, Irene is next to Dad, Cindy, Florrie holding Liz, and Dan's holding Charity. In the back left to right - a part of Jennie's head, Jennifer, Mom, and me behind Florrie.
We had a lot of family gatherings (Elrods, Finlaysons, Rakestraws, Noojins) in those days. Now about the only time we all get together is for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even though we lost Dad back in 1990 - the family has added quite a few members. We used to fill up a long table - now we fill up a large room. There's been more begotting since this photo was taken.
Does anyone in the family know what event we were celebrating this day?
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I grew up watching all those old movies. Every one wore hats in the old black and white days. I wondered as a kid what happened that men don't don those cool looking fedoras anymore. The truth be known, we can all blame it on Jack Kennedy. Jack didn't take to wearing hats and decided not to wear one at his inaugeration. There are others who will contest that more and men were leaving their hats at home prior - it's just that Kennedy brought attention to the issue.
Kennedy or not - I was going to grow up wearing hats.
I've enjoyed wearing hats since as long as I can remember. My dad used to have a shelf of hats in his closet - all kinds of hats he'd collected through the ages. He had an old top hat from his dance band days. It wasn't the cheesy kind like you get at a tuxedo rental place, but a bona-fide tall collapsible top hat like Fred Astaire or Abe Lincoln used to wear. We Finlayson kids wore that one out a long time ago. Dad had a yachting cap, different kinds of short brimmed fedoras, driving caps of different patterns. When I was little I would use a chair to climb up into his closet and try on all of his hats.
Brook in his late teens donned an Australian bush cap - slangly called a Digger. It was a wide brimmed hat that was clipped up on one side - like Sgt. Sam Troy (Christopher George) on the TV's Rat Patrol. Brook was nicknamed "Digger" because of the hat, and his red Volkswagen was dubbed "Digger's Chigger." When I was a teenager, I adopted my father's navy blue yacht cap. I wore that one out as well, not before being nicknamed "Captain". I didn't really like the moniker because I was named after the cheesy muskrat singing Captain of Captain & Tenniel. Egad!
I have more hats now than my father ever owned. For practical reasons, hats really do keep the head warm during cold months. My favorite hat is a beret that I found at Unclaimed Baggage in Boaz many years ago. It's very warm and tucks away in a pocket easily. I put our family's Farquharson crest on it. One day I will find a nice looking Scottish tam to take it's place.
Gina gave me a very soft and warm Shoreman's Fleece Watch Cap (toboggan) this Christmas. It's just as warm and as convenient as the beret, and I've been wearing it a lot. It's so comfortable that I've used it as a night cap on cold nights. I am still waiting on a Christmas present that Gina special ordered for me for Christmas - a new wide brimmed, camel hair Stetson. My old green Stetson has seen better days and is retired on it's knob in my studio.
The downside of wearing a fedora is that you've got to take care of it. You can't just fold a fedora and stick it in your pocket. I used to own a Panama Straw in the 80's but got tired of the wind sweeping it off my head. I once lost my hat while driving in my sun-roofed Renault LeCar. I had to pull over, run back, and chase it down. It ended up in the middle of a four way stop. There were folks looking on and laughing at the bozo chasing his straw fedora - I don't blame them.
There are more common hats in my collection - baseball caps. These caps don't have team logos on them, but rather band names. I've gone to concerts from time to time with my sister Cindy. She usually buys those pricey souvenir baseball caps for me. I have a Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, and Crosby, Still, Nash & Young cap. I wear them more often in the warmer months and they remind me of those great concerts as well as my sister's love.
Once, a dozen plus years ago, Gina and I were in Paduca, Kentucky for a wedding. They've got a walking tour of Antique stores. Amid all the stores, I ran across a store that sold old movie props, clothes, and the like. It was a very unusual place. I found a navy blue yacht cap that reminded me of the one Dad used to wear. Gina didn't like it and didn't understand why I wanted it. I think it was 35.00 at the time. Gina urged me not to spend our money on it. I bought it. Dad's old yacht cap had a patch on it, this cap has a brass anchor on it. I like it better than Dad's old hat.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
The photo I scanned is pretty small. As I magnified it, I asked my mom who she thought Burruss Finlayson looked like. She said that this picture he looked a lot like Murdoch - or Murdoch like his Papa. Mother said that grandfather Finlayson died two weeks before Westbrook graduated Mercer Law School. Grandfather died in 1951 - before dad moved to Alabama and met his wife to be.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Even though time made them bigger and more adult-like - an uncle loves them just the same. Back then I was known by all of them as Silly Uncle David. Now that their brains are more mature and they've experience a bit more life - I am probably more of What's-Wrong-With Uncle David. Like any middle aged dude would do - I look at them today and wonder where time went - those little ones I used to chase and tickle. God bless each and every one of them - and where their lives take them. I am now to slow too chase them and they are too big to tickle.
I see a little Anna Dutton (now engaged) among the lot. She's my sister inlaw Jennifer's niece. Anna is now a classmate (and good friend) in Gadsden State Community College's Therapeutic Massage Program. How cool is that!
Saturday, January 3, 2009
I have a few favorites, Saving Private Ryan, Road To Perdition, Forrest Gump, and The Green Mile.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
The meal at The Fisherman last night reminded me of that first experience down in Florida. If you like salmon or tilapia - that's where to go for something incredible. By the way, I also tried The Fisherman's Shrimp and Grits that was one of their side items. Shrimp and Grits isn't a favorite, but I wanted to compare it to the item of the same name served at Classic on Noble (Anniston). I believe it was just as good as the Classic on Noble dish - only not as expensive. The dish is mentioned in The 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die. The Shrimp and Grits at Classic on Noble is a main course, but you can try The Fisherman side dish if curiosity gets the best of you. The grits are good but I'll opt for the smoked salmon any day!