Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sentimental Sunday: Shelton Family Reunion, 2016

This weekend, I went to the Shelton Family Reunion - more specifically, a reunion of descendants of my great-great-grandparents, Levi Marion Shelton (1863-1941) and Sarah Ann Spikes Shelton (1871-1935).  It was held in Verda, Louisiana, which is not too far from the Red River in Grant Parish.

I left early in the morning on Saturday, June 25, and it took me five and a half hours to get there.  I arrived shortly before lunch was served.  The photo at left and those below give some idea of how many people were there (about 63, if the count on the nametags was correct) - and of how much food there was.  These pictures don't show the desserts, which were on a separate counter.

After eating, drawings were held for door prizes (hence the number on the nametags), some group photos were taken - and everyone cleaned up and left!  As it turns out, a lot of activity happens in the morning - the ladies get together to make fried pies for the early arrivals.  If I go to the reunion again, I'll plan to arrive Friday evening so I can participate in these Saturday morning activities.

The two ladies pictured above, my first cousins twice removed, sisters Shirley Thompson  and Garnell "Nell" Thompson Doherty, took me under their wings for the rest of the day.  My great-grandmother, Addilee Tennessee Shelton Wolfe Odom Harris (1890-1977), was the oldest of the nine children of Levi and Sarah who survived to adulthood, while Shirley's and Nell's mother, Euna Ann Shelton Thompson, was one of the younger ones (fifteen  years younger).  Euna died in 1959, and my great-grandmother apparently took Euna's four daughters under her wing.  So they were very eager to meet me.

We went to Shirley's home first, where I was invited to update my family's information in Shirley's genealogy software, and look through an album of old family photographs.  Then Nell took me to her home and gave me a tour of nearby Winnfield, Louisiana (where many of my ancestors were born or lived), and we went out to dinner.

I got up early Sunday and drove home, doing a little sightseeing on the way.  More about what I saw and did related to this family reunion in future posts.

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Those Places Thursday: Lichtenstein's Site Revisited

About four years ago, I wrote about the Lichtenstein's department store in Corpus Christi, Texas, that I'm "related" to (by marriage; my grandmother's first cousin married a Lichtenstein who later became the city's mayor).  At that time, the store, which had been vacant for over 20 years, was slated for demolition, which did in fact happen in October and November of 2013.

Shortly afterward, in early 2014, construction started on its replacement.  The Cosmopolitan of Corpus Christi will have 165 one- and two-bedroom living units, and 3,795 square feet of retail space.  Money problems slowed the work, but it is now expected to be completed later this year.

What I really like is how the design of this new building reflects the former Lichtenstein's.  Here is a picture I took just this past Monday while in Corpus Christi:

And here is the same corner, taken during our visit in May 2006, before the old store was demolished:

And finally, here is how Lichtenstein's looked shortly after it opened at this location in December 1941:

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sentimental Sunday: Happy Father's Day!

My dad, Frederick Henry Pape, and me, 1957

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: John Pape, 15 June 1934, Age 83

This is a picture of my great-grandfather, John Pape (1951-1945).  According to the inscription on the back, it was taken in Chicago on (or before) June 15, 1934, when John would have been almost 84 years old.  At the time, he was living with his third wife, Hedwige Agnes Burkhardt Reimer (1869-1937), at 1949 W. Lunt in Chicago - not too far from where my dad and his family lived, at 2093 W. Lunt.  John and Agnes had been living on Lunt since at least 1928 (according to a city directory from that year).

The photo was most likely taken at 1949 W. Lunt.  On the back, John wrote, "Fur Clara Von Pa" - "For Clara From Pa" in German.  In 1934, John's oldest daughter Clara M. Pape (1889-1975) was living at 1338 Capitol Ave. Apt. 6 in Des Moines, Iowa, where she worked as a secretary to the  State Auditor (according to the Des Moines city directory for that year).

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Those Places Thursday: Choke Canyon Reservoir and State Park

At the time the Choke Canyon Dam was finished, I was working for the Information Services (public information) Office for the City of Corpus Christi, Texas.  One of our functions was producing a periodic newsletter about the construction of the dam.  I was only around for the one of those newsletters - which might also have been the last one.  Since I had previously worked for the city's Park and Recreation Department as well as for Texas Parks and Wildlife, I was assigned to write the articles pertaining to the new state park being established on Choke Canyon Reservoir.  The photos below are ones that I took for Volume 7, Number 1 of Headway, published in June 1982 by the City of Corpus Christi.

At the time, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's master plan for Choke Canyon State Park called for reusing some of the buildings in the old Calliham townsite.  The rock gymnasium from the high school has been renovated into an air-conditioned rental facility that still includes a stage, basketball court, and bleachers.

Above:  Original caption from page 8 of the newsletter:  The rock gymnasium at Old Calliham will again be used for community activities.

Below:  Original caption from page 7 of the newsletter:  This stone house at Old Calliham will play a major role in recreational development at that location (note:  I believe it is a staff residence now).

Plans also called for using two houses in the old townsite as park residences, for the superintendent and park rangers.  The park map does show two such residences in the old townsite area, but I'm not totally sure if the one pictured above is one of them.  The first park manager, Jeff Parrish, and his family lived in the townsite in the house formerly occupied by the town's school teacher.  That could be the picture above, or it might be the Harbor House, which was supposedly slated to be the park superintendent's home.  Most of the original townsite of Calliham is now underwater.

Tarleton State University history professor T. Lindsay Baker wrote about the history of Calliham in his 1986 book, Ghost Towns of Texas.

Boat ramps, of course, needed to be bult about the time the dam was being completed, as they would be mostly underwater as the lake filled.

Left:  Original caption from page 7 of the newsletter:  Concrete work on boat ramps is part of recreation construction already underway.

Below:  Original caption from page 3 of the newsletter:  Boat ramps were the first recreational facilities to be constructed at Choke Canyon....a worker roughens a concrete surface.

The dedication ceremony for Choke Canyon Dam was held just over 34 years ago, on June 8, 1972.  The event, held at 11 AM, involved the closing of the seven gates on the spillway, and of course speeches, including one by then-mayor Luther Jones written by then-city manager Marvin Townsend.  A barbeque followed the ceremony.

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Choke Canyon Dam Dedication, June 8, 1982

I was working for the Information Services (public information) Office of the City of Corpus Christi, Texas, at the time the Choke Canyon Dam was completed, creating a new water reservoir for the city and surrounding areas. The dedication ceremony for the new dam was held on June 8, 1982, and my job that day was to take lots of pictures - hence the two cameras (one loaded with black-and-white film, one with color slide film) and camera bag with accessories I have around my neck and shoulders.  A hat was a necessity that day too, as it was sunny and steamy hot.  More about the dam and surrounding recreation areas and the ceremony tomorrow.

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

(Not-So-) Wordless Wednesday: Happy Birthday to My Son Eric!

Not sure exactly when this was taken - sometime in Eric's first year, probably early 1987.  He was a big guy (despite being born a month premature) and I had the bad habit of carrying him on my forearm.  I ended up with a pinched nerve there and my arm in a cast!

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wordless Way-Back Wednesday: The Gang Gets Together, May 31, 1976

Almost 40 years ago!  A get-together with some of my St. Agnes Academy friends, a little over a year after we graduated.  From the left:  Nancy Mathews, Audrey Beust, me, Sandra Wedin, Annette Taylor, and Martha Ramos.

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Those Places Thursday: Cooper's Alley and Cantina Santa Fe

I'm in the midst of planning a long weekend trip to Corpus Christi for next month, so naturally that makes me nostalgic for the time I used to live there - April 1979 through October 1984.

I worked for the city government, first in the Park and Recreation Department, then for Information Services (which in those days meant the public information office), and finally for the Budget Office. Early on, though, I met a lot of the bigwigs in city government, and somehow got invited to join them at local bars after work. Two stand out in my mind, since they were so close to where City Hall was at that time (on the bayfront).

Cooper's Alley was located at No. 15 Gaslight Square (1016 Santa Fe), in a two-story building.  Lawyer and former Texas State Representative, Corpus Christi native  W. O. "Bill" Harrison and his friend Larry Williams owned and operated Cooper's Alley Restaurant and Saloon from 1975 through 1986.

I found an early reference to the place on page 133 of the March 1976  Texas Monthly, in the Corpus Christi Restaurants section under "Small, new, or offbeat places to try":

"Among a rash of new restaurants, Cooper's Alley stands out for its inspired decor.  A wealth of oriental rugs cover the wide plank floors, and a second-floor area with wing chairs and fireplace offers cozy and refined evening dining."

The March 1977 Texas Monthly, on page 23, described it further:

"The atmosphere is extremely well done, with artifacts from the historic old Nueces Hotel, and other early Corpus Christi-ana."

And in May 1979, Texas Monthly had this to say (on page 34):

"Choose a spot for romantic dining - upstairs by the fireplace, on the balcony viewing backgammon players under the ceiling fans, in a cozy booth, or a private room with stained glass."

I don't remember eating there much though.  So for me, this description on page 41 of the November 1980 Texas Monthly describes the Cooper's Alley I most remember:

"The saga of Cooper's Alley continues.  Happy hour is a rookery of councilmen, legislators, young professionals, and beautiful women, set against a backdrop of nostalgi-ana from turn-of-the-century Corpus Christi.  But if happy hour is animated, the dinner hour consistently suffers from the culinary blahs....Obviously food isn't always the point here, as evidenced by huge Monday night crowds that come just to drink and make merry."

SO true!  All of it.  I don't remember eating there much, so I can't really comment on the food, but it was THE place to go for anyone connected with local government.  For example, I remember being introduced to ouzo by Jimmy Lontos, the city's director of engineering services who was of Greek origin, on one memorable visit (and no, I did not get sick).

In Texas Monthly's May 1983 issue (p.136), in an article on "The 89 Greatest Texas Bars," Cooper's Alley was, "...despite all the brass and old railroad ties and pina coladas and lip gloss, it's the bar for the young and upwardly mobile."

I have SO many good memories of this place.  Unfortunately, no pictures from the interior, though.  Just the matchbox cover pictured above, and the wooden nickels pictured below (not sure what THAT promotion was all about).  Gaslight Square and the building Cooper's Alley was in still exist; it now is a wedding/event venue - which makes me happy.

Just across the street, at 1011 Santa Fe, was another bar - aptly named the Cantina Santa Fe.  I also found an early reference to the place on page 133 of the March 1976  Texas Monthly:  "This new club is quite popular..."

The March 1977 Texas Monthly, on page 23, described it further:

"A Southwestern flavor, augmented by stained glass and unpainted wood, presides here, and a trellised patio in the back enhances the casual, happy atmosphere.  Frequented by the young professional set."

And in May 1979, Texas Monthly had this to say (on page 32):

"Take a stroll through a Southwestern setting adorned with photos of Mexican revolutionaries Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata.  Weekends usually offer Austin area jazz bands."

The description on page 38 of the November 1980 Texas Monthly is a little different, when it comes to the music:

"The mood here is relaxed and laid back in a setting reminiscent of the Southwest and Mexico.  There aren't many attractions on weeknights, so we recommend going on weekends when live duo or solo acoustical acts perform.  If you prefer just good conversation, have a drink on the verandah out back - very civilized.  Young crowds with deep tans and long blond hair."

My husband (who back then was part of my bar crowd) took these two pictures of a group performing at Cantina Santa Fe, sometime in this time period.  He doesn't remember the name of the group, only that the trio played a banjo, acoustic guitar, and bass guitar, and that the girl did an outstanding rendition of the Eagles' song "Desperado."

I don't remember going here a whole lot.  Neither of us remember this feature in the men's room, mentioned in the article on "The 89 Greatest Texas Bars" in  Texas Monthly's May 1983 issue (p.136):

"Worth noting if only for the niftiest rest-room gimmick I came across:  a large wall unit that dispensed Brut, Aramis, or Musk Oil for a quarter."  Cologne?!

Cantina Santa Fe was still in existence in November 1999, but it's not clear after that.

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday's Faces From the Past: Photographs and Memory - A Wedding I Don't Remember!

Yesterday (May 12) was the 37th wedding anniversary for my college friends Lynn Purnell and Don Hagan.  Lynn posted a wedding picture of herself and Don on Facebook and tagged me, saying I was at the wedding.

Trouble is - I don't remember being there!  She said I was in a picture of her throwing her bouquet, and she posted it later.  Sure enough - I was there!

The wedding was in Bellaire (a suburb of Houston) and it was Mother's Day weekend.  I had started my first post-graduation professional full-time job as an administrative assistant to the director of the Parks and Recreation department of the City of Corpus Christi, Texas, at the beginning of April.  However, apparently I traveled nearly every weekend the first month and a half, to Houston (I know I was there April 7-8 too, for my birthday), Ingram (April 20-22), and College Station (April 28-29).

Unlike the other events, I just didn't have any other pictures from Lynn's and Don's wedding in my photo album, which is probably why I was having trouble remembering it.  I guess I forgot my camera that weekend.  Or perhaps it has something to do with my being barefoot - not sure why THAT was the case.

I do remember the dress I am wearing in this picture.  It was a wrap dress with elastic gathers all around the neckline (and on the short sleeves as well).  My mother made it and another dress (out of a blue fabric) from the same pattern.  I LOVED those dresses and wore them many times over the next five years - and I DO remember one special time I wore the blue one - even without a photo!

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.