Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Book of Me, Written by You #13: Who's Coming to Dinner?

Julie Goucher's geneablogging prompt series, The Book of Me, Written by You, is now a Facebook group!  Neat!

This week:

If you had to hold a dinner party and could invite a maximum of 12 special people who would you invite?

You can NOT include family in this – the special people could be famous or historical people.

What meals would you serve and why.

Perhaps include the recipe or a photo if you decided to actually cook the items!
Wow.  This is going to involve some hard choices.  As a historian, I can think of a slew of people.  But who would I really want at my party?

The first name on the list is easy:  Eleanor Roosevelt.  I would want to get her take on the historical period in which she lived.  I would want to know who she admired, the people she would invite to her dinner party!

Second on the list:  Her cousin Theodore Roosevelt.  I'm a Roosevelt groupie.  I just think T.R. was the bomb, and with all the consolidation in several industries (like banking), we need him back to break up the trusts!

Number 3 on the list:  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  I'd like to hear his tales about how he went about creating Sherlock Holmes, and about his medical-school mentor, Dr. Bell.

Number 4:  Juan Ponce de León.  The first thing I'd ask him would be:  Where did you really make landfall in La Florida?  That would settle some pretty silly arguments going on in Florida right now!

Number 5:  One who is still living --Maya Angelou. Oh, would I love to just sit and listen to this lady talk and read her poetry. 

Number 6:  Eliot Ness.  I'm fascinated with this guy.  I'd like to hear all about the Prohibition era, about what went on in Chicago, about the growth of organized crime during that period. 

Number 7:  If I invited Ness, I'd have to invite Robert Stack! I'd like to sit and listen to him and Ness talk!  I think he'd get a kick out of meeting Eliot Ness.  I'd also love to ask Stack to tell more of his stories of old Hollywood.

Number 8:  Benjamin Franklin.  He would just be the life of the party!  Of course, I'd be full of questions about the founding of the U.S.!  And I'd just be itching to ask him what he thinks of today's rightwingnuts!

Number 9:  Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  Goodness, but I admire him!  I'd ask him about the Truth & Reconciliation effort in South Africa, and I'd just love to hear his opinions and thoughts on all sorts of things.

Number 10:  Marie Curie.  I'd like to ask her where she found the strength to persist in the face of massive sex discrimination to become one of the most noted scientists in history.

Number 11:  LeRoy Collins, governor of Florida from 1956 to 1962.  He was one of the best governors Florida ever had.  I'd have dozens of questions for him.

Number 12:  Don Vicente Manuel de Zéspedes, Spanish governor of East Florida, 1784-1790.  I'm studying that time and place, and would have a whole bunch of questions for him!

Appetizers would be Spanish tapas -- they're small portions, they have great variety, and they're just so darn good!  For a main course: Capellini with tomato pesto (Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, 116).  I'm not a vegetarian, I'm an omnivore, but this recipe is indeed fairly quick, it's easy, it's delicious, and would probably please everyone.  I'd also serve a salad featuring fresh Florida vegetables, and garlic bread (I make a garlic bread that clears your sinuses).  I'd serve San Sebastian Castillo Red wine, from St. Augustine. 

There are a whole bunch of other people who could have made the list.  I guess I'll just have to have another dinner party!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Book of Me, Part 8

This great series of blogging prompts comes from Julie Goucher at Angler's Rest. This week:

"This week’s prompt is in two parts and you have several choices.
The prompt is Time Capsule
1.      You can choose who to create the time capsule for as that will influence what you put (or would put into your time capsule)
2.      The creation of a time capsule
a.       you can do this in the literal sense or
b.      you can simply write what you would place into your time capsule and why. It is much more fun to create though!
  • You may choose to create a time capsule for your children, or a niece/nephew, for grandchildren – A physical item that you will give to a named person.
  • Why have you chosen that person and when do you intend for them to have it?
  • You may choose to create a time capsule of your home and leave it for someone in the future to find.
  • You may want to create a time capsule relating to an actual event or anniversary
  • If you create a physical time capsule, what did you choose to use as your capsule and why?"
Wow.  I have many people I would remember this way, but I think I'll choose my father, Arden Packard.  He had no middle name.  As I am away from home, at graduate school, and all my mementoes of my father are back home, I will do the "virtual" time capsule rather than a real one.  One day perhaps I will do a real one. In fact, I probably would do two of them: one for my grandson and one for my nephew Evan, so both of them could have a better idea of the man their great-grandpa and grandpa was.

As I am doing only the "virtual" time capsule, I have no idea right now what I would use for a container.  I would select something fairly sturdy and eminently portable and storable.  I'll have to think about that.

I would put into the capsule copies of several photographs I have. One is of him wading in the Pacific off the coast of California, where he was born.  He was about three or four years old in the picture. Another would be him in his Naval Academy midshipman's uniform on leave back home, with his mother and father.  Another of him as a very handsome Navy lieutenant.  And more.

I would also put in a copy of his birth certificate and a copy of his Navy service record from the National Archives' National Personnel Records Center.  I would use paper copies rather than media such as a CD-ROM, because as time goes by, the items on the disk would fall victim, I'm sure, to "platform creep" and end up unreadable by the machines of the future.

I would have to distribute between the two capsules the medals my father earned in World War II.  Or maybe I would just take photographs of them.  I would put in an explanation of each one, what it was for.

Finally, I would put in copies of an essay detailing my scant memories of him, along with things my mother told me about him.  I say "scant memories," becuase I had just turned seven years old when he died.  Genealogy has helped me get to know him better, including the fact that he was fluent in Spanish, which is also my second language.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Book of ME: Part 3

I'm taking  part in a meme, "The Book of Me Written by YOU," started by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest. This week's prompt is:  Describe your physical self.

Your size – clothes size
Eye colour
Draw your hands
Finger Prints

Clothes size?  Oh, no.  Let's just skip this one, shall we?  Though I have lost about 7 pounds in the last two weeks, having cut out refined carbohydrates (mainly grains and grain products).  Next question!

Scars.  I have a scar from a tubal ligation in 1972, a scar on my right knee from when I fell off my bicycle in a gravel parking lot when I was about 10, scars from various biopsies and one large scar on the back of my right leg where a skin cancer was removed, and a mark of my generation: a smallpox vaccination scar on my left bicep.  I also have various small scars on my arms which prove that cat bathing is a martial art.  And I have a set of "railroad tracks" left on my right boob by my cat!

Eye color.  Green with brown.

Draw my hands?  Nah, I am NO artist.  However, I have large hands for a woman my size.  I also have a large frame, though I'm only 5'4" tall.  I never gave a thought to the size of my hands until my husband bought me a pair of gloves for Christmas.  I tried to put them on, and couldn't.  They were too small.  He was surprised, as he said they were standard women's gloves.  I held my hand up and told him to hold his hand against mine.  We were both rather startled to see that my hands are the same size as his!  He stands 5'9 1/2" and is not slight of build.  The best part of that came when our younger daughter wanted to buy him a pair of gloves for Christmas some years later.  She took me along as a "hand model," and the gloves she bought him fit perfectly!

Finger prints:  on file with the City of Jacksonville, Florida (I was a city employee, a librarian at the public library); the Clay County School Board (I was a substitute teacher for a brief while); the Internal Revenue Service (for which I worked for a couple of years); and the United States Coast Guard, in which I served both active duty and reserve.

Now, aren't you glad you know that?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Book of ME: Part 2

This is the second of the series of memes devised by Julie Goucher of Angler's Rest.  This week it's all about the natal day:

This week's prompt:
   Prompt 2: Your Birth
    Do you have any baby photos?
    Where were you born?
    Who was present at your birth?
    What day was it? Time?
    Did you have hair? Eye colours

Do I have baby photos?  You bet!  Here I am in a photo taken in Hollywood, so it's a true glamor shot!

"And I want to thank my parents, and my brother and sister, and my agent . . ."

All right.  Enough of that.

I was born at the United States Naval Hospital in Long Beach, California.  It's no longer there, at least not as a Navy hospital.  I have two birth certificates: one from the State of California and another from the Naval Hospital.  The latter one is filled out in my mother's handwriting, and has my little baby footprints on the back!

I would imagine my mother was present at my birth.  (Pardon the Packard-Reed sense of humor.)  I don't know if my father was there or not, and there's nobody around to ask who would know.  I think he probably was, though, even though by that time it was all old hat -- I was the third and last.  Also present was the doctor who delivered me.  My documents are at home, and I am not, so I cannot look up the doctor's first name, but his last name was McNulty, and he was the brother of a popular singer of the day (1947), Dennis Day (whose real name was Dennis McNulty).

I do not know how long I was, nor specifically how much I weighed, which was somewhere around 6 lbs.  The time of birth was around 6 p.m.  I am a Saturday's Child -- supposedly, I work hard for a living.

From the photo above, you can see I had a little hair.  My eyes then were probably the usual baby blue-grey, but my eye color now is green.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Book of Me: Who Am I?

This comes from Julie Goucher's Angler's Rest blog. She is beginning a series of weekly blogging prompts. Who knows? It just might get me back up and running again (while I'm inundated with a ton of reading and several projects in grad school). (With thanks to Julie Goucher, and to Bill West of West in New England , on whose Facebook post I saw this.)

Every so often, we in genealogy need to pause in our hunt for others and take a look at ourselves.  After all, the procedure in genealogy -- what I teach to people in my presentations on beginning genealogy -- is to begin with ourselves.

"This week's prompt: 
  1. Ask yourself 20 times “Who are you?”
Each time you should give yourself a different answer, and if you can easily go beyond 20 then that is fine too. . . . This is the sort of prompt that you can re do at various stages of your life, perhaps after some changes or at the start of the New Year.

This prompt is about how YOU see YOU."

Okay.  Me.

I am:

A writer.
A graduate student.
A wife.
A lover.
A mother.
A grandmother.
A person who loves cats and dogs.
A Floridian (a "Floridated" Californian).
A historian.
A research nerd.
A lover of books.
A fan of reading.
A former Coast Guard officer.
A former nurse.
A former librarian.
A person who has had to reinvent herself several times in her life.
A genealogist.
A maverick.
A funny woman.
A friend.
A person with arthritis.
A stubborn woman (I don't give up).
A supporter of the arts.

That's 23.  Let's see what next week's prompt brings.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

What's in a Name, or: Who was Juana Salom Marrying, Anyway?

I am in Washington, D.C. until nearly the end of July doing research in the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, for my master's thesis on marriage in Second Spanish Period St. Augustine, Florida (1784-1821).  These documents pose a variety of problems, one of which can get downright amusing: the various spellings of names.

I just transcribed one record, the petition of a soldier named Francisco Macharely and Juana Salom.  Well, that's how their names appear on the cover page of the file.

His name is also spelled Macarely, Machareli, and Bacharely.

The awful thing here is, he did not write or sign any of the documents in the file.  One of the things I am attempting to do in my research on St. Augustine in this period is to determine just what people's names were, and what spelling did they themselves prefer.

This is made difficult, if not impossible, by the fact that a number of inhabitants of the town were illiterate.  Or, in this case, by the complete absence of any input by the individual himself.  So, with four choices -- none of which may have been how the name was actually spelled -- there is not much chance I can come to a conclusion in this case.  For all I know, he may have been an Italian, and the proper spelling -- as close as there ever was in those days, at any rate -- may have been Macciarelli.

But I doubt I will ever know.

Even Juana's name appears in two different spellings:  Salom and Soloma.  Testimony in the file is given by her brother, Juan Salom -- who, according to the Spanish marriage law, the Real Pragmática de Casamiento, had to give his consent to the marriage.  In that document, Juan's sister's last name is spelled as Salom.  Salom is the generally accepted spelling among historians who write about St. Augustine during this time.

However, we really cannot know for sure if this was the spelling.  Juan Salom was illiterate, as was his sister Juana.

The task of determining what is in a name in this time and place is made easier by the literate, who signed their own names to documents.  Most of the time it helps, anyway.  But not always.

For instance, there is one individual who was associated with the Minorcan population of St. Augustine, who rose to some prominence.  His name is represented in Spanish documents as Domingo Martinely or Martinoly.  However, he was literate -- at least, he could sign his name.  He was Italian, and he signed his name as Domenico Martinelli.

The problem is when someone was inconsistent in signing his name.  There is another marriage document in which one man's name is spelled three different ways:  Juan Genopoly, or Gianopoly, or Yoannoply.  He signed his name Juan Gianopoly.  On one document.  On another, he signed it as Giovanni Gianopoly. 

So sometimes you just have to choose one!