The Flowering Vine: Stardate, 1981

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The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory- 1 Corinthians 15:41 (NLT)

 

Today was a beautiful day!

A celebration of our 50th Wedding Anniversary, and all of our children and their children converged from everywhere to spend this occasion with us.

Of course, we missed the older boys who have all grown up and moved forward on their separate journeys.

Ronnie and Eric are in the military and Angelo is teaching out of state.

We know they would have been here if they could have.

But isn’t that what the whole thing is about?

You have your babies, hope and pray over them, raise them and give them wings to fly.

Bittersweet–that’s exactly what it is.

But we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We’ve been blessed and we know it.

All of our children are healthy and have gone on to do great things.

And when we look at the grandchildren we see bits and pieces of Ma Lula, Ma Allie, Ma Hallie, Pa Babe, Alberta, Aunt Elvy and, believe it or not, those Hatfields.

Quite naturally, they favor one another physically– but their individual glory differs just like the stars that sparkle and glimmer at night.

All in all, despite the hard times and hurt feelings, we did it!

We did exactly what God wanted and His grace has been our strength to see it through.

And now…

We rest.

“Good night Leroy.”

“Good night Annie.”

 

And thus ended the series…but not the story.  Both Ron and I will continue to weave tales about our family between the two blogs.

Thank you so much for all of your support and for reading “The Flowering Vine.”

Love and light to you all!

Lady G

😘💋

 

 

The Flowering Vine: More To The Story

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Our Grandparents:  Leroy and Annie aka ‘Mother’ with Lady G’s Son

 

I thought I’d take a second to thank all of the readers who have supported “The Flowering Vine Series.”

Both Ron and I really appreciate your kind comments about our family.

I inserted this picture of our Grandparents, Leroy (Daddy) and Annie (Mother) so that you can see them as they were in later years.

This picture was taken ONE MONTH prior to our Grandfather’s death.

Here’s the story behind the photo.

Basically, my son had just been born a few months prior and something urged me to go visit my Grandparents and take pictures.

While I can’t say that I had a premonition, I can say that I clearly remember my Grandfather saying to me, as he struggled with his cane to rise from his seat, “Whew Bay, Granddaddy can’t haaaardly get around no more.”

 

His rich baritone voice wrapped itself so closely around my heart and I tearfully responded, “I know Granddaddy….I know.”

The next month, he was gone.

Friends, I can’t tell you how much we all miss him.  He was one of the kindest people I have EVER known and he sincerely loved us all so much.

I distinctly remember how he would wait until EVERYBODY, including all of his children, their spouses and his grandchildren had eaten before he would eat.

He’d say, “Did everybody eat? Did everybody have enough?”

Then, he’d pile the leftovers along with some home grown tomatoes and peppers into his favorite bowl.

Boy let me tell you! That bowl of food looked so GOOOOOD!

God knows they don’t make them like our Granddaddy anymore.

Frankly, there is so much more that can be said about both of our Grandparents, and, as long as you’re interested, we hope to continue sharing those stories here.

Anyway, below is a family tree that includes some of the people that you all have come to know and love.

Because our story includes so much information about our biracial heritage, I decided to include a bit of a descriptor under each person’s name.

Note:  The term “mixed race” applies where there is some interracial heritage but the specifics are unknown.  “Recent mixed race” indicates that this person had at least one confirmed white parent.

On a related note, both Ron and I would like to offer a special thanks to two Caucasian cousins who were kind enough to share DNA and Family records in order to help us to confirm information on our Grandfather’s side.  Had they not been willing to step forward a few more of these boxes would have been marked “unknown.”

Also, a BIG thanks to Ron’s Mom (Jet) and my Dad (Jim) for sharing their memories.

Now, let me stop rambling!

Here’s the Tree!

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The Flowering Vine: Notice that there should be a Mr. H and a Mrs. H (LOL!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fifty Shades of Black

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Mama (Eva) holding Tack, that’s me on the right with my mouth wide open!

 

Random Woman:  Hey Brenda!

Brenda:  Hey girl, how are you?  I haven’t seen you in some years!

Random Woman: I know!  It’s been a long time.

Brenda:  Yes it has, by the way, let me introduce you to my friend, Eva.

Random Woman:  (Very dry, cold and nonchalant) Hey Eva.

Random Woman: (Directly addressing Brenda) Ooh Brenda, your little girl is so pretty, how old is she?

Eva: (PISSED) That’s MY child!

Random Woman: (Slightly Embarrassed but still chilly) Oh, I’m sorry, she just looks more like Brenda to me.

Eva walks off with child (ME) in tow.

Yes friends, my mother, Queen Diva Lady Eva, was tee’d off!

Why, you ask?

Because ‘Ms. Random Woman’ assumed that I was Brenda’s daughter based solely on the fact that we shared the same skin complexion.

She never thought for a moment that I could belong to my mother–who was a shade or two darker.

It simply didn’t occur to her to ask.

Sadly, this type of attitude was nothing new to Mama.  As a child, she had received whippings from a lighter skinned uncle for being “too black.”

Colorism 
col·or·ism
ˈkələrˌizəm/

noun

Prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group–Oxford Dictionaries
What the Oxford folks failed to mention is that this phenomenon is a ‘carry-over’ of Slavery; having been birthed from the actions of slave owners.
In essence, slave masters created division among their chattel by treating them differently based on skin complexion.
The darker slaves were treated far worse than the lighter slaves.  Because of their color, dark skinned men and women were forced to engage in heavy labor while the lighter skinned slaves were treated better–relatively speaking.
Naturally, the lighter skinned slaves were told that they were superior to their melanin rich brothers and sisters and both groups bought into that belief.
And there we have it!
A lifelong mutual animosity between darker slaves and lighter slaves…which sadly continues with their descendants today–albeit to a much lesser degree.
Come now!
Let’s re-evaluate the scenario that I offered at the beginning of this post.
Notice how dismissive Ms. Random Woman was toward my mother.
She all but ignored her darker skinned ‘sister.’
‘Ms. Random’ never imagined that chocolate Ms. Eva could be the mother of a caramel colored daughter with long pony tails.
Of course, at the age of 3, I was too young to notice or understand the larger implications of this woman’s attitude.
I had no clue what was really going on.
Little did I know, I would continue to experience some form of this lunacy throughout my life as my father’s racial identity was, to the average onlooker, perplexing… to say the least 🙂
Lord, I got all kinds of questions like, “Is your Dad Mexican?”

Puerto Rican?

Cuban?

Arab?

West Indian?

East Indian?

Native American?

And everything in between….

Oh, and then there were the really stupid questions like:

How did your Mom get a handsome man like your Dad?

Ok, that’s when I got rowdy!

All bets were off!

Seriously?  What do you mean?

Do you not realize that you’re talking about MY MOTHER?

You better back the hell up!

I’m sorry guys but that mess really got under my skin!

Oh and if you think things got better as years passed…

Think again!

My Mama often recalled a time when an associate of my Dad’s came by to borrow a drill.

Apparently, he peeked past my Mom, who had answered the door, in order to get a better glance at me and whispered, “That must be Jim’s daughter.”

Mama said, “Yes, and she’s my daughter and we have a son too!”

What an idiotic thing to say!

“That must be Jim’s daughter.”

It rolled right off his ignorant ass tongue without a bit of thought attached to it.

The fact that he knew that my parents had been married for 100 years added insult to injury!

Ah…but here’s an even more egregious example.

One day, back in 2012, I had been sitting in the hospital room with Mama for most of the morning.

Well, this black nurse, who had been in and out, and who had seem me sitting there the whole time, asked, “Has any of her family come by yet?”

What the hell do I look like?

Chopped liver?

Of course I didn’t say THAT but I did say, “Well I’m her daugther.”

Naturally, the nurse apologized.

I thought to myself….Here we go again…after all this time.

Still dealing with issues of color.

Mama caught hell for being too dark and Daddy caught hell for being too racially ambiguous.

Good grief!

 

 

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Daddy and Mama at about age 15

 

Inspiration for this post came from comments between myself and these great bloggers:

Kelley at Gray Suede

Dr. K. E. Garland

Ron Brown 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Anniversary My Jams!

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Diva of Soul, the official “My Jams” mascot!

 

Message from Lady G

In the event that you were unable to listen to the audio, I’d like to encourage you to please select and share your favorite jam (song) from years 1966, 1976, 1986, and 1996 in the comment section.

Although the “My Jams” series was exclusively focused on Soul and R&B, I urge you to link jams from ANY genre!

***Be aware that certain “My Jams” posts contain adult language and situations.  Also, song dates may vary.  For example, I might have been jamming a song in 1986 that was actually released in 1984.

LOL!  I do that all of the time 🙂

Feel free to use songs from the posts below:

That’s My Jam (Introductory Post )

My Jams ’66-67

My Jams ’76

My Jams ’86

My Jams ’96

Meet me in comments!

Love and light to you all

Lady G 😘💋

For: Gloria, Sandra, Sir R and Lady J for believing that I could do THIS!  YAAASSSS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday To Us: Part 2

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Happy Birthday to Seekthebestblog!

We made it a whole year y’all and it’s been a blast!

Friends, I can’t tell you how much it means to me to be here to celebrate my blog’s first birthday with YOU!

My goal was to share some of the best things that life has to offer.

I pray that I’ve done that for these past 365 or so days!

I’d like to thank all of the many followers and viewers who have stopped by to share a laugh, a tear, a bite to eat and everything else in between with Me, Ron and my Dad (when he decides to pop up.)

As for me, frankly, I never imagined that I’d make it this far blogging.

You see, I’ve always fancied myself as a storyteller, writer, photographer, and soul food/music maven.

That’s fine, but it was all in my head and in my personal journals and my files and under my bed and so on…

But now, thanks to this blog, it’s all in your head!

LOL!!!

No, seriously, thank you for digging our stuff and for sharing yours!

Oh, and by the way, Lady G is also celebrating a birthday this week!

I’m a few steps shy of a half century and I am very thankful for it!

So…

Let’s toast it up!

Yes, I just bit Ne-yo’s song “Champagne Life ! ”

Little does he know, he wrote that jam for me!

 

Click HERE if you want to jam to it with me 🙂

Again, thanks to all of you for stopping by my spot to ‘like’ or simply say hello.

Remember, if you comment, I’ll ALWAYS respond–barring no crazy WP technical difficulties 🙂

Love and light to you all!

Lady G 😘💋

PS:  A special thanks to all of you who wished Lady J well on her birthday too!  She was over the moon after reading all those wonderful comments 💞

 

 

 

She Heard It Through The Grapevine!

Honeyblonde

**Includes adult language and situations.

“Girl you better come get Ron!  He out here all hugged up with a bitch with a honey blonde bob!”

Yes baby, word on the street was that our dear Ron was stepping out on his wife with a bitch with a honey blonde bob!

YAAAASSSS!

Say what????

Yeah chile!

Sit down and listen while I pour this tea 😉

____

It was a dark and stormy night in Southwest Georgia (No seriously, it really was!) and I decided to visit one of my most favorite men in the whole wide world.

So, I jumped in the car and drove to Cuthbert, Georgia.

To say that the drive was gloomy would be an understatement; the weather was bad and the occasion was somber.

You see, I was going to visit my cousin Ron the night before our Grandfather’s funeral.

Indeed, this was not the happiest of reunions.

Anyway, Ron told me that he had planned to grab a beer at the club.

Which club you ask?

Come on now, Cuthbert ain’t exactly the ATL so you know it ain’t but one ‘club’ in that joint.

At any rate, after driving for about 45 minutes, I had arrived at my destination.

I immediately got out and walked into the club—right up to Ron.

Clearly, he’s a good looking brother so you know he wasn’t hard to find 😉

Sorry for the digression!

So, as one would guess, we gave each other a long hug then walked away from the crowd to have a private conversation.

Mind you, Ron did not introduce me to anybody.

You guys understand right?  It just wasn’t the time or place for such pleasantries.

Anyway, after our talk, Ron walked me to my car and gave me another long hug.

Remember, we were trying to comfort each other because we both knew that the next day would be very long and painful.

Needless to say, right after our embrace, we said our goodbyes, and I drove away.

BAYBEE, the next day Ron’s then wife, who had not been present at the club that night, called me and said, “Girl you know somebody called me and woke me up out my sleep to tell me I needed to get down to the club ’cause Ron was all hugged up with a bitch with a honey blonde bob!”

I hollered!

She went on to say, “Gwin, something told me to roll over and go back to sleep.”

I said, “You know that was me right?”

She said, “Ron told me, and I’m so glad I didn’t come down there actin’ a fool for NOTHING!”

🙂 🙂 🙂

To this day, Ron and I joke about me being the bitch with the honey blonde bob.

Let me correct that, Ron doesn’t cuss—but I do!

LOL!!!

Y’all, I decided to share this story because I think that it provides a great example of the lyrics from that soul classic, “Heard it Through The Grapevine:”

Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.

And so…

My advice to busybodies:  Stop being so quick to run back and tell shit!

Pass it on!

 

Remember you can catch up with Ron on his wonderful blog,  The Time Tunnel.  You can also catch him here every Friday 🙂

Best believe you’ll LOVE reading, my cousin,”The Black Mark Twain!”

-Lady G

😘💋