2017 A to Z: Letter Y… All About Me

2017 A to Z: Letter Y…

I thought I’d change the on-going 52 stories this year to an A to Z of 26 stories of  “All About Me”.  I plan to post bi-monthly, but I’m not holding myself to a certain time frame other than completing by year end. Originally I was going to do the “All About Me” for the 30 Day -April A to Z, but thought I might get just a wee bit long-winded, so I’m giving myself a longer time frame. Hopefully, by the time I reach letter Z, I will have written all I can remember about “me.” If you so feel inclined, why not join me in your own “A to Z” of All about Me!



Letter Y is for… Yearbook, Yards, Happy New “Year”, Where have the “years” gone, and “Year” of retirement



My Senior yearbook open… with me circled!

Yes… I’ve kept my high school yearbooks all these years. After reading about me during this past year, I’m sure you knew the answer to that already… as I must seem like I keep everything! My school put together yearbooks every year and included all grades. What a great thing… as your photo is saved there in those books for four years! I wish I’d been more involved and joined the yearbook committees, but back then it seemed more like a certain “click” who did that, and I wasn’t in that “click.” Funny how school works like that, and I bet they still do! Today, many of those very people are on my Facebook friend list… funny how things work! Maybe I was too shy and standoffish to even try to join!

I love looking back through those yearbooks… and sometimes I have to go back and look up someone… well yes you do forget their names. What I really love is looking back at the history of my town through the photos that are on the advertisement pages. I never thought, back then, to take specific photos of the town I grew up in, but many of them are preserved on those pages. Saving your yearbook… can give you that walk down memory lane!


My first yard was at 216 Binns St. in Union Point for the first five years of my life. It was in that yard with my dog Butch, where I learned to walk. Mama even built me a playhouse in that yard… all by herself! There was no sidewalk on our side of the street, but there was one across from me and I first learned to roller skate there… in front of Mrs. Finch’s house; she was the only house that had a sidewalk; mama tells me I’d skate up and down all day long.

me in front yard Binns St.

Me in our front yard on Binns St. with Grandmamma’s famous Ola Lily next to me. It looks like I’m holding a rope/ leash? maybe our dog Butch was there, but out of the photo.

While there are no photographs showing the playhouse Mama built me, or me skating on the sidewalk, or even of our house when we lived there… I still have my memories!

swing set

Me and my father in Union Point at our friend’s house at Easter! I’m thinking that’s Daddy’s car in the background!

In Perry, I spent a lot of time in my yard at 1321 Smoak Avenue and I had a playhouse there also… it started out as just a big box crate that Mama quickly transformed into a playhouse. There was a big holly tree on the neighbor’s property line and Daddy built me my treehouse… although actually, it was only a big floor! Even though it was only an open platform, it was a quiet place to sit and read… probably Nancy Drew! My neighbor, who was a few years older than me, loved to tease me that it was really her tree. After Mama finally tired of me running inside to tell her that Jackie said it’s really her tree… she told me to tell her – “if it’s your tree, then move it.” Well, of course, I went right out to tell her, and I probably started it off with “my Mama said“… I think that was the end of the “your tree – my tree” words!

Two tall pecan trees loomed high in my backyard on Smoak Avenue in Perry… and they were great for climbing. I’d climb all the way to the top… until Mama yelled for me to come down before I fell and broke something, I never broke a bone until a couple of years ago when I broke my foot, and it wasn’t from climbing a tree; I was only walking in a pumpkin field. When the pecans were ready for picking, I’d climb and shake the limbs to help the pecans loosen. Hubby and I rode through Perry this year, and when I rode by my old home, I looked up to see if those same two pecan trees were still looming high in the backyard… and yes they were!

The front yard on Smoak Avenue was always filled with kids as Mama often spent time with us kids. She’d sit on the front stoop and play games like Mother May I, Red Rover, or even doing, trying to do the hula hoop with us! My front yard was a busy place… playing school in the summer, reading Nancy Drew on grandmamma’s quilt, or playing Barbie on the steps.

The Hillcrest yard was just a yard…. as I had outgrown playing in the yard by that time. Pretty much the only thing I did in that yard, was laying out in the summer on the back cement patio… sunbathing! But it was the first yard where I drove a car and got my first car to drive in the driveway.

Happy New “Year”:

daddy and me

Daddy and Me with my Mustang!

Celebrating the “new” Year always makes me feel a little sad…. saying goodbye to another year in my life while welcoming “whatever” was coming. When I married, my father still called me on New Year’s Eve, like clockwork, to wish me Happy New Year! I could always count on him calling, and he never failed… and I miss that! There were times he’d even wake me up as I had fallen asleep… while he was still out partying! Every New Years Eve, I silently tell Daddy “Happy New Year” as I look up toward Heaven! I sure wish I could have one more phone call!

Where Have the “Years” Gone”

The “Years” have gone by way too fast and no one realizes that… until it’s too late! We all rush through our busy lives too fast! As children, we can’t wait to hurry up and finish school for summer vacation… hurry to high school… hurry to get our license to drive… and hurry up and graduate! Once you graduate… your life really starts rolling faster than you realize. You marry, and before you know it, your kids are grown… all those baby cries, oohs and ahhs, walking and talking are only a memory… they now have kids of their own and you’re suddenly called grandma… although I’m called GiGi! Now you’re really beginning to feel old! At one time, the thought of being called “grandma” seemed like lightyears away!

Year of Retirement:

You hear the word “retirement” all your life… and think it’s so far away… and then it’s here! This (2017) was the year of retirement for me… with much hesitation. There’s just so much that goes with it… figuring out if you can actually afford to retire, all the Medicare stuff and everything else that goes along with it, and staying home all the time. Actually not having to get up for work is a nice thing and I’m looking forward to our snowy winters of watching the snow fall from my couch! If work hadn’t offered a buyout, I probably would still be there!

Retirement was scary, but my husband and I are enjoying the free time we have now to just go where we want… when we want. Recently we took long weekends in Vermont and New Hampshire to enjoy the leaf peeping and the countryside. They are beautiful states with very friendly people, and when spring rolls around, we will be going back. We had no specific agenda when we went, other than just get in the car and ride… stopping wherever we wanted. Next summer we plan on adding Maine to the last New England state we haven’t visited.

DSC_0168 FIX

We only saw Mt. Washington from a distance as it was late October and the road up was closed due to the weather – and it was snow topped! After noticing many white birch trees in New Hamshire, I learned it was their state tree! We plan on driving up to the tippy top of Mt. Washington next summer… If I don’t chicken out! Steve might need to bring a blindfold to keep me quiet as I’m not the best front seat passenger!

DSC_0196 FIX

We saw Moose crossing signs in both Vermont and New Hampshire… but No Moose!

DSC_0187 FIX

We did find a Moose at The Muddy Moose restaurant in North Conway, N.H; loved the food and atmosphere of the moose antlers chandeliers and the moose head mounted on the wall!

Per the suggestion of my son, we headed to North Conway, New Hampshire and loved it. I’m definitely going back to ride the train through the White Mountains and I want to visit Mount Washington; we did see it snow capped from a distance but it was now closed to public travel. My in-laws spent their honeymoon in the White Mountains… I wish I knew where they stayed and did while there… maybe they drove up Mt. Washington? While we saw many “Moose Crossing” signs, we didn’t see one live moose, but there are moose tours, so that’s on our to-do-list when we visit again.

DSC_0186 FIX

Definitely on my “to ride” list on our return trip!

vermont country store


The Vermont Country Store in Putney, VT.

Winding through nearby Vermont led us to the Vermont Country Store… plan on a few hours of wandering from room to room as you ooh and ahh at all the old-fashioned toys and penny candy you’ll find; I made my granddaughters Halloween bags from all the candies offered. I didn’t add the candy cigarettes though… as I thought I’d be chastised over that one… but I loved those as a kid! I did buy them the wax filled soda bottles of liquid… and they were a big hit, along with the red wax lips! And never leave Vermont without buying fresh cheddar cheese… what a difference in taste!


Granddaughters having fun with the lips!

I found a few used bookstores and came home with a couple new Nancy Drew books… that was a good thing! My collecting tastes have somewhat changed from looking for cast iron to now… looking for Nancy Drew! Big difference! Hubby still checks out the cast iron, but he also spots the yellow spines!

DSC_0293 FIX

I even found a Jeanne’s Diner in New Hampshire! We arrived around dinner time… so I missed eating at my Diner!

In my years of retirement… I’m working hard to make the years count… do the things I want… when I want! Years are “precious” gifts… make them count every day!!!


Want to read more, then click… 2017: A to Z… All About Me!

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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Conversations with Mama: You never know what she will say and more… #43

Conversations with Mama: You never know what she will say and more… #43

Nancy Drew books

August 19, 2017: “How’s the weather,” I asked tonight. “It’s cool, and I’m under the covers. I’ve got more Nancy Drew books, and some more Hardy Boys too. They’ll be here when you come, and you can take them home if you want; I’ll be finished reading them by then.”

I told Mama we had pizza for lunch, and… “No Thank You, I don’t want no pizza, don’t think I’ve ever eaten one and I just don’t want it. I’d rather have a slice of apple pie. I could go for that right now with a cup of coffee.”

While I was talking, I kept clearing my throat and Mama said… “well if you can’t get that frog out of your throat, just swallow him.”

I told Mama that when I come next April (2018) we will go to Perry for the big book sale at the GA Fairgrounds. Maybe I’ll find one of my old Nancy Drew books. If I did write my name in them, I have no memory of it. Mama said, “I have no memory either or even what happened to your books.

August 23, 2017: I caught Mama almost dozing when I called. “I was just going to take a nap after coming home from the center today… picked at my lunch down there, nothing good. I stirred around my plate, but there was nothing on there I wanted; Carolyn took Johnny home a plate. I’m too picky to eat most of the times, as I’m only going to eat what I like. I guess when I was pregnant, was the one time I ate more than I ever ate in my life; I ate turnip greens all the time. Maybe I got my “not so much” appetite from my father, as he wasn’t a big eater either.”

“The house that June Boswell lived in uptown in Siloam, was across from the corner gas station. Daddy almost bought that house after Mama’s mind got bad. It would have been better for Mama if he had moved to town, as she would have had more company. I wish he had bought it, as I always liked that house. Daddy had money, he had money in several banks… in Greensboro, Union Point and Sparta. I don’t know why, but he liked to keep money in different banks when he was young. Later on, he put all the money in just the Union Point Farmer’s Bank. My father had some money, but he never dressed in anything other than his overalls and his old hat. His clothes were clean, but he dressed as a farmer!”

August 24, 2017: When mama answered, I asked… “did you go to the center again today? “Yes, I went there and let them look at me. I guess some of them think I’m funny!”

I told Mama how McKinley was playing with her mother’s pink magic 8-Ball and asked if Santa would bring her a new baby doll, bottles, and a carrier. She’d then turn it over and ask me what it said. Mama said… “You never liked Santa when you were small, you could care less what he brought. You didn’t even wake up early like other kids to go and see. And then when you were older, you’d know ahead of time what was under the tree because you unwrapped everything and re-wrapped it. I only fooled you once by putting your father’s name on your gift.”

August 25, 2017: After telling mama I wanted to sew myself a Nancy Drew bag to carry when I go book shopping, she said… “Oh, I want one too! I’ll carry it down to the center.” Oh, the pressure now of making two bags… maybe she will forget!

August 27, 2017: I didn’t call mama Saturday night and when I called on Sunday evening, she said… “I haven’t heard from you in awhile, I thought maybe you were halfway to Georgia!” Boy, do I get in trouble if I don’t call “every” night… I know she’s gotten used to that phone call nightly, but once in awhile, I’m out late and just can’t call… and she lets me know I forgot!

August 28, 2017: Mama asked me tonight… “when are you coming down, soon I hope.” I said probably early October, why? “What are we going to do when you come.” I said, “maybe go visit some old cemeteries, I love walking around in them.” Immediately she said, “I don’t want to go to any cemeteries, I’ll be there soon enough. You know I don’t want to be buried in one… when I go, just tell Boo it’s time for him to go too and we’ll go together. Cremate us, take my ashes up on a plane and let us fly.” Me… Ok, that’s enough of that conversation!

August 29, 2017: As soon as I called tonight… “I’ve gotten you more Nancy Drew’s, The Mystery of the Clock, The Hidden Staircase, and The Missing Map…one book even has two stories in it.” Me… “What are you doing, sleeping with them?”… “Well, they are sitting here on the other side of the bed.”

Sept. 4, 2017: “I really need to go to the center tomorrow and then to the store, but I don’t  know what I want… but I need some groceries.” Me – just go up and down the aisles, you’ll find something. “What I’d really like is to just stick my feet under my mama’s table, just one more time, but I know that’s not possible.”

“I’ve been watching the news abt Hurricane Irma coming, hope it doesn’t hit Florida like they’re saying; I see people leaving. I don’t ever remember hearing about any hurricanes when I was growing up or even when we lived in Perry.”

In talking to Mama about the pictures Lynn had from Miss Bay’s house… ” yes we used to like to sit and look at those photos. Margaret (Lyn’s mother) and I could sit all afternoon looking through the viewer that Miss Bay had. There would be two pictures on one card and you’d look through and see a three-D effect. we could sit there for hours and be content looking at them all, but I never heard anyone tell us who they were.”

“The neighbors next door finally moved out, the ones with all those girls… I’m happy, as now they won’t be pestering me anymore to come in my yard. I’d like an elderly couple to move in, hopefully not just an elderly woman, as she’d prob want to come over and I’d be saying, no I don’t do visits. I said, “maybe an elderly man”… Oh no, I don’t want no man either… I’m not looking to meet anyone.”

September 8, 2017: I mentioned Hurricane Irma tonight when I called… “No one is talking about anything down at the center. It’s not going to really be anything, I’ll be alright here. My house is down in a gully, the wind usually just goes right over my house. Me and Boo will be just fine here. The seniors are going somewhere on the bus tomorrow, all I know is I don’t want to get on that bus and ride… anywhere. I’d rather stay home and lay in my bed with Boo.”

“When we lived in Perry, Teddy Bear would go in the dining room and get in the corner. A few times, I even got in the corner with him if a bad cloud came up. Guess that’s why Boo is under the bed… maybe he’s listening to the TV weather reports.”

“My hair was short when I was little, cut with bangs and high in the back. I hated my hair! I think Uncle Walter cut my hair; he was the barber in the family. You didn’t really go anywhere to have your hair cut, it was usually someone in the family who cut your hair, and we all had bangs back then. All the girl’s hair seemed to have been cut the same way… Uncle Walter had three girls and we all had the same haircut.” 

“One of Uncle Walter’s girls, Mildred, died from drinking old, contaminated water out of a bottle… they said she had typhoid fever. Her grandfather took a lot of medicine and many of the bottles lay around outside gathering water. The Dr. thought she caught it from drinking out of those old bottles that had collected water and stood around out there.”

September 15, 2017: In asking mama about school, she said… “We had prayer every morning in the auditorium, and then we went to our rooms. There were some kids in school who celebrated Saturday for Sunday worship, but we all said our prayers silently to ourselves. I thought differently about religion than I do today.”

“My mother never moved any furniture around like people do today. Once it sat down, it never moved. She kept a clean house, a very clean house. Actually, she had no time to rearrange furniture, she was too busy hoeing in the garden, cooking, cleaning, then finally at the day’s end, she’d piece quilts. It was mostly Aunt Mae who made most of my dresses, mama wasn’t a good seamstress for clothes, but she made quilts better than most.”

Oct. 1, 2017: After seeing a movie on TV showing kids living on a farm watching the circus walk into town from the train, I asked mama if she’d ever seen them… “No I never saw them arrive, but they never came by train. They came to town with many colorful painted wagons. I never saw them arrive as we lived way out in the country. Probably some of the city kids in Greensboro saw them. We did go to the circus when they came. Often we had a school day there, but sometimes daddy took us at night.”

Oct. 5, 2017: Mama hasn’t been feeling well lately… “I’m just resting in bed with Boo, maybe I’ll go back to the center soon. Right now a few kind words and cool water is all I want.”

Oct. 8, 2017: Somehow I began talking about grits when I called mama, and… “My mama used to fry the leftover grits as a patty, she didn’t throw anything away. I guess you’d have to put something in them, like maybe an egg to hold them together. Mama cooked grits, usually a big pot when she did cook them. She made hash too, but I didn’t eat it. I guess Daddy ate it, he never griped about anything she put on the table. He wasn’t picky, probably because he worked too hard to get money to put food on the table. Some people grew up with hardly any food on the table. They had better not complain at the table as the next one would take what should have been theirs. There was no time to complain, or the food would be grabbed by the next. People had large families back then, and you were lucky if there was even enough food on the table. We always had food, there was only just me and Leroy with my parents at the table.”

“My grandfather had two families he grew up, both were large families. He was mean to me, he’d come back from town in his buggy with the fringe on top, they called them a surrey. I’d be out in the yard with my cousin Mildred, his granddaughter from his second family; my father was older and from the first family. Mildred was always his favorite, being born in the house where he lived. He would always bring a sack of candy from town in a paper bag and come by where we stood and hand it to her. I never liked him.”

I was on Facebook while talking to Mama and something rolled by on goats, as I clicked on it, it said Goat Island at Lake Sinclair in Ga., so I mentioned it to Mama… “I don’t know anything about goats at Lake Sinclair, but I remember there being a lot of goats just down from the farm going toward Syrup Mill Crossing. The McNairs had a fenced yard and there were goats all over the place, laying all around on the big rocks out in the field. They must have sold goats for people to eat, I did hear that people cooked them, but I’m not going to eat any goat… I could never kill them! (I looked up Goat Island and read that all the goats had been removed from the island there as people were feeding them so much and feeding them all the wrong things.)

Oct. 9, 2017: In talking about cigarettes tonight… and I can’t even remember how that conversation started… “When I worked at Nathanial Greene in Greensboro, I used to know how to get free packs out of the cigarette machine there. Somehow I’d put my money in, but then I’d get a pack of cigarettes and my money back. There must have been something wrong with the machine. I can’t think now how I did it, but I guess someone had shown us. When I smoked, I remember how smoking a cigarette would calm me down, now I could never smoke a cigarette. You couldn’t pay me enough! My eyes are just burning today, they have been burning all day like someone put something in them. I really don’t know of any allergies running around now, so I don’t’ know what it could be. I’ve laid a wet cloth on them right now.”

Before hanging up, I told mama that we made a banana cake and was sending her cake tomorrow in the mail, and … “Oh Good, I’ll have coffee with it and call it my birthday, but you don’t have to send it… but I’ll eat it. “

“I think I’ll go to the center tomorrow, I haven’t been there in a few weeks, but I’m feeling better now. Only one person called me to see how I was feeling, and I really don’t even know her. I think she might sit at the next table to us at lunch. You think you have friends, but then they don’t even call and check on you. They all know I don’t have any family down here, but they’ll go to church and cook for sick people… but never bring me anything when I’m sick. Even the center didn’t call, and they’re supposed to call and check on the people who come down there… I guess I don’t count.” I told mama to not let that bother her, I call her daily, and lately, I call two or three times a day trying to make sure she takes her antibiotic correctly; she has a hard time keeping up with medicine now… and she’ll take it before I tell her too. Thank Heavens tomorrow is the last day for pills, as it’s driving me crazy doing it long distance!

October 16, 2017: In talking about Melissa’s birthday today, Mama said… “tell her Happy Birthday for me.” The conversation turned to the Moss Oaks club as I asked her if moss hung on the trees out there; she and daddy ran the club when I was in high school and she said, “the last time I was in there, they had built the bar differently. It was redone as a round circle in the center of the room.”

To be continued…

Like to read more… click on  Conversations with Mama and more

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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Turner Family Research: William Pinkney Turner – Post 3 – Turner Family Notes

Turner Family Research: William Pinkney Turner – Post 3 – Turner Family Notes

Are John & Hannah Turner your parents – Still looking…

A continuation of findings, facts and more as I search to authenticate the parents of William Pinkney Turner’s parents… which at this time I believe to be John & Hannah Turner: Post No. 3

My original post on the search for William’s parents can be found Here – it was written January 4th of this year. Since writing it, I have decided to make follow-ups in order for a  better continuation of information. The more you look and study the facts – the more a chance to find that piece of info you have over-looked! Post No. 2 can be found Here.


The more I search the rabbit holes, the more I hope I”ll discover that “specific” clue to absolutely say, “YES” John and Hannah are my William P. Turner’s parents…. it still has not surfaced. It must be there… am I overlooking it? As I think of ways to document that link, I will be posting in these Turner Family Research posts. My plan in Post. No. 3 is to trace the children of John and Hannah Turner – probable parents of my William Pinkney Turner. As I have searched through all the “Turner” families in Lumpkin Co., this is the only family I’ve found that he fits into.

John & Hannah Turner


Their Children:

CHILD 1: Oliver Perry Turner: 1841 – 1909


  • Oliver was born August, 1841 in South Carolina, possibly Union, Union Co., S.C. as that is where Oliver’s parents were in 1840. (Source: 1840 Census on Ancestry)
  • Oliver is listed on the 1850 Davis, Lumpkin Co., Ga. Census, age 9, with parents. His place of birth is listed as S.C. (Source: 1850 Davis, Lumpkin Co., GA. Census on Ancestry; census taken Oct. 7, 1850)
  • No 1860 census found for this family; it’s noted that the 1860 Lumpkin Co. Census was very poorly written and several pages missing, as noted on FamilySearch. I went page by page, twice, through 1860 on Ancestry, and FamilySearch. I did not find this Turner family. I had hoped to find them miss-labeled or listed accidentally under another family, but that was not the case.
  • The 1864 Lumpkin Co. GA., Militia Census lists father, John Turner, in Lumpkin Co., so I believe the family remained in Lumpkin in 1860, even though I could not find.
  • Oliver P. Turner married Sarah A. Albercrombie, Sept. 30, 1866, Lumpkin, Co., GA.




  • 1867: Aug. 13, 1867 – Oliver P. Turner listed on Georgia, Returns of Qualified Voters and Reconstruction Oath Books, 1867-1869, Lumpkin Co., Georgia.
  • 1870 Lumpkin Co., GA Census list Oliver, wife Sarah A. (now called Fanny), Cansada, age 2 (F), Clemeth Wiley, age 2 months, born April, (M). Oliver is listed as born in GA. on this census – he was born in S.C.; his wife was born in Ga., posb. she gave info? (Source: 1870 Lumpkin Co., GA. Census from Ancestry)


Clemeth Wiley (Born April 17, 1870)  died Nov. 19, 1874, Kansas; Clemeth is buried in the  Saltville Cemetery, Mitchell County, Kansas cemetery; he is the first person that was buried in this cemetery.


  • 1880 Salt Creek, Mitchell Co., Kansas Census lists Oliver, age 38, farmer, now listed born S.C. and both parents born S.C.; wife Sarah A., age 33, keeping house: Children Emaline C. (F) (Cansada in 1870), Dolly, age 6 (F), born Kansas, John, age 4 months (M), born Kansas. Oliver and family were in Kansas by 1876/77 when daughter Dolly Mae was born. (Source: Ancestry 1880 Census)
  • oliver-p-turner-1880-clip


  • 1900 Census of Salt Creek, Mitchell Co., Kansas, lists Oliver P. Turner, age 58, born. Aug. 1941, S.C., both parents born S.C., farmer; married to Sarah A., age 52, born May 1848: Son, John, (20), born Jan. 1880 in Kansas:oliver-p-turner-1900-clip


Child 2: Elizabeth Turner – born 1845 South Carolina

  • 1843: born 1845 (posb. Union) South Carolina
  • 1850: Davis, Lumpkin Co., GA
  • 1860: no census found
  • 1870: not listed with family in Dahlonega, Lumpkin Co., GA.
  • 1880: listed as age 35 with family in Hightower, Lumpkin Co., Ga. (Ironically John & Hannah listed ALL their children living with them, or elsewhere, on this census. Can I assume that Elizabeth is still living as they listed her at age 35? I hope that they wouldn’t have listed her if she was deceased.) I will continue to look for a marriage license for her.


Child 3: William Pinkney Turner – born 1846 Lumpkin Co., GA.

Born: April 6, 1846 – Died: March 6, 1899

My William Pinkney Turner listed his parent’s place of birth on 1880 census: He lists both parents born Georgia, same as him. But… John and Hannah were born in S. C. (often people didn’t know and guessed or census taker recorded wrong)


1850: Family No. 54, Davis, Lumpkin Co., GA. Census: John Turner, age 26, born S.C., married to Hannah, age 30, born S.C., son Oliver, age 9, born S.C., daughter Elizabeth, age 7, born S.C., son William Turner, age 4, b. GA. 1846.

1860: Family of John & Hannah Turner not found.

1864 Ga Militia Census John Turner


1864: Militia Census for Re-Organizing the Georgia Militia. No matter how hard I looked, I could not find John and Hannah Turner in the 1860 GA. Census, but yet here he is in the 1864 GA. Militia Census in Lumpkin Co., Georgia. (Source: Ancestry)

Turner William and Laura Marriage CLIP

1867: William P. Turner married Laura A. Gooch – Nov. 14, 1867, Lumpkin Co., GA.

1870 Pinkey Turner Census FIX

1870: William Pinkney Turner, age 23, now married (1867) to Laura A. Gooch, age 19. Child Barney, age 3 months. (Living in Dahlonega, Lumpkin Co., GA.)

1880 Turner Lumpkin Co Ga. CLIP

1880: William Turner, age 33, married to Laura A. (Gooch). Children: Barney, age 10, Missouria, age 8, Mary E. age 5, Sarah, age 2. (Note: father shows born N.C., and mother S.C. on this census… but we know census’s are not always correct)

1880 Turner Census

1880: My William lives next door to a George Turner, age 27, wife Caroline, age 25, Miliard (sp), age 4, and Wattie (Mattie?sp), age 1. (George was born in GA., and listed both parents as born in GA., so probably means he wouldn’t be a son of John & Hannah Turner) I never saw this George listed in the household of John and Hannah Turner… I found it interesting though that he lived next door to my William P. Turner. Above him is a William Turner, age 9, listed as a servant, in the household of William Gooch. At this time, I do not know who this young William Turner’s parents are, and have had no luck in placing him in a Turner family, but the Gooch’s and Turner families intermarried, so he could possibly be a cousin; he could even be a grandchild of this William Gooch… children servants are not always listed as grandchildren.

1890: no census

1899: William Pinkey Turner died March 6, 1899, Nimblewill, Lumpkin Co., GA. Buried Nimblewill Baptist Ch. Cemetery.

1900 Turner Census

1900: Laura A. (Gooch) Turner with children still living at home. Barney, age 30, Missouria, age 28, and Dolly, age 17.

1910: Laura A. (Gooch) Turner… still with children listed at home. Barney, age 38, Missouri, age 36, and Dolly, age 26. (Note the ages of Barney and Missouri differ by two to eight years difference)

1914: Laura A. (Gooch) Turner died July 29, 1914, and is buried Nimblewill Baptist Ch. Cemetery.


Child 4: Sarah Sary Turner, born 1852


Child 5: Francis Marion Turner, born 1853

In researching my John Turner and William Pinkney Turner I found info on Francis Marion Turner through another Turner researcher:

Francis Marion: Two marriages found before the third to Carrie Helms/Holmes/Jones: (My Turner lines)

Turner, Francis Marion: No. 2   Spencer, Sarah J.         July 18, 1878
Turner, Francis Marion: No. 3   Bridges, Amanda           November  5. 1871

From research on Ancestry, I’ve now discovered that Sarah Jane Spencer did marry a Francis Marion Turner, but not the son of John and Hannah Turner. The Francis Marion No. 1 in my Turner lines was born 1853; he gave that information when he relinquished his 4 children to the Georgia Baptist Orphanage after the death of his wife Carry Turner.

The Francis Marion Turner No. 2 was born Aug. 28, 1857, died Jan. 3, 1932, and married Sarah J. Spencer; he is buried alongside his wife in Wahoo Baptist Ch. Cemetery, Lumpkin Co., Georgia. (THIS is NOT our Francis Marion Turner)

1880 Lumpkin Co., GA. Census shows our Francis living back home with his father John – and listed as a widower. Could this Amanda Bridges be who he married in 1871; she died and he moved back home. There is also a 6-year-old in his father’s household – could she be a daughter of Francis – she is not listed directly under Francis.


Child 6: Mary A. Turner, born abt. 1857

Mary married Samuel H. Rider (1862-1900) before October 1877 in Lumpkin Co., Georgia.


  • John Samuel Rider (1877 – 1940)
  • Fannie L. Rider (1880 – 1968)
  • Ida Mae Rider (1882 – 1945)
  • Bejamin Rufus Rider (1884 – 1920)
  • Cathie I. Rider (1886 – 1900)
  • Frank Hall Rider (1888 – 1968)


Child 7: Darian Turner (1874 –    )


A work still in progress….. Click Turner Family Research to read more.

If you have any suggestions – Please contact me or leave a comment!

If you are a TURNER researcher – Contact Me, we may be related!

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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2017 A to Z: Letter X… All About Me

2017 A to Z: Letter X…

I thought I’d change the on-going 52 stories this year to an A to Z of 26 stories of  “All About Me”.  I plan to post bi-monthly, but I’m not holding myself to a certain time frame other than completing by year end. Originally I was going to do the “All About Me” for the 30 Day -April A to Z, but thought I might get just a wee bit long-winded, so I’m giving myself a longer time frame. Hopefully, by the time I reach letter Z, I will have written all I can remember about “me.” If you so feel inclined, why not join me in your own “A to Z” of All about Me!



Letter X is for… Xmas, Xmas Ornaments, Xmas Decorations and Xmas Cookies


X is the new C for Christmas… it was too early in my A to Z to write about Christmas in letter C, so I saved it for letter X.

I don’t seem to have memories of Xmas growing up as a child… makes me sad and I don’t really understand why! Was it because our family was small… I had no cousins, aunts or uncles around… maybe that was it! My mother doesn’t understand why when I tell her… she tells me that she tried to make Xmas special for me but I was just never interested. I vaguely remember the tin icicles we hung… or threw on the tree. She often tells me on Christmas morning that I’d walk by… look in… and keep walking. It would be days before I’d show interest in whatever Santa left me. I was a strange child!

Maybe I was traumatized after daddy’s best friend, Henry, came to the house dressed as Santa… bringing me a doll. When I opened the door, I screamed and ran to hide under the bed… never coming out until he left… mama says I never played with that doll!

I remember being at Granddaddy McKinley’s farm and going down in a neighbors field to cut down a Christmas tree for their house… we made ornaments out of things found outside, and I think we strung popcorn. Mama said her parents had never put up a tree before, not even when she was a young girl… it was the first time they had one at the farm.

I’m told my father’s parents never had a tree either, but Grandmama Bryan would hang lights on one of the trees in the yard… that was her way of decorating a tree! It doesn’t seem like Christmas was very popular with either of my grandparents!

When I was older, for some reason, I always opened any present under the tree with my name on it to peek inside, then rewrap. Why? I have no clue other than I just couldn’t wait to know! It made my mother so mad… one year she put my father’s name on one of my gifts. After we opened our presents on Xmas, she handed me the heavy one that had daddy’s name on it… it was my typewriter… and I still have it today! I had wanted one so bad, and probably thought she’d forgotten when I didn’t find it. That was the one and only time I was ever surprised at Xmas as to what was under the tree.


me in my room

My typewriter always sat on my desk!

I’ve tried to make Xmas special for my children through the years… decorating the house and loading the tree with more toys than they possibly could ever play with. One Xmas I forgot a bag of toys, only realizing it after they had opened their gifts. Upon checking my closet… there was the missed bag of toys! I dragged the bag outside the kitchen door and later let the kids discover it… telling them that Santa must have been so tired and missed bringing the bag in. I hope they never forget Santa’s blunder!

Xmas Eve was so much fun after I married… my husband’s family celebrated Xmas Eve and Xmas Day, although the evening before was always the most fun! We traveled to both grandmother’s houses that night, and often never arrived back to home until midnight or later. At Grandma Minnie’s, there were lots of cousins, and lots of presents piled under the tree. At times, once the unwrapping began, you didn’t even know who gave what… or what gift belonged to who… wrapping and bows flew everywhere! It was so much fun!

Hubby’s Xmas Eve was all about food… so much food was prepared for that night… from the seafood meal to the fruits and nuts, and later the desserts of cookie trays and more…. these are the Xmas memories I’ll never forget and truly wish I could go back and rewatch them again and again. Today’s Xmas Eve’s are just as much fun though as now I have 5 granddaughters who generate just as much noise and can easily fill the room with the papers and trimmings once they begin opening gifts. Right now, they don’t care about the foods on Xmas Eve, unless the cookie trays are on the table… to them, it’s all about the toys… the clothes they quickly hand off to Mama!

I love the foods we serve on Xmas Eve… the Seafood sauce, Grandma Minnie’s famous broccoli salad, and the many different fried fishes… you can easily count at least 7… it’s an Italian tradition! I learned to make the seafood sauce but after teaching my husband, it’s become his thing while I make the stuffed shrimp. I’ve added a new tradition now, I make manicotti for my son-in-law… he’s strictly Irish and not a fan of the seafood sauce. Everyone needs to have their favorite dish on Xmas Eve!

Xmas Ornaments:

I fell in love with sewing felt ornaments after discovering them in a Woman’s World Christmas magazine. I liked the fact that they were made all by hand, with no gluing… glue ruins them!  I had no trouble selling them either.. family and friends gobbled them up and even offered to take them to their work… they sold like hotcakes! While I only sold them for $2.00 back in the eighties, today they’d command a much higher price, as it’s a very time-consuming process, from the cutting, sewing, and even to the stuffing. Often I made them by the dozen of each style when I was selling them – it’s faster.

SCAN0109 (481x640)

One of my favorite Christmas (Xmas) photos of my ornaments. This was when I had just begun making them and many are pictured here from Mr. & Mrs. Claus, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Ice Skates, Mr. & Mrs. Mouse, Pooh, Teddy Bears, Candy Cane and Drums.

A few more favorites here of Mr. Dachshund wearing his Santa hat, Mr. Snowman, Ducky in cracked shell, felt Mitten, and a Cat in the Stocking

I still make them occasionally at Christmas… choosing a new style and giving one to each of the granddaughters for their ornament collections. My last ornament was a design I drew… the front of a VW bus.


The VW “bug” ornaments in progress. I love all the colors!

In as much as I enjoy making them, I do find it harder now as I need glasses to see close-up… and then sometimes I still can’t see as well… especially when it comes to threading that darn needle. That is the biggest thing that frustrates me, threading that sewing needle and the one on the sewing machine… sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw!

This year, I’m making a knitted ornament…. mittens with the granddaughter’s initial on. I’m having so much fun knitting these small mittens, that many people will be hanging one on their tree! I’ve always wanted to actually knit a pair of mittens… I have lots of practice now! Check back for photos, I’ll post when I have them all made!

Xmas Decorations:

How did I lose my love for decorating at Xmas… somehow it has escaped me and it seems like it takes me right up until Xmas Eve to get that spirit? But when I look back at my holiday photos… I once had the Xmas decorating spirit and usually crafted a new item to add to the decorating of the house.

Just a few of my favorite things…

My Xmas tree card holder holds cards dear to me that I’ve received in the past… some are from loved ones that are no longer here and I enjoy looking at them every year. Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus were made from folding the pages of Readers Digest… it was all the rage that year… everyone made them. The Santa on the front steps has left home to take up residence at Stephen’s house, and the little plastic reindeer and sleigh is something I always placed near the top of my tree, but it now sits on my daughter’s tree. It’s nothing expensive, just a plastic decoration we bought many years ago, but we all loved it on the top of the tree! I snuck the new “Elf on the Shelf” in here as it’s all the rage now, and I bought them for both households. This is “Josephine” and joins my daughter’s house every season… she’ll be arriving soon to watch over McKinley and Grace! Her cousin, “Bella” will arrive at Stephen’s house to watch over Ella, Ana, and Nina… just to keep them on their best behavior for Santa! The ceramic tree is a “treasure” my father sent me so many years ago back in the 80’s and it holds dear memories of him… thinking of me! I have not given it away yet, they will have to wait on taking this one!


I won 1st place with my painted Santa at the Orange Country Fair!

It’s always been hubby’s job to decorate outside with lights and decorations… but as time has passed, those decorations have slowly been passed to our children to use in their homes. I love the older “plastic” outside decorations vs the inflatables today. While they look really cute when they are lighted and inflated at nighttime, but sad to see during the day…laying on the ground… flat and deflated!

decorations outside (2) (800x548)

The Santa with reindeers and sleigh has flown to my son’s house now. I always loved the small plastic Santa and sleigh in the window… a favorite of mine, and hubby is in trouble over that… after he tossed it in cleaning! I’ve yet to find another one, but I will buy it again… if I ever find it!

Xmas Cookies:

Christmas is never complete without cookies and in years past I baked and baked more than we could ever eat… then I gave most of them away. As soon as December rolled around, I would begin making my list of which cookies I planned to bake. I don’t know why I made a list, as I made the same ones every year! The list always included Anginettes, 7-Layer Bars, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Butter Balls, Thumbprints, M & M Sugar Cookies and my favorite… Cherry Winks. I was always a little selfish in giving away my Cherry Winks though… Shhh… don’t tell anyone!

I never baked a cookie in my life until I married… and learned all about cooking baking! My mother was a cook… not a baker! She would bring home-baked cookies and cakes that her clients at the beauty shop brought her. The only specific sweet I remember was Divinity and while I have tried making it a couple of times… it’s never tasted as good as I remember. I have quite a collection of cookie recipes now and I’ll be making that list again of what I’m baking!

Cherry Winks and Thumbprints! My two favorite cookies!!!

My mother in law first introduced me to Cherry Winks, as they were one of her favorites… and quickly became mine! It’s the first cookie I grab on Xmas morning to dunk in my coffee! I later found a small Kellogg recipe book stuffed in her drawer and as I looked through it, I found the recipe for Cherry Winks… and full of Cherry Wink DNA!


Want to read more, then click… 2017: A to Z… All About Me!

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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2017 A to Z: Letter W… All About Me

2017 A to Z: Letter W…

I thought I’d change the on-going 52 stories this year to an A to Z of 26 stories of  “All About Me”.  I plan to post bi-monthly, but I’m not holding myself to a certain time frame other than completing by year end. Originally I was going to do the “All About Me” for the 30 Day -April A to Z, but thought I might get just a wee bit long-winded, so I’m giving myself a longer time frame. Hopefully, by the time I reach letter Z, I will have written all I can remember about “me.” If you so feel inclined, why not join me in your own “A to Z” of All about Me!



Letter W is for… Writing, Wind, Wax, Weddings, What I’ve collected, Where will my treasures go, Where do I want to travel?


While I don’t remember any writings I did other than in my diaries, or research papers for school when I was young, I do remember how much I loved to write on paper… and loved using those refillable ink cartridge pens. So what did I write? I guess I enjoyed writing my school homework and reports, but I wish I’d written more stories… what I wouldn’t give to be able to read stories I’d written as a child… and I’m sure I’d strongly critique them! I edit and re-edit my written work now… and sometimes others!

Mama remembers a story I wrote in school about a window fan in our house. .. odd choice! The story talked about the large metal window fan that sat in the living room window. One day the fan was thrown in the dump when daddy replaced it with an air conditioner… somehow that must have made an impact on me! But in my story, someone rescued the fan from the dump… painted it green and placed it in their house window… but the fan was sad, no longer part of our family, no longer able to smell the perked coffee every morning. Mama remembers keeping that story folded in her jewelry box for the longest… but somehow it disappeared. What I wouldn’t give to be able to unfold that paper and read that story today! What made me write that story about the fan… did my mother talk about missing the fan… did she mention how the fan circulated the coffee smell throughout the house? I guess I’ll never know! But Mama said my teacher loved my story and gave me an A!

In as much as I love to write and sometimes I feel I live to write… my mother hates to write. She’ll quickly tell you that she even hates to write her name and wonders where I inherited the love of writing from.

I often find it hard to stay focused on all my many other hobbies…. I want to knit, I want to sew my felt ornaments, I want to read Nancy Drew, I want to go to flea markets… but I love to write and that often wins out over all the rest! I can only hope one day, my grandchildren will discover all my writings… and fall in love with writing!

If I didn’t write so personal and branched out to writing on topics that would be of interest to others, I could offer more of my writing to magazines. Well, at least I can say I am a published author with “Heirloom Recipes”… which was published in Georgia Backroads. It did feel good in seeing my name as a by-line in a published magazine.


Strong winds always worry me, especially during hurricanes. Watching trees sway back and forth has me looking out the window… often… and worrying about hearing a crack which might mean a thump coming down on the house!

Sometimes laying in bed and hearing the winds howl, when you’re trying to go to sleep… is quite scary. Then at some point, you have to put your life in someone else’s hands and just go to sleep.


My first remembrance of anything wax was of those small wax bottles filled with a sugary drink. I loved buying those little bottles…. think they came in a small paper six-pack container, often now called “penny candy”. All the kids loved them, maybe it was the six-pack that was the most intriguing! If there was even a teaspoon of a liquid inside, you were lucky, but they were fun to bite off the top and guzzle down. I think some people chewed on the wax, like gum, but I never did. I bought some to put in my granddaughters Halloween bags this year… and they thought they were the best thing!

After hubby began writing me letters from Thailand, I became acquainted with the melted wax sealings on envelopes. He considered them as a seal with a kiss. In knowing that most of the mail in the government can be read… I don’t ever remember them arriving with the seal broken. Did they steam open the seal and roll up the letter to pull out, without breaking the seal… or maybe they didn’t want to read our mushy love letters! FYI… I have kept all our “lovey” letters to each other! I guess my generation is probably the last generation to write letters… now it’s all instant email. While instant is great, I do miss receiving a letter in the mail! The generations today are truly missing out on writing and receiving letters in the mail!


All our “lovey-dovey” letters!


Before I married, I only remember going to one wedding… and at the moment I don’t even remember who’s it was, but I think it was a friend. I had never been to any family weddings and have no memory of anyone in our family marrying… we had a small family.

Maybe as I never had any familiarity with attending weddings when young, it pushed me to not really care about my own wedding… which I never had. When I married, my husband was en-route to Thailand immediately after we married, so planning a wedding just wasn’t on my mind. I don’t know what was on my mind, except thinking we could run off to Aiken, S.C. to marry in one day!

At the time of being asked, or maybe told we were getting married, Steve was stationed at Loring AFB in Limestone, Maine. He planned for us to get married before he left for Thailand. After asking his base commander for permission to marry me… Yes, in the Air Force, he had to actually ask for permission to marry. They are your mother and father, and you belong to them, and ask permission for everything you do… or suffer the consequences!

Steve drove down to Georgia on I-95 in early May (1971)… meeting my father for the first time… can you imagine what a stressful meeting for both of them that was. My father had blood in his eyes at that meeting… giving Steve “the” speech… after I was sent out of the room; the speech where you tell the guy, how he better take care of his little girl and not hurt her… or else! I’m sure he probably wanted to say more, but he was cordial as a Southern gentleman!

So back to my bright idea of marrying in South Carolina….

I had heard of how you could elope to Aikens, South Carolina and marry… no blood tests or waiting period… or at least I thought so! Off we left on the morning of May 3rd for Aikens, and after finally finding the courthouse… it was closed. No cellphone in the 70’s, and no GPS… just basic 101 sleuthing! Where was Nancy Drew!

I’m sure it was said to me…. “I thought you knew how to do this?” Well, I guess I was going on what I’d heard in hearsay, and you know how hearsay works. The next day, we were at the courthouse bright and early… after all, we now knew where it was! We thought this would be the day…. well it wasn’t! We were told that while there were no blood tests, there was a 24 hour waiting period! I’m sure Steve gave me a look! Oh Well….

Steve Jeanne_0002

The married couple after arriving in CT…. and wearing our wedding attire for a wedding celebration!

Day 3 in Aikens was a winner… Finally! We arrived after they opened at 9 and was first in the Justice of the Piece office. I remember very little about that day, other than as we walked up the stairs, an elderly woman stopped to ask us if we were getting married? I’m sure I giggled, saying yes! Actually, I remember giggling through the entire ceremony of “I Do’s” and couldn’t wait to run down those stairs as a married woman!

We didn’t really have time or money to even buy my wedding ring, so I married using my grandmother’s wedding band… I was excited to be wearing her simple plain wedding ring. Later, one Valentines day I saw a ring of hearts with diamonds and rubies that I fell in love with… and Steve bought it for me. It was perfect as I didn’t want a traditional ring and band!


We were finally married!!

We arrived back in Perry later that afternoon… finally as a married couple; Daddy took us out to celebrate at The New Perry Hotel that evening… I think that was the first time I’d ever eaten there! Sad to report that, that historic landmark in my hometown finally closed its doors a couple of years ago.

Forty-six years later, I’m happy to report we are still very happily married, and my short white dress and his fancy purple ruffled shirt are still hanging in the upstairs closet. Where did the time go? I’m retired now so there will be much traveling … no clocks to punch or diapers to change, but a lot of good memories to hold onto!

What I’ve Collected:

While I didn’t really write much as a child, I do remember collecting things. Some I’ve kept, while some are long gone! Probably the first things I collected because they were always given to me, were the arrowheads Granddaddy McKinley dug up as he plowed the fields. I remember having quite a few of them, but they’re all long gone now, except for one single one I somehow kept… sure wish I knew how they all disappeared! But as they were always so plentiful, I guess I never held much value to them.

I collected Nancy Drew books for a time… loved to read Nancy’s sleuthing mysteries. Nothing like bringing home a new Nancy Drew book and being so anxious to begin reading. While I never had the complete set, I’m sure I had quite a few as mama never turned down a plea for a new book when we went to the store. But the big mystery for me is what really happened to them when I outgrew reading them. If only they had been boxed up for me to rediscover one day… what a treat that would have been! I imagine Mama encouraged me to read them as she also read and loved them as a young girl.

My Nancy Drew Books

My Nancy Drew collection

Most likely, my books were boxed up when we moved from Smoak Ave. to Hillcrest Ave., and as I wasn’t reading them anymore…. someone saw the reason to not cart them. I just hope they gave them to someone who loved them, and poor Nancy didn’t end up in the landfill! My Nancy Drew’s were bought brand new vs how we buy them today. They actually are still sold new, but they’re the new “flashlight” series, not the yellow matte books I read. If only “one” had been saved with my name written inside…. I would be a happy camper! I have plans to attend one of the large library sales next April (2018) in Perry… well you know why… just to see if I can find one of my old Nancy Drew books. I know it’s a crazy thought, but I’ve done crazier things than that before! LOL

I tried to get my daughter interested in reading Nancy Drew and even bought her several at the flea markets, but they never grabbed her attention. Maybe she wasn’t really a reader! Eventually, her books were boxed up and put…. somewhere.

For years and years, I wondered what happened to her books… I knew I didn’t throw them out, but I hadn’t come across them in years. Recently as we began decluttering this house, hubby came up from the cellar one afternoon with a box marked… Melissa’s Nancy Drew Books! Boy, was I excited and didn’t waste time in ripping open that box! Inside were quite a few Nancy’s and even some Hardy Boys. My next thought was… were there any inside that I could add to my collection! I did manage to add a few to my bookcase, but the one that really touched me was No.1, The Secret of the Old Clock… I saw that she had written her name inside. That one is a treasure to me! If only I could remember writing my name on mine! I can only imagine I did, as I have other books that I wrote my name in.

Recently, somehow…. my love of Nancy Drew re-surfaced again, and I began once again to build a collection. It took me weeks before even finding “one” Nancy book, but after breaking the ice… they are now surfacing here and there. The best places to find are the Library Book Sales that almost every library has every year, and some of those sales often offer up to 75,000 books for sale. Who knew these type of book sales were out there!  I only discovered them by accident one Sunday, after following a “book sale” sign I found one on the way to the flea market. I walked out with a very “heavy” box!

My bookcase is now bulging with more Nancy Drew’s than I ever had before and I’ve even made a set for my granddaughter Ella… I’m working on her as my first Nancy Drew partner; hoping she will love Nancy like I do. Learning so much about Nancy Drew has me now planning my next A to Z in April of 2018 on Nancy. This will be my third year of participating and often I ponder aimlessly about what I’ll write, but once this idea came to me… it was a perfect choice! I’m so excited about writing on Nancy Drew that I’ve already started planning and writing my posts… after all April will be here before I know it; writing a post every day is difficult enough when it’s easy writing, and this A to Z will need lots of research. My first year of A to Z: 2016 was Southern Memories and Foods, and this year (2017) was The Best of Conversations with Mom; now I’m all set for 2018 for All About Nancy Drew.

Somehow a friend of my parents got me hooked on stamp collecting as a young girl… now, why would a teenage girl want to collect stamps? I have no clue, but I guess I found those tiny small pieces of art interesting; finding one, leads to another, and another, and another. My obsessive nature ended with me discovering my grandparent’s trunk of every letter… they every received… and guess what? They all had stamps on them. I was happy as all get out when I discovered them and begged to have all the stamps. I guess Mama felt it was time to let go of all that paper and she let me take all the stamps and then she discarded the most important papers in the trunk… all the letters and correspondence my grandparents had received! While she only kept a few intact, that I have today… if I had that trunk today, I’d definitely be doing a happy, happy dance. Just imagine all the family history that could have been discovered in those letters! It was those letters that were the real find… not the stamps… but I was too young to know that at the time… if only I could turn back time and have a little talk with myself!


My Stamp Collection… yes it’s still packed away!

Where will my treasures go:

A scary thought! Somehow I’ve managed to accumulate many treasures along these 46 years of marriage, plus even more from my childhood. Most people don’t have even one treasure from their childhood, but I have several. I kept my treasured Barbies, safely tucked inside their Barbie case along with Midge, Ken, and friend Tressie. Maybe one of my granddaughters will take a liking to Barbie and treasure them one day.

Rollerskates and Barbies…. Oh My!

Along with Barbie, I have my roller skates I got when I was sixteen. I can’t even try to imagine how many hours I spent at the roller skating rink! The only Christmas gift I didn’t know what was inside, was my typewriter, and I’ve kept it all these years. Another form of writing for me, but what was I writing?


Did I type stories on my Remington?

I know I can’t expect my children to feel the same way I do about my treasures, but I hope they don’t part too quickly with them… and regret it afterward. Sometimes you need to stop and think before letting go of things! Maybe one of the girls will inherit my love of writing and even display their GiGi’s typewriter in their home!

Where do I want to travel?

Well, the one thing I’ve always wanted to travel to is Disney! When my children were young, the only Disney was in California… it was definitely out of the question. Then they built the one in Florida, and… but I never got there either! Now I feel like maybe I’m too old to go, even though I secretly still want to go! Hubby isn’t too keen on the idea, or really interested, so unless one of the families invite me on their trip… guess it’s off my list. Should I start my own Go Fund Me for Disney?

kicks 66FIX

I’d love to drive Rt. 66 with hubby and see all the vintage landmarks I’ve read about over the years; who knows if all of them are even there. You read about things on the Internet, and look interesting, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are still there.

Route 66 was originally known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America and also the Mother Road. It was one of the original highways of our highway system and established on November 11, 1926. Today it has become one of the most famous roads in the United States and runs from Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona before ending at Santa Monica, California; covering a total of 2,448 miles.

greetings 66

Maybe I’ll get there one day… soon!

After my son went to Italy years ago, it was on my list… I’d love to see the Almalfi coast. But only if I can blink myself there and back! I’m just not interested in foreign travel, and hubby most definitely isn’t interested in “any” plane travel involving security! It’s Drive or Not Go for him now!


Want to read more, then click… 2017: A to Z… All About Me!

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved



Posted in 2017: A to Z - All About Me, Daily Writings and funnies... | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

2017 A to Z: Letter V… All About Me

2017 A to Z: Letter V…

I thought I’d change the on-going 52 stories this year to an A to Z of 26 stories of  “All About Me”.  I plan to post bi-monthly, but I’m not holding myself to a certain time frame other than completing by year end. Originally I was going to do the “All About Me” for the 30 Day -April A to Z, but thought I might get just a wee bit long-winded, so I’m giving myself a longer time frame. Hopefully, by the time I reach letter Z, I will have written all I can remember about “me.” If you so feel inclined, why not join me in your own “A to Z” of All about Me!


Letter V is for… Valentines, Vampire, and Veggies


heart border

My first memory of Valentines Day is from grammar school… loved writing out valentines and giving to friends at school… depositing them in the boxes we made. I saved the valentines below in my scrapbook. The old valentines are the best, not like what the kids have today… cheap looking in comparison to ours… we had the best “corny” verses!


A few Valentines saved in my scrapbooks from grammar school. One even had the name anonymous written on it… boys were always afraid to write their names!

When older, Daddy always gave me candy on Valentine’s Day and after I married, he often sent me roses. That’s something that always comes to mind every Valentines Day and how I wish I could just have one more day to tell him “Happy Valentines“.


Valentine bags for my granddaughters

Today when Valentine Day comes, I’m usually thinking of some craft to make my 5 granddaughters… just a little something to let them know GiGi is thinking of them and they are my “Valentines.”

In trying to “declutter” lately… I found a Valentine box of candy Steve gave me one year… how different these large boxes of Valentine Candy came in compared to today; they no longer come in separate boxes anymore. While I’m throwing many things out, or trying to… I’ve always kept it… and I’m thinking I’ll keep it a little longer!

candy box

Saved for more years than I can remember in the Whitman box

candy heart

I was surprised when I found “our” cards underneath the Valentine!

One of my favorite Valentine gifts was the day my daughter married on Valentines Day. It’s funny how she chose that day, as Valentines Day had never been her favorite until she met the man who stole her heart… and it quickly became the best day to celebrate their wedding day! Living in Connecticut, you never know what February will bring, but they were blessed with a beautiful day… just a sprinkling of snow on the ground for beauty and color.
wedding pic

The “Valentine” couple


Doesn’t everyone love a good “vampire”? I guess my love for them comes from the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows and the most famous vampire during my lifetime… Barnibus Collins. I watched it faithfully, even reading the books after I married. Another collection sitting in my bookcase, a full set of the Dark Shadow novels! Will I ever grow up? Probably Not!


Just a few of my Dark Shadow novels – Love Barnabus!

At one time, the Sci-Fy channel played Dark Shadows daily and hubby and I watched every evening. I’m sure he didn’t mind watching, as there were some “pretty” witchy women on there! Even though he never watched in growing up, he actually enjoys the campy soap with me now. The characters are a hoot and just to dissect the set designs and look for the many bloopers are enough to entertain. I’d still watch it now if I didn’t have to drag out the DVD’s to put on… so much easier if Netflix would stream it. But as of this writing, I’ve discovered that I can watch over on Amazon with my Prime account; now back to watching every day!


I would say I ate my share of veggies in growing up… but only Southern ones like black-eyed peas, okra, string beans, butter beans, corn, potatoes and sweet potatoes. They were what my grandparents grew on their farms. Mama never had to buy veggies in the store…  there was no need to, as we always came home with bags full!

Sunday dinners at Grandmama Bryan’s house would be a table loaded with vegetables. My all-time favorite was her cream style corn… yummy… I can almost see that bowl now and boy do I wish I could sit down at her table one more time. I always could make a meal out of just creamed corn and a biscuit. While it might sound strange to you, I loved to cut open a biscuit and fill it with cream corn! Hubby even remembers eating there and still remembers the large bowls of veggies she served and that bowl of corn! Mama remembers she had a different way of cutting her corn off the cob. She first would take her sharpest knife, and slice down through each kernel before cutting all the kernels off the cob. That’s a labor of love!

Mama never had to go to the grocery store to buy vegetables, we just went to my grandparents… they both had farms. Granddaddy Bryan is who I remember the most in farming; he had a big field of corn every year and grew all types of vegetables. We’d arrive to find grandmama sitting on the back porch with the famous porcelain dish on her lap as she shelled peas or snapped beans. Granddaddy also sold veggies… fresh from the garden. If anyone came to buy, he’d swing his leather satchel over his shoulder and head down to the field to pick them a “mess.” He never picked them ahead of time, he liked to give them fresh from the field!


Granddaddy Bryan picking beans with great-grandson Charles “Chuck” Bryan

After moving to Connecticut, my choices of foods drastically changed… and I learned to eat many different veggies over time. While I first turned my nose up to the likes of Eggplant, Zucchini, Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussel Sprout, and Artichokes, I eventually came around and they are definitely favorites now… but I still haven’t forgotten my Southern veggies!


Want to read more, then click… 2017: A to Z… All About Me!

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved




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2017 A to Z: Letter U… All About Me

2017 A to Z: Letter U…

I thought I’d change the on-going 52 stories this year to an A to Z of 26 stories of  “All About Me”.  I plan to post bi-monthly, but I’m not holding myself to a certain time frame other than completing by year end. Originally I was going to do the “All About Me” for the 30 Day -April A to Z, but thought I might get just a wee bit long-winded, so I’m giving myself a longer time frame. Hopefully, by the time I reach letter Z, I will have written all I can remember about “me.” If you so feel inclined, why not join me in your own “A to Z” of All about Me!



Letter U is for… Union Point

Union Point:

Union Point

The most recognized view of Union Point: a one-sided street!

Union Point, my “hometown”… and where I lived the first five years of my life. After my father (Clayton Bryan) left the Navy, my parents returned here to call home… building a house just one away from his parents. Living next door was Aunt Chris (Askew-Amos) and on the other side of her house was my grandparents, Paul and Evelyn Bryan. Union Point is a place I always consider home and so enjoy visiting whenever I go home. It’s one of those small towns, where almost everyone knows everyone… and as a kid, hard to get away with doing anything! While I don’t have grandparents living there any longer, I do have cousins I visit when I’m in town.

stairs across the trackFIX

Directly across from town, on the other side of tracks are these huge stairs. The original steps were once to the left of these and were wooden; a slight indentation can still be seen today. The wooden steps were built during the Civil War to make access from the trains to the boarding house on the hill.

boarding houseFIX


The boarding house where people accessed the train via the stairs!

I always find time to visit my hometown of Union Point and always enjoy a ride by Binns Street, just one block down from the Chipman Mill, where Granddaddy Bryan worked and we lived… he walked past my house every day as he headed up to the mill. Almost all my family has worked there at one time… most all my grandfather’s brothers and nephews until they moved away. Even my mother (Helen McKinley) worked there for a while after she married my father… who was still in the Navy and stationed near Memphis, at Millington Navy Base. 


I lived on the right side of the stop sign…. Granddaddy Bryan only had a short one-block walk to work every day.


Binns Street… where I called home for 5 years!

Bryan home

My grandparents home – Paul & Evelyn Bryan – they lived just one house down from me at the end of a dead-end street.

Bryan front porchFix

My favorite spot at Granddaddy Bryan’s – the front porch. He often sat out there with me after Sunday dinner. I swang while he smoked his cigar… he always had one tucked away!

Several years ago I contributed stories to a book on the history of Greene County and learned a few things that I never knew. The one place that caught my interest was when I read about a site called the “rat hole.” I immediately called my mother, and while she didn’t first recognize the name… she later figured out what I was talking about, and “oh yeah, we used to run through that… we’d run real fast through like the devil was chasing us. It was actually built because of the train tracks. The underway walkway was installed so if the train stopped, the men could still reach the mill for work.”


The famous “Rat Hole” behind the Union Point Mill

union point streetFIX

This one street town was where I spent time my first five year years, and I never tire of seeing it when I’m there.


The clock is a landmark on the street. It was moved for a while when the bank relocated, but they eventually gave it back to the town and restored it to its original location.

furniture store unionFIX point

 Mr. Rusty Morgan’s furniture store where my father worked, and where I took my first baby steps… all by myself!

I spent a lot of time with mama in the stores uptown… loved the five and dime store at the opposite end of this street. Granddaddy McKinley bought me the biggest red wagon in that five and dime store one day after my cousin Robert wouldn’t let me ride in his.

rhodes drugsFix

Rhodes Drugstore… bought many comic books there!

rhodes drugstoreFIX

Behind the Union Drugs counter – great place for ice cream and comic books… what a fountain counter they had and love that the old Coca-Cola dispenser is still on the counter!

infront of rhodes

The original weight scale still sits in front of Rhodes Drugstore… where it has always sat, giving your weight and fortune!

Daddy was a Mason in Union Point and attended meetings here… mama always liked to tell the story of how she and her best friend, Willie Mae, shimmied up a pole to peek in the second-floor window once; they had wanted to know what went on at the meetings! Daddy saw her looking in.. she jumped down and she and Willie Mae ran all the way back to her house… daddy was pretty mad that evening! I’ll have to keep mum on what she saw….

Another sight you’ll see around Union Point is the Kudzu that grows in many areas… and while it’s pretty to look at, it literally chokes the life out of the trees eventually, and will also completely cover a house. This one just over the railroad tracks always reminds me of a dinosaur.

Well, doesn’t it look like a dinosaur eating above the trees!

Union point mix

A few of my favorite places in Union Point – my hometown!


Want to read more, then click… 2017: A to Z… All About Me!

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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Connecticut – War Memorials: Prospect, CT.

I yearly contribute to the Honor Roll Project of  Heather Wilkinson Rojo – the purpose is to photograph and transcribe Veteran names for family research. Heather’s Blog can be found at http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/

Connecticut – War Memorials

Prospect, CT.


This lone soldier, at a height of 16′ 1/2″, stands atop a granite pedestal figure. He is composed of the Neo-Classical Revival architectural design with a with a bronze rifle at his side. The monument stands on the small town green in Prospect at 23 Center Street, Rt. 69.

The Prospect War Memorial is a symbol of respect and honor by the local community to their sons who served from the Revolutionary War to later wars; names are engraved on both sides of the monument.


While the sun wasn’t cooperating when I took the front view of the War Memorial, it was like a different day in shooting from the side, plus I was able to capture Assistant Professor Jodi and Lynandro in this shot; they were interviewing me on this war memorial shoot.

Last year I was contacted by a student at Southern Connecticut University asking for permission to use my photograph and transcribed names from my New Haven Green Flag Pole Memorial post honoring Connecticut men and women in World War I. I was later contacted by Jodie Mozdzer Gil, Assistant Professor of Journalism, at Southern Connecticut State University. Jodi is Lynandro’s professor and has involved her students at the Journalism Department at Southern Connecticut State University (Remembering WWI – 2016-2017) in the state Connecticut World War I project as part of their capstone course; a project of gathering names, information, and artifacts to preserve Connecticut’s involvement in World War I. The students are partnered with the Connecticut State Library in this Remembering World War I project, and it will be completed by the 100th-anniversary end of WWI – November 8, 2018.

This project will include information and documents on anyone who served in WWI, they do not need to have been a resident of Connecticut. Anyone who resides in the state today may have their ancestors information digitalized to be included in their state digital archives. I was happy to hear that, as my grandfather, Edgar Thomas McKinley, served from the state of Georgia; that means I will be able to include him, as well as my husband’s grandfather, Giuseppe Cambino, serving from Connecticut.


This memorial stone sits inside the metal face, in front of the Prospect War Memorial

As I’ve never been asked or given an interview before, I was quite honored in being asked, but a little nervous at the aspect of being on the other side of the interviewing process. I was quickly put at ease with the questions and my answers flowed out… unlike the apprehension, I had before arriving.

The Connecticut State Library has set to tell the stories of our ancestors who served on the front, as well as at home, during World War I. They are now in the process of holding “digitization days” around the state and also are in partnerships with community groups, local historical museums, and libraries. Local events are being held so residents may bring in their family photos, letters and any family history saved from WWI…. they will digitize your information and include it in the State Library’s online archives; it will then be free for everyone to access for public use.


Our World War Veterans

Beers, Harry J. – Berglund, Reuben W. – Blanning, Howard A. – Boardman, Henry D. – Burnham, Henry N. – Coer, Richard W. – Hager, Fred – Hotchkiss, Edward D. – Hucking, Raymond D. – Morse, W. Ronald – Moshier, Charles C. – Neumaier, Charles – Nichols, Robert H. H. – Nichols, Russell B. – Nichols, John J. – Nichols, Edward A. Jr. – Odgers, Arthur J. – Pawasaris, Albert – Pivirotto, Umberto S. – Pivirotto, Victor J. – Powell, Frank – Scovill, Marinus D. – Sporbert, Emil C. – Waters, Clifford – White, Charles


This statue was erected late in 1906, but not dedicated until Memorial Day in 1907. The combination chosen of stone and bronze in the figure is considered to be somewhat unusual, as usually, the rifle is of the same material as the figure; in this monument the rifle is bronze. Other unusual details are that the trousers are gathered at the top of the boots, the figure wears a jacket rather than an overcoat and the rifle rests in a parade rest position. The builder seemed to have mixed and matched how he wanted this soldier to be depicted as if they had chosen a true “parade rest” style, he would have also worn an overcoat instead of the jacket. The light color of the stone statue has been suggested that it may have come from a Barre, Vermont quarry.


Soldiers Of The Revolutionary and Other Wars

Atwater, Amos – Bronson, Samuel – Burr, Jared – Hine, Isaac – Hitchcock, Daniel – Hotchkiss, Abram – Hotchkiss, Amos – Hotchkiss, Eben – Hotchkiss, Eldad – Hotchkiss, Gideon – Hotchkiss, Titus – Ives, Stephen – Jones, William – Payne, Philemon – Russell, Riverius – Sanford, John – Smith, Josiah – Spencer, Isaac – Terrell, Enoch – Tuttle, Moses – Tyler, Abraham – Tyler, Phineas 

Soldiers Of The Civil War

Anthony, Lafayette P. – Austin, George L. – Baldwin, Luzerne – Benham, Bennett – Benham, Jehial – Benham, Lewis – Benham Robert – Berkeley, William – Blakesley, James J. – Brooks, Joel – Bronson, Spencer – Chandler, John W. – Chandler, Almon E. – Clark, Edward H. – Daley, Henry P. – Dougal, William H. – Durand, Theodore, G. – Farrell, Ira G. – Farrell, Lauren J. – Gardiner, Porter J. – Hine, Charles E. – Hitchcock, Watson C. – Hotchkiss, Edward H. – Hotchkiss, Evans B. – Hotchkiss George H. – Hotchkiss Lester L. – Hotchkiss, Philo D. – Hull, Henry – Jewett, Joseph W. – Judd, Henry – Karrmann, George – Karrmann, David – Lewis, Henry – Marie, Pierre – Marvin, Franklin N. – Matthews, Harvey L. – Matthews, John F. – Morse, Augustus – Morse, Edward L. – Payne, Burton H. – Payne, Nelson – Payne, Sheldon F. – Payne, Willis E. – Perkins, Homer G. – Platt, John R. – Platt, John H. – Royce, Charles B. – Royce, Edward B. – Russell, Charles – Russell, Seymour – Sanford, Spencer L. – Sanford, William – Sherman, Albert – Smith, Elmon E. – Smith, George H. – Smith, George L. – Smith, Samuel S. – Spencer, Samuel – Stump, William – Talmadge, Frederick A. – Talmadge, John – Talmadge, John W. – Talmadge, Stephen A. – Tyler, Asaph R. – Tyler, George R. – Tyrrell, Myron E. – Wallace, Franklin – Williams, Frederick, H. – Williams, John – Williams, Miles 


© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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Connecticut – War Memorials

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Nancy Drew: I’m Hooked Again!

magnificator Nancy DrewNancy Drew: I’m Hooked Again!

My Nancy Drew Books

How did I become “hooked” again on Nancy… bringing me right back to my childhood? I believe I can credit my granddaughter Ella and her love for reading… and it’s opening up a whole new world for her. It’s amazing to watch her read, sounding out new words and reading a book for herself! Seems like just yesterday, I was reading to her! In wanting to encourage her, I remembered my love for Nancy Drew when I was her age, and have begun to buy her books… but it has snowballed and pulled me back in!

Somewhere… in the back of my mind, “Nancy” was still there, just waiting…. and maybe this was my excuse to follow the yellow brick road back to her. I am having the time of my life in re-reading the Nancy books I’ve acquired. Everywhere I go, I’m constantly searching for that famous “yellow spine”… and when I spot one… it’s so exciting to pick it up. I’ve learned more about Nancy in the past few months than I’ve ever known. Who knew that there was ever more than one Nancy Drew story for each book… or that there was more than one artsy book cover for each book… or that Nancy Drew books were still even in print… or that there were so many “like me” obsessed with Nancy and recollecting their books… which had disappeared!

I’ve fallen in love again with Nancy so much that I’m already planning my annual April – A to Z: 2018 on my blog… and you guessed it… I”ll be writing on Nancy Drew! As if I don’t have enough on my plate of writing regular posts on my blog, knitting, de-cluttering my house, and now Christmas is coming… Yikes, what am I thinking!

With Christmas coming, I need to begin thinking of what GiGi (me) will be buying for my five granddaughters…and what new Christmas felt ornaments I’m making this year. I have kind of slacked off in creating a new ornament every year, and I need to get back into that… maybe it can be a Nancy Drew motif… somehow this year! Any suggestions!

I retired this year… and there just isn’t enough time for all I want to do!

Once the A to Z, All About Nancy Drew, popped into my head… well, I wasn’t able to just file that thought away until next year… and I have already begun gathering ideas. I’ve made myself a notebook, and am in the process of writing “words” for each letter of the alphabet as triggers of what my daily posts might be. It’s definitely keeping me busy!

Not only am I writing on various subjects about the Nancy Drew books… I’m also reading them, both the original text (OT) and the revised text (RT). Who knew they revised those treasured books I once read? But in the early years of the 1960’s, I would never have even thought about that, as I bought “new” books in building my collection, and all those books were the later 20 chapter books.

In learning that there were “two” books for many of the early Nancy books… well, of course, I now want both books… Who wouldn’t! The more and more I learn… the more I want.

In de-cluttering my house… or somewhat trying to… I said I would, never-ever, collect another thing! Well, who pays attention to that subconscious who tells you those things? You only live once in this world, so live and be happy! And if you want to buy and collect Nancy Drew again… then go for it! My “Nancy” addiction is beginning to already outgrow my bookcase that once housed my genealogy books, my Dark Shadow books and my husband’s model cars he builds. I think he’s already realized that he was going to soon be “outed”… so he has graciously packed his cars away for now. What a great hubby!

I can’t begin to tell you too many details here on what all I’ve learned about Nancy, as I’m saving that for my “A to Z… All About Nancy Drew in April of 2018.” It will be here before I can say “Bippity Boppity Boo.”

If you are a lover of Nancy Drew, I hope you will follow me along on my A to Z… and if you have any ideas or suggestions for me to write on… well, please leave me a comment below. I’m hoping I have some “Nancy” friends that love her as much as I do and will enjoy following along.

While recently visiting mom in Georgia, who was also a Nancy reader in the ’40’s, I  even managed to write a short Nancy Drew story while there and thought maybe I’d close each daily A to Z post with an expert from it. Another thing to do now… polish up that story!

magnificator ThanksForReadingClick… to read more Nancy stories

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

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Weekend Weathervanes: Elephant Parade on RT. 1, Milford CT

Weekend Weathervanes

Elephant Parade on RT. 1, Milford CT


We have ridden by this place several times… and until today when hubby said, “there’s an elephant weathervane over there,” I had missed it! Ironically, we were coming home from The Elephant Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, CT.DSC_0962Fix

I just fell in love with the baby elephant holding mama’s tail!


DPC Quality Pump Service, RT. 1, Milford CT.


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© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved


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