A Sunday Morning Visit With Me and “Mr. Church”

I’m branching out this morning–taking that little fork in the road, if you will.  This post still shares with you my feelings about my love of God, church, family, special moments, memories, and family histories.  However, in it, I also reveal my love for good music, a good book or a good movie; and, how I spend and appreciate my infrequent solitude that lets me remember back to times and emotions from earlier seasons in my life.

Yesterday was Saturday and my husband Bob is attending a weekend-long firefighters’ leadership seminar in Northern Montgomery County, MD.  So, after running errands I attended our church on Saturday night with my daughter and her family.  And, as always the music, message, and multitude of faithful friends and family filled my heart and spirit as together we worshipped.  This worship was deeply moving to me as one of the older hymns, “Blessed Assurance,” from 1873,  reminded me of my maternal grandmother, Loretta Ford–this hymn was one of her favorites and it was played at her wake.  In fact, grandma’s birthday is tomorrow, and had she lived until now, she would be 122 years old.  Loretta was an adventurer, a pioneering spirit, a fighter, a lover of life and of God. From her I got my confidence, initiative, inventiveness, and drive.  She continues to be my inspiration and not a day passes when I don’t realize that she is still here with me as my guardian angel. So, in the quiet of my home this sunny Sunday morning with only my loving Chihuahuas by my side, I decided to stay nestled in and curled up under my warm blankets to watch a good movie, without any interruption from the cold world outside just beyond my bedroom.

As I casually browsed the list of movies using my relatively new cordless Amazon TV fire stick,  I happened upon a thumbnail for a 2016 no-name, no-hype film called “Mr. Church,” with an image of an older and very pensive looking Eddie Murphy.  So it’s Sunday, I went to church last night, and no church-going for me this morning–and next I spot a movie with “church” in its title.  I tell you it was sheer providence.  So, why bother watching the movie’s trailer, or reading its reviews, when this film literally leapt from ten feet out off my TV screen and triggered my fingers to click the “watch” button on my TV remote.  

Eddie Murphy as Mr. Church

Eddie Murphy as Mr. Church

Now, I’m only a few moments in, and I realize that talented and absurdly funny man Eddie Murphy was giving us an inspired and new look at his first and flawless dramatic performance–one that we’ve never seen from him in his 30 years of producing and starring in comedic movies.  And a performance, that I hope will lead to many more like it.  So, if you’re looking for a pure story of a unique friendship that develops when a little girl and her dying mother receive gifted services of a talented cook, “Mr. Henry Joseph Church,” as a six-month arrangement that instead spans 15 years and creates a family bond that lasts forever, this film is for you.  Its story’s overwhelming moments will choke you up with heartrending emotion and your tears quite likely will flow.  But conversely, the easy display of warmth and love within family relationships will grab you up and make you feel like you’re floating on air, or dancing on the ceiling.

If you’re interested in watching the full movie, it’s available for free, here on YouTube

A Gentleman’s Calling Card – 19th Century Token of Everyday Life

A Form of Business Card

With the printing press invention of the early 1800’s, 19th century gentlemen used a form of business card to formally introduce themselves to others in a dignified style. According to The Encyclopedia of Ephemera, the acquaintance card was, “A novelty variant of the American calling card of the 1870s and 1880s,

Emily Post?

February is for Lovers…and that Includes Our Parents

Just two days ago, on the one year anniversary of my blogpost “Hope, Love, Peace, and Tomorrow” I updated it.  The original post began with:

“and they lived happily ever after.”

“February is the month for lovers and hopeless romantics who like me believe in love at first sight, true and everlasting love, and fairy tale stories–all ending with; “and they lived happily ever after”.  My update in this reblog dated February 8, 2016, included comments and pictures about my parents’ 70th anniversary get together that we held just the day before.  And theirs is truly a love story about as close to one as one can get that embodies the phrase “and they lived happily ever after.”

A request from our son-in-law at the gathering

led me down a path that I thought I had been down before, but I soon learned that I hadn’t entirely covered it.  You see, Brian asked me for archival pictures of my parents going back as far as I could so he could create a special gift video for them. Brian was hoping that the family had pictures of their wedding, their guests, their outfits, and any of the standard elements of a wedding taking place today.

For those of you who don’t know Brian or his expertise, he founded Crow Entertainment in 2000, and quickly became Southern Maryland’s renowned premiere DJ and full-time entertainment service company that produces events on the East Coast and Beyond. When he asked for the pix and information, Brian knew little about my parents’ story. So I trekked back to mom and dad’s home of nearly 60 years, did some day after party clean up, and borrowed once again our family’s photo album that starts with pictures from their dating days in the early 1940’s. (They met at ages 14 (my dad) and 15 (my mom) and seldom have left each other’s sides since.)

And now I’m digitizing and organizing a lifetime of photos… 

One would think that being no novice to digitizing and organizing family history, genealogical records, family documents and photos, and adeptly using photo editing applications that this task would be an easy one for me.  Easy–maybe–but, time consuming–you betcha!  When you don’t own a professional photo scanning device that allows multiple pictures to be fed through the device and captured in a matter of minutes, I believe that I’m looking at least a week’s worth of scanning and editing–the organizing is a flash for me–and speaking of flash–I would suggest that anyone who has photos saved on their hard drives invest in a flash drive or DVD to archive them.  I had most of these pictures digitized years ago, and last year my computer crashed and I lost nearly all of  them.  Fortunately for me, I had saved some to the cloud, and some appeared within my blog posts.  But, I stray from my task and story at hand…

Now, I’m in the midst of scanning and editing photos and I come across 

Wedding Day - 117 C Street S.E.

Wedding Day – 117 C Street S.E.

this one picture that I’ve seen before but never really studied.  I noticed how very young my parents looked in this picture and believed they were sitting on steps of a row house in Washington, DC.  So, I picked up the phone and called dad.  He knew immediately the picture I was referring to.  And, lo’ and behold, where I thought no pictures had been taken on their wedding day, this one was the one and only!  And, I asked him who took the picture and found out that his best friend, Harold Vincent “Buster” Morgan’s mother, Mary Morgan, had stood up as a witness at their ceremony in Ellicott City, MD, along with my grandfather, Jesse Burton Boling.  I mentioned to you in my updated post of February 8, 2016, that my mother’s parents weren’t up for her marrying and therefore my parents eloped.

Then, for a small pittance of just $2.00, and no waiting, they were wed by a Justice of the Peace…

Howard County Court House Ellicott City MDin the historic (1843) Circuit Court Building for Howard County, MD, at 8360 Court Avenue, Ellicott City. Still in operation today with an addition built in 1971.



The wedding dinner wasn’t much…

Map-117 C St SE to 655 PA Ave SEbut it was a favorite of my parents.  Just about half a mile (according to today’s Google map) from my dad’s home at 117 C Street S.E., was the Little Tavern Restaurant (#20, in fact, of about 50 in the area, founded in 1927).  This franchise was built and opened in 1937 and the architecture already had changed from a stone castle top to a chalet roof. Little Tavern - 655 PA Ave - August 2014The picture to the right is of the Little Tavern building my parents visited on their wedding day where they bought hamburgers “sliders”, for 5 cents each. The photo below was taken in 2010.  The building then housed the Lil’ Pub and the Little Taverns had all but disappeared. The Lil’ Pub had occupied the building since at least the 1990s. It closed in 2014, and the CVS drug store next door now owns the building and uses it for storage.


In fact, in a message posted on August 20, 2015, Robert Gibson Corder, Ph.D. was still praising Little Tavern’s hamburgers:

My aunt, Julia Frances Corder, used to work at a Little Tavern in 1944-45. It was located at 3rd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. One night, my uncle, Edward Humphries Corder, and me drove a combined distance of approximately 150 miles (from my home in Amissville, VA to that Little Tavern and back) just to get hamburgers and coffee !! That was back in the early 1950s. I would love to find a photo of that Little Tavern to place in my autobiography . Ahhh… the memories!!”

And now, 70+ years together…

Mom and Dad -2-7-2016
several of us family members visit our family’s matriarch and patriarch in their home during the course of a week to check on them and bring lunch and/or dinners–including one of their favorites, which when we go shopping, we are sure to keep on hand–White Castle burgers (1921)–accredited with being America’s regional fast food hamburger restaurant chain located in the Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic United States and competitor to the Little Taverns.   And, as for my dad being of Italian descent as my maternal grandparents assumed–he is of ancient aristocratic British and French descent. But that doesn’t stop Dad’s very favorite meal from being a green salad loaded with cucumbers and raw onions, topped with Italian dressing accompanied by Spaghetti with meat sauce, italian sausages, green peppers, and onions.  And for dessert and nightly snacks–mostly ice cream–or anything chocolate.  This our parents love story and we love them for it.  And quite, “Frankly,” I feel like I’ve been with them from the very beginning of their relationship! (And look at their recent picture and how Dad still smiles at mom today.)

What does ‘third cousin, once removed’ mean anyway?

I received the following video through Facebook from Kim Komando – “America’s Digital Goddess.” Kim is one of America’s most successful radio hosts and Web entrepreneurs. She has a Saturday morning show about technology that is carried on over 450 stations with an estimated reach of 6.5 million listeners. To my surprise, trending now on You Tube is the video below that is an intro into family genealogy; i.e., understanding the terms for relatives and relationships within your family tree. If you’re into genealogy at all, you’ll be fascinated with the infographics and explanations of new or misunderstood terminologies. If you aren’t familiar with terms like: inbetweeners, niblings, or removed, this video is definitely for you. Overall, it’s very cleverly presented and quite informative! Hope you like it.

Click on the image below to enlarge the Chart:
Ancestry Explained

100 Year Old BFFs

Best Friends Forever (BFFs)

Last week I wrote a post on this blog, “Our Kent Island Experience,” that was a story about my best friend of about 20 years (at that time) and our husbands’ day of “boating.” Some of the events of the day tested our relationship. Yet, nearly 40 years have since past and we still remain close friends, (BFFs), although we live nearly 400 miles/7 hours driving distance apart and only write occasional letters to each other.

The Heart of Our Relationship Never Skips a Beat

bffsWe were infants living next door to each other when our parents first got us together.  For our first 13 years we were inseparable.  I was the brains, she was the brawn.  I did her cleaning and helped her with her school work.  She showed me how she could walk on her toes with them curled under and how to carry a pregnant cat around in a paper bag. (Little did we know that when we opened the bag there would be a litter of kittens inside with their mom.)  In 2011 we spent the day together lunching and shopping in Providence, Rhode Island.  In 2013, we grabbed another day in Maryland and visited her older sisters. My husband drove us from place to place and we just caught up on old times.  Whenever we talk or meet, regardless of the circumstances, we haven’t skipped a beat in our relationship.  It’s always like time has stood still and we still share the same interests and have the same closeness and understanding of each other  we had when we were so very young.

BFFs for 94 Years!

So earlier this week, I sat down in the mid afternoon and turned on the TV to add some noise to the all too quiet house.  I happened upon the Steve Harvey Show in progress. He was just introducing two 100-year-old women who have been best friends for 94 years. They captured my attention, my heart, and reminded me of just how special relationships with close friends can be.   I hope my relationship with my friend will always be as special as theirs seems.  I thought you might like to see the two 100 Year Old BFFs, so here they are in two different segments on the Steve Harvey Show:

Pop Culture Questions Posed to Irene and Alice