Less Than Proud

The Davis Family of North Carolina By Eilene Lyon Sometimes we need to acknowledge the deeds of our forefathers that we are less than proud of - in this case, slave-holding. My grandmother was born Clare Ransom Davis.  Her father was Sterling Price Davis.  His father was Melville Cox Davis, son of Hamilton Cunningham Davis... Continue Reading →

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Slave-owner to Socialist

Week 45: #52 Ancestors – Bearded By Eilene Lyon The Slave Years My 2nd great-grandfather, Melville Cox Davis, was the oldest of five children born to Dr. Hamilton Cunningham Davis and Christina Mock. Hamilton married Christina in their home state, North Carolina, and shortly afterward moved to Lafayette County, Missouri, along with their parents and... Continue Reading →

Hallowe’en

Week 44: #52 Ancestors - Frightening By Eilene Lyon My grandfather, Laurence M. Smith, was apparently a bit of a prankster, so it's no surprise he enjoyed Hallowe'en. My mother told me a story about how her dad gave her a noisemaker made from a spool and told her to run it along the window... Continue Reading →

Like Father, Like Son

Week 43: #52 Ancestors – Cause of Death By Eilene Lyon As Charlie Gusso was welcomed into the light of day, his father was expiring from his grievous wounds on a cold day in Milwaukee. That story is well-known family lore which I was able to confirm with church records (in German!). Less well-known family... Continue Reading →

Meanwhile, On the Homefront

Week 42: #52 Ancestors – Conflict By Eilene Lyon To Engage, or Not? The  Civil War was undoubtedly this country’s most destructive conflict, in terms of damage to American lives and property. Not to mention the permanent scars on the collective psyche of the nation. Far from the battlefields, discord raged in communities across the... Continue Reading →

The Grand

By Eilene Lyon My inbox had an unexpected surprise in the spring of 2014. “Only 4 slots left!” I hurriedly forwarded the email to The Putterer – “What do think? Should we go?” He just as rapidly fired back – “Hell yes!” I placed a call to the rafting company, only to be told that... Continue Reading →

Play Ball! (or Not)

Week 41: #52 Ancestors – Sports By Eilene Lyon South Dakota Winter entertainment in 1930s South Dakota was somewhat limited. There were movies and dances. And basketball. My grandparents, Reatha Gusso (15) and Everett Halse (30), were dating in January and February 1932 and watching basketball games was one of the acceptable activities. Reatha mentions... Continue Reading →

A Family Legacy

Week 40: #52 Ancestors – Ten By Eilene Lyon My great-grandfather, Sterling P. Davis, was one of ten children born to Sarah Rebecca (Livengood) Davis. Though many women gave birth to ten (or more) children back in those days, not so many can say they brought them all to a healthy adulthood. Perhaps the fact... Continue Reading →

Enrich Your Writing

By Eilene Lyon Somewhere is a mountain built of nothing but books on how to be a better writer. I’ve got a boulder from that mountain sitting on my shelf. Still, it’s nice to have a few exercises that make me feel, when I’ve done them, that they really did improve my work. Added spice... Continue Reading →

I Remember the Farm

Week 39: #52 Ancestors – On the Farm By Eilene Lyon My grandmother, Clare Ransom Davis, was born on the Davis family farm about six miles from Moscow, Idaho, in 1914. She was the second (and last) child of Clara Pearl Ransom and Sterling Price Davis. Grandma wrote a story about her father that I... Continue Reading →

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