Friday, December 22, 2017

My posting on the Alamo Society Facebook page--is it known that a great many of the Defenders were kin to each other?

Hershel Parker
Today at 7:19am
I see from the postings here on the Alamo Society Facebook page that many descendants or other relatives of the defenders of the Alamo post here. I am an old Melville scholar who has become interested in early American history and contributes to the webzine JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. I recently realized that Jim Bowie is a Pottenger cousin (apparently 2 ways) and did a little checking. I have Hopewelll Lord, Davis, Donovan, and THE ALAMO READER and see (characteristics of the defenders such as Lord saying who the Gonzales Rangers were (p. 173) in general terms. I am struck by how many of them have close or more remote connections to me, besides Bowie. A few are kin to both my parents. I notice that some of the Gonzales Rangers have common ancestors (with themselves and me) not very many generations back. Baker has a Costner-Rudisill connection (my mother was a Costner) as do Cummings, Floyd, Davis. Then Darst and Martin have Sparks connections (on my father's side). Jackson is a Hill connection. (my paternal side). There are several (more remote) Knox connections. I have checked the list of the original defenders and find a large number of Costner-Rudisill, Bell, Ewart ancestors, and Sparks and other connections of mine. There is a large bunch of older Knox connections (from Ireland) which I am not paying much attention to because I want to focus on something that may be overlooked. A great many of those who died at the Alamo were related to each other in a small number of ways. I think it perfectly possible that they did not ever talk genealogy and discover that they were kin. On the other hand, when so many of them had connections, for instance, near Charlotte, North Carolina, someone might naturally have said, "I used to have folks from that area," and compared notes. I don't want to suggest something extreme (and my reading is so slight that this topic may be known already), but you might almost say that the Gonzales Rangers were partly composed by a Band of Cousins, and the same to some extent (if you go back to Knox connections in Ireland, before immigration) could be said about a great many of the dead at the Alamo. As I say, I was just intrigued at first on tracking down the Bowie connection (not having known James Bowie was from the great Maryland family) and then just poking a finger in here and there. If the relationships of many of the defenders to each other is already well known, I apologize for intruding here.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Mississippi Cousins

Did you know that William McWillie was one of our Bells?
I don't find a chronological list with Geni connection so it would be harder to work with Mississippi that it was with NC.

What does it say when you are kin to every governor of North Carolina, including those during the Revolution?

Well, Easley and Perdue are beyond my powers to check right now but all the rest are kin or connected. The only problem is that Geni right now has a faulty link through the Chiles family. When the link is corrected I have to recheck several, but there will be other paths, I bet. What a strange thing to find out. And I just checked through the Civil War for Texas, and every one is kin (a couple to be rechecked because of the bad Chiles link). And I just started with Arkansas. Tindalls and Hendersons and Bells and Knoxes as well as others.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Peaceful noon today

Yesterday wretched dominatrix repeatedly kicking horse in belly. I reproached her mildly enough to send her back south.

Marla Maples

Yuck. So the Costners and Carpenters and Rudisills are kin to Marla Maples. That does NOT does NOT does NOT make us kin to the unmentionable

Ex-Senator Jim Webb's Samuel Cockran? Well there is the marriage to a Semple/Sample

There is the Sparks ancestor William Sample who built a house on Front Street in New Castle, Delaware, by which I walked many a time unknowing. In the South, says Lois, if you are not kin you are connected. Being kin is more fun, except when the fourth removes get over the edge into hilarity.

More on Great Aunt Becky and Cousin Jim Webb's Granny Doyle being Replaced by the Internet--

Now, the Internet says that Jim Webb is my 15th cousin twice removed. That is with only a few of my paternal lines up. There are better links, I bet. How about Samuel Cochran? . . . .

Happening Today--The Resurrection of Great Aunt Becky's Infallible Charting of Kinship and Connections

Now, maybe nobody noticed that the elderly family member who used to know all the kinships and connections has been dead, gone from almost every Southern family, and none of the young people were capable of reproducing her encyclopedic knowledge. That was a great cultural loss, and few families has an imperfect substitute like my triple cousin Lois, who knows what we have lost when she says that in the South if you are not kin you are connected. Now, the Internet steps up wearing Great Aunt Becky's Mother Hubbard and tells me that Hank Williams is my first cousin four times removed's wife's fifth great nephew's wife's third cousin twice removed. Great Aunt Becky's would have known all that but would have taken all afternoon to tell it because she would have had to explain connections along the way and lament the loss of babies and the misbehavior of young men, but yes, she would have known. You may think the Internet now is impersonal, but real cousins are managing (as they say) real ancestors and going about it in a scholarly way. It's a great time to be interested in Southern history, especially if you did not have a Granny Doyle the way Jim Webb did.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Melville-Hating and Paul Lauter, Recipient of the ADE March Award

The Winter 2017 Modern Language Association Newsletter announces that Paul Lauter has received the Francis Andrew March Award established by the ADE (Association of Departments of English) Executive Committee in 1981 "to honor exceptional service to the profession of English." I have been looking at the March 1994 issue of AMERICAN LITERATURE, a collection of essays which I thought had been designed to remove Melville from the classroom. I took part of it personally, as designed to prevent the publication of the biography people knew I was working on. The sentence that struck me hardest was this: "we already have full-scale biographies of Melville." Well, of course we did not have anything like a full-scale biography of Melville, no study at all based on the great NYPL trove of "Augusta's Papers."
The article that set the tone for the issue was written by Paul Lauder under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Called "Melville Climbs the Canon," it was cleverly designed to throw Melville back out of that canon. Lauter recounted his polling some 100 students as to "the names of five or perhaps ten American books or writers" they thought "an educated person should have read—'educated' being defined as having completed a B. A. degree." He reported that Melville was never listed—"left off—with not a single vote among the one hundred or more registered in" the poll. Lauter selected some comments meant as representative: "You really feel belittled when you're reading Melville." Lauter continued sympathetically (no one wants to feel belittled): "My students seemed actively to dislike Melville, to feel humiliated by the prose and ignorant before the dense web of Melville's allusive, syntactically intricate style and his convoluted plotting."
Melville, concluded Lauter, "had become for them" (his students) "a representative of what they hated about their academic training." He knew when this had come about—in the Melville Revival of the 1920s: "I want to argue that, in the main, 'Melville' was constructed in the 1920s as part of an ideological conflict which linked advocates of modernism and of traditional high cultural values—often connected to the academy—against a social and cultural 'other," generally, if ambiguously, portrayed as feminine, genteel, exotic, dark, foreign, and numerous. In this contest a distinctively masculine, Anglo-Saxon image of Melville was deployed as a lone and powerful artistic beacon against the dangers presented by the masses; creating such an image entailed overlooking issues of race, eroticism, democracy, and the like."
Lauter suggested "that much of Melville's appeal, especially in the critical period during which he was being established as a 'classic' writer, has precisely to do with the validation of boys' tastes in mens' criticisms." Masculinity (as the enemy of feminism) "was precisely part of Melville's appeal to twenties critics." Melville, in fact, was an oppressor of young, poor, minority students (including numbers of children of recent immigrants). Lauter explained his students' "distaste for Melville": "For them, the modernist preference for difficult, indeed obscure, texts is no virtue; it may, in fact, reflect a process deeply inflected by class standards, whose effect is to marginalize them culturally." No wonder Paul Lauter's students hated Melville! So well had the National Endowment for the Humanities spent our money! Down with anyone who marginalizes all students culturally!
This was the opening piece in a deeply distressing campaign to drive Melville out of the classroom. It did not happen very often. Most students, and not only white upper-class students, love Melville, given the chance. If you want evidence, look now almost weekly in Greg Lennes's Melville site at classroom projects where students are involved in reading and responding joyously to Melville. It seems to me that giving the ADE March award to Lauder is one of the indications that the ADE, like the Modern Language Association itself, has marginalized the very people who formed it, people, even some from lower classes, even back then, who have gained enough education to love great stories greatly told.

The Rock--Still There at Noon Today

Why I do not have new photos of the white rabbit surviving without apparent water in the parking lot

The iPhone had shifted to selfie mode

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Throngs in Morro Bay celebrate Doug Jones! Surfer RUNS into ocean with his board

Taking comfort from Doug Jones, surely one of my Alabama cousins!

Well, I still have not turned on the news since 8 pm of 8 November 2016, but I know what happened yesterday in Alabama. All of my thousands of Alabama cousins (think of driving down the road with one Richardson mailbox after another in Lauderdale county!) voted for Doug Jones and decency in America again. This does not mean that I will turn on the news. Back to my Pottenger cousin Jim Bowie and the Alamo.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

From the dunes because the beach was muddy

It took hours to draw those concentric rings

Have you noticed that the great site Find-a-Grave is being destroyed?

It was ruthless, premeditated murder of a wonderful easy-to-use free site.


The Death of Find A Grave
I share your feelings about the "New" Find A Grave, like many of you I am a 17+ year member. What a disaster, it is slow and full of adds, I think that is the real reason for the change. Mr. Drinkwater just wants to turn all of the many thousands of volunteers work, time and effort into a revenue stream. What use to take one or two clicks to make an entry or change, now take three to five clicks for the same results, and I have a feeling that the usage is also down.

I am sending this email out to those who I have located on Drinkwater's home page and others that have expressed displeasure, about the "new" site. Feel free to pass along this email to others of like mind, and I welcome contacts if you have a question or suggestion. I am hoping that a group can be developed to present "our feelings" to someone in charge of Mr. Drinkwater and some of the original forms can be reestablished before it is all destroyed.
David Stuart, Find A Grave ID 2804148
Wichita, Kansas
David G. Stuart:

Monday, December 11, 2017

Female Southwest smoker threatens to KILL EVERYONE ON THIS FUCKING PLANE. Watch the video now!

They did not throw her off. They just tied her up and put six unlit cigarettes between her lips.

It was wonderful to see the sails being unfurled--it was almost as if it were a real sailing ship

Tall Ship leaving Morro Bay. Where else can you see a Tall Ship sailing over the horizon on your walk along a private beach?

The Long Winding Path from Hershel Parker to Kevin Costner, 2nd cousin once removed.

Hershel Parker

Martha Izora Parker
your mother

Edgar Lugene Costner
her father

Moses Amariah Costner
his brother

Walter Madison Costner
his son

William Von Costner
his son

Kevin Michael Costner
his son

I did not know which of Uncle Mode's sons was Kevin's grandfather--Walter. In her early childhood in Oklahoma Territory and then Oklahoma the only uncle my mother knew was "Uncle Mode," Moses Amariah. I think the last time she lived near him was in 1930. I thought of checking this on Geni because I have been checking the relationship paths of some of the Defenders of the Alamo. So far Geni searches only my mother's side, and even from that it is astonishing how many of the Defenders are kin. First I saw that Jim Bowie was a Maryland Pottenger, like me and Rosalynn Carter. Then I thought, what the hell, let me see if I am kin to others. This will impress my Texas friend Jim. And of all families, the Costners provided a lot of the dead at the Alamo, and I can easily verify every step on the path. Who would have thought it? I don't like the 32-path relationships when I think there are shorter ways, like from me to Keven. I mean, the link to Jim Bowie is two or three times as long as it needs to be. And think about it. It's not surprising how many Defenders should be kin. Many of the early American Texans were from the South, from old families. And as triple cousin Lois says, in the South if you are not kin you are connected.

Tribune picture from near where I was yesterday--but here sky is too light

Laura Dickinson's picture is good but the sky should be a much darker brown such as my iPhone caught yesterday.

Trying to show that the Rock was a pale blue under a sky of brown smoke yesterday

I was in a hurry and did not try to adjust the pictures yesterday. If you can imagine the sky dark brown (as in yesterday's pictures) and the Rock like it is here you get a fair idea of the strange pale icy blue it was.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

See how fuzzy the sun is

Dark still

Showing the dividing line

Still pretty spooky at noon

Local advice today
To protect yourself from the smoke, officials recommend that everybody:
▪ Stay indoors as much as possible and keep the windows and doors closed.
▪ Avoid activities that increase indoor pollution, such as lighting candles, smoking or vacuuming.
▪ Don’t rely on dust masks for protection. Those are designed to capture large particles, like sawdust, and won’t protect your lungs from the small particles found in wildfire smoke. N-95 masks will offer limited protection.
▪ Avoid exercising outdoors.
▪ Set your heat or air conditioner to recirculate, so it doesn’t bring in air from outside.
▪ Keep an eye on children, the elderly and those with heart or lung disease, as they are especially vulnerable to the effects of smoke.


Looking southwest

From the top on the north side

At 10

10 am darkness

Several pictures of the smoke from the great fires

Friday, December 8, 2017

Another cousin besides Jim Bowie slain at the Alamo--Jake Derst or Darst

Now, this was from Geni which normally gives phony relations running through the highest reaches of British nobility, but this one I could check and it was right.

Abraham Derst is Hershel Parker's fifth great uncle's son's wife's first cousin's husband's grandfather!

Lois, Lois, where are you? There has to be a simpler way of defining relationship? This is Geni, which normally gives phony relationships all mediated by British royalty but this one is right. What was I doing with Jake Darst (with an a)? Why, after finding that Jim Bowie was a Pottenger cousin I decided to check all the martyrs for Texas liberty to see how many of them were cousins. The astonishing thing is how many of them came out of nowhere and despite all the research are without known fathers or grandfathers.

Now, there has to be a better way of stating the cousinship.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Friday, December 1, 2017

Getting to Know Jim Nabors's work, Now that I Know he is one of Ours

Cousin by way of the Hills, something I never knew. In 2007 I took a picture of my GGG Grandmother Judith Nabors Hill's tombstone in Lauderdale County, Alabama. I had never seen or heard Jim Nabors but in the last days have listened to him sing a few songs and watched a few minutes of him being Gomer Pyle. What a terrific man to have in the family! I will listen to more of the songs, with special pleasure.

Deserted Rock at Noon

Thursday, November 30, 2017

New Moat to Defend "The Cloisters" from Riff-Raff

This used to be the access point to the boardwalk and The Cloisters, the super-expensive development built almost
20 years on swampland. Now this moat will discourage any respectful plebeian from attempting to breach the security of The Cloisters.

Private Beach

Cousin Jim Nabors

I learned just now that he played a character called Gomer Pyle. That name I had heard but had not seen the show. Now, it's funny that we are kin to some of the Pyles, the descendants of young Dr John of the 1781 disaster.
As Lois says, in the South if you are not kin you are connected.

A paternal-side cousin's book-length story of his escape from a Confederate prison then surviving to die in Arizona in the new century

It's taken me hours to assemble it from newspapers, but now I have it all. A literate cousin! A cousin with a prose style! It's in the same genre as my wife's Cousin Ervin Varga's
Living and Dying in Hungary: Jewish Psychiatrist Looks Back. Two out of thousands survived in Ervin's case. Three out of sixty made it to Union lines in my cousin's escape, Cousin John and 2 others. In a related genre, the captivity narrative, we have the Bell cousin's book on the Mier captivity.
In the great centenary year 1876 Cousin John was making $40 a month as a schoolteacher in a 9-month school, limping from a wound incurred after he went back to battle, but a very thoughtful men. Back to reading.

I never watched Cousin Jim Nabors in anything and never thought to check his ancestry till today

But of course he is a cousin. I was not shunning him all these years but just not watching commercial TV. So nice that Cousin Fred and Mavis's boy did so well and lived so long.

New Revelations about Walter Cronkite

I don't want to hear it. If I see it unwittingly, I don't believe it. Chet didn't do it either. David certainly didn't. I don't want to hear these things. Go away.