Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Daughters Of The American Revolution

For over 30 years I've wanted to be a part of the largest women's group in the United States.  The DAR, an organization of women who share a familiar connection of having an ancestor who helped contribute to securing the Independence of the United States of America.  Today that dream came true.  As we gathered at the Fox Den Country Club, I was sworn in and pinned as we also celebrated the 58th birthday of the Andrew Bogle Chapter and the 125th birthday of the DAR.

To become a member I had to prove I was a descendant from a patriot of the American Revolution.  I had to be a direct and traceable blood relation in order to qualify.  So here I am, a member of the Andrew Bogle Chapter, a fabulous group of patriotic women who make a difference in our community and whom I enjoy spending time with and getting to know.  As I've discovered from speaking to several of the DAR ladies, sometimes it takes years to find the information you need. With the lack of bookkeeping, war and fires, you are not able to discover the evidence needed.  Mine came easy although it didn't seem like it at the time.  I wanted immediate results.
Not only did I find a soldier, (George Long) in my family, I found many.  As my mama say's, "our family practically won the war!"
There has been several notable DAR members such as Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, former Attorney General Janet Reno, actresses Ginger Rogers and Bo Derek, first ladies Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, Mamie Eisenhower, Rosalyn Carter and my husband's friend,  Physician and NASA Astronaut Margaret Rhea Seddon, just to name a few.

Kathy Chippendale, a long time friend and fellow DAR member and I.

Susan Dakak, standing to the left was born in Baghdad, Iraq an immigrated to the United States in 1978 with her family.  She graduated with a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Tennessee Tech in 1983.
She returned to Iraq during the Iraq War to help her people in their struggle for independence.  She volunteered with the Coalition Provincial Authority by using her 26 years of technical knowledge to assist the people of Iraq.
Her U.S. citizenship is a precious gift to her.  "Becoming a U.S. citizen for us immigrants means the dream of being protected by the Constitution and Bill of Rights of the United States is finally real."
She has written articles for the Knoxville News Sentinel, one of which was written to G.I. "You dear soldier are the fruit of the Blessed American People."

Family history is something that I have been interested in for a long time.  I wanted to discover my roots.  Back before we had a computer it was just to difficult.  You would have to travel to where the leads took you, and with four children that was out of the question.  More than once, I've wondered where my people came from and who they were.  What mysteries lurked in their closets.
My mama and I often wondered what really happened to Great Grandma Janie May.  Was she murdered, like the story goes?  Did she and my Great Grandfather move from Texas to Arizona and why?  These and more are some of the mysteries I have begun to solve.

Great Grandma Janie May-Great Grandpa John Sherman-Grandpa L.M.-Great Aunt Odessa

My oldest daughter, Malia, loves looking at all the family wills I have found. She was very interested in the wordings like  (bequeath) and the things that were important to them that they passed on to their spouse and children.   A large percent of my people were farmers and some had plantations.  Many were slave owners, something that I'm not proud of, but is however documented in black and white.

There are some things you just don't mess with when it comes to my mama like the American flag and many other things. She's a strong and proud Texas woman just like me.  My mama flies her flag and worries when a storm is coming. She will go out if a storm is coming to take her flag down and bring it in to safety.  Sometimes the wind is so strong it nearly blows her away, but she protects her flag.  There's one thing you cannot call my mama and that's unpatriotic.  The red, white and blue are her favorite colors.

Our speaker, Kira Jones of the Boys & Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley

A tasty lunch was served.  
Chicken Piccata, green beans with almonds, salad, rolls, baked potato, and a  beverage.

And lastly the most important, at least to me, Birthday Cake.
As Julia Child said, "a party without cake is just a meeting."
This definitely was no ordinary meeting, but a party as we celebrated two very important birthdays.