Update about blog

Come on over to my other blog, Alchemy of Clay and Living in Black Mountain NC, where the scenery and my ceramic arts life are combined. I've moved some personal blog posts, (as well as those that are about my ancestors) back here.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Century mark for his birth

My father, George Elmore Rogers Jr, was born 100 years ago today.  In Galveston, Texas, to a family of Christian Scientists.  Christian Scientists would read from the Bible and the Christian Science literature, and pray when someone was sick. That's important because he never had medical treatment in his long life.  He lived to 70 years and died in 1985. 

(l ro r) Poppy, (George Sr.) mother Mataley (behind) myself, my father, (George Jr,) Gummy (behind) and Uncle Jimmy, on the porch of our first house in St. Louis, MO

I celebrated the anniversary of his birth last year on this blog HERE.

 He was an accountant, being the son of a bookkeeper.  His beautiful penmanship remained steady for a long time, but did become shakey in his later years.

He loved to tinker in the garage or basement, with various projects, lots of which came from Popular Mechanics magazine.  Since he had no sons to share these ideas with, I would sometimes watch what he was working on.  My sister and I had only a few of these boyish gifts, but some were for his grandsons many years later.

North American badge
The aircraft company was his contribution to WW II, where he worked when I was born in 1942.

He was handy, and finished the basement of our first home in St. Louis by himself.  He worked on our family cars to keep them running, and he did all the yard work himself.  No lawnmower with a motor either, (at least at that house) and he enjoyed raising some roses also.

Dad in front, Mary Beth, (my sis), Claudette, myself (Barbara), Sandra from l to r.  Near St. Louis, MO around 1954.  Cousins Claudette and Sandra visited from Houston on summer vacation.

We lived in apartments for about 8 years when we first moved to St. Louis, MO, and I think he was so glad to have a bit of property of his own again.  My parents had owned 2 homes in Texas before we moved. Then they owned two homes in St. Louis, and one in Framingham, MA, then returned to Houston.
In front of new house, Dad, sister Mary, and mother, in 1962 St. Louis, MO

Last house my parents owned, in Houston, TX

In Feb. 1960 these brothers buried their father George Rogers, Sr. in Houston, TX - from l to r, George Jr, Chauncey, James Rogers.  They are all gone now, but there are many of their children alive who are now the elders of the family.

George E Rogers Jr at Epcot, FL
Dad, Lisa, Tai in stroller, Zach and myself (l to r) at Epcot Center, Disney World, FL
My parents welcomed my sister, Mary, and her two children (Lisa and Zach) to live with them for a few years in the Houston house above.  One summer in the early 80s the grands went to Disney World near Orlando FL, for a vacation (without my sister.)  I was then a student at the University of Florida in nearby Gainesville, FL, and met them with my son, Tai, for one day of their vacation. 

With his deep faith, his last months apparently were pretty hard for him, and my parents knew I would want to interfere and get him help from medicine...so they wanted me to stay away.  I complied, at the urging of my sister who minimized his condition to me.  I had left the religion years before and found that the belief in prayer as the only way to have healing gave a lot of needless suffering for Christian Scientists.

When my father died at home, my mother and sister followed his wishes to have a cremation and no marker to designate his remains.  There also was no memorial service.  I gave myself a memorial ritual for my father, as I mourned his loss and celebrated his wonderful life, sitting in meditation with his pictures and letters for 40 days.  I'm glad I did, and wonder if my parents really felt better by not having any ritual to mark his life.

I remember all the times he drove me to school functions before I had a license, waiting till parties or dances were over, then taking me home again.  I think he lived his religion through his works and love towards others, not by going to church.

Happy birthday, Daddy!  I will continue to remember you with love.

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