Reports of My Parent’s Wedding

The only things I knew about my parent’s wedding was that my mother wore blue and they were married at Plymouth Congregational Church. My parents separated when I was eight years old and apparently the clippings that my grandmother’s must have saved, disappeared.

When I found an archive for the Detroit Tribune Newspaper, published by my publishing poet cousin James McCall, I was hopeful that I would find an article that described the wedding. And I did! Unfortunately the article is so faded as to be all most blank. To say this was frustrating, is an understatement. The archive is housed at the Library of Congress – Chronicling America.  Maybe one day Newspapers.com will add The Detroit Tribune to their collection and find better copies.

Here are the pieces I found.  The first one, about a before the wedding event.

A before the wedding festivity. My father’s name was Albert B. Cleage. He got the nickname “Toddy” as a toddler and it stuck. The article refers to him as “Todd”.

“Doris Graham is being feted, because Wednesday evening she will say “I do” to Todd Cleage, after which they will go to Lexington, KY. The local chapter of Iota Boule fraternity honored Doris Graham and Todd Cleage Friday night at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Gamble on Willis street. Among those who came with heart loads of good wishes were: Mr. and Mrs. Henderson, Dr. and Mrs. James Moore, Mr. and Mrs. M. Graham, Atty. and Mrs. P. Piper, Dr. Lloyd Bailer, Mr. and Mrs. H.S. Dunbar and their petite daughter Margie, Dr. and Mrs. Peyton Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Winburn and Dr. and Mrs J.A. Moore and others.”

The unreadable details of the wedding.

Doris Graham Cleage – 1923 – 1982

My mother would have turned 95 years old today.  She was 59 when she died  in 1982, 32 years ago.  So much has happened since then.  She never saw either of my sons. She hasn’t seen any of her 11 great grandchildren. We were still living in Simpson County, MS.  Since then we’ve lived in Excelsior Spring, MO; Idlewild, MI and back to Atlanta, GA. Computers hadn’t made their way into our lives. Y2K. 9/11.  The 21st Century. Octavia Butler’s books. She would have loved them.  Detroit under siege. Strange weather. Monsanto. Obama. The Gulf War. The War in Iraq. The war in Afghanistan. Drones. Blogging. All the family history I’ve found. The oral history I’ve  proved right. All the questions I still have.

doris Graham Cleage

Individual Information Sheet my mother filled out for herself.
Individual Information Sheet my mother filled out for herself. I had filled out some information that she corrected. I added the death information much later. She filled this out soon after I started collecting in the late 1970s.

You can read more about my mother in these posts:

Growing Up – In Her Own Words

My Mother Was A Teacher

My Mother 1952

Airports and Answers: Some Thoughts on Lighting by Pearl Cleage

 

 

 

 

Home Library 1931

Bonzo, MV and Doris Graham. 1932. Backyard of Theodore, Detroit,MI

In my grandmother Fannie’s scrapbook, I found two library cards made by my mother, Doris and her older sister, Mary Virginia in 1931.  My mother was 7 and Mary Virginia was 11.  There is no book listed on my mother’s card but Mary Virginia names “The Children’s Story Hour” on hers.  I wonder what other books they borrowed and lent or if this was a one time happening. I did notice that Mary Virginia returned her book on time.

This photograph was taken later that year in their backyard. Howard died of scarlet fever the following year. He was two and a half.

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Christmas Candy

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Aunt Daisy Turner

Aunt Daisy took us downtown to the show every summer and to Saunders for ice cream afterward.  And I always ended up with a splitting headache.  Too much high living I guess.  She and Alice would buy us dainty, expensive little dresses from Siegel’s or Himllhoch’s.  They all went to church every Sunday at  Plymouth Congregational. Daisy always gave us beautiful tins of gorgeous Christmas candy, that white kind filled with gooey black walnut stuff, those gooey raspberry kind and those hard, pink kind with a nut inside, also chocolates, of course!

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Doris and Mary Virginia Graham. Their mother and baby brother Howard are looking out of the window.

 

See Mary Virginia’s Christmas Memories here Mary V. Graham Elkins Remembers Christmas

Balloons – 1926

 

Mershell, Mary V. and Doris Graham on their front steps. 1926.

Mershell, Mary V. and my mother Doris Graham are sitting on their front steps waving balloons on sticks. It was 1926.  The house was on Theodore, the east side of Detroit. Sometimes I dream about this house and the porch usually figures in the dreams as I leave or enter or start down the street going somewhere.

Other posts about the house on Theodore are – Everyday Things Then and Now and T is for Theodore Street

 

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Sepia Saturday Header

Springfield, MA 1950 #301

springfield_ma_kidsMy sister Pearl held an arm full of leaves. My mother held our hands. I held my doll.  We were standing in the vacant lot near the parsonage of St. John’s Congregational Church in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Click for another post about life on Union Street in Springfield.

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The Graham Sisters and Their Dog Bonzo

Bonzo, MV and Doris Graham. 1936. Backyard of Theodore, Detroit,MI
Bonzo, MV and Doris Graham. August 1932. Backyard of Theodore, Detroit,MI

My mother Doris and her sister Mary Virginia with their dog Bonzo.  The picture was taken in August 1932, about 6 months after their brother Howard died of Scarlet Fever.  Mary V. was 12 and Doris was 9.  The sisters were granddaughters of Jennie Virginia Allen Turner, who was the daughter of Dock and Eliza Allen.  My mother later had a sister-in-law named Gladys Cleage, who will celebrate her 93rd birthday this Saturday.  I could not find a photograph of her with a sister and a dog, but here she is with sister Anna.

Gladys and Anna Cleage, about 1930 beside their home on Scotten, Detroit.
Gladys and Anna Cleage, about 1930 beside their home on Scotten, Detroit.

Gladys and Anna were the grandchildren of Lewis and Anna Cecilia Cleage, and great granddaughters of  Frank and Juda Cleage of Athens, TN.

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Hanging Up The Laundry – San Francisco 1944 & Mississippi 1977

My mother hanging up clothes in San Francisco, 1944.
My mother hanging up clothes in San Francisco, 1944. Photos of my mother by my father, Albert B. Cleage jr
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My mother with her clothes box after hanging up the clothes.
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Me posing with a basket of laundry to hang up. About 1977.  Photos of me by husband James E.Williams
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Me hanging up or taking down clothes in the rain? About 1977.

 

Two other posts about my parent’s time in San Francisco

My Parent’s Time In San Francisco

Newspaper Clipping of My Parent’s Arrival in San Francisco

A post about my life on St. John’s Road, Mississippi

R is for Toute 1 Box 173 & 1/2

 

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Fish and Fillets – Idlewild Michigan 1977 & 1979

My mother, Doris Graham Cleage, holding a string of fish on Water Mill Lake.
My mother, Doris Graham Cleage, holding a string of blue gills she and Henry caught in Lake Idlewild in 1977.

On the left my Uncle Henry is holding a ten inch blue gill that he and my mother caught in September of 1977 in a boat off of my Uncle Louis’ dock on Lake Idlewild.  They would fillet them and freeze them in empty milk cartons.

On the right is a boat in front of Louis’ cottage on Idlewild Lake. I can’t quite make it out, but could be them catching the above string of fish.

In June, 1979 my mother sent to the Emergency Land Fund’s newspaper “Forty Acres and A Mule” her recipe for cooking blue gills.  I wish I had a plate of those blue gills right now.

idlewild lake with boat 1977:sept 10" blue gill from L. Idlewild

bluegill recipe - doris cleage******************************

I just remembered this letter with a drawing of a fish that my mother wrote to Henry from Idlewild in 1956.

Letter my mother wrote in 1956 from Louis's cottage in Idlewild.
From a letter my mother wrote in 1956 from Louis’s cottage in Idlewild.

“In between showers, the children & I go outside to see what’s up.  The lake is full of minnows & baby bass & even some half-size bass who stay around our beach.  But the rowboat isn’t even down the hill – and the other boats are too fast – everything is gone before you even get to it – including the lake.

I’ve spent two evenings with Louis & his guests – and they took me out to “night club” – but they’ve given me up, I think, as a confirmed “prude” – but a pleasant innocuous one.  I’ve been reading the book about Bronson alcott (no, I won’t tell you who he is) and also…”

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Me, my mother and Pearl on Louis’ dock that summer of 1956.

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I was going to write about the time when we hand printed fish one spring in Idlewild. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to have saved any of our prints. I did not know printing fish was a Japanese art form called Gyotaku.  Ours were not as lovely as those at the link, but they were interesting.

Note:  My sister tells me she has some of those prints. Whenever she finds them, I will add them to this post.

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