A-Z Reflections 2014

The Cleage family about 1930 in front of their house on Scotten. From L to R Henry, Louis, (My grandmother) Pearl, Barbara, Hugh, Gladys, Anna, Albert Jr (My father) and (My grandfather) Albert Sr.
The Cleage family about 1930 in front of their house on Scotten. From L to R Henry, Louis, (My grandmother) Pearl, Barbara, Hugh, Gladys, Anna, Albert Jr (My father) and (My grandfather) Albert Sr.

For this year’s April A-Z Challenge  I blogged everyday using items taken from the letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother from 1907 to 1912, starting with “A” and moving right through the alphabet to “Z”.  I even managed 2 bonus posts on Sundays that were related to the theme.  Doing them out of chronological order to meet the necessary letter bothered me until someone pointed out that I would have overlooked some of the words that gave the letters more context, as in H is for Henry Hummons or Q is for Questions.

This year was much easier for me than last year. I think having a theme and material that was already there, did it. It probably helped that I did little else everyday this month besides work on the blog.  I managed to visit quite a few new to me blogs and got some new visitors.  Now, if I can just use May to put these letters into a print ready form, I will be happy.  The header for this post is a picture of just some of the descendents of Albert and Pearl Cleage taken in 2012.

Me and my grandfather - 1948.
My grandfather Albert B. Cleage Sr and me in 1948.
  1. A is for Albert Buford Cleage – December 7, 1907
  2. B is for Book – March 8, 1909
  3. C is for Comet – May 27, 1910
  4. D is for Detroit – June 20, 1909
  5. E is for Eastern States – June 26, 1909
  6. F is for Flower Clock – September 14, 1909
  7. G is for Graduation – February 10, 1910
  8. H is for Henry Hummons – August 9, 1909
  9. I is for I’ll Take a Chance – December 8, 1908
  10. Extra: 4 Bonus Cards – 7/20/1909, 7/28/1909, 8/21/1909,  9/3/1909
  11. J is for June – Cadavers Post Card – June 19, 1909
  12. K is for Kenwood – March 30, 1909
  13. L is for Lincoln Hospital – March 18, 1910
  14. M is for Mother – February 21, 1910
  15. N is for Nineteen Ten Fayette Street – October 18, 1909
  16. O is for Opportunity and Operation – March 22, 1910
  17. P is for Pearl – July 21, 1910
  18. Q is for Questions – May 27, 1910
  19. R is for Remember – July 15, 1909
  20. S is for Sight Seeing – June 28, 1909
  21. T is for Thomas Dixon – January 21, 1910
  22. U is for Union Station (graduation) – June 21, 1910
  23. V is for Vaudeville -July 15, 1909
  24. W is for Wedding – September 2, 1910
  25. Extra: Home is Where the Heart Is – July 14, 1911
  26. X is for eXsenator & X-ray (Log cabin) – July 21, 1911
  27. Y is for Young Albert – July 11, 1911
  28. Z is for Zoo and Kalamazoo – July 9, 1912

Pearl and Albert with their children and 3 of the grandchildren. My sister and I were at our other grandmothers and the youngest 4 were not yet born. 1951.Pearl and Albert with their children and 3 of the grandchildren. My sister and I were at our other grandparents and the youngest 4 were not yet born. Their backyard at 2270 Atkinson, Detroit, MI – 1952.


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27 thoughts on “A-Z Reflections 2014

  1. I loved your theme!

    And it’s so cool to see that picture of you and your grandfather – how beautiful!

  2. I’m so glad you chose this topic, Kristin. And I’m super-impressed that you are now in a position to be publish them–all the best with getting them “print-ready” in May. That what comes of planning! Maybe I will be organized enough to have a project in mind for next year. Incidentally, I just heard your sister Pearl interviewed on Tell Me More! I was so thrilled–couldn’t wait to come in and tell you.

    1. So many things came together so that I chose this topic. If my cousin Jan hadn’t sent me great scans of all the letters a few months ago, I never would have done it.

      I’m glad you got to hear Pearl.

      I have a couple of other projects in mind but don’t think I will wait until next year to do them. Maybe I have to give myself a month long challenge topic and organize it the way I did this.

  3. Your theme worked really well, Kristin and your final “wrap up” was spot on in pulling the threads together. It must be wonderful to have the group photograph and you look so cute with your grandfather.

    1. Thank you Sue. I wish we’d done a group photo of all of us later. I’ve got lots of group photographs through the years, but none where everybody appears. Those are really priceless.

  4. I have really enjoyed getting to know more about your grandparents. The photos are beautiful. That one of the 1930s looks very modern except for the plus fours that Henry is wearing – a bit like Tintin 🙂
    best wishes

  5. Great idea, wish I had thought of that. I have over 1000 letters my dad wrote to my mom during WWII. I greatly enjoyed looking at your blog!!

    1. I have a bunch of letters that my father wrote home when he and my mother were living in Los Angeles in the 1940s, also during WWII. I’ve blogged a few.

      And there’s always next year to blog yours!

  6. I published Dad’s letters in a 3-volume set (printed) using Createspace (Amazon’s self-publishing platform). It was only about $40 to get started and I did everything myself so I didn’t pay them for marketing or anything. Just an idea if you want to try using something like that for the print versions of your grands’ letters. 🙂

  7. Congratulations on completing your challenge. What an original theme to have written on?!…loved it! I just realized, there were so many wonderful blogs like yours that I must have missed reading during the challenge 🙂

    1. There were so many blogs to visit that I felt swamped! I did mange to visit quite a few but I know I missed some good ones.

  8. Beautiful photos and wonderful project. My mom gave my the letters my dad wrote to her when they were courting, and even after they were married, a whole fat sheaf of letters and my father was a true writer. And a romantic, too. Nothing like having these letters as a window onto the ones before us. They are extraordinary.

    1. This is so true. I think my mother shredded all her letters and diaries after she and my father were divorced. I have some of my father’s letters home, but nothing he wrote her or she wrote him. Maybe because they were in the same place.

  9. Hi Kristin
    I found this blog , through Pearl’s facebook. I love your photos and your blog . I have a wealth of family photos as well dating from late 1800’s, I am trying to put together a family history , and hope to learn much from you ! Gosh you guys rock ! thanks for sharing !

  10. Kristin,

    I loved and learned so much from your lovely blog about your grandfather and grandmother! I placed your blog as one of my all time favorites! Can’t wait til next year!

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