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Christmas Grahams

Christmas Candy

daisyturner
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 Fannie and baby brother Howard are looking out of the window.

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

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Grahams

Balloons – 1926

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

Mershell, Mary V. and Doris Graham, my mother 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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Cleages sepia saturday

Springfield, MA 1950

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My 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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Grahams sepia saturday

Sisters and Dogs

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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To see more Sepia Saturday posts CLICK!

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Cleages sepia saturday

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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To See more Sepia Saturday, CLICK!

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Biography sepia saturday

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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To read other fishy Sepia Saturday offerings, CLICK!

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Cleages Grahams

Alpha Dance 1952

atkinson Doris & 'Toddy" Alpha dance1952
Doris and Toddy, Alpha dance 1952.

I do not remember seeing my parents dressed up for this dance. I was six years old. I do not remember ever seeing my parents dressed up and going out.  After we moved off of Atkinson to Chicago Blvd, I remember that my mother had several fancy gowns hanging in her closet.

I looked for information about an Alpha dance in Detroit in 1952.  I couldn’t find anything. Neither of my parents were members of a sorority or fraternity. I am assuming that some members of the church invited them to the dance.

“In 1951, when I was four, my father received a call to St. Marks Presbyterian church in Detroit. We left Springfield, Massachusetts  and moved into 2212 Atkinson, down the street from my paternal grandparents who lived at 2270 Atkinson.    St. Marks was located a block away, in the other direction, on 12th Street.  The 1967 Detroit riot started a block from the church.”    For more click  A is for Atkinson.

Moving from Springfield to Detroit in 1951.

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Detroit Grahams

Three Generations – 1939

Three Generations
Three Generations

From Left to right My grandmother, Fannie Mae Turner Graham, peeking over my greatgrandmother’s, Jennie Virginia Allen Turner’s, shoulder. My grandmother’s sister Daisy Turner. Behind and between Aunt Daisy and Aunt Alice Turner, is my aunt Mary Virginia Graham Elkins, although she was not yet an Elkins. At the end, behind Alice, is my mother, Doris Graham Cleage, although she was not yet married a Cleage either.

They are posed in Grandmother Turner’s backyard on the East Side of Detroit at 4536 Harding.  The house is gone now.  They look like they just came from Church, at Plymouth Congregational, however the photo is dated July 4, 1939 on the back.  July 4 was on a Tuesday that year. Maybe they went on a church picnic. My grandfather, Mershell C. Graham took the picture.

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Grahams sepia saturday

Hair Dryer sketch 1967

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My mother at age 9 in 1932.

I don’t remember my mother using a hair dryer except for a short period of time.  In the aftermath of the Detroit Riot of 1967, many people began to wear afros.  My mother had waist length wavy hair. She remembered it being very curly when she was a child and thought that when she cut it, it was going to become kinky enough to make an afro.  Much to her chagrin, it did not. Until it grew out again, she would wash it, roll it up in curlers and sit under the dryer to get some curl.

Below is a sketch I made of my mother for a drawing class in 1967. At that time, my drawings added at least 20 years to family members age. It was not on purpose. Click on images to enlarge.

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Doris Graham Cleage under the dryer.

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My mother after her haircut.

 

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Click to see more Sepia Saturday posts.

 

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Cleages Grahams The Book of Me

Generations of Family Signatures

When I started looking for signatures, I thought it would be easy because I have many letters through the generations.  The problem was that they did not sign letters with both first and last names.  Some repeatedly used nicknames.  I was able to find most signatures by searching through documents – marriage licenses, social security cards, deeds, bills of sale and group membership cards. I finally found my sister’s signature in the return address on an envelope and if I’d thought of it sooner, might have found others in the same place.

missvirginia
The first page from my great grandmother, Jennie Virginia Allen Turner’s memory book. My mother’s, mother’s mother. The first generation born out of slavery and the first literate generation.  I believe that she and her siblings all attended schools founded by the Congregational Church in Montgomery, AL after the Civil War.

My great grandfather Howard Turner was born in 1862 in Lowndes County, AL. He was literate but I do not know what school he and his siblings attended.
My great grandfather Howard Turner was born in 1862 in Lowndes County, AL. He was literate but I do not know what school he and his siblings attended.  I do not have a photograph of him but I did find his signature on my great grandparents marriage license.

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My great grandmother’s brother, Ransom Allen.

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My great grandmother’s oldest sister, Mary Allen McCall.

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My paternal grandmother Pearl Reed Cleage. I found her signature on some legal papers because all of the letters I have from her were signed “Mother”.  I know that she graduated from high school in Indianapolis, IN and received all of her education in Indianapolis but I do not know the names of the schools.  Her signature came from a Marion Indiana Probate record for her older brother’s will in 1946.

 

My paternal grandfather, Dr. Albert B. Cleage Sr. He attended the Athens Academy in Athens TN, Knoxville College and the Indiana Medical School in Indianapolis, IN.

My paternal grandfather, Dr. Albert B. Cleage Sr. He attended the Athens Academy in Athens TN, Knoxville College and the Indiana Medical School in Indianapolis, IN. His signature came from his marriage license in 1910.

 

 

 

fanny

My maternal grandmother, Fannie Mae Turner Graham.  Jennie’s daughter, she was educated in Montgomery, AL at State Normal which was a school from elementary to high school, started by the Congregational Church for Black students.  Her signature came from the 1910 Montgomery Census form via ancestry.com. She was an enumerator.

 

Mershell

My maternal grandfather Mershell C. Graham. My mother said he taught himself to read. The 1940 census said he finished 8th grade. From Coosada, Elmore Countty, Alabama. His signature came from his WW1 Draft registration card in 1917 via ancestry.com.

 

 

 

 

My father Albert B. Cleage Jr. His nickname was Toddy and he often signed his letters home Toddy. He attended Wingert elementary, Northwestern High, Wayne State in Detroit and Oberlin University in Ohio.

My father Albert B. Cleage Jr. His nickname was Toddy and he often signed his letters home Toddy. He attended Wingert elementary, Northwestern High, Wayne State in Detroit and Oberlin University in Ohio.  His full signature came from a Purchaser’s recipt in 1957 for a building Central Congregational Church wanted to buy.

 

 

 

 

My mother was born in 1923 in Detroit, MI. She attended Thomas Elementary School, Barbour Intermediate, Eastern High and Wayne State University in Detroit.

 

Doris Graham Cleage, Fannie’s daughter, my mother was born in 1923 in Detroit, MI. She attended Thomas Elementary School, Barbour Intermediate, Eastern High and Wayne State University in Detroit.  Her signature came from a State of Michigan Teacher Oath in 1964.  The “Doris” came from a letter home from Los Angeles in 1944.

My younger sister Pearl Michell Cleage. She attended Roosevelt elementary, McMichael Junior High and Northwestern High in Detroit. Also Howard and Spellman Universities.

My younger sister Pearl Michell Cleage is Jennie’s great granddaughter. She attended Roosevelt Elementary School , McMichael Junior High School and Northwestern High School in Detroit. She also Howard and Spellman Universities.  Her signature came from the return address on a letter in 1991.

 

 

My own signature. I was raised in Detroit and attended Brady and Roosevelt elementary, Durfee and McMichael Junior high and Northwestern High school and Wayne State University, all in Detroit My own signature. Another great granddaughter of Jennie, I was raised in Detroit and attended Brady and Roosevelt Elementary Schools, Durfee and McMichael Junior High Schools, Northwestern High School and Wayne State University, all in Detroit.   The bottom signature came from my third daughter’s birth certificate in 1976.  The top one came from a deed for the sale of the house on Oregon where  I was a witness in 1968.