Christy History

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! I am running late today, but it is still morning, and I’m enjoying a second cup of my favorite brew.

I completely missed last week’s post. That holiday threw me off! My last post, I promised more family history. In searching through old photos, I discovered cowboys. You’ll find that post here. The Packnett family intrigued me with their good looks and interesting lineage.

In Family History, I talked about the Youngers and the Christys. Long before my grandmother, Audrie Packnett met and married my grandpa, Henry Earl Christy, Minnie Younger married William Henry Christy. Minnie and Willie Christy both came from pioneer stock. Their families had traveled west and ended up in Arkansas and Missouri.

William Henry Christy II was born Nov. 2, 1886, in Arkansas. He died at the young age of 54, in Amarillo, Texas, and was buried in the family’s hometown of Henryetta Oklahoma.

Minnie Lee Younger was born Oct. 2, 1889, also in Arkansas. She also died in Amarillo, in 1970. She was eighty years old.

The Christy Family, 1918

Willie and Minnie had four sons. Twins, Floyd & Lloyd, Henry Earl, and Elton. I think the twins look like double trouble. Kind of like Dennis the Menace times two. My grandpa, Henry Earl, is in the center of this photo. His younger brother Elton stands in front of him. My grownup Grandpa looked a lot like his daddy.

The first time I saw this photo, I was confused. I wondered what my younger brother was doing in such an old photograph. He looks an awful lot like Willie Christy.

The twins were born in 1909 in Dardanelle, Arkansas. Grandpa was born in 1912, and Elton was born in 1915. Elton was the only one to remain in Henryetta. He died in 1991 at the age of 75. Grandpa also died at 75.

The twins moved to Amarillo, where they spent their lives working for the railroad. They were seldom on the same train at the same time. But in 1968, they were. The train derailed, killing Uncle Lloyd. Uncle Floyd was injured but survived. He died in 1996 at the age of 85.

Great-Grandma Christy was a widow at 51. Eight years later, she married Parker George White, the widower of her sister, Lissie, in California. My Grandpa (Henry), would later move to California. I assume he didn’t like the weather in Seattle, Washington, where he’d been living with my Grandma and his two daughters, my Aunt Earlene and Mom. Grandma had no intention of ever going south again, where there was any possibility of dust storms. She remained in Seattle with her daughters.

I think he resembles Walt Disney in this photo. I wonder how he felt, starting over without his family. Whatever the reasons, his daughters forgave him and had a very good relationship with him.

 

I found this little card among his old photographs. I think he lived here at one time.

He and Audrie eventually divorced, and both remarried. Grandpa would live his last years in various trailer parks.

Grandpa & Viola.

 

 

The Christy brothers are in the first photo. Second photo: Lloyd and Floyd, all duded up for some occasion, then pictured with their wives in the third photo. The fourth photo is of their mother, my Great-Grandma, (right in the photo). I always knew her as Grandma Christy, though she was officially Minnie White.

I didn’t know my Grandpa Christy very well. He and Viola (we never called her anything else) lived in L.A., and we lived in West Tennessee, with the exception of a few years in San Diego. My fondest memories of him included things like visiting a “swap meet” at a drive-in movie theatre (during the daytime) and riding in the back of his VW. He was always smiling, and always had a dog. He loved baseball (Dodgers) and the roller derby, and he loved to cook.

Coffee with a Pioneer?

Hello, Thursday morning friends! I hope you’re enjoying a successful week.

It’s been an interesting one for me. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a vacation. I haven’t had one of those in a couple of years.

But not yet.

Lately, I’ve been reminiscing here on the blog. There’s a reason for that. I’m working on possible plots for future stories, and wondering which path to take first. I have a couple of ideas and the freedom to choose.

Some of you may have traced your family and found interesting folks and stories along the way. I haven’t done that, but some of my cousins have. My mother’s family traces back to Scotland in the 16th century. They came to Virginia and raised tobacco. Some of them moved west to Missouri. One was a Union sympathizer with a beard down to his waist. I read that he was not a popular guy. But his son dressed like a cowboy. He went to Arkansas and later, to Texas where he settled in the panhandle.

He was my grandpa’s grandfather. His son married and had four sons, but died in his forties. His wife, my great-grandma Christy, married her late sister’s husband. Think about that one. I suppose there were children involved that needed both parents to survive. Or, maybe they were in love.

I always admired my Great-Grandma Christy. She was a pioneer, and pioneers were tough. This time, I do have a picture. That’s Grandpa in the middle. He’s the second-youngest. His two older brothers were twins. Redheads, and don’t they look like trouble?

The Christy Family, circa 1911-1912

Folks didn’t smile for their pictures back then, but sometimes personalities shone through. Just as you can easily read the mischief in the faces of the twins, you can’t miss the hint of a smile on Great-Grandma’s face.

I wonder what it would’ve been like to visit her at home in those days? Would she offer coffee? Not in a Texas summer, I’ll bet. But in winter, she’d have a roaring flame in the cook stove and maybe brew coffee in an enamel pot.

This photo has always fascinated me. The first time I saw it, I wondered how my younger brother Ed could be in such an old photograph. That man on the left, my great-grandfather Christy—looks a lot like my younger brother—even the way he combed his hair.

I may be finished traveling memory lane. I really don’t know what’s up next. I’m reading a really good book. If I finish in time, I may write a review.

If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll join me on Saturday at the Plainview Barnes and Noble. Here’s an official invitation: