Friday Fun 2

Note from Andie:  Because the original Friday Fun has gotten really long, I have started Friday Fun 2.  Hope you enjoy it!

Children at play

I believe that my five siblings would agree that we had an amazing time growing up!  We had parents that loved the outdoors and thought exploring nature was one of the most important activities we could do.  I have always loved this picture of me and Reggie taken about 1950 at Yellow River.   Reggie is probably telling me the life story of whatever bug we were tormenting and daring me to “just touch it, it won’t hurt you!”

Cousins 65 years ago!

According to my calculations, this photo was taken during the summer of 1952.  Wow!  This is 12 of 25 first cousins, grandchildren of Ferman Esco and Nellie Mae Simmons Fortenberry.  Because we were the children of six brothers, we all had the surname of Fortenberry.  

Back row left to right:  1 and 2.  Eleanor holding Eliza (children of Everett)      3 and 4.  Pat next to Elmo, Jr (children of Elmo)       5.  Chip (son of Everett)

Front row, left to right:   6.  Jo (daughter of Elmo)      7.  Bill (son of Jack)      8. Reggie (daughter of Adrian)      9.  Becky (daughter of Jack)      10.  Andie (daughter of Adrian)      11. and 12.  Raymond holding Terry (children of Adrian)

Recently in touch with my Polish Ancestry!

Last weekend there was a pierogi festival in Lawrenceville.  Reggie, David, John, and I decided decided to check it out.  While there, there were some children in native costumes who were periodically preforming some of the old dances.  Just before leaving, I was wondering why I didn’t take any pictures for Friday Fun.  These three lovely Polish dancers were practicing and allowed me to take a photo.  I think one of the most enjoyable things about the experience was listening to all the Polish being spoken and hearing the accented English that reminded me of listening to my grandparents talking. 

Have you been on these roads?

A couple of years ago, while cruising around the back roads between Corning, NY and Niagara Falls, John and I came across Van Valkenburg Road.  After returning from the trip, I posted that photo.  This week, while reorganizing a lot of photos, I came across a photo of a road sign taken quite a few years ago and I wanted to share it.   This road is located in the Blairsville area of Union County, Georgia.  I thought it was interesting that I had two road signs with the beginning form of our name and the other one our final spelling!  Now I have to find two more roads – Falkenburg Road and Falkenberry Road!  When I find them, I will let you know!

 

Six super siblings

We thought we were old when this picture was taken!  We were attending Wanda Gee’s wedding at Edisto Beach, South Carolina.  (Terry, correct me if I am wrong!)  Left to right:  Linda, Terry, Reggie, Barbara, Raymond, Andie.  What a group!  Everyone should have such a wonderful family.  The world would be a better place!

Strange observation:  Notice the hand positions on the front row!  Must be a pattern.  Linda and I are right handed and Barbara is left handed.

50th Wedding Anniversary

You may have noticed that Terry posted a picture of a newly located marriage record between Momma and Daddy.  This was obviously a second marriage because they always celebrated their anniversary November 19 and said they married in 1939.  This new document shows a wedding that occurred February 3, 1942.  I have just about gotten all the information together to explain what was going on and will be posting it soon.  Below you will see a picture of them at their 50th celebration (November, 1989) including 10 of their grandchildren and one great grandson, Josh.  I will let you know when I post the new information.  I think you are going to find it interesting!

 

Sinnick Broer – Immigrant Ancestor

The previous two entries have been about our many times great uncle Broer Sinneck(son) who was an important member of what is today called the “Old Swedes Church.”  His father was Sinnick Broer the Finn, who would be my 8X great grandfather.  I know the names are confusing but during this time period, Scandinavian people did not use “repeating” surnames but reversed them every generation.  Consequently, Sinnick Broer’s son named Broer would be Broer Sinneckson and his brother, Anders would be Anders Sinnickson.  The family belonged to a cultural group called the “Forest Finns.”  Just follow the link to learn more about this unusual group of people.  Because Swedish law made it illegal for the Finns to burn the forests (see info from link), instead of being imprisoned, many of them chose to immigrate to the Swedish settlements in America.   Sinnick Broer and his family came from Sweden/Finland in 1656.  The photo below is of a chest that is supposed to have come from Finland with the family.  It is on display at the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia.  When in the area recently, I had to stop by to see it!  If he had not chosen to come to America 361 years ago, I wouldn’t be sitting here telling this story!!

 

More About Old Swedes Church

We had an ancestor named Sinnick Broer who came from Sweden to the Delaware River area in 1656.  He was actually a Finn but at the time Sweden “owned” Finland.   His son, Broer Sennicksson, was a founding member of Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church in Wilmington, Delaware.  The church was built in 1698-1699 and the building below is the original construction.  The entrance is made of brick used on ships as ballast and the rocks for the main structure are local.  There are 30 early clergy and members buried under to floor but only two are marked.  I got to ring the bell!  But no one came for a service!

Old Swedes Church

John and I have been traveling in the Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware area this week and have seen and discovered some cool stuff.  We have a relative buried under the second pew shown in this picture!  Since I am typing this on my tablet, I will explain more next week!

 

Future musician??

I do a little composing on the piano and have a spiral staff book I use to try to remember how the melodies go.  Sometimes, 7 year old grandson Will Jenkins likes to play his own improvisations.    Several weeks ago he decided to sign his work using musical symbols.  Above you will see his use of notation.  Lots of eighth notes, flat symbols, and rests!   

 

 

William Penn signs treaty with Lenape tribe

You are probably wondering why this picture is part of Friday Fun.  Three sisters and one daughter spent the day editing a Wikipedia page on Hendrick Jacobs Falkenberg (c1640 – c1711), one of our direct ancestors.  Terry, Reggie, Wanda, and I spent 6 hours correcting information about this interesting man.  He was a well respected interpreter for the Lenape tribe of the Delaware Valley. He was even used as translator for a treaty between William Penn and the Lenape.  We still have more editing to do!  (Note: Photo from Wikipedia; painting done in 1771 by Benjamin West.)  To learn more about this interesting man, please follow this link to his wikipedia page..   Falkenberg

How many generations?  Adrian Woodrow – Ferman Esco – William Jackson – Burrell Taylor – William Jasper Fortenberry – John Falkenberry- Jacob Falkenberg/Falkenberry – Henry Falkenberg – Henry Jacobs Falkenberg.  That makes him my 7 X great grandfather!

A Coke and a Smile

Well, Coke’s most recent advertising ploy finally got me!  Last weekend I was in Clearwater, Florida with Jenny while she attended an engineering conference.  We stopped to buy some snacks and I was planning to purchase some bottled water.  Jenny spotted this Coke and I couldn’t resist.   YES, I would love to share a Coke with my Dad!  At first, it made me sad that I could not!  Then I began thinking of the Cokes I did share with him while growing up.  My siblings will immediately recollect a family tradition that included Coke.  Our standard meal every Saturday night included hamburgers, Lays Potato Chips, and bottled Coke followed by hot fudge sundaes with homemade chocolate sauce.  What great memories!

Two Happy Birthdays

Two birthdays to celebrate this month!  Barbara’s (photo on right) was a couple of weeks ago on June 6.  Terry’s will be on June 23.    Though they are getting up there in years with the rest of their siblings, I guarantee they are both still young at heart.  It is amazing that when you do get older, you still perceive many things the same as you did as a child.  Weird.  But in a way I guess it makes sense – each of us is still perceiving the world through our same senses and processing with the same brain!  If you have reached this point, you will understand what I mean!   Otherwise, your time will come!

We still love the lake!

Fast forward many years since last week’s Friday Fun.  Last Saturday, 6 cousins once again gathered for fun on Lake Lanier.  For our once every three month’s cousin gathering, we decided to take our fun outside.  What better place than Lake Lanier.  So, last Saturday, 6 cousins gathered for a picnic that lasted for over four hours!  Though the background is white behind the trees, we were right next to the lake.   Gloria left before we remembered to take a photo 😦  What was so fun was how Becky took the picture!  She leaned her phone against a tree, sat with us, and shouted “capture” at the phone!   Left to right – Babs, Becky, Andie, Reggie, and Jo.   If you would like to join us for our next gathering, please let me know.

Summer is here!

A flash from the past!  Since summer is really here, I thought I would add a couple of pictures from the Fortenberry family lake house at Lake Lanier.  The first picture is of our dock with the family boats and the bottom one is of four crazy sisters.  Terry, Linda, and Barbara are in a group hug while Andie is thinking “I don’t know these guys!”  If any cousins read this and have other pictures to share, please share them with us!  Why is the lake on my mind?  Several of us Fortenberry cousins are meeting tomorrow for our quarterly lunch together.  This time we will be meeting at a very special place – a picnic on the shores of Lake Lanier.  Check next week for a photo of that gathering!

Have you seen this one??

I just recently came across this picture stuck to the back of another.  It measures a whopping 1 inch by 1.5 inches and was in terrible shape!   I am guessing that no one remembers ever seeing it! On the back, in Daddy’s (Adrian’s) handwriting, it says 1939 New York.  Since Daddy joined the Navy in 1937, it was evidently taken while he was on shore leave at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  We know that he and Momma were married in November of 1939 so it most likely was taken about then.   At the time the photo would have been taken, he would have been 20 years old.  His 21st birthday would have been December 7, 1939.  I have no idea of the photo’s setting but I love his expression!

Photo of first Super Market!

I recently found another photo of the Fortenberry Super Market and thought I would share it.  I am not at all sure if it is the same building or one older than on a  previous post.  Maybe someone in the family can let us know.    I love this picture because it has 5 of the 6 brothers.  According to my memory of stories, I believe this was before Uncle Everett moved from Mississippi to join the rest of the family in DeKalb County, Georgia.  Notice the Coca Cola signs over their heads!

This is a close-up of the five brothers.  Front row, left to right:  Elmo, Adrian, and Jack.  Back row:  Don and Clyde.

The Super Market gets a makeover!

After a couple of years, it became obvious that home construction was what the Fortenberry brothers really wanted to do.  Goodbye grocery store!  In this photo, taken about 1958 or 1959, the building that originally housed the grocery store had been revamped into a real estate and insurance office.  The Fortenberry men were now able to build homes, sell home supplies in their hardware store, sell the homes they built, and provide insurance on all of that!  Pretty amazing.  Are you wondering if this is really the same building?  Scroll down a couple of entries and you will see the front of the grocery store.  Notice the front door.  The glass windows are gone and a new section containing another door, second story window and large window below had been added.  This is the view of the area most of the Fortenberry brothers’ twenty five children remember well!

 

A look inside the “Super Market”

The top photo is of the meat market.  I have been told the butcher’s name was Smitty.  Cousin Jo Fortenberry Driscoll says she remembers the two of us walking to the store and getting bologna to eat.  My brain cannot dig up any memories of the place and she is a year younger than me!!  It is interesting to read the cost of meats, particularly all the different steaks for $0.69 a pound!  The bottom photo shows Granny (Nellie Mae Simmons Fortenberry) at the cash register.  I don’t know if all the flower arrangements were for the opening of the store or for sale.   Since Mom loved to grow flowers and make arrangements, I figure they must have been for sale.

Fortenberry Super Market

This photo was taken in late 1956.  If you look at the window on the left, you can see the words “Merry Christmas.”   I think this may have been the first grocery store in Clarkston, Georgia.  At that time, people probably had to go to Stone Mountain or Decatur.  At this point, the six Fortenberry brothers were also expanding their construction business.   Who ran the grocery store?  Well, their wives of course.  More pictures of the store will follow!

Old Fortenberry Advertisement!

How are you at reading text message abbreviations???

This is the top of an advertisement that appeared in the Tucker, Georgia newspaper called the “Tucker Tattler.”  It was from the July 9, 1958 issue.  For a very short time, F. E. Fortenberry and Sons had a grocery store at this location in Clarkston shown above.  Once the hardware store, home construction, and Real Estate really got going, they sold the grocery store and focused on building houses all over DeKalb County.  Enjoy deciphering the ad!   LOL

Great, great, great Grandpa

Willis Simmons

I case you didn’t notice on your way to Friday Fun, a new blog article has been posted.  It is about the events surrounding Willis Simmons moving his family to southern Mississippi in 1809/10.  Please read it and enjoy!

 

Another About Elizabeth Covington Simmons

I came across this card today and decided to share it.  On the front of the envelope, Mom had written “Left at Edna Simmons Campbell’s home on the death of her mother.”  Her mother was Elizabeth (Lizzie) Covington, daughter of John Martin Covington (1818-1864) and Mary Jane Washburn (1826-1901).  Lizzie was born March 16, 1862 and died June 22, 1939.  The card would have been given to Aunt Edna in June of 1939.   Since both Momma and Daddy passed away in April and they have been on my mind, I found the sentiment of this old card very uplifting.   I do think of them as “just away.”  

Teresa aka Terry Fortenberry

This weeks’ Friday Fun is from Linda (Fortenberry) Wood.  I have been in Atlanta this week and have had a wonderful time visiting my brother and some of my sisters.  I especially was hoping to see my next older sister, Terry.  Unfortunately the bad weather kept her home. Growing up,  Terry was sometimes a stern older sister but has always been an original and has improved with age.  She is a brilliant writer/poet, and an expert on plant and mushroom identification.  She  has become an excellent genealogist.  But there is one thing I love that I cannot get with a phone conversation.  The look in her eyes and expression in her face is often like looking back in time and seeing our mom.  By being honest, challenging and expecting you to do your best, Terry reminds me of the many wonderful qualities of our mother.  We love you, Terry.

 Signs of Spring

When I begin seeing azaleas and dogwoods blooming, my mind constantly turns to my memories of Momma and Daddy’s house in Clarkston on Norman Road.    Growing up, I assumed it was commonplace each spring to see such a profusion of blossoms.  Now looking back, I see just how much work and love went into the endeavor.  I personally think my mom’s obsession with flowers and growing things was a result of having grown up in a row house in Brooklyn, New York with nothing but pavement all around.  Once moving to Clarkston after World War II, she had “dirt” of her own.  And goodness, she made good use of it!  

Photo taken Easter 1977.  L to R – Wanda, Emily, Eric in front of Rusty, Daddy holding Jenny with Susie in front, Kris in back, Cindy with her hands on Deborah’s shoulders.

Covington Silver

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Covington (topic from two weeks ago) was the mother of Nellie Mae Simmons Fortenberry.  When Mae passed away in 1974, her estate was dispersed to her children.  My Mom and Dad (Adrian and Wanda Fortenberry) ended up with this silver cream and sugar engraved with a C.  One day in the early 1980s, while working hard on the Fortenberry book, Mom and I got into one of our many “heated discussions” of  where to draw the line between reasonable supposition and getting too fictional on some of the stories we were writing.  We would often have to “bite our tongues” to keep from pushing each others buttons.  We knew we had to persevere if we were going to finish the work for publication.  I remember her rising from the table and leaving the room.  I thought maybe I had gone too far with my common rejoinder of “What is your proof?”   She walked back into the room carrying the above two items.  She put them on the table in front of me and said she knew how hard I had been working on the book and she wanted me to have this silver.  The C was from Lizzie Covington’s family and since my married named started with a C, I should take them!  I guess I didn’t push her buttons that day after all; but I guarantee I did on plenty of others!  The markings on the bottom say Hamilton Sterling.  Almost nothing can be found about this company other than it was in New York.

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to two of my siblings with back to back birthdays!  Today, March 10 is Raymond’s birthday.  Tomorrow, March 11, is Linda’s birthday.  The top picture is of Daddy in his Navy uniform holding Raymond.  It was taken in Brooklyn, New York in 1945.  Daddy doesn’t look too sure of his grip on Raymond.  The bottom picture is Daddy with Linda, taken in Clarkston, Georgia in 1954.  Daddy certainly looks a lot more relaxed with children.  If I am not mistaken, Barbara had recently joined the family meaning Daddy now had 6 children under 10 years old!  

Just in case you don’t know, I have the best siblings in the world!

Happy Birthday Elizabeth

elizabeth-covington

I would like you to meet Elizabeth Covington, daughter of John Martin Covington (1818 – 1864) and Mary Jane Washburn (1826 – 1901).  Lizzie, as she was called by friends and family, was born March 16, 1862 and died June 22, 1939.  She married William Eli Simmons (1858-1945).    Eli’s parents were George Washington Simmons (1820 – 1872) and Mary Caroline Magee (1829 – 1918). So how is Lizzie connected to the family?

William Eli and Lizzie Simmons were the parents of Nellie Mae Simmons – mother of Adrian Woodrow Fortenberry.  So she was Adrian’s grandmother and my great grandmother.

You will notice that she was born at the beginning of the Civil War.  Her father died of tuberculosis right at the worst of the war when she was 2.  To read about a huge lawsuit her mother, Mary Jane, filed after the Civil war, please read from the blogroll “Mary Jane Washburn – Heartbreaking Civil War Experiences.”

Artwork by Thomas Jenkins!

helena

I meant to put this image on Friday Fun back in December when Thomas, my 9 year old grandson, surprised me with such an amazing drawing.  He and I talk every year about his great grandfather’s experiences at Pearl Harbor on the USS Helena.  During the past 2 years, he has become very interested in history.  He can sit and talk to you for hours just about World War II.  He knows more history than any adult I know!  He is an incredible artist and loves to draw military stuff, especially all kinds of airplanes.  CL 50 was the Helena’s hull designation.  Notice three important things he added to the picture:  There is a Japanese Kate torpedo bomber in the sky.  It is dropping a torpedo right at the Helena.  And if you look 2/3 of the way back along the hull, you will see a little rectangle with a man in it.  That is great grandpa still below deck as the bomb hit the Helena.  Thanks, Thomas Adrian Jenkins!

 

F6 Real Estate Map

 

dekalb-map-from-f6-done091

One of these days, Raymond and I are going to gather all the information about the amazing company our dad and uncles developed.  The process of becoming a family owned building business began soon after World War II and over time grew quite large.  The company was called F. E. Fortenberry and Sons because grandpa Ferman was part of the original company.  He died in 1952 but the company name remained the same.  On the front of this map is a photo of the Real Estate office that was at 3652 Market Street in Clarkston.  Next door to it was our hardware store.  You can see the logo for the company.  The F6 stood for the six Fortenberry brothers.  This was a DeKalb County map provided to prospective home buyers.

Found one I have not posted before

daddy-late-60s

I just recently came across this photo of Daddy (Adrian Fortenberry) and thought his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren would enjoy seeing it.  The best I can figure is that is was taken in the 1960s.

Raymond Kasper Wierzbicki

1949-daddy-grandpa-werbicki

This picture, taken in 1949, is the only photo of Grandpa Werbicki smiling.  He is standing with Daddy in front of the incomplete carving on Stone Mountain.  Whoever was taking the picture must have done something really funny!  None of his 6 Fortenberry grandchildren remember many smiles or even words!  He was a very quite man.  Today, we wish we knew more about him and could hear his stories!  Alas, like much of family history, his stories are lost in time.

He was born in rural northwest Poland on February 7, 1892 and at the age of 17, came to America.  Since he had no real skills appropriate to living in Brooklyn, New York, he took many unskilled jobs to support his family.  He was a very intelligent man placed in the wrong time and place to allow him to thrive as he should have.  He did produce intelligent children since my mom (his oldest child) was one of the most intelligent people I have ever known.  Happy 124th Birthday Grandpa!

Regina Fortenberry Cross

Friday Fun is dedicated to our sister, Reggie.  This week she was officially released from having to visit Radiation Oncology for cancer screenings.  She even got to ring a bell in the office and everyone applauded!  Yeah, we are all so glad!!!!  After her years of dealing with various types of cancer, things are now really looking good!  

In this picture, she is modeling an outfit she made.  She and I both belonged to 4-H and participated in what I remember being called “dress reviews.”  We would make an outfit and then compete with others.  My best guess on when this picture would have been taken was about 1958 or 1959.

reggie-dress-review131

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