Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Remembrance of things past (part 17,643)

Today, June 6th, is not only the 73rd anniversary of D-Day in 1944 (young readers should google it) but also the 59th anniversary of the marriage of my dad, Clifford Ray ("Ted") Brague, to Mildred Louise Williams Houston, my stepmother, in 1958.

The wedding took place in the little Methodist Church -- note that I did not say United Methodist Church; that entity did not come into being for another ten years when the big Methodist Church, which itself had been a merger of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and the Methodist Protestant Church in 1939, merged in 1968 with the much smaller Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) -- in Coppell, Texas, way up in the northwest corner of Dallas County. Back then, Coppell was a village of about 600 people with not even one traffic signal. Now its population is estimated to be more than 41,000 human beings and an unknown but surely formidable number of cats, dogs, and other assorted pets. There are lots of traffic signals. The marriage between my dad and my stepmother lasted three months shy of nine years, when my dad succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 60 in March 1967. My stepmother eventually married again to John Wesley Fuller and lived until 2004, passing away at the age of 89.

On that same day in 1958, June 6th, Claire married Dr. Doug Cassen on As the World Turns, a television soap opera loved by my mother when she was alive and also by my new stepmother. It was probably the only thing they had in common.*

I do not know why I remember such things. I just do.


*besides my dad, of course.

15 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Coppell TX and Mansfield TX are not too far from each other - just a pleasant country drive, listening to the radio and thinking of past times. Nice to see you creating this blogpost while on your holiday from blogging.

Elephant's Child said...

Welcome back. Memory can be a tricky beast. I hope most of yours are positives.

Graham Edwards said...

Given that you are supposed to be on holiday from Blogland you are blogging more than I am at the moment! That was a fascinating piece of family information.

rhymeswithplague said...

I'm glad that readers of this blog are still around and haven't drifted away completely. One of you welcomes me back, two of you remind me that I'm supposed to be on holiday from Blogland, and one of you suggests a pleasant country drive through what has long since turned into urban sprawl and congested traffic. It's okay, though. Que sera sera!

Emma Springfield said...

Three major occurrences on one date. i was not around for the first. I did not know your parents so that one passed me by also. But I remember the wedding on Another World. This was a fun post.

rhymeswithplague said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Emma! Not Another World, though, which Wikipedia tells me didn't begin until 1964. Claire (Ellen's mother) and Dr. Doug Cassen were married in 1958 on As the World Turns. Perhaps the most famous soap opera wedding of all, however, occurred in 1981 when Luke and Laura married each other on General Hospital.

Snowbrush said...

Coppell didn't get merged into Dallas, it got 'et by it!

rhymeswithplague said...

Snowbank, that is probably truer than you realize. Absolutely! People from "the old days" in both Coppell and Mansfield are few and far between. Probably because there weren't that many of us in the first place.

Snowbrush said...

“Snowbank, that is probably truer than you realize. Absolutely!”

My gosh, you’ve finally gone absolutely around the bend, what with getting my name completely wrong, and then using a totally needless superlative.

It’s too bad that you’re, like, too young to remember Bonnie and Clyde, what with them having hailed from Ft. Worth. I have no idea how to justify having spent my time in such a way, but I’ve read two biographies about them, and even watched the same PBS documentary twice. And then there was the old Beatty/Dunaway movie, which I enjoyed immensely in the ‘60s, but totally don’t plan on ever seeing again.

Speaking of residents of Dallas and its environs (environs by Texas standards anyway), have you read anything by Robert E. Howard (who was from Cross Plains)? I never read the Conan writings, but after one of my shoulder surgeries, I became interested in his horror stories, which I enjoyed greatly. There was also a movie done about him—which I enjoyed—and I read all of one biography. I don’t know how to wrap my mind around the fact that this same man who wrote stories of hard men doing hard things in hard lands never lived outside of his parents’ home and killed himself when his mother went into a coma from which she was never expected to awaken (and she didn’t).

rhymeswithplague said...

Snowfall, was not familiar with Robert E. Howard, but of course I have heard of (though never read) Conan the Barbarian, who will always be associated, I suppose, with a certain former governor of California and I don't mean Ronald Reagan.

I don't know how far environs extend in Mississippi or Oregon, but neither Peaster in Parker County (where Edwards was born, next county westward from Fort Worth) nor Cross Plains in Callahan County (near Abilene and where he lived from the age of 13 until his death) qualifies as being in the environs of Dallas. They are more, in Texas parlance, "out yonder" or "over thataway" or "down the road a piece." Trust me, I know what I'm talking about.

Also, I most definitely have not finally gone absolutely around the bend, although I do have a girl cousin on the Brague side who lived for many years in the environs of Bend, Oregon (La Pine, to be exact) who upon becoming a widow moved to Lacey, Washington.


Snowbrush said...

Your cousin wanted out of the desert, it would appear. LaPine is in Eastern Oregon’s High Desert where all of the towns are over 4,000 feet in elevation. The town is famous for nothing more notable than being on on Hwy 97, the main north-south highway easy of the Cascades. There are few enough towns over there that each one over there is memorable just for existing. It’s a different world geographically, botanically, zoologically, and politically from the Willamette Valley, and is within an easy drive of Paulina Peak, which, at its base, is the largest volcano in Oregon, although it is only 7,989 feet in height. At its top is an oval caldera that is 4 miles by 5 miles in diameter and contains two lakes. Peggy and I used to really enjoy camping in the area. My favorite was Hole-in-the-Ground, which is what it sounds like, and it one-mile in diameter. Big Hole is three miles across, but not so interesting because trees block the view. Two notable Oregon authors (Jackman and Long) who lived in the area wrote an enjoyable book entitled “The Oregon Desert.” I don’t remember how it happened, but we somehow got our Datsun truck stuck on an incline near Big Hole, and the rancher who towed us out (for free), lived on the old Reub Long ranch, and offered to let us stay in the abandoned bunkhouse. We declined that offer, but we did camp in the yard to the bunkhouse, and breakfasted with the rancher and his wife. The rancher was going blind. I have wished I had stayed in touch with him, but I’m sure he’s living in a nearby town by now (that is if he’s living at all), and I don’t recall his name.

If Oregon were two states, the desert part (which is two-thirds of the total land area of Oregon in size) would be a Red State. I would have imagined that living in an area of isolation and natural beauty would lead people to revere nature, but they instead regard it as a resource to be exploited. This means that if wolves eat any of their cattle, they want the wolves dead, and they don’t hesitate to kill the coyotes with strychnine, a poison that causes the animals to endure unimaginable agony before they’re released by death. As nice as the people can be, they wouldn’t welcome me. You no doubt heard of the armed occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge last winter. That’s an extreme example of the Eastern Oregon mentality, yet the mentality is such that the environment is always going to lose out to making a living through ranching and—at higher elevations—logging.

rhymeswithplague said...

Snowdrift, I'm pretty sure my cousin didn't have an "Eastern Oregon mentality" as all of her formative years were spent in Iowa and many of her married years as the wife of a Navy man.

Snowbrush said...

“I'm pretty sure my cousin didn't have an "Eastern Oregon mentality.’”

I didn’t mean to express this as a negative sentiment but an objective generalization. What I meant to say was that, in general, Eastern Oregon is not a part of the nation that looks favorably upon Democrats and environmentalists. Ranch/Logging country simply does not tend to embrace bumper stickers that say: “Love Animals, Don’t Eat Them,” “Dirt Worshipping Tree Hugger,” and “Save an Owl, Shoot a Logger” (this last in reference to the endangered spotted owl). No, they lean toward: “Make America Great Again,” “Warning: Nothing in this Truck is Worth Your Life,” and “Loggers are an Endangered Species Too” (does the car’s owner really not know the difference between an occupation and a species).

“all of her formative years were spent in Iowa and many of her married years as the wife of a Navy man.”

I should think that such a background would cause the people of Eastern Oregon to roll out the red carpet for her! After all, Trump beat Hillary in Iowa by over nine percentage points, and military personnel lean toward conservatism. However, the Navy in particular practices forced obeisance to the Christian religion, whereas, to my knowledge, Christianity isn’t as popular anywhere in Oregon as it is in Iowa.

All Consuming said...

Well, well, well! Not having a sidebar with a blog list on anymore means I don't see new posts unless I go looking, and as I thought you'd left . . . why am I here? Because I felt a bit sentimental and wanted to read your last post again, and here you are! And I'm really pleased to see you. *hugs him*. Even though it wasn't long without the variety and interest you provide, it felt like a long time because I thought it was going to be. If that makes any sense? X

rhymeswithplague said...

All Consuming, yes, I'm baaaack, more or less. I understand completely. Although my little break was only two weeks, in some ways it felt like two years. It proved to be a welcome time of rest from blogging for me, and now I feel fresh again. This does not necessarily mean I'll post more frequently, only that I won't be dreading it when I do. You may interpret my feeling fresh again in a variety of ways, but it simply can't be helped.