1937 Buick Special

Me and Olivia

Me and Olivia
Click On The Picture For MOTAA Web Site

Me and "The Hell Bitch"

Me and "The Hell Bitch"
My 50th birthday gift to myself a 2004 Harley she is named after Captain Call's horse on Lonesome Dove.

I Want This Bike!

I Want This Bike!
Me On A 1942 Harley

My Favorite TV Show

The Location Of My Visitors!

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sometimes A Tree Is More Than Just A Tree

On January 10th, 2009 the old tree had to come down. Read the story about the history of this massive old oak!

Most folks love trees. When you see a massive old oak tree you wonder what that tree has seen in it's life-time. For one such tree located in the Fuller-Murrell Cemetery, I have recently learned how it came to be so long ago, in December of 1884. This tree is now 124 years old and it is sad to say that it may be at the end of it's life because of disease, decay and it's potential of doing damage to the remaining headstones that it has shaded for over 100 years. I am now going to tell you the history of this tree and how because of one person this tree has become a part of history.

In 1880, my sister Maggie (Margaret Rebecca) married and moved to Pittsburg, Texas and in 1882, sister Mamie married and moved there too. We four younger children, Alice, Lena, Ettie and Rawlins, joined them in 1884. Brother John had married Ella Warren and was then living in Minden. I well remember the last time we, with the help of Walter and Carrie Spann, Jodie and Rush Farrier, Walter Crichton, the Fort's, and Dr. Harrell's boys, cleaned the cemetery before we left for Texas. It was December 1884. We dug up everything and had a good day cleaning up. I found a little oak tree about as big around as a match and about ten inches long with about four leaves at the top. I pulled it in and out of the iron fence to protect it, for I knew that it would be a tree by the time we were grown. Years later I again saved the oak tree. Someone wrote asking permission to cut it down, as "it had grown through the fence". I wrote back and quoted Joyce Kilmer's immoral line "Only God can make a tree." So the tree still stands through the fence.

The Murrells, my grandparents, came to Claiborne Parish in 1818 and lived near Homer, Louisiana, where they are buried on the old farm. Quite a few slaves were buried there too but now the graves can hardly be separated. A"Hardshell" Baptist Church was built nearby, which later burned down and the congregation of the church moved to Athens, Louisiana. I have so many, many pleasant memories of my early childhood days in Minden. How we had to pull through the deep sand to the old college, which then was a frame building and now has been replaced with a brick one. The happy days we had with the Spanns, Farriers, Gleasons, Flemmings and others, who all lived near our home. But times change and people must move on.

Written by Alice Murrell Colquit (listed on the 1880 Webster Parish census, page 300 as being 14 years old)

The Fuller-Murrell Cemetery is located in the 800 Block of Gladney Street in Minden, Louisiana. The Murrell, Fuller and Harper families used this cemetery from ca 1842 until 1902.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Doing Their Part For Memorial Day

Pam Holley, Sally Holley, Ted Polk, Ronnie Sale and Dorcheat Historical Association Museum director, Schelley Brown took time out Thursday morning to do their part for Memorial Day. The combined efforts of the group to clean up made headway with one of Minden’s oldest cemeteries located near Victory Park. The Fuller-Murrell Cemetery was in need of major clean up efforts and within just a few hours this mission was accomplished to improve the area. More work is expected in the next few weeks to preserve this part of Minden and its history. To make it more available and presentable, to anyone wishing to pay respects to some of Minden’s earliest and most influential pioneer families is important to these history buffs.
Brown stated, “We want to preserve this history and if by simply cleaning and cutting some trees can insure that then that is what must be done. Research on the Fuller-Murrell families is very extensive and the importance of this cemetery must not be forgotten. In fact a possible smaller version of The Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk may eventually take place in this very spot. These people that are buried here with and without grave markers played important parts in Claiborne and Webster Parish history and have a right to be remembered and honored. Several veterans are buried in this hallowed ground without markers and so it is for these men and pioneers that we come to do our part in this small way of honoring them. We will work on getting a marker at a later date through the Veterans Administration in the same way the markers were placed at the Civil War “Trench” in the Old Minden Cemetery. This is a long process but I have already spoken to Barry Watson whom was instrumental in the work that was done at the Minden Cemetery.”
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers. On May 5, 1868, Logan declared in General Order No. 11 that:
The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
During the first celebration of Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.
This 1868 celebration was inspired by local observances of the day in several towns throughout America that had taken place in the three years since the Civil War. In fact, several Northern and Southern cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, including Columbus, Miss.; Macon, Ga.; Richmond, Va.; Boalsburg, Pa.; and Carbondale, Ill.
In 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day. They chose Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—because the town had made Memorial Day an annual, community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
By the late 1800s, many communities across the country had begun to celebrate Memorial Day and, after World War I, observances also began to honor those who had died in all of America's wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May. (Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor all veterans, living and dead, is celebrated each year on November 11.)
Today, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Also, it is customary for the president or vice-president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and lay a wreath at the Tomb of th eUnknown Soldier. About 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.
Several Southern states continue to set aside a special day for honoring the Confederate dead, which is usually called Confederate Memorial Day. If you would like to help take care of an area of the Minden Cemetery or the Fuller-Murrell Cemetery you can contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

From Magnolia To The Moon

Sometimes a Louisiana Road Trip ends up in Arkansas. Magnolia, Arkansas is home of the World Famous Steak Cookoff! This has been featured on the Food Network and Travel Networks. Thousands of folks lined the streets to see over 60's cooks from all over the country compete for the best steak in the world. This was the 20th year for the Magnolia Blossom Festival and from the looks of the crowd a big success. The weather was GREAT! Not too hot yet! A perfect day to ride the motorcycle. Ride to Eat...Eat to Ride is our motto.

Then back to Louisiana to a little roadside hole in the wall known as Moon's between Homer, Louisiana and Junction City, Arkansas in the small communtiy of Summerfield, Louisiana. For some of the best ribs and steaks around you want to head to Moon's!

Call ahead for steaks is the best way to do it. Ribs are always on hand and on your hands too!
We finished up the night at Wilson's on the lake with family and friends but NO pictures!