Category Archives: Herilooms

Throwback Thursday – Chairs From The Past

Posted on by 1 comment

This picture of my Dad and I, as you can see, goes way back.  The chair he is in, has been in the barn for the past decade or so, along with its mate.

Me and Dad

Me and Dad

I realize you can only see the back of the chair, but it’s the only picture I could find of the chair actually being used.

Every time I mowed my yard and put the mower up, there sat the chairs.  One of them held the grease gun for the mower, and it just happens to be the only picture I have of it before we took it apart.  You can see the left over mess the grease gun left.  I just couldn’t stand seeing them in the barn, especially when I could use a couple of good chairs.

Old Chair

Old Chair

So I drug them from the barn to the house and Phillip and I spent part of Valentine’s Day taking them apart. Then a few days later I recovered the cushions, with the help of Phillip’s upholstery gun. Man I loved that thing.  I wanted to staple everything.  Even my finger got stapled once.

New Cushions

New Cushions

Next, I used his sander, and sanded the chairs really good, and then spray painted them with a combined paint/primer spray paint i bought from Lowe’s.  Cause I don’t have time for multiple paintings.  By the way, I used 2 1/2 cans for these two chairs.

Chairs being painted

Chairs being painted

Then I made patterns out of the old pieces of leather Phillip took off of the top parts of the chairs with freezer paper.  Ironed the shiny side of the freezer paper to the new fabric, and then cut them out and it worked perfect.  Then I added some shiny brads to the back to add a little detail.

Adding details to the chairs

Adding details to the chairs

Please ignore laundry day going on in the back ground.  Phillip then screwed the cushions back on, and here they are.  My redone chairs that hold special memories for me.

Finished Chairs

Finished Chairs

How is this for a before and an after?

Before and After

Before and After

All in all, I am so pleased.  I saved some family heirlooms from the barn, and added new life to them.

I also got to spend Valentine’s day with a great guy.

Thank you Phillip for helping me.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Yesterday was one of the most AWESOME days EVER in my family history world.

Posted on by 4 comments

Wanna know why? First, I received the DNA kit in the mail from, got Mom to do her spitting in the tube, and got it back in the mail! Can’t wait to see how her results compare to mine. Then, I received a disc in the mail with a lot of genealogy information on it from my 3rd cousin, Jim Dawson.

This jewel of a picture was among the documents.

Kenady Wade Ball Family Photo

Kenady Wade Ball Family Photo

Standing, left to right: Samuel Hartwell “Bye” Ball, Venetia Juanita “Nyta” (Ball) Barrow. Sitting, left to right: James David “Dave” Ball, Kenady Wade Ball, Venetia Clarissa (Smith) Ball. Child in the lap of Kenady is Mamie Hoskins (Ball) Destree, and the child standing is Henrie Venetia (Ball) Payne, both are daughters of John Franklin Ball, son of Kenady and Venetia Ball.

Since 2007, I have been hoping to find a picture of Kenady Wade Ball, my 2nd-great grandfather. I had pictures of his wife Venetia when she was older, but none of her at this age. It’s also really cool that my great-grandfather, Bye Ball is in the photo as well.

I wish I had a nickel for every person that told me there probably wasn’t a picture of him.

I say, “Never give up!”

You just don’t know what all of your cousins have information out there, and what they have.

P.S. I thought this blog post was already posted, but it never did, I found it in the drafts. So, it should have posted on the 22nd, which is why the post is dated like it is, but just posted today.  April 21st was actually the best day ever for my family history! 🙂

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Five R’s of Tommy Stanley

Posted on by 4 comments

Guest post by my 3rd cousin 1 x removed, Kookie Hemperley.

In this age of “going green” I would like to share how my brother, Tommy Stanley, has given new meaning to the words, recycle, repurpose, re-gift, redesign and rewards. I’m sure as you see his creations you will agree he has given these words new meanings. But before we get into that, let me introduce you to Tommy.

Tommy was the second child of six born to Mamie Martin and Clyde Stanley. In a family that large, we all wore hand-me-downs and didn’t have too many toys. Sometimes if you wanted a new toy you had to use your imagination and “recycle” a worn out bicycle wheel into a rim that you rolled around with a stick. Or a bottle became the forerunner of “Hot Wheels”. Or empty cans became airborne toys when you played “kick the can”. It was creativity to the max and we were happy with what we had. Thus, the birth of “recycling” for Tommy.

Tommy worked most of his adult life as a body shop man in several Ford dealerships throughout East Texas. One day, when work was slow, he was talking to one of his co-workers who had lost everything in a house fire. Everything but one lone spur. Tommy took the spur back to the body shop, polished it out and had the reward of seeing his co-worker’s surprise of the beauty of the only object salvaged from his loss.

That day set Tommy thinking. As a child he had seen a pair of brass spurs our Uncle Ray Martin had bought on a trip to Mexico before he entered World War II. (Ray was killed in Tunisia, North Africa on March 29, 1943.) That day he decided he would replicate them even though he had never attempted to make a pair of spurs.

He took a pair of ordinary horse shoes, straightened them into bars and then bent the horse shoes the opposite direction. That became the portion of the spur that would fit around a boot heel. He shaped, curved, filed, polished and refined it even more. When finished, he sent them out to be chromed. Once chromed, he took them to a leather shop owned and operated by a Mexican gentleman. As soon as the man saw them he said, “Chee-Wa-Wa”, which he went on to explain was style of spurs made in Chihuahua, Mexico. Could Uncle Ray have visited “Chee-Wa-Wa” when he bought his? Tommy then added a gold-plated rowel and the finished product is shown below.

Since that first pair was created, Tommy now makes spurs for bull riders, ropers, and pleasure riders. He says the most rewarding pair he made was for an insurance agent near Tyler. The man was a competing Western pleasure rider who’d had an auto accident, leaving his right arm and leg incapable of giving the horse the proper cues. He was in need of spurs that could be modified and realigned and contacted Tommy. Tommy went to his ranch, put the man on the horse, took measurements and went home to build the new spurs. Once finished, the man was able to once again ride competitively.

Pictured below are some of the spurs and branding irons Tommy custom builds.

This pair has brass inlays.

Work spurs made from horseshoes with branding iron.

Dressy in black leather and chrome.

Most recently Tommy has begun to “recycle” and “repurpose” silverware into jewelry. Spoons are used for rings, bracelets, and pendants. He also “recycles” estate costume from estate sales, garage sales, friends, and family into jewelry. My niece had a friend with some silver flatware from her grandmother that she wanted to use but didn’t know exactly what she wanted. Tommy designed a ring, earrings, and a bracelet. Now, it is worn daily and keeps fond memories of her grandmother near.

Recently he restrung pearls into a necklace, bracelet and earring that will be worn by a soon to be bride.

Here are some of his latest creations:

Arrowhead earrings.

Cross made from spoons but he also makes bookmarks and key chains.

Redesigned turquoise.

Spoon acorn and oak leaf.

Hair barrette from a belt with spoon holder.

Shell pendant made from slotted serving spoon that has hammered ribs and filed outer edges.

An assortment of crosses made from horse shoe nails and stainless.

Since Tommy’s retirement his workshop is located in his garage in Mineola, Texas. When asked where he gets his patterns, he replied, “In my head.” He is also quick to point out that he has no laser cutter, nor computer for designing. Each design is his own creation and each piece is handcrafted using adapted hand saws, files and hammers. I would add they are also crafted with a lot of patience, skill and pride. I’m sure our great-grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Stanley, who worked on horse farms and had a blacksmith shop, would certainly agree!


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Family Heirlooms on Ebay

Posted on by 2 comments


I had never thought about searching Ebay for family heirlooms until a very kind friend of mine Jim Thompson of The Davis-Thompson Family,  sent me an email and said he saw a journal on there of  Dr. Charles Augustus Hooks III, and he thought I might be interested.  So, I checked it out, and yep, there it was.  On Ebay.  For $20.  So, yes I bought it.

Journal of Dr. Charles Hooks

I was very pleased to find inside the Journal this newspaper clipping:

News clipping of Dr. Charles Hooks on the right, from his journal.

There are quotes inside the journal, and more newsclippings:

Quotes from the Journal of Dr. Charles Hooks

Article from Dr. Charles Hooks Journal

Also, some marriage advice, on a fold out sheet.  Nine rules for building a successful marriage.

Nine Rules for a Successful Marriage from the Journal of Dr. Charles Hooks

I was very pleased to see the picture of him from the newsclipping.  I have several photo’s of him when he was a child, but none from his adulthood.  In this picture, here he is with my 2nd great-grandmother, Sarah Mildred Martin Williams, and on the right, my great-uncle, Milton Higginbotham.

Dr. Charles Hooks, Mildred Williams, Milton Higginbotham

A few weeks after the journal showed up, other things came up on Ebay for Dr. Hooks, a lot of his medical certificates, which I just could not afford to buy, and a couple of pictures.  I did buy the pictures.  Here they are:

Dr. Charles Hooks with the Urology Dept, sitting on the first row just to the left of the gentleman standing. Others in the photo are unknown to me.

Back of photo says: Urology Group, (Date??) Front Row: Hooks flanked by Schneider and Lantin Back Row: Akbar, Kavan, Saenz & Alfaro

I’m still kind of amazed these things showed up on Ebay.  I have been unable to locate a descendant of his, and the gentleman that I bought these items from informed me he got them at an estate sale.  I guess I’m just trying to wrap my head around the fact that people profit off of items that family members might hold dear.  It makes me wonder if other items, such as the family bible and other photos were discarded or sold off, and I missed them??  What if the bible of my 2nd great-grandfather, Rev. F. H. Williams was in his possession and someone tossed it out?  I shudder to think of it.  Our heritage could be lost forever.

If you are a descendant of Dr. Charles Hooks, or know anyone from his family, please contact me.  I know he had a son, Charles Augusts Hooks IV, but I have been unable to locate any information on him, and I fear the worst since his father’s stuff was sold off in an estate sale.

Has anyone else come across anything like this before?  I would love to hear from you if you have, or your opinions on this.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Category: Herilooms, Project Life
Bulk Email Sender