Births Deaths Marriages, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Rest in peace, Louise Holt Tisdale (1925-2018).

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Louise Holt Tisdale (27 April 1925-5 April 2018)

My great-aunt Mamie‘s eldest daughter, Louise Holt Tisdale, passed peacefully earlier this month after a short illness. Her memorial was held yesterday, on what would have been her 93rd birthday. The family’s great beauty, “Sister” was as lovely within as without, always ready with a warm smile, a hearty laugh and an open door.

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High school graduation, circa 1943.

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My favorite photo of Sister.

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Unless it’s this one. 

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Sister with her mother, left, and aunt, my grandmother.

💔

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Maternal Kin, Newspaper Articles, Photographs, Virginia

Beauty winner!

My grandmother worked as a dietician at Dorie Miller Recreation Center in Newport News, Virginia. The organizers of a teen beauty contest were looking for more contestants, and my 13 year-old mother casually entered.

“And the winner is … Beverly Allen!”

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Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia), 15 August 1951.

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New Journal and Guide (Norfolk, Virginia), 25 August 1951.

The summer after high school, to while away the hours until enrollment at Hampton Institute, she entered the Fancy Pants and Sport Shirt Ball at the city of Hampton’s African-American beach resort, the Bay Shore Hotel. In a midriff-baring genie outfit whipped up by my grandmother, she took second. (But really? You be the judge….)

New Journal and Guide (Norfolk, Virginia), 30 June 1956.

Sixty-two years later, she’s still beautiful … inside and out.

Happy 80th birthday to this abiding blessing, my mother, with love.

 

 

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Births Deaths Marriages, Migration, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Rest in peace, Alice Henderson Mabin (1920-2017).

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Cousin Zeke in 2013, age 93.

I happened to be in Wilson when the news came. Cousin Zeke had passed peacefully at the age of 97.

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Cousin Zeke at right, with sister Bessie and their father Jack, circa late 1920s.

Alice “Zeke” Henderson Mabin was born 22 January 1920 in Wilson to Jesse “Jack” Henderson and Pauline Artis Henderson. Despite their ten-year age gap, she and my grandmother were close pals in the years before Zeke relocated to Norfolk, Virginia — where she met husband Joseph W. Mabin — and eventually Baltimore, Maryland.

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Cousin Zeke in front of the family’s home on East Vance Street in the early 1940s, with sister Doris Henderson Ward behind.

Cousin Zeke returned to Wilson four years ago as her health began to fail. She had no children, but was well-loved by her many nieces, nephews and cousins.

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Right to left: Cousin Zeke, her husband Joe, and her sisters Bessie Henderson Smith and Mildred Henderson Hall in Mildred’s den on Queen Street in Wilson.

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Sisters Zeke and Bessie on their sister Mildred’s porch, 1986.

 

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Education, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs

The class of ’52.

Sixty-five years later …

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Wilson Daily Times, 29 May 1952.

When I was home earlier this month, my dad and I did a count. About one-third of his graduating class of 75 has lived to see this anniversary. The Class of 1952 included parents of several of my close childhood friends. Though none of us attended, we were blessed to grow up under the Darden umbrella.

Best wishes to the ’52 Trojans! May you celebrate many more!

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Business, Maternal Kin, Oral History, Other Documents, Photographs, Virginia, Vocation

Texaco liked the work.

In the summer of 2002, my uncle Charles C. Allen told me this about my grandfather John C. Allen Jr.:

[Daddy] had to get reestablished after the war. But he had a friend named Buster Reynolds. And Buster Reynolds was reputed to have made his money in the numbers, and so when the numbers were getting real hot and heavy, when it was reputed that the Mafia was trying to take the numbers over, Buster got out. And he built this service station, and he had a Texaco franchise, and he had Daddy to build the station. And Texaco liked the work so much that Daddy built two more stations for Texaco. And both of the stations that were built in the black community are still up. They’re not gas stations anymore, but the buildings are still up. And the one that was built Overtown is gone. But even the station that was in the white community, Texaco had him to build that one, too.

Today I found this:

2 1 1948

The Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia), 1 February 1948.

My uncle passed away in January; I wish dearly that I’d been able to share this with him.

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The former service station at 28th and Chestnut, Newport News, 2002.

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