Wedding Wednesday: Taylor-Chapple, 1949

Wedding Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to display and share old wedding photos, wedding invitations, and announcements!

My feature bride and groom today are my parents – John Taylor and Carrie Chapple. If my father was still alive, my parents would have celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary this month/year.

Bridal Party Photo by Willie Crosby

On Sunday the 3rd of April 1949 at 4 PM
John Willie Taylor and Carrie Chapple
Were married!

Their private ceremony was officiated by Rev. Jessie Glover, the Pastor of Canaan Missionary Baptist Church that was located at 2500 Altoona Street at the time. The ceremony and reception occurred in the home of my mom’s sister and brother-in-law — Edward and Ella Louise (Chapple) Marshall who lived at 1708 Chew Street in the Greater Fifth Ward, Houston, Texas community.

Special guests and members of the bridal party in the group photo above were (standing l to r):  Joseph Chapple (Father of the Bride),  the Best man, John Taylor (Groom), Carrie Taylor (Bride), Sue Wesley (Maid of Honor), Faye Short (Soloist), Ethel (Abram) Chapple (Step-Mother of the Bride). Guests not shown were Juanita Boykins (pianist) and Willie Crosby (photographer).

Bridal Dress Photo by Will Crosby

The groom wore a double-breasted black suit, white shirt, black tie and black shoes. The bride’s wedding gown, veil and opera length bridal gloves in white were purchased from Solo Serve, a popular discount retail chain in downtown Houston, for $25.00!!

Wedding Cake Photo by Willie Crosby

Their graduated tier wedding cake with white butter icing topped with a miniature bride and groom was made by her step-mother, Ethel (Abram) Chapple.

If I didn’t know this couple personally, I would have thought their wedding day wasn’t a happy one. Why? No one smiled! There were no smiles on the faces of the bride, the groom, members of the bridal party, or guests in any of these wedding photos! As I got older, I often teased my parents about these pictures. I even asked them, “were you two marrying under duress?! They would simply laugh and shake their heads at me in disbelief, not realizing that I was being serious with them.

Well, despite the solemn looks they had in their wedding photos 67 years ago . . .
they have been all smiles and looking good together ever since!

John & Carrie (Chapple) Taylor

On this Veterans Day 2013

“On this Veterans Day 2013 and beyond, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free.” – Dan Lipinski

Sergeant John W. Taylor, served with the 169 2nd Engineer Battalion, Masiwa, Japan from 1945-1947

Special THANKS to my dad’s sister for sending me a few military photos she had of my dad in her collection which allowed me to create this great military collage of him for Veterans Day 2013! 

Family and friends, be sure to check out my discoveries about the military life of my father over the past couple of years by reading some of the related blog post below:

Military Monday: Maybe a Forgotten War, but not a Forgotten Military Life
Military Monday: Servicemen’s Dependents Allowance Act of 1942
Military Monday: Father’s Army Buddies
Military Monday: Military Payment Certificate (MPC)
Military Monday: Sharpshooter Small Bore Rifle Badge

If you have Sergeant John W Taylor showing up in your family research, let me hear from you because . . .I’m Claiming Kin!

Military Monday: Sharpshooter Small Bore Rifle Badge

If I tell you that some really cool treasures from my father’s military days just keep showing up all around me, you better believe it! So what did I discover new about him this time? He was awarded the Marksmanship – Sharpshooter Small Bore Rifle Badge –  while he was a soldier in the Army from 1945-1947. How do I know this? I am in possession of his badge! Where did this badge come from? From my mom. Where did she get it? Are you ready for this? She found it on a shelf in the garage and thought it looked like something that I would be interested in.

Say what?! On a shelf in the garage?!

Okay folks, how many times did I go rummaging around on the shelves in the garage last year?! LOTS! Why didn’t I ever see this badge?! I don’t have the foggiest idea. But once I picked myself up off the floor after discovering where this badge has been all this time, I am so-o-o-o THRILLED to be able to add it to dad’s memorial flag showcase!

According to Wikipedia,

The United States Army awarded Marksmanship Qualification Badges to military personnel who qualify at three different qualification levels (highest to lowest): Expert, Sharpshooter, and Marksman. Suspended from the badge are Army Weapon Qualification Clasps that indicate the type of weapon the individual has qualified to use.” [1]

My father’s Sharpshooter Small Bore Rifle badge above is a one inch silver filled metal consisting of a cross pattée (a type of cross seen in early medieval art and on the crowns of monarchs).[2] At the center of the cross is a target and extended at the bottom of the badge is a bar with the inscription “SMALL BORE RIFLE” which he was authorized to display. [3]

My dad a Sharpshooter?! Who knew?!

Well it seems my brothers knew! Even though both of them never saw this badge, they did know dad was a Sharpshooter and talked proudly about his knowledge and expertise with a variety of weapons. Why am I the last one in the family to learn about this? I simply do not know. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the baby of the family– you miss out on all the good stuff — LOL! But I am the first of the siblings to see and have possession of this wonderful treasure!

Have some weaponry Experts, Sharpshooters, or Marksmen in your family tree? Feel free to share!

—–

Source Citation:

1. Foundation, W. (2013, March 03). Marksmanship Badge (United States). Wikipedia. Retrieved March 03, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marksmanship_Badge_(United_States)

2. Foundation, W. (2013, February 25). Cross pattée. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_pattée

3. Powers, R. (n.d.). United States Army Badges: Weapons qualification. United States Army Badges: Weapons Qualifications. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/arbadges/blqualif.htm

Treasure Chest Thursday: My father’s 1937 Kodak Jiffy Camera

Dad at age 18 or 19 holding his Kodak Jiffy camera case

My father loved cameras! He enjoyed posing for pictures just as much as he enjoyed taking them. I believe I’m the one in the family that enjoys cameras as much as he did. Since his death, all of his cameras have been passed on to me. So on my list of things to do this year, I will inspect each one and determine what condition they are in at this time. Well, the day to inspect one of those cameras came this past weekend while I was scanning some old photos of my father to my computer. I came across the photo you see to the right  of him around the age of 18 or 19 posing for a picture while holding a camera case in his hand. That camera case looked very familiar to me. So I pulled out all the stored cameras and there it was — dad’s Kodak Jiffy Camera (series II), 620 roll film camera for eight 6 x 9 cm negatives that was built around 1937!

Kodak Jiffy (series II) camera, 1937

According to the UK website – The Living Image Vintage Camera Museum, “The Jiffy is a budget camera but [offers] a little more control than a box camera. The lens has two position focus with the front element mounted in a screw barrel… The Jiffy cameras all share a common design of catch to keep the back closed; whilst it succeeds at keeping the back tightly closed and is unlikely to open accidentally, it is subject to binding after a few years of inactivity. Consequently many are broken.”

One thing I know for sure is that the common design of  the catch to keep the back of the camera tightly close works like a pro because 75 years later, I cannot get the back of this camera open — LOL!  I will be taking it to a camera shop this summer to get it open and determine if  I will be able to use it, and/or, actually learn to use it. It is in mint condition after all these years. I’m excited to see what this little jewel from 1937 can do!

If you love cameras and have a vintage Kodak like this one, let me hear from you!

Tombstone Tuesday: John Willie Taylor (1927-2010)

Golden Gate Cemetery, Houston, TX

 John Willie Taylor
SGT US Army
Feb 22, 1927 ~ Feb 7, 2010
In Loving Memory

Tomorrow (Wed., Feb. 22, ) would have been the 85th birthday of the first man I fell in love with — my father — John Willie Taylor!

Daddy . . .

I thought of you with love today –
but that is nothing new
I thought about you yesterday –
and days before that too
I think of you in silence,
I often speak your name
Now all I have are memories –
and your picture in a frame
Your memory is my keepsake –
with which I’ll never part
God has you in his keeping –
while I’ll always have you in my heart.

(Poet Unknown)