Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mr. Weller's little boy

The St. Andrews Buoy 
St. Andrews, Fla, Dec 30, 1909
The St. Andrews kids are all envying Mr. A. D. Weller’s little boy, who received a handsome hand-mobile for a Christmas gift. (page 2 in the gossip column “Legal Drift”).

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Opening email after arriving home from church last evening, I was overjoyed to find two from Mike McKenzie. Introduced here on my blog before, Mike is the dentist in Atlanta who lived here when his family owned my house during the 1940s after WW2, and whose family’s and his wife’s family’s roots in the community are at least as deep as mine, deeper. From time to time Mike sends me pictures, documents (e.g., copy of the deed when my grandparents sold this house and moved away), and photocopies of pages from the early 20th century St. Andrews Bay News. The two emails last evening include both pictures of several early St. Andrews and newspaper pages, including 1915-era pages with articles about “Mayor Weller” when my grandfather A.D. Weller was mayor of St. Andrews. 

And the February 20, 1923 item about Mom and Pop, Ruth, our father, and Marguerite leaving the previous Saturday to move to Ocilla, Georgia. EG would have been away at college by then, I had forgotten that. 

I will be adding all of this to the blue thumbdrive Mike sent me a few months ago, and from time to time will share the pics and information as blogposts.

Browsing online this morning, I googled my grandfather’s name and the first thing that popped up was the item above in The St. Andrews Buoy, a newspaper published here, every Thursday, subscriptions one dollar a year. Mike introduced me to the SABNews, but until this morning I wasn’t aware of the SABuoy. It came to me from the digital library at the University of Florida. For family history, it tells that Mom and Pop and Alfred were here in 1909, several years before the house was built. I'll have to go back to other data Mike sent me to see when the family were last recorded at home in Pensacola before moving to St. Andrews. Also here would have Evalyn (born 1904) and Ruth (born 1907), but not yet our father (1911) or Marguerite (born August 7, 1917 just five months before Alfred’s death). At the time, I suppose, the family was living in the blue house later moved across to the SE corner of Calhoun and 9th. 

For personal interest I’ve tried this morning to find a picture of what Alfred’s “hand-mobile” must have been that had the other kids so envious. He was ten years old that Christmas and, as my father said so many times about Mom and Pop, “the apple of their eye.” A picture of Alfred is here in our sitting room, over a painting of my house, his house built in 1912/1013, and beside the model of the Annie & Jennie that Joe built for me. But he would have been sixteen or seventeen in the picture. This line from the St. Andrews Buoy is the first time I’ve read Alf being called “Mr. Weller’s little boy” which stirs memories of Mom and Pop and has me quite sentimental this morning. I do understand loving a child as they loved Alf, as they called him. That love never fades, never goes away.


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