Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran's Day 2016

I am proud to be a member of a family that has served this country in all of the military branches and through many, many wars and cold wars, starting with the American War for Independence.
On Veteran's Day 2016, I honor my family members who have served in the USA military.  

My father, James G. Gilbert, a real "horse soldier",  served in the U.S. 17th Cavalry in the Western states guarding the Mexican Border many years before WWI and later deployed to Hawaii during WWI dec

Wilbur Cockrell - Army WWI - Uncle dec 
James Norman Gilbert - Navy, Ret, WWII also Chicago Police Department Retired - Brother dec (Pictured with my sister, Katherine Elaine Gilbert Davis)

Robert P. Perry - Army WWII Served under General MacArthur & Reserves - Uncle dec

John E. Perry - Army WWII Went all the way with General Patton - Uncle dec
Thomas D. Perry - Army WWII (KIA buried in France) - Uncle

Arthur L. Perry - Navy Seabees WWII - Uncle
Uncle Leo was to young to enlist but was accepted in the Seabees. He served in the Pacific Islands building runways. dec
Thomas Gooch - Army WWII - Uncle dec
William Roy Adams - Navy, WWII, USS Ammen (DD-527) Cousin dec
Hershel Spears - WWII & Korean War (BIL) dec
Sidney L. Davis - Air Force, Ret (Vietnam) (BIL) dec 
Bill Cockrell - Army - Cousin 
Bob Cockrell - Naval Reserves - Cousin
John Cockrell - Marines - Cousin 
Richard O. Lucas - Navy - Vietnam (Air Guard and Policeman)
James David Gilbert - Army (Hawk Missile) Brother dec

George A. Davis - Army Vietnam - Nephew
Capt. George A. Davis is a career Intracostal Waterways captain of a large boat, who previously served as captain on boats servicing the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico

Jamie Bianca Davis-Weston - Navy - Niece 
Martin Randall Clark - Marines - Persian Gulf War, Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Somalia (ex-SIL)
Gerald Martin Clark- Marines, Ret.
(Grandfather, MaryJustice Lucas-Clark)
Pictured with son, Randy Clark

Michael Dennis Lucas - Navy, Persian Gulf War, Desert Shield/Desert Storm) USS Midway (CV-41) Aircraft Carrier and USS Independence Aircraft Carrier - Son - Deceased 2013 Michael loved being in the Navy and would have made a career there, but for an injury to his elbow. Being a victim of PTSD himself, he had a passion for helping the disabled veterans. He went back to school to get his Occupational Therapist Assistant degree and was so happy to finally get to the VA Hospital in the Valor Rehabilitation Group working with those severely disabled and with PTSD and other mental disorders. He loved his job, but his career was cut short by a heart attack. 
There are cousins on the Gilbert side of my family that I did not know. I do recall Conrad Gilbert, US Army, Ret. I was very young, but I recall my father being very proud of him.

Please thank our veterans, policemen, fireman and EMT's for their unselfish service to our communities and country.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Honoring My Father - Father's Day 2015

James George Gilbert

Daddy joined the U.S. Army long before WWI (See post dated November 11, 2013). He was in Troop C of the 17th Cavalry, a horse soldier.

He was a sportsman who enjoyed camping, fishing and hunting. Daddy was a painter by trade, but was a very talented "jack of all trades." He could build/make anything with wood, leather or metal and never owned a power tool ... all done by hand. If he needed a part for something he would find the metal, sit down and file, hammer and shape until it fit what he needed. I watched him while he pulled the engine from a 1947 Plymouth Coupe with fluid drive. He hoisted it up with block and tackle to a limb of an oak tree in our yard. He totally rebuilt the engine, hand grinding the valves to perfection.

Although he told many stories about his years in the Army, I didn't realize until my sister, Elaine, did our genealogy that he was assigned to the Medical Corps while he was in Hawaii during WWI. He is the one who did my physical therapy after my having polio at age five. I didn't know the massages and exercises were physical therapy. I just knew my Daddy was taking care of me and easing the pain in my arms and legs.

I was a "daddy's girl" and would rush to meet him at the front door when he came home from work. I stood on his feet and we walked and danced to the kitchen to see what Mama had for supper. He usually asked, "What's for dessert?" No matter how meager the meal,  he always thanked Mama and told her it was very good and he enjoyed it. I remember his rocking me and singing "You Are My Sunshine."

While growing up, he spent a lot of time with his grandfather, James Lamar Gilbert (Civil War Veteran). James Lamar was a land owner as well as a boot-maker. It never occurred to me when he resoled our shoes, hand sewed broken stitches in our leather shoes that he learned this skill from his grandfather. I just knew that my daddy could do everything. Long before "dyed to match" shoes came into vogue or were affordable, he tinted a pair of white leather pumps to match a dress Mama had made for me to wear to a high school party. He used white shoe polish and added colors until he got the exact shade of blue to match the lace bodice of my dress. In his time, a painter was s true craftsman and mixed colors using an oil based paint and adding pigments to get just the right color and shade.

James G. Gilbert in late 1959
Daddy holding my daughter, Marcia in 1965
I am so blessed to have had him for my father. I would sit in his lap and rest my head on his shoulder as I did when a child, until his legs became so frail that he could not hold be but a minute or so. Daddy fell and broke his hip four months prior to his 80th birthday. I sat with him in the hospital and held his hand. He was so weak and said over and over,  "I'm so tired. I'm ready to go home." It was on a Saturday and surgery was planned for Monday. The doctor would not allow Mama and me to stay with him during the night. He died shortly after we left the hospital. We laid him to rest on a dreary Wednesday in 1971. But, God in His perfect timing allowed me to bring home my son, the late Michael Dennis Lucas, the next day. I was so busy taking care of an eight week old, that the pain of Daddy's death was eased for a while. I do wish my son could have known my father and learned the many things he could have taught him. It gives me comfort to know that they have met in Heaven.

I still miss you, Daddy, and love recalling the many wonderful memories, the little songs you sang to us while you "fiddled" on your grandfather's violin and listening to the stories you entertained us with.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veteran's Day 2014

First, let me say "Thank You" to all who have served in any branch of The United States of America Armed Forces through the years, whether during time of war, peace or cold war. You were there ready to put your lives on the line to protect us, our country and the freedom our fore fathers secured for us.

It's been a couple of years since I posted to this blog. It seems so many things always got in the way. I hope to start writing again and share my memories and stories of my family, as was my first intention for starting this particular blog.

However, I have thought about this post for days ... tried to plan what to say, photographs to display. Nothing seemed to formulate and I feel so addled-brained, so I'm just letting words drop on the page without giving much thought to the end result. My heart is heavy.

Veteran's Day, November 11, 2014

AEAN Michael Dennis Lucas
Today all over the country, there will be parades and celebrations honoring our veterans. It will be the first time in many, many years that my son, Michael Dennis Lucas will not be somewhere watching a parade and honoring his brothers from all branches of the military. It became his custom to take his niece, MaryJustice  to the parade in Huntsville, Alabama. I joined them from time to time and thoroughly enjoyed watching the parade. I have never been able to watch a parade without my chest swelling with pride and enjoyed the times I shared these moments with Michael and MaryJustice. Michael was so very proud of the Huntsville Madison County Veteran's Park. If you go to the parade, or perhaps on another day, please go to the brick walk and at Section 18, Row 2, Column 5, see the brick honoring AEAN Michael Dennis Lucas, purchased by his co-workers at the VA Hospital in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he was an Occupational Therapist Assistant working with the disabled veterans with PTSD and other mental illnesses. He went back to school in his 30's to get his degree because he knew this was what he was meant to do. He came home from the Persian Gulf War with PTSD, which  at that time was not recognized as an illness. He had his dream job and loved it.

On December 12, 2013, at age 43, Michael passed away of a sudden heart attack. We laid him to rest with "his brothers" at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo, Alabama, on December 23, 2013, twenty-two years to the day that he came home from the Persian Gulf War to celebrate Christmas with his family and friends.

So, today or any day for that matter, when you see someone in uniform or a veteran of any war, tell them "Thank you for your service."

Monday, November 11, 2013

James George Gilbert, Veteran WWI

James George Gilbert, born May 10, 1891, was the eldest son of James William Gilbert and Frances Selna Crawford Gilbert. He married Florence Obelia Perry Gilbert October. 1931, being her senior by 18 years and is the father of Katherine Elaine Davis, Mary Sue Baumann and William Perry Gilbert (deceased). He is the father of James Norman Gilbert (deceased) from a previous marriage. He entered the United States Army at age 24. Daddy's occupation on his enlistment is stated as barber. I'm not sure, but I do think that during that time barbers were attached to the Medical Department. Research has not gleaned anything conclusive.

He enlisted September 5, 1915 and was received September 7, 1915 at Calexico, California and assigned to Troop “B” 1st Cavalry, September 9, 1915. During March , 1919, he was transferred to Camp Harry J. Jones, Douglas, Arizona, where several troops were combined to form the 17th Cavalry. He was in Troop C and on April 5 1919, the 17th Cavalry set sail from San Francisco on the U.S.A.T. Sherman, bound for Honolulu and Schofield Barracks.

He contracted pneumonia during the crossing and was in the hospital at Schofield Barracks. This is the fact that raised the question of barbers being part of the Medical Department as his records show his being in the Medical Department. Other military records do not state if his duties were general cavalry duties or if in fact he was a barber/medic during his entire military stay. I remember his talking about treating people and that he had considerable medical knowledge.

As a passenger cargo vessel fitted to carry livestock, Sherman made an excellent transport and she could accommodate 80 officers, 1,000 men and 1,000 horses. She also had refrigerated capacity for shipping 1,000 pounds of meat.

Schofield Barracks appears to have been very primitive quarters for the Cavalry. I remember Daddy talking about Poi and the feasts the Hawaiians would give with pigs roasted in pits in the ground.
Demobilization following the end of World War I, left the 17th Cavalry manning the garrison at Fort Shafter and Schofield Barracks until the fall of 1920. There was still the problem of covering approximately one hundred miles of rugged coast line with one regiment of cavalry to effectively repel any attempted landing of enemy troops from transports and hold them off until the arrival of reinforcements. With the exception of the sector in and around the city of Honolulu and Pearl Harbor, the entire coast line of the island was left to the 17th Cavalry Regiment. The Regiment developed an intricate system of shielded lights and telephone lines for command and control as well as reporting, with camps placed in locations that provided excellent cover and concealment from the air or sea.

December 1920, the 17 Cavalry returned to the United States aboard the USAT Buford, which was built at Belfast, Ireland, in 1890 as the commercial steamship, Mississippi. The Army acquired her in 1898, at the time of the Spanish-American War. In January 1919 the ship was turned over to the Navy, placed in commission as USS Buford and assigned to duty as a troop transport. During the next half-year she made four round-trip voyages between the United States and France, bringing home over 4700 First World War I veterans.
Daddy returned home aboard the USAT Buford and was discharged at The Presidio of Monterey, California, on December 5, 1920.

The 17th Cavalry is a historical organization within the United States Army that began as a regiment of cavalry after the Pancho Villa Expedition. The unit was constituted on 1 July 1916 in the Regular Army as the 17th Cavalry at Fort Bliss, Texas and originally inactivated 26 September 1921 at the Presidio of Monterey, California. Formerly a part of the 1950s Combat Arms Regimental System, it was reorganized as a part of the United States Army Regimental System, an ongoing effort to maintain the lineage and history of the Army through its units. Today, the 17th Cavalry Regiment is found across the Army within the Combat Aviation Brigades, where the Squadrons, now constituted as attack/recon helicopter squadrons, carry on the legacy of the 17th Cavalry Regiment.
James George Gilbert was proud to have served his country and told us many stories of that time. He died of complications from a broken hip January 16, 1971, just three months shy of his 80th year. I still miss him.
I'am proud of my heritage and my family's participation in historical events of this country.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Afton, New Twig on the Branches of Our Tree

Born on March 12, 2012
in Atlanta, Georgia

Please follow Afton Grey's progress by clicking the link to Facebook!

Afton Grey* was born on March 12th with a rare heart defect known as TPVR with obstruction. He was airlifted to Egleston Children's Hospital and had open heart surgery just 5 hours after being born. His lungs became infected, and his body has been fighting through a plethora of setbacks each and every day. His parents, Ryann and Nate, will need your love, prayers, and support -- both emotionally and monetarily. any offer, whether it's a kind word, or $1, will be gratefully accepted.

Mommy Ryann reading a colorful book to her baby boy. 
The book was a gift from Afton's Great Aunt Vanessa!

After a long day of brain ultrasounds and other icky tests,
 Afton and Daddy spend some time reading together.

We are seeking love, prayers, and donations for sweet Afton Grey Prathaftakis, grandson of our cousin Kathleen and great-great-great grandson of  Mary Frances Perry and Robert Pierce Perry. Please click the photo link above and LIKE "Strength for Afton Grey" and make a secure donation through the PayPal link on Afton's Facebook Page. Donations go directly and immediately to the family. The financial hardships to come are inevitable, but Ryann and Nate have faith, and enough love for this little boy that they know with your prayers and support they'll make it work -- one day at a time. So, please LIKE his page and pass it on!  You can check his progress daily on facebook and leave messages of encouragement for him.

Friday, July 2, 2010


A tribute to my ancestors who fought for our independence:
George Tubb, Sr.
William Tubb, brother
    George Tubb, son of William
Alexander Davidson

Happy Birthday to The United States of America
Eagle and flag
The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics
By Francis Scott Key 1814

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
This poem and music says it all…from this blogger’s heart!

And, a thank you to my sister, Mrs. Katherine E. Davis who has done such a job great researching. There are more who served but we are still seeking proof!

God Bless America!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Memorial Day, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day is set aside to honor the memory of those who paid the ultimate price to preserve their beliefs and defend the United States. Some were called by our country to fight and some did not wait but, volunteered with pride to serve this great country.
Some of my most vivid childhood memories are of the times during World War II. 
Blue Star FlagBlue Star Flag Blue Star Flag
I remember my grandmother proudly hanging the Mothers’ Blue Star Flags in the front window.   There were three.  My grandfather put together a huge world puzzle, glued it to paper and hung it on a bedroom wall.  He stuck pins in the map tracking the war and locations of his three sons.
Then one day, there were two blue-star flags and one gold-star flag hanging in the front window.
Blue Star Flag Blue Star Flag  Gold Star Flag
Thomas Davis Perry was born on September 26, 1912, the fourth of 11 children born to Robert Pierce Perry III and Mary Frances (Frank) Tubb Perry.  At age 32, my Uncle Davis was already a successful, licensed concessionaire traveling with his carnival of rides, concessions, games, and shows throughout the Midwest and Southeast.
127 Thomas Davis Perry, Sr.  29 or 30 Years Old
I was very young, but remember the excitement when his carnival came to Birmingham. I remember the chalk Kewpie dolls he gave us and most of all his silver Airstream trailer when parked in Mama & Papa Perry’s driveway.  I don’t remember the car, but I think it was a convertible.  During his travels he met Erna Estelle Sutton in Missouri.  I’ve always thought their meeting and marriage was very romantic (clearly illustrated in their letters to each other). After the war, Erna lived with us for a time before she moved back to Missouri.  I would sit and listen intently while she talked to Mother over a cup of coffee. I think that’s why I enjoy sitting around the kitchen table with friends or family, talking over a cup of coffee, even now.
The family called him Davis, but Erna called him Tom. Evidently, the carnival was playing in her town and they met. Since the carnival was seldom in one place for very long, they didn’t know each other very well, but it must have been “love at first sight.”  Over a meal one day before he left, he asked, “How would you like to do a lot of traveling, not have to do any house-keeping and live an exciting life?” She replied, “I’d like that.” He then said, “Well, marry me.”  He went on to the next town and wrote to her asking that she trust him and have faith in him …  that he would send for her soon.  They were married on January 22, 1940. Little did they know they would have such a few, short years together.
26 Tom, Sr. & Erna Perry, Horse
On November 6, 1944, Pvt. Thomas Davis Perry, Sr. was killed in the line of duty in France, leaving behind his beautiful wife, Erna, their daughter Erna Lea Perry and their son Thomas Davis Perry, Jr.,
9 ernakids
grieving parents, nine brothers and sisters and their children. After Davis’ death, his youngest brother, Leo, who was too young for the military, left school and joined the United States Navy Construction Battalions (CBs) known as the SeaBees. His brother Robert continued to serve in the Pacific and his brother John served with General Patton for the duration of the war. He is not forgotten. Will not be forgotten.
Memorial Day began as a day to recognize those who died in the single bloodiest war in American history: the Civil War. The holiday was originally known as Decoration Day and many states and organizations take credit for its existence. Decoration Day got its name from the efforts of southern women decorating the graves of Confederate soldiers not long after the end of the Civil War. 
On this Memorial Day of 2010, I wish to honor my great-great grandfather,  2nd Sgt. George Washington Tubb, Company A, 8th Alabama Infantry, who fought at the Siege of Yorktown, April 5, 1862, was severely wounded at Williamsburg, May 5 1862 and wounded again at Seven Pines. He died June 10, 1862 in Virginia.
I would also like to honor Felix Tubb, eldest son of George W. and Mary Ann Massey Tubb, who was wounded and died  May 1865. Felix was buried at sea.
Although writing  commemorates Memorial Day for those who gave their lives during battle,  I would like to honor my great-great grandmother, Mary Ann Massey Tubb. She gave birth to seven children, three of which died at very young ages. She  lost her husband and first child during the Civil War. My great grandfather, George Martin Tubb, the youngest child was eight months old when his father died.  Mary Ann Massey Tubb raised her children alone and died in July of 1925 at the age of 97. Her strength and courage throughout her life clearly influenced her descendents.