Kade enjoying a sunset from the pier in Panama City, Florida. Lots of blog content to come!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Memory Lane - Major Espy Family Films


This 10 minute plus video was made using clips from a compilation video of family films originally made in the 40s, 50s and 60s.  The full video is about 40 minutes long, but according to Aunt Marilyn, would have been much longer had film reels not been damaged by time and heat.  I have already made two other short movies using extracts:  one of Dad with his horses and steers, and then one of Uncle Watty when he was in the Navy.  What's remaining after this one is about 25 minutes of family vacation footage - trips that Major, Edith and sometimes May May made with the kids.   They are at the beach, Mount Vernon, Niagara Falls, Yellowstone and I think even Jamaica.  Once I get this vacation footage put in chronological order and set to enjoyable music, I will add it to the blog, too.

For this particular video (above), I asked some family and others for help in identifying people and places.   If anyone has more insight, please feel free to get in touch.  Thank you!

My thoughts:

I am fairly confident I see Uncle Jim in his Air Force uniform, Uncle Roby dancing, Aunt Frances at the dance party and handling a camera in her garden, Granddad Major dancing, Edith pouring punch, May May in a swimsuit, Uncle Jack holding a child and Aunt Corrine Solomon holding a baby.  And locales: Old Espy home on W. Church St., Espy home on Main St., Old Vann home on E. Church St., and Lake Espy.   Footage is from circa late 40s- late 50s.

Sam Brannon and Grace Brannon Vann observations:

At GM Vann's house, the kids were Dale and Steve, Bill and Mike, Jackie, Dick and Carol, Mark, Marilyn, and Mila, and I have a brief appearance. Oscar was walking with your granddad, and Uncle Jack holding Steve Ezzell, who had lots of face time. We didn't know a lot of the ladies at the easter egg hunt...it was my mom driving the car and thumping a cigarette...Nona Knowles Solomon was obvious, and elsie davis with probably Eugenia and Mary Lumpkin. Don't know who was walking with May May in the bathing suits...

One of the parties at Edith's had a Mrs. Ward, who I thought initially was Helen Price...and I recognized Hance Hall, Don McClendon, Abe Bass (who later married a black woman sometime in the late 60's early 70's) and a few others. The dance party was good...I doubt if that was Roby Lee but surely was Uncle Major doing one quick dance routine!....Kathy Kelly who died in a car wreck as a teenager was the star dancer. Marilyn and Nelle Solomon Adams also did a dance or two. Mary Charles Smith and Ruby Davis McClenney McKnight were the ladies walking in front of Sara Francis' house. Maybe when May May has a chance to view we can take some notes....thanks for letting me see all this stuff....

Bill Vann's input:

I had thought the baby at GM Vann's to be Mike but Steve it is! At the BD Party there is one close-up image of a woman who looks like Gysene Weaver and the man with her looks like Felton. I'm not sure why they would have been at the party? I don't recall that they had kids that age? And, they weren't Baptists as I recall! Maybe it was her role as Marilyn's former teacher? At the Easter Egg Hunt or thereabouts I think there's a fleeting image of Zona Gayle? Definitely Mary Charles at the E. Church Street Garden scene. I didn't recognize Ruby. I think I can recognize Sid in one quick image connected to the cow/horses.

Brenda Skinner Stroup's analysis:

I recognized lots of people, but some have already been ID'ed. The dance party was great. Some of the ones recognized there are: Kate Helen Phillips, Kathy Kelley, Patsy Bradshaw, Ed Oates, Tim Kirkland, Agnes Gene Allen, Frances Parker (she is the one with the scarf around her head), Hanse Hall, Don McClendon, Donald Parrish, Carol Ann Langford, Bobby Messer, Malinda Shelley and Nelle Solomon. These kids (including Marilyn and Don, of course) were in the class behind me so I knew all of them.. That is Giscese Weaver and her husband, Felton. We thought this party might have been at the "Teen Center" which is now the library and maybe the Weavers were just regular chaperones or she could have been their home room teacher. Mrs. Gene Ward is there.  Her daughter, Jean, was in Marilyn's class but I don't recognize Jean among the dancers. You are right, that is Brother Roby Lee dancing a few steps.

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