West Asheville. Hank Williams, Jr., David Allen Coe and Waylon Jennings.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Seeing Family in Charleston

One huge benefit of having this blog is that people I don't really know - distant relatives and others - reach out to me and introduce themselves.  Sometimes they have been following my blog for a year or more, and then they decide to e-mail me.  The best relationships I've made are with folks who say, "Hey, I have items you might you like."  That then leads to exchanging e-mails and sharing scanned photos.  It just opens new worlds to me - and them.  One such contact has been Brenda Skinner Stroup, who was not only Dad's classmate at Headland High, but a distant cousin of his.  And her husband Hank Stroup is a very close relative on the Solomon side!  Until Brenda contacted me, I didn't know either of them.

You and Hank Stroup are 2nd cousins 1 time removed with common ancestors Laura Emma Price and John Thomas Solomon.  Hank is Mark's 2nd cousin.  His grandmother, Mamie Oates and "Aunt" Kate were sisters.  I have tons of genealogy info from the Solomon side of your family. Would be glad to share.  I am also a distant cousin, as my 2nd great grandmother (Mahala Kirkland)  and Mark's 2nd great grandmother (Mila Kirkland) were sisters.  Mark was a groomsman in our wedding 46 years ago.  - Brenda Stroup, Jan. 5

E-mailing Brenda eventually led to making arrangements to get together in lovely Charleston, SC, not too far from where she and Hank live.   And this past weekend, we did just that.  Kade and I departed the scenic mountains for the lovely coast - about a four hour drive one way.  We had been to Charleston before and had wanted to go back.  The rich history, the stunning architecture, the lush gardens, the people watching, the nearby beaches and islands...Wow!  But our primary reason for going was to spend an evening with Hank and Brenda.   What an evening it was!!!!

This is Hank's and Brenda's wedding at the Headland Methodist Church.  See if you can spot Dad (Mark Espy, Sr.).  He was a groomsman and usher.  Dad also hosted a breakfast for the groom at the Espy home on Main St.  The article in this post gives more details about the wedding and the breakfast.

The top photo is of the reception.  In the dark suit on the left is Major W. Espy.  In front of him is Edith V. Espy, congratulating Brenda.

Brenda and Dad were classmates at Headland High School. 

Just to show Dad's commitment to his high school class, check this out.  From 1962 till his death, Dad gathered with his former classmates at reunions.  In fact, probably his last public outing was to Meadowbrook for his high school reunion.  Brenda Stroup was also present.

Another discovery I made was that Hank attended Abbeville High School for one year and knew my mother very well.  In fact, I think he went out with her once.  Brenda also knew Mother, and thought very highly of her.  They talked about how Dad and Mother first met.  They also talked about my grandmother Dot and what a strong person she was.  In time, I hope to elaborate on a few of these jewels.

Lastly, my plan is to post, right here, the genealogy trail that links Brenda to my siblings and me.  And I will also share the link to an earlier post that will clearly detail Hank's connection to us.  So please check back.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your Dad kept so many ‘groups’ together—and used his excellent ‘recall’ of our ‘faux pas’s to bring laughter and memories that last. Zona