Connections, some we know, others surprise us, and I wonder at those we may never realize...
1965, Sonoma Avenue School, Livermore, Mrs. Fuller's kindergarten class, this is where I first met my friend Sue. Did we call her Susan, all I remember was Sue, never Susie. Our lives have been intertwined for 51 years, that's right, we're 56 years old. Classmates, catechism classes, St. Charles Catholic Church, Mendenhall Middle School, Granada High School. Remembering her home when it was a single story house, then her father added a 2nd story. She and her sister Janet were joined later by their baby sister, maybe that's why there was a 2nd story on the house! I worked at the local hardware store as my first job, I can remember her Dad, John, driving up on the weekend to make whatever purchase for the house.
We graduated, both married young and had our families. Sue and I reconnected at each of our reunions, fully connecting at the 20th. We got together with a group of girlfriends and started weekend visits in the mountains. What a blessing to be with women who connect to our past, share it, remember it, and can laugh outrageously at the antics of our teenage years.
Now for the rest of the story. During one of our weekend visits we were chatting about where our parents were raised, and crazily enough, Sue's parents were raised in Red Bluff, California as was my father Norman Brown. My Dad was a decade older than her parents, and when I asked him, he clearly remembered the bakery and a hardware store run members of her family.
As a genealogist & family historian, I can't ever stop digging to leave well enough alone. I knew I'd seen her mother's maiden name, Bloxham, during my research of my father's history. No we're not related but pretty close. Sue's Bloxham relatives were in the same logging town, Lyonsville California at the same time as my paternal line the Hillhouse family. I'd seen her surname on markers in the cemetery in Red Bluff, and in Lyonsville. The Lyonsville logging mill was in operation from the 1870s-1920s, closing down when the operations were moved to Stirling City California.
I dug a little deeper, one of Sue's maternal great-grandmother's, family, the Sheltons are in my family photo albums. Our common history in this little logging town, over 125 years ago.
This last week I photographed little Aubree, Sue's first grandchild. Connections, aren't we fortunate to have them?