Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A handsome devil

Something Angela said while I was there last week made me think I should post this old flyer from my college days. My second year at BYU, my roommate at Helamon Halls was a photographer, named Roddie Willis. He had a part-time gig with the "program bureau" which did publicity for campus events other than classes. One morning he asked me to get dressed in my Cougar Band blazer and turtle-neck so he could photograph me. We went down to the old Smith Fieldhouse, which was all set up for the weekly devotional, with the fancy podium with the seal of BYU on it standing on a dais in the center of the basketball court. I was kind of nervous about it, because I didn't think I belonged up there, but I stood there for about 20 minutes while Roddie took photographs from all angles. This is the photo he chose for the flyer. I had no idea what he needed the photograph for, but next thing I knew my pretty face was posted all over campus. I would have gone, just to see what it was all about, but I didn't have $15 to spare. That was a lot of money in those days, when I spent my summers working for $1.25 per hour.

BTW, this was the year before I met Liz.

Great Grandparents are great

A few years ago I was contacted by a lady named Ann Carrington in Kentucky. She was interested in Sparks genealogy and had a photo. She knew the people in it, but not which was which. I immediately recognized that the man on the right had to be an Ashurst. We now have them all ID'ed.
From left to right, they are:

Julia Sparks, who died in 1938, which dates this photo.
Edward Bailey Sparks, Great Grandma's brother.

Joseph William Ashurst, Great Grandpa.
Alice Cochrane Sparks Ashurst, Great Grandma.

When I told him I was bringing the photo above, Dad dug up photos of his grandparents. He didn't recognize his Grandpa in the photo because he said his Grandpa always wore a beard when he remembers him, but he had a photo of him at a young age.

This is the only photo Dad could find of his grandfather.
It's a little difficult to see this young man in the photo above, but the shape of his face is the same.

This is his grandmother, as he remembered her. And is there any doubt that is her standing next to her husband? No! It is very clear.

It's kind of fun to find out things about your distant ancestors. It's like finding old friends.
It seems that the Sparks family left Kentucky right after the Civil War, including Alice and her new husband, and they all settled in Brown County, Texas. The Sparks parents returned to Kentucky after a short time, but Grt-Grandpa and his family stayed, working closely with Grt-Grandma's brother, at least for a while.