Saturday, February 19, 2011

February Birthdays Sign Out and March On!

George Washington before the Battle of Trenton
painting by John Trumbull

George Washington was our first United States President from the year 1789 until 1797.  He was born in Virginia, unto a wealthy tobacco farming family on February 22, in the year of 1732.  He was an outstanding military commander, holding the army together, even under defeat, and his diligence as a soldier and leader paved the way to his eventual Presidency.

I guess George Washington's most notorious success was during the brutal cold winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge, Pensylvania when he led his army to victory over the British.  President Washington was commander in chief of the Continental Army and became known as "The Father of His Country".  In 1787, he presided over the writing of the U.S. Constitution.

And, by the way, his teeth (dentures) weren't made of wood as I had read years ago.  The story I remember from years past was that Paul Revere also practiced at dentistry and built President Washington's wooden dentures!  But now I learn that his first dentures were constructed of animal and human teeth by an American dentist Dr. John Greenwood.  It is said that donkey, horse and cow teeth were used along with elephant ivory.  George (may I call him George?) lost his teeth at an early age and it is reported that he actually had 3 sets of false teeth, and that they were very uncomfortable.

Behind his grim appearance as in most of his photos, George is said to have been an exciting man, full of adventure, and at 6' 3" tall, he was very athletic.  Well, we know he was an avid horseman.  He also enjoyed farming, and owned a distillery which did produce it's first batch of  special beverage in 1797.  And, oh yeah, the Cherry Tree incident of his childhood is still up for debate.  It seems, we're still not sure he really chopped down his father's tree.  One cold, snowy and freezing rainy day in December of 1799, George Washington   made his usual rounds about his farms on horseback.  Later that day he developed a sore throat and became ill.  Two days later, he passed away at the age of 67.  The last words he spoke were "Tis Well". 

Thank you President George Washington for being our first President and working for what you truly believed would make our country it's finest!    

Benjamin W. Trammell, February 22. 1921 ~ August 16, 1995
Karo's father, Benjamin "Bennie" Trammell, was a self-made businessman.  He was born in Boonesville, Texas, and grew up there and around Balzora, TX.  Bennie and Karo's mother Dorothy Ryan married in the early 1940's, during which time he served in the US Navy in World War II and took up residence in Bridgeport, Texas, not too far from where Bennie grew up.  Somewhere around 1954, Bennie and Dorothy opened up a small frozen custard and hamburger stand called "Trammell's Custard Stand", which was later named "What a Burger" (ironic, huh?).  But the name fit because Bennie was very well known for his burgers, and, the townspeople who are still there, still talk of them today.  They lived in a single trailer on the same property as the Custard stand with their two young sons, Danny and Karo.  The little Custard stand burned down and they built a larger eat-in cafe on the property behind the old Custard stand and called it "Frontier Cafe".   Here is a picture of the "Frontier Cafe" taken in 1961.
You can see the old Highway Patrol car and a few other older vehicles parked around the cafe.  Karo's parents employed up to 28 people in their cafe.  Saturdays were always very busy because there was a cattle auction barn next to the cafe.  Bennie would put on large pots of chili for the customers who would stop by after leaving the auction-the chili was the champ in the winters and they sold a lot of it.  Karo and his brother Danny would work most weekends in the cafe peeling potatoes and working the register.  There was always plenty of food to go around during the week too. Karo and his friends would rush in during the school year for lunch,  and Bennie would get the plate lunches (.65 cents) ready with chicken fried steak potatoes and rolls for the school kids.  Of course, his burgers and fries were always in high demand, along with the frozen custard that you could get in cones or sundaes. 
Karo's dad, Bennie liked to work on old cars and restore them.  I guess that's where Karo got his abilities from to be a mechanic for most of his life.  Bennie would take the family on vacation to Kansas and other parts of the Midwest, even Colorado & Florida, find an old car at the back of someone's property, buy it, and bring it back to Texas to restore.  He also enjoyed collecting antiques and old frontier items to display in the cafe.  He had a large collection of spoons and guns on display inside the cafe.  Aside from working seven days a week, Bennie also enjoyed boating and rattlesnake hunting. 

Bennie's 1924 Buick Roadster
Karo sitting to your right & brother Danny sitting to your left with cousin looking on

Bennie was born somewhere in the middle of 8 brothers and 5 sisters, one brother is still living.  He stayed very busy with his family, cafe, and-oh yes, a Goodyear tire store.  He also did some farming when he could. 

Above are two pictures of Karo's dad while in the Navy.
A very handsome sailor!

I never got to meet my father-in-law, Bennie Trammell.  He passed away in 1995 before Karo and I started dating.  He just sounds like such a great guy-I know I would have been fascinated with him (and his burgers!).  He was very well liked by his customers and the community of Bridgeport.  And his family misses him terribly.  But his Birthday is still remembered and acknowledged!   


Other Famous February 22nd Birthdays include:
composer Frederick Chopin born in 1810
actor Robert Young born in 1907
Senator Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy born in 1932

Paige Hicks ~ February 23, 1962

Photo taken by Suzanne November 11, 2010
Downtown Fort Worth, Texas

This cute lady is my boss Paige.  She was born and raised in Texas.  I first met her in 2007 when she came to work at our office as the Operations Manager.  She had originally been with our firm since 1988 (she was just a pup then) in our San Angelo branch.  I think she left after about 15 years, went to another firm for a few years, and then made her way to Fort Worth with her beautiful family.  I'm glad she stopped by our office in 2007-we were in need of a fresh face with an energetic presence.   Paige oversees all of the staff, about 25 of us brats (whining and complaining all the time).  And she manages to keep a smile on her face.  She is very knowledgeable and always jumps in to help when needed-even totes boxes and furniture around!  And this woman is the "Real Deal Cowgirl"!  She and her family, (husband Johnny, 2 beautiful daughters and one handsome son) are rodeo folks-they have horses, ride in rodeos, and attend week-long trail rides annually in San Antonio, Texas.  Paige and her family have participated in roping, barrel racing, and her son has been a part of the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Assn., competing in barebacking riding.  Paige even helps raise barns and bales hay.  Her western clothes are stylishly rugged and she wears the coolest boots (that is, when we're allowed to wear jeans or western wear to work)!  You come to Texas to see cowboys, and they're not just out on the streets strolling around.  Sometimes they're right under your nose and you have to read between the lines to spot the REAL ones!  Paige enjoys riding horses, photography, and scrapbooking.  As you can see, I caught her eating her favorite taco salad that is served on Thursdays at Alonti Cafe in the tower connected to our building. 


And who do we have here?

Leta E. Berry Brewer ~ February 23, 1947
photo taken by our brother, Stan Berry, somewhere around 1975

This is my sister, Leta.  Now that's a head of hair, don't you think?  At some point she was able to sit on her hair and it reached the hem of her skirts.  Just don't know how she lugged so much hair around for so many years.  But, she had a lot of it, no doubt, and it was a great conversation piece.  Now she wears her hair short and I often try to picture her with shoulder length hair, or a little longer.

Well, I've been blabbing on about various Birthdays in February-now, I'm down to my sister, and I'm at a loss for words.  What can I say?  That she was the coolest in my eyes?  That I would try to fashion myself after her?  YES!!! It's true!!!  Leta was very well liked in school by everyone, even as quiet as she was.  She dressed very cool and her hair was always styled WITH STYLE!  She is the oldest of us three kids, and "Who's the Boss?"  You guessed it.  My brother and I would jump at her commands-sure, we would sneak around and try to antagonize her at times, but, we both wanted to be her best friends.  She knew all of the latest songs and artists, and kept up with all of the latest dances.  But, she was very private too.  On a lighter note regarding her privacy, I remember when Leta was about 13 or 14, she somehow acquired the paperback book "The Carpetbaggers".  She didn't want mom to know she was reading that book, so she hid it in her sock drawer.  Sometimes I would walk into our room and she would be standing at her chest of drawers with the top drawer open-I'm sorry...this is still hilarious to me!  But she would read the book from inside of the drawer, and if anyone walked in, she could close the drawer real fast.  I'm sure mom knew about it-I hope I'm not tattling after all these years. OOPS!!!  But Leta, I swear, I never did tell mom back then, okay?  And, Leta still loves to read today.  When school would let out for the summer, mom would get us kids involved in the summer reading programs at the public library in our town.  And you got rewards for reading a certain amount of books per week.  Leta would read and read and read.  I would read some, but spent more time outdoors-just couldn't stay interested then.  I do love to read now, tho.   And in her high school years, Leta went to work for that very same library in Argentine, Kansas.  That library is still there today, and I understand it is currently undergoing renovations.   

Leta is also a very good artist.  She participated in the art program in High School and even attended the Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri.  She would draw dress designs in her spare time, but most of her work was abstract drawings of buildings and city scenes.  On October 15, 2010, I posted a story titled 
"Haunt...Haunted? Haunted!".  At the beginning of my post, I featured a chalk drawing of the Sauer Castle in Kansas City, Kansas that is presumably haunted.  My sister did this drawing.  It was entered in an Art Fair at our High School and she did win a ribbon.  I've always admired that drawing, maybe in part because I got to watch her work on it.  I think that's why today, I still appreciate drawings such as this one. The pencil sketch comes first-and I think she made more than one sketch.  I was always fascinated with the way she could blend her colors and manipulate the shading just right.  I've had the honor for quite a few years of hanging this piece in the entryway of my home.  Leta also did a very large chalk portrait of the nativity scene, which was later displayed in the Argentine Public Library where she worked.  My mother still has that drawing-it was admired by all who saw it.  She also dabbled a little in copper jewelry making and did a few modern art sculptures.  She is also a fabulous seamstress (and so is mom).  I sang with our High School Choir at Leta's graduation and wore a really nice dress she had made-I especially liked it because she put small zippers at the end of the sleeves! 

                        Two sisters at Easter in the 50's   And here we are I think, in 1977
                         And mom made these dresses!             Mom took this picture

Me and Leta in July 1999~both with short hair!
And I mean short!!!

Well, I could probably write a book-but I have to get this post on soon!  Leta has one beautiful daughter, Erica and a gorgeous little granddaughter, Chloe, who is about 18 months old.  She currently lives in Shawnee, Kansas and works for a bank (I don't know which one).  Lately, she has had to shovel her way out of her carport thru mounds of snow just to get to work.  Leta enjoys going to art shows, garden shows and listening to music.  She has a cute little dog named Jenks, and I think, she still has a cat.  We are cat lovers, you know.  I don't get to see her very often, but when I do we have lots of fun and laugh a lot as we reminisce about our younger days.  Oh, and she did take accordian lessons when she was younger-she could play "Little Brown Jug"!  She was one of the first girls allowed to take drafting class in high school-it was generally a class the boys took.  She studied Latin for 4 years in high school and French in Junior College.  So, yes, I have always admired and loved my sister!

Happy Birthday Leta!

Here are some famous February 23rd Birthdays
Peter Fonda was born on February 23, 1939
Johnny Winter was born on February 23, 1944
Dakota Fanning was born on February 23, 1994


"Just checkin' out the beauties...makin' sure you do 'em justice!"
"I'm just an ole houn'dog ma'am".

Ok! OK!!!  I'll give you one plug, "E", and that's it-then you'll have to get off my post!  On Abraham Lincoln's birthday, February 12, 1977, Elvis Presley "riveted" the ladies with his performance at the Hollywood Sportatorium in Hollywood, Florida.  It was reported that fights broke out amongst fans who were trying to get Elvis' autographs.  Elvis was 42 years old at the time.

Many Thanks to:

Since I'm not politically inclined, I declined to say much about our two great Presidents Abe Lincoln and George Washington political beliefs.  I have read about the accomplishments of both men and truly appreciate their efforts and contributions to our country.  In the interim, they were able to set some standards and goals for us to follow in our quest to be a thriving and proud country.  I am proud to be an American!

Hope everyone had a fun Valentine's Day-lots of flowers were sold last week!  Mine are still looking good, except a few petals are dropping off the white mums-drat!

"To the world you may be but one person,
 But to one person you may be the world."
by Kristen

Au revoir mes enfants!


  1. SUSAN! that's ALOT of february birthdays!! wow!
    and i just love those OLD pictures. actually when i saw that one of the Frontier Cafe...i thought at first glance it was way older than '61! must just be ME that's getting old.
    old pictures...give me goosebumps!
    my youngest son's birthday is on valentines i have ONE february birthday! he was 26...yeah, i AM getting old! ha!

    i'm not politically inclined thanks for not getting into ALL THAT...or my mind might start wandering in a different direction! then again that's been known to happen for no apparent reason anyway!

    you take care...i tried to get my blog reading done this morn...but ran out of time. had to go help a client dig this big bush up out of her garden...well, sam dug...i supervised! :]

    have a great day Susan! it's always nice to visit you here and see what's going on in your part of the world! :laura

  2. Yeah, I'm like you, Laura-can't stay focused on politics, other than he led his army and won. But I was able to find out a few personal things about G. Washington!

    And old pictures are fun, sort of like bones-sometimes they have a funny smell. Scouted around out in my backyard today, looking and seeing-but no owl pellets!

    And, I like my husband's old photos-the "Frontier Cafe was cool looking. Just wish he had a picture of the little Custard Stand. I'm so glad you visited. I had some trouble with this post-you know, I accidentally hit "publish" before I was thru, and, it showed that it was a post even when I went back and edited to save as draft. Maybe that's why you were out in cyberspace with the last one I did. I'll have to quit being so slaphappy with the buttons!

    And there are more February birthdays, wow! What a month!

    Thanks for the fun conversation Laura! Have a good week-keep an eye out for more signs!

  3. don;t ya just hate that...when you mistakenly hit publish...and meant to preview...then you see all the mistakes...or want to make changes...and HOPE that noone is hanging around your door...waiting to visit your blog before you can edit!!

    i just love those old pictures too...even when you take new pic's and do that sepia thing to them...oh, i love it!! i did that with an alligator picture and it looked just like an old postcard!

    well, take care Susan! gotta run...another massage... :laura

  4. Sure am glad I'm not the only one who's done that then! Exactly-HOPE no one is watching. But I think one time I did that when my mom was trying to read, before I knew you could just save them until you're done! She said she was looking-it popped off and then all of a sudden it came back up to her and it was different! We've come a long way since then, but still get slaphappy, or just not thinking! Your pictures are really good enough for postcards, and the sepia really makes them look cool. Hope your day went to you later, Laura.

  5. Read EVERYthing on your blog this morning and would luv to have you as a friend! My Mom was a house mother for two sororities in the early '70s and I fondly remember Ft. Worth and its botanical garden. I went to high school in Stephenville, TX and we played Ft. Worth schools in football and loved going over to CowTown for the games. Have a great week. Nancy

  6. Good post, with lots of birthdays. You are quite right, your sister certainly did have lots of hair. You're quite different to look at!! My main reason for popping over today, was to say that I really do hope that your husband is feeling a little better today. Hope you have a lovely weekend.

  7. Aunt Sue,
    WOW those old photos are great!! You girls were so beautiful:)

  8. Thanks Erica! I never thought I'd be showing old family photos on the web! I'm glad I had them. I wish I had some of you playing shoe saleslady at the age of 4! How true to life in miniature version it was! Have a great weekend!

  9. Good to hear from you Thisisme, and glad you're up and about. My husband is some better, just having problems with his ears and can't seem to shake the cough. My sister now says that she doesn't even know how she handled so much hair. She always kept it clean and rolled it up on top of her head at nite with one large bobbie pin to sleep. I remember sometimes she would sleep with her chin on her hands. Thank you so much for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend.

  10. Hi Nancy! Thank you for reading and writing to me. I can't imagine what it would be like to be a sorority mother. Was she at TCU? I think the college in Stephenville is called Tarleton. I had always hear it was a good college, and some students that lived in Weatherford would go to that college. And the Botannical Gardens are really nice. I've been there a few times, they hold a lot of weddings there. The North Side Cowtown area has really grown. There are some really neat shops and places to eat, and some of the streets are still brick. I really like Fort Worth, just don't get out as much as I'd like to. Thank you so much for stopping by-I really enjoy the variety of subjects you touch on with your blog. There are quite a few more stories I've wanted to read of yours. It's 60 degrees in Fort Worth right now. Have a great week!


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