Bag of Randomness for Friday, April 7, 2017

  • Here’s an interesting factoid about the East Texas town of Van. All east and west streets are named after U.S. states and all north and south streets are named after trees. WifeGeeding’s grandmother’s home is on the corner of Kansas and Oak.
  • There’s one extended person on her side of the family who still thinks I’m a Korean from the last time I met which, even after I told him I’m “just” half Vietnamese.
  • Sometimes it’s fun walking into a room and have no idea who anyone is. WifeGeeding got a kick out of how easy it was for me to hobnob around and connect with all the extended family and townsfolk, former mayor, and city councilmen included. It’s not that hard. You have to set up what you most have in common, and that’s small towns.  From there, you talk up about what was traffic was like to get here. And then you just have to turn up a little charm and talk to them about how fast American is becoming great again, the need for a border wall, and how easy it is for  Trump and Spicer belittle the media.
  • I have no confirmation of this, but I heard all the mattresses sold at all those discount mattress stores are refurbished hotel mattresses.
  • Double hand transplant patient writes letter of thanks
  • Texans know about Santa Anna and the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto, but I wonder how many Texas know about Santa Anna’s prosthetic legs?
    • A little backstory – His left leg was amputated because of cannon fire, he ordered that leg to be buried with full military honors.
    • Santa Anna used a prosthetic cork leg; during the later Mexican-American War, it was captured and kept by American troops from the 4th Illinois Infantry. The cork leg is displayed at the Illinois State Military Museum in Springfield.
      NoteThen in 1998, the cartoon series King of the Hill ran an episode about a (fictitious) plot to kidnap Santa Anna’s leg. That revived interest in the artifact; so much so that in 2006 the museum made it the centerpiece of a display showcasing its capture, complete with carriage, box of gold and chicken dinner.

      Santa Anna had a replacement leg made which is displayed at the Museo Nacional de Historia in Mexico City.

      A second leg, a peg, was also captured by the 4th Illinois, and was reportedly used by the soldiers as a baseball bat; it is displayed at the home of Illinois Governor Richard J. Oglesby (who served in the regiment) in Decatur.
    • And here’s something about the further adventures of his amputated leg:
      • Santa Anna’s original leg — the one he lost in 1838 — has a dramatic history worthy of its own biography. The leg was initially buried at the general’s estate in Veracruz, but Santa Anna had it disinterred four years later and given a parade with a military escort to Mexico City. There, it was given an elaborate funeral with public prayers, a cannon salute and an epic poem written in its honor. In 1844, a rebellious mob dug the limb from its not-quite-final resting place and paraded it through the streets. According to a contemporary account, the crowd “with savage ferocity exhumed Santa Anna’s leg, playing games with it and making it an object of ridicule.” The leg, which must have been in a bad way by then, was flung on a garbage pile, where it either was or wasn’t, depending on whom you believe, quietly rescued by one of his officers and discreetly given a third burial.
  • Here’s the obituary for WifeGeeding’s grandmother:
    • Joyce Cook Staton, 100, of Van, Texas passed away, April 3, 2017, after a brief illness. She was born on September 20, 1916 to W. Horace and Twillie Howell Cook in Van, Texas. Joyce grew up with her four brothers and three sisters on the family farm west of Van.With the discovery of oil on October 14, 1929 the Pure Oil Company leased a part of the Cook farm to be used for their offices, camp houses, warehouse, pipe yard, company garage and welding shop. Joyce met her husband to be, Robert Neal Staton, in 1931 when his father and mother moved to Van for the elder Staton to be construction superintendent for the Pure Oil Company. Joyce graduated from Van High School on May 25, 1934 and she and Robert Neal were married on May 26, 1934. Two children were born, Bob and Ann Staton.

      Joyce’s roots grew deep in the Van community and she had been a great asset in years past. She was a member of and served on numerous committees and organizations: president of the PTA, Fine Arts Club, Garden Club, Tyler A & M Club, Van Coffee Club, Tyler Women’s Forum, UMW and Co-owner & operator of Bayne’s Department Store located in downtown Van in the W. H. Cook building for 20 years.

      Although she was a member of many groups and organization it was her family and friends that brought her the most joy. She was a wonderful cook and especially enjoyed entertaining and spending time with those she loved.

      Joyce is preceded in death by her husband, Robert Neal Staton,: her parents, W.H. and Twillie Cook; her brothers, Eldo Cook, Curry Cook, Lloyd Cook, and Bayne Cook; sister, Nell Cook Fife.

      She is survived by her children, Bob and Judi Staton, and Ann and Dean Stone; her sisters, Euline Cook Sherbert and Shirley Cook Lundgren, and sister-in-law, Chris Cook. She has 6 grandchildren, Jennifer Cole, Courtenay Bridges, Windie Staton, Heidi Dudley, Robert Staton and Kelsey Cook Geeding; and 8 great-grandchildren, Christian Cole, Peyton Cole, Samuel Staton Bridges, Claire Bridges, Staton Dudley, Ellie Staton, Micah Geeding and Walter Geeding.

      A graveside service will be held on Friday, April 7, at 11 am at Fairway Garden of Memories Cemetery (the Cook lease) in Van with Rev. Mark McClanahan and Rev. Jack Cox officiating.

      In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Van United Methodist Church, P O Box 1919, Van, Texas 75790 and Heart to Heart Hospice, 7925 S. Broadway Ave., Suite 1140, Tyler, Texas 75703 in memory of Joyce Cook Staton.


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2 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Friday, April 7, 2017

  1. Coxie says:

    so sorry to hear about Wife Geeding's grandmother. Appears tio have been a great woman and teacher for your wife. Thoughts and Prayers throughout his time

  2. David Bryant says:

    So, 1/2 Vietnamese + 1/2 American = Korean? #ImmigrantMath

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