Tina Jennie Cannon

Family Traits

Now that we're less than two weeks away from our second ultrasound, I'm really beginning to think about our baby and imagine life with him or her.

Obviously our main prayer is for a healthy baby. The health of this baby has been our number one concern since January 4, but the feeling grows stronger each day that its tiny presence becomes a little bigger. I fully recognize that carrying this life in my body is a wonderful gift, and I feel blessed and honored that Jonathan, the baby and I are on this journey together.

People have asked if I have a gut feeling about our baby's gender. I do, but I don't have a strong preference either way. It would be fun to give my parents their second grandson or their first granddaughter. It would be thrilling to add another Hardin boy to the family or welcome the first Hardin daughter of the next generation. I would love to watch our son with his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, or know that our daughter is the next in a line of strong-willed women. 

If you have been following this blog for a while, you know how happy I am that we will learn our baby's gender on Jonathan's grandmother's birthday (April 9) and that our baby's due date is three days before my grandmother's birthday (September 10). I have spent the last two years documenting our family's history and stories, and now I'm ready to see which family traits and characteristics appear in our baby. Blue eyes and fair skin seem like the two most obvious ones, but maybe we'll have a rebel baby with brown eyes like both of its grandmothers.

Until then, I've put together a family album that goes back to our great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents. God willing, our child will grow up knowing exactly where he or she came from and who he or she looks like. What a wonderful thought and what an exciting journey.

Thanks for sharing our joy.

Jonathan and his grandmother Sadie.

Jonathan and his grandmother Sadie.

Me and my grandparents Bill and Lucy.

Me and my grandparents Bill and Lucy.

Jonathan and his mother Denise.

Jonathan and his mother Denise.

Me and my grandma Joan and my mother Julie.

Me and my grandma Joan and my mother Julie.

My dad Fred.

My dad Fred.

Jonathan's mother Denise.

Jonathan's mother Denise.

My mother Julie and grandmother Joan.

My mother Julie and grandmother Joan.

Jonathan's father Greg and his grandfather Gerald. 

Jonathan's father Greg and his grandfather Gerald. 

My grandmother Joan.

My grandmother Joan.

Jonathan's grandmother  Sadie .

Jonathan's grandmother Sadie.

Jonathan's great-grandparents Dayton and Elzie with his grandfather Gerald.

Jonathan's great-grandparents Dayton and Elzie with his grandfather Gerald.

My grandmother  Lucy .

My grandmother Lucy.

My great-grandmother  Jennie Moore  (back left), her brother Andy (back right), her mother Martha, stepfather Jacob and half-siblings Jake and Mayme Van Bibber. 

My great-grandmother Jennie Moore (back left), her brother Andy (back right), her mother Martha, stepfather Jacob and half-siblings Jake and Mayme Van Bibber. 

Jonathan's great-grandfather Dayton.

Jonathan's great-grandfather Dayton.

My great-grandmother  Elsie  (right) and her sister Myrtle.

My great-grandmother Elsie (right) and her sister Myrtle.

Jonathan's great-grandfather  Clovis Yates  (back, second from left) and his great-great grandparents William and Julia.

Jonathan's great-grandfather Clovis Yates (back, second from left) and his great-great grandparents William and Julia.

My great-grandfather Raoul with his sister Marie and parents Ernesto and Adele.

My great-grandfather Raoul with his sister Marie and parents Ernesto and Adele.

Jonathan's great-grandmother  Eliza Michael  (top right) and her siblings. 

Jonathan's great-grandmother Eliza Michael (top right) and her siblings. 

My great-grandmother Tina (front, bottom center) with her siblings and parents. 

My great-grandmother Tina (front, bottom center) with her siblings and parents. 

My Grandfather's WWII Helmet

William Andrew Cannon

My grandfather, William Andrew Cannon, around 1942.

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On October 24, 1942, my grandfather William Andrew Cannon enlisted in the Air Force at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He would become a pilot based out of Foggia, Italy during the war. During his time in Italy, he met my grandmother on the Isle of Capri. They married in December 1945 and moved to Meridian, Mississippi in 1946. They would eventually move back in Italy in 1955, where they lived until he retired from government service in March 1990. They moved to Booneville, Mississippi later than year. 

On October 25, 2014 (72 years and a day after my grandfather first enlisted), a man named Grant sent me a message through the G&J website. He owns an Ebay store called Circa1941 that specializes in WWII helmets and other military gear. He had purchased a helmet with the name Cannon written on the inside along with the serial number 4357. A quick search of this website told him the helmet belonged to my grandfather. Another quick internet search led him to Gerald & Joan and the blog posts I've written about my grandfather. We connected a few days later, and he offered to send us the helmet as a gift. My grandfather passed away on February 28, 2002, so being reconnected to him in this way is a true gift that means a great deal to our family, especially my grandmother. 

There have been times over the past two years that I've wondered what I'm doing with this blog. It has really become more of a family history/photo preservation blog, and while it provides inspiration for my work, it doesn't really do much for my business. When Grant emailed me, I was reminded why I started this business and this blog -- Through my work, I wanted to tell stories, preserve history and share memories. Because of this blog, we were reunited with a piece of our family's history and we're able to honor my grandfather's memory. If that isn't Gerald & Joan in a nutshell, I don't know what is.

Thank you, Grant, for this wonderful gift.

 

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My grandfather, Lt. William A. Cannon, is at the bottom left. 

My grandfather, Lt. William A. Cannon, is at the bottom left. 

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Update: My dad with the helmet!

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family stories: adele and ernesto de forcade

My great-great-grandmother, Adele De Forcade.

My great-great-grandmother, Adele De Forcade.

This week I was lucky enough to interview my aunt and 91-year-old grandmother about our family. They told me several stories about my great-grandmother Tina, great-grandfather Raoul and my great-great-grandparents Ernesto and Adele.

Adele was born in Verona, Italy (home of Romeo and Juliet), married Ernesto De Forcade at 17 or 18, and had two children, Marie and my great-grandfather Raoul. 

Ernesto built railroads, and he was involved with the construction of the first railroad in Naples. The family moved to Naples during that period. When Raoul was eight, Ernesto traveled to Brazil to build a railroad, and he died suddenly.

Adele was still young, so she remarried. Her second husband was an attorney who spoke ten languages and travel extensively, even to the U.S., which wasn't very common at that time. He adored Adele and adopted Raoul. He purchased two apartments in Naples and a home on Capri for the family. These homes are still in our family to this day.

Adele died when my grandmother was four years old. Although her second husband was her senior, he died in 1936 when my grandmother was 16. My aunt described him as a bit of a health freak who chewed each bite of food 33 times. He also documented everything very thoroughly. My family live in the apartments that he purchased all of those years ago, and they have found boxes and boxes of his papers.

In the picture below, I see my father in Ernesto, his namesake, and I see my cousin Elena in Marie. Although my grandmother heavily favors her mother, I also see Adele in her features. 

Marie, Ernesto, Adele and Raoul De Forcade. 

Marie, Ernesto, Adele and Raoul De Forcade. 

Family Stories: At Christmas

Today I wanted to share some photos of my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents at Christmas. My dad grew up in Naples, Italy, where he enjoyed American and Italian Christmas traditions. Here he is with his mother, Lucy, his sister Tina and their grandmother Tina. This would have been around 1960.

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Here's my dad and Tina checking out the elaborate nativity scene, which is called a presepio in Italy. I love the look on his face. He could totally be one of the characters from the movie A Christmas Story.

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Here they are a few years later in front of the Christmas tree. I love Tina's hat. She still makes this face, by the way!

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If you look closely, you'll notice that they always put the Christmas tree in the exact same spot! Here's a later photo in color of my dad and grandmother standing beside the tree. My 90-year-old grandmother still lives in that same apartment, and I bet she still has many of these ornaments on her tree. :)

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On the other side of the world in Palos Verdes, California, the family tree looked like this:

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All of those ornaments hang on my mom's tree today. Here she is with her grandmother on Christmas morning. The stereo, end table and coffee table are all still in our family.

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And here she is opening presents with Joan and her future stepdad Sid. They were very '60s!

mom-3It's easy to get away from taking photos when our holidays are so hectic, but it's so fun to revisit these memories. We hope they inspire you to pull out your own family pictures and add to the new photographic treasures this holiday season.