America is truly a melting pot of cultures
I recently read J. Evetts Haley’s book about Charlie Goodnight and that started the thought process about those “that came before us.”
Sometimes, history is written and duly recorded while at other times it consists of memories from old stories and word of mouth. Often changing some from omissions or exaggerations and often taking on a life of its own from generation to generation.
In either form it is interesting and gives us an understanding of life at a previous time. It passes down through the ages such things as inspiration, values, and influence of our heritage. These shared ideals shape a family’s morals, priorities, structures, and traditions family values are beliefs, ethics, priorities, and worldviews shared by each family member.
These behavior codes create structure in families and can define each member’s role. They also help families cope with difficult challenges and determine right from wrong in complex situations. Cultural norms as well as societal values, help shape common family values.
Each family has unique core values based on the priorities and needs of individual members. Each generation contributes attributes that become future inspirations The Ol’ Jim Cathey family is no exception, as we find ancestral influences from Italy, Scotland, Ireland, and even some American Indian.
Stella’s grandparents, Carmela and Vincent Taglialavori, immigrated to America bringing Sicilian/Italian influence. The ancestors for the Kings gave us an English slant while the Catheys brought Scotch/Irish influence along with the Weathers. Stella’s Dad’s folks, The Kings, were farmers as were the Cathey’s and the Weathers.
Old family stories on both sides hints at some American Indian heritage. America is truly a melting pot! And then it is poured into Texas and becomes a whole ‘nother state of mind. In fact, Texans will be heard to say, “it ain’t braggin’ if you can back it up.” Space does not allow me to tell all the stories, so I will use this one.
My Mom was a Weathers and her mother, Mama Hop, and her folks came into Hunt County, in north Texas and we did not have the privilege to know them or much about them. The father was a Methodist preacher and the word we had was that he started out as a Circuit Rider. Shortly after Mama Hop and Papa Hop’s wedding, they moved with the Weathers family to the Texas plains not far from the Palo Dura Canyon. Papa Hop’s dad, James Allen Weathers, my Great Grandpa, came to Hunt County Texas from Rome, Floyd County, Georgia, in 1869 at the age of thirteen. He came with a wagon train and drove a team of oxen. His Father died in the Civil War, so after working two years, he returned to Georgia and then brought his Mother, brothers, and sisters back to Hunt County and eventually moved to Floyd County, Texas, an area known as the Great Plains, the Llano Estacado.
This is where he began his preaching career, riding across the Llano Estacado and down into the Palo Dura Canyon to ranches and community school houses where he preached God’s Word. Later in 1910, he founded the Meteor Baptist Church in Floyd County, near present day Aiken, Texas.
We are thankful for our families because each one in its own way taught us to care, love, and laugh.
They gave us a solid background to build on and to project this heritage forward. And through God’s Grace, we can give this to children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and on to future generations!
Those that came before us, set a pattern that embraced the values of being truly hardworking, Christian people that believe in God, Family, and Country.
We are blessed to share that background. Remember, we all have an obligation to be a shining example, not only to family, but to our fellow man. Matthew 13:34 tells us to “Love one another as ourselves” and Matthew 5:16 tells us to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
And we know that we have an obligation to pass it on because Proverbs 22:6 gives the instruction to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” We are blessed to have had ancestors that would guide us in this manner. Thank you to those that came “Before Us!”
A couple sat horseback on the ridge, pondering life’s plan,
And just as thoughts will, they often stray,
They just wandered about as only thoughts can,
Leading them to a by gone day.
His forefathers fought the tyrant in another land,
As they sought a life of their own,
And their simple life turned hard, as they made their stand,
Reaching out to the unknown.
They say her great grandpa struggled to gain this shore,
So full of danger and strife,
But he forged on, with resolve, this land to explore,
Marching on with gun and knife.
These men settled and knew it was right to claim their place,
With unapologetic grit,
These men of iron, determination, an’ grace,
Endowed with an air of no quit!
And the women at their side, bravely shared their dream,
Staunchly facing perils and threat,
Determined to do their part however extreme,
Facing this life without regret.
They resolved to be undaunted by this task,
Though many hardships would be there,
Forging ahead, no quarter would they ask,
As they lifted their voices in prayer.
They had a vision as thru this life they trod,
These men cleared fields an’ built a barn,
And quietly prayed that all would be blessed by God,
In this hard land of hide and horn.
Together they stood and their family took hold,
They faced each trouble and their fears,
Faith in God helped them stand fearless and bold,
And blest they were throughout the years.
Yes, that was, before us, that God prepared a start,
For life does go on as we build,
We stand in awe as we see our ancestor’s heart,
As their dreams and goals were fulfilled.
This land passed to a granddad and then a dad,
Each one made their mark in their day,
And now the lot was cast to this couple for what they could add,
Their ancestors had marked the way.
The trail would be more than tough, the boots hard to fill,
Then quietly, he reached for her hand,
And they knew it was theirs to do, this dream to fulfill,
They prayed that God would bless their stand.
As they stood in awe of this bounty to befall,
These great wonders, theirs to discuss,
Then the couple gave thanks to God for it all,
A gift brought by those “Before us!”
© Ol’ Jim Cathey
Join us Sunday morning at First Baptist Church Marlin to worship our Lord and Savior,
God bless each of you and God Bless America!