A Gift

My favorite show on T.V. is called, “Finding your Roots” with Dr. Henry Lewis Gates (or Skip, as he’s called by his friends.) One of my favorite parts of his show is his “book of life” he creates for each guest. He tells the story of how he named this part of the show, “It comes from a black spiritual…Oh Write my Name, Oh Write My Name, Oh Write My Name-In the Book of Life”. Dr. Gates always says that we all have ancestors waiting to tell a story and our job is to find those ancestors, open the door and let them tell their stories. He pulls out an enormous book along with a poster size family tree and details stories, stories of the ancestors that have been lost to time and distance. Dr. Gates is a Harvard professor, very intelligent, and you can always tell how amazed he is with the stories he reveals to his guests. There are many people on my tree that I’d love to find a picture of, a picture I could hang my hat on, a picture to point to and say, there, that is my ancestor.

Now, we’ve received a gift.

I had an email today from a dear woman by the name of Diana Landry. She had reached out to me, and wanted to contact and get some information from Mark Redohl. As you will recall from my last post on Maria Rosa Villalpando, Mark was the person who had given us the information about where Maria Rosa had been buried. Diana’s grandfather was Jose Vicente Rivera. His maternal side is the line to Maria Rosa Villalpando. Diana spoke to Mark and then had a chance to visit the St. Louis Arch. Now, she has shared what she found.


This is Maria Rosa Villalpando, along with her story which is now displayed at the St. Louis Arch Museum. I am so pleased about having received this photograph. Diana Landry, thank you.

One other thing I was going to share with you was some information shared by a gentleman by the name of Dave Silva. Dave reached out to let us know that Maria Rosa’s house was on Spruce

Street, between 3rd and 4th streets in St. Louis. Third Street no longer exists, but it would be about one city block east of Busch Stadium and about three or four blocks south of the Old Courthouse and Arch grounds.

So there you have it. We now have a photograph of Maria Rosa Villalpando. We are so lucky to have had someone looking out for us Jacques family members, willing to take the trip then share what they found. I can’t thank you enough, Diana. I am absolutely going to get myself to St. Louis one of these days, so I can see that photograph in person.

I can’t help but believe Dr. Gates would be so pleased.

Maria Rosa Villalpando = Marie Rose Salle dit LaJoie


I know I have previously written about Maria Rosa V. but there is so much ground to cover and she is just fascinating. To review, she was married to Jose Juan Xaquez (Jaquez) and on August 4, 1760, 3,000 Comanche Indians descended on the Taos Valley, killing most of the men, a lot of the women and children, then capturing others. Our ancestor, Jose Julian, about two years old at the time, was left behind. However, Maria Rosa was carried into captivity along with 56 other women and children. She spent ten years as a captive, during which she had another child that was half Native, then was traded to the Pawnee Indians. It was with this tribe that she was found by Jean Sale dit Lajoie in 1767. He lived with her for a few years and then he traded for her and they went to the small village being established which became St. Louis, Missouri.


On July 3rd, 1770, Jean married Marie Rose. Jean Sale dit Lajoie was considered one of the thirty original settlers of St. Louis. Her marriage contract identified her as Maria Rose Vidalpane. The child that Marie Rose had in captivity, Antoine Xavier, was given the last name of Sale dit Lajoie until he was old enough to live on his own but with the understanding that he would have no claim as an heir.


Marie Rose had another child, Lambert Sale dit Lajoie, and he was a child of Jean, before they were married. After that, she had daughter Helene Sale dit Lajoie.


Jean Sale dit Lajoie left St. Louis in 1792 and returned to France alone. He never returned to St. Louis.


Jose Julian, our ancestor, traveled to St. Louis upon the news that his mother was alive. He signed a document on August 3, 1803, 40 years after losing his mother, relinquishing his rights to his mother’s estate and giving them to his sister Helene.


So, I know you guys know all of that but here is the interesting thing…I had an email from a gentleman by the name of Mark Redohl. Mark is a descendant of Maria Rosa Villalpando through her son Lambert. Mark has kindly shared this map with us.




M.R. S.D. LaJoye

As you can see, this is a portion of the St. Louis map that was made in 1804. One block to the left of the Catholic Church is a house marked M.R.S.L.. This is the house that Marie Rose lived in with her family. I used to hear people say she was buried under the St. Louis Arch but I never really understood what they meant. Back in the 1800’s a Catholic Church was built on the banks of the Mississippi River. The current church, Basillica of St. Louis, King of France, was built in the same location in 1837.

Old Cathedral
Old Cathedral with the Arch of St. Louis just behind it

Many founders of St. Louis were buried in the cemetery attached to the church.  The map hangs inside the museum for the St. Louis Arch. Maria Rosa Villalpando died on July 27, 1830 and was buried in the cemetery of the Cathedral Parish and her age was given as 104 years old.

Mark also shared a video that depicts what St. Louis would have looked like in 1804, including the church and cemetery where Maria Rosa would have been buried. Here is the link which takes you to the U.S. National Park Service website for the St. Louis Arch.


The Battle of St. Louis:

The Battle of St. Louis occurred on May 26, 1780 and involved the Native Americans and French Traders, who fought against the Spanish soldiers, colonists, merchants and slaves. This battle would have occurred at the steps of Maria Rosa’s home. I can’t imagine how frightening it would have been, after having been through the Native American raid twenty years prior, when she witnessed family and friends massacred, only to be held captive for ten years.

battle of St. Louis


Helené Sale dite Lajoie was born shortly before she was baptized on August 11, 1773. She was the child of Jean Sale dite Lajoie and Marie Rose de Vial Pando (Villalpando). This is her picture.

Helene LeRoux

Helene Sale married was married to Benjamin Leroux D’Esneval at the Catholic church in January of 1792. Her children were Joaquine Leroux, Gregiore Leroux, Sylvester Leroux, Marie Angelique Leroux, Watkins Leroux and Helene Leroux.

Helene Sale’s grandson, Judge Wilson Primm, 1810 – 1878 was the first historian of St. Louis. He was baptized Jean Baptiste but his father didn’t like the French sounding of his name and thus called him Wilson.

Judge Primm

Judge Primm's residence
Judge Primm’s residence in the late 1800’s
Primm residence today
Same residence today, only the brick wall is left


So Mark Redohl’s father’s grandmother was a woman by the name of Myrtle, her father was John Lambert, his father and grandfather were both named Jean Lambert. Jean Lambert’s father was Jean Lambert Salle dit La Joie, the son of Rose Marie Salle dit La Joie and Jean Salle dit La Joie. The first Jean Lambert was born in a Pawnee village, where his father rescued his mother from captivity. Mark has DNA matches to Jaquez descendants. I always feel fortunate to find others who are researching the same subjects as I, others who are willing to pass on the nuggets of information to the benefit of all.  We thank you Mark Redohl, for reaching out and sharing.

Myrtle V. Lambert
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John Lambert

The Bennetts – 2000’s and beyond





Well, the Bennett household in the 2000’s started out with a bang. I was a little late in realizing that Hailey J. Marie Bennett had decided she needed to join our family. One day, in fact, September 30, 2000, I was tired and had laid down on the bed. I felt something move inside me. I had no idea I was pregnant. She joined our family on January 18, 2001. Once again my in laws treated me as if I were their daughter, rather than their daughter in law. I felt so bad that my own mother, who’d already passed away the year before, wouldn’t be there. Maxine was there for me, just like she’d been both other times.

Diary entry for Hailey


I think the Bennett’s were so shocked that Hailey didn’t look like either of the other two kids. Both Taylor and Jacques and in fact, the entire Bennett Clan, including all of their grandchildren, had blue eyes. Hailey came out with big brown eyes, black hair and was just beautiful. She looked like I did, as a baby.

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Ryan, Hailey, Lauren, Taylor and Jacques

Everyone doted on her and it was clear she was going to be spoiled. Hailey, too, spent a lot of time at her grandmother’s house.

hailey at grandma's house

By 2003, the Bennett household had once again returned to normal. There were Sunday night dinners, Christmas with Lloyd playing Santa to everyone and drop-in care, when needed. Lloyd, Maxine and Bea often took day trips and had visits with family and friends after Lloyd had retired.

Bea, Lloyd and Maxine


hailey and maxine

By June of 2003, Paul had gotten a ticket in the Modesto area. He wanted me to go with him to court (he disagreed with the ticket) so I asked my inlaws if they would mind watching the kids. My own dad was ill, in a rest home, and not eating. When Paul and I returned to town, we stopped and got my dad something with crab in it, hoping to lure him into eating it. We returned to the Bennett’s house early evening and sat and visited with Lloyd and Maxine on the back porch. We sat there for a long while and just talked. Before we left, we offered the scrumptious dinner that my father had refused to eat to Lloyd. He took it gladly and was pleased to have it.




We took the kids home and that night, at about midnight, we had a phone call, saying Lloyd was at the hospital. My sister picked up my kids and we left for the hospital. When we arrived, we were told that Lloyd was already gone. Paul and I went into the room and sat with him for a while.

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The life we’d known as a family changed that night. It was such a difficult time. Lloyd had eaten the dinner we brought him but was then feeling ill. He decided perhaps there was something wrong with the food and simply went to bed. He’d been in bed for a while when he must have realized something was wrong. I think he must have had a major heart attack and in fact, that was probably why he was feeling ill. I don’t think it was the food at all. But one doesn’t know things like that as they happen. It is only after reflection on an event, can we see more clearly. I suspect he’d had pains that he must have ignored, to have a major heart attack like that. It was very difficult to tell Bea what had happened and she’d been given a sedative only to have her walk out and ask for Lloyd again, forcing us once again to explain the awful news that Lloyd had died.

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Lloyd is buried in Lodi at the Lodi Cemetery. He was the most patient, pleasant man you would have ever had the good fortune to meet. He left a loving family and returned to his maker’s arms.

Bea declined quickly after Lloyd passed away. She died on December 18, 2005. She is buried in Salt Lake City with her love, Bill Bennett, just as she requested.



We moved next door to Maxine as way to keep track of her. That way, I would cook dinner and she’d come over for a short visit, eat dinner, then go back home. She was definitely “losing track” a bit, and soon, she was having a difficult time remembering what she’d done, what she had eaten or where she’d been. By 2010 or so, she couldn’t remember what the driving rules were and thus couldn’t pass her driving test. But we were right next door, able to take her to the store and her running around.

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Maxine and her dear friends

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Maxine at the ocean
In Santa Cruz with us

Maxine had a dear friend that lived around the block by the name of Liz. Liz relied on Maxine, as she couldn’t leave her home, so Maxine did errands for the both of them. Finally, Maxine had a few incidents like leaving the stove on and it was decided she shouldn’t live alone any longer.  Maxine had been given a choice, she could move in with whomever she wanted to, or she could move into a care facility where she could still have some freedom. She choose to live at Somerford, a residential facility for Alzheimer’s patients. She enjoyed it there and had the opportunity to have her hair and nails done (not something she was accustomed to.

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Listening to Taylor read

We saw her a lot but it still wasn’t as much as we liked. We would pick her up for holidays, take her to our homes, then return her. She had an active role at Somerford and they called her their Choir Director. As she had at her church, she loved to lead the choir.



Picture day at Somerford

Maxine had received a diagnosis of Dementia/Alzheimers and time took its toll on her. Eventually, she could no longer get up and about. She’s always had such a good appetite but ultimately the care facility started feeding her mushy food and she wasn’t eating. She could no longer leave her room and I couldn’t be there as much as I wanted. We needed to find her a new room.

My sister in law called and said she would start looking for a new place. I had volunteered to help her search but I really didn’t have my heart in it. Taylor had just graduated from UC Davis and I asked her if she’d be able to stay at home for a bit and help if we took grandma in. She agreed and then we had a fantastic idea. We knew it would be necessary to have one more person to help. Taylor and I both worked during the day and we needed someone we could rely on for that additional assistance. Enter my best friend, Tammy Lender. We also had assistance from Hospice visiting nurses. Couldn’t have gotten by without them.


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As soon as I got Maxine home, I started feeding her real food again. She perked right up and ate like a champ. They’d been worried about her “choking” but really, i think they were worried about the liability of choking.  She started to put a bit of weight back on.

tay and grndma
Grandma Maxine is safely ensconced in her room and Taylor is on her bed next to her and I said Taylor don’t squish Grandma and Grandma said “No, we are just happily together.” I think she will be happy with us!
Living with teens/twenty-somethings, Maxine became a selfie-queen

Maxine was 89 years old and her memory of current events had faded but she spoke often of her childhood. She would call down the hall, “Miriam, where are you?” There were times when she’d look at Taylor and call her “Carol”, her daughter’s name.

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Maxine in the “good ole days”, dressed as a witch!

One of the hardest fallouts having Maxine in our home was that she was constantly looking for her children in “childhood” form. She’d ask me for Paul and I would point to him and say, “He’s right here.” She’d get a look on her face and say, “Not that one. I want the real Paul”. She was looking for the face of a twelve year old. Often, I’d tell her that he’d gone to a sleepover. She’d continue to fret and ask for him. Eventually, I had him call from the other room haha. She bought it but seriously, she was intent on finding him.


Other times, she’d call down the hall, “Momma?” That was always tough for me. One day I was home sick from work and I could hear Tammy in the other room, asking Maxine to sing her a song. She sang a lot. Tammy would read to her and took such good care of her, brushing her hair and washing her up on days when Hospice wasn’t due in. I was grateful Maxine was in good hands.

She did well for a couple of months but then in August of 2015, she took a bad turn. She wasn’t doing well. The hospice nurse said she probably wouldn’t last two weeks. But she got passed it and rebounded. I wanted her to make it to her 90th birthday. She had always talked about her father not making his 90th birthday and how bad she’d felt that he’d left this earth before that momentous day. By early fall, her condition was up and down.

We had a lot of crazy days with Maxine but no time was crazier than Halloween. I’ve always been a nut for Halloween, decorated my house with cute Halloween ghosts and witches. Sometime in late September, I decided to buy myself a Halloween costume for work and got a witches dress and hat. I showed it to Maxine.

Then Maxine began to act oddly. One day we were eating dinner and Maxine toddled down the hall. She wasn’t supposed to be walking about, so I had her sit in her chair and wheeled her down to the kitchen with us. She said, “Whom are we eating?” She was using a sing-song, lilting voice, a tone I’d never heard her use before. I looked at her confused, “Chinese food?” I responded. She said it again, this time with a little more force behind her words. “Whom are we eating?” I laughed uncomfortably. I decided it was just “crazy talk” and ignored it.

After that, Maxine would, at times, speak in a high, fake voice and say things like, “I’m going to eat you.” Now, I knew she was trying to scare me and inside I was scared haha. But on the outside, I used my stern voice and said, “You’re just trying to scare me. Stop it.”

She looked up into the thin air and said, “They won’t let me.”

Now I was starting to freak out. I said, “You’re just trying to scare me, and I won’t allow it.”

She continued speaking to “something.” Taylor said she could understand how some people can be thought of as “insane” as Maxine was truly believing of what she was saying.

I thought it was a momentary blip. It would be fine after a good night’s sleep. I was wrong. The next day, my son was walking down the hall and Maxine called to him. He stopped in her doorway to say hello. He had to walk past her bedroom to get to his own. He smiled and said, “Hi Grandma”.  She grimaced and said, “I’m going to eat you.” Then she tried to stand from her bed as if she could levitate. To say Jacques ran from the room would be putting it mildly. He left and went to a friend’s house and I had to consider that this was a bit more than a momentary issue.

I really did think it would just be better after a couple of nights of rest but that didn’t happen. One day, Taylor was helping her eat her dinner and Maxine pinched her side. “You’re almost just right to eat.” she said.

Needless to say, I removed any hints of the holiday and it eventually stopped. By the end of October, she’d taken a turn for the worse. Her birthday was November 13, and that year, it would be on a Friday. Maxine’s 90th birthday on the horizon, and I wanted all of her children and grandchildren to be there for that night. I planned a simple pizza party with cake and had our family over to the house. Unfortunately, Maxine was out of it for most of the day, but she did recognize her girls as they sat for hours holding her hands.



Whenever Maxine was talking nonsense, I’d think, does she know me? But then I’d quiz her and she always knew it was me. I think I may have been her bit of reality, her bit of what was happening to her now.

So she slept through her 90th birthday. The momentous day I’d really wanted her to have and she didn’t get to enjoy it. By the next month, she was better. That is how it was, that year, just like a roller coaster. Just when you thought she was so ill, that she couldn’t possibly come back around and then she would wake up in the morning, asking for breakfast.

One day, about this time, I was laying in bed on a Sunday morning and I could hear an insistent prattling of speech coming from Maxine’s room. Her room was next to ours and anytime she moved, I’d hear her. I got up and went to sit with her a while. She was having a non-stop conversation with herself. She was saying all kinds of things, talking about a shelf up high, not waiting for an answer, not conversations, just words. It was difficult to follow. I expected that to not last very long but no, she went on like that for the entire day. At one point, I sat in her room during the afternoon and was just listening to her. She was looking up at the ceiling and says, “Oh, there’s a car pulling up in front of the house.”

This peaked my interest and I said, “Oh yeah, who is in the car?” She paused then said, “Oh, it’s Tim and Jubie.” That made me cry. I told her, “Tell my mom and dad I said hi.” I knew it was just in her mind but it also felt good that my parents were there, in her mind. The talking stopped about a day later and she had another low period.

Christmas morning 2015

By Christmas, my sister-in-law Anita had bought Maxine a new nightgown. I opened it up and put it on her, then told her that Anita had bought that for her for Christmas. Maxine’s response was, “Well, good for her.” She was so funny and always made me laugh.


My cat Marmalade spent long hours with Grandma Maxine.

By late February, 2016, Maxine had a fall. The entire time she lived with us, they did not want her walking. It was difficult to keep her down, She’d fallen and I could tell she wasn’t doing well. She was wily at times and she’d stand before I could get to the other side of the room. This time, the fall was too great. Hospice came in and she slipped into a coma. Sunday morning, February 28, 2016, I knew Maxine was much worse. I went and sat on her bed and called Hospice again. I could tell by her breathing that she wasn’t going to last long. I laid my hand on her hip and all three of my kids came into the room to sit with me. My husband choose not to come in but the kids and I sat with Maxine until she’d taken her last breath. This woman who had to work to accept that things were not always the way she would have preferred, that had taken such great care of my children, loved those children until her last breath, left this world with her family’s love. She took the skin she was born with and our love. Maxine passed away peacefully.

Lloyd bennett cemetery




grands and great grands

kids at funeral

mother's day 2015

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trip to dc

wedding picture




Bennett family in the 1990’s


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Maxine and Lloyd

Okay, so when we left the Bennett family in the 1980’s, Paul and I had been married and first up in the Bennett household, Ryan Patrick McBride was born on May 30, 1990. He was Anita’s first born child and Lloyd and Maxine were just ecstatic!  He was the first new baby in ten years and he was named after his big cousin Wesley Ryan Lamb.

Baby Ryan and his dad, Scott
Ryan with his Aunt Mary and cousin Wesley
Baby Ryan

I had a difficult time getting pregnant and tried for two years before I became pregnant. Finally, a long awaited granddaughter was born to the Bennetts on September 14, 1992.  One of the greatest attributes of Maxine was how faithful she was to her daily diary. I’m so glad that we have her words from that night.


Diary Entry


Maxine stayed by my side, when my own mother was in too much pain to keep sitting with me. Maxine held my hand and comforted me, helping me get past the pain and fear, especially when my husband went to dinner with my parents. I was a little annoyed. But Maxine treated me as if I were her daughter. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me, that my mother trusted her enough to walk out the door, knowing Maxine was there for me.

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The Bennett household was starting to fill out. As soon as I was released from the hospital, I had my parents drive me to the Bennett house, so that we could visit Grandpa Bill, and let him meet Taylor.

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Bill and Bea were spending more time in Stockton. Grandpa Bill suffered a heart attack and Lloyd decided to move them to Stockton. Scott McBride was employed to build a “grandparents’ room” for Bea and Bill. As we readied to bring them to Stockton for good, Bill passed away on December 2, 1992.

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Taylor bathing at Great Grandma’s in Salt Lake City


We all flew to Salt Lake City that December. Taylor was only three months old. Paul’s aunt flew in with her son, his wife and grandchild, too. That little boy was about a year older than Taylor. Bill and Bea’s grandson Bill arrived from Canada. My mother in law Maxine had decided that since Paul and I, and Rodney and his wife were there, we should have time to go out and that she and Aunt Darlene would watch the babies. I agreed, although I was a little worried. My mother in law said there was nothing to worry about. Paul’s cousin Bill took us to downtown Salt Lake City for a few hours. When he returned to pick us up, we all got in the car and Bill says, “Boy, your baby has cried the whole time you were gone!” I said, “What? Taylor cried?” I was horrified, as I wouldn’t want my baby to be a nuisance to anyone.  He said, “No, not your baby. Their baby.” Poor Darlene had a tough time babysitting her grandchild. Taylor, on the other hand, was as good as gold. I needn’t have worried. She was always good with her grandparents. As Maxine was in fairly great shape physically, she helped me with Taylor all the time. Truthfully, Taylor could stay with the Bennetts for weeks on end and she wouldn’t have cared.

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Great-Grandma Bea and Taylor

By 1993, Lloyd had sold Grandma Bea’s house and moved her to Stockton. The room that had been planned for her and Grandpa Bill became her room for all of her furniture. She slept in the house, however, as she was 84 and didn’t want to sleep out in the annex by herself.


In approximately 1993, Lloyd rented a large condominium on the beach so that we could have a family vacation together. Everyone was there. Incidentally, Taylor tried to take out the entire Bennett family that weekend. She had been ill the day before we left but seemed better the day we were to go. However, Taylor shared her illness with the entire family. It was a rough weekend. But it was also so great to just spend time together as a family.

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Mary, Anita, Wesley, Taylor, Me, Brent, Scott
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Anita, Taylor, Wes

By February 15, 1995, Lauren Allison McBride joined our family. Maxine was always so good about keeping the kids. She played Tiddly-Winks, play-dough, plastic magnetic letters on the refrigerator and a kitchen drawer full of plastic toys. Well, she considered them toys, but really it was a junk drawer full of odds and ends. I can clearly remember there being a hot roller (look them up kids, girls used to use them on their hair) and a stray Lego or two. She would play word games and she could keep kids busy for hours.

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Grandma Bennett announces the birth of Lauren Allison McBride
Baby Lauren and big brother Ryan
Baby Lauren
Enjoying a cupcake

Anita and Scott had moved to the Santa Cruz area, but by the time Lauren came along, they moved back to Stockton and our kids were together a lot at Grandma Maxine’s house. There were plenty of times that Maxine had plans but if someone was sick or we just needed someone to watch the kids, she was there.

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Taylor and Lauren in Grandma’s backyard
Hometown Buffet Days
Taylor and Maxine

Maxine worked at Village Oaks Elementary School and was a classroom aide. Lloyd had a master’s degree in psychology and worked as a counselor at the juvenile facility/jail in Stockton. He worked at Karl Holt School and was very well respected.

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Ryan and Taylor, hiding in the ivy

By the time Taylor was about 4, Grandma Maxine and Grandma Beatrice would take Taylor to Home Town Buffet every single Wednesday afternoon. They would pick her up from school or from the babysitter’s house and off they would go. Grandma Maxine would help Taylor get a plate of Taylor food (carrots, peas, chow-mein noodles, cheese and ice cream for dessert). She would get chocolate milk and their complete attention.

Taylor with kittens at grandma's house
Taylor at Grandma Maxine’s house
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Tay and Lauren
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Playing on the porch

My father in law and Great Grandma didn’t say a word about Taylor being a girl, but I do believe they were relieved when I had a boy. On October 27th, 1997, Jacques was born. I did name him William Jacques Bennett, although we call him Jacques. Paul’s full name is William Paul, his father’s full name was William Lloyd and Great-Grandpa’s full name was William George Bennett. I didn’t think it was fair to break that tradition.

Jacques' announcement
Diary entry for William Jacques Bennett
Lloyd and Jacques
Jacques and Lloyd
Grandma Josephine, Grandpa Joe, Grandma Georgette, Grandpa George
Taylor, Jacques, Ryan, Lauren

Playing at Grandma Bennett’s house became the hot spot for the Bennett grandchildren. The tire swing was replaced with a pillow case, where Grandma Bennett was always free to give someone a swing. Grandma Maxine always kept chickens in a hutch in the backyard. She would name them fun names like Mildred, Millicent, Penelope, Henrietta, and lots of cats like Blue and Gray.

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Ryan, Jacques, Taylor (Lauren in shadow)
Taylor and the chickens
Taylor and the hens
anita, ryan, lauren, lloyd
Anita, Ryan, Lloyd, Lauren
showing off tats
Showing off their tattoos
inappropriate computer games
Jacques and Ryan

By 1998, the Bennett family was in a good place, when tragedy struck. I hate having to remember that time because it was so heartbreaking and one of the worst things that our family had experienced. On October 22, 1998, Wesley Ryan Lamb died in a car accident. I’ll never forget my father in law calling at my office, to tell me of the awful news and to see if I could get in touch with Paul. I left right away and went straight to the Bennett’s house. Paul was a truck driver at this point and I knew it would be tough to get him on the phone (those pre-cell phone days). When I think of Wesley, I always picture that little boy face, his grin and bright blue eyes. Wes was Mary’s youngest boy and to lose him like we did, we were heartbroken. Jacques was only a year old and Taylor six. They never got to know Wes and I wish they had.

One day I had walked into the Bennett house and someone was playing the piano with such musicality and talent, it was shocking. Wesley was one hell of a pianist. I wish he’d had more time to pursue that craft. He was very talented and a sincere young man. Paul had spent a lot of time with both of his nephews when they were little. After we’d begun dating, his nephews hung out with my own nephews so we saw Brent and Wes a lot. The entire Bennett family lost a lot that day. When we sang “You are my Sunshine, my only Sunshine” at his funeral, it was heartfelt by everyone in attendance. Wesley Ryan Lamb is buried at the Stockton Rural Cemetery and his headstone has a VW bug symbol on it, along with the words Hakuna Matata.

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Lloyd, Paul, Brent, Wes
Wesley, Maxine, Brent, Lloyd

My relationship with Maxine had started out distant (not on my part haha) but as we grew to know each other better, we began to like each other more and more.  One day, I’d gone to retrieve my kids from her house when she stopped me in the kitchen. She had a serious look on her face and said, “You are a good mother.” Now, Maxine wasn’t known for being flip, and was as sincere as one could be. I appreciated her words. She was such a devote Mormon that it was difficult for her when her children chose differently, but for her to say I was a good mother, was high praise.  She had a difficult relationship with my husband when he was in his teen years, as his father felt Paul would simply “grow out” of difficult behavior and I always felt like her thoughts/feelings on the matter were dismissed. I think she appreciated that I would not follow that pattern and took a firm stance on how I raised my children.

As we ended the 1990’s, we were terribly saddened by the loss of Wesley, and it was a very difficult time. But Lloyd and Maxine kept dear Wesley in their hearts and carried on.

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Family Reunion 2018



Well, we are a week past our family reunion. I have to say, when I held the family reunion in 2016, I had billed the reunion as a Jacques family reunion. However, I had four separate sections of my family show up to the reunion. I knew, this year, that we should bill it as a Jacques/Archuleta/Lujan/Herrera reunion. Boy, did people respond.

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It is so easy to be divided. These times of divisiveness permeate everyone’s lives. But, when we connect, and celebrate, our ancestors, we enlarge our hearts toward each other, toward our family and toward being open to keeping our connections alive.

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Let’s look at our connections.


This first photograph is Rose Marie Lujan, Richard Jacques and myself. Pictures like this make me think of the 1930’s, when our families lived in Jackson and must have reached out to keep their close knit New Mexican connections to each other.

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My Mom, Jubie Jacques, Milton Archuleta, my Dad, Tim Jacques, Anna and Rose Lujan, Vi Archuleta, Donald Archuleta, Flora Lujan and Henrietta Hayes

This next picture is Fred Herrera and Lissi Figueroa. The descendant of Celia Jacques Herrera and Celestino Jacques. They were two siblings who would have been very touched to see that this connection continues.

Freddy and Lissi

The next picture is Henrietta Archuleta Hayes and myself. She is the very last of that generation, a double first cousin to my dad. She is just as much a Jacques as I am an Archuleta. That is fun to think about. We are so lucky to have one of our original family members with us, well enough to travel and generous enough with her time that she traveled out to California just to attend. Here is a picture of her as a young lady. So lovely.

me and henrietta


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Top row, Sonny, Anita, Flora, Celia, Sandi, Freddy, LeRoy, Bottom Row Terry, Ben Lujan, Edna Marie Lujan, Anna Marie Lujan

The number of parties our family has had in the past led to very fun pictures of different parts of our family, all of our connections.

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Me and Steven Stewart
herreras in the
Polly, LeRoy, Effie, Fred, Celia, Freddy, Geri, Edna Marie


Our Herrera connection is strong. My dad always felt close to his Aunt Celia and I just love this picture of Aunt Celia’s wedding anniversary from the 1970’s.

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jacques kids
Dorothy, Tim, Angie
jeanie gary me
Jeanie, Gary and I
Jacques kids
Myself, Lea, Jimmy
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Donald Archuleta’s picnic

We have connections everywhere. Each person who came to the picnic made a new connection. We have new connections and new family.

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Diane Archuleta, Bob Archuleta, Shirley, Julia, David
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Magali and Frank Lee
archie wedding pic
Pete, Archie, Elsie, Flora
robert me diane monica
Bob, myself, Diane, Monica

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Chris, Me, Trisha

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Joe, Terry

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Jackie, Marisa

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Richard, Henrietta, Freddy
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Rose, Linda


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Gary, Kit

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Laurie, Lauren

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Jordie, Rose, Kit

della and flora

So many lovely pictures, time well spent. My cousin Rose said she’d spoken to me more over the last two months than she had over my entire life. I’m grateful for the time we’ve spent together and I have a feeling it will continue!





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Ana Maria Lujan and Juan N. Jaquez

So, if you follow my blogposts or your last name is Jacques, Archuleta, Lujan, Herrera or any form, thereof, there is a family reunion/picnic coming up. Now, this reunion is being planned for July, 2018. We had so many picnics in the past. That was always one of my favorite places to go with my parents. So, my cousin Rose has found a park that has lots of shade. This park is in Walnut Creek. A nice central location and not has hot as it is in Stockton.  Always important in the summer. We’ll update you soon to the specifics.

We’ve had our DNA tested and it is so interesting. The DNA results are read in “centimorgans”. You receive 50 percent of your centimorgans (cM) from each parent, making up your 100%. However, there is a randomness to your cM. Full siblings won’t have the same genes and only identical twins have the exact same genes.

Parents/Children share approximately 3,400 cM. I had Hailey’s DNA tested and she and I share 3,465 cM across 68 DNA segments. I naturally assumed she was more “Jacques” then Bennett and I am fairly confident that this proves my theory. Haha, well, once we test her father, we’ll know for sure.

Full siblings share 2550 or so. My brother Tim was tested and he and I share 2,565 cM across 64 DNA segments. I’m not too surprised by this number. What would be interesting is if my sister Jackie will consent to a test. I’d like to see how her numbers compare to ours.

I also looked at some of the offspring of my dad’s double first cousins. So the double first cousins share the same four grandparents. However, because of the randomness of DNA that is inherited, there is no guarantee that you will get the same DNA. However, the double first cousins share a higher percentage than regular first cousins.

I looked at my result with Greg Quintana. His mother, Viola and my Dad were double first cousins.  He and I share 528 cM across 31 DNA segments. If you compare that number to my first cousin, Donald Serna, with whom I shared 1002 cM across 36 DNA strands. Pretty interesting stuff. Donald is listed as my first cousin, Greg listed as my second cousin. I wish we’d had my father’s DNA tested compared to one of his DF cousins. Oh well, ever forward.


I have had several requests from people who are confused as to how they are related. I won’t bother going over the “double-first” cousin thing again, but what I will attempt to do is explain they are related.

tim celestino juan n


Most of our relatives will be from one of three lines of the Jacques/Archuleta family. The head of the family is Juan N. and Ana Maria Lujan Jacques

Line of Juan N. Jaques and Ana Maria Jacques

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These are the children of Juan J. and Ana Maria.

Most of the cousins we grew up with fall in one of three lines.

  1. Josephine and Simon Archuleta
  2. Celestino (brother of Josephine), and Tonita Jacques (sister of Simon Archuleta)
  3. Celia Jacques Herrera

Celia Juan n

Aunt Celia’s family includes the Stewarts, Leroy and Freddie, Raymos’, Effie Knight’s family, Lujan family (Aunt Edna’s family) and all of the lines on the Herrera list. You can refer back to the main list.

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archuleta families

Now, I don’t have all of the lists for the Archuleta families. But, as you can see from this list, there were 12 children and their families have grown exponentially.

Great Aunt Josephine’s family (Line #1) Aunt Flora’s Family (includes Anna Marie Lujan, Rose Marie Lujan, Sonny, Nick, Anita and Gloria)

Uncle Pete’s family (families of Richard, Dolly A. and Leilani Archuleta)

Uncle Archie’s family (Bobby and Diane)

Aunt Viola’s family (Greg and Sharon Quintana and family)

Donald Archuleta’s family (Deejo, Dion, David, Daryl Archuleta and families)

Henrietta Hayes and Family (daughters Dawn, Susan, Judy, Jean)

Uncle Milton’s Family (Frank, Donny, Dale, Nolan)

Aunt Esther’s Family (Karen, Damian, ,Duane, Bobby, Norma)

Celestino family tree

Brother Celestino to Josephine and Celia,

Feel free to refer back to the Jacques Grandkids list above, along with the Aunt Celia’s family list.


I hope that clears this up for everyone who had questions. But I know it won’t. Don’t worry, I’ve been studying this stuff for years and years and I don’t always have it correct too.






My final 2017 post! Cheers

This will be my last post for the year 2017. My goal for 2017 was to complete 26 blog posts. This is my 26th post. Now, I had to write 10 of them over the last two weeks, but mission accomplished. I hope to accomplish 26 more posts next year. Hopefully, I won’t have to do 10 in two weeks again.

I hope everyone has enjoyed what I’ve written. My posts mean a lot to me, each and every post. I love learning about people and telling their stories. My goal is for everyone to remember their stories, for them to be retold and learned.

One of the movies I watched this year was the Pixar movie, “Coco”. It was such a great movie. I had someone say to me, “but it’s a cartoon.” It isn’t. It is a heartwarming story of a young man who is trying to connect to a dead ancestor. I encourage you all to see it. It is a story that warms my heart.

This last post is dedicated to Aunt Mirian Bailey Wadsworth.

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Aunt Mirian and my mother in law Maxine

I met Aunt Mirian several times and truthfully, she was a kick in the ass. She was so warm, outgoing and engaging. I can’t thank her enough. She was my inspiration to start writing this blog. The last time I saw Aunt Mirian, her daughters had brought her and her husband, Uncle Milton, to Sacramento from Salt Lake to have dinner. She wanted to see her sister Maxine. Maxine’s mental health was already suffering but my sister in law called me to ask if we’d like to join them. Paul and I took our kids. I wanted them to have a chance to meet Aunt Mirian. This was about 2012, and she was probably 90 or so and Maxine 85. They sat next to each other and watched my girls sitting next to each other holding hands. I saw Aunt Mirian nudge Maxine and whisper about Taylor and Hailey. “Sisters.” Her meaning was clear. The girls reminded her of herself and Maxine.

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Taylor, Grandma Maxine, Hailey

It would be the last time those sisters were together. So, Aunt Mirian, here’s to you. May you and Maxine be reunited now.

Now, this last post is the story of two ancestors of my mother-in-law Maxine. They were her aunt and uncle and their stories are important.

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First up, a gentleman by the name of John Butterworth. Mary Butterworth Bailey was one of six children raised by William and Melinda Butterworth. William was a large gentleman from England. Aunt Mirian says he was not particularly close to his grandchildren although she did remember sitting on his lap and smelling pleasant shaving soap. He’s swing them up and say, “upsy daisy” as he lifted them.

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Grandpa Butterworth was born on September 1, 1852. He came to America with his parents at 18, after joining the Mormon church. In 1886 Grandpa and Grandma Butterworth bought fifteen acres of sandy soil on 20th East and farmed the land. They grew apples, corn and alfalfa along with the best tasting watermelons Aunt Mirian had known.

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When their children were married, they were given a generous portion of the original acres to build a home. The old farm was divided into six parcels of land.

The oldest was Uncle Will. He and his wife had 12 children, including three sets of twins. Goodness, I really can’t imagine three sets of twins.

Next was Aunt Annie Butterworth Christensen. She had five children.

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Leonard then Mary, John, Grandma Butterworth, Uncle Will and his wife, then Effie

Next was Uncle John Butterworth. Uncle John lived all his days and died in the old home on 20th East. He was slender, genteel and immaculate. Aunt Mirian remembered he smelled wonderfully of shaving soap and after shave and his hair, iron grey and sparse, was close cropped and neatly combed. He never married, to Mary’s sorrow, because, she said, he was one of the kindest, dearest men in the world and would have made a special loving husband and father. Uncle John taught Mathematics at Granite Junior High School for many years, having most of his nieces and nephews in some classes at one time or another.

Aunt Mirian had him in 8th grade math and he was patience personified. At Christmas time, he had a huge box of chocolates on his desk and each student was allowed one as they left class.

He and his sister Effie went to Mary and Leonard’s house every Thanksgiving and sometimes on Christmas, too.

Aunt Mirian remembered one summer day, as he lay dying in his bed, that she stood by his bedside, so angry that a man who lived so fastidiously and spotlessly clean could be reduced to such a “fragile and incoherent caricature” of his former self.”

Aunt Mirian told her cousin Lee Butterworth, to put his teeth in his mouth. Shortly after, Uncle John gave a small sigh, and gently died.

When they were cleaning out the house, she asked her Uncle Will why Uncle John had never married. It seemed Uncle John had a severe case of mumps when he was a teenager, and he overheard his Grandmother North telling his mother that she was certain the disease would leave him unable to have children. Uncle Will told her that Uncle John took several young ladies out at different times in his younger years, but that he probably felt he couldn’t marry and inflict childlessness on any woman.

The next aunt was Aunt Linnie. Melinda Butterworth Pike was a soft spoken, kindest person Aunt Mirian knew. Aunt Linnie had eight children. One daughter, Minerva, died of spinal meningitis when she was twelve. Aunt Linnie told her mother that there were times after her death when she felt she simply had to go to the cemetery and dig up her grave, just to see her once more. Aunt Mirian never forgot that.

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Lastly, Aunt Effie Geneva Butterworth. Aunt Mirian said her Aunt Effie had a very large bosom and was quite short. Her sister Mary theorized that these unfortunate conditions contributed to Aunt Effie never finding a mate and marrying. Aunt Effie wore her hair (Aunt Mirian says it was so thin, you could see her scalp in certain light) in little puffs and curls. She wore lipstick, powder and rouge. She subscribed to the “Pictorial Review” a popular magazine. Aunt Effie saved everything, always with the notion that she would do something with it someday, as soon as she found the time. This was a practice Maxine ascribed to, as well.

Effie worked as a legal secretary in Salt Lake. Aunt Mirian suspected that Effie was more than a little in love with her boss. But he was married. Effie would never have left that job but Mirian suspected she’d been fired. At any rate, she spent the rest of her working years at the offices of the L.D.S church. Mirian says Effie promptly fell in love with several of the brethren, one sided, of course.

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Effie and Mary
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Close up of the same picture

She had dozens of cats and named each and loved every single one of them. Aunt Mirian remembered one that Aunt Effie called “Foot-foot” and would recount the details of this cat’s activities in the greatest detail.

She would mourn each cat’s passing with such intensity that even tender-hearted Mary found ridiculous, if not pitiful.

Effie would show up at the Bailey house once in a while to “spend the night.” After supper, she and Mary would sit at the dining room table, sewing and regaling Mary with every detail of her working day. Mary loved this lonely little sister and years later, when Effie was suffering from great running ulcers on her feet from diabetes, Mary brought her to the house to take care of her.

After the Butterworth’s parents passed away, Effie lived with her brother John in their parent’s home. In 1960, when John passed away, Mary brought Effie home to the Bailey house. Caring for Effie became so taxing on Mary’s health, that her family fought to have Effie put in a rest home. Mary dug her heels in and continued to care for Effie. Once Mary’s health had deteriorated, Mirian, along with her cousins Dorothy and Alta found a rest home for Effie, which she detested. There were no other options, her medical care too great for anyone to undertake. Nothing would console her. She missed her kittens, flowers and stacks of unread magazines. After Effie’s death, they found a cedar chest filled with lovely lingerie, slips, robes and lacy nighties, truly a “hope” chest and exquisite baby clothes, frilly bonnets and sweaters for the baby she’d hoped to have one day.

Because she felt her nieces had betrayed her, Effie became bitter and angry toward them. Mirian was grateful Mary didn’t live to see her sister turn into a wild-eyed, raging, impossible tyrant. She had to be moved from the rest home to a hospital. Her nieces went to see her. When they walked in, Effie flung back the covers of her bed, screaming invectives at them and shaking with fury. All at once, she sat up, her face contorted with rage then gasping for breath, she collapsed in a pitiful heap. The emergency crew arrived within a few seconds but there was no use. Effie, filled with helplessness and hate, ravaged by her old enemy, diabetes, died as she lived – alone.

This brings us back to the movie Coco. In the movie, ancestor’s souls are in jeopardy of disintegrating into nothing if there is no one to remember them. The movie takes place on “Dia De Los Muertos.” I, for one, wouldn’t want poor Effie or John’s memory to be forgotten, nothing but puff of smoke into the ether.  So, my blog is my tower of ancestors, my posts their photographs. Here’s to you, John and Effie. May your souls forever enjoy your heaven.

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Mary, Linnie, John seated, Annie and Effie

Francisco Audelio Jaquez

When Taylor was editing my posts for the Jacques/Archuleta family, she pointed out the fact that I’d never written about Uncle Frank. Truthfully, I don’t know very much, but I am willing to share what I do know.

Uncle Frank was born on December 12th, 1915. Here is the 1920 San Juan County, NM shows he is living with his parents and grandparents. Uncle Frank is just a year  and a half younger than Uncle Fred.

1920 Census for Uncle Frank

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Uncle Fred, Aunt Jane, Uncle Epi, Aunt Della and the baby is Uncle Frank

My father did not have a lot of memories of his brother. My dad was 6 when Uncle Frank died and truthfully, the only story I have of him involves Uncle Fred. I have several cousins who say Uncle Frank was in a conservation camp. Truthfully, I have no idea. But what I did find was the 1930 Census.

Jaquez in CA

In 1930, the Jaquez family was living in Denver, Colorado. Uncle Frank is just 14 at that time.

1930 Census for Uncle Frank

Sadly, Uncle Frank died as a very young man, in the early 1930’s. The only thing I know for sure is when Uncle Frank was on his deathbed, they had called for the priest to come and administer last rites. He refused. Uncle Fred took a shotgun and returned with a priest. Thank God for Uncle Fred. I know it would have meant a lot to my family that he get his last rites.


To say that this is all I know feels pitiful. So, this year, one of my first goals is to obtain copies of his death certificate as well as a copy of his baptism record. I know my cousin Tommy has begun gathering a lot of documents from the church in this regard and thus I will post an update for Uncle Frank. God rest his little soul.


Bennett Family in the 1970’s


The 1970’s is the decade where the Bennett children go from young kids to teens. I wouldn’t care to experience all four kids as teens at the same time. The year Paul turned 13, Anita would have turned 15, Mary 17 and Carol 19.

Anita, Maxine, Paul and Mary on the occasion of Maxine and Lloyd’s 20th Wedding Anniversary…and she still fit in her dress lol
Lloyd and Maxine, 1974
Anita, Mary, Carol, Maxine and Paul
Mary and Carol, Christmas morning
Mary and Carol, roller skating

Maxine went to work at Village Oaks in Lincoln Unified School District, as the Resource Teacher. She worked there for a long time.

Lloyd continued working at Karl Holt Youth Correctional Facility with the State of California.

Paul with his “boss” 45 record and cool rocket ship cake

In approximately 1976, Lloyd arranged for he and Paul to have a mini-boys only-vacation together. They flew from Stockton to San Francisco. This was the first time Paul had ever flown on a plane. If you’ve ever taken that flight, you know that as soon as you are in the air, you are landing within fifteen minutes. While in the air, there is an arc flight pattern. Paul was so excited.

They spent the day at Fisherman’s Wharf, then Lloyd bought them tickets to Alcatraz. They saw where Al Capone’s cell was and were locked up inside it. This is one of Paul’s fondest memories of his father.

Paul on the trip to Alcatraz
In front of the Capone cell.
Spending time in the City
Beach outing

Lloyd and Maxine took their children to the ocean a lot. They loved it. Often, they’d pack a lunch and make a trip out of it. Lloyd loved to sleep on the sand. It was a great family outing for them.


Christmas morning, Maxine, Carol, Grandpa Bill, Grandma Bea, Anita, Mary
1970’s, Bea, Maxine Lloyd, Anita, Carol
Someone thought the “Gene Simmons from Kiss” trick of putting gasoline in your mouth and lighting it as you spit it out was too cool not to try…and it didn’t work out so well for this guy
Paul shot up all at once. Here he is with Chuck, Carol, Mary, Anita and Maxine. He went from being a little boy to a teen

When Mary was 18, she married and subsequently had Ricky Brent Lamb in 1977. He was a first grandchild for Lloyd and Maxine and he was very doted on, by the entire family.

Brent and Maxine

The Bennetts loved Christmas. Lloyd was a very thoughtful gift giver, taking time to make sure he purchased just the right item, just what his child would appreciate most. I loved the description of the kids laying in front of the fireplace. Lloyd was famous for making clam dip. It was a staple on Christmas Eve. He also made Crab Louie’s for the entire family. Now, if you weren’t inclined to eat crab (that would be me) he was always willing to substitute out the crab for whatever you thought you would like. Didn’t like avocados? Not a problem, he made sure everything was just perfect for his entire family. He loved to make homemade ice cream. It was always a great treat. In fact, they kept ice cream in the freezer most of the time and cookies in the kitchen drawer.


Maxine would grind her own wheat to make homemade bread. Paul wasn’t fond of homemade bread sandwiches at school as kids made fun of him for not having white bread. Anytime there was shopping to be done, Lloyd would take the kids to J.C. Penneys, taking time to make sure each child picked just what they wanted.

Paul giving Brent a ride on the swing





As the 1970’s drew to a close, the Bennett family found that they had expanded by three, Rick Lamb, Chuck Allen and Brent Lamb. They had more expanding to do in the 1980’s.

The Lloyd Letters – Part Two

img_4872The next letter is dated November 20th, 1966. He starts out telling his parents about their new purchase…a new car (well, new to them!) It is a 1961 green Ford Fairlane 4 door sedan.  It was a necessity because as they were headed out of town, their Pontiac had transmission trouble and forced him to stop where he was. He left the girls at a park to play and he “hot-footed” it two miles to the Hertz car rental. So glad we now have cell phones, and AAA.  He returned to Maxine and the girls and they decided to head to San Francisco. “The girls were excited as we crossed the bay bridge and were spellbound by the city itself. We visited Golden Gate Park and then I drove through the park to the point where it meets the ocean. If you will remember, you make a sudden turn, and there is the ocean in all its glory.”

Carol was the one that delighted him the most. She was simply ecstatic and could barely wait to wet her tootsies. They walked over the Golden Gate Bridge and as they got to the center, a large freighter was moving toward the bridge so he and Anita made a mad dash in order to watch it pass right underneath them. They waved to the seamen and looked down the funnels as it headed out to the big Pacific.


He goes on to say, “One of my fellow employees who was a former tree surgeon came to the house and brought his climbing equipment and climbed our great big oak. The children were fascinated and frankly, so were we. It was quite a sight to see him go up the side of that massive tree and finally lodge himself on in a crotch many feet above the ground. We now have a swing like you hear about but don’t believe you’d ever have one. It’s about 35’ high and creates a massive arc that puts you high in the sky and gives you a fabulous view of all the neighbor’s yards. “


As you kids can attest, the swing in the oak tree lasted for years and years and delighted every child who played at Grandma Bennett’s house.


Fall was coming to a close and in order to prepare for winter, Lloyd made a fire in the fireplace that spread a lovely warm glow through the front room. After their popcorn and Kool aid treat, the kids lay on the rug with their tootsies being toasted by the fire and the firelight and listed to Christmas carols and talked about their grandparent’s impending visit.



These letters are so sweet, the lyrical bent to his letters always puts his voice back in my thoughts. Boy, I liked that man.

In 1965, Lloyd and Maxine make a trip to Washington, D.C. for vacation. They visited the White House and looked so charming here.

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Carol, Mary, Anita and Paul
Paul, Mary, Carol, Anita and Maxine
Paul and Mary


Lloyd, Grandpa Bailey, Grandpa Bennett and Paul
Anita, Grandpa Bailey, Mary, Grandpa Bennett, Carol and Paul

As the 1960’s come to a close, we find those Bennett children living and playing the life a lot of kids dream of: two parents, beach trips, trips to the city, an every day life.

Anita, Grandma Bea, Paul