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A sunny day, black eyed peas and an old fashioned Negro wedding

August 20, 2010

Well, I have some awesome news!  I have found my great-grandparents wedding certificate that was issued in the summer of 1917.

Now that I think about it, this month makes it 93 years ago.

I was shocked to see the photocopy of my great grandfather Gaston and great-grandmother Flo’s signatures on the document issued by the State of Tennessee.  It looked rushed but it was surreal none the less! has an option for me to print out the document for this blog but my printer is out of ink.  I could have been patient and waited until I went into the neighborhood library and printed a copy there.  However, I am not known for my patience 🙂

So, I took a picture of the wedding certificate:

Great Grandpappy's and Great Grandma's wedding certificate

I found out my Great Granny’s maiden name and it blew my mind how this was available for me to see.  I don’t know if even my Grandmother, who was born 9 years later, even seen it ever in her life.

Today was a beautiful day in Metro Detroit and with this new discovery for me, I was thinking about what the day was like when Gaston and Florence exchanged vows and said “I do.”

Um, I'm ALMOST certain that my great grandparents' wedding was not this opulent

America had declared war on the Kaiser and the rest of Germany earlier in April 1917 and was in the grips of wartime during the first Great War.  Was my Great Grandfather in the service?  I have yet to find out this info because I wasn’t able to find any military records on him.  Yet.

I went to the store on this sunny day in Metro Detroit and had the urge to purchase some black eyed peas for this cajun black eyed pea recipe that I am going to try.

My life my life my life in the sunshine!

I am in my early 30s and I was engaged before but I never have been married.  I don’t regret it because there are some things I would like to do in Life before I settle down.  But that wasn’t the case for many women in the early 20th century especially in rural America.  Women were expected to get married and have children.  I’m am aware of exceptions to the rule but in the case of my great grand ‘rents, they pretty much adopted the social norm.

At least according to my research so far.  I would LOVE to find out that there was a bonafide HELLRAZING she-devil rabble rouser in my family tree.  That would be sooooo bad ass!  LOL!

As I was soaking the black eyed peas, I was thinking about what Gaston and Flo had for their wedding dinner.  Black eyed peas are a highly available and celebrated soul food.  Also known as the “cow pea”, is something that many many Black families have or had eaten.  It’s a staple in the mainstream Afro-American diet.  I’m wondering if Great-Great Grandma brought some Hoppin’ John to the wedding party with some cornbread, some pig or other type of meat and maybe even some homemade moonshine.

black eyed peas soaking

So my goal tomorrow when these beans finish soaking, I am going to make a vegan version of cajun black eyed peas.  My family is not overly Creole or Cajun in heritage but the menu looked interesting and I will share with you the process of me cooking it in addition to what new research I find on my family.

I wish I can step back into time and offer this to my Great Grandparents on their special day back in the summer of 1917.  Some Back to the Future ish… haha!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Helen (Babs) Pattskyn permalink
    August 20, 2010 11:34 am

    I’m glad you’ve had such success with the family tree project so far 🙂 Great blog. Oh, how’d the bajun peas come out? The hubby hates legumes, but I love them 😉

  2. August 20, 2010 12:33 pm

    This is an awesome account of the power of your spirit and the blessing of knowing who you are. Thanks so much for sharing. As you eat and give your ancestors some of this food, please give your great grandparents my Hello.

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