“I DON’T KNOW” Get a coffee or tea……

This is on my mind – A bunch of rambling. Thinking out loud. Even though I know more than I have ever known, I don’t know. I know that I live in Paris. I know that I WANTED to live in Paris for many years. I know that I am in a pandemic. I know I got one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. I know that I am in my “golden years”. I know that I don’t want to die. I know that I believe my children turned out to be very good people. I know that I have lived a turbulent life that seemed “normal”. I “like” my family. I am basically OK. And, on it goes…… BUT, I DON’T KNOW. What? I am uncomfortable. I feel a sadness. I know that there is more that I have to do. I have a higher purpose. I have always known that. What? I DON’T KNOW.

Like a caterpillar, it feels so uncomfortable, like a sadness because there’s more to life and then it transforms into a beautiful butterfly, it’s like us we feel such uncomfort because we know we have a higher purpose.” -Eckhart Tolle.

Well, all of this time alone in my apartment seems unending. I got my first Vaccine this week and was ecstatic for a few hours, but that passed.  And my thoughts take over. Long story short – I am too negative.  I am striving to think in affirmations, but I default to the negative.  I vacillate between wanting something and affirming my happiness.  Is that a learned pattern?  Maybe.  Can it be unlearned?  Maybe.  And all there ever is- is NOW.  Present time.  All there ever is.  Period. End of story.  No past or future except as memory or anticipation.  Just NOW.  THE ETERNAL NOW.

I know, I know. DUH!!! SO, what do I do with that information? Welllllll, ..I am giving a lot of thought to what and how I think about things and events and possibly to whom I want to keep in touch – in my mind and on social media – but, mainly in my mind. Social media is easy. I am one of the few who actually like Facebook. I don’t use Twitter so much. I also like Instagram.

I am a terrible communicator and don’t keep in touch with much of anyone. But I think about people and events. And things that happened and choices I made. Lots of memory. Maybe too much life review. I am trying to get a perspective to consider whether an event was real or in my imagination. My fantasy of what happened and who people really were. What really happened. I am finding that my mind plays or has played tricks on me. Either then or now. People I thought were one thing were another. Events that I thought were one thing were another. The signals were all there. I misinterpreted them.

Is this a normal occurrence? Is something trying to happen? What? I DON’T KNOW. But something. Am I a caterpillar – ready to become a butterfly? Right now feels uncomfortable, like a sadness. I thought that was grief over the loss of good health and youth. Or the pandemic. Or just, plain loneliness.

But, I believe that each one of us is on a spiritual journey, whether we like it or not. We are here to learn something. We all have an eternal part of ourselves that is who we truly are and connected to something bigger than ourselves – God/Love/All, such as the Collective Unconscious – It is more than “nature at work”.) Or is life just groups of “clean slates” in which to start over? I DON’T KNOW. A bunch of “flukes” in which we must find “pockets of joy”?

I am trying to learn to love (sometimes I have to try hard with some people). Loving does not come easily to me. I DON’T KNOW WHY. I choose to find as many things as I can to know them as best I can, believing that they are in my life for a reason. From their point of view. I choose to believe that life is NOT just a “fluke”.

OK. REBOOT: Right now, I am where I choose to be.  Paris. I worked hard to get here.  But, will I choose to stay here?  I DON’T KNOW. I will admit that I am being very judgmental about a lot of things.   Does that mean that I am too judgmental?  Maybe.  Maybe I am just making too many plans that will NOT be my choice to make. I just try to be “present” with others. Does anyone care? Oh, who cares? I DO! Am I already forgotten, for the most part? Already gone. But, I am not gone, and I CARE. And I enjoy writing this post. And searching for truth matters TO ME. And, maybe my words will reach another person. One is enough to make me feel that something I said mattered.

I choose to believe most people are trying to become better. I may not agree. Do I try to “change or fix” them?  Maybe. For the most part, I try to look to see how I can imagine them for who they truly are, a soul, a brother/sister, a parent, a child? What do I notice about them that “triggers” me or “pushes my buttons”. Do I have a similar part of my personality that I can work on and change about myself?

I am in the middle period.  I give myself permission to NOT-KNOW, for now, without any shame, judgment, or pressure to resolve the mysteries of the heart. It is a pure expression of life, in and of itself, exactly as it is. I embrace it.  Who knows what is around the corner?  I choose to believe in miracles. “Feeling comfortable within the discomfort”. It is a process, and an interesting one at that.  A couple of memes and some flowers. Thank you for listening.


Best, JAY




I wrote this post on Saturday, and it was raining. It rains a lot in Paris. But, today, there is sunshine and beginning to warm up. Good. So, I still feel good about a lot of things. So, I am reposting this. I want the message “out there”. Positive energy and positive thinking. And, lots of love. Best, Jay


What is on my mind? Well, it is a rainy Saturday in Paris, so I will spend some time on JAYSPEAK. I really enjoy this blog and these weekly posts. They are changing – as I change – and we are not sure where they (or I) are(am) going. But I am feeling happy, for some reason. I am not sure why. I am – and have been – working on feeling happy for no reason. It takes work. Haha. I am used to feeling sad and depressed and lonely and……. I think I was hoping for youth to return, e. g. things lost forever. Never to return.

I am now loving that I am still alive. I am dreaming of a soul mate. I am dreaming of vacations in the South of France, and Britany and Normandy. I am dreaming of staying in wonderful hotels with facilities for the…

View original post 732 more words


What is on my mind?  Well, it is a rainy Saturday in Paris, so I will spend some time on JAYSPEAK.  I really enjoy this blog and these weekly posts.  They are changing – as I change – and we are not sure where they (or I) are(am) going.  But I am feeling happy, for some reason.  I am not sure why.  I am – and have been – working on feeling happy for no reason.  It takes work. Haha.  I am used to feeling sad and depressed and lonely and…….  I think I was hoping for youth to return, e. g.  things lost forever.  Never to return.

I am now loving that I am still alive. I am dreaming of a soul mate.  I am dreaming of vacations in the South of France, and Britany and Normandy.  I am dreaming of staying in wonderful hotels with facilities for the handicapped.  Yes, I have accepted that I need certain things that I will need in my search for where I can stay.   Such as What?   

No stairs.  Handles in the shower.  Easy access into the shower.  Dining room with excellent food, good service, and no stairs (in case I enjoy the wine too much.).  Sea views from patios without stairs.  Hopefully a heated swimming pool with easy access.  I have started my searches and those places exist.  Apparently, I am not the only person still alive who wants to go to a pretty place with easy access who has problems with mobility.  Haha.

Guess what?????  BREAKING NEWS.  It is not all about ME!!!  I have been telling myself a lot – “Hey, it is not all about YOU!”   I was so used to taking things personally (part of my Southern training), I have learned the hard way …. It is not all about me.  Yes, I have certain loves and buttons that people seem to “push”, but I am better.  It is not all about ME!!! 

I am happy the landlord helped me find someone to fix my patio door (even though it was expensive.  It is FIXED.  HEY, IT WAS WORKING WHEN I MOVED IN!).  I am happy that I got an appointment for a vaccine next week. I had an appointment to get Astrazeneca today and canceled it for Pfizer next week.  I am happy I have pink roses on the piano.  I am happy I have fresh tangerines and blueberries for my muesli for breakfast. I am happy my coffee maker makes good coffee.  “Little Things Mean A Lot”.  Remember that song.  I am happy I can taste and smell.  And on it goes………

My photos have changed.  Not as good as before (I don’t think.) I don’t take as many.  It is awkward to set my cane down (when I am out) and use my hands with a camera. I did take some on Friday.  Here are several.  I was surprised to see so many different kinds of flowers.  Seasonal.  Lots of peonies (April and May), cacti, lilacs, rhododendrons.  And, of course, roses and tulips.  They now know me in there and do me a bouquet of 3 roses with greenery for 11 euros in a bag that is easy for me to carry with my cane.  They immediately offer me a chair so that I can wait while they prepare my packaged flowers. 

I used to hate that I needed to sit.  Now, I sit and try to focus.  Still dizzy (for those who don’t know, I have had problems with brain strokes ((“vascular accidents”) in the last 3 years and am working with my brain)), most of the time. It was caused by high blood pressure.  Don’t let that go untreated. I did. Ugh. Brain strokes usually don’t kill a person, so I don’t let that stop me.  I have good doctors. AND as long as I am alive, there is hope for healing, and I am definitely getting better.  I am learning a lot about the brain.  Wonderful!!!  And, people help me everywhere I go – the Pharmacie, the market, the florist, La Poste.  (Restaurants and Cafes and Shops are not open at present.)

Guess what!!! BREAKING NEWS!!!  They value “the elderly” in France.  They do what they can to keep you living “at home” and comfortable.  Well, I have been so independent in my life, that I am still learning the hard way.  So, some pretty photos TAKEN BY ME, and some memes I like.  Then, the Closer.  An edit from “The Velveteen Rabbit.”  I had that book for years, along with “Siddhartha” and “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.”

And now – the Closer! I love this.

“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” – Margery Williams – “The Velveteen Rabbit.” artwork photo by – William Nicholson #ravenousbutterflies #margerywilliamsbooks #williamnicholsonartist #velveteenrabbit–





What is on my mind?  Easter.   Rebirth.  New.  Spring.   New growth.  Sound familiar?  It does to me.  What is really happening?  A lifelong friend died.  My brother-in-law is surrounded by hospice workers.  I am having difficulty getting a vaccine appointment.  The virus is outside my window.  I need groceries and supplies.  I am not drinking wine for several days.  My hair needs color streaks.  I need updated orthotics. Money is tight.  Restaurants and cafes are closed.  So, how am I dealing with life right now? 

I wrote this letter yesterday to those of us who are still alive:

“It is with great sadness that I am writing to you today   First time – since graduation in June 1955.   I cannot let the death of Larry Whitfield go unnoticed by me.  As your Class President, I want to honor the life and work of Larry Whitfield.  Never on that graduation day in June 1955, on the stage in the GYM at GHS did I expect Larry Whitfield to be the light who would carry us through year after year after year together.

With Larry, we have not only lost a class member and a relationship, but we have lost the paste and the glue that has held us all together over decades.  All we have had to do is to flow, grow, and adapt.  And sometime, show up.  But, Larry kept us remembering our youth, birthdays, names, faces.  Some years, he called me long distance to wish me a happy birthday.  I can still remember his voice over the phone.  So familiar. So warm and friendly.  Through good times and bad.  And, over the years, he did not let one of our deaths pass him by.  Or sickness.  Reminding us of times gone by over the decades.  And of good friends.  Through wars and pandemics.  Good times and bad.

Does all of that have value?  I think so.  Our memories.  During our mid-80’s.  Our cycle of life was great!  For the most part…..   And, many of us are having new beginnings this spring.  But, we have a lot to be thankful for this Easter Season.  We are good people for no reason.  Just because……  Larry was a good person, for no reason.  Just because……. So, as each of you heal, start over again, and rediscover life once more, say a little prayer and a thank you, to Larry Whitfield, for his years of service to the Class of ’55!

Sending much love,

Janet Jewell aka Jay W. MacIntosh”

The ONLY way I know how.  Looking for a pony in all this shit.  So, as is my MO, I joined a group that emotionally supports each other. As a result, I am saving memes that help and going to share my favorites in a minute.  

No politics.  That doesn’t’ mean that I don’t get politically challenged.  But I don’t want to write about it. I will leave the governing to the experts.

I want to spend my time worrying about dumping the garbage downstairs without a cane.  Watering the plants.  Finding someone to fix the patio door.  I have now had three “vascular accidents” that I know of.  I am working with my brain, helping it stay positive.  I am learning about brains, doing a daily French lesson online, isolation exercises, writing, moving, sleeping…….

Honestly, I have never been so challenged in my life.  Trying to solve new problems in new ways.  “The Lord helps Those Who Help Themselves.”  I don’t know the verse or section. But that one sticks in my mind.  So……  During these 3 days of EASTER, 2021, I share with you, my Readers and Followers and other Interest Folks, this rambling post on JAYSPEAK.   Memes that help me.

My birthday was March 30. These two helped me have a good day. That was nice.

Thank you to all of you.  As you can see, health issues are front and center for me. So be it. In the background, I am living in PARIS. So, I am looking forward to a lot of things. I have some pretty photographs of roses that I took a few years ago. This is one of my favorites. Roses make me happy. Taking photographs makes me happy. Writing this blog makes me happy. DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. It helps that brain. Quantum Physics. Go for it!!!





THIS IS ON MY MIND – The light at the end of the tunnel keeps moving farther away.  But what gives me hope is that common sense is coming back into “vogue”.  I keep reading inspirational stuff and realized that I am getting numb to a lot of it. And where is common sense?  Where are my friends’ common sense? IT’S THERE!  Alive and well tho’ lying dormant.  Hey, Guys, Macron can only do so much.  Biden can only do so much. So STOP COMPLAINING and use your common sense. 

And my road is paved with good intentions.  WELL, my common sense tells me that I must dig deeper to find it within myself to go farther.  I can only imagine what my father faced in his day.  And his mother.  And his brothers and sisters.  I am such a wimp. 

This worked last week:

“Barely the day started and… it’s already six in the evening.

Barely arrived on Monday and it’s already Friday.

… and the month is already over.

… and the year is almost over.

… and already 40, 50 or 60 years of our lives have passed.

… and we realize that we lost our parents, friends.

and we realize it’s too late to go back…

So… Let’s try, despite everything, to enjoy the remaining time…

Let’s keep looking for activities that we like…

Let’s put some color in our grey…

Let’s smile at the little things in life that put balm in our hearts.

And despite everything, we must continue to enjoy with serenity this time we have left. Let’s try to eliminate the after’s…

I’m doing it after…

I’ll say after…

I’ll think about it after…

We leave everything for later like ′′ after ′′ is ours.

Because what we don’t understand is that:

Afterwards, the coffee gets cold…

afterwards, priorities change…

Afterwards, the charm is broken…

afterwards, health passes…

Afterwards, the kids grow up…

Afterwards parents get old…

Afterwards, promises are forgotten…

afterwards, the day becomes the night…

afterwards life ends…

And then it’s often too late….

So… Let’s leave nothing for later…

Because still waiting see you later, we can lose the best moments,

the best experiences,

best friends,

the best family…

The day is today… The moment is now…

We are no longer at the age where we can afford to postpone what needs to be done right away.

Or maybe you’ll leave it for… ′′ later “…

I like what it says.  Except, I am not a procrastinator.  I usually take action.  Usually.   (sigh).   What is really on my mind is that I am disgusted.  What has happened to common sense?  People that I thought had/have common sense don’t seem to be using it.   Well, they don’t have common sense according to what seems obvious to me.   I get very discouraged.  I want that light at the end of the tunnel to be around the corner and it is not!!  My fellow blogger uses a wonderful word “lassitude”. It means weariness and/or being tired of.  So, what do I do?  Take a shower?

Yesterday, I took a walk.  Today, it is Palm Sunday. Time in Europe changed this weekend.  I thought I was better.  Now, I feel worse.  Well, I am better.  And, if I take action, what action do I take?  Lots of questions without answers.  Meanwhile……

I have some new affirmations for my birthday on Tuesday (March 30th)  But the one I am going with today and especially on Tuesday and after that.

            EVERY DAY IS A NEW BEGINNING.  The 3 days of Easter.  Then, go for it!!  A new future.  Use your common sense! 

Peace.  JAY



Thanks in advance. From Jayspeak



His name was “Jesse”. I called him “Daddy”. It has been written “It is dangerous to say that one man in less than two decades changed the eating and food purchasing habits of the United States, saved many farmers from bankruptcy, helped found a national industry. Almost any citizen of North Georgia will readily admit that one man was at least the leading instrument, the planner and stimulating agent for this phenomenal development, and that his name was ‘Jesse Dickson Jewell’ ” . A friend said that he was born “before his time”. On the contrary, he was born at the perfect time and was able to help a lot of people.

During the last year of confinement, I have been doing a lot of thinking in Paris, about my life, my life choices, my family, what actually happened, the myths surrounding what actually happened, and the things I will NEVER KNOW – or rather, I only know pieces of a puzzle. (sigh) Memories mixed with facts mixed with speculation. THUS, “JANET’S STORY OF ‘JESSE’ ”

Get a cup of coffee. This may take a while. Some of it is factual. Some is Janet’s story or what happened.

A moment to recap – He was born in Gainesville, Georgia on March 13, 1902, to Mary Tallulah Dickson Jewell and Edgar Herman Jewell – their third child and second son. He grew up in Gainesville and attended local public schools through high school. His father committed suicide when he was seven (on July 19, 1909), when he was in the second grade.

Five years later, when he was in the 7th grade, his mother remarried Leonard Loudermilk, a handsome, young widower with five children of his own. They all lived together in Mary’s big house and Leonard helped with the family business (a Feed and Fertilizer Store).  Mary Tallulah and Leonard got all of the children (10) to help around the house and also hired a woman to help. I don’t know if she lived there or not.  I doubt it.    

All of the kids graduated from High School and started or graduated from college. 

Jesse went for a short time to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and also was a Kappa Alpha at Georgia Tech for a period of time.   He did not graduate.  He went home to help his mother and stepfather to run the Feed and Fertilizer Store.

The South was in a depression, and people were struggling. His mother was struggling. And, remember, this was a time when women did not work!! I don’t know when that store opened but it supplied farmers with feed and fertilizer “ALL YEAR ‘ROUND” for their animals and crops.  

But the store did not sell the feed or fertilizer when the farmers had no money to buy it.  The farmers in the area had hogs, cows, and chickens.  Crops were grown to feed the family, not to sell. Some were – cotton, peanuts, tobacco, peaches.  But everything was a tough sell.  The land was worn out.  And, on top of that, a devastating tornado wrecked the town in April 1936.

Jesse was hitting brick walls.  Did he give up?  NO.  With youthful enthusiasm, he started using common sense.

If the farmers could not buy the feed or fertilizer because they did not have any money, he had to help them get money so he could help his mother sell feed and fertilizer.  How? 

Pick an animal.  He picked chickens (hogs and cows were too big) Help the farmers get chickens to feed and raise. 

Step 1.  Get baby chickens to farmers. 

So, he figured out how to get baby chickens to farmers to raise.  (Somebody loaned him some money to get some baby chickens to begin this project with a few willing farmers.   Did his family do it?   I don’t know.) Somehow, he had resources.  It was a risk.  He gambled.  He GAVE them some chickens and GAVE them some feed.  Most farmers were unwilling, and landowners objected.  EVERYONE WAS SKEPTICAL. He was desperate.  A few agreed to go along. Then, he waited.

Step 2. When the chickens become “broiler” size (approximately 12 weeks), BUY them back from the farmer(s) at a market price.  With that money, the farmer could pay him back for the baby chickens and feed and still have a profit left.  


Farmers signed up.  People began to have money in their pockets.  Shops in town began to thrive. Jesse had helped his mother.  The feed store would be okay.

People then built hatcheries, more feed stores, and places for processing of the broiler-size chickens for market. 

The entire area changed. 

Jesse said, “Help others.  That’s the only way a man can help himself.”

And, from there, Jesse continued to use common sense.  It continued to work.  After that, I don’t know how he helped Mary Tallulah and Leonard.  He did. I just know that we visited them for over an hour EVERY SUNDAY FOR YEARS.  He was into sharing.  So, I can believe he shared the wealth with them.  I saw the love he had for his mother. 

So for all he did, we can thank Mary Tallulah Dickson.

Yes, he had problems. Yes, the story takes twists and turns.  But, all of it is huge and in the history books. Yes, I know the rest of the story, but this is major. And, important for me to think through. Thank you for sharing this time with me.

Best, Jay (the picture below was the picture in an ad that Daddy bought and put into the Gainesville High School Class of 1955 yearbook in my graduating class from High School.)

Become a sponsor of JAYSPEAK

Thank you in advance. Jay/Janet/Genet



March is my birthday month. And every March, like clockwork, I begin to change in some way or other. Things feel different. Why? I don’t know. And this March is not different. Things are changing. So, I am thinking out loud. Bear with me. First, the questions: Am I imagining it?  Why? Because, I don’t feel like talking right now; in fact, nobody seems to want to talk right now. Messages are brief and replies late or no reply. Group chats are no longer pinging all night long. Is it me?

It’s everyone. We are spent. We have nothing left to say. We are tired of saying, ‘I can’t wait for this to end’. “I want the cafes to open.” So I mostly say nothing.  “Bonjour’” and take a walk if I feel like it.  I get through each day. But, help is on the way.

I read, “This is a state of being like no other we have ever known because we are all going through it together but so very far apart. ” So, hang in there, my friend. Help is coming. So, when the mood strikes, send out all those messages and don’t feel you have to apologise for being quiet. No one is judging.

Some thoughts for today (a too-windy March day in Paris)

Pietro Annigoni (1910-1988), “The young Mary Magdalene” (1967), charcoal. Pietro Annigoni (1910-1988) was an Italian portraitist and a fresco painter influenced by the Italian Renaissance.  He was nicknamed by the press of his time as “the painter of queens”.  His portrait of Queen II from 1956 is very famous

Beautiful and young? Right? Wrong.

 “Always keep in mind that the skin wrinkles, hair turns white, days turn into years. But what is important does not change; your strength and conviction have no age. Your spirit is the glue of any spider web. Behind each finish line there is a starting line. Behind every success there is another disappointment. As long as you are alive, feel alive. If you miss what you did, go back to doing it. Don’t live on yellowed photos … Insist, even if everyone expects him to quit. Do not let the iron in you rust. Make sure that instead of compassion, they bring you respect.

 When, due to the years, you will not be able to run, walk fast. When you can not walk fast, walk. When you can’t walk, use the cane. But never hold back! ” -Mother Teresa of Calcutta, “Dedicated to women”



On my bucket list, today, Lake Como in Italy. SAVE MY PLACE!

Springtime at the Eiffel Tower in Paris! With flowers.

I don’t have any words of wisdom today because I don’t like a lot of wind. But, so be it. March has winds. And, I love March. So…..

I doubt I can change the world, but I will try- little by little. So, can you. “Rough Seas make good sailors.” “Go to it!” I don’ t “believe, I KNOW.

Forgive all of the memes but I like them. They remind me when I have lost my way. And, I am posting a picture of me from a few years ago. I am not comfortable posting a current one. Too vain. I am working on all of it – skin, body, mind, spirit, hair, eyes and it is working. Good for me!! I still don’t have the vaccine (high demand in Paris), so I am still social distancing. But help is on the way. Thanks for all of it. It is a good life.

Best, Jay


Today, I have gotten a cup of coffee to spend some time with you. Nothing special, just some things that are on my mind along with a good cup of Joe. I don’t plan to discuss politics although that is what is on my mind these days, (along with a thousand other things). As one of my friends (who shall remain nameless) says, “what I do not abide is a mindset of ruination..and the unmitigated gall of balking for the sake of not working toward coaction.” She said a lot more things that I agree with but I plan this post to be about sharing lovely photos with you. I still plan a good article regarding J. D. Jewell, Inc. (Daddy), but that will be written at another time.

By the way, I am very proud to announce that my Jayspeak’s current stats are 11 visitors and 44,000 views. WOW! Thank you, Everyone.

So today, I am just treading water. Plus, I enjoy posting these photos. I don’t personally know any of the photographers but I only took a couple of them. They are beautiful (I think), and must not go unnoticed. This is my favorite.

They are all favorites. So, I will let you choose your favorites.

That is enough for now. I took the flowers but not the WOW ones. I am exploring ways to frame some of mine and do a “showing” in a gallery, but I think that takes a lot of money. And, besides, I don’t know how to do it. I would need help with all of it. But, some of my photos are great and need a market. Any tips are appreciated if someone knows how to do this. I have seen photographers do great “showings” of their work and I want to know how to do that. Does anyone know?

And now a closing thought about “my month of March” (my birth month).

Best, Jay


This post is a necessary link from the first “Imagine” to the next one. So, I am reblogging. Thanks to those who are interested. I know that family data is not that interesting to a lot of people. Especially in these troubling times. But, much of this is new news for me. And, I want to write something about Daddy since I am in confinement in Paris, France – that place that I always wanted to be. And, here I am without the health to enjoy it or even just an open cafe or restaurant. Ugh. Anyway, thanks for spending a moment with me. Jay


They ALL deserve roses. If you are just tuning in, I started this post last weekend. It gives you a tad of background. And I stopped the timing on that post with Ed Jewell’s suicide. His oldest son (age 9, going on 10) called Beamus (Ed, Jr.) found him that morning, hanging in the barn. This photo is a picture of my grandmother taken when she was an art teacher at Brenau College in Gainesville, Georgia. She was in her 20’s. And I still have a water color of hers on my wall beside my bed in Paris.

After that, someway, Mary Tallulah Dickson Jewell met and married Leonard Loudermilk in Atlanta and a Baptist preacher and two witnesses on July 23, 1914, blending two families that had five children each, and went home from Atlanta that day to a group of 10 children (ages 15 – 4), who had…

View original post 1,047 more words


They ALL deserve roses. If you are just tuning in, I started this post last weekend. It gives you a tad of background. And I stopped the timing on that post with Ed Jewell’s suicide. His oldest son (age 9, going on 10) called Beamus (Ed, Jr.) found him that morning, hanging in the barn. This photo is a picture of my grandmother taken when she was an art teacher at Brenau College in Gainesville, Georgia. She was in her 20’s. And I still have a water color of hers on my wall beside my bed in Paris.

After that, someway, Mary Tallulah Dickson Jewell met and married Leonard Loudermilk in Atlanta and a Baptist preacher and two witnesses on July 23, 1914, blending two families that had five children each, and went home from Atlanta that day to a group of 10 children (ages 15 – 4), who had all been through their own individual experiences – five who suffered the death of their mother and five who experience the suicide of their father.  Let’s figure out the various ages of those kids.   First, let’s list them:  the Jewell kids were Mary (born June 1898), Edgar, Jr. (born August 1899, aka “Beamus”), Jesse (born March 1902) , Furman (born October 1903), and Margaret (born August 1904). The Loudermilk kids are listed below. Dennis Loudermilk was the oldest (February 1898 -15 at remarriage)and then Mary Jewell (June 16, 1898 – 15 at remarriage was next. The youngest was Ida Mae Loudermilk, (January 17, 1910 – 4 at remarriage.)

ON the morning of July 19, 1909, that fateful morning when each child’s father was found hanging in the barn, Mary, the oldest, had just turned 11 in June.   Beamus was 9 and would be 10 in August, the next month – he is the one who found his father.  Jesse (my father) was 7 in March.   His younger brother Furman was 5 – he would be 6 in October.  Margaret, their baby sister, was 4.  She would be 5 in August.  WOW.  Talk about a trauma.  And, if he were suffering from drugs anyway, imagine the craziness that comes from drugs and alcohol.  WOW.  In other words, those kids were very young. And, their mother, was 37. The deceased father ED JEWELL was 52.

Questions? What did she do for money?  Did she and Ed already have the feed and fertilizer store at that time?  How did she manage with those 5 little children and the shame of that death? I don’t know.  But somehow, she did.  And they did.  For five years.  But somehow, she met and decided to marry Leonard Loudermilk on July 23,1914 in Atlanta, at the age of 42. How did she meet him? I don’t know. They are all dead. No one left records. So, let’s take a minute to see what we know about Leonard. I have a few photos.

Leonard Loudermilk was born (October 1875) in Habersham County and grew up and fell in love with a local girl Malala Sisk.    He married her at the age of 22.  Malala was two years older and beautiful, and I image they were excited and In love because their wedding day was Valentine’s Day 1897 (romantic day).  They moved to Gainesville in Hall County when he got a job, managing a company mill store for two cotton mills in Hall County. 

And they had five children together.  Who were their kids?  The oldest was Dennis, (born February 1898).  The next was another boy, Joe (born September 1899).  The next was another boy Hershel, born March 1902, and then a girl Ruby (born November 1906. And the baby was another girl Ida Mae (born January 1910). The above photo is a photo of Leonard and Malala and their oldest three boys.

Malala died on July 28, 1913, from cancer. She was a young 40.   At the time of her death, Dennis was 14, Joe was 13, Hershel was 11.  Ruby was 6.  Ida Mae was 3.  Just babies.  Left for Leonard to raise alone.  From what I think, Leonard was a good man and loved his wife and kids.  I believe he missed Malala very much and wanted the best for her kids.  How sad.  Somehow, he met a widow – Tallulah Dickson Jewell, with five kids of her own.  They decided to marry and blend the two families.

Mary Tallulah had a big house with five bedrooms and two baths, so the twelve of them lived there.  It was struck by lightning in a tornado in 1936 and burned.  All of the children had married by then, except Beamus, who still lived with them.    I don’t know what year this photo below was taken, but the kids look young. It is taken on the steps of the big house before the tornado in 1936 destroyed it. I was born in 1937. All of this happened when I was not present. Or even conceived. I just took it all for granted when I was young. I am now so sorry that I did not ask more questions. And, that I did not show more love and respect.

Another timing to note –  after Malala’s death, Leonard remarried one year.  (Malala died July 28, 1913 – remarriage was July 23, 1914.)    Mary remarried 5 years after Ed’s death (July 19, 1909 – remarriage July 23, 1914).  Mary Dickson was 42.  Leonard was 39.  That fact tells me that they both needed each other, in love or not.  So, they contracted to join forces to help all of the children at risk here.  WOW.   And they did.  And they managed to rear them and send 9 of them to college. Together they were quite a team. Now, if that is not love, I don’t know it.  Two adults during pandemics and world wars, working together to help families and each other.  WOW.  

Now.  I want to write about Daddy and his need to help his mother and step father through hard times.    I have a theory that I want to explore.  So, stay turned.   It requires its own day.  He was quite a man. And this story is unusual and full of love and family and amazing strength during trauma. The true American spirit. It inspires me. I lived it and did not appreciate at the time. I took it for granted. HOW WRONG OF ME. I apologized for not being clearer about all of this. I still have a lot of blurred vision and want to write this with this MAC that keeps jumping around. But, I am amazed at all of these people who lived this amazing story during wars and hard times. And, each child has a successful story. I will only write about Daddy.


Best, Jay (this is hard to write because the computer jumps around and I am doing the best I can. Sorry. I want to get it written. I don’t had the energy for a book. But, blog posts let me do something, at least. I need a ghost writer. And hair and makeup. And I love this young picture of me. What an interesting life I have had. )


-Chase the Stories




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