Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Family Culture. Music of the Tudors

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Tonight from the Fortress I share a piece of music well know to our ancestors who lived in England during the reign of the Tudors (Henry VIII, Edward, Mary and finally Elizabeth I). This piece of music was heard and loved by our ancestors, many of whom lived and worked in the Tudor Court as we've learned from previous posts.

Today, music plays an important part of in our lives. How many of us have hundreds, if not thousands, of soundtracks on our iPods and other electronic devices? We can't imagine living without this music written to excite and calm, written to carry us away to some other place far from the here and now.

Music was just as important, if not more so, to our ancestors. Imagine their delight in learning that traveling minstrels would be visiting their village performing songs they knew so well and introducing them to the latest compositions. Visualize them crowded around a stage, anxiously waiting to hear the popular music of their time, such as A Robyn, Gentyl Robyn by William Cornysh.

Our Great Uncle Ray Vercellino's Retirement and Career

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
I found this newspaper clipping in a book of cards and letters kept by Dad's mother, Grandma Leissman (Elda Vercellino).

It tells the story of Great Uncle Ray Vercellino (Elda's eldest brother). It's a fascinating read about a man who spent 48 years working for Western Union, starting as a telegraph operator and rising through the ranks to become a national manager. The clipping is too small to read in its fully scanned state so I broke it up and posted it below. It's a bit choppy but don't let that stop you from reading about his interesting life.

The Vercellino's in Lead South Dakota. Grandma Elda is seated, her mother then
Great Uncles Ed and Ray.

Ray Vercellino as a young man working for Western Union.