Friday, May 30, 2008

Carnival of Genealogy: Gulf Coast Summer 1962

Right: Craig and The World's Smartest Sister at the beach in Rockport, Texas, August 1962.

As far as I recall, my first time at a beach was in the summer of 1962. Later that year, at age 8, I did my first major writing project. It's presented here just as it was written 46 years ago, including photographs (the notes are new).

From the book My First Vacation Trip, copyright 1962, by Craig Manson

The Book Cover

My brothers, sister, and I live in New Mexico. On July 28, 1962, my Nana1 came for a visit. She wanted to take my sister and I on a trip to Texas. Arrangements were made. So my Father, Aunt2, and I went to buy my sister and I some "swimming clothes." When we came back, Nana sat down at the sewing machine and made us some beach jackets. Father readied my fishing line.

At last the day came. On Sunday, August 5, 1962, we left for Houston, Texas. The ride was comfortable3,. . . . .Next morning, I was up at 4:00 with Nana and later my sister got up at 5:00. I changed clothes in the men's room. Sister combed her hair, and Nana got ready too. At 11:00 we arrived in Houston. The train backed into the station. On the platform we met Uncle Herman4,. I relaized that in Texas, it's quite hot! Uncle Herman drove us to his house. At the house, we met Aunt Ida5.

Left: Sister with Uncle Herman Walker

[After several days in Houston, it's time for our travelers to move on!]

. . . Mrs A. Dolphin6 took us to the Greyhound bus depot where we would leave on a bus bound for Rockport, Texas. There we would meet my other Aunt Ida7 and Uncle Johnny8. It took us 5 hours to get there. . . . When we met Aunt Ida and Uncle Johnny, it was quite joyous because we had not seen each other since 1958. After we had unpacked, Uncle Johnny took us down to the beach where we went swimming as we did every day.

Above Right: We play in the Gulf

When we went fishing, I caught mostly catfish, but sometimes I caught perch and trout. Sometimes we went to visit cousin Ethel9 and Rabbit10.
One day Rabbit took us to Taft where we met Aunt Pearl11. Aunt Pearl owns a motel and cafe in Taft. So we stayed at her motel. When we got back [to Rockport], Aunt Maria12 and her husband13 came to take us to Corpus Christi.

In Corpus Christi, I long talked with Uncle Leroy14 who I had not seen once before in my life. After staying in Corpus Christi one day, we started back to Houston.

Right: On the shrimping dock

Below: Modeling the "beach jackets" Nana made


1My paternal grandmother, Jessie Bowie Manson (1909-1973), then known as Jessie Manson Givan.

2My mother's sister, Delorise Annrie Gines, then 22 years old, and spending her summer break from college with us.

3In pre-Amtrak times, "the ride" was the Atchison,Topeka & Santa Fe RR's Super Chief.

4Herman Walker (1906-2002), Nana's brother.

5Ida Mouton (1910?-1992), Uncle Herman's wife.

6Alice Dolphin, who was a major figure in my fathr's early life story.

7Ida Bryant (1895-1991), widow of Nana's uncle, Sam Bryant (1881-1951).

8I have no present clue as to this person's identity or actual relationship to me.

9Ethel Bryant (1903-1996), daughter of Isaac Bryant (1879-1936), Nana's uncle.

10I have no present clue as to this person's identity or actual relationship to me.

11Pearl Bryant Richardson (1897-?), Nana's mother's sister.

12Should be "cousin Maria." Maria Bryant (1905-?) was Ethel's sister (see note 9).

13I do not know his name.

14Leroy Goins, aka Leo R. Bryant (1924-1983), Nana's brother.


Moultrie Creek said...

What a great story and what a delightful family treasure! You both were so photogenic - much more than we were. You didn't mention if you dined on any of your trophy catches . . .

Miriam said...

Having worked in elementary literacy programs, I'm quite impressed with your 8-year-old vocabulary (arrangements, readied, joyous)! A wonderful story, and one I hope your descendants will treasure for many years to come. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Kathryn Doyle said...

Wow! I remember always being told to "save everything you write" but you actually did. I assume that this was an "A" project?

Becky said...

A precious family keepsake, for sure, and the pictures are wonderful!

Craig Manson said...

Yes, I have saved a lot of things; so much that I have to frequently defend the position that "archivist" and "packrat" are not synonyms!

footnoteMaven said...


This is the best post!

I love the glimpse of you the child, not just the pictures, although they are terrific.

Not a "packrat" but rather a collector of treasured objects. (It takes one to know one.)


Terry Thornton said...

CRAIG, What a great story you wrote --- and it is still "speaking" after nearly 50 years. This is priceless --- thanks for sharing it with us in this format. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your first major literary work.

Anonymous said...


You wrote pretty good for an 8 year old! I thoroughly enjoyed your story.
We're inspired!
Tell us more!

"Guided by the Ancestors"

Anonymous said...

How precious! That is a definite treasure! I can now see where the genesis of your fondness for writing began! Quite an impressive piece for an 8 year old in terms of writing style as well as the art work. Thank you for sharing that glimpse into your adolescence.

Your cousin, Karen

wendy said...

Enjoyed reading your story & seeing those really "nifty" beach jackets! Everything had to match didn't they? I guess not one scrap of fabric went to waste!

Janice said...


Very cute story. And if I'm not mistaken, my mom who used to sew most of our play clothing would make the stripes go different ways to fool us into thinking that it was two different materials (as the boys didn't want to wear the same material as their baby sisters).

This definitely made me smile.


Apple said...

A very memorable trip. It's wonderful that you saved the paper you wrote. The beach jackets look just perfect.

BeNotForgot said...

Luv the story and the photos! Rockport and Taft -- two more of my old stomping grounds! The summer of 1962 I was 10 years old, and probably spent some time on the beach at Rockport with my grandparents and assorted other kinfolk. We visited Grandma and Grandpa Henry in or near Sinton most summers. Also spent time at Uncle Billy's farm near Taft.