Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hug History...or his story

If you recall when I recently spoke with Tricia Jean Bear, she eluded that her family was not really the beginning of the hug. So I decided to pursue the tip she gave me and speak with her Uncle John Thomas Bear. He told me he'd be happy to share his story. So John Thomas and his boys joined me for a some fresh air, snacks and his story.
Michael Morgan (MM), Baby John (BJ), and John Thomas joined me for a snack & his story outdoors.

John Thomas:
Well, way back in the seventh decade of the last century, I came to live in Illinois. A good friend of your grandma's, Mrs. Jones and her daughter brought me here. You might say they were my "adoption facilitators".

They were on a vacation in Florida. Mrs. Jones decided
she wanted to bring your grandma a gift. She had browsed the gift shop several times and passed through the adoption center section several times during her stay. I had caught her eye, she decided she couldn't leave me. She decided your grandma needed a rather large bear. She took care of the temporary custody papers and my adoption process was begun. On the flight from Florida to Illinois, there was an empty seat in their row as the plane wasn't full. So I had my own seat. That was nice, as I am a larger bear and the carry on overhead bin would have been beary uncomfortable. The nice stewardess checked my seat belt and commented on my great tan. I grr'd a thank-you. When she came by later with peanuts she made sure I got some too. I guess she saw my best hungry as a bear look.

Wow, you got your own seat? Whenever I travel by plane I'm in mom's carry-on bag. I get shoved under the seat. She say's it's because I'm a stow-away and she doesn't want to buy me a ticket. So I'm a sneaky air traveler, well not so sneaky these days, those security people see me in the x-ray machine.

John Thomas:
I'm too big to be a sneaky air traveler. This was long before all the security and x-ray machines. Come to think about it, I haven't traveled by air since I came to Illinois. These days they would probably charge an extra bag fee and make me go into cargo.

Anyway, Mrs. Jones and her daughter Jackie decided that I needed a name. They were just discussing this as we walked through the Atlanta airport where we had to change planes. There came an announcement over the public address system. "Will John Thomas Bear please pick up the nearest white courtesy phone." They just looked at each other, laughed and said that's it! And so I had a name already when I was presented to your grandma.

Now your mom was still living at home back then, she saw I was lonely and found a wife for me. Tina Jean arrived for your grandma's birthday. And here she is now.

Tina Jean joined our gathering.

Pretty soon your grandma went to help another friend's daughter, just home from the hospital with her first child. When she came home there in her suitcase was Baby John (B.J.). Your mom, being still ever observant saw that your grandpa was feeling left out, so for his birthday Michael Morgan arrived, we adopted him into our family. So our family was complete.

We took care of important matters, like when your mom received mail from a certain handsome sailor we were in charge of the final delivery. Sometimes your grandma would go shopping and buy something for your mom while she was at school or work. Then we'd patiently hold or proudly model whatever it was till she got home. Somewhere there is a photo of one such modeling session, can't seem to locate it. Let's just say your pants loving friend Bob would have enjoyed the photo. When the sailor sent a package from his travels, we modeled and wrote him a special thank-you.Thanks for the hats. (1978)

I think our roll in your mom's life led to the young sailor adopting Daniel James, Alissa Jo and Tricia Jean. I think he thought his soon to be bride would miss having a family of bears around. As they would be living in California while he finished his stint in the Navy.

A little more than a year after your mom & dad moved back to Illinois. My family and your grandparents moved back to California for a short time.

MM and BJ off to California - 1981
Yes, your mom is a transplanted California bear as she was born there. I guess now she's twice transplanted. Your grandparents have lived there twice now too.

Many years later after returning to Illinois we moved from grandma's house to yours. Your hug was already growing by then with Daniel James and Alissa Jo's family as founding forebears. I guess we are all the foundation, you might say, of the Lake Cedar Chest Bears. So I guess in a way I am responsible for your hug's establishment, I like to lay the blame on Mrs. Jones. However, I did run across this old photo of your mom.
Seems she had a love for bears very early in her life.

Wow, the bear and the doll are nearly as big as she is. What does that say along the side of the picture? Dec...58? That's an oldy, before she started wearing glasses. Well, thanks John Thomas for sharing with me and our readers your part in the establishment of our hug.

Grr-bye for now,


Sir Woodstock said...

Good morning young Buttons!

A fascinating story that!
And, how wonderful to have such a Hug History.
Mine started in late 1979, as the very original members were lost by Removal men, when Grandmother moved to live with Mother.
I wrote about Toby on True Colours Thursday - RUST!

Hugs to all

Orso Bear, Esq said...

Buttons old chap,

That was like reading a classic historical novel.
In fact even better because it was all about bears, and novels very often aren't. Even ones set in Canada.
A most enteryaining read.