Eclipse wedding

MJ, Tishla and I traveled from Tucson to Avalon in August, to celebrate Katy and Matt’s wedding. Then we drove northeast from the ferry port, and camped among the juniper and bristlecone pines, near Bishop. We shared the total eclipse of the sun with friends at the foot of the Idaho Tetons, a very special event.

After the eclipse, we pointed the truck southeast, exploring the four corner region’s diverse geography and geology, petroglyphs and pueblo cultures. I’ve attached a select collection of photos I took along our journey. Many of the best shots were taken by Tishla or MJ. I hope you enjoy this visual family history, the wedding of Katy and Matt Myers, August 12, 2017 and the total eclipse on August 21. Continue reading “Eclipse wedding”


The Sonoran Desert transitioned from 116°F days in late June to monsoonal rains in the span of three weeks. We experienced daily highs of over 100°F and less than 10% humidity for twenty days straight. Mid-July now, and thunderstorms are the daily norm. Areal monsoon rains result from moisture from the Sea of Cortés and Pacific Ocean streaming across the Mexican Sonoran into the Southwest. Continue reading “Monsoon”

Julius Richard Harper

On June 5th, 2017, (Julius) Richard Harper passed away in Prescott Valley, Arizona. He was 81. The great-grandson of Dr. Eli Akim Harper, he was a native of San Diego County. He graduated from Escondido High School, and later graduated from the Harbor Police Academy in San Diego. He served for 21 years with the Harbor Patrol, reputedly one of their finest harbor pilots. Continue reading “Julius Richard Harper”

The McCarthys

MJ brought a box of “gift art” from Bill White. They had sat together in Unk’s log cabin, carefully identifying and marking the names and relationships of hundreds of family photos. MJ loaned me the box, and this post is the result. The lead photo is of Michael McCarthy, “grandfather of John White, William White, Mercedes (White)Stoddard, father of Esther (McCarthy) White. Died at 57 in 1890.”
Continue reading “The McCarthys”

Time Travel I–West Virginia

NOTE: This post previously appeared on this blog on 10 June 2012. I have republished it for “History” month here in Isles.

In May of 2006, Patty, John and I visited Seneca Rocks, West Virginia. Greg Adamson and Marsha Fuller hosted us on a 2-day guided tour into my Harper family’s past. Through their kind and knowledgeable guidance, I learned more about my family in that short “graveyard tour” than in my entire life. Continue reading “Time Travel I–West Virginia”

Julius Dickey Harper

NOTE: This post previously appeared on this blog on 25 April 2013. I have republished it for “History” month here in Isles, with additional material.

Julius Dickey “Richard” Harper was born on December 2nd, 1864 in Vacaville, Solano County, California.  The third of four sons born to Lucretia Stull Allison and Dr. Eli Akim Harper, Richard was younger brother of Andrew “Amby” Henry Harper, born 1860. Here is an image of the grave stone at Mt. Hope Cemetery in San Diego: Continue reading “Julius Dickey Harper”

More White letters

For this post, I chose another five letters randomly from the dozens I have on my desk. Several of these letters come from the Stoddards of California, another from Bill White to his mother, and two from John E. White. These letters represent part of the shared family history. All credit to the writers, all transcription errors are mine. Continue reading “More White letters”

White letters

The following source material comes from my wife’s side of the family, the White and Stoddard lines. This post includes correspondence from the Stoddard’s, the McCarthy’s, the White’s and the Dorff’s. Throughout, I have intermittently indicated source spelling errors with (sic), but not comprehensively. I’ve also introduced my fair share, or more, of errors in these transcriptions. Continue reading “White letters”