Notes from the past…

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Women’s History Month, Day 12: My Mom & SORT

MarSStanley (41) The Colorado Department of Corrections has a special team that responds to emergency situations within the state prison system. S. O. R. T. (Special Operations Response Team) is the “SWAT” team for the state prison system. Its members are all specially trained in weapons, hostage situations, riots, etc. and on call to respond anywhere in the state as needed. They are the elite members of the Colorado Department of Corrections.

My Mom was a member of the S.O.R.T. team. She was a nurse practitioner and paramedic and was the Medical Officer of the team. Though she was usually at least 15 years older than other team members and one of the few female S.O.R.T. officers, she was required to pass the same physical tests and be certified in the different weapons and tactics the team used in these emergency situations. Everything! Automatic weapons, hand-to-hand combat, rappelling, the works.

For 2 weeks every summer, the S.O.R.T. team would train at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Mom would pack her gear and depart, and Dad would worry for the next 2 weeks.

When Mom finally came home again, she’d be “black and blue” and sore all over, but… oh so HAPPY! She loved that job and working with “her boys”.

Mom and part of the S.O.R.T. team even acted as event security when Pope John Paul II visited Denver in August 1993. I remember she sent us some of the t-shirts that her team wore in Denver.

MarSStanley (43)

(Mom first row, far right)

MarSStanley (16)

(Mom getting ready to head off to the Air Force Academy)

MarSStanley (38)

(Plaque presented to Mom on her retirement in 1998)

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Women’s History Month, Day 11: Jennie Margaret (Melton) Turner

Jennie was the wife of my great granduncle Francis Lee Turner. Jennie & Frank were married 21 May 1882 in Hill County, Texas. Three children were born of this union: Mattie (27 June 1883), Lizzie (19 Oct 1884) and Baby Claudie (19 Apr 1887).

Jennie unexpectedly died on 21 May 1887, her 5th wedding anniversary and barely a month after Claudie’s birth.

Claudie himself died 25 Jan 1888 of unknown causes.

Apparently the loss of his beloved wife and only son just months apart was more than Frank Turner could bare. He sent his surviving girls to live with his brother John Joseph Turner, and disappeared… never to be seen again!

Jennie and Claudie are buried together in Graham-Mason Cemetery in rural Hill County, Texas.

JenMMelton stone

Oldest daughter Mattie Turner died in 1984 at age 101, and Lizzie survived until a month past her 98th birthday.

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Wordless Wednesday: 1867 Tuscaloosa County, Alabama Voter Registration


dated 16 Jul 1867

Please click on this image for a larger, readable view. In the red squares are J. M Stanley (Jesse Mercer Stanley, my 3rd great-grandfather) and John J Davis, another of my 3rd great-grandfathers, both from my Stanley line.

If you have Alabama ancestors, check out the Alabama Department of Archives and History. They have tons of documents and images online!