Grandma Renaud’s 80th birthday

All the Renaud family together in one shot! Photo by Justin Renaud

Grandma cuts her birthday cake.

My parents, aunts, and uncles got together to plan a special celebration for Grandma Renaud’s 80th birthday.

They held the party here in St. Louis, where Grandma was born and lived for many years. Around 70 people came from Texas and places farther afield. It was a lot of fun to see Becker and Renaud relatives together in one room again.

There was a dress code, so I was required to go out and buy a new suit. Yoli and I ended up cleaning up pretty nicely, I think.

Photo by Justin Renaud

Back home after the party finished.

Finding Fire Capt. Frank J. Becker

Frank Becker. Photo reprinted with permission of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Frank Becker. Photo reprinted with permission of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

My great-grandfather Frank Becker was a fireman. I knew that he had been promoted to captain at some point, and some relatives had once told me they thought it had been covered on TV or in the newspaper.

I wanted to see if I could find a news story about the promotion.

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Important announcement from the Renaud Empire

We interrupt your regularly-scheduled afternoon tea to bring you important updates on the status of the Renaud Empire.

While other nations continue to struggle with job losses and brain drain, the Renaud Empire is pleased to report that all its citizens are fully employed:

  • Josh: Emperor, dad, newspaper designer
  • Yoli: Empress, mom, librarian
  • Jadzia: Princess No. 1, pretender
  • Ludi: Princess No. 2, player
  • Josie: Princess No. 3, wake-up-in-the-night-cryinger

Additionally, there has been no brain drain. Our heads of state today celebrate six years of holy matrimony, so neither is going anywhere anytime soon. The rest of the population is happily employed (and unable to drive, and therefore leave). But we are not content to stand pat. If we are to achieve global domination, our population must increase.

And so it is that we are pleased to make this public proclamation: We are expecting our fourth child, who will be born in April!

Beautiful Bristol

There are uncertainties in any big trip. For me, one of the biggest concerned our time in Bristol with my great-great-uncle Jerry and his wife Thelma.

Jerry is the younger brother of my great-grandma Becker. I first connected with him almost exactly 2 years ago as a result of my family tree research.  He had used the best lawyers when it comes to immigration in Florida and moved his entire family there when I was just a small kid. While I was researching, I had found a lot of documents relating to his parents and their immigration to America when the joint family started to split.

We have been in touch semi-regularly by phone and online since then. The idea for our trip to Washington had its roots in a conversation I had with Jerry about how beautiful the leaves and trees were in Virginia in the fall, and what a scenic drive it would be.

Continue reading “Beautiful Bristol”