Warp Drive

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ancestry with the Haleys - Progress Report #2

This past February, I began a rather ambitious documentary project to trace my family roots. The first three weeks of the project were the most fruitful. My findings were nothing short of amazing. With the help of extended family, I managed to successfully document the names and occupations of my great, great great, great great great, and great great great great grandparents. It was great. Progress Report #1, which I wrote on March 25th, covers this time in much more detail. That report ended with a loose end still to be roped and tied up. I had planned to write a second report as soon as my great grandfather's photographs arrived in the mail, but they arrived a bit later than I had originally expected. Three months later to be precise. To be fair, I misunderstood my cousin when she said that she was preparing the photographs to be mailed the week prior to my March 25th update. In actuality, she was still in the process of locating them. She did more than just that, though. She provided valuable background information about each and every photograph. For the first time ever, I proudly present my great grandfather, James Tribble Haley. He lived and worked in Kosse, Texas throughout the late 1800s. He made a living as a Constable, Deputy Sheriff, and United States Marshall. Sometimes all three at the same time.

Ancestry with the Haleys Promo 2

Around the time that I wrote the first report, I was working on an excavation of my parents' house. It was practically a project within itself. In time, I would find work photographs of my father, an 8mm film reel of my first birthday party, and a number of audio cassettes. It was the photographs of my father that were the hardest to look through. They sent the message home that I was not just crafting a video documentary to my distant ancestors, but a final tribute to my father. He passed away on October 12th, 2009 of Pancreatic Cancer with all but one of his seven children by his bed side. It was simply too much for my youngest brother to bear. It is a constant struggle to work on this chapter of the project. I am flooded with memories, both good and bad, every time that I concentrate on it. I also find myself struggling with what he would have approved of being included, and for that, I just have to do a lot of soul searching. I realize that it will never be perfect, but I will do my best. My father, Paul Wayne Haley, lived and worked in Southern California. He made a living as a Power Brake Operator for Rockwell International (now The Boeing Company). The sheet metal that he crafted was used on NASA's Space Shuttle.

Rockwell International Photograph

This month, my focus turned to the hillsides surrounding my house. Without very many authentic western photographs in my family archive, I have to make do with what I have. That being, undeveloped hillsides that can stand in for western locales during the 1800s chapters of the documentary. This has been a lot of fun because I am doing two things that I love at once. Hiking and photography. In the future, I will also be photographing a few locations for the chapter dedicated to my father. I cannot say very much about that just yet because I do not want to jeopardize my chances of gaining permission to photograph in and around certain places, but I can say that it will also encompass one or two video shoots. That brings us to the most recent development. Last Wednesday, I contacted my nephew about composing a few tracks for the project. He recently launched a Facebook page for his original music, and as of this writing, is preparing a few samples. More on music will be covered in Progress Report #3.

Western Photography Test

As always, I plan to keep family informed along the way. Most of their responses have been extremely helpful. It is my hope that everyone can respect and understand my passion for this project, and even though my vision may not always come across in the clearest way possible, just know that I have the best intentions in mind.

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