Warp Drive

Showing posts with label Ancestry with the Haleys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ancestry with the Haleys. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tributes Live Forever (Ancestry with the Haleys - Progress Report #2.5)

When it comes to personal tributes, I am certainly no stranger. In March of 2009, my cat of 14 years passed away, and to commemorate his life, I put together a somewhat elaborate two part photo tribute tied to graphics and sound. That same year, my dad was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, and within just weeks of that diagnosis, he too passed away. It was the hardest thing I ever had to deal with, and to this day, I feel that a part of me is still missing. That is why, in 2010, I began a video anthology series titled "...with the Haleys." Its aim, to collect some of my fondest memories of my dad in video; for myself, for my family, for anyone else that knew him, and for those that may not have had a chance to know him. Working on these videos, I have always felt an eerie sense, as if my dad is right there with me. It is why I continue to feel passionate about these projects. From Merry Christmas from the Haleys to Disneyland with the Haleys to Nintendo with the Haleys, it is like writing a beautiful sonnet that which echoes across time. It is my firm hope that others receive at least half as much enjoyment watching them as I do making them.

Disneyland with the Haleys

Nintendo with the Haleys

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.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ancestry with the Haleys - Progress Report #1

Last month, I put out a status update to my relatives on Facebook, asking them if they wanted to see more of my "with the Haley's" videos. The response was good, so I put together Nintendo with the Haley's, a tribute to the 8-bit era of Nintendo gaming. It was in this same status update that my sister responded on the subject of something called "The Haley Book." Supposedly, our grandmother had it in her possession, but hid it from the rest of the family. This intrigued me. Why would she hide such a thing? There must have been something very bad in that book. It did not take long before I learned of the reason, and for awhile, I tried to put a stop to my family talking about it on my public Facebook page. At some point in the distant past, possibly in the late 1700s or early 1800s, there had been a Haley that owned slaves. No wonder then that our grandmother wanted this book hidden from us. She was ashamed of this, and rightly so.

Nintendo with the Haley's

It was then that I was introduced to quite possibly the greatest mini-series that I have ever seen, ROOTS. It was written, ironically enough, by a Haley; Alex Haley. It was the story of his seven generations of ancestors that began in Africa with Kunta Kinte. He was searching for wood to make a drum when he was captured by white slave traders. For the next few nights, I watched this mini-series unfold, and learned things that I never knew about slavery times, and the racial discrimination that followed for African Americans. It was inspiring, too. How stories were passed down from generation to generation. It started me thinking about how I could trace my own roots. I began by digging up old documents and photographs, but this only got me so far. I knew nothing about my great grandparents, or any generations that came before them.