Dad Believes That Everyone Has A Story. This is His.

New friends suggested to my husband and me that we tell the best stories. I guess when you’ve saved a few of them up and get to tell them all in a drunken night of getting to know each other, it might seem that way. 🙂

Everyone Has a Story Cover

The truth is that my dad, Jim Cates, has the best stories. He’s been fortunate enough to have been raised in a beautiful and friendly town, Liberty, Missouri, and his parents were the most social people I ever knew. Dad came by his social skills honestly, and because his young home life was centered around an extended family of life-long and local friends, he learned early on that friendships are everything. As his dad would tell him, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” And dad proved that adage time and time again.

His professional pursuits always centered around his ability to meet people well, which led him to a career in sales, an interest in politics, and eventually directed him to a successful second career as radio talk show host. When you are good at identifying what is important to a person (by really and truly listening to them), it’s easy to match them with others who can help further their goals, which is something dad has always done well. Dad believes that everyone has a story, and this is his (click link below).

Everyone Has A Story – Jim Cates

Tiny Table Trouble

Goodwill find!

Goodwill find!

Too pretty to paint!

Too pretty to paint!

Shannon gave this to us as a housewarming gift. FAB!

Shannon gave this to us as a housewarming gift. FAB!

Mr. Wonderful claimed this for his office on sight.

Mr. Wonderful claimed this for his office on sight.

So I might have a problem with collecting tables. Small tables, to be specific. They seem to be available at every thrift store I frequent. And they’re sooooo inexpensive, I can’t help but snatch them up. Some have labels, some don’t. Some are basic, some aren’t. Many times, I have ideas about repainting/repurposing the wooden ones, but I get them home, clean them up and I find that they don’t need a thing more (other than a purpose).

My latest obsession is this dark, ornate table from Imperial Furniture of Grand Rapids, Michigan (below). I didn’t know anything about the company until doing a little internet research but found out that they made furniture in the first half of the 20th century. Many of their signature items are ornate like mine, but they also crafted more straight-forward/modern-looking pieces. Based on the catalog of labels available, I would guess this table’s birthdate to be sometime around 1939. It has too many embellishments to list (and quite frankly, I don’t know how to refer to them all). It’s a grand, little table. To learn more about Imperial Furniture Company, check out this site: http://www.furniturecityhistory.org/company/3638/imperial-furniture-co.

Salvation Army find!

Salvation Army find!

Dusty, yes. Beautiful still? Yes.

Dusty, yes. Beautiful still? Yes.

More details.

More details.

Imperial, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Imperial, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Climbing the Cates-Benson (Bengtsson) Family Tree

I have done a lot of work on my family tree since my grandfather died a couple of years ago. Naturally, I wish I’d asked him a thousand more questions but didn’t. So I sorted out family photos and set out to figure out their subjects. It’s been so much fun and I’ve met some terrific cousins in my search.
I’m a visual person, so my work started by trying to lay out the photos in an order that made sense to my family line – so I created a visual family tree. This way, I could figure out who came from who.

My Cates Benson Trout Endicott Halsey Camron Family Tree

My Cates Benson Trout Endicott Halsey Camron Family Tree