My Roots Foundation connects Creative Swag girls with a horseback ride for their souls

September 13, 2016 – DURHAM, NC – Summer was at an end and My Roots Foundation brought together a 40-year-old family business and a group of young girls for an extraordinary experience.   The girls are with a non-profit group called The Creative SWAG.  These kids, about 18 girls, all live in a government housing project in Chapel Hill. They love their community and they volunteer on a regular basis to help elderly women at a local nursing home.  They get together for study time and encourage each other to do well in school and to give back to their community. My Roots Foundation is joining with Creative Swag to teach the girls how to collect oral histories and preserve some of the stories they hear at the nursing home.   Earlier in the year we interviewed B-Bar Farms about their ...

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My Grandfather: patriotic or disloyal

This photo collage represents my grandfather, Ned Felder. It shows a newspaper clipping about him, his 48-star flag, and his Presidential Memorial Certificate presented to my grandmother by President John Kennedy.  Born 2 days before Christmas 1894, grandfather, grew up in Alachua County Florida.  When he was 19 years old, World War I began in Europe.  By early 1917, President Woodrow Wilson issued a declaration of war.  The call to duty was seen as an opportunity for African Americans. The Black press framed the war as a struggle for African American civil rights; an opportunity to demonstrate patriotism and their place as equal citizens. “Let us have a real democracy for the United States and then we can advise a house cleaning over on the other side of the water,” the Baltim ...

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Back to school, way, way back!

back to school

You may have heard of the hardships of our parents’ upbringing and the struggle for an education. You know the stories; the ones that start with ”I used to walk 50 miles to school – up hill – both ways – in the snow – in Florida, just to get to school.” Well, it’s good to get the REAL story of our ancestors lives; and we can. For me, it was not that difficult. My mother saved everything, so thanks to her I have old report cards. These are revealing since they not only give the grades, I so richly deserved in elementary school, but are a treasure trove of teacher commentary on my character, work ethics, personality, and temperament. Yeah! It’s all in there. Raw and uncensored. I think the current legal system might offer some protection against this today.   The other ...

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A Horseback Ride for the Soul

Everybody needs a day when you can stop being the regular you, and you can be a cowboy for a day.  B-Bar Farms has been helping a community connect with a past, an animal, and a soul.     Nestled in the woods of Northern Durham/Eastern Orange County is a family owned farm with cows, chickens, a goat, a dog and yes – horses. The perfect get away from the everyday life, in what has now become one of the top places in America to live – Durham, NC. Out here you can comb and groom and ride the horses and commune with nature. It’s the kind of get away we all need every now and then. B-Bar Farms has been providing an intimate get away for over 40 years.     This year for Father’s Day my daughter helped me calm my soul with a horseback ride.  Horses are a way for me to connect ...

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How Castle, Benson, & Gibbs helped me discover my ancestors

The other night I’m once again frustrated with my ever increasing cable bill and decide to do a pros vs cons chart of why I should stop cable or keep it. I began to list the shows that I spend the most time with and would need to research if I could still get these without cable TV.   What I discovered was that I love crime TV. I spend lot of time watching cop shows like NCIS and Law & Order. What do Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda and the NYPD homicide investigation team on Castle have in common? They are investigators.   A crime happens. The cops show up and immediately start to canvass the neighborhood or scene of the crime. They talk to the neighbors and witnesses. Then they interview the family and known associates of the victim. Next it’s time to ask, did they have any e ...

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