Friday, August 29, 2008


I just received this photo from my Uncle Rhonda Shook. I don't know when it was taken, but I am inclined to think it must have been at their father's funeral back in November, 1985. If anyone knows different, let me know. The photo was taken in Grandma & Grandpa's front yard. The bush behind them still stands.

(Bradley, Zeb, Rhonda Shook)

(Posted by Tanya Shook Wilder)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Taken at the family reunion (circa 1955/56) at Tom and Ada Shook's house, this is one of the two photos I've seen of the Shook siblings together in their adult years.

(I'm noticing that in each of the photos taken that day, the person on the left (as we look at the photo) is a bit blurry and out of focus. It must have been the camera since all the shots are that way.)

One of my (now) fondest memories of Aunt Grace is one that took place one day when Billy Rominger (Audrey Shook Rominger's younger son) and I were sent to pick up Aunt Grace to bring her over to Pigeon Roost for a family gathering. I don't recall what the get-together was all about, but Billy and I, who were about 16 at the time, for asked to drive up Grandfather Mountain Road to Aunt Grace's house.

Evidently, she was unaware we were coming. Maybe she didn't have a phone back then. I distinctly remember Billy knocking at the screen door, hearing Aunt Grace shuffling around, looking in through the screen, and seeing her coming to the door with a shotgun in her hand! She thought we were there to break in her house or something, and she wasn't going to let that happen. Billy and I turned to each other and started screaming, "Aunt Grace, it's Audrey and Zeb's kids! We've come to pick you up to take you to Pigeon Roost!! Aunt Grace, we're Hoyle's grandchildren!" We were petrified!

It took a some convincing, but Aunt Grace finally agreed to get in the car with us and go "over to Hoyle's." As I recall, Billy was driving, and he went really slow down the road, through Banner Elk, and over to Pigeon Roost. I sat in the back seat, not knowing at that point in time whether I was going to laugh out loud or cry!

To this day, Billy and I laugh about our escapade with Aunt Grace. Shortly thereafter, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away, but the memory of that day will be with Billy and me forever.

(Posted by Tanya Shook Wilder)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Jack Micael, his wife, Dot, and their children, Terri and Tim, live in Georgia. Jack is Grady Michael's youngest child. I remember him and Dot bringing the kids to visit us in Boone when Myra and I were little and the happiness their visits always brought my father. Here are a couple of photos Jack recently emailed me. (I apologize for the small photos, but Blogger reduced the jpeg size automatically.)

(Tim, Terri, Dot & Jack)

Jack & Dot's grandchildren and great grandchildren
~Front Row L-R:
Jarrett (Tim's oldest), Baby Mattie (Holly's youngest) (The girl holding is a friend, Lindsey), Jasper (Heather's oldest)
Second Row L-R
Holly (Terri's youngest) Katie (Holly's oldest), Tanner (Heather's youngest), Amelia (Tim's youngest), Heather (Terri's oldest)~

(Posted by Tanya Shook Wilder)

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I love these photos of Ada & Ruth. I think the first was taken at the Matney Community Center for Grandma's (Ruth's) 90th birthday. I'm not sure where or when the second was taken, but obviously, it was a few years earlier.

(Posted by Tanya Shook Wilder)


I have no idea when this picture was taken of (Mary) Etta Beard Michael and Ethel Beard Triplett. I have a vague memory of Aunt Ethel from when my family would go over to Cove Creek to visit Aunt Ethel's daughter, Mae Edmisten and her husband, Howard. (I always called them Aunt Mae and Uncle Howard, and I knew them fairly well since they attended our church in Boone and my dad fished a lot with Uncle Howard.)

Does anyone have any stories about Grandma Michael and Aunt Ethel? And, can anyone answer the question as to their last name? Is it Baird or Beard? Somewhere along the way, I've heard that Beard got changed to Baird, but I don't know the accuracy of that memory.

(On an entirely different note, I again invite anyone to add a post to the family blog. It's really quite simple. E-mail me for instructions if you lost the ones I sent when I started the blog, and I'll give you a really easy tutorial. Or you can leave a comment on the blog, and I'll get in touch with you from there.)

(Posted by Tanya Shook Wilder)

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Here's seven of ten of Ruth and Hoyle's children. This was taken during the Depression years, probably around 1934 or 1935, based on the fact that Zeb was born in 1920, and he looks to be about 14 or 15.

(Back row: Pauline, Mildred, Zeb
In front of them: Audrey, Bradley, Larry
Rhonda in front by himself)
Question: Would anyone know anything about the history of this photo? Who might have taken it? etc.
(Posted by Tanya Shook Wilder)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The youngest child of Etta & Green Michael was their only son, Grady. He, his wife, Myrtle, and children, Betty Ann, Paul, and Jack lived in Maryville, TN, a good ways away from their relatives back up around Banner Elk.

In a recent email to me, Betty Ann wrote, "He (Grady)was so cute, and I loved him so much... short in stature and full of humor.. said he had to get out of Banner Elk because of the rocks he had to hoe out of the mountain side for a garden made him so short. He used to wake us up with an old trumpet. His favorite saying... "Get up, get your feet on the rock, it's not too late but it's 4 o'clock"... Figure that one out, we couldn't... "

Thanks to John Michael, Grady's grandson, for the photo below. The second one is one that I found in my parents' old album. I don't know the history of either.

(Myrtle & Grady Michael)

(Betty Ann, Myrtle, Paul, behind his brother, Jack)

(Posted by Tanya Shook Wilder)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


From what I can discern from some photos I found in one of my parents' albums, there must have been a family reunion at Tom & Ada Shook's house around 1955 or 1956 or so. I arrive at that "guestimate" because the youngest of the relatives in the photos is Betty Dalton Shook (Telford), and in one of the photos she's not quite a toddler. I'm in one of the photos, and I appear to be three or four.

In time, I'll post more photos from that gathering, but today, I want to put up this one that was taken that day of Tom Shook and his sons.

(From left to right: Tom Shook, Jr., Carroll Shook, Tom Shook, Sr., Quentin Shook, Stuart Shook)
I've also found a photo of Aunt Ada as a younger woman, but I have to get it on the computer and enhanced.
Question: Does anyone remember the gathering at Tom & Ada's? Any idea what year it would have been? Any stories from that day?
(Posted by Tanys Shook Wilder)

Monday, August 18, 2008


I have wonderful childhood memories of visiting my grandparents, Hoyle Hayes and Dulcie Ruth Michael Shook, on Sunday afternoons. Tanya and I would run into the house to see what treats Grandma would have cooked that day! Tanya always went for the biscuits, but my favorites were the cookies! They were so big and tasted more like a small cake than a cookie.

My Aunt Linda (Belinda Shook Orr) got the cookie recipe from Grandma Shook. This was no easy task since there were no measurements to the recipe! Grandma simply used her hands to measure portions!! So one day, Linda assisted Grandma in baking the cookies, and as Grandma threw in a handful of sugar or a pinch of whatever, Linda measured the ingredients!!

The following is the recipe for cookies originally baked by Grandma's mother, Etta Beard Michael. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have over the years!


1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup butter (no margarine please!!)
3 or 4 tablespoons of vanilla

* Beat the above ingredients together until smooth.
* Add in self-rising flour until the dough is very stiff. Linda says it equals about 51/2 to 6 cups of self-rising flour.
* Divide the dough into 3 portions. Knead portions in flour until they are not sticky.
* Roll out each portion 1/4" and cut out cookies. If they are sticky, work in more flour.
* Bake at 400 degress until golden brown!!!


(Posted by Myra Shook, Zeb Shook's younger daughter)

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Larkin & Martha (Green) Michael

I just talked to my uncle, Rhonda Shook, on the phone to find out if he had any memories of Grandpa Larkin and Grandma Martha. He chuckled, and this is what he told me:

"I remember seeing Grandpa Larkin settin' on the front porch of his homeplace a-chewin' tobacca. He's put his fingers up in a V-shape and spit right through them."

I asked Uncle Rhonda what Grandpa Larkin did, and he said, "I don't believe none of the Michaels had a public job. They lived off the land. They might sell a few 'taters along the way, and they'd sell wool. All the Michaels had sheep. Havin' sheep must have come over to this country with them. I remember them shearin' sheep and sellin' the wool."

Thanks to Betty Ann (Michael) Romano for emailing me this picture. And, thanks to Uncle Rhonda for entertaining me over the phone with more wonderful stories.

Question: Does anyone have other information or stories about Grandpa Larkin & Grandma Martha?

(Posted by Tanya Shook Wilder)

Friday, August 15, 2008


Ruth (Michael) & Hoyle Shook's family of 10!

( Back row (l to r) : Zeb, Rhonda
Middle row: Pauline, Audrey, Joyce, Ruth, Hoyle
Front row: Errol, Linda Mildred (kneeling), Bradley, Larry)
(Thanks to Joyce (Shook) Wilson for the photo. I believe it is the only one of the entire family together.)
Posted by Tanya Shook Wilder

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Grandma Michael (Etta Beard Michael) on the back porch at the old homeplace in the valley below the "s-curve."

Grandpa Michael (Riley Green Michael)

Question: Would anyone have a photos of Grandpa and Grandma Michael with all three of their children? (Ruth, Ada, & Grady)....

(Posted by Tanya Shook Wilder)


Above: James Dalton Shook, Sally Hayes Gragg Shook, Grace Shook (Gwaltney), Hoyle Hayes Shook, Thomas Frederick Shook

Above: Grandaddy Jimmie (James Dalton) Shook, Grandma Sally (Hayes Gragg) Shook (seated)

Hoyle Hayes Shook, Grace Shook, Thomas Frederick Shook (standing)

Questions: Does anyone know Aunt Grace's full name?

(Posted by Tanya Shook Wilder)


While I was home in Boone this past week, I talked to my cousin, Larry Shook, and he came up with the idea of trying to get a family website up and running for our upcoming family reunion in July, 2009. Since I really know nothing about websites, I opted instead to start a Shook / Michael family blog so that any member of the family with access to a computer could check in, post a photo, write a post, add commentary, etc.

In a separate email, I'll send all the information you'll need to get to the blog just to read it, as well as to log-in and add anything you'd like to post. One of the things I'd like to use it for is to help identify people who are in family photos whose faces I don't recognize.

I encourage all of you to use the blog however you enjoy it most. Please feel free to post, upload a photo, or ask a question. It's just another way we can all get to know each other better and better as we plan on coming together in July of next year.

Love to all....Tanya

(Posted by Tanya Shook Wilder - Zeb's oldest daughter)