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This post falls into the category of- “Are you kidding me?” I really don’t know any other way to describe it.


Last week, my Student Assistant, Megan Blaney, pointed out a high school graduation program in a Bible for which she was constructing an archival box. The program was from a high school in Mooresville, NC, which got my interest because my mother’s family all lived in that town. The Mooresville High School program dated from 1926.

When I looked at the Bible itself, on the front flyleaf was the name, R. E. Brantley-my Great Grandfather. I have some of his letters from the 1880’s, so I recognized his signature.
Inside were four-leaf clovers, an embroidered bookmark with his initials and a pressed flower. I don’t know how Special Collections got my Great Grandfather’s Bible-but there it is. Does my family’s stuff follow me around? The funny thing is, my Great Grandfather’s Bible has been sitting in Preservation for several years and I’ve moved it around several times without noticing the owner’s name.

RE Brantley flyleaf

Inside the Mooresville High School program was the name of my Great Uncle, Wilson Brantley, who was a 1926 graduate. Wilson was my mother’s surrogate father after her Dad passed away at a young age, and the first in our family to attend college.


This is a photo of my Great Uncle Wilson Brantley, circa 1944 and my Great Grandfather, Robert E. Brantley.

wilson and papa

This whole thing made me realize how small the world is. You could be standing on the shore of Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, and run across a close friend.