I have been having fun with genealogy the past week or so. There have been days I have been glued to the computer because I have tripped upon some great information and it just kept coming. Part of this is because I have begun to concentrate on finding out more about the aunts and uncles, the great aunts and great uncles in my ancestry.
The person I want to profile today is my great uncle Gilbert Richard Cook (1889-1963). He was my grandmother’s, Jessie Cook Sain, brother. He graduated from West Point in 1912 and moved up through the ranks in a thirty six year career in the U.S. Army. He served in World War II as a Major General. His complete military career is outlined at this fabulous link: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/grcook.htm
I met him in 1961, when my sister, Nancy, brother, John, grandmother, Jessie and I stayed at his home in La Jolla, California during the summer. The economy had gone bad in Texarkana, where we had moved when my father got out of the Navy, and my parents decided to move to California. First my father went and found a job; then my mother followed. She took a Greyhound bus and I remember us packing her up. As school was on we were left behind in the charge of my grandmother, Jessie Cook Sain. When school was out we left with my grandmother on a road trip in her Ford. Here is a picture of my sister and I on that trip. I think that is the Ford in the background. I am on the right.
We are dressed up because it must have been a Sunday, as my grandmother insisted we go to church wherever we were.
When we got to California, we stayed at Uncle Gib’s while my parents found a suitable home for us all. I liked that summer a lot. He lived a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean. So we went to the beach alot and we also walked all over La Jolla. My sister ended up with a broken leg. We were at the beach and a big log washed ashore and landed on her ankle.
We all hung out in the garage which had been converted to living quarters and were not allowed to run in and out of the house. And we had to be respectful of Uncle Gib. He suffered from gout and walked with a cane. He was kind to us and seemed amused by our company. On weekends the place was livened up with the arrival of cousin, Carla Jane Cook. She was older and had a busy social life and her comings and goings added excitement to the place.
I guess this turned out to be more of a reminiscent of that time in my life than a profile of Uncle Gib. I know he was a friend of President Eisenhower and knew his way around Washington D.C. But to me he was someone who helped my family get settled in California.