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Who We Think We Are
When We Take the Time to Think
Which Isn't Often

Mutt Queen Mari-lynn, Age 3

Mutt Princess MaryEllen, Age 3


[Great Granddaughter of Rufus W. Gardner]

The Queen, being more important, gets to go first

I was born in New York state to Dewey Gardner of Fallston, Cleveland County, North Carolina. Don't blame that Yankee bit on him. My mother happened to be in New York at the time so I make no apologies for this slight breach of etiquette.

I grew up (kind of ) in New York, an only child and was raised in a grocery store (since my folks owned one). I learned to help out early in life.

In order to go on I suppose you have to know how old I am. About 15 in my mind, 50 in my body, but the records show I'm 76. Now forget about it! As I said, I'm about 15.

I had a good childhood; I loved being a teenager. Guess that's why I stopped there.

All Gardner women are absolutely gorgeous, but most Gardner women do NOT have cute noses no matter what the Princess tells you. She just lucked out..

I first married a soldier during World War II and had five children, --3 girls and 2 boys. I thought this would ensure me a truckload of grandchildren, but I only have one! However, I do have lots of "steps."

As my first choice in mates proved to be an unfit father, I moved my family from Wisconsin to Boise Idaho, dumping him by the wayside.

In Boise, I met a great guy who adopted and raised my kids. Being a member of the LDS Church kept us all very busy.

After the children left home, we spent a few years in Forida. Back again in Boise, he began to show signs of Alzheimer's and eventually died from it.

I then decided to get back to my roots, so I followed a time-honored Southern custom and married my first cousin who is also a Gardner.

Being retired we have nothing to do all day long except walk 3 miles at the Mall ,dance for fun, study for teaching Sunday School, traveling and working on genealogy at the computer all the rest of the time.

I have been genealoging for 40 years.

I will be honest.

I do not clean house; my husband does.

I compute; he does laundry.

I compute; he vacuums.

I compute; he takes care of the dishes.

BUT I do cook!

I find it great fun to pick on the princess as she is but a child and needs a great deal of training. I'd prefer that she become the gracious, lady-like, austere model pictured below. But sometimes I wonder about her...sigh!


Mutts Anonymous Headquarters, Pendlehill, NC



The Princess

[Great Granddaughter of P. McDuffy Gardner]

A BRIEF bio!! A Gardner can't say "hello" in 25 words or less! Yet my Queen's request is my command. I am still and yet only a Princess. Sigh...

I was born. Of that I am certain. What's more, I was born with a cute nose. It's not my fault. My mother had a cute nose and her mother before her. Most Gardners do. Those that don't have regal noses. Personally, I like regal noses. If I ever grow up, I may have my cute nose cosmetically altered in case I am forced to be Queen someday. One cannot be Queen and sport a cute nose. Of that I am also certain.

I had two parents when I was born, --A Laura Essie Mills and a Dorsey of the Gallagher Clan. One chose to attend the festivities; the other did not. No matter. Shortly thereafter, I was designated a ward of the court, appointed a guardian and between infancy and the age of three and a half, beguiled the occupants of two or three foster homes in the Midwest.

Then Lo and behold! God smiled (as God will do), and placed me into the loving and very capable arms of one Gertrude Louise Beauchemin Murray. Fortuitously enough, she was married to one Urich Joseph Murray. (how's THAT for a handle?). Prior to my appearance on the Murray scene, these brand new and (surely) improved parents were busy begetting three little boy Murrays, --a Mike and a Pat and a Tim. Better still, these parents were forever. You lose some; you win some. I won big!

Life as a student was spent in Catholic schools. Beyond a wonderful education, I learned how to curtsey without falling on my cute nose, how to read a dead language, and how to tilt my blue, wool beanie to the side and look…very French (albeit foolish).

Unfortunately, I wore uniforms throughout this entire period and as a consequence never learned the "abc's" of fashionable dress. To this day, the only clothes in my closet that garner compliments are the hand-me-ups from my charming and beautiful daughters which are frequently purchased by my charming and handsome sons. Needless to say, the children's sense of chic does NOT emanate from their mother.

I fell in love at 18, married two years later, bore six children (each of whom is my favorite child). Sadly, I buried one. You win some; you lose some. I lost big…

I got unmarried. Worked hard. Dated (yuk!). Worked harder. Pondered life's meaning. Watched my children grow into astoundingly beautiful human beings. I laughed more than I cried; won more than I lost; and finally, after almost half a century of living, remembered how to play. Five years prior to embarking on my genealogical adventure, God smiled again (I love it when He does that!) I met and REALLY fell in love with my best friend. He won't tell you that, of course. He doesn't have to. Talk is cheap; love is an action word. Jim Bob is all action.

I take full responsibility for my happiness. I fought for it, a piece of me died for it. Yet I cannot and will not deny the root of it: FAMILY! Those zany, irrepressible folks who've loved me in spite of myself and taught me one of life's most important lessons: To dance like nobody's watching and love like it's never gonna hurt.

So….to all who've raised me over the years, (even to those who could not), to my siblings, to my children and, of course, My Queen, --a heartfelt thank you. You done good! And this is for you…


Baby Bill

Baby Bill Harmon

[Great Great Grandson of Haywood Harmon]





The End