Friday, July 23, 2010

Barbara...Walters? No, Nalls

One of my favorite blogs is Life at Willow Manor and one of the things I've enjoyed most about Willow's blog over the past couple of years is the way she shares stories about her family members as she brings to life some of her fascinating family history.   I've also felt an added connection at times because some of the "settlers" in her family have been connected to middle Tennessee.  My dad's family settled in that area and much of his family still lives there or is buried there.  That part of the country is an important part of my life.

What does this have to do with Aunt Barbara?  Well, my mom's side of the family is a different story.  I knew some of my mom's family but they weren't very good at sharing their ancestry nor do they all get along so it's always been difficult to share stories or trace threads of the past.

Then word came that Barbara died.

I knew of her but never met her BUT I have fallen in love with her!  We almost shared the same birthday (10/13 and 10/14) AND she was a broadcasting pioneer.  Long before there was Barbara Walters, there was Barbara Nalls, one of the first female broadcasters in the industry!   I've learned that some of the works she was most proud of were her interviews with ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, JACQUELINE KENNEDY and JOHN WAYNE.   I wish I had known her but what an incredible career she had.  It's also interesting to note that her dad was the first person to own a gas station in the D.C./Arlington area.  Isn't that a strange thing to think about!

My husband comes from a family with a long history of amazing people and I've often been a "wishful thinker" hoping that somewhere in my past there is some rich history that I never knew about.  Now it's true.  There is a rich history with an amazing woman with a legacy and I'm so proud to have discovered my Aunt Barbara.   Rest in peace dear Aunt and know that your niece will treasure your memory forever.

My children and grandchildren will carry your American spirit forward into the next generation.


  1. JoJo, I'm so happy you found out about your Aunt Barbara. If she had those interviews there must be so much more to learn.

  2. Isn't it fascinating, what we learn when we look into our family's past? What a grand character your aunt must have been! Imagine the people she met and the conversations she had. What a legacy for the next generation.

  3. She sounds like an amazing woman who was ahead of her time- what fascinating stories she must have had!
    xoxo Pattie

  4. It is so interesting to dig into family history. I've recently realized that I need to write down all I know (wellllll, most of it) for my sons. I think your Aunt Barbara must have been a very interesting person to find out even more about.


  5. JoJo, your Aunt Barbara was a pioneer. It's so interesting to learn about our family history. I wish you could have known her. ~ Sarah

  6. we never know what information we will find about our family. beautiful picture.