Just after I landed in El Paso last month (but after lunch, of course), my aunt and uncle took me on sightseeing tour — sort of Homes-of-the-Stars, the Williams Family version.Our first stop was Awbrey Road in the Lower Valley. This house, 147 Awbrey, was where our grandparents, Jess and Amy Williams (better known to us as Mopsy and Popsy), lived when Mom and Dad met and married in 1944 and where oldest sister spent her first few months. (1)
UPDATE: I just located a 1944 picture of the house in one of Mom’s picture albums:
Mopsy and Popsy hosted a tea here on June 18th to announce the short war-time engagement. (2)
It appeared to be a lovely day. According to the newsclipping, Mom’s dress was jonquil. Here she is (on the right) with her sister, Lou, and mother, Amy. (3)
The groom relaxes with the father of the bride — they really do look relaxed! It is certainly one of the only pictures (I’ve ever seen) of the two of them together. And they were quite fond of each other. (4)
And the happy couple: (5)
Their wedding reception was also at Awbrey Road. (But we have no pictures of that day! We wish we had asked about that.)
There were several social events leading up to the wedding. A crystal shower was held at the Ysleta Homemaking Cottage, behind the high school, where Mom was teaching home economics, and where Uncle Jerry was a standout football player: (6)
Aunt Berta and Uncle Charlie [Bickley] held a miscellaneous rainbow-themed shower: (7)
at their home on Federal Street: (8)
(This house looked a lot bigger in the 1960s, as I recall.)Later, Popsy, and his brother Ellis built this house on North Loop Drive from recycled building materials; Mopsy and Popsy lived here until they moved to Farmington, New Mexico, in 1952. It is now home to a plumbing company. I know my sisters remember this house. (9)
After seeing the sights up close, we took Scenic Drive to get a bird’s-eye view of the city that figures prominently in our family history: (10)
You may notice that Jerry looks a LOT like his big sister!
The view is also beautiful from Jerry and Bernice’s backyard: (11)
especially at cocktail hour! (12)
Thank you, Jerry and Bernice, for everything!
(1) 147 Awbrey Road, El Paso, Texas, 5 October 2010, privately held by Malissa Ruffner, [address for private use], Baltimore, Maryland.
(2) “Miss Williams and Lieutenant Ruffner to Wed Sunday July 2,” undated clipping from unidentified newspaper, in Elizabeth Williams’ Bride’s Book, 1944, unpaginated; privately held by Malissa Ruffner, [address for private use], Baltimore, Maryland.
(3) Photograph of Louise Williams, Amy Williams, and Elizabeth Williams, 18 June 1944, in Elizabeth Williams’ Bride’s Book.
(4) Photograph of James S. Ruffner and Jesse C. Williams, 18 June 1944, in Elizabeth Williams’ Bride’s Book.
(6) Photograph of Mary Elizabeth Williams and James S. Ruffner, 18 June 1944, in Elizabeth Williams’ Bride’s Book.
(7) Invitiation to Miscellaneous Shower at the home of the Bickleys, in Elizabeth Williams’ Bride’s Book.
(8) 2908 Federal Street, El Paso, Texas, 5 October 2010, privately held by Malissa Ruffner.
(9) 8621 North Loop Drive, El Paso, Texas, 5 October 2010, privately held by Malissa Ruffner.
(10) Photograph of Jerry L. Williams and Malissa Ruffner, El Paso Texas, 5 October 2010, privately held by Malissa Ruffner.
(11) Photograph from the backyard of Kingsfield Avenue home, El Paso Texas, 6 October October 2010, privately held by Malissa Ruffner.
(12) Photograph from the backyard of Kingsfield Avenue home, El Paso Texas, 8 October October 2010, privately held by Malissa Ruffner.