Archive for the ‘Kiesling Family’ Category

A. K. Kiesling notice from Houston Post 11/3/1910

July 24th, 2017 Comments off
Categories: Hunt Family, Kiesling Family Tags:

Happy Father’s Day

June 18th, 2017 Comments off
Wilmer Eugenia Sperry Brady and Young Roy 1960 or so

Wilmer, Eugenia and Sperry with young Brady, and Roy circa 1960.

Wilmer Brady Hunt, my dad, was an avid sportsman, as was his father Wilmer Sperry Hunt. Dad told me that in 1910 or so, Grandpa shot as many ducks as he could carry home, somewhere in what is now the Montrose section of Houston. In the early 1900’s Grandpa bought – or accepted as a legal fee – 2200 acres of dense forest near Danciger, Texas. Dad and Grandpa hunted there in the ’20s. My brother Grainger and Dad hunted there in the ’50s mostly. Dad and I were there in the ’60s after Grainger went off to university.

My most vivid memories of hunting with him were on days when we’d arise at 3:45 AM and drive through a dark, ocean of fog so thick you could see nothing beyond the hood of our car. Had we encountered a stalled vehicle or a cow, we would have died instantly, as would have anyone behind us. I was absolutely terrified. Dad whistled “Sweet Georgia Brown.” I must have been clutching the seat, for he occasionally patted my leg reassuringly.

The drive was about ninety minutes. We arrived in the dark. I opened the padlock on the gate by the light of the car. It was cold by Texas standards. Forty-five degrees or so, which seemed frigid to me then. We drove down a shell road that crunched beneath our tires to a narrow clearing in the forest. We were met by a group of men and women gathered in the flickering shadows around a campfire. These people were from the coastal area around Freeport and had a hunting lease with us.  An older man named Red seemed to be the leader.  His wife, I believe, was named Betty. Wonderful hosts, they fed us coffee, biscuits and pan-fried squirrel and venison – all delicious.

Dad and I never shot anything there. We were there to hunt deer only. We did shoot, clean and eat many a dove, duck and quail shot elsewhere though. At the time I thought we hunted because my dad was eager to do so. Years later, after my father passed, my mother told me he rarely wanted to go. When he was in his forties, he certainly did. But at sixty, not so much. Mom said she sometimes had to urge him to go. I know now, he took me so I could know what he had experienced with his father, who probably didn’t want to go in later life either – as I would not now.

My son Christopher Austin Sperry Hunt, and I didn’t hunt. I never really had a real passion for it. We did get our black belts together and saw hundreds of movies, shoulder-to-shoulder laughing in the dark. Now he has movie nights at home on Mondays with his two girls. He takes them to karate and dance classes, and for hikes to the woods, mountains and beaches. Someday he’ll feel too tired to go but will anyway because he loves them, and he’s their dad. And so the world turns.

Happy Fathers Day, everyone!
See a Companion Story

Glendale Cemetery in what was Harrisburg, Texas

June 1st, 2017 1 comment

From Malcolm McCorquodale III:

I went to Glendale cemetery today.  Glendale cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Houston and is located right on the bayou in what used to be called Harrisburg.  (Harrisburg was annexed by Houston in the 1920’s.  I remember the Judge [Wilmer Brady Hunt] saying that he was born in “Harrisburg” and that not making much sense to me.)  This historic cemetery is not usually open, but since today was Memorial Day, it was open despite the threat of inclement weather.  There were a few people there and one appeared to be the cemetery archivist.  She had record books with documents relating to the cemetery.  (I requested a copy of some of the records that appeared to be interesting.)

Bridge Brady's Landing

I found a historical marker on the edge of the cemetery that reads:



1805 – – 1873


Erected by the State of Texas

Just to the North and West, across Brays Bayou, you will find Sherman Street.  If you follow Sherman Street to the West a ways, you will see where it intersects with Sidney Street.

General Sherman Tombstone

History of John Day Andrews and Houston History

April 2nd, 2017 Comments off

The following link opens a biography of our ancestor John Day Andrews who, along with his family, were among the founders of Houston. Many thanks to our cousin Dr. Gary Helm Darden and The Texas State Historical Society.

John Day Andrews (1795-1882)

My mother, Eugenia Flewellen Howard Hunt, spoke of nearly everything mentioned in the article, especially the relationship between the Andrews and Sam Houston. She said that when she was a child her mother would often take her to Glenwood Cemetery after Sunday services at Christ Church (circa 1920) to clean the headstones of many of the people mentioned in the article.

Sperry Hunt
April 4, 2017

“You don’t even know where the library is.”

February 16th, 2017 1 comment
Sperry and the judge at C.W. Post College Library 1967

Sperry and the judge at C.W. Post College Library 1967

My parents visited Robin in Manhattan, and me at college in my freshman year at C.W. Post on Long Island. It was springtime and their anniversary (4/29). In high school I used to tell Dad I needed to go to the library on weeknights, which was not always true, of course. He would say, “You don’t even know where the library is.” He and I reenacted this into a little skit for Mom and the camera that day at college.


Lennie Sherman

February 16th, 2017 Comments off

Lennie Sherman

This was a print from a painting. According to Eugenia Hunt this is the woman who made or helped to create the battle flag at San Jacinto. She was the wife of [later] General Sydney Sherman. Sherman was second in command at the battle. It is who is credited in Bartletts Quotations as the author of the phrase “Remember the Alamo.” She was the grandmother of Lucy Brady, who married Wilmer Sperry Hunt.

Brady Kiesling on NPR 2/1/2017 regarding Donald Trump and the State Department

February 2nd, 2017 Comments off
Brady on Naxos

Brady on Naxos in 2007

On February 1, 2017  National Public Radio aired Ari Shapiro’s interview of very our own (John) Brady Kiesling regarding President Trump’s ban of  Muslim refugees from seven majority Muslim countries, and the President’s refusal to seek counsel from the Department of State.  Brady was well-known for his 2003 resignation from the State Department in protest over the US invasion of Iraq. Click below to read the text. You can also listen to the interview by clicking on the blue and white arrow on the left of that page.

Listen to Brady’s Interview on NPR 1/1/2017


2003 NPR Interview



“When you are my age you will understand.”

January 26th, 2017 Comments off

Evinrude Motor

Good stories have clear characterization, character being defines as desire, drive, ability, compassion and perspective all of which change over a lifetime.  Here’s a simple example of those changes from my own family history. I’ve been thinking about this lately as I ponder my upcoming knee replacement.

Philo Howard, my mother’s brother, was  a frank, funny, energetic man. At sixteen, he ran away to Canada from his home in Houston. There, he lied about his age and joined the Canadian Royal Air Force to fight in WWII, which the US had not yet entered. His whereabouts were determined by my dad’s mother who read an article in the Houston paper listing Texas volunteers. Uncle Philo was returned to the bosom of his family forthwith. Several years later he enlisted in  the American Air Corps and flew P-51s over Europe.

My family had a party in Houston in 2003 to celebrate what would have been my late father’s 100th birthday. My uncle, who recently had his pacemaker replaced, couldn’t make the party. He emailed me this tribute to be read at the celebration. My dad, Judge Wilmer Hunt, was nearly twenty-years his senior. To his great sorrow he was denied military service due to his age,  very flat feet and a knee injured by my mother. (That’s another story.) The setting of Philo’s account is the rich farmland of eastern Texas in the 50’s. By prison, my uncle was referring to a pea farm, as they were called back then. They were minimum security prisons where inmates grew food for the prison system.

Wilmer was my favorite, because he liked to fish and many times took me along. One time he took me to Kemah and we got in a small skiff and towed [it] out to the middle of the bay for four hours. I was always a little hyper, and I almost jumped out of the boat after about an hour. Wilmer seeing this, started telling me stories. As I remember, this calmed me down a bit and I caught some fish.

Being a Judge he had access to a prison and one near Brazoria had a great fishing pond. He and I went there about three times. It seemed I always ended up having  to carry a small Outboard motor from the parking lot to the lake each time. I asked him why, and he said “when you are my age you will understand.”

A Celebration in Alpine

December 30th, 2016 Comments off
Robin, Grainger, Sperry and Lalu

Robin, Grainger, Sperry and Lalu at Reata Restaurant in Alpine Sept. 21, 1996

If you’ve been reading this blog,  you’ll know what a special place Alpine, Texas is to our family. Alpine was our mother’s artist retreat and our father’s vacation home. It was where my sisters spent many of their summers making friends among both the town folk and the ranchers as well. It served as my brother’s respite from the terrible summer asthma he suffered as a boy. It was in Alpine that Grainger got his masters, and his wife Barbara, her bachelors. And it was there that my childhood friend Mary Bell Lockhart and I roamed the hills and streets, and our imaginations thrived.

It was in the dark, in the rear seats of the college auditorium, that I watched Grainger and his classmates rehearse and perform Shakespeare’s Henry IV. (Grainger had the title role, in fact.) It was during those performances, as I repeatedly viewed the follies of Sir John Falstaff, the courage of young Hotspur and the coming of age of Prince Hal, that the seed of my film script Texas Dick was planted. (I’ll have more on that in other posts.) It was my attempt at producing the script that drew the four siblings to Alpine on this occasion in 1996. More importantly, it was a celebration of our connection to Alpine, our shared affection for William Shakespeare, and our deep love for one another. These were three of the happiest days of my life. You can see it in all of our faces. I have footage of us reading the script and romping around Alpine and Marfa. I will share clips with all y’all later.

Uncle Philo Back From the War

December 18th, 2016 Comments off