No, it’s not a National Holiday nor is it a day that is celebrated anywhere else but in my family. It was celebrated this year on November 17, 2010 by daddy, actually it is every year on November 17. Why November 17, you may ask? Well, there is a story behind that… it started many, many years before I was born.
In the second grade, Daddy met his childhood best friend. His name was Glenn Mar. Glenn and Daddy had something in common. Glenn at a young age was diagnosed with cancer. Daddy at approximately 2 months old was diagnosed with a birth defect that without a shunt, Daddy would not be alive today… and I guess I wouldn’t either. Unfortunately, on November 17, 1990 (yes, 20 years ago) Glenn lost his fight with the cancer at the age of 17 years, 51 weeks. Today, November 24, 2010 would have been Glenn’s 38th Birthday.
In 1996, daddy met a good friend at work. I am not saying names of the people in these stories becayse they are still living. It was a rocky start, but they soon became close friends. A couple of months later, daddy met her father who was a very nice man. Daddy remembers how much his friend looked up to her daddy. On November 17, 1997, daddy’s friends daddy passed away of Brain Cancer.
On November 17, 1998, daddy was living at home with my grandma and papa in Pleasanton, CA. At about 6:30 a.m. grandma woke daddy up with some bad news. Sometime early in the morning, my great grandpa passed away in his sleep. Daddy was upset and what was even worse was that great-grandpa was the third person that was close to daddy has passed away on the same day.
On that day in 1998, daddy made a decision… daddy has not worked on November 17th since 1996. (Because daddy took November 17, 1997 to support his friend.)
On November 17, 2010, Daddy had just swapped cars with Mommy when his best friend was driving towards him. Daddy’s friend stopped in the middle of the street and daddy also stopped. His friend had some bad news… he said that he was going to have to “put the family dog to sleep.” Daddy was sad and even more upset when he reallized it was once again November 17.
Oh and one more thing, my great-great-grandpa, Victorino Gomes, my great-grandpa’s dad was born on November 17, 1885. Yes, my great-grandfather passed away on what would have been his dad’s 113th birthday.
This year on November 17, 2010, daddy spent the whole day working on our family history. He decided that he was going to spend the day trying to find out more about my great-great-great grandparents (Manuel and Mary Rodrigues).
Manuel Rodrigues was my great-great great grandfather and my great-grandma’s paternal grandfather. According to great-grandma, he passed away when she was about 3 years old. Great-grandma was born in 1925 and she was three years old in 1928 -1929. Unfortunately, there was not a Manuel Rodrigues listed in the California Death Index in 1928-1929 in Alameda County, CA. There is one in Santa Cruz County; however, according to Great-Grandma, he died in Oakland, CA.
Mary (Agrella) Rodrigues passed away when great-grandma was 18 or 19-years-old. By those calculations, it was about 1943.
Daddy started out by going to the Library at California State University, Hayward. Yes, Hayward not East Bay. The library has all of the Alameda County Voter Registration forms from approximately 1895 through 1921. Daddy took pictures of all of the Rodrigues forms in the collection. He hasn’t had time yet to analyze the pictures that he took. Daddy then went to Oakland.
In Oakland, Daddy first went to the Recorders office and gave them three possibilities for g-g-g-grandpa Rodrigues. As of today, he has not heard from the recorders office.
Daddy then went to St. Mary’s Cemetery in Oakland. St. Mary’s did not have any possible matches. He also visited, Chapel of the Chimes (Oakland), Mountain View Cemetery, and Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward. None of the Cemeteries had any record of the family. He had also checked Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland about six months ago to no avail.
Needless to say, Great-Great-Great Grandpa Manuel Rodrigues continues to be a brickwall for daddy. If you have any questions or better yet an solutions, please feel free to leave a comment.