When Judy Was Being Born

Another story from the memory vaults of Donna (English) Tronca, Ace’s niece.

Mom and Dad were at the hospital. It was in the morning, I think, and Mom was in labor. Jack and I were at grandma’s house. Barbara, Dee, Josh and Bobbie were there too. I was sitting on the sofa in the living room. The telephone rang. I don’t remember who answered it, but somehow the message got upstairs to Uncle Dee. I remember him excitedly running down the stairs in his boxer shorts. About half way down he stopped and exclaimed, “You have a baby sister, and her name is Judith.”

Yea! That was the name I chose. Well actually I wanted “Judy” but mom said, if a girl, her name would be Judith Ann, and we could call her Judy. Mom had discussed naming a girl Cynthia. But I don’t think the rest of us were warm and fuzzy over that one.

This name thing was going through my mind while still sitting there shocked at seeing Uncle Dee in his boxer shorts! A very vivid memory 60 years later! Funny, I don’t remember our ever discussing names for boys.

Too bad nobody had a camera for that auspicious moment.



My Sixth Grade Teacher

“I had pleasure of knowing both of your parents. Your Dad was my sixth grade teacher and we had the same birthday, We always were on touch with each other and I will truly miss him. He was a great friend and I have many happy memories. Also, I laughed when you joshed regarding his handstands on desks.”

~Donna Nair

Story of a Photo


The wave photo that is currently in the header of this website was taken on Saturday, September 21, 2013 in Pacific Grove, California.

We (Ace, Bobbie, and Josh) had gone there to visit Ace’s nephew Jack English who had flown in from Tasmania, Australia after a side trip to Wisconsin to visit his sister, Ace’s niece, Donna Tronca. Jack had invited us to Pacific Grove for a reunion lunch to celebrate Ace’s 95th birthday, which officially was the day before.

It was a beautiful sunny day. The waves were vigorous and the sea was deep blue. We had arrived in Pacific Grove early (a family trait) and had a few moments to spare, so we went to ponder the ocean. This area was a mainstay hangout for both my parents during their youth. I snapped a few wave photos because the scenery was so splendid.

We met at Fandango Restaurant in Pacific Grove. Another of Ace’s nieces, Judy Paterson, and Jack’s daughter Carla English and her boyfriend Carlos were also there.


Ace Bagby, Jack English, Carla English, Judy Paterson

Jack informed us that he had just asked his companion Kate to marry him, and she had accepted. I just got word today that the couple got married May 26 in Australia. Congratulations to Jack and Kate!

Ace, Jack, and Kate

Ace, Jack, and Kate


A Man Named Shirley

Shirley Bagby

A man named Delos had a father named Shirley.

This raised a few eyebrows when we were filling out legal forms. I didn’t much question it earlier on because he was always Grandpa Shirley to me.

But I got to thinking about it recently and did some research.

Of all the people named Shirley, 99.41% are female and 0.59% are male.

It was given by Charlotte Brontë to the heroine of her novel Shirley (1849). According to the novel, her parents had selected the name in prospect of a male child and used it regardless. Shirley had earlier been used as a boy’s name (Charlotte Brontë refers to it as a ‘masculine cognomen’), but this literary influence fixed it firmly as a girl’s name. It was strongly reinforced during the 1930s and 40s by the popularity of the child film star Shirley Temple. (Source.)

Shirley was a hard-working, friendly, spiritually minded, unassuming, and unpretentious man. And look at the son he gave the world.

Family Outing 1924


Here is a photo from 1924, ninety years ago.

Six year-old Delos is seated in the car. His father Shirley (yes, Shirley) is standing. His sister Lorraine is seated on the running board. His mother Nina is seated second from the left. The woman at the far left is a family friend. The photo was taken somewhere around Seaside, California where they lived

(Click photo to see it enlarged.)

Sweethearts Forever

Ace and Barbara Wedding

Ace and Barbara were married in Pacific Grove, California in 1942. They had been sweethearts for five years.

They both taught in the Monterey area until they moved to Los Gatos in 1944 when Ace landed his job with the Cambrian Elementary School District. They made their home in Los Gatos and had two children.

Ace and Barbara were married for 69 years, four months. She died in December, 2011, with Ace and her children at her side.

(Click on photo for an enlarged view.)