Harold B Kelly Jr. In his Cardinal Farley’s Military Academy Uniform (boarding school)
Harold B Kelly Jr. During his early Oberlin University years
My mother and brother at Christmas time in the living room in Shaker Heights, Ohio
Harold B. Kelly Junior with wife, Bonnie & Daughter Danielle (both Oberlin grads)
Rhonda and me. She just graduated from Villa Maria HS. I’m wearing the “Twiggy” style
Rhonda at home in our living room in Shaker Heights
Rhonda at home from Tufts University
Rhonda Kelly at Fisk University
Me dresed for Junior Prom
Me at sixteen years old
Me on the steps of boarding school: Villa Maria HS
Me as a Fisk University Freshman
Alice Parris Family Tree exists because it is doubtful if I will write my autobiography. I lived my life hard and fast. I would not even know where to begin. I started college at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. After being undecided about a “real’ major”, I spent a little shy of two years being a “beach-bum’ in Freeport, Bahamas ( where my parents owned condos) I returned to Nashville and attended Tennessee State University where I got an associate degree in science; nursing-which went from med-surgery to specializing in Forensic Psychiatric Nursing. After working in many fields of nursing for twenty-five years, I went on to write two poetry books, published song lyrics, wrote jazz music, sang jazz renditions of my favorite influences, and become a Spoken Word Artist.
Few people could ever contemplate the lifestyle of some African Americans who had money and status in a country which had tried to deny both. Few would understand the “tri-racial” community which is my mother’s heritage. For example when both race riots broke out in Cleveland, Ohio in the 60’s, I was in Europe. We lived a fantasy lifestyle provided by my father, Dr. Harold B. Kelly.
The Kelly side of my family is atypical. My grandmother, Catherine Kelly was a school teacher, her husband Peter was one of the first black postal workers. Out of seven children, three became physicians, three educators and one nurse. The Kellys are well known in South Carolina and the children of the Kelly clan still own real estate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Dr. Peter C. Kelly lived in Conway, S.C. They were buying property in Myrtle Beach before most people realized what a treasure it was. Dr. Peter C. Kelly sent my father, Harold B. Kelly to Howard medical school. My father in turn, sent my Aunt Dr. Vermelle Kelly Piper to medical school.
The Kellys owned a house in the middle of white Georgetown S.C. which was bequeathed to two freed slave children long ago. One of my father’s ancestor jumped off of a slave ship outside of St. Maartin. He was never a slave, but a free man who acquired the name Pierre Calais upon the tiny island. Pierre Calais ventured to New Orleans and worked as a trapper. The name Peter Kelly came from the name Pierre Calais. There is no Irish connection to be found here. All of the aforementioned has been obtained by oral tradition.
There are too many fascinating events happening with this family, that I cannot figure out where to begin. A picture is still worth one thousand words. This will be the last installation of family photos. Alice Parris