THE STILLNESS

Photography by Stony River/AU

Photography by Stony River/AU

Prophecies are unfolding at a rapid rate. I am stilled to silence as a matter of self-discipline. The ability to be still is a gift that is needed in these times. Each of us needs to find the stillness within in order to forgo stepping on “cause and effect” landmines. We are aware that for each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Timing dictates the other “shoe-drop.”

Alice Parris

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THE WREATH

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Lilac & mauve carnations,
orange-creamsicle & fushia sunflowers
pop out between sprinklings of green sprigs.

Dusty-rose &
tangerine trumpets blow the announcement:

Woodstock magic;
open hands, open hearts & open minds.

A hard-loving, hard-playing time
cut short by balding, joyless men.

The wreath
of color-profusion graces my bedroom.

Bejeweled bracelets of Crystal, Hematite,
Amber, Amethyst, Aventurine, Tiger’s Eye
& Jade still grace these arms- no longer held

out in the wonderment of freedom.
Some can hear the distinct tribal drumbeat.

These wreaths adorn guarded-hearts;
believers in mid-August, butterfly-freedoms.

Away in dreams
of ‘Summer’s Eve’ wonder, Boomers will take flight.

When aging lids grow weary, the charmed-piper plays.
Then, free-spirits are filled by an illumined-iridescence.

Woodstock magic lives again…

Alice Parris

SOFT PETALS

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Who lies rotting in those elaborate crypts of granite,
while the living bleed profusely from life’s hardnesses?

I am an ambassador of faithful intercessory prayer.
My eyes have been honored to see many dead raised.

Through time and space, these prayers have been
well-watered by the tears of a newly broken-heart.

Who can ascend to this rocky path upon pinnacles?
I am inviolate; soft petals unmoved by gales of wind.

Alice Parris

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM ALICE PARRIS

Alice Parris @ 60 yrs old

Alice Parris @ 60 yrs old

I would like to take this opportunity to say to one and all: Happy Holidays! My daughter took this photo from her cell phone a few minutes ago. When I was born, the physician said that I would not live to see two years old. I have exceeded all expectations, for the which I am grateful. Now, two months shy of sixty, I can say that my length of days has been miraculous. Blessings and peace to all.

Alice Parris

ALICE PARRIS FAMILY TREE: THE KELLY CHILDREN

Harold B Kelly Jr. In his Cardinal Farley’s Military Academy Uniform (boarding school)

Harold Kelly Jr. In his Cardinal Farley's military academy uniform-HS

Harold B Kelly Jr. During his early Oberlin University years

Harold Kelly Jr. in Oberlin U.

My mother and brother at Christmas time in the living room in Shaker Heights, Ohio

My mother & brother at Xmas

Harold B. Kelly Junior with wife, Bonnie & Daughter Danielle (both Oberlin grads)

Harold Jr. with wife & baby daughter

Rhonda and me. She just graduated from Villa Maria HS. I’m wearing the “Twiggy” style

Rhonda & me at her Graduation from Villa Maria HS

Rhonda at home in our living room in Shaker Heights

Rhonda Kelly at home

Rhonda at home from Tufts University

Beautiful Rhonda Kelly

Rhonda Kelly at Fisk University

Rhonda at twenty

Me dresed for Junior Prom

Alice Parris at Junior Prom

Me at sixteen years old

Me at sixteen years old

Me on the steps of boarding school: Villa Maria HS

Me on steps at Villa Maria H.S. in PA

Me as a Fisk University Freshman

Me at nineteen yrs old


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

ALICE PARRIS FAMILY TREE: MY FATHER’S HOUSE

My father, Harold B. Kelly M.D.

My father, Dr. Harold B. Kelly

My mother with children before I was born

Before I was born

My father with us as young children

When we were young

My mother with us as growing children

As we grew older

These are the houses that my family lived in. Some commentary from my mother about dates

Houses where we lived


These photos are of my father, my mother with my brother and sister (before I was born), My father, brother sister and I young, my mother, brother, sister and I a little older, and the houses that we grew up in. French was my first language because I grew up in Fontainbleu, France from ages 1 1/22 to 3 1/2. We were raised by French nannies, because my mother and father liked to travel all over Europe. Dr. Harold B. Kelly was a Captain in the army and that is where we were stationed. We traveled across the Atlantic Ocean on the Queen Mary. As I have aged, the more random French will roll off of my tongue in the most inappropriate of places.

I do not remember my very early childhood. I have watched films of myself running around at an Easter egg hunt on the grounds of the villa in France. They had to show me where the eggs were. My sister, Rhonda reports that we were locked in the cellar at the convenience of Antoinette or Louisiette, when their lovers would be over when my parents were out of town. I imagine that we were naughty children; my sister, Rhonda, threw a wooden coat hanger from the winding staircase and cracked one of them in the head. She was replaced.

We also lived in North Carolina (with a beach home in Myrtle Beach, S.C.) New Jersey (while my father did a residency in OB-GYN at Harlem Hospital in New York) as well as Shaker Heights, Ohio, as my father’s medical career dictated. I attended tenth grade in the High School where Paul Newman graduated. Alice Parris

ALICE PARRIS FAMILY TREE: VERY OLD LEAVES

Lucian Battle of Nashville, North Carolina

Alice Parris's great-great grandfatherLaura Battle Richarson in old age

Alice Parris's great-grandmother; Laura Battle RichardsonPlummer Alston Richardson in old age

Alice Parris's great-grandfatherPlummer Alston Richarson in middle age

Alice Parris's great-grandfatherPlummer Alston Richardson’s voting registrationPlummer Richardson's voting registration

Plummer and Laura Richarson with first born, Ethel
Alice Parris's great- grandparents

Lucien Battle was my great-great grandfather on my mother, Norma Richardson’s father’s side. He lived in Nashville, North Carolina. Lucien’s daughter was Laura Battle Richardson. She married Plummer Alston Richardson. Plummer Alston Richardson is shown in his old age. Laura Battle Richardson is shown in her old age. Plummer Alston Richardson is shown in his middle age. Plummer and Laura are shown in their youth, with Laura holding their first born child, Ethel Richardson. Also shown is Plummer Alston Richardson’s voting registration dated in 1902.

According to some family historians, Plummer Alston Richardson left a North Carolina reservation and became a “colored” barber in Nashville, North Carolina. A marriage was brokered by Lucien Battle (Caucasian) for his daughter, Laura (mulatto) to Plummer. Plummer was a European/Native American mixture. During his life, Plummer Alston had become a millionaire from multiple businesses and real estate. What part Lucien Battle played in Plummer’s ascendancy is speculated upon by rumor. His wife, Laura, survived Plummer and lived to be ninety-six years old. This information was not gotten from an ancestry registry. These are the actual photos and documents preserved by the family. Alice Parris