Sleeping Kitten
3411 W. Circle Dr.
Pearland, TX 77581
Phone: (281) 485-2282

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The 'Index' below includes my pages on Geocities and Tripod.
What's New also. It lists the recently added pages in reverse chronological order.

My initial purpose for this Web site was to use it as a repository of old family photos and biographical notes so that younger generations of the family would have a central source for this information. However, while surfing the web, I found some great personnel Web sites and was influenced to add some travel photos and some NASA photos and stories for the general Web surfing public.

As I add new pages, I will list them under "WHAT'S NEW."

Home Of Homes, I am Listed, are YOU?

Page Previews are lower on this page.
Scroll down or click on the desired preview in the Index.


Skipper Ancestors Maxwell Ancestors
Rebecca Garnto (1804 - c.1880+) Cyrus B. Maxwell (1810 - c.1880+) (Future)
Joseph W. Skipper (1814 - 1875) (preview) William Jackson P. Maxwell (1843 - 1912)
David James Skipper (1849 - 1909) (preview) Alvus Martin Maxwell (1870 - 1929) (preview)
James Arthur Skipper (1882 - 1940) (preview) Luther Alonzo Maxwell (1892 - 1973) (preview)
James Arthur Skipper Jr. (1921 - 1945) (preview) Louise Maxwell Skipper Halbrook (1920 - 2002) (Future)
James Maxwell Skipper (1941 - ) (preview)
Other Family Members: Other Family Information:
John Quincy Skipper (1877 - 1931) (preview) Halbrook Stories (preview)
Siblings -- (preview)
First Photos -- (preview)
First Roll of 35mm Film -- (preview)
Family Photo Album I (preview)
Dave Skipper's Daughters -- (preview) Family Photo Album II (preview)
Eulogy for Mother -- (preview)
Snapshots from Visits Home -- (preview)
My Space Suit Test Subject Experience -- (preview) Scenes from Sydney (preview)
Dogs In Space -- (preview) Sydney's Circular Quay (preview)
SMEAT Skylab Chamber Test -- (preview) Castle Ruins - Wertheim, Germany -- (preview)
STS-1 Columbia Post-flight Suit Test -- (preview) On the River in Wertheim -- (preview)
Women's Space Firsts, Kathy Sullivan's EVA -- (preview) Moscow Photos:
Test of Mir Spacesuit at Zvezda in Moscow -- (preview) Moscow Journal -Red Square, St. Basil -- (preview)
    Moscow Market, Kremlin, Subway -- (preview)
    Olympic Penta Hotel and Environs -- (preview)
    Zvezda Space Museum -- (preview)
Implosion of the Hotel Marion -- (preview)
Judsonia Tornado 1952 -- (preview)
Flooded Resort at Monte Ne, AR -- (preview)
Grand Canyon Photos -- (preview)
Big Bend National Park in West Texas -- (preview)
Meteor Crater, Arizona -- (preview)
Ozarks Wildlife Club -- (preview)
The Cigar Box (photo miscellany) -- (preview) Pinhole Photography -- (preview)
Spring comes on desert -- (preview) Grandpa's Old Barn -- (preview)
First Photos -- (preview) Perspective in Photos -- (preview)
First Roll of 35mm Film -- (preview) Stereo Photography -- (preview)
The Leaf -- (preview) Film Resolution -- (preview)
Uncle Irving's Flower Photos -- (preview) Jonquils -- (preview)
Testing Uncle Irving's Old Nikkormat FTN -- (preview) White Water -- (preview)
Blank -- (preview) Bride Portrait Resolution -- (preview)

"I Highly Recommend"
Wil Ellis'
Texas Photo-plus Web Gallery
TEXAS PHOTOGRAPHIC ART | Texas Wild Flowers-Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush | Wildflowers and Old Barns | Wildflowers and Old Barbed-Wire Fences | Wildflowers and Old Farm Implements | Fields of Wildflowers | Cacti and Azaleas | Deer and Alligators in their natural habitats | Ducks, Geese, and Gulls | Old Barns | Old Country Stores | Old Country Filling Stations | Old Vehicles | Texas Oil Derricks on Land and in Water | Beaches and Sand Dunes | Folk Art and Crafts | 'Junk'tique Still-Lifes | Classic Bicycles | Homemade Dolls | Wood Carvings | Around 200 artistic photos of Texas objects. Just watch the slide show or skip around and click the thumbnails. Not all images are represented by thumbnails. Wil and I worked in the same NASA division for most of our careers. He was the division chief during the final 10 or so years before retirement.
"I Highly Recommend"
Wade Hatler's
Cycling Moscow to St. Petersburg
This is a really fun travel article. Some great photos around Moscow and out in rural areas. Photos of those who participated in the trip organized by Russian families and promoted on the web. The photos and story get better page after page. Seven great pages in the journal and eight to ten great photo pages in the photo gallery. He has some pretty good photos of some of the fine paintings and statues from the Hermitage.
"I Highly Recommend"
Andrea Jeanne Peterson's
Andrea's Looking Glass
Andrea's site has many beautiful photographs that exhibit her vision of the people, places, and things around her in the small town of Exeland, Wisconsin. She has the most beautiful photographic pages I have found on the Web in more than a year of surfing PWPs. The pages have beautiful graphics with apropos scripture verses and simple, meaningful, heartfelt poetry and an amazing variety of photographic subjects and techniques.
"I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. As a lily among brambles, so is my love among maidens."
The Song of Solomon 2:1,2
"I Highly Recommend"
Helena Bucasio's
Freitas - Paiva Family Album
This is a web page work of art! Helena says of her family "... my family name is Paiva which roots are in Portugal, in the region nearby a small town named Castelo do Paiva. My grandparents are from Portugal, Lisbon and Porto and came to Brazil early in the last century." The old family photos are displayed in antique oval frames and animated cameo lockets. Helena describes the family in poetic prose and includes poetry written by a friend specifically for this page. There are wonderfully apropos quotations from the writings of Pedro Ayres Megalhães and playing softly in the background is a beautiful MIDI arrangement of 'Study 22' from Easy Pieces by J. S. Bach. The rosebud 'bubble' mouse follower lends delicate color to the antique sepia and beige tones.
"I Highly Recommend"
Glenn Soldan's
Our Kansas!
"Kansas Rambling by Glen Soldan." This is a Kansas version of the 'Arkansas Travelogue'. Glen has photos and descriptions of valleys, mountains, springs, forts, and a great variety of natural and manmade wonders of Kansas including the world's largest dug well. In addition to these, Glen has a great section on classic cars. He documents the 2002 'AC Tumbleweeds Last Rod Run' ("eye-candy for the car lover!") in Arkansas City, Kansas. He also includes photos of GM muscle cars and classic cars by decades beginning with the 20s.
"I Highly Recommend"
Russ Johnson's
The Arkansas Roadside Travelogue
An excellent Web Site featuring articles and photos of some of Arkansas' history, mythology, natural wonders (many of the natural springs are described and rated), agriculture, industry, and commerce: stories of Monte Ne, Dog Patch USA, Crater of Diamonds, and much more written in a light, humorous way.
For More Great Personal Web Sites Try These Links!



Joseph W. Skipper (1814 - 1875)
Joseph Skipper was my great, great grandfather. He, his wife, children and mother-in-law migrated from North Carolina to Arkansas via Tennessee during the 1850s. He joined the Union Army at the age of 50 after the Union took Arkansas. He became ill and was hospitalized in St. Louis. Things were difficult after the war and he was unpopular because of his Union sympathies. Ray Don Bostian, another great, great grandson, did the genealogical research and wrote this and the next article. Paul Turner, a great grandson of Joseph, helped compile family data.

David James Skipper (1849 - 1909)
Great Grandfather at 50 David Skipper was my great grandfather. He was born in North Carolina and was just a child when his family migrated to Arkansas. He spent the rest of his life farming and raising his family in Conway County. This article tells some of the family anecdotes about life on the Skipper farm and lists the children, their spouses, and dates of birth and death. I recently added a list of 66 grandchildren that I'm aware of. Four of them are still living.

James Arthur Skipper (1882 - 1940)
Grandfather at 26 James A. Skipper, Sr. was my grandfather. He was born on the family farm in Conway County, Arkansas and started his family there. He was postmaster of Solgohachia for one term. After his parents died, he moved to England, Arkansas, and was soon appointed postmaster there. He was a staunch Republican and was able to serve as postmaster when Republican presidents were in office. He died before I was born and I didn't know much about him until I received many old family photographs, letters, and documents. I have combined the information provided in Ray Don Bostian's materials and the information in the letters and documents to do a chronology of my grandfather Skipper's life. There are many photographs dating from his marriage to his death.

James Arthur Skipper Jr. (1921 - 1945)
Dad at 23 James A. Skipper, Jr. was my father. He was killed during World War II when he was 23 and I was 4. This 'biolog' was prepared from documents my mother saved. My dad was a boy scout and got to make a train trip up through the northeast and back through the mid-west. He met his future bride at Arkansas State Teachers' College and they got married and dropped out. He worked with his brother Irving at Sterling's Department Store in Little Rock and then with war related industries in Conway, Ar, and in Louisiana. He was drafted in late 1944. A family portrait made just before he shipped overseas in April 1945 is included at the start of the article. He was killed in a plane crash on Luzon Island in mid-1945.

James Maxwell Skipper (1941 - )
I at 34 I intended to write an autobiography of my first decade, but only got five years completed. The article includes many family photographs from the early 40s, some newspaper articles about my mom and dad, and the telegram notifying us of dad's death. When I get back to this project, I'll leave a note in "What's New."

Alvus Martin Maxwell (1870 - 1929)
Alvus Maxwell was one of my maternal great grandfathers. He was born in Carroll County in north Arkansas, but went south to Conway County and married his uncle's widow's daughter by her second husband. He farmed near Lanty and had a peddling route in the neighborhood. He was accused of being too friendly with the women on his route. The family thought he drank too much and drinking may have led to his death. He died along the road while driving back from a trip to the county seat. I had access to many excellent photographs to document this biography. This article tells of his mother-in-law's relationship to the family by her previous marriage and of his parents and siblings. Information about his children and grandchildren is included.

Luther Alonzo Maxwell (1892 - 1973)
Luther at 26 Luther Maxwell was my maternal grandfather. He was born and raised and lived and died in Conway County, Arkansas. He was a well-educated man for that time and taught school from the time he was 18 until he lost his hearing in his mid-30s. He then farmed and sold fruit and fruit trees on his 160 acre farm. He also served on the school board and as lodge secretary and church treasurer. He achieved the rank of 2nd Lieutenant during World War I but the war ended before he had to go overseas. His time was spent in Camp Beauregard, Louisiana. He told of being in camp with Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower. He seldom traveled, but did drive to New Mexico to visit his little brother around 1930. I drove him to Midland, Texas, in 1959 to visit that same brother, and he came with my mother to visit us in 1968. As for as I can remember, he never had a car (after the trip to New Mexico) or any other gasoline powered equipment. I don't know why. Well, there is more of his story in this review than in the actual article. There is a copy of his and grandma's wedding photograph though. I'll get to the rest of the story sometime later.

John Quincy Skipper (1877 - 1931)
John Q. "Red John" Skipper was my grandfather's older brother. He is the grandfather of Ray Don Bostian who wrote this article. Red John was born and lived his life in Conway County, Arkansas. He sold Singer sewing machines and became the postmaster of Morrilton, the county seat. He had lots of children and they are all listed, but I haven't added any photographs yet. INDEX

Dave Skipper's Daughters
Dave and Mary Kate Skipper had six daughters in addition to their three sons (another son died in infancy). The sons get more attention because they carry the family name, but the daughters have important family stories too. I have become re-acquainted with several descendants of the daughters during the process of checking family history so Iím going to include some biographical information about the daughters as I obtain it. Iím beginning with the youngest daughter, Ethel Pauline Skipper, who married James Paul Turner, because some of her children are still living and her oldest son provided much Skipper family history and several photos.
Florence Skipper was the oldest child of Dave and Kate Skipper. She was born just after the Civil War and grew up in a very primitive land in a very primitive time.

Photos of the six of us spanning a quarter century beginning with probably the first one taken shortly after baby brother, John, was born in 1954. INDEX
A Eulogy for Our Mother - My sister Marinelle gave this eulogy at our mother's funeral April 11th. I have included some photos of mom, a MIDI of an old hymn for my brother John, and a beautiful written comforting note from one of Marinelle's close friends, Tom Carpenter, City Attorney of Little Rock. INDEX
Snapshots from Visits Home - Photos of family at Decoration Day Observances at Old Liberty Cemetery where my mother is buried and at Lanty Cemetery where her parents are buried. Ann's dad at his parents' tombstone in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Folks at the fish fry hosted by Ann's sister and her husband. These page link to more photos from a trip in February 2001 including some of my mother before her final illness and of my high school girlfriend, who attended a surprise 60th birthday party for me. INDEX
The First Photos - These are the first photos I ever took. On that first roll of 127 roll film from 1954 were pictures of my sisters, my Mom and Dad, some farm animals and pets, and our house. I have also included recent photos of the Spartus Miniature camera that I used. INDEX
Images from My First Roll of 35mm Film
B&W photos made with the Kodak Signet 40 given me for high school graduation by my Uncle Irving and Aunt Nila. Subjects are classmates, date, kissing cousin, Father's tombstone, flowers, and landscapes. The first is always special. Now includes 16 more images from B&W rolls 3 and 4. My oldest sister taking a nap on a sultry summer day. Portraits of my little sister and brother and two friends. Scenes from the county seat. The bluff along Point Remove Creek near Copelin Cave. Magazine page copy. Girl with watermelon slice. Cow with calves. Others.INDEX


Implosion of the Hotel Marion - 1980
A series of photos taken by W. Irving Skipper in 1980 of the demolition of the Hotel Marion in Little Rock, Arkansas.INDEX
Tornado Damage in Judsonia, Arkansas - 1952
A series of photos taken by W. Irving Skipper in 1952 shows the damage to businesses, residences, and automobiles; street scenes; and military personnel and clean-up crews.INDEX
Monte Ne, Arkansas
Coin Harvey's resort built in 1905 is now under the waters of Beaver Lake. Photos before and after it was flooded. INDEX
Sydney's Circular Quay
Scenes along the quay around Sydney Cove: the Harbour Bridge, docks, Sydney Opera House, warehouse restaurant and shops on 'The Rocks,' and more green spaces. This is the second page of Sydney Travel. The other is linked on the buttons or lower in the index. INDEX
Grand Canyon Photos
A set of 16 slides of the eastern end of the canyon from the south rim. INDEX

Meteor Crater, Arizona
The Great Meteor Crater of Arizona is just south of Interstate 40 between Flagstaff and Winslow. It is visible from the highway. It was created by the impact of a large meteorite about 50,000 years ago. It is about 4,150 feet across and 570 feet deep. This set of photographs shows views of the crater from the hiking trail around the rim. There are photos of the surrounding desert and the park headquarters as well. I have read that visitors are no longer allowed to hike the rim trail. When we were there in 1992 visitors weren't allowed to hike to the bottom of the crater. I hope that these photos will provide some indication of the magnificence of this unique astronomical/geological feature. INDEX

Scenes of Big Bend and West Texas Here are two pages with 20 dramatic photos of the rugged desert and mountainous terrain of the Bid Bend Nation Park. The Big Bend National Park is located in far west Texas about 1000 km from Pearland, but not as far as El Paso. The Rio Grande swings to the southeast after it leaves New Mexico, and at the big bend, swings to the northeast. It eventually turns to the southeast again and enters the Gulf of Mexico near Brownsville. The Big Bend area is a contrast of high rugged mountains and rolling desert lands. The Park Service maintains several nice camping facilities in the park. Spring and fall are the best times to visit; it is too hot in the summer and snow can make travel difficult in winter.

The Rio Grande River exits the Big Bend National Park through Boquillas Canyon, an impressive canyon cut through the Sierra Del Carmen. A parking lot is within a mile of the canyon entrance and it is any easy hike for all the family. Just inside the entrance to Boquillas Canyon against the cliff on the north side of the Rio Grande River is an immense pile of sand. The sand appears to have poured from a hole in the cliff about 100 feet up. The second page has eleven photos including a photo of the young woman in the bikini. INDEX

Ozarks Wildlife Club a filmstrip presentation. I travel through northwest Arkansas so often and have several good photos of that mountain scenery that I thought of doing a pictorial essay of the area. Then I remembered that there were a couple of filmstrip presentations of the Ozarks among the many photos, slides, and movies in Uncle Irvingís things. As a memorial to his work and to promote Arkansas tourism, I scanned the 72 images from one of the filmstrip and set them up to be viewed in way that simulates a filmstrip presentation. INDEX


My Only Experience as a Spacesuit Test Subject
Around 1965 I volunteered to be the test subject for a thermal/vacuum test in a Gemini spacesuit in test as part of the preparation for the first USA EVA made by Ed White.
PAGE ONE - NASA photos showing me in a Gemini space suit during preparations for a thermal-vacuum test of the helmet visor prior to GTS-4. The test, test objective and temperature instruments on the helmet are described.
PAGE TWO - NASA photos of the thermal compartment that sat inside a large vacuum chamber. A full view of the suit with a description of various suit components. A close-up view of the upper suit and helmet showing the thermal sensors on my nose and on the helmet.
PAGE THREE - A scan of the NASA photo of me that appeared in the April 19, 1965 issue of Missiles and Rockets. My photo of the closed-circuit television view of Ed White during his vacuum chamber training for GTS-4. The test results are summarized and I describe what being in a spacesuit at thermal-vacuum conditions was like for me. INDEX
Dogs In Space
A comment about Strelka and Belka, the Russian space dogs, and the US tests involving exposure of dogs to vacuum and the results obtained in the tests. INDEX
Testing the Russian MIR Spacesuit at Zvezda in Moscow
A NASA team visited the Zvezda (Star) Company in Moscow to observe a manned vacuum chamber test of a spacesuit that had been returned from the MIR on one of the Shuttle missions. This is on the same page with the 'Dogs in Space' comments. INDEX
SMEAT - The Skylab Medical Experiments Altitude Test
A 56-day test at reduced pressure in a vacuum chamber outfitted to resemble the Skylab. Seven pages hold 2.5 megs of pictures of the astronauts involved, the press personnel, test team, facility, decals, and awards. Each page loads in a reasonable length of time I think. Try it and see! INDEX
STS-1 Post-flight Suit Test
We didn't get what we expected when we tried a vacuum chamber test with one of the EMU's (spacesuits) that flew on the first shuttle flight. INDEX
Women Space Firsts
I was involved in the vacuum chamber spacesuit training tests for Kathy Sullivan, the first female astronaut to do an EVA. I have included links to the other firsts for women in space and Kathy's comments on missing the "World's First EVA by a Woman" record. There are several nice NASA photos of women in spacesuits. A couple of the photos include me. INDEX


The Cigar Box
A collection of miscellaneous photos. Photos of my high school girlfriend; crop dusting biplane; crystal egg from Moscow; sparkling water; butterflies; flowers; pokeberries; spiders; a mosquito trying to bite a pair of mating walking-stick bugs; a tree frog on a rose; and a cicada and its larval husk. Recent additions: Photos of Ann and me taken in the spring of 1962 on the campus of the University of Arkansas. She and I were dressed for some special occasion. I also have included some miscellaneous shots, both old and new, to add to the Cigar Box: Fields of cows and wild flowers; A mole cricket; and B&W photos of leaves, berries, and a dead tree in a pond. INDEX
Spring comes on desert
This poem was written by Nguyen Qui Dinh, a foreign exchange graduate student at the University of Arkansas, in the winter of '59-'60. It seems to express his homesickness for Viet Nam. INDEX
The Leaf
An unusual view of a leaf. This leaf was photographed by transmitted light rather than reflected light. The image was manipulated to achieve high contrast. INDEX
Uncle Irving's Flower Photos
A few selected from the hundred or so in his collection. INDEX
Testing Uncle Irving's Old Camera
I bought Uncle Irving's old Nikon Nikkormat FTN from the estate and shot a couple of test rolls to check it out. Nature, people, flowers, butterflys, self-portrait, landscapes. INDEX
Grandpa's Old Barn
I was surprised when I first glanced at this photographic negative when I peeked at it during the washing process. Read the text before scolling down to the photos. I have included views of Grandpa's house and barn in the snow and the view east toward Round Mountain. INDEX
Pinhole Photography - An old pinhole photograph is compared to a modern 35mm photo of the re-created scene. Explantion of the process for making a large-format pinhole photograph using photo enlarging paper. INDEX
Photographic Perspective - Our experience with photography gives us the impression that the focal length of the lens will create a particular perspective in the resulting photograph. However, the photos shown here illustrate that it is camera-to-subject distance, not lens focal length that makes the difference.
I have added a page of photos to illustrate the effect of subject to camera distance on photographic or visual perspective. One set is head-and-shoulder self portraits and the other set is of an architectural subject. In addition, I compare a view made with a wide angle lens to a digitally stitched image made from two photos made with a normal lens. INDEX
Stereo Photography - A stereo photo pair is displayed three ways with instructions for viewing in 3-D by the "cross-eyed," "infinite stare," and "mirror" techniques. There is also a brief account of my experience with stereo photo systems and links to several excellent and comprehensive sites on stereo photography. INDEX
Film Resolution - A portait of a young woman, enlarged to show her eyes in great detail, illustrates the best resolution and sharpness I achieved with home processed B&W film. INDEX
Color Film Resolution - I did photography for small, simple weddings many years ago and this portrait of a beautiful bride is presented as another sample of film resolution; this time with color negative film. My computer display just doesn't show the true resolution that can be obtained in a print. INDEX
The Grammar Page - It was with some trepidation that I placed this page on the Web. I am not an English expert; columnist and presidential speechwriter William Safire is an expert. (He is the one who wrote the apt alliterative phrase "nattering nabobs of negativism" for a speech by Vice-president Spiro Agnew.) I attribute my grammar skills to twelve years of excellent English grammar classes in the Arkansas public school system. At the University of Arkansas it was back to "readiní" and "íritiní" " reading modern literature and writing an essay each week. I have let some grammatical errors become Ďpet peevesí and they are the ones I will write about. You may even find a helpful reminder here. This first article is about mistakes with pronoun case. Later I will write about a very irregular verb. I will also include examples of errors that I commonly make. I solicit your editorial comment and correction. This could be fun! WARNING: Explicit illustrations of grammatical errors! If you think you might be offended by them, don't view the page. INDEX
History of Shadycrest Baptist Church - A Work in Progress.
Black Locust Farm B&B - I made this page for my Live Journal friend, Lady Maine.
SubmitWolf PRO - Why pay a submission service to promote your web site?