From: Daniel "Ducky" Drake
Date: Tuesday, January 02, 2001 8:45 AM
I appreciate all of the hard work, diligence and talent you have put into this Drake-related website.
I really don't have a great deal of information about my family's history. [Bet you've heard that before....]
The problem we face is that many of the relatives had the same or similar names; in fact - they often we're named after them. With that in mind, often they we're not referred to by their first/given name rather by their middle name ----until the other relative they were named after had passed on.
Just to let you know - per the mix-up with names; I was actually named after my grandfather -- but it wasn't until I was nine yrs. old that I was cognizant of the fact. Why? Because he went by his middle name ( which just about everyone of his siblings did) of Chester --- and even that was shorten to "Chet." One of his older brothers, was known as Perry Drake. However, like his brother - there was an older uncle with the same first name, in this case, William - who was often reffered to as "Uncle Will." [Kind of takes a knack for figuring just is who.....]
Well, "Perry" who passed away (I believe in 1989), had lived well into his 90's. [My grandfather was in his 80's.] Back to William "Perry" Drake ; he will definitely cause you some serious headaches. Why? His multiple marriages and children. [ I hesitate to even try to list - or remember their names. The majority still reside in the Pacific Northwest; Washington & Oregon.] The thing about Perry is - everybody seemed to know him. And he was known for his nomadic tendencies. Being a bachelor (after several failed marriages), he was accustomed to suddenly showing up at one's doorstep - with the intent of staying for a duration. [Depending upon the relatives disposition and finances, the length and "potential" future visits would vary.] Typically, the hosts would wind up underwriting his stay - which would include his eclectic grocery shopping & culinary skills.
Many family members (even extended family - he seemed to know them all) still speak fondly of him.....missing his humor, love of life, and odd sense of "showing up - especially for dinner."
To mix it up even more, my grandfather's family had a large extended family -clan (if you will) for several decades in the Friends, Nebraska area; with many starting to leave during the 1930's. I've been told that the geneaology has been traced a few times back; One recent trace had been in process by a cousin who passed away ( i'll try & get it for you).
So, here's what I do know.
#1. We, of course can not be direct descendants from the famous "Francis." Most likely from his brothers.
#2. When the most "famous" person in the family is a "pirate"...it doesn't get any better. .....we both know he wasn't a pirate........
#3. Actually, my grandfather's nephew is perhaps the most recently "FAMOUS or well-known" Drake. His name was Elvin Drake, known as "DUCKY" Drake throughout the sportsworld. He was the senior track coach for UCLA, the head trainer for all sports; especially known for being the top basketball trainer; basketball trainer for the U.S.A Olympic Basketball Team for +20 yrs. He actually was the basketball coach immeditately prior to John Wodden at UCLA. Known for his sprots knowledge, he was recognized for his coaching/training in Track; the famous "Drake Relays' and Drake Stadium are named in his honor. He retired from UCLA three times - each time being asked to return; When he finally retired, he had more tenure than any other faculity member in the entire Univerisity of Calfiornia system - over + 40 yrs. ...........proud to have known him and call him my third cousin. By the way, his father - had been in the hardware/ lubber industry in the Los Angeles area.
#4. Here's another historical antedote; My grandfather seemed to recall his grandfather talking to him about being in the American Civil War - as a young man/boy. He thinks he was a drummer boy. The problem is, he can't remember which side he was on!!!! His remark was, knowing our family - we probably chose the wrong side. Ha!
My father, Norris Gage Drake was born in Friend, Nebraska (as was his older brother Norman Forest Drake). Friend use to have a rather large contigent of "Drake's." Most have since moved to other parts of the U.S.A. My great-grandfather Charles moved to Seattle in the 1930's.
By the way, in 1989 - I was at the Rotary International Convention held in Portland, Oregon. While there, I had the fortune to attend a hospitality party which included a multitude of folks from around the globe. One of the chaps who was there with me was a fellow Drake, who said he was a retired Headmaster of a school in England. [ I can't seem to recall his full name, nor address --- he didn't really want to talk about being "cousins, etc...."]
I lookd forward to hearing from you from time to time - and the potential good help & valuable resources which can be obtained from your web- site & efforts.
Thanks for your time and consideration.
Daniel Francis Perry Drake