Thursday, October 16, 2014

Time Travel: Is That You, Grandpa? Part 3 of 3

Time Travel: Is That You, Grandpa? Part 3 of 3: IS THAT YOU, GRANDPA? Part 3 of 3 Part 1 – Two sisters meet once more to find a Mighty Tough Ancestor Part 11 – Two sisters are l...

Is That You, Grandpa? Part 3 of 3


Part 3 of 3

Part 1 – Two sisters meet once more to find a Mighty Tough Ancestor
Part 11 – Two sisters are lost in a Battle on King’s Mountain
Part 111 – Grandpa is lost on Tyger River.  We return home.

John Campbell, our ancestor who had been conscripted into the British army, then escaped to join the Carolina Militia, drawled out his story to us. 
He began speaking easy and in no hurry.  “You got the word out that you wanted to talk to some ancissor, so you got me.  I’ll tell you how it really was, what this shootin’ today means.”
We settled on the ground, two old ladies who didn’t know if they were in 1780 or 2014, but waited eagerly to hear what this young man had to tell us.
“You see, my family, friends came down to these hills so we could do our farmin’, the land treats us good.  The huntin’ is mighty good, all sizes from turkeys to bears.  All we asked, just let us alone, any fightin’ we gotta do will be to keep the Injuns out of our corn.”
Nancy knew about the anti-war views of our Quaker forefathers and she answered his declarations. “And besides you didn’t drink tea anyway.”
 “Yep, those hi-faluting folk up east wasn’t doing nothing for us and we didn’t want their squabbles.  Then that dumb Briter Ferguson began putting up posters, ‘Join the Loyalists’ or else -- and this is what showed he had no brains a tall, -- he wrote out, ‘Join or the British flag will march over the mountain and lay waste with fire and sword.’”
Nancy and I both nodded showing our understanding.  John continued, “Pardon the language, ladies, but he told us we would be pissed on by a set of mongrels.  Well, we just decided we would save him the trouble of crossing the mountain and so we come right to him, right here on Kings Mountain.  And us Patriots caught those stoop Tories by surprise.  We screamed up that hill and the dumb stoops were still asleep.”   
Nancy added, “We had to hide behind those trees when you guys came streaming around us.”
“You almost got caught in their charge.  They came after us with bayonets aiming at anything that moved.  We had our long rifles but couldn’t handle stickers and had to get out of the way.  Back and forth and we got a lot more of them than they did of us.”
I noticed the quiet and told him, “Seems like it’s all over now.”
“Yep, took about an hour.  That stoop Ferguson got a lot of bullets shot into him when he pranced around on top of the hill, That finished it.”    
Nancy rose to her feet.   “I need to tell you what future generations said about you. Theodore Roosevelt wrote ‘This brilliant victory marked the turning point of the American Revolution.’”
John had a smile when he answered.  “Well, I never heard of him in my battles but I’ll tell you that you got a lot of kinfolk in this fight.  I heard you saw the Sherrill boys and Dickie Perkins.  The Martindell folk wrote all this up so maybe you read it.  Then some other names right here in these hills – Belew (Belue), Sailors, Perkins, Clark, Osborne, Lollar - all good solid folk living around here.  I’m going to get this fightin’ finished up and head for my sweetie and home.”

Then he was gone, just disappeared, the well-used tourist trail now in front of us.  The sun was July strong.   I asked Nancy, “Can you smell it?”
“Same smell as when we hang the wet leather jackets in the closet.  Were they really here?”
“Probably not,” I told her, “We just saw that fantastic film at the Kings Mountain Auditorium.  The battle was dramatized so strong it kept us on seat’s edge and then we brought it out doors on our walk.”
She answered, “I wish we had a souvenir to prove it.”
Actually we came home with two souvenirs.  Nancy took home a bad case of poison ivy itches.  Mariam brought home a story that would not go away.   
Third day and it was time for the search for the Tyger River.  The description was rather vague:  ‘John Campbell received a grant of 150 acres on a branch of the Tyger River called Padgett Creek . . . ‘
Another clue we had:  
‘Col. Thomas Brandon’s, (3rd SC Regiment), home is on the way from the town of Union out to the old Friend’s Church on Padgett Creek.’ 
When we checked google we saw a pretty picture of the Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church.  We didn’t expect a sign which said “John Campbell lived here” but we have had such good fortune in all of our historic searches that a signal should come to lead the way.  Our luck had been good so far on this trip.  A stop we almost missed at a Branch Library led the way to find our Sherrills.  A rootin’ tootin’ shootin’ film led the way to a visit with John Campbell.  Now there should be another clue. 
One can’t visit the Carolinas without enjoying the sights of a southern mansion.  The Rose Hill Historic Plantation was the perfect choice.  It still had a taste of the southern charm plus a path to follow for scenery.   Wherever possible we asked questions concerning the history of 1780 residents.  We got one tip:  “Go back a few miles and there is a turn off for the Rose Hill boat ramp on Tyger River.”
Our confidence returned. We set out again on a narrow rough road leading to a river.  When we came to the end of the tracks, a few cars were parked and canoes were pulling in to the shore.  This was obviously a fun loving afternoon for this group. 

As we walked to the river. Nancy asked Mariam, “Are you going to take your shoes off and wade around a bit?”  She was kidding.  Mariam wasn’t.  I bent down to get a handful of the water that someplace on this river had been flowing past John Campbell’s tract of land.  I asked those who were pulling their canoes out of the water, “Do you go swimming in the Tyger?”  Her answer:  “It’s warm enough for swimming but not allowed.”  I shivered.  This water was cold.
Again we asked the questions.  “Sure, the Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church is just a couple of miles down the road.  You can’t miss it.”
We returned to the main road and were hopeful for the first couple of miles.  Then a few more miles and we began to wonder where we had gone wrong.  We drove over ten miles deeper into the Sumter National Forest before the driver of our chariot declared, “That’s enough.  That church isn’t here.”
Our ancestor hunt was over.  We had found the reasons that our grandpa’s and grandma’s had fought for this land.  We knew that we had breathed the same clear air and that our eyes had enjoyed feasting on the same beauty. 
We still had three more days until returning home.   We spread out our maps and used a pink highlighter to circle our choices in the brochures.  We enjoyed a variety of places that could have been found only in the Carolinas.  Our feet were tired but our faces were happy after we visited the Botanical Garden and the Geology Museum at Clemson University.  The Estatoe Double Falls were written to have the easiest climb, but we found them almost to find. 

 We took some neat photos in historic Pendleton and had mouthwatering Crab Cakes at the 1826 On the Green.  Oh yes, plus spending a few dollars in the antique (souvenir) shops.

 Another place, not on our maps but found by luck:  The Wesley Chapel UMC on the edge of Greenville had marvelous singing and gave us the warmest of welcomes.  We will not forget them. 
A wonderful trip and two sisters spent quality time together.  It had been 16 years since we had given our hugs in the Munich Hotel and said, “We will do it again, just the two of us.”  Now we could cross one more item off of the Bucket List and look forward to the next one. 
We made a little joke that Grandpa Campbell had let us down in our search for his homestead footsteps.  “Just a couple of miles” was the clue and we went deeper into the forest searching.  Sorry, grandpa, I just found out that it was our mistake, not yours.  As I type, there is a map in front of me which shows the Old Buncombe Road.  We went the couple of miles in the wrong direction.  If we had taken the road out of the forest instead of into the forest we would have found you. However, you sent me a handful of cold water from a warm river.  Thank you.

Mariam Lewis Heiny Cheshire

#MariamLewis #TygerRiver #PadgettsCreekBaptistChurch #WesleyChapelUMC


Sunday, October 12, 2014

IS THAT YOU, GRANDPA? -Part 2 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 1 – Two sisters meet once more to find a Mighty Tough Ancestor
Part 11 – Two sisters are lost in a Battle on King’s Mountain
Part 111 – Grandpa is lost on Tyger River.  We return home.

Second day.   pow – POW – wheesh!  “Nancy!  Duck!  Get down!”  Nancy heard the terrified shout and clung tightly to a nearby towering oak.  Red coats could be seen through the heavy tree branches, shiny blades on heavy muskets pushing a way directly toward us.  The shout came again. “Nancy, we gotta get out of here”.
Then, behind us, all around us, were the silent movements of leather clad men, some carrying long rifles, others with pitchforks held loosely, more with axes chopping a bothersome branch.  I was frightened, my knees trembled, I slid to the ground, my cheek tight against wet scratchy bark.  Somehow I  knew these to be our militia.   They didn’t see two old ladies who had happened in the midst of a battle that would change the course of the Revolutionary War. 
  The year was 1780.  Or maybe it was 2014.  The month was October.  Or maybe it was July.  A Carolina rain had been steady in the morning, bringing the woodsy smell alive.  We had been climbing the uphill trail and the branches blowing around us seemed to wipe out the path.  I knew we had seen this scene sometime earlier, way back someplace sitting comfortable, not on this hard wet ground.  The rustling deep greens surrounding me were unknown in the dryness of Phoenix.  Phoenix had disappeared. I tried to catch my breath, tried to get air in my lungs, even while realizing the strange unusual beauty around me. 
Earlier in the day, or maybe it had been tomorrow,  I had watched handsome young men in leather deerskins with tassels riding gallant horses and carrying shiny rifles.  I peered again from behind the tree, trying to see if this was real or could I be dreaming.

“Get back there, ladies, both of you, stay back down out of the way.”  He was young, he was crawling right behind us, face peering from behind a huge rock.  His buckskins had an old dirty smell, no fringes on these.  My voice croaked, “Are you part of the show?” 
“Lady, I’m tellin’ ya both, we left the horses back aways, go straight down and ride them whiplash to the Sherrill camp.  Git outa here before one of those bloody baynets goes straight thru ya.”
I almost shrieked, “Did you say Sherrill?  Are you Adam Sherrill?”
“No, I ain’t him, him and Dickie Perkins went the other way circling those Tories.”  Then he was gone.  Did he say Dick Perkins, our gr-way-back grandfather? I didn’t have time to ask, Nancy was whispering, “He’s right, we better move down.”
I shook my leg free from her grasp.  “No, we’re OK, our guys are pushing them.”  But then our guys were coming backward, slowly, loading and shooting, darting from cover to cover.  One, sturdy and strong farmer type, wearing a homespun shirt, the color of the mud around us, dropped to his knees, surprised, turned his rifle in our direction, then swung it up in the air.  He hissed, “Git outta here, there ain’t no camp around us to git any dang gum work.” 
Nancy pulled away from the tree.  “We’re not looking for work, we’re looking for ancestors.” 
He pushed her down, “There ain’t no ansissors round this place, just some mighty piss-angry boobies. 
My face almost in the dirt, I had to ask, “What is your name?”
He shot once more and dust was all around us from his wad of fire.  “I’m a good Christian Martindell and I don’t have no truck with wimmen out in the field.”  He was backing away as he added, “We belong to Colonel Brandon, a fightin’ sun-of-a-gun who is fixin’ to backtrack around this mountain and cut through all the regments they got.” 

This whole scene was flashing with memory and I recognized his  name as James, married with three small children, who had joined the Patriots in 1780 and when they called him he grabbed his gun and axe and let the farming go until later.  A private now, he would be promoted on the field to Lieutenant. 
It became quiet as the signs of battle moved over in another direction.  We didn’t want to move, partly afraid maybe those British bayonets might actually draw blood from 2014 flesh, partly because we didn’t want to miss any more of the 1780 scene and very much because Mariam needed to catch air in her lungs. 
A soldier, walking straight and proud, wearing hunter deerskins, came toward us.  He sat down beside us, almost as though we had time for an afternoon picnic.  “I’m John Campbell,” he announced.  “I heard you were here and might want to talk to me.”
Yes, we were anxious to talk to him but how did he recognize 2014?
We had read of his trials.  He had been in town with a friend and a British soldier asked their loyalty.  The friend replied “Well I guess I better stand with the Colonies.”  They shot him without warning and gave John the option of joining the British forces.   He promptly signed up.  Although within ten miles of home, he couldn’t see his family or tend his crops.   It took some planning to escape and join with the Carolina Militia.
He began talking, easy and in no hurry.  “You got the word out that you wanted to talk to some ancissor, so you got me.  I’ll tell you how it really was, what this shootin’ today means.  How we’re going to get those Brits off of our land and then I can go back home.”

We settled on the ground, two old ladies who didn’t know if they were in 1780 or 2014, but waited eagerly to hear what this young man had to tell us.

                              To be continued 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

iS THAT YOU, GRANDPA? - Part 1 of 3


Part 1 – Two sisters meet once more to find a Mighty Tough Ancestor
Part 11 – Two sisters are lost in a Battle on King’s Mountain
Part 111 – Grandpa is lost on Tyger River.  We return home.

September 21, 1998:  A hotel room in Munich.  The two sisters had been travelling in Europe, families left behind, just the two of them enjoying explorations and being together.  “We’ll plan another trip soon,” they agreed as they hugged farewell.  But it had been 16 years. 

“One of these days” had finally arrived.  Now, once again, Mariam and Nancy, just the two of them, were armed with maps and notes to track down ancestors from the 18th century.  We were searching for farmers and hunters who had left slavery in Virginia and Pennsylvania to find land in what is now the Carolinas. 
Wednesday, July 9, 2014.  Arrival in Charlotte, North Carolina.  We were in the same predicament as our forefathers.  Would we be happy with the new land?  Or would we need to journey further?
Bad omens awaited us.  Dark clouds opened and gave us a drenching welcome as we ran to take charge of Nancy’s rental steed.   At our first camping spot, a miserable motel in Gastonia, we ate from our duffel bags and determined to find a place more suitable for our needs.  With the trusty I-Pad, we located a Best Western near the Greenville Airport.  Finally, a ray of sunshine!  This would become our safe cave during that week, assured of nearby food, water and a snug resting place.  From here, we could track in all four directions.

In our internet searches Sherrill’s Ford was a very small spot on the Catawba River.  In the 1740s only the Catawba Indians and stragglers from the Cherokee nations roamed this wilderness.   
In 1747, Adam “The Pioneer” Sherrill, ventured across the Catawba River along with his family of eight sons (and including sister Mary married to Richard Perkins, our ancestor.)  They saw the future in this land of lakes and tall trees and decided to settle in the unexplored forest.
They were the first white people to make homes here, erecting stockade type houses made of rough logs and designed chiefly for protection against the marauding Cherokees.
When we read of these explorations we considered it easy to follow in their footsteps.  Find the dot for Sherrill’s Ford on a google map . . . and go there.  First stop:  Lincolnton, the largest town in the area.  We met with people at the Chamber of Commerce, followed up with more talk at the Library and found out that Sherrill’s Ford was over there someplace.  No one seemed to be hopeful about our success. 
Eventually, with maybe a possible lead to further information, we followed I-Pad clues on a sub road.  We almost passed it up.  The sign read “Branch Library.” In a town of 900 people we couldn’t expect much from a Branch Library.  

We hit pay dirt.  Two pleasant librarians dug out books, maps, made copies and when we mentioned hunger, they dug in their purses and handed us breakfast bars. 
The prize was an “Eastern Catawba County Settlers” showing the location of Adam Sherrill house and tracts surrounding him with more Sherrill and Perkins families. 
Now for the bad news.  We would not walk in his footsteps.  If we had been here in 1929 we could have seen the commemorative boulder erected on the soil where he had landed.  When Lake Norman had been expanded these homes were covered by the waters.  The boulder had been moved . . . somewhere. 
Reading through the stack of info papers, we found a photo of the Sherrill family cemetery where Adam is supposedly buried.  Also we had directions:  Take Island Point Road and then Camden Road. 
Around and around we went.  Adam would have been pleased with his choice of settlement. The lush tall trees remained.  The lake was now surrounded by top price homes with expensive boats at the docks.  But we couldn’t find Camden Road.  We continued to search until we spotted a road leading up to . . . yes, well hidden by tall trees lay the cemetery.  We parked and wandered among slanted and worn gravestones from the earliest years. All burial dates were previous to 1865.  As we snapped pictures, we imagined the funeral services held here two hundred years ago for members of our family.  The feeling of family was strong on this land. 

We continued to search for the Commemorative Boulder, retracking our steps, driving blindly, no directions, just calling, “Where are you, Uncle Adam?”  Suddenly I hollered, “Nancy, turn around.  There is something down that road we just passed.”  No signs or markers pointing the way had been put up.  Almost it appeared that the stone had been placed wherever it would be out of the way, a small slope by the side of the road.  We parked in a private driveway of a white house, walked across the grassy incline and took our pictures. 
We were hungry, tired, but happy.  Once again we had found a connection to the past. 

to be continued

Monday, September 8, 2014

1927 Time Machine

We all know we can’t go home again.  Turning the clock back is a dream. 
However, if we can find the right time frame, maybe the past will show its face once more.  Here’s our story.   

Fifteen years had passed since the five of us had been together at Mom’s funeral.  I don’t need to tell you about funerals – tears rolling down the checks while laughing at hilarious happenings. We promised, “We’ll get together.”

Not until August 2014 did the “fabulous five” meet once more in Indiana.  Luck had been with us.  We are all still here.  Mariam (87), Butch (85), Johnny (82), Al (75), the baby Susie (74).

The girls had wandered afar, the boys had kept their roots in Indiana.  Butch and Johnny would meet Mariam (from Arizona) and Susie (from Texas) at the airport.  

I (Mariam) came in first.  Watching the multitude of runways as we touched down, I could not get a glimpse of 1948.  Someplace out there on the grass I had made my first solo flight in an Aeronca Champ.  At the same time, on the runway next to me,  Allisons made one of their first tests of a jet plane, scaring the bejeepers out of me, causing a huge bounce, a throttle forward, go around and come back shaking, “What was that?”

Today inside of a jet plane I pulled my bag from the overhead and did the usual slow shuffle to freedom.  No longer did the family stand at the end of the tunnel hollering “Here I am.”  It took a wondering walk to find a familiar face.  But there he was.  Brother Butch, oh so much thinner, but with the same light up smile and waiting with open arms.  We hugged, we talked at the same time, we hugged, Johnny, coming from the Cell phone lot, met us and more hugging, tears at our happiness in being together.

While waiting for Susie’s arrival we drove a tour of the airport.  Where is Roscoe Turner hanger and his race plane stored high?  What happened to the metal hanger that I had helped build and worked under the sign of Hurst Flying Service?  All gone?  All forgotten? The 40s had disappeared. 

This summer would be our big reunion including a trip to the past.  Susie rented the time machine – a seven passenger Mercedes – and we met at Johnny’s sixty year old house.  Even as we backed out of the driveway, the boys were hollering driving instructions. “Take 61 to 55” or maybe it sounded like “The best way must be 40 to 36”. The family noises sounded the same as our growing up years and belonged to this day.

A variety of routes criss-crossed the map, all leading to Pine Village. Susie ignored the help, and following her I-pad Sammy, we were soon off of highways and traveling two-laners.   Huge dark green oaks and maples and pines lined our way.  Recent rains had added inches to ponds and created new ponds in hollows around tree roots.

Oh, for Mariam from Arizona, this became a scene to be painted in memory, to keep the smell of freshness, the deep greenness of Indiana.  I hugged it close to me, couldn’t let it fade from three dimensions to flat. 

The 150 miles included past escapades some only coming to light now that we could no longer be paddled for our misdeeds.  As we passed over Little Pine Creek we got a glimpse of young boys skinny-dipping from the banks.  Butch and Johnny yelled, they still felt the sting of the belly splash. 

Susie drove slowly, we had come in the back way.  On the side of the old deserted wooden building the words of “Ogborn’s Store” were fresh and bright to us.  On the other side of the road – “Look, there’s the Pool Parlor.”  It had been forbidden to girls – can you believe a time when someplace was forbidden to girls?

Our driver, who had been a babe in arms on those trips to Pine village, followed our shouts and turned right for the street to grandma’s house.  Three of us, we were teeners and middle graders and pre-schoolers once again.   “Here it is!  Turn in to the driveway at the end of the road.”  Butch hollered.  “Booth’s chicken coops are gone.” A mowed yard and new-to-us house were now where hay barns and well used tractors had been parked.

Slowly the time clock wound back.  “Our tree is gone.”  The tree that Mom had climbed to read books, the tree where Butch had to be rescued from when he climbed it too young, the tree where I had hid behind the leaves and dreamed.  No longer there.  “The lilac bushes, the snow balls were over there.”  We were still in the Now but we could see how the yard had been in the Past.

A “For Sale” sign had been hammered into the yard at the front of the house.  Mariam timidly knocked the front door, Butch knocked harder, no answer, we turned away.  Well, anyway Liz (Butch’s wife and our photographer) would take a picture of our Memory Five.  We stood in place and she clicked.  OK, good.  Then a young man came to the door.  He invited, “Come on in.”

The clocked rolled back to the Thirties and the Forties.  We came through our enclosed front porch, we could see Grandma’s Boston fern in front of the window, long, almost touching the floor. Not daring to breath, we pushed each other, through the door into the living room.  Grandma sat knitting in her comfortable cushioned chair. I gestured toward the tall window with the lace curtains.  “That’s where the radio sat  – that’s where I heard that Wiley Post had crashed and I cried for an hour.”

Straight ahead!  The door to the Mom’s bedroom right in front of us.  The time clock stopped.  2014 had disappeared.  “Right here, right in the bed in front of this window, 87 years and 10 days ago, I was born.”  I had heard the tale so many times and now it was real.  The struggling young lawyer had brought his wife home to her mother from Washington for their first child.  He had told of how Dr. MacGilvery and grandma had banned him from the birthing.  I could see him pacing the yard in front of this bedroom window, I heard the doctor say “Push harder” and I could hear my mother hollering.  Suddenly . . .   quiet and then a baby’s cry.  I saw the young man run back into the house.  His first question:  Was his Lily all right?  Only after his Angel smiled at him, did he look to see his baby daughter.

Oh, that moment in time came so clear. The clock had stopped, the circle came around in time.  If I could only give some words of wisdom to that newborn maybe I could make her journey a little easier.    For a blink I lived in that room with my father and his Angel and the crying babe.  Then the room spun and I returned to 2014.  No message had been left for the baby.  It didn’t matter, I knew I would not have altered her journey.

Brothers were shouting, going from room to room.  The wall to grandma’s bedroom has been torn out to make the living room larger.  The parlor just exactly the same, a wooden hatrack still in the corner.  Same hatrack, same corner.  The back bedroom, the low window, through the years we three had all climbed out of it early in the morning to escape chores. 

Only we three could see the big iron cook stove taking up a good part of the kitchen.  Grandma had heated washtubs of water for our Saturday night baths, big skillets of frying chickens on Sunday, big pots of chicken real-noodles and dumpling soup for sick kids.

We ran down the very same cellar steps and ignored the “modern” heating system. There on wooden shelves sat the Mason jars of peaches and green beans and chicken. “There’s the coal chute,” hollered Johnny.  The brothers had moved many chunks of coal into the coal bin.

Out the back door and the cistern remained.  “Look, the pump is gone!” announced Butch. “Where’s the tin cup for drinking?”  The wisteria vine no longer bloomed over the trestle at the back door.  However we could lead our host around to the side of the house and tell him “That’s the fish pond.”  He laughed, “I always wondered why that area was so sunken.”  

We had looked forward to our summer times with grandma and grandpa and, when we couldn’t sneak away early enough, had spent many an hour hoeing the weeds, shelling the peas, pulling and saving the feathers from the scalded headless chickens.

Scenes go through my mind too fast to record.  The rooms appeared to me as they once were.  When someone later mentioned the fireplace in the For Sale Flyer, I could not remember seeing it. 

2014 came back into view.  Susie parked on the circular driveway that we had once weeded.  We began the walk along the same sidewalk, still cracked by tree roots.  We passed Booths, passed Gepharts, we could get a pale glimpse of the sandbox behind Donna’s house where we had built so many castles.

In our Time Chariot we drove to the Methodist Church.  We didn’t expect it be open but Butch went up the steps, grasped the handle, big surprise, it turned.  Pastor Jeff Allen, catching up in his office, welcomed us and we explained our mission.  The wood pews awaited our return.  Then down the familiar steps to the basement and once more, the Time Clock would stop in the 1930s and 1940s. Same scene, the long tables covered with white tablecloths and variety of collapsible chairs in place.  The Ladies Aid ladies  had the ranges burning and the smells of breakfast frying overcame the dampness of the basement. 

Pastor Jeff recommended the good cooking of Windy Mill for lunch.  He promised to email us a copy of his completed History of the Church (which we now have) and then we walked up to the Main Street.

We raved over the tenderloin and chicken salad.  Mariam’s desert came with a surprise!  The friendly young waitress asked, “Did you ever know a Brutus?”  I jumped up, and the name came immediately.  “Rosie Brutus!”  I rushed into the other room to meet the grandson of grandma’s best friend.  We threw names into the air to see who would catch.  Martindale, Metzker, Ogborn, my (step) grandpa Bill Kelley?  “Did you know the Jones’ girls – Jo Anne was the best baseball player on the team?”  Again, once more, time retreated and we could catch the smell of the old school.

Next destination, Mound Cemetery, to say Hello to grandma.  Our GPS Sammy took us on a graveled road right to the marker we had last seen twenty some years before.  We strolled around searching, but grandma called me her way. While I was by myself with her stone I whispered, “Grandma, thank you for being such a useful caring loving part of my life.”   Then I gave our own family yodel to bring the others.  

Well fed, well memoried, with lots of pictures, we returned to Reality.  The brotherss gave suggestions for the best way to Hendricks County.  From the back seat a voice announced, “Mariam’s asleep.”  No, not asleep, my eyes were closed keeping memories.  The time reel moved slowly, I didn’t want to come back to 2014 quite yet.   I knew I wouldn’t be returning this way again. 

Susie traded the Chariot for a smaller Nissan and the two out-of-town sisters began visiting.    We would spend the night with brother Al and his charming Kerri.  Next we drove through country roads to the small acreage of brother Butch and Liz, his wife of fifty some years and also our photographer. 

Sunday would be Family Day, Reunion Day, Get Together Day.  Johnny’s house began to fill.  Tables and chairs were set up in the backyard where Marty’s green hand had taught coleus, moss rose and geraniums to bring forth their bright colors.  Children and grandchildren of our brothers arrived and set their dishes on the long kitchen counter - Sinful potatoes, Fresh Corn Casserole, Shredded Pork, salads and plates of luscious Indiana sliced tomatoes.  Fresh peach pies, fruit salad, Brownies.  They were all without calories. 

New arrivals were greeted with shouts.  Once again we could put faces to names.  Oh, what a wonderful warm fuzzy feeling to be surrounded by the clan I was born into.

There was so much talking and laughing that somehow we forgot a family tradition.  In the growing up years, we had traded songs for dish washing.  Mom would play the piano and with only a little arguing, we cleared the table and filled the dishpan while singing “Shine on Harvest Moon.”    Throughout the years, it didn’t matter where we would be, someone would begin a familiar favorite, Mariam adding out-of-tune noise, and suggestions coming for the next song.

Too much excitement, we had missed our vocalizing.  So, consequently here it comes from Big Sister:  We, the Fabulous Five, all of us, are duty bound once more to board the Time Machine and be together again next year.  Butch, start the harmonizing!  "The Bell are Ringing . . . "

#MariamCheshire  #PineVillage #WeirCookAirport  #HurstFlyingService  #RoscoeTurner #AeroncaChamp