Monday, October 07, 2013

Graveyarding Time is Here

I've always loved the Fall.  The temperatures are very pleasant and the leaves are beautiful.  In the last few years, however, I've found another reason to love Fall.  As the mosquitoes disappear and the snakes go to ground, it's the beginning of Graveyarding Season. 

Here's a great shot my son Ian got last November at Hugh Reed's Family Plot near Blackville.
Foot stone at grave of Jane McSpeddon Reed, 1794-1839 with headstone in background.
My plan is to revisit our family graveyards here on this blog in the next few weeks.  There have been some very positive changes in the last couple of years.  But first, let's review how NOT to go graveyarding from a trip Ian and I made in 2008.  After reading, please leave a comment about one of your graveyarding trips.

How NOT to Go Graveyarding

On Thursday, April 10, 2008, my son Ian and I took our first major graveyarding trip down to Barnwell County. It was very successful on most counts. More about that part of the trip another time. The rest of the story is to demonstrate how NOT to go graveyarding. 

When we were ready to head home from Barnwell County, it was only 2:30. So we decided to go back up through Blackville to Hwy. 3 to catch a section of Rd. 389 that was supposed to have the Jeremiah Jones family cemetery (my mother’s side of my family).

The only info I had was that it was on Rd. 389 near Sawyerdale, and I had looked it up on Mapquest. We rode through looking and had seen nothing by the time we got to Neeses. I stopped at town hall (offices close at 1PM on Thurs & Fri) and talked with the magistrate who recommended I go talk to the manager at the Piggly Wiggly. He sent us back to 389 to a church we’d seen where a funeral was being held to ask folks there. Nobody knew, including a lady who had grown up on that road. I couldn’t hang around any longer though, because my low fuel light started beeping!

We were ready to go find some ice cream and gasoline and go on home. BUT, at the gas station, I talked with a fellow that gave me directions to two possibilities. Take Begonia Road, go up a two rut road in between . . . cinder block house . . .

On one two rut road we drove into a sort of enclave with a couple of nice houses, barns, garages, farm equipment, and an Esso station. Yep, it was truly picturesque. Had TONS of very old service station collectibles all over the place. I would like to have stopped & taken a picture, but I felt like someone somewhere was pointing a gun at me. We didn’t see or hear a soul. (Maybe they were all at the funeral up the road.)

On another two rut road we saw a sort of turn-in where Ian thought he saw tombstones. I turned in on what was just a path (no ruts) in the woods. No stones. I kept going (optimist that I am) and came out in a large grassy clearing with a very large mobile home. I pulled up to it and a teenage girl came out smiling. As I was starting to tell her I was very lost, her mama comes around the back corner of the house, arms folded over chest, accompanied by two big black dogs, saying very sternly, "You better have a good reason for being back up in here."

"Yes, ma’am. I’m very lost. I’m looking for the Jeremiah Jones family cemetery." Smiling big. My 19 years in a school office where the parents got bolder, meaner, ruder, and more irate with each passing year was really paying off.

"I ain’t never heard of it," she barked.

"Ohhhh, well [disappointedly] if you’ll just tell me the best way to get back to Begonia Road, I’ll be out of here," thinking that surely they didn’t get to & fro this lovely trailer through those woods.

"Just go back up ‘ere through ‘em woods where you come in, where you had no bidness being, and take that two rut road right back to Begonia Road."

"Yes, ma’am. Thank you soooooo much. And God less y’all."

Ian & I hightailed it outta there! I really didn’t get too nervous ‘til we were back to Begonia Rd., whereupon I had to pay close attention to my driving not to have a full fledged panic attack! We made a pledge right then and there: no more two rut roads unless I know exactly where I’m going AND the folks around there know I’m coming!

No comments:

Post a Comment