I Went Searching For an Indian and Found I Was a Dutchman

I Went Searching for an Indian and Found I Was a Dutchman.
I've always been interested in history so when my Uncle Wayne gave me some information about our family roots I had to begin changing the way I've always thought about where I came from. We had always been told, "there's Indian blood in our ancestry, we just haven't been able to prove it". I have been surprised to learn that while searching for an Indian link, I found a Dutchman. Now I'm not saying there may not be some Indian blood somewhere but the prospect looks dimmer the more I find out.
I also have had some general prejudices about folks back east, especially areas like Ohio (I grew up in the Woody Hayes era and couldn't stand Ohio State). What a surprise (and God ordained I believe) to find we arrived in Ohio in the early 1800s, my ancestor fought in an Ohio Regiment in the Civil War, and came to Kansas afterwards. That, and some visits to Ohio, has adjusted my thinking.
And the other reason why-to keep communication between the far flung members of my family and encourage them to drop a note so we can keep in touch with the details of their lives. We miss too much by not being there in the day to day workings of life. So, leave a post for all of us.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Grandpa's Victory Tour-Part 1

I call this section Grandpa's Victory Tour because the Hurricane (Kathi) came up with it and I thought if fit. This trip is all about our journey to AT-lanta (that's the way it's properly pronounced I'm told) for our National Encampment of the SUVCW (Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War). I am the current Department Commander of Kansas and it's kind of my duty to be there. And I want to anyway because it's the 150th of the Atlanta Campaign and the Georgia and South Carolina Department is hosting.  But I'm a little nervous about the reception we'll get wondering if they still remember 150 years go when GGGPapy William arrived with his buddies.  Since we are driving to Atlanta, we decided to enlarge the trip somewhat and take in a couple of battlefields along the way. The plan originally was to hit Shiloh, then Chickamauga and Chattanooga, then on to Atlanta. We were going to leave early Sunday am, drive to Shiloh, then spend a few hours Monday before driving on to Chattanooga.
The Famous Vibe at Shiloh
I decided Saturday that we'd leave at midnight (with the Hurricane's consent) and get to Shiloh midday on Sunday and have some time to look around so we could narrow our focus on Monday. As we finished up last minute preparations (she making cookies packing food ,etc-me messing around on Pandora) I thought-"why sit around until midnight? We're burnin' daylight! So after we dropped Mac off at the Ozawkie Pet Hotel (he's still barking, "hey wait for me!") at 5:30 we finished preparations and when she said, "I'm ready" we piled in the Vibe and headed east (about 7:30). Editors Note: You'll hear (and see on FB) us "Vibe'n around". That's a bone to my daughter Karli and son-in-law Ande for loaning it to us for the trip.
We used to leave on vacation early like this when we were younger and had kids as 1)we're too keyed up about the trip to sleep anyway and 2)maybe the kids would fall asleep and at least the first 8 hours or so would be quiet.  But we haven't tried this since we got to be old people. Off we go heading towards St Louis with a general idea of where we're going (Selmer, TN) based on Mr Google and his maps. We hit St Louis and I-55 south to Memphis. We've been through Saint Looey mucho times but never left headed in that direction before. I kept wondering (in the dark as it's now midnight) "when are we going to cross the Mississippi?" not realizing that we wouldn't be crossing until almost as far south as we needed to be. It was real foggy and the Hurricane was fading so she dozed off after asking me a dozen times "are you ok?" She thinks because I'm old, I cant do this "road warrior" thing anymore.  But I can! Or, maybe it was because I'd worried her some earlier when I suggested since we'd be arriving in Tennessee on the Lord's Day, we might find one of them snake handlin' churches to attend just for the experience. She said if I planned that, I should just leave her at The Magnificent's house (Felix-our grandson for those of you not in the inner circle of our lives) in KC and go by myself.  Silly girl-I'd never tell her those plans until AFTER we passed KC!
So she dozes off and I continue on in a dark fog. Literally-it was dark (night, you know), and had turned off foggy (note to Ande-we need to fix that broken fog light). It would have been cool to follow the Mississippi down I-55 and see the countryside but I could only guess what it would look like. Thinking through my Maps of the US copy in my head I came to realize that we probably would not cross at Cape Girardeau and would most likely drive all the way through Missouri and into Arkansas before heading west. I was close.
When we hit the area of New Madrid (where the fault line lies under the boot heel of SE Missouri) I told the Hurricane I was going to pull in the rest area there and we could grab a nap in the parking lot (like we had seen other folks do).
Vibe'n with the sketers at the
New Madrid Welcome Ctr
We wheeled in, parked the Vibe, cracked a couple of windows (it was relatively cool) and kicked back the seats. Well, SHE did. Mine didn't seem to like that position. But I was tired.  I dozed off but woke to an itchy elbow...and wrist...and a skeeter droning around my ear.  I swatted at him and tried to go back to sleep. No good. Same for the Hurricane. We had hunkered down in the skeeter vortex of the Mississippi River. No wonder the folks from Texas next door had their Mercedes idling all night. So we woke up, flailed at skeeters for awhile, then I went in to check out the rest stop digs before hitting the road. They had a real cool rendition of the fault line on the floor of the building. You ought to check it out if you get down that way. But keep your winders up.
Just a little further south we saw the exit to US412 east-Carruthersville-and off we went, crossing the Mississippi in a dark fog (same song, second verse). It didn't seem that big to me but, well, it was dark. As the sun started to lighten the eastern sky, we pulled into Jackson, TN, the Hurricane dutifully searching her phone for the nearest Cracker Barrel and we found one. Do you know, even at 6am there are folks lined up to get into the Cracker Barrel? Yep, and we weren't the only ones. Breakfast and onward to Selmer which is just west of the Shiloh battlefield. There wasn't any use in dropping by the motel as they wouldn't let us check in at this early time. I did note as we went south from Jackson we were travelling the "Rockabilly Highway". Being just east of Memphis and Elvis-ville I wasn't surprised. But what I saw next sure did!
US  64 from Selmer to Adamsville is the Buford Pusser Highway. No way! Sheriff Buford Pusser of Walking Tall fame? Yep, the same one. I had no idea but now I'm going to have to watch the movie again just to get the historical facts correct. The Hurricane said we didn't have time to tour the home and museum and that was okay because 1) we were headed to Shiloh and 2) they weren't open anyway. It was,as a matter of fact, Sunday morning...early...

Well, more about the trip in part II-Shiloh.

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