March 9, 2002
Warm, ok, close to HOT. Shorts weather, we go over to the Okefenokee park before lunch, check out the visitor’s center, and then back to the trailer for lunch. After lunch, back to the park, where we visit a home on the premises and take a long leisurely walk on a board walk. At the end of the board walk there is an observation stand where you can see wild birds, and of course, gaters! We walk about 2 miles. I have a headache all day, due to allergies and all that kind of icky rot, but we manage to have a nice day in spite of it. Back at the camp we visit with the camp hosts, who just happen to be from Michigan, and Barb, just happens to do family history. A nice slow day, some extra rest time, needed by all.
March 10, 2002
Cooler today, but bright, sunny, clear, wonderful. I still have that allergy headache thing going on, so we decide to take it easy. After a slow breakfast we decide to clean the trailer. I mean really clean it, so we drag the vacuum out, pick up and move everything, scrub the floors, sweep, the works. The activity helps the headache, at least for the time being. After we cook and eat lunch we decide to try and get a boat ride in the swamp. We got really lucky with this, the next boat leaves 15 minutes after we get there.
2 hour ride, lots of alligators. Interesting plants, a interesting guide (degree in biology, past zoo director, somewhere, forgot where he said, world traveler, oh, and yorkie lover). Man enjoys this more than words can describe. Maybe the high point of the last month for him! We have extended our stay here for 3 more nights, tomorrow we will try to do email, groceries, laundry. Now I have to feed the dogs, so, later -------
March 11, 2002
Errands day, first to the library, email and check bills. Then laundry, then groceries, and the day is already winding down. We sure have short lazy days in the trailer. Weather is very nice today, pleasant, not hot, not cold. We have laundry hanging all over the trailer, which takes a while to dry, as it is humid.
March 12, 2002
We hear today that Man’s mother is in the hospital with respiratory troubles and irregular heart beat. Son # 1 calls and asks us to keep a cell phone on all the time. Which we will do.
Wow, miles galore today, we go to Jesup, almost to Madray Springs, Wayne County, Georgia, looking for Bethesda Primitive Baptist Church, where my great great grandfather is buried (his wife as well, her grave is not marked). We find a marker on 169 going north out of Jesup for the church and turn. We blast past the church because it looks much like a house. Reaching the end of Bethesda Road, realize we missed. Turn around, find another church, and find some workers there, they have maps, I take a look, the workers seem to think the church is on the next road, I have my doubts, so tell Man, DRIVE SLOW! Coming back at the building and cemetery from another direction it is easy to see that it is indeed a church. Total different view.
I take the right side of the cemetery, Man takes the left. I walk straight back and right to Hezekiah’s grave. Photos taken, but of course.
Next back to Jesup, to try and discover the grave sites of two of Hezekiah’s grandchildren. The only listings of burials is not at the cemetery, but at the city hall, I request a lookup, which is promised, now I can hope!!
Trick we used several times today, find a funeral home (easier to find than cemeteries) and ask directions. Hint: stop at a LARGE funeral home, not the little hole in the walls one, like the one Al spied. We stopped, I knocked on doors, some were locked, some open, but no one answered a very loud “Hello”. One in the back was partially open, only, only, only,
OK, warning: don’t read next part if you are squeamish.
Only, no one answered and we discovered it was the embalming room!
Thankfully room was UNOCCUPIED!!
Next we drove to Blackshear, Pierce County, Georgia to try and find the burial place of Matthew Bowen, one of Hezekiah’s children. Stop at a funeral home, ask directions, only to discover that there are TWO Pine/Piney Grove Baptist Church cemeteries. One is black, one is white. I am not sure, but I think they said there is only a cemetery at the white church. So, we get directions, as usual, I have a little trouble understanding the directions, not the accent, just the “localisms”. In this case it was the “overpass”. Well, there were several overpasses, one did not take us to the correct street. The other did, after we went a little further down the road. Found the church, but no cemetery. Found some local fellows that knew where the cemetery was, found it, but did not find many markers. It would appear that the cemetery could hold about 200 graves, maybe a few more, did not count the headstones, but a wild guess is about 50. One was metal, totally rusted out, could not read a word. A really old stone had been broken off, and some one had enclosed it in a metal frame of sorts, said frame, being of course, rusted, could not read much of that stone either. Actually saw 2 or 3 remnants of what could only be wooden crosses marking graves. If Matthew was buried here, there was no marker. Must consider that he is over at the other church, which is black now, but was black in 1917?? Then again, maybe I was simply in the wrong county??? Heavens, who knows!
Next to Waycross, just cause Man wanted to go there, no real reason, just cause. We stopped there at a Walmart and picked up a few things and then back to Folkston. Long day, we are tired. Rains about 8 to 9 this evening, hard.
March 13, 2002
Warm, nice day, sunny. We pack up very slowly, reluctant to leave here, it has been a pleasant stay. Nice campground.
We are only jumping over to Darien, McIntosh County, Georgia, about 70 miles, give or take. We arrive there by 1:30, set up, have lunch, take off for town. Find the city hall, get directions to the cemetery where my great-grandfather might be buried. (Sources vary, some say here, some say Brunswick, down the road a piece).
Find cemetery with no trouble, and find it to be one of the most beautiful cemeteries we have ever visited, lots of azaleas in bloom, live oaks with spanish moss hanging from them, palms. Very well kept, and large! We have no idea what section of the cemetery we need, so we take the walkie talkies and split up. Man finds the Blanton burials first, relatives to Joseph and Minnie Maud. Joseph and Minnie are reportedly buried in the same plot. No markers. Take photos of Blanton stones and of the cemetery. A truly lovely place.
Drive around, find a historical marker for the “Ridge”. I will have to find out what that means, where the term came from, etc.
Back to Darien, find the library, do email. As I am sitting there doing email I glance up and find there is a sign “Genealogy”. Done with the email I wander over and have a look. Not a bad collection for a small library. Not bad at all! I find several references to the Blanton clan, and get some dates and such that I did not have. Find out they have old newspapers on film, which I will look at tomorrow. Maybe I can find some obituaries.
Next we go to the Outlet shopping plaza out on 95, very near our campground. Do a little shopping, couple of things for the trailer. The weather is wonderful, pleasant, slight breeze, not muggy, nice evening to be out side!
Back at the trailer Man installs road atlas program on the computer and that is about it for another day.