Welcome to the Weekend Chat, my fellow WikiChatterers, and greetings from Cathey’s Creek, where the weather has been unseasonably cool this week. I woke up to a 43 degree morning today, and it’s been in the mid to upper 70s all week. These kinds of temps are great for getting stuff done outside. We’ve had a skilled carpenter here with us all week, doing all those need things that are outside my skill set. I have not been able to help much due to my troublesome shoulder, but I have learned a few neat little construction tips my watching.
I am going to combine my On the Home Front and On the Genealogy Front today with this:
My 92-year-old mother wanted to drop by for a visit a couple of days ago (yes, she still drives), and while we were sitting on the back deck chatting, she shared the following story.
My Uncle Ralph was in the Merchant Marine during World War II, and my mother remembered how fearful my grandparents continually were for his life. He very rarely got leave to come home. One Christmas, he did get a leave, but could not contact his family to tell them. He took the bus from Norfolk, Virginia, to Charlotte during particularly bad weather, a White Christmas. Arriving in Charlotte, he planned on taking the bus that traveled past home in rural (very rural then) Mecklenburg County.
While he was waiting a gentleman, seeing Uncle Ralph in uniform, came up to him and asked if he needed a ride. Uncle Ralph told him a bus would be heading out later. The gentleman, offered him a ride, insisted really. They left the bus station and drove the seven and a half miles out to the farm. Still snowing and getting late.
My grandparents and my mother and her sisters were still awake when they saw, around the edge of the blackout curtains, a car coming down the road. To their surprise, this car pulled in, and a man got out of the car (my uncle), walking to the door. My grandfather opened the door to see his son, his only son, standing there. (At this point my mother broke down, crying at the memory.) Going out to tell the gentleman how appreciative he was, my grandfather found the car gone. How unfortunate this gentleman’s name is lost to us.
As his leave was nearing its end, Uncle Ralph arrived back in Norfolk, only to find that his ship had been sunk while he was gone, and he was assigned to another.
It’s stories like these that make the lives of those gone before, like those little snippets of newspaper articles we often stumble across, come alive. I’ve pretty much exhausted my mother for relationship details, and I find these stories much more satisfying, stories that put flesh on dates and locations. I came across a family during census searches, one that lived near my mother and who were related to my grandmother. It’s time to drop by Mother’s to hear what she’s got to say about them!
I hope you’ve all had a good week. I know that some of you are personally struggling with difficulties, whether your own personal ones or within your family. What I have seen is this community come together in these situations, covering duties and offering thoughts and prayers. I think this is why “community’ is such a good word to describe us.
Have a great Chat, everyone!! I look forward to hearing from you.