TSGS Cruiser Blog

Saturday, November 29, 2008

"Big Doggie"

I began serious genealogical research in 1978. The same year the youngest of my three sons was born. When I first traveled to various courthouses in Kentucky, to keep me company, I would bring Becky and the kids with me. I did some courthouse & library research added visits to lots of cemeteries and sometimes living relatives. We would have a nice picnic lunch and for the most part Becky and the boys liked the generally all-day outings. They loved running through the cemeteries with all of the neat statues and tombstones. I took a lot of the kids pictures while they stood behind ancestors' stones. Over a few years, we had visited over forty cemeteries. My youngest must have thought visiting cemeteries was a normal way of life and that it was important to go into the cemetery and check for family markers (bear in mind this was before we had nice cemetery transcribed, indexed books). Where ever we traveled, he would see a cemetery and shout, “Dad, there is a cemetery, don't you want to stop and check for our family?” He was only 3 or 4 years old and cemetery searching was his most exciting family activity!

One evening before sundown, we learned of a cemetery in Grayson Co., Kentucky where my great, great grandmother Rhoda [Kimble] Wood was buried. The cemetery had narrow roads around it with little space to park. I pulled over close to a pasture fence and began my search. I had noticed the cows were making their way to the barn to be fed and milked for the night. The sun was beginning to set and I was lucky to find the grave before it got dark. It was a humbling feeling to see her grave. Mom had talked about her ever since I could remember... it was almost like meeting her – what a great feeling!

Becky and the kids stayed in the car since it had been a long day and everyone was tired. I shut off the car engine and all the windows were rolled down to enjoy the cool evening breeze. As I headed back to the car, I noticed that it was rocking back and forth – what in the world was happening? Becky started yelling for me to come quick. I ran to the car and a cow had its head in the back window. About that time the poor cow got its head out and turned to go to the barn. The cow did not hurt itself or the car. Becky told me that our youngest son thought the cow was a big “doggie” and called it over to pet it. The cow came over and evidently wanted to be petted – which was done with delight by our son. I avoid using his name as he does not like us telling the “Big Doggie” story. - by John G. West

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