Tuesday, May 14, 2019

One last visit

On the road to the west side of Michigan.

Dad wants to see his mother and father's grave site one more time before he dies. Dad also wants to visit the site of one of the places he lived and visit with one of his remaining first cousins.

Mom is up for the diversion of travel.

Four of us kids are tagging along to take pictures and record GPS coordinates. I will be driving the Mom-and-Dad mobile and little sis (a nurse) will be sitting in back chatting with them and keeping an eye on their energy and pain levels.

The rest of the family will be traveling in a separate vehicle.

Dad's family was semi-indigent.

Grampa had tuberculosis and died in the mid 1930s. Times were tough in the depression. Times were even tougher when the man of the household could not work and was dying of a chronic disease.

The house Dad remembers most vividly is no longer standing. That does not come as a surprise. Even in the 1930s it barely qualified as a shack.

That house was down by the river and a quarter mile from a hobo camp.

According to Dad, Grampa's brothers set up a boxing ring outside his bedroom window so he could coach neighborhood pugilists from his sick-bed. Grampa's brothers also set up a shooting range where Gramps could shoot at targets through the window from that same sick-bed.

I asked Dad to claw back through his memories. Dad now believes that Gramps had a view of both the garden and the path leading from the hobo camp through his shooting window.

What a fine intersection of function! A hobo might think twice about visiting the poor family with the invalid dad when he knew it was a place where the neighborhood toughs gathered and where he would have to advance through a clear field-of-fire to get to the door.

I will post such pictures as operational security allow.

1 comment:

  1. That’s an interesting thought, and sounds like he was VERY sharp, even as his body failed him.

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