Hamlin/Abilene TX Oct. 2006 Trip
By Roger Arrick:
8:30am, Saturday morning. Laying in bed, staring out the window, awaiting a lazy, uneventful day.
Phone rings. It's my brother Randy. "I've got a wild hair to go to Hamlin today and find the Scotts and Nalls in the cemetery" he says. Ok great, go for it. You da Man! Chit-chat for 5 minutes. Hey, why don't you go with me? NO, it's 2 hours to Fort Worth then 3+ hours to Hamlin, then another 5 back. And it's already 8:30!
Three more "No's" and I'm in the shower getting ready. Dang you Randy!
I gas up the rig, fill out the loan paperwork, and take off for Fort Worth. Get there about noon. Hop in Randy's truck and off we go.
In the back Randy has piled in all of his family research for the last decade+. He also reveals the original photo of Leonard L Arrick in Downtown Forney, and Manerva Harrisons deteriorating photo and frame - a new project for me.
There was some sort of time warp and the 2+ hour trip to Abilene was over in about 15 minuites.
Grace Methodist Church
I mention that Grace Methodist Church where Ellie Mae went is just down Grape Street a few miles. Here we go.
There were people at the Church and we went in to see the plaque with the Arrick's name on it.
Randy bought a fake pumpkin and handed it off to me. I couldn't stand the embarrassment and sat it on a random shelf.
We see Naomi who shows us the albums of original Chruch construction in 1934. The back of the picture has names on it. We slapped these on the copier so the quality is poor. We also meet a nice lady who's brother and father (Griffin) worked at the brick plant.
I mention that Jack and Mary Frances had shown me the field where the brick plant was and he had to go. Here we are walking in a field of hardened red dirt with pieces of brick poking through the surface. Next thing I know we are digging. It was like Christmas. See the Pictures.
Off to Hamlin, the day is getting short.
Our trusty Google Maps pay off and we go right to the cemetery east of town.
The cemetery is pretty big - I'd say 20 acres. Randy drives through the front gate, down to lane 9, turns right, goes 200 feet, and right there are the Nalls and Scotts.
We get out, take some pictures and start walking the rest. After about an hour of walking we decide to call the local Scotts and ask some questions. We can't find JG. Edwin say's it's on Lane 9 but we don't see it.
After hearing Randy's success at talking to humans, I decide to call Wanda. JG is on Lane 9, but across the road in the veteran's section. We start driving and right there it is. But it's JG Jr, not JG. Wanda say's he's buried in San Antonio - yet another trip. Wanda is very nice and tells me lots of goodies and I wrote them down on a sheet of paper. Mary Lou's grave is the new unmarked one behind Inez and Pete.
Also, right next to the Scotts is a batch of Praters. Praters are found next to Orricks in the TN census, and Sallie Breshers (Signed Mary Lee's birth cert as Aunt) has a sister named Prater. Wanda says she doesn't know of a connection. Prater's are a mystery.
While walking there was a big black dog following us around but he didn't look threatening. We get in the truck and take off, it's getting dark. After getting a few miles through town and out, I realize that the notes from Wanda are missing. We turn back. Go all the way back to the cemetery and there is the piece of paper laying on lane 9. I pick it up and it has teeth marks from the dog, but is still readable.
Randy then tells me the story of Leonard L's flag which is at Larry's house but we don't have his address and directions. I call Margo but she can't find it online and has to call Mom. She calls me back with directions. It's dark now. He's not home, I remember now he said he would be out of town.
I finally get back to Tyler at 1:30am after logging about 700 miles total.
We are so happy to learn about Mary Lee's branch, and we are looking forward to meeting them.