Sunday, November 09, 2008

Picking and Grinning and Visiting

This should probably be more appropriately posted to the genealogy blog, but since it's more about how I spent my weekend than about family history, we'll leave it here.

Yesterday I drove southeast about 2 hours to a family get-together in Van Vleck. The Frankums have started an annual singfest with family and friends getting together for a few hours of pickin' and grinnin' and singing the old hymns that are no longer in fashion. This year there were fewer attendees, thanks to soccer play-offs and having to hold the singing later on than usual, but those that were there were enthusiastic. We ate, we sang, we laughed, we visited. We had a good time.

A bunch of cousins making a joyful noise.

An old family friend, age 88,
who can still pick a mean guitar.

This part of the world is where my grandparents lived for many years before moving to Gladewater. It is where their parents are buried. It is also where my grandmother and her sisters and brother are buried. I decided to stop in Wharton and pick up some flowers and go visiting the shut-ins, as my father would call it.

Great-grandparents Tilman and Ella Wilcoxen graves
(their daughter Gertrude is buried here, too)

Across the main cemetery road from the Wilcoxens are the Frankums. My grandmother and her sisters all purchased lots in the same general area, while their brother is buried a short walk away in the same plot as their parents and their grandmother.

Grandparents Arthur & Ivy Wilcoxen graves

Great-grandparents William and Amanda Frankum graves

I have a lot of kinfolks buried here, including other Frankums and a Mason who married into the Frankums. Most of my Wilcoxen kin are buried in the neighboring town of El Campo. I usually visit both cemeteries when I'm in the area, but today I was running short of time and only had time to stop by Wharton.

As I drove back home, I let the navigation system direct my route and ended up in a bit of a snarl in Eagle Lake, where they were busily tearing up all the railroad crossings. It took me a little effort to figure out where the one that still existed was located and get across to the road I needed. I had indicated I wanted no freeways on my route, so I meandered through the country on a pleasant drive to connect with Highway 71. I watched the cows graze, the birds perch on telephone wires and the sun slowly set.

It was a nice break in routine. I was tired when I got in, but rested mentally. Nothing like the fellowship of family, old gospel music and a drive through the country to reduce the normal, everyday stress of life.



RMG said...

Ain't that just like kinfolks? To come through and never even say hello...

LSW said...

Well, I had intended to at least stop by and see your folks - only to find out they were up this way for early Thanksgiving.

RMG said...

If not, they'd have probably been off in their new camper. We are starting to forget what they look like...

RMG said...

You know that one of your relatives of the Frankum line was a teacher of mine in junior high? I don't remember what her first name was, but Mrs. Frankum taught health, I believe. A really nice lady. She used to tell us all kinds of stories in class.

LSW said...

Wonder if that might have been Barbara? She's the only one I know for sure is a teacher. Red hair. Your mother knows her - recognized her at Daddy's funeral and it was the first time she realized she was one of my relatives on the other side of the family.

RMG said...

Yes, red hair. Also, I remember her telling us about her heart attack years back. She said it felt like an elephant sitting on her chest. Funny, every time I hear about someone having a heart attack, I get a mental picture of an elephant sitting on their chest... Impressionable minds...