My Trip to Grandpa's

Gerri Degroff
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My father died when I was three and mom remarried and we moved to the Toledo Oh.
area. I never knew much about my fathers family and so in 1965(age 17) I let my curious
mind get the better of me and made a trip to Wartburg Morgan Co. Tn. to find my roots.
Well this was my first trip by myself, and was I in for a few lessons in life.
In late summer and the weather was beautiful for traveling I set off with very little
knowledge of what was in store for me in a unknown area. The trip from Toledo to
Wartburg was beautiful. Now in Wartburg arriving late in the day about dark, I
started asking questions about where to find grandpa's place. Well 1st lesson was
about to be learned. Don't go into a town and start asking ???'s. I stopped at a couple
places before I had any luck, by this time it was dark. The boys I talked to said to be
careful you don't know what might be up there because there was a prison close by.
Well that set the fear in motion. I went on my way and found the place. It was very dark
and you could not see a thing. I passed the drive where I was to turn and had to back up.
I did that ok, but when I turned in my back wheel hit the ditch. Needless to say I got stuck.
I got out of the car to check things out, yep a good job of it too. Opened the trunk got out
the jack and went to work getting out of the mess I was in. I was just about to finish when
something hit the car and that was enough for me. I got in the car and gunned it and out I
came. I left the jack and didn't look back til I hit the main road. I spent the nite in the local
motel. Next morning I went back for another try in the day light. I got there to find a small
log cabin on the side of a hill. I got out and started for the cabin and was looking into the
barrel of grandpa's shotgun. After I told him who I was he invited me up to the cabin. He
explained that he had been robbed and was careful of who came there. I told him the story
of the night before and he got a real kick out of that. We talked and laughed and got to
know each other a bit. He was a very interesting man and funny too. He wanted me to walk
with him and as we walked he told me stories of the past. We reached the top of the hill and
there was a gravestone, it was my fathers. He told me a little about him and started walking
again, down the other side of the hill. We came upon the ruins of a old cabin where my parents
lived, and he told me more stories from the past. The whole time we spent walking and talking
he whittled a piece of wood. He was a real old timer and one of the most interesting story tellers
I will ever meet. He died in 1978 and I was blessed to be able to get to know him before he left
this world. I bet he is still telling stories to this day. By the way my fathers grave was moved to
Flat Fork Cem. where he is laid to rest with his parents Grandpa Earl Holder on one side and Grandma
Jenny Asher Holder on the other. I never got to meet my grandmother, she passed away in 1961.
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