2007 Aug 11 – Elwood

Wow, it is the 11th already, isn’t it?  How did we settle on this date—the 11th Bomb Squadron similarity?  Nah, musta just been the flying fickle finger of fate.  I digress…

Is everyone else about to die of heat exhaustion?  It hit 105 degrees here yesterday, usually around 103-104 all week.  Still, I think back to the short 3-month tour I had in Kuwait (some of you had much longer tours in the “sand box”!!)  Temps hit 130+ before I left in early June—that will suck the spit right out of your head, won’t it?  Still, every morning this week, I did get out and get the driveway cracks filled and resealed the entire driveway.  20 gallons of sealer.  Usually, by noon or one o’clock, I had to head back inside, but the effort looks great.  I’m going to let it cure then put a second coat on next week.  Then, hopefully, I won’t have to worry about it for a long, long time.

My sister Joy started a project to find out about our family tree.  I fell in as assistant, but she really has the passion and is the driving force.  However, I made the greatest find—another Blackwood who has been working on this for 20 years, and has our Blackwood family history back to 1790.  His name is Harry, and we met at the Spartanburg County Main Library.  There, they have a room dedicated to genealogy.  You must sign in when you visit, and it has census records, land deeds, birth and death records, books of different family histories, etc.  The librarian had given me the tour and I was sitting down at a table contemplating my first move when I heard, “Blackwood?  Is he still here?”  I looked up and the librarian was pointing to me, and a gentleman was looking and grinning at me.  I got up and we shook hands and made introductions.  His grandfather and my grandfather were brothers—I think that makes us fourth cousins or something like that.  We chatted for about a half hour, and he told me that he had all the family on a database for Family Treemaker, which I have just downloaded the beta version of their 2008 edition.  I’m getting together with his next week and will get his info and see how far back we “dirt farmers” go.  He had one interesting story from this so far—another branch of the Blackwood’s produced a governor of South Carolina, I. C. Blackwood (Ibra Charles), around the era of the Depression.  When he would visit Spartanburg, he would send his limousine and pick up our great-grandfather, John Landrum Blackwood, and they would talk for hours while he was here.  About what, I do not know, but it’s interesting that a governor would talk for hours with a poor farmer.  Sis and I will also be looking all other branches of the family, but it’s great to find out more about our past.

My thoughts and prayers go out to you, James, for your father.  And, ouch, about your back.  Are you sure you don’t have kidney stones?  Trust me, the pain is right in your back.  You’re probably the best athlete of all us “old men.”

My best wishes for everyone, and good luck, Chuck, on finding a publisher—I’m sure they’ll be missing out on a great book!


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