11 May James

Hi everyone,

Sorry about the late post, but I was in West Virginia and Ohio visiting relatives. I was without internet in both places for about a week and somehow managed to survive.

I had a great time in WV visiting my father’s side of the family in central WV. Life is much different there as coal, timber and subsistence farming are the only real opportunities there. The place is crawling with Osbornes though. I met two other James Osborne’s! I searched through a couple of old family cemeteries in the middle of nowhere and found my grandfather (1889-1974), great grandfather (1845-1912) and my great great grandfather (1815-1884). I found my Cherokee great great grandmother’s (1815-1866) grave with a relatives help in the woods after four wheeling several miles up a railroad right of way. The story of why she is buried there is the subject of an annual outdoor drama presented by my relatives which has attained some notariety in the state. At the courthouse I went through the old records and found my grandfather’s death certificate and, to my great surprise, I found out that my father had three sisters (stillborn) and a brother that died at age 2. So, he was the only child of five to survive infancy. It occured to me that for me to be here, my father had to survive when 80% of his siblings didn’t and then he had to survive the Depression in Appalachia and WWII. There is much to be grateful for! It was neat going through the records at the county courthouse. To get to some of the books, I had to scoot the locked ballot boxes of votes away from the shelves. This was a couple of days after the WV primary. It’s hard to explain, but I got a real sense of what democracy is by being so close to the raw votes of the people of that county.

Bob, I missed you in Houston a few weeks ago. I spent a few days with my daughter to see how she is doing. She is basically a lieutenant in the restaurant business and is working harder than I ever did. She is doing fine and enjoys the work. Congratulations on your graduation and hanging out your shingle.

Reed, good luck on the house hunting. You are really into astronomy with a 22″ Dobsonion. As a kid I remember some friends of mine grinding the lenses for a large telescope, but it wasn’t 22″.

Andy, that’s another great model. I particularly like the mottled camouflage. I’m sorry, but I just can’t eat duck. I’ve tried, but it tastes like duck! Your recipe might make the difference though.

Chuck, I hope you are enjoying your job at 8th. Grandchildren certainly keep you busy.

I’ll talk to you next month.

James

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