It was three years ago today…

Inventing the Myth as I Go

Where am I heading and how will I get there?

You are welcome to come along for the ride. Try not to fall off as we round the curves…

I have tried to do this blog thing before and haven’t managed to develop the discipline to make it work…Blame it on the Floyd County Group of Bloggers for this new try. Fred First and his Fragments From Floyd Blog is inspiring me to begin again in the creation of the myth that is my life. Give me a little time and I’ll try to tie up the loose ends…

via Day One of the next stage of my life… | North Carolina Mountain Dreams.

And  I am still trying to put the words together that will tell the story I want to tell…Three years down and a lifetime to go.

Daily muses have moved to CoffeeMuses.com. Stop over and sit a spell…

Wednesday Coffee Muses

There is no better way to start a morning than with a column by Leon Hale. Go sit awhile on the porch of his old country house and hear a tale or two…

WINEDALE — On the front porch again at the old country house in Washington County, and here is my deep thought for the week:

One of humankind’s greatest inventions is the riding mower.

Maybe you’ll agree, if you’ve ever cut your lawn with a push mower.

Those words — push mower — put me in reverse, back to my first regular paying job, taking care of Mrs. Nichols’ yard once a week the summer of 1932. She had this mower with metal wheels and dull blades.

Cutting her grass ruined an entire day, and my pay was 35 cents, a glass of lemonade and a couple of tea cakes.

Even as I relate (somewhat) to his opening, it’s the mental images that come from his closing comments that really left me smiling…

After all the rain we’ve had this spring, grass and weeds are tall and lush, and there’s something about knocking over that thick growth that appeals to me.

Pour on the juice. Wade into a patch of briars and weeds and watch the dust fly. Hit a fire-ant mound and knock those little suckers 40 feet. Run over a dead limb fallen off an oak and whang, bam, blooey — busted sticks fly clean across the creek.

Do yourself a favor and go have a sit a spell on another porch and have a listen to a great local storyteller. If you haven’t followed my links in his direction before, take a little while to read a few from his archives, it’s worth the investment in time…Trust me.

Source: Hale: Mowing the lawn was never this fun | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

It’s good to see the weather on the Blue Ridge appears to be moderating a bit. The weather prognosticators are promising us a respite from the heat…tomorrow. Seems to be the way it goes here on the Gulf Coast, always better weather tomorrow, though I am sure there are enumerable folks out there who would love the weather we are having. I know there must be a lot of folks who like their springs to be full of 9o’s, both temperature and humidity readings, unfortunately, I’ve never been one of them.

I remember the summer in the early years of our marriage when I decided to paint the old house we bought from my parents. That year turned out to be one of the hottest and driest we ever had. Since the house had last been painted in the early 50’s, I couldn’t take a chance that the paint didn’t have some lead in it so breathing the dust as I scraped and sanded down to a clean surface didn’t seem advisable.

Every day that month started above 80 and went over 105 by noon. Even dry our climate pumps out some humidity, so to say it was uncomfortable working conditions would be showing way too much constraint. I spent my days in cut off blue jean shorts, shirtless, barefoot, with only a headband around my head to catch the sweat…and a whopping big respirator to keep from breathing the dust. It took me most of the month to scrape and sand and prime and then finally paint that house. Boy was I proud when I finished (and sweated down to a trimness I have never again reached in this life). And totally flummoxed when a year or so later the paint on the west side of the house started flaking off of the cypress siding. Turns out not much will stick to good cypress lumber which is why they used to use it to build around the water…

It looks like it’s time to hit the road…

My original WebLog circa Nov 2000

Before there were Blogs there were WebLogs. My first self-published writings on the web were my genealogy research at the old GeoCities. Just for the fun of it I thought I would put up the original weblog here for your perusal…At that time my WebLog was not a daily journal. I doubt I was online daily in those early years.

I found these posts at the Internet Archive. These posts were archived on Nov. 28, 2000,

WebLog Page

This page will contain my thoughts and the comments I generally make on my revised Home pages. As the home page is updated the comments there will be moved here. Hopefully this will become a journal of my Genealogical Odyssey. My main hope is that this will force me to update these pages with a little greater regularity than in the past.

26 November 2000

Thanksgiving is over and the update to these pages is about concluded. I probably have a few links to fix and some additions to make. I want to link the reports to the family pages as they were in the old web.

On a family note Thanksgiving at my Mom’s this year was less stressful than some have been. All of the children (my sisters and brothers and I) made the trip. As we gradually migrate further from home, these get to-gathers are getting harder to pull off. Christmas’s have been minus Sandy since she and Nigel moved to the lake. It looks like this year will be the year we children begin our own traditions with just visits to Mom’s. All of us have adult children now so the family continues…

Happy Holidays to all of you who bother to look at these pages.

12 November 2000

Beginning again.

It seems to be the nature of the internet. Always beginning. Always evolving.

This is the first major evolution of this site. Whether it is any better than the last, you will have to be the judge. The main thing that has changed is my database has been updated to remove some of the non-relatives that had been there since my very early days.

I’ve staked my claim to my homestead in cyber-space. It’s a lot like the 1870’s in Texas when my Great-Great Grandmother Eliza Freeman Boyd was allowed to stake her claim on the land she was already living on.

Other than wanting to put my genealogy out where other researchers can find it and possibly make a connection, I don’t have a definitive reason for doing this. But, come to think of it, I might have just typed the key to the Internet subliminally. After all, isn’t the entire reason for the Internet to make connections?

June 2000

It’s been another year and the 41’st Annual Boyd ~ Cox Reunion was held in Wallis, Texas this year. As always I enjoyed meeting with the family and the visit was rushed as always. The core group doesn’t change much each year. It would be nice if we could encourage a greater participation. If we don’t recapture some of our cousins, we could see the end of this family get together in a few years.

Next Years Reunion will be back in East Bernard at the Community Center / Library. This annual event is held on the second Sunday in June every year.

March 2000

Made a trip to North Carolina for work. I had a chance to spend a couple of days up in the mountains. It was my first trip up into the Smokies and I must admit I was impressed. While I don’t have any records to tie my line of Linville’s to the area, I did enjoy driving through Linville, NC and I made a side trip to Linville Falls. Beautiful… It almost makes you wonder why anyone would leave the area and go further west.

November 1999

What with a fire that destroyed our offices at work and all of the rebuilding going on there, I haven’t had much of a chance to get a lot done on my research. I was able to spend a few days in central Texas doing a little research…

I spent a few days running down some leads in the County Court House of Brown County Texas. I was looking into the death of Phillip Caleb Cox. I wish to thank the very helpful ladies working in the County Clerk’s Office, They made it very easy to do some research.

After going through the probate records, I could find no record or mention of the rumor of the murder of Caleb Cox Sr. by his brother-in-law. All I could find was several petitions to be appointed executor and a final listing of his estate. It does appear that Caleb Jr may not have survived his father for very long. I will eventually put the transcriptions on this site.

October 21, 1999

Since I last worked on this site a number of things have happened…mainly work related, that have kept me from working on this site or tracing my roots.

As I mentioned in my last opening…we did the Boyd-Cox Reunion in June. It was fun seeing all of the family that attended, I wish more of the younger generation would attend. That above statement makes me really feel old, as it wasn’t long ago that I considered myself part of that younger generation. I need to thank my cousin Jim Boyd for the copies of the original land patent papers for Great-Grandpa Silas Wilson Edward Boyd. Both he and his mother Elisabeth Freeman Boyd homesteaded in Coryell County, Texas along Beehouse Creek in the 1870’s. I am planning another courthouse trip to that area next month. I’ll let you know if I find anything new after I return.

One nice thing about this site is it leads some of my cousins to me via email. I have had a few messages from Kenneth Dupay correcting and adding some of the info on this site. I have made the changes to my database, but, I will not be updating this site until year end. Please, be aware that I have used a privatizing program to strip out any data about living people in my database that would violate their right to privacy. So all of the blanks you come across in the data on this site is not necessarily unknown. Although, anyone wishing to feel in the holes, please email me or leave a message in the guestbook.

I have also been in touch with my cousin Shirley David Smith. She has spent years researching our common Sewell Ancestors. I have spent days reading the info she has put together, and now feel I really have an example to follow in how to make this more than just data. Shirley, if you see this, Thanks for the inspiration.

July 1999

The past 2 months have been fruitful for my Pearson / Cox research. I finally was able to find a connection between the Benoni Pearson Family and Phillip Caleb Cox. It seems that both Benoni and Caleb were listed on the Tax Lists for Polk County Arkansas in 1845. From the evidence thus presented we have Benoni in Johnson County, Arkansas in 1840, in P

olk County, Arkansas in 1845, my bible record has him dieing in 1845, his widow and sons are back in Johnson County in 1850 while Caleb and Elizabeth are in Texas in Limestone County. By 1860 the whole clan is in Austin in Travis County Texas.

June 8, 1999

OK…OK. I have been very busy and have not updated this page or anything else in six months. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been shaking that family tree as often as I could.

If anyone is interested… The Boyd – Cox Annual Family Reunion happens this Sunday in East Bernard Texas. I will be attending with my family and will try to post anything new next week. In honor of the occasion the picture above is Sarah Cox and James Boyd’s Marriage License. Also, my wife’s family will be holding a Yount Reunion in August, and we hope to attend that one also.

As I stated above, this has been a very busy time and I really haven’t updated or posted any new info to this site. I hope to have more time this summer to spend getting my files in order and new info posted here.

I have had some minor finds in the first half of the year. I have spent quite a bit of time on my Pearson Family. They traveled west from North Carlina to Indiana sometime in the early 1800’s. Started raising families before packing up and moving to Arkansas. They ended up in Texas in the 1850’s, along with a group of families they met up with along the way.

I am still not having much luck tracing my Boyd ancestor, Edward. I have found reference to his marriage to Eliza Freeman in Collin County Texas in 1853 (thanks FamilySearch.org my first search on the site). If anyone out there can help with information on this man it will be very much appreciated.

December 1998

And thus begins my sojourn on the world wide web. And, since I never start small, this site began life as about 2,500 pages. Granted most were automatically created by GedPage, (which I still need to register), the program I chose because it gave the most elegant output to my eye. I hope that the info I publish will be of use to someone else out there.

June 12, 1998

The following is the forward to the Family History Book I published (in very limited editions…like about 5 a year – for our annual Boyd – Cox reunion). I decided it might be something relevant for these pages…

TEXAS

There is a mystique about this land that has endured for the two centuries settlers have been packing their belongings to leave family and acquaintances behind to start a new life in this land of promise. What was the attraction that caused our forebears to pack all their worldly possessions and leave the settled (relatively) and familiar setting of their homes to travel to the wilds of frontier Texas? Yes, when our ancestors arrived in this land we have grown to think of as our own, it was frontier. Limestone and Lampasas Counties in the 1850’s and 1860’s was still prone to wandering bands of Indians. The entire western edge of civilized Texas was a very rough place to be living during the Civil War. This was due partially to the withdrawal of the troops from the Forts along the frontier.

So, the question remains what were the attractions that brought our ancestors to this land? Most of what I have learned about our folks places them in the same class of people as Daniel Boone, always moving along just at the edge of civilization, looking for a better life, better land, better living conditions. I suppose it says something about Texas since once they arrived they stayed.

When I think about the travel conditions these people had to deal with, I am amazed that they managed to settle anywhere. The distance from Northeast Texas where most of our folks entered Texas to the area they settled is now a matter of at most a days drive, but, in their day the trip by oxen and wagon would have taken months. If they were lucky, some relative or neighbor had already made the trip and sent back a description and directions.

At this date, the earliest ancestor of ours that I have found who was born in Texas was Benjamin Franklin Cox (Benoni Cox). The 1850 Census for the County of Limestone has him listed as being 1 year old with his place of birth listed as Texas. This same source tells us his father was Phillip Caleb Cox born in Missouri about 1824, his mother was Elizabeth Jane Pearson born in Ohio about 1826. From this source we also can make the assumption that Caleb and Elizabeth were living in or passing through Arkansas in 1844 because they state that their daughter Sarah A. Cox was born there.

As we celebrate this anniversary with our 40th Annual Boyd / Cox Family Reunion, I hope that some of the facts and stories that follow will allow some others the chance to build upon the legacy our forebears left for us.

I know that in my search for information, I have had the opportunity to spend time out making the acquaintance of both the land on which our folks lived, and, the land on which they were laid to rest. I think I shall never forget the day this past March when on a visit to the Capitol in Austin I came across the record of the death certificate of Wilson Edward Boyd and read where he was buried in the Driftwood Cemetery. I went from Austin to San Marcos, where I had a copy of the certificate made, to Driftwood. Once at the Cemetery it was a short search to discover Great-Grandpa’s grave beside his oldest daughter Viola’s. As I sat there on that rainy and cold March afternoon, I contemplated what he must have seen in his lifetime and how nice and peaceful his resting place was. I have now found out that it is highly likely that our Grandpa James Pleas probably spent a part of his time growing up within ‘hollarin’ distance of that very hillside. It gives you a since of belonging, even to a place you have never been.

I do want to promise that I will continue to enlarge upon the data and the stories that the data contain. I know I will never have the full stories of these lives, but, I have discovered that most of the real joy of this type of learning is in the search and the unintended stories you learn as you hunt.

Gary Boyd

The Middlewesterner

This paragraph from Tom Montag really hit me between the eyes. I have been having the same thoughts pretty regular these days as I look in the mirror of a morning. It’s not that I look that much like dad…But their is enough of a resemblance to cause me to remember bits and pieces.

A fellow starts out to become his own man. He wants so much to be his own man, to make his own way in the world, to become his own unique self. The longer I watched my father in the hospital bed, the more that we talked, the more I recognized I was seeing myself there, my own future self. My father has shaped me indelibly. I am not complaining, I’ve been marked by a good man. It’s just surprising to see how little of me there is in the world, and how much I take from my father, from my family, from the land, the world I come from. Nature or nurture? Ultimately it doesn’t matter exactly how it gets stirred; we seldom end up very far from where we began.

Unlike Tom, we said goodbye to my dad going on 11 years ago. I guess I too was marked by a good man. Thanks Tom, for the words I couldn’t have said but can feel way to well.

Source: The Middlewesterner

The Middlewesterner

This paragraph from Tom Montag really hit me between the eyes. I have been having the same thoughts pretty regular these days as I look in the mirror of a morning. It’s not that I look that much like dad…But their is enough of a resemblance to cause me to remember bits and pieces.

A fellow starts out to become his own man. He wants so much to be his own man, to make his own way in the world, to become his own unique self. The longer I watched my father in the hospital bed, the more that we talked, the more I recognized I was seeing myself there, my own future self. My father has shaped me indelibly. I am not complaining, I’ve been marked by a good man. It’s just surprising to see how little of me there is in the world, and how much I take from my father, from my family, from the land, the world I come from. Nature or nurture? Ultimately it doesn’t matter exactly how it gets stirred; we seldom end up very far from where we began.

Unlike Tom, we said goodbye to my dad going on 11 years ago. I guess I too was marked by a good man. Thanks Tom, for the words I couldn’t have said but can feel way to well.

Source: The Middlewesterner

Springtime?

Everyone down here keeps saying it looks a lot like spring…but…Folks, if it ain’t spring someone really needs to say something to the trees and flowers outside my house. The temps yesterday hit the mid 70’s (as I recall, those were some very good years). I would expect them to hit the same place today…and tomorrow…though the forecast is only calling for the upper 60’s low 70’s. Before all of you who may be reading this start shouting about that being your summertime weather consider the fact that this is the home of the first completely covered sports stadium (now housing three).

While these late winter early spring days are about the only weather we get that is really pleasant the coming days of summer are what we try to avoid. And if their is “Global Warming” or not the very fact that the past decade has been the warmest in recorded history just makes this part of the country that much more “pleasant” in the summer.

I was raised down here on the gulf coast without summer AC and I don’t recall it as being that bad. It wasn’t all that comfortable in July and August but we just spent our afternoons at the neighborhood pool. Season passes for the whole family at about $25. And nighttimes where great, attic fans we called them, great big hulking things in the central hall ceiling sucking humongous amounts of outside air in and through the whole house before blowing it out through the attic. Nighttime was so cool all summer long that you snuggled up under the same cover you used in the winter. Those fans are what spoiled me, I can’t sleep to this day without some type of air movement.

Oh well, on to my email…I’ll be back if I find something interesting…

You gotta love Sitemeter. Not only does it tell you just how few people actually read your meandering thoughts, but it tells you how they stumbled on your blog. Like this from yesterday…Someone hit this site by Googling the question “when does the sun come out in nc“. I didn’t go see what Google returned for an answer but I would have said something long the lines of “usually in the morning unless it’s raining or foggy”.

Looking out my window I see the sun hitting the lower limb above me so I guess I better move…You all have a great day and a very pleasant weekend…Catch you down the ‘way.

Springtime?

Everyone down here keeps saying it looks a lot like spring…but…Folks, if it ain’t spring someone really needs to say something to the trees and flowers outside my house. The temps yesterday hit the mid 70’s (as I recall, those were some very good years). I would expect them to hit the same place today…and tomorrow…though the forecast is only calling for the upper 60’s low 70’s. Before all of you who may be reading this start shouting about that being your summertime weather consider the fact that this is the home of the first completely covered sports stadium (now housing three).

While these late winter early spring days are about the only weather we get that is really pleasant the coming days of summer are what we try to avoid. And if their is “Global Warming” or not the very fact that the past decade has been the warmest in recorded history just makes this part of the country that much more “pleasant” in the summer.

I was raised down here on the gulf coast without summer AC and I don’t recall it as being that bad. It wasn’t all that comfortable in July and August but we just spent our afternoons at the neighborhood pool. Season passes for the whole family at about $25. And nighttimes where great, attic fans we called them, great big hulking things in the central hall ceiling sucking humongous amounts of outside air in and through the whole house before blowing it out through the attic. Nighttime was so cool all summer long that you snuggled up under the same cover you used in the winter. Those fans are what spoiled me, I can’t sleep to this day without some type of air movement.

Oh well, on to my email…I’ll be back if I find something interesting…

You gotta love Sitemeter. Not only does it tell you just how few people actually read your meandering thoughts, but it tells you how they stumbled on your blog. Like this from yesterday…Someone hit this site by Googling the question “when does the sun come out in nc“. I didn’t go see what Google returned for an answer but I would have said something long the lines of “usually in the morning unless it’s raining or foggy”.

Looking out my window I see the sun hitting the lower limb above me so I guess I better move…You all have a great day and a very pleasant weekend…Catch you down the ‘way.

Sunday Morning Muses

You have to love this time of year…Don’t you?

Last evening we were running the AC to dry out the house after a week of humidity and temperatures in the upper 70’s, something had to give. It did. Luckily, I checked the forecast before going to bed last night and switched the thermostat to the heater side.

Even with the AC side set higher than I like and the Heater side set lower than the wife likes we are eating up the Kwh this year already.

Even the flowers outside can’t quite figure this year out. Last week one of my Angel’s Trumpets was blooming all over. There must have been over a dozen big white blooms on the plant. Then came the freeze of the last week and all of the blooms shriveled up and hung limp and brown. Then came the week we just had. And the blooms on the plant that hadn’t been burned completely…They returned. And this last week, they were joined by the Azaleas around the house. All winter long, there have been a few honeysuckle blooms on the vine in the yard…Not many, but at least a few all winter long.

It seems like a long tradition of weather myths here in the Houston area, but like all myths, there is that kernel of fact that feeds the life of the myth…It rained on the Rodeo Parade. I haven’t looked at the records. I am sure they wouldn’t bear up to the weight of the myth, but, every time it rains on the Trail Riders it makes the news in Houston. Many years ago (many, many) I made the trip through the parade route in a covered wagon after making many of the overnight camps on the trail (I couldn’t ride for a couple of reasons: no horse and school). By best friend’s brother was on the ride and we would meet at their campsites each night for a few hours before heading home for school the next day. Then on the last night before the parade we joined the Riders at Memorial Park for the night. The next morning we pulled on our boots and hats and bummed a ride on one of the wagons for the ride through downtown Houston. For some reason, every year at this time, I relive those long gone days…I wonder just what pushes those memories to the surface?

Another of my shots from Friday.

Have a great day, and I’ll catch ya’ll down the way.

Sunday Morning Muses

You have to love this time of year…Don’t you?

Last evening we were running the AC to dry out the house after a week of humidity and temperatures in the upper 70’s, something had to give. It did. Luckily, I checked the forecast before going to bed last night and switched the thermostat to the heater side.

Even with the AC side set higher than I like and the Heater side set lower than the wife likes we are eating up the Kwh this year already.

Even the flowers outside can’t quite figure this year out. Last week one of my Angel’s Trumpets was blooming all over. There must have been over a dozen big white blooms on the plant. Then came the freeze of the last week and all of the blooms shriveled up and hung limp and brown. Then came the week we just had. And the blooms on the plant that hadn’t been burned completely…They returned. And this last week, they were joined by the Azaleas around the house. All winter long, there have been a few honeysuckle blooms on the vine in the yard…Not many, but at least a few all winter long.

It seems like a long tradition of weather myths here in the Houston area, but like all myths, there is that kernel of fact that feeds the life of the myth…It rained on the Rodeo Parade. I haven’t looked at the records. I am sure they wouldn’t bear up to the weight of the myth, but, every time it rains on the Trail Riders it makes the news in Houston. Many years ago (many, many) I made the trip through the parade route in a covered wagon after making many of the overnight camps on the trail (I couldn’t ride for a couple of reasons: no horse and school). By best friend’s brother was on the ride and we would meet at their campsites each night for a few hours before heading home for school the next day. Then on the last night before the parade we joined the Riders at Memorial Park for the night. The next morning we pulled on our boots and hats and bummed a ride on one of the wagons for the ride through downtown Houston. For some reason, every year at this time, I relive those long gone days…I wonder just what pushes those memories to the surface?

Another of my shots from Friday.

Have a great day, and I’ll catch ya’ll down the way.

Snake Tails

In South Texas where my Grandpa Sewell was raised, snakes are a big deal…A really BIG deal. Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes of six feet and longer are common. In the summer and fall 0f 1972, when I lived with my grandparents, we tanned a rattlesnake skin that was over eight feet long and about eighteen inches wide at the widest point. Grandpa was quite proud of the fact that he shot the head off the snake at 20 to 30 yards as it crawled across a right-of-way where his deer stand was located. At least that was the story he told. You have to understand my Grandpa, he was prone to tall tales. He just loved pulling the wool over the eyes of gullible grandkids. His favorite day of the year was April 1. The world was always full of April Fools and he loved every one of them.

The Stick

One of the tales Grandpa loved to tell was of the Rattler we walked up on on the first night my family visited the ranch in the ’60’s.

When we arrived it was already late and the sun was setting. Grandma and Grandpa had just recently had a two bedroom house built but were still using the small hunting trailer for storage. With four adults and four kids we needed bedding for the night. So Grandpa led a small caravan of children on a hike to the trailer for sleeping bags. As we walked thru the dark led by Grandpa and his flashlight he was regaling us with all of the dangers of the night in south Texas. He was telling us about wolves and coyotes, huge owls that could lift a child by the hair, and rattlesnakes. To this day I can remember his words, “You have to keep your eyes on the ground at all times around here ’cause there are rattlesnakes under every bush” and with that he swung the light over and said “there’s one now” and damned if there wasn’t.

“Get me a stick” Grandpa instructed. My two brothers hauled it for the house while I tried to see a stick on the ground around me.

“Here’s one” my sister said as she handed Grandpa a stick.

It was only a matter of seconds before Grandpa dispatched the rattler, then he turned to my sister and asked her, “How did you know that wasn’t another snake?”

Her answer was “I kicked it first”.

Grandpa told that story for the rest of his life…”I kicked it first” was the punch line he loved.

To be continued in…

Waking up a Rattler