Friday, January 29, 2010

The Santa Fe

This is an old family photo. Harrison Combs is my great-great grandfather from Jefferson, KY. I think he is the one on the left. On the back (it looks like this is a postcard), it says:

J Goo said before he died there was one more train he wanted to ride. People said what the train might be it was the Southern Pacific on the Santa Fe.

Harrison Combs and Dave Gayheart

I have absolutely no idea what this means, during which war it was taken or what the inside joke is. My father's family history is somewhat fractured as my grandfather was adopted and there are a few blank spots elsewhere where two ancestors married Cherokee women and were unfortunately ignored for that reason. Other fascinating facts have come to me recently--some of my ancestors had a skin condition where they turned blue (science now thinks it's the result of mining, which would make sense) and I had a relative named Shanghai Nick.

I have family in Hazard and Somerset and would love to find out more. It seems like there's a very colorful past to be discovered. For now, all I have are a few photos as symbols of my lineage.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Originally uploaded by True North Two
Back in July, we visited Indianapolis with some friends. At the time, the movie Public Enemies was being hyped and I happened to pick up a newspaper at the hotel only to discover that John Dillinger was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery, near the art museum we were about to visit. Of course, I insisted we stop even though it was pouring rain.

Here is Dillinger's nondescript stone in the family plot. Apparently, he was buried under three feet of cement to prevent grave robbing, and this isn't his first gravestone either--others were broken into bits and stolen as souvenirs.

I always think it's interesting to visit the burial sites of famous people. Even though they may have been unapproachable in life or dead before my time, it's like a private conference with their spirit. This was my first criminal grave visit and it seemed appropriate it occurred on such a dreary day.

Find more information, as well as the exact location, here.

Long break!

I want to explain my recent absence since a guest post on today means people might end up here!

My husband was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in October and has undergone chemo since October 23rd. Since this blog depended on our weekend trips, it was put on hold. I am happy to report that I am currently finishing my book (after being given a generous extension) and even better, my husband is in remission! He is still under treatment, but at this point it's all preventative.

Check back when we hit the road again in search of the weird and wonderful! Until then, I'm going to dig up some things from my archives for a few posts!