Chances are a lot of you don't know my name. This is an intentional effort on my part to keep my personal information off of the internet. In fact, often when I speak to someone from the internet for the first time on the phone or in IM, a lot of times they have to ask for my name. In terms of internet publishing, I'm perfectly content with being simply known as soopageek. But for the purposes of this story, I will have to reveal my last name, which is Teachey.
The second part of this setup is to know a little bit about my grandfather. My grandfather is 85 years old and while he becomes more weak and filled with pain with every year he still has full use of his mental faculties. He is still as sharp and witty as he ever was and regularly corresponds with the extended family via e-mail. How many octogenarians do you know who have conquered the relatively new technology of the internet? Anyway, a number of years ago when he retired, he decided to write a homespun autobiography, documenting his early years growing up in Rose Hill, NC, attending Duke University, and his time spent in the African theatre of WWII. He made copies of his work, had them bound and distributed them to each of us. See, Rose Hill is more than the home of the world's largest frying pan - it's also the epicenter of my family's history.
A few years ago, I spent a good day reading his memoirs and decided that someday I wanted to visit Rose Hill and it's neighboring town....
How cool is that? I mean... Sure I guess you could have a common last name like Smith and be from Smithtown or Turner and be from Turnerville... but there are lots of Turners and Smiths. How many Teacheys do you know? It's kinda neat having a town that you know is named for your family.
Roger and I had emptied-out in Kinston and were to pick-up in Bennetsville, SC seven hours later. When I got to studying the map and how close we were to Rose Hill, coupled with the amount of time we had to kill, I knew what I would be doing with my morning. I immediately called my grandfather, because I wanted to be able to find the family cemetary where previous generations of my kin are buried. He tried to give me directions, but not having ever been there, it was hard to get a mental image of what he was trying to tell me. I would eventually call him the next day after I got the lay of the land and was able to find it just fine. But before I did that, I went nuts driving around Teachey, NC taking photos.
Of course, the above picture with the city limit sign was a must. But, there was also the town hall sign.....
....at both ends of the street.
As well as the town hall itself...
Where they listed the official goings-on and what-not that occured in the Town of Teachey.
Just down the street was the church....
...as well as the post office.
After checking out Teachey, Roger and I went back into Rose Hill and checked out the World's Largest Frying Pan, which you saw photos of yesterday. Big sucker ain't it? But not to simply tease you with a photo, here's all the dirt on the pan, just in case you have any notions of trying to outdo the people of Rose Hill someday with a frying pan of your own.
We then headed out of Rose Hill and located the cemetary courtesy of my grandfather's directions.
It was pretty, in a shaded grove of trees on about a half acre of land.
If you've made it this far in the entry about my family, I'll take a moment to add that my middle name is Lincoln, which my name Lin is derived from. This comes from a family name. My great-grandmother May Lincoln married my great-grandfather Leroy.
And yes, of those Lincolns. My great-grandmother was a second cousin of Honest Abe. My great-great grandparents are buried here as well, Christopher Columbus and Emily Rouse Teachey...
...but no, not of those Columbuses.
There is a memorial to my great-uncle Leroy as well. He was not as lucky as my grandfather and gave his life in Europe during World War II.
I'm not sure what my grandfather's plans are for burial. I'm sure he will be buried here. He divorced my grandmother when I was a child, so I know she won't be buried here. In addition, all of my grandfather's children relocated to other parts of the country and no longer have any sentimental ties to Rose Hill. The marriage and mobility trends of modern America will no doubt put a stop to the idea of a family burial plot set in motion nearly 100 years ago. I doubt my dad will have any desire to be buried there, since he spent most of his life living in Kentucky and grew up in Virginia. I imagine he will opt for one of those locations. As for myself, I've always thought I would like to be cremated. It was never conceivable to me that the need for a headstone and physical location of my remains would be necessary. Maybe my granchildren would be interested in knowing of my burial location but after about two generations, it would be relegated to status of a forgotten headstone.
Yet here I was, viewing the markers of my great-great grandparents... mainly because here was a central, sentimental location near the town in North Carolina that bears my family's name. I'm still not sure I'm sold on the idea of being buried.... but if I do, I think I will be laid to rest here.