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Teachey, NC
i'm ready for my close up mr demille
So yesterday ended up being one of the coolest experiences I've had on the road in a long, long time.  But to tell this story, I have to set it up just a little bit. 

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..... 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.... 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.

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theres a sweetser, IN and a sweetser, ME

cool! i've never been to Maine... but Sweetswer, IN is just down the road from where James Dean was born in (and buried) in Marion, IN...

i know cos they have tons of signs everywhere proclaiming to be the "Birthplace of Cool"

that's so cool! you should move back there- you'd be royalty!

i have desire to live there.... althougn it is near the coast which wold be nice, but it's such a small area... i've become a city boy over the years... i'd go out of mind living in Teachey, NC

Your hair looks great, and these pictures are awesome. Although, it has to be incredibly surreal. Weren't you just dying to show someone your driver's license?

When I went in the post office, I bought a post card and mailed it to myself. I was hoping the postmaster would hang around while I was writing it and notice that I was sending it to a Teachey in Kentucky, but he just went back to his desk and wahtever he was doing before I came in.

Sweet. You are darned right I appreciated that post, almost to the point of having fits. My family (the Dutton family I'm always talking about; my mom's mom's family) lives in the same area it's lived in for the past 170 years. We have a family cemetery, too, though it's a church cemetery and there are a lot of other people buried there (most of whom we're actually related to, whether anybody but me realizes it). My grandmother (my grandfather will be buried there, too), my great-grandparents, my great-great-grandparents, and probably my great-great-great-grandparents (in poorly marked graves) are all buried there. My parents probably won't be (the cemetery is filling up and they don't go to church there), but I think if I'd died this year I probably would've been. I don't know about now; I like the idea of resting with the family I've devoted so much time and energy to, but death is hopefully a long way off. But I definitely want to be buried. I want to have someplace for my close family to visit and grieve, and also, when I am a "forgotten headstone," I want to give my descendants fits the way forgotten headstones give me fits and give you fits, too. What I love most about cemeteries is that they're memory made manifest; even when everybody else on earth has forgotten those people, there will (hopefully) always be stones there with their names on them.

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