Thursday, June 22, 2017

booby-trapped landscape

Our last tenant left a heavy duty dog stake and chain in the backyard.  I couldn't see in the high grass while I was mowing. It played a number on the lawn tractor. I hauled it to the repair shop.  I returned the next day to the property with my home tractor. I was then unfortunate enough to run over heavy gauge wire that was hiding under leaves. The wire wrapped and knotted itself around the shaft and the blade.  It was as if the entire property was booby-trapped. I tried an assortment of hand held cutters and a hacksaw with no success. The only way I could cut through the taught and tangled mess was with hand held power angle grinder.   BINGO! I finally got the yard and field mowed as the sky darkened ~ expecting it to rain at any moment. It felt good to finally get it all mowed before the rain came down.

I woke up this morning listening to rain outside ~ feeling that grass growing out there. Next time it'll be easier.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

the real step toward racial healing

I pay the 'racist' moniker no mind. It's been over used and the card over played. I've met folks of various colors who are racists and feel 'righteously' justified in harboring and stoking their hate. My advice to folks of all colors. Love your brother as you love yourself. Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you.

There's nothing the white man can give the black man that will heal the heart and bring unity. No man, no government, no legislation that can make the scars go away. Self proclaiming political saviors do nothing but stir the divide and keep the old wounds bleeding. Wounds can heal when we don't pick at them.

The real step toward true healing is to simply forgive those who have trespassed against you ~ past and present. There's no amount of reparations that will ever sate the angry, distrustful heart. There's not a political remedy. The answer is forgiving your white brother - forgiving your black brother - as Christ forgave us.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Finding Henry

Henry Wright Finlayson
b: 28 Aug 1857 Duplin Cty, NC
d: 26 Apr 1918 Brooklyn, NY
Using Ancestry and Find A Grave, I was able to find our great uncle Henry Wright Finlayson. He's dad's uncle who was the merchant who moved his dry goods business to Brooklyn and raised his family.

Murdoch Uriah and Martha Lucinda's Find A Grave didn't have Henry Wright listed among their children.  I had to go digging. I found his wife, Charity Elizabeth Proffit in Find A Grave that led to their daughter - from the daughter I was able to find Henry's grave. You can't always get to where you're going by traveling a straight line. Every now and then you have to go forward to move back, or back to move forward. Nice find.

I was able to add photos of Henry at his Find A Grave memorial and link him to his parents and his wife. It will take a little time for the birth dates updates and marital status to show at Find A Grave for both - but should soon.

Uncle Henry and Charity Finlayson are buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Kings County, Brooklyn, NY.

There is a chance that through the Henry Wright Finlaysons, we might eventually get more information regarding Daniel and Charity Westbrook Finlayson.

My father, Henry Westbrook Finlayson was born two years after his Uncle Henry died.  Most of Burruss Finlayson's children were probably too young to remember him.  Henry Wright Finlayson had a store in Cheraw before he relocated to Brooklyn. He's not in the picture below, but his brothers Elias Vance and young Burruss Finlayson (my grandfather) are there.  Click on image to enlarge.

Henry Wright Finlayson's Store in Cheraw, SC

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Little Herbert, Not Forgotten

Herbert Carlisle Brock
b. Jul. 21, 1891 ~ d: Apr. 22, 1897
Herbert Brock was the only child of Burruss Finlayson and Mary Florence Brock.  I was informed that Burruss and Mary were married for about twelve years. Herbert died at the age of six resulting from a stomach obstruction.  Florence died of a cancer shortly after Herbert's passed.

Burruss later married Jennie Wait Foster (my grandmother) and they had seven children together.  All of the children from the second marriage referred to Florence as 'Miss Florence' and Herbert as 'Little Herbert' (usually with 'poor' before it).

Only half of all living babies born in the Victorian Era survived until their first birthday.  Only two out of ten babies actually managed to reach their second birthday. Children died of influenza outbreaks, diphtheria, scarlet fever, measles, whooping cough, polio, tetanus and typhoid. They were not fortunate enough to benefit from the medicine that we have access of today. Poor sanitation (no piped-piped water, lack of immunizations) made it a tough time for a kid to survive.
There's a lot of small markers of little ones from that era.  We feel a little sadness when we come across those small stones.
A top reason couples had larger families was because of the high mortality rate for children.  Parents accepted the sad fact that not all of their children would make it to adulthood.  My grandfather's second marriage produced seven offspring, each who had good long lives.  Only one of their children contracted polio ~ but still lived a full live.
The bright side to little Herbert's story, as countless other little children who died so young, were born to Heaven early.  Burruss, Florence and Herbert have long since reunited, as have all of Burruss' loved ones that came after him. It's a continual grand reunion.

When our time comes, we'll each join that celebration. 

"So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord."
~II Corinthians 5:6-8