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In response to your letter, I am sorry to inform you that grandpa "Fred" died some time back and the stuff you asked about is not available. The personal property the family did not want was sold at an estate sale. All those boxes of junk did not interest a single buyer. We were able to salvage several binders for the kids homework after we sent all the paper to the incinerator. The kids really complained about having to lug all that paper and pictures of those ugly old folks to the dumpster. An old family Bible from the 1840's did bring $ 5.00. The one from the 1870's did not sell. There also was a bunch of floppy disks that we were able to reformat and download some games for the kids to play on their new playstation. At least SOMEBODY got some good from the three generations work.
I saw the fellow at a flea market a couple of weeks ago and he said he threw the Bible in the trash after nobody was interested in it. He said he got an offer for fifty cents for it, but would rather burn it than give it away. He seemed to be having a lot of success with some very nice Elvis paintings at his booth.
The two aunts you asked about are also dead. They were such a delight and could talk all day long about the things papa had written about. I remember them saying something about some records that were copied from two courthouses that later burned. Neither ever wrote down a single thing.
The letter you referred to was one he typed up and sent to lots of folks who wrote him. He laughed about them never getting any of his hard work as well as his Fathers and Grandfather who was in the Civil War. He guarded all the information carefully to the bitter end.
I wish I could remember some of the things to help you, but I was bored to tears listening to them talk about the family members who were in the civil war and those silly pieces of paper he showed so proudly. I vaguely remember they had some beeswax seals and something to do with the land grants that were destroyed in the courthouse fires.
I wish I could remember the story about his grandfathers evening with Jefferson Davis when he was on the run. There are also some very juicy stories that were handed down, but I don't remember them very well.
Another thing I remember after he got sick was some fellow calling him and he agreed to let him come down and copy all his material. He told him he would call him back when he felt better. Papa mentioned something about letting the society the man was from have all his work since nobody in the family cared anything about a bunch of people who had been dead for 200 years.
Papa died the next week.
I am so sorry papa and the two generations wasted so much of their life on such worthless hobbies and hope your family will follow something more interesting. We enjoy Bingo and bowling very much here in Pleasantville.
I really enjoyed hearing from a long lost cousin and would like to hear back if you find anything important. The kids need the computer for their games and I need to watch the "Millionaire" show.
Contributed by Donna Randell
Page Revised: July 2002 (Don Tate)
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