Friday, January 20, 2006

The Right Place At The Right Time

While I am on the subject of beams of light from the sun, like in Indianan Jones' Ark of the Covenant, let me tell you about finding my great-great-great-great grandfather William Trammell's grave in the First Methodist Cemetery in Franklin, North Carolina. Thelma, a distance cousin, wrote me and told me she believed that William was buried at the First Methodist Church Cemetery but couldn't find his grave.
So, after making plans on my calendar (I worked then), I took my two sons to Franklin with me. My wife Anna was in Ohio on business. I think it was the spring holidays for school.

I first took my sons to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, then we drove over the Smokey Mountains and stopped in Cherokee and then headed on to Franklin. We stayed in a motel and the next morning, after our run and breakfast we looked up Thelma.

She introduced her to Cecil Baldwin, a 97 year old first cousin of Thelma's (and also my distance cousin). Cecil was a bachelor, and he lived on the original home place of our ancestors John and Nancy Sumner Ray, that was built about 1820. Cecil was a very gentle man, sharp as a tack, and a hard worker on his small farm. He died two years later.

Thelma showed us two cemeteries of ancestor interest to me, then we proceeded to the First Methodist Church in downtown Franklin. We looked at every cemetery marker in the cemetery and narrowed it down to two markers that we could not read because they appeared to be weathered... growth of moss and mold and withstanding over 150 years of yearly harsh weather didn't help.

We decided we needed to rub the markers. I had luck with rubbing with other markers. You take a large sheet of sketch paper, and some kind of marker, like charcoal and rub the paper which is over the inscription, and the wordings will come out. Thelma suggested we go to a nearby K-Mart and buy the supplies, which we did. Then, across the street from K-Mart was a Burger King, so we ate lunch while in the area also.

Then we returned to the Methodist Church graveyard. We drove up in the parking lot which is adjacent to the cemetery, we saw under a big oak tree was one marker which seemed to be glowing in the shade. We went up to it and it was my progenitor William Trammell's grave. It was glowing and every word could be read. If you can read it on your screen it tells his living dates (1752-1843) and it said Revolutionary War soldier.

The only thing I can figure out is that the sun changed position while we were gone. And now, not only was the sunlight hitting the stone correctly as to illuminate it, but the sunlight was also hitting other things near by which was reflecting light onto the inscription from different angles.

I have returned many times to the same spot and have never seen it illuminate itself in the shade as it did that day. The date - which would be the earth's position, probably was a factor too.

It was almost like it was meant for me to be there that date at that exact time.

The above picture was taken a few mintues after the premium moment. I am ashamed to say that the picture I took at the right moment is misplaced, but I am still looking.
I hope a higher power didn't do all that work for nothing.

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