Thursday, October 25, 2007

Little River Methodist Church Cemetery, Woodstock

This is Little River Methodist Cemetery in Woodstock, Georgia.

It was, until recently, out in the countryside of Cherokee County. Now, there is a huge Super Wal-Mart directly across the road. Wal-Mart and Little River Methodist Church share the same traffic light.

This is my cousin Anthony, who is living, and his late wife’s marker. Martha died March the 7th of this year. Anthony is lost without her. Behind them is Martha's parents' marker, who are still living.

Top - The Paynes in this cemetery are Anna’s relatives. They are Anna’s great grandmother’s family. I don’t have much information on them

Gene Latimer was a friend who I grew up with. He died in a wreck – the results of a drag race he was in. Less than an hour before the wreck I was sitting with Gene and another friend in his car at Varner’s Drive-In. I had to leave and go home to go bed – I had to get up early and go to work at the Big Apple Grocery Store the next morning. I never made it. Before I left for work my sister called me from her office and told me about Gene. I was upset and called the manager at the Big Apple and told him a friend of mine had died and I couldn’t make it in. He told me if I wanted to keep my job I would come in. I quit instantly. The two cars dragracing were racing down Roswell Road and hit a Cobb County Police Car with its lights out. He was pulling out of his driveway after he and wife ate dinner. He probably forgot to turn on his headlights. His last name was Hood. He was killed too. The place where the wreck occurred is where the Marietta Loop crosses Roswell Road. I was a pallbearer. I remember six of us friends were Gene’s pallbearers, as we toted the casket across the hilly cemetery terrain one friend let out a big fart then the seriouis one of us scolded the one farted – the remaining five of us we got tickled, and trying to hold it back made it even harder to hold back.

Gene’s second cousin, once removed, was Dean Rusk, future Secretary of State.

Gene’s father had died just the year before. His mother and brother must have been miserable.

Gene’s mother died 35 years later at about age 82. After Gene died, which was the first week of June, 1960, the following March we had a blizzard in Marietta. All schools and businesses were closed. Kids gathered at the Marietta Country Club and used their golf course as a ski place. People were using serving trays, flattened carboard boxes, car hoods, and many other creations as sleighs. I used a round metal Coke sign. As I went down the slope and the round sign started spinning – I had not counted on that, so I could not lean or control the direction in anyway. I spun right into a lake. It was only knee deep, but I went in it sitting down. So, I climbed out wet, cold, with bits of ice and snow clinging to me. I don’t remember my reasoning, but somehow I thought it was a good time to visit Gene’s mother.

She was glad to see me. She and I had hot chocolate and banana bread. She pulled out some of Gene’s clothes and insisted that I replace them with my wet ones. We had a nice visit. I still think of her over 46 years later when I eat banana bread.

Opal Petty is/was my mother’s sister, my aunt, and Anthony’s mother. Opal was a lively lady who had a great wit even though her life was laced with hardships. Opal’s parents had nine children to reach adulthood. All but Opal moved out and started their own families. Opal cared for their mother until she couldn’t. She worked all her life. They moved a lot to rented dwellings… one requirement: be within walking distance of a bus line.

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