It occurs to me that not only is it Christmas Eve, but, on this date in 1890 my great-grandparents united in marriage, for better or worse (mostly worse) creating a whole wad of descendants and a bunch of colorful, interesting, twisted people.

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They look thrilled, don’t they?  My great-grandpa Collie looks like he coulda been part of the Jesse James Gang and he probably was!  He was an ornery and mean little cuss.  Totally the Black Sheep of his family, he woulda never been nominated for Father of the Year, even so….

Winfrey left Lena in later years.  In spite of the horrible abuse he put her and their children through, she loved him until the day she died.  His children….not so much.  When he died in 1948, none of his children went to his funeral.  His burial was handled by the woman he was living with at the time.

Because I tend to play Devil’s Advocate and have the tendency to analyze, even though my great grandfater was mean and hurtful to his wife and his kids and I have no way of relating to the trauma of what he put them through, I’ve seen some of the same traits he displayed in his descendants.  From my limited, layperson point of view, I think he was bipolar.  

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I like to think that somewhere in the meanness were some positive traits.  Good grief, my oldest son bears a physical resemblance, as do lots of us in the family.  He came from a good family (one of his brothers was a dentist) but he was loaded down with demons. 

I went to Spring Hill Cemetery about 5 times in the last year and a half trying to find Winfrey’s grave.  I knew what section it was in, but, couldn’t find it.  I went in October and literally, stumbled on it. I had been in that same spot I don’t know how many times and I realized his grave was covered in weeds and had finally been mowed. 

finally_found_it

 I would give lotsa money to be able to sit down and talk to him.

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