Cindy and I went to Memphis May 6-9, 2005 (actually Cindy stayed until the 10th), because Mother's day was the 8th and my birthday was the 11th. We had a great time. By coincidence, Doug and Bonnie were in Memphis at the same time, and we took the opportunity to go exploring in South Memphis. We saw the site of the old Southside High School and we toured Forest Hill Cemetery to find Grimmett's grave, and we even drove through Riverside Park. All very nice.
But the most exciting thing that happened all weekend was the Great Mole Hunt.
Cindy and I learned when we were riding home from the airport on Friday that Mother had, in Daddy's words, "committed murder" that morning. Seems she'd discovered the earth moving in the little garden outside the back door and after a bit of "FREDDIE, FREDDIE, IT'S MOVING" he'd handed her a four-pronged fork hoe and she'd speared a mole on the first try. She put the poor dead carcass in a plastic bag and dropped it in an empty coffee can and sealed the lid and put it in the trash container for county pickup on Wednesday, and that was that.
Until we got home.
Right after the death of the mole, Mother had pressed her foot over the mole's tunnel and put the garden right. But when we stepped out back we immediately saw (EEEK! EEEK!) the tunnel had not only reappeared, but now it was much longer! The first mole clearly had a mate! What to do?
We sat and we watched and we waited, but nothing happened. So Mother gave up and stepped all over the tunnel and pressed everything back down and we sat and we chatted and wait, what's that? FREDDIE! FREDDIE! IT'S MOVING AGAIN!
In a flash Freddie passed Leta the four-pronged fork hoe, and the fearless mole hunter assumed her position. In the meantime, Cindy and I, concentrating intently on how best to lend assistance in a crisis, ran inside to grab our cameras.
Now every once in a while when we make a goof, things work out better than anyone might have a right to expect. I kept trying to take photos of the mole hunt, and I couldn't figure out what was wrong with my camera. It just wasn't working right. Then I discovered that by accident I'd set it to take movies instead of still pictures. Every time I pressed the shutter button I either started or stopped a movie. When I realized what I'd done, I figured I'd have a mess on my hands. But whaddaya know, I've strung together all the film clips I shot accidentally, and in spite of all the shots of the ground and my feet, the result is a pretty good record of what happened. Please excuse the neighbor's lawnmower buzzing in the background.
Double-click on the little picture below to start the movie, and single-click on it to stop. Or use the controls, assuming you see any controls -- I haven't yet quite figured out how to properly embed a movie in a web page so that all browsers can see it. The movie may take a while to load, especially if you're using a telephone modem to connect. There is sound, so be sure your speakers are turned on. Maybe soon I'll figure out how to make the movie frame bigger.
Then after the movie-making, to top it all off, we posed for a real American Gothic moment:
C'mon over here Leta Fay.
Just put it in the can.
Here's Grant Wood's "American Gothic"
And here's ours. Well, it's almost the same.
Our cousin Doug and his wife Bonnie just happened to be visiting this weekend from Fairfield, California. They were staying in a hotel down in Tunica, Mississippi. On Saturday they came over and we drove to South Memphis to visit Forest Hill Cemetery. Doug and Bonnie had been there the day before to find the graves of relatives, but they hadn't been able to find a tombstone for Grimmett, Doug's father's twin brother who'd died at the age of 14 back in 1929. Even though Freddie can't see very well, he knew where to look for his older brother's grave.
There it is.
Grimmett had epilepsy and died when he tumbled from his bicycle. His brother Freddie took over his Memphis Press-Scimitar newspaper route at the age of 12.
Here are our grandmother Savannah Ora Hill Anderson
and her children:
Dodging grave markers.
A happy group in a cemetery. Bonnie, Freddie, Leta, Cindy and Doug.
And here we all are in our Sunday best on Mother's Day.