Wellington was going to be a couple of hourâ€™s worth of driving. For some reason I had been dreading this drive. I guess it was because it was the last leg of the â€śrealâ€ť vacation. After we got back to Amarillo, all that was left was the drive home. As we all no the drive to your vacation is filled with anticipation, wonder, and excitement. The drive home is marked by exhaustion and that little voice in the back of your mind, that back to work is coming soon.
I must really have wanted this vacation, as this last leg of vacation does not qualify as â€śfunâ€ť on most peopleâ€™s list.
The plan for the rest of the day was to drive to Wellington, Texas, (Pop. A few hundred tough SOBs), walk around in 100 plus degree heat, in a scrub brush cemetery searching for my wifeâ€™s Great-Grandparentâ€™s grave. Then to add to the fun, we would search for and photograph another dozen graves as well. You see I volunteer to take pictures of graves for people who live too far away to pay their respects. Those pictures are posted on a FindaGrave.com. People can leave virtual flowers and messages. Since I was going to be in this cemetery anyway, and this cemetery provides an on-line database to help you find the graves, I though I would see if I could help a few people out. What was ten pounds of sweat?
Flashback to Amarillo, three days ago.
I was visiting with Aunt Murrell and the subject of her deceased husbands parents came up. She mentioned that no one was really sure exactly what happened to them. They had a story that her father-in-law had died when he fell into an industrial meat-grinder. That sounds all warm and fuzzy, but I am a believer that things like that are usually urban, or in this case, rural legend. It makes for a good story to tell. Aunt Murrellâ€™s husband was still a boy when this happened, and then his mother passed away from pneumonia a year or two later. Now, I figured that if someone fell into a meat grinder and died, that would probably make the papers. I did a little research and was able to figure out exactly when he died. Wellington has a newspaper, The Leader, which was in publication back in the 1930s when this happened. So I figured "What did I have to lose?â€ť Most small town papers will let you look at their archives, if you ask nice. I ran it by Margo and while she didnâ€™t have a burning desire to leaf through 80 year old papers, she figured it was worth doing to set the record straight.
The story continues
Back to real time, we pulled into Wellington and decided two things. We were hungry and we should eat first thing. Second, as we werenâ€™t sure when the newspaper might close up for the day, that had to be second on our list. After TomTom directed us to a couple of closed restaurants (hard times everywhere), we finally settled on My-T-Burger, across from the high school. Not that highschoolers are the most discriminating eaters, but if they could take it, I figured I could to. The food was actually pretty good. The bathrooms, well, Iâ€™ll save the less than flattering description, for my review. Not good is being very generous.
The newspaper was about three blocks from the hamburger joint.
Margo decided to leave the SUV running, along with the A/C and take a nap behind locked doors. As I had the exact date of death, I didnâ€™t figure this would take very long. The Wellington Leader is a weekly newspaper, so I would only have to search through a few issues. The two ladies on staff there were very helpful, and had me set up with the correct bound volume in about 5 minutes. Then it was off to work. I found the correct issue, but I missed the article at least twice. It was front page, but I managed. Once I found it, I also photographed it to show everyone back in Amarillo. As it turned out, there was a grain of truth (usually is) to the meat grinder story. Mr. Houston (Aunt Murrelâ€™s father-in-law) worked in a gristmill, and was tasked with oiling a large pulley driven wheel. As he was leaning over it, the pulley exploded. The pieces of the pulley acted like shrapnel from a bomb. He had one foot completely severed from his body and numerous other wounds. So he kind of looked like he had been through the proverbial grinder.
The story concludes
Mystery solved, and as it turned out, he and his wife were buried in the same cemetery we would be wandering.
Margo's Great Grandparents
I woke Margo up and we were on our way. The cemetery was just out of town. As promised by the weatherman last night, today was hot. Every day we had been in Texas or Oklahoma had topped 102. We had a map and layout of the cemetery, and after about 15 minutes we found Margoâ€™s relatives. The cemetery is not numbered in a linear fashion, but it is labeled. So once we figured it out this, and the other discoveries came pretty quick. We spent more than a half hour, but less than 45 minutes in the hot sun. By the time we were done, we had crossed everyone off the list, and my tennis shoes were full of goatheads and other unpleasant hitchhikers. It took a bit to clean them off.
But, soon we were heading towards Amarillo.
SV Houston, minus my shadow
We ran into a thunderstorm, the first rain all week, just shy of the Potter County (Amarillo) line. It dropped the outside temperature by 25 degrees and made driving more interesting. We got to Aunt Murrelâ€™s about dinner time, and we were treated to a Bar-B-Cue for our final night here. We stayed and visited until past 10 PM. Aunt Murrel had enjoyed our visit and was already prodding for our return visit. We said our good byes and that was it. Our vacation was over, except for the drive back.
We drove back the same way we came.
We stopped in Straford, TX for a restroom break, and Limon, CO for lunch. Then we were home. I was surprised we packed as much as we did into seven days. Two of those days were on the road, and another one was spent with family. Next year we are hoping to make it to Cape Canaveral to see one of the final launches of the Space Shuttle. I think God is going to have to help with this one some. These things are almost ritualistically delayed. Wish me luck!
Not much for greenry
Wellington Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Decent Food, Third World Restrooms
We pulled into Wellington looking for a place to eat. Wellington, even though it is the county seat, is a tiny town. We knew pickins would be slim. We… read entire review