Maybe Grant isn't buried in Grant's Tomb

Ashland Travel Blog

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Aunt Ellen

April 15, 2010

 

 

Good news. Not! 11 PM came and went and no phone call from the front desk. Margo went to bed before then, but I waited until about 11:30 before I gave up. I slept pretty well for about 6 ½ hours, and then woke up. My first thought was “I wonder where my bag is?” I was too groggy to add the now obligatory swear words. But, I knew that I couldn’t go back to sleep unless I at least checked the internet to see what my “Bag Status” was. It was quite the revelation to find out that this particular malady occurs often enough that there is not only a portion of the American web site dedicated to this, but there is an internal system that links all of the airlines lost baggage claims together.

Uncle Tom
I found this out when after checking American’s site. I also saw that they had found my wayward bag, and not one additional piece of info. Very helpful. Just enough information to dash my fear that my cloths were gone forever, but now I was wondering if I would see them while I was still in Kentucky, or if they would chase me like around the state like a puppy. So after the website, I grabbed the little piece of paper with the luggage vital numbers and proceeded to go downstairs (so not to wake the blissfully ignorant and still slumbering wife) to find a real live American Airlines person to talk to. After calling the 1-800 number and pressing zero about a dozen times, I got a very helpful lady, who proceded to tell me almost nothing. She thought it would going out to Huntington tonight with an arrival of about 9 PM.
Margo says "I told you it was right over there!"
But, she wasn’t positive. Most of her problem with providing me with information was that American no longer had my bag. American doesn’t actually fly into Huntington. But Delta does, so they gave my bag to Delta. This happens all the time, (not her words, but she did infer it) so she was reasonably sure I would see it tonight, or in the morning Friday. Well, at least I now had a fair shot at seeing my bag before I left Ashland. But, I was tired, so I went back up to my room.

 

Margo was awake and I filled her in. She was even more thrilled then I was. We quickly decided that we should get something to eat and then go to Wal-Mart for bathroom stuff and some cloths for the day. So that’s what we did.

Aunt was here.
Our hotel, Holiday Inn Express-Ashland, does a pretty good job with their free breakfast. By the time we left for Wal-Mart we were full. Our Wal-Mart shopping went fairly quick. We went back to the hotel and I got a shower. We decided that since there was nothing we could do, we'd just forget about our bag until tonight. In the mean time we would go back to Aunt Ellen’s and visit  for awhile.

 

Margo and I had warned Uncle Tom and Aunt Ellen that we would likely not be over bright and early. Having to chase down some cloths and supplies just made it worse. We ended up arriving about 10:30 AM. Aunt Ellen looked a little better, but she was still awful quiet for the next few hours. It was mostly Uncle Tom and I doing the talking. We covered a lot of topics, conituning with catching up on all the various family members, the unseasonably warm weather, and most of the problems in the world.

My Aunt
We worked on solving those until around 12:30 PM, when his son, and my cousin, Tommy arrived. Tommy runs the Home Health Department at a local hospital, and is working long hours. There is much more work than there are nurses to do it. He was actually out trying to take some of the load off of his people, and decided to both grab some lunch at his folks place, and make sure he at least got to visit with Margo and I for a few minutes. I appreciated that. I’ve always liked Tommy. I first remember meeting him back in 1973, when our family was relocating from Georgia to Colorado. We stopped in Ashland to visit all of Dad’s side of the family. I recall Tommy and I talking baseball. He was Reds fan, and I followed the Braves. Now we talked about family and jobs. He could only stay for a while and had to get back to work.

 

Uncle Tom had cooked up a ham, and invited us to have lunch with him and Aunt Ellen.

My Grandma
We had a quiet and very good meal of ham, macaroni salad, potato salad, and relish vegetables. Uncle Tom does everything around the house now. He cooks, cleans, does the shopping, and make sure Aunt Ellen gets her medicine. He never goes very far from her side, and if he had to leave the house he gets someone to stay in the house with her. Aunt Ellen confessed that he is very good to her, and that was obvious to us.

 

After lunch, Margo and I decided that this was the ideal time to run to Rose Hill Cemetery to visit the graves of a couple of my aunts, and my Grandmother. I had seen two of those graves 16 years ago, and not since. The third, my Aunt Ann, died recently.

Aunt Ann finally buried here
She passed away in 2007, the year after I last visited. We had gotten directions from Uncle Tom about how to find the graves once we got to the cemetery, but I misunderstood and we were looking in the wrong spot. We didn’t waste much time. I had planned to go to office anyway to get the precise location. That tuned out to be both the right call, and an interesting experience.

 

The guy that helped us, Gerald Bryant (he gave us his card) pointed us towards the right section for Aunt Vivian and Grandma. These were the two graves I had visited before. Uncle Tom had told me that Aunt Ann was buried very near them. With that in mind, I expected Gerald to give us a nearby location for the grave as well. He ended up sending us to a mausoleum. I wondered about that. If Uncle Tom could drive deep in the hills of Carter County, KY, on roads just wide enough for two small cars to pass, through dirt roads, and up to the top of hills to find the grave of my grandfather, he ought to know where in the very town he lived his favorite sister-in-law was buried.

 

It took us about five minutes to drive to the section and find my grandmother’s grave. Right beside it was Aunt Vivian. And right below it was my Aunt Ann. Uncle Tom was right and the cemetery records were wrong. We drove around to the other side of the cemetery to check the masoluem, to see if she had two markers. She didn’t. The vault that was supposed to contain her remains was unmarked. But, I was definitely going back to the office to point out this discrepancy to Gerald.

 

We arrived, he looked puzzled as we approached. We had been gone only about 10 minutes, surely not enough time to have given up looking for the graves already. Why else would we be coming back? Well, I told him why else. He was plenty curious as to why the records showed one thing, and the markers another. He came back with a file and told us that she had originally been placed in the mausoleum, and then moved to the marked grave. He confessed that someone had been buried in those ground graves when she had died. He didn’t have any other details, and after a sales pitch for pre-arranging our own funerals (back home), we were on our way.

 

When we got back to Uncle Tom’s and he told us that Uncle Bill had just left. Bill is Aunt Ann’s widower. I always enjoy talking with him as well. He is articulate and very smart. Plus, just like Uncle Tom, he’s been around a few years and has plenty of stories and life experiences to relate. Tom got on the phone and called him, and Bill came back in just a few minutes. We spent the next hour or so catching up on his side of the family. He is very proud of his grandson, Robbie. Robbie is going to graduate from college before his 21st birthday, and is talking about going to law school. Bill had a little bit more to tell us about why Aunt Ann was in the mausoleum. Bill and Ann had bought the plot, where she now rests, and which is right by her mother and sister. However, when Ann passed and it was time for her burial, it was quickly noticed that the cemetery had buried someone else in their plot! I got the impression that this happens a bit more often than a person would think. Uncle Bill said this wouldn’t have been a big deal to him, but it was very important to Aunt Ann to be buried by her mother. So, until the interloper could be exhumed and relocated, Aunt Ann was put in this masoluem. It took them a year to get all of this straightened out. We visited for about an hour,  but all to quick, Bill had to leave.

 

We visited with Uncle Tom and Aunt Ellen for a couple of more hours, and then Ginger and Elizabeth pulled up in the drive way. Ginger is Tommy’s wife and Elizabeth is their daughter. She brought a cake, which moved her right to the top of my list of favorite people in Kentucky.

Margo got an automated phone call from American Airlines alerting us that our bag was to be in Huntington, WV at 8 PM, and would be delivered inside of 6 hours after that. I was skeptical, but hopeful. We both put it out our minds, as opposed to having it ruin the rest of our evening.

 

Tommy showed up shortly after this. Glancing at the clock it was just past 7 PM, meaning he had put in better than 11 hours again. He must be dedicated or crazy. Sounds like an even money bet. So we had cake and coffee. Ginger made made me up a cup of some flavored coffee based drink, that did not taste like coffee, so I was happy.

 

We visited with everyone until about 9 PM. Then I figured that was long enough. I think we tired Aunt Ellen out pretty well yesterday, and today she was starting to nod off. We said our good byes and promised to be back in the morning before we left town. Exactly when, would depend on when our damn bag showed up. Hopefully, it would be waiting for us at the hotel, as Huntington is only 20 minutes away.

 

Once we got into the car, we both decided we were hungry. We had eaten a late dinner at the Bob Evans near our hotel, yesterday. That sounded good to both of us again, so off we went. We asked to be seated in the section of the waiter who had served us yesterday, Andre. He did a good job, especially as we had come in at 9:35, just 25 minutes before they quit serving for the day. We were the only ones in the place, and we felt a little funny about it. Today we were a little earlier.

 

We had a pleasant dinner and went back to the hotel with high hopes. They were dashed as soon as we got to the front desk. We asked the lady running the desk, to call us no matter what time the bag showed up, even 2 AM, the supposed latest it would be delivered. We went to our room, and I blogged for a little while and then we both went to bed. Hopefully, the phone would ring soon!

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Aunt Ellen
Aunt Ellen
Uncle Tom
Uncle Tom
Margo says I told you it was righ…
Margo says "I told you it was rig…
Aunt was here.
Aunt was here.
My Aunt
My Aunt
My Grandma
My Grandma
Aunt Ann finally buried here
Aunt Ann finally buried here
190 km (118 miles) traveled
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photo by: bkretzer