Friday, October 28, 2005

Cousin Douglas Martin on his way to William Jewell

Because he was invited to William Jewell College this weekend to participate in the induction of his father, Homer Martin, into the college's Athletic Hall of Fame, my cousin Doug used the trip from his home in California to come here first for a visit with his family before going onto the Kansas City area.

Uncle Homer had gone to William Jewell in the 1920s to finish his college and attend the nearby seminary to prepare for a preaching career. (It was at Leeds Baptist Church, that Uncle Homer went to work at the automobile factory and, thus, became involved in the union cause.) While at the college, he continued his hop, skip, and jump career also, and his school record of 47'4" still stands. Doug explained that though his father rarely, if ever, talked about his jumping career, he saw Uncle Homer jump the entire width of their back yard once. Doug also explained that the current triple jump replaced the old hop, skip, and jump in which the jumper stopped between each of those steps. I have always loved Daddy's story about their boyhood when the Martin boys would practice their hop, skip, and jump during the time they allowed the horses and mules to rest while they were plowing on their family farm.

After camping on the way here and stopping at Amarillo to see my sister and brother-in-law Rosemary and Phil, Doug camped at Ferne Clyffe last Friday night before coming to Woodsong on Saturday morning. He returned to his campsite that evening, but the rain and colder weather made him agreeable to occupy our waiting guest room on Sunday. So we did a lot of talking about family history, his three sons and wife Vera, books, his writing career, and religion. On Monday he returned to Ferne Clyffe to dismantle his tent since it was too wet the night before. On Wednesday our cousin Dick Stanley took him over the usual Johnson County sites that our family holds dear plus some new ones, and on Thursday Doug visited our cousins Dave and Norma Martin, and David took him down to the Cache River bottoms. On the boardwalk there looking over the swamp, he had the excitement of seeing a water moccasin within near range of his shoe. And he was proud to take a photo to be able show the California folk. Enjoying the outdoors and being pleased with a snake story to tell is definitely part of our family heritage.

Tomorrow I must get up early and drive down to spend the day at the Western Kentucky Book Expo in Sturgis, KY. I was invited to go with Lois Barrett, author of When the Earthquakes Spoke, and I am saddened to have to go by myself while Lois recovers from serious surgery. But by Christmas, we expect her to be going full force once more, and I am hoping this time off will give her an impetus to finish that sequel she is working on.

I've just enjoyed a slide show of Gerald's beautiful photos taken at South Dakota, where Gerry is to lease a pheasant hunting preserve in 2006 and then also Gerald's last weekend photos of son-in-law Brian's landscaping at their new home. When they had barely moved-in, a landscape man came to their door telling Mary Ellen how bad their lawn looked and he wanted the job of fixing it. She assured him that if he would come back in a few months, Brian would have a great looking lawn. The photos prove her confidence was well founded.

Gerald gets to go back to Lake Saint Louis this weekend to see the only pre-season fall games of Gerry's 18-and-under softball team for 2006. Last weekend he saw the second tourney of the new 14-and-under team that Geri Ann plays on. We had taken Lois and Tom down to Joelton, TN, the Saturday before that to see the team play together for the first time. By now, many of the girls are also caught up in volleyball and basketball school teams. So this is the end until the real softball season starts in the spring.

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