The Death of a Stranger

August 29, 2015

My father-in-law died in late March.

Sugar has reminded me in the past that I should be saying “EX-father-in-law. I then remind him that I didn’t divorce my in-laws, since they are not the ones who committed adultery, drained the college fund and other accounts, and walked away.

But I digress. As much fun as it would be to talk about all that, I digress.

My mother-in-law died in 2006. My father-in-law turned into a grumpy, bitter old man over the next several years. He thought he should have gone first, and he should have. Hereditary heart issues should have taken him out years ago, but medical advances saved his life several times.

He eventually remarried, and he changed yet again. He was happy. Plus Viagra. I mean, really, Granddad? Please put your medicine bottles away when your grandchildren are visiting.

Perhaps he was bragging.

*****

So my FIL is deceased, and my little BIL, the executor, asks me to write the obituary, because I know the most about the early years, and then my FIL’s best friend will write about the later years. I write the most slam-bang genealogical obituary you have ever had the courage to read. I might have even included the dog and the cat. I certainly included myself, but I rearranged the traditional order. I listed my FIL’s children without spouses tagged directly to their name. Then I had a list of my FIL’s children’s spouses. I was at the head of the list, and Mr X’s “wife” was not, since technically she never divorced her husband in Argentina. (By her own admission at the deposition, folks, ’cause truth is stranger than fiction.)  I also listed my SIL who died of cancer in 2012, and my FIL’s parents and in-laws and siblings and grandchildren.

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The obituary was published. (Insert drumroll.)

I wasn’t listed. My SIL wasn’t listed. My FIL’s in-laws weren’t listed. Apparently we’re all dead.

Oh, wait. I’m not.

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Homeward From Edisto

August 29, 2015

Sugar knows things. 

Important things, like the price of tea in China. Or shortcuts. He knows shortcuts. 

On the way home from Edisto, he wants to take a shortcut past an old estate where someone lived who knew his cousin Margaret. 

Me? I’m along for the ride. 

   
 
We could not get in. It looks abandoned, and since I do not look good in orange, we didn’t attempt to trespass. I did, however, hold the camera higher than the fence, so these photos look trespassy. 

   
   
The azaleas in this part of the country can get as large as a Volkswagen Beetle. It’s quite breath-taking the first time you see it. 

And yes, you are correct. These photos are from early April, and it is now late  August. My laptop is still deceased, and I have other, more pressing issues which have superseded blogging. Still, I can fruitfully remove these photos from the iPhone, for today we venture forth, and I’ll need the storage space!

More Bateson News

August 22, 2015

Because Sugar’s cousin Julie in Brussels is tenacious.  

  
And life can be tangled and glorious. 

  
Julie found more of Sugar’s Bateson cousins in South Africa, which was certainly unexpected. Even more unexpected, she found more about 6 hours from us in North Carolina. 

   
 So Sugar has moremoremore cousins! As luck would have it, we met  up at Edisto Island. 

   
    
    
 Have I mentioned that Sugar is a recluse? Plus toss in some worrying that new cousins won’t like him. I don’t worry so much because they are not my people. 

He also thinks that it is weird that we are meeting people that we’ve never met. He’s at a disadvantage because I’ve already met them on the Internet. Worryworryworry. 

   
 Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to worry. 

“The Castle”

August 8, 2015

It took a few weeks before we could coordinate our schedules and get back to Beaufort in search of The Castle. 

We found it easily, which was not so remarkable when you consider that  it is helpful to be on the right street when looking for a house, or, in this case, a castle. 

I fiddled around with the editing on the iPhone. The first photo is without tampering. The next is mono, then tonal, then noir, then chrome, then transfer. Mono and tonal look much the same. And what the heck is chrome? There were no ’57 Chevys in sight. 

Enjoy the Castle from afar. It’s a private residence. But Sugar said his parents told a story that took place in the Castle about 75 years ago. They were staying in Beaufort, and the closet door in their room would not stay closed, even though they closed it. They would wake up in the night and the door was open. 

They never got a sense of danger or fore-boding, in spite of the FACT that The Castle is haunted. Google it. 

   
    
    
 

BUbD: The Melancholy

August 2, 2015

There’s a subtle melancholy that creeps in after a family get-together. Does that happen to anyone else? It never before bothered me, only Sugar. What does this mean, that I’m getting older or more aware? That I’m more emotional, weepy, sentient, sentimental? Or am I finally catching on that sometimes you never see people again due to circumstances beyond your control? Four days after Sugar’s Canadian cousins head away from us, we go back to the same places we went with them. We go to Beaufort and have lunch at the Lowcountry Produce. It generally weirds Sugar out when I take a photo of our plates. But really, he knows we’re making history.   There’s our cozy corner across the way by the big window.   We finally find the right castle. On a lark, we head over to Pigeon Point to the boat landing. The day is stormy and gloomy to match our moods, and the wind rocked the van. Then we see it.

A seagull for Audrey.

Batesons United By Death: More Day Two

August 2, 2015

More Day Two. 

We’re driving around looking for “The Castle”, and ended up entirely on the wrong street. Since Beaufort is laid out on a grid and is located on a point of land, it should have been easy to get our act together and find the right location. 

The call of the trees and the old town make  that impossible. 

Mesmerized by the landscape and the gentle breeze, we find ourselves wandering around, chatting like old friends even though Sugar and I only met his Canadian cousins the day before. 

   
    
    
   
Here I sadly confess that the laptop has slipped into an unresponsive coma. I have other photos that cannot be added to the blog until I get another way to transfer the photos from the camera chip. Until then, you’ll have to enjoy iPhone photos and iPhone blogging. 

We made our way to a drive-by of Sugar’s grandfather’s house, to lunch at the Lowcountry Produce, then Agnes Mann’s house and Robert Small’s memorial next door, and a tour of the Mann and Lengnick plots at St. Helena Episcopal churchyard. 

It was such a great day. And it was all started by this little blog. 

Y’all, really? Everyone should blog. 

Batesons United by Death: Day Two

June 21, 2015

Sugar and I are out and about with his newly found cousins from Canada. 

Yesterday was spent all around the Bateson haunts in Savannah from 1853-1879. I say 1879 because that’s when we thought the family had died out. We couldn’t find out what happened to Georgia and Alice Bateson. 

It seems like nothing would do except that we visit Beaufort where Georgia, Alice, and younger brother Thomas’s mother lived before it was occupied by Union forces early in the war. She was Martha Mann who married Thomas the elder. 

We start at the Lengnick house. 

   
      
We walked to the house in front of the Lengnick house, which was another Lengnick house, where Martha Mann’s sister lived. It fronts on the bay with a lovely  view. 

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

Sugar told the story of his parents staying at The Castle many years ago and that they thought their room was haunted. The closet door would not stay closed. It was difficult to shut, but kept swinging open. 

So we try to find it and ended up on completely the wrong street, which was a bonus because we saw a neighborhood we’ve never seen before…

And a tree.  My goodness, what a tree. 

Batesons United by Death: The End of the First Day

June 6, 2015

Sugar and I are touristing about in Savannah with his newly found Bateson cousins. 

We’re in Thunderbolt enjoying the view, and then we’re calling it a day. 

Tomorrow calls!

   
     

Batesons United By Death: Thunderbolt 

May 30, 2015

I’ve never been to Thunderbolt. We’ve never had a reason before to go to Thunderbolt. Today, we’re having a little drive-by because we know that William Spears and William Ebbs lived and farmed in this area. 

The day is so perfect and crisp!  We weren’t looking for anything in particular, just seeing what the day has to offer. 

There are no farms here now. It’s rather geared towards boating. But while driving along the main road that parallels the river, one can imagine the area was ripe for farming. 

Enjoy the photos, and enjoy the day, while we imagine a little Bateson boy toiling on a farm.

   
                 

Batesons United By Death: Basingers at Bonaventure 

May 29, 2015

Sugar and I are on a tour of Savannah with his Bateson cousins from Canada. Have I told you how we met them?

The blog, of course.

We’ve been to Laurel Grove Cemetery to visit the newly marked plot of the Christopher R. Bateson family, if you understand by “newly marked” that I mean last summer, because this plot was never marked for the any of the burials which occurred from 1853-1879. We also went to find the plot of William Ebbs, who was a guardian for the youngest Bateson child Thomas Remington Bateson after his parents Thomas and Martha Mann Bateson died. This plot is also unmarked.

Right now we’re in Bonaventure for a quick tour which always, always means we visit Sugar’s mother, grandmother, and great-grandparents at the Basinger plot.


 We know that William Epps and William Spears were affiliated with the Bateson family somehow. They were hucksters and vegetable sellers in the Thunderbolt area east of Savannah, so…

We’re off to Thunderbolt!


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