Posts Tagged ‘Woods’

Another Gold Mine, Another Closet, Another Mystery

January 5, 2015

Another Family Bible has popped up.

(All photos are downloaded from correspondence on the internet. I don’t actually have the Bible in hand.)


This one is reported by my brother to have belonged to our grandfather James Packett.

But his name is not in it.

Yet my mother told my brother that this was her father’s Bible.

There are some names.

Miss Helen Wood

957 Lee Ave.

Knoxville, Tenn.

Helen Wood and

Claude Davis

were married Jan. 12, 1929

WoodsBible HelenWoods

But who are they?

I found Helen Davis, married, on the 1930 census and living with her mother Mabel Philips and her step-father Dewey Philips, but her husband is not in the home.

I also found in a 1930 Knoxville City Directory that Dewey Philips worked for a construction company as a foreman, and he was living at 957 Lee. Claude Davis is in the same directory, and he also works for the same construction company and lives at the same address.

But who are they?

I scrinched my eyes up, all squinty-like, and I imagined that I could see the imprints of a writing utensil coming through the paper from the other side. So I asked, and was told, yes, there is writing, but not like any other writing that’s ever been seen in a Family Bible.

The last names have been erased.

WoodsBible James&Susan

I imagined that the erased names are both “Woods”. The handwriting is the same as the top part of the previous page.

So I look for James and Susan Woods and I find them in 1920, both in their late sixties, with several children, including Hellen, age 8, and 2 younger children. They are listed as the children of James and Susan, which, on Susan’s part, is physically not possible.

And on a census previous to that, James and Susan have a large family including a daughter named Mabel. Let’s imagine that Mabel was not married to Helen’s father, since everyone has the same last name of Woods.

There’s also written in pencil “Mrs. Mabel Phillips, 957 Lee, Knoxville, Tenn.”.

WoodsBible MabelPhillips

I also found death certs for James and Susan Woods.At this moment I have only downloaded the death cert for James Woods, and not just because I’m lazy, but because I’m busy, and just today have two great missing pieces of the Bateson puzzle which will amaze and astound you.

WoodsJames DeathCertificate

The informant is son-in-law Dewey Phillips.

There is no known histoy of Woods people marrying my mother’s people,

So whose Bible is this and why did my mother have it?

Where is Colonel Lawton Cemetery? (Part 2)

September 22, 2013

Let’s try again.

I’ve worried over where this cemetery is like a dog over a bone.  Gnaw, gnaw, gnaw.

I GPSed (look!  new word!) the coordinates that my nephew found again from a website where some fellers GPSed all the cemeteries in SC, once again using google maps.  It still led me off way northwest of Garnett into a barren-looking area, keeping in mind that it’s still not the correct name for the cemetery.  It’s listed as Old Lawtonville.  There’s only one Lawtonville Cemetery.  I asked one family who’s lived in that area *forever*, and they are as puzzled as I am over the Old and New Lawtonville listings.

So I went to bed.

The next day, it occurred to me that Mulberry Grove is the plantation that the graveyard is supposed to be on.  And Mulberry Grove is in an area known as Pineland.  And didn’t I see something about Pineland being in both Hampton and Jasper County?  Crap, I’m in the wrong county.

So I looked in Jasper County, and scrolled down the webpage to “Lawton, Colonel”.  You can find it, too, by clicking here.  Then click on the “M” that is underlined, and that will take you to the map.

Then I made a google map with driving directions from Sugar’s house to the cemetery, and it’s less than 20 miles, and almost due north.

Today we drove out, and found it.  I took photos of most of the headstones.  The ones that I am specifically looking for are for Mama Florrie’s father’s people, Betty Gant and Hagar Gant.  They don’t have headstones.  There are a lot of depressions in the ground.

I know that people were buried there because I’ve seen their death certificates on

Do you realize what this means?

I think I’m going to have to start a blog and post all the death certificates for people who don’t have headstones at Colonel Lawton Cemetery.  Well, that sounds totally nuts.

The road separated the cemetery into two sections.  We supposed that the one to our left was the black section.











Do you see the marker in the left foreground that has been overtaken by the azalea bush that someone planted as a memorial?










This young man died in Vietnam.








We’re inside what we believe is the black section looking over the road to the other section.




Now we’ve crossed over to the other section, which we believe to be white.  (Foreshadow:  we are wrong.)




MAR 2, 1879
APR. 2, 1942



Carrie, who is Wesley Eugene Murphy’s wife.



Annie is one of the children of Carrie and Wesley Eugene Murphy.



Just past the cemetery is a farm gate.  Private road, no trespassing.  We are sorely tempted.  The gate is open.



We look back and see Ole Yeller waiting faithfully for us, so we turn back.


Now, google maps shows that this is State Road 27-27 and it intersects with Gillison Branch Road, so we drive over to Gillison Branch and try to sneak in another way.  Really, what are we looking for?  We’ve already found the cemetery.


It seems that Mr. Morel is one ahead of us.


So, what do I call the new blog…


Widowmaker, Part 2

November 11, 2012

I wrote about a widowmaker about 3 years ago.  A widowmaker is a branch or some type of debris that is lodged in a tree, and can fall and hit a person, and potentially kill them.

There’s been a lot of storm activity lately.  If you were in the path of the hurricane Sandy, you know what I’m talking about.  And even if you weren’t in her path, there were a lot of high winds and the resulting debris falling out of trees.

The RV is parked in a wooded area.  Some of the trees are nut-bearing, and when those nuts hit the top of the RV, it sounds like a muffled gun shot, right over your head.  I don’t recall hearing these sounds before, so I’m guessing the trees are maturing and giving off substantial-enough nuts to make such a loud sound.  I know for a fact that my hearing is not improving, and both Jackie the One-Eyed Cat and I jump at especially loud thumps.

Yesterday I was out and about the trees, and I saw a widow maker very close by the RV.  Of course, I had to take a photo to demonstate how dangerous this could be.  Suppose you were in the woods taking shelter under a tree, and perhaps had fallen asleep, and this happened…



This photo is deceiving.  The tree is quite large, and the widow maker is actually as big around as my forearm.  It (the widow maker, not my forearm) is in the ground so solidly that I could not pull it out.

So if you take shelter under a pine tree, look up first and plan your next move.

Peachy’s Problem Personality

October 24, 2012

Peachy is the cat that lives at Sugar’s grooming business, out back behind the building, because he’s a soft feral cat.

Sugar made a dandy hay house with a plywood penthouse at the edge of the woods for the Peach.

A few days ago, Sugar and I went over to the grooming business to do a little fence repair.  As we rounded the corner, there was adorable Peachy on the penthouse.


A few weeks ago, Peachy caught a squirrel, and proceeded to take the squirrel into the woods and consume the whole thing.  BabyBoy gave a report that Peachy ate it ALL.  He and Sugar’s BabyDaughter could not get the squirrel from the jaws of death.  Peach danced out of their reach, and headed into the underbrush, where he could not be found, until he showed up later that afternoon at dinnertime, burping and belching and patting his engorged tummy.


So this day in particular, when we were getting ready to work on the fence by reinforcing the bottom of the chain link, there’s Peachy looking all mellow.

We started working on the fence, and Sugar commented that he heard distress sounds.  I heard them, too, the squirrels chirruping and the mockingbirds calling, and I thought that they were warning the others that Peach was out and about.

Suddenly, Peachy walked out of the underbrush to bring us a present.  He had a squirrel in his mouth.  Sugar sprang up after him, Peach took off, and I ran inside to get a towel and cat crate, just in case Peachy dropped the squirrel and I could scoop it up.

Peachy melted away into the underbrush.   We couldn’t find him, and he must have had some secret hiding place nearby, perhaps under a shed or a house.

He showed up again later that day, right in time for dinner.

Take Two, They’re Small

June 2, 2011

No really.  Please, take two.

Cats, that is.

Last week I released Ozzie, Dennis, and Carrie at the feral cat feeding station.  First was Ozzie.  He tiptoed cautiously away, and I watched him head through the woods in the direction of the main road.  I figured that I’d go in search of him after releasing the other two, all the while realizing that he might cross the road and head into the fields beyond.  Dennis, released next, hung around the station and brushed up against the fence like he had lived his whole life for this moment.  Carrie investigated everything, sniffing thoroughly until she was satisfied with the way that things smelled. 

This was a whole new chapter in cat release for me.  These cats were not feral, merely deemed unadoptable by local standards.  They had all been at the shelter for months.  Could they fit in as outdoor cats living in the woods and fields?  Ozzie was a brat who liked to jump on a person’s shoulders after taking a running start up their body.  Dennis was tall, rangy, gangly, and had a sour expression (but don’t judge a cat by its cover).  Carrie was ordinary, just ordinarily plain. 

After opening the crate doors and letting all the cats out, one at a time, I went in search of Ozzie.  He was gone, just gone.  By the time I got back to the cat station, big bad Dennis the Menace was gone.  So was Carrie.  Then I heard a mew, and Dennis came crawling out from under the watering station.  So at least it looked like one might hang around. 

The next morning when I walked outside the RV, I heard insistent meowing.  It was Ozzie.  He had figured out how to get inside the fence, and had stationed himself close to the RV.  He wasn’t sure about the dogs, but he was sure that he was hungry.  I trusted that he would watch the other cats and go to the feeding station in the shed. 

I went into the woods to check the level of food in the feeders, and Dennis was gone.  Carrie had not returned, unless she came during the night.  It looked like one out of three was inside the fence to stay, which was not the way I wanted it to play out, because that would make way too many cats:  Sylvia, Cali, Georgia, Jackie, and Ozzie, although Jackie had recently adopted some weird reclusive personality traits and was living in the loft in the shed and only coming down for food, water, and calls of nature. 

A few mornings later, I went outside the RV and heard meowing – overhead.  It looks like Ozzie’s love of being high was saved for artificial high places, not trees.  He was on the awning and looked like he’d spent the night there. 



Ozzie, the fearless jungle cat.


Ozzie: "Purr. I mean, *RAWR*!


"Think I'll go this way."


"Or not."



"Coffee ready yet?"



A happy, contented cat carries its tail in the air. This cat is waaaaay contented.

Then yesterday evening at dusk, as I went through the side gate on the way to the cat station, I heard a cat, or what I thought was a cat, off in the woods in the underbrush.  “Brrh”.  I said, “Who’s there?”  “Brrrh”, answered the beast and then came crashing through the underbrush.  I hoped it was a cat.  And then an enormous orange cat sprang out at me.  “Dennis!”  Later when I went outside to feed the dogs, there was an unidentified cat INSIDE the fence near the front gate.  Dennis again.  Mr. Packett chased him about, and Dennis found his way outside the fence.

This morning on the way to the cat station, Dennis was still in the woods outside the gate.  Ozzie, Cali, and Sylvia weren’t too sure what to make of it.



So Dennis decided to join the fun, and he climbed the gate, up and over and inside the fence.  Mr. Packett happily chased him up a tree. 

Now when I’m walking about, the cats want to get in my way, and they brush around my legs like cats in a storybook.  When I was in 1st grade, Crazy Cat Woman was not my career choice.  Crazy, yes.  Cat woman, no.

If A Tree Falls in the Forest…

April 12, 2011

If a tree falls in the forest, and you hear it, should you get up and check on it?  Is anyone cut or bleeding, do we need to go to the hospital, is there a bone poking out?  Oh, wait, those were my criteria for “if a *CHILD* falls in the forest”.

Here’s what happened in my case when I eventually went to look.  I had heard a creaking sound, umm, like a tree starting to fall, then the sound stopped without the prerequisite thud that should follow the sound of a tree falling. 

No cats were harmed in the falling of this tree despite the cat treehouse being in close vicinity.


Why, yes, that is a power line, thankyoufornoticing.


The errant branch was arrested in mid-flight after attempting to flee the scene of the crime.


Happy ending soon to come. Power company to the rescue.

There’s a Babe in the Manger

December 25, 2010

There’s a baby living in the woods at the feral cat feeding station.  I first saw her last month, about mid-month, during a cold snap, and I thought that she belonged to the mother cat that I trapped and released before.  That’s the mother that brought her litter to the cat feeding station – click here to see the video. She looks like one of the kittens from that litter. I have since seen the kittens from the litter, and they are much larger than this baby.

This baby is always alone.  I had gotten a donation of cat food from Maranatha Farm, and at the bottom of one bag was a new bag of kitten food and some cans of Fancy Feast cat food.  What a coincidence that I need kitten food, and it appears.  Those of you who prefer to call it divine intervention, feel free.  I’m just grateful for the donation. 

The first day that I put out a can of cat food, I could see the baby further out in the woods.  I spotted the mother cat even further out, and she came first to the canned food.  The baby approached it, and the mother cat hissed at her.  I had recorded wildlife videos of this mother with her litter, and she would stand guard on the feeding station while her babies ate.  She never pushed them out of the way, or got in a stand-off with them over food.  It seems clear that this is not her baby.

Sylvia the former feral and current wildlife ambassador has been spending a lot of time at the feral cat feeding station.  Some mornings when I go into the woods, Sylvia is off in the underbrush just outside the gate, or she’s already at the feeding station.  It’s cold – what is she doing out there?  The wildlife camera showed the answer.  There was one night in particular when she’s on the feeding station every few hours.  To the left of the feeding station is a small A-frame that used to serve as the watering station until the raccoons started to throw the automatic waterer off the station to the ground.  I put the waterer on the ground but left the station there as shelter and also as a step-up for smaller animals that couldn’t jump to the table. 

The wildlife camera showed the baby is on or around the A-frame.  Sylvia was hanging out with her, perhaps watching over her.

This morning, I went to visit the station to fill the feeders, and there’s the baby, in the manger, if you will.

This is a shot from the back side of the station. I blocked up one of the openings where the dog was getting in. That's what the pallet and cat trap stacked on top are about. In the foreground, Sylvia celebrates a crisp Christmas morning by taking a bath in the woods after her breakfast. See the dark spot under the A-frame, there to the left? That's our baby.


I bought a bed for the cat station. It's made of indoor-outdoor fabric and stuffed with a removable pillow filled with styrofoam, so it shouldn't hold moisture. See the baby under the A-frame? Where's her mommy?


This shot is the back of the A-frame. See the baby?


And another shot from the back of the A-frame. I can't get within 4 feet of the baby. She's mostly wild.


Last month, I decided when I started naming cats again, I’ll choose names alphabetically.  The last cat was “Alice”.  So this cat must be “Baby”. 

It’s a scientific method.

Uno, Dos, Tres Raccoons

December 5, 2010

There has been some question as to how many raccoons are dining at the feral cat feeding station.  I can conclusively state that there are at least three. 

Where’s Waldo?

November 14, 2010

All week I have set the feral cat trap.

I received a donation of quite a few bags of cat food from Maranatha Farm, including most of a case of canned Science Diet cat food. The cans were handy, so I used a can of this healthy, nutritious, scientific food for baiting the trap.

The cats weren’t having it.  No one went in the trap, except one clever cat who ate most of the food and left, WITHOUT triggering the trap.  Bad little cats. 

Finally, on Thursday night, I tried a different bait.  I checked the trap up until midnight.  Nothing.  So I left them to their own devices, confident that I’d at least catch a possum by the next morning.

Friday morning was cold as I went into the woods to check the trap.  I’d put the trap on the feeding station by the automatic feeders so the trapped little darling wouldn’t be cold on the ground all night.  I approached the trap and couldn’t believe my eyes.

Nothing.  The trap had never been sprung.  The food had not been touched.  So I left it, made my way to work, then went home at lunch to check it.


Here's Waldo.

 He’s one of the kittens that has been feeding at the station with their mother!

Mr. Waldo has now been neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped, and has gone back to live in the woods here at the Swamped! Plantation & CatsNip Facility.

Feral Grayson, 9-20-10

September 20, 2010

Last evening I set the cat trap and monitored it.  Mr. Grayson was gracious enough to go into the trap about 7 PM.  I covered the trap with an old towel and went about my business.

This morning, I took a couple photos of the wildlife camera.  But on the way to the cat station to take photos and pick up Grayson, I saw the mother cat and two of her babies running wildly away at my approach.  There was also another fluffy black cat, I believe one named Bobby, that I have not seen in months, so I was looking forward to seeing the wildlife camera videos on them. 

But there was nothing on the memory chip.  Not enough motion or perhaps not close enough to trigger the  mechanism.

Oh.  well.  Here’s the setup in the woods.

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