Monday, April 9, 2012

The Rest of the Story, a Matter of Just Two Miles and Two Minutes

Copyright 2012, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Yesterday I showed you the photos of the Central Georgia Railway Hospital and shared how that quick stop in Savannah gave me a sense of closure.  This is the rest of the story, how if we had made a decision to turn and not go just one mile more, I may never have had this closure.

Man and I are only here in the Savannah area for a few nights, basically honkered down for the Easter holiday weekend.  The crowds are huge, traffic heavy.  We had a short "hit" list, Tybee Island and Skidaway State Park, and Darien, McIntosh County, Georgia to visit the "reported" burial place for Joseph Eugene Bowen, his wife, Minnie Maud (Remley) Bowen and their son, Joseph E. Bowen, Jr. who died so young, just 22 years old and said to be blind.  That is another long story, short version, no headstones and the St. Andrews church records do not record their burials.

We did revisit Darien and the cemetery, on Friday, took some more photos (I had some), paid my respects, and even stopped in the local library, hoping beyond hope that I might find some new clues, none were found.

So, Saturday, we took off in Jolly with the fur kids to see the other hit list places.

This first graphic shows the route we ended up
driving, not necessarily what was originally
planned, starting:  at the campsite, # 1
the drive to Savannah, # 2
Tybee Island, # 3
3105 Bull Street, # 4
Skidaway State Park, # 5
back to the campsite #6

Our route, all mapped out.

(Now you must remember that Man and I are known for NOT over planning our days, we sorta let nature and happenstance take the reins of the day.)

On our way through Savannah on the way to Tybee Island I saw Bull Street pop up on the GPS map.  I had Man pull over, put the address in the GPS and realized it was about 5 or 6 miles maybe further to get back to the address.  I decided to forgo the stop at that point, just sighing and thinking, it was not meant to be.  And, so, onward we go towards Tybee Island.

We stopped first at Fort Pulaski (blog sometime in the future, enjoyed this immensely).  Next, the beach area of Tybee.  Crowds, horrible traffic, no parking, we never stopped.  Found the lighthouse, Man took photos from Jolly, with window down, no parking, we never stopped, missed the Battery, probably would have been pretty neat stuff, but, again, no parking.

We headed back to Savannah and the campground, planning on saving Skidaway for Sunday. I decide, lets see, maybe Bull Street now, put the address back into the GPS and realized it would not be far off our route and would not require any "turning around".  (We don't do turn arounds very well, hate to drive the same road twice, avoiding so if at all possible.)  So, I am now determined to get to that address and somehow we are going to find a parking spot, even if I have to walk blocks back.  My mission was set.

HOWEVER, 1 mile shy of my destination/mission we see the sign for Skidaway State Park and Man starts making noise about not missing it, lets go there, pushing hard for his cause.  At this point, it got a bit warm in Jolly and no, we did not turn off the air conditioner.  Some of the discussion was about only being 1 mile from my mission and we could go back that mile to the route to the park.  I am not sure Man was thrilled with me, but, I was a bit cranky and he finally just said, fine, as long as we can go back to the park.  NOT A PROBLEM (she thinks to herself and says to him).

It was meant to be, we found a parking spot for big ole Jolly with no problem, basically right on the property. I jumped out with Sony, started shooting my photos, shot the building from the left looking right, went out front to get a photo of the names of the occupants of the building now, went around to the right side to look left and take more photos, and saw those inscribed letters, walking closer, gasping at the words "Railway Hospital", immediately grasping the meaning, why Joseph was there.  It hit me like a ton of bricks, literally taking my breath away.

And, in the matter of a one mile detour (OK two miles since we had to go back,  LOL), 9 shots with Sony, 9 shots taken over just TWO minutes, I had solved one of those mysteries of our family history that become little burrs under your research saddle.  I had closure.

And, yes, we drove to Skidaway State Park, it is a beautiful place.

That said, the researcher in me thought those were the best two minutes of the day.  (And, a special thanks to Man for caving in, mmm, giving in, mmm, humoring me, mmm, granting me those few minutes and two miles of detour!)

Morale of this two mile two minute story, if you are that close, don't change your route or your mind. GO FOR IT!  All those years of wondering, questioning, sighing in disappointment are now a thing of the past.  Two miles, a mile there and a mile back, two minutes, and a little voice deep inside screaming - - DO IT NOW!!  DO IT!!  Some planning might not hurt either, but, of course, I wouldn't have such a fun story if we had planned, would I??

I am still amazed, a matter of just two miles and two minutes, and the closure.

Yes, genie researchers, it feels great!

* Graphics from Microsoft Streets and Trips.



Lisa Wallen Logsdon said...

Missed the first part yesterday (probably due to the fact that I didn't get any blog reading done for all the Easter hoopla) so I had to backtrack.

This was really a super find and, I'm sure, an exhilarating genealogy moment for you, just like what we all cherish and can't wait for the next one to happen.

Congrats on the closure! I know that feeling, ain't it great?

Lori E said...

Always stop!! In the grand scheme of things what is 5 miles or even 10. Imagine how our ancestors would have had to ride a horse or walk to do things that far away. And pretty much everything was that far away for them.
I do understand the difficulty in parking and maneuvering a trailer though.

Joan said...

Now that was fun! Loved the travelogue, which is a different sort of thing in Jolly; loved the routing (would never do for some of my family, but I liked it just fine: and the joy of the two minutes and two miles, just too good for words. Go Girl, Go!

Kathy Reed said...

I love this post. My husband and I tend to travel the same way -- not super-planned. It sounds like you had a great day -- and I know you are very compatible travelers. I'll be following you home.