Monday, May 30, 2005

When I told my sister Janice that I was hosting old friends this past week and explained how we knew each other, she said those really are old friends.

Ray Jones graduated in chemical engineering with George Rodney and Linda lived in my dorm. We have been corresponding all these years but have seldom saw each other.

They were supposed to visit me earlier in the year, but it fell during my awful illness. I'm glad it only delayed the visit a bit.

They came Monday and I found they are just the same people they were 40 years ago. Ray is as skinny as ever, and that is even after he quit smoking.

Linda had a stroke a few years ago and has trouble getting around. She walks with a cane and uses a wheelchair sometimes. She keeps going anyway and doesn't ever complain.

We discussed all manner of things old times, new times, our children, our lives, etc.

On Tuesday we went down to Shiloh and toured the park. They bought the CD that explained the tour. I had never done that but found that it explained the battle much better than the brochure. I liked it so much that when the Ruckers and I went down there on Sunday I bought one for myself. I can loan it to future visitors.

This Friday, June 3, will be the dedication of the Tennessee monument at Shiloh. The bronze statue was uncovered the first time we passed it but was covered the second time, and also today, Sunday, it was covered.

I was surprised to find that Ray Blanton, the corrupt governor of Tennessee during the seventies, is buried at Shiloh, but not on park land. The old Shiloh church, from which the battle drew its name, and its cemetery is still private and Blanton is buried in that cemetery. It is marked by a huge obelisk with the three star symbol of Tennesse on it.

After we left Shiloh, we tried to find a meat-and-three place to eat in Selmer but wound up eating at the Whistle Stop Cafe in the Henco Furniture Store. That is the one that advertised on TV. (It's worth the drive.) Mr. Hendrics himself came by and shook our hands.

We enjoyed that outing so much that we went back on Wednesday to Savannah to see the Tennessee River Museum there. This is the type of local outing that I would never take on my own since I live here, but should. It was very entertaining and educational.

The Jones's left on Thursday. I hope they come back and that I can visit them sometime. It is great to have old friends, and especially old friends who stick with me even though George Rodney is gone.

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