Grandma's Book
 
While sorting through some more of my Aunt Fran's earthly belongings this week, my mother found a book, which she gave to me yesterday.  It was a book that would never attract my attention.  It is not about sports, guns or military history.  But, the book belonged to my Grandmother, Sadie Stover Peters. Well, that's different.

What was strange was that Aunt Fran, the owner of the book, was from the "other side of the house"-- my mother's people who lived in and around the Kanawha/Jackson County border.  How did Fran come to acquire Grandma Sadie's book?  My mother reminded me that Fran's husband, Uncle Chuck, collected old books.  Maybe that was it.  Maybe my Dad gave it to Chuck after Grandma Sadie died.  The route isn't that important, I guess. I'm just thrilled to be the destination.

The inscription on the inside cover of the book reads, "to Sadie Peters from Irene & Ralph for birthday April 29 1948." It was her Jack Benny birthday and for number 39 her brother and sister-in-law presented her with "Walkin' Preacher of the Ozarks," by Guy Howard.  My first thought was of my Ellison ancestors, many of whom were preachers, spreading "the Word" on horseback and on foot.  They were probably the type of preacher featured in the book, I thought.  Just not in the Ozarks.

The book, with a 1944 copyright, is about a preacher whose congregation is not well-to-do, but who do well putting food on the table and a roof over heads.  Like so many of our ancestors, they work hard in the fields, sometimes sacrificing worldly possessions to provide for family.  Their reward will come later.

The book had no genealogical finds between its yellowing pages.  But for a man who knew very little of his grandmother, who passed when he was but five, it is nice to read the same words, turn the same pages and hopefully, think a few of the same thoughts.

My favorite part, of the 275 pages, is a paragraph found in the epilogue.  "Doubtless God could have made a better country, but doubtless God never did.  And when I'm called to leave it and walk down the lonesome road, I hope to go wearin' my walkin' shoes."

I don't know about the rest of you. But I'll need some "runnin' shoes."  There's so much to do.  I want to go fishing with my father.  I want to eat some of Grandma Coleman's corn bread.  I want to smell Grandpa Peters' pipe tobacco.  I want to hear Grandpa Coleman sing "Len's Creek Mountain."  I want to ask Grandma Peters about a book.

Some of us have been waiting a long time.

Sincerely,

Mike Peters
npeters102@aol.com
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