ABOUT ALL THAT CORN AND THOSE SOYBEANS
Planning a fall field trip to Lucas County? Fair warning that about
half those pickups out there this time of year are being driven
somewhat erratically as their owners assess the condition of their
own and their neighbors' crops - through the driver's side window,
without stopping. So watch out. If you like adventure, wait a few weeks and
come dodge combines, tractors and grain wagons with us.
The beans are beginning to ripen and some of the corn
looks as if it could be ready to pick in a couple of weeks if the hot, dry
conditions continue. A few of the cottonwoods are beginning to turn,
and it won't be long at all before autumn settles in. We planted
hard maples across the front of Salem three years ago when my
mother died, and they're almost big enough this year to put on a good
(if small) show.
Rural Iowans amuse easily, which probably is why we decided to drive
an hour and a half yesterday evening to Wendy's at Bethany, Missouri,
for supper (you may think this pathetic; we thought it was rather good).
But the real reason was in order to drive back across country with the sun at
our backs, swooping through the hills and valleys of north Missouri
from Mount Moriah and on to Princeton on the road home. Southern
Iowa and northern Missouri really are at their best this time of year so,
seriously, come home!
AND ALL THOSE PARSONS, TOO ...
Once I get organized here, I plan to deposit a good many Parsons
obituaries in the archives of this list. I've been transcribing the
contents of my "Parsons" file and forwarding obituaries, etc., to various
members of the Parsons family, and will get most of that material
to the Salem list as time permits.
Catherine Myers, daughter of Salem's Jacob and Harriet (Dick) Myers,
married James Parsons; and one of their daughters who died young,
Lilly Belle Parsons, is buried at Salem. James and Catherine moved
from Benton Township to a farm just south of Chariton after Lilly Belle
died, and chose to be buried in the Chariton Cemetery rather than at
But this list encompasses not only those buried at Salem but also their
families, so all of this material is fair game I figure.
If any of you-all are related to the Parsons, Audrey H. and I had the
pleasure this summer of meeting (online) a number of Parsons and
learning a good deal about our in-law, James's, family. The annual
Parsons family reunion was held Aug. 25 in Fairfield (Jefferson County),
and Wayne Parsons, who organized the event, distributed after the
reunion a list of some 75 individuals and families who descend from
the southern Iowa Parsons family. He's always on the lookout for
more cousins, so if you'd like to contact him, contact me and I'll forward
his address to you.
THIS IS YOUR LIST, TOO ...
As membership in the Salem list grows, it's probably a good time
to remind you that this list is not just Frank's toy. Anyone who wishes
to submit obituaries, family data or queries is welcome to do so.
The more the merrier.
There are only two rules: (1) No anti-virus or any other "warnings."
There are just too many hoaxes out there (if you have a concern,
contact me personally); (2) No politics and/or religion.
It's not that I'm either apolitical or irreligious, it's just that this is a
a family reunion, and everyone who has been to one or more of
those knows the quickest route to disaster is to start discussing
either of those topics, especially before dessert.
AND THEN THERE'S COUSIN HELEN
I had great visits this week and last with Cousin Helen, an 80-year-old
who is related to me on a non-Salem family line. Helen cruises the
country during the summer in a 2000 Dodge van with a bunk and
generous storage in the back doing genealogical research, visiting
friends and relatives (but always sleeping in the van) and touring
anything that grabs her interest as she drives along - several thousand
miles since May 6 when she left her New Mexico home, from Oregon
on the west to West Virginia on the east.
We toured dead Browns during a marathon field trip Tuesday, and
Helen was last seen headed for Stanton (southwest Iowa) to view a
water tower shaped like a cup and saucer, then on to Missouri and
homeward toward New Mexico, since she has to be back there by
the end of the month to take a trip (!?!) with a friend.
What a spectacular example of staying active and involved when
some might think a rocking chair more appropriate. And what a
wonderful way to persecute your adult children if you've ever had
the urge to get even. We didn't talk too much about just how much
Helen's two daughters disapprove of Mother's summer travels,
but I did get the feeling they'd sure like to get their hands on the keys
to that van!
If you're interested in a similar lifestyle yourself, Helen
recommends Wal-Mart parking lots when a friendly or related
driveway isn't available (she has the best ones marked on her atlas).
Truckers are her biggest allies on the road. And if your hair is gray,
don't color it she says. Gray hair, a lawn chair and a sign that says
"help" ensures that someone useful will stop to help you change a
Cousin Edwin Johnson, son of Carl A. and Minnie Myers Johnson,
and grandson of Salem's Daniel and Mary Belle Redlingshafer
Myers and Charles and Christina Johnson, died Sept. 2 (2002)
at 88 after a long battle with congestive heart failure. Funeral
services were held Wednesday, with burial in the Chariton Cemetery.
His survivors include his wife, Betty; two children, Duane and Martha;
and a brother, Carl Ferman - the last of the six Johnson boys.
Edwin was my dad's age, and they had been best friends for all
88 of their years - from the cradle until their last visit a few days
before Edwin died. So he certainly will be missed on this front.
Until the next time,
Frank D. Myers