I had gone to the Tulsa County Court House to try to find out more about my grandfather’s killer. Instead at an annex, I found probate records of my grandfather’s estate. I was surprised by the size of my grandfather’s estate, (over $200,000, a sizable fortune in 1925) and that he had disinherited his first born child, my father.
Disappointed that I hadn’t been able to find out more about my grandfather’s killer, my next stop was nearby – the Roseville Cemetery.
Through online records I found out that my father had been buried at the Roseville Cemetery. I got there while the cemetery was open, but the office was closed. In the very extensive grounds, I could not find my family’s burial plot. There was no guiding information posted. It would have to wait for the next day.
The next morning, the office was open and I got directions to my family’s burial plot. With some difficulty, I eventually found the Hutchison family plot. The Hutchison plot was right next to the Purdy family plot, which was the surname of my grandfather’s killer.
I avoid cemeteries and have never attended a funeral, but I stayed awhile, talking out loud with everyone who is buried there, including my dad. There were gravestones for my grandfather, grandmother, great uncle, uncle, aunt and my father.
I went from grave to grave, greeting each person. I spoke with each of them and shared what I was doing. I told them I was researching my father’s history to understand the man I didn’t know and that I was writing a novel, Tracking the Human, based on events in his life. I explained to them that my project was a work in progress for reconciliation for all of us.
Driving out of the Rosehill Cemetery, I noticed a gun shop and firing range directly across the street.
My next stop would be Krebs, Oklahoma, a very small town just outside McAlester Oklahoma, where my father was born in 1907. I had no particular leads, but thought I would go and take a look at his birthplace.
One thought on “Talking to the Dead”
I was pulled in by the storytelling aspects of this post. You bring a sense of humanity to the history through your personal journey.