It turned out to be a beautiful day, and opportunities to go on these trips are very rare. I am glad we were able to go.
Here is Scott...
TRIP TO BIG STONE:
TODAY IS 8/27/2011:
I had been planning a trip to Big Stone Gap, VA for some time. Today it finally was able to happen.
Those who attended were my darling wife Cindy, my father Elmer Ray, and my step-mother Dorothy Roberts.
We were hesitant about our journey due to hurricane Irene which was just off the mainland coast as of this morning. However, I was determined to proceed. We were just worried about rain and high wind. I’m not some idiot who does not understand about a hurricane or tropical storm. I realize we are hundreds of miles inland lol!
Cindy had been up since 3am so she was not really up to a road trip, but being the wonderful woman she is, she was up and ready to go 2 hours before me. We had a laugh about that later when we arrived at dad’s house.
Even though this outing was less than 200 miles round trip, it still was a very big even to all of us. You must understand that Cindy was diagnosed with I.A. and my father has chronic COPD. They are both diabetic.
We began our journey from dad and Dottie’s house to Big Stone Gap, VA. I had become very intrigued about my family heritage for many years, as so many people do. When I had got to my great grandfather I hit a brick wall, and could get no more solid information. You would have to know the Roberts side of my family to really understand where I’m coming from.
The drive up was very pleasant and although it was race weekend we did not encounter any heavy traffic. When we got to the train trussle between Duffield, VA and Big Stone Gap, VA, we stopped to stretch our legs and take some photos. This was really cool since this piece of railroad history has carried everything from coal, lumber, and countless other items in and out of this section of our country for centuries. I also found myself wondering about the numerous people who had crossed that gap going and coming for whatever reason. Our trip took us 2 hours at most one way. That also included a late lunch. In the railroads day it took the most of a day and probably the biggest part of the evening to get from Big Stone to Unicoi. Not forgetting Cindy and I drove from our home in Mountain City, TN which is an additional 36 miles give or take. We truly have came a very long way technologically speaking ,but we still refuse to get along with each other in our own towns,cities,all across the country and the rest of the world. Hey, isn’t that what someone named Jesus tried to teach us about? Sorry I started rambling on there for a moment, I do that from time to time.
So after arriving in Big Stone, Dad took us by the house where my great grandfather had lived for some time. He also showed us a building at the end of his property which my great- grandfather donated for a church, which is now a union meeting hall. This is something else I am very proud of, being a union man myself. So yes, I’m going to ramble a bit more. I’m very proud my beloved great grandfather had no objection to letting the land and building, which he donated and also helped build as a church, once it outgrew its purpose, become something for the working man. Like it or not this country was stronger when organized labor was instated .You could do a honest days work and be paid what your skill or trade was worth no matter if you lived in New York City or Big Stone Gap VA. In my opinion, there will be a SPECIAL PLACE IN HELL for the ones who helped break up the unions of this country and thank God there are still some of us around.
After arriving at Powell Valley Cemetery, I took a very good suggestion from Cindy, and thankfully there was someone working in the office who told me the location of my great grandfather’s grave. With just a little searching, there it was. I saw it even though I had been there as a child. I felt a little more complete seeing it now. I hope to return to his graveside again with my two beautiful daughters and my wonderful grandson, but if not here is a record of it. I’m sorry it took me so long great-grandpaw, but we made it.
I write this for my beloved wife, Cindy, my father, Elmer Ray, his loving wife Dorothy and for my great-grandfather, Sam W Roberts.
I love you all and thanks for the trip. I will cherish it always
Scott also visited his Uncle Smiley Smith's grave. Smiley was married to Loretta, Elmer's sister.