Thursday, August 4, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday - Post 1 - Dear Sis

My grandfather J. J. Spurlock died many years before I was born; because he was estranged from his children, my father did not speak of him. In December 2000, I had the pleasure of visiting Spurlock family members in Louisiana. At that time, Bettye Lou (Conville) Gleason, my first cousin once removed, gave me the following letter written by my grandfather to her mother, Sarah Elizabeth "Sis" (Spurlock) Conville.

Letter from J. J. Spurlock to Sarah Elizabeth Spurlock Conville
Envelope postmarked 25 Oct 1929
The letter, written in pencil on paper now yellowed with age, reads:


Dear Sis 

          I received your letter o.k. and
was certainly glad to hear from
you. sorry to hear of all the deaths
but time is slipping by and old age
will get us all. 

          In regard stone for Ma's grave
I want to do my part but will not
be able to put up the money until
after xmas. I have some big bills
to pay between now and xmas and
just now I dont know where the
money is coming from. but you
can count on me for $40.00 in

          Love to all,
                   your brother

Hope to be able to visit
you all some day.

Writing on the eve of the Great Depression, my grandfather speaks of having bills to pay. I wonder how he fared during the 1930s. I don't think my great-grandmother's stone was ever replaced; the grave stone where she is buried in Hurricane Cemetery, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, appears to have been made at a time closer to her death in 1893. I am saddened that there is no evidence that he had the chance to visit his siblings in Louisiana  and Texas before his death in 1940.

This is a rare treasure that connects me to one of my ancestors I never knew. I am lucky to have it.

© 2011 Denise Spurlock

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