We’ve come to the last of the Bubbling Under the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. These are songs that just didn’t chart high enough to be deemed a hit. Many of them are quite familiar nonetheless, and I own all of them in some physical form.
Friend Broome asked: Have you contacted your cousins? I assume he means my NEW cousins.
Actually, I’ve been in touch with some of them going back to September 2018, after I did my Ancestry test. I had found six people who were close relatives that I couldn’t account for. Two I figured out, but not the other four.
One of them, who I’ll call Tony, explained that he was originally from Wilson, NC. Ah, the home of Raymond Cone, the newly-found grandfather. His paternal line included Cohen and Cone.
What I didn’t know then but get now is that Cohen was a variant of Cone. Even in the early 20th Century, there were families with both surnames. Apparently, Cone was a slaveholder name, and some family members eschewed it.
The mom of another close cousin, “Edna”, had a mom born in my hometown of Binghamton, NY. I need to pursue THAT angle.
“Tia” is a cousin through Willis’ and Raymond’s brother Jimerson’s line. I actually spent 90 minutes on the telephone with her in December 2019.
Here’s another story, related to Raymond Cone. The headline is Wife Beater, Thief Given 40 Days in Jail. It was from the Binghamton (NY) Press: 27 Nov 1926 p3. Subheads: Negro Who Evaded Police for Three Days after Stealing Gun is Caught; Went on Rampage; Created Scene at Father-in-Law’s Home, and Then Fled.
Raymond’s son-in-law Charles Slaughter broke down the door at the church parsonage. He assaulted his wife, Raymond’s younger daughter Mary. After chasing her through the house, he beat her with the gun. Then he drove off, eventually getting captured in Elmira, about 60 miles away.
“Charles Slaughter, negro, 24 years old of 35 Carroll street…pleaded guilty of petit larceny and assault in the third degree.” He received 40 days in jail. He got 30 days for larceny, stealing the revolver valued at $35. He received 10 days on the charge that he beat his wife.
“Mrs. Mary Slaughter is only 15 years old. She and Slaughter were married 14 months ago. They have one child.” In the summer of 1926, Raymond, on a three-week vacation from church, went back to Wilson, NC, ostensibly to visit his mother.
Apparently, he recommended that Mary and Charles Slaughter move to Binghamton. They lived only a couple blocks away. After Charles became abusive, Raymond suggested Mary move into the parsonage with him.
Early in December, my daughter and some of her classmates were required to attend a workshop to determine what classes she could take for the next school year. She came home excited. Because she’s met so many requirements, she’ll be able to take more electives next year.
While she’s explaining this to her mother, I’m getting an automated telephone message from the high school saying that she was marked absent from school for periods three and four. Why, yes, she was absent from physics that day, for an authorized school activity. She was present for the physics lab during period four and handed in homework.
I call the school the next day. The phone menu says that I have to contact the office of the academy my daughter is assigned to. There are four academies in the school. But the Discovery office says that they can’t fix it because they only deal with actual absences. The teacher can fix this.
I call the teacher’s office. She’s out for the day. The substitute has a child in the school, so she knows that my tale of woe is true. She recommended talking with the guidance counselor.
A few hours later, the guidance counselor calls me back. She can verify that my daughter was at the authorized event for period three. She would write the teacher to correct the record for period four.
This is hardly the first time I’ve gone through this rigamarole. Nor am I the only one experiencing it. The mother of a freshman was baffled when she experienced a similar situation.
It appears that the school is better at tracking when a student is away for the whole day. My daughter went on a school trip to Montreal in the spring of 2019, but we got no robocalls. The problem seems to be tied to those in-school events of limited duration.
This may seem to be a small thing, but it happens frequently enough to become an annoyance. I don’t want to have to make two or three calls every time this happens.
It suddenly occurred to me that I have now been attending my new church for 20 years. I suppose “new church” might not be quite how I should label it.
As I may have mentioned, the Troubles were taking place at my old church. I need not dwell upon them presently. One element, though, was that the choir was not allowed to sing.
I called Laura, a woman who had left my old church. I was wondering if I could sing at her church until The Troubles were resolved. After all, it WAS Lent. Two minutes later, Victor, the choir director, said “stay as long as you want.”
As it turned out, the Troubles were not really resolved. A couple from my old church joined me at the “new” church that fall. And it’s been fine.
What’s interesting, though, is my evolution in dealing with the old church. Both churches belong to the FOCUS churches. This means that there would be joint services rotating among them once a month during the summer and also the first Sunday in February. For the first five years, when the service was at the old church, I just didn’t go there.
Then I would generally attend. It could be awkward, with some very nice people asking when I was coming back. The choir folks, only one of whom I knew from my time there, noted that my name still showed up in pencil on some of the music. I DID sing there for about 17 years.
Duane Smith, R.I.P.
Now, it’s mostly water under the bridge, I realized when I sang there in early February. The feeling was codified, I suppose, when I went to the funeral of a young man named Duane Smith, who died of cancer at the age of 45. Among other things, he was an extremely talented artist. His mom was a choir member with me at the old church, and she was a tenant of my wife’s for a time.
Duane’s friends who grew up with him in the church – the kids I saw growing up there – all seemed happy to see me. Jeff and Dan and Jessica and David and Eddie, plus a couple of their moms, who I also used to sing with.
I must say that there was a time at the old church when we had an excellent choir, especially when Eric was our director in the early 1990s. I’m in an excellent choir now, but I’ll own up to some nostalgia, even now.
Some stuff can be rather painful at the time. Yet sometimes, it dissipates. Time has a way of doing that under the right circumstances.