Things I’ll never know about dad

a mission

Les (center), Agatha (right), and presumably other Walkers

My sisters and I long knew the biological father of my dad, Les Green, was someone other than my grandfather, McKinley Green. But what we’ll never know:  was he aware of the name of his biological father, Rev. Raymond Cornelius Cone? Did he have any dealings with him whatsoever? I tend to doubt it, but…

And how did he feel about being treated as “illegitimate”? When did he find out? Did he know about the newspaper coverage? My maternal grandmother remembered the stories. Did this affect the way she saw Les Green? They were not fans of each other, which left my mother in the middle of that mess.

One of my sisters suggested that we ask dad about this while he was alive. I was highly resistant in no small part because whatever information that we did know came not from him but from his wife and mother-in-law. I surmised that it was not something he wanted to discuss. I could have been wrong, I suppose.

His maternal grandparents claimed him as their son in the 1930 Census, though the truth had come out in the subsequent decade. As mentioned before, Cone had denied paternity. This was, of course, far before the days of DNA testing that would have proved the minister was a lying son of a…

Did dad know that his mother Agatha, the day after he was born, had taken legal action against RCC? After reading the newspaper clippings from September 1926 through January 1927 in the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin, I’m still unclear precisely what Cone was being charged with. I THINK it was the failure to own up to the paternity, as opposed to assault or rape.

Mission back on

In March 2020, I had planned to go to Broome County Clerk’s office in Binghamton. Reportedly, there are printed volumes with the transcripts of trials of that vintage. But that trip was scuttled because of the COVID outbreak, with that office closed.

It has now reopened. I need to make a pilgrimage to my hometown to copy the record of grandma Agatha’s fierceness. Did dad believe that despite the verdict exonerating Cone, that his mom was telling the truth?

I’ve been working on my time-travel machine. One needs to line up the questions because one doesn’t know how long one can survive sojourning in the past.

Dad died on August 10, 2000.


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