Sunday, March 02, 2014

To Liberty

Yesterday Graham and I drove out to Liberty, NC, to visit with our distant relative Guy T--y.*  My dad met and then introduced me to Guy back in the eighties, when he got on his geneaology kick, which is something that men of a certain age apparently do.  I wanted Graham to meet Guy because of Graham's abiding interest in all things military, and because Guy had been a military guy.

So we rolled on out there.  It was supposed to be cloudy, but it wasn't, and it was beautiful cruising through the NC countryside.  Interesting to note the changes as well.  At Eli Whitney, there is a Tienda now, attached to a Mexican Restaurant called Ulvia's.  Open till 10, looks pretty good.  Me, I want to go.  Out in the middle of a field somewhere in there, also a soccer field rather than a baseball field.  But there were also some old Anglo greasy spoons that also had appeal, and golf courses hiding out here and there, and maybe hippy pottery places or art studios or something.  All in all, I was just curious.

Certainly more so than Graham was.  We stopped at Johnny's in Carrboro to get coffee for me, lemonade for him, and maybe 5 minutes later I turned off of 54 west to make my way down towards Old Greensboro Highway, and Graham says:  "are we almost there?"  I had said it was gonna be an hour, and it apparently already felt like an hour to him, even though Ira Glass and crew were aboard a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier on "This American Life" (what could be better than that?)

Anyhow, we made our way out to Liberty and turned onto T--y Estate Road, which led us to the home of Guy.  Guy is in his 90s now, but still possessed of the characteristic vigor of a career army guy who was also an Olympic pentathlete in 1952 in Helsinki, bounding up stairs two at a time, with a very firm handshake.  Guy regaled us with tales of the Olympics, and of an interesting military career that culminated in a lengthy stay in military intelligence based in Vienna.  We also petted his dog Dixie, herself kind of an old-timer (and with the flatulence to prove it) and dug into some of Guy's substantial library of military books.  Then Guy and I skyped with his son out on the West Coast and updated some stuff on, which they're very into.  Somehow Graham has not acquired this taste for digging into the details of relatives, and preferred to bury his nose in a classic tome on the history of WWI.

All in all, a fine afternoon.

*I'm obscuring names here a little out of respect for Guy's privacy and his household security.  I think you know the middle letters of his name.

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