My Grandfather and a few tips…Using Google Earth
I can remember the last time I sat in his lap and he held me telling me it was going to be ok.
It was September and my grandparents were at the house visiting us from east Texas.
I can remember running to him as he was about to walk out the door and he sits and puts me on his lap, holding me as I cry. I was just nine years old and somehow I think I knew it was going to be bad.
That this was the last time I would see him if he went out the door!
Bob and Mary L. Hamilton
My “DaddyBob” (that’s what the grandchildren called him) wasn’t going to be coming back. How could someone make such a great impact in such short time. I had only known him for those nine years. We were around my grandparents a great deal. This was my mother’s parents and both of them were the most important people in my life. And I only had a couple of men in my life that were important to me. My DaddyBob, my Uncle Charlie and my Uncle JR.
He left that night and went to the hospital. I can’t remember the funeral or anything regarding things that happen those next few days. Maybe because I chose not to, but I can remember things from when he was alive. I can remember the smell of his pipe and I loved that smell. He also smoked cigars and was so large, well over six foot. Tall and slim! He loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and birds.
He was also one of those men that always had a chest pocket full of “stuff.” You know the ones that had a plastic holder in their pocket with maybe fifteen pens or pencils in it. And maybe even a small screwdriver or two. Plus a few cigars or maybe even his pipe, there is no telling what all was in that pocket.
I wanted to find their property but I wasn’t 100% sure of the location. The last place he and my grandmother lived was by a lake.
They had a small piece of land with a small pond and a little gas station / bait shop. I could remember it was a triangle shaped area. I can remember the paneling on the wall of the house.
We would go there in the summer and process chickens for the freezer. It was an all day job and everyone had to help out. My job was pulling feathers, and I probably didn’t do that very well with me being so young.
TIP TIME …. Using Google Earth
I knew the general area and had an old photo so I scanned Google Earth to see if I could find. Here are two photos. This is a photo of their place as I was looking it up a few years back.
The first photo in color is Google Earth sometime during 2018 and the B&W is from 1995 or 96. You can see where the highway no longer goes behind the property, but cuts across the middle right by the little pond. This made me wonder if the county bought the property so they could change the direction of the road.
This is how I found my grandparents’ property. Once I had done this I went to visit it in person. But just to have these pictures was so great for me.
My only wish would be if I could go back further in time so I could see the gas station out on the point of the left hand side. But the program only lets you go back to 1995 or 96 for this shot. You can even type in the longitude and latitude or description of the property to help find it on here. This has been great at helping me locate places where my families have lived.
How to Change the Year on the Google Map
You can click at the bottom of the page where the date and the little time clock are then look at the top and slide to a different date. This could come in handy for a lot of different things. I have also gone through to show my children and grandchildren where their dad and I lived before they were born.
You can also add pins on the map and label it anyway you want. You can see the yellow pins in all three of the photos I have added here.
My Grandfather Loved Birds!
He loved raising all kinds of birds. He had pheasants, and peacocks and maybe a few ducks but I can’t remember them as much as the others. I also think he raised quail and he had been doing this for many years, even before they moved to this place.
While we were there we always went fishing. He had a small spot at the lake with a little trailer on it. We would go out there and fish from the time I was old enough to hold a pole I guess. I was told stories about going to sleep holding the pole and nearly being pulled into the water off the deck when a fish got on because I was so young.
My grandfather is to the far right in the picture, what a wonderfully large smile. I’m so glad he didn’t have a cigar in his mouth in this picture. That way I can remember the smile! Remember to take lots of photos and document everything. Don’t put it off! Because you never know when life will be cut short. He died soon after this photo. Be sure to make every minute count and spend as much time as you can creating memories! Then be sure you can pass them down so everyone can see and share the love.
Jena spends her time researching her family tree as well as others. She travels, visits cemeteries and other historical places while gathering and collecting old photos, albums, scrapbooks and other pieces of memorable history to study and share. Jena is a retired teacher, has served as president with her local Historical Society, and maintains a community history page. She also loves photographing historical reenactments, cemeteries and historical places.