Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Book Signing Thanks to Onslow County Crafters' Guild

I had a great time selling and signing my self-published books that deal with local southeastern North Carolina "little known" histories.

Doing some paperwork before my book signings

Due to the fabulous and hard work of the staff members of the Onslow County Crafters' Guild the books signing and display pertaining to my current and long-term research project was a successful adventure.




Wall displaying showing examples of my current cemetery work




Linda Bergman-Althouse was beside me, selling her book, " Save them all, " an intriquing look at how people share a common concern in protecting our local natural resources which, includes our precious wildlife. Linda has a "Holiday Gift Basket" contest going on; why don't you drop her a line or two to see how you can enter.

Display by Linda Bergman-Althouse

Cindy Wozniak was selling some wonderful award winning photography during the Guild's craft fair too. Visit her site to view her intriquing photography.


My on-going research project is now being referred to as--Resurrection Mission--now associated with a "Not-For-Profit" organization home-based in Florida. Similar to my work, the International Association of Preservationists, inc (501-c) promotes, in an educational venue, the idea that older cemeteries need to be protected.

Individuals laid to rest, many forgotten veterans, community officials, or "former slaves," are being forgotten and not officially recognized for their sacrifices and contributions to their community and to our Nation.

The adventure continues...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Providing a Personal View About My Work

I do believe in something does happen after death, being with the All Mighty and what we refer to as ghosts. I recently was given a first person account of the non-natural aspect of life, while cleaning up the oldest all African American Cemetery located within Onslow County, N.C.
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The following example, is not the first experience I have had during my work. I am certain it will not be the last since I am deeply involved in locating and preserving "forgotten" cemeteries.

Describing the circumstances leading up to this specific encounter within the Brick Mill Cemetery will only take a few words. The entire cemetery, some 275 feet long and 75 feet wide, was cleaned and very presentable except, for a series of sunken graves. I had allowed grass to over grow within this area. This was done to obtain seedlings from the tops of the grass. In total, the tall grass was only knee deep. There was no breeze and the weather was very mild and sunny.

Preserving Brick Mill Cemetery

Tall grass visible in image contain grass seeds

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I was using a gas-powered "weed-wacker" since there were no headstones within this sunken grave area where I allowed the grass to grow. I finished the eight feet by thirty feet of over grown area of the cemetery very quickly and found myself standing on a very pronounced flat area of ground.

Suddenly, I was almost knock down, off of my feet, and I practically dropped my weed-eater. An electricfing wave went through my entire body, simutaniously, from finger tips of one hand to the other and from head to toe.

To say the least, I was taken back by the experince. After I regained my composure, I looked to see if I had been bitten by a snake, an hazardous part of any cemetery work since, they are everywhere in the cemetery. There were none when I looked around. Then, to talk myself out of the un-natural sense I was feeling, I looked at the height of the remaining grass; less then ankle high and far from where I was standing. I also looked to see if I had walked into a spider web but, due to the low grass this possibility was very quickly ruled out.

I can not explain what occurred to me on that day. What is known is that my hair on my arms stood up and I was very nervous, for over twenty minutes. Since then, I have marked off the exact spot where I was standing. When I return to the Brick Mill Cemetery to continue my care and stabilization project, one of the first things I will be doing is attempt to see if there is a "forgotten" grave within that flat piece of ground.

On an average within this one cemetery sunken headstones have been re-discovered under nine to twelve inches of dirt.

There are not-less-than 900 individuals buried within the Brick Mill Cemetery which was established ca.1900, if not before. There are only one hundred and twenty "visiable" headstones. A "medium" came to the cemetery a few months ago and declared that there are many more graves, "waiting to be found," deep within the woods.

I care and preserve seven cemeteries within Onslow county, none are as large as the Brick Mill grave yard. There are many veterans within these cemeteries. Many were never officially recognized for their sacrifices and services, until I started my projects.

We must not forget our Veterans!

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After I validate the spot where I was standing when this event took place, hopefully, I can come back to this blog and post an update in regards to the events that occurred. Wish me luck.

If anyone wishes to donate funds, or gift cards towards my cemetery preservation projects visit my primary Internet dealing with my work. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Jack
GySgt., U.S. Marine Corps, Retired
Researcher of local History