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Rated: E · Short Story · History · #927940
A early morning walk to the briar tract into history.

I was drawn toward the Briar Tract this morning, but I don't know why. I drank too much beer last night and overslept this morning not getting up till 7:30. Its 16 degrees and a winter storm warning is in effect. Not a good morning for a walk but I got my favorite walking stick and set out.

I forgot my gloves, which is a dumb move when your walking with a stick. I made that half mile walk without getting into a serious stroll. Switching hands and pockets and walking stick to keep warm.

I pass the frozen lake with a dusting of snow, the sky overcast and winds calm. The trucks and traffic rumble as I pass through the tunnel under interstate I-71.

The briar tract is in hybernation with the grasses dormant and last year's locust sprouts and thorn bushes just waiting for the warm winds of spring to make their comeback.

I cross the ditch and three foot bank and barbed wire fence without mishap. The three ancient pear trees that were part of Dan Rollins garden in the early 1800s stand guard. Limbs missing and misshapened, they have witnessed a lot of these cold Kentucky winter days and the comings and goings of the pioneers buried in the Demint Cemetery.

The trees may be 100 or 150 years old or even back to 1796 when Jarret Demint cleared this land and built a group of cabins, aided by his brothers-in-law Jacob Lamb, John Faulkner, and Dan Rollins who later had his garden by the pear trees.

They do not produce many pears anymore but my grandchildren and I were able to find three this past fall and they each got to peel and eat a pear from the past. Zachary Steven, Tyler Allen, and Destiny Nicole Carrico are eight generations removed from Jarret and Martha Nuttall Demint but they enjoyed the fruit from those trees.

I walked over into the Demint Cemetery or the briar tract as I like to think of it. The weeds will be coming back in the spring and we will need to clip the sprouts again.

I noticed an unusual bird that had landed by two stones on the west side. It was the size and shape of a Kentucky cardinal with a top knot but its coloring was a dark blue with an orange breast. It may have been a Indigo Bunt (that I had seen in pictures),but it seems like someone with a great sense of humor had combined a Kentucky red bird with the colors of a bluebird.

The bird studied me from 20 feet away. He was feeding on seeds and hopped over behind the tomb stone on the right where he continued to watch me.

I looked around me, I had been wanting to tell the stories of these people, their lives and their times. Jarret and Martha Demint born when we were just a colony of England. He fought in the American Revolution and survived a capture by the Indians in 1792. Martha migrating with her father Elijah Nuttall down the Ohio River in a broadhorn boat in 1786.

William (Billy) Demint was eight years old when his parents settled here in the wilderness. His wife Polly Scott has on her stone - FAITHFUL WIFE OF 63 YEARS. Their daughter Leanah who married Jesse Howard Carraco and two children who share a common headstone who died on the same day in 1855.

They have two other children who died young buried on the east side. I want to tell their story.

I looked back to the beauiful bird and it was still picking at seed and studying me. When it flew off it used that swooping up and down flight that the cardinals use.

I walked over to the stone it had drawn my attention too. Geo P Gullion next to his wife Susannah (one of Jarrets daughters and called Sucky). I realized with tears in my eyes I have to tell all their stories. Some I do not know yet - but I will.

I look around me - Smith S Demint had a 8 inch thorn tree in front of his stone (one of Satans most evil creations). Its gives off an aura of evil and unease but I do not know why. The old thorns are trying to sprout from the base of the trunk where it was cut last winter. What is his story?

James Wharton English and his wife on a double stone. Veteran of the war of 1812, even has a town named after him, and first justice for this area when Carroll County was formed in 1838.

Two of the English sons nearby who died young, Jaret Demint Sale, Willie Ringo, and two other Jarret Demints lying there who died young. Another broken stone with just 177? visible.

I walked back on Greens Bottom road. Not trying for speed or a fast heart rate, just thinking about the stories I want to tell.

When I got back to my garage door the neighbor's black cat has killed a female Kentucky cardinal and was eating it. I went in for some coffee and a dose of the morning news - I have had enough symbolism for one day.

Grandpa Steve
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