Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Trip South 2010

The last time Bill and I took a trip was in 2010 to visit my Mother who was living and being taken care of by my brother John and his wife Barbara in Greenville, South Carolina.

After our visit John and I took the two hour ride to the Pisgah Mountains in western North Carolina, right over the border from Johnson City, Tennessee to visit our paternal ancestral roots.  Also known as our hillbilly roots.  Yes, my father and his father and the rest of the Tipton were hillbillies or Appalachian residents, Pigeon Roost, North Carolina.

While there we made a side trip to Johnson City to visit our Aunt Daisy Buckles, who is the daughter of Isaac Lewis, my great grandfather and father of my grandmother Hester Lewis Tipton. 

Isaac Lewis - my great grandfather

The family moved to south eastern Pennsylvania when my father was ten years old (1930).  They were starving up in those mountains.  My grandfather was in the lumber business and there was no lumber business during the Great Depression. So Fieldon Tipton and his wife Hester Lewis and their nine sons all moved to Hester's brother-in-law's farm near Unionville, Pennsylvania as farm laborers. Two more sons were born in Pennsylvania for a total of eleven cheap day laborers. 

My grandfather and grandmother with two of their grandchildren in Pennsylvania

Ten years my father met my Mother on a double date and thus I was produced from that chance meeting. 

And that folks, is a short history of my paternal family roots. This video brings back the beauty of those mountains that ironically are so unwelcoming to me now as a gay man. I would love to live there but I couldn't love there so I don't live there. During a subsequent visit my gayness was discovered and I was given a warning. I only need one warning. Thus all I have now are my memories, shown so well in this beautiful video, of my time visiting my roots. 


nitewrit said...


That was a very lovely video. Maybe you should have done documentaries on American like. Amazes me the coincidences in our lives. My great-grandfather, William Townsley was also in the lumber business in the 1930.


Ron said...

I think most of our ancestors were either farmers or in the lumber business. Not many doctors or merchants in our family trees although you probably had more professionals in yours than I have in mine.

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