My wife Cathey keeps a brief daily journal. She reviews what she wrote one year ago and two years ago. Sometimes we marvel at how much has changed. Sometimes we marvel how (especially with Donald Trump), it’s another verse of the same song.

You’re reading my “journal.” This is #1,156 since September 30, 2019. Its purpose is to further the dialogue with our son (and anyone else who’s interested) about the day’s events–to leave a “time stamped” record of what the old man is thinking.

Around 11 pm on Saturday, Heather Cox Richardson posted an installment of Letters from an American. Her opening sentence: I hate to break up a holiday weekend with a political post, but I want to put down a marker for the record. It was about Trump’s dinner meeting that included Ye, aka Kanye West, and white supremacist Nick Fuentes.

One of HCR’s phrases has lingered with me: “to put down a marker for the record.” I’ve been flooded with encouraging and challenging “markers.” In this week’s posts I’ll share some markers that I want to put down for the record.

My great-grandfather Sam Combs put down some markers in a journal of a 3,500-mile trip from Berea, Kentucky by train to Jellico, Tennessee; by automobile (a “machine”) with his son-in-law, my grandfather, to Tampa, then Miami; by train from Jacksonville to Memphis, Little Rock, Hot Springs, then to Berea. One “marker” was the new Wilson Dam.

The first page of Sam Combs’ two-month journal begins on December 2, 1924. He ended the journal by saying it was a great learning experience but six months too short.

2 thoughts on “Markers”

  1. I love reading about a road trip from a century ago and the fact that your great grandfather wanted it to go on for six more months. Sounds like me!


    1. Sam Combs (1868-1957) was a clockmaker and watch repairer. He made a swing for his daughter (my grandmother), which was on their porch as long as I can remember. It’s now on our porch. We have a small church pew that he made for their congregation. Everyone was asked to build a pew (BYOP?), and he built a 2-seater, which (I suppose) was after their children had grown. We have one of is dulcimers. By all accounts he was very reflective and a bit eccentric. When he died my dad drove to Kentucky and returned with a large wooden trunk full of watch and clock parts. Clocks became his hobby.

      Liked by 1 person

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