Archive | It’s all relative RSS feed for this section

The other obituary

3 Feb

My journalism degree qualifies me to write all of the family obituaries. That’s something they forget to tell you in j-school.

Grimes Spillman

Woodford Grimes Spillman died Jan. 29, 2013. He was 86.

Spillman was born Jan. 17, 1927, in Lawson, Mo. He lived most of his life in Jamesport, Mo., where he was president and CEO of Home Exchange Bank. He held offices in banking organizations and at one time served as regional vice president of the Missouri Bankers Association.

Spillman was a licensed insurance agent and broker, and real estate broker. He was active in several Jamesport businesses, including a lumber yard, Laundromat, property management and Western Auto store, as well as community affairs. He retired in 1977, and moved to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas in 1983. There, Spillman worked for a short time at the First National Bank of South Padre Island, and served as executive director of the Rio Grande Valley Subcontractors Association. He owned and managed the Oakridge Apartment Complex in Harlingen, Texas, from 1995 until his death.

Spillman enlisted in the U.S. Maritime Service during World War II, serving overseas with the U.S. Merchant Marines. He received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1946.

Spillman is survived by two daughters, Barbara Smith of Blackwater, Mo., and Sherry and K.D. Whitt of Princeton, Mo.; one son, Terry and Cindy Spillman of Trenton, Mo.; eight grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert V. and Estelle Spillman of Jamesport, Mo.; and one brother, Albert V. Spillman Jr. of California.

Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 23, 2013, at Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home in Harlingen, Texas, and at 10:30 a.m. March 9, 2013, at United Methodist Church in Jamesport, Mo.

Five years ago, I wrote my grandmother’s obituary, too.

Family secrets: Weddings

12 Sep

This is the newspaper story about my great-grandparents’ wedding:

A Sad Honeymoon

Friends have just learned of the marriage of Miss Bessie Hazel Hoskins to Mr Clarence Samual Fulerson on the twenty-fifth of January. Both are young people of near Trenton and the ceremony was performed by Justice F.S Olyer of Brimson.

A great deal of romance is interwoven with this wedding. The bridegroom procured the license on January 13, and during the days intervening (and long before) the bride was being carefully watched by the members of her family to prevent the wedding Finally on the 25th a sister of the groom succeeded in getting the two young couple together long enough to have the ceremony performed. But again the parents of the bride interfered and although the couple were married they have not been allowed to see each other since the day of the wedding. Mr. and Mrs. Fulkrson are both of age and have been sweethearts for a number of years.

The announcement was published a week after they married. (The typos are original — not my doing.) I’m not sure when the couple was allowed to see each other again, but I’d guess it was soon after the paper hit the front porch.

This is the newspaper story about my grandparents’ wedding :

Fulkerson-Spillman wedding announced

Announcements are being received this week of the marriage of Miss Celia Fulkerson, Jamesport, Mo., to Mr. Grimes Spillman, Jamesport, Mo., on Dec. 13, 1948, at the Methodist Parsonage, Ridgeway, Mo., by the Rev. W.H. Ezell.

Miss Fulkerson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Fulkerson is a graduate of the Trenton High School and Platt-Gard Business University, St. Joseph, Mo., and for the past six years has been employed by the Prudential Insurance Co. in Chillicothe, Mo.

Mr. Spillman is a son of Mr. and Mrs. A.V. Spillman of Jamesport and is a graduate of Jamesport High School. He attended William Jewell College until he entered the Merchant Marines, in which he served two years. He is now in the insurance business in Jamesport.

The couple spent a week’s honeymoon in Phoenix, Ariz.

The announcement was published in April, four months after the wedding. Evidently my family likes secrets.

1 robber caught, another robbery revealed

29 Aug

The man who robbed the bank that my grandfather and great-grandfather had owned has been arrested. I tried to tell you that robbing banks doesn’t pay. For $2,670, he now faces a minimum of 10 years in prison for Class A felony. (I don’t know what he’s been charged with, but that’s my best guess.)

Slightly related, while going through old newspaper articles, I discovered that my great-great-grandfather’s general store was robbed Jan. 19, 1910. (It’s the paragraph that starts with “Burglars.”)

The Marshall Republican didn’t offer many details; I hope to check the archives from other papers in the area soon.

Never rob a bank

18 Aug

Last week, the bank that my grandfather and great-grandfather owned was robbed. A man wearing a motorcycle helmet and long black coat walked in with a handgun. He walked out with about $2,500.

This is not the first time the bank has been hit by a motorcycle helmet-wearing robber.

In the ’80s, a man wearing a motorcycle helmet walked in and robbed the bank. My grandfather owned the bank at the time, but had the day off. He often rode a motorcycle; the bank employees thought it was him, fooling around. It wasn’t.

Growing up, my mother often repeated two pieces of advice. One: “Never rob a bank. It’s a federal offense. If you’re going to rob a business, you’re better off with the local grocery store.” (Two: “If you break the law, call the cops. Because when I show up, you’ll want to be under their protection.”)

Years later when I was in college, my friend Jon and I discovered we had lived in neighboring small towns. (My family moved before I started second grade.) And that his father was the helmet-wearing man who robbed my grandfather’s bank.

Last week’s robber is on the lam; last time, it took several months to catch the robber.

A text conversation with my mother

28 Jun

Mom: Snake in house! How do I get rid of?

Me: Move?